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Heartland to honor retiring president with Rob Widmer Quad dedication

May 10, 2018

Work has begun on the revitalization of the green space at the center of Heartland Community College in Normal, bringing trees, benches and walkways back to the heart of campus.

With this new beginning, Heartland will formally name the space the Rob Widmer Quad in honor of the third president of the College, who retires on June 30.

The dedication will come during a retirement reception for President Widmer held on the second floor lobby of the Student Commons Building, which overlooks the Quad, on June 8 at 5:00 p.m..

“The quad brings together the physical structures of our campus with the people who work and study here,” said Heartland Board of Trustees Chair Gregg Chadwick. “Because of Rob’s dedication to both, the naming of the quad in his honor seemed the perfect way to mark the many contributions he has made to Heartland over the past 22 years.”

Widmer has served as president since 2013, the third in the college’s 26-year history. During his tenure, Widmer led Heartland through financial challenges resulting from the Illinois budget impasse, presided over a new strategic planning process, and enhanced the college’s reputation as a strong and essential community resource.

Widmer is particularly proud of the instrumental role he played throughout his years with the college in developing Heartland’s current campus in Normal. 

“The Heartland campus would not be the invaluable resource it is today for students, employees and the community were it not for his vast knowledge of community colleges, skill in financial management, and trusted leadership,” said Vice President of Business Services Doug Minter.

The quad revitalization campaign began in 2016 after all trees were removed from the space due to damage from the emerald ash borer. Funding for the beautification was reached through donations secured through the Heartland Foundation’s “Plant it Forward” campaign and grants.

Written by: Steve Fast