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Distinguished Alumni

Highland Community College takes great pride in the achievements of its graduates and former students. To recognize their outstanding accomplishments, the HCC Foundation sponsors an annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Program.

Nominations for the 27th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are due September 8, 2023.
View the Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form. [PDF, 80KB]

The Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients in alphabetical order
The Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients by year

2023 Distinguished Alumni recipients pictured with their awards from left to right: Terry Camplain, Kristin Rademaker, Steven Kenneke, and Drew Grosinger
The 2023 Distinguished Alumni recipients pictured left to right:
Benjamin Huber, Terry Camplain, Kristin Rademaker, Steven Kenneke, and Drew Groezinger

Alumni Association

Your support continues to make a difference for students at Highland Community College. Last year, you and your peers provided overwhelming support for our HCC Alumni Scholarship.

Thanks to 123 generous donors and a matching gift, $29,660 has been contributed to the fund, enabling us to present our first Alumni Scholarship to sophomore Meredith Janssen.

“I initially chose to attend Highland because it would allow me to play basketball at the collegiate level. Now that my freshman year has almost come to a close, I have learned that Highland offers many opportunities to learn more and to better yourself; all you have to do is look for them. I cannot wait to see what my sophomore year has to offer at Highland, and hope that many other students enjoy it as much as I have so far. To current seniors coming to Highland next year, I urge you to participate in extracurriculars and make the most of your years at Highland. Before you know it, your time will be over and you will only have memories and the friends you made along the way.  Again, thank you so much for this opportunity!”

Meredith M. Janssen, Class of 2022

We are asking that you continue to build upon this effort again this year for this unique scholarship giving opportunity. Please help us meet our $50,000 goal to help fund this permanent endowment and offer additional student scholarships for the next academic year.

Highland Community College is committed to shaping  the future of our communities by providing quality  education and learning opportunities through programs and services that encourage the personal and professional growth of the people of northwestern Illinois.

“HCC has given me so much and it has always been a priority in my life to give back when I can. I want others to be able to have the same memorable experience as I did at HCC. HCC has provided lifelong connections to so many near and far, and I am so proud to be a Highland Cougar. I encourage anyone to give back to HCC to provide this same opportunity for our future leaders.”

Jolene Bohnsack, Class of 2003 Executive Vice President of Solutions Bank

“As an alumna and former Adult Ed. instructor, I believe it is essential to support HCC to better our community. My children, numerous family members, and I all began our education at HCC, then went on to attain 4-year degrees. As an Adult Ed. Instructor, I witnessed first-hand benefits of scholarships given to students who might not otherwise been able to attend HCC.”

Sally Wagner, Class of 1976 Co-Owner of Jansen Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical

“My husband and I feel that is very important to give back to the community. Highland is a wonderful asset to the region and provides great opportunities for the students who attend to continue to grow and pursue their goals/dreams. Highland sees the needs of their students/community and works to fulfill those through the programs and classes they offer.”

Candice King, Class of 2002 Chief Meteorologist, WTVO

At Highland, we are encouraged every day by stories like these of the impact our scholarships have on our students and our community. Your own experience as an alum is part of the wonderful Highland legacy of changing lives.

Your gift will play a vital role in directly helping students in need by funding the Highland Community College Alumni Scholarship!

Make a gift online! Thank you for your tax-deductible charitable gift!

All alumni are given a free membership to the Highland Community College Alumni Association and have access to special members-only deals, discounts and privileges. Anyone who has earned credit at HCC and/or Freeport Community College is encouraged to register.

Nearly 16,000 graduates
Highland has surpassed the 15,000 graduates milestone, and has served thousands more at the main Freeport campus and satellite locations.

Alumni Association Membership Benefits

  • One free ticket to Cougar volleyball or basketball home opener.
  • One time per semester 20% discount at the J. Rosemary Shockey HCC Bookstore (meal cards, bus passes, textbooks, and software excluded).
  • One half-off one service at the HCC Cosmetology Salon. Call 815-599-3544 for an appointment.
  • Free beverage of your choice with the purchase of a sandwich or meal at the Arts Cafe.

Alumni Outreach Project

As part of Highland Community College’s work to stay in touch with HCC’s alumni, the HCC Foundation has been conducting outreach to over 100 businesses in HCC’s district, asking them to post outreach materials in their employee break areas or post them in an area accessible to the public.   Alumni wishing to update their contact info with HCC can mail in a reply card or provide their updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join the Highland Alumni Association?
The Highland Alumni Association is open to former students and graduates of Freeport Community College/Highland Community College. Membership is free. Highland alumni must complete a member registration form to receive their official Alumni Association membership card.

How do I update my contact information?
To update your contact information, send an email to or call 815-599-3543.

How can I contact other alumni?
Several Highland Alumni have joined an online Highland Alumni Group. All Highland alumni and friends are welcome to join this group at This online group is not associated with the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association Facebook page is also open to the public.

How can I get involved as an Alumni Association member?
The Highland Alumni Association is a great way to stay connected to the Highland campus. Members can mentor and give professional insight to current students, stay active in the many on-campus clubs and organizations, and stay in contact with college friends.