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Highland recognizes the life and legacy of Nancy Ferguson Seeley

Nancy Ferguson Seeley and the Ferguson family of Freeport have a rich history of giving to Highland Community College. The family’s local legacy took root through the Newell Companies and has continued through Nancy’s unwavering commitment to giving back to the community.

Seeley, 95, died April 18 after a full and remarkable life, and she will be warmly remembered for the joy she had in her family and friends, the value of helping others, her love of the outdoors and adventure, a keen interest in new experiences and her enduring zest for life.

Her generous donations to the Highland Foundation, often made in honor of others, exemplify her deep care for the people and institutions around her. Through her contributions, Seeley leaves a lasting impact that will continue to benefit the community for generations.

“The Fergusons gave back to the Freeport area in many ways, including scholarships, support to the Fine Arts, and most recently, the Mildred F. Ferguson Simulation Hospital,” said Foundation Executive Director Dan Dick. “Nancy had a heart to give back, and to me, her perspective was grounded in this philosophy, which she shared with me and President Kuberski on our most recent visit: ‘I give back to Freeport because Freeport provided so much for our family.’”  

“Nancy lived by the motto: ‘Living is giving.’ She gave of her time, talents, and resources. Her giving was centered on improving the lives of others, particularly through education,” added Highland President Chris Kuberski. “Nancy supported our nursing program by donating to the accreditation process and the hospital simulation lab. These enhancements have elevated our program’s quality, and her generosity will have a positive ripple for future generations. I am so thankful I could express our gratitude to Nancy in person. She was a remarkable role model for us all.”

Seeley graduated from Stanford University in 1950 with a bachelor’s in economics, and in 1954 married a childhood friend from Freeport, Robert Seeley. They raised three children together.