A New Dawn Logo

The inauguration of a new president is an exciting time at colleges and universities, a time that brings the community together to celebrate the transition to a new leader.

The inauguration of the fifth President of Waubonsee Community College, Dr. Brian Knetl, represents another bright dawn in Waubonsee’s story. Dr. Knetl has selected the theme, “Waubonsee Together: A New Dawn,” in recognition that together we are Waubonsee and in recognition of the many beginnings that are part of our rich history.

Inauguration events and activities leading up to the formal Investiture Ceremony are designed to celebrate Waubonsee’s history and reaffirm our mission. These events and activities also provide Dr. Knetl with an opportunity to engage with the many students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees, and community partners that together make Waubonsee your community college and a premier institution of higher learning.

Please explore this page for information, photos, and videos chronicling another bright dawn in the story of your community college, Waubonsee Community College.

Inauguration Events

Employee Picnic - Sept. 15
Inauguration Week 4 Campus Employee Picnic 2023

When asked what they appreciate most about Waubonsee, students and employees agree – it's the people! What better way to kick off our inauguration week than with our annual Employee Picnic. All employees were invited to help us celebrate our most valuable asset – you – during the annual Employee Picnic at the Sugar Grove Campus.

Alumni Celebration Dinner - Sept. 16
Inauguration Alumni Reception Dinner 2023

We are proud of our many Waubonsee alumni who are changing our community and changing our world. Many were the first in their family to graduate from college. Many transferred to four-year institutions to complete bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Waubonsee alumni have as varied careers as the nearly 55,000 certificates and degrees awarded in our 57-year history. We have celebrated many of these alumni as Distinguished Alumni, Featured Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame inductees and would like to bring together many of these outstanding individuals for an evening of networking.

Bike the Burbs - Sept. 17
Bike the Burbs 2023

We celebrated Waubonsee’s diverse community - and our new president’s love of biking -  at the Aurora Downtown Campus for a group ride along the Fox River Trail. This event was part of the 2023 Presidential Inauguration celebration.

Aurora Fox Valley Reception - Sept. 18
Fox Investiture Reception

Waubonsee is one college with four campuses, and on Sept. 18, the spotlight will be on the Aurora Fox Valley! Community members and stakeholders will have the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) these campuses and all they offer, along with meeting Dr. Brian Knetl.

Plano Campus Reception - Sept. 18
Plano Investiture Reception

Waubonsee is one college with four campuses, and on Sept. 18, the spotlight will be on the Plano Campus! Community members and stakeholders will have the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) these campuses and all they offer, along with meeting Dr. Brian Knetl.

Engagement Fair - Sept. 19-20
Student Engagement Fair SG 2023

Waubonsee’s annual Engagement Fair always features the many clubs, activities, and services available to Waubonsee students. This year, it included an opportunity to engage with our 5th President, Dr. Brian Knetl.

State of the College Breakfast - Sept. 19

We know great things are happening at Waubonsee and we want to share it with you! Community members, stakeholders, and elected officials joined us at the Sugar Grove Campus, Academic and Professional Center (APC), as we celebrated Waubonsee’s Distinguished Contributor Award recipient and heard about the latest initiatives of your community college.

Retiree Breakfast - Sept. 20
Inauguration Week Retiree Breakfast 2023

Waubonsee exists today because of the hard work and dedication of our many Waubonsee retirees. This breakfast honors our past as we bring together those who created our foundation and envisioned our future. This event was located at the Sugar Grove Campus, Academic and Professional Center (APC).

International Day of Peace Observance - Sept. 21
Peace Pole

Established by a unanimous United Nations resolution in 1981, Peace Day provides a shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. This event was held at the Sugar Grove Campus Peace Pole, between Collins Hall and the Science Building.

Investiture and Reception - Sept. 21

Dr. Knetl’s inauguration culminates in this formal ceremony through which he is endowed with the powers and responsibilities of the presidency. Seating in the Sugar Grove Campus Auditorium (AUD) was limited however several college watch parties and a live stream was available for viewing.

Thank you to the Inauguration Planning Team (IPT), composed of 14 members from several college units, for coordinating these events and activities to bring the Waubonsee community together and commemorate this momentous occasion.

Inauguration Planning Team Committee (IPT):

  • Kim Caponi, IPT Chair and Director of Presidential Communications and Operations
  • Linda Alberty Layhew, IPT Vice Chair and Communications Manager
  • Amy Chaaban, Professor of Information Systems and Faculty Development Coordinator/Interim Dean for Faculty Development and Engagement
  • Marleigha Evans, Senior Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator
  • Didi Foley, Campus Services Manager
  • Karen Frederick, Campus Safety and Operations Administrative Coordinator
  • Dr. Jeanne McDonald, Professor of English and Faculty Council President
  • Dr. Jeanine McMillen, Assistant Dean for Business, Technology, and Workforce Education
  • Julie Olczyk, Employee Relations Manager
  • Franklin Ortega-Palaguachi, Latinx Resource Center Manager
  • Dr. Scott Peska, Assistant Vice President of Student Services and Alumni Relations
  • Dr. Melinda Tejada, Vice President of Student Development and Executive Director of the Foundation
  • Dr. Evan Thomas, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Tanya Watts, Adjunct Faculty, Visual and Performing Arts and Adjunct Faculty Development Coordinator