Waubonsee Community College Founding Board of Trustees President, Mr. Dale Von Ohlen, passed away on November 10. Von Ohlen served as the Aurora representative on the Steering Committee that formed Waubonsee Community College. He then served as a member of the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees from 1966-1983, serving as Board Chair from 1966-1971.
Von Ohlen had a passion for providing educational opportunities for students. His wife, Marie Von Ohlen, who passed at age 42 in December 1968, supported his passion for the college by designing the cover of the informational fliers used to share the proposal of a community college and ultimately pass the referendum that would form the college. To honor her memory, Von Ohlen established Waubonsee’s first scholarship for students, the Marie Von Ohlen Memorial Scholarship. He also played a role in the development of the college’s Gustafson Scholarships. He and fellow board member Ruby Collins Sweigert had learned about another institution that was awarding one scholarship per 100 students in each high school in the district. They presented this idea to Waubonsee with the recommendation to name the scholarships after Lucille Gustafson, another founding board member of the college.
Both the Marie Von Ohlen Memorial Scholarship and Gustafson Scholarships continue to provide academic opportunities to students throughout the district.
In July 1981, the college’s Fine Arts Building on the Sugar Grove Campus was renamed Von Ohlen Hall in recognition of Von Ohlen’s significant service to and impact on the college. That impact continues today and will endure into the future.
Dale Von Ohlen loved Waubonsee and the students of the college. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family. Visit his obituary for more information about Von Ohlen’s life and family.