50 Notable Alumni

Sharon Conatser

National President, The American Legion Auxiliary, National Headquarters, Indianapolis, IN

Associate in Applied Science

Business Administration


Sharon attended Parkland College from 1972 to 1974, graduating in May of 1974 with her associate’s degree in Business Administration, and has used her Parkland experience and education to grow in her personal and professional life.  

Retired from the University of Illinois where she served as an Administrative Assistant for 25 years, Sharon was awarded the Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award in 2000 and the College of ACES Distinguished Staff Award in 1997.
Sharon is a lifelong member of The American Legion Auxiliary, the largest women's patriotic organization in America that is focused on helping Veterans and the youth of our nation.  She initially joined through her father, an Army veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War. She is also eligible through her son, a Desert Storm veteran, and her husband, a Vietnam-era veteran and past national commander of The American Legion.

Holding many leadership positions with The American Legion Auxiliary, such as National Chairman 2000-2014 and National Vice-President 2014-2015, she served as the elected National President from 2015-2016, of the over 700,000 members.  This year she is serving as chairman of the Future Focus committee, which is looking at ways to move the organization forward with continued success. She has represented the needs of veterans, active duty service men and women, and their families throughout the United States and while traveling to Europe and the Far East – visiting 8 countries and 48 states. She has met with the President of Republic of China {Taiwan}, the US Ambassador to Korea and France to highlight the needs of our soldiers and their families serving overseas. While she had the honor to lay many wreaths, the most memorable ones to her were at The Arizona and at the Normandy American Cemetery on D-day.

Sharon’s most memorable moment at Parkland was “…moving to the new campus. It was such a great opportunity for all the students. I loved being part of the history! The friendships made last a lifetime when you are in quality classes that allow you to get to know each other.”