Honorary Degree

The Honorary Associates Degree was established in 1998. Awarded during the spring commencement ceremonies, this award is given for academic, professional, personal and community contributions and achievements. 

2019 Honorary Associates Degree Recipient: Linden Warfel


Linden Warfel is the recipient of the 2019 Parkland College Honorary Associates Degree. Lin was educated in Unit 7 Schools, at Wabash College in Indiana, and at the University of Illinois, majoring in agricultural economics. After college, he served six years in the U.S. Air Force as an aeromedical evacuation specialist, attaining the rank of staff sergeant. He served on the Unit 7 Board of Education for 10 years, two of them as chair, and co-founded Community Christian School in Urbana, which eventually became Judah Christian School in Champaign. 

Elected to the Parkland College Board of Trustees in 1991, Warfel guided the college for 24 years, holding the roles of board secretary, vice president, and president. He helped Parkland expand its enrollment and facilities during this time. A lifetime and award-winning member of the Illinois Community College Board's Financial Advisory, Formula Change Advisory, and Leadership and Core Values committees. Today, he serves on the Governor's Pre-school through University Advisory Council. 

Warfel was chosen by the News-Gazette as the Farm Leader of the Year in 1989 and as one of its "Seventy Over 70" honorees for 2019. He has worked with the Champaign County Farm Bureau and the Illinois Farm Bureau since 1968, supplying governance for both. For 18 years, he served as commissioner for the Two Mile Slough, a southwest Champaign County drainage district covering 33,000 acres. His community service also includes membership with the Tolono Village Board, the Tolono Lion's Club, and since 1979, the Champaign Rotary. He is currently an active member of Stratford Park Bible Chapel in Champaign. 

Past Recipients

2021 - Paul Kunkel

2019 - Linden Warfel

2018 - Greg Cozad

2017 - Robert O. Carr 

2016 - JoAnn McGrain

2015 - Bergen and Marilyn Parkhill

2013 - Carl Meyer

2012 - Murray Wise

2011 - Robert Easter

2010 - Jeff and Charlotte Wandell

2009 - Michael Vitoux 

2008 - Lois Dickson

2007 - Doug Mills

2006 - George Shapland

2005 - Richard and Rosann Noel

2004 - Wayne Weber 

2003 - Donald Dodds

2002 - Stan Weaver

2001 - Rachel Schroeder

2000 - John Albin

1999 - Mary Lou Staerkel

1998 - Bill Froom and Dick O'Dell

Nominations are due by March 31 of each year. If you are interested in nominating an individual for this prestigious award, please contact our offices at foundation@parkland.edu or 217/351-2458