The Parkland College Blog

Dr. Ramage Announces CARES Act Program for Parkland Students

$1.64 million to eligible students in emergency aid

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Please read President Ramage’s message to the Parkland College community regarding the CARES Act.
Dear Parkland College Community,

You may have heard of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed on March 27 to provide comprehensive aid to our nation in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. You may have also wondered how this aid package will support Parkland and Parkland students, and I am pleased to provide an update to you today on how these funds will support our campus community.

As of April 21, the government has established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which allows institutions of higher education the ability to provide emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to novel coronavirus.

This fund provides more than $14 billion in emergency funding to higher education. Of those funds, more than $6 billion must go directly to students in the form of emergency grants with no impact to their other financial aid and no requirement to pay back these funds. Institutions must pay HEERF-student share emergency grants directly to students and may not apply the grants toward outstanding institutional charges.

Parkland’s share of this aid package is $3.2 million, with $1.64 million specifically designated for direct payments to eligible students and the remainder helping the institution cover financial losses associated with the crisis. We are pleased to be able to provide some financial relief in times as uncertain as these. For many of us, this crisis has affected multiple facets of our lives. But Parkland is determined to bring our students through this, in every way we can. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure our students have the opportunity to complete or continue their schooling.

Although our goal is to provide opportunities for students of all types, the guidelines surrounding eligibility from the government will limit which students may receive funding under the CARES Act Program for Parkland Students.

Eligible students will receive an email detailing next steps about applying for these CARES Act grants. For more information on eligibility, the CARES Act, and HEERF, please see the Department of Education site or their FAQ.

Stay safe and be well,

Thomas R. Ramage
President, Parkland College

Parkland College Day of Giving is March 11

Donate as part of Parkland Spirit Day on March 11

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The Parkland College Foundation is hosting a district-wide Parkland Spirit Day on Wednesday, March 11, to raise funds for Parkland College as part of the 2020 Day of Giving.

Starting at 12 a.m. and running to midnight, individuals, businesses, and groups are asked to visit, search for a fund they care about (scholarships, Athletics, etc.), and donate any amount. The Creating Impact for Parkland fund, a fund that addresses the college's most urgent needs, can also be donated to directly.

During the 2019 Parkland Day of Giving, the community raised over $70,000 that went directly to Parkland College and thousands of deserving students. The donations provided:

  • $45,000 in new scholarships to help over 90 students with tuition, fees, and books

  • $16,000 to the Creating Impact for Parkland fund

  • $9,000 to academic programs to enhance instruction across campus

Residents can view the progress of the Day of Giving's goal, and are invited to share personal testimonials on how Parkland College learning support has led to their success, at #ParklandGivingDay. 

To donate:

Honor a Loved One: Living Tree Ceremony on Arbor Day, April 24

Contributions of $500 or more will receive a tree and plaque in Parkland College Memorial Grove

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The Parkland College Foundation will host its annual Living Tree program on Arbor Day, Friday, April 24. You are invited to attend a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Child Development Center, which will be followed by a short reception.

On Arbor Day you can honor or remember a friend or a loved one with a "Living Gift." Your contribution of $500 or more to the Parkland College Foundation will be used to purchase a tree with a small plaque of remembrance to be planted in the Parkland College Memorial Grove. 

If you are interested in honoring a loved one by purchasing a tree, please contact Susan Goldenstein at 217/351-2464 or by April 3. 

Meet the Parkland College Athletics 2019 Hall of Fame Class

Bailey, Hawkins, Munch, Neaville, Robinson, Sykes

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Parkland College will induct six new members to its Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 25, during halftime of the Cobras men's basketball game at 3 p.m. central time. The Hall of Fame Class includes five NJCAA All-Americans and were members of four teams that reached the NJCAA National Tournament.

Dating back to the inaugural class of 2007, the Parkland Hall of Fame now has 86 inductees that range from players, team, coaches and administrators. To see the full list of Hall of Famers, click here.
Will Bailey, '95 Men's Basketball
Will Bailey played for the Men's basketball team during the '94-'95 season. During his first season, Will helped lead Parkland to a #1 ranking and to the NJCAA National tournament. During the '95 season, Will averaged 18 points per game, led the country in assists, and was 1st Team All-Conference.
Following his time at Parkland College, Will played for the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he led his team in assists and helped the Blazers to the NIT, where he was UAB's top defensive player of that season. He earned his Bachelors in Criminal Justice and became a Graduate Assistant Coach for UAB from 1999-2001 where he was part of the '99 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Bailey went on to coach at Maine, Chicago State, and seven seasons as assistant coach of East Tennessee State University, helping the Buccaneers earn 6 conference titles, 3 NCAA Tournament berths and an NIT appearance. Following his time at ETSU, Will coached at La Salle University where he helped them reach an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and was ranked 4th in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage thanks to Will's instruction.
Coach Will Bailey is now at St. Louis University where he has helped the Billikens move from last to first place. During last year's season, they won the Atlantic 10 Championship and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Neeley Hawkins, '05 Softball
Neeley (Hupp) Hawkins played for the Cobra softball team during the '04-'05 season. During her first season, Neeley and the team finished 5th in the NJCAA National Tournament. During the '05 season, Neeley was a critical member of the NJCAA National Runner-Up team which. Neeley was named NJCAA 2nd Team All American and was part of the 2005 Parkland Softball team induction into the Class of 2012 Parkland Hall of Fame.
Following her two years at Parkland, Neeley transitioned to Eastern Illinois University where she earned a B.S. in Family Services in 2007. Post-graduation, she spent several years working in health care and real estate before shifting her focus to raising two daughters, Elynn and Ivy. Neeley currently lives in Findley, OH with her husband and two daughters and enjoys watching both of her girls pursue their own achievements.
Devon Munch, '08 Men's Soccer
Devon played for the Parkland College men's soccer team during the '07-'08 seasons. During his two seasons, he played in 40 games with a starting role at center defense. He scored 3 goals and had 7 assists for a Parkland career total of 10 points.
During the '08 season, Devon helped lead the Cobras to a 17-1-2 record finishing the season ranked 13th in the NJCAA Division 1 rankings, a first for Cobra men's soccer. He became the first ever men's soccer player to receive NJCAA All-American recognition. He was also awarded First Team All-Region 24, Region 24 Defender of the Year, and First Team All-MWAC.
Following Parkland, Devon continued his education in Ontario studying Criminal Justice. After graduated, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces, served 3 years as an infantryman in the Royal Canadian Regiment, 1st Battalion. He now resides in his hometown of Pickering, Ontario, Canada where he works as a Special Operations Response Team member for the City of Toronto.
Matt Neaville, '06 Men's Basketball
Matt Neaville played for the men's basketball team during the '05 and '06 seasons, and was Freshman and Conference Play of the year in the '05 season. During his '06 season, Matt averaged 26.2 points per game, ranking 4th in the country for scoring, and had a 90% shooting average from the free throw line, ranking 2nd in the country. He set the NJCAA record for most three-pointers in one game with 17, and clenched the highest scoring record for Parkland College after scoring 58 points in a single game. He was NJCAA 3rd team All-American, and is proud to still own the scoring record for Parkland.
After earning his Associates Degree in General Studies from Parkland, Matt earned a basketball scholarship at Union University in Jackson, TN. During his first season at Union University, Matt averaged 24.3 points per game and 153 three-pointers, leading the NAIA in scoring, and set the record for three-pointers at Union University. Matt was named NAIA 3rd team All-American and Transouth Newcomer of the Year. During the '09 season, Matt averaged 19 points per game, was named Transouth Play of the Year, NAIA First team All-American, led Union University to a regular season championship and Transouth Conference Championship, and graduated with his Bachelors in Sports Management and Marketing.
After graduation, Matt went on to play professional basketball in the NBA Pro Am, Mexico, IBA, NBA D-league Pre-Draft Camp, WMPBA, and the CBA. He retired in 2013, and now owns the Neaville Basketball Academy and teaches Physical Education at Urbana High School and has a 9 year old son named Jaden.
Rachel Robinson, '07 Volleyball
Rachel played for the Parkland College volleyball team during the '06-'07 seasons. In her first season, Rachel played 65 sets, had 126 kills, 17 digs and 51 blocks. During the '07 season, she played 150 sets, had 377 kills, 108 digs and 153 blocks. She was named Parkland Female Athlete of the Year, MWCAC Play of the Year, 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-Conference, and Academic All-American.
After Parkland, Rachel played Division 1 volleyball for the University of Evansville as a middle blocker from '08-'10. Rachel graduated Cum Laude with her B.S. in Business Administration, and currently lives in Boise, ID with her two dogs working as a packaging consultant for Container and Packaging. She spends her time being active, collecting antiques, and exploring the west.
Jennifer Sykes, '09 Volleyball
Jennifer played volleyball for the Parkland Cobras during the '08-'09 seasons. During the '09 season she played in 143 sets, had 1451 assists, and 10.15 assists/set. Her other accolades during the '09 season including being named first team All-American, MWAC Player of the Year, All Region Team, First Team All-Tournament at the NJCAA national tournament, and National All-American Scholar Athlete.
Jennifer went on to play volleyball at Bradley University during the 2010 season where she had 250 assists, 6.94 assists/set, and 1.9 digs/set.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a B.S. in Biology, then went on to Palmer College of Chiropractic and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2018 as a Doctor of Chiropractic, and is practicing in Racine, WI.

[Article by Joey Gruner]

Parkland Foundation to Host "Creating Impact" Celebration

Annual scholarship fundraiser includes cocktails, heavy appetizers, recognition

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The Parkland College Foundation will host its 22nd annual community celebration, "Creating Impact," on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Parkland College Student Union in Champaign. Proceeds benefit scholarships at Parkland College.

Program highlights for the event include President's Circle member recognition, a special recognition for alumni attendees, a Creating Impact scholarship appeal, and an opportunity to hear how the Parkland College Foundation creates impact throughout our District.

Tickets are $75 per person or a table of six for $350. This event includes cocktails and heavy appetizers; ticket holders must be 18 and older to attend.

Longview Capital Corporation is the presenting sponsor for this event. For event and ticket information, call 217/351-2464 or email