During his administration President George H.W. Bush spoke of the importance and power of volunteerism.
He said, “We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light, we all have something to give.” He believed that volunteer organizations “….are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good.”
For most of my educational and political career, I have worked closely with community colleges and universities, both offering countless opportunities for volunteerism and service. I have witnessed many volunteers serving on boards, committees, foundations, and in other ways to help our institutions of higher education achieve the excellent quality they deserve.
No one personifies the spirit of volunteerism and community service more than John A. Logan College Board of Trustee member Jake Rendleman.
Recently, Jake received the Linden A. Warfel Trustee Education Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association for having participated in 100 or more seminars offered by the Trustee Association. Think of all the community colleges in the state of Illinois(48) and how long the system has been officially established by the legislature(55 years) and the thousands of board members who have served over that period of time. Less than ten board members have completed this level of training. I believe Jake is only the seventh member to reach such an esteemed level of commitment and service.
When you combine that achievement with his service as the chair, vice-chair, and secretary of the board over many years at Logan, his past presidency of the ICCTA, along with the Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award, the most prestigious award given by the ICCTA, one can only marvel at Jake’s commitment to helping young people better their lives through higher education. He and Carolyn are also major contributors to scholarship funds at JALC.
Jake’s commitment to JALC is rivaled only by his dedication and service to the SIU College of Agricultural Sciences where he has been a recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award.
Jake truly is one of those “thousand points of light” of which President Bush spoke. He is one of those rare individuals who spends, not just a few hours here and there to help, but a lifetime of giving back to others who have need of his experience and commitment. He brings integrity to the term “volunteer”…an example for us all.
Glenn Poshard is a former Illinois State Senator, U.S. Congressman, gubernatorial candidate, and is a former President of the Southern Illinois University system.