Rocky Donahue, new chair of the Illinois State University Board of Trustees (BOT), believes ISU is heading in the right direction — and he could not be more pleased.
Donahue, 54, was elected BOT chair on July 25, replacing longtime Trustee Michael McCuskey, who retired.
He has been on the board since 2011 and is deputy executive director of external relations at Pace Suburban Bus, the regional transportation system for the Chicago area.
Donahue, who lives in Orland Park, graduated from ISU in 1982 with a finance degree and holds a master’s in public administration from Roosevelt University.
“I love this university,” Donahue said. “Illinois State was the foundation of the success I’ve had in my life.”
He said he is particularly pleased that this year’s incoming freshman class, expected to be about 3,600, will be the largest the school has seen in several decades.
Donahue added he was encouraged by the quality of the students coming to ISU with the university seeing improved ACT scores and grade point averages.
He believes his background with the Pace Suburban Bus system, and having worked with small non-profit organizations in the past, will help him serve as a good will ambassador between ISU and potential donors.
“I will be taking my responsibilities seriously,” Donahue said. “To do this job right I need to give it all my attention.”
At the July meeting, trustees heard the university had completed a successful fundraising year, accumulating cash donations and pledges from private donors in the amount of $19.5 million, which bettered the $14.8 million raised in the previous year.
Additionally, Ellen Schumacher, newly elected student trustee, was officially seated as a board member. Schumacher, who is from Teutopolis, is a junior majoring in marketing and organizational leadership. She replaced Aaron Von Qualen who graduated in May.