(KFVS) - Rend Lake College recently honored Bob Kelley with it's highest honor, Alumnus of the Year.
The Alumnus of the Year and other awards were given out at the RLC Annual Dinner, December. 7 at the Mt. Vernon Hotel & Events Center.
RLC Foundation CEO Kay Zibby-Damron said, "We knew it would be special for the honor to go to someone who was directly connected to the college's 50th anniversary."
She continued, "As I learned more about Bob Kelley, the decision about our Alumnus of the Year became quite evident. Not only was Bob a part of the first class to attend Rend Lake College in 1967, but he is also the unofficial college historian. There are thousands of pages, and yes, I mean thousands, filled with information about the college that has been captured, collected, and compiled by a man who truly loves Rend Lake College."
Kelley's ties to RLC go much deeper than just a member of the first-ever RLC freshman class.
He is a student and graduate who then returned as Communication Director for 27 years.
In his 11 years of retirement, he's stayed connected to the college as a member of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee and writer of the RLC History Book.
"Rend Lake College has played an important role in providing a pathway to future success. In my two years as a student, 27 years as an employee, and 11 years as a retiree, there are only three years in the last 50 where I haven't had direct ties to the college," said Kelley.
"I came to Rend Lake College in the fall of 1967, and while I'm certainly not the most-accomplished, I am a representative of the 20,000 graduates who – by my calculations – will have received degrees this May," said Kelley. "And tonight, I am the luckiest of those graduates."
Other awards given on the night were a service award given to RLC Foundation Board of Directors member Finny Mathew, Gene Alexander, Presidential Awards to Pat Kern and Brad Gesell, and In Memorial Awards to Millie Caldwell, Larry Pericolosi, Jody Rubenacker, and William Crawford.