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Heartland Community College receives gift for veteran center renovations

Written by on March 1, 2024

Photo provided by Heartland Community College

NORMAL, Ill. – Heartland Community College received a gift from one of their foundation directors and her husband to renovate their Veterans Center.

HCC plans to use the gift to fully renovate and update the current center for students. The temporary location for the Veterans Center is at the Workforce Development Center.  

HCC Foundation Director Mary Penn and her husband, Air Force Veteran John Penn

Air Force Veteran and Community Member John Penn joined his wife, Director Mary Penn, in their financial gift to the institution. The Heartland Board of Trustees approved the naming of this center on campus: The Penn Family Student Veterans Center.

Public Information Director Steve Fast at Heartland spoke about the importance of this center and how it impacts student veterans. 

“The Veterans Center is part of our student engagement at Heartland Community College,” Fast said. “It helps direct veterans to any resources they might need.” 

The student veterans have been involved with different opportunities around campus.

Fast explained, “In the past, they have participated in toy drives for Toys for Tots and held Fundraisers for local food banks. The student veteran club on campus is part of the student veterans of America organization which is nationwide.”

The project is planned to be completed by August of 2024. In terms of goals, Fast also spoke on what HCC hopes to achieve with the new and updated center on campus.

Fast said, “Overall, to improve the student experience at Heartland. The idea is to get everything centralized and to give students a space to decompress and relax between classes.”