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Heartland Community College

Veterans Center receives support from Penn Family

February 20, 2024

Student veterans at Heartland Community College are being championed with a financial gift from John and Mary Penn. 

The Heartland Board of Trustees approved the naming of a new space on campus The Penn Family Student Veterans Center. 

“It’s an honor to be involved with the student veterans at Heartland,” said Mary Penn. “We have a family full of veterans and have always been supportive of not only the men and women in their military but also their families.” 

The newly renovated space will be located in the Workforce Development Center (WDC) on the Main Campus in Normal. 

John Penn, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and longtime Bloomington labor leader, and Mary Penn, a member of the Heartland Community College Foundation Board of Directors, have long been recognized for their work in the community.  Recently, both were honored with the Heartland President’s Medallion in June of 2023. 

The Workforce Development center is in the middle of a remodeling plan which includes the relocation of a number of student services office in addition to the newly-opened Hawk Café by CEFCU. 

“We are so grateful to have leaders like John and Mary who have given their time to benefit our community,” said Heartland Community College Foundation Executive Director Chris Downing. “For years the Penns have been actively helping so many in our community: chairing the Children’s Christmas Party for Unemployed Families, working with the Illinois Special Olympics, helping school children with Promise Councils and more much more. Their support of Heartland student veterans is yet another example of their commitment to making an impactful difference by giving back.” 

Construction of the site is ongoing with the goal of having the space available to students at the beginning of the 2024-2025 academic year. 

During the construction process the Veterans Center has a temporary location in WDC 3033.

Written by: Steve Fast