O.J. Stoutner, of Peru, and Jack Cantlin, of Earlville, were honored Monday for their decades of service to the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation.
Cantlin joined the foundation in 1992 after being recruited by then-President Ralph Bowermaster and has served 29 years, including 12 as vice president.
Stoutner was recruited to the board in 1999 by Bowermaster and Bill Strong, and has served 22 years, including three as vice president and 13 as president.
Their leadership has helped grow foundation assets to $8.6 million. In the past two years alone, the foundation has provided nearly $950,000 in scholarships and program support.
Stoutner and Cantlin supported capital campaigns for the Community Technology Center and scholarship endowment, and both endowed their own scholarships with wives Susie Stoutner and Kathy Cantlin.
“When I reflect upon Jack and O.J.’s history with our foundation, the words that come to mind are integrity, principle, rectitude, devotion and decency,” said Executive Director of Community Relations and Development Fran Brolley. “Thank you for making our foundation part of your remarkable lives of service.”
The Spirit Award, created in the mid-2000s to honor community members who have made a substantial contribution to the college, has been awarded eight times since 2004. Previous recipients include Brad Schorn, Walter Durley Boyle, Bill Strong, Sen. Gary Dahl, William Taylor, Robert Eschbach, Tom Walsh and Patricia Seibert.
Before presenting the award, IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said, in terms of the foundation’s success, Cantlin and Stoutner are “rock stars.”