On Thursday, Mike Monaghan, executive director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, attended the South Suburban College board of trustees meeting to acknowledge SSC Board Chairman Frank Zuccarelli for his 35 years of service with a “very rare award,” according to Monaghan. Monaghan presented Zuccarelli with an ICCTA Service Award.
Monaghan addressed the board of trustees and gathered audience during the open meeting: “The ICCTA would like to recognize Frank Zuccarelli not only for his 35 years of service, but also for his many years of accomplishments and contributions to the statewide community college system.”
“Frank saw South Suburban College and the Illinois community college system grow from temporary buildings into the third largest community college system in the United States,” Monaghan said. “He is only the fifth person out of more than 2,200 current and former trustees to reach this level of success in the entire state of Illinois. Anyone who accomplishes that is doing things the right way.”
Zuccarelli enrolled at SSC — then Thornton Community College — in 1974 after he completed his enlistment in the United States Air Force where he served as a medic. Zuccarelli earned his associate of science degree in 1976 and his associate of arts degree in 1978 from SSC. He was elected to the board of trustees in 1978, and was chosen by his peers to be the chairman of the board in 1987. He has served in this capacity for the college ever since.
“I would like to thank the ICCTA for this special honor and especially Mike Monaghan for taking the time to come to South Holland to present this award to me tonight,” said Zuccarelli upon receiving the award. “Mike also has a long career of dedicated service to the community college system.”
Zuccarelli added, “We truly have accomplished a lot to be proud of over the years here at SSC. But not for the efforts of one person alone. I would like to thank my board of trustees, the administration, staff and faculty, and our President Don Manning for their commitment to South Suburban College. I would also like to thank the former presidents and board members I had the privilege of serving with along the way.”
After the board meeting, I had an opportunity to speak to Zuccarelli on this special accomplishment and what it means to him. Zuccarelli acknowledged the magnitude of the four decades of service and being one of just five people to accomplish this milestone. He left me with these words: “I have truly enjoyed so many experiences throughout my life including my passion for political service, but nothing has matched my love for South Suburban College.”