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College Foundation names Joe Sweeney as major gifts officer

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 01, 2019


The College of Lake County Foundation has named Joe Sweeney as major gifts officer.

Sweeney (right), who started Jan. 7, has more than 30 years of experience in development and fundraising. Most recently, he served as regional director of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Prior to that, he worked eight and a half years for his alma mater, Winona, Minn.-based Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as senior development director and as vice president for development. During his time at the university, Saint Mary’s opened a $19.7-million-dollar state-of-the-art Science and Leaning Center in 2017. Additionally, Sweeney helped initiate and grow the First Generation Initiative (FGI) endowment, which started with less than $500,000 and now is approaching $5 million in donations. The FGI endowment ensures dollars to support first-generation students at Saint Mary’s.

Sweeney’s experience also includes nearly 12Photo of Joe Sweeney years as vice president for development at Wilmette, Ill.-based Loyola Academy. He also spent seven years as director of development at Mundelein, Ill.-based Carmel Catholic High School and six years as executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope in Cincinnati.

“We are delighted that Joe has joined our team, and thankful for his experience and expertise,” said Kurt Peterson, executive director of the CLC Foundation. “His role is essential to the Foundation as it seeks to engage its major donors in new and significant ways.”

Sweeney said, “I’m most excited to join the College of Lake County Foundation team.” “CLC’s mission— to deliver high quality, accessible learning opportunities to advance student success and strengthen the diverse communities we serve—is well stated. I look forward to collaboratively working with CLC’s faculty, staff and leadership as we invite individuals and businesses to support the CLC Foundation.”

Sweeney, who holds a B.A. in psychology from Saint Mary’s, has called Lake County his home since the late 1980s and has four adult children and one granddaughter. He said one of his daughters, Katie, is a CLC graduate who completed a bachelor’s degree from North Park University and plans to complete her master’s degree in counseling this spring from National Lewis University. “For me, it just makes sense to join a team that helps to make learning opportunities accessible for Lake County and the surrounding area,” he said.

About College of Lake County


College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes,provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.