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Outstanding alumni recognized for their community achievements

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 14, 2021

College of Lake County is honored to be the place where more than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. On Tuesday, April 6, the college’s Board of Trustees recognized two distinguished alumni based on their community impact and commitment to carry out the college’s values. Both are proud examples of what can be accomplished with the foundation of a community college education.

Meet Paul Hettich ‘90
Selfless servant

Outstanding alumni Paul Hettich recieves his award from CLC board of trustee members Retired U.S. Army Colonel Paul Hettich leads the life of a selfless servant. After three decades of military service and five tours of combat duty, Hettich is deeply involved as a leader in local community organizations, making Lake County and better place to live. An Antioch resident, Hettich is a 1990 graduate of College of Lake County and his lifelong dedication to civic service recently earned him the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

My life has been shaped by education, beginning with College of Lake County where I studied marketing,” said Hettich. He went on to earn receive his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, Master of Strategic Studies degree, several diplomas, credentials and professional licenses. His decorated military service demonstrates his dedication to excellence. Hettich has returned to CLC for several subsequent learning experiences, including the pursuit of his pilot's license. 

Hettich continues working as a U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador in Illinois. He also works part-time as technical director for Center Stage Productions, a deputy ranger police officer for Lake County Forest Preserve in Libertyville and a court security police officer for Lake County Sheriff’s Department in Waukegan. 

Cub Scout leader, parks and recreation trustee, American Legion vice commander, president of a homeowners association and fourth degree knight with the Knights of Columbus, Hettich’s list of civic duties only grows in his retirement, most of it unpaid, volunteer work.

Meet Becky Moran ‘96
Dedicated coach

Today you can find Becky Moran overseeing all 16 athletic programs as the athletic director at Round Lake High School, but in 1996, Moran (then Kirby) was flying across the soccer field at CLC as both player and team captain. The college is proud to award her the Distinguished Alumni Award and the college’s nominee for the Illinois Community College Trustee Association Distinguished Alumnus Award. The start of her story is like many who have walked, and have yet to walk, the halls of CLC.

Outstanding alumni Becky Moran receiving her award from CLC board of trustee members “As a high school student, I was lost,” said Moran. “I did not know what the future had in store for me. My mom wanted me to go to college and I knew did not want my athletic career to end. CLC was close to home, so I applied.”

She became the first member of her family to attend college and did so while working at least two jobs throughout her CLC career to make ends meet. Though these were not the easiest of days, Moran says she learned independence, perseverance and grit from the experience. Traits she tried to instill in her players after she became the assistant coach for the college’s women’s soccer team in 1999; a position she served for four years.

Attending CLC opened doors I did not know I wanted to walk through,” said Moran. “I was able to start my coaching career and I fell in love with it. I found my ‘why,’ which is helping others achieve at the highest level possible.”

A “why” that would not have been possible without David Beck. Beck, who became the women’s soccer coach in 1997 in part because of Moran, saw something special in her. He didn’t hesitate when he had the chance to bring her on as assistant coach.

Moran went on to serve as an assistant athletic director at several area high schools before becoming the director of athletics at Argo Community High School in 2016, and then into her current position at Round Lake High School in 2019. She serves in leadership roles with several local and national athletic associations.

“People believed in me when I may not have deserved it and I continue to pay it forward,” said Moran. “My path set me on the course to where I am today, impacting the lives of countless young people in a positive way.”

About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.