Sandburg President to Receive Award of Distinction From Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

GALESBURG —Carl Sandburg College President Dr. Seamus Reilly will be recognized by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during the society’s annual convention April 4-6 in Orlando, Fla.

The Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction is Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents and is named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, PTK’s longest-serving Board of Directors Chair and a founder and longtime president of Highline Community College in Washington.

To be eligible, college presidents and CEOs must have served in their role for at least five years. Recipients are nominated by students on their campus and are only eligible to receive the award once over the course of their career. 

“I’m remarkably humbled to have been nominated for this award and appreciative to Phi Theta Kappa for this honor,” Reilly said. “I’m particularly grateful to our PTK members at Sandburg for considering me in their nomination. Their dedication toward academic achievement and success serves as an inspiration to us all at Sandburg.” 

Reilly will be honored alongside 18 other college administrators with the award for his support of student success initiatives leading to stronger pathways to completion, transfer and employment as well as for taking an active interest in supporting high-achieving students and developing student leaders on campus.

“Since coming to Sandburg, Dr. Reilly has provided continued support of our PTK chapter. He attends events, assists with chapter projects and ensures that students know he values their contributions to the college,” said Lara Roemer, Sandburg PTK advisor and associate dean of social and business sciences and honors programs. “His engagement directly with the students has demonstrated to them that everyone at Sandburg, all the way up to the president, is dedicated to their success, and that is invaluable. Phi Theta Kappa's largest goal is to create the next generation of servant leaders, and Dr. Reilly is a fine example for them to follow.”

“This college president has made it a priority to support student success both inside and outside the classroom,” PTK President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said. “This award is special because it comes directly from the students, and it is evidence of the gratitude they feel for the support for them and students like them.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at

Dr. Seamus Reilly