Alumnus Snapshot:

Name: Hilary Kelly

Hometown: Galva, IL

Degrees Received: Carl Sandburg College ‘04

Bachelors in Business from Western Illinois University '08

Current Employer: First Mid Bank & Trust, Galesburg, IL

Community organizations: Carl Sandburg College Foundation Board, Carl Sandburg College Alumni Board, Galesburg Kiwanis Club, United Way of Knox County Board, Big Brothers Big Sister of Knox County

Family: Boyfriend, Eddie Peters and two fur babies, Harley and Winnie

Awards and honors: Recently promoted to Assistant Vice President at First Mid Bank & Trust

Hilary shares how attending Carl Sandburg College helped give her the financial freedom many students experience by attending a junior college:

Sandburg's largest impact on my life was financial. I was lucky enough to receive a softball scholarship, which helped with the cost of college. Being a Retail Loan Officer, I see many young people with extensive student loan debt. This can make it difficult when trying to purchase a first home or vehicle. Going to Sandburg helped with the cost of college and I still received a fantastic education.


For many Sandburg Students, athletics play an important role in their secondary education and create strong and lasting friendships:

Being part of the Charger softball team was very rewarding. I built lifelong friendships and was able to travel all over to compete. One of my favorite memories was traveling to Tennessee for a fall ball tournament. Even though we didn’t win every game, it was a great experience to play teams from other states and make memories with my teammates.


Alumni stay connected to Sandburg in a multitude of ways. For Hilary, she reconnected by joining the Foundation board and then the Alumni board after it's inception: 

I became a Foundation board member in 2016 after a coworker asked if I would be interested. I have been an Alumni board member since it was created last year. Being on these boards have been a great way to stay connected to Sandburg.

Individuals join the Alumni Board for a multitude of reasons. For Hilary, it was an easy choice based on her past board experience:

Many organizations I am involved in benefit children, which was my inspiration to get involved with the Foundation and Alumni Boards. Sandburg was just a small part of my career journey, but this is my way of giving back and setting an example for the next generation. I hope to encourage other alumni to get involved and check out the amazing things the college is doing for their students.