Staff from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) attended the Spoon River College Board of Trustees September meeting to surprise trustee Linda Butler with a Service Award in recognition of her 25 years of service to the college. Also surprised with awards were President Curt Oldfield who was presented the Advocacy Award, and executive assistant Julie Hampton who was presented the Professional Board Staff Member Award.

Butler began her service to Spoon River College as director of the SRC Foundation Board in 1990, five years before being appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees in 1995. She went on to be elected to four regular terms as a board member.

During her time as a trustee, Butler has worked with four presidents and participated in three presidential searches. She served one term as board secretary, three terms as board vice chair, and two terms as board chair.

“Linda has provided years of leadership for the board by serving in a multitude of capacities, not to mention countless special tasks and work on behalf of the board and the college. For all of this and much more, we are pleased to present her with this award,” said fellow trustee Dave Maguire.

Butler remembers that 25 years ago when she attended trustee training, a trustee from another community college told her she didn’t need to be there as he believed SRC would be terminated and absorbed by other colleges. He was wrong. “All of these years later it has been a great experience and is better than ever,” Butler said.

The Advocacy Award was created in 2006 to honor dedicated leadership in advocating for the needs of the students and the Illinois Community College system. Oldfield began his time at Spoon River College as a student, receiving an associate degree before transferring to the University of Illinois and then to Illinois State University. He returned to Spoon River College, first teaching agriculture and then serving as the Dean of Transfer Education before accepting a position as Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Northeast Iowa Community College. He returned again to Spoon River College on July 1, 2012 as its eighth president, making him the youngest community college president in the history of Illinois.

“Community colleges are a great value for students and also benefit the larger community,” said Oldfield. “They are called upon to help the entire country compete in an increasingly technological world by providing the educational foundation for professionals we need in a wide range of career fields. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, mechanics, teachers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police, government officials, entrepreneurs, and many others have started their academic journey at a community college.”

The Professional Board Staff Member Award recognizes the outstanding individuals who work “behind the scenes” to support the efforts of their community college’s president and governing board. Hampton has been doing that for the past 27 years. She has served as executive assistant to four presidents, three interim presidents, and has missed only three board meetings—after the birth of her daughter, when she had strep throat, and to attend a Bon Jovi concert.

“I work with wonderful people who make Spoon River College a great place to work, and I truly enjoy my responsibilities and feel it is a privilege to work here,” Hampton said.

Spoon River College is a two-year, public community college in West Central Illinois, with campuses and Community Outreach Centers in Canton and Macomb, and Learning Centers in Havana and Rushville. It serves students in a 1,566 square mile area that includes portions of Fulton, McDonough, Mason, Schuyler, and Knox counties. For more information about Spoon River College, visit

Awards at Spoon River

Pictured l-r are Dave Maguire, Presidnet Curt Oldfield, Linda Butler, and Julie Hampton