GSU President Addresses League of Women Voters

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Elaine P Maimon, the new president of Governors State University, was dressed in black and white to symbolize diversity when she addressed the crowd at the League of Women Voters potluck dinner Wednesday night at the home of long time member Marge Friedman-Scherr. Dr Maimon’s emphasis on diversity, social justice, and voter registration caused her to be an immediate hit with the group.

She began her talk by asking how many present had been touched by GSU — as students, faculty, or by having attended a program or Sculpture Park tour. Virtually everyone present raised a hand! Dr Maimon understands the university’s role in the community and intends to be an active part of the community herself, having bought a home in Crete. Past GSU presidents have not lived in the area so her involvement was applauded. She told the group that she has already volunteered to host a diversity dinner.

After discussing her house-hunting and her success with voter registration drives at GSU and at the University of Alaska where she had been chancellor, Dr Maimon announced "The GSU Promise." The "Promise," which will be officially announced at her installation November 3, is a commitment to provide qualified low-income graduates from Illinois Community Colleges the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree debt-free. She explained that a majority of students of color begin college at a community college. After six years, only 10% have completed a bachelor’s degree; indefinitely, only 15% have that degree. Those who graduate are often saddled with huge debt. Keeping the GSU Promise is to be accomplished through an endowment created by a public fundraising campaign.

Dr Maimon intends to have $100,000 of the endowment funds raised by November 3.

League members were impressed with Dr Maimon’s enthusiasm for GSU, the GSU Promise, and the south suburbs.