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Cheryl Crates '70

Cheryl Crates '70

Cheryl, a resident of Algonquin recently made plans to include the EIU Foundation in her Will by creating a bequest for the Anam Cara Scholarship, a scholarship that is supported by her EIU sorority sisters of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

After her time at Eastern, Cheryl went on to receive both her Masters and Doctorate in Education from Northern Illinois University. She started her career in education as a junior high school math and physical education teacher in rural Kansas. She later went on to roles as assistant superintendent for personnel/business services at Madison Elementary School District in Phoenix and recently retired from her post held since 2004 as CFO of Community School District 300 in Carpentersville. She retired in 2012 after 42 years in Education.

The Eastern Experience

My parents felt that their financial situation was such that they could only help my brothers to attend college. So if I wanted to go I had to do it myself. I had a passion for teaching and truly wanted to attend college. Neither of my parents had college degrees and so with a little help from by high school guidance counselor I selected EIU. Drove down with my best friend and fell in love with the campus. I earned my own way through all 4 years and graduated from EIU in 1970. I worked 2 to 4 part time jobs year round earning $1 an hour and lived on cornflakes! I loved the small town of Charleston and the wonderful experience of belonging that I felt attending Eastern. Having been from a large suburban high school I enjoyed getting involved in student senate and sorority activities. I was the first one in my family to complete a Bachelor Degree and to this day love to visit the university.

The Inspiration Behind the Gift

As I approached retirement after 42 wonderful years of teaching and administration in our public schools and was completing my financial plan I learned through one of the Directors in the Office of University Development how to include a portion of my 403b to the College of Education & Professional Studies.

The "Ease" of Making the Gift

The process was made very simple by the staff in order to help me complete the necessary paperwork.

The Importance of Others Leaving their Legacy

It is so exciting to be in a position to give a sizable amount to the university that provided me with the opportunity to secure a degree. Giving back is truly an amazing feeling.


For information on how you can create a legacy like Cheryl's, contact us today.


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