The Harper community is invited to leave messages for Dr. Ender. This page will be updated daily as new messages are submitted. Leave your message here.
Sheryl Otto, Staff, Harper College
Dr. Ender, there is no doubt you have left us a better institution than when you arrived. You have inspired and challenged us to look closely at ourselves, work across aisles, use data to inform our practices, dream big, and go for scale! This has been a transformational time in Harper’s history – all in the name of student success. Thank you for your vision and leadership.
Joianne L. Smith, Colleague From a Neighboring Community College, Glenview, Ill.
Your leadership at Harper has transformed the future for thousands of current and future Harper students. You have inspired the Harper community to invest in the promising future of students. Thank you for leading the way and for letting your colleagues learn from you along the way. I wish you all the best in retirement. May your days be filled doing what you love, surrounded by those you love. Our shared Alma Mater, VCU, would be proud of how you have made it REAL!
Luz Canino-Baker, Emeritus Board Member, Harper College
It was truly a learning experience for me being on the Board during most of your tenure. I was able to see you come in and not only engage the school but also the community. The forward thinking you brought to the college, with the Promise Program will live as your legacy. I wish you and Cathy the very best. You served us well!
Bill Kelley, Trustee, Harper College
Our college, our students, and our entire community owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.
Your visionary leadership has placed Harper College in the vanguard of the student
success initiative and helped focus our entire nation's attention on the this imperative.
You not only opened our eyes to this gaping need, you guided us onto a whole new trajectory.
Lives at Harper are being and will continue to be transformed because of you and your
Your collaborative and generous spirit is both infectious and inspiring. Your persistence in reaching out to our high school feeder districts more than anything else led to a curriculum re-alignment that has resulted in dramatically moving the needle for those Harper students most at risk of dropping out because of their need for remediation to succeed in college. Your creativity and tenacity in workforce development, especially our nationally recognized Apprenticeship Program, has and will continue to help us fill thousands of jobs in our community that will provide sustainable wages.
The most inspiring of all your initiatives, to me, is your Promise Program, allowing our "scrappy C" high school students to earn the right to attend Harper College without the burden of tuition and fees if they demonstrate their ability and willingness to do their work on time without the need for remediation, and then give something back to our community. The plan is brilliant and no doubt will again transform lives. As inspirational as the Promise Program is, your personal generosity in helping fund this initiative with your lead gift will forever be remembered by me as the epitome of your generosity and servant leadership.
We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. I have no doubt in my heart and mind that you, more than anyone else in our history, have positioned Harper College to achieve even greater success and transform even more lives by the foundation you have laid.
I will be forever grateful for your transformative leadership, your generosity of spirit and your friendship.
We will miss you!
Jim Brenner, Volunteer, Co-Chair of Professional Advisors Committee, Palatine, Ill.
All the best to you in this next phase of your fantastic life. I've immensely enjoyed my time on the Professional Advisors Committee during your Harper presidency and have seen first hand all the positive changes your leadership has brought. Thanks so much for all the many things you have done for Harper and for our community.
Jeanne Leifheit, Faculty, Harper College
Dr. Ender, thank you so much for your support of faculty, staff, and students. It is clear that you care and that Harper is in your heart. I have enjoyed these past 8 years working for and with you. Wishing you much health and happiness as you enter the special time of life to embrace and enjoy family and friends.
Margaret Bilos, Faculty, Harper College
Thank you for committing to make Harper a friendlier, student-centered campus. We are all so grateful for your vision and commitment to our college. Good luck in the next chapter- I am sure you will find great success. Harper won't be the same without you!
Leslye Smith, Faculty, Harper College
Thank you for ten memorable years of service to this college. Your service is much appreciated. Enjoy retired life, and the warm weather!
Kris Hoffhines, Staff, Harper College
Thank you Dr. Ender, for your support and mentorship. The opportunity to participate in HLI, and to receive guidance from you as I navigate my career journey, has been invaluable to me. Thank you for your leadership!
Lauren Chilvers, Staff, Harper College
Dr. Ender, as a fundraiser for Harper, I thank you for the reputation and trust you have built for Harper in the community. Our donors are proud to give because they are confident in your leadership and vision.
Mary Hood, Faculty, Harper College
Thank you for putting your heart and soul into Harper College. I believe that we are a far better institution due to your work, along with those of so many others, during the time you have been here. Best wishes for a long and enjoyable retirement.
Mary Budyak, Staff, Harper College
Best of luck to you and Cathy as you start this new chapter of your life. Thank you for providing quality education. My daughter Ashley completed a two-year degree at Harper and went on to Illinois State where she was recently recognized for her academic achievement by being added to the Dean’s list and ranks in the top 10% of the entire college!
Ron Ally, Employee, Harper College
It has been a pleasure working with you for these past nine years, and I wish you and your family the best as you embark on your next chapter.
Brenda Knox, Educational Foundation Board Member and Alumni, Rolling Meadows, Ill.
The transformation at Harper has been amazing and a credit to your leadership. So impressed with everything I've seen in my short time on the board. I regret that I won't get to work with you in the future. I wish you the best on the next chapter of your life.
Dick Hoffman, Past Trustee, Friend, Chicago
Thank you for your friendship and everything that you and Cathy have done for the
students and communities of Harper College. As you know, the college was not in the
greatest place when you arrived. However, due to your student focused vision, honest
collaboration and passion for affordable and accessible education, Harper (the students
and communities it serves) is now in a great place. You have given us your all, Thank
you. We owe you and Cathy a huge gratitude of thanks along with warm wishes and all
the success you deserve for this next chapter in your lives.
Cheers my good friend.
Gerald Smoller, Emeritus Member, Harper Foundation Board of Directors (serving 18 years)
Ken: Say it isn't so. Stay around for a while. We will miss you a lot . You have enhanced the reputation of Harper to a level that it could not have without your influence. Wishing your family and you well. Jerry
Young Chung, Community Member, Barrington, Ill.
Wishing the two of you a Bon Voyage on your next Venture/Adventure. I hope our paths cross frequently and soon in the future and in the meantime you share wonder, laughter, and great wine and food with new friends as you both improve the lives of those around you. Thank you for all that you have shared with me!
Stephen Scogna, Community Partner, Arlington Heights, Ill.
It has been an honor and a privilege to work with you. Your focus on community partnering was present in all that you did. Thank You and I wish you great success. I will miss working with you.
Heather Zoldak, Staff, Harper College
We recently gave a tour to a young woman who graduated from Harper in 2012. She was
impressed by the magnitude of changes made to the campus since she attended classes
here and remarked how welcoming the campus felt. She was happy to see so many students
utilizing the common meeting spaces. As I reflected on the tour, I realized how accurate
she was in her assessment. Harper has accomplished so much and experienced a remarkable
amount of positive change in a relatively short period of time, thanks to your leadership
I am so happy that I returned to Harper. Thank you for welcoming me back and for your authenticity with students and donors. You value relationships and that has made such a significant impact on Harper’s success. Thank you. I wish you, Cathy and Shaun all the best in this next chapter of your lives!
Darby Lanpher, Staff, Harper College
Thank you very much for your 10 years of dedication and service to Harper College. I appreciated your transparency and collaboration during our HLI meetings and conversations in the hallways of Building W. I also valued your recognition when I was promoted to my Pro-Tech position. I wish you and Cathy health, happiness and joy in your adventure. Have fun and safe travels to your new home.
Kenya F. Ayers, Staff, Harper College
The Business Dictionary defines a Game Changer as "a person or idea that transforms the accepted rules, processes, strategies and management of business functions". Typically leads a movement of related businesses in the same direction." Sound familiar? You have truly been a Game Changer for Harper College and for my professional growth. Thank you for modeling student-centered leadership and for believing in my ability to make a significant difference in the lives of students as well. I am grateful for your mentorship, sponsorship and friendship. You may be a twin but you are one-of-a-kind! My prayer is that you and Dr. Cathy will experience joy and much laughter in the chapter ahead. Again, thank you.
Mike Vanlandingham, Staff, Harper College
Thank you for all the time and energy you have devoted to Harper over the past 10 years and helping both the institution and the people within it to grow and blossom. I appreciate the professionalism and sincerity that you've always shown to me, and thank you for encouraging me to keep developing my talents so that I can share them with others across our campus community. Best wishes in all of your future endeavors and I hope we'll continue to cross paths for many years to come.
Ann Grenevitch, Staff, Harper College
Thank you Dr. Ender for your time at Harper College. It has been nice getting to know you this year. All the best in Virginia.
Mary Jo Willis, Retired Faculty/Foundation Board, Palatine, Ill.
A thousand thanks for all you accomplished, Ken. Well done! Cathy, thank you for your grace and commitment. I wish you both joy!
Julie D'Agostino, Director/Nursing, Harper College
Thank you for being a leader with many visions. Your investment in Harper and student success was evident as you helped us with identifying gaps in K-12 education and partnering with these schools. Your belief in Harper was so strong that you started the Harper Leadership Institute and encouraged faculty and staff to obtain doctorate education. I wish you the best on your next role in Community Colleges.
Brett Chapman, Former Staff, Boise, Idaho
Thank you for being an example of leadership, and for the promotion of expanding educational opportunities to enrich lives and improve communities.
Mike Barzacchini, Staff, Harper College
Thank you, Dr. Ender, for the opportunity to serve and do my best work during a time of significant progress and accomplishment at the College. I'm most grateful for the opportunities to share Harper's engaging and inspiring stories of student success, partnership and progress, all guided by your dedicated leadership. All the best in your next chapter.
Scott Lietzow, Former Student Trustee and Alumni, Arlington Heights, Ill.
When I was serving as the Student Trustee we had lunch together at Chipotle. I was 25 years old about to graduate Harper. I was so nervous about my future because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So I built up the courage to ask for your opinion. You looked at me and said “Scott when I was your age I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life” it was at that moment that I knew I could take on the world. Thank you for everything Ken.
Joy Martinez, Alumni, Barrington, Ill.
Your dedication to Harper College is immeasurable. Thank you for keeping your promise to make Harper a better one. I wish you the best!
Kristyn Meyer, Staff, Harper College
Thank you for your leadership. Harper College is the best place I've ever worked thanks
to the culture you've inspired. Your commitment to our students and community make
me proud to be a part of what happens here. I am grateful for your vision. Your efforts
to build new opportunities for students to succeed and encourage your staff to grow
are far-reaching. Your legacy to our community is that countless families will have
a brighter future, and more people can attain their education without the fear of
how they will pay for it. Future generations will believe education is attainable
for everyone willing to work for it thanks to the Promise Program. What an incredible
gift you've given all of us. You've fundamentally altered what access to education
can look like; you've championed inclusion in powerful ways; you've been a leader
that placed Harper at the vanguard of collegiate education among worldwide.
It has been an honor to serve Harper during your presidency. I am better for having learned from you. Best wishes as you find new ways to innovate. I look forward to seeing where your story goes from here.
Adam Coons, Alumni, Chicago
Congratulations! It has been a privilege getting to know you over the years. I wish you all the best in the endeavors of your next chapter.
Mark Mrozinski, Assistant Vice President of Workforce Development and Executive Dean of Community Education, Interim Dean of Business and Social Science, Harper College
Thanks for the vision and leadership you have provided our college and the community-at-large. Your work here has improved the success of our students in incredibly significant ways. Personally, you have provided me opportunity to grow as a leader and to impact the work of the college for students in ways that I could never have imagined 10 years ago. I wish you success and joy in the next season of your life and career.
George Mochocki, Adjunct Faculty, Harper College
Enjoyed talking to you at Adult fast Track graduation and other meeting our paths crossed. Wish you the best until our paths cross again. —Dr. George Mochocki Buisness, Marketing, and Management instructor.
Paul Guymon, Faculty, Harper College
Thanks, Dr. Ender. It was a privilege serving on your search committee 10 years ago. Looking back I think we made a great choice!
Cindy Roth Wurster, Alumni, Community Member and Staff, Harper College
Many thanks to you, Dr. Ender. I will remember you as a positive influence on Harper College, the surrounding community and all the people who have been touched by your commitment. As a former student, local resident and now an employee, it is the dedication you have had to maintain a quality educational institution that is respected by many. Your legacy has marked a decade of positive momentum. Many students have filtered into Harper learning along their own paths. Some graduated, some came back to add to their knowledge, some only needed one class to stay in their job, others may be still considering their academic future and yet others will enroll in the college in the future because it is here and stands strong. I wish you the best that retirement offers that enriches your life.
Tammie Mahoney, Staff, Harper College
Thank you Dr. Ender! Without your leadership and support, there are many of us that would not have been able to earn our doctorate in such a short period of time. The partnership with Ferris State University was truly a gift! We had to work hard, stay determined, and lost a lot of sleep, but the support from you and Dr. Cathy Ender, helped all of us to be successful! Thank you again and best of luck in all of your future endeavors!
James Vitullo, Staff, Harper College
Thank you for starting and continuing the Harper Leadership Institute (HLI). I was part of the inaugural 2013–14 cohort of HLI, and this was, at the time, for a new staff member, a great experience in networking and making professional friends and colleagues across the campus; working on a service project potentially useful to the college together with others; getting involved with the dialogue about leadership as a facilitator and participant in reading discussion meetings; as well as adding more to and reinforcing what this old Eagle Scout already knew about leadership, overall. I learned a lot and I hope HLI continues for many years! Thank you for your inclusivity in inviting employees to come up with solutions to fiscal problems the college had been facing. Thank you for allowing employees from across different employee groups to be a part of the HLC Reaccreditation research process. It was a great way to learn about Harper's processes and more widely and deeply about what goes on here. I guess what I'm saying most is thank you for allowing us to get out of our "silos" and experience more of Harper and to make meaningful contributions to it and its community.
Justin Erik Selby, Assistant Wrestling Coach, Harper College
Thank you for always taking the time to meet with the wrestling team. Your message of never quit is so important in academics, wrestling, and life. Once again thank you for your support you will be missed.
Vicki Summers, Co-Adviser for the Harper Dance Company & Pom and Dance Team
It has been exciting (as a Harper employee for 43 years) and an honor to be able to watch all the wonderful new programs you started grow and evolve. You helped change the educational landscape when you initiated the "Promise Program" and helped to propel and motivate students toward a higher education. You were also gracious and a "good sport" when you stepped in to perform with the Dance Team for a few Celebration Awards Finale's. Kym and I wish you nothing but the best for both you and your lovely wife; you will both be missed. May God Bless!
Laura Brown, Administrator, Harper College
Thank you for inspiring us to reach beyond and providing the nudge to never stop,
even after our goals were achieved. The Promise Scholarship Program will be your lasting
legacy and will transform thousands of student’s lives for years.
I am honored to have worked beside you for the past five plus year. I am glad you called me back to Harper to finish our work together.
You have been the Best Chief Fundraiser!
Jeff Julian, Staff, Harper College
While I have only worked for Harper College for a short time, I have already learned a lot from you, Dr. Ender. Thank you for your dedication and support of student success at Harper. It is inspiring!
Brenda Belarmino, Staff, Harper College
Best wishes in your future, I suppose you will be extremely happy to get back to the southern humidity after this winter of 2019. Thank you for all you've done to make Harper College a nationally known institute of education.
Che'ree L Blades, Motorcycle Safety Program Faculty, Harper College
Thank you for your leadership and support of the Motorcycle Safety Program. We wish you well in your future endeavors.
Maggi Franks, Fast Track Program Staff, Harper College
It's been a pleasure to work with you for the past 10 years. Thank you for your support of Fast Track students, faculty and staff. We have appreciated your leadership and commitment to student success. All the best to you and your family!
Michelé Smith, Staff, Harper College
"A leader's job is not to do the work for others, it's to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible." - Simon Sinek.
Thank you Dr. Ender for helping us to succeed beyond what we thought was possible for Harper College!
Victoria Akinde, CE Instructor, Harper College
Thanks for your leadership of the college, your courage in the midst of financial challenges to invest in your employees, and most of all, for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to further my education and contribute to the continued success of the college. I will miss the doctoral lunches and Dr. Cathy Ender's generosity and wise counsel. I wish you well in your future endeavors.
Jalen Little, Student/Staff, Harper College
Thank you so much for being my president for my time at Harper College. Thank you for inviting me and my jazz quartet to play during your events at your home and for the institution. You are an amazing human being, who has impacted many lives such as mine and beyond. I wish you an abundance of joy with your next steps in life, and look forward to seeing and hearing about your success!
Jim Macnider, Head Coach, Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track, Harper College
I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with our athletic teams at Harper. Enjoy your "retirement"!
Kalisha Simpson, Alumni, Chicago
I wish you all the best for your future. Thank you for all your contributions to Harper Family.
Jeff Glatz/Adam Glatz, Student, Barrington, Ill.
Thank you for believing our schools athlete programs, and the success that the programs bring into the classroom.
Jazmin Lupercio, Alumni and Staff Member, Harper College
I’d like to thank Dr. Ender for always making Harper College a safe space for students. And for being approachable and attending big Harper events.
Robert Uhren, Access Advocate, Access and Disability Services, Harper College
I have been here since 09/2018 and my initial impression of Harper College is that it is and will be a place to serve any student who has the willingness to develop the necessary characteristics of success (e.g., fortitude, grit, perseverance, determination & work ethic). I am grateful to arrive at Harper College in time to observe the output that is relative to your time here.
Cheri Esparza, 4th Grade Teacher, Stuart R. Paddock Elementary School
Dr. Ender, thank you so much for the relationships that you have built with my fourth graders for the last eight years. I know that every one of my students who has met you, when they are thinking of their future, are thinking, “I want to go to Harper College.”
David Richmond, Associate Professor, History, Harper College
Thank you, Dr. Ender, for making us all a part of your vision for Harper College. Working with you has been a tremendous pleasure. I certainly hope you won't be a stranger. Come back and see us anytime. Thank you.
Derrick Hamilton, Vice President, STANLEY Security
Dr. Ender, it has been my great honor and privilege to be involved in some little way in a fantastic tenure. It has been a great honor to know you, and you should be very proud of all you have accomplished for Harper, for the community, and for our nation. Thank you.
Gabi Valcheva, Alumna
Dr. Ender, thank you for all the help that you gave me in the last four years. I want you to know that you have touched one life who will forever be thankful and will forever cherish everything what you have done for me. Thank you.
Greg Brown, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Motorola Solutions, Inc.
You are a good man with a big heart who has had a huge impact on this community and Harper College. I am most proud to call you my friend.
Laurie Stone, Trustee Emerita, Harper College
It has been a wonderful ten years. It was everything that I knew it was going to be. You certainly achieved what you set out to do while you were at Harper. I look forward to hearing about the next chapter, because I know our friendship will transcend what comes next. You're a great friend. So good luck to you. Love you.
Dr. Maria Coons, Chief of Staff/Board Liaison, Vice President, Institutional Planning & Strategic Alliances, Harper College
Thank you. I have probably been working for you longer than anybody else here at Harper, and I have learned a lot. I have learned about leadership, I have learned about authenticity, and I have learned about grit. I have truly enjoyed working for you.
Royal C. Hartwig, Schaumburg Community Member
I want to thank you for all you have done for Harper College! It is remarkable what the college has become since I graduated there 19 years ago. You have played a large role in making the college what it is today. It is clear you are passionate in what you do. I wish you and Cathy all the best on your next chapter.
Mary Ann Jirak, Retired Faculty - Harper College
Thank You for your wonderful service to Harper College. You have done an outstanding job and the College thrived throughout your time at the College. My husband and I wish you much success.
Michael Nejman, President of HCAA, Harper College Distinguished Alumni
On behalf of the Harper College Annuitants Association, I’d like to express how grateful and fortunate we are that the leadership of Harper College so honors the contributions and legacy of its past administrators, faculty and staff members. Thank you for supporting our group throughout your tenure by committing funds, hosting luncheons, and keeping in constant communication with our membership. Dr. Ender, as you prepare to leave Harper, we wish you a lot of quality time with Cathy and the rest of your family, and we wish you continued success in your future endeavors.
Michael Clark, Palatine Community Partner
Your openness to partner with the Palatine Park District with the health and recreation center was inspiring and visionary. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you to make this vision and reality and seeing what it has performed to date has been gratifying. Your leadership and friendship is greatly appreciated and I have learned much from working with you on this project. I wish you all the best and know the legacy you have instilled into Harper and the community has been far reaching and impacting beyond your time!
Lori Eschenbaum, Staff, Harper College
At your first Board meeting in July 2009, you said "we will make no LITTLE plans at Harper College" ... and you had my attention! Thank you for teaching me to see the insurmountable opportunity surrounding us. It’s been a pleasure to support you in your quest to improve student success. I wish you, Cathy and Shaun all the best.
Marianne Stanke, Harper College Foundation Board Member
One of my favorite memories as a Harper College Foundation Board member was our initial conversation on the Promise Program over dinner. What started as an idea has grown to transform our community and future generations of citizen and employees. The Program instills values including commitment, service, and determination in exchange for earning an education. I'll always be grateful for having this opportunity to work with you on your vision for making this world a better place.
Kathleen Gilmer, Harper College Foundation Board Member
Thank you for your leadership, your focus on student success, your ability to bring the community together to create the Promise Program, your understanding of what constitutes a great community college and your vision of an exciting future for Harper. It has been a privilege to serve on the Educational Foundation Board during your ten years at Harper. I join my colleagues in wishing you and Cathy an exciting next phase in your incredible journey.
Lisa Mola, Staff - Harper College
Thank you for all that you’ve done for our students and the community. I have learned much about excellence in the workplace by witnessing your passion for sharing your leadership expertise and guidance with so many—all with a single-minded vision for student success. Your legacy is extensive and our students will experience the impact of your leadership and benefit from your initiatives for many years to come. It has been an honor and an inspiration to be a part of your team and I wish you, Dr. Cathy and family all the best in the next step of your life journey.
Suzette Tolentino, Staff - Harper College
Dr. Ender, It has been an honor and a pleasure to have worked under your leadership. I want to thank you for your unwavering support, your motivation to keep moving forward and your vision to create a better life for many people. Because of your hard work and efforts, Harper College Educational Foundation is now ranked first in terms of total endowment in community college foundations in Illinois. I am most proud of this achievement and without you we could not have reached this accomplishment. I am also grateful for your kindness to my family throughout these years. I can not forget the time when my husband was in the hospital for what seemed like an eternity, you sent me a lovely note that expressed your caring thoughts, you gave my family a sense of positive hope. Thank you for your 10 years of service to Harper College an institution that we both love. I wish you and your family well on your next journey in life.
The Harper community is invited to leave messages for Dr. Ender. This page will be updated daily as new messages are submitted. Leave your message here.