Message Wall

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.

Jacob Van MeterStudent Aide, Harper College

Thank you for your contributions to Harper College and best of luck with your future endeavors. Harper College is now more of an incredible place to receive an education because of your contributions. Thank you.

Suzanne Mary GonzalezAlumni

Thank you Dr. Ender for all the great work you did for Harper! God bless and best wishes for your future!

Jeffrey Rodriguez, Community Member (UPS representative)

Thank you for your partnership and for your friendship. I always felt comfortable reaching out to you and have appreciated your dedication and openness. I wish you and your family all of the best as you move forward.

George Vroustouris, Student, Adjunct, Community Member

I'm so pleased you said yes 10 years ago, to chair our gala fundraiser and help us raise funds for the Children's Hospital. If memory serves, you and Kathy were still unpacking, when we decided to recruit you. You were then, and have always been, so gracious with your time, and generous with your resources. I will miss our Red Apple lunches and wonderful conversations. Many thanks for your dedication to the quality of Harper College, and for your kind friendship.
Wishing you and Kathy all the best in the next leg of your adventure. Hope we speak again... Warmest regards.

Terese Craig, Former Associate Dean

Thank you for your vision and leadership. I hope this next chapter offers many new adventures. Happy Retirement!!

Ana ContrerasFaculty

Thank you, Dr. Ender, for your leadership and dedication to students.

Mary Kay Harton, Staff

It is bittersweet that you are leaving Harper just as I am starting my new position as Dean of Students. I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me and offering great advice about how to navigate my first months at Harper. I will continue to ask lots of questions. :) I admire your commitment to student success and celebrating student leadership and academic honors. Your legacy will live on for many years. I will work tirelessly to engage, connect and support students as they accomplish their academic endeavors. Thank you for your leadership and passion. I see it and feel it here at Harper. Happy Retirement. You will be missed.

Joanne Leski, Retired Nursing Professor

Wishing you much happiness in your retirement.

Joyce WisniewskiFaculty

Wishing you all the best as you take on your next great adventure. Thank you for leaving an admirable mark here at Harper. Blessings to you and the other Dr. Ender.

Patricia GortHarper College Library Staff

Wishing you and your wife a wonderful life, Dr. Ender. I, too, will be leaving Harper at the end of June 2019 to begin a retirement filled with working part time and volunteering. Much happiness!

Kimberley PollyFaculty

I started at Harper the same year you did. I remember sitting in the PAC for your first beginning of the semester meeting with employees. I was so grateful to be teaching again at a community college and that day you made me feel like I had finally come home. The last ten years have been so transformational for Harper College. Thank you for always taking the time to listen to all of us and believing that we could be a far better institution than we were 10 years ago. Your endless passion for students and their success will be missed, but hopefully you will ignite that same passion in future community college presidents. I wish you and Cathy well in all of your new endeavors.

Eva Otano, 2010 Alumni, Staff

I have been a fan of Harper College for a long time and in all the time that you have been at the helm I have seen this campus blossom into a place where the students are always at the heart of the college. I graduated from Harper College in 2010 and in 2014 I made the Dean's List at Roosevelt University and I give Harper the credit for that achievement.

My daughter will be in Harper's Nursing program in Spring 2020, which I have been told is one of the best programs by several area hospitals staff.

Thank you so much for the Harper Promise Program that is a gift of hope to those students that want to go above and beyond what they ever thought possible. My second eldest daughter is a Sophomore at Rolling Meadows High School and is enrolled in the Promise Program. I know that she will have the opportunity to earn a degree that will serve her well in the future. I thank you for this hope!

I wish you well in all your future endeavors.

Renee Zellner, Professor 37 Years - Retired

A visionary, inspirational, motivational, sense of community, serious, faculty and student success centered are just a few descriptive terms of how I view your tenure at Harper College. I was so fortunate to have been a part of the growth of Harper College under your leadership. I know you will continue your journey after leaving Harper and will be equally successful. The best to you! Thank you.

John MuchmoreRetired Member Founding Faculty

Best wishes Dr. Ender. I'm certainly glad that I have had the opportunity to meet you and work, however briefly, with you. Harper is an incredible place, and you have certainly made a very real contribution to it.

Donna Harwood, Marketing Services Center Staff

The mark of a great leader isn’t evidenced by banquets, plaques or trophies. You taught me: Great leaders aren’t afraid to ask questions. Great leaders set extraordinary goals. Great leaders lift people up. Great leaders don’t just sign their name to a card to recognize important work being done by those in the community. Great leaders show up. They commit time to visit each classroom. Meet each teacher. Inspire each individual towards a future that includes higher education—and then shows them the way. It has been an honor to work with you and my sincerest best wishes to you and your family as you continue your life adventure.

Melody Schmidt, Harper College Call Operator

Dr. Ender you will be missed!! I will miss seeing you in W bldg. as I would be on my lunch ... like the time I saw you & you son on the short elevator trip. Thank you for all your care for Harper students & us employees!! May God continue to bless you, your wife Catherine and your children!!

Lavleen Mal Randhawa, Harper College Student Trustee 2018-2019

Thank you Dr. Ender !! I would like to thank him for all his hard work and dedication to the Harper students, staff, and community. I also would thank him for all his support of being such a great mentor, vision and inspiration behind all the projects & construction and making our organization shine & allowing us to be the best that we could be. It has been what has set our school apart from others and has made my position all the more enjoyable and all the more rewarding. Wish you all the best with warm regards.

Georgeanna Mehr, Harper College Educational Foundation Board Member

You have been an inspiration to so many... students, faculty, board members , industry leaders and the community at large. You are the epitome of a relationship builder and fundraiser and led Harper College, building its reputation as the top rated community college in the US.

We will cherish the wonderful memories of those special moments and times with you and we will miss you. It is gratifying to see someone as deserving as you finally reach the point of retirement (semi-retirement ?). I hope you enjoy as much relaxation as you did hard work throughout your career.

Gregg and I wish you health and happiness and hope we will be able to continue our friendship even though it may be long distance. Thank you for making a difference in our lives and thousands of students over the last 10 years.

David Richmond, Faculty

You were the right man in the right place at the right time. Thanks for everything you did for Harper College. And thank you for your friendship. Wishing you and Cathy the best. you will be missed. Think of us often and smile.

Kim Pohl, Staff

I’ll never forget meeting you nearly 10 years ago at an editorial board meeting. You came in to discuss a groundbreaking new partnership with Harper’s sender high school districts, and I came away convinced of the essential role Harper plays in changing the trajectory of people’s lives. I never imagined in that moment that one day, I’d get my own opportunity to help carry out Harper’s mission. Thank you for your leadership. The transformative work you've guided will benefit the entire community for many years to come.

Laurie Turpin-Soderholm, Donor, Distinguished Alumni, Annual Giving Committee, Alumni Committee

Rob and I wish you all the best in your "next phase" of life. You demonstrate daily - to students, faculty, staff, and the Community at large – the true meaning of Integrity and Vision.

You have set a remarkably high bar for Harper College, the students of today as well as those of tomorrow. Thanks to you, the students who have received life-changing opportunities will continue to shape not only their lives but those of future generations as well. With your leadership and vision, students have found direction that otherwise may have gone unfulfilled.

We will always remember you and Kathy fondly for your kindness and thoughtfulness. And remember, this is not an Ender but a starter!

Katherine Sawyer, Donor, Former Employee, Related to a Harper Alumnus

While our time at Harper only overlapped for a short time, it's been exciting to watch your leadership unfold from a neighboring community. As a loyal Harper advocate, I've celebrated the growth the institution has experienced with your guidance, often striving to emulate and adapt successful advancement strategies in my own setting. Your presidency has left the Harper in an enviable position: award-winning student success, academic, and development initiatives; impressive renovation and construction of first-class facilities; and powerful community connections that will continue to propel the college for years to come.

Please know I also hold a tremendous amount of respect for your investment in the growth of future leaders. I'm very grateful for the good counsel and professional support you've extended to me in my service toward the community college mission.

From one Virginian to another, thank you! And warmest wishes to you and Cathy in your retirement!!

Sam Oliver, Harper College Educational Foundation Board Member

Thank you for ten years of focused hard work, and the bright and promising futures that will result, for so many students and their families.

Susan C. Rogers, Harper College Educational Foundation Board Member

On behalf of my family, we want to you wish you, Cathy and Sean all the best in your new endeavor. You will truly be missed and we want to thank you for your years of leadership at Harper. You have set the bar high at Harper and it will certainly be hard to fill your shoes. I am proud of the work I am doing on the board to better the future at the college and look forward to serving for many years to come. We also want to thank you for your friendship. We have all enjoyed getting to know you and Cathy over the years. I'm so glad we were all able to get together in Florida for some golf and sunshine. Please keep in touch and best wishes! Sincerely, Rob and Susie Rogers, Bob and Nancy Cormack

Kris Howard Jensen, Former Board of Trustee

Thank you for your visionary leadership and for creating the Promise program.

Susan Peterson, Adjunct instructor

I sincerely thank you, Dr. Ender, for your inspired leadership at Harper College. Over the past 52 years I have witnessed the growth of Harper from a small community college to an exemplary institution of higher learning. As a retired District 211 biology teacher, I have been honored to continue teaching at Harper. I especially value your positive and nurturing leadership. You have focused on the growth of the individual, be they students, staff, faculty, or adjuncts. You have given all of us the gift of being valued, respected, and trusted in our combined quest for academic excellence! I wish you all the best in your retirement.

Rebecca Lake, Staff

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to say goodbye. Would like to express my gratitude for hiring me in January 2012 to manage the Illinois TAACCCT grant and become part of the Harper team. You will be remembered for the great things you have done at Harper. It has been because of your persistence, commitment and direction that Harper is positioned on the national stage. Thank you for opening many opportunities for me particularly with registered apprenticeships. Your many contributions to our success in the arena of registered apprenticeships locally and nationally are great. Now it is time to enjoy the next phase of your professional life because we all know you will be busy. I wish you good luck, good health and full success in future endeavors.

Kathi Hock, Faculty

It has been a privilege and honor to know you. Thank you for your continued support of students and programs, including the expense ones! Your dedication to providing support and opportunities for students and employees to become their best selves is appreciated and will be remembered. Your passion for establishing strong community partnerships that support students’ access to higher education is commendable. Thank you also for your hospitality! Wishing you and Cathy and your family the best as you embark on your next adventure. Keep those doctoral students in line!

Jody Paine, Staff, Donor and Scholarship Supporter

Dr. Ender, Like a virtuoso you came in to Harper with great ideas and a willing audience awaited you. Now, 10 years later, the band is an orchestra playing pitch perfect music. Hopefully we supporters, students and enthusiasts have learned our part of the lesson well, too. Sending you my very best for your next encore. My best to you and Cathy.

Judy Marwick, Staff, Harper College

Thank you for providing the vision and leadership to truly make Harper College a student centered institution. Under your leadership we have accomplished much. More Harper College students are completing their educational goals and moving on to a bright future. Your articulation of a passion and commitment to student success and associated documented accomplishments has resulted in the recognition of Harper College as an exemplary national model. Thanks for inviting me to join you on the journey.

Vicki Atkinson, Staff, Harper College

Thank you for all that you've done for Harper College—the students, the community and for so many of us who've grown because we've been inspired by your leadership and that of Dr. Cathy Ender. My favorite quote about leadership? "A leader is a dealer in hope." (Napoleon) Thank you for reminding us to always be hopeful and to trust that hard work + hope = magic.

Sheila Quirk-Bailey, President, Illinois Central College

A Tribute to Dr. Ken Ender, William Rainey Harper College President

A heartfelt tribute to Dr. Ken Ender
Ken at Harper – What did it render?
An approach to change that was less than tender,
In an endless pursuit of great student splendor

With a vision of Harper College as student success vendor
And an urgency that made you feel like you were in a blender
Contributing to many a faculty and staff bender
While in increased completions, we became a national contender

For the promise of our children’s futures, he became a defender
For Harper’s role in our community, he became an extender
As for Harper’s state and national status, we had found our ascender
And in questions of equity and success, we had found our depender

In the development of our talent, he was an ever attender
In sharing the credit, he was an ever commender
In developing partnerships to support our students, he was an ever befriender
At Harper College, our thoughts of love and gratitude, he will ever engender.

In sincere gratitude for your mentorship and support, you have left an indelible mark on Harper College and the thousands of students who lives were changed.

Jeffrey F. Sronkoski, Harper College Foundation Board Member

Thanks for your leadership in the past 10 years to transform Harper College and "change the world"!

Richard Charles Kolze, Harper College Two Term Service as a Trustee

Family obligations, in recent years, have prevented me from getting to know you on a more personal level. However, I have observed enough to know that I respect and admire you and your service to Harper College. Your leadership has elevated the College to a new degree of excellence. Thanks for all you have done for Harper and the community. Best Wishes and Warmest Regards.

Dee Beaubien, Harper College Foundation Board Member

It's been such an honor to work with you and Cathy over the almost 9 years I've been lucky to serve on the Harper College Educational Foundation Board. Your passion for Harper is contagious—for all things Harper but primarily for its students, their success and the fine Harper faculty and staff. Now, what I won't miss: your very predictable insistence that we at the foundation raise yet another million dollars for Promise! Your challenges have worked, and you have been willing to work with us every step of the way. I will miss your sense of fun, your lack of pretension and your ability to form and cement relationships with everyone you meet. I will greatly miss Cathy as well for the formidable and effective partner she has been—and Sean has a place in our memories as well—He has been quite an ambassador himself over the years we've all watched him grow. Our entire community will miss you greatly—job well done! And you have our best wishes as you go forward into the next career we all know you will establish. Thanks, indeed, for the memories!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 efforts.

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 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 and vision.

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

I have worked for you longer than anyone else has at Harper, and I have learned so much. I have learned about leadership. I have learned about authenticity. I have learned about grit. I have truly enjoyed working for you and wish you all the best in your next endeavor. Thank you for all you have done to help move Harper forward.

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.

Last Updated: 8/19/21