Catherine Brod New Vice President
By Brian Kleemann
Catherine Brod of Elk Grove is the new vice president of Development and executive director of the College of DuPage Foundation.
A lifelong philanthropist, Brod has worked in education for 25 years, most recently for 15 years as the executive director of the Harper College Educational Foundation and chief advancement officer at Harper.
“My job is to tell the exciting and ever-changing story of what we do to the community, and I’ve always enjoyed doing that,” explained the Elk Grove resident. “Higher education, particularly community colleges, tells a different story than other fields, and it’s often a more compelling one.”
Brod grew up in a family that was active in philanthropic endeavors. As a 9 year old, she organized her first fundraiser – a backyard carnival that raised money for muscular dystrophy.
“It was so much fun. At the time, I didn’t realize I could actually make a profession out of it,” she said.
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from Eastern Illinois University, Brod began working for the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, stewarding a $5 million gift from the Lions of Illinois to build an eye research institute that was part of a larger $100 million campaign for the University of Illinois Foundation. She eventually became the executive director of the Illinois Eye Foundation and advancement director for the Department of Ophthalmology at UIC.
After 10 years, Brod took a position as director of development and marketing for a national cancer research foundation. But she missed higher education and, after two years, moved to Harper College where she led a successful $8.3 million campaign for student scholarships and programs.
“It’s always been very rewarding raising money for deserving students, whether it’s someone who is the first person in his or her family to attend college or someone who has exceptional academic merit,” she said.
Brod is currently a doctoral candidate in community college leadership at National-Louis University and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She has received five national CASE medals and was the recipient of the Business Ledger Influential Women in Business Award in 2002.
At College of DuPage, her goals include developing a strong working relationship with the senior management team and building on the Foundation’s success by positioning it in the forefront of community college foundations.
“I see many opportunities at College of DuPage,” she said. “The facilities are amazing and the faculty very well qualified. We need to continue providing access and resources for academic excellence to our students.”