President VanAken hosts Happy Hour at Elmhurst bar for students, alumni

President VanAken and his wife Annette speak with senior Diane Moseman and other EC students and alumni at Elmhurst’s Pints. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

EC President Troy VanAken and his wife, Annette, hosted a “happy hour with the President” event at downtown Elmhurst’s Pints bar on Sept. 14.

The happy hour event is one of the series of events hosted last week by the Office of Alumni Relations for students, the college, and community members to meet the new president. Yet, the happy hour event was more about fundraising than a meet and greet.

“We are preparing for centennial which is in four years,” VanAken said. “We are imagining what Elmhurst will look like in 2020 and so, in preparation for that, we are raising money to get Elmhurst in good shape.”

The first round of drinks, ranging from $4.00 to $14.00 per drink for the approximately 30-40 attendees, was paid for by the Office of Alumni Relations.

The happy hour event was advertised as a networking opportunity for young alumni. However, VanAken said that the event was to also fundraise for the College while providing graduates with a way to be involved with EC.

“We had a woman attend who graduated EC in 1998 and she’s never really been involved with the College until now,” he said. “We’re trying to get [young people] to see the College as a lifetime commitment.”

And it seems to be working. Two recent graduates, Bradley Levi and Claire Bradley, said they hope to donate to EC once they start making a steady stream of income.

“I want to join the Young Alumni Association to keep up with Elmhurst and its ongoings,” Prichard said. “ I know I will donate once I start working.”

VanAken, who has a strong reputation for his fundraising efforts at Thiel College when he was president, made a good impression on the event’s attend- ees.

Amy Tibbs, coordinator of prospect management & research at the office of development, said that VanAken has a lot of energy and is engaged with students.

“He’s great — there’s a lot of energy he’s bringing in which is amazing,” Tibbs said. “Seeing him so engaged with students— it’s fun to watch.”