The Crystal Swan Award is awarded to a Lake Land College Foundation Board Member who has gone above and beyond. This year’s recipient is Meg Yargus Steward, a native to Marshall, IL. Meg recently joined her family’s business, Yargus Enterprises, making up Hannig Construction, Central State Construction, B&S Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, and Crown Electric. Steward worked in the fertilizer industry for over a decade selling material handling equipment to key accounts. Her ease with customers, passion for customer service and ability to adapt easily will make her a good fit to grow the team and brands in the surrounding area. She is the Marketing Manager and earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Butler University in 2006. Steward recently joined the Wabash Valley Crew Board and also sits on the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemicals Association and PAC Boards based in Springfield, IL. Meg has been a supporter of Lake Land College for years. She sat on the Board of Trustees in 2017-2018 and rejoined for the Foundation Board in 2019 in which she currently serves as the Finance & Investment Committee Chair.
The Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award is bestowed upon an individual who has given time and talent on behalf of Lake Land College students in securing private funding. This year’s recipient is Preston Smith.
Beginning his banking career in June 1970, Preston Smith climbed the ladder of success, earning his way to positions of Vice President, Executive Vice President, President, Chairman and more prestigious titles at institutions such as the CJ. Schlosser & Co. CPA firm in Alton, the Central National Bank of Mattoon and the First National Bank in Greenville.
Since 1999, Smith, former president of First National Bank Mattoon, now Washington Saving Bank has been an integral member of the Lake Land College Foundation board of directors. During his service on the board, the bank has made numerous gifts to the College Foundation and supported more than 40 students with scholarship assistance to Lake Land College.
Though Smith’s tenure on the board of directors is complete, he continues to volunteer at the Foundation Golf Classic among other capacities. Preston served as the chairman of the golf committee for over 20 years which has raised more than $600,000.
The Burnham Neal Trust
Beginning with a small gas station, Burnham built his business, Neal Tire, into a chain of tire stores located in three states, as well as BEN Tire, a wholesale tire and auto parts distribution company. As his business and income grew, he dedicated himself to philanthropic activities. He helped found Lake Land College in Mattoon in 1966 and funded a number of scholarships. A building at the college was renamed Neal Hall in honor of Burnham and his wife Nancy in 2005. His generosity is well known in central Illinois, including playing a major role in building the new YMCA in Mattoon, Illinois, and establishing the Neal Nursing Institute at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Burnham was also active in local business affairs. He was a member of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce and served terms on the board of directors of the Central National Bank of Mattoon and the First Neighborhood Bank of Toledo.
Burnham Neal’s generosity has greatly influenced the success of Lake Land College. His gift of a building in Toledo and then renting it back from the College gave annual support in a creative way. Upon his passing, he left a generous bequest to the college that again provides another annual gift for years to come, which is how the Foundation & Alumni Center was built in 2020. Burnham’s generosity and vision for Lake Land College has played a huge roll in the history of our college. Mr. Neal was named one of the top 50 most influential people of Lake Land College in 2019.
The Fuqua Foundation
Karen Fuqua was a lawyer in her hometown of Mattoon, Illinois. She is the youngest daughter of Robert L. Fuqua and Mildred Harlan Fuqua. Robert was the oldest son of nine children and left school after the 8th grade to farm beside his father. His greatest regret was that he was not able to continue his education, and he was determined his children would be able to not just complete high school but continue with higher education. Robert also believed that all children should have that opportunity, as did Karen. She was also a fervent advocate for social justice and spent college summer breaks registering voters in the rural South. The Fuqua Foundation was created through the generosity of Karen Fuqua and her legacy continues through the foundation by helping others who need a financial boost.
This award is bestowed upon corporations, small businesses, industry, community organizations and private Foundations who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the overall educational experience of Lake Land College students by providing sustaining financial support through a pattern of reoccurring gifts and pledges making a significant difference at Lake Land College.
This award is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the overall educational experience of Lake Land College students by providing sustaining financial support throughlifetime contributions, and pledges or planned gifts, as well as service to the college and the community.
This award is bestowed upon an individual who has given gifts of time and talent on behalf of Lake Land College students in securing private funding. The efforts of this individual serve as an example to others in making a difference in the lives of our students.
The Crystal Swan Award is awarded to a Lake Land College Foundation Board Member who has gone above and beyond.