Like so many college alumni, Harold Washington College President Daniel López, Jr., Ph.D. looks forward to returning to his alma mater next month for Illinois State University’s Homecoming celebration. But beyond football and parades, this year’s festivities are sure to carry extra significance for the ISU alum, as the University recently announced that Dr. López will be inducted into the College of Education’s Hall of Fame as part of the celebration.
“It’s truly an honor to be selected as a Hall of Fame inductee and to represent the Harold Washington College community with this recognition,” said President López. “As a Harold Washington graduate myself, it’s a privilege to showcase the strength of a community college education—and the vast opportunities our students have to continue their education and succeed in the workforce.”
Dr. López, who has dedicated nearly three decades of his career to serving students in higher education, started his own college journey at Harold Washington after growing up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and graduating from Chicago Public Schools. With his associate degree in hand, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Illinois at Springfield, a Master of Education from Loyola University Chicago, and a doctorate in higher education from Illinois State University.
Over the course of his career, Dr. López has served in variety of leadership and management roles at higher education institutions throughout Illinois, including positions at Illinois State University, Lake Forest College, Northeastern Illinois University, and now, Harold Washington College, a Hispanic Serving Institution. But beyond his impressive professional resume, it’s his personal background as an immigrant and first-generation college student that sets him apart as a leader and helps him to advocate for and empower his students.
President López’s commitment to ensuring all Harold Washington College students find the opportunities and support they need to further their education is a cause worthy of recognition—both at ISU’s Homecoming on October 15th and every day at City Colleges.