USF Financial Team Receives Outstanding Community Partner Award

March 20, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

Three members of the University of St. Francis (USF) finance team received the Outstanding Community Partner Award from the Joliet Spanish Community Center (SCC) for the financial and administrative volunteer work the team completed over a six-month period in 2017.

In March of 2017 a joint friend of the university and SCC was seeking volunteers who would be willing to assist the SCC on a short-term basis with some financial and administrative duties. Julee Gard, vice president for administration and finance, Rebecca Fry, director of financial planning and analysis and Suzie Dieter, senior accountant, answered the call on behalf of USF.

Almost immediately the team determined that the Center needed help closing the books, preparing for the year end audit, implementing payroll processing procedures and improving state grant reporting. By August of 2017, the SCC staff were trained in the new procedures and a part-time accountant was hired by the SCC in order to make sure the improvements would continue once USF’s volunteering came to an end. The USF team completed all of this while keeping up with the demands of their full-time position with the university.

The team unanimously felt that volunteering to provide this guidance and structure to the Spanish Community Center was extremely important to take part in.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Gard. “This was an opportunity to put our mission into action, and allows us to live USF’s mission. We are a campus of doers, both on and off the USF campus!”

The group was also grateful to make new friends and contacts at one of the busiest organizations in Joliet.

“Our interactions with the adults and children who are beneficiaries of the center’s services certainly help us feel compassion and a greater sense of awareness for the needs in the Joliet community,” said Gard.

The Spanish Community Center is dedicated to providing educational and social services to the Joliet community. The Center helps thousands of people a year with daycare, housing assistance, immigration counseling and a food pantry.

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are more than 48,000 USF alumni across the globe.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.