The Stenstrom Family Legacy of Generosity at RVC
In the early 2000s, the Stenstrom family left an indelible mark on Rock Valley College (RVC) through their extraordinary generosity.
A remarkable donation led to the naming of the Stenstrom Center for Career Education on Samuelson Road. Fast forward to this year, with RVC no longer owning that campus, the College is relocating the family's name to the Stenstrom Student Center, a move that reflects both adaptability and gratitude for the family's enduring commitment.
Rock Valley College President Dr. Howard Spearman shared his gratitude for the Stenstrom Family’s commitment to RVC, “The ripple effect of what they do to support so many students at RVC, and their willingness to be a living legacy, is priceless. Thank you, Stenstrom family, and know that I am truly proud to be able to say that we are RVC strong because our community is strong.”
At the helm of this legacy is Bob Stenstrom, who has served on the RVC Foundation board for over 25 years, currently serving as the board president. Bob’s leadership transcends the boardroom and his dedicated service underscores not only the family's financial contribution but also their deep, personal investment in the institution.
“Jan and I have focused our giving on Rock Valley College because we believe in the power of post-secondary education and training. In our chosen field of construction, we know that the buildings of the future can only be built with the hands and minds of a highly skilled workforce.
We believe a gift to Rock Valley College is not just an investment in the future of the individual students we support, it is truly an investment in the future of our entire community.”
Although the Stenstrom Student Center stands out as the latest and most prominent display of the Stenstrom family name, you can also find it proudly displayed on a classroom within the Woodward Technology Center on RVC’s main campus. The family's impact at Rock Valley College is not confined to the physical structures bearing their name, but also through numerous Stenstrom family scholarships generously established over the years. The Stenstroms have provided countless students with the opportunity to pursue their education while also removing financial barriers that exist for many of our students. Their commitment to empowering our community, through both their financial support and in creating a culture of giving back, is immeasurable.
As local employers the Stenstrom family champions education by creating opportunities for their employees to attend RVC, along with extending these benefits to their employees' children. This practice has been woven into their company for years and helps to create a company culture that values education in the workplace, but also in the homes of their employees.
Student Government President Jazmine Nathan has been a proud RVC scholarship recipient. “The Stenstrom Family has given numerous students an opportunity to attend school at a low to no cost through thousands of dollars of scholarships, and I am one of those recipients so thank you very much,” said Jazmine. “And most of all, you've inspired us to work hard and give back. We are forever grateful for this opportunity.”
Rock Valley College Foundation Chief Development Officer Brittany Freiberg reflects on years of support and leadership from the Stenstrom Family.
“To many, your Stenstrom name on this building will most likely reflect your family's charitable gifts to the college,” said Brittany. “But for some of us, we see more than just philanthropy behind that name. We see opportunity for promising futures. We see access for those that wouldn't have it otherwise. We see wisdom, leadership, civic responsibility, family values, and a deep passion for education.”
As the Stenstrom Student Center becomes a focal point on our main campus for decades to come, it will serve as a tangible example of the power behind an individual or family’s decision to invest in one’s own community by offering hope, access, and opening doors to educational opportunities for all. Rock Valley College is honored to recognize and celebrate the Stenstrom family’s legacy and the long-lasting impact of their charitable contributions on our students’ lives and throughout our community.