Scriba Conference Center named

1951 LPO JC graduate gives back


Submitted Photo

To Say Thank You Students, staff and community members gathered at the naming ceremony to celebrate Scriba’s generosity.

Rachel Einhaus, Opinion Editor

“Ralph is a modest gentleman who reached out to us in 2013 to see how he could help,” IVCC president Jerry Corcoran said.

“He is among IVCC’s greatest benefactors and is so deserving of this honor.”

Illinois Valley Community College held a ceremony on Oct. 23 to officially name rooms CTC 124-125 and the prefunction area the Ralph Scriba Conference Center.

Scriba has donated $250,000 over a five-year period, culminating in his recent $50,000 donation to the agriculture program. His donation went towards a scholarship endowment and equipment for the precision ag program.

His past donations included $150,000 for a scholarship endowment campaign and $50,000 for the capital campaign for the technology center.

Scriba graduated from Mendota High School in 1945 and graduated in 1951 from LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College, IVCC’s previous name. He grew up near Troy Grove and now lives in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

He has built a successful career in business, revolutionizing the airline industry by creating Swift-Cor to manufacture aerospace parts with quick turnaround.

The naming ceremony was held in the Ralph Scriba Conference Center and included remarks from college officials, agriculture student Martha Hoffman, and 90-year-old Scriba, who participated from his California office via web conferencing technology.

Jane Goetz, chair of the IVCC Board of Trustees, spoke of meeting Scriba at his 2015 IVCC Hall of Fame induction.

“You know sometimes when you meet someone and you begin talking, you just get that feeling that they are sharing from their heart and sincerely care about what they believe in?” Goetz said. “His humbleness and desire to give back was very obvious to me that day.”

Scriba explained that as a child he learned how to teach people things and he continues to help with education currently through his generous donations.

“As the oldest son, I got to do everything first and then I would teach the younger children,” Scriba said.
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran discussed the benefactor’s motivation.

“Although he is a modest gentleman, Mr. Scriba attributed his phenomenal success to three words from which he has drawn incredible strength and perseverance throughout his life: ‘whatever it takes.’” Corcoran said.

Foundation President Dr. Sue Schmitt spoke of how Scriba’s philosophy is an inspiration.

“To be a true philanthropist, you have to give of yourself – and lead without expecting reward,” Schmitt said. “Ralph Scriba is the model philanthropist. He invests in individuals working to better their lives and organizations dedicated to bettering the world.”

Hoffman, an IVCC agriculture student, spoke of how inspiring it was to see the community’s support of the program and how Scriba’s generosity was affecting the program.

“For me, the opportunity to continue agricultural education past high school at my local community college is invaluable,” Hoffman said. “Thank you so much for your confidence in this program and your investment in the lives of IVCC students today and in years to come. Your support has impacted my life for the better, and I know I’m just one of many.”

“Thank you, Ralph Scriba,” Corcoran said, “for reminding us that IVCC is a wonderful place in which to work and help change people’s lives.”