Ann Rondeau reflects upon Women’s History Month

Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

There is no shortage of outstanding women at the College of DuPage (COD), each one worth celebrating.

In 1987, after roughly seven years of lobbying, Congress named March as National Women’s Month. In 2018, the celebration of women is still strong, with this year’s theme being “Nevertheless, She Persisted.”

Persistence is trait  Ann Rondeau knows something about. She became COD’s sixth president on July 1, 2016 and finds inspiration daily in the students and people she encounters on campus.

“The people in front of me are what makes this place great,” said Rondeau.

Rondeau is the first female president in the 50-year history the college and the first president to have served in the military.

Rondeau signed up for the U.S. Navy after graduating college because she could not afford to attend graduate school. Her sister was involved in the Navy and inspired her to enlist. She also saw her service as a means to pay to continue her education. She served from 1974 to 2012 and reached a ranking of vice admiral.

“The fact that I had a person who challenged me to lead, that was good enough for me [to enlist], and I didn’t look back.” said Rondeau.

Her time in the military gave her an abundance of inspiration and intelligence that she uses every day as president of the college. Of the many lessons she learned during her service, she is thankful for learning the ability to become a leader.

“The military is a leadership laboratory,” said Rondeau. “Everyday, I saw different kinds of leaders, and I became a student of leadership.”

Learning to become a leader while in the military reflects in her presidential status every day. In her eyes, the Navy and leading the college aren’t so different.

“You have a public accountability in the military for how you treat people, and we have that at COD,” said Rondeau. “You have a sense of valuing core ethics: honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability, and we do that at COD.”

To Rondeau, Women’s History Month is an important time not just for women but for the entire country.

“Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate all of our extraordinary achievements of women in America, and there are many,” said Rondeau. “We celebrate women, and that is a marvelous thing to do, and it is part of who we are as a country.”

COD is celebrating Women’s History Month for the remainder of March. A Women’s Leadership Summit will take place March 21 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate.