Dominican Celebrates Dedication, Blessing of New Welcome Center
A new chapter in Dominican University’s story was celebrated with the formal dedication of the Cindy ’82 and Kevin ’79 Killips Welcome Center.
The university community came together on April 20 in Lewis Hall to thank Cindy and Kevin Killips— the center’s benefactors — and mark the completion of the space. It has been called the university's "living room" — a comfortable, inviting place for making prospective students feel at home while conveying student successes through visual elements, like wall-mounted digital photos that change throughout the hour. Interactive screens allow visitors to view areas of study and other information.
“The Cindy and Kevin Killips Welcome Center is designed to be a peaceful, reflective space for prospective students and their families to feel at ease and visually engage with all the university has to offer,” explained Genaro Balcazar, vice president of enrollment management and marketing, in remarks during the dedication ceremony. “This central meeting space enables us to showcase the vibrancy of our community, our history and the foundational and sustaining elements of Dominican life that we all hold so dear.”
"This welcome center will serve as the starting point on the journey for generations of Dominican students who have yet to walk through these doors, but who will forever be touched once they do,” said Anne Kohler ’82, president of the Dominican University Board of Trustees. “I know the first time I walked through those doors it felt like home.”
Cindy Killips also spoke of Dominican as home.
“What a fitting word for this beautiful space: The Welcome Center,” she said. “Welcome is exactly how I felt the moment I walked through the doors of Rosary College, which is now Dominican University. There’s that special feeling. It’s about love and support, and it feels like home when you are here.”
Kevin Killips said the Welcome Center will be important in building the university’s future.
“I do think it’s a real investment in the university, and that is important to me as an alum — as somebody who reaped the benefits of this education — and as a board member to make Dominican better and sustainable as we go forward.”
Family of Cindy and Kevin Killips were also present for the dedication, and a blessing of the center was performed by Fr. Carl Morello, pastor of St. Catherine-St. Lucy and St. Giles Parish in Oak Park.
Cindy and Kevin Killips were married in Rosary Chapel in 1997 and have been involved with Dominican University for many years.
Kevin Killips has served on Dominican’s Board of Trustees since 2004, including six years as chairman. He currently chairs the Risk Management Committee, is a member of the Executive Committee and led the Presidential Search Committee.
Killips retired from the financial services industry in 2019, most recently holding the position of chief financial officer of CIBC Bank USA, formerly the PrivateBank and Trust Company.
Cindy Gizzo-Killips ’82 is a retired educator who completed her 36-year career at Jefferson Elementary School in Elmhurst.
Formally announced one year ago, the Cindy ’82 and Kevin ’79 Killips Welcome Center is located just inside the entrance to Lewis Hall. In addition to the main room, the completed renovations include the Mulroy Presentation Room, an admissions meeting room, and a new Welcome and Information Desk.