Robert McLennan ’65, 2015 Leadership and Service Award

Robert McLennan, Class of ’65, today Cornell College recognizes your deep community involvement and your dedication to your alma mater.

Robert McLennan ’65
Robert McLennan ’65

After earning an economics and business degree from Cornell and a law degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you began your career as an attorney with Amoco Oil Company. In 1982 you co-founded McLennan & Thebault, Inc., a commercial-industrial construction and real estate development firm. As that firm grew, you became chairman and majority shareholder of PlainsBank of Illinois, a position you held for 17 years. You currently serve on the board of advisors of four privately held companies.

Your volunteer leadership is extensive, including distinguished service since 2007 as a Cornell College Trustee. You are a board member of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the L3 Organization, a group of global leaders committed to making the world a better place. Among the organizations you chaired or served as president are the nonprofit Advocate Health Care Network, the largest health care system in Illinois; and the World President’s Organization and its Chicago chapter.

Your passion and expertise also extend to the community where you and Becky Martin McLennan, Class of 1964, raised two sons. You were a Trustee for the Village of Glenview, Illinois, president of the Glenview Community Church Executive Board, and were one of four founders of the Glenview American Youth Soccer Organization, which grew in only three years to more than 1,500 participants with more than 300 adult volunteers. You and Becky gave the lead gift for the McLennan Center for Youth, a $6 million facility used by Youth Services of Glenview-Northbrook. You also support education, healthcare, and theatre through the Robert G. and Rebecca A. McLennan Foundation.

With Becky you donated $1 million to establish Cornell’s McLennan Center in Chicago, which has enabled hundreds of students in numerous courses to study in Chicago—including one theatre course that saw 20 plays in 20 days. You serve on Cornell’s Berry Center and Delt Lecture advisory boards, and are a major donor to the Delta Phi Rho Lecture Endowment.

Bob, your life and work epitomize the mission of Cornell to empower graduates for leadership through productive careers and service in the community. On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the entire Cornell community, it is an honor to present you with the Leadership and Service Award.