Dominican University’s future Welcome Center now has benefactors and a name.

In her inauguration address on April 7, Dr. Glena Temple announced that the center, to be created at Lewis Hall, will be named for Cindy and Kevin Killips, who are supporting its development. 

“The Cindy and Kevin Killips Welcome Center will further elevate the campus visitor experience, connect prospective students and families to our mission, and model our relationship-centered approach to a rigorous, high-quality education,” Temple said.

Planning for the Welcome Center has been ongoing for the last six months, with concept designs now complete. Furniture and displays will be selected in subsequent phases of the project.

Kevin Killips ’79 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.

The couple were married in Rosary Chapel in 1997 and have been involved with Dominican University for many years.

“I believe if we are going to be a competitive university, we need to be able to warmly welcome our incoming students and acknowledge the difference that a Dominican University education can make,” Cindy said.

One of the goals of the Cindy and Kevin Killips Welcome Center is to make both prospective and established students feel like the space is “part of their home,” she added.

“I want them to understand that Dominican is a community and a family,” Cindy explained. “If you walk into something comfortable where you can sit and talk with people and discuss why you want to go there or what Dominican can offer to you, I think that’s a reason why someone may open up their eyes and say, ‘This is my home.’”

Establishing a designated Welcome Center will help Dominican achieve a “much more purposeful approach” to attracting new students and telling the university’s story, Kevin said.

“The world is a much more complicated place and we want to make sure the students and their families get the message of the university,” he said. 

Dominican plans to open the Welcome Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the space is complete.