Dr. John Avendano is the sixth president and CEO of FSCJ, one of the state’s largest institutions of higher education with nearly 40,000 students annually.
With more than 35 years of community college experience, Dr. Avendano was previously the president and CEO of Kankakee Community College in Illinois. He also served as the president of the Illinois Council of Public Community College Presidents and the past chair of the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium President’s Council in Illinois.
Dr. Avendano was a first-generation college student for whom English is his second language. He received his associate degree from Waubonsee Community College, bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Northern Illinois University, master’s degree in adult continuing education from Northern Illinois University and his doctorate in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State University.
Dr. Avendano has previously served as a board member and chair for the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, the Grundy-Livingston-Kankakee Workforce Investment Board, Cornerstone Services and the Riverside Medical Center Board. In 2014-15, Dr. Avendano served as co-chair for The United Way of Kankakee County and formally served on the Pioneering Healthier Communities Advisory Committee for the area YMCA. Dr. Avendano also served for six years as the presidents’ liaison for the Illinois region of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK).
Dr. Avendano received the following recognition and awards from Waubonsee Community College: Fab 40, Distinguished Alum, induction into their Athletic Hall of Fame and the Skyway Conference Hall of Fame. He was recognized by PTK with the following awards: Distinguished Administrator, Shirley B. Gordon Award and the 2019 Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Dr. Avendano was inducted into Illinois State University’s Educational Administration and Foundations Hall of Fame. He also received the 2017-18 Illinois Community College Trustees’ Association Advocacy Award. Additionally, The Daily Journal recognized Dr. Avendano as its 2019 Citizen of the Year.
He and his wife Janet have three children - Michael, Nicole and Marissa.