ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH
This month’s Alumnus of the Month spotlight belongs to
Jim Duncan, Class of 1967.
Following his time at Routt, Jimmy, a Jacksonville native, was in the United States Army for three years. He completed basic training, advanced training, and learned Vietnamese before being deployed to Vietnam, where he was an advisor to the 7th Vietnamese Infantry Division. Following Vietnam his military career was not over; about 20 years after returning home Jimmy joined the Illinois National Guard and served time in Panama following the Panama Invasion.
After his tour in Vietnam, Jimmy came home and hit the books, graduating from Lincoln Land Community College, Illinois College, and finally LaSalle University. His education presented him with a multitude of opportunities to grow in his professional career where he was involved with roadwork, bidding, and schedule and project management for several years. Although now retired, his last job was with the Illinois Department of Transportation. His IDOT career started as a manager in Contract Compliance and he retired as the Chief Contract Official. “At first I was responsible to assure firms followed the contract requirements. I also did a lot of training for both IDOT employees and contractors…as I moved up I became responsible for putting contracts/jobs together, advertising them, authorizing first to bid” among many other duties, says Jimmy.
A leader by example in the Jacksonville area, Jimmy has certainly made his mark on the community. He has served as City Alderman, Chairman of the Jacksonville Plans Commission, an Alumni Trustee for Illinois College, and is currently serving on the executive board for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. He has also long been a member of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association and several other community organizations. He is currently Commander of AMVETS Post 100 and AMVETS District III. When asked about his role as Commander, Jimmy explains “as Post commander I am responsible for all the Veterans things we do: events, long range planning, fundraising, and completing and submitting reports to the federal and state government and AMVETS National.” In recent Routt news, Jimmy was pivotal in organizing a Color Guard for the 2018 Routt Catholic High School Homecoming Parade. He has also served as a statewide officer for AMVETS and is currently the representative to the Quincy Veterans Home.
When asked about what he remembers most about Routt, camaraderie is what first comes to mind. “I played sports (not well) and enjoyed the team man ship,” says Jimmy. “Routt taught me that I could be anything I wanted if I was willing to work hard enough for it; that “nobility has responsibility” and that we should always try to help make the community and the world a better place.”
If you know of a Routt graduate who you would like to nominate as a future Alumnus of the Month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.