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College of Business Alumni


2012 Distinguished Alumnus

CINDY CROCKER (BS Marketing 1980)
Cynthia Crocker ('80 Marketing) believes that everyone who has a dream should have the opportunity to pursue it. She also believes that education is a powerful agent for personal, professional, and social change. Those principles have guided her as she changes the lives of NIU College of Business students as a philanthropist and mentor.

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Crocker's desire to help others pursue their dreams is fueled by her gratitude for having had the opportunity to pursue her own. Looking back, the accomplished business leader modestly credits much of her success to "luck and being at the right place at the right time." However, she also cites hard work and the solid education she received at NIU.

After graduation, Ms. Crocker joined First Capital Financial Corporation as a marketing associate. She later moved to investor relations. In the early 1990s, she joined First Capital's sister company, Equity Group Investments, to become a member of their public relations team. Throughout her career, Ms. Crocker led several initial public offerings for some of the nation's leading real estate companies and eventually retired as Senior Vice President for Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Equity Group.

Currently, Ms. Crocker devotes her talent and energy to philanthropic endeavors. At NIU, the Crocker Scholarship in Business supports the next generation of business leaders through a generous endowment. In addition, she has been a caring and inspiring mentor to young women majoring in business. Last year's inaugural Crocker Program for Emerging Business Leaders touched the lives of 40 students. Cynthia and her husband, Doug, have also generously supported education through endowments at Milton Academy, DePaul, and Harvard.

Ms. Crocker is an active member of the NIU Foundation board of directors. She also works to enrich her community as a Sanibel Community Association board member where she serves the board's outreach commission. She and Doug are members of the Presidents' Council of the New Bedford Art Museum where Cynthia focuses on the children's education program.

Whether watching Cynthia interact with students or reading through the thank you letters of her recipients, her impact on their lives is obvious. She has not only made a significant financial investment in their success, her investment extends to them personally as an advocate, mentor, and friend. For many of these talented young women, the time they spent with Ms. Crocker will be among their most influential experiences at NIU.