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A Note from Murk's Creator: Eleanor Murkey PDF Print E-mail

Eleanor is concerned with education meeting the needs of the whole person.  She believes that each person is born perfect and divinely provided with limitless potential.  She is a dynamic teacher and life coach.  She is an inspirational speaker who shares her personal story of resiliency, triumph and success that led her from a young girl classified as EMH (educational mental handicap) to Dean of a multi-million dollar college campus and encourages and motivates youth and adults to know that their past is not their potential.

Eleanor has a unique gift as a sounding board with a special blend of creativity, development and management.  She has great leadership skills that she has used to encourage countless young people and participants in her workshops to stretch beyond ordinary expectations.  She has assisted friends and associates with various projects and initiatives including the startup of 10 organizations and 12 businesses, the production of 3 CD projects and three books.

Eleanor is regarded as an innovator in the fields of Leadership Management and Goal Achievement; she has a tremendous presence and outstanding reputation.  Her clients include: Institutions of Higher Education, Social Services Agencies, Community Organizations, Health Service Providers, Faith Based Organizations and Businesses.

Eleanor used her creative skills to create the College of Lake County’s Salute to Gospel Program to celebrate the contributions that the African American Church has made to the advancement of the African American Community.  The Salute to Gospel has been one of the College’s Flagship Brands for more than 35 years.  She created the College of Lake County’s Gospel Choir and facilitated the process to make it a college credit elective.  She created Outreach Programs to promote college programs to under-served communities.

She created the  “Getting What You Go After” program series filled with timeless wisdom and practical steps one can apply to achieve their goals. Her work with youth fosters personal growth, enhancing self-esteem and guides participants in the discovery of their potential and possibilities.

Eleanor is a founding member and Program Director of Trinity Universal Center, Inc., a holistic center for positive youth, family and personal development, created by Dr. M. Jeanne Dolphus Cotton.  She has written over $100K of grants for Trinity’s Getting It Together Program.

Eleanor is the Executive Director of the Waukegan/North Chicago Cares Mentoring Movement, an affiliate of the National Cares Mentoring Movement, founded by Susan L. Taylor, Essence Editor-in-Chief emeritus, and is the largest and most highly recognized organization recruiting African American mentors.

Eleanor coordinates the PEN OR PENCIL Program (POP).  The POP program blends history, social studies, civic education, economics and service learning standards into an experiential learning framework that invokes critical thinking and skills development.  Participants are motivated through productive peer influence to choose the road away from incarceration and toward the benefits of a quality education.

Eleanor is currently working on an exciting project, Did Your Mama Know My Mama a collection of sayings from our mothers, grandmothers and family members that shaped our culture and history. Click here for more information.

Eleanor is the Chairman of the Waukegan Housing Authority and serves on the board at Vista Health System, Trinity Universal Center, Inc., and the National Alliance of Faith and Justice.

She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Alliance of Black School Educators, The Schaumburg Society, The Association of Blacks in Higher Education, The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and a Life Member of the NAACP.

Eleanor holds a Master of Science Leadership Development at National Louis University, Evanston, Illinois and a Bachelor of Science Urban Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois.

Eleanor is the first recipient of the “Eleanor Murkey Overcomes Award” named in honor of Ms. Eleanor Murkey, founding member of the National Alliance of Faith and Justice and POP founding Site Coordinator, this annual award will recognize future recipients, adult or youth within the POP affiliate or partner network, who have demonstrated emotional strength, courage, resilience, and victory over barriers, disadvantages, or disabilities.

Other Awards:  College of Lake County Board of Trustees’ Illinois Outstanding Citizen Award; American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ HERculean Award; The Presidential Who’s Who among Business and Professional Achievers; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Waukegan Alumnae Chapter Achievement Award; State of Illinois Senate Recognition; Coalicion Latinos Undios de Lake County Community Service Award; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Rho Tau Chapter Meritorious Service Award; The Puerto Rican Society, Waukegan, Illinois Recognition for Outstanding Leadership and Service and the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism Chairman’s Award.


Eleanor Murkey has spent the last 33 years in higher education. She recently retired as Dean of the College of Lake County's Lakeshore campus in Waukegan, IL. She is well known for her leadership and organizational skills.


Due to her leadership and community support, the three room outreach center was expanded into a state of the art full service campus.


She is concerned with education meeting the needs of the whole person.  She believes that each person is born perfect and divinely provided with limitless potential.  Eleanor is emerging as a dymanic teacher and life coach.  She uses her personal story of a young girl whose mother died when she was 12 years old, who grew up separated from her siblings, and was classified as Educable Mentally Handicapped (EMH) during her elementary and secondary education, yet rose to be Dean, responsible for an entire $80 million campus with an annual enrollment of 4,000 students, to champion the potential of the human spirit.  She encourages young people and participants in her workshops to stretch beyond ordinary expectations.


She is a popular speaker for community, social, business and spiritual organizations. She presents techniques for developing one's potential, releasing the free, full flow of life through the individual so that they may experience life at its fullest.  She serves on numerous boards, foundations, and committees.  She is a proud member of Trinity Universal Center, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.