Elizabeth Alexander, African American History Museum

Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander, Board Member, Springfield African American History Museum

Current Location:
Springfield, IL, preceded by moves to Virginia, San Diego, Chicago as a Navy spouse

Hometown: Springfield, Illinois,

UIS Degree: B.A. 1995 (Political Science)

Career History:
Assistant Vice President, Chase Bank, Springfield IL (Rtd.) I am currently Board Member, Volunteer Chair, Facebook Administrator and Recording Secretary for the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum (AAHM) in Springfield, Illinois, and I volunteer at my church. My faith in Jesus Christ guides me and sustains me in everything I do.

What I do for the museum:
I have always been an organizer! When I was a girl, we had a backyard that we played in and lived in. There wasn’t any grass in one section, but I swept the dirt. At the museum, I’m still an organizer. I do reports, research, putting things together, planning. I didn’t realize I could do some of the things I’ve done, like creating the covers for our Gala programs. It was so much fun. I’ve done five covers in all.

Why I enrolled at UIS/SSU:
When I started at Sangamon State, I was working at a bank. I had a career, and I didn’t need the degree. I was older, I had some health restrictions, and I was working full time and it was a mountain, but I kept climbing it. I just wanted to finish it. I did receive quite a few credits for prior learning so what I had been doing all along in my banking career was able to get me college credits. I wrote on topics like Retail Lending, Installment Lending, Setting Up a Brand New Bank, and management.

What I learned about myself at UIS:
As an older student, I realized that I learned differently, I enjoyed it more and I took on bigger challenges. I surprised myself by what I was able to understand—topics as difficult as Empirical Analysis (not that I could go back and do it again!).

What I gained from UIS:
I have always been a quiet, reserved person and maybe not overly confident. My time at UIS/SSU helped with that. It increased my opinion of myself. It helped reinforce me as a woman, as a person, that as hard as college was, I could do it.