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Remembering Glen Ellyn Philanthropist Cleve Carney

Carney, 74, is being remembered as a true patron of the arts, leaving a significant legacy with his 2012 $1 million gift to the College of DuPage.

Remembering Glen Ellyn Philanthropist Cleve Carney

Noted Glen Ellyn businessman and philanthropist Cleve E. Carney died on July 31 at the age of 74 from progressive supranuclear palsy, leaving a legacy of supporting the arts, including his 2012 gift of $700,000 and a $300,000 art collection to the College of DuPage (set to open next year and spotlighted above,) the Daily Herald reports.

According to the paper, Carney, the West Suburban Philanthropic Network’s Philanthropist of the Year for 2006, also served as chair of the DuPage Community Foundation Board for eight years and donated $1.25 million to the organization. He made his money at the head of the Olsson Roofing Co and the former Bank of Batavia, the paper said.

"I think being a philanthropist… was part and parcel to who he was as a human,” longtime friend Mark Wight, CEO of Wight & Company, told the paper. “I don't think there was any event or anything in his life that said, 'I need to give back.' I think Cleve Carney was born that way."

In mid-2012, Carney provided the aforementioned gift to Glen Ellyn’s College of DuPage, with the seven-figure donation, establishing the Cleve Carney Art Space and the Cleve Carney Art Space Endowment Fund, the College of DuPage website details

“By establishing an endowment fund, Cleve Carney is making sure that future generations will have access to contemporary art, a passion he enjoyed throughout his lifetime,” Catherine Brod, vice president of Development at College of DuPage, is quoted as saying on the website. “It’s a generous gift that will benefit both the College and the community.” 

The Herald calls it “perhaps the largest [gift] in the history of the College of DuPage.”

Carney, originally the son of Wheaton bakers, was a Dartmouth grad and a Navy veteran who also donated to or volunteered with the DuPage Community Foundation, College of DuPage, Elmhurst Art Museum, Morton Arboretum and B.R. Ryall YMCA, the paper said.

An obituary on Legacy.com taken from the Herald writes that Carney “is survived by his children Cleve E. Carney Jr. (Evie), Jennifer (Kurt) Elling and Daniel (Rosette); loving grandfather of Luiza, Ryan, Patrick and Julien; dear brother of J.P. ‘Rick’ (Patty) Carney. “

A memorial visitation is scheduled for Aug. 18 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Williams-Kampp Funeral Home, 430 E. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton. 

Read more at the Daily Herald website.

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