Former RLC President Mark S. Kern Passes Away

Mark S. Kern / Photo: Rend Lake College

INA – The Rend Lake College community lost one of its most impactful leaders Thursday as Mark S. Kern, the longest-serving president in Rend Lake College’s history, passed away.

A local farmer at heart, Kern got his start in college teaching at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel in 1967, the same year Mt. Vernon Community College became Rend Lake College. It was merely a year later that he returned home to start RLC’s agriculture program, for which the college has been well known over the years.

Add that year to the 39 years he ultimately spent with RLC, and Kern spent 40 years of his working life in the Illinois Community College System – longer than any employee in the history of the system, according to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association at the time.

Visitation for Mark Kern will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, March 12, at Whittington Baptist Church. Service will be at 1 p.m. with burial immediately following at Oak Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rend Lake College Foundation Mark S. Kern Memorial Fund to assist Rend Lake College students.

The Leffler Funeral Home in Benton is in charge of arrangements.