Cathy Veal - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Cathy Veal

Ambassador, Awarded in 2015
IMSA Tenure: 1986-2015
  • President
  • Vice President (several roles)
  • Chief of Staff
  • Director of Communications
  • Dean of Student Services

Cathy Veal’s work with the Academy began in 1986, one month before the arrival of the Charter Class of 1989. In addition to her multiple leadership roles, she served as Secretary of the IMSA Board of Trustees and as Secretary of the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education Board of Directors, working closely with many Board leaders and members.

She was instrumental in designing and developing many programs and initiatives, including Student Life/Residential Life, IMSA Fusion, Alumni Engagement, Total Applied Learning for ENTrepreneurs (TALENT) and related partnership with 1871 in Chicago, Endowment, ALS partnership response, and the Steve and Jamie Chen Center for Imagination & Inquiry (IN2).

She served as media liaison and institutional spokesperson, facilitated strategic planning, orchestrated government relations strategy, cultivated major gifts and grants to the IMSA Fund, chaired the design team for the Dunham STEM Partnership School at Aurora University, and led IMSA’s  Mentor Matching Engine partnership with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition for Illinois’ R&D STEM Learning Exchange.

She and her husband Bill are loyal annual donors to the IMSA Fund and members of the Fund’s lifetime major giving and planned giving societies. At IMSA’s 25th Anniversary Gala in 2012, she received the “Shining Light Leadership Award,” given by the IMSA Fund Board of Directors to honor individuals who demonstrate strong and enduring leadership on behalf of IMSA and an unparalleled commitment to IMSA’s vision, mission, and legislative charges.

Cathy Veal Quick Facts

  • IMSA Charter Staff, came in 1986 as IMSA’s first Dean of Student Services
  • Served in various administrative leadership roles since – Director of Communications, Chief of Staff, VP for Advancement, VP for Strategy and Innovation, now VP for Strategy and Advancement
  • Current/recent responsibilities: IMSA Board of Trustees operations, development/IMSA Fund Board strategy, legal and lobbying services, marketing and communications, innovation and entrepreneurship, internal facilitator for strategic planning, President’s Office special projects (e.g., IMSA’s ALS partnership response)
  • Led/co-led design and start-up of IMSA’s Student Life/Residential Life program, IMSA FUSION, IMSA TALENT (Total Applied Learning for Entrepreneurs), CoolHub.IMSA, IMSA’s alumni strategy and program, IMSA Fund’s endowment program
  • Elected Secretary of the IMSA Board of Trustees (1997-2001, 2006-2013) and IMSA Fund Board (2001-2007)
  • Cultivated major gifts to IMSA Fund
  • Annual donor and member of IMSA Fund Kaleidoscope Society (lifetime leadership giving) and Muon Society (planned giving)
  • Chaired design team for the planned Aurora University-led multi-district STEM partnership school, served on an admissions policy committee for Avery Coonley School, served on Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Board of Directors
  • Resident Counselor/Head Resident Counselor at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, 1982-1986
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. Journalism (avid Tar Heel fan)
  • Northern Illinois University, M.A. Communications Studies
  • North Carolina and England families
  • German Shepherd lover ♥
  • At IMSA’s 25th Anniversary Gala, received the Shining Light Leadership Award, given by the IMSA Fund Board of Directors to honor individuals who “demonstrate strong and enduring leadership on behalf of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and an unparalleled commitment to IMSA’s vision, mission and legislative charges. Recipients are leaders whose exemplary service spans at least a decade and whose ardent conviction helps ensure the instititution’s integrity, success and sustainability.”