Kish College Foundation announces creation of Desa Henn Memorial Scholarship

The Kishwaukee College Foundation has established a new scholarship honoring longtime Marketing & Management instructor Desa Henn.

The scholarship will provide support for in-district Kish students who demonstrate financial need. Henn’s family and friends recently contributed the initial endowment to support the scholarship.

“Education is very highly regarded in our family. The reason we chose Kishwaukee College for the scholarship was because our mother loved teaching there and sharing her passion and expertise for local retail and small business,” said Nancy Plate, Henn’s daughter.

Henn taught Marketing & Management courses at Kishwaukee College from 1979-1992. Additionally, she was a longtime entrepreneur in the DeKalb community as the owner of her store, Desa’s Vendome. She was also a prominent figure in many retail stores, including House of Joy, Elsa’s Gift Shop and Moxie.

“She loved working in the DeKalb community and was so energized by the enthusiasm of her Kish students,” Plate said.

“This generous donation will greatly benefit the students of Kishwaukee College. The Foundation is proud to work with Desa Henn’s family to honor her legacy and support Kish students,” said Dr. Kayte Hamel, Executive Director of the Kishwaukee College Foundation.

To contribute or learn more about Kishwaukee College Scholarships, visit