Dr. Georgia Costello, (retired) President, Southwestern Illinois College

Appointed in 2008, Georgia Costello, Ph.D., became the first former student and the first woman to be named president of Southwestern Illinois College since it opened in 1946.  Dr. Costello retired in 2018.


Under her leadership, Southwestern Illinois College: 

  • Secured $19.1 million in state funds to complete the LEED Gold-certified Liberal Arts Complex; $8.3 million in grants to improve vehicle, bike and pedestrian traffic at the Belleville Campus; and $6.1 million in state funds to build an Early Childhood Education Center.

  • Became a founding member of the community-college driven Illinois Green Economy Network, attracting grants to construct one of three regional sustainability centers at the Belleville Campus.

  • Helped the Illinois Green Economy Network secure a $20 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (one of 32 awarded nationwide and the only one in Illinois), along with a $13 million second round split equally among 19 colleges. These funds have helped SWIC create one of the finest advanced manufacturing training facilities at any U.S. college at its Sam Wolf Granite City Campus.

  • Received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education for veterans' programs, including designation as a VetSuccess on Campus school, just one of 94 nationwide to host a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs counselor on campus full time. SWIC serves the largest population of student veterans of any Illinois public institution.

  • Maintained its commitment to Information Technology, providing students with state-of-the-art tools to excel in the classroom, via online instruction and beyond.

Dr. Costello participated in a higher educational edition of Issues in Education, where a wide variety of topics were discussed.  Please click the videos to hear what she had to say.


Contact Information:

Southwestern Illinois College

2500 Carlyle Ave.

Belleville, Illinois 62221

Phone:  618.235.2700

Back to Thought Leaders

Can the Average Person Afford a Higher Education

Changing Curriculum 

Did You Always Want to Be an Educator

Global Students

Online Courses and Developing a Trade 

Is the Degree Worth the Debt

Issues Facing Higher Education

                                           314.421.3542 | St. Louis, Missouri

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • White YouTube Icon