Skip to Main Content

Annual award presented during Trinity's Homecoming & Family Weekend

Rosecrance's Eaton receives 2011 Alumnus of the Year Award from Trinity


Rosecrance President/CEO Philip W. Eaton has been named the 2011 Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater, Trinity College, a school of Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL.

Dr. Robert Herron, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Trinity College, presented the award to Eaton at a ceremony during the university’s annual Homecoming & Family Weekend in October.

The award comes at the 40th anniversary of Eaton’s graduation from Trinity. He received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1971. Eaton went on to get a Master of Science in Community Mental Health from Northern Illinois University.

In accepting the award, Eaton reflected on experiences before and during his time at Trinity that led to his long career in the helping professions. His childhood church group had served the homeless at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. Later, during his college years at Trinity, a field placement at Lydia Children’s Home in Chicago deepened his commitment to human services and made him more aware of the needs of children and the importance of child welfare agencies.

“I had a growing and compelling sense of being grateful for what I had, as my eyes became more open to seeing that not all children were as fortunate as I was to have a good childhood and supportive family,” he said.

While at Trinity, Eaton met and married Cherri Hulstrand, also a Trinity student. The two have been married 41 years. They have a son, Christopher.

The award coincides with Eaton’s 40 years at Rosecrance, who joined the organization as a social worker right out of college in 1971. At the time, Rosecrance served adolescents with behavioral problems. He became executive director in 1982, the year the agency formally changed its mission to serve youth with chemical dependency. He was named president/CEO in 1990.

In naming Eaton Trinity’s Alumnus of the Year, the college recognized him for his ongoing leadership in the behavioral health field, which is poised for more change given healthcare reform and parity legislation.

Through the years, Eaton has been an officer or board member for many professional groups, and he continues to hold numerous leadership roles. Those affiliations include: National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers; Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association; Northern Illinois Chemical Dependency Services Network; American College of Addiction Treatment Administrators; Rockford Health Council; Winnebago County Crime Commission; Northern Illinois University College of Health and Human Sciences Advisory Board; and the Joint Commission Behavioral Health Advisory Board.

Get Help Now (866) 330-8729