Alumni to be Honored at Homecoming

October 3, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will honor three alums as a part of Homecoming weekend. Michael A. Mason, class of 1980, will receive the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award; Walter W. Moore, class of 1952, will receive the Loyalty Award; and Brian T. Udovich, class of 1998, will receive the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. The awards will be presented on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m. at the Alumni Luncheon in the Shirk Center (302 Emerson St., Bloomington).

Michael Mason

Michael A. Mason

The Distinguished Alumna Award is presented annually to an alumnus or alumna who has made a distinguished contribution to society, has achieved professional distinction, and has demonstrated civic leadership. This year’s recipient, FBI Executive Assistant Director Michael A. Mason, graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with a degree in accounting. Mason was appointed in 1985 as a special agent of the FBI and today he is responsible for directing approximately one half of the FBI’s agent and operational resources.

Mason was recently appointed chief security officer of Verizon Communications Inc. The appointment is effective in January following his retirement from the FBI. As the new chief security officer, Mason will manage and supervise global security efforts throughout Verizon and all its business units, including enterprise-wide security strategy, and physical security, cyber security, and law enforcement security matters.

Walter Moore

Walter W. Moore

The Loyalty Award recognizes alumni and friends who have benefited Illinois Wesleyan either through service to the University or strong financial support. This year’s honoree, Walter W. Moore, has done both. Moore, who is seldom missing from any IWU athletic event, established the sports bussing program. The “fan bus” was created primarily so that fans of men’s and women’s basketball would be able to more easily attend events outside of the Bloomington-Normal community.

Moore entered IWU as a returning GI after serving in WWII and the Korean War, and graduated with a degree in business administration. He spent 41 years at State Farm Insurance and is partially credited with the proposal of The State Farm Companies Foundation Matching Gift Program, which matches limited employee charitable contributions to eligible colleges and universities. The program has raised more than 37 million dollars since 1985, and Wesleyan has been a major beneficiary.  Moore has also served as the president of the IWU Alumni Association after being elected in 1981.

Brian Udovich

Brian T. Udovich

The Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award is named for a 1968 alumnus and former IWU Alumni Director (1970-73). This award recognizes young alumni for their outstanding professional achievement or civic leadership. Brian T. Udovich received his degree in business administration with a minor in computer science in 1998. From 1998 through 2002, he traveled the world working for the French firm Cap Gemini as a senior business consultant.

In 2004, Udovich took a leave of absence from Cap Gemini and returned to school, graduating with an MFA from the American Film Institute (AFI). He produced his first feature film, South of Heaven, in 2006. His success continued with All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. The film was sold to famed film executive Harvey Weinstein at the Toronto Film Festival and is scheduled for a large U.S. theatrical release in February 2008. Udovich then co-produced The Key Man, which stars Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings), Brian Cox (Bourne Identity, Zodiac), and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean). He also joined Occupant Films & Snoot Entertainment as a producer for the company. Udovich is currently co-producer on The Wackiness, which is scheduled to complete filming in New York by September 2007.

For additional information about the alumni honorees, contact the Alumni Office at (308) 556-3145.

Contact: Kimberly Stabosz, (309) 556-3181