Joslin Atrium Interior

Standing in the new Joslin Atrium of the Memorial Center, President Richard F. Wilson converses with students at a cake and punch reception celebrating the 160th anniversary of the University on Founders' Day.

New Atrium Part of University Celebrations of 160 Years

February 17, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Tradition and progress combined Wednesday at Illinois Wesleyan University, as students, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the University’s founding in the new Joslin Atrium. 

Each year, the University honors the 30 founders who signed the charter for Illinois Wesleyan in 1850 with Founders’ Day. Two highlights of the day are a renowned speaker at the Founders’ Day Convocation and the annual anniversary cake. This year the cake has found a new home in the recently completed Joslin Atrium.

The atrium, which was completed in January, is a 2,500 square-foot glass atrium addition to the Memorial Center that can provide meeting, reception and banquet space with views overlooking the Robert S. Eckley Quadrangle. The atrium connects to the Young Main Lounge, which is the Memorial Center’s recently renovated ballroom and principal banquet space. “The Joslin Atrium brings new life to our Memorial Center and the west side of our Quad,” said Kathy Cavins, vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Illinois Wesleyan. “We imagine new graduates posing for pictures on the grand, stone staircase with their IWU friends, and young couples marrying in our Evelyn Chapel and walking through the Quad for a reception in our Joslin Atrium and Young Main Lounge.”

Illinois Wesleyan trustee Roger Joslin and his wife, Stevie, made the $1 million gift in 2007 that enabled the Joslin Atrium to become a reality. Construction began in 2008 and took about nine months to complete. “When [University President] Dick Wilson discussed the need for additional space at the Memorial Center, we decided this was a project we wanted to support,” said Roger Joslin last year as the atrium was under construction.

“The Joslin family has been very generous to the University in creating a space that our students and alumni will find to be an absolute gem on the campus,” said Cavins.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960