Derrick Tillman-Kelly works in the Financial Aid Office on campus and has served on the Executive Board and Financial Advisory Board of the Student Senate.
Your hometown? South Holland, Illinois
Why Wesleyan? Looking back to four years ago, I think my answer has changed a bit. At the time, I chose IWU because there was a great reputation in biology and overall it felt like I was joining more than a school – more like a family of people looking out for each other.
Your major? Biology with a minor in cognitive science. But I’m going into student affairs upon graduation.
Favorite professor or class? By far Dr. Harper and ecology! I’d never appreciated one’s ability to make random animal sounds until we were in the woods for lab and Dr. Harper called to a bird, which returned the call.

A tie for a close second would be Race, Racism & Anthropology and From Exile to Expatriate… their subject matter fascinated me.

After Wesleyan? Graduate school for higher education in student affairs. I want to help in improving the collegiate Greek system and one day become dean of students.
Biggest thrill or best memory? Semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Even though I was over 4,000 miles away from campus, I was still able to travel Europe with some of my fellow Titans.

It was an amazing semester both academically and in personal understanding.

For fun? Hanging out with friends, movie night at my apartment, or study sessions in the lounge of Magill… hey this is Wesleyan, right?! 
The best? Random stops at work in the Financial Aid Office.

Also, understanding that we all have a purpose and by living our purpose we make it easier for others to live theirs.

Favorite book? I’m loving books about purpose and self understanding… two that come to mind are: Letters to a Young Brother by Hill Harper and Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom.
Favorite musical artist? John Legend and Smokie Norful
Favorite quote? Wow, there are so many quotes often worth collecting. Two of my favorites are:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to change you is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Writing is nothing but speaking to the paper.” — Nikki Giovanni (from a Student Senate dinner with her).


Derrick Tillman-Kelly '09 is an officer for the Illinois Wesleyan chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, and was selected to attend fraternity & sorority leadership conferences in 2008.

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