Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas '76 is president of the Illinois Women's Press Association and on the board of National Federation of Press Women. She recently served as internship coordinator and personal assistant for then-Senator Roland Burris.

Your hometown?

Joliet, Illinois

Why Wesleyan?

The School of Art was a major attraction to me. The overall feeling around campus convinced me I wouldn't become a number in a sea of freshman. I thought it would be a good place to call “home away from home.”

Your major?

Fine Art - drawing and printmaking

Favorite professor or class?

Professor - Walter Thompson; Class - Figure Drawing

After Wesleyan?

I moved to Chicago. Ever since I was a child I'd always connected with the hum of the city. I knew when the time was right I'd move there.

Biggest thrill or best memory?

There have been so many, both during and after my time on campus. During my college days, joining Kappa Kappa Gamma was huge. As an only child, suddenly having a house full of sisters was wonderful.

In my professional career, working for the United States Senate has to remain one of the best life experiences for me. Writing and having my work published was and is still a thrill.

For fun?

Being creative. Using a pencil to draw or write to tell a story and see it come to fruition is exhilarating.

On a completely opposite note, I started training six weeks ago with the hopes of participating in a marathon this year. It's a new goal and challenge for me.

The best?

In 2010, I met both Gloria Steinem and Judy Chicago, two of the most influential women during my college years, within a month of each other.

Favorite book?

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. Now, that's a road trip! Through the Flower by Judy Chicago remains inspirational and empowering from the Goddess of Art.

Favorite band?

In the '70s, Joni Mitchell was by far my favorite singer. I played her albums Blue and Court and Spark so many times during college I wore them out.

Jethro Tull. I never had the chance to see the band during college, but this spring my husband and I saw the Aqualung 40th Anniversary Tour.

Favorite movie?

It's a tie between Laura, it takes the prize for film noir, and Some Like It Hot, a true work of art.

Favorite quote?

“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.”- Katharine Hepburn
Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas '76 wrote a book on her hometown, Joliet, and is president of Illinois Wesleyan's Chicago Alumni Association.

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