Stevie and Roger Joslin

$1 Million Gift to Enhance Illinois Wesleyan’s Memorial Center

June 2, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University received a $1 million gift from Roger and Stephany “Stevie” Joslin of Bloomington in conjunction with its recently announced fund-raising campaign, Transforming Lives: The Campaign for Illinois Wesleyan University.  The Joslin gift will be used to create an addition to the Memorial Center, the University’s main meeting, conferencing and dining facility, located on the Eckley Quadrangle

“We are extremely grateful to Roger and Stevie Joslin for their generosity,” said University President Richard F. Wilson. “They have been great friends of the University for many years. This gift will provide a dramatic visual addition and a much needed expansion to the Memorial Center.”

The Transforming Lives campaign that prompted the Joslin gift is the most ambitious fund-raising effort in Illinois Wesleyan’s history.  Its goal of raising $125 million was announced at gala events in Bloomington and Chicago, May 13 and 14 respectively. To date the campaign has received gifts and pledges of more than $73 million, Wilson noted.

The Joslin gift will fund a 2,500 sq. ft. glass atrium addition that will provide meeting, reception and banquet space with views overlooking the main quadrangle. The Joslin Atrium will be connected to the Young Main Lounge, which is the Memorial Center’s recently renovated ballroom and principal banquet space. The atrium’s primary entry will be from a double staircase leading up from the quad. The Memorial Center, which also houses meeting rooms and dining areas, was built in 1947 and honors the memory of Illinois Wesleyan men and women who served in World War II.

“Illinois Wesleyan is an important part of our community and we have a number of connections to it.  We are delighted to be able to step forward and join many others who have made early contributions to the Transforming Lives campaign, " said Stevie Joslin. 

"When Dick Wilson discussed the need for additional space at the Memorial Center, we decided this was a project that we wanted to support.   The atrium addition will upgrade the Memorial Center, which is an important campus and community asset,” added Roger.

The Joslins have been active in the greater Bloomington-Normal community since 1963, serving in leadership roles in the Second Presbyterian Church, BroMenn Healthcare, Day Care Center of McLean County, Western Avenue Community Center, Mennonite College of Nursing, Bloomington Public Schools and the Republican Party.  Roger Joslin is the retired vice chairman and chief financial officer of State Farm Mutual Insurance and chairman of State Farm Fire and Casualty. He is an emeritus trustee of Illinois Wesleyan and currently serves as a member of the steering committee for the Transforming Lives campaign. Stevie is known throughout the community for her volunteer efforts, and has been the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction's Harriett F. Rust Volunteer Service Award. The Joslins' son, James, and his wife Charlotte Enns Joslin, are 1993 graduates of Illinois Wesleyan.

Contact: Matt Kurz, (309) 556-3203