Kate Halford is a recent graduate from IWU with an English-Literature major and Political Science minor. She was drawn to Illinois Wesleyan because of its holistic approach to education and students’ ability to make strong connections with professors. She spent two years at IWU before unexpectedly losing her father due to cancer. In addition to her grief, she worried deeply about her mother and how she would finance the rest of her college tuition. Thankfully, I was awarded the Parent Fund Grant shortly after this tragedy
Kate was able to focus on her studies on-campus and abroad. She interned for a summer in the Philippines, and then spent her junior year studying English Literature at University of Oxford. “It was difficult to be away from my family, but I experienced some of the best and most challenging moments of my undergrad career living in the Philippines and Oxford,” said Kate. “I owe so much to Illinois Wesleyan University, and am immensely appreciative of the English faculty and Professor Diaz and Professor Theune for being excellent mentors.”
Andrew Apel has a great love for Illinois Wesleyan and will forever be a loyal Titan. Andrew spent a number of months at IWU before losing his father in an accident. He wondered how he would continue his education at IWU, or his football career. He feared for his goals, relationships with friends and teammates, as well as the ability to remain a student Illinois Wesleyan. His focus was on his family and overcoming a shattering loss.
Throughout his devastation, he was grateful to have the Illinois Wesleyan community and Parent Fund support. Andrew's education was economically feasible again thanks to the Parent Fund and the scholarhip opened him to a network of current students and past graduates who unfortunately experienced a similar loss.
"I am proud to say that I finished my education and graduated on time. I get to call myself a Titan alum because of the Parent Fund and my tremendous Titan family." said Andrew.
When Audrey chose Illinois Wesleyan University, she knew she would enjoy the small school atmosphere IWU offers. She was the first in her family to attend a four-year University and her mother could not have been more proud.
During Audrey's first semester, her mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. In order to help care for her mother, Audrey made the hard decision to take a leave of absence during the spring semester. After receiving a stem-cell transplant, Audrey's mother was on her way to recovery until a new mutation of leukemia caused her death in the summer of 2014.
Returning to school was difficult and brought many challenges for Audrey. She had lost her key supporter, and was worried about being able to afford her education.
When she returned to IWU, Audrey was relieved to learn she qualified as a Parent Fund Grant recipient. Receiving this grant allowed Audrey to continue her education as a financial independent and has helped her to accomplish new things each semester.
Audrey graduated with a degree in Accounting in 2017. "I'm looking forward to starting a career so I can one day give back to The Parent Fund," said Audrey. "My gratitude toward those who support The Parent Fund is immense, as it has given me the opportunity to stay enrolled and pursue my passions at Illinois Wesleyan"