Demetria Kalodimos

Demetria Kalodimos (above) and
Marjorie Agosn

Marjorie Agosin

News Anchor, Human Rights Activist to Receive Honorary Degrees

February 15, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – During Illinois Wesleyan's Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 6, honorary degrees will be presented to alumna and news anchor Demetria Kalodimos and author and human rights activist Marjorie Agosn.  The IWU Board of Trustees agreed to award the two doctor of humane letters degrees in action at its Feb. 13 meeting.

Kalodimos will deliver the Commencement address.  She is news anchor at WSMV Television Station in Nashville, Tenn., where she has been awarded 15 Emmys, two National Headliner Awards, the Investigative Reporters and Editors National Award, and a national citation from American Women in Radio and Television, Inc.  In 1996, she was chosen Tennessee Associated Press Broadcaster of the Year.  She also produces documentaries for her own Genuine Human Productions. 

Kalodimos majored in music at Illinois Wesleyan, graduating cum laude in 1981 with a bachelor's in music education.  She continued her education at the University of Illinois where she received a master of science in journalism and began her career at WICD-TV.  Kalodimos served on Illinois Wesleyan's Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2005.  She was featured in the Fall 2003 Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine. Read the article.

Agosn, who is a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, has been a guest lecturer at Illinois Wesleyan on three occasions. She was nominated to receive an honorary degree by the Department of Hispanic Studies and students of the Spanish Club, who said Agosn “embodies the teacher/scholar/activist academician of a liberal arts institution.”

Agosn is the author of more than 20 poetry collections, seven works of fiction, many critical essays and books on literary criticism and anthologies of Latin American women writers.  One of her most significant and well-known books, which won the Alta Prize for Poetry, is Circles of Madness: Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (1992), which is dedicated to the Argentine women whose children disappeared during the military dictatorship that began in 1976. 

For her work as a human rights activist, Agosn received the United Nations Leadership Award in Human Rights in 1998 and the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement from the government of Chile in 2002.  A documentary based on her book Scraps of Life: The Chilean Arpillera received a Peabody Award, and on her second visit to Illinois Wesleyan's campus, Agosn brought her collection of arpilleras (folk tapestries which tell of the bravery and hardships of the Chilean women) for display on campus. 

Contact: Ann Aubry, (309) 556-3181