Demetria Kalodimos to Address Illinois Wesleyan Commencement

April 25, 2007

Demetria Kalodimos

Demetria Kalodimos (above) and
Marjorie Agosn

Majorie Agosin

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Demetria Kalodimos, a 1981 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and an award-winning news anchor at WSMV Television in Nashville, Tenn., will deliver the University's Commencement address, “Question Everything or Question Everything!” as 526 seniors will participate in the ceremony on Sunday, May 6.

The University's graduation ceremony in its 157th year will take place at 1 p.m. on the Eckley Quadrangle. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the Shirk Center (302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington). The ceremony also will be Webcast live online. View the Webcast.

Kalodimos will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree along with author and human rights activist Marjorie Agosn, a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College (Mass.).

About Demetria Kalodimos

Kalodimos majored in music at Illinois Wesleyan, graduating cum laude with a bachelor's in music education. She continued her education at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she received a master of science in journalism and began her career as a news reporter and anchor at WICD-TV in Champaign.

In 1984 Kalodimos became news anchor at WSMV and since then she has been awarded 15 Emmy Awards, two National Headliner Awards, the Investigative Reporters and Editors National Award, and a national citation from American Women in Radio and Television, Inc.She recently won an award from the Society of Environmental Journalists and was chosen 1996 Tennessee Associated Press Broadcaster of the Year.

For her own Genuine Human Productions, she produces documentaries that have been screened and awarded at the Nashville Independent Film Festival, The Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival, Indie Memphis and the Chicago International Film Festival among others. Her true-life documentaries include “Friends Seen and Unseen” (2000), which chronicles the Prophet Omega, an obscure Nashville radio evangelist; “Injurious George” (2002), the story of the Nashville footstomper; and “Pre-Madonna” (2004), about the adventures of Nashville’s first female performance artists.

She also directed music videos for Americana artist Mary Gauthier and singer songwriter Shawn Camp.

Kalodimos, who served on IWU’s Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2005, was featured in the Fall 2003 issue of the Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine. To read that complete article, click here.

About Marjorie Agosn

Agosn has been a guest lecturer at IWU on three occasions and was nominated to receive an honorary degree by the Department of Hispanic Studies and students of the Spanish Club.

She 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.

About Illinois Wesleyan University

Founded in 1850, Illinois Wesleyan University is a private, coeducational university with an enrollment of approximately 2,100 and a student-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. The University consists of the College of Liberal Arts, with 17 academic departments; the College of Fine Arts, comprising professional Schools of Art, Music and Theatre Arts; and the School of Nursing.

CONTACT: Stew Salowitz, 309-556-3206