Outstanding Alumni to be Recognized at Homecoming

September 28, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University annually honors three alumni as part of its Homecoming festivities.  This year Lawrence Herbolsheimer, class of 1972 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award; Chet and Helen Sheldon, class of 1943 and 1940 respectively, will receive the Loyalty Award; and Arman Dabiri, class of 1994, will receive the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Alumnus Award.  The awards will be presented Saturday Oct. 10, at 11:30 a.m. at the Alumni Awards Lunch in the Shirk Center (302 Emerson St., Bloomington).

Lawrence Herbolsheimer

Lawrence Herbolsheimer

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Illinois Wesleyan graduates who have achieved professional distinction, demonstrated civic leadership or contributed to society in a remarkable way. Lawrence Herbolsheimer graduated with an economics degree from Illinois Wesleyan, where he was Vice President of Student Senate, Treasurer of IFC and a member of Phi Gamma Delta (a social fraternity) and Alpha Kappa Psi (a professional business fraternity).  Herbolsheimer went on to earn his MBA from Harvard in 1980. From 1983 through 1985, Herbolsheimer served on the staff of President Ronald Reagan. From 1985 through 1991, he worked as the Deputy Assistant Administrator of NASA's Office of Commercial Programs.

In 1991, Herbolsheimer made a move back into the business world, working as CEO of United Pacific Holdings, Ltd., a holding company for investments in manufacturing companies of China and other East Asian nations.  Since then, he has aided in the creation of other businesses in which he continues to play a significant ownership role or participates on the Board of Directors. He was also a director of a management company of third-party direct investment funds with assets in excess of $350 million. 

Currently, Herbolsheimer is the Co-Chairman of Comway Capital Group, a Shanghai holding company of 14 Chinese companies. He is also a Managing Director of The McLean Group of Virginia, a middle market investment-banking firm.  Herbolsheimer lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife, Pia, and their two children.

Chet and Helen Sheldon

Chet and Helen Sheldon

The Loyalty Award honors the alumni and friends of Illinois Wesleyan for their dedication to the university through service or strong financial support.  After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan, Chet Sheldon went on to earn his master's of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and in 1977 earned a doctor of divinity degree from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill.  In 1980, he returned to IWU as Director of Conference Council on Ministries.  He also served on the IWU Board of Trustees for four years.

The Sheldons are active leaders of Central Illinois Methodism.  Chet Sheldon served on the Bishop's Cabinet as District Superintendent in Springfield.  Helen Sheldon worked as a district officer for United Methodist Women and as a youth leader.  The Sheldons have maintained their IWU ties by attending sporting events and hosting international students in their home.  They also served as IWU class agents during the '40s, and Helen Sheldon has chaired class reunions.  For her 90th birthday, Helen Sheldon threw a party in the fourth floor rotunda of The Ames Library where guests received a book of her own poetry, titled "Poems from the Heart."  The Sheldons live in Bloomington and have three sons, including two IWU alumni: Roger '64, Gordon and Mark '70.  

Arman Dabiri

Arman Daribi

The Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, named after a 1968 alumnus and former IWU Alumni Director (1970-73), recognizes young alumni for outstanding professional achievement and dedication to civic leadership.  Arman Dabiri graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with a history degree.  He later went on to earn a law degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.  Dabiri now practices international law and litigation at his own firm, Arman Dabiri and Associates, in Washington, D.C.  He specializes in offering legal counsel to countries with business or government relations issues in the United States.  His firm represents foreign governments and heads of states that appear before U.S. federal courts and international tribunals.  Because of the firm's international clientele, Arman Dabiri and Associates has five attorneys in Brussels, two in Paris and six in Washington, D.C.   Dabiri stays connected to his alma mater by participating in IWU alumni events in Washington, D.C. where he lives with his wife, Amie.

Dabiri and Herbolsheimer will both be participating in the Back to College Classes series.  These classes will be held on Friday, Oct. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Beckman Auditorium of The Ames Library (1312 Park St., Bloomington).  Dabiri will speak on the topic of international law and the approach of national courts to prosecutions of crimes outside of their national boundaries.  His lecture is titled Universal Jurisdiction and will begin at 2 p.m.  Herbolsheimer will speak at 3 p.m.  Using his 30-plus years of experience in international trade with China, he will give a lecture titled Will China dominate the world's geo-political balance by 2050, or will it happen sooner than that?

Contact: Hannah Griffin '12, (309) 556-3181