November 3, 2010
BLOOMINGTON – At the recent Board of Trustees dinner, alumna Flora Harris Armstrong was tapped by University President Richard F. Wilson to become the Goodwill Ambassador for the Transforming Lives: The Campaign for Illinois Wesleyan.
A member of the class of 1943, Armstrong will personally express thanks to alumni and friends who contribute to the campaign.
“It’s important to be there for others, and just as important to say thank you,” said Armstrong, who resides in Bloomington and was a former host for a local radio station. “It’s part belonging to something. And we belong to Illinois Wesleyan.”
Armstrong grew up in Colfax, Ill. “Though we were very poor, my father insisted I have an education, and insisted that education be at Illinois Wesleyan,” she said. “Life greatly improved with the doors my education opened.” She married Victor Armstrong in 1941. “We were so dedicated to the University,” said Armstrong of she and her husband, who died in 2008.
The couple has a long history of supporting the University. They donated the bell that now rings in Evelyn Chapel. For their 60th wedding anniversary, their children presented them with the statue of famed explorer and teacher John Wesley Powell that sits in The Ames Library. The Armstrongs also founded an alumni connection when they lived in Phoenix. “We started with 13 people meeting at my house,” she said of the group that now boasts hundreds of members who attend the Phoenix Connection.
An emeritus member of the University’s Board of Trustees, Armstrong helped to raise money for the University’s Fort Natatorium swimming complex, and was a member of the last capital campaign in the 1990s. That dedication has continued through two of her three children who are Illinois Wesleyan graduates --Victor Armstrong ’64 and Brian Armstrong ’65. Two of her eight grandchildren also attended Illinois Wesleyan -- B.J. Armstrong ’93 and Tom Armstrong ’89. “Tom will be helping out as an ambassador as well,” said Armstrong.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960