Distinguished Alumni to be Recognized at Homecoming

Sept. 20, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Two Illinois Wesleyan University graduates will be honored for their advances in entertainment, and one for his dedication to the University at the annual Alumni Awards Lunch on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 11:30 a.m. in the Shirk Center (302 Emerson St., Bloomington). The event is part of Illinois Wesleyan’s 2011 Homecoming: Lights, Camera, Action from Oct. 21-23.

Honored this year will be Chief Creative Officer (CCO) for DreamWorks Animation Bill Damaschke ’85, Vice President of Direct to Fan Creative and Technology at Atlantic Records Eric Snowden ’00, and IWU Minority Alumni Network board member Deon Hornsby ’97.

Bill Damaschke

Bill Damaschke

Bill Damaschke will receive the 2011 Illinois Wesleyan Distinguished Alumni Award. As CCO of DreamWorks, he is responsible for leading the creative and artistic direction of the animation studios. Joining the company in 1995, Damaschke has been integrally involved in overseeing each of the company’s animated releases during his tenure at DreamWorks Animation, from the Academy Award-winning blockbuster “Shrek” in 2001, through the Academy Award-nominated “How to Train Your Dragon” and the upcoming “Puss in Boots,” which will have a world premiere at Illinois Wesleyan’s Hansen Student Center on Friday, Oct. 21.

Damaschke’s responsibilities at DreamWorks include overseeing the creative production and development processes for all of the studio’s feature projects, including shaping the creative teams behind each project. He also oversees all live theatrical productions, including the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning “Shrek The Musical.” Before taking a leadership role with the company, Damaschke served as a producer and executive producer on a number of the studio’s feature films before being named head of creative production in 1999. He was named head of creative production and development in 2005 and co-president of production for feature animation and president of live theatricals in 2007. He became chief creative officer in 2011.

A native of Chicago, Damaschke graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with a bachelor’s degree in music and theatre.

Eric Snowden

Eric Snowden

Eric Snowden will receive the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Currently the vice president of direct-to-fan creative and technology at Atlantic Records, Snowden oversees all design, development and project management for the digital department. He manages a team of designers, production artists, developers, project managers, and interns responsible for designing and building websites, online advertising, widgets, mobile apps, online and desktop applications for Atlantic Records and its artists. Additionally he creates new products within the label and manages their progress to market.

In addition to working for Atlantic, Snowden also teaches workshops and classes in photography, digital imaging, and web design for such institutions as the Parsons School of Design, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. Before joining Atlantic Records, he worked as the Creative Lead and Senior Designer for Warner Music Group in New York where he managed a creative team. During his tenure at WMG he worked on projects for major labels including Atlantic Records, Bad Boy, East West, Rhino Records, Warner Brothers Records as well as internal Warner Music Group teams.

Snowden received a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in art from Illinois Wesleyan, where he was on the Dean’s List and was one of four artists in his class to receive exhibition honors upon graduation.

Deon Hornsby

Deon Hornsby

Deon Hornsby will receive the Illinois Wesleyan Loyalty Award. In many ways, Hornsby has never left IWU since his graduation in 1997.  While at IWU, he was an executive board member of the Black Student Union for two years, as well as a three-year letter winner in football -- member of the undefeated 1996 team -- and a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.  In 1999, he became an executive board member of the Minority Alumni Network, where he was co-chair for six years. He has served as an executive board member of the IWU Alumni Association for 10 years, where he volunteered for numerous committees.  Hornsby continues to be a role model and mentor to Titan football players and students on campus.  He participates annually at the minority mentoring session for students at Homecoming and regularly participates in the annual ALANA orientation for first-year students and their parents. Hornsby is currently a regional underwriting manager for the Private Client Group of Chartis Insurance in Schaumburg, Ill., where he lives with his wife, Mona (Williams) Hornsby ’00.

For additional information on any Homecoming events, contact the Alumni Relations Office at (309) 556-3251, or go to www.titanpride.org.

Sherry Wallace (309) 556-3181, swallace@iwu.edu