Aug. 27, 2014
As a part of Homecoming 2014: Off the Charts, Illinois Wesleyan University will recognize the Alumni Award winners Oct. 18 at a luncheon at the Shirk Center.
Kyle Pfortmiller ’92 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Sean Parsons ’01 will be presented with the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Kris Condon ’84 is the Loyalty Award winner.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is annually presented to an alumnus/a who has made a distinguished contribution to society, achieved professional distinction, or demonstrated civic leadership. A performer in operatic and non-operatic roles, Pfortmiller has garnered acclaim across the United States and Europe.
Pfortmiller has appeared with numerous opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Saratoga. Pfortmiller’s notable performances include: Papageno (The Magic Flute), Morales (Carmen), Billy Bigelow (Carousel), Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady) and the title role in Don Giovanni.
Named for a 1968 alumnus and former alumni director, the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award honors young alumni for outstanding professional achievement and/or civic leadership. Parsons, who studied musical composition at Illinois Wesleyan and later earned master’s degree in jazz studies, is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator. He received a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois.
As a jazz pianist, Parsons has performed at national and international music festivals and recently released his debut recording as a pianist and composer, Introduction. Now an assistant professor at Ohio University, Parsons previously served as a faculty member at Marshall University and as an adjunct professor of music at Illinois Wesleyan. He also served as jazz combo director for the 2011 South Dakota All-State Jazz Ensemble.
Recognizing alumni who have benefited Illinois Wesleyan—either through service to the University, financial support, or both—the 2014 Loyalty Award will honor Condon’s service as a volunteer class newsletter editor for 29 years.
She was a member of the IWU Alumni Council Executive Board and the IWU Alumni Fund Board. Condon also served as a member of each of the reunion committees for the Class of 1984, and has returned to campus several times to mentor and advise students. Currently, Condon is a professor and program coordinator in paralegal/legal studies at Kankakee Community College.
All honorees will be featured as “Back to College Classes” speakers during Homecoming weekend. On Oct. 17, Condon will present “Order in the Court! Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation at the U.S. Supreme Court” at 1 p.m., and Pfortmiller will discuss “Journey to the Met: More than practice, practice, practice!” at 3 p.m. Parsons will present “1959 in Jazz…It Was a Very Good Year” at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 18. All classes will be held in Beckman Auditorium at The Ames Library.
By Tia Patsavas ’16