BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will honor three alumni during Homecoming
weekend Oct. 9-11. Stephanie Whyte ’91, Korey Coon ’00 and Jim Mullins ’03 will be
honored Oct. 10 at the annual Alumni Awards luncheon.
The Distinguished Alumna Award will be presented to Whyte. This award is presented
to an alum who has made a distinguished contribution to society, has achieved distinction
in his or her profession, or has demonstrated civic leadership. A licensed pediatrician,
Whyte serves as the Medical Director for Aetna Better Health of Illinois. Previously
Whyte was the first-ever Chief Health Officer for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
She also spent more than 10 years as the Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation’s Medical Director,
where she delivered both asthma care and education to hundreds of students each year
at schools and Head Start sites across Chicago.
Whyte majored in biology at IWU. She received her medical degree from Fitch University
of Health Science/The Chicago Medical School (now Rosalind Franklin University of
Medicine and Science), where she is an assistant clinical professor. Whyte completed
her residency at Louisiana State University Medical Center. More recently she earned
an MBA from Saint Xavier University in Chicago. She is a published author and media
spokesperson, and has served on local, regional and national advisory boards. The
Chicago Medical School gave her the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” in 2013.
Whyte will teach a Back to College course “Perseverance and Faith” Oct. 9 at 3 p.m.
Her presentation is a humorous retrospective on IWU’s role in Whyte’s progression
from an urban youth on the first day of classes to becoming the first-ever chief health
officer for the third largest school district in the nation.
Korey Coon ’00 will receive the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award,
which is given to a young alum for outstanding professional achievement, civic leadership
or both. Coon received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. As a student
athlete, Coon was named Academic All-American of the year in 1999-2000, and a starter
as a first-year student on the national champion men’s basketball team in 1997.
After graduating from IWU, Coon earned a master’s degree from Bradley University.
Coon is now the human resources director for Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products
(BCP) division in Cary, North Carolina. Coon’s innovative leadership has contributed
significantly to BCP’s ability to more than double its number of facilities and employees,
achieve record employee engagement levels and receive multiple recognitions as a preferred
employer. At BCP Coon helped implement flexible work schedules, parental leave, and
an apprenticeship program with local high schools and technical colleges.
In 2014, Coon was named the chairman of the North Carolina Commission on Workforce
Development by Gov. Pat McCrory. Coon is recognized throughout the state of North
Carolina as a leader in workforce development. He will teach a Back to College class
at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 10 on “Staying Balanced in an ‘Always On’ World.”
The Loyalty Award is presented to alumni or friends of the University who have made
large contributions to Illinois Wesleyan, whether through service or financial support.
This year’s recipient Jim Mullins ’03 of Bloomington majored in accounting at Illinois
Wesleyan. Working in State Farm’s Investment Department, Mullins focuses on commercial
real estate investments across the country. His dealings have involved projects ranging
from iconic Manhattan skyscrapers to new research and office space for military rocket
defense programs in Huntsville, Ala. Mullins earned an MBA from Illinois State University.
Mullins is serving his ninth year as Race Director of the Capt. Ryan A. Beaupre ’95
Memorial Scholarship 5K Run/Walk held every Homecoming. He also serves as president
of the IWU McLean County Alumni Association. He frequently serves as a guest lecturer,
mentor and adjunct professor. Recently, Mullins has taken on a leadership role in
the “Give It Forward Titans” Giving Circle, which raises scholarship money for IWU
students. He also serves the community in leadership capacities for the PTO at his
children’s school, and volunteering and coaching for numerous youth sports in the
The Alumni Awards Lunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the
Shirk Center, and will include a special recognition of retiring President Richard
F. Wilson and First Lady Pat Wilson.