Sept. 8, 2015
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 community.
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.
A full schedule of events and registration information is available here.
By Emily Phelps '19