Sept. 1, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University will honor three alumni during Homecoming weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Denny Matthews ’66, Diana Hammer Tscheschlok ’01, and Bob Lewis ’56 will be recognized Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Alumni Awards Reception.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award will be presented to Denny Matthews ’66. This award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who has made a distinguished contribution to society, has achieved distinction in his or her profession, or has demonstrated civic leadership. Matthews has broadcast exclusively for Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals since the team’s inception in 1969. In 2007, the National Baseball Hall of Fame presented the Ford C. Frick Award to Matthews, the “Voice of the Royals”. He is also an inductee of the Royals Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. In 2015, he signed a four-year contract agreement to stay with the Royals through the 2018 season, which would be his 50th in the Kansas City broadcast booth. Matthews is also active in the Kansas City community and dedicates his time and resources to several area charities including the SAFE program, an organization that supports families of fallen police officers, firefighters and emergency workers. At Illinois Wesleyan, Matthews lettered in baseball and football and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Matthews will teach a Back to College class on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8:30 a.m. Matthews will present “From Fell Avenue Playground to Cooperstown” in The Ames Library’s Beckman Auditorium.
Diana Hammer Tscheschlok ’01 will receive the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumna Award, which is given to an alumna/alumnus for outstanding professional achievement, civic leadership, or both. Tscheschlok is a Community, Natural Resource, and Economic Development Educator for the University of Wisconsin—Extension, Fond du Lac County. She designs and facilitates practical educational programs that empower area residents and community leaders to deal effectively with local issues concerning natural resources, energy conservation, diversity and inclusion efforts, and other issues. Tscheschlok, a tenured associate professor in the UW-Extension Department of Community Resource Development, holds a master’s in social work from Saint Louis University. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University magna cum laude with research honors as a sociology and Spanish double major.
She will also teach a Back to College class at 3 p.m. on Sept. 30. “Making Meetings More Meaningful” will draw on Tscheschlok’s experience and guide attendees in practicing approaches developed by national thought leaders to transform the quality of connections, leadership, and decisions. The class will meet in The Ames Library’s Beckman Auditorium.
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, Bob Lewis ’56, has been a committed annual donor to Illinois Wesleyan from as far back as records show—60 years. He has also served as chair of several reunions of the Class of 1956. He and his wife, Janice, are often found cheering on Illinois Wesleyan students in their athletic or academic endeavors. A business administration major and member of Theta Chi fraternity, Lewis began working at State Farm while still an Illinois Wesleyan student, launching a 48-year career with the company. He served in offices across the U.S. before returning to Bloomington and retiring as a Life/Health Medical Consultant. A member of the Board of Directors of Little Children of the World Inc., Lewis frequently travels on mission trips to Mexico, Alaska and China, and has made multiple trips to the Philippines. In addition, he has been a longtime whole blood and platelet donor to the American Red Cross and was recognized for donating more than 66 gallons over the course of many years.
The $15 fee per person for the Alumni Awards Reception includes a buffet reception. The event will be held in the Memorial Center Young Main Lounge.
By Reilly Kasprak ’17