BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Striving to become the first in her family to earn a college degree,
Freeport, Illinois native Heather (Prasse) Calkins ’16 visited, applied and was accepted
to attend Illinois Wesleyan University.
Calkins loved the campus and could envision herself succeeding at IWU. However, she
feared that attending Illinois Wesleyan was beyond her financial means.
“I really wanted to go to Illinois Wesleyan,” Calkins said. “It was my number one
pick. But, I didn’t know if I could do it.”
Similarly, out of the eight schools that Lena, Illinois native Tristan Fox ’18 visited,
Illinois Wesleyan was undoubtedly the best fit. However, Fox – who will also become
the first in his family to earn a four-year degree – was unsure about his ability
to pay for a college education.
“I didn’t think I could go to Illinois Wesleyan with what I had,” Fox said. “Illinois
Wesleyan looked really appealing, but I just didn’t think I would be able to do it
Fortunately for Fox and Calkins, IWU class of 1977 alumni Herb and Susan Getz – both
from families with deep roots in Carroll County – created a scholarship to help students
afford the educational investment. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan, Herb went
on to earn his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, and since 2001, he has served
as president of Aspen Creek Partners, a residential design-build firm in Naperville,
“Susan and I are both kids of working class parents,” said Getz, who serves as a vice
chair on the IWU Board of Trustees. “We both absolutely needed scholarship help to
attend Illinois Wesleyan. We’ve been very fortunate – largely because of our Illinois
Wesleyan education – to have the resources to give back.”
The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to an Illinois Wesleyan student who performs
well in the classroom, shows demonstrated need, and lives in northwestern Illinois,
preferably from Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside or Stephenson counties.
Fox – who earned the Getz Scholarship in each of his four years at IWU and hopes to
pursue a career in ministry – will graduate with a psychology degree this spring.
“I wouldn’t have been able to be here without the scholarship,” Fox said. “Illinois
Wesleyan gives me the opportunity to be successful. It gives me a step up.”
With significant financial help from the Getz Scholarship, Calkins thrived at Illinois
Wesleyan where she graduated in 2016 with a psychology degree. Calkins is now working
toward a doctorate degree with the goal of becoming a school psychologist.
“To be able to pursue my dream and try to get myself to my full potential means a
lot to me,” Calkins said.
Students are invited to apply for the 2018-19 Getz Scholarship. For award consideration,
students must have applied for admission to Illinois Wesleyan and received their financial
aid proposal. Students should indicate their interest in the Getz Scholarship by no
later than Feb. 1.
For more information and to apply for the Getz Scholarship, students are encouraged
to contact Illinois Wesleyan Director of Financial Aid Scott Seibring by emailing:
email@example.com or by calling: (309) 556-3393.