Jan. 16, 2024 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Two Illinois Wesleyan students from Northwestern Illinois, Lacey Hodge ‘25 and Lily Muto ‘24, are the latest recipients of the Herb and Susan Getz Endowed Scholarships. 

Herb and Susan Getz standing on IWU quad
Herb and Susan Getz are 1977 alumni who chose to give back to students from Northwestern Illinois through scholarships.

Supporting students from Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside and Stephenson counties in Illinois, the Getz Scholarship aims to provide funding to make an Illinois Wesleyan education possible for students of similar backgrounds to that of Herb and Susan Guenzler Getz ‘77.

Lacey Hodge ’25 is a music education major from Sterling, Illinois. A first-generation college student, Hodge aims to teach music in rural schools for at least five years after graduation, before returning to school for his master’s degree in music therapy. He was inspired to choose a music education career after finding solace in music classes as a child.

“I told myself that if I could do even half of what my teachers did for me then I would be a very successful teacher. The level of care and love that goes into music and the teaching of its students is astronomical,” said Hodge. After experiencing that care in his early education, he sought an Illinois Wesleyan experience due to the opportunity for “space in which I would not just be another number in a classroom.” 

“Here at IWU, every student is greeted with respect, care and compassion from every professor,” Hodge explains. “I have never met an educator who does not want anything but the absolute best for a student.”

Serving as a member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, participant of National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), and conductor of the University’s Titan Band, Hodge finds campus involvement as “by far the best stress relief for me, and it is also good experience for my future career.”

As 1977 alumni, Herb Getz said he and his wife Susan created the scholarship because they “felt strongly that it was time for us to give back to Illinois Wesleyan in a way that would help students just like us.” 

Herb’s parents ran a small dairy farm in Carroll County and Susan’s parents, also both IWU alumni, worked as high school teachers in the Chicago suburbs. 

“My wife and I were both recipients of very important scholarships that enabled us to attend Illinois Wesleyan,” said Herb. 

After attending IWU, Herb received a law degree from Harvard Law School, and Susan graduated with a master’s degree in music therapy from Florida State University.

After a 20-year career as a corporate lawyer, Herb Getz founded Aspen Creek Partners in 2001, a Naperville, Illinois based residential design-build firm. Herb also serves as the Secretary on the IWU Board of Trustees. He said he values the educational and social advantages of a “small school located in a big school town.”

Describing scholarship recipients as “some of the best investments we have made in our lives,” Herb finds that “students from these more rural schools that qualify for admission to Illinois Wesleyan have worked very hard to assemble the record they needed to be admitted and, in our experience, they have continued to work incredibly hard as Illinois Wesleyan students.”

“We know that our Illinois Wesleyan education absolutely transformed our lives, and it is our hope that the part our scholarships play in enabling more students like us to attend Illinois Wesleyan will do the same thing for them,” said Getz.

Also chosen for the scholarship award was Lily Muto ‘24, a psychology major from Freeport, Illinois.

For more information about the Getz Scholarship, students may contact Illinois Wesleyan Director of Financial Aid Scott Seibring by emailing: seibring@iwu.edu or by calling 309-556-3393.