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Illinois Wesleyan University

Dec. 2, 2019

News for and about the Illinois Wesleyan community

Campus News

On the RiseIllinois Wesleyan Ranked No. 4 'Liberal Arts College on the Rise'
Based on "amazing success over the past 15 years," Illinois Wesleyan is ranked No. 4 nationally among "incredible liberal arts colleges on the rise," according to College Gazette. Metrics included University programs and accomplishments by faculty, students and alumni.


HackHarvard groupStudents Win Top Prize at HackHarvard for Dog Training Robot
Train-O, a dog training robot developed by a team of Illinois Wesleyan students during a 36-hour hackathon, was recently awarded "Best Hardware Hack" at Harvard University's fifth iteration of HackHarvard.

bookFaculty Finance Book to be Published in Spanish
The Fundamental Principles of Finance, a textbook written by Associate Professor of Finance Robert Irons offering an innovative approach to financial theory, has been selected for Spanish translation and publication.

More News
Titan Athletics
  • Two Titans combined for three event wins in the annual swimming and diving IWU Invitational on Nov. 23.
More Highlights
Titans In The News
Wall Street Journal

Laura Orvidas '95, CEO at onXmaps, Inc. and a former vice president at Amazon, is among several Amazon former employees who have gone on to become CEOs.

Atlantic (Iowa) News Telegraph

Dr. Emily Chang '96 has begun practicing at Atlantic Medical Center.


Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Aaron Wilson spoke about threats to drinking water safety and other potential impacts from recent regulations rollbacks. Also on The 21st. 


Almudena Carracedo, who received an honorary doctorate from IWU in 2011, visited campus to screen and discuss her films, including her latest documentary, The Silence of Others.

Washington (Ill.) Courier

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music John Orfe performed a piano prelude prior to the Morton Community Chorus and Orchestra's performance of Messiah on Nov. 24.

The (Warren, Pa.) Times Observer

Thirty-seventh Judicial District Judge Maureen (Flynn) Skerda '82 spoke at the November meeting of the Warren County (Pennsylvania) Well Armed Woman chapter.

Elgin Courier News

IWU alumni Jason Akemann '96, Nate Hilding '96 and Chris Bisaillon '93 operate Bottleneck Management, whose restaurant locations include the new City Works Eatery and Pour House in Schaumburg.

Kirksville (Mo.) Daily Express

Jim Barnett '82 directs the Senior Songsters of Kirksville, Missouri, who are set to begin their Christmas concert tour.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette

Chad Wills '96 still organizes Farmer City's annual Christmas Parade, a role he first took on when he was a senior at IWU.

The Pantagraph

A team of Illinois Wesleyan students won "Best Hardware Hack" at the recent HackHarvard event, hosted by Harvard University. 

The Pantagraph

A "Shop Small, Win Big" promotion was organized by the Small Business Development Center of McLean County at Illinois Wesleyan University on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30.



More Titans in the News
Bookstore Discount for Alumni
Titan gearGet Your Titan Discount


This holiday season, you can stock up on gifts for your favorite Titan at the IWU Bookstore.


Now through Monday, Dec. 16, the discount for alumni is doubled to 20 percent, either online or in the store. Visit and use the coupon code "alumni" at checkout.


Alumni Events

Titan Mixer - Minority Alumni Network

Thursday, December 5

5 - 8 p.m.

Persona - Chicago, Illinois

Join members of the Minority Alumni Network to connect and network with fellow alumni in a relaxed atmosphere. You will also have an opportunity to hear from guest speaker De'Andre Hardy '00, who will discuss "Success in Sales" with the group.


Save the Dates:


January 2020


Titan Young Alumni Connection - Arizona
Thursday, January 23  |  5 - 7 p.m.
The Harp Pub - Mesa, Arizona


Titan Connection - Arizona
Sunday, January 26  |  12:30 - 3 p.m.
McCormick Ranch Golf Club - Scottsdale, Arizona


School of Theatre Arts (SoTA) Senior Showcase
Monday, February 3  |  Time TBD
Stage 773 - Chicago, Illinois 


IWU Council for Women Summit
Friday, February 21 - Saturday, February 22  | Time TBD
Illinois Wesleyan University - Bloomington





Titan Connection - Florida 
Sunday, March 8 | 4 - 6 p.m.
Stonebridge Country Club - Naples, Florida


Career Immersion Excursion Student and Alumni Networking Event
Tuesday, March 10  
AT&T Stadium - Arlington, Texas  |  4:30 - 6 p.m.
Texas Live!  |  
6 - 8:30 p.m.

Pride Alumni Community Student and Alumni Panel  
Thursday, March 26 |  8 - 10 p.m.
Illinois Wesleyan University - Memorial Center, Turfler Room 


Class Newsletter Highlight
Share Your News

Keep up with the latest news and photos from your classmates! When you visit your Class Newsletter, you can subscribe via email by submitting your address under "subscribe to my posts."

In recent highlights, Mandy Leifheit '96, an account executive at Microsoft, serves on the leadership group of the Seattle-based ArtsFund's Visionaries known as the Culture Council. An alum of its Board Leadership Training program, she recently joined the board of Seattle Rep and is co-chair of their young patron's program committee.

Class Newsletters
  • Dr. Kyle Chin '15 earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and is now a general and cosmetic dentist serving patients in the Chicagoland area.

  • The appointment of S. Georgia Nugent as Illinois Wesleyan's president was noted in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Princeton Alumni Weekly.

  • James Plath, R. Forrest Colwell Endowed Chair of English and Professor of English and co-author of the book The 100 Greatest Literary Characters, wrote for The American Scholar about 10 literary runners up.
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This newsletter is an electronic publication of Illinois Wesleyan University's Communications Office, edited by Ann Aubry, director of communications, in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Engagement. To submit items of interest, email


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