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August brings the newest members of the Titan family to Illinois Wesleyan, and it’s impossible for the rest of the campus not to be inspired by their orientation-week enthusiasm for, well, everything. Dorky icebreakers, carnival games, countless presentations — the students attacked every meeting and activity with gusto. 

Orientation was not all fun and games, of course. Summer reading discussions tackled questions on gender expectations, skits helped students ease into conversations about alcohol consumption and sexual consent, and Pre-Orientation programs wrestled with the topics of privilege and racial discourse.

“If these thoughtful, respectful, dynamic, and smart people are our future, then I’m hopeful. And these days, that’s saying a lot!” one faculty member wrote on her personal Facebook page. She was posting a note about the Class of 2020, but she could have been talking about all current Titans.

Take a look at orientation week, and the rest of our August.

Titan Orientation Leader (TOL) Colin Gogoel ’18 formed a celebratory gauntlet of other TOLs as the Class of 2020 left the ceremony

New Student Convocation serves as the official welcome to Turning Titan orientation week and to Illinois Wesleyan. Titan Orientation Leader (TOL) Colin Gogoel ’18 formed a celebratory gauntlet of other TOLs as the Class of 2020 left the convocation ceremony. “It was a ‘hey, you did it’ kind of moment,” Gogoel said of organizing the congratulatory high-fives. “We were saying to them, 'you’re a Wesleyan student now,' just like we are.” (Photo by Marc Featherly)


76 boxes filled by Titans will be donated to Center for Hope Food Pantry Network in BloomingtonA record number of first-year students participated in the long-standing tradition of Mission Day, including 40 students repackaging bulk rice and beans into smaller portions in the basement of Evelyn Chapel. The 76 boxes filled by Titans will be donated to the Center for Hope Food Pantry Network in Bloomington. Students could choose their Mission Day location from among several choices, ranging from leadership training to helping alumni in their homes to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. “Service is absolutely a part of our mission,” Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Karla Carney-Hall told the Pantagraph.


Office of Residence Life staffers and many other volunteers were out in full force to help incoming first-year students move their cherished possessions into the residence halls

Office of Residence Life staffers and many other volunteers were out in full force to help incoming first-year students move their cherished possessions into the residence halls. Several students praised the help on social media. (Photo by Reilly Kasprak ’17)


men’s basketball team played four exhibition games during an eight-day stay in  Spain

In mid-August, the men’s basketball team played four exhibition games during an eight-day stay in Spain. The 16-man squad took a photo break in Madrid in front of statuary of Miguel de Cervantes and his influential characters Don Quixote and Sancho. The team played two games in Barcelona and also visited Valencia, Cuenca, Toledo and the Montserrat mountain range. 


Eugenie and David Darling ’79 hosted more than 100 alumni, students, faculty, staff and parents

The annual early August picnic of the Network (Minority Alumni Network) celebrated this year’s Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) students and SEP alumni in addition to welcoming incoming students to IWU. Eugenie and David Darling ’79 hosted more than 100 alumni, students, faculty, staff and parents. Inez Kitty White ’16 (left) photographs her son Malachi being held by SEP alumna Kamaya Thompson '12. Myia Thompson '11 is at far right.


Representing 21 states, 13 countries and hundreds of hopes and dreams, the Class of 2020 gathers for a group photo

Representing 21 states, 13 countries and hundreds of hopes and dreams, the Class of 2020 gathers for a group photo. (Photo by Marc Featherly) 


Kelsey Blanchard ’20 of Frankfort, Ill. attempts the “Pink Elephant”

Judging from social media posts, ice-breaker games modeled after the “Minute to Win It” TV program were a huge hit during Pre-Orientation for students of color, international students and those participating in the Engaging Diversity program. Kelsey Blanchard ’20 of Frankfort, Ill., attempts the “Pink Elephant” — a head flip to get the slinky to land perfectly on her forehead and remain there for at least three seconds. (Photo by Lori Ann Cook-Neisler)


Visiting Assistant Professor of Design Technology and Entrepreneurship (DTE) Mark Genrich demonstrates a table saw to students in his course “Beginning 3-D Design.”

Visiting Assistant Professor of Design Technology and Entrepreneurship Mark Genrich demonstrates a table saw to students in his course “Beginning 3-D Design.” On the second day of the class, students were required to design and build an item of their choosing from a length of 2” x 4” wood they’d cut into desired shapes. Genrich is a 1983 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan and also an installation artist. (Photo by Robert Frank III '14)


Nury Araya Veloso’20 (left) and Nykia Rutledge ’20 enjoy an ice-breaker event during PreOrientation

Nury Araya Veloso ’20 (left) and Nykia Rutledge ’20 enjoy an ice-breaker event during PreOrientation. Domestic students of color and international students are invited to campus the weekend prior to Turning Titan orientation. (Photo by Lori Ann Cook-Neisler)


MALANA, International Group Photo

Incoming first-year students who chose to participate in MALANA and international student orientation and the Engaging Diversity program arrive on campus the weekend prior to Turning Titan activities. Run for many years on separate schedules, the programs are now highly integrated, with students spending significant amounts of time together, allowing the forming of new friendships as evidenced by this picture. (Photo by Nancy Qu ’17) 


hypnotist Frederick Winters instructs first-year volunteers to make funny faces the way a 2-year-old child would do

An orientation week favorite, hypnotist Frederick Winters instructs first-year volunteers to make funny faces the way a 2-year-old child would do. Students, faculty and staff packed Hansen Student Center to watch the hilarity. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck ’18) 


Kevin Connelly ’18 (left) and Alec Bausch ’17 proudly display souvenir aprons

On the men’s basketball team’s trip to play exhibition games in Spain, Kevin Connelly ’18 (left) and Alec Bausch ’17 proudly display souvenir aprons. The players are pictured on the square in Toledo.


The classic architecture of the Hansen Student Center conveys a sense of tradition and feelings of strength

For student photographer Reilly Kasprak '17, the inscription of the University’s name into the stone represents a sense of tradition and notions of strength. She captured this photo of the Hansen Student Center on a hot morning in early August.