This Month at Illinois Wesleyan

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For most students and faculty, May meant the end of another academic year.  The Class of 2016 closed one chapter of their lives, but looked forward to turning the page to find out what happens next. May Term found some students jetting off to Costa Rica, Bulgaria or Hawaii on travel courses. Still others immersed themselves in other worlds – a fictional town in Vermont, the burgeoning women’s suffrage movement in the 1900s, the good and bad of the tumultuous 1960s  -- without ever leaving campus.

This was our May. We’ll offer a visual report of summer at Illinois Wesleyan in August.

Kristina Dehlin '16

Displaying the sentiments of most of the graduates, Kristina Dehlin ’16 acknowledges her supporters during the announcement of Commencement Honors. Dehlin received the Nikki Kaye Pape President’s Club Award for Excellence in Writing and the Donald R. Koehn Memorial Award presented for outstanding achievement in the humanities. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Molly McGraw '18

Molly McGraw '18 clears the bar on her way to winning the high jump at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. McGraw set a school record at the meet: 5 feet-9 1/4 inches as the IWU women's team won the national championship. (Photo by

Charlene Carruthers with Mike Weis

Back on campus to present the keynote address for a scholarly summit on colorblind racism, activist Charlene Carruthers ’07 chats with her former professor of history, Mike Weis. The national director of the Black Youth Project 100, Carruthers told the audience of more than 150 people that collective power can bring change. “Malcolm X is not coming back to save us. There is no Martin Luther King in 2016. There is not a single charismatic leader coming to save us or free us,” she said. (Photo by Makenna Merritt ’17)

Saint Aubin sur Mer

From the Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer in the French region of Basse-Normandie, Thomas Bravos ’17 captioned this Instagram photo: “So thankful to have the opportunity to perform in churches as beautiful as this one.” Bravos and other members of the Collegiate Choir Chamber Ensemble sang in churches throughout Paris, Chartres and Normandy during a May Term travel course. 

English House

This early-morning view of the walkway on the west side of The Ames Library evokes a sense of mystery, enticing the viewer to make the climb to discover what's beyond. Art major Makenna Merritt ’17 captured this lovely setting as May Term drew to a close.  (Photo by Makenna Merritt ’17)

Mary Rankin '16

Mary Rankin '16 shouts to her teammates after getting on base during the Titans' game against Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the NCAA Division III Softball Championships in Salem, Va. IWU finished seventh in the national finals. (Photo by Sideline Media) 


Several Titans shared this joyful photo from San Gimignano in Tuscany. More than 200 pictures have been uploaded using the #maytermphotos hashtag for the May Term Photo Contest. 

Experimental Physics

Lunjun (Simon) Liu ’17 solders a resistor of known resistance to a wire of unknown resistance during the May Term course “Experimental Physics.” In the course, students often machine parts or objects for their experiments.  (Photo by Marc Featherly)

YEP Grant

With funding from a Youth Engaged in Philanthropy grant, Rachel Shaffer ’16 helped third and fifth graders from Glenn Elementary School learn about healthy food, sustainability and environmental stewardship. She distributed basil seedlings to each student just in time for Mother’s Day. (Photo by Kim Hill)


Houseguest Frank (far left, played by Tuxford Turner ’19) threatens to upend the household of Joyce (Katelyn VanPetten ’16) and Joyce’s son Jared (Isaiah Rosales ’19) in the School of Theatre Arts’ lab production of Body Awareness, a one-act play by Annie Baker. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Baseball vs Monmouth

Named as the conference's “Player of the Year” in baseball, Matthew Mardis ’16 waits for a pitch in the May 3 game against Monmouth College. Mardis was also selected for the first team of the academic all-district squads. (Photo by William Frank ’14)

Richard Hull Exhibit

Guest Curator Kaylee Rae Wyant talks about the work of Chicago artist Richard Hull, whose work was exhibited in the Merwin Gallery of the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building. (Photo by Makenna Merritt '17)

Emily Diehl '17

Yes, it’s touristy and clichéd, but so much fun. Emily Diehl ’17 leans in for her take on the countless photos of tourists posing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa during the Renaissance Italy May Term travel course.


At Commencement, Board of Trustees Chair George Vinyard ’71 (right) confers an honorary doctorate upon Bill Damaschke ’85, who quipped “So I’m a doctor now.” The former chief creative officer of DreamWorks Animation, Damaschke acknowledged the graduates’ disappointment that their ceremony was being held indoors, but said he personally was “delighted to be speaking to you in a building named after one of the films I worked on – the Shrek Center.” (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Marketing Entrepreneurship Class

Moyo Ajayi ’17 (right) and John Shipman ’17 prepare to screen a promotional video to raise awareness for the University’s 2016-17 intellectual theme “Women’s Power, Women’s Justice.” The students were enrolled in Professor Karen Bussone’s May Term “Seminar in Marketing,” and were charged with creating a marketing strategy to promote the theme and its many events. (Photo by Makenna Merritt ’17) 

Softball Team

Centerfielder Jillian Runyon '19 and her teammates are pumped up during lineup introductions prior to their first-round game against Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the NCAA Division III softball championship tournament. The Titans would lose 2-0 to the Engineers. (Photo by Sideline Media) 

Bench Build

Julie Lewis ’16 attended a Bloomington Town Hall meeting last fall and learned bus stops in Bloomington-Normal do not have benches. “It just seemed like a problem that could be solved,” she said. Thanks to funding from the Zoellick Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, Lewis organized a Bench Blitz where more than 75 volunteers such as those pictured here, many with little prior experience with tools, made 23 benches in four hours. The benches will be installed at stops on Connect Transit routes.  (Photo by Kim Hill)

Jenkins Family

Mackenzie Jenkins ’16 (left) was one of several legacy graduates receiving degrees at Commencement. The Kemp Commencement Plaza is named in appreciation of a gift from the estate of Glen ’22 and Rozanne Parker Kemp ’27, Mackenzie’s great-grandparents. Pictured from right are Mackenzie’s brother Zack, mother Toni Jenkins ’87 and father Scott. (Photo by Robert Frank III)

April Schultz Class

Utilizing a role-playing pedagogy complete with costumes on loan from the School of Theatre Arts, Professor of History April Schultz led her May Term students in taking on the personas of suffragists, labor leaders, feminists and radical leaders in 1900s New York. One of the students' many activities was planning and leading a suffrage parade. Suffragists of the era used yellow sashes, ribbons and roses to symbolize their cause. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

2016 Commencement

Members of the Class of 2016 applaud their class president’s address. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Track Team Champs

The scoreboard tells the story: the Titan women claim the 2016 national NCAA Division III Track & Field title. The Illinois Wesleyan women were also the outdoor track champions in 2008 and 2010. (Photo by