This Month at Illinois Wesleyan

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Author L.M. Montgomery once said, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." This could not be truer for students living in the world of Illinois Wesleyan. From honoring alumni during Homecoming, to celebrating new facilities and ancient customs, to traveling home or elsewhere for Fall Break, this October made students nothing but glad to be a part of the Illinois Wesleyan community.


We invite you to take a look at our month.

Fall Color Opener

Some people have reveled in this fall’s warmer-than-average temperatures, allowing us to hang on to summer a little longer. Others are impatient waiting for autumn’s glories. Student photographer Tana Smithsakol ’18 managed to capture the magic of both seasons in this image. 

Minority Alumni Networking

A large turnout of alumni, students, faculty and staff enjoyed The Network (MAN) Reception at Homecoming. Pictured from left: Ashley Keith-Phillips '06, Kyanna Bradley '17, Tiana Booth '06, and Marvin Street '06. (Photo by Lori Ann Cook-Neisler)

David PriessFormer CIA analyst David Priess '93 spoke about his book The President's Book of Secrets while visiting campus. The book tells the behind-the-scenes story of the production of the President's Daily Brief (PDB), a top secret digest of international intelligence and analysis, delivered to all U.S. presidents since the 1960s. Priess told the audience he had to get the book cleared by a CIA review board to ensure none of the information in it was still classified. The back of the book contained about 100 pages of end notes "so the review board could see where I got that information. I haven't done that many end notes since I wrote a paper on foreign policy for [History Professor] Mike Weis's American foreign policy class." Priess also spoke about the influence of a Short Term travel course to Europe, meeting with government and embassy officials and international bankers. "It opened my eyes to the fact that foreign policy and national security wasn't just something you read about, it was something people actually do." He's now director of analytic services for a Virginia-based firm offering training and consulting services to the intelligence community, government offices and the private sector. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck '18)

Stevenson Hall School of Nursing

A $2 million renovation of Stevenson Hall includes a new School of Nursing Simulation Lab, where students are challenged to solve simulated patient events using high-fidelity manikins programmed to respond in lifelike fashion to various medical scenarios. Above, a team of four students responds to a medical scenario developed by their professor and Simulation Coordinator Becky Altic, who observes student responses and decision-making from the control booth. (Photo by Robert Frank III '14)

Maurice by Claire

Running back Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore '17 is having an outstanding senior campaign. Twice he's been named College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin "Offensive Football Player of the Week." He's the CCIW rushing leader and also leads the conference in all purpose yards, kickoff return yards and scoring. (Photo by Claire Hoverson '17) 

International Students at Pumpkin Patch

A group of international students including Jiexuan (Jane) Wu '20 (left) and Zihan (Ice) Nie '20 took part in the Midwestern fall rituals of picking pumpkins and apples during a Fall Break day trip to Curtis Orchard in Champaign.

God and Science

In her course "God and Science," Assistant Professor of Philosophy Emily Kelahan examines philosophical issues relating to both science and religion. "Teaching this course allows me to help students see the relevance of some of the great thinkers of the past, such as Galileo, to their own views on religious tolerance, the authority of science, academic freedom and democratic engagement," said Kelahan. "One example is the debate going back to Augustine (400 C.E.) about whether science and religion are separate or overlapping domains." Her students often change their minds about how to think about the relationship between religion and science by semester's end. "They often begin with the belief that the relationship isn't that contentious and arrive at the conclusion that, actually, it is, concluding that there are just some claims that cannot simultaneously be true." (Photo by Makenna Merritt '17) 

Soccer Emotion by Claire

Men's soccer players celebrate a goal during the team's match against Coe College. Mason Maier '19 provided a goal and two assists in the Titans 3-1 victory. (Photo by Claire Hoverson '17)


Accompanied by Mellon Center Senior Administrative Assistant Sharla Brown-Ajayi, the African Students Association spent Fall Break day touring the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, enjoying a networking dinner with Chicagoland professionals, and visiting Millennial Park, where Brown-Ajayi captured this photo of Emmanuel Ahonkhai '17, an accounting major from Nigeria.  

Unlicensed Syncopation

The vocal jazz ensemble Unlicensed Syncopation and other groups presented a concert of work by female composers, arrangers and performers. Director Andrew Dahan, current head of Music Education at IWU, said this year's intellectual theme "Women's Power, Women's Justice" inspired him to create a program celebrating songs that were written or arranged by women. (Photo by Robert Frank III '14)

Lizzy and Golfers

Senior members of the women's golf team (from left) Jackie Halden '17, Lizzy Mavrogenes '17 and Olivia Kief '17 display the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin women's golf title trophy. Mavrogenes noted the end of the fall season with this post on her Instagram account: "7 tournaments, 19 rounds, and 342 holes later, we made it through our final season of college golf." (Photo by former head women's golf coach and current assistant coach Kathy Niepagen)

Family Fun Homecoming

Sam Sterbenc '13 (foreground) joins fellow alumni and current Titan Band members during Family Fun on the Quad at Homecoming. Sterbenc is now working toward a doctorate in euphonium performance at the University of Illinois. (Photo by Lori Ann Cook-Neisler) 

Dead Man's Cell Phone

In a simple café, Jean (played by Hailey Lechelt '18) answers the incessant ringing of a cell phone on a nearby table, only to find its owner has quietly passed away. Thus, the stage is set for Dead Man's Cell Phone, the School of Theatre Arts' first mainstage production of the year. Inserting herself into the life of the lifeless stranger, Jean goes so far as to bring comfort and closure to those who knew him, even if she has to make it up as she goes along. "This is one of those sneaky productions that have you laughing one minute and pondering the meaning of life the next," reviewer Patricia S. Stiller wrote in the Pantagraph. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Joni Williams Benefactors Dinner

More than 260 people – the largest crowd ever – attended the annual Benefactors Dinner, which brings donors and their student recipients together. Newly created scholarships are also announced, which this year included the Joni Williams '82 Annual Scholarship. Williams (center) is pictured with her student recipients: Ryan Fisher '17, a theatre arts major from Riverton, Ill., and Megan O'Donnell '17, a financial services major from Bloomington. Monetary support from alumni and friends allows Illinois Wesleyan to provide more than $36 million in financial aid each year to more than nine out of 10 students. (Photo by Marc Featherly)


Proving they haven't changed a bit, Tom Gramkow '70 (far left), Jim Tosh '69 and Bill Pfeiffer '69 display composites from their campus years as Phi Gamma Delta members. Celebrating its sesquicentennial during Homecoming weekend, the Illinois Wesleyan Fiji chapter was chartered Dec. 4, 1866, and is now the third oldest continuously functioning chapter of Phi Gamma Delta in the world. (Photo by Lori Ann Cook-Neisler)

Football Halftime Homecoming 2016

Alumni Award winners acknowledge the crowd at halftime of the Homecoming football game: (from left) Loyalty Award recipient Robert E. Lewis '56, Distinguished Alumnus Award winner Denny Matthews '66, and Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumna Diana Hammer Tscheschlok '01. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Alumni Reception Ade

Ade Olayinka '11 (far left) shares photos she took of President Eric Jensen, Interim Vice President for Advancement Steve Seibring '81 and Debra Burt-Frazier '75 at the Alumni Awards Reception during Homecoming. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Marv Bower

Marvin Bower '45 (center) was honored for 75 years of membership at the sesquicentennial celebration of Phi Gamma Delta's founding at Illinois Wesleyan. The Fijis at Illinois Wesleyan were the first chapter of a Greek letter society chartered in the state of Illinois. (Photo by Lori Ann Cook-Neisler)

Nancy Johnson

Currently chief executive officer for El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson, Ariz., Nancy (Jenkins) Johnson '78 received the School of Nursing's Distinguished Alumna Award for Excellence in Nursing. El Rio is one of the largest federally qualified health centers in the United States. Johnson was previously chief operating officer of El Rio before taking over the top spot in 2015. She holds a Ph.D. in health services from the University of Arizona. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Wang Yuan Ming

Psychology major Wang YuanMing '18 studies the list of organizations represented at the annual Internship Fair. More than 50 internship providers spoke with students about work and volunteer opportunities. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck '18)

Carolyn Jarvis

Professor of Nursing Carolyn Jarvis provided the lead gift toward funding of the $2 million renovation of the garden level and first floor of Stevenson Hall, home to the School of Nursing. Speaking at the dedication of the new Jarvis Center for Nursing Excellence, Jarvis said she was moved to contribute to the renovation because of her students, her colleagues and the liberal arts community at Illinois Wesleyan. The students "ask me questions I cannot always answer," she said. "My own nursing courses gave me the knowledge and skills for my nursing profession, but my liberal arts courses shaped my personality, fed my interests, and expanded my thinking and writing." (Photo by Marc Featherly).

CCS Waiting

The shared physical space of Arnold Health Services (AHS) and Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS) was renovated this summer to provide space for all CCS clinicians to be together in one building, provide better flow for client visits, and create a shared check-in space for clients seeking assistance from either AHS or CCS. (From left) Resident Advisors Giana Biddle '18, Dean Khrisat '19 and Donald Brown '17 show off the new waiting area providing more seating for CCS clients. (Photo by Robert Frank III '14)

Mariah Smith '18

Mariah Smith '18 pours what she believes to be one ounce of water during educational activities associated with Alcohol Awareness Week. Sponsored by Counseling and Consultation Services and Students Organizing Campus Awareness, the event included facts about alcohol consumption and responsible drinking. Students could also try out "drunk goggles," which are vision-distorting lenses simulating the effects of alcohol on the body. (Photo by Reilly Kasprak '17)

Sugar Skulls Nykia

Students and staff packed the Multicultural Center to decorate sugar skulls, a traditional folk art form originating in southern Mexico to celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Nykia Rutledge ’20 proudly shows off her sugar skull creation. Prior to the fun of the skull decorating, SALSA and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion sponsored a presentation on the history of the holiday, which focuses on preserving the memory of deceased friends and family. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)

Trick or TreatChildren of faculty, staff and alumni were invited to trick or treat in Munsell and Pfeiffer Halls, a Halloween tradition going back many years. Benigno Houser ’20 (right) treats Brendan Hall, the son of Vice President of Student Affairs Karla Carney-Hall. (Photo by Vi Kakares ’20)

Fall Color Ending

The strength of “Knowledge and Wisdom” – framed by the tranquility of nature’s beauty. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)