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elmhurst college alumni news spring 2014

EVERYTHING IS A GIFT Elmhurst has a deep commitment to stewardship, rooted in our fundamental obligation to take care of the resources that have been entrusted to us.

fyi in this issue


02 W  HAT’S NEW ON CAMPUS Celebrating Past and Present at Homecoming Plus: A First-Year Seminar focuses on sustainability, the College launches a ground-breaking partnership with an area hospital, and more.



16 T  HE SPORTS PAGES Hit Man An Elmhurst outfielder wins All-America honors, a wrestler wins a national title, and the volleyball team returns to championship form. 22 F  ACE TO FACE Everything Is a Gift President S. Alan Ray considers how Elmhurst’s deep commitment to stewardship compels the College to get better at both honoring tradition and embracing change. 34 S  TUDENT FOCUS A Real Learning Environment Supported by scholarships, these students are making the most of their Elmhurst Experience while they prepare themselves for rewarding careers.


42 T  HE CAMPUS A Beauty Year Round In any season, the trees of Elmhurst College remind us that glorious things can happen when an inspired vision takes root.


52 SUSTAINABILITY Greening the Campus Elmhurst was green before green was cool. Today, campus sustainability initiatives include everything from composting to solar panels. 56 A  LUMNI PROFILE History Lessons Joan and Lester Brune built extraordinary careers as scholars and educators. Now, they’re supporting the educational mission of their alma mater.

63 C  LASS NOTES Where Are They Now? Find out how your classmates are advancing in their careers and serving their communities.

Cover illustration: Anilou Price

The Elmhurst Way Fellow Alumni and Alumnae, As students, faculty, staΩ, alumni and friends of Elmhurst College, we’ve been given a great blessing: membership in a supportive community of caring and accomplished people who are committed to the full realization of individual human potential and to using that potential to further the common good. But that blessing comes with a great responsibility: to be careful stewards of the College’s social capital, financial resources and public reputation. We live that responsibility by contributing our time, money and expertise to Elmhurst in order to ensure that future students will benefit from the transformational experience the College provides. We live that responsibility by actively maintaining the relationships we began as students, faculty and staΩ members at the College. And we live that responsibility by conducting our own personal and professional lives in accordance with Elmhurst’s core values. This issue of FYI will inspire you with stories of members of our community who in their own unique way embody Elmhurst’s core value of stewardship. Each of these individuals would not claim to be extraordinary, but instead believes paying it forward is simply the Elmhurst College way. Wishing you the best, Sarah (Kiefer) Clarin ’04 Alumni Association President

Alumni Association President Sarah (Kiefer) Clarin ’04 Members of the Board Sara (Douglass) Born ’02, Karl Constant ’07, E.J. Donaghey ’88, Tom DuFore ’04, Michael Durnil ’71, Ed Earl ’86, Dain Gotto ’06, Jacque (Kindahl) Hulslander ’72 and ’82, Heather (Forster) Jensen ’08, David Jensen ’00 and mpa ’02, Tim O’Toole ’03, Cami (Kreft) Rodriguez ma ’08, Megan (Suess) Selck ’03, Bill Sir ’64, Cheryl (Kancer) Tiede ’74, Frank Tuozzo ’72, Rick Veenstra ’00 Office of Alumni Relations (630) 617-3600, Editor Margaret Currie Contributors Lu Aiello, Sara Ramseth, Linda Reiselt, Jim Winters Design Director Marcel Maas Design and Production Marcel Maas, Anilou Price

news alumni events

Celebrating Past and Present A spirited crowd of alumni gathered on campus at Homecoming for reunions, family events, football and more. 2


here may be no finer time to visit Elmhurst College than on Homecoming weekend, when thousands come together to celebrate the College’s past and its present. The annual event combines two beloved Elmhurst traditions—Homecoming and Family Day—into one not-to-be-missed gathering. In 2013, the fun included class reunions, a Las Vegas-themed Casino Night, special alumni classes presented by Elmhurst faculty, and the first-ever Campuspalooza, where alums and current students shared in the Elmhurst Experience. The Mill Theatre presented Michael Frayn’s manic farce Noises Off. The art department observed the birthday of the College’s Kevatron proton accelerator, a retired relic of Atomic Age physics research and now the towering centerpiece of Elmhurst’s one-of-a-kind Accelerator ArtSpace. And a spirited crowd of Bluejay backers cheered the football team’s eΩorts in a loss against rival North Central. The College recognized the contributions of three outstanding alumni with the presentation of Alumni Merit Awards. Barry Warren ’67 won the Alumni Merit Award for Service to Society for his work on behalf of gay rights. David Cuomo ’10 was honored with the G.O.L.D. (Graduates of the Last Decade) Award. Cuomo overcame multiple illnesses to graduate from Elmhurst with a 3.75 grade-point average. The Service to Alma Mater Award went to Bill Batte ’63 for his years of service to Elmhurst as an alumni volunteer and adjunct faculty member. Planning is already under way for Homecoming 2014, October 17-19. For alumni and for families of students, it’s the perfect time to experience all that makes Elmhurst special. Make your plans now!

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FYI/Spring 2014

news on campus

Greening the Campus Hands-on lessons from a ďŹ rst-year seminar feed a growing campus concern for the environment. 4


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hristine Smith and Gurram Gopal wanted the students in their firstyear seminar to learn more about the dynamics of waste disposal, recycling and composting on a college campus. So they pointed to the garbage bins in the Frick Center cafeteria and invited the students in their course, titled Local Choices, Global EΩects, to dig in. The students conducted annual waste audits—sleeves rolled up, protective gloves on, elbow-deep in the half-eaten lunches, crumpled paper napkins and discarded banana peels left behind by their fellow students. The exercise may have been unappetizing, Gopal admits, but it also was very illuminating. “Some students are grossed out, yes, but it’s such a revealing project. It’s the best way to appreciate exactly what we are putting into the waste stream,” Gopal said. The audits allowed students to quantify, for example, how much food waste was being tossed into recycling bins and how much recyclable material was ending up in the trash. “I’ve had people tell me that every student should do it.” That hands-on approach to understanding what we consume and how we dispose of it was typical of the course, which Smith, director of residence life and associate dean of students, and Gopal, Theophil W. Mueller Endowed Chair and associate professor of business administration, co-taught each autumn from 2007 to 2013. And it helps explain the oversized impact the course had—not just on the students enrolled in it, but on the entire campus community. Students from the course went on to take on leadership roles in the College’s burgeoning campus-wide eΩorts towards sustainability. This year, Gopal begins developing a new upperlevel business course that will explore some of the same topics introduced in the first-year seminar. FYI/Spring 2014

“When I look at the changes at Elmhurst in the last few years and I think about how much of that change was driven by students, it feels very gratifying.” “We wanted students to direct their own learning to an extent, to take more ownership of their education,” Gopal said. “That’s part of the transition to college for first-year students: learning to be more independent.” Students in the seminar split into teams and worked with Smith and Gopal on designing class projects. And when the time came for them to present the results of their work, they didn’t address only their fellow students. College administrators and senior staΩ members, including President S. Alan Ray, visited the class to hear the students present their work. Many of the students continued to work on matters of sustainability even after they had moved on from the class. Former class members formed the Greenjays, a student organization focused on environmentalism. They worked with the College’s leadership to initiate Elmhurst’s campus composting program. And they helped introduce the twice-annual electronics recycling event, which now attracts crowds from around Chicago and its suburbs. Those eΩorts have been part of an intensified focus on environmentalism on campus over the last decade or so. In 2012, Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, a statewide program that encourages sustainable practices at colleges and universities, honored Elmhurst for its eΩorts to protect the environment and create a “green


Students in the Local Choices, Global Effects class contributed to a growing awareness on campus of sustainability issues.

campus.” Gopal says that the lessons his students learned in the seminar contributed to a growing awareness on campus of how individual choices can shape the environment. “To change attitudes and to change a culture, you need a few leaders,” Gopal said. “We always wanted the students to lead. So when I look at the changes at Elmhurst in the last few years and I think about how much of that change was driven by students, it feels very gratifying.”

news alumni

Sharing in the Spirit At tradition-rich Wellesley College, Kelly Stone ’03 builds a more inclusive campus pastorate.

Photo: Roark Johnson



then the Rev. Kelly Stone shows visitors around the Multifaith Center at Wellesley College, the super-selective women’s college outside Boston where she is interim dean for religious life, the first thing she points out is what is missing from the space. “There are no religious symbols here,” she said, walking through the center’s minimalist central gathering space. The absence, she explains, is intentional. Wellesley is home to some two dozen student religious groups, representing not just the Protestant Christians who founded the school in 1875, but also Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus, Jews, Jains, Sikhs, Wiccan, Zoroastrians and others. “We want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable here,” says Stone, a 2003 Elmhurst graduate. As campuses grow more diverse, chaplains and the administrators who hire them are rethinking the ways they serve the spiritual lives of students. At Wellesley, where she was hired three years ago as Protestant chaplain and director of multifaith programs, Stone works at the cutting edge of the national trend toward a more inclusive campus pastorate. The changes are not only symbolic. One of Stone’s 19th century predecessors in campus ministry is said to have preached sermons of such evangelical

fervor and severity that they drove the students in the congregation—many of them away from home for the first time—to tears. For her part, Stone says she is more likely to be found talking to students in small groups on the snug sofas in the Multifaith Center than thundering from the pulpit. “I don’t preach many sermons,” she says. “It’s more about conversation and meditation.” Stone remains on the lookout for chances to broaden the conversation. With the college’s Catholic chaplain, she launched a regular discussion group focused on feminism and religion. With the Hindu chaplain, she facilitates the college’s multifaith council, a gathering of 25 women representing the spectrum of religious diversity on campus. “It’s a place where students feel free to ask honest questions of each other, the kinds of questions that in ordinary conversation would be considered a faux pas,” Stone says. “They ask about traditions and about beliefs. Where else but on a college campus can you find all this diversity and such fertile ground for understanding?” Such productive interfaith exchange is what Wellesley’s leadership had in mind when it overhauled the college’s religious life o≈ce some two decades ago. In response to the increasing diversity of its students, the college added

more chaplains, ministers and advisors. The new Multifaith Center, opened in 2008 in what had been a dank basement space beneath Wellesley’s stately Houghton Chapel, became an inclusive focal point for the diverse spiritual life of the campus. Wellesley’s multifaith approach—it was dubbed the Wellesley Experiment—became a model for colleges around the country that were serving students from more faith traditions than ever before. “It was a recognition that it was no longer feasible to have one person meet the needs of such a diverse community,” Stone said. The change came at a time when an entire generation of college students seemed to be hungry for spiritual direction. The Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA studied 100,000 students in the first years of the new millennium. What they found made educators take notice: Two-thirds of the freshmen surveyed by UCLA said they wanted their college to play a role in their spiritual development. But only about half of the juniors surveyed said they were satisfied with the opportunities their institutions oΩered for spiritual exploration. Meeting all those disparate needs can be a complicated business, Stone says. “Multifaith work is hard,” she said. “You don’t learn it by reading a book. You have to sit down

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with people and listen and share. And you have to rethink the idea that your approach to a question is the only approach.” She acknowledges that working as part of a large and diverse ministry team hasn’t always come naturally for her. “I’m Type A. I want to tackle a project and move it forward, see it through. But I’ve learned I have to slow down sometimes,” she said. “I know now that collaboration looks diΩerent than me having an idea and inviting other people to get on board. It takes time to learn that. But the good thing is that now I can help students work through that, too.” Stone grew up in Geneseo, Illinois, where she was active in the First Congregational Church. But it wasn’t until she was well into her studies at Elmhurst that she began to consider a life in ministry. She had enrolled at Elmhurst because of its strong program in speech-language pathology. “Ministry wasn’t even on my map,” she says. But during her junior year, to satisfy a general education requirement, she signed up for Professor Paul Parker’s Christian Ethics course. It turned out to be a life-changer. “That class got me thinking about the larger world and about our responsibilities as Christians,” she said. It also confirmed her growing sense that she was ready to set out on a new path. It was at around the same time that she casually mentioned to Elmhurst’s chaplain, the Rev. H. Scott Matheney, that she would like to travel to Africa someday. Matheney’s response took Stone aback. “Before you leave here, we’ll find a way to get you there,” Matheney told her. The following year, Stone was one of several students who joined Matheney and then-president Bryant L. Cureton in a home-building project for Habitat for Humanity in South Africa. When Habitat founder Millard Fuller came to campus to receive the College’s Niebuhr Medal, Stone led the eΩort to raise $10,000 in donations to the group. “Kelly had a sense that she had to be in service, she had to act on her faith,” said Matheney. “She wasn’t thinking about herself but about others.” “Scott showed me that it was okay for me to FYI/Spring 2014

dream about something other than small-town life,” Stone says. “To have someone a≈rm that was really powerful. He’s still a role model for me and a close friend.” Stone spent part of her senior year studying at Chicago Theological Seminary, an experience she jokingly calls “my study-abroad experience.” But if the seminary was in some ways like another country, Stone discovered that she felt right at home there. “I had fallen in love with higher education. I found that I thrived with a level of independence, freedom and flexibility,” she says. “I was good at it.” After her graduation from Elmhurst, she went on to Yale Divinity School, where she earned a Master of Divinity. Fresh out of Yale, she was hired as the chaplain at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She was the college’s first female chaplain and one of the youngest anyone could remember. Some of her students asked her directly why the college didn’t have a male minister. People she met at local churches sometimes commented patronizingly on her youth. But Stone made an undeniable impact at Lakeland, revitalizing a moribund worship program and teaching introductory theology courses. “Some thought that Lakeland was taking a risk hiring someone so young, but Kelly showed them that she had the maturity and the skill set to do that job very well,” Matheney said. Stone, meanwhile, was hearing more about Wellesley’s innovative approaches to campus chaplaincy. She met the college’s head of religious life, Victor Kazanjian, at a professional conference and was impressed with the school’s eΩorts. When she learned of an opening on the chaplaincy team at Wellesley, she decided to apply. In 2011, Stone was hired as director of multifaith programs and Protestant chaplain at Wellesley. “When I first heard about the position, I thought, ‘Protestant chaplain I can do. But multifaith programs?’” Stone said. “Then I realized I had been doing multifaith work out of necessity as the only chaplain at Lakeland. When one of your students tells you that her roommate doesn’t like it that she is up praying at 5:30 in

the morning, you’re going to do what you can to find that student a place to pray. The multifaith work we’re doing at Wellesley is making explicit what a lot of good chaplains have been doing out of necessity for a long time.” It’s all part of the evolving role chaplains are playing on many campuses, as student bodies grow more diverse and institutions become more inclusive. Matheney said Stone oΩers an example of the kind of impact a college chaplain can have. “Colleges and universities can be an incubator to frame what our future will look like, what our values will be,” he said. “In her interfaith work, Kelly is showing what colleges and universities need to be about.” For all its focus on reinvention and change, Wellesley also remains rooted in its often highprofile history. This year, Stone and the rest of the campus are looking forward to welcoming back two of the school’s best-known graduates, Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright. Nowhere is the college’s 19th century heritage more clearly on display than in the sanctuary of Houghton Chapel, just one flight of stairs above the spare, nonsectarian spaces of the Multifaith Center. In the chapel, rows of stained glass windows testify to the college’s evolution. One, from 1890, shows St. Elizabeth teaching a youthful John the Baptist. A more recently installed window includes symbols representing 14 world religions and the figure of a woman who is, alone among the chapel’s stained-glass images, dark skinned. This year, Stone is overseeing the design of a new triptych of windows to be installed in the chapel. The design process, she said, will include input from students, faculty and staΩ of diverse religious backgrounds. “These windows will still be here in 100 years, so we want to get it right,” Stone said. “I feel like the custodian of something much bigger than me.”


news civic engagement

A Call for Volunteers Students in the Niebuhr Center’s Partners for Peace program serve their neighbors in need. 8

Each year, crews of Partners for Peace volunteers ride the bus to Chicago’s West Side to beautify churches and playlots, distribute fresh produce, or work on other community service projects.

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he drive from Elmhurst College to the troubled neighborhoods of Chicago’s West Side takes about 20 minutes. But the Reverend Dr. Ronald K. Beauchamp knows that to some of his Elmhurst students, it can seem like a journey to another world. That’s one reason why Beauchamp, the director of Elmhurst’s Niebuhr Center for Faith and Action, launched the Partners for Peace projects in 2009. An annual event, the project brings together students, faculty and staΩ from Elmhurst to serve neighbors in need. “The idea was to get students into the city and let them meet people, sit down with them and understand their plight,” Beauchamp said. “Our students, bless them, will go around the world to help others. But there are people a few miles away from campus who need their help, too.” Each fall, crews of Partners for Peace volunteers make a short bus ride from campus to the city to provide that help. They work on community service projects related to gun violence, hunger, health care and other social problems. Volunteers from Elmhurst have distributed fresh produce in neighborhoods where nutritious, aΩordable food can be hard to find. They have worked with health care professionals to provide free health screenings. They have beautified neighborhood churches and playlots. In 2013, as part of a series of events honoring military veterans, students provided food and clothing to homeless veterans through the VietNow program. For all the service they provide, Beauchamp said, his Elmhurst students may reap the greatest benefits from their experiences in the city. “We can be so isolated in our own little worlds, but there’s no substitute for sitting down and talking with someone. There’s no better way to understand another person and that person’s needs,” he said. “Students won’t really understand the issues connected to health care until FYI/Spring 2014

they talk with someone who can’t get access to health care. Service is one way for them to learn about themselves and about their world.” When the Niebuhr Center launched Partners for Peace five years ago, Beauchamp wondered if the campus community would respond to the call for volunteers. He need not have wondered. Student interest in Partners for Peace events has been so strong that planners have sometimes had to expand the original scope of the projects to accommodate all the volunteers. The Niebuhr Center teams with a number of student groups and college departments on the Partsners for Peace events, including the Student Nurses Association; the O≈ce of Leadership, Service and Civic Engagement; the Wellness Center; the Black Student Union; H.A.B.L.A.M.O.S.; the Muslim Student Association; the Chaplain’s O≈ce; and the College’s Jazz Band. The center also partners with local churches. Beauchamp says that one of his biggest concerns now is responding to all the oΩers to help. It is a good problem to have. “Everywhere I go, people want to know when the next event is, and what they can do to help,” he said. “That’s the giving spirit that has made the program so successful and that is so critical to what we are trying to achieve as a college.”

“We can be so isolated in our own little worlds, but there’s no substitute for sitting down and talking with someone. There’s no better way to understand another person and that person’s needs.”


news community

High Honors The Founders Medal recognizes four longtime members of the Elmhurst community for their extraordinary commitment to the College. 10


very year Elmhurst College awards Denise Jones ’90 George Langeler ’49 its highest honor, the Founders Medal, “People say Elmhurst College is student-centered. “I owe a great deal to Elmhurst College. The to individuals whose commitment While that’s certainly true, it might be more degree I earned prepared me to become an of time, talent or treasure has helped accurate to say that Elmhurst is people-centered, educator, the organizational skills I honed in the College achieve a particular objective or because the College extends the same level of various clubs and organizations prepared me whose service and philanthropy over the years commitment and support to its staΩ as it does to become an administrator, and I went on to a merit special thanks. to its students. I know. I’ve experienced both. very rewarding career in higher education. The The 2013 Founders Medals recognized the I started as a cashier, and thanks to the mentorsocial and academic environment that Elmhurst contributions of Raymond and Sally Allen, ship of Trevor W. Pinch, whose scholarship I College provided made those things unfold for Denise Jones ’90 and George Langeler ’49, who support, and the accounting degree I earned me, and I’ll always be grateful for that. I was reflect on their awards below. from Elmhurst, I retired as senior vice president truly honored to be singled out for my loyalty of finance and administration. That’s not just and contribution, but my fellow trustees give at Raymond and Sally Allen my achievement, it’s Trevor’s achievement. It’s least as much time and talent as I do. I thought “We’ve been associated with many Elmhurst Elmhurst’s achievement. I think that’s part of I should be receiving the Founders Medal on organizations, and one of the fastest growing the values Elmhurst instills, that we are all each behalf of all of them.” and most e≈cient has been Elmhurst College. other’s best success.” Since we first moved to Elmhurst, the College George Langeler ’49 spent much of his career at Oberlin has grown in racial, religious and economic Denise Jones ’90 served the College for many years College, where he served in several roles, including diversity. It has grown in the size and quality as a staff member and administrator before retiring director of financial aid, associate dean of the College of its facilities. It has grown in its academic in 2012. Jones received the College’s Alumni Merit of Arts and Sciences, and dean of students. A member accomplishments. Its endowment has grown Award in 2004 and served on numerous committees of the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees since from almost nothing to a significant figure. and panels. In retirement, she continues to serve the 1974, Langeler is a recipient of the College’s Alumni We enjoy seeing institutions we admire increase College in an advisory role on a part-time basis. Jones Merit Award and is a generous supporter of the sciences in prestige and viability, and that’s one of the and her husband, John, support the Trevor W. Pinch at Elmhurst. He has served as president of his class reasons we stay so involved.” Endowed Scholarship Fund. ever since his sophomore year in college. Ray and Sally Allen have been loyal friends of Elmhurst College ever since they first attended the College’s annual Jazz Festival in the mid-1980s. The Allens have supported Elmhurst in a variety of ways, starting in the 1980s when they served on a dinner-dance committee and helped fund the purchase of a carillon. More recently, they have mentored art students, donated numerous art books, established the Sally and Ray Allen Art Fund, and provided funds to install mosaics on the campus.

The 2013 Founders Medals recognized the contributions of Raymond and Sally Allen (clockwise from top), George Langeler ’49 and Denise Jones ’90.

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FYI/Spring 2014

news partnerships

A Ground-breaking Partnership Elmhurst College is collaborating with Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare to build a state-of-the-art simulation learning facility for nursing students. 12


he Elmhurst College Simulation Center at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital is a 4,600-square-foot laboratory and classroom space that will serve nursing students, hospital staΩ and, potentially, first responders and other health care providers from across the Chicago area. On February 19, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare President and CEO Mary Lou Mastro and Elmhurst College President and CEO S. Alan Ray wielded sledgehammers to break through the wall that will become the main entrance to the Simulation Center. The Simulation Center is the result of an innovative collaboration between Elmhurst College and Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare. When completed this summer, the facility will be the only large simulation center in the region to have been established through this kind of health care/higher education collaboration. “For many years it has been our dream to partner with Elmhurst Memorial on significant,

long-term projects beneficial to our students, and now, with the start of the Simulation Center, we can look forward to just that,” Ray said. “We believe health care education will increasingly be taught in combinations of locations—on campus, online and on site—using both real and simulated patient environments. By joining with Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, our Simulation Center will oΩer our students on-site education of the highest caliber.” Construction on the $1.4 million project has begun and the Simulation Center is scheduled to open in July, in time to welcome new classes of undergraduate and graduate nursing students. The Elmhurst College Simulation Center at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital will create health care environments that represent inpatient, outpatient and community settings. It will include: Simulation labs. In these examination and treatment areas, students can practice health care scenarios and work on “low-fidelity” skills

Elmhurst College President S. Alan Ray and Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare President and CEO Mary Lou Mastro break through the wall that will become the main entrance to the Simulation Center.

such as wound care and giving injections. Elmhurst College’s life-size, robotic simulated patients will be housed here. Home care lab/control room. Half of all nurses in practice today work outside of hospitals. In the home care lab, students can practice conducting a well-baby visit or adapting a home for someone learning to live with a disability. In the control room, simulation directors can reprogram a simulated patient’s condition without the students’ knowledge, creating realistic exercises. Observation room. Because cameras will be installed in each of the learning spaces, students not participating in an exercise still will be able to observe it, not only from screens in the observation room but also on their cell phones and laptops, as well as in classrooms on the Elmhurst College campus. Conference room/classroom. After a simulation exercise, students can debrief here. The Center’s location inside a hospital will give nursing students not only more opportunities to meet professionals in their field but also a real-time understanding of health care trends and changing technologies. In the end, the experience will contribute to better patient care. “Health care is always evolving, and the students of today will be the leaders of health care tomorrow,” said Pamela Dunley, vice president and COO/CNO at Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare. “Our goal is to help train these future medical professionals to provide quality and patient-centered care using best practices and advanced technology to best meet the needs of all patients.”

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Kross Family Gift Benefits Music Students A generous gift from a large Elmhurst College legacy family will fund a new scholarship and purchase new instruments for the College’s Department of Music. The Kross family, which lived in Elmhurst for many years and includes several Elmhurst College alumni, established the $50,000 Kross Family Endowed Scholarship for music majors, and donated $15,000 to the College to purchase instruments. The gifts were from the estates of Theodore Kross ’38 and Robert Kross ’42, lifelong Elmhurst residents and active members of the community. “I am deeply grateful to the Kross family for their generous support of the College through an endowed scholarship and funds for musical instrument upgrades,” said Elmhurst College President S. Alan Ray. “I know Bob and Ted would be very pleased to see what their family is accomplishing on behalf of Elmhurst College.” The Kross brothers died months apart in 2011. Both were bachelors and neither had left an o≈cial will, said Robert Plassman, a nephew of the Kross brothers and the son of Dorothy (Kross) ’39 and Walter Plassman ’38. When family members sorted through documents in the brothers’ house on South Kenilworth Avenue in Elmhurst—the house where they were born—they found handwritten notes from each that described how they wanted proceeds from their estates to be distributed. Theodore Kross’ note was written in 1989 and Robert Kross’ in 1993. While each listed certain entities that should receive parts of their estates, by 2011 some of those no longer existed. Two that did were Elmhurst College and the Elmhurst Historical Society. After Robert Kross’ funeral, nine of his and Theodore’s nephews and nieces met to discuss their uncles’ last wishes. “We as a committee decided that both brothers were strongly supportive of Elmhurst College and the Elmhurst Historical Museum,” Plassman said, and so the group decided to focus the estate proceeds on them. FYI/Spring 2014


Members of the Kross family meet with College faculty and administrators to celebrate their family’s gift.

During the fall of 2013, the family came to campus from across the nation to announce the gifts. They spent the morning at the College, where they looked through yearbooks for pictures of their family, and talked about their many connections to the school. Not only did Theodore and Robert Kross attend Elmhurst, but so did their sisters, Dorothy and Rosemary. At Elmhurst, the sisters also met the men they would marry: Dorothy Kross married Walter Plassman in 1940, and Rosemary Kross Hilberg ’44 married Albert Hilberg ’44. In addition to the Kross siblings, their father, Michael Kross, attended Elmhurst while studying to become a lawyer. And Claire Drillinger, granddaughter of Dorothy and Walter Plassman, graduated in 2013 with a major in English. While on campus, the Kross relatives toured the College’s music facilities and met with President Ray and department chair Peter Gri≈n. Over lunch, the Kross relatives announced their gift, saying they had selected the Department of Music for the scholarship and donation for instruments because all four Kross siblings shared a love for music. “We hope to award the scholarship as early as next year,” Gri≈n said. “As for the remainder

of the donation, we plan to purchase instruments in various areas that will give our students greater learning and performing opportunities. This extraordinary and gracious gift is truly an honor to receive.” Theodore Kross was a lawyer and trust o≈cer at Chicago Title & Trust. He served as president of the National Alumni Association at Elmhurst College from 1961 to 1963, and was awarded the College’s Founders Medal in 1990. He was a veteran of World War ii and the Korean War. Robert Kross was a businessman who owned and operated the Elmhurst Music Mart for many years and later worked for the Pfanstiehl Corp. in Waukegan, a company that made phonographic needles and cartridges. He received the Elmhurst College Founders Medal in 1990, and also served on the College’s Steering Committee. He was a veteran of World War ii. “They lived their whole lives in Elmhurst— they got their education and both earned their living in and around Elmhurst. In their retired years, they gave back,” Plassman said. “We’re proud to be able to do this, to be able to follow through on our uncles’ wishes.”

news community

ELSA Students Raise Funds for Typhoon Relief


On November 8, 2013, the deadliest typhoon in the history of the Philippines hit the islands, devastating property and leaving more than 6,000 people dead. When LuEllen Doty, director of the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA), brought a newspaper article about the disaster to her Intro to College Life class, her students immediately wanted to help. They used skills they’d learned through ELSA, Elmhurst’s four-year program for young adults with developmental disabilities, to organize a fundraising eΩort and send supplies overseas. “When I said ‘Okay, what can we do?’ they brainstormed the entire thing,” says Doty. “They just took it all on their own.” In late November, the nine students kicked oΩ fundraising eΩorts by hanging posters around campus and putting donation boxes on every floor of Circle Hall. The students also collected more than $200 in monetary donations, allowing them to shop for more supplies. After researching the supplies that were most needed, they added medications and big bags of rice to the canned food that they had already collected. At the end of two weeks, the students had collected 10 boxes to ship overseas. “They just went the whole mile with it,” says Doty. “They were thrilled.”

In Memoriam Athletic Trainer Matt Passalaqua, 1982–2014 During his seven years as an athletic trainer at Elmhurst College, Matt Passalaqua took care of hundreds of student-athletes. When they got injured, he worked persistently with them toward recovery. When they weren’t sure they were ready to play again, he shored up their confidence and counseled them honestly. He made sure they performed at their best. Passalaqua died on Saturday, January 11, of complications from a brief battle with leukemia. He was 31.

Athletic trainer Matt Passalaqua was an integral member of the Elmhurst College family.

“Matt was dedicated to his work with colleagues and the countless number of studentathletes he oversaw,” said Paul Krohn, director of athletics for the College. “He was an instrumental partner to the success of the athletic department operation. His professional skill set was exemplary, and he demonstrated caring and highly valued work among his peers and the athletes he worked with. Matt will be deeply missed, and the entire department extends its deepest sympathy to his family.” Before coming to Elmhurst, Passalaqua worked at almost every level of sports, from middle school summer camps to professional sports, as an assistant trainer for the Chicago Rush Arena Football team. He earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training from Northern Illinois University in 2005. He received a master’s degree in human movement from A.T. Still University in 2009. Passalaqua joined the Elmhurst College athletics staΩ as a part-time trainer during the 2006-2007 season, and became a full-time athletic trainer the following year. He tended to Elmhurst student-athletes in every sport, and worked closely with the volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s basketball and softball teams. Katie RueΩer, a senior volleyball player, recalls how Passalaqua came immediately to her aid

after she sprained her ankle badly during the second-to-last game of the season. “He worked with me starting that night and into the morning of the last game—ultrasound treatments, massaging, icing. He was doing everything he possibly could so that I could play in the last game.” Volleyball coach Julie Hall said the team has always thought of itself as a family, and Passalaqua was an integral part of that dynamic. “He was so much more than an athletic trainer,” she said. “He was our confidante, our ‘Mr. Fix It,’ our chauΩeur, our traveling buddy, our caterer, but most of all, our friend. Our memories are filled with wonderful moments and lots of laughter. I can’t imagine another season without him along the sidelines. We will miss him more than words can say.”

Religion Professor Reverend Dr. Robert Koenig, 1919–2013 Reverend Dr. Robert Koenig was an associate professor of religion at Elmhurst College in the 1940s and ’50s and most recently was an active liaison between the College and its largest legacy family, the Koenig-Baurs. Professor Koenig died on November 28 of pneumonia. He was 94. Professor Koenig was an Elmhurst faculty member from 1946 to 1954. He taught courses in philosophy and English Bible, training many ministers in the United Church of Christ. He received an honorary degree from the College in 1987, and a tree near Irion Hall is dedicated to him and his wife, Norma. In recent years he led family fundraising for the John Koenig-Wilhelm Baur Memorial Scholarship, an endowed fund established by the Koenig-Baur family in 2007. The family enjoys a 130-year association with Elmhurst College that dates back to 1879, when Robert Koenig’s grandfather, John Koenig, enrolled in the German Evangelical Proseminary at Elmhurst, which later became Elmhurst College. John Koenig’s sons, both Elmhurst College alumni, married two daughters of Wilhelm Baur, who also attended Elmhurst.

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Robert Koenig (left) served on the Elmhurst faculty from 1946 to 1954. Bill Boyd was a member and former chair of the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, Robert Koenig was teaching at Elmhurst when his eldest daughter, Elsa, was born. He and his wife were the resident advisers for Irion Hall, which at the time was a dormitory and now is home to the College’s Department of Music. Elsa Koenig Weber ’70 is married to Elmhurst College Professor Emeritus John Pitman Weber. For many years Robert Koenig guided the Christian education curriculum of the United Church of Christ. He also was active in the Penn Southeast Conference until his death. Professor Koenig is survived by six children, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

William Boyd, Former Chair of Elmhurst’s Board of Trustees, 1926–2014 William Watson “Bill” Boyd, who as chair of Elmhurst College’s Board of Trustees in the 1990s helped lead the College through a period of fundraising success and rising enrollments, died on March 22 at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 87. Boyd, a Chicago-area businessman who headed the Schaumburg-based Sterling Faucet Company, began his service on Elmhurst’s board in 1985, and was chair from 1992 to 1997. Boyd’s tenure as chair was marked by the FYI/Spring 2014

successful completion of the four-year, $11 million “Excellence” fundraising campaign, and the enrollment of some of the largest and best-qualified first-year classes to date at Elmhurst. It was also a time of visible improvements to the College’s campus, including the dedication in 1997 of a gift from Boyd and his wife Janet that became one of Elmhurst’s most beloved landmarks—the nine-foot-tall bronze statue of theologian and alumnus Reinhold Niebuhr that overlooks the plaza in front of the Frick Center. The work of sculptor Robert Berks, the monument remains a popular gathering place for students. The Boyds also generously funded student scholarships, including one for students from the Galena area, where they maintained a home. “He was a strong leader, someone who demanded excellence, but also a man of real warmth and good humor,” said Bryant L. Cureton, who was president of the College from 1994 to 2008. “His deep business experience was a significant asset to the College.” A statement released by his family said that Boyd “left with no regrets, and had what he himself called a charmed life.” Born in Evanston, Boyd earned his undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern

University. His long and successful career in business began at Chicago’s Kinkead Industries, where he started as a factory foreman and eventually became president of the company. He later was group vice president at U.S. Gypsum, where he built a new home products division, based in part on the acquisition of Kinkead Industries. He and a colleague from U.S. Gypsum left that company to buy the Sterling Faucet Company, a maker of faucets, fittings and valves sold in hardware stores and home centers. Boyd would lead Sterling as president and chief executive o≈cer until his retirement. He remained at the helm when Sterling was acquired by the Kohler Company in 1984, and served for years on Kohler’s board. After his retirement, he and his wife spent increasing amounts of time at their home in Scottsdale, Arizona, even as he remained active on Elmhurst’s and other boards. Boyd is survived by his sons, Bruce and Keith; his daughter, Ann; their spouses, Beth, Margie and Kurt, respectively; and seven grandchildren. Janet died in 2011. “It is hard to imagine Elmhurst College without Bill and Jan. They were central to the place,” Cureton said. But he added that Boyd’s impact on the College continues to be felt. “You can see some of the results of his leadership when you look around the campus. It is a healthy, vibrant institution, and that was the bottom line for Bill.”


bluejay nation


Hit Man

Elmhurst Outfielder Earns All-America Honor


hen Elmhurst baseball coach Joel Southern learned that Dave Wolak, the Bluejays’ standout senior outfielder, had been named to’s Preseason All-America Team, he sent Wolak a congratulatory text message. Wolak’s response pleased his coach almost as much as the good news had. “He texted back, ‘Now I have to do it for real,’” Southern recalled. Not satisfied with the preseason honors, Wolak had already set himself a new goal: having the sort of senior season that would again place him among the nation’s best. The senior criminal justice major from Carol Stream has made a habit of aiming high—and delivering. “Being an All-American was a goal I set for myself, and I put in a lot of hard work to get there,” Wolak said before heading oΩ to one of the Bluejays’ preseason indoor practices on a subfreezing February afternoon. He called making d3baseball’s All-America Second Team “a great honor.” But he won’t be satisfied stopping there. “It’s great, but if I can

“Being an All-American was a goal I set for myself, and I put in a lot of hard work to get there.” FYI/Spring 2014


bluejay nation


make the All-America team at the end of the season, that would be an even bigger accomplishment.” And it would mean that Wolak had turned in another impressive season for the Bluejays. Wolak earned all-region honors in each of his first three seasons at Elmhurst. In 2013, he hit .379 and led the Bluejays in runs (38), total bases (80), extra-base hits (16) and stolen bases (12). He ranks among Elmhurst’s all-time leaders in several oΩensive categories, and he has a chance to finish his career as the Bluejays’ career hits leader. “He has been hitting for us ever since he set foot on campus,” said Southern. “He is as good as advertised.” Wolak can impress with his speed, with his throwing arm and with his bat. But his coach also likes his determination and his work ethic. “He’s supremely confident, but he’s not cocky,” Southern said. “He works very hard, respects the game and he doesn’t take anything for granted.” Improving his game has been a year-round pursuit for Wolak. He has been a consistent presence in the Elmhurst weight room and at oΩseason workouts. And for the past two summers, he has played in summer collegiate leagues that attract some of the best players from around the country. He spent the summer of 2013 in Newark, Ohio, playing for the Licking County Settlers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. His teammates included players from higher-profile college programs like Ohio State, Indiana, Bradley and Bowling Green. “And there I was from little Elmhurst,” Wolak said. “But I learned I could play with those guys. I was just as good.” Indeed, Wolak earned a starting outfield spot and hit .348 in six playoΩ games for the Settlers on their way to a league championship. He hopes his hard work pays similar dividends for the Bluejays. The team’s o≈cial practices began in late January, with a month of indoor workouts that Wolak and his teammates aΩectionately call “the grind.” The Bluejays took their practice swings in the batting tunnels set up inside Faganel Hall and used the indoor facility of the Chicago Bandits softball team in Rosemont for infield practice. But the historically snowy and frigid winter

Wolak can impress with his speed, with his throwing arm and with his bat. But his coach also likes his determination and his work ethic.

sometimes made even some indoor workouts impossible. The Bluejays’ first indoor practice was cancelled when arctic cold closed the Elmhurst campus. It’s no wonder Wolak and his teammates were counting down the days to the team’s season-opening road trips, including a mid-March stop in sunny Florida. “It’s always a little tough being cooped up inside,” Wolak said. “But you can still get a lot of work in.” And, as Wolak has learned, hard work can take a ballplayer a long way.


Writing a Perfect Ending to a Wrestler’s Career Ryan Prater wraps up his Bluejay career with a national title.


fter Ryan Prater closed out his collegiate wrestling career by winning a national title at the ncaa Division iii championships in March, he had one last bit of business to see to. So after the final buzzer sounded, he turned toward his parents in the stands at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and made a motion of closing a book with his hands. For Prater, it was the perfect finish to his wrestling career. “I was signaling that this was the end of this part of my life,” he said. “It’s been a great journey, and I couldn’t be happier to close my career as a national champion.” The 25-year-old Prater, who won in the 149-pound class, follows in the footsteps of former Elmhurst All-American wrestlers Dalton Bullard and Mike Benefiel. Both Bullard and Benefiel had begun wrestling in ncaa Division i but transferred to Elmhurst after a few years away from the sport. Bullard won a pair of All-America honors at Elmhurst in 2012 and 2013, while Benefiel won a national title at 197 pounds last year. Prater had wrestled at the University of Illinois before giving up wrestling for more than three seasons. He said the hiatus helped him mature and fed his will to begin wrestling once more. “Watching the success that Dalton and Mike had at Elmhurst made me realize that I still had the desire to get back on the mat and compete,” FYI/Spring 2014

Prater said. “I’m grateful for Coach Marianetti and the entire Elmhurst coaching staΩ for helping me fulfill my dream of winning a national championship.” Prater also had to overcome an injury along the way to the title. He blazed through his first 10 matches of the season without a loss before a knee injury put him on the sidelines for almost six weeks. He returned from the injury and promptly won a cciw title, an ncaa regional title, and finally an ncaa national title while finishing the season with a perfect 20-0 record. He joins Jake Oster as Elmhurst’s only undefeated national champion and is the fourth Bluejay to win a national title on the mat.

“I’m grateful for Coach Marianetti and the entire Elmhurst coaching staff for helping me fulfill my dream of winning a national championship.”

bluejay nation


“I couldn’t be more proud of the work that Ryan put in this season,” the third Bluejay in the last two years to win a national title. said Elmhurst Head Coach Steve Marianetti. “He easily integrated with “To be able to call myself a national champion is amazing,” said Prater. this team and despite his background, he never tried to stand out except “But my body is ready for a rest, so I’m happy I could end my career on top.” when it was time to perform on the mat.” Prater’s win helped Elmhurst finish in a tie for 17th place with 22.5 Prater, seeded second at the ncaa Championships, marched to the points in the team standings. semifinals in March with a 14-0 major decision over Cornell’s Trevor Marianetti, who improved to 4-2 as a coach in national championship Engle, followed by a 3-0 win over Delaware Valley’s Vincent Fava. In the matches, pointed to Prater’s story as a reminder that every wrestler makes semifinal match, Prater pinned third-seeded Mark Hartenstine of Wilkes his own unique journey through his career. to reach the finals. “A wrestler’s journey doesn’t always happen in a straight line,” said Facing top-seeded and top-ranked Bobby Dierna of suny-Cortland Marianetti. “I’m happy that we’ve been able to help Ryan and several in the title match, Prater took control of the match in the second period others write a happy ending to their wrestling careers.” and held Dierna at bay to earn a 4-2 victory and the championship. He is

A Return to Championship Form Head volleyball coach Julie Hall has her Elmhurst Bluejays thinking big again.


fter two consecutive College Conference of Illinois (cciw) championships, an ncaa Final Four appearance in 2012 and a trip to the ncaa Sweet 16 last year, Hall says she and her team once more have their sights set squarely on championships. “We are not into rebuilding,” Hall said. “We are in it to win again.” The Bluejays have indeed returned to their winning ways. During a nineyear span from 1997 to 2005, Hall’s Elmhurst teams were among the nation’s elite, averaging more than 31 wins per season, winning six cciw titles and qualifying for the ncaa Division iii Volleyball Tournament seven times. But from 2006 to 2009, that remarkable run of success came to a stop as the Bluejays struggled on the court and compiled an overall record of just one game above .500 (69-68). Hall and her coaching staΩ responded by reshaping the squad through recruiting. In 2010 a strong incoming class helped Elmhurst to a 24-13

record. The five players from that recruiting class helped Elmhurst compile a 122–27 record during their four years at the College, while garnering 10 all-conference honors and seven All-America accolades among them. The Bluejays won a pair of conference titles and secured three straight trips to the ncaa Tournament. One of the biggest changes that Hall witnessed was the focus of the squad: The team was no longer content to win a cciw Championship and qualify for the ncaa postseason. After reaching the ncaa Final Four in 2012, the 2013 squad set its sights on an ncaa Championship. Despite the success that the team enjoyed during the 2013 season, including a top-five national ranking, the players and coaching staΩ couldn’t help but feel a bit of disappointment after coming up short of their ultimate goal. “When you have a feeling of disappointment after going 37-5 and winning a conference championship, it really says it all about the motivation

“This group of seniors bought in to what we were trying to accomplish, and they worked hard to achieve the goal. I couldn’t be more proud of what they accomplished, the excitement they brought to campus and the legacy they have left.”

of this team,” Hall said. “This group of seniors bought in to what we were trying to accomplish a long time ago, and they worked hard to achieve the goal. They pushed each other hard but had a lot of fun in the process. I couldn’t be more proud of what they accomplished, the excitement they brought to campus and the legacy they have left.” Hall is quick to credit her coaching staΩ for the Bluejays’ turnaround. Former All-American and Bluejay Backer Hall of Famer Lindsay Johnson joined the squad as a full-time assistant coach prior to the 2008 season and played a key role in the recruiting process. “You are only as good as the people who are working for you,” Hall said. “Lindsay’s recruiting push has been one of the biggest factors of our success. She is the most competitive person I have ever met and has discovered many of the faces you see on the court for our team. Without her, I know we would not have seen this kind of success.” With the five successful seniors departing the team, Hall’s 2014 squad has some holes to fill. But they will still feature returning All-American outside hitter Sam Szarmach and all-conference setter Hannah Nimrick. “We have to recruit another class like the one that just graduated,” Hall said. “The benefit now is, we have great players in our program who already understand what our team is about and what it takes to be successful.” Watching the team’s spring practices makes Hall believe her championship message is sinking in. “They don’t need any convincing,” she said of her players. “Their push and drive is already evident in their practices.”

FYI/Spring 2014

Sports Shorts It’s been a great year for the Bluejays, with Elmhurst student-athletes winning everything from AllAmerica honors to an NCAA Division III championship. Here’s a look at some recent highlights. • E  lmhurst wrestler Ryan Prater captured the NCAA Division III National Championship at 149 pounds, becoming the third Bluejay in the past two years to win an individual national title. • F  our Elmhurst volleyball players earned All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association after leading the Bluejays to a 37-5 overall record and their second consecutive CCIW Championship. Megan Reynolds earned second-team honors while Marci Novak was tabbed as a thirdteam selection. Sam Szarmach and Kaitlyn Wilks both earned honorable mention All-America honors. • E  lmhurst volleyball player Kaitlyn Wilks became the 33rd Bluejay student-athlete to be recognized as a Capital One Academic All-American. An honorable mention All-American on the court, Wilks maintains a 3.96 GPA in the classroom. • T  he football program has a new head coach. Ron Planz, a former assistant coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, took over from Joe Adam, who accepted an assistant coaching position at Syracuse University. • T  wo Elmhurst coaches garnered Coach of the Year honors. Volleyball coach Julie Hall was named the CCIW’s Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career while also being recognized as the AVCA’s Midwest Region Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season. Men’s soccer coach Dave DiTomasso was named the CCIW’s Men’s Soccer Co-Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. • T  he Elmhurst men’s basketball team enjoyed an eight-game turnaround in the 2013–2014 season. After finishing 6-19 the previous year, the Bluejays posted a 14-11 overall record in John Baines’ first year as Elmhurst’s head coach. • T  he Elmhurst women’s basketball team qualified for the CCIW Tournament for the third time in school history and the first time since 2010. The Bluejays finished the season with a 14-12 overall record.




Is a Gift

In a candid interview, President S. Alan Ray considers how Elmhurst’s deep commitment to the spiritual obligation of stewardship compels the College to get better at both honoring tradition and embracing change. Interview by Andrew Santella

Illustrations by Anilou Price; Photography by Roark Johnson


FYI/Spring 2014

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tewardship is among the College’s five publicly articulated core values, right up there with intellectual excellence; social responsibility; community; and faith, meaning and values. How did stewardship come to be so important to Elmhurst College?

Dr. Ray: I think our commitment to stewardship has several sources. One is our roots in the variety of Christian denominations that, in the second half of the 20th century, came together to form the United Church of Christ. Within this rich Christian tradition, taking care of resources was seen as a spiritual obligation. To put it simply, the tradition holds that everything we have is a gift from God, and that we owe it to God to take care of these gifts. We also should share our gifts with others for their benefit and to realize the mission we have been sent here to achieve. In our case, that mission is enabling students to attain an eΩective education and prepare for greater service to the community, the society and the world. This fundamental Christian obligation to take care of what we have received is what’s reflected in our institutional commitment to stewardship. Another aspect of this commitment is more sociological. This college was not started by a large bequest or gift. Originally, we looked to our a≈liated church for our support, and it was not a wealthy denomination. We got our start preparing students for the ministry, not the most lucrative of careers. All this meant that, from the very beginning, we had to take special care of all the resources that had been entrusted to us. For all these reasons and more, stewardship has been part of our operating philosophy from the start. Stewardship is often mentioned in connection with fund raising. How does one relate to the other? Stewardship, as we’ve discussed, is taking care of what is given us. Fund raising involves doing our work in such a way that others are inspired to participate with us in our vision and mission. It asks others to join forces with us in a purposeful relationship. When we seek to raise funds, we’re saying, “We have an amazing vision of service to our students and society and we invite you to invest yourself and your resources in this great work.” So stewardship isn’t just about taking care of the money that one receives; it’s also about taking care of the relationships that one rightly values. Good stewardship assures donors that they won’t become poorer by giving to your cause but rather richer. It allows us to say with the Apostle Paul, “You will be enriched in every way by your great generosity.” Many people think of stewardship within the context of marshaling financial resources. It’s well known that higher education has been facing financial challenges since 2008, along with the larger economy. Can you outline some of the economic challenges facing the College today? We’re a tuition-driven institution, and like virtually every other such institution in the country, we’ve seen volatility in enrollment in recent years while the economy has struggled to emerge from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. The enrollment ups and downs at times have been counterintuitive and hard to predict. In 2011, a pretty bad year for the economy, we enrolled 608 first-year students, an all-time record. In 2013, we enrolled 506 first-year students. That’s still a strong number—it’s 38 percent higher than our first-year enrollment in 2003, just 10 years before. But the diΩerence between 608 and 506 is significant, and that kind of swing in just two years makes institutional planning a particular challenge. A number of recent trends in the higher education marketplace have had a big impact on student recruitment, at Elmhurst and around the country. Many families are experiencing a reduced capacity to pay for a college education—with household income, home equity and net worth all down. The number of high school graduates is declining, and the proportion that is ethnically diverse is growing. This is producing more first-generation and other students from backgrounds that make paying for college especially challenging. Also, more students are starting in community colleges to save money, and more students over the age of 25 are returning to school to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It’s a rapidly shifting landscape. FYI/Spring 2014


“Ensuring access to the Elmhurst Experience is a key part of our mission, and it resonates deeply with our donors.”


With money an issue for so many students, what are you doing to make getting an Elmhurst degree more aΩordable? The College works hard to oΩer financial aid packages that bring down the cost of an Elmhurst education to a much more aΩordable level for most people. Among our current students, 97 percent receive some kind of financial aid. Our goal is to oΩer an excellent education to people who come from a wide range of backgrounds that aren’t necessarily underprivileged—though they sometimes are—but certainly do not qualify for the “one percent.” Ensuring access to the Elmhurst Experience is a key part of our mission, and it resonates deeply with our donors, who understand the value of an Elmhurst education, often from personal experience. You mentioned a trend toward more students starting at community colleges. Is Elmhurst taking any particular steps to respond to that trend? Absolutely. Transfer students have been a strong part of our undergraduate classes for a very long time, and we work to understand their needs. Each year, we enroll about 300 transfer students. This year, we formed a task force of faculty, students and administrators to explore ways for us to increase our already robust service to transfer students, as part of our commitment to educational access. The task force submitted a report to the Board of Trustees in March that’s full of creative ideas that will allow us to sweep away internal, bureaucratic barriers to admission and timely degree completion for transfer students, to build more degree partnerships with community colleges, and to recruit more aggressively among this key student constituency. We’re already implementing their ideas. How are you responding to the growth in the number of older students? In 2011, we started a whole new academic division, the School for Professional Studies. It’s designed to serve the big, growing population of busy people who otherwise would be shut out of bachelor’s and master’s programs. This includes working moms and dads, career changers, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who need a second or third professional act, and many others for whom the traditional, full-time model of higher education is an impossible dream. Hasn’t Elmhurst always had adult and graduate programs? We’ve had adult programs since 1949 and graduate programs since 1998. They’ve followed a very traditional model that was very good in its day but that no longer really serves all that many students. These days, our society needs to enable bright, capable people to fully prepare for the contemporary workforce. This includes a lot of people who did not have the privilege of a full-time, or even a part-time, on-campus college education when they were 18 or 22 years old. This is also a form of stewardship. We’re providing programs to help our society better use its most valuable resource, the talents of its great diversity of people. Isn’t a more traditional education Elmhurst’s specialty, though? It is—and will continue to be. We really excel at providing traditional-age students with a high-quality, high-touch college education based in our well-considered core values. We believe that our society will continue to need that service from us for a long time to come. But our society also needs alternative ways to provide a diΩerent but highly comparable education to people who, for a lot of reasons, did not have the privilege of going to a college like Elmhurst full time when they were young adults. In DuPage County alone, we have more than 120,000 adults with some college education but no bachelor’s degree. This is a bright, talented population that often finds itself unemployed or


FYI/Spring 2014


“Today we oΩer master’s degrees, accelerated undergraduate degrees and even certificate programs geared to what students and employers want and need.” underemployed. In fact, the unemployment rate for this group nationally is about the national average— around 7 percent. The unemployment rate for college graduates is around 3 percent, which is less than it is overall in the best of times. We want to help these good people find their place in the economy and in life. We also want to help the employers in the Chicago area and beyond find well-educated, well-trained, highly qualified people for the workforce. Today the SPS oΩers master’s degrees, accelerated undergraduate degrees and even certificate programs geared to what students and employers want and need, oΩered in a combination of online, on-ground and hybrid formats. And it’s working. For Fall 2014, we’re projecting a 37 percent increase in new student enrollments in our graduate programs compared to last year. This is fueled by significant growth in established programs and by new program oΩerings, including master’s programs in applied geospatial science, data science and marketing research, and a new master’s program in nursing designed for people changing careers. We’re oΩering graduate courses at the University Center of Lake County, and we’re actively exploring and establishing new partnerships that advance our educational mission. One such partnership that recently made the news is your new venture with Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare. What’s that all about? This summer we’ll open the doors to a new, 4,600-square-foot facility on the ground level of the beautiful new Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. The Elmhurst College Simulation Center will oΩer state-of-theart training to our nursing students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students will respond to simulated, electronic “patients,” called “Sims,” which can manifest virtually every symptom and behavior of actual patients. The training of our students at the hospital will be electronically transmitted back to campus, so other students here can learn from what’s happening there in real time. We broke ground on the Simulation Center in late February; when it’s completed this summer, it will be the largest such cooperative venture between a college and a medical center between here and Indianapolis. I believe our partnership with EMH is a sign of great things to come for Elmhurst College. The development of collaborative partnerships was one of the goals cited in the Elmhurst College Strategic Plan 2009–2014. As the plan’s time nears its end, how would you assess the College’s progress toward its various objectives? Many of our goals have been achieved; others are works in progress. We have grown the number of full-time faculty substantially, and have sustained a student-faculty ratio of 13:1—an enviable ratio that ensures the close faculty-student relationships for which we’re well known. We’ve made significant improvements to our infrastructure, upgrading our wireless and cable capacities, and making important renovations to the Mill Theatre, the Buik Recital Hall and the physics lab. We’ve invested in new space and technologies for our athletics program, replaced our 11-year-old-artificial-turf field, and added professional stadium lighting to Langhorst. We’ve increased the diversity of underrepresented groups within our student body, launched SPS, and made quantum leaps in our online teaching capacity. We’ve reinvigorated our Alumni Association and opened alumni clubs in Chicago, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. And we’ve lived up to our commitment to bring top-flight cultural and educational programming to our campus through our annual series of public lectures. Our strategic plan committed us first and foremost to our students’ self-formation and professional preparation. That will always be a work in progress. We have always been a school with one foot resting on the liberal arts—that broad foundation of human knowledge, understanding and creativity—and the other foot resting on the professions, preparing students for jobs in business, FYI/Spring 2014


“Our graduates leave us well prepared to succeed in graduate school or in their chosen professions, and they encounter the world with a broad perspective and critical habits of thought.”


education, nursing and the like. This combination is a competitive advantage for us at a time when “pure” liberal arts colleges are struggling to survive, on the one hand, and employers are eager to hire graduates with liberal learning skills like oral and written communication ability, on the other hand. Our graduates are accomplished and at home in both worlds. They leave us well prepared to succeed in graduate school or in their chosen professions, and they encounter the world with a broad perspective and critical habits of thought. At the same time, more and more, the popular media is telling us that going to college is a waste of time and money, that students no longer can expect to graduate into a solid future. What is Elmhurst’s answer to that? Simply put, the facts state otherwise. Last year, for example, we surveyed our alumni and found that over 93 percent had begun a professional career or entered graduate school within a year of receiving their degree. Also, at a time when the common wisdom holds that college graduates end up with mountains of debt—hundreds of thousands of dollars—the average Elmhurst alumnus graduates with a loan debt of $23,000. That’s 26 percent below the national average. It’s roughly the cost of buying a Chevy on credit, and a Chevy depreciates the moment it leaves the lot. Over a lifetime, a college graduate can expect to earn about a million dollars more than a high-school graduate can expect to earn. The campus community currently is working on a new strategic plan, scheduled to be brought to the Board of Trustees in June. Can you give us a preview? The new plan will take the College through 2020, the eve of its sesquicentennial year. As we’ve considered our challenges and opportunities, I’ve encouraged everyone at the College to think of our future 20 years from now and then to imagine what we must do in the next six years to realize our longer-term goals. Though the final strategic plan has yet to be written as we speak, here’s where I think the College is headed between now and 2020. The health sciences will become increasingly important to the American economy and society. Elmhurst College has a large stake in the ground already in this academic area, and I envision us dedicating significant resources to more programs in the health sciences: occupational and physical therapy, for example, as well as cross-disciplinary programs in the business of health care, made all the more relevant by the persistence and ubiquity of the AΩordable Care Act. Most of all, I foresee the completion of a science facility adequate to these academic programs and to the research ambitions of our talented faculty and students. I also see significant growth in the number of undergraduate students we enroll, especially though not exclusively through continued expansion of the School for Professional Studies. I see growth in academic areas beyond health care where we have been traditionally strong. Business is clearly such an area. We must dramatically increase our MBA enrollments and create new tracks in the business major that are aligned with industry trends. We must do the same in emerging subfields in computer and information science, another hotbed of imagination and career opportunity for our students. The same is true in education and music, two other large departments that have played a major role in our institutional success. International students represent a virtually untapped market for the College. Here we have so much to oΩer and to gain. I predict that by 2020 we will have made great strides toward internationalizing the campus. Significantly more domestic undergraduates will participate in study away. In addition to the transfer task force that I mentioned, we also created a task force to study this

FYI/Spring 2014



“Living out an ethic of innovation requires imagination, self-awareness, resourcefulness, collective action and courage. It requires a tolerance for ambiguity and a willingness to take reasonable risks.” prospective student population. They’ve presented us with a lot of good, actionable ideas on how our notion of diversity can expand to embrace its world-wide, multicultural dimensions. At the same time, it’s important to note that growth in programming for its own sake is a luxury higher education can no longer aΩord. Just piling the academic program blocks higher and higher is unacceptable. So with any expansion of faculty and programs and administration must come a critical eye to appraise what we no longer need to accomplish our mission. We must share a collective willingness to disencumber ourselves of dated or ine≈cient ways of doing things. This, I know, is di≈cult for any campus. Every institution is path-dependent to some degree, but academic institutions seem to have a special a≈nity for perpetuating both excellence and ine≈ciency, for fostering devotion to time-honored tradition and engendering fear of change. We need to get better at both honoring tradition and embracing change. For the last 20 years, Elmhurst as a community has thrived when it has embraced an ethic of innovation. An ethic of innovation holds that “It’s good to stay alert and question the status quo because if I don’t, I may become somebody’s lunch,” and, “It’s good to make reasonable changes— even radical ones, even painful ones—if my long-term well-being and the welfare of those I care about depends on it.” Or, as I said in my very first remarks to the campus almost six years ago, “Let there be no sacred cows.” Living out an ethic of innovation requires imagination, self-awareness, resourcefulness, collective action and courage. It requires a tolerance for ambiguity and a willingness to take reasonable risks. None of these traits is typically associated with institutions of higher learning. But they must become so if we in higher education are to respond resourcefully and productively to all that lies ahead of us. This year, as we worked together on a new strategic plan, a faculty-student-staΩ task force on innovation worked specifically on a plan to stimulate campus innovation. It generated some very promising ideas that we’ll be parsing and refining in the coming year. If the College achieves its strategic goals, how will Elmhurst and the world be diΩerent? We will be able to provide the Elmhurst Experience a lot more eΩectively and to a lot more people, and this will impact the world for the better accordingly. We also will be able to provide the larger society with an example of a really fine, traditional liberal arts college that found a way to take a kind of education—high quality, highly personal, values based—that once was reserved for an elite group and make it available to a broad base of worthy students. All this talk about stewardship has made me think of the gift that Professor Emeritus George Thoma presented to you on behalf of the faculty at your inauguration in 2008. That gift was about stewardship, no? Oh yes. It was a plate that had been given to George when he was teaching in China, by the parents of one of his students—with the entreaty that he take good care of their child. George in turn gave it to me with the words, “Dr. Ray, take care of our college.” That’s what stewardship is all about: taking care of something of value. And Elmhurst College is an institution of surpassing value. I still think a lot about that plate. I keep it right here, above my desk.

FYI/Spring 2014


Photography: Roark Johnson


A Real

Learning Environment

Supported by scholarships, mentored by faculty and staff, and driven by their own ambitions, these students are making the most of their Elmhurst Experience while they prepare themselves for rewarding careers. Interviews by Mark Sheehy

Rabia Hameed ’15 Glen Ellyn, Illinois Biology Wanting “to help people” is almost a cliché, but it’s still a genuine desire. We all want to contribute in some way—or should—and I want to make my contribution by helping people find good health. It’s not just that I want to cure sick people. I want to help people understand and appreciate their health, to realize how amazing it is to be healthy, and to appreciate life in general. My Elmhurst education has been supported by a Presidential Scholarship, which I earned for my grades and extracurricular involvement in high school, and an Enrichment Scholarship, which supports underrepresented groups at Elmhurst. Thanks to those scholarships, I’ve had access to research and other opportunities that I just wouldn’t have as an undergraduate at a large state school. For instance, my biology professor, Dr. Stacey Raimondi, and I are studying a protein that is thought to play a role in breast cancer progression. We recently presented our research at the American Society for Cell Biology conference in New Orleans. It was awesome—all these scientists walking around talking about things most people don’t understand. But I understood them. I was part of that conversation. FYI/Spring 2014


Vincent Arcari ’15 Hanover Park, Illinois Accounting and Economics It’s funny to say it, but Elmhurst gave me the skills and confidence I needed to … ask Elmhurst for more scholarship money. I was a late bloomer in high school and didn’t start challenging myself until senior year, so my primary goal when I got to college was to develop my leadership skills by getting more involved. I jumped in right away. In my freshman year, I was elected president of my residence hall council, which gave me the momentum I needed to run for the Student Government Association. Once in SGA, I ran for VP of finance, which put me in charge of half-a-million dollars in student activity fees. Then my father lost his job. Maybe I could have aΩorded to continue Elmhurst if I had worked full time, but I wouldn’t have been able to maintain the level of involvement that had already taught me so much. So I went to the financial aid o≈ce to see what they could do. And they met my need. Thanks to the experience I had advocating for my fellow students in the SGA, I was able to advocate for myself in a di≈cult situation.


Endya Clark ’15 Chicago, Illinois Psychology I’m an Orientation Student Leader, a LeaderShape graduate, vice president of the Black Student Union, treasurer of Elmhurst’s naacp chapter, and I’m involved in a few other things as well. This is why people can’t believe I’m shy. But I am. It’s hard for me to talk to people. But I have to be able to talk to people if I’m going to get ahead, so I take advantage of every opportunity for leadership positions. It’s how I live up to my mom’s expectations for me and my own expectations for myself. It’s also how I live up to the expectations of my scholarships. One of the things I took advantage of at Elmhurst was the shadowing opportunities provided by the Center for Professional Excellence. I thought I wanted to be a child psychologist, but then I shadowed some kindergarten and second-grade teachers, and something just clicked. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do. But that’s what college is for. It lets you figure out who you want to be.

“I take advantage of every opportunity for leadership positions at Elmhurst. It’s how I live up to my mom’s expectations for me and my own expectations for myself. It’s also how I live up to the expectations of my scholarships.”


FYI/Spring 2014


“I see myself as an instrument for all the other people who have given something of themselves to Elmhurst.”

Nicole Yarmolkevich ’15 Wheeling, Illinois Psychology I wasn’t really sure who I was when I came to Elmhurst. I was born in Israel, and my family is from Russia, so the United States is really my third culture. I’m also legally blind (if you’ve seen a woman with a guide dog around campus, that’s me and Flash!), so that’s four cultural threads I was trying to weave into a whole person. When I took Dr. Jegerski’s Second Culture class, I started putting together the puzzle pieces. It was like I had found myself. I had also found my calling. Now I’m planning on going to graduate school to become a therapist. I’m even doing a study abroad next term to explore yet another culture and think about how culture influences personality. I see myself as an instrument for all the other people who have given something of themselves to Elmhurst, whether it’s students and staΩ contributing to the culture or donors supporting the school. If I can go into the world and be a successful therapist, I’m taking the investment those donors made in Elmhurst and that Elmhurst has made in me and extending it to every single person I can help.

FYI/Spring 2014

Nicole Hanson ’14 Villa Park, Illinois Biology It can be a challenge to go to college as an adult, especially when you’re a working mother with two small children, but I was so excited to be back at school and learning again, and Elmhurst was really willing to work with me. They gave me a transfer scholarship for having graduated with honors from College of DuPage and let me take time oΩ when my kids needed it. And all of my professors were so supportive. I know how hard I worked, but I’m still amazed at what I’ve been able to do. I’ve studied cancer cells and cloned vegetables and done field work at Lake Michigan. I read and understand scientific journals like they’re any other magazine. And I know my way around all of the high-tech gear in the labs. I feel very competent, very professional. And the depth of my experience will really help me out as I look for a job after graduation. I want to work in a zoo or an animal rehabilitation center. And zoos are research centers first and foremost. Although the keepers are, of course, taking care of the animals, they’re also doing observation and data collection, and analyzing and reporting on their findings. I feel totally prepared.


Nathaniel Brown ’16 Chicago, Illinois Accounting and Management I came to Elmhurst with goals in mind. First, I wanted to immerse myself in a real learning environment that would satisfy my search for knowledge. Second, I wanted to prepare myself to run my own business, which I’m doing by studying accounting. But most important, I wanted to be able to move my mother and grandmother out of their impoverished neighborhood and show them something better. I’m only a sophomore, but I’ve already achieved a lot. My grades are good, I’m involved with the Black Student Union, and my First-Year Seminar teacher introduced me to a professional accountant who has become my personal mentor. I also feel I’ve become a model for other young men in my neighborhood. I’m constantly going back and talking to my friends, and even people who are not my friends, about the choices they can make and the things they can achieve if they put their minds to it. In the end, that’s what my scholarship is doing. It’s helping me make a diΩerence.


Meredithe Mimlitz ’15 Elmhurst, Illinois Religion and Service, Communication Studies You could say I was born to go to Elmhurst. My grandfather went to Elmhurst. Both my parents went to Elmhurst—they even got married in the chapel. I knew about Elmhurst’s wonderful, supportive community. I knew—even though it still surprised me—that my tour guide would know everyone we met on campus. I’m also surprised by how involved I got at Elmhurst (even though I should have known that, too). I’m the executive vice president of my sorority, vice president of the Student Government Association, director of the Spiritual Life Council, and an Orientation Student Leader coordinator. The trust that Elmhurst places in students and the lengths the College goes to to encourage us to take leadership positions inspires us to grow. My involvement on campus and the mentorship I’ve received from the staΩ in Student AΩairs and Campus Ministry has even inspired my career choice: I want to go into student aΩairs. I think it’s just as important as the “academic” side of college. You’re not just paying tuition to go to class. You’re paying to be an active member of a learning community. Especially since I was receiving a Legacy Scholarship, I felt an extra responsibility to be involved, and I’m so glad I did.

“I’ve become a model for other young men in my neighborhood. In the end, that's what my scholarship is doing. It's helping me make a difference.”


FYI/Spring 2014


Major photography by Roark Johnson


A Beauty Year Round In any season, the trees of Elmhurst College remind us that glorious things can happen when an inspired vision takes root. By Andrew Santella




he leafy landscape that charms visitors to Elmhurst’s campus grew from the vision of a local plantsman named Herbert Licht.

Half a century ago, when Licht first

strolled the campus, the place looked a little forlorn. Too many of the grand old trees that gave the town its name were diseased and dying.

But Licht saw potential in the dormant

landscape, and showed the College’s leaders how he could make it bloom. Licht pictured newly planted trees and shrubs, hundreds of them, lining the walks, framing the handsome brick buildings. And these would be not just the old reliables of landscape design—not just the elms, the oaks, the lindens—but a more varied and exotic display of plant life. The campus would become an arboretum, a living museum of trees.

His vision thrives today. The arboretum is

now home to some 120 species. The variety is impressive, but after a long winter, none of Elmhurst’s trees serves a more crucial function than the little eastern redbud in front of Irion Hall. Each year its pink blossoms announce— finally!—spring’s arrival.

FYI/Spring 2014





here are about 800 trees and shrubs on Elmhurst’s campus, and many come with an Elmhurst story of their own.

One of the first plants Herb Licht saw take root was a small Shumard oak. It had been hauled to campus from a nursery in Michigan in a station wagon driven by a man named Ragnar Moen. He was the College’s first groundskeeper, hired in 1966, the arboretum’s first year. For the next four decades, Moen would help bring the campus to glorious life. For starters, he wrestled that little oak into its new home near the Frick Center. It’s still there. Forty feet tall now.

Later, Moen transplanted another bud-

ding giant, a tulip tree that had to make way for the coming of the A.C. Buehler Library. Now it oversees the common just inside the College gates. Like that oak, it casts a generous shade, making it a favorite of students looking for a spot on a gorgeous sunny day to read or chat or snooze for a few minutes.

Tulip trees have been known to grow to

150 feet. Who knows where this one will stop?

FYI/Spring 2014





here have been casualties along the way.

In 2010, a campus original,

a towering elm that predated

even Herb Licht and Ragnar Moen and maybe the College itself, a beauty that survived the elm devastation of the 1960s, finally succumbed to disease, storm damage and old age. Groundskeeper Paul Hack—one of Ragnar Moen’s successors—figured the tree had to be at least a century and a quarter old.

If you visit campus in autumn, you’ll prob-

ably see Hack and his crew dealing with the blizzard of fallen leaves that a few hundred trees can produce. John Keats called autumn a “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” For Hack, it’s more like time to rake. The job doesn’t keep him from admiring the scenery, like the rest of us. Sometimes he has to stop and take a picture. No wonder. This is when the College’s trees put on some of their most magnificent displays. This is when the maples blaze, when the sweetgum drops a carpet of star-shaped leaves.

And this is when simply walking to class

can make a student feel like she is living in a postcard.

FYI/Spring 2014





he arboretum is a year-round beauty. Spring’s blooms and fall’s splendor may get the most notice, but let’s not over-

look its winter delights. Even in last winter’s deep freeze, Elmhurst’s trees rewarded any adventurer hardy enough to stroll among them. A pyramidal European beech, mantled in distinguished silvery bark, shrugged off the cold. The bare spreading branches of a hawthorn offered a lesson in living architecture. On the College Mall, an English oak stood dignified and capped by snow, as if waiting to preside over the first big student snowball fight of the season.

Just about everyone at Elmhurst seems

to have a favorite tree on campus: the Austrian pine leaning over the sidewalk in front of Memorial Hall. The weeping European beech east of Old Main. The dawn redwood near Schaible Science Center, a member of a species that has been around since dinosaurs roamed.

It is fitting that they all have found a

home at Elmhurst. Think of them, nurtured as they have been over the decades, as emblems of the way the College similarly guides young intellects to full flower and fruition.

FYI/Spring 2014


Greening 52

the Campus Environmental stewardship at Elmhurst Elmhurst was green before green was cool. Long before sustainability and local sourcing became watchwords, the College’s frugal founders sent students to work in the farm fields then surrounding the school to harvest produce for the dining hall. Today, students’ commitment to environmentalism is on display in the activities of the Green Jays, a group dedicated to sustainability, and in the intense competition for the Green Cup, awarded annually to the residence hall achieving the greatest reduction in energy and water usage. Among the contenders: Students in West Hall, the award-winning green residence with solar panels and other energy-saving technologies. It’s all part of the continued greening of Elmhurst.


Savings in natural gas consumption on campus since 2009

77,000  Plastic water bottles kept out of landfills thanks to refilling stations across campus

12% Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2009 and 2012 (per Greenhouse Gas Study)

2,567 Trees, shrubs and perennials planted on campus since 2008


of landscape waste reused on campus as mulch across campus

1 million+ Gallons of water saved on campus each year since 2007, thanks to new environmentally friendly sinks, shower heads and toilets


of hot water used in West Hall that is heated by solar power across campus Illustrations by Anilou Price FYI/Spring 2014


59.5 Tons of paper, plastic and aluminum recycled in 2013


197 Tons of compost collected from campus and returned to the earth in 2013

33,385 500

Gallons of beet juice used to de-ice sidewalks and roads in the winter of 2013 as an environmentally friendly alternative to salt


Pounds of toxic emissions eliminated since 2008 thanks to the use of low-VOC paints and varnishes

Tons of cooking oil recycled into diesel fuel in 2013


Annual reduction in campus electrical use since 2008, thanks to energy-efficient light fixtures and other items

1,000 Toner cartridges recycled on campus every year

18,000+ 1,380

Used plastic bags collected in 2013 for New Life for Old Bags, which converts the bags into sleeping mats for the homeless

Pounds of fluorescent light bulbs recycled in 2013

144,940 Pounds of electronics collected for recycling at two recent recycling events

FYI/Spring 2014



Major photography by Genevieve Lee

History Lessons Joan and Lester Brune built extraordinary careers as scholars and educators. Now, they’re supporting the educational mission of their alma mater.

FYI/Spring 2014




iven the important role that history and education would play throughout their lives, it’s fitting that Joan and Lester Brune met through a history class at Elmhurst College. As a freshman, Joan had a tendency to arrive late to history because her previous class was all the way across campus. “Les was the proctor for my history class,” recalled Joan, who graduated in 1951. “I would come in late, and he would be waiting for me, smiling his toothy smile.” “And I would make a note of it,” grinned Lester. From that first meeting in history class at Elmhurst, the Brunes went on to twin careers as groundbreaking and innovative scholars and educators, their influence felt from Central Illinois to Berlin and back to the campus of their alma mater. At Elmhurst, their support has helped establish an international study program, enhanced campus facilities and advanced the study of history with an endowed chair. Even their first date was all about history. Taking Lester to a Sadie Hawkins dance on campus, Joan discovered that dating a dedicated history major like Lester brought its own challenges. “On our first date, he spent two and a half hours talking about Arnold Toynbee [a British historian],” she recalled. “We didn’t do much dancing, but we had a lot of Toynbee.” Lester, who tends to defer to Joan in conversation, smiled again and nodded. Married during Joan’s senior year at Elmhurst, the couple recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. Lester’s passion for history propelled him to a long and distinguished career as a scholar, author and professor of history at Bradley University. After graduating from Elmhurst in 1948, Lester earned a master’s degree at Bradley and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. He spent a year conducting research in Washington, D.C., and another year teaching at Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston) in Charleston, West Virginia, before joining the Bradley faculty in 1956. At Bradley, he served as chair of the history department and assistant dean of the Liberal Arts College, retiring as the university’s Oglesby Professor of American Heritage after four decades of teaching.

Lester’s passion for history propelled him to a long and distinguished career as a scholar, author and professor of history at Bradley University.

Lester Brune (right) worked on stage sets for Elmhurst College Theater during his student days.

Along the way, Lester wrote a large number of scholarly books about diplomacy and foreign aΩairs, including Chronological History of U.S. Foreign Relations, a three-volume set that historian Robert Pearce praised as “clearly written,” “valuable” and “splendidly produced” in a review on “Everyone in the history department had confidence in Les,” noted Gregory Guzman, who served on the history faculty at Bradley with Lester. “His ideas were well reasoned, and he had obvious leadership qualities. He was literally running the Liberal Arts College even when he didn’t have the title of dean.” As leader of the history department, Lester had some groundbreaking ideas. “Les was a very original thinker,” Guzman said. “In the early 1970s, he introduced a new course on Introduction to World History and got the entire history faculty to team-teach it. It was quite an achievement to get eight independent-minded people to work together like that.” In the classroom, Lester cut an inspiring figure for his students,

many of whom signed up for all of his classes after taking just one. “Les Once she began to make demands for changes, however, the Peoria was the classic teacher scholar—he was a very good researcher, and did school district filed a $3 million lawsuit against her. “The suit lasted a excellent work in foreign aΩairs and diplomacy, but he was also very year and a half, but I won—I was vindicated. I had a lot of support from open to other people’s ideas and supportive of his students and colleagues,” my fellow teachers and from the community.” as Guzman put it. “I modeled my teaching and research career after his.” After winning the lawsuit, Joan decided it was time to get another While Lester was building an academic career, Joan, who completed degree and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. The program a double major in history and English at Elmhurst, took a circuitous route had a one-year residency requirement, so she spent a year living in Urbana. toward launching her own career as an educator. “Five days a week I would eat Banquet chicken dinners—they cost 89 She spent the first decade or so of married life working a highly cents each, and I never got tired of it,” she recalled. “Then Les would diverse series of jobs—ranging from typist at the University of Rochester come down on weekends and take me out to fancy dinners.” to test driver of new Thunderbirds at the Ford Motor Company in With her Ph.D. completed, Joan returned to Peoria and Whittier Dearborn, Michigan. Elementary, where she taught and served as K-12 reading coordinator. The couple relocated to Peoria in 1957, when Lester was hired to join She moved into administration eventually, closing out her career as the the Bradley faculty. Joan completed her master’s degree at Bradley, only principal of Whittier, where she began her teaching career. to discover that the only jobs available for women were in the education International travel has been a constant thread in the Brunes’ life. field. So she started teaching first grade at Whittier Elementary School— “It started when we were first married,” said Joan. “On our honeymoon and discovered that she loved teaching. we went to Belgium, Holland and France. We saw tourists who had to Seven years later, she decided it was time to get into advocacy work. stay on the bus because they were too old to walk around and see the “The salaries of teachers at that time were not equivalent to those of the sights, so we said, ‘Let’s not wait until we’re too old to appreciate the janitors at Caterpillar,” she said. “And whatever the school system’s Central world—let’s travel while we’re younger.’” O≈ce said was law. I became president of the teachers’ association in So travel they did. Taking three major trips every year, the Brunes the hope of getting Central O≈ce to recognize that teachers should traveled to every country in the world except 10. have a voice.” “We’ve been in revolutions, we’ve been with tanks in the street, we’ve

Lester Brune (front row, left) played on the Elmhurst College tennis team in the 1940s. In 2003, Joan Brune honored her husband's passion for the sport by giving the College the funds to build the Lester H. Brune Tennis Courts. FYI/Spring 2014


“Studying abroad has an incredible impact on students. And it’s unimaginable that we would have expanded the program so much without the Brunes’ support.”


been quarantined in Tokyo. We’ve done tours, we’ve traveled on our own,” said Joan. “Traveling is a way to understand people up close and personal, and it makes you appreciate what you have even more.” The Brunes’ home is testament to their international adventures. An unassuming ranch house in a quiet Peoria subdivision, the home is filled with mementos. The kitchen walls are lined with tiles depicting scenes from every corner of the world. Japanese and Chinese artwork fills the living room walls, and sculptures from all over the world take pride of place on tables throughout the house.

Tiles from every corner of the world line the Brunes’ kitchen walls, paying tribute to the couple’s international adventures.

Travel played an important role in Lester’s scholarly life as well. For many years, he served as director of the Bradley Berlin Seminar for College Faculty, an annual two-week summer program designed to immerse scholars in the history and culture of Germany. “When we started the program, Berlin still had a divided border,” Lester said. “The program crossed the border, with sessions in both East and West Berlin. After Berlin was reunified, we expanded the program to Prague. And the program is still going strong today.” It was through the Berlin program that the Brunes rekindled close ties to their alma mater. In the early 1990s, an invitation to the Berlin Seminar found its way to Wally Lagerwey, then-head of Elmhurst’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Lagerwey decided to attend. “The first time I met Les was in Berlin at the seminar,” Lagerwey recalled. “We both had ties to Elmhurst, and we shared many of the same academic interests, so we clicked.” Lagerwey maintained a warm relationship with Lester and Joan long after he returned from Berlin. In 1997, when the College established the Center for Professional Excellence (CPE) as a comprehensive resource for students at every step of the career-building process, Lagerwey approached the Brunes to see if they might be interested in helping fund an international component to the CPE. “We were just getting started on our study-abroad program at the time, and there was very limited funding for it from the College,” Lagerwey said. “The Brunes provided instrumental support that allowed us to get the program up and running.” The Brunes’ support enabled the College to expand study-abroad opportunities dramatically. When the O≈ce of International Education was established in 1997, only two or three Elmhurst students engaged in long-term study abroad in an average year, and the College oΩered one or two overseas classes each January Term. Today, 200 students spend a term abroad in a typical year, and students can choose from more than 30 January Term trips. “Studying abroad has an incredible impact on students,” said Lagerwey. “For many, it’s their first time out of the country. They come back marveling at how big the world is and fascinated by what they saw. And it’s unimaginable that we would have expanded the program so much without the Brunes’ generous support.” But providing seed funding for the international education program was just the beginning of the Brunes’ impact on campus. In 2001, Lester donated funds in honor of his wife to build the outdoor brick patio that serves as an extension of the Frick Center. The Joan Brune Patio oΩers outdoor seating overlooking the College Mall where students gather to study, enjoy a meal and socialize with friends. Not to be outdone, Joan made a gift in honor of her husband to fund the Lester H. Brune Tennis Courts, a six-court tennis facility built in 2003 just west of the campus. Most recently, the Brunes established the Joan and Lester Brune Chair in History at the College to support teaching and research in history. A powerful tool for attracting and retaining faculty members, an endowed chair provides funding to a designated faculty member to support activities beyond the regular teaching duties, such as attending conferences or developing international experiences for students. The inaugural chair holder is Robert Butler.

“Les was the first history chair at Bradley, and we’d like to see others have the same opportunity,” Joan said. “We also wanted to support the teaching of history at the College because we both love history,” added her husband. “After all, the past is the prologue to the future; to understand the present, you have to understand the past.” “The Brunes’ generosity has had a powerful impact on Elmhurst College,” said President S. Alan Ray. “Over the years, their gifts have allowed us to expand our international education program and enhance the beauty and utility of the campus itself. With this most recent gift, the Brunes are leaving a lasting mark on the teaching of history at the College.” In 1994, Lester was honored with the Elmhurst College Alumni Merit Award. In 2000, the Brunes became the first couple to receive Elmhurst College Founders Medals. Joan received her medal for what then-President Bryant Cureton termed “a lifetime of both teaching excellence and administrative excellence,” while Lester’s citation called him a “distinguished professor, outstanding donor and friend.” Just as it’s fitting that the Brunes met over a history lesson, it’s similarly appropriate that they were the first to receive the College’s Founders Medal as a couple. For 63 years now, Joan and Lester Brune have been working, together and as individuals, to improve the timeless business of teaching, and of teaching history.

FYI/Spring 2014

“We wanted to support the teaching of history at the College because we both love history. After all, the past is the prologue to the future.”


Photo: Roark Johnson


Robert Butler was named the Joan and Lester Brune Chair in History last year.

Making History By Andrew Santella The quarter-century that has passed since Robert Butler began teaching history at Elmhurst College has seen the rise of digitized archives, online databases and Internet resources like Wikipedia that oΩer students easy access to information about the past, albeit of sometimes dubious value. But Butler wants his students to know that a historian’s work sometimes requires, as he says, “getting your hands dirty.” So each January, Butler and the students in his popular Historiography course troop across campus to the College’s archives, deep in the lower reaches of Buehler Library. There they get an introduction to archival methods from the College’s archivist, Elaine Fetyko Page. And they begin plotting out their approach to the course’s big assignment: to complete a short, original piece of historical research based on primary sources found in a local archive, library or museum. “To do any kind of deep historical work you have to get your hands dirty. You have to dig into archives and find the primary sources,” says Butler, who was named the Joan and Lester Brune Chair in History last year. “I want them to get at the diaries, the letters, the board minutes, and write about something no one has ever written about before.” The assignment has produced some extraordinary student work. Last year, one of Butler’s students, Rachel Lebensorger, won the award for best oral presentation at Elmhurst’s annual Research and Performance Showcase for her paper on the first class of women to enroll at the College. The work for Butler’s class was her first foray into primary-source historical research. “I felt like I was writing history rather than writing about history,” she said after receiving the award.

That distinction is a crucial one, Butler says. He calls his Historiography course an introduction to “how history is written.” It traces the making of history from Herodotus, the Greek chronicler who worked in the fifth century B.C. and is widely considered the first historian, to contemporary multimedia storytellers like documentarian Ken Burns. By the time they finish the class assignment, his students can claim to have made history of their own. “Students are intrigued at the prospect of making history,” he said. “It’s a small project, but they get caught up in it and invested in it.” The January Term course is not the only Butler oΩering that has captured the imagination of Elmhurst students. One of the best-known classes on campus appears in the course catalog under the anodyne name History 212: Great Personalities in History. Butler, though, has reshaped that course into a term-long consideration of the role of evil in history. His students call it simply “the evil class.” Not only did Butler’s reinvention of the course dramatically increase student interest, but its new focus on evil and villains has opened broad avenues of intellectual inquiry. Students consider whether there is a universal conception of evil, and they explore episodes of evil at work, like the Holocaust. Butler himself has made evil part of his scholarly work. He is presenting a paper on architecture’s commemoration of evil at a conference in Prague this spring. Butler says his appointment to the Brune chair has already proven helpful to his scholarship. For example, his trip to the conference in Prague was funded by the chair’s endowment. Butler calls his appointment to the chair “a great honor.” “It was totally unexpected. I was floored,” he said of the moment when he learned about the chair. “There is only one of these, and I am humbled to hold it.”

alumni catching up

Class Notes Let us hear from you! Send a note to, or call us at (630) 617-3600. Better yet, stop by the O≈ce of Alumni Relations on the first floor of Lehmann Hall. 1940s Helen (Wegener) Holt ’45 received the Ruth Q. dePrida Award, the top honor given by the California Retired Teachers Association. The award recognizes retired teachers for service, dependability and dedication. Marie (VonWalthausen) Plester ’46 reports that her memories of the College are still strong, including Dean Staudt, Dr. DeBruine, curfews, delicious meals at the Commons and writing for The Elm Bark. Marie volunteers at the local library and has been very active in her church since her husband’s death three years ago. She has three married sons, three daughters-in-law, four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Seiji Aizawa ’47 toured Japan with the JapaneseAmerican Korean War Veterans group in October 2013. Barbara (Swanson) Fanslow ’49 and George Fanslow ’49 are all retired out! 1950s Warren Rohn ’50 recently co-wrote a jazz musical set in the South Central section of Los Angeles. The lyrics from the production spawned a booklet of poetic expressions, published by a close friend. Gloria (Stade) McCain ’51 still works two days a week at age 83. She also volunteers two days a week.

FYI/Spring 2014

Mildred (Brandt) (Newman) Wysong ’51 owned the Children’s Corner Child Development Center in Richmond, Virginia, before she retired. Barbara (Feierabend) Ford ’52 recently celebrated her 84th birthday. She writes, “Like Ol’ Man River, I just keep rolling along. Or, more accurately, just driftin’ along like the tumbling tumbleweed, with an accent on ‘tumble.’” Michael Kelly ’53 retired 15 years ago from Rowan University, where he was professor of theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance. An avid traveler, he has organized and led group trips abroad since 1973. Over the years, he has led tours in China, Thailand, Egypt, South America and virtually every country in Europe. Michael is currently preparing for his 41st tour, a 16-day Norwegian coastal cruise from Bergen to above the Arctic Circle planned for May 2014. He has been married to Barbara Rainear for 19 years. Two of their children and four grandchildren live in the Philadelphia area, and four children and seven grandchildren in the Chicago area. 1960s Robert Randall ’64 has published a new e-book, The Thinking Ministry of Jesus: Casting Out Logs for Renewing Church Life. Designed specifically for an audience of pastors and parishioners, the book oΩers a new perspective on Jesus and his teaching ministry.

Barbara (Tague) Zeller ’64 writes that she always enjoys attending her class reunions and that the campus has really changed in 50 years. Ruth ( Juengling) Beck ’65 retired in 2010 from active ministry. She was in co-ministry with her spouse, Robert David Beck, for nearly 40 years. Carol (Chou) Adams ’68 and her husband are enjoying retirement in a Presbyterian Church– related retirement community in northern Florida. They team-teach courses on Asian religions in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of North Florida, a continuing education program for retirees. They also teach courses in theology and Bible at the Chinese Christian Church of Jacksonville. Anita Kallman ’69 retired recently from the Chicago Public Schools after 25 years of teaching elementary education at Hubbard School. Her husband, Paul Kallman ’69, also retired after 35 years in the advertising field. The Kallmans recently became grandparents to Max Manaois, whose parents are Jessica (Kallman) Manaois ’00 and Josh Manaois. Alexander Rassogianis ’69 pays tribute to his childhood and Greek heritage in his new memoir, Return to Glenlord: Memories of Michigan Summers ( An homage to family and friends, the book recalls summers spent in Berrien County, Michigan, in the 1950s and ’60s in the midst of a Chicago-based Greek community. Following graduation from Elmhurst,


alumni catching up

Rassogianis earned a master’s degree in history at the University of Wisconsin. He taught history in Chicago for more than 15 years and served as a compliance o≈cer for the United States government. He also is the author of The Growth of Greek Owned Businesses in Chicago, Illinois: 1900–1930. 1970s 64

Regional Clubs Going Strong The College’s regional clubs provide opportunities for alumni to reconnect with classmates, network with fellow graduates and get to know people from diΩerent generations, majors and career paths. The College currently hosts clubs in Chicago, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. The Elmhurst College Alumni Club of Washington, D.C., hosted a brunch on February 22 at Busboys & Poets. Alumni representing classes from 1950 to 2010 gathered for conversation and a delicious meal. Closer to campus, the Elmhurst College Alumni Club of Chicago hosted a happy hour at Pops for Champagne on Wednesday, April 23. The club’s planning committee, which includes more than 20 Chicago-area alumni, met on campus on March 31 to plan events and programs for the year ahead. The Elmhurst College Alumni Club of St. Louis gathered to watch the Elmhurst College men’s lacrosse team compete against Fontbonne University on Saturday, March 29, in Clayton, Missouri. Planning is under way for more alumni events this calendar year.

Angela (Sims) Haggins ’71 retired in 2011 from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and has two grandchildren. Charlois Lumpkin ’72 is the associate producer of the independent film Go South for Animal Index: A Fable of Los Alamos. Tracing four distinct story lines against the backdrop of the first successful atomic bomb test, the film debuted at the St. Louis Filmmakers showcase and later at the St. Louis International Film Festival in November. James Poore ’73 has been going out with Jane Phee for 13 years and one month. They love every minute of it! Kenneth Von Heidecke ’74 choreographed the dance segments for Aida at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera and the San Diego Opera. Earlier this year, the Chicago Festival Ballet performed his first full-length production of Giselle and he choreographed the comic ballet Coppelia. Pamela (Dittmer) McKuen ’74 is co-author of a fashion how-to guide for girls, Expressionista: How to Express Your True Self Through (and Despite) Fashion (Simon & Schuster). The book helps girls identify their fashion personalities, build their fashion confidence and ward oΩ fashion bullies. Suzanne Carlstedt ’77 recently moved to New Mexico.

1980s Barbara (Hough) Roda ’81 has been named executive editor of Lancaster Newspapers in Pennsylvania. She is the highest-ranking female ever in the company’s editorial operation. James Magrini ’83 is an adjunct professor of philosophy/ethics at College of DuPage, where he was named Outstanding Part-Time Liberal Arts Instructor in 2012–2013. He is the author of Social Efficiency and Instrumentalism in Education: Critical Essays in Ontology, Phenomenology, and Philosophical Hermeneutics (Routledge Press). Julie (Perina) Miller ’84 was elected chairman of the Elmhurst Board of Directors in November 2013. Previously, Julie served in several leadership roles for the Executive Board of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. As o≈ce manager and paralegal at Patrick T. Sheehan & Associates, Julie manages all aspects of the company, from negotiating contracts, preparing budgets and supervising staΩ to preparing financial statements and working with clients. Dan Piemonte ’86 and his wife, Mary T. (Greco) Piemonte ’86, have a daughter, Natalie, who is a first-year elementary education major at Elmhurst College. Pete DiCianni ’88, a DuPage County Board member, announced his run for re-election last October at his annual Fall Food Fest at Diplomat West in Elmhurst. Tanya Rand ’88 is a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. Art Draves ’88 has been named vice presidententerprise risk management for Blackhawk Bank in Beloit, Wisconsin, where he will oversee and implement the company’s process to mitigate risks in the areas of credit, liquidity, interest rate, marketing, compliance/legal, operations and reputation. Chris Bruzzini ’89 performed two roles in The Woman in Black at the Theatre of Western Springs last October.

To learn more about how you can get involved at Elmhurst, go to

Why I Volunteer

Photo: Roark Johnson


I Sarah (Kiefer) Clarin ’04 Roselle, Illinois

FYI/Spring 2014

chose Elmhurst because I wanted to be part of a college whose values reflected the values I’d grown up with. I also wanted a place that was going to prepare me to start a career and allow me to make a diΩerence, so the mentoring and internship experiences oΩered by the Center for Professional Excellence were very attractive. I also chose Elmhurst because I thought it would challenge my thinking and broaden my perspective. And I chose well. I knew I wanted to go into human resources, and my freshman advisor’s wife was an HR professional. They strongly encouraged me to explore the business side of things so I could understand P&L statements and strategic plans. And they were right. I’m a much better advocate for employees and a much more eΩective champion for ethical employment practices at my company because I understand my employer’s business and the competitive landscape they operate in. Every one of us in the Alumni Association has a similar story of success inspired by the support of Elmhurst’s faculty and staΩ. That’s why we remain so engaged with the College—returning as speakers and mentors and even adjunct faculty. Through the Alumni Association we bring alumni back together to remember these unique experiences and share in how we can continue to live the values Elmhurst instilled in us. So many people at Elmhurst gave us so much. It’s our responsibility to give back what we’ve been given. Sarah (Kiefer) Clarin ’04 is a human resources director at SunSource. President of the Elmhurst College Alumni Association, she also serves as an adjunct faculty member for the College’s Center for Professional Excellence.



Matt Flanigan ’90 became CEO and executive director of Flower City Habitat for Humanity in Rochester, New York, in December. Before joining the staΩ at Flower City, Matt spent eight years with the American Cancer Society, the last four as regional vice president of the Eastern Division in Rochester, and eight years as executive director of Camp Stella Maris in Livonia, New York. Matt and his wife, Charmagne, have two daughters, Aubrey and Teagan, and they live in Livonia. Jack Lowe ’93 has written a poetry chapbook, Cold Case Cowboys (Middle Island Press). Rebecca Mulholland ’96 is working on an advanced degree in educational leadership: special education administration at Grand Valley State University. 2000s Judy (Pike) Locher ’02 graduated from DePaul University in June 2013 with a master’s degree in school counseling. She now works as a counselor at Palatine High School. Dave Ensslin ’03 received the Entrepreneurship in Music Business Award on November 7 from Elmhurst Professor Tim Hays. The award is funded by the Coleman Foundation account, for which Hays is Distinguished Chair. Dave is lead guitarist for the band Sixteen Candles and owner/operator of the Double D booking agency, and was a student of Hays and music instructor Steve Suvada at Elmhurst. Tom Herion ’04 has been appointed assistant principal at Bryan Middle School in Elmhurst. Tess Golcher ’04, ’07 and Daniel Kosow ’05, ’07 are engaged to be married. Ricardo Lamas ’05, a mixed-martial arts fighter, competed in the UFC Featherweight Championship on Super Bowl weekend. Marsha Sumner ’05 has been named manager of spiritual care at the University of Chicago

Medicine, where she is responsible for leading the team of chaplains, supervising other spiritual care staΩ and helping to integrate pastoral care into all aspects of patient care and interdisciplinary training. Marsha, acting minister at St. Mark UCC in Chicago Heights, previously served as staΩ chaplain at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and provided spiritual care and counseling at Harbor Light Hospice in Merrillville and at Advocate Christ Hospital and Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn. She earned a master of divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary and a B.A. in theology and religion from Elmhurst College. Karrie Pece ’06 gave a presentation to the Elmhurst College Human Resource Association about Disabilities and Diversity in the Workplace. She works for AutonomyWorks, a company dedicated to creating job opportunities for individuals with autism and other disabilities in the Chicagoland area and beyond. George Andrikokus ’07 recently won the Barbara Buehlman Young Conductor Award. Given by the Illinois Grade School Music Association to one grade-school music teacher each year, the award recognizes music directors with five to 10 years of teaching experience whose students consistently excel. George teaches fifth grade at three schools in Bensenville: Tioga, W.A. Johnson and Blackhawk. Previously he taught in Addison for six years, where his jazz band received perfect scores in state competitions. Annie (Matich) Horn ’07 graduated from Chamberlain College of Nursing in 2012 with a master's degree in nursing. She works as an admissions liaison for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Her husband, Dave Horn ’07, is a product planner at Motorola. He earned an MBA in general management from Keller Graduate School in December 2013. Erin Joyce ’07 graduated first in her class in May 2013 from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she served on the editorial board of the New Mexico Law Review and

published an article on a topic relevant to medical malpractice law. Brett Eldredge ’08 was nominated for the New Artist of the Year award by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. He scored his first No. 1 hit this summer with “Don’t Ya.” Chris Kudyba ’09 appeared on an episode of Wheel of Fortune in October. Matt McDonald ’09 was hired in January for a customer service position at PartnerLogistics. Jason Bonnert MCIS ’10 has worked in information technology since 2001. In December he launched two businesses: a consulting company and a firm devoted to software solutions. Brian Firek ’10 is working as a senior tra≈c quality analyst at HERE, a Nokia company. Lyndsie Long ’10 teaches physical education and health at Downers Grove South High School. She also coaches the girls’ varsity basketball team. Jessica Perham ’10 completed her master’s degree in library and information science at Dominican University. She works as a librarian at a public library in the Chicago suburbs. Carly Notorangelo ’10 graduated from Chicago Theological Seminary with a master of arts in religious leadership. She is now pursuing a master of sacred theology at Chicago Theological Seminary. Steven Bauer ’11 is the new area controller at Advanced Disposal, an integrated environmental services company. Bauer will be responsible for all financial aspects of Chicago North, Northbrook and Evanston, including monthly and annual financial statements, analysis, budgeting, account and financial and capital planning. Genesis Jelkes ’11 is a team leader at City Year Chicago, an AmeriCorps program that helps atrisk students stay in school.

Michelle Swanson ’11 is pursuing a master’s degree in community counseling at Argosy University Chicago. Regina Riesterer ’11 was hired at LKQ Corporation Treasury by Jack B. Brooks ’84. She will begin a master’s program in 2014. Megan Bryar ’12 is engaged to marry Matthew Streit ’14 in August 2014. Danielle Dobies ’12 and Associate Professor of Art Lynn Hill presented a two-woman exhibition of their work, “Experiences in India,” at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center in November. “Experiences in India” was inspired by the artists’ visits to India and the lives of the women they met there. The exhibit brings together works from the past few years that span several themes relating to Indian women. A master of fine arts candidate at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Danielle has been volunteering with NIU’s Department of Women’s Studies to create a mural using leftover donated tiles to adorn the department’s o≈ces. Erik Dornfield ’12 recently joined the Chicago Audit Practice of Deloitte. Rebecca Krueger ’12 recently opened a photography business, PK Photography in Plainfield. Michelle Petersen ’12 was given an English Teaching Assistantship award by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She’s living in Brazil during the 2013–14 academic year to contribute to the education of university students who want to learn English. Kathryn Pilson ’12 is pursuing a graduate degree at Northern Illinois University. Mayra Ramirez ’12 was hired to work at LKQ Corporation Treasury by Jack B. Brooks ’84. She currently is working toward a Master in Professional Accountancy at Elmhurst College. Jennifer Serrano ’12 graduated in May 2013 from Eastern Illinois University with a master’s degree in college student aΩairs. FYI/Spring 2014

Brittany Willeford ’12 has been accepted to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana, which is one of only 28 veterinary schools in the nation. Blaine Brown ’13 recently performed the role of Thuy in Miss Saigon at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Jessica Cardella ’13 works at Argonne National Laboratory in the Safety and Quality Assurance Division.


Theresa Edmiston ’13 was hired to work at LKQ Corporation Treasury by Jack B. Brooks ’84. Katarzyna (Kat) Karas ’13 was hired to work at LKQ Corporation Treasury by Jack B. Brooks ’84, and was promoted to the position of financial analyst in less than a year. She completed her Master in Professional Accountancy at Elmhurst College in December. Jazmine Martinez ’13 is preparing to embark on a two-year mission trip to Madagascar, Africa, where she will teach English and work with Enfants D’Alphonse-Marie, an organization that helps people stricken by poverty to regain charge of their lives and reintroduce them into Malagasy society. “Presently in Madagascar, many people live in a di≈cult position because of poverty and multiple forms of social oppression,” Jazmine writes. “Many children are left to fend for themselves, forcing them to live on the streets, become homeless, and starve. They deserve the right to know what it means to receive a proper education, to maintain a nutritious diet, to have a place to call home, and experience a normal childhood.” Births Joe Malatia ’92 and his wife, Kara, welcomed their first child, Jaxson Ellington Malatia, on June 25, 2013. Christa (Peterson) Raska ’99 and her husband, Ryan Raska MBA ’05, welcomed their second child, Gregory Harper Raska, on October 17, 2013.

Recent Graduate Wins Oppenheimer Grant Jonathan Reiman ’12, a visual arts teacher at Kenwood Academy High School on Chicago’s South Side, has won an Oppenheimer Foundation Grant to fund his ongoing research in the field of antiquarian photography. “Through this grant I am furthering my understanding of various photographic techniques as well as providing a handful of my students with the opportunity to learn about an area of photography that they are completely unfamiliar with,” Jonathan writes. In addition, Jonathan was recently invited to serve as director of public relations for a new state initiative designed to support high school students in the arts through exhibitions and portfolio competitions. This year, 65 high schools were invited to participate in the inaugural exhibition, held at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Next year’s goal is to serve arts programs at more than 500 high schools across Illinois.

alumni catching up

Kimberly (Trusco) GraaΩ ’00 and her husband, Craig, welcomed their first child, Amelia Cristine GraaΩ, on February 6, 2013. Kimberly also has a stepdaughter, Alexandria (19), and a stepson, Aiden (17). Jessica (Kallman) Manaois ’00 and her husband, Josh, recently welcomed a son, Max Manaois. Laurie (Rich) Salerno ’00 and her husband, Anthony J. Salerno Jr., welcomed their first child, Anthony J. Salerno iii, on April 13, 2013. In December, they wrote that they were “just now getting enough sleep to remember to write in.”


For 1949 Graduate, a Chance to Reminisce

Susan Krajewski ’01 welcomed her first child, Nicholas James Jackiw, on September 29, 2012.

Mary Louise Corn enrolled at Elmhurst College in the 1940s with the intention of transferring to the University of Illinois after two years. But once she began her studies, she decided that Elmhurst was the only school for her and stayed to graduate with the Class of 1949. On March 7, Mary Louise visited the Elmhurst College campus with her son, Ron. While on campus, she enjoyed browsing through old yearbooks and reminiscing about her days as an Elmhurst undergraduate. This year, her class will celebrate its 65th class reunion at Homecoming. A longtime donor to the College, Mary Louise established an endowed scholarship at the College in 2011. She continues to make donations to her scholarship fund, saying she could not have attended Elmhurst without scholarship support and appreciates the chance to give today’s students the same opportunities that she had.

Melissa (Hill) Kroplewski ’02 and Patrick Kroplewski ’03 became the proud parents of their second child, Jason Curtis, on Friday, September 13, 2013. Godparents are Daniel Michalski ’02 and Tracie Chrzanowski. Denise (Cromer) Lippe ’02 and her husband, Nathan Lippe ’02, welcomed a daughter, Hannah Lynn Lippe, on May 11, 2013. Hannah’s big sister, Charlotte, was born In February 2010. Pat Cromer ’99 is the baby’s proud grandmother. Tom DuFore ’04 and his wife, Jen (Moninger) DuFore ’05, welcomed their son, Michael DuFore, on September 30, 2013. Jeana (Pavoni) Kwiecinski ’04 and her husband, Justin, welcomed their daughter, Evelyn Rose Kwiecinski, on October 1, 2013. JeΩrey Logan ’04 and his wife, Cathi, welcomed their first son, Phillip James Logan, on April 14, 2013. Erin (Drogos) DeSart ’05 and her husband, Chris DeSart ’05, welcomed their first child, Alexis Nicole DeSart, on June 25, 2013. Nicole (Ruscheinski) Herion ’05 and her husband, Thomas Herion ’04,welcomed their second son, Leo Matthew Herion, this year.

Big brother Tommy and the whole family are thrilled to have another Baby Bluejay in the family. Susan (Neuhauser) Locke ’05 and her husband, Brooks Locke, welcomed fraternal twins, Andrew Benjamin Locke and Garrett Warren Locke, on December 17, 2012. Amanda (Easter) Rossi ’05 welcomed a baby boy, Jack, in October 2012. Jennifer (Cromer) Pudwill ’06 and her husband, Dustin Pudwill, welcomed their first child, Dylan James Pudwill, on April 11, 2013. Pat Cromer ’99 is the baby’s proud grandmother. Kyle Bjerga ’07 and his wife, Jackie, welcomed their second child, Parker James, on October 19, 2013. Parker also has an older brother, Carson. Annie (Matich) Horn ’07 and her husband, Dave Horn ’07, welcomed a daughter, Hope Amelia Horn, on May 7, 2013. Hannah (GiΩord) Kovach ’08 and her husband, Don Kovach ’08, welcomed their first son, Stephen James Kovach, in June 2013. Robyn (Healy) Pike ’08 and her husband, Matt Pike, welcomed their first child, Reagan Geraldine Pike, on November 30, 2013. Cami (Kreft) Rodriguez ’08 and her husband, Phil Rodriguez, welcomed a son, Dennis Andrew Rodriguez, on September 3, 2013. “Little Denny” has an older sister, Noelle. Mary Kate (Rand) Davey ’09 and her husband, Kevin Davey ’09, welcomed a son, Oliver Everett Davey, on August 16, 2013. Darien (Kaiser) Knight ’11 and her husband, Kyle Knight, welcomed their child, Walker Knight, on September 8, 2013. Marriages & Anniversaries Sandra (Cone) Ludwig ’63 will be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary on June 6, 2014.

Ellen (Rasche) Pecoul ’63 and John Pecoul ’63 celebrated their 50th anniversary on August 18, 2013. Barry Warren ’67 married Tom Brougham on July 11, 2013. Judy Pike ’02 married Nick Locher in July 2013. Christa Nayder ’03 married Garrett Hill on October 5, 2013. The wedding party included Sarah Wirth ’02 and Dan Adgent ’03.

Ray Lao ’10 married Jessica Slade on October 13, 2013.

Dorothy (Schumacher) Rest ’42, of Houston, Texas, on January 15, 2014

Amanda Tekampe ’10 married Matt Duntemann ’10 on June 22, 2013.

John W. Barcy ’43, of Peoria, on December 14, 2012

Jimmy Riley ’10 and Sarah Pittman ’12 were married on April 12, 2014, in Lombard. Members of the wedding party from Elmhurst College included Pat Riley ’13, Alyssa Hartney ’14, Dan Rafter ’13 and Kim Richardson ’16. Jimmy is a P.E teacher and Sarah is a high school math teacher.

Kenneth M. Hepler ’43, of Cameron Park, California, on July 27, 2013

Amanda (Easter) Rossi ’05 married in 2011. Jill (Aparo) Burke ’07 and David Burke ’07 married in October 2008.

Kristen Gaudio ’11 married Stuart McCallum on October 19, 2013.

Shirley J. (Haupt) Picerno ’43, of Westchester, on June 5, 3013 Erma (Hahn) Willman ’43 of St. John, Indiana, on January 10, 2014 Rev. John F. Baumann ’45, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on June 12, 2013

Deborah Olsen ’07 married Joshua Burmeister ’09 on January 4, 2013.

Deaths Donald E. Rasmussen ’37, of Berkeley, California, on October 18, 2013

Joel P. Croll ’45, of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, on April 27, 2011

Ryan Applegate ’08 married Natassia Gaznick on October 19, 2013.

Kathryn L. (GaΩord) Johnson ’38, of Aurora, Colorado, on September 2, 2012

Rev. Frank Nagy ’45, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, on December 8, 2012

Kelly Smith ’08 married Will Martin on November 16, 2013.

Marian (Mehler) Ludwig ’38, of Bel Air, Maryland, on September 11, 2012

Rev. Theodore P. Crusius ’46, of Phoenix, Arizona, on May 6, 2012

Jessica Widacki ’08 married Shane Ladd on November 8, 2013.

Walter R. “Bob” Grunewald Jr. ’39, of Twinsburg, Ohio, on January 2, 2014

Helena D. (Bizer) Mueller ’46, of New Braunfels, Texas, on September 25, 2012

Katie Gobey ’09 married Jim Ludvik ’07 on September 16, 2013.

Edith (Heyl) Campbell ’40, of Waterloo, on May 27, 2013

Evelyn M. (Baum) Peterson ’46, of Madison, Wisconsin, on October 12, 2013

Melissa Steirer ’09 and Angelo DeFeo ’10 were married on August 23, 2013. The wedding party included Stephanie Ferrini ’10, Andrew Gilson ’10, Kevin Cagney ’09, Tony Chan ’09 and Jason Neiswanger ’08. Guests included Evan Michel ’10, Anna Pryor ’08, Bob Pryor ’08, James Fitzgerald ’12, Matthew Fryer ’11, Courtney Ryan ’14, Matt Shea ’09, Lauren Genovesi ’09, Sean Padilla ’11, Leif Mueller ’11, Kendal Cross ’11, Vito Dastice ’08, Chrissy Philo ’10, Francesca DeFeo ’13 and Nicole Spizziri ’10.

Gladys (Maier) Frick ’40, of Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 28, 2013

Duane S. Gerlach ’47, of Mount Clemens, Michigan, on December 24, 2013

Egbert F. “Tex” Schietinger ’40, of Washington, D.C., on September 1, 2013

Marjorie A. “Marge” (Meier) Hedlund ’48, of Rockford, on November 1, 2013

Margaret (Lindenberg) Morrell ’41, of DeBary, Florida, on November 6, 2013

Patricia A. Teschner ’48, of Racine, Wisconsin, on December 29, 2011

Laverne (Solberg) Volbrecht ’41, of Champaign, on April 8, 2013

Betty (Jakoubek) Buik ’49, of Lombard, on November 20, 2013

Dr. Francis Karasek ’42, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, on August 10, 2013

Nancy (Grossman) Mitchell ’49, of Novi, Michigan, on July 29, 2013

Virginia G. (Herzler) Nolte ’42, of Ballwin, Missouri, on September 27, 2012

Rev. James O. Schneider ’49, of Houston, Texas, on August 3, 2013

Briana Garza ’10 married Ryan Bessert on October 12, 2013.

FYI/Spring 2014


alumni catching up


Geraldine R. (Kappe) Deufel ’50, of St. Louis, Missouri, on August 6, 2013

Kenneth “Ken” Baker ’54, of Elmhurst, on December 15, 2013

C. Russ Campbell ’59, of Grayslake, on February 6, 2013

Rev. Donald W. Hafner ’50, of St. Petersburg, Florida, on July 4, 2011

Ruth M. (Bowlby) Bloom ’54, of Freeport, on December 24, 2013

Rev. Wilbur R. Freed ’60, of Alden, New York, on February 20, 2013

CliΩord J. Janssen ’50, of St. Louis, Missouri, on January 14, 2014

John C. Craine ’54, of Glen Ellyn, on August 1, 2013

Helen (Hutchinson) Sartorius ’60, of Freeport, on November 21, 2012

M. Russell Jolly ’50, of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, on August 24, 2013

Rosalie J. (Deters) Davis ’54, of Glen Carbon, on May 31, 2013

CliΩord C. Schrupp ’60, of Detroit, Michigan, on September 11, 2013

Roland W. RadloΩ ’50, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, on November 25, 2013

Barbara P. Donald ’54, of Itasca, on May 25, 2011

Peter N. Poulos (formerly Gianacopoulos) ’61, of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin, on May 11, 2013

Frank W. Ward Jr. ’50, of Glen Ellyn, on January 28, 2013 Helen (Meyers) Kettelhut ’51 of Rolling Meadows, on January 17, 2014 Richard A. Lindner ’51, of West Seneca, New York, on January 9, 2013 Carol J. (Koepke) Pervinsek ’51, of Carrolton, Texas, on July 9, 2012 Earl H. Brueggerman ’52, of Woodstock, on September 27, 2013 Beverly (Landon) Fawell ’52, of Glen Ellyn, on June 22, 2013 Robert A. Lenhart ’52, of Monroe, Connecticut, on November 25, 2013 Leonard D. Alves Sr. ’53, of Bonita Springs, Florida, on November 4, 2012 Rev. Dr. Warren F. Best ’53, of Chicago, on January 9, 2013 Nancy E. (Ford) Handke ’53, of Clarendon Hills, on July 10, 2013 Ernest J. “Ernie” Rachau Jr. ’53, of Palatine, on April 15, 2011 Glenn F. Wood ’53, of Lombard, on November 26, 2013

Rev. Henry W. Korinth ’54, of York, Pennsylvania, on September 24, 2013 James W. Piotter ’54, of Largo, Florida, on April 11, 2012 Radleigh V. Beck ’55, of Madison, Wisconsin, on December 4, 2013 Helen (Boyington) Siep ’55, of Farmersville, Texas, on July 8, 2013 Wallace R. Blischke ’56, of Sherman Oaks, California, on December 2, 2013 Wallace Cordes ’56 of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on January 25, 2014 Esther K. (Held) Dettmann ’57, of Judson, North Dakota, on February 7, 2011 Manfred P. “Fred” Mortiz ’57, of Centennial, Colorado, on September 28, 2013 Lloyd L. Reimer Sr. ’57, of Terrytown, Louisiana, on January 13, 2014 Dorothy M. Shipe ’57, of Quincy, on October 12, 2013 Casey T. Vallee ’58, of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, on September 8, 2013 Darlene R. (Lohrbach) Anderson ’59, of Sun City, Arizona, on June 29, 2013

Dennis Blome ’62, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on January 18, 2014 June M. (Koskinen) Keranen ’62, of Casey, on August 15, 2012 Thomas WolΩ Dickens ’63, of Saint Charles, on June 25, 2013 Rev. Dr. Robert Rotgers ’63, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 20, 2013 Charleen Johnson ’64, of Palatine, on January 17, 2014 Carol S. (Ringering) Schindewolf ’64, of Edwardsville, on December 18, 2011 Catherine (Hyland) Curran ’65, of Wheaton, on June 15, 2013 Harold R. Morris ’65, of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, on November 23, 2013 Douglas L. Rosene ’65, of Arlington Heights, on January 29, 2013 Rev. Robert W. “Bob” Strong ’65, of Quincy, on June 22, 2013 Rev. Russell H. Landolt ’66, of Portland, Maine, on August 8, 2013 John C. Bettmann ’67, of Asheville, North Carolina, on April 18, 2012

To make a gift to Elmhurst College, go to

‘It’s Payback’ 71

Why I Give Lori Julian ’88 Chicago, Illinois


usic has always been very important to me, but Elmhurst helped me make it a central part of my life. I took piano lessons briefly as a child. Twenty-five years later, I decided to try again. I found a local teacher who encouraged me to supplement my lessons with music courses at Elmhurst College. Everyone there was so welcoming and encouraging, I wound up not just taking courses but earning a degree and becoming a piano teacher. Through teaching I met people involved with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where I have volunteered for 20 years. I’m currently a trustee of the CSO Association and serve on the board of the Symphony’s Institute for Learning, Access and Training. I also serve on the board of the Chicago Chamber Music Society and support arts organizations like Pianoforte and Cedille Records. I think it’s easy for aspiring musicians to think, if you’re not playing at Carnegie Hall, what’s the point? But the music department at Elmhurst College has made an art of helping students with a talent and passion for music see all of their possibilities and build rewarding, viable careers. That’s why I support the music program at Elmhurst—it’s payback. I know there are other people out there like me, and I hope they have the same happy result. Lori Julian earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign, in 1968 and a BA in piano pedagogy from Elmhurst College in 1988. Her gifts to the College have funded music scholarships, the purchase of a new concert piano, and recent renovations to Buik Hall.

FYI/Spring 2014


Lynn (Goldberg) Gutekanst ’67, of Chicago, on August 19, 2012

Joel A. Brash ’74, of Deerfield, on October 20, 2011

Geraldine Flanagan ’88, of Newbury Park, California, on December 3, 2012

Marguerite (Billings) NeΩ ’67, of Lombard, on December 28, 2013

Joy (Vanda) Castic ’75, of Schaumburg, on May 9, 2013

Dorothy M. (Masnyk) Sweatt ’88, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, on June 10, 2013

James G. Kosik ’68, of Villa Park, on January 10, 2014

Barbara E. Mijou ’75, of Winter Haven, Florida, on February 18, 2013

James E. Bieber ’89, of Batavia, on January 14, 2013

Jacqueline A. Morris ’68, of Spencer, Indiana, on December 12, 2012

Susan G. Barton ’76, of Bloomingdale, on August 10, 2013

Judith A. Trocke ’89, of Tucson, Arizona, on September 30, 2013

William R. “Bill” Cherwonick ’69, of Naperville, on October 24, 2013

Carol J. Buelow ’76, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on June 16, 2013

Grace E. Buege ’91, of Sarasota, Florida, on December 15, 2012

Keith A. Meyer ’70, of HoΩman Estates, on December 25, 2013

John A. McCarthy ’76, of Carol Stream, on August 10, 2012

Karen D. Bauer ’95, of Centreville, Virginia, on July 19, 2013

Billie Jean Miller ’70, of Elk Grove, California, on September 25, 2012

John H. Rauen Jr. ’76, of Aurora, on November 9, 2013

Marla F. (Fawell) Fitzgerald ’96, of Lombard, on January 25, 2013

Patricia (Chessman) Bergstrom ’71, of Barrington, on October 12, 2013

Peter A. Tomares ’76, of Glen Ellyn, on December 28, 2011

Rhonda L. (Gosch) Ingraham ’99, of Glendale Heights, on April 4, 2013

Gail Richard Dietz ’71, of Crystal Lake, on October 4, 2013

Doris M. Schlembach ’79, of Bartlett, on December 22, 2012

Daniel P. Ryan ’99, of Chicago, on July 12, 2013

Kathleen E. “Kathy” (Friebus) Hohl ’71, of South Bend, Indiana, on December 10, 2013

John A. Spenk ’79, of Plano, Texas, on June 25, 2013

Leonore C. (Rosenboom) Nillissen ’71, of Sycamore, on July 22, 2013

Sharon H. (Evenson) Hester ’80, of Longmont, Colorado, on March 10, 2011

Andrea M. Dubnick ’72, of Leaf River, on October 21, 2013

Betty L. Phillips ’80, of Helena, Alabama, on December 8, 2011

Richard R. Kuehl ’72, of Lombard, on October 9, 2013

Victoria (Warneke) Hegerich ’85 of Vancouver, Washington, on January 14, 2014

Rudolph J. Pyrczak ’72, of Galena, on September 24, 2013

Steven D. Robinson ’86, of Carol Stream, on June 3, 2011

Christopher Parrilli ’73, of Fort Myers, Florida, on October 27, 2012

Gladys M. (Filipek) Schindler ’86, of Deerfield, on September 4, 2013

Rita F. (Walker) Pierson ’73, of Houston, Texas, on June 28, 2013

Charles D. Gibney ’87, of Geneva, on February 18, 2011 John S. Leahy ’87, of Camp Lake, Wisconsin, on September 18, 2012

Ronald E. Belanger ’74, of Thousand Oaks, California, on July 3, 2011

John R. Giovannoni ’02, of Palatine, on January 13, 2013 Jeremy D. Outlaw ’02, of Elkhart, Indiana, on June 29, 2012 Lilli A. (Moore) Panttila ’10, of Rochelle, on August 3, 2013


It’s our version of venture capital The Annual Fund gives Elmhurst the entrepreneurial flexibility to take advantage of unexpected opportunities—from groundbreaking new lab gear to the latest and safest in athletic equipment.

Help Elmhurst respond creatively to opportunities and build the 21st century student-centered college. Visit and make an Annual Fund gift today.

OямГce of Alumni Relations 190 Prospect Avenue Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296



OCTOBER 17-19, 2014

FYI Magazine, Spring 2014