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From the President’s Desk As the 20th president of Illinois Wesleyan University, I’m excited to be embarking in the year 2020 on a presidential tour to cities across the United States to meet alumni and friends of the University. We’re calling the events “I With U,” based on a suggestion in my acceptance remarks when the presidency was announced: “I want to propose today a new, unofficial motto for IWU, and it’s “I With U.” Now, the ‘I’ in this is not an egotistical ‘I.’ Instead, it’s a recognition that — to create the community we want and need to be — everyone is an important ‘I’; everyone contributes to what we do here; everyone matters. “I With U” can be, I hope, a way of reminding ourselves of our values as a community.” And alumni are obviously a tremendously important part of the Illinois Wesleyan community, 23,633 strong! I’m hoping to hear about what the University means to you — and also about your hopes for the future. What do you feel is strongest and most valuable about IWU? What changes do you think would make us an even better institution? These are the conversations I’ll be having with alumni in the coming year, as I also hope to bring news of the great initiatives and accomplishments of our students and faculty members. We started the tour in late January, with a visit to the Phoenix area, where the Arizona Connection, with its 34-year history, is the longest-running off-campus event. This year, the weekend began with a small dinner hosted by former President Dick Wilson and his wife Pat at their stunning Scottsdale home. The centerpiece of the Arizona Connection was a luncheon held at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. In attendance this year were about 70 alumni and friends. It was a pure joy to meet so many wonderfully welcoming members of the Illinois Wesleyan family. There are many stops on the presidential tour, including Florida and an upcoming McLean County event on campus. At all of these events, it will be great to meet many of you, hear your stories and share the future of Illinois Wesleyan (see pages 32-33 for a full listing of dates). Back on campus, Feb. 1 was the date of a very special celebration for IWU’s most famous athlete, basketball star Jack Sikma ’77. Jack was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 6, 2019, and Titan Nation showed up in force. The February event was an opportunity to fete this outstanding alum on campus as well. Many of Jack’s teammates, classmates, fraternity brothers, brother Bob Sikma ’80 and coach Dennie Bridges ’61 joined in the celebration. Before that evening’s resounding win against Carroll, we dropped a new Sikma banner (see coverage on page 9). Later, Sikma fans and friends gathered in the Hansen Student Center, where Jack sat down with Assistant Athletic Director Tony Bankston ’91 for a fun and candid interview. In February, we hosted the Council for IWU Women Summit (see coverage on page 6). The two-day program brought over 150 attendees to campus for keynote speakers, mini-presentations and sessions focused on this year’s theme, “Sharing Truths.” I was honored to provide the keynote address. Also, on Feb. 17, we launched the first annual “President for a Day,” where I exchanged places with a student (see coverage on pages 14-15). He interacted with the members of the University’s cabinet, as well as the board chair, while I attended his classes. At the end of the day, we discussed our experiences on The Argus’ student-run “Slightly Underwhelming” podcast. A video recap from the day was also posted to IWU’s official YouTube channel. I invite you to check them out!

S. Georgia Nugent Illinois Wesleyan University President

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IWU MAGAZINE | S P R I N G 2 0 2 0

Profile for Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine - Spring 2020  

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