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A bold campaign provides the chance to begin a new chapter in Illinois Wesleyan’s history.



President Richard F. Wilson (above) shared the vision of the campaign with faculty and staff prior to the Bloomington kick-off gala.


his spring, the University announced the most ambitious capital campaign in its history, with a goal of raising $125 million over the five-year campaign period. Transforming Lives: The Campaign for Illinois Wesleyan University opened with gala celebrations in both Bloomington and Chicago. “As you know, great institutions are never allowed the luxury of standing still,” said University President Richard F. Wilson as he greeted guests attending the opening gala, held on campus May 13 in the Memorial Center’s Young Main Lounge.“This campaign is about helping our University transform lives. It’s as simple and powerful as that. “Many of you have already answered the call,” Wilson continued,“and I predict the biggest — and happiest — surprise of this night will be the realization that we are not here to kick-start a campaign into motion. You are catching us already mid-stride.” During the galas, it was announced that more than $73 million had been pledged so far from alumni and friends across the country — including an endowment gift valued at $25 million, the largest ever received by Wesleyan, made by Honorary Campaign Chairs B. Charles “Chuck” Ames ’50 and Joyce “Jay” Eichhorn Ames ’49. (To read more about the Ames’ gift, see page 22.) According to Wilson, nearly 80 percent of the campaign goal will go to support student scholarships, need-based financial aid and faculty and program endowments. In addition, several new building projects will be funded. Details on the campaign’s goals are provided in the pages that follow. “Rarely in the history of our University,” Wilson said, “has the support of alumni and friends been more important to ensuring access for talented students and recognizing the exceptional work of our faculty. “Now we need you to help us finish what we have begun. Young minds don’t wait and neither will we. Our time is now.”



(Above) The Chicago gala was held in the grand ballroom of the Peninsula Hotel. Both the Chicago and campus events included screenings of videos about the campaign, which can be viewed at

(Below) Board of Trustees President George Vinyard ’71 and his wife, Judy Shepelak, were among those whose major gifts were announced at the campaign’s opening. Their gift will be used to increase financial aid for deserving students.

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(Above) Campus lampposts were adorned with campaign banners. (Right ) Alumni and friends gathered on the terrace with a view of Chicago’s skyline — including Sundeep V. Mullangi ’97 (below left), a member of the Campaign Steering Committee. (Below middle) A sketch of the new Joslin Atrium.

“As we talk with friends of Illinois Wesleyan — both longtime supporters and first-time contributors — we are struck by their stories. In one way or another, the University transformed their lives. If they didn’t see it then, they see it now, and feel it’s time to give back; time to pay it forward for coming generations of Titans. Wesleyan began with one building — Old North Hall. It has grown and prospered because people just like us were willing to invest their treasure in young minds. Now, it’s our turn.”


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Alumni Chuck and Jay Ames make history again with $25 million gift

The historic gift to Illinois Wesleyan from Chuck and Jay Ames (above right) is announced by their son, Trustee Richard Ames (above).


n giving the largest gift in Illinois Wesleyan University’s history, B. Charles “Chuck” Ames ’50 and Joyce “Jay” Eichhorn Ames ’49 were just doing what comes naturally. “We were recently asked why we give to Illinois Wesleyan,” the couple wrote in a letter inviting alumni and friends of the University to participate with them in the Transforming Lives campaign. “It’s simple — we would not be who we are were it not for Wesleyan. So this is our way of helping pass along to future students a bit of our good fortune.” The Ames, longtime supporters of the University, are honorary chairs of the campaign. The announcement of the couple’s endowment gift, valued at $25 million, was made by their son, and current Illinois Wesleyan trustee, Richard Ames at the kick-off celebration of the University’s $125-million campaign in May. “They are making a lead gift in the Transforming Lives campaign because, to put it simply, Illinois Wesleyan transformed their lives,” said Richard Ames. “We are extremely fortunate to have alumni like Chuck and Jay Ames, who believe it’s important to give something back,” said University President Richard F. Wilson. “The Ames gift, along with many others received thus far, is a testament to the impact the University has had on the lives of our alumni and friends and our community.” The gift will allocate $10 million toward creating a matching fund for the faculty endowment. These funds will create new endowed professorships, which serve to honor and support outstanding faculty who contribute to the excellence of the University through teaching and scholarship. Wesleyan currently has 10 endowed professorships. The Ames gift alone will double the number of endowed positions to 20. The challenge calls for alumni and friends to increase that amount another 10 for a total of 30 total endowed professorships by the end of the five-year campaign.




“I think having quality faculty attracts quality students. You’ve got to have that quality on both sides of the spectrum,” said Chuck Ames. This is not the first time that the couple has made a significant commitment to Illinois Wesleyan. In 1999, they issued a challenge to match up to $9 million for all gifts earmarked for a new library and another $3 million for matching gifts to the University’s annual fund. Their gifts — the largest in Wesleyan’s history at that time — led to construction of The Ames Library, a $26million building opened on Jan. 9, 2002, and named in their honor. In 1998, the Ames made a $2 million scholarship commitment to the School of Art, and the University named the school The Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art in Jay’s honor. Their contributions have also been instrumental in forming the national Illinois Wesleyan University Alumni Association. Chuck, who holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, retired in 2007 as vice chairman of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Co. in New York, one of the world’s leading private equity investment firms. He joined the firm in 1987 after serving as chair and CEO of Reliance Electric Company, CEO of Acme Cleveland Corporation and CEO and chair of The Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company. A past recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, he continues with private investment and is on the board of directors of several smaller companies. Jay is an art connoisseur and collector as well as a supporter of several organizations devoted to preserving the visual arts. Chuck and Jay have sponsored underprivileged children for summer camps in the Cleveland area, and supported the Hospice of Cleveland. They currently live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Vero Beach, Fla.

Major gifts, including $1 million for Joslin Atrium addition, announced ajor gifts from several of Illinois Wesleyan’s longtime “movers and shakers” were announced at the Transforming Lives galas, including a $1 million gift from Roger and Stevie Joslin of Bloomington that will fund a 2,500 square-foot glass atrium addition to the University’s Memorial Center. The Joslin Atrium will provide meeting, reception and banquet space, with views overlooking the main quadrangle. It will be connected to the Young Main Lounge, which is the Memorial Center’s recently renovated ballroom and principal banquet space. The atrium’s primary entry will be from a grand staircase leading up from the quad. “We are extremely grateful to Roger and Stevie


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C A M PA I G N H I G H L I G H T S F I V E M A J O R G O A L S ransforming Lives has a goal of $125 million, with nearly eight in every 10 dollars going to build the University’s endowment. Universities rely on their endowments as foundations of institutional health. They support people and programs that set a college apart — funding such areas as scholarship, research, study-abroad and internship programs for students; attracting and retaining top faculty through professorships; and supporting initiatives that enhance teaching and learning.


I. CREATING OPPORTUNITIES – Endowment for students $30 million is being sought to increase the number and amount of grants and scholarships awarded to promising and deserving young scholars, so that the Wesleyan promise of meeting financial need is kept alive.

(Above) Stevie and Roger Joslin acknowledge the applause as their $1 million gift is announced at the Memorial Center gala.

Joslin for their generosity,” said University President Richard F. Wilson. “They have been great friends of the University for many years. This gift will provide a dramatic visual addition and a much needed expansion to the Memorial Center.” The Joslins have been active in the greater Bloomington–Normal community since 1963, serving in leadership roles in the Second Presbyterian Church, BroMenn Healthcare, Day Care Center of McLean County, Western Avenue Community Center, Mennonite College of Nursing, Bloomington Public Schools and the Republican Party. Roger Joslin is the retired vice chairman and chief financial officer of State Farm Mutual Insurance and chairman of State Farm Fire and Casualty. He is an emeritus trustee of Wesleyan and currently serves as a member of the steering committee for the Transforming Lives campaign. Stevie is known throughout the community for her volunteer efforts, and has been the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction’s Harriett F. Rust Volunteer Service Award. Several other gifts were announced at the kick-off galas, including a major scholarship commitment from IWU Board of Trustees President George Vinyard ’71 and his wife, Judy Shepelak, that will be used to increase financial aid for deserving students. The Shirk family was also honored for their continued support of the University through their gift establishing an endowment to maintain and enhance the Shirk Athletic Center. It was also announced that John Horton ’82 and his wife, Joann Horton, presented a lead gift to The Wesleyan Fund, which helps to provide student financial aid and supports a variety of academic and cocurricular programs. A major endowed scholarship fund was established by Herbert and Susan Getz, both of whom are 1977 Wesleyan graduates. In addition, Coyner Smith ’54 and his wife, Donna, have given an endowment gift that will fund the Smith Scholars Fund, which will provide annual scholarships.

II. SUPPORTING INSPIRED TEACHING – Endowment for the faculty $20 million will be raised to support exceptional teaching and scholarship that have been hallmarks of Illinois Wesleyan. The faculty endowment will increase the number of endowed chairs and professorships, and provide support to attract young scholars and artists. III. PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE – Endowment for excellence $22 million will provide funds targeted to key priorities to increase opportunities for student-faculty collaboration and enrich the academic experience in areas critical to student success, such as writing, leadership and research. IV. THE WESLEYAN FUND $26 million in annual giving will be used to provide student financial aid, and support a broad range of academic and co-curricular program needs. The Wesleyan Fund (Annual Fund) goal is to increase the number of alumni giving from fewer than one in four to one in three. V. CAMPUS FACILITIES $27 million is being sought to build: The Center for Instruction, a state-of-the-art building that replaces Shaw Hall and will enhance teaching and learning across the curriculum. The new building will be located on the site of Sheean Library.

■ An expanded Theatre Arts Complex to replace McPherson Theatre. The new complex will include a larger theatre and expand classroom and support facilities to better unify the theatre arts programs, which are currently located in many different parts of campus.

New apartment-style student housing will be a priority, in order to respond to today’s student housing preferences and appeal to juniors and seniors who have increasingly chosen to move off campus.

The new Center for Instruction (as envisioned in the 2002 campus master plan)

Campaign Gala in the Summer 2009 IWU Magazine  

The Transforming Lives Campaign Kick-Off Gala - Summer 2009 Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine