Aug 132019

The work of distinguished painter, print maker and sculptor Oliver Lee Jackson ’58 will be featured at The National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., through Sept. 15, 2019. The exhibition, Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings, includes some 20 paintings created over the past 15 years.


Oliver Lee Jackson, Triptych (3.20.15, 5.21.15, 6.8.15), 2015, applied felt, chalk, alkyd paint, and mixed media on wood panel, courtesy of the artist. Photo by Philip Maisel. © Oliver Lee Jackson

 Posted by at 9:49 am
Aug 122019

Nancy J. Froelich, 88, passed away Wednesday, July 17, 2019. She was also preceded in death by her husband Bill ’49 and  one son. She is survived by her 3 children, 11 Grandchildren, and 15 Great Grandchildren. She is also survived by one sister and 3 nephews. She’s received the following honors: YWCA Woman of Distinction, IWU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989,  Bloomington Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow, State of Illinois Preservation Award, ISU John Maitland, Jr. Commitment to Education Award and the McLean County Mayors’ Association Person of the Year and named a a History Maker by the McLean County Museum. She was twice elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. She served on the Board of the Mennonite College of Nursing and was a recipient of an honorary Nursing degree “for her dedicated interest support and understanding of the profession of nursing.” Mennonite School of Nursing said,” she was a builder, leader, and role model for women in leadership.”

Read her full obituary here.

Nancy (Hoose) Froelich ’52

Nancy (Hoose) Froelich ’52 and husband Bill Froelich ’49

 Posted by at 3:16 pm
Aug 062019

Sue Frances Maisch, age 81 of Louisville, passed away Wednesday, July 10, 2019. She earned a B.S. in Nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1959. She was one of the first permitted to live on campus rather than the hospital Nurses Dorm. Sue was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. In 1960 she married Weldon Maisch ’57 and they began their life journey in Decatur, IL. Schooling, corporate merger, EPA regulations and energy crisis lead them to live in six different cities. Sue’s professional employment included emergency room, nursing school instructor, University Health Service, company Health Nurse and Psychology and Addiction Rehab. She took time out to be a full time mother, continuing her nursing by volunteering at Planned Parenthood, Red Cross and the Methadone Clinic. Sue is survived by husband Weldon Maisch ’57, two sons, and six grandchildren.

Read full obituary here.

 Posted by at 9:50 am
Jul 262019

Helen Lucille (née Geneva) Harbison, 93, peacefully passed away at home on July 17, 2019. Helen was born September 3, 1925 in Freeport, Illinois to William B. Geneva and Carolyn (née Schertz) Geneva. In 1947, Helen graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) with a degree in History and a minor in English. She was a proud sorority sister of Kappa Delta at IWU. She became a stewardess for United Airlines, where she later met her husband, Air Vice-Marshal William “Paddy” Harbison RAF, CB, CBE, AFC, FBIM. With her passion for health and nutrition, she later ran her own business as a diet consultant. Helen is survived by her two sons and three grandchildren.

Helen was an avid alumnae member of IWU and went to the reunions almost every year. Her husband and other family members often accompanied her to the reunions and enjoyed the numerous homecoming events.  Through the years, she kept in touch with many of her sorority sisters from Kappa Delta. She had many wonderful memories of her years as a Kappa Delta sister. Helen’s husband Paddy had the opportunity to give a lecture at one of the homecoming events, “A Pilot’s Perspective on World War II”, where he talked about his experiences as a WWII pilot for the British air force (RAF).

Helen made a digital oral history at IWU which is stored in the digital commons. Link:

She talks about her time at IWU and how her sorority, Kappa Delta, gave her support and enjoyment.

Helen’s father, William B. Geneva, was also a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University in 1911 and of the IWU Law School in 1917.

Helen’s family would like to thank IWU for all the wonderful reunions. She and her family loved being part of the IWU family.

Helen and William Harbison on Day of Interview

Helen (Geneva) Harbison ’47

 Posted by at 3:45 pm
Jun 102019

Jean Holdridge Reeves, 99, died June 5, 2019.  Jean was born January 27, 1920 in Marion, Ohio. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University as a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister with a degree in home economics and from the University of Connecticut with master’s degree in child development.  In 1944, feeling a sense of duty as the youngest of four sisters, she enlisted in the American Red Cross to serve during WWII and was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines. Her tour of duty in the Red Cross is digitally documented in the UNC-G Women Veterans Historical Project. 

You can view her obituary here.

 Posted by at 12:42 pm
Jun 052019

Ruth Eleanor Martin Parks, 100, of Macomb, formerly of Blandinsville passed away at 7:55 a.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Wesley Village Healthcare Center in Macomb. Ruth was born in Wahpeton, North Dakota on December 29, 1918, but lived most of her life on the family farm near Blandinsville, Illinois. She began her teaching career at age 19 at Starr Commonwealth, a private school for boys in Albion, Michigan, and then returned to Illinois Wesleyan University to complete her degree in 1942. She later received her Masters degree from Western Illinois University.

You can view her obituary here.

 Posted by at 9:30 am
Jun 042019

James “Jim” Hershbarger ’48 of Champaign, Illinois, died April 15, 2019. He was 93. Jim won letters as a member of Illinois Wesleyan’s football, basketball and baseball teams. He was named to multiple all-conference teams and was elected to the Order of Titans. Jim spent 32 years in the auto industry. He also served as an insurance agent for American Family Insurance before retiring in 1995. He was a member of Champaign’s St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, where he was on the consistory and church treasurer for two years. He was also a member of the Elks, Moose and Phi Gamma Delta, where he served as a member of the Interfraternity Counsel. He is survived by his wife, daughter, three grandchildren and a brother.

You can view his obituary here.

 Posted by at 11:28 am
May 222019

Dennis E. Stark ‘59 received an Honorary Doctorate degree (in Business) from Alderson Broaddus University (AB) in Philippi, West Virginia at their commencement on Saturday, May 4, 2019.  Dennis was Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the university from 2015-2018.

 Posted by at 10:05 am
May 222019

Marilyn Ames, 91, of Gibson City, formerly of Sibley, died peacefully on Friday, April 26, 2019 at OSF Hospital in Urbana.  She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1950 and earned a Master’s Degree from Illinois State University in 1974. Mrs. Ames taught history at Melvin-Sibley Junior-Senior High School for 30 years. 

You can view her obituary here.

 Posted by at 9:46 am