Jan 252023

David Wixon ’64 is beginning his 41st year as a church and residential glass artist and builder with his custom stained glass studio. Formerly operating nationwide out of suburban Chicago, Dave is now located in Peoria, Arizona. Before semi-retiring to Arizona Dave was the drummer in the Mad Monks Traditional Jazz Band for 40 years. The band traveled widely throughout the Midwest and Florida and was known for introducing New Orleans funeral parade songs into Sunday church services. Prior to starting his stained glass studio he taught business courses at several colleges including Wheaton College, DePaul University and Louisiana State University where he completed a PhD program in Marketing. More information about David Wixon & Associates can be found here. Congratulations!

Here is David with one of his stained glass windows!
Dec 212022

William Ray Van Plew ’66 passed away on December 6 at the age of 78. While at Illinois Wesleyan, William earned his bachelor’s degree in art (printmaking specialty) and was a member of TKE. One of William’s original prints was chosen and featured in a gallery show in Washington, D.C., while was he still in college.

You can read his full obituary here.

Dec 142022

Richard Jenkins ’69 was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the category of best supporting actor in a series for his performance in “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” Read the full list of nominations here.

Dec 132022
Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’17.

Dave Petrick ’67 passed away on December 2, 2022 after a long and fierce battle with lung cancer. Throughout his life, Dave shared his time, talent, and treasure with Illinois Wesleyan University, most recently with the planning and development of The Petrick IDEA Center. As a lifelong entrepreneur himself, Dave was passionate about sharing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship with future Titans. Once built, The Petrick IDEA Center will serve as the epicenter of IWU innovation, as well as a lasting legacy to Dave’s creativity and generosity. He will be greatly missed by the campus community and by all who knew him. 

Dec 082022

Linda (Wilson) Stephens ’68 has been acting on stage for 50 years. She’s been awarded for her work in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and DC. She’s appeared on Broadway and off, in dozens of regional theatres across the country. She’s worked with and been praised by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Stephen Sondheim. Linda is now living in Milwaukee after living in numerous cities across the country and has published a book, There is no Backstage: An Actor’s Life. This book is a memoir of her five decades in theatre and showcases all the lessons and memories she’s had throughout her journey since her debut. Read more here.

Dec 062022

Jim Joyce ’63 passed away on October 4th, 2022 at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska. After service in the U.S. Army, Jim worked in Des Moines, Iowa and Lincoln as a journalist and later as a legislative and gubernatorial assistant. At IWU, he majored in English and was active in the early setting up of Acacia Fraternity.

Nov 082022

Nancy Meeker ’64 passed away on October 20, 2022 in home hospice. She is survived by her husband Dave ’64, sons Steve and John, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. While attending Wesleyan Nancy was a member of Kappa Gamma and kept active with many Kappa alum activities and friends throughout her life. Read the full obituary here.

Nov 032022

Alan Leahigh ’67 was recently presented with the Cord Blood Association’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. The CBA is an international nonprofit organization that uses the stem cells from umbilical cord blood and birthing tissues to help with blood diseases, inherited genetic disorders, bone marrow failure, and immune deficiency diseases. In the photo below, Alan is shown receiving the award from CBA President Joanne Kurtzberg, MD.

Oct 202022

Joyce (Lego) Finkler ’60 passed away on July 21, 2022. Joyce was the first in her family to graduate from college, Illinois Wesleyan, with a major in Spanish and a minor in French. She completed her program in three and a half years. College is where Joyce met Robert, her future husband. They attended countless fraternity and sorority events together, garnering her the Fiji Rose title.

You can read Joyce’s full obituary here.