Jul 202018

Happy Summer Days, Titans. Here is hoping that you have been enjoying a sweltering, yet surprising pleasant couple of months. Your Fourth of July was surely a star-spangled event with; cool drinks, good eats and fireworks!

Please, plan to attend, if in the Chicago area, the annual Minority Alumni Network picnic, on Sunday, August 5th. This year, as in 2016 it will be held at the home of Genie and Dave Darling ’79, in Tinley Park, Illinois. As always, a great time will be had by all, with great food and terrific company. Go to TitanPride.com to register your attendance. See you there!

Well, Titans gotta run, air-conditioning awaits. Please, continue to have a wonderful summer!

 Posted by at 12:38 pm
Jul 162018

Michele (Millotte) Doss ’76 competed in the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission Dragon Boat Festival, held in Florence, Italy, in July 2018. Michele was a member of the Sarasota, Florida-based team, Survivors in Sync, which finished fourth out of more than 120 boats. The race along the Arno River was very close, with Michele’s team finishing just 1.5 seconds behind the winning team in the 500-meter race. Dragon Boat paddling has become a rehabilitation therapy activity for tens of thousands of men and women who have undergone surgery, and over 3,000 breast cancer survivors participated in the IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival this year.


Congratulations, Michele!

 Posted by at 9:57 am
Jun 292018

Larry Johnson ’73 of Johnson Photography in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has a book, “SHOW CATS”, just released by Amherst Media that is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble both in Paperback and Kindle version. Larry Johnson is the world’s leading cat photographer and portraitist. His work has appeared in Cat Fancy and National Geographic, and has also appeared on CNN and in CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association) materials. Larry travels widely across the United States and around the world to photograph felines at cat shows. Johnson captures the true personalities of cats in his unforgettable images.

In this book, he shares his favorite photographs, stories, and insights gleaned from cat owners and cats shows held around the world. Cat enthusiasts young and old will delight in this unique and fascinating book!

Here are links to the purchase the book on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Congratulations, Larry!


 Posted by at 12:08 pm
Jun 262018

Dave Lawrence ’79 served as the second base umpire for the 2018 Congressional baseball game on June 14, 2018 at Nationals Park in D.C. The game was first played in 1909 and at its 57th iteration this June, attendance was over 16,000. More than one million dollars has been raised for local charities in 2018 alone due to this event!

Congressman Scalise, who was seriously wounded in the 2017 mass shooting at the Republican baseball practice, was able to return to be the starting second baseman for this year’s game. However, as CNN noted in a profile they did on him the week of the game, his health is still an issue – in particular limiting his mobility to the point that he would not be able to field a ball unless it was hit right to him.

Lawrence recounts what it was like with Scalise at the game: “Well, in a moment that must have seemed like it was scripted (though I can assure you it was not), the very first play of the game was a ground ball right at Congressman Scalise which he backhanded as he fell to his knee, and he then successfully threw the batter-runner out at first. As he did so, the entire stadium erupted”. Here is a link to the incredible play.

Jumbotron picture of the umpire crew – Lawrence ’79 is second from left.

Lawrence ’79 on the infeild with Congressman Steve Scalise, the starting Republican second baseman who was so grieviously wounded in the mass shooting a year earlier to the day.

Congressman Scalise at second base with US Capitol Police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner, the two officers who saved his life a year earlier. Officers Griner and Bailey helped Congressman Scalise out to his position as the starting second baseman (he normally uses a crutch these days).

Congratulations, Dave!

 Posted by at 10:56 am
Jun 202018

The Texas Bandmasters Association recently named the George Jones ’77 of Wylie, Texas recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Administrator Achievement Award.

After graduation from IWU, he was offered a full scholarship to attend Southern Methodist University, where he served as the Graduate Assistant Conductor of the Wind Ensemble under the legendary Howard Dunn. While working on his degree, he also served as a member and arranger for the Dallas Cowboy Band.

In 1977, George began his career with the Garland Independent School District serving as band director at Memorial Middle School and assistant band director at South Garland High School with Randy Bartlett. In 1983, he assumed the position of head band director at Lakeview Centennial High School. In the thirteen years that he served as director, the Lakeview Band earned many local, regional and national awards. In 1996, George served as the first band director at the newly constructed Rowlett High School in the Garland school district where he wrote the school’s Alma Mater and Fight Song.

George has served as the Director of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) for the GISD since 1997. In this capacity, he oversees the daily operations, curriculum, staff development, budget, and staffing for Music, Art, Theatre Arts, Dance and Competitive Speech. Under his leadership, the Garland school district has earned the distinction of being named one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation nine times. Additionally, GISD groups have performed at The Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, ACDA Conventions, many TMEA Conventions as well as national and international festivals.

George has served as the chairman of the Metroplex Music Supervisors as well as President of the Texas Music Administrators Conference. In 2012, he was named the TMAC Music Administrator of the Year. He is an active member of TMEA, TBA, TMAA, Texas Music Administrators Conference, Phi Beta Mu-Alpha Chapter professional band fraternity and he is a Lifetime Member of the PTA. George has served as a music adjudicator and as a clinician throughout the state.

For 34 years George served as conductor of the Richardson Community Band. During his tenure as the director, the band grew both in size and popularity. He instituted the band’s summer series, which has become a favorite summer activity for families across the Metroplex. In 2010, George was presented with the first “Real Heroes Award” by the Richardson Coalition for his service as conductor of the RCB. In 2011, the Richardson Arts Alliance presented him with the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
George is passionate about offering the very best possible arts education to the students of GISD.

Read the full press release here.

Congratulations, George!

 Posted by at 9:30 am
Jun 122018

On Monday, July 23, 2018, four members of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) will be performing two string trios by Lisa Renee Ragsdale ’72, as well as two other contemporary string quartets by two other composers. Lisa wrote the first piece in 2013 and the second in 2017. Both compositions feature themes that support the science behind climate change. The event begins at 7 PM with a discussion about climate change by Barry N. Rock, Professor Emeritus, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. After this, members of the Orchestra will perform a String Quartet by Joel Love followed directly with two new String Trios by Lisa Renee Ragsdale. The final work will be a Quartet by David Balakrishnan; his “Tree of Life” Quartet. The event ends at 10 PM. More information can be found at “Portsmouth, NH Events”.

Congratulations, Lisa!

May 312018

2018 Spring Alumni Association Board of Directors Meeting

This editor returned from an enjoyable and very productive board meeting. Board President, Scott Huch ’86 conducted the one-day proceedings in the Memorial Center Davidson Room.  One highlight of Friday’s meeting was the establishment of the International Alumni Network (IAN) chaired by Teddy Petrova ’10.  Teddy is seeking names to add to the IAN.  You may send names and contact information of those interested in the IAN to the alumni office at iwualum@iwu.edu.  Former international students, study abroad students and those with interest in those programs are welcome to join.

Thursday evening, fellow board members; Dave Darling ’79, J.D.; Kira West ’86, J.D.; Danielle Kays ’01, J.D.; and Preslav Mantchev ’17 and other alumni presented a Legal Career Panel in the Welcome Center Auditorium. The panel arranged with the Hart Career Center provided useful information about law school and the pursuit of a legal profession.

The board’s Friday luncheon was held in the Turfler Room, where the directors were joined by ten, IWU freshmen all from Louisiana. The student scholars of the Posse Foundation a national college access and leadership development program enjoyed a great lunch with introductions and insightful conversion with the board members.

Lastly, Friday evening the directors took in a performance of the musical, Xanadu, over in McPherson Hall, presented by the School of Theatre Arts. It was a zany, totally comedic rendition of the 1980 Olivia Newton-John movie, on roller skates! The audience seemed to appreciate the music, acting and hi-jinks, as evidenced by the laughter and applause.

The next board meeting will be in October, 5th, at Homecoming.  We plan to come back.  Why don’t you plan to come home, too?


May 162018

Jane Brue, 84, of Bloomington, passed away Saturday, May 12, 2018 at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.  A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. this Friday, May 18, in Evelyn Chapel, with a visitation prior to the service from 9-10 a.m. in the Chapel.

Jane was a nursing professor at Illinois Wesleyan for 21 years, leading many study abroad classes and receiving multiple accolades from students and colleagues. More details on her dedication to her profession, to IWU basketball, and to her family are in her obituary. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.