Brenda Milcik

Apr 122021

Hey Titans!

I never doubted that we would rise to the 2021 All In challenge, and we did! After President Nugent’s video announcement, you glorious Titan Warriors went to work. I am so very proud to announce that we surpassed our million that was matched, and reached $2,539,574.00. We blew our donor goal of 2,500 out of the water with 3,587!

Thank You! Well Done, mighty, mighty, Titan alumni, parents, students and friends. You continue to make a difference, even during a pandemic to deliver on behalf of Illinois Wesleyan University. Thank You! I am ever so proud to be one of your own. Take care and stay safe! Much love.


Feb 092021

We extend our deepest condolences to fellow alumna, Birda (Buzan) Ferguson ’75. Her husband, Glenn Ferguson (not an IWU grad) died January 19th, just three weeks after their 40th anniversary.  Our thoughts are with Birda and her family.

Dec 092020
     Well, I could not let 2020 end without checking in with you. These last few months, (Duh! The year!) have been astonishingly arduous. What with Elections, Covid 19, Thanksgivings, and now, vaccine disorganization, we have been catapulted into dismay and discord. Never fear, you sturdy Titan warriors, your respite is coming. 
     I ask that you take a deep breath and exhale slowly, three times. Close your eyes and envision 2021 with hopeful anticipation. See the return to socialization, with family, friends, and co-workers. Look forward to a return of civility, in this our troubled land. Find peace, the peace of Advent as we wait for a jubilant Christmas celebration. I feel your weariness, but I trust in Our Creator and the universe’s response to our needs.
     Please, have a joyous Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or any celebration of love you choose. God willing, I will see you in the Happy New Year of 2021. Take care and stay safe!
Much Love,
Debbie Burt-Frazier
AABD, Class Newsletter Chair
Sep 292020

Jeffrey Jones’75, respected leader in the ink industry passed away in Chicago on September 18, 2020. Jeff worked at Sun Chemical 34 years and received four patents which included improvements for manufacturing processes as well as run ability on press. He retired in 2015. Jeff and his wife Maribeth founded a scholarship fund at Illinois Wesleyan University for students from southern Illinois. Jeff spent a lifetime with a quest for knowledge and adventure and loved to travel. He had a great sense of humor and a dry wit. Most importantly, he will be remembered by family, friends and colleagues for his kindness and generosity. You may read his full obituary here.

Sep 282020

Dan Zora ’71 of Cypress, Texas, died July 15, 2020. He was 71. Dan was a member of Sigma Chi and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Illinois Wesleyan. He also met at IWU his future wife Barbara (Barth) Zora ’71; the two were married in 1974. The day after graduation, Dan went to work for State Farm Insurance Company in Bloomington, Illinois. He and his family later moved to Austin, Texas, where Dan continued a 35-year career with the insurance company. In retirement, he started a realty company. Dan loved playing golf, and was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls. He was very active in his children’s lives, especially as a youth sports coach, and enjoyed attending his granddaughter’s sporting events. Dan also served as a scorekeeper for volleyball teams coached by his daughter. He is survived by his wife, two children, granddaughter, three siblings, including William Zora ’68, and many nieces, nephews and extended family members.


Aug 102020

Ooohh Titans, this world is changing. Our world is changing. I just last week cancelled my accommodations for homecoming this October. It will be my 45th Class Reunion, 1975! Wow! Now, the plans for the weekend of October 7 – 9th are for a virtual homecoming, due to the Covid19 pandemic. I hope that you, like me, plan to be in attendance. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

Let me say this, first and foremost, my deepest, most sincere condolences go out to my fellow Titans, who have lost a friend, spouse, family, colleague, or a loved one to the coronavirus.  I continue to pray for the safety and well-being of all. This concern extends itself to the many Titans of color, those of us who have had to contend with the racial pandemic that layers itself upon the healthcare crisis, which we all are suffering from. The war on several fronts rages on. We, together, must be strong and continue to press on.

Although, the numbers steadily rise, five million Americans have fallen victim to the coronavirus. Over 160,000 Americans, of all races, genders, ages, and social status have succumbed. If anyone had suggested to me, six months ago, that we would be in Depression Era unemployment, I would not have believed it. Yet, here we are. Be strong, Titans! Keep hope alive! Fight depression and despair. Do not give up! These words, give this Titan comfort. I hope that they give you solace and encouragement, as well.

Last of all, I want to share a few suggestions which I have found peace in practicing. My daughter, my oldest introduced me to meditation (A child shall lead them). Every day twice a day, ten-minutes sessions, helps to soothe, remove stress and anxiety, while giving focus using mindfulness techniques. Beginners may Google “Guided Meditation,” for starters. The old adage, “Every day is a gift, that is why they call it the present,” rings so true during these trying times. So, my Titan friends, embrace this gift of life, daily. If you believe in a higher power, let them hear from you. Wear your masks and practice all safety precautions.

Take care and be well!


Apr 272020
Hey there, Titans!
I hope that you are holding up well, during this unprecedented time. I ,like many of you are working from home, online! The challenges of this endeavor are many. I am teaching and completing my classes at two universities, online. In solitude, and under the stressful statistics from all over the world. I don’t know about you, but being separated from family and friends is the worst aspect. Let us try to strengthen one another.Please, feel free to send anything that you would like to post to your IWU alumni family. Today’s catchphrase is “We are in this together!” Indeed, we are. Stay safe and take care, fellow TITANS.
Be Encouraged and Be Blessed!
Dr. Debbie R. Burt-Frazier, EdD
Apr 022020

Ed Rust Jr. ’72, the retired chairman and CEO of State Farm Insurance Company was presented with the IWU Distinguished Alumni Award at Homecoming 2019. His Homecoming Back to College Class at Beckman Auditorium in Ames Library entitled “Seeking Perspective and Balance in an Uncertain World” can be seen in the video above. Ed Rust was featured in the IWU Magazine article, “Like a Good Neighbor” that can be viewed here.

Jan 022020

Dave Darling ’79 has been nominated by his peers and approved by the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board again, as a Leading Lawyer for 2020. The distinction of being named a Leading Lawyer has been earned by fewer than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois. Congratulations, Dave!

Dec 202019

I truly hope that your holidays will be filled with good food, good drink and good cheer. Take time to reflect on 2019 and look forward to the promise that 2020 may bring. Share the love. Not just with your friends and loved ones, but with all mankind. Please, be kind, be safe and be happy. Here is a video wishing you a Happy Holiday from IWU.