Nov 302020

Bill Damaschke ’85 is the executive producer of Moulin Rouge!, which has been nominated 14 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Despite indefinite postponement of the 74th Annual Tony Awards ceremony, the committee announced this year’s nominations on October 15. In total, 18 musicals, plays and play revivals will be considered for awards.

This year marks Damaschke’s second time producing a Tony-nominated musical through his theatrical production company StoryKey Entertainment. His 2019 musical The Prom received seven Tony nominations in addition to dozens more from multiple organizations, including a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical.

Damaschke has previously served as president of Animation and Family Entertainment at Skydance Media following two decades with DreamWorks Animation, where he rose from an entry-level production assistant to the company’s chief creative officer.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is an adaptation of the 2001 film of the same name, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The musical tells the story of a depressed young writer who falls for a cabaret actress amid a world of splendor and romance. The Hollywood Reporter praised the production’s “eye-popping spectacle and off-the-charts energy,” and Time Out New York described it as “the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals.”

Along with its Best Musical Tony nomination, Moulin Rouge! was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Aaron Tveit, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Karen Olivo, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical –– Danny Burstein and Sahr Ngaujah, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical –– Robyn Hurder, Best Direction of a Musical –– Alex Timbers, Best Scenic Design of a Musical –– Derek McLane, Best Costume Design of a Musical –– Catherine Zuber, Best Lighting Design of a Musical –– Justin Townsend, Best Sound Design of a Musical –– Peter Hylenski, Best Choreography –– Sonya Tayeh, and Best Orchestrations –– Justin Levine, with Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen and Matt Stine.

Read more here.

 Posted by at 12:46 pm
Oct 142020

Dr. Davis is IWU’s recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Davis graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with a triple major in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Following graduation, Pete attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine graduating in 1984 and completed his residency at St. Francis Medical Center. Dr. Davis is a practicing pediatrician in Rockford, Illinois, and is board certified in pediatrics with an additional certification in Child Abuse Pediatrics. Since the early 1990’s, Dr. Davis has treated children who are victims of physical or sexual abuse. Dr. Davis is a founding member of the Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) which is part of the Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford (UICOM-R). He joined the faculty at UIC-Rockford in 2008, and is an associate professor in Pediatrics. Additionally, he serves as medical director for six county advocacy centers in northern Illinois.

Nationally, Dr. Davis is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Shortly after the start of his career, Dr. Davis began to see cases of child abuse. After aligning with a newly formed Family Advocate Agency, specializing in the comprehensive treatment of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse cases, Dr. Davis quickly discovered these cases were not just confined to his practice, but were more widespread in his local community. He became (and continues to be) a strong advocate for children and a respected member of the investigation team at the agency. Dr. Davis has served on the board of directors for the Children’s Early Intervention Center and the Rockford Memorial Hospital. He also served as vice president and president of the medical staff at Rockford Memorial from 2004 until 2009, and 2009 through 2011, respectively. Additionally, Dr. Davis served as chair of the Multidisciplinary PEER Review Committee, and spent five years on the Credentials Committee, serving as chair for the last two years.

Dr. Davis is an educator who has developed a curriculum on physical and sexual abuse of children and mandated reporting, provides Continuing Medical Education (CME) lectures on child abuse topics, and seminars to Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), detectives and state’s attorneys in 15 counties. Dr. Davis has received numerous awards including the Excellence in Child Welfare Award from the Winnebago County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), Winnebago County and Illinois State Medical Society Alliance Humanitarian Award (2016), and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce “20 People You Should Know” Award in 2019.

Submit a note of congratulations to Dr. Raymond Davis here .

Dr. Raymond "Pete" Davis Jr.

 Posted by at 12:38 pm
Oct 122020

Andy Jones ’89 and Robyn Jones have nearly 60 years of basketball coaching between them. The Ridgeview Junior High gymnasium has been named “Coach Jones’ Court” in their honor. Read the full article here.

 Posted by at 11:45 am
Oct 092020

Ramona Cheek ’81 is the IWU School of Nursing ’s 2020 recipient of the “Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing.” Read the full article here. Congratulations, Ramona!

 Posted by at 3:43 pm
Oct 082020

Congratulations to Unit 5’s Susy Marcum for being selected as the 2020 School Nurse of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Nurses. Susy embodies the qualities and characteristics of a School Nurse who is engaged in the community, tirelessly advocating for the school nurses in Unit 5, the students, and their families.

A nurse in Unit 5 for 25 years, Susy currently works at Grove Elementary and Field Special Services. She is also the Curriculum Chair for the Nursing Department. Please join us in celebrating Susy on winning this well-deserved award.

Sep 292020

Maggie Andersen ’81, received a promotion to the position Senior Director of AMITA Health’s Human Resources department on August 12, 2020. She worked in the position on an interim basis for several months and did an outstanding job. Originally joining AMITA Health as a system director in Human Resources in June 2019, Maggie was responsible for leading the Human Resources business partner function for AMITA’s corporate operations and the AMITA’s medical group. She served with distinction, working as a change management champion, and playing a key role in organizational development and process improvement initiatives.

Please join us in congratulating her and wishing her all the best as she begins this new chapter in her career.

 Posted by at 9:32 am
Sep 282020

Mike Mason ’80, Chief Security Officer at Verizon and Former Executive Assistant Director at the FBI, presented Gladiator or Spectator…You Decide: The Importance of a Resilient Spirit. Mike discussed his almost life-long philosophy that every situation can be turned into an opportunity with the right attitude engaged. As a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, a seasoned executive with the FBI and for the past 12 years as an SVP and Chief Security Officer at Verizon, Mason has been confronted with countless situations, good and bad, from which he has extracted invaluable lessons. In his opinion, the pandemic is no different. He believes there is no situation from which one cannot grow and develop.

 Posted by at 12:44 pm
Aug 062020

Sue (Snapp) Seibring ’82 was nominated for the Communication Innovation Award, presented at the Association for Women in Communications Bloomington-Normal Chapter’s Crystal Awards, on Feb. 27 2o2o. As Advocate BroMenn’s mananger of volunteer and auxiliary services, Sue manages hundreds of volunteers and oversees several community events, including the biennial Chase for Champions, an innovative event to honor public safety responders. Money raised from the event supports public safety scholarships and facility funding for BroMenn to continue to provide top-quality care. 

 Posted by at 12:54 pm
Aug 062020

Ann Marie Morgan ’82 was appointed Early Music Ensemble interim director at the University of Colorado’s College of Music for the spring 2020 semester. A performer on viola da gamba and baroque cello, Ann Marie has enjoyed a 30-year-career of concertizing, recording and teaching, serving on the faculties of the Peabody institute of Johns Hopkins University and the Interlochen Arts Camp. She has performed as viola da gmba solist with the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras in Bachs’s Passions, and internationally at the CRR Hall in Instanbul and tat the Prague Spring Festival. This spring, she served as a judge for the 2020 Indianapolis International Baroque Competition. 

 Posted by at 12:43 pm
Aug 052020

Wendy (Oldenburg) Hall ’78 and Kristin (Schwab) Kroll ’85 are teachers with Allendale Association, a nonprofit organization providing care, treatment and education for youth with emotional, behavioral and mental challenges. Kristin has taught at Allendale for the past 30 years, while Wendy has taught art for the past 10. Wendy has taught art for the past 10. Wendy and Kristin have teamed up to deliver home-based instruction during COVID-19.

 Posted by at 12:40 pm