Robert Poynton

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1980 with a BFA in Drama, Bobby decided to leave the security of his suburban Chicago home and head to Hollywood to seek his fame and fortune as an actor. With $500, a beat up sports car and his Dad's gas credit card in hand, he began his journey to pursue his dream. Over the years the acting roles were there for the taking but the "fame and fortune" Bobby had sought proved to be elusive. Work on such shows as Days of Our Lives, Jake and the Fatman, Life Goes On, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Sentinel, Touched by an Angel, Viper, Promised Land and Walker: Texas Ranger as well as numerous theatrical credits all served to keep the dream alive, but were never enough. Then the opportunity came to audition for an "international recording group" seeking an attractive male vocalist with a tenor voice, falsetto, and at least 6 feet tall. Well, the tenor voice used to be there when he was in college, so he figured he would wear boots for the height and hope the room was dark for the rest. The result was the 6 year stint as a member of The Lettermen. Bobby recorded 6 albums with The Lettermen, performed in excess of 1000 concerts around the world and most importantly came to the realization that the "fame and fortune" he had so fervently sought was nowhere near as important or rewarding as the "fame" he had in his own family as a big brother or the "fortune of the heart" he receives daily from his wife Beth, son Robert V, and daughter Callie at their home in Illinois. In 2001, Bobby began touring the country again. This time with the classic group The Diamonds, rock and roll pioneers who recorded the 50’s anthems “The Stroll” and "Little Darlin". In 2002, the soundtrack for "The Adventures Of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina," an animated film, included Bobby's duet with Jennifer Love Hewitt. In 2010, Bobby was delighted to be invited to take the stage for a night with the legendary group, The Vogues. In 2011, the door to a return to The Lettermen opened and Bobby walked back though. He considers his return to The Lettermen a true honor and looks forward to many years recreating the magic on stage and in the recording studio with his partners Tony Butala (founding member) & Donovan Tea.

Sep 212017
 

Somewhere amidst all that Randy Sharer ’81 does as a sports writer for The Pantagraph, he found time to write the biography of Craig Virgin, an Illinois native who became a two-time world cross country champion and three-time Olympian. 

The 322-page book, titled “Virgin Territory: The Story of Craig Virgin, America’s Renaissance Runner” is available now in hardcover, softcover and e-book. 

It took a while, eight years in fact, but the finished product is, according to an article by Randy Kindred, a “testament to organization, dedication, time management and a deep-rooted love for running.”

Congratulations, Randy!

Here’s his profile on the Pantagraph webpage: https://www.pantagraph.com/users/profile/randy%20sharer/

Here’s an article about Randy’s book: http://www.pantagraph.com/sports/columnists/kindred/kindred-keeping-pace-to-tell-story-of-a-champion/article_63bffde5-cf28-5146-91c8-bd000c040c1a.html

Sep 212017
 

To all IWU Alumni,
Homecoming is right around the corner!  It’s a wonderful time to reminisce and reconnect with long lost friends and classmates.  Come on back to Bloomington and enjoy a visit full of festivities and all the wonderful colors of the fall at IWU.
  • Homecoming dates are October 13-15.
  • Register for Homecoming here.
  • View the Homecoming Schedule here.

Also, remember to go to “Club Tommy” in the Young Main Lounge at the Memorial Center to visit with alumni, family, friends, faculty and staff (Cost $20).

Aug 112017
 
Carl Teichman, a 1980 alumnus and director of government and community relations at Illinois Wesleyan, was named Citizen of the Year by the Town of Normal.

Teichman gets a hug from his wife, Laurel, after he was named Normal’s Citizen of the Year on Thursday evening at Heartland Community College’s Astroth Community Education Center in Normal.
This was also reported by WJBC and WGLT Radio.
Congratulations, Carl!
May 162017
 
Christopher Phillips ’81 won the Tom Watson Brown Book Award from the Society of Civil War Historians and the Watson-Brown Foundation for his book, The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War and the Remaking of the American Middle Border, which was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.
Here is a link to the article –
May 032017
 
Christopher Phillips ’81 was the winner of the 2017 Tom Watson Brown Book Award for his book, The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War and the Remaking of the American Middle Border, which was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.