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.

May 152018

Christine McHugh ’82, recently finished directing a new play in New Mexico, called Flight Plan by Marguerite Scott at the Santa Fe Playhouse.  The Artistic Director of the Sante Fe Playhouse happens to be, Vaughn Irving, who received  a BFA in Musical Theatre from IWU in 2006.  Christine noted that Vaughn’s been in this role for about three years now and “his vision and talent are totally transforming the Santa Fe theatre scene”.  McHugh lost one of the leads in the show nine days before opening and Vaughn gamely stepped in as a replacement and “was brilliant!”, according to McHugh.  “One of the best actors I’ve ever worked with and I’m sure a lot of that has to do with Wesleyan.  Twenty-four years after I left McPherson and it would appear that the talent just keeps getting better.”

Mar 312018

Tuesday, April 3rd is our day of giving at Illinois Wesleyan and this year’s theme is
Think Bigger!
Not only is today a day for giving, it’s a day to celebrate IWU and all of the things that make it special.  Check out last year’s leaderboard for the 80s classes:

1980-20 donors-$4250
1981-17 donors-$6000
1982-6 donors-$1725
1983-11 donors-$1475
1984-10 donors-$51,405
1985-28 donors-$15,195
1986-14 donors-$1430
1987-9 donors-$1250
1988-20 donors-$1965
1989-12 donors-$2455

Look at the significant impact our classes made! How can we #ThinkBigger this year?
Shall we make it a class competition this year? Please encourage your classmates to join you in being #AllInForWesleyan!

Click here to learn more and to donate on Tuesday, April 3rd.
Help spread the word using #AllInForWesleyan and take advantage of our social media toolkit.

Mar 242018
Dr. Sandra Steingraber ’81,  a leading activist against fracking in New York state, is the subject of the documentary film “Unfractured” which will be screened on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. in IWU’s Hansen Student Center.
This screening is co-sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program and the John Wesley Powell Audubon, and is free and open to the public.
After majoring in biology at IWU, Steingraber devoted the past 35 years of her career to advocating for environmental protection. “Unfractured” follows her dedicated efforts to oppose the oil and gas industry and secure a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – despite the voices of doubters who believed she was championing a lost cause. At times, her work even placed her in harm’s way, whether at the hands of Romanian police who pepper sprayed her after visiting anti-fracking activists, or New York police who arrested her for blockading a gas storage site during a campaign of civil disobedience.
All the while, Steingraber overcame hardship in her personal life as well, after her husband endured a series of strokes that sent the family into crisis. However, in a passionate rally speech, Steingraber asserted her commitment to continue the fight against fracking, a practice that threatens the health of the planet and all those who rely on it.
“The work we must do to ban fracking is bigger than any one of our individual tragedies,” she declared. “Because we are fighting for everyone’s sons and daughters and husbands and families. Because we are fighting for life itself.”
Jan 062018
Dr. Hsieh is CEO of Renasonce Health, a management and consulting firm specializing in the direct application of change transformation through innovation of the delivery of health care to companies and individuals, and President of Michiana VIP MD, a Concierge Medicine primary care practice. He is also the principal in Smart Medicine Solutions Consultants.
Since 1989, Dr. Jesse Hsieh has seen over 125,000 patient encounters, specializing in the primary care of families from newborns to geriatrics, often up to 3-5 generations with a clinical practice that at one time included obstetrics and surgery.  As a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine over the past two decades teaching 3rd and 4th year medical students, he has experienced the evolution of technological and economic change at the most intimate physician-patient level. 
He has been married over 30 years to a pediatrician, has 3 sons, and has 5 physicians in his family. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University, where he was president of Theta Chi fraternity, his Medical Degree from Southern Illinois University of Medicine, and his Family Medicine residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Oct 122017

As IWU celebrates Titans Around the World at Homecoming this weekend, we will also honor our alumni who served worldwide as veterans and first-responders, including Captain Ryan A. Beaupre ’95. We will remember Ryan and all veterans and first-responders who have given their lives in the service of others and our country. Presenting the colors will be American Legion Color Guard Post 635 Normal and Post 56 from Bloomington. The ceremony will take place this Saturday, October 14th at 12:45 p.m., prior to the Homecoming Football game at Tucci Stadium and will include the National Anthem sung by Wayne Messmer ’72. Classmates and friends can view the ceremony on streaming video live at https://portal.stretchinter

Sep 302017

There is less than 1 month until Homecoming 2017!

If you are still deciding on which events you want to attend during Homecoming, the International RSO Fair is highly recommended. It will be on Saturday (10/14) at the Hansen Student Center, Center Court from 11 am – 1 pm. Come learn more about our multicultural registered student organizations and enjoy activities and musical performances. A light lunch will be provided, so please register either online or by phone by 10/8! You can visit theHomecoming Facebook page or the International RSO Fair Facebook event for more information.




Sep 302017

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced the recipients of its 2017 Leadership and Service Awards who will be honored on October 18, 2017 at a ceremony during World Standards Week in Washington DC. Sharon Sieberns Stanford ’80, director, department of standards administration, American Dental Association (ADA), will receive the Howard Coonley Medal, which recognizes an executive who has benefited the national economy through voluntary standardization and conformity assessment and has given outstanding support to standardization as a management tool.