Deidre Dyer ’96

Deidre Dyer ’96 has been appointed to Circuit Court Judge in Cook County, Illinois. She is the first judicial appointment of Justice Joy V. Cunningham.

Deidre Dyer ’96 and Carla Vigue
Justice Joy Cunningham administering the oath of office, daughter Simone Sampson holding the Bible, and far left is sister Ouida Dyer Bradford ’86 who helped put on Deidre’s robe as part of the ceremony

Homecoming & Family Weekend 2022

In the past two years we’ve witnessed the Titan community come together in new ways to share stories, expertise, and friendship. However, we have long awaited the chance to welcome you back to campus for a true Illinois Wesleyan Homecoming! We look forward to sharing a meal, a drink, and a story with all of you in person, September 23-25, 2022.

Click here for a full schedule of events and to register.

Kevin Geraldi ’96

Kevin Geraldi ’96 will begin an appointment as Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, beginning Fall of 2022. As the 7th person to hold this position in the 154-year history of the Illinois Bands program, he will conduct the renowned Illinois Wind Symphony, teach graduate conducting, and provide administrative leadership for the University’s comprehensive and historic band program. From 2005–2022, he served on the faculty of the School of Music at UNC Greensboro. In May 2022 he was keynote speaker for the Spanish Musicological Society conference in Vigo, Spain.

Sarah (Weinstein) Edwards ’96

Filmmaker Sarah Edwards ’96 was nominated for a Mid-America EMMY for short-form content for “Classical BTS: Nomin Zolzaya,” which was featured as part of an Illinois Public Media docuseries. It follows the personal journey of Illinois Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellist Nomin Zolzaya, who first found her love for the cello as a young girl growing up in Mongolia.

Heather Olt 96′

Heather Olt will be premiering on September 24th, her new dramedy short/ pilot as part of the Oscar qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival. It will also screen at the Catalyst Story Institute Festival, the biggest indie television festival in late Sept./ early Oct. in Duluth, MN.

Synopsis: Emily and Kristen are best friends. Emily, a successful entrepreneur, waited too long to have a baby
and, despite her best efforts to have one and raise it alone, she’s now told it’s physically impossible.
Kristen, a struggling actress, is simultaneously nine months pregnant and is forced to raise her baby
alone after being left by her “I’m sorry, I can’t do this” boyfriend, Mark. After meeting up to
commiserate over their recent losses, they concoct a plan to raise Kristen’s baby together. In “Last
Chance Moms,” we explore the difficulties that women in their 40s experience when confronted with
their biological clocks. They want it all, but what happens when it seems they can’t have it? They
find a way…

Esther Franco-Payne ’96

Esther Franco-Payne ’96 has a new role as Vice President of Programs for the Public Welfare Foundation. She will engage in grant-making at the national level and continue to advance transformative justice in support of youth and adults impacted by the criminal legal system.