Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Need a Hero?
cartoon: Super Millikin Man

There are heroes among our Millikin alumni - hundreds, if not thousands, of them.

The graphic on this page may be lighthearted, but we are serious in recognizing the fact that the ranks of Millikin alumni are full of heroes. They may not be recognized on the national scene for their heroism, but each day, in a variety of ways, Millikin alumni are changing the face of the world with their commitment to making it a better place through their skills and service.

On the next few pages, we salute a handful of our Big Blue heroes, and we'd love to hear about other alumni who should be recognized for their heroism.

Drop a line to before Feb. 15 and let us know why your Big Blue hero should be featured on the pages of this magazine. Or mail your thoughts to Millikin Quarterly, 1184 West Main Street, Decatur IL 62522.

Cody Moore '88

portrait of Cody Moore '88
This alum has been a foster parent, a teacher and a police officer, and he's done it all "for the kids."

After nearly 20 years spent enforcing the law, Lieutenant Cody Moore '88 decided in 2008 to help change the law for the sake of children.

Working with fellow police officer and Emergency Response Team member Brian Bell '84, Moore co-wrote legislation to increase the punishment for individuals convicted of possessing cannabis in the presence of children.

"We realized that more than half of our drug-related search warrants were served in situations where there could be children present," Moore explains. "We figured something's got to change - somebody's got to look out for their best interests." So after he and Bell wrote the legislation, they testified before the Illinois Judiciary Committee and saw the law changed as a result of their efforts.

"Hopefully some people are getting longer sentences because of it," Moore says. "When we execute a drug-related search warrant and people meet us at the door saying, 'There are kids here,' I tell them, 'Your kids are the reason I'm here. Nothing's going to happen to your kids.'"

Working with and for children has always been important to Moore. As a Millikin physical education major, he planned to teach P.E. and coach football. And that's just what he did for a few years. Then his career path took a surprising turn.

In 1990, Moore's wife, Jean Wolgast Moore '89, now executive director of the Macon County Child Advocacy Center, was working with Decatur's Youth Advocate Program and was often called in the middle of the night to help with runaways. Worried for her safety, Moore accompanied her on these nighttime excursions. While his wife assisted the young people, Moore found himself chatting with local police officers on the scene.

After talking with them, he decided to take the Decatur Police Department's physical fitness test and written exam, passing both. One month later, he was a policeman.

"I love what I do," he says, "and I'm still teaching. The department made me a field training officer after two years on the force and after four years, they made me a fire arms instructor."

Currently lieutenant in charge of the criminal investigations division, Moore supervises more than 50 investigators and other employees working within adult, juvenile and street-crimes-narcotics bureaus. He is also a supervisor on Decatur's Emergency Response Team, where he is in charge of firearms training, as well as planning and executing high-risk drug search warrants.

Not surprisingly, Moore believes being a good supervisor means being a good teacher.

"As a supervisor, you're teaching people what to do," he says. "If you can teach somebody to do something well, you don't have to tell them what to do."

Although many people would find his job incredibly stressful, Moore has a unique outlook on his life and career.

"I lead a life of controlled chaos, but I don't feel like I have a stressful job," he says. "My job has a rule book. If something happens, how you respond is in the rule book."

Nichole Coers Folkman '06

This 2006 alum used haiku to provide a life lesson in giving.

When an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent 30-foot tsunami struck Japan last March, an outpouring of sympathy and assistance came from all over the world.

In Central Illinois, Nichole Coers Folkman '06 devised a way to aid victims of the disasters while providing an interesting learning experience for her English students at Hartsburg-Emden High School in Hartsburg, Ill.

During her time as a Millikin student, Folkman took January term courses with Dr. Randy Brooks, professor of English and now dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She has remained in contact with Brooks, so it's no surprise that Folkman turned to him when she needed some help in his area.

"I knew that my students really needed more guidance in genres I didn't know terribly well," Folkman says. "I wanted them to learn more about haiku [a very short form of Japanese poetry], and I knew Dr. Brooks was an expert, so I contacted him and he agreed to work with us on a haiku project."

Last spring, Brooks facilitated two workshops on reading and writing haiku at the high school. While the workshops were in the planning stages, Folkman had an idea for helping the disaster victims.

"It occurred to me that since haiku originated in Japan where these disasters had just happened, we should do something with this project to benefit the victims," Folkman says. "So we decided to publish a book of the students' haiku, sell the books and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross for Japanese disaster relief."

Nearly 80 students participated, culminating in publication of the chapbook.

"Some of the best efforts came from kids who usually say 'I hate English class,'" Folkman says. "But haiku is short and concise and really makes you think, so some of them really connected with it."

Featuring a selection of the students' best haiku, the book was released last May with proceeds donated to the Red Cross to aid Japanese disaster victims.

Marie Alice Ernst Rademacher '49

Marie Rademacher '49 and her daughters with President Jeffcoat
This alum has spent most of her life in service to others.

Although many of us dream of a retirement filled with relaxation and travel, others find satisfaction in lifelong service.

One such person is Marie Alice Ernst Rademacher '49. A regional director with Catholic Charities since 1985, Rademacher always knew a life of service was her calling.

"I really had great role models," Rademacher says. "My parents gave a lot in service to the community, so I grew up seeing that happen."

At Millikin, she majored in psychology and sociology. "I knew I wanted to be in a helping profession," Rademacher says.

Originally from Virden, Ill., Rademacher heard about Catholic Charities in Springfield and wanted to learn more about their work and mission.

"I talked to the director of the Springfield office and said, 'Give me an idea what direction my life should take.' He told me to come work for Catholic Charities after I graduated."

While she was serving as a case aide in Springfield, the executive director of Catholic Charities encouraged her to attend graduate school. In 1952, Rademacher received a master's degree in social work from St. Louis University. She then relocated to Decatur to become a case worker for the local office of Catholic Charities, working primarily with crisis pregnancies, adoptions and what were then called "juvenile delinquents."

In 1953, she attended her first Catholic Charities Ball on an arranged date with Jack Ernst; they married less than two years later. She stayed home after the birth of their first child, but returned to Catholic Charities part-time while pregnant with their third daughter. Ernst died of cancer after just six years of marriage, leaving her a single mother at age 34.

Then in 1965, her pastor asked her to teach part-time at Holy Family School.

"I told him, 'I think I'm a social worker, and I know I'm a mother, but I'm not a teacher,'" Rademacher says. "He said that my skills from both would transfer to the classroom."

Her decision to teach was a fateful one. At a parent-teacher conference, she met Joe Rademacher '48, the widowed father of one of her students. They fell in love and were married in 1967. A year later, she gave birth to another daughter. But after just three years of marriage, Joe died following surgery for a brain tumor. Marie, age 42, was once again a widow, now with eight children to raise.

In 1982, when her youngest child was a high school sophomore, Rademacher heard about Richland Community College's displaced homemaker program, designed to help women re-enter the workforce.

"I thought maybe I should enroll in the program, but they asked me to work with them as an assistant instead," Rademacher says.

A year later, she joined Family Services (a social service agency eventually absorbed by Catholic Charities) as a case worker. In 1985, the president of the Catholic Charities advisory board asked Rademacher to apply for the job of director of their Decatur office. She's been a regional director ever since.

"Although we are the official service agency for area Catholics, our mission is to assist people of all faiths," Rademacher says. "Need is the determining factor."

She also decided to go back to school, earning her master's degree in human development counseling through the University of Illinois at Springfield in 1994.

Rademacher is particularly proud of the services provided to seniors.

"We help seniors stay in their homes and remain independent as long as possible," she says. "We'll also help them find a guardian, or the agency can become their guardian if no one else is available to serve in that capacity."

Another source of pride is the affordable counseling program for singles, couples and families.

"Catholic Charities provides great counseling services," Rademacher says. "But the job is bittersweet - we help people through some very difficult times, so we see a lot of sadness, depression and anger. But we also see some wonderful success stories."

Honored with the Administrator/Director of the Year Award from the Human Service Agency Consortium in 2009, and now winner of a Women of Excellence Award, Rademacher has no plans to rest on her laurels.

"It seems like my whole life has been my family and Catholic Charities," Rademacher says. "But I love what I do and I look forward every day to coming to work. How blessed I am - how blessed at my age to have the energy level to be able to continue the work I love."

Carol Westermeier Radtke '66

This alum has dedicated herself to fighting child trafficking for "the child we all have the possibility of saving."

A chance encounter on an airplane in 2001 inspired Carol Radtke '66 to begin a fight against child trafficking.

"I had to travel from Paris to Zurich, then Zurich to Chicago, and next to me in the aisle was an adorable girl of 6, perhaps 7," says Radtke. But this little girl was not alone. She was with eight or 10 other children.

"Being the inquisitive person that I am, I asked the girl where she was going, and her answer was 'on holiday, a special trip.' I said, 'Where's your mommy?' and she said 'Auntie,' pointing at a woman with the girls."

Radtke flipped open a book and thought little of the encounter until they arrived in Zurich and the children were getting off the plane.

"Two young fellows stood up a few rows ahead of me, watching this group. They were dressed in the latest designer look, both of them maybe 20 years old. They very carefully stayed in their seats, and as this group of children got off they went behind them and off the plane."

This piqued Radtke's suspicions again, and she brought the matter up with airport security once she was off the plane, but nothing was done. "No one was there who could help. It was brushed aside."

Having done all she could, Radtke boarded her plane headed to Chicago, where she saw a similar group of about 25 people, most of them children ranging from infants to teenagers, led by three women, an older teenager and a grown man.

One woman was holding a baby hanging limp at her side.

"This is what drew my attention," Radtke says. "I thought the baby wasn't well. No one really communicated. The man just directed and yelled, 'Sit! Sit down!' and pushed them to a seat."

Then the pieces started to fit together. "I'm seeing a replay of what I had witnessed on the earlier flight with groups of children led by strange adult figures with little interaction, concern or care being shown," she says.

Worried about the health of the baby, Radtke caught the attention of a flight attendant. When the flight attendant approached the group, she was rebuffed by the grown man in charge who stood up and said the baby was fine.

But Radtke was not convinced. She asked the flight attendant to get the captain, who informed the woman with the baby and the other four children in their row that they would have to leave before the plane took off.

"The man stood up and started screaming and shouting," says Radtke, but despite his efforts, the woman, the baby and the four other children in their row were forced to leave.

After Radtke expressed further concern, the captain asked others in that group to disembark, and an immigration agent took the remaining adults into custody and secured the children once the plane landed in Chicago.

"The group was traveling under the guise of religious refugees, but all the children were being trafficked," Radtke recalls. "It took me so long to stop visualizing, reliving, seeing the faces of the children in front of me, especially those on the first flight, for whom I could do nothing."

Since that day, Radtke has made it her mission to spread the word about child trafficking. "I started to investigate," says Radtke. "There exists today a lucrative, diverse, constant market for both young boys and girls all over the U.S. and beyond. If there were not the market, the trafficking would then not occur, certainly not to the degree that it does."

It occurs to a great degree, with more than two million children trafficked annually.

Luckily, there are like-minded individuals to whom Radtke is lending support, including a group of flight attendants with American Airlines who banded together and started an initiative called Blue Lightning.

Their initiative has made reporting suspected child trafficking easier and more efficient. "The flight attendants are your first line of defense for awareness. They have blue plastic wrist bands which have a hotline to call in the event of suspicious activity," Radtke says, "and the plane will be met by immigration agents who will investigate the situation."

Radtke has also joined forces with Leonie Brandsetter, wife of the Austrian diplomat to Jamaica and Canada, in hopes other diplomats will urge their countries' airlines to join in an airline initiative modeled after Blue Lightning.

Radtke says awareness is key. "Wherever you are, however you are traveling, whomever you are with: Look and listen outside of yourself for anything unusual in regards to children."

She urges anyone who views suspicious activity involving children, especially while traveling, to call the national hotline at 888-373-7888. She also says more information about how to prevent child trafficking can be found at at

"Averting your eyes or disregarding what you are hearing will only bury the crime deeper," Radtke says. "Please help bring it into the light."

Christel Jene '10

Christel Jene '10
This young alum helps fight poverty in Appalachia.

Living well below the poverty line is the unfortunate reality for most residents living in hard-scrabble Appalachia. Fortunately, many charitable groups canvas the area, providing volunteer assistance and supplies. For nearly a year, one of those volunteers was Christel Jene '10, who worked in Eastern Kentucky with the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP), a nonprofit organization providing physical, spiritual and emotional support for residents of that area.

During her time in McKee, Ky., Jene taught fourth grade students on topics such as conflict resolution and consumerism. She also ran an afterschool reading program, an afterschool teen center and taught music to middle school children in various small towns throughout Jackson County.

"Although I volunteered through CAP, my service placement was actually at Camp Andrew Jackson, which is primarily known for its summer camps for underprivileged children in the area," Jene says. "During the rest of the year, [the camp] promotes education in schools, which is why I did other school programs in addition to summer camp."

For Jene, seeking ways to improve the community was one of the most rewarding aspects of volunteer life. For example, at the Lord's Gym teen center she led devotion classes for underprivileged teens searching for something to do.

"There's nothing to do in town, so the teens went there to hang out or play basketball," Jene says.

Although Jene went on mission trips in high school, she credits her Millikin experience as her inspiration for wanting to help those in need. A vocal music education major, she especially remembers the lessons she learned as a member of the University Choir.

"The opportunities to travel to China with University Choir while at Millikin gave me a passion for experiencing the uncomfortable," she says. "These experiences prepared me to step out of my comfort zone once again and enter into the world of Appalachia."

After finishing her service in Kentucky last summer, Jene joined a year-long traveling ministry group called Youth Encounter, ministering to youth in the United States, Ukraine, Romania and Germany through music and teaching. Reflecting on her 10 months of teaching life lessons to underprivileged children in Kentucky, she insists that her students and their families taught her just as much.

"The people in Jackson County may not have much in material possessions, but they have more faith and love than anyone I have ever met," Jene says. "If I left Kentucky with even an ounce of this faith and love, I will consider myself truly blessed."

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs!

by Cathy Good Lockman ’79

Somewhere, sometime, you’ve likely heard this advice: “If you can’t say something nice, it’s better to say nothing at all.” I remember saying it myself as a Millikin freshman 35 years ago and getting a well-deserved eye roll from a Walker Hall floor mate, who, despite that gesture, became a lifelong friend. A small sign now displayed in her home provides a different take on that same advice: “If you can’t say something nice, then by all means come sit over here by me.”

I was reminded of that funny sign of hers and that naïve adage of mine in October when I traveled 1,300 miles in two days on a “luxury” Millikin-sponsored bus to spend three hours standing on the National Mall with 250,000 others at the “Rally to Restore Sanity.” My college-aged daughter, though proud of my sense of adventure, was sure that her 53-year-old mother would be the oldest participant. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, there were throngs of young people, and most of them were closest to the stage - after all, we older people have our limits on how early we’re willing to get to an event and how long we’re willing to stand in one place, especially to hear Ozzy Osbourne belt out “Crazy Train.” But there were thousands of people like me, outside the “Daily Show” demographic of 18 to 35, who ventured to the nation’s capital. And we didn’t even know we’d get to see Cat Stevens sing “Peace Train” and the O’Jays perform “Love Train.”

So what moved young and old to come? Conversations I had, as well as those I eavesdropped on (14 hours is a long time on a bus), provided some answers. Many were Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert fans making the trip to see the duo’s comedy and political skewering in person. Others heard there would be big-name musical acts and came for the free concert. Some just wanted to be part of the “happening” or were looking for a great place to show off their Halloween costumes; they added to the “insanity” quotient. But the majority of people I talked to, including the Millikin contingent of students, faculty and alumni, came with something more inspiring in mind - they wanted to lend their support to the idea that the tenor of political dialogue in our country has gotten out of hand and that as Stewart suggested: “We need to take it down a notch, America.”

Some carried signs that mimicked Stewart’s sentiment, like the teacher who urged people to “Use your indoor voice” or the middle-aged man whose banner advised, “If you keep shouting like that, you’ll get big muscles all over your face.” There was a librarian’s request, “Shhh. I’m listening to the opinions of others,” and a fluorescent poster that read, “Being loud, rude and ignorant is not a political movement, it’s just bad manners.”

Of course, some ralliers had more of a political ax to grind, but most were reasonable, many were clever and some were downright funny. They carried signs like, “Congress should do stuff,” “Obama: He’s probably not trying to destroy America,” “I’m pretty sure nobody likes taxes,” “I disagree with you, but I don’t think you’re Hitler” and my personal favorite, “I’m not afraid of Muslims, tea partiers, socialists, immigrants, gun owners, or gays, but I’m really scared of spiders.”

Some pundits criticized the rally, saying it was long on entertainment and short on substance, and while that may be true, everyone I spoke with came away feeling they had made an important personal statement by attending - namely, that the way we talk to each other really matters.

Which brings me back to that polite “say-nothing-at-all” advice. Obviously, it’s not a great philosophy for bridging differences, since nothing changes if you don’t voice your opinion. Likewise, little progress is made if you always take the “come-over-here-and-sit-by-me” approach. After all, sharing your ideas with those who are like-minded doesn’t do much to initiate new dialogue.

That leaves one option for opening the doors to change, and that’s engaging in civilized debate. A sign I saw as I left the Rally put it this way, “We should all talk sanely more often.” Or as one of my Millikin professors said many years ago: “Even if you don’t have anything nice to say, you still have to find a way to say it nicely.”

I doubt my friend would roll her eyes at that.

Cathy Good Lockman ’79 was one of more than 100 MU students and friends making the trip from Millikin in two buses to the “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30. The group rode 14 hours to D.C., spent 12 hours in the city and rode 14 hours back.
“Even though this was a whirlwind adventure, it was the trip of a lifetime,” says trip organizer Bobbi Gentry, assistant professor of political science. “Many students had never been to a rally and were able to witness firsthand how people-politics really works.”

Website upgrade allows quick and easy credit card donations

Supporting Millikin has never been easier.

In August, the university rolled out a new Make a Gift website that allows alumni and friends of the university a simpler way to make credit card donations than in the past. The new site,, allows individuals using a credit card to make a one-time gift or even set up recurring gifts on a payment schedule chosen by the donor.

“Our alumni and friends were telling us that they wanted a simple way to make donations to Millikin, something comparable to the ‘shopping cart’ systems you see on so many websites these days,” says Peg Luy ’75, vice president for alumni and development. “We also know that, more and more, individuals want to be able to dedicate their gift to a certain project, department or cause, and this new Make a Gift website makes that easy, too.”

Gifts may range in size depending on the donor’s preference, and at least one donor has already used his credit card to set up a scholarship. Gifts may be made anytime, day or night, and donors have the option to register their contact information for ease in making repeat gifts – or opting not to register.

“It’s becoming one of the most popular features on our website, as those who wish to support Millikin learn that it’s available.” Luy says.

The site is completely secure and offers several giving options, including the Millikin Fund and the “Transform MU” capital campaign .

“A gift to Millikin provides students with opportunities to learn their passion, fulfill their dreams, acquire professional success and ultimately serve society,” Luy says. “Tuition and board fees cover only 75 percent of the university’s expenses. It is through your commitment to Millikin that we are able to fund the other 25 percent to maintain and improve the high quality of our educational programs.”

Bidding the Zemkes goodbye

A few weeks before his Dec. 31 retirement, President Douglas Zemke ’66 and his wife, Ellen, were honored by the campus community at a “Celebration of Leadership” event held in Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

At the event, more than 20 individuals representing faculty, administrators, students and alumni, spoke of the impact of the well-regarded, seven-and-a-half year Zemke presidency. A few videos were shown, dances were performed and songs were sung, and the evening was highlighted by a declaration that a new $50,000 matching scholarship created by the Millikin board of trustees in honor of the Zemkes had surpassed $100,000 in donations. Subsequently, the James Millikin Estate trustees also created a second Millikin scholarship in honor of the Zemke presidency for students from the Decatur area. Both Zemkes also were recognized at December’s commencement ceremony, where Board Chairman Mikel Briggs took special pleasure in announcing that the board had granted Zemke the rank of president emeritus upon his retirement.

It was a lot of hoopla for a man who was touted at the Kirkland celebration for instilling the office of president with a quiet and authentic sense of dignity, integrity and respect. Many of the speakers praised his undeniable commitment to the university and its students. A few of their comments:

“He truly has a genuine interest in the students here,” said Alex Berry ’09, who was a student worker for two years in the president’s office. “President Zemke makes each one of us proud to be a part of the Millikin family.”

“Doug and Ellen are as real as it gets,” said Walt Wessel ’69, university registrar, who has worked at Millikin for nearly 38 years.

“We appreciate the 24/7 way you went about being our president and first lady,” said incoming Interim President Peg Smith Luy ’75.

John Mickler, director of facility operations, made note of Zemke’s previous roles as dean and board trustee, sharing his light-hearted conclusion that Zemke must have had “trouble holding a position here” before reminding the audience that Zemke never wavered in his focus on the university’s mission to serve its students.

“The last thing he said at his final  campus forum was, ‘Remember the mission,’” Mickler said.

Vice President of Enrollment Rich Dunsworth described Zemke as a man who did not live by “situational ethics” but a mentor who asked the question, “If higher education can’t fight when they’re right, who’s left to protect truth?”

Following their retirement, the Zemkes planned to return to Ohio to be closer to family and their previous home of many years. Interim President Luy will serve until the April 1 arrival of Millikin’s 14th president, Dr. Harold Jeffcoat.

President Zemke by the numbers:
» 7 - The number of years that Douglas E. Zemke served as Millikin’s president.
» 1 - His primary focus as president: To deliver on the promise of education for all Millikin students.
» 13 - His lucky number. He started his first job on June 13, he is Millikin’s 13th president, and his association with the university as trustee, dean and then president began 13 years ago.
» 31 - The date of his retirement: Dec. 31, 2010.
» 66 - A 1966 graduate, Zemke was a standout on the Big Blue wrestling team.
» 24 - The number of speakers at a retirement event held in honor of President Zemke and his wife, Ellen, on campus in December.
» 6 - The number of different roles Zemke has held in relation to his alma mater: student, parent of a student, trustee, dean,  president and now president emeritus.
» 3 - The number of times President Zemke began a new career after retirement: He became dean of the Tabor School after retiring from a 30-year career in telecommunications, then retired as dean in 2001 only to return as the university’s president in 2003.

Millikin during the first Zemke years: 1962-66

by Amanda Pippitt and Todd Rudat, University Archivists

In fall 1962, a freshman class of 260 gathered at Allerton Park for freshman camp orientation. Among those freshmen was Douglas Zemke, retiring Millikin president, who would go on to be a star wrestler for the Big Blue before graduating with a business administration degree. During their time at Millikin, Zemke’s class of 1966 witnessed many small and large changes, including some nationally significant events:

They banded together
Fall 1962 saw the beginnings of Millikin’s Jazz Lab Band, and on March 8, 1963, they gave their first performance in a sold-out Albert Taylor Hall. Under the direction of the late Roger Schueler, the Jazz Lab Band quickly rose to national prominence, performing at the Chicagoland Jazz Festival in early 1966.

In October 1963, Millikin’s marching band had just six days notice to prepare and perform for a live crowd of 45,000 at half-time of a Chicago Bears football game – plus a nationwide television audience of approximately 2.5 million (photo above).
The attire was a changin'
Just as students in earlier classes, members of the class of ’66 also were required to wear their freshman beanies on campus. However, the “beanie question” emerged as a hot button issue during their time as students, and in 1967, the beanie tradition was abolished.

A year earlier, students had petitioned for a change in the campus dress code in order to wear Bermuda shorts in the cafeteria and library. The petition was approved for both men and women.

Do you copy me?
The library welcomed its first Xerox machine, a gift from the class of 1965. Copies could be made for just 10 cents a page – coincidentally the same fee that is charged today.

In 1965, student Mike Evans attempted to promote his new, more aggressive-looking rendition of a Millikin falcon mascot to symbolize the “fierceness” of MU sports teams. The staffers of the Decaturian covered that story as well as devoting heavy coverage to the burgeoning civil rights movement.

New places and faces
Blackburn Hall, a new women’s dormitory, was built and dedicated, and construction began on Hessler Hall, a new men’s residence hall, in April 1966.

A year earlier, Chaplain William G. Bodamer began his teaching career at MU and was described as “one of the most dynamic new additions to the Millikin faculty.” Dr. Bodamer taught at Millikin until his 1997 retirement as professor emeritus of religion.

The day they’ll never forget
In November 1963, the class of ’66 and the rest of campus were shocked by President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and students, faculty and staff gathered in Albert Taylor Hall to mourn his loss. The Peace Corps, established by President Kennedy’s executive order in March 1961, advertised and recruited heavily on campus. Jack Kolb ’63 was one who answered the call, serving the Peace Corps in Nepal. 

These are just a few of the Millikin moments from the period of 1962 - 66, when future President Zemke walked the campus as a student, gathering experiences and skills that would one day aid him in his role as Millikin’s top administrator.

Are you resume ready?

by Pam Folger, Director of Millikin’s Career Center

What would you do if the person who had the power to hire you for your dream job asked for a copy of your resume? Would you be resume-ready? If not, it’s time to think about updating.

In today’s uncertain economy, it is even more important to keep your resume up-to-date. You never know when you might need it at a moment’s notice.

Understand the mind-set 
• A resume is a living document and should be updated on a regular basis.
• Develop multiple versions of your resume focused on specific industries of interest to you. 
• Your resume must be targeted for each position. Look at a position posting and identify what skills, qualifications and traits are most important in the ideal job candidate. Tweak your resume to focus on these. 
• Each piece of information takes up valuable real estate on your resume. Be sure that what you list is worth the space and location. The earlier you list an item, the greater it is considered in importance and relevance.

A potential employer will read your resume for a few seconds, so information has to “pop.” Formatting is very important, but content that is relevant, compelling and powerful is a must.

Format your resume
• Bold all headings and place them in order of their importance, as determined by the position description. Keep them to the left instead of centered. Since the eye reads left to right, this will allow them to be instantly identified by your busy potential employer.
• Be consistent. For instance, if you abbreviate the state in your address in the heading of your resume, then follow suit throughout it.
• Use a professional, modern font such as Arial, and keep your font size within a 10-12 point range. Your name may be in a larger size of font, such as 14-20.
• Use a line under your heading section, so the readers’ eyes are drawn to the content of your resume first. They can look at your name later if the resume has enticed them.
• Keep your resume to an appropriate length. A new college graduate should have a one-page resume. As you gain career experience, it will need to go to two or more pages. Be sure to include your name and the page number in the upper right-hand corner of each page after the first.

Add powerful content
• Be concise.
• Use keywords (determined by looking at the position description).
• Don’t use personal pronouns.
• Consider whether or not you need an objective. You need to state an objective when you’re sending your resume and you aren’t sure if there is an opening. In this instance, it indicates what position you are seeking. You may also opt to include an objective if your resume doens’t fill the page. The objective must be specific, concise and well-worded.
• Develop a professional profile or summary of qualifications section to best highlight your career brand. These should be bullet-pointed power statements that relate your accomplishments and skills to the position and may vary depending on the position.
• Use bullet points under each job to describe your accomplishments.
• Don’t list something on your resume that you don’t want to discuss. If it’s on your resume, then it’s fair game for the interviewer.
• Consider dividing out your “career-related experience” from “additional experience.” There is no need to use bullet points for additional experience if you don’t have room to do so.
• Know your industry and what the expectation might be for resume content and format.
• An international resume is different. Resumes in other countries typically include personal information not considered appropriate in the United States. If you are writing a resume to be sent to a potential employer in another country, your resume style will vary depending on the country. Some resources for writing an international resume include and

Remember this
• Don’t let someone else write your resume. No one else is going to understand your skills, abilities and experiences well enough to do your resume justice. However, do have someone review it once you’re done. It’s very easy to miss typos and other inconsistencies in your own work. Seek feedback from someone in your career industry.
• Never underestimate the value of an excellent, well-developed resume. While networking may be the most effective way to find a job, an excellent resume is still a must. The old adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is only true to some extent. The skills and abilities to back it up, as listed on your resume, are a must.

Once you’ve updated your resume, you should feel excited to see all of your accomplishments listed on paper. Next, channel that sense of excitement into your job search and interview, and you’ll be well on your way to landing a new position – perhaps even the special job of your dreams.

Pam Folger, director of Millikin’s Career Center, has more than 23 years experience in career and employment services, more than 11 of them at MU.
Learn about the Career Center at

Retired professor’s letter tells of theatre department’s history
Letters to the editor are always welcome. Below are excerpts from a letter recently received from Dr. Arthur Hopper, professor emeritus of theatre.
“When I received the fall issue of the Millikin Quarterly, I was delighted to read about the planned renovation and use of the Old Gym. The Old Gym holds a special place in my memory as I was the first to use it as a theatre space in the early ’70s.

I came to Millikin in fall 1970 to be the chair of the then speech department. There were eight speech majors and two other speech faculty. There were no theatre majors; a major in musical theatre was unheard of. Malcolm Forbes, then dean of the College Arts and Sciences, had brought me there to start a theatre major. The name of the department was soon changed to the department of speech and theatre. Sets were to be built in an empty classroom on the ground floor of AT Hall. The only tools were a few hand saws and hammers. No power tools. No costume shop. Set pieces, (basically flats and platforms) were stored in the attic above AT Hall. It was a very primitive situation.

By fall 1971 we had a major in theatre and musical theatre (thanks to the talented music majors who were participating in plays). The course requirements for these majors were very basic, as we had only two theatre faculty, me and Stuart McDaniels, our technical director and designer. The next year we added a third faculty member who taught acting and directing. We did the first musical in Kirkland in the fall of 1972: “The Man of LaMancha.” A gala event was held with Mrs. Kirkland and Governor Ogilvie attending. Soon after, we were given the Old Gym for a scene shop and storage area. That was quite a week. We literally threw things out the AT Hall attic window and trucked them to the Old Gym. We soon began using the Old Gym as a rehearsal space. I remember well choreographing the fight scene for “West Side Story” with Tim Shew ’80 as Tony in the gym.

I have so many memories of Millikin; working with Steve Fiol on “Godspell, Jodi Mazaroti Benson’s audition for the musical theatre program, Dwight Jordan’s choreography, taking three shows to the American College Theatre Festival, the installation of the TV equipment for the student radio station, directing almost 15 shows in Kirkland during the summers.

I am happy and honored to have been a part of the initial stages of a program that has grown to be the outstanding program it is today. I know that this growth could not have occurred without hard-working, talented and dedicated faculty, a central administration who saw the value to the university and supported the growth and to the recruitment of many talented students. The latest development – the creation of a Theatre Arts Center in the Old Gym – is something of which we all can be proud. Congratulations to all.”

– Dr. Arthur Hopper
Two receive Lindsay Medallion
Bridgette Starwalt of Sherman, Ill., and Elise Wildman of Lovington, Ill., both seniors, received the Lindsay Medallion in honor of their outstanding performances for their Big Blue teams. The Medallion is named in honor of the late F. Merrill Lindsay, trustee emeritus, and his late wife, “Sis” Lindsay. It has been presented annually to an outstanding Millikin student-athlete since 1998.

Starwalt has established several school records during her time as a member of the Big Blue women’s track & field team.

A three time All-CCIW Academic All-Conference, she holds the school record in 400 hurdles with a time of 1:02.21; this feat earned her the 2010 CCIW Outdoor Championship in the event as well as qualification for the 2010 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.

Starwalt holds the school record for the indoor track 300- and 400-meter runs with times of 43.01 and 59.34, respectively. She is No. 2 in the record book for the 200-meter indoor track with a time of 26.46.

In addition to setting speed records, Starwalt is No. 3 for the indoor long jump at 16-6. and No. 7 in the outdoor long jump with a jump of 17-00/50.

Starwalt was a member of the indoor relay team that set a school record in the 4x400 with a time of 4:04.89. In addition, she was a member of the 4x400 meter outdoor relay team that stands at No. 2 in the athletics record book with a time of 4:02.02.

Last spring, Starwalt was named the recipient of the 2010 Jack Schwartz Academic All-Conference Award for the spring season. A nursing major, she started her final season of athletic competition for the Big Blue in December.

Wildman has been nationally recognized for her achievements on the Big Blue women’s basketball team. She was a 2009-10 All-CCIW first team selection and was twice named the 2009-10 CCIW Player of the Week during that season.

Wildman contributed an average 17.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game to the women’s basketball team during the 2009-10 season when she was named a All-Central Region third team selection and the team was named National Team of the Week. That same year, Wildman led the CCIW in rebounding and blocked shots.

Wildman is a three-time All-CCIW Academic All-Conference selection and was the recipient of the 2009-10 Jack Schwartz Academic All-Conference Award for the winter season.  She also was named to the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District third team for Region 5’s college division.

A chemistry, pre-pharmacy major, she is vice president of Sigma Zeta, co-authored the first peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Chemical Crystallography and has been awarded the Dr. and Mrs. William Henderson Prize for the best essay concerning applications in chemistry or other evidence of excellence in the field.

This is her final season as a member of the women’s basketball team. 
It’s a small world... Millikin style
It’s a long way from Decatur to the Tower of London, and even further to Jdioara, Romania, but Millikin connections can bridge the distance. Just ask Karen Colton Popet ’81.

Karen and her husband, Ruben, founded and operate an orphanage in Jdioara, a rural Romanian village. While traveling to a church conference this past summer, the Popets stopped at the Tower of London to sightsee. When another tourist overheard them talking about Central Illinois and asked where they were from, Karen was surprised to find herself shaking hands with Mike Poe ’74, an assistant football coach for the Big Blue.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., several of Karen’s Alpha Chi Omega sisters from across the country were gathering in Chicago for a reunion. During their visit, they put together packages for each of the 22 children at the Popets’ orphanage as a way to show their support for the couple’s work and mission. Along with crayons, markers, pens, pencils, protractors and other school supplies, each package included a gift and a Big Blue basketball T-shirt for the children to wear in honor of Karen’s alma mater (see photo, above).

Since raising 22 children is a big job, the fact that “it’s a small world” makes that big job easier, Karen says, because she knows she has the support of a network of Millikin connections.

To contact the Popets or for more information on their work, e-
mail them at or call Grace Point of Webster Fellowship in St. Louis at 314-968-5233.
What a wag, that dog

Millikin has handed honorary degrees to many figures throughout the years – congressmen, university presidents, opera stars, scientists and more – but only one recipient created a stir in national and international news. It was “Sig,” the shaggy dog mascot of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in the ’30s and ’40s.

On May 29, 1935, before an assembly of students and administrators, Sig was recognized for his dogged determination with a doctor of canineology degree, an event reported in newspapers as far away as The London Times. Sig earned the distinction following loyal service to his fraternity and his school, including the countless hours he spent in the classroom.

Sig began each morning a few blocks west of Millikin at Dennis Elementary School to oversee the flag raising and children playing, then wandered to Millikin for his own classes. He’d enter Shilling Hall — then known as Liberal Arts Hall — and sniff at classroom doors until he located an SAE and joined the class at the feet of his chosen student.

Sig was known for his SAE loyalty, often picking out a certain fraternity member to follow around campus. Bill McGaughey ’43 was one of his favored SAE students.

“Sig was snooty and wouldn’t tag along with non-SAEs,” McGaughey says. “In the hallways, he would sniff other men, and if not an SAE, passed them by. He was a faithful SAE.”

When the bell ended class, Sig promptly rose to leave, and if the professor dared to lecture past the bell, he would bark loudly until the classroom door was opened for him.

Sig’s SAE “brothers” also envied his popularity with the ladies. In the 1934 Decaturian social column, a lady admirer swooned: “We just love Siggie because he behaved so beautifully Saturday afternoon [Homecoming] in his sweet little Millikin coat. While all his doggie brothers were barking and carrying on no end, dignified Siggie sat peacefully on the grass and watched the game with great interest. Therefore, Siggie gets all the dog biscuits this week.”

But Sig was more of a rogue than his lady admirers knew, always getting into a variety of scrapes. During spring break 1935, he accepted a ride with a perfect stranger who had a number of dogs with him. Duped by his “love of riding in an automobile and the desire for good, doggy companionship,” according to the Decaturian, Sig was forced to spend his spring break in the city dog pound. He was slated to be put to sleep, when his brothers raced to his rescue just in time. Sig came away from his spree with a new collar, license No. 8 and fleas. 

Sig even set off looking for adventures on the day of his big degree ceremony. Finally located at Dennis School, he was led into the ceremony to the tune, “Oh, Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone.”

Sig was especially fond of accompanying McGaughey and his girlfriend (who later became his wife), the late Isabelle Osgood McGaughey ’45 to the local Blue Mill restaurant. Sig had a regular seat there and the owners always treated him to a complimentary ice cream cone. He also had a choice seat on the floats at Homecoming parades and attended sporting events wearing a blue-and-white coat bearing his name and the name of his fraternity. “He understood it was something special for him,” says McGaughey.

When World War II broke out and the fraternity shut down for the duration, Sig went to live with McGaughey’s parents while McGaughey went to war. One day, he wandered off and was found by the railroad tracks, one more SAE who didn’t make it back after the war. But as a dog who took part in all the college rituals with his brothers – classes, dates, football games and spring breaks – he was accustomed to following in the tracks of the boys he so loved. ●

Information for this article, originally written by Katie Liesener ’03 and published in its entirety in the fall 2003 issue, was obtained from the late Bud Lewis ’36, Alumni Relations Director Jan Devore and a 2001 winter commencement speech made by Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences, Gerald Redford.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL