Creating Lands of Opportunity
Some 164 years ago, a local family sold land to Illinois Wesleyan University. The east gates welcoming students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus will soon be named in their honor.
The campus gateway at the Presser Hall sidewalk, across from Evelyn Chapel, will be renamed The Phoenix Gates to honor Carol (Pedigo) Phoenix '67, her late husband, John Phoenix, and the Phoenix family legacy.
Much of Illinois Wesleyan's campus was built on a 10-acre plot sold to the University by Franklin K. Phoenix, then-owner of Phoenix Bloomington Nursery and great-grandfather of John Phoenix, in 1854.
The naming of the Phoenix Gates will permanently recognize the Phoenix legacy on campus, where the name is already associated with a pair of endowed scholarships established by Carol Phoenix, reflecting her family's values and interests.
The Carol (Pedigo) Phoenix '67 and John Phoenix Endowed Scholarship, for a student majoring in environmental studies and the Yenerich-Pedigo-Phoenix Endowed Scholarship for the School of Music, for a student majoring in string, piano or voice, relate closely to John and Carol Phoenix's college majors (in biology and violin/music education). Carol and her sister, Julia Pedigo '74, are also IWU legacies of their mother, Ruth Yenerich Pedigo '34.
"I felt a special connection with Illinois Wesleyan when I was in school," Carol Phoenix said. "I felt understood and appreciated and connected and alive, with like-minded people to learn with and perform with and discover with, that I hadn't had before."
"It makes me feel really terrific, that I can do something to help preserve the land and the value of education and art for future generations."
Learn how you, like the Carol and the Phoenix family, can create a legacy at IWU. Contact Steve Seibring '81 at 309-556-3135 or [email protected] to learn more.