As Jack '70 and Ellie (Hancock) King '71 prepare for milestone class reunions—Jack will celebrate his 50th this year; Ellie will mark hers next year—the memories come flooding back.
Good friends. Influential professors. Campus events.
And, of course, meeting each other.
"It brings back a lot of good memories, and also a lot of really silly memories—some that I hope the people I know there have forgotten," Jack says, laughing. "But even those experiences shaped the person I am today."
The Kings became successful business owners and leaders in their community. Jack has been active in local government as a city councilman and mayor of Festus, Missouri. They later started a church, where Jack serves as pastor. It began with 14 people and now has two campuses and more than 1,000 people involved in the ministries.
They credit Illinois Wesleyan for preparing them—and the many members of their family who have attended IWU, including their daughters Molly '03 and Elizabeth "Libby" King '99—for their successful lives.
The Kings have been faithful donors to their alma mater because of their positive experiences and their desire to provide similar experiences for the next generation.
"The university is even better now than when we were there," Ellie says. "And we just want that to be available to more people."
The Kings have supported IWU in myriad ways, including the School of Nursing, where their daughter Molly was provided the foundation for a successful career in health care.
Ellie says she and Jack will "continue to do (their) little part to help Illinois Wesleyan grow as an institution." And Jack says he'd encourage other alumni to do the same.
"What better legacy can there be than knowing that your alma mater—the school that meant so much to you and gave you so much—continues to grow and to thrive?" he asks. "What better legacy for anybody than to be a part of that?"
Discover some of the many ways you, like the Kings, can create a legacy at IWU. Contact Michele Brady at 309-556-3861 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Seibring '81 at 309-556-3135 or email@example.com to learn more.