Maroon & Gold
July 31, 2020

A Note From Home.....

I'm excited! I haven't said that in months, but it's true. As I finish my 31st year working here 'neath the Elms, I am happy to say that I believe Eureka's best years are ahead. Just when I thought this COVID19 chapter would get the best of me, a breath of fresh air came to campus: my friend, classmate, and champion for the fine arts of EC, Mary Finch '84. I know, we have been anticipating her arrival for months now. Finally, she is onboard here and already making a difference. 

Mary and I go way back. She was the first student I met on campus when I showed up in Mom's blue polyester skirt, panty hose, pumps and button-down oxford shirt (my mom insisted I look professional for my music scholarship audition) in the spring of 1983. Mary was in her EC sweatshirt, jeans and Nikes and gave me the campus tour.  Mary was the music major on campus and, not gonna lie, I was pretty intimidated. There were several distinct differences between us. She was a gorgeous lyric soprano, I was a nervous low alto. She was Greek (DDP) and I was independent. She appeared confident, I did NOT! (I am happy to say that I have grown a great deal in that area from my Eureka experiences...Thank Goodness!)  After college, Mary and I stayed in touch and our friendship has grown very strong over the years.

One thing Mary and I have always shared is a deep love and respect for our fine arts education and degrees we earned with experiences in chorale, theatre, the arts, and special me mories of Chorale tours throughout the country and Europ e. While I made my career here at Eureka with a regular " gig, " leading the alma mater at alumni events, Mary went on to a successful music career, landing in one of the oldest opera houses in the United States, The San Francisco Opera Chorus. Her recent retirement has brought her back home to us as Director of Fine Arts Advancement and Recruitment. This renewed focus on fine and performing arts is personally exciting to me and with Mary leading the charge, we have a great opportunity to see the arts thrive again, 'neath the Elms. 

COVID 19 has shown us all how important the arts are and to appreciate the power of the arts in our lives. Below is a special message from Mary with some exciting ways you can join us in supporting the arts at Eureka.

Shellie Schwanke '87
Director of Alumni Relations and the Ronald W. Reagan Society
Special Assistant to the President 

A Special Message: Fine Arts MATTER! 

Greetings from 'Neath the Elms',  

 "Are you ready to get going?" That was Dr. Wright's greeting when I met her on campus a few weeks ago.  I am ready and extremely excited about the almost endless possibilities for the growth of the Fine and Performing Arts programs. 
My office looks out on The Chapel, Pritchard Theatre and the entrance to Rinker Amphitheatre.  What wonderful memories these places ignite. I've heard from many alums and friends of the college congratulating me on the new position and asking what it is I will be doing for the college. I'm here to grow our Fine Arts programs and move them forward.  What does that mean?  I'll be recruiting Music, Theatre and Art students, working with our Development Team to raise funds for technology, scholarships/awards, and capital projects, and I will be working to  heighten our exposure within the community and beyond.  I'll also be working on a project very near and dear to my heart: a summer arts festival at Rinker Amphitheatre - the hidden gem of Eureka College! More to come on that later.
- Improving our marketing and recruiting strategies.  Part of that improvement is to highlight alums who had or have careers in the Arts including Arts Administration, Arts Education and those that have continued to participate through Community Based Arts Organizations.  We need to hear from you! We want to update our database for those of you who work in arts administration, perform or create art. One of our goals is to inform prospective students and their parents about careers in the Arts and the ability for lifelong participation and appreciation.  Highlighting our alums and your careers is one of the best ways to showcase our programs.

-Technology is everywhere and that includes the Arts!  We will be heightening our online presence this fall by adding a Fine and Performing Arts digital footprint on Social Media.  Later this fall you will be able to access performance schedules, exhibitions, and features about our students, alums and faculty in one location. We are also planning to provide more opportunities for students in the Arts to have access to the latest technology.  A priority will be the purchase of Mac Labs for Media and Digital Design, Music Composition (combined with a Piano Lab), Audio production and Theatre Design. 
The Arts Matter and Eureka College is GROWING THE ARTS!   Our alumni are our best recruiting tool! You can help us not only through your gifts, but through spreading the word about Eureka through your talents. Dr. Wright and the Board of Trustees are making investments in our programs, and now more than ever we need the beauty of Art, Music and Theatre, and that means we need YOU!
I look forward to hearing from you and can't wait to see you 'Neath the Elms'.
Mary Finch
Director of Fine Arts Advancement & Recruitment
Eureka College
300 E. College Avenue

Making a Difference: Gloria McNett '57
Preface from Dr. Logsdon:
On July 9, on behalf of the Eureka College Development Office, I called Gloria McNett to ask her why she had invested so much time and effort on behalf of the College. I looked forward to the call because of my many connections with Gloria's family. Her husband Bill and I were in the same Survey of American Literature class in 1955. Professor Del McKeehan assigned Bill and me to give a class report on a poem by T.S. Eliot. I was a freshman at the time. Now can you believe that a freshman from the farm could possibly say anything intelligent about Eliot's poetry? Bill saved the day for me and earned my lifelong friendship. Gloria's sister Kathy and Bill's sister Joan were members of my graduating class in 1958. Then in the late 1960s Bill was a member of a graduate summer institute at Western Illinois University, and we had a reunion at that time. Later, when I started a teaching journal at Eureka College, I asked Bill to be an advisor and reader for the journal, and once again we joined forces. Both Gloria and Bill have had distinguished careers in education in Illinois, and they have also been generous with their support of Eureka College over the years. The depth of their gratitude is reflected eloquently in Gloria's answer to my question, given below in her own words.

READ her story  HERE.
If you have a story you would like to be considered for publication, please submit the story (written by YOU) along with an accompanying electronic photo to . Due to our small staff we will only consider publishing completed stories submitted by our campus community. We reserve the right to edit and publish at our discretion.    
  Fall Colors Peace Garden
Alumni/Development has been working on a Fall 2020 Engagement plan that focuses on caution, virtual interaction and flexibility in the era of Covid19. We plan to proceed faulting on the side of caution only seeing alumni in person within the parameters of State, City, and College guidelines put in place by Eureka College administration. 
There will be no gatherings on campus during
fall semester to diminish outside exposure during this fragile time in an effort to protect the
campus community.  With this in mind, we will default to virtual events for the next few months.  Patience and prudence will continue to be the order of the day as we all move through first semester.
ICYMI - NACC Postpones Football Season to Spring 2021  Source:
The Eureka College Face Coverings have arrived! We have two styles available - Neck Gaiter or Face Mask. There is a limited supply so order one today at

EC Now Presents:

The Admission team has been busy promoting Eureka's programs in a virtual format to our prospective students over the past few months. Here is a great interview about our Hispanic Studies program. Enjoy! 
The Studs Terkel Project
Richard Volker, class of 1959: A life celebrating the spirit of EC core values of Learning, Leadership, and Service

Richard Volker '59
Dr. Loren Logsdon, Professor Emeritus of English, AKA Gort Rumson, Maroon and Gold's roving reporter shares the following note this month: 
Finally, I have received a response from my invitation to EC alums to send their personal stories. I received the following from Richard Volker, class of 1959. He begins: "Obviously you enjoy creating and writing. Most of the stuff in newsletters is about recent grads, and that's the people interested in what's going on at Eureka. You mentioned in your last column that if an alum had something newsworthy in 'the spirit of Eureka' to send it to you, so I'm sending you a narrative about what I have done during my lifetime after leaving Eureka."

If you have a story that speaks to the  "Spirit of Eureka," contact Dr. Logsdon at


During this difficult and uncertain time for all of us, we would love to create a resource of small businesses within our Eureka College community and help you with promotion. Working together will be what helps us all get through this current crisis.

Please email with your name and class year, the name, location and description of your business and provide a link to your business page. We have set up a web page listing small businesses owned or operated by Eureka College alumni HERE . Please stay safe!  #EUREKATOGETHER

Share Your News
We are always looking for news from you about what you are up to!  New job? Recently married? New baby? Retiring? Send it to us!
 Athletic  Headlines
Since our photo album is bare this month, we are switching it up to bring you news of our student athletes and coaches.

The Directory Project Continues!

Thank you to all our alumni who are responding and have invested in this project. 

We now are in the calling phase. Please remember that this project is being managed by our vendor partner PCI whose call center is working on our behalf, as they do for many academic alumni associations. PCI will now start calling those who have yet to respond to be sure no one who wishes to be listed in the directory is left out. IF YOU CHOSE TO PARTICIPATE BUT WOULD PREFER NOT TO RECEIVE A CALL, PLEASE EMAIL   and we will send you a link to update your information online. 
Questions? Check out our FAQ's at
Or, contact the Alumni Office at 877-892-7823 or email at We always enjoy hearing from you! 

Recommend Eureka to a Student You Know!
Do you know a recent high school graduate who hasn't yet decided where to go to school this fall?  
How about that student who just earned her associates degree and wants to pursue a bachelors program? 
Or maybe you know a current high school student who would make a great Red Devil? 
Now is the time to encourage these students to check out Eureka College. Share your memories with them. Encourage them to see campus for themselves. 

If you have a student who would be a great addition to the student body, click HERE to make your recommendation or email

The Department of Alumni Relations and 
The Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College present 
Magnificent Cities of Central & Eastern Europe
March 14-27, 2021
Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw
14 Days 18 Meals $4399 Air Inclusive
A blend of world history and fairy-tale charm comes to life in the culturally rich cities of Central & Eastern Europe. Enjoy 2-night stays, guided tours and local restaurants in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw. Make the most of your adventure with a perfect balance of included sightseeing excursions and leisure time. Choose your tour in Berlin - a traditional city tour or a Cold War focused tour featuring "Check Point Charlie." Walk across the spectacular Charles Bridge in Prague and dine at a traditional restaurant that features a folklore show and dance lesson. View the lavish Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Discover the picturesque Hungarian countryside. Embark on a poignant journey through history at Auschwitz and conclude in Warsaw, a city with history both joyous and tragic. Explore some of Europe's most magnificent and legendary cities.
Contact Shellie Schwanke, Director of Alumni Relations and the Ronald W. Reagan Society for more details at
Get the Eureka College Connect App
Experience Eureka! The Eureka College app is designed for students, alumni and friends of Eureka College to stay engaged with the campus community! Keep up to date on the latest campus news, or find an alumni event to attend near you. You can subscribe to the alumni calendar, academic calendar and student engagement calendars, use Geo Awareness to "check-in" at locations upon arrival and utilize push notifications for campus- and community-wide communications.   Go to the App store and download  Eureka College Connect today!