Iowa Wesleyan College recognized four alumni with awards during the annual Alumni Banquet held Commencement weekend.
Jodie Beck Wendel, class of 1956, received the Alumni Service Award. The award is given to those alumni who have served faithfully in helping to develop a greater Iowa Wesleyan College.
Wendel graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in physical education, then went on to earn a graduate degree in Physical Therapy from the State University of Iowa. She worked as a physical therapist for eight years, helping children with cerebral palsy in a school setting. After a number of years focused on raising her family, Jodie enrolled in accounting classes and passed the IRS Enrolled Agent examination. For five years she worked in the tax industry specializing in limited partnerships. Since 1984 she has maintained a private practice as a tax consultant.
Beck served as co-chair of her 50th class reunion, has represented the college at college fairs, and organized fundraising efforts to purchase furniture for IWC residence hall rooms. She has served as a member of the Iowa Wesleyan Board of Trustees for more than 10 years.
Jodie has been involved in a number of other volunteer efforts, including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and YMCA. She has assisted in an outdoor education camping program for 6th graders, helped environmental groups and served as a volunteer at the 1984 Olympics.
She is married to IWC alumnus Dale Wendel. They are the parents of two children, Chris and Beth, and grandparents to four children.
The Distinguished Young Alumni Award is presented to alumni under 40 who have shown outstanding leadership and a commitment to Iowa Wesleyan College. This year there were two award recipients.
Kim Johnson graduated from Iowa Wesleyan in 2000 with a bachelor of science in nursing degree, following four years of active involvement on the Iowa Wesleyan campus. While a student, she was a member of Concert Choir, Jazz Band, Alpha Xi Delta, Pan-Hellenic Council, Student Government, and the Student Nursing Association. She served as a resident assistant and on committees for Homecoming and The Joint. She was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Following graduation, Johnson took a position at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She became an active youth group volunteer in her church and participated in mission trips to Africa. Earlier this year she moved to Tanzania, Africa, where she will serve for two years as a medical missionary for Africa Inland Mission.
Terry McWilliams graduated from Iowa Wesleyan in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in art. As a student he was involved in a number of campus organizations, including Student Union Board, Student Senate, The Joint Committee and the Croaker.
Following graduation he completed a master’s degree in recreation, parks and tourism from Western Illinois University. He worked at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Office of Student Life and Organizations, then at Columbia College as Director of Student Activities. He joined Midwest Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant as Public Relations/Marketing Specialist in 2002.
McWilliams has been an active member of the Mt Pleasant Community. He served on the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce Board for five years, including terms as vice president for Community development and as president. He has also served on the boards of Main Street Mt Pleasant and the Mt Pleasant Little League. He was named District Rookie of the Year and Outstanding Cubmaster by the Mississippi Valley of Boy Scouts of America. Earlier this year he was elected to the Mt. Pleasant City Council.
McWilliams is married to Iowa Wesleyan alumna and faculty member Dr. Cyndi Walljasper. They are the parents of two sons, Brady and Nathan.
James DePriest, Jr. was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to those who have attained outstanding success and achievement or given extraordinary service to their community, church, country or educational endeavor.
DePriest graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1983, following a college career filled with activity. As a student, he participated in A Cappella Choir, Madrigal Choir, Jazz Band, Theatre, Pep Band, College-Community Wind Ensemble and the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of Delta Omicron, Blue Key, Student National Education Association, Student Affairs Committee and campus devotional groups. He was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
He earned a master’s degree from Southern Oregon University.
In a professional career spanning 27 years, DePriest has taught thousands of young musicians in Stuart-Menlo, West Burlington, Notre Dame and Mt Pleasant Community School Districts. He joined the Mt Pleasant District in 1992, where he has built an award-winning instrumental music program.
He is active in the Iowa Bandmasters Association and is past president of the Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Association. He has served as head advisor to the Iowa Ambassadors of Music European tour and directed many honor bands around the state.
He is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and participates in local music ensembles. He received an Outstanding Young Man award from the Outstanding Americans organization. He was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 1999.
He is married to Iowa Wesleyan alumna Marlene Davidson DePriest. They are the parents of four children: Colin, Kyle, Caitlyn and Callie.