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DC Illinotes

University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington D.C.

Vol. 1 Issue 3 Fall 2015

University of Illinois Alumni Annual Luncheon

Annual luncheon honors alumnus Francis Slakey

Scholarship winners announced
Waking in the middle of the night to find your cot tearing when youre two-thirds
of the way up Yosemites El Capitan. Getting caught in a whiteout near the summit
of Mount Everest. More than 40 alumni and guests heard about the thrilling adventures of Dr. Francis Slakey, 2015 Alumni of the Year, at the clubs annual luncheon
and meeting on May 17 at Wildfire-McLean.
Slakey, who earned a doctorate in physics from UIUC in 1992, is the Upjohn Lecturer on Physics and Public Policy at Georgetown University. He also is the first
person in history to surf every ocean and summit the highest mountain on every
continent, and was the 28th American to climb Everest in an unguided environLuncheon on Page 5

Illinois Alumni of the Year Chair Bob Bevins (left) and Club President Julie
Hutchins (right) greet 2015 Alumni of the Year Francis Slakey, a professor at
Georgetown University and 1992 UIUC graduate.

our new club

Illinois in Washington

Rep. Rodney Davis spoke to Illini interns and recent graduates at the Clubs New Illini Welcome Reception in July.

Rep. Davis speaks at intern event

for Illini students in Washington
Rep. Rodney Davis, who represents the UIUC
and UIS campuses in Congress, spoke to Illini
interns about his career and the importance of
supporting higher education during the New Illini Welcome Reception on July 8.
The event held in the fall, spring and summer at the D.C. office of Hunton & Williams
welcomes local interns, recent graduates and other alumni new to the area, introducing them to
the DC Illini and some of its members. The fifth
such reception since the DC Illinis outreach program began in 2013, this summers event brought

in 45 attendees, including 20 interns.

Following the reception, the interns and recent
graduates participated in a series of small group
speed dating discussions led by local alumni.
The DC Illini is excited to continue building this successful program, and we are seeking
sponsors to fund similar events in the future. If
you are an alum and/or local business owner interested in supporting the program, or have any
other questions, please contact the DC Illini Intern Outreach Coordinator Eric Hutchins, at n

As the new president of DC Illini, Im excited to work with you to make our club a
valuable organization for alumni and the university.
First, let me briefly
introduce myself: I
graduated with a degree
in natural resources
and environmental sciences from the College
of ACES. At the University of Illinois, I had so
many amazing experiences and met some in- DC Illini President
Julie Hutchins
credible people, including my husband Eric.
We both have many family members who also
attended the universitys various campuses
my sister received her accounting degree
and my brother-in-law received his mechanical engineering degree from Urbana-Champaign, and my father-in-law attended dental
school at UIC. The University of Illinois holds
President on Page 5

University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington D.C.

Fall 2015

Become a DC Illini officer!

DC Illini Event Spotlight

National Zoo veterinarian Dr. James Steeil, who completed his small animal internship at U of Is College of Veterinary Medicine, led two tours of DC Illini members through the veterinary hospital on July 19. The informational tours
included the pathology and surgical areas of the hospital.
Have a photo we should feature? Email it to

We are looking for a philanthropy director to coordinate the clubs charity efforts
and people to join our membership committee that is working on many new initiatives to improve the DC Illini membership
We are also in need of event coordinators.
These volunteers help organize events the
club is already working on, or a new event
such as a tour of your workplace if you
work somewhere interesting or a group outing. The time commitment is minimal and
you will be assisted by our events chair.
For more information, please contact n

University of Illinois Scholarship Program

Meet the clubs 2015 scholarship winners

Three local students head to Champaign-Urbana to pursue engineering
This year, the Club selected three high school
seniors to receive a $1,500 scholarship. Their
autobiographies are provided below.
Kevin Murphy
I was born in New Mexico, but have lived in
Virginia since I was two.
With parents who are engineers, nerdy technical
discussions have been the
norm my whole life.
I love building things
and understanding how
and why things work as
they do. 3-D printing, computer modeling, and graphene are my main areas
of interest in the technical world.
Ive been involved in music most of my life,
playing piano for a number of years and studying percussion privately for the past seven. I was
in various ensembles at West Springfield High
School (WSHS) and am currently the principal
percussionist in the Washington Metropolitan
Youth Orchestra. I have also played with the
Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, the
Fort Myer Chapel Bell Ringers and various other
I have been in scouts since first grade, am an
Eagle Scout, and am currently the Vice President
in my Venture Crew. I also shoot precision rifle
competitively, came in ninth in regionals, and am

co-captain of the WSHS team.

I work as a receptionist and run my own pet/
house sitting business. I appreciate the honor the
DC Illini Club has given me, and look forward to
being one of you in the future.

her parents and younger siblings.

Outside of family, she hangs out with a group
of friends who love to play Wii. Annie is thrilled
to attend the University of Illinois next year. Go
Fighting Illini!

Annie Thomas

John Kan

Annie Thomas is currently in her senior year

at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology. She has thoroughly enjoyed her four
years of high school and has
taken every opportunity
to be active and show her
school spirit at TJ.
She has managed varsity football and soccer, and
when not managing, she
was a varsity swimmer for
TJ Swim and Dive. Outside
of athletics, she is an officer of the National Honor Society and Russian Honor Society.
Annie is also the electronics subsystem leader
for TJs FIRST Robotics Team, where she dedicates much of her time. Her love for robotics and
electronics, inspired by her grandfather, a retired
vice president for Hughes Aircraft, is why she
plans on majoring in electrical and computer engineering at Illinois.
When not in school, Annie likes to read and
cook with her mom and sister. Annie, the oldest
of four children, spends a lot of her free time with

I was born outside of Chicago and lived in the

city for six years until I moved to Fairfax, Virginia, in summer 2003. Since 2003 I have attended
various schools in the Fairfax County Public
School system.
I am an International
that will be graduating
from Robinson Secondary
School. I have participated
in a variety of organizations ranging from Science
Olympiad and Math Honor
Society to National History Day and Rho Kappa.
In addition, I am a member of the Robinson
Philharmonic Orchestra and competed on the
Robinson tennis team for three years. While I
have dedicated much of my life to science and engineering, serving as the president and vice president of Science Olympiad as well as the secretary
and vice president of Math Honor Society at Robinson, I also enjoy politics and reading the news.
I look forward to attending Illinois and will be
studying Electrical Engineering. n

University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington D.C.

Fall 2015

Annual luncheon

Friends reunited at luncheon after 50 years apart

Jim Root took his friend and
classmate Bonnie Jasch to the
ROTC Military Ball in 1964, but
hadnt seen her since he graduated later that year.
That changed when he attended the DC Illinis annual
luncheon and meeting in May.
Roots old friend Jasch, last
name now Mampe, happened
to sit next to his wife Ann at the
event, but none of the three realized it until they started chatting.
I said, Do you realize I took
you to a dance 50 years ago?
Root recalled, laughing. Neither one of us recognized each

Mampe told DC Illinotes

she had fond memories of the
evening: For dinner, Root had
taken to her a bowling alley
in Champaign that hed heard
served good food, and she
laughed as she remembered the
two were so deep in conversation Root nearly forgot to pay
the bill.
To enter the ball, Mampe and
Root had to walk under an arch
of swords. And she remembered
the women were all given dance
cards that men used to sign up
for dances.
It was a positive experience,
she said. The military ball was
always a fun thing to go to at Il-

After graduating with a
math degree, Root went on
to serve in the Air Force and
later worked for a nonprofit in
D.C. Hes since retired. Meanwhile, Mampe later earned a
masters degree and completed
coursework for a doctorate. She
worked for several government
agencies, several consulting
firms and owned a Northern
Virginia barbeque restaurant.
It was nice to know after
all this long period of time that
someone from Illinois, from
that long ago, still remembers
you and that you can make a
connection, Mampe said. n

Photo courtsey of James Root

The opportunities seem limitless: Reflections

from the clubs 2015 service award winners
Mulvaney Award for
Exemplary Service:
Jason A. Cantone

Loyalty Award for

Exceptional Service:
Linda Moll
What is your favorite
club memory?
I dont have a single favorite
memory. Some are of attending
club- and university-sponsored
events at which Ive chatted with
D.C. movers and shakers, members of Congress and the Supreme
Court, or well-known journalists
Id read since college days.
While that might be routine
here in D.C., its not something
I imagined myself doing when I
was growing up in Illinois. Other
memories seem more mundane
but perhaps are more important
for the long term meeting fellow club members who do interesting work, who become friends,
who are just charming and giving

What is your favorite club

Linda Moll (right), outgoing Secretary for
the club, received the Loyalty Award for
Exceptional Service from UIAA representative Allison Henning (left) at the annual

people to spend some fun hours


Why would you

recommend people
joining the club?
Id urge people to join the club
and participate in its activities
to learn more about the nations capital, to reminisce about
the good days at school, maybe
to network with for that next job,
and to give back to the University
of Illinois. n

There are so many memories but I

have to say it all goes back to my first
event: a simple happy hour.
I didnt know what to expect when
I got there, but, within two hours, I
went from not knowing many people
in D.C. to making four great friends I
still hang out with every chance I can.

Why would you

recommend people
joining the club?
You never know where the world
is going to take you, but its great to
have fellow Illini during the journey.
If you told me before I joined that Id
be traveling to Alaska with my wife

Jason A. Cantone (left), the clubs scholarship director and newsletter chair, won
the Mulvaney Award for Exemplary Service
presented by Merle Mulvaney (right).

and fellow DC Illini to visit a DC Illini member working in Anchorage, I

wouldnt have believed you. The opportunities seem limitless when you
have such a good group of people at
your side.
My wife and I have only been in
D.C. for four years, but we have already made friendships we know will
last the rest of our lives. n

University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington D.C.

Fall 2015

Survey results are in:

Fighting Illini Game Watches

Members offer suggestions to improve

and expand the Clubs event offerings

Join fellow Illinois football lovers for game watches with raffle prizes
featuring great Illini swag! Game watch dates and locations will be sent
in DC Illini e-mails and posted on the DC Illini Facebook page throughout
the season. For more information, or to host a game watch at a local
bar, contact Susie Wachowski at

Campus Alumni Network Softball

The 2015 DC Illini softball team won their division in the Capital Alumni
Network league with a 9-5 record that included wins over Michigan,
Indiana, Michigan State, and Iowa. They are currently playing in the 68
team alumni tournament where they have advanced to the round of the
final 32 teams.

DC Illini attend Cubs at Nationals

Club members attended the Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals

baseball game in June, one of the Clubs well-attended annual events.

In March 2015, the club invited members to complete a survey about what
type of events they would be interested
in attending. More than 100 responded
and provided comments that will help
strengthen our future offerings and
continue to serve our membership.
Members noted the greatest interest
in attending professional events related
to their specific major or job (63 percent), networking events for all ages (47
percent) and general interest speakers
about current events (46 percent). As
expected, members under age 30 were
much more likely to be interested in
young Illini networking events.
The club also understands members
budget limitations. Every member said
they would consider attending free
events, but that dropped to 85 percent
if the event costs up to $20, 69 percent
if the event costs $20-$45, and down to
37 percent if the event costs more than
$45. This varied by the members age,
with younger members strongly preferring less expensive events.
The survey also asked about the clubs
game watch events. Members interested
in these events were split on how influential ease of parking is to their attending a game watch, with 44 percent saying it is very desirable and 40 percent
saying it is not important to their decision. Metro accessibility was important
to 66 percent of members interested in
game watches, with the majority noting
that a D.C. location was very desirable
(40 percent and 18 percent preferred
a Northern Virginia or Maryland location, respectively).

Members were not partial to either a

sports bar or family-friendly sports bar,
but were generally not interested in attending official game watches in the
home of a club member. In addition, 76
percent were interested in an organized
trip to an East Coast sports match-up
(such as Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland
or a non-conference game).
For volunteering activities, 63 percent were interested in outdoor activities such as the Arlington Cemetery
wreath laying and 60 percent were interested in indoor activities such as at
the DC Central Kitchen.
The survey also asked if club members were interested in a variety of other social events. The most popular ones
were: tours of local sites and landmarks
(57 percent), wine tastings (52 percent),
local Cubs games (51 percent), performance events (for example, comedy
shows, theater) (44 percent), and local
Blackhawks games (41 percent).
The Membership Committee and
Events chair thank everyone who participated in the survey. If you have event
ideas or more feedback, email We look forward to
better serving you in the year ahead. n

Help keep our

scholarship program strong
by donating to the
DC Illini scholarship fund!
Donations can be made online at

DC Illini Events Calendar

D.C. Central Kitchen

Aug. 14, 5 p.m.

Join fellow Illini and help prepare meals for the homeless in D.C.

Illini Happy Hour @ BlackFinn

Aug. 19, 5:30 p.m. Get together with other grads for a few drinks after work.

Tour the National Cathedral

Aug. 29, 10 a.m. Discover the story of this Washington landmark; purchase by 8/15

Illini Football Game Watches

Dates Vary

Join us for Fighting Illini football game watches all season long!

Big Ten Capitol Area Golf Outing

Sept. 20

1:30 p.m. shotgun start at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia.

Blackhawks @ Capitals

Oct. 15, 7 p.m.

The Stanley Cup champions come to town; purchase tickets by 8/15

University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington D.C.

LUNCHEON from page 1

mental expedition. (For more on Dr. Slakey, see
his biography on the clubs web site: http://bit.
He said he and his companions survived the
whiteout through teamwork.
We cared about the welfare of someone besides ourselves, he said. Slakey also cares about
energy policy and global warming every glacier Ive climbed is smaller now, he said.
His latest pursuit is the $5 million Georgetown
University Energy Prize (, a multiyear competition in which 50 U.S. communities will work with their local governments and
utilities to decrease energy use and educate the
public and students in energy efficiency. He recognized in particular a 10-year-old girl who lob-

PRESIDENT from page 1

a special place in my heart, and Im honored to
work with so many wonderful fellow alumni who
volunteer in various capacities for the DC Illini.
One of my priorities as president is to improve
the DC Illini membership experience. We have
recently formed a vibrant and motivated membership committee under the leadership of Membership Director Brian Legan. The committee
continues to grow, and members are developing
innovative ideas to boost membership.
We are also in the process of rolling out a
Members Only section of our website that is ac-

Fall 2015

bied her city to get involved: All of you know the

community, he said. [Its] Urbana.
At the luncheon, Scholarship Director Jason
Cantone introduced club members to the clubs
three scholarship recipients for the 2015-2016
academic year. Annie Thomas, John Kan and
Kevin Murphy will each study a different engineering field at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They were very grateful for the
$1,500 scholarship made possible by club members dues.
It is clear that these students are academic all
stars, but they are so much more than that, said
Cantone, a 2004 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. They are active in their
community, in sports, in their schools and will
be great additions to the University of Illinois.
Invited speaker Allison Henning brought news

from the U of I Alumni Association and the campus, including about the induction of Timothy
Kileen as president, the graduation of 20,000
students, and continued budget concerns, especially with proposed large cuts in state funding.
Henning presented Linda Moll, a UIC graduate and long-time club secretary and Scholarship Committee member, with the U of I Loyalty
Award for Exceptional Service.
Board member Merle Mulvaney presented the
Mulvaney Award for Exemplary Service to Jason
Cantone, who has been scholarship director for
two years and, this year, led the revival of this
club newsletter as newsletter chair.
Club members at the meeting also approved
the board slate for the coming year, which is
available below. n

cessible only to dues-paying DC Illini members

and registered recent graduates. Similar to services many other professional organizations offer
to their members, this section will offer exclusive
forums where members can communicate with
fellow alumni on topics like employment, housing and upcoming events.
The DC Illini Board recently voted to begin a
corporate sponsorship program similar to those
at other University of Illinois alumni clubs.
Through the program, businesses will have the
chance to advertise on the websites homepage
and in DC Illinotes. The membership committee
is currently working out the details of the pro-

gram, but all revenue received will be invested

back into improving the DC Illini membership
experience, like improved member-only events
and networking opportunities. So stay tuned to
learn more about this exciting new program!
If you are interested in becoming more involved with the DC Illini or I can assist you in any
way, please do not hesitate to contact me at I look forward to seeing you at future DC Illini events!
Julie Hutchins
DC Illini President


The DC Illini strive to support the educational purposes of the University of Illinois, cultivate friendship among club members and
express loyalty to the university. We are also committed to providing community service to the area as well as to the U of I. We do this
through a variety of educational, social, cultural and athletic activities, and programs. Graduates, former students and friends of the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chicago or Springfield may join. DC Illini provides a great way to get to know the area and to
expand your social and professional networks. Dues-paying DC Illini members receive discounts on club events. Club dues are $30 per
year. Two-thirds of your annual dues go directly to the club scholarship fund to support local students going to the University of Illinois.

Events Chair
Claire Huber

Illini of the Year Chair

Bob Bevins

Vice President

Membership Director
Brian Legan

Bears Viewing Chair

Jim Billamoria


Scholarship Director
Jason Cantone

Jan Mulvaney Award Dir.

Merle Mulvaney

Social Media
Paige Deckert

Burt Wagner

Annual Luncheon Chair

Emily Bardales

Game Watch Coordinator

Susie Wachowski

Julie Hutchins
Eric Hutchins
Bonnie Maidak

Lloyd Stallings

This issue included articles by Julie

Hutchins, Eric Hutchins, Jason Cantone,
Whitney Wyckoff, Claire Huber, Linda Moll,
and Susie Wachowski.
Newsletter Chair
Jason Cantone
Newsletter Design
Adam Nekola
Newsletter Editor
Whitney Wyckoff