DC Illinotes

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

Winter 2014 • www.dcillini.org

University of Illinois Alumni Association

DC Illini receive Outstanding Alumni Club award from UIAA
The University of Illinois Alumni Association
honored the DC Illini as a 2014 Outstanding
Alumni Club this year at the annual leadership
conference that took place during Homecoming
weekend at the University of Illinois. DC Illini was
one of three clubs to receive the honor.
During the awards presentation, UIAA commended DC Illini for “hosting some of the most
unique events of the entire alumni network this
year.”
“Through a partnership with the UIAA, this club
has made a mission to reach out to Illinois students interning in the region to provide them valu-

able insight about job searching, networking, and
how to ‘make it’ in Washington,” the UIAA said.
UIAA also highlighted DC Illini’s efforts to engage alumni at all three U of I campuses.
“While all of our clubs and groups are outstanding, there are a few who deserve special honors
this year for their dedication to the University of
Illinois Alumni Association and the exceptional
work they’ve done to connect our global alumni
network,” the UIAA said.
The two other clubs to receive the 2014 distinction were the Twin Cities Illini and the Houston
Illini. n

Alumni support
key factor in
club’s success

President Easter

University of Illinois President Robert Easter speaks with alumni of the U of I system following his address at the
Mayflower Hotel on Oct. 28, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

D.C. reception with Easter
draws more than 400
More than 400 Washington-area alumni
packed shoulder to shoulder into a Mayflower Renaissance Hotel ballroom for a reception hosted by University of Illinois President
Robert Easter.
At the event, held Oct. 28, Easter called on
alumni to support the school as it increasingly faces competition on an international
stage.

Kit Beyer (left) and Janine Jones Smith (right) present DC Illini Julie Hutchins and Eric Hutchins with a
certificate during the 2014 leadership conference in
Champaign, IL.

Happy Holidays!
The holiday season is in full swing, and in the spirit of giving, I’d like to encourage everyone to consider making a donation to our club’s scholarship fund.
Last year, we awarded three
high school seniors $1,500 for
their tuition at Illinois. With
your generous donations, the
club can continue this tradition and help high school students experience all the fun
and magic of obtaining their
degree from the University of
DC Illini President
Illinois.
Nisha Patruni
We consistently award more

“We must remain one of the premier universities in the world – a goal that brings yet
another challenge as U.S. universities wrestle
with the same global pressures that are redefining business and industry,” Easter said.
The program featured remarks from other
top-level officials from the university and the
University of Illinois Foundation.

scholarships than other clubs.
Our club’s scholarship fund is one of the key components that sets us apart from other clubs throughout
the country. Because of our scholarship tradition
and unique event offerings, the University of Illinois
Alumni Association awarded the Illinois Alumni Association of Greater Washington, D.C., a “2014 Outstanding Club Award.”

‘Easter’ on Page 6

‘President’ on Page 6

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

Intern panel
marks one-year
anniversary

DC Illini Member Spotlight

Members of the Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington, D.C., traveled to Alaska to visit fellow Illini Kyle Easter (‘11
AHS). The group, who met after college, climbed Bodenburg Butte outside Palmer, Alaska. Pictured from left to right:
Adam Nekola (‘06 MEDIA), Keri-Marie Cantone (‘04 LAS), Jason Cantone (‘04 LAS), Whitney Wyckoff (‘09 MEDIA) and
Easter. Have a photo we should feature? Email it to dcillinotes@gmail.com

Alumni Association Conference

UIAA offers tips to alumni clubs
at leadership conference
The University of Illinois Alumni Association
hosted its annual leadership conference on campus during Homecoming weekend this October.
Leaders from U.S. and international University
of Illinois alumni clubs heard presentations by
various speakers and discussed best practices with
other club leaders.
Several UIAA representatives gave updates on
the UIAA’s goals and initiatives for the coming
year and beyond. Loren Taylor, president and
chief executive officer of the UIAA, said the UIAA
and the University of Illinois Foundation will be
forming a task force to better coordinate the relationship between these two entities.
The UIAA continues to strive to increase its
presence at each alumni club and is planning to
create an official speakers program next year. The
University of Illinois advocacy network, Illinois
Connection, continues to expand its efforts, particularly in the Washington, D.C., area.
Andrea Ballinger, vice president and chief financial officer of the UIAA, provided an update on its
strategic plan, which will be formally approved in
January 2015. The purpose of the strategic plan is
to improve how the university connects to alumni.
Notable components of this strategic plan include

Winter 2014 • www.dcillini.org

improving the university’s data system, which
houses alumni contact information; strengthening
partnerships; completing a history and traditions
project; and focusing outreach efforts to alumni
from the Springfield and Chicago campuses.
The leadership conference also included a presentation about social media by College of Media
Professor Rhiannon Clifton. Her presentation was
followed by a question-and-answer session with
several current students and recent graduates. The
Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington, D.C.,
plans to implement some of the ideas presented
during the leadership conference in the coming
year.
Finally, the leadership conference included a
visit to the newly refurbished Alma Mater bronze
statue. The Alma Mater is now back on campus after spending more than 600 days in the Conservation of Sculpture & Objects Studio in Forest Park,
Ill. The Alma Mater was originally scheduled to return to campus last May, but years of water damage and corrosion led to more extensive repairs
than originally anticipated. Receiving 1,000 new
bolts and undergoing a laser cleaning, the Alma
Mater looked almost new with its beautiful bronze
finish. n

Local interns attended D.C. Illini’s fall
2014 Young Illini Welcome Reception and
Discussion Panel Oct. 2.
The club hosts this event in the fall, spring
and summer semesters, with this fall’s reception and panel marking the program’s
one-year anniversary. The event welcomes
University of Illinois interns from all three
campuses interning in the metropolitan
D.C. region for the semester, as well as recent alumni new to the area.
The reception took place at the D.C. offices of the law firm Hunton & Williams and
was followed by a discussion panel led by
five D.C. Illini members from diverse professional backgrounds. The discussion included tips on how to succeed (and what to
avoid) in an internship as well as how to get
ahead in the D.C. job market. The attendees, many of whom were part of the the University of Illinois’ “Illinois in Washington
Program,” had the opportunity to network
with 25 local alumni.
With the reception and panel now moving into its second year, we want to build
on its success. We are currently looking for
alumni to serve as mentors to interns who
participate in Illinois in Washington. Mentors would meet with the interns two to
three times during the semester over coffee
or lunch.
Like the alumni discussion panel, this is a
rewarding opportunity for alumni to touch
base with what is going on in Illinois and to
give useful career and life advice to young
people in their first professional experience.
We are also working to create new, more
diverse networking opportunities for club
members. In that regard, we are seeking
volunteers who are interested in helping to
grow this program into a broader series of
events.
At the same time, we are seeking local
businesses to help sponsor future Young
Illini Welcome Reception and Discussion
Panels.
If you are a club member and/or local
business owner interested in supporting the
program in any of these ways please contact
Eric Hutchins at emhutchi@gmail.com n

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

Winter 2014 • www.dcillini.org

Scholarship Recipient Profile

On campus with freshman Alex Aulabaugh
Alex Aulabaugh, of Fairfax, Va.,
arrived in Urbana-Champaign
this fall as one of DC Illini’s three
scholarship recipients in 2014. A
strong student in high school, Alex
quickly got involved in volunteer
work while maintaining solid initial
grades in the computer science program at the University of Illinois.
In high school, Alex maintained
academic excellence while also remaining an active member of his
school and community. His impressive math and science knowledge
led to his paid intern position in
the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program at the Naval
Research Lab in Washington, D.C.,
and a yearlong school research
project on the collection and analysis of large amounts of Internet
data.
He also stayed active with athlet-

ics, participating in his high school’s
track team and co-winning second
place at the state-level regatta with
his high school crew team.
Within his busy high school
schedule, Alex found time to tutor middle school students and
volunteer with Musicians on Call,
through which he performed for
hospital patients at Walter Reed
National Military Medical Center
and the Department of Veterans
Affairs.
Once Alex arrived in UrbanaChampaign, he immediately became involved in a congressional
campaign, volunteering “at least
six hours a week registering voters, knocking on doors, and making
phone calls,” Alex said.
Even though the candidate Alex
volunteered for lost the election,
Alex remains excited to be an Illini.

Flyin’ Illini Stephen Bardo

DC Illini scholarship recipient Alex Aulabaugh attends a political debate at Urbana’s PBS
affiliate, WILL-TV.

Alex joked that his favorite thing so
far might be Espresso Royale, but
then said “in all seriousness, it is
probably the friendly and accommodating attitude of the professors.”

Alex noted that “all of my professors are fantastic, and I feel very
privileged to be able to listen to
their lectures.” And, we at DC Illini,
are privileged to have another great
scholarship recipient. n

The Birchmere

Bardo draws crowd of
alumni for book tour stop
Flyin’ Illini Stephen Bardo visited
DC Sept. 25. The club hosted the
event at DC Coast and saw a great
turnout of alumni who were interested in hearing Bardo speak about
his career and Illini basketball.
Bardo had an outstanding basketball career and helped lead the iconic
Flyin’ Illini to the Final Four in 1989.
The event coincided with Bardo’s
book tour around the country.
He shared his perspective on current Illini sports and his memories of
the Flyin’ Illini’s record setting winning season. Bardo captivated the
audience with candid stories from
his time as part of the Flyin’ Illini
and offered an insider’s view on the
team’s dynamic and coaching. He
also answered questions posed by
alumni in the audience.

At the end of the reception Bardo
stayed to sign copies of his book, The
Flyin’ Illini, which commemorates
the 25th anniversary of the winning
season.
Throughout the year Bardo visited other alumni clubs across the
country on his book tour, and the
DC alumni club was honored to have
him make a stop in our area. n

Alumni enjoy front row
for Poundstone show
DC Illini Club members and their guests enjoyed a great sold out
show by comedian Paula Poundstone at The Birchmere on Nov. 21. Michael Jaworek, DC Illini’s 2014 Illini of the Year and vice president of
The Birchmere, helped organize this event. The group had great seats
reserved in front of the stage and enjoyed talking with fellow Illini during dinner before the show.
The DC Illini Club thanks Michael for helping to organize this event.
We look forward to continuing our relationship with Michael and having future DC Illini events at The Birchmere. n

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

Winter 2014 • www.dcillini.org

New venue
for annual DC
Illini luncheon

Fighting Illini Game Watches

Mark your calendars for this year’s annual luncheon at Wildfire restaurant in Tysons
Galleria shopping center. Did you know that
this is one of only two Wildfire locations
outside of the Chicagoland area?
With the new Silver Line, the luncheon is
only a short walk from the Tysons Corner
Silver Line Metro Station. Valet parking and
free mall parking are also available.

Several Illini closed the football season by watching the Illini beat Penn State at Union Pub in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of
Washington, D.C. No game watch was held for the final game against Northwestern, which occured Thanksgiving weekend.

Basketball game watches
scheduled across DMV area
Exciting things are happening with the DC Illini
game watch events!
This year, the DC Illini has stepped up its
game hosting football and basketball game watch
events. Things got off on the right track, thanks to
Adam Nekola’s (’06 MEDIA) hard work creating a
grassroots presence at the football game watches.
Adam’s efforts started small, gathering a few Illini
alumni together to watch football games at Union
Pub.
Word got out about the new location and what
began as an email chain among friends turned
into a regularly attended event by interns, young
alumni and board members alike. Our biggest
turnout this season was for the Homecoming
game against Minnesota.
“I was thrilled to see about 20 people show up

for the Homecoming game,” said Susie Wachowski (’10 LAS, Game Watch Coordinator). “It makes
me really hopeful to see these kinds of numbers
for the basketball season.”
The club kicked off the basketball season Dec.
6 at 201 Bar in Capitol Hill with the game against
American University.
Illini fans should expect to see game watches
scheduled twice a month. Watches will feature
drink specials and raffles. Of course, there will be
prime NCAA Tournament coverage as the Illini
advance. More exciting game watch activities are
in the works, so check out the DC Illini website
and Facebook page for more updates.
Interested in hosting a game watch? Email Susie Wachowski (swachow2@gmail.com), and tell
her when/where you would like to host. n

Time:
Starts at 12:30 p.m.
Date:
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Place: Wildfire

2001 International Drive

McLean, Va.
At our annual luncheon, we honor our Illini of the Year, meet our new scholarship
recipients, and have a great time with University of Illinois family and friends. We’re
excited about our new venue this year, and
hope to see you at the event! Tickets will go
on sale in the early spring.
Contact the Annual Luncheon Coordinator Emily Bardales at ebardal2@gmail.com
with questions. n

DC Illini Events Calendar
Wreath Pickup at Arlington Cemetery

Jan. TBD

Help pick up wreaths from graves at the Arlington Cemetery.

D.C. Central Kitchen

Jan. 31, ’15

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

D.C. Illini Unofficial Pub Crawl

March 7, ’15

Celebrate Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day with fellow alums in D.C.!

THEALUMRUN 5 Miler and 5K Race

March 27-29, ’15 Run and raise money for the university! Mini-reunion follows races.

Annual Awards Luncheon

May 17, ’15

Join us in honoring the 2014 Illini of the Year!

Nationals vs. Cubs

June 6, ’15

Watch the Northsiders at Nationals Park with fellow Illini.

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

Winter 2014 • www.dcillini.org

Volunteering and Philanthropy

Illini volunteer at D.C. Central Kitchen
Several University of Illinois
alumni gathered at D.C. Central
Kitchen Oct. 25 to combat hunger
in the District.
DC Illini worked alongside graduates of D.C. Central Kitchen’s
culinary job training program to
prepare meals for nearby homeless
shelters, transitional homes and
nonprofit organizations.
From slicing vegetables and fruit
to preparing hearty dishes, alumni
stayed busy for the entire three
hours they spent volunteering. It
wasn’t all work, however; some
had the opportunity to taste the
culinary creations, including an appetizing cake made from avocado,
delicious cornbread and freshly
squeezed lemonade. At the end of
the shift, several volunteers said
they hoped to return.
D.C. Central Kitchen’s mission is
to use food as a tool to strengthen
bodies, empower minds and build
communities. For more information, visit the Kitchen’s website:
www.dccentralkitchen.org. n

DC Illini members volunteer their time, preparing meals at the D.C. Central Kitchen, on Oct. 25. Interested in helping out at a future
event? Join us on January 31!

Campus Alumni Network

DC Illini flag football enjoys 9-1 regular season
Season Results

The Illini line up on defense against Wisconsin on Nov. 22 in Anacostia Park.

Flag football season comes to an end
on Dec.14 and the Illini are hoping to be
there. With a win last weekend against
Syracuse, the Illini are still alive in the
Campus Alumni Network playoffs.
On Dec. 13 the team is scheduled

to play Cornell at 11 a.m. at Anacostia
Park in the single-elimination tournament. The Illini are led by Brendan
Fitzpatrick and Seth Rogier.
For more information about the
league, visit www.dcalum.org. n

Game 1
Penn State
Illinois

Sept. 7
0
24

Game 6
Iowa
Illinois

Nov. 2
0
16

Game 2
Illinois
Michigan State

Sept. 28
41
6

Game 7
Illinois
Miami (OH)

Nov. 9
14
6

Game 3
Ohio State
Illinois

Oct. 5
6
35

Game 8
Illinois
Florida State

Nov. 16
20
7

Game 4
Syracuse
Illinois

Oct. 18
7
33

Game 9
Nov. 22
Illinois
13
Wisconsin 12

Game 5
Oct. 25
Illinois
21
Northwestern 8

Game 10
Purdue
Illinois

Nov. 22
19
6

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

‘EASTER’ from page 1
Attendees also saw a compilation of the commencement
speeches this year from the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and
Springfield campuses. But Susie
Washowski (2010-LAS), DC Illini’s
Game Watch Coordinator, said she
was most struck by the sheer number of attendees.
“It amazed me how many alumni
showed up,” she said. “I thought it
was a nice nod to the D.C. chapter
that the university came out.”
In his remarks, Easter made

‘PRESIDENT’ from page 1
We couldn’t have achieved this
level of recognition from the university without your continued support
through scholarship donations and
membership. So, thank you! But I
also want to remind you how important it is to continue that support by
attending our events, and getting involved in one of our many committees or as a board member.
Looking forward to the new
year, I wanted to talk about some
potential changes that may be taking place. In the coming months,
we will be working toward better

reference to an impending regime
change at the university: Easter plans to retire at the end of
his term next year, and Timothy
Killeen, president of SUNY Research Foundation, was recently
announced as his replacement. But
looking ahead, Easter encouraged
attendees to continue to promote
government investment in research programs; help recruit top
students; and donate to support
scholarships, faculty and facilities.
“We are grateful for generosity,
your loyalty and your passion for
this great university,” he said. n

integrating alumni from all three
University of Illinois campuses –
Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and
Springfield – into our club. You may
be seeing some improvements, including updates to the website look.
Our goal as a club has always been
to serve our alumni, and we hope
to do so for everyone in the Illinois
family, including our Flames and
Stars alumni.
Thank you again for your continued support, and I wish everyone a
safe and happy holiday season!
Nisha Patruni ‘08
DC Illini President

Winter 2014 • www.dcillini.org

At the UIAA reception on Oct. 28, alumni wore colored ribbons to indicate which University
of Illinois campus they attended.

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

http://bit.ly/1vMtAsd

All donations to the DC Illini scholarship fund are tax
deductible and qualify for university gift credit.

OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS

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.
President

Events Co-Chairs
Claire Huber, Jennifer Nevius

Illini of the Year Chair
Bob Bevins

Vice President

Membership Chair
Brian Legan

Philanthropy and Outreach
Andrea Wilson

Secretary

Scholarship Chair
Jason Cantone

Bears Viewing Chair
Jim Billamoria

External Communications
Eric Hutchins

CAN Representative
Jake Schinder

Annual Luncheon Chair
Emily Bardales

Jan Mulvaney Award Dir.
Merle Mulvaney

Nisha Patruni
Julie Hutchins
Linda Moll
Treasurer

Mike Shields

DC Illinotes included articles by Nisha
Patruni, Julie Hutchins, Eric Hutchins,
Andrea Wilson, Claire Huber, Emily
Bardales and Susie Wachowski.
Newsletter Chair
Jason Cantone
Newsletter Design
Adam Nekola
Newsletter Editor
Whitney Wyckoff