Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2018

Big and small, donors rally behind IW at Retro Radiothon

Mar 27, 2018
Photo by: Grace King KILJ General Manager John Kuhens and News Director Theresa Rose kicked off Retro Radiothon, staying live on air from 7 p.m. Friday to midnight Saturday.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


As Iowa Wesleyan University President Steve Titus welcomed guests to Ruble Arena Friday, March 23, for the start of Retro Radiothon, he invited freshman Lena Hendriksen to the stage.

“You need to hear from one of our star students,” Titus said as he handed Hendriksen the microphone, broadcasting her interview live on KILJ.

Hendriksen’s voice was heard around the world as she was one of the first to be interviewed for the 40-hour, $1 million fundraiser for Iowa Wesleyan University (IW) that was Retro Radiothon this weekend. The radiothon was in memory of the original radiothon held 40 years ago to raise money for Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.

As a student who grew up in Mt. Pleasant and graduated from Mt. Pleasant Community High School (MPCHS), Hendriksen said that the scholarship opportunities she received from IW and their reputation for academic excellence in the Biology Department are what kept her local.

“It’s in my backyard,” Hendriksen went on to say. “I took that opportunity to be near my family while studying what I’m passionate about.”

Hendriksen was chosen as a Presidential Scholar at IW, a slot reserved for four students every year who receive a full year academic scholarship. In her year and a half at the university, Hendriksen said that she has gained confidence.

“If you told me a year ago I would be talking to my president on live radio, I would have laughed. But it’s happening,” Hendriksen said, adding advice for other MPCHS students to take advantage of the scholarship opportunities IW has and touting their excellence in both music and athletics with similar vigor as the high school.

“I can’t think of another college where you can participate in both areas,” Hendriksen said.

Hendriksen is one of hundreds of students at the university now and in the future to benefit from money and awareness raised during Retro Radiothon.

On social media Holly Jones, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, was intimately involved with engaging donors and the community from Facebook and Twitter. Jones said that with each challenge issued through Retro Radiothon, she could see the different networks — Greek life, various classes and representatives from southeast Iowa — come together to up the ante when it came to donations.

Even churches around Mt. Pleasant reached into their pockets this weekend. Although Kathy Crawford and Alice Fitzpatrick shied away from going live on KILJ, as representatives from St. Alphonsus Church they spoke with News Director Theresa Rose about their $5,000 donation.

Through church festivals, auctions and other events where St. Alphonsus raises money, Crawford told The News that they try to give a certain percentage back to the community.

“We’ve been listening to the radio all day,” Crawford said. “Trying to get that next milestone is fun.”

“We’re just happy that this is going the way it’s going,” Fitzpatrick added.

Even current students got involved in the generosity of the community. Brittani Nunez, of Theta Sigma Rha, said their group donated $70. Going to various businesses in town, they informed business-owners of Retro Radiothon and asked for donations to add to Theta Sigma Rha’s contribution.

“Some of them were really generous,” Nunez said. “It’s important for campus growth and getting in touch with the community.”

As Saturday night neared to a close, Meg Richtman, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, was certain they had their goal of $1 million in their grasp. “I’m not sure if we have any aces, but certainly prayer,” she said.

IW exceeded their goal of $1 million raised through Retro Radiothon at the closing of the 40 hours at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 25.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.