Distinguished Service Award (Est. 1972)
Bestowed upon alumni, faculty, staff and friends by the University of Illinois Alumni Association on behalf of the University. The award is presented to individuals or couples whose consistent, exceptional and meritorious service to the University of Illinois has made a significant impact on the institution’s overall welfare and the advancement of its mission.
Nathan & Julie Gunn, Nathan Gunn, ’94 FAA & Julie Jordan Gunn, MMUS ’92, AMUSD ’01
Nathan Gunn, ’94 FAA, discovered his interest in music while singing in school musicals and his church choir in South Bend, Ind. Consumed by a desire to learn more, he studied music at the University of Illinois, mentored by pianist John Wustman and master teacher William Miller.
A respected artist, musician and singing actor, Nathan has performed on the greatest stages in the world, as well as television, radio, videos and live simulcasts. His portrayal of Papageno in The Magic Flute was a highlight of the first live HD broadcast performed at the Metropolitan Opera.
He is a professor and Swanlund Chair in the School of Music, teaching the art of singing to students from freshman year through doctoral degree. He has performed dozens of new songs, operas and other forms of sung theater in a multitude of venues. His newest project—The Old Man and the Sea, based on Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece—premieres in September 2023.
Julie Jordan Gunn, MMUS ’92, AMUSD ’01, has performed as a pianist in many of the world’s most prestigious recital series and halls, joining the likes of William Burden, Richard Croft, Michelle DeYoung, Kelli O’Hara, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, the Pacifica and Jupiter Quartets and her husband and artistic partner Nathan Gunn.
As a faculty member, she teaches songwriting, chamber music, vocal literature, opera for pianists, stage management and design for sung theatre and performing arts leadership. She is committed to the development, production and resonance of new works, and in recent seasons Julie has been part of several world premieres and workshops as a producer, pianist or conductor. Each year, she mounts workshops and public performances of student compositions in musical theatre and opera.
A member of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Julie’s arrangements for chamber groups and orchestras have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center, the DeBartolo Center, Ithaca College, Interlochen, the Kennedy Center, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
In 2013, Nathan and Julie conceived a new way of thinking about and teaching sung theatre based on the values of creativity, flexibility and wellness. Lyric Theatre @ Illinois was built on that foundation and is entering its 10th year as part of the University of Illinois School of Music and the Krannert Center.
The couple developed and founded the first bachelor of musical arts degree in lyric theatre curriculum in the nation for the School of Music, housed in the Krannert Center. Their production company, Shot in the Dark Productions, made its recent debut at the Krannert Center in Nathan and Julie Gunn and Friends: An Evening on Broadway and continued with Drytown: A Living Room Vaudeville.
The Gunns have been married for 31 years and partners in music for even more. They have lived in Champaign—where they raised their five children—since 1989.
Peter B. Fox
Michael T. Tokarz, ’71 LAS, MBA ’73
Colleen Callahan Burns, ’73 ACESLeader in public service and agricultural communciations and administration
Jane Phillips Donaldson, ’65 LAS, MS ’67 MEDIA
Dale H. Flach, ’59 ED, EDM ’64 EDAssistant Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs at the UI College of Medicine
Thomas D. Vogelsinger, ’73 BUS, MBA ’74
Mary Kay Kretch Haben, ’77 BUS
Paul Koch, ’66 ENG, MS ’68 ENG
Lester McKeever, ’55 BUS
Merle L. Mulvaney, ’58 ACES
Janet Turney Mulvaney, ’58 ACES
Ed McMillan, ’69 ACES
Carol Keiser-Long, ’68 ACES
Lila Jeanne “Shorty” Eichelberger, ’49 ACES, MS ’52 ACES
Alice Campbell, JD ’43 LAW
Bob Campbell, ’54 BUS
Ann Khan, '80 LAS
Shahid Khan, '71 ENG
Roger Plummer, '64 ENG
Trudy Gassmann Reynolds, 58 EDU
Richard W. Reynolds, '53 ENG, MS '58 ENG
Howard C. Humphrey, '59 BUS
Albert Wohlers, '39 LAS
Phyllis Welsh Hallene, '51 LAS
Alan Hallene, '51 ENG
Richard J. Faletti, '47 LAW
Russell "Ruck" W. Steger, '50 MEDIA
Gayl S. Pyatt, '64 LAS
Ralph C. Hahn, '51 ENG, MS '52 ENG
Erwin Small, '55 VET MED, DVM '57, MS '65
William D. Engelbrecht, '66 MEDIA, MS '72 MEDIA
Dean E. Madden, '43 ENG
William H. Lycan, '24 LAS, MS '26 LAS, PHD '29 LAS
George William Howard III, '56 LAS, LLB '59
Virginia Coultas Sharp, '40 ACES, MS '54 ACES
John E. Cribbet, JD '47
Frederic B. Hoppin, '41 ACES
Joseph Antonello Jr., '43 BUS
Jane Hayes Rader, '54 LAS
Orville G. Bentley
Roger B. Pogue, '41 ENG
Carl & Mary Jane Neer, '33 LAS & '33 EDU
Timothy J. Nugent Robert D. Heath, '50 BUS, Posthumously
Daniel J. Perrino, '48 FAA, MS '49 FAA
Charles E. (Chuck) Flynn, '34 MEDIA, AM '40 EDU
Kenney E. Williamson, '66 BUS
Paul K. Bresee, '23 ACES
Charles C. (Chick) Evans, '60 ENG, MS '61 ENG
Timothy Swain, '31 LAS, LLB '33
C. E. (Chilly) Bowen, '22 BUS
Royal (Rooney) Stipes, '27 BUS