Mount Pleasant, IA – September 21, 2021 — Iowa Wesleyan University will present the 2021 Young Alumni and Distinguished Alumni Awards and induct two members into the Iowa Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 2 at 6 pm in the Social Hall of the Howe Student Activity Center during Homecoming Weekend.
The 2021 Young Alumni Awards will be presented to Erin Noon-Kay ’12 and LaSharon Taylor ’05.
Noon-Kay is the CEO & Founder of Claiming Disability LLC. She has worked in the non-profit, governmental, and business sectors for over ten years. Through Claiming Disability, Noon-Kay strives to educate, advocate, and empower disabled people through media projects, including podcasts, interviews, videos, films, and more. Claiming Disability is connected to over 4,000 disability advocates from around the world.
Taylor entered the United States National Guard in 2007 and has spent nearly fifteen years in various roles in the Military Police, Transportation, and Joint Force Headquarters as a Human Resource Specialist. Taylor was an MP team leader for the Iowa Army National Guard and a Non-Commissioned Officer for the Kansas Army National Guard as a HET driver and Human Service Resource Specialist. Taylor’s awards and decorations include Kansas Army Achievement Ribbon, Award of Driver Badge w/”W” Device, Kansas State Service Ribbon, and Iowa State Service Ribbon.
The 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Marion Whicker ’84. Whicker is currently employed at the United States Army Tank-automotive Command (TACOM) and has worked for the TACOM for over 36 years. She began her career with TACOM in 1984 as a Supply Management Intern and moved through various leadership positions in Logistics Management. As a member of the Army’s Senior Executive Service, Whicker was selected as TACOM’s Executive Director, Integrated Logistics Support, in June 2018. She is currently serving on a detailed assignment as the Deputy Chief for Supply, Production & Distribution for the COVID-19 Vaccination effort.
The 2021 Hall of Fame inductees includes Nancy Eklund ’85 (basketball, softball, and women’s field hockey) and John Keitges ’00 (basketball, baseball, and golf).
Eklund was an active member of the women’s basketball, softball, and women’s field hockey teams. Eklund was the first female basketball player to score 1,000 career points, finishing with 1,186 total career points. She remains the leader in the number of steals in a game with 12, which was set on February 21, 1985, against Illinois College. Eklund was a co-captain her senior year for all three teams, earned NAIA All-District 15 honors for softball, and NAIA Academic All-American honors for basketball her senior year. Eklund was also active outside of athletics as a member of the Student Senate, including chairperson of the Ways and Means committee, Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, Iota Phi Wesleyan Honorary Fraternity, Outstanding Greek Senior, Homecoming Queen, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, was named to the Dean’s List every semester, and graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors.
Keitges was a four-year member of the basketball team and a two-year member of both the baseball and men’s golf teams. Keitges remains number one in all-time career 3-point field goals made, sinking 257. He is also ranked 11th in all-time career assists with 307 and 15th all-time for total career points, adding his name to the 1,000 point club with 1,393 total points. He hit over .300 during both of his years on the Tiger baseball team (.315 and .312). Keitges also earned Academic All-Conference honors from the Midwest Classic Conference as a golfer for IW and was named the Homecoming King in 2000. In 2010, as the West Elementary Principal, Keitges received the honor of Blue Ribbon School from the US Department of Education. He continues to shape young minds as the principal at Northstar Elementary in the Knoxville Community School District.
Iowa Wesleyan University – As Southeast Iowa’s regional comprehensive university, Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.