Why Wah Chook deserved homecoming royalty

Rachel Williams

Credit : @il_wesleyan instagram

To know her is to adore her…Wah Chook, a senior nursing student, was recently crowned Homecoming Royalty along with Daniel Maisch on Friday, Oct. 1st at the annual Pizza Taste. Elected by the student body from a pool of ten other exemplary campus leaders, Wah said she was “definitely surprised” when her name was announced: “I never would’ve thought homecoming court was in my future.” 

Surprised as she may be, Wah’s award is no shock to those on campus who know her. In every club or organization she has been involved in, Wah has embodied past IWU President Minor Myers Jr.’s famous slogan of “do well, do good.” Her drive and dedication is inspirational to other students.

Wah has been involved with a multitude of student organizations and offices throughout her four years at IWU. She has served as a campus tour guide, a First-Year Resident Assistant and an Anatomy and Physiology Teacher’s Assistant. 

Wah has also been a Multi-Faith Ambassador, senator in the Student Senate, member of the pep band and intern at West Bloomington Revitalization Project. Today, however, Wah is perhaps best known for her role as Director of Campus Activities Board (CAB). 

After taking on the role of Lead Programmer for two years, Wah now serves as CAB’s lead executive. Wah’s favorite part of working as CAB Director is “to see how the team grows,” both quantitatively and qualitatively. 

Wah was excited to see so many new members join CAB this fall. She builds upon a strong foundation; CAB was awarded the Programming Organization of the Year for the Mid-American Region by the National Association of Campus Activities last February. 

Wah’s favorite part of homecoming, Pizza Taste and singer Connor Clemmon’s performance, were two events she played a big role in organizing as CAB Director. For most students, Pizza Taste and the proceeding concert is a chance to hang out and have a good time while enjoying mountains of free pizza. 

For Wah and many other CAB members, however, this is a culmination of time-consuming planning on top of classes, friendships and relationships, and other activities.

After going through the stress of logistics, Wah said that night reminded her of her work’s purpose. CAB gives students the opportunity to relax, have fun, and connect with others on campus. 

Wah was especially happy and knew her work had been worthwhile when she saw “a group of people enjoying themselves on the quad,” at the concert. Her passion and leadership had made that moment possible.

Wah’s present and past contributions to CAB, other student organizations, and campus offices are evidence of her advice to younger students: “step outside of your major and really embrace what it means to go to a liberal arts school.” 

Though she is a nursing major, Wah embraced the liberal arts tradition of well-roundedness by becoming involved in a wide variety of RSOs, campus jobs, and volunteer opportunities. Wah has impacted a huge number of students, faculty and staff, and community members. 

That is not to say she recommends overcommitting, however. Having personally experienced the strain of too many responsibilities and too few hours in a day, Wah suggests her peers put their mental health first, find community, “and take a moment to enjoy the things you’re doing.” 

Her commitment to Illinois Wesleyan and its community is admirable and the very reason she so well deserves the title of Homecoming Royalty. Wah is an excellent role model of service, passion, kindness, and hardwork. 

When Wah graduates, IWU will lose a fantastic student who went beyond academics to make a difference in so many communities. Her younger peers will be challenged to build upon her legacy and make Illinois Wesleyan a better place than it was the day before.