image preview

Award Date



Biology; Mathematics

Award Description

Dr. Roger Sheldon ‘64 is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His postgraduate training included a residency in pediatrics in Boston and fellowships in pediatric pulmonology and neonatal-perinatal medicine in Denver. Joining the CU faculty in 1976, he established one of the nation’s first neonatal nurse practitioner programs at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver and later led the neonatal section and NICU at the University of Oklahoma before serving 21 years as assistant dean for Continuing Medical Education. Additionally, he served as both assistant medical director of Heartland Health Plan and medical director of the Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma. During his Wesleyan years, Dr. Sheldon was president of the Student Senate, as well as a member of the marching band, the Collegiate Choir, the Apollo Quartet, Blue Key, and Phi Kappa Phi. Since retirement, Roger has devoted time to child advocacy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center at the University of Minnesota, and Doctors for Early Childhood. Dr. Sheldon and his wife of 57 years, Dr. Carol V. Thompson Sheldon, have two children and six grandchildren. Son Christopher Sheldon is a history, theater, and speech teacher in Massachusetts, and daughter Dr. Rebecca Ansari is a retired emergency physician and an author in Minnesota. Dr. Sheldon’s brother, Mark Sheldon ‘70, was Student Senate president during his time at Wesleyan, and their mother and father, Helen McNicol Sheldon ’40 and Chet Sheldon ‘43, won the IWU Alumni Loyalty Award in 2009. Dr. Sheldon attended his first IWU class at three or four weeks of age in a bassinet carried by his father.

Dr. Carol V. Thompson Sheldon '65 graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1965 with a BS in mathematics. During her Wesleyan years, Dr. Sheldon served as Kappa Kappa Gamma scholarship chairman and vice president, IWU Dad’s Day chairman, and Student Senate secretary. She was a member of Beta Beta Beta, Alpha Lambda Delta, Green Medallion, Egas, and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. After college, Carol worked in computer programming and systems analysis at Chicago’s Illinois Bell Telephone and then at Boston Children’s Hospital. She tutored an immigrant child for Hull House in Chicago and was foster mother to five-year-old Joey in Boston. Dr. Sheldon never gave up her dream of becoming a physician and in 1979, after having two children, she received her MD degree from the University of Colorado. In 1983 she completed a residency in diagnostic radiology from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Sheldon was the first woman to chair the Radiology Department and the first woman to serve as President of the Central Oklahoma Radiological Society. In 1998 she subspecialized in breast diagnosis, first at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and then working with two other women to cofound Breast Imaging of Oklahoma, where she practiced until her retirement in 2010. Since retirement and a move to Minneapolis, Dr. Sheldon has served as president of the Minneapolis branch of the American Association of University Women, a chapter of roughly 350 members. The group’s mission is equity for women and girls, supporting college scholarships to nine Minneapolis High School graduates each year, as well as providing food, clothing, and transitional housing to surrounding neighborhoods.