From left to right: Donald Musil, James Musil ?24, and Julia Whalen-Musil
All Stories

Donald Musil and Julia Whalen-Musil were introduced to Carthage through neighbors — Dr. David and Dr. Gail Waitley — whose son had been attending Carthage at the time pursuing a math degree. “Their son was singing Carthage’s praises,” the Musils said.

After the Musils and their son, James, were invited by the Waitleys to a campus tour of Carthage, the family was pleasantly surprised by the presence of such a warm and inviting community. “We were motivated by our son having the ability to work closely with faculty members and department heads, who had the potential to become close mentors and personal friends — even Christmas card senders!”

While James received scholarships from several colleges, he kept coming back to Carthage. For him, the College stood out among the rest in terms of the friendliness he encountered from faculty, staff, and students — and, of course, the exciting opportunity to spend four years right on the lakefront. By fall 2020, James was enrolled at Carthage.

After exploring various subjects from theology and history to the natural sciences, it was a chemistry conference that struck the right chord. “Chemistry has really galvanized James,” said Mrs. Musil. “We’re happy to see our son receiving a great amount of academic and career guidance from both his professors and the career mentors at The Aspire Center. They’ve given him direction on how to bring his studies to the workforce.”

The Musils take comfort in knowing that their son has found a second home on campus. In addition to playing for the football team, James enjoys his on-campus job, in which he gets to interface with both longtime and newer financial supporters of the College.

“We’ve always believed in giving back to organizations that do good work,” said Mr. Musil. “Carthage does good work.”

The Musils have served as leaders within their communities for some time. Now retired, Mr. Musil previously served as the executive vice president for Haymarket Center, the largest and most comprehensive provider of treatment for substance use and mental health disorders in Chicago.

“What it costs to maintain a facility is phenomenal,” said Mr. Musil. “Haymarket survives on funding and donations in an effort to widen the doors as much as possible.”

At the end of the spring semester, Mrs. Musil attended a Declaration Ceremony for students who recently declared their major(s). She was pleasantly surprised to hear from students who mentioned that they appreciated when parents chose to give back or pay it forward to the College, demonstrating to their children that they were making an “all-in” commitment towards their student’s education.

“We understand that tuition only goes so far and that smaller schools rely on alumni and parents to help,” said Mrs. Musil. “If you like the school and your child is getting something out of it, giving back is a way to ensure that the College will stick around and that our children have the opportunity to keep doing what they love.”