2007 Beberman Award Winner: Rebecca Lynn Weisel Wachtel

The 2007 Max Beberman distinguished alumni award winner was Rebecca Lynn Weisel Wachtel, a member of the University Laboratory High School Class of 1967 and Partner and co-owner of the Champaign Surplus Store, the largest family operated business in the Champaign area. Lynn has had two careers, one as an artist and another in the world of business. Prior to becoming co-owner of the Champaign surplus Store, she worked as an artist/potter for over 20 years, creating fine works of pottery. During her undergraduate years, she was a James scholar, Phi Beta Kappa and a Bronze Tablet recipient. She also danced with the Al Huang Dance Company and held several dancing and singing roles in campus musicals. After graduating from the U. of I. She worked as an artist/potter in Jerusalem, Israel, where she also sang in the Jerusalem Chamber Choir directed by Avner Itai. Returning in 1976 to complete her Masters of Education degree from the U. of I. She then taught the Multi Arts Curriculum at Washington Elementary School in Urbana, Illinois. She taught all grade levels drama, dance and poetry in an integrated arts curriculum. Lynn stated that she is a Uni Kid who never stopped doing a variety of different things. She still considers herself a student activist. She carries these views through in her business. She is a strong believer in businesses not leaving the downtown Champaign area. She's concerned about environmental issues and uses her efforts to address sprawl and rapid urban development. She is also a member of the Prairie Rivers Network which addresses the issues of urban development and water pollution. Sustaining our community is a very important part of her life. She is a cancer survivor which motivated her to rededicate herself to helping others and making every day an adventure and learning experience. She has been involved in a wide range of outdoor activities related both to camping and her interest in movement and dance. She climbed Mt. Ranier in Washington, hiked across england, Hiked the Royal Inca trail and Circumnavigated Mt. Augsingate in Peru. In addition, she walked 60 miles from Kenosha, WI to Chicago, IL to raise money for Breast Cancer Clinics and Research. She has also been actively involved in the Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation where she was director for several years. She is a highly successful business woman, artist, mother of two Uni High alums, loving wife of 36 years and devoted daughter. During her time at Uni, Rebecca Lynn Weisel was Vice president of her sophomore Class, She was a cheerleader her freshman and sophomore years, an exchange student host her sophomore and junior years and a member of the Orientation Committee which she chaired her senior year. In addition, she was a member of the mixed chorus, Madrigals, Modern Dance, and Stag (Student Theatre Arts Group). Throughout her high school years, she performed in Uni High Productions of Gondoliers, Iolanthe, Ruddigore and Amahl.

Congratulations Ms. Wachtel, the 2007 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

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