Dan Wagner ’89, M.S. ’94, was honored by Illinois State University with one of its top honors, the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. Wagner has been “Redbird Proud” since his first days on campus and served in many leadership roles as a student that carried into leadership roles in his career. Wagner was a former student regent, academic senator, and vice president and president of the Association of Residence Halls during his time at Illinois State.

Wagner has been a leader in his professional career as well. Serving as senior vice president of government relations for the Inland Real Estate Group, he was named as the 2017 Chicago Realtor of the Year and this year was inducted into the Hall of Fame for both Illinois Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. He is also a board member for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Last summer, Wagner was selected as an Edgar Fellow, an award offered only to the most up and coming leaders in the state, founded and supported by former Gov. Jim Edgar.

Perhaps his most proud moment, however, was his Advocacy Award from the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, for his work in building the first special needs park in Wheaton. As the father of a child with autism, he saw a gap in services provided to those children and worked tirelessly to pass a special needs referendum to get the park built. And as Wagner ends his presentations, in the spirit of President Larry Dietz, he says, “Go, you Redbirds.”