An Enduring Tribute

The Ithaca College community is a close one. As students, as alumni, as faculty and staff, we all share a connection with one another through our association with this amazing institution. And as much of a lasting impression as Ithaca College has on our lives, each one of us leaves an equally indelible mark on our IC community.

The faces you see below are members of our college community who have died. Here, we take a moment to reflect on their lives. We remember their generosity, their contributions, their intellect and interests. Each story describes the life of a loved one lost, offering us a chance to reconnect with a unique spirit, or make an acquaintance for the very first time.

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Mark R. Wilder '81Mark R. Wilder '81
July 18, 1959 September 17, 1987

Mark R. Wilder received his bachelor's degree in television-radio from Ithaca College, where he met his wife Sheila. Mark was born in Buffalo and lived in Penfield, New York, for 20 years. Upon his graduation from IC, Mark worked as an account executive for radio station WMJQ in Rochester. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1983 to take a job as general sales manager for radio station WELI. In August 1986, he moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where he was general sales manager for station WMJJ.

Mark's spirit, courage, and sense of humor were among his finest qualities, and saw him through a critical and successful liver transplant surgery in early 1986. Those same qualities were again apparent in January 1987, when he was diagnosed with aplasmic anemia. Mark returned to work and his new job in Birmingham, but died later that year from complications related to the disease.

Mark had an unrelenting spirit and professional enthusiasm. He was determined to make a difference through his positive attitude and encouraging words. His friends and colleagues at WMJJ remember Mark fondly, often sharing stories and memories about him, even so many years after his death.

“His courage to get through grew greater and greater,” said his mother, Natalee Wilder. “He was an inspiration to everyone. His life was short, but his memory will linger for a long, long time in many hearts.”