DECATUR - The late Natalie Mauck McDowell was honored Friday, October 7th, as the Millikin University School of Nursing Distinguished Alumna of the Year.
McDowell was killed in an automobile crash in November 2021 near Champaign.
In presenting the award, Dr. Jamie Nickell, Dean of the Millikin University School of Nursing, stated “Criteria for this award includes that the nominee should have made a significant contribution to her community and have demonstrated integrity in her personal life and gained the respect of those surrounding her. Natalie did all of those things during her career.”
Natalie was graduated in 1989 from Millikin with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After graduation, Natalie started her career at Decatur Memorial Hospital, working in Pediatrics and in Labor and Delivery Pediatric Intensive Care. She later worked for Lincolnland Visiting Nurses and was the school nurse at Sullivan, Bement, and in Monticello.
In addition to her career contributions, Natalie was especially honored for her volunteer activities. For many years, she was the Director of Youth Ministries at Monticello United Methodist Church. She served on the Millikin Alumni Association. Natalie was also involved in numerous fundraisers for critically ill children. For nine years, she organized a team and participated in the St. Jude Monticello to Peoria run, which is an all-night event and helps raise money for the children of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. After she passed away, Monticello High School honored her at a basketball fundraiser in her name, with the proceeds (over $11,000) donated to St. Jude’s. During their 2022 event, the St. Jude’s Monticello to Peoria run collected $12,250 in Natalie’s memory.
In closing, Dr. Nickell stated: “Through her love and dedication to nursing, Natalie created a lasting impression on the children and teens she cared for, earned the love and respect of her community and raised thousands of dollars for the children of St. Jude’s hospital. Natalie epitomized the meaning of service to the profession of nursing.” Natalie’s award was accepted by her husband, Brian.
Natalie was the daughter of the late Kathleen and James Mauck of Sullivan. She was married to Brian McDowell and had two sons, Andrew (Sarah), of Sullivan, and Austin (Lily), of Monticello. She was a 1985 graduate of Sullivan High School.