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In this Issue

WIU Awarded 2014 Retention Excellence Award
WIU to Unveil New Website August 4
School of Agriculture Greenhouse Project Underway
Western Wednesdays in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Quad Cities area
Join your WIU Alumni Association in Burlington, Monmouth, Galesburg and at the WIU vs. Wisconsin Football Game
Save the Date for Celebrating Town & Gown
WIU "Chicago Homecoming" and Name that Brew Contest
WIU Homecoming and Reunion 2014 in Just Two Months


WIU Awarded 2014 Retention Excellence Award

Western Illinois University's recent retention success has garnered the institution the 2014 Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award from Noel-Levitz, a higher education consulting firm. Western is one of three institutions in the nation that received the award July 9 at the National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing and Retention.

According to Gary Biller, vice president of student services, this year's fall-to-spring retention rate improved to 89.3 percent (Fall 2013 to Spring 2014), from 82.2 percent (Fall 2012 to Spring 2013), and the percentage of new first-time freshmen in good academic standing or semester honors after their first semester was 78.2 percent in Fall 2013, compared to 70.4 percent in Fall 2012.

"The program that has delivered noticeable results for our total campus enrollment has been the Building Connections mentoring program," noted WIU President Jack Thomas. "I have personally mentored a small group of students each year, and I can attest to the potential of mentoring relationships to positively impact student success and retention."

Read more.

WIU to Unveil New Website Aug. 4

New WIU WebpageWestern Illinois University will unveil its new website design Monday, Aug. 4 at

The website will provide a new look, and also feature a new responsive design technique, which will improve the way the website is displayed on various sizes of monitors and mobile devices.

"We are seeing a significant increase in the utilization of mobile devices as users access our website," said Jeremy Merritt, coordinator of University Technology Web Services. "The new responsive design of the WIU website will help ensure that prospective students are able to access our complete website content regardless if they are browsing on an iPhone/Android phone, a tablet/iPad or their desktop or laptop computer."

Read more.

School of Agriculture Greenhouse Project Underway

School of Ag GreenhouseConstruction crews broke ground last month for the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture's greenhouse project. According to School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker, in the initial phase, two 16 ft. x 48 ft. greenhouses (with a connecting hallway) are being built near the University's Livestock Center, located north of campus, just south of the Harry Mussatto Golf Course's parking lot.

Baker noted the new greenhouse facilities will extend the School of Agriculture's research capabilities in the plant-science area.

"This year, we were awarded the funds to begin the greenhouse project, one that we have requested in our annual consolidated report for several years now. We believed it was the one piece missing from the AFL (Agricultural Farm Laboratories) that would support the curricular needs of our comprehensive degree program," he said.

Read more.

Western Wednesdays in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Quad Cities area

Western WednesdaysYour WIU Alumni Association began a tradition not long ago with the first of many Western Wednesdays After Hours! We continued the tradition on a bimonthly schedule in Chicago, launched Western Wednesdays in Washington D.C. last January, and just launched Western Wednesdays in the Quad Cities at the beginning of May. We'll rotate every other month in the Quad Cities area and continue to rotate every other month in Chicago and Washington D.C.! Hundreds of alumni have joined us every month for great food, great conversation and a few beverages!  

Western Wednesdays After-Hours Downtown Chicago
Wednesday, August 6 at Blue Frog's Local 22

Western Wednesdays After-Hours Quad Cities
Wednesday, September 3 in Rock Island, IL at On the Rock

Save the Date – Washington Western Wednesdays in Downtown D.C.
Wednesday, September 24

Pre-registration is preferred, however walk-ins are welcome. To pre-register, please call 309-298-1914 or email

View the complete list and details of upcoming Western Wednesdays After Hours online.

Join your WIU Alumni Association in Burlington, Monmouth, Galesburg and at the WIU vs. Wisconsin Football Game

WIU Night at the Burlington Bees - Burlington Bees vs. Peoria Chiefs
Wednesday, August 13
Community Field, Budweiser Party Deck
2714 Mt. Pleasant St., Burlington, IA
Pregame Social: 5:30 p.m.
Game: 6:30 p.m.
Adult social & ticket package (15 & up) $14/person
Youth social & ticket package (14 & under) $12/person
Already have a game ticket:
Adult social only $12/person
Youth social only $10/person

Monmouth Alumni & Friends Wine Tasting

Thursday, August 14
Market Alley Wines
59 Public Square, Monmouth, IL
Social: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Social, wine tasting, food pairing & cash bar $15/person

Galesburg Alumni & Friends Social
Thursday, August 21
Iron Spike Brewing Company
150 E. Simmons St., Galesburg, IL
Social: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Social, beer tasting, tour, appetizers & cash bar $15/person

Read more (or click here to register for the above events or any other WIU Alumni & Friends Events).

Then, in September, join us in Wisconsin when the Fighting Leathernecks take on the Wisconsin Badgers. For specific information or to register for the WIU at Wisconsin Social & Football Game, click here.

Save the Date for Celebrating Town & Gown

Kick off Western Illinois University's Homecoming 2014 festivities with the annual Celebrating Town & Gown event slated for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25 at The Forum in Macomb. Join us in celebrating the past year's accomplishments of WIU President Jack Thomas and Macomb Mayor Mike Inman. Also during the event, the Honorary Alumni and Town & Gown Awards will be presented.

Read more (or register).

WIU "Chicago Homecoming" and Name that Brew Contest

Chicago Homecoming

September 20 - WIU vs. Northwestern Pregame Social & Football Game

In addition to our traditional on-campus Homecoming events on October 3-4, WIU will host a "Chicago Homecoming" this fall when the Leathernecks take on the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on September 20. Leading up to the football game, we will be hosting alumni socials at various locations in the Chicagoland area.


September 15 - Homewood at The Fifth Quarter
September 16 - Arlington Heights at Peggy Kinnane's
September 17 - Schaumburg at Ram Restaurant
September 18 - LaGrange at Wild Monk
September 19 - Downtown Chicago at Ditka's
September 20 - WIU vs. Northwestern Pregame Social & Football Game

Name That Brew Contest!

Yes, you can be the one to name the Goose Island pub brew which will be served at the WIU vs. Northwestern pregame social! The winning name selected will be displayed on the handle of the tapper used throughout the social. The WIU Alumni Association will be running the “Name That Brew” contest from August 1st through August 31st. The name should incorporate WIU in some way. You will have the bragging rights and will be given credit for coming up with the original name! A photo will be taken of the winner and the tapper at the pregame social on game day if present. Put your thinking caps on now and send us your idea (email your submissions to for the brew to be served on Sept. 20 before the big game!

WIU Homecoming and Reunion 2014 in Just Two Months

Homecoming 2014You are invited to return to the Western Illinois University campus and join in all the festivities during the 91st Homecoming weekend--WIU: A Hero's Homecoming.  Who's Your Hero? Western's Alumni Association will welcome back past students and friends for activities and get-togethers Friday (Oct. 3) and Saturday (Oct. 4) for Homecoming 2014 and to celebrate the official 25/30/40/50 Year Reunion.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 3 with the All-Alumni Social at the Alumni House. Saturday Homecoming activities include the Old Stompin' Ground Runaround; complimentary breakfast; the Reunion Recognition Brunch; Homecoming Parade; lunch at "The Right Place," the big tent north of Hanson Field; and the Homecoming football game. Get set to cheer on your Fighting Leathernecks as they play North Dakota State when the weekend wraps up on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Get the latest Homecoming and Reunion information online.


Register for any of the above events online, call 309-298-1914 or fax 309-298-2914.


RockyCan you find this exact Rocky (in black and white) somewhere else in the eNewsletter? If you find him, email us at
and let us know where he was placed. One winner will be picked from all the entries emailed on the first day of the month and will get a WIU Prize Pack! Good luck!

****Congratulations to the July winner--Travis Pogmore. He discovered Rocky on the College of Fine Arts and Communication page.****


Travel with WIU


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Western Illinois University Alumni Association
1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455