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RockeNews January 2014

Capital Campaign Concludes

Campaign Update The Western Illinois University Foundation is pleased to announce its Higher Values in Higher Education Campaign concluded December 31, having reached 103% of its $60 million goal. On behalf of Western Illinois University and the WIU Foundation, we thank you for your generosity and we look forward to sharing complete details in the Feb. 1 issue of RockeNews!

WIU in the News


Upcoming Alumni & Friends Events

Alumni Benefits

Popular Links

Recent Alumni & Friends Events Around the World

WIU Network logo YouTube Twitter. Linkedin. Facebook. Flikr. RockENetwork. Foursquare. Pinterest.

Visit WIU mobile, and enter Leatherneck Country right from your phone at!

WIU Mobile logo


Think Purple Stamps

Director's Column



In this Issue

Letter from the President - Budget Update
BOT Approves UPI Agreement | Admissions Standards Update
San Diego Alumni & Friends Social January 16
Jazz and More in Macomb January 21
Washington, DC Alumni & Friends Social January 29
Western Wednesdays in Glen Ellyn February 5


Letter from the President - Budget Update

President ThomasAs the semester has drawn to a close and we have celebrated another graduation ceremony, I would like to update you on our budget situation (as of Dec. 6). The University cash flow continues to remain a top focus. I am pleased that we have received two reimbursements from the State for FY2014. However, as of December 1, 2013, the State owed the University approximately $33.3 million. This requires us to continue to conserve and spend wisely. We continue to watch the enrollment levels for the spring and attempt new recruitment strategies in order to grow our enrollment.

We are disappointed in several of the elements in the pension reform bill (the approach to COLA and the cap on pensionable salaries) that has been signed into law. We believe this will have a negative effect and impact the retirement security of our former, current, and future employees. I will meet again with other public university presidents and chancellors to discuss pension reform and other legislative topics. We will continue to seek adequate funding for Western Illinois University and promote how higher education contributes to the economic development of the State of Illinois.

Read more.

BOT Approves UPI Agreement

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees voted for a memorandum of understanding with the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) Local 4100 at its Dec. 13 Board meeting.

An agreement was reached on Oct. 23 and was ratified by the WIU UPI chapter Nov. 19. As part of the memorandum of understanding, WIU and the UPI Local 4100 agree that the 2010-2015 agreement be extended from May 31, 2014 through June 30, 2017. In addition, effective Fall 2014 (or July 1, 2014) for 12-month employees, the board will grant each eligible employee under contract and in the bargaining unit a salary increase of 2 percent for Fiscal Year 2015 [FY'16 - 2 percent, and FY'17 - 1 percent].

As part of the memorandum of understanding, WIU and the UPI Local 4100 agree that the 2010-2015 agreement be extended from May 31, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

Read more.

Admissions Standards Update

Earlier this year, Western Illinois University announced it would increase admissions standards for high school seniors applying for the Fall 2014 semester, and according to Admissions Director Andy Borst, the increased standards are having an impact.

"We are admitting students who have the best chance for success at WIU," Borst explained. We are seeing an increase in applications from qualified students, and we are making admissions decisions in a more expedited manner than in previous years. "We have improved our decision timeline from three weeks during the highest volume of applications down to only four days," he added. "Even with the increase in applications, a student who submits an application on a Monday will have an admissions decision by Friday."

Borst noted that although WIU is turning away more applicants, freshman applicants who meet the increased admissions standards are up 12.6 percent compared to the previous year. This increase includes 8.5 percent more students with profiles above the institutional averages of ACT score and grade point average who qualify for Western Commitment Scholarships. WIU expects to receive an additional 5,500 freshmen applications until the Aug. 1 deadline.

Read more.

San Diego Alumni & Friends Social January 16

Join President Jack Thomas, Vice President of Student Services Gary Biller, new Athletics Director Tommy Bell and Alumni Director Amy Spelman '98 as they travel to San Diego and the historical Gaslamp District. Experience Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar's passion for food and wine, served with inspired hospitality!

Fleming'sSan Diego Alumni & Friends Social
January 16, 2014
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
380 K Street
San Diego, CA

Social, delectable hors d'oeuvres and cash bar: $20/person

Jazz and More in Macomb January 21

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Jazz Singers, c.1934
Oil on canvas, Western Illinois University Art Gallery,
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Program, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration
Commissioned through the New Deal art projects
Jazz Singers by Motley

"Jazz and More" at the Macomb Campus featuring the special exhibition "A New Deal for Illinois: The Federal Art Projects Collection of Western Illinois University". If you missed our event at the Figge Art Museum in October, now is your chance to view this extraordinary collection.

Macomb Alumni & Friends Event
Tuesday, January 21
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. & Exhibit Tour 7:15 p.m.
Sherman Hall - 3rd Floor Auditorium WIU Art Gallery
Macomb, IL

Art exhibition, social, scrumptious hors d'oeuvres and cash bar: $10/person

Visit the exhibit any time during the social or experience a special tour of the exhibit by WIU Art Gallery Director Ann Marie Hays-Hawkinson at 7:15 p.m.

Washington, DC Alumni & Friends Social January 29

Tuscana WestWashington, DC Alumni & Friends Social
Wednesday, January 29
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Tuscana West
1350 I Street NW
Washington, DC

Social, delectable hors d'oeuvres and cash bar: $20/person


Western Wednesdays in Glen Ellyn February 5

Western WednesdaysWe had a great time at our December Western Wednesdays event in Chicago. If you missed us, be sure to join us for our next installment in Glen Ellyn in February. Your WIU Alumni Association began a tradition in 2011 with the first of many Western After Hours! Hundreds of alumni have joined us every month for great food, great conversation and a few beverages. We are continuing our tradition on a NEW bimonthly schedule and we'll be in the suburbs in February and then rotating downtown and back out to the suburbs over the next year!

Western Wednesdays
Wednesday, February 5
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Tap House Grill
411 North Main St.
Glen Ellyn, IL
(There is no charge for this event.)

Social, light appetizers (while they last) & cash bar: FREE

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

Upcoming Western Wednesdays from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.:
April 2 – downtown Chicago
June 4 – Chicago suburb
August 6 – downtown Chicago
October 1 – Chicago suburb


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 December winner--Wendy Hurst '07. She discovered Rocky on the Center for International Studies page. Congratulations to the January winner--Christine Dunn '13. She discovered Rocky on the Foundation and Development


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