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Director's Column





Leathernecks Receive Diplomas, Recognition at Spring Commencement

Athletics' Graduates

A total of 70 Leatherneck student-athletes walked across the stage, received their diplomas and continued down their desired career paths commencement weekend. Five earned a Master's degree, while 65 received a Bachelor's degree.

"We are very proud that 70 members of our Leatherneck Family received their diplomas this spring," Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine said. "Among the class were four Commencement Marshals, seven Departmental Scholars and one College Scholar, which further demonstrates the drive Western Illinois student-athletes possess to achieve excellence, not only on the field but also in the academic arena. The recognition they earned is well-deserved and is a great testament to their hard work and dedication."

Of the 24 students on campus chosen to serve as Commencement Marshals in the ceremony based on their cumulative grade point averages, four were student-athletes. The list includes Mathematics major Josh Davis (Men's Swimming and Diving) who owns a 3.969 GPA, Biology Medical Sciences major Sadie Webb (Women's Basketball) with a 3.944 GPA, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and Spanish double major Alexa Arent (Women's Golf) with a 3.924, and Nursing major Miranda Graham (Women's Soccer) who has a 3.873 GPA.

Arent, Davis and Graham were also recognized as Departmental Scholars, which are considered to be outstanding degree candidates and are selected by faculty within their respective areas of study. Sarah Blaase (Women's Soccer), Wil Lunt (Football), Kelsey Michelini (Softball) and Alycia Thurston (Women's Cross Country/Track and Field) received the honor as well.

The lone College Scholar in the group was Davis. Recipients of this award are determined by their outstanding academic excellence and service through the dean's offices and have been recommended by faculty.

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Four Leathernecks Earn All-League Baseball Honors

The Summit League announced its annual All-League teams on Wednesday evening (May 22) with four Leathernecks being named All-Conference. Jameson Henning received First Team All-Summit League honors while Neil DeCook, Steve Kedroski and Aaron Michel received Second Team All-League honors.

The four players selected to the All-League teams are the most for a Leatherneck baseball team since 2006 and also the first league honors for all four players.

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Tim Van Alstine Resigns as Director of Athletics

Tim Van Alstine

Tim M. Van Alstine, director of intercollegiate athletics at Western Illinois University, has resigned from the position, effective today (May 21). Van Alstine has served as athletics director at Western since July 2001.

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Leatherneck Josh Davis Overcomes Diagnosis, Collects Accolades

Josh DavisMen's swimming and diving student-athlete and aspiring mathematics teacher Josh Davis walked across the stage last weekend and received his diploma from Western Illinois with the rest of the 2013 graduating class. But he is different from the rest.

Shortly after his 13th birthday and during a time where he was considering leaving the swim team due to bullying, Davis was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS). It is a type of Pervasive Developmental Disorder that is considered an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which are neurodevelopmental disorders. Individuals with AS can struggle within the spheres of social interaction and speech, however, the syndrome is often accompanied by a unique gift and the ability to intensely focus on one task at a time.

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Men's Basketball Recognized as Statistical Champions

The Fighting Leatherneck men's basketball team concluded an historic season this past winter, earning the most wins in the program's NCAA Division I history, collecting a share of The Summit League's regular season championship, and making its second consecutive trip to the College Basketball Invitational, and the accomplishments continue for head coach Jim Molinari and the 2012-13 team.

Thursday morning (May 16) the Athletics Department received official word that the men's basketball team has been named 2012-13 NCAA Division I statistical champion for 'Fewest Personal Fouls Per Game'.

Read more. Rocky


Marshall Named to 2013 NFCA Division I All-Region Second Team

Sammy MarshallLeatherneck shortstop Sammy Marshall was named to the Midwest's 2013 NFCA Division I All-Region Second Team as announced on Thursday (May 16). Honorees were voted in by NFCA member coaches from each respective region and those awarded remain in the running for All-America recognition.

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