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Centennial Honors College

30th Anniversary Celebration

In Fall 1983, WIU Acting Provost and Academic Vice President Virgil K. Howe created the University Honors Program to take the place of the college-level honors initiatives. To spotlight the 30-year evolution of the University Honors Program—which, in 1999, was given official college status by the WIU Board of Trustees and was renamed the "Illinois Centennial Honors College"—Honors College staff and faculty hosted a student reception, a Distinguished Alumni Panel (featuring Western alumni who were Honors scholars) and an early-evening social on September 23.

The festivities began with a student reception in the Malpass Library Garden Lounge, followed by an alumni panel discussion. Former Honors scholars Jarrod Sheets, Michael Baxa, Mark Boley, Brian Koch, and Holly Stovall comprised the panel.

The evening concluded with a social on the third floor of Sherman Hall, which included refreshments, a performance by the President's String Quartet, a "History of Honors" video, and reflections from former Directors, including Gordon Kirk, Sterling Kernek, Jutta Helm, Tom Helm, Marty Dupuis, and Bill Knox.

According to Honors Director Rick Hardy, the 30th anniversary celebration marked a significant achievement at Western Illinois University, exemplifying three decades of recruiting, educating and promoting talented, hard-working students.

"The social events and the panel discussion enabled us to recognize and celebrate the contributions of scores of administrators, faculty, staff and students who have made this enterprise possible. The Centennial Honors College embodies the best education Western Illinois University has to offer; it is a treasure that belongs to all of us," Hardy added.

Provost Ken Hawkinson recognizes Honors Directors for their service. Left to right standing, Gordon Kirk, Jutta Helm, Sterling Kernek, Rick Hardy. Seated: Bill Knox, Tom Helm, Marty Dupuis. Former Directors not in attendance John Klasner and Eric Stiffler.
Honos College Directors


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Western Illinois University Alumni Association
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