Alumni

Alumni Council

Made up of 25 alumni appointed to three-year terms and the president of the Student Alumni Association, this board meets three times a year at WIU. Members represent the interests of alumni and serve as liaisons to 25 University areas. The council assists in the recruitment of students, selects Alumni Award recipients, and was instrumental in establishing the Student Alumni Association.

NEXT MEETING: Saturday, January 25
Moline, Illinois

2020 Alumni Council Meetings

  • Saturday, January 25
  • Saturday, April 18
  • Friday, October 9

A letter from the Alumni Council President Brian Savage '73

brianDear Fellow Leatherneck Alumni and Friends,

Fifty years ago this September, I arrived in Macomb as a freshman. My roommate from Canton (IL) told me that his mom had graduated from Western.  At the time I thought, “How cool is that?” Little did I know that 30 years later I would be back on campus to move in my oldest daughter into Thompson Hall as a freshman. Since then, four of my other children attended WIU.  I have been coming every year now for 20 years. A lot has changed in his time. Gone are Wetzel and Higgins Halls, Grote Hall has been rebuilt and Thompson, Olson and Corbin have all been remodeled. It is a different campus, but surprisingly, it still feels like our same old stomping grounds. I know many of you are just like me—we have created a Western Legacy.

Nor would I have ever believed that 50 years later I would begin a term as President of your Western Illinois University Alumni Council. I look forward continuing to serve you and the more than 135,000 Alumni of WIU around the world. We have much to lobby for—the Center for the Performing Arts must be built! The new 2020 Illinois budget was just signed by the Governor and includes a 5% increase in our appropriated funds, $94.5 million for a new science building and $28.9 for deferred maintenance. We are hopeful the funds will finally be released for the Center for the Performing Arts and look forward to a construction start date.

Western needs your help now more than ever. Currently, 10% of our more than 135,000 Alumni give back to the University. We were educated here, went on to have successful careers, earned our livings, and now I believe we must to pay it forward. As one of my colleagues said, “You learned, you earned, and now it’s time to return.”

There are so many ways for each of us to give back:

Continue your Western Legacy. Send your children, encourage a neighbor to send their child, and always talk about Western with friends and family. I am so proud of the Department of Accountancy from which I earned my degree—WIU students led all public universities in Illinois with a 70.67 percent pass rate on the CPA exam the year before last—the highest in Illinois. Our Nursing students posted a 100 percent pass rate on the industry licensure exam and the program continues to grow in enrollment and in academic opportunities. The Department of Physics was ranked first in the nation by the American Physical Society's list of the average number of master's degrees awarded per year and our School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration is considered the best in Illinois and one of the best in the nation. The premier state-of-the-art McCamey Crime Lab opened last year.   

Contribute to the Scholarship Fund. “Leatherneck Legacy” is the official name of the Alumni Association’s scholarship fund. We provide 21 scholarships to children and grandchildren of Alumni. Your gift to the fund will help us continue our Leatherneck Legacy and allow us to increase the amount we provide and the number of recipients. Consider supporting improvements to YOUR Alumni House. Substantial improvements were made to the outside through private gifts, but now, after all these years, we need to improve inside.

Create your legacy. Endowed scholarships require a minimum gift of $25,000, which then generates enough income on its own to support your program in perpetuity.

Visit the campus. Homecoming is a great time, or, make it a point to attend a Western event and reconnect with friends and fellow alumni. We host nearly 50 events around the world each year. Homecoming is Oct. 4-5, 2019.

Buy a Brick. For $100, your personalized brick will be installed in the new Alumni Plaza, just a few steps away from the University Union and Hanson Field.

Hire an intern at your place of employment or suggest that your employer hire one.

Every bit of your time volunteering or visiting, any help you may provide in the recruitment of students and EVERY dollar makes a difference! Please consider giving to Western in some way this year. As Alumni, and the permanent Trustees of this University, we need to make the effort to make a difference. We need your help … now is the time for more of us to get involved and support ALL current and future Leathernecks! 

 

 

 

Brian Savage ‘73

President, WIU Alumni Council

  

Farewell letter from Alumni Council Past President John Sanders '74

 

Alumni Council Members Sought

The WIU Alumni Association is looking for dedicated leaders of all ages, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, career fields, etc. to serve on the WIU Alumni Council. If you or someone you know is an active alumnus that would be a good candidate, please fill out an online application form. The deadline is March 1.

2019 - 2020 Council Members

 

Alumni Council Featured Member

Thom Cornelis 1971


Degree:
BA in Communication Arts & Sciences

Business Information: Retired after 44 years of TV/radio broadcasting the Quad Cities.

Advice for Freshman: Freshman...go to class...party later. Make sure you become a sophomore!

Favorite WIU Memory: Winning the 1st All-University Winter Olympics with my TKE brothers.

Family Information:  I met my wife, Marcia, at WIU and we have been married for 47 years and we have 7 grandchildren. I currently work at TPC Deere Run and serve as the Quad City Coordinator of the WIU Leatherneck Club.