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 27, 2018
Western Illinois University Macomb Campus
Macomb, Illinois

2018 Alumni Council Meetings

  • Saturday, January 27
  • Saturday, April 14
  • Friday, September 28

John SandersA letter from the Alumni Council President

Dear Fellow Leatherneck Alumni and Friends,

My name is John Sanders ‘74 and I am proud to serve as your Alumni Council President for the next two years. I am excited about the timing and ready to work with all of you to help meet the challenges facing Western. Hopefully, you have all received the most recent Western Magazine featuring the 60’s & 70’s and the “Winds of Change” (can also be viewed online at ). I remember well those years of Campus and National Unrest, Vietnam, Watergate, the fights for Equal Rights for Women and Civil Rights for all. It was an incredibly exciting time to be at Western but also a time filled with fear, distrust, and doubt about the future in our country. As students during that time, we knew that above all, we had the right, but more importantly the responsibility, to get involved and impact the changes so necessary to make a better future. It was no time to sit on the sidelines.

Today, we face another critical Time of Change for Western. Like most universities, Western faces the challenges of a changing demographic and model for the traditional brick and mortar higher education institution in America. We also continue to deal with the harsh financial realities resulting from our state of Illinois budget woes. Fortunately, our University leadership recognized these realities early, made the necessary preparations and to appropriate actions to address these issues over the past several years.  As a result, Western has been able to successfully navigate the incredibly difficult waters of keeping Western not only afloat, but to sustain its position as a leading state university recognized nationally for its excellence.

What has not changed over the years is our commitment to the students of Western Illinois University.  As Alumni, and there are over 130,000 of us out there, it is our responsibility to get involved in any way we can to ensure that Western continues the traditions of success in higher education that was so important to all of us in our lives.

We cannot sit on the sidelines! The time is now for us to embrace the Winds of Change again and to do whatever we can with the other thousands of Leathernecks around the world to make the critical difference now and in the future for Western Illinois University!

Go Western!

John's Signature 

John Sanders ‘74

President, WIU Alumni Council

P.S. Feel free to contact me directly at any time at When was the last time you visited Western? #WIUHomecoming 2017 is September 29-30 … be there!

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 send the application form and resume to the Alumni Association at 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455 or fax (309)298-2914. The deadline is March 1. (You may save and email your form to only if your computer has Adobe Acrobat Professional, not Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Or, click here to print off and then fill out the application form.

2017 - 2018 Council Members


Alumni Council Featured Member

Dan Szajna 2000Dan Szajna

Degree: Bachelor of Science degree in law enforcement and justice administration from WIU; Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) from the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) issued in 2011

Business Information: Senior Contract Coordinator – Strategic Procurement at the University of Illinois in Urbana - Champaign

Advice for Freshmen: My advice to incoming freshmen and new transfer students is to attend as many orientation and new student programs as you can as soon as you arrive on campus. There you will meet many others in the same position as you, wanting to make new friends and try new things. You will find some of these people you meet will end up being lifelong friends.

I also recommend that you take a moment and reflect on where your college career begins. Think about where you are in life, where you're hoping to go and what you would like to accomplish. Keep these thoughts in mind as you progress through your years at Western. By focusing on your goals and continuing to reevaluate them you are more likely to achieve them. After graduation and once you have established yourself in your field, remember that the opportunities that were afforded to you at Western were in large part due to the support of alumni and friends of the university which you will eventually become a part of. 

Favorite WIU Memory:  It was very exciting to be on the campus during WIU's 100th anniversary. The history behind the institution and the sheer number of individuals educated at Western was really evident during the ceremonies, presentations and interactions I had during this time.

I also have to give an "honorable mention" to my memories of time spent with friends at Lake Argyle. Camping trips or camp fires roasting marshmallows were always a great time!

Family/Hobbies: I am married the love of my life, Rebecca and we have a daughter that was born December of 2014 (WIU class of 2036).  Rebecca and I both work at the University of Illinois. When not working, you will find us participating in our softball, kickball, or bowling league.  We also share a lot of our time with family and friends.