Alumni Council

Made up of 25 alumni appointed to three-year terms and the president of the Student Alumni Association, this board meets on a quarterly basis 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, April 18, 2015
Stipes Hall, Western Illinois University
Macomb, Illinois

2015 Alumni Council Meetings
Saturday, January 31
Saturday, April 18
Friday, October 2

New members elected

We are pleased to welcome John Meixner '95 '05, Regional Superintendent of Schools in Hancock and McDonough counties from Macomb, IL; Erika Lowe '09, Associate Director of Board and Committee Relations at the School of the Art Institute from Chicago; Tom O'Brien '07, Attorney at O'Brien and Somer in MoKena, IL, from Chicago; and Kellie Esters '93, Vice President of Fund Development and Donor Relations at UnityPoint Health – Trinity Health Foundation in Moline, IL, from Bettendorf, IA.

A letter from the Alumni Council President

Jeff McElroy
Dear Alumni and Friends:

For more than half of my life, WIU has been a part of who I am. For me personally, I will be forever indebted to Western Illinois University for providing me the opportunity to establish lifelong friendships and access to professors and advisors who served as mentors that facilitated my growth as a student, a leader and a person. It is with great humility and honor that I take the reins as the President of the Western Illinois University Alumni Association.

Rarely a day goes by that I do not encounter something WIU. Whether it is passing a giant purple billboard along a highway, a proudly displayed window decal or license plate, seeing someone wearing Leatherneck gear, or discovering a business contact that also has a WIU connection - I seem to notice WIU students and alumni almost everywhere. The tradition is for a new Alumni Council President to offer a challenge to our nearly 120,000 alumni across the world. Mine is very simple. Share your Western story.

The Western Illinois University experience is a unique one for each of us. Next time you come across a WIU connection in your life, make a point of acknowledging it. Come out to one of the many WIU Alumni events held around the country each year ( Take time to reconnect with an old roommate, fraternity/sorority member or former professor. Perhaps it is time to reflect on those at WIU that have made a difference in your life or career and thank them for their influence. However you decide to share your Western story, do it proudly. Once a Leatherneck, always a Leatherneck.

Jeffery L. McElroy
President, WIU Alumni Council

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 nomination 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 nomination form.

2014 - 2015 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 are very excited to be expecting our first daughter in 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.  More recently though, with the little one on her way, we’ve been focused on preparing for her arrival.