Something Old, Something NEW for the Marching Leathernecks

Adam Beck in the NEW Marching Leathernecks uniform

Adam Beck in the new

Although the Marching Leathernecks continue to play Georgia just like they always have, they will be wearing a NEW look starting in fall 2011.

adam Beck in the old Marching Leathernecks uniform

Adam Beck in the old

According to Mike Fansler, Director of Bands, the current Marching Leatherneck uniform was purchased in 3 stages: the purple pants were purchased in the late 1980s; the white pants (which aren’t being used anymore because of mud stains) were purchased in the early 1990s, and the current jackets were purchased in 1999. Many hats have deteriorated over the years due to inclement weather and must be replaced on a regular basis. The current hat design also dates from the mid 90s. Most band directors plan on a decade as the lifetime of a uniform. That means the Marching Leathernecks have really “gotten their money’s worth” out of the current uniforms.

The current uniforms are also outdated in design and technology. There have been many improvements to fabric and construction design since the mid 1990s. The current uniforms are wool, and students can easily get overheated when temperatures get high. New fabric combinations and technology allows for much more breathable uniforms, which are much more comfortable for marching and playing. The band will still be a hot band, but not because of high temperatures!

The new uniform design is a contemporary look that retains some of the traditions of older WIU uniforms, including a block “W” on the left sleeve. Some new looks include the “WIU” on the front and scripted “Leathernecks” on each arm. And of course, the new uniforms will continue the tradition of purple and gold.

The new Marching Leatherneck uniforms will give WIU’s loyal alums the opportunity to support WIU and the Marching Leathernecks by making a donation to the uniform campaign. But none of this would be possible without a very generous $25,000 lead gift from Gene Teeter, Mt. Carroll, IL. Gene has been a very dedicated supporter of music at Western, and this generous lead gift to the band uniform campaign is just one of his many gifts to Western. Thanks Gene! You are so very deeply appreciated.

Watch for more news about the uniform campaign in the December 2010 issue of the Western News. But if you can’t wait, and you want to start your commitment to helping the Marching Leathernecks “get dressed” for 2011, call Mick Cumbie, Director of Development for the College of Fine Arts and Communication, at 309.298.2620. Mick will be happy to take your call and your donation.

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