Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Susan & Tim Adams - Western Illinois University
Sue and Tim are a young, hard working couple raising two children. They both are employed at Western Illinois University in University Information Management Systems. Sue completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from Western; Tim graduated from Southern Illinois University’s electrical engineering program. They share a life and a family, a love of music, and a touching fondness for Western Illinois University. “I bleed purple and gold,” says Sue. “In the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a cornfield, Western does it right. The professors here are accessible and really concerned about the students. Western is a unique place where the people are real.”
Back in 2001, the Adams decided they would like to do something for Western, for they felt they have been treated well by the institution both as students and as employees. At that time, the University was in its Centennial Campaign. The Adams’ participated in that campaign by establishing a scholarship fund for non-music majors who participate in a music performance ensemble during college.
In 2007, the Adams' made a commitment to take their scholarship fund to the level of endowment to ensure that it will continue into perpetuity. In a visit this summer with Director of Foundation and Development Services Kellie Esters, the Adams’ made a commitment to take their scholarship fund to the level of endowment ($20,000) to ensure that it will continue into perpetuity. “We felt we have something to offer and found a way that was manageable,” said Tim. “Payroll deduction here at Western has allowed us the opportunity to create and build something at this point in our lives. Western has given us many things, now we can share and give back by helping students use their gift and continue to know that they are appreciated.”
Rodney & Bertha Fink - Fink Environmental Studies Field Laboratory, Conservancy Grieshaber Fink Scholarship in Nursing
Rodney joined Western's agriculture department as an associate professor in 1968. He served as chair of the department before being named dean of the College of Applied Sciences in 1974. He retired in March 1992. Bertha, who received her master's degree from Western, served as an instructor of health sciences from 1976 to 1981.
The Finks have donated 77 acres of land located on West Adams Street, approximately 2.5 miles west of the WIU-Macomb campus, to establish the Rodney and Bertha Fink Environmental Studies Field Laboratory and Conservancy. The property also contains nearly one-half mile of East Lamoine River frontage and is governed by three United States Department of Agriculture conservancy agreements.
"We purchased this land 20 years ago so it could be preserved for future generations, and Western was in our thoughts when we bought it. The University has meant a lot to us as a family and has been a big part of our lives. Our four children have bachelor's degrees from Western, and one continued and received his master's degree from Western as well," the Finks said. "We're happy that the land will be used for faculty and student research, and that there will be an area so close to the city limits that remains a preserved natural area."
Patti Hutinger - Hutinger Gift Supports Visiting Artist Fund at WIU through 2013
Patti Hutinger has been an active patron of Western's art department, Art Gallery and most recently, the Student Art League. For many years, the retired WIU faculty member has been contributing to funds for supplies, equipment and materials, as well as donating gifts of artwork.
"I see myself as an artist and spend a good deal of time around the department, taking classes and getting to know the students. I'm interested in providing some of the resources the department's budget does not allow for -- things that really make a difference to both students and faculty."
The Visiting Artist Fund enables the department to bring in at least one outside visiting professional each year for lectures, demonstrations and classes, noted Charles Wright, art department chair. Hutinger first supported the Visiting Artist Fund Initiative in 2009, he added.
Gordy & Diane Taylor - $100,000 and Four Scholarships
Most WIU community members will recognize the name Gordon “Gordy” Taylor; he directed Western’s award-winning alumni program for 28 years before retiring in January 2006 with a total of more than 38 years of service to the University. Diane, Gordy’s wife of 41 years (they met on a blind date at Lake Argyle in 1967), retired from Spoon River College in Macomb where she taught English for many years. Most people associated with both WIU and SRC know of Gordy and Diane’s strong belief in the power of education. What they may not know, however, is that Gordy and Diane have quietly created, funded, and planned for a total of four scholarships to benefit students of Western Illinois University (including transfer students from Spoon River College).
“The first scholarship was started on a whim,” said Gordy, “then it took off and impressed us with the good it could do.” “We both believe that education strengthens individuals and embrace the idea of helping students achieve their educational objectives,” added Diane, “so we went on to establish scholarships in honor of our parents, who encouraged us to pursue higher education.”
“Western has been very good to us,” said Gordy. “Diane and I met, married, and raised our family here. Many of our family members also graduated from Western and have gone on to rewarding lives. These scholarships are our living legacy; they will continue long after we are gone and pay tribute to our family by helping students at the institution that gave so much to us.”
Jim & Bea Wehrly - Agricultural Finance Scholarship, Study Abroad Scholarship Fund
Wehrly was a professor of agricultural economics at Western from 1969 until his retirement in 1992. Since retiring, Wehrly saved his pennies; and when he had five million pennies, he took them to Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Dan Hendricks' office to endow an agricultural finance scholarship.
"My wife, Bea, and I have been interested in providing aid to students
for many years," said Wehrly. "Before retirement, both of us had started
scholarship funds in our separate disciplines with a $25 per month
payroll deduction. The funds accumulated slowly. By combining our
contributions, we were able to accumulate enough to endow one
scholarship -- the Bea and Jim Wehrly Scholarship."
"Both Bea and I have always been passionate about teaching and impacting students," said Wehrly. "This scholarship is consistent with our career goals and personal beliefs."
Dr. Bea Wehrly is a distinguished professor emeritus of Western Illinois University’s department of counselor education and college student personnel, her scholarly work in the area of cross-cultural counseling and contributions in the areas of multicultural understanding and career development have significantly influenced what is known today as multicultural counseling.
“We are in a global society, whether we like it or not, and our students will be much better prepared for their professions by an international study experience,” says Bea. “I contributed this particular endowment level specifically so students can have a larger scholarship amount ($3,000) to subsidize the expenses associated with international study.” Wehrly also states, “I am hoping that students going abroad will be fully aware of their own cultural values before they travel and realize how these values impact their perspectives on the differing cultural values of other people