University News

Save the Date for Town & Gown Oct. 3; Event Will Feature Unveiling of Rocky on Parade Art Project

July 10, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Kick off Western Illinois University's Homecoming 2013 festivities with the annual Celebrating Town & Gown event slated for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at The Forum in Macomb. In addition to celebrating the past year's accomplishments of WIU President Jack Thomas and Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, the event this year will serve as the venue for the unveiling of the Rocky on Parade public art project.

According to Alumni Director Amy Spelman, at Celebrating Town & Gown 2013, the Rocky on Parade sponsors will be on hand as the 13 special Rocky sculptures are unveiled for the very first time.

"We hope you will save the date and join us for a great evening in Macomb," Spelman said. "This year's event will be even more exciting as this will be the first time the public will be able to see the Rocky on Parade sculptures."

Also during the event, the Honorary Alumni and Town & Gown Awards will be presented, and a short program will begin at 6:15 p.m. The Honorary Alumni Award, given annually since 1994, will be presented to an individual who is not a WIU graduate but who has provided exceptional service to the WIU community. The Town & Gown Award, given annually since 2007, will be presented to an individual who has provided exceptional service to WIU and the community.

Inspired by successful projects like Cows on Parade in Chicago, Western Illinois University Art Professor Bill Howard conceived the idea for Rocky On Parade, a public art project that will feature life-size fiberglass bulldogs decorated by area artists. The sculptures will then be displayed around the community in locations of the sponsors' choice.

"This project celebrates the University's traditions, strengthens the unity of campus and community, contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in Macomb and supports student scholarships," Howard explained.
After the event, visitors will be able to pick up a map at the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and other locations to follow the "dog walk" to view the Rocky sculptures.

Cost to attend Celebrating Town and Gown at The Forum is $20 per person. Register online at

For more information, contact WIU Alumni Programs at (309) 298-1914 or via email at

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