University News

Western Challenge/Purple & Gold Day Set for April 24

April 17, 2017

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MACOMB/MOLINE IL -- Show your Leatherneck Pride Monday, April 24 as Western Illinois University hosts the second annual "Western Challenge," in conjunction with the University's annual Purple & Gold Day celebration.

"Purple & Gold Day is the day we celebrate all that is Western Illinois University," said Amy Spelman, Alumni Programs director. "This year there are several ways to show your support: attend a social in Macomb or Denver, or watch online; submit a one-word video that illustrates what WIU means to you; or make a gift to the Western Challenge."

The Western Challenge

The Western Challenge is a 24-hour online giving event aimed at inspiring alumni, students, faculty members and friends to demonstrate their WIU pride by making a personal gift -- in any amount -- to the University.

"We have partnered with the WIU Alumni Association to hold this year's 'Western Challenge' on Purple & Gold Day," said Tim Hallinan, director of Annual Giving at WIU. "Participating in the challenge during Purple & Gold Day is a remarkable way for Leathernecks from around the world to come together in support of our students."

Donors will have the opportunity to choose exactly where their gift goes, according to Hallinan. They can donate to specific scholarship funds, departments, athletics, campus improvements and other areas.

"The 'Western Challenge' is about supporting our students and demonstrating to them that Leathernecks from near and far remain committed to Western and want them to succeed," he added. And it's not about how much you give. It's about participation, school spirit, loyalty and pride."

In addition to the challenge, individuals also can sign up at the "Western Challenge" website to become an advocate to drive the effort via social media, as well as issue their own challenge or matching gifts to inspire increased participation.

This year's challenge is for at least 1,000 people to add their name to the online donor wall with their gift made between midnight and 11:59 p.m. April 24.

"This can be a record-setting day for Western and will certainly demonstrate that Leatherneck Pride is alive and well," Hallinan added.
For updates and participation, follow the "Western Challenge" Facebook page at

Purple & Gold Day

The tradition of celebrating Purple & Gold Day at Western began on April 24, 2000, with the close of the University's 100-year celebration. The date in 2000 marked the 100-year anniversary of the day in 1899 when the Illinois Legislature approved the creation of what would become WIU.

To show school spirit and support of Western, members of the WIU community are encouraged to wear purple and gold on April 24, attend a Purple & Gold Day alumni and friends social in Macomb or Denver or watch the celebrations online at The Macomb event will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Sports Corner, while the Denver event will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. at Carboy Winery in Littleton, CO. Pre-registration for Purple & Gold Day events is preferred; however, walk-ins are welcome.

Alumni and friends are also encouraged to record themselves sharing what Western means to them in just one word. Videos should be sent to by Wednesday, April 19. The top videos will be revealed and streamed at the Purple & Gold Day celebrations and at

For more information or to pre-register for a Purple & Gold Day 2017 event, visit, email, or call (309) 298-1914.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations