Advancement & Public Services

A Look Back at WIU Through the Years images

April 1-7


April 1: Animals Donated to Biology Department

Two large animals, a American alligator and a coyote, were donated to the Normal School’s Biology Department by one of the school’s trustees, G.W. Ross. The coyote came to the department with a severe leg injury, and it died within a week of its arrival. The alligator was in good health and it lived for several years.

April 3: Tri-City Manager Tours Main Building

Tri-City Construction’s Manager of Major Construction Operations George Baker arrived from the company’s main headquarters in Davenport, Iowa to inspect the work that was being done to complete the interior of Sherman Hall. While in Macomb, Baker also visited several street paving crews who were busy working on some of Macomb’s major streets, such as East Jackson and West Adams.


April 1: Tabunar Places First at Oratory Contest

Gabino Tabunar was awarded first for Individual Speech at the annual Illinois Normal Schools Oratory Contest held at Illinois State Normal School (now Illinois State University). Tabunar’s winning speech focused on why the Philippines should be awarded its independence. Western’s oratory team placed second overall.

April 7: Training School Holds Easter Concert

Miss Sweet, along with several of the Normal School students, directed pupils from the training school in an Easter concert that was presented free of charge for the parents, faculty and students.


April 3: Traveling American Exhibit Comes to Macomb

An art exhibit from the University of Illinois stopped at Western’s campus as it traveled across the Midwest. The exhibit featured 30 paintings that had been selected to best represent American painting.

April 4: Currens Completes 38 Years at Western

Dr. Fred H. Currens celebrated 38 years as part of Western Illinois State College’s faculty. He arrived in 1913 to serve as the head of the chemistry and physics departments, and was named dean of Western State College in 1923. Today, the building that houses the chemistry and physics Departments bears his name.

April 6: New Parking Lots Under Construction

Due to the rising student population, the construction of three new parking lots began, east and north of Morgan Gym, and east of the Arts Building (Garwood Hall). Once completed, the new lots gave the campus 75 additional parking spaces.


April 2: Western Takes Part in Campus Evaluation Group

Representatives from Ball State and Western Kentucky universities were on the WIU campus as part of a three-school evaluation group.

April 3: City Council Debate

The two candidates for the fifth ward alderman seat on the Macomb City Council held a debate in Tanner Hall. Candidates included incumbent alderman and head of the city sewer committee Dave Maguire and WIU junior finance and political science major Jim Nelson. Some of the topics discussed by the candidates were laws regarding parties and extending bar operation hours from 1 to 2 a.m. on weekends. At the April 7 election, Maguire was re-elected by a vote of 148-44.

April 5: Kansas Performs at Western

The rock band Kansas entertained a sold out Western Hall. Thousands of screaming fans enjoyed the band’s famous “theater rock” style show using strobe lights, lasers, and controlled pyrotechnics coordinated with hit songs such as “Point of No Return” and “Carry on Wayward Son.”

March 25-31


March 26: Faculty Attend Teachers Association Meeting

President Henninger, along with Professors William Sutherland and John Drake, left for Bloomington to attend the Central Illinois Teachers Association Meeting.

March 31: Enrollment Increases

Students returned from spring break to start the spring term. Enrollment increased slightly as seven new students registered.


March 27: Schools Hold Intelligence Tests

The training and normal schools held intelligence tests for students from ninth grade through the college senior level to measure the difference in scores between the two age levels and to measure the effect that courses had on students' intelligence levels.

March 30: Student Council Recommends Awards for Student Organizations

The student council recommended to the president that an awards system be established to recognize outstanding students in each of the campus organizations. It was decided that each organization should nominate one member of the organization to be recognized at an awards ceremony at the end of the year.

March 31: State Normal Schools Facing Crisis

A report released by the State Inter-Normal Committee said that over the past year, 140 teachers had left their positions at the five normal schools around the state. This was blamed on the fact the cost of living had increased more than 150 percent during World War I, but teachers' salaries had only increased 15 percent. A number of politicians were working on bills to raise teachers' salaries.


March 25: New Boiler House Completed

A new boiler house, featuring four coal-burning boilers, was completed, which helped heat the campus more efficiently. One boiler was capable of creating 500HP, while the remaining boilers were capable of 309HP. The cost of the new building and equipment totaled $200,000.

March 27: Professor Completes 22 Years as Secretary

After his re-election, Professor Edwin Schreiber, head of the mathematics department, completed his 22nd year of serving as the secretary for the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics. Schreiber was a member of the council since its founding in 1920.

March 28: Western to Receive New Science Building

The State Teachers College Board approved plans for a new science building for Western Illinois State College and made it the first priority among building projects for all state teachers colleges. The estimated cost to construct the building was $2.75 million.


March 26: Bus System Approved by SGA

The Student Government Association (SGA) approved a bill that allowed students to vote on whether or not they would accept a $5 per semester fee to install a bus system to help students get around campus and the city of Macomb.

March 28: Student Crashes Car into Stipes Hall

A car driven by a WIU student crashed into the front of Stipes Hall. The student was traveling southbound on Western Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle, crossed the lane divider and both northbound lanes, and climbed the curbing before smashing into the front doors of Stipes. He received only minor injuries from the incident.

March 29: ROTC Exercise "Goes Up in Smoke"

A typical ROTC training exercise was underway at Lake Argyle Park when a smoke grenade caught some prairie grass on fire, and the wind quickly spread the blaze out of control. More than 35 acres of the park were burned by the fire, and one person was hospitalized with smoke inhalation.

March 18-24


March 19-20: Sunday School Institute Held

The Western Illinois State Normal School hosted the Illinois Sunday School Teachers Association Institute for regional Sunday school teachers. The institute’s theme was “More Than a Good Story.”

March 20: Women End Season with Double-Header

The inaugural season for the WIU women’s basketball team came to an end with a double-header in the Macomb Opera House. The team won both games, beating Quincy High School in the first game and Macomb High School in the second game.

March 22: Spring Break Starts, Ends Third Term

State Normal School students finished their third term and began their spring break, which lasted until March 31. It was expected that many students would not return for the fourth term because of the spring planting season.


March 18: YWCA Elects New Cabinet

The State Normal School’s YWCA chapter held an election for a new cabinet. Janette Terrill was elected president.

March 20: State Normal School Gets a Name Change

The Illinois State Senate approved the Pace Act, which officially changed the name of Western Illinois State Normal School to the Western Illinois State Teachers College. It also gave the school the funds to raise faculty salaries by three percent.

March 24: Toots Paka Entertains at Western

Toots Paka’s Hawaiian Troupe gave a concert in Morgan Gym. The troupe traveled around the country giving concerts of traditional Hawaiian music and teaching about the culture of the islands. Hawaii was a U.S. protectorate at the time.


March 17: Agriculture Professor Speaks at the State FFA Convention

Head of the Western Illinois Department of Agriculture, John S. McVicker, traveled to Galesburg, where he was the keynote speaker for the State Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention.

March 19: Western High School Ends Season with Run to State Tournament

The Western Academy High School basketball team completed its most successful season in school history after losing to Marion High School in the Sweet-Sixteen portion of the IHSA State Championship basketball tournament, making it the farthest any Western Academy team had advanced in post-season play.

March 21: Western Hosts Visiting Day

More than 1,200 high school students from 48 different high schools around Illinois came to visit Western Illinois State College. President Beu addressed the students on the importance of picking the right college. Students then toured campus and visited with faculty members before being treated to a concert by the University band.


March 21: Western Illinois Opens Track Season with New Coach

The WIU track team competed in their first track meet of the year at the Florida State Spring Relays. This was the first meet coached by Hall of Fame hurdler Lee Calhoun. Calhoun was a two-time gold medalist in the 110 high hurdles during the 1956 and 1960 Olympics and had previously served as Yale’s track coach before coming to Western.

March 23: Plan Approved to Increase Police Patrols

The Board of Trustees approved a plan to reduce the crime rate and improve campus safety. The plan called for increasing patrols around campus, with the primary focus on the residence halls, and hiring three additional Office of Public Safety officers.

March 11-17


March 11: Banquet Held for Normal School Faculty and Macomb Citizens

A social banquet and ball was thrown for WISNS employees and Macomb citizens at the Opera House. The event’s purpose was to allow the two groups to meet and get to know each other better. Macomb business leader C.V. Chandler organized and hosted the banquet.

March 17: St. Patrick's Day Party Held

WISNS faculty celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by hosting a party for students.


March 11: Committee Visits State Normal School

A junketing committee from the State Legislature visited the State Normal School. While they were on campus, Committee Chair and State Representative Claude Lacy addressed the students and faculty on the importance of normal schools for the education of Illinois’ youth. After the speech, the committee toured the school grounds and had dinner with President Morgan.

March 16: Grote Returns Presidential Inauguration

Dean of Women Caroline Grote spoke to students at chapel about her recent trip to Atlantic City to attend the Deans of Women of the United States Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, followed by the inauguration of Warren G. Harding as the 29th President of the United States.

March 17: Folk Dance and Gymnastics Clinic Held

Professor Ruth Glassow and volunteers from women’s physical education classes held a clinic offering lessons in folk dancing or basic gymnastics for Macomb’s junior and senior high students.


March 12: Food Laboratory Kitchens Remodeled

The Home Economics Department’s food labs remodeling was completed, which included the installation of four new kitchenettes, new deep freezers, industrial sinks and utility tables.

March 14: Horrabin Announced as New Training School Principal

Waldo Horrabin was announced as the successor to Warren Covert as the training school principal effective July 1. Horrabin had been at Western since 1928, serving first as a junior high science teacher.

March 16: Interior Design Class Practices with Macomb Homes

Nine Macomb families volunteered their homes to serve as “project houses” for the interior design and decoration class. After touring the homes, the students designed new interiors, complete with furniture, wall colors and textures for one room in each house. The new rooms were finished by the end of the semester.


March 11: Business Hall of Fame Receives $5,000 Grant

The Illinois Business Hall of fame, which was based at Western Illinois University, received a $5,000 grant from the DeKalb AgResearch Center to generate interest in the field of agriscience.

March 13: Western's Office of Public Safety Participates in Charity Basketball Game

Several officers from the Office of Public Safety (OPS) participated in a charity basketball tournament along with several other local police departments. The proceeds went to updating and refurbishing the library of St. Paul’s School in Macomb.

March 14: Spring Break Begins at Western

March 14 marked the first day of spring break, which lasted from March 14-22.