Advancement & Public Services

A Look Back at WIU Through the Years images

February 25-March 3


Feb. 27: Several Students Fall Ill with "The Grip"

More than one dozen students at the State Normal School were out sick with a disease that was sweeping the country. "The Grip," (actually called Grippe) was a form of influenza that originated in France and arrived in the U.S. during the winter of 1902-03.


Feb. 28: Piano Recital Held

The school’s music department held a piano recital for the school during chapel. Approximately 12 of the department’s students participated in the event.

March 1: Students Begin Campaign for Hot Lunches

The students in Professor Ruth Glassow’s Physical Education 25 class began a campaign for the implementation of hot lunches for Normal School and Academy students. Some of the tactics they used to draw attention to their cause were posters, petition sheets and talks during chapel.The leader of the 1921 oratory speaking team, Gabino Tabunar, an international student from the Philippines

March 3: Western Sends Team to State Oratorical Contest

The Western Illinois State Normal School wished their oratory speaking team good luck as they left for the annual Tournament of Illinois State Normal Schools in Bloomington. The contest was held every year between all Illinois Normal Schools and was always closely contested. The leader of Western’s team that year was Gabino Tabunar, an international student from the Philippines.


Feb. 25: Professor Speaks Before National Education Association

Arthur Olsen returned to Macomb after a trip to speak before the National Association of Childhood Education. Olsen spoke on the preparedness of the United States and the effect on the education system should the U.S. choose to use isolationism as a defense against Russian communism.

Feb. 26: Board Meets to Discuss School Improvements

The Illinois Teacher College Board met in Springfield to discuss the purchase of 80 acres for the college farm and planning for the construction of a science building.

Feb. 28: Teacher-Librarian Certification

Western Illinois State College announced that the school would create a new teacher-librarian certification program beginning in Fall 1951. The move was made in response to the call by the Illinois State Superintendent of Public Institutions for more teacher-librarians at the elementary and secondary levels.

1981Western's top performer, Diane Heydt, was part of the record-breaking and national qualifying 200 meter medley team.

Feb. 25: Swim Team Breaks 12 Records, Qualifies for Nationals

The Western women’s swim team had a great performance at the swimming and diving meet at Illinois State, breaking 12 school records and qualifying four girls for the NCAA national swimming and diving competition. Western’s top performer Diane Heydt was part of the record-breaking and national qualifying 200 meter medley team. She also broke school records in the 50, 100 and 200 meter backstroke.

Feb. 28: Over 35,000 Parking Tickets Issued During Fall Semester

University Parking Services issued 35,983 tickets for parking violations, totaling $94,109 in fines, during the fall semester. Parking Services Coordinator Edith Mitchell said that the school was on pace to easily break 50,000 tickets issued for the year, which was typical when compared to other universities in Illinois.

March 3: SGA Approves Increase in Athletic Fee

After two hours of debating, the Student Government Association (SGA) approved an increase in the athletic fee charged to WIU students beginning in the 1981-82 school year. The fee was increased from $20 a year to $32 in order to help WIU improve its facilities and talent quality as it prepared to make the move from NCAA Division II to Division I.

February 18-24


Feb. 19: State Senator Tours State Normal School

Illinois State Sen. Orville F. Berry of Carthage visited the State Normal School. The senator toured the Main Building and then met with President Henninger and several of the school's trustees.

Feb. 23: Emersonian Society Holds Program for Washington's Birthday

The Emersonian Literary Society held a program called "Liberty" in honor of the birthday of George Washington. The program focused on the principles of American freedom and democracy.


Feb. 18-19: Academy Holds Sixth Annual Basketball Tournament

The Academy School at Western Illinois State Normal School hosted its annual high school basketball tournament. For the third consecutive year, Macomb High School won the two-day, 25 team tournament. The host school, Academy, lost to its cross-town rival (Macomb High) in the tournament's quarter-finals.

Feb. 20: Professor Currens Earns Ph.D. in Chemistry

Western Normal Professor Fred Currens became the second teacher at the school to receive a doctorate degree. The chemistry degree was conferred upon Professor Currens from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Professor Currens had been serving as head of the chemistry and physics departments since his arrival at Western in 1913.


Feb. 18: Sociology Class Tours Prison

Professor Harriet Stull’s Sociology 449 class toured the Iowa State Prison in Ft. Madison, Iowa.

Feb. 19: Men's Basketball Team Breaks Scoring Record

The Western men’s basketball team broke the school record for most points scored in a game during a win at Northern Illinois. The Leathernecks won by a score of 94-59, breaking the old record of 91 points in a game. Bill Boyer led the team in scoring with 18 points.


Feb. 19: SGA Holds Meeting at President's Residence

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its regular meeting at the home of WIU President Leslie Malpass. President Malpass invited the SGA into his home because he wished to address the SGA on the news that the school was seeking to increase its annual budget by 10 percent and the effects it would have on WIU students if approved. Other topics that were discussed included the building of a performing arts center and the possibility of starting a bus service.

Feb. 21: Western Defeats Eastern to Take Mid-Continent Conference Crown and Post-Season Bid

The Leatherneck men’s basketball team beat Eastern Illinois in a 69-68 game to claim the 1981 Mid-Continent Conference title. The game was played in Western Hall in front of a standing-room only crowd of 8,003 fans (current all-time attendance record). By winning the conference championship, Western earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II postseason tournament.

February 11-17


Feb. 11: Western Women Beat Monmouth College

The Western State Normal School women's basketball team pulled off an upset over the more seasoned Monmouth College team. This was the team's second game played and their first win. Upon their return to Macomb, the team was greeted at the Macomb train station by 200 students and faculty.

Feb. 14: Valentine's Day Social Held at Normal School

The Young Christian Women Club sponsored an all-school dance.


Feb. 12: Professor Holds Lecture in Honor of Lincoln's Birthday

In remembrance of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, History Professor William Schuppert lectured on Lincoln's time as president and his years as a lawyer in the circuit courts of western and central Illinois.

Feb. 15: WIU Representatives Attend National Women's Athletics Conference

Head of Athletics C. J. Roberts and Dean of Women Caroline Grote attended a national conference focusing on women's roles in college sports.


Feb. 14: Choral Group Performs at Western

The military choral group, "The de Paur Infantry," performed in the Morgan Gym. The group, which was formed in 1942 by members of the 372nd Infantry Regiment, toured the world.

Feb. 15: "The Skeptics" Student Club Formed

A new campus student organization, "The Skeptics," held its first meeting. The purpose of the new club was for students to have open, civilized discussions about the fundamental aspects of philosophy, science and religion.

Feb. 16: Western Hosts McDonough County Music Festival

The annual McDonough County Music Festival was hosted by the Western Illinois State College. The festival was sponsored in part by the school's art department.


Feb. 11: Blizzard Strikes Western

A blizzard struck the Macomb area, with more than eight inches of snow falling overnight. Classes were cancelled for the day.

Feb. 12: Phi Kappa Theta Wins Recycling Contest

The Rinella Company, the local Anheuser-Busch distributor, declared the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity the winner of its recycling contest. The fraternity had collected 704 pounds of aluminum cans during the fall semester, and for their efforts they were awarded a new 20-inch color television set. Higgins Hall and Alpha Gamma Rho came in second and third, respectively.

Feb. 16: New Eight-Week Officiating Course

The WIU Physical Education Department announced it would offer an eight-week course on sport officiating. The course was based on IHSA (Illinois High School Association) rules and procedures and was designed for students who wished to seek a future in both coaching and officiating.

February 4-10


Feb. 7: Western Women Lose First Game of Inaugural Season

The women's basketball team at Western Illinois lost their first game to Monmouth High School in the 1903 inaugural season. Because the gym in the Main Building was not completed, all home games during the season were played in the Macomb Opera House.

Feb. 9: Earthquake Rattles State Normal School

A small earthquake was felt by the students and faculty of the State Normal School at approximately 6:20 p.m., lasting about 20 seconds. Even though it was just a minor quake, it was strong enough to rattle dishes. The epicenter of the quake was later found to be in southwestern Illinois, between Alton and Edwardsville.

Feb. 10: Fireman's Fair Held at State Normal School

The State Normal School hosted a firemen's fair for the surrounding fire departments. New firefighting techniques were discussed by the group, and new equipment was displayed by several companies.


Feb. 8: Courier Editor-in-Chief Resigns

Gabino Tabunar resigned his position as editor-in-chief of the Western Courier. The staff unanimously elected Mildred Dinsmore, who had previously covered athletics, as the editor-in-chief.

Feb. 10: YWCA Starts Points and Letters Program

The Normal School's YWCA began a recognition system using points and letters. When members would participate in campus or YWCA activities, they would be awarded a point, and for every 10 points, a letter. The goal for the women was to earn four letters for their YWCA member jackets.


Feb. 4: Botany Class Field Trip

Students of Dr. Maurice Myers's Botany 421 and 536 classes journeyed to both the Pabst Brewery and U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Laboratory in Peoria. The first stop at the Pabst Brewery included lessons about the yeast and allied products that were used in beer production, while at the USDA lab the students looked at how penicillin was produced and learned about the lab's research with antibiotics.

Feb. 7: Warehouse Arrives for Receiving Station

A former medical dispensary arrived from Camp Ellis and was placed at the corner of Murray Street and Morgan Gym Avenue. The warehouse became part of a new receiving station/supply depot.

Feb. 10: Food Lab Gets New Cooking Equipment

The Food Lab, located on the third floor of the Arts Building, received new state-of-the-art cooking equipment.


Feb. 4: Bookstore Records Revenue of $170,000

It was reported that the Union Bookstore had a profit of more than $170,000 in Fall 1980, one of the better returns in recent years. Bookstore profits were used to help offset the costs of operating and maintaining the University Union.

Feb. 6: Western's ROTC Program Enrollment Gets Boost

Enrollment in Western's ROTC program jumped 179 percent over the previous year, with 372 cadets enrolled in 1981. Officials attributed the increase to patriotism as a result of the Iranian hostage crisis.