Advancement & Public Services

A Look Back at WIU Through the Years images

January 14-20


Jan. 16: Female Glee Club Formed

After returning from the holiday break, a group of female students joined to form a Women’s Glee Club.

Jan. 17: Board of Trustees Meets, Approves Summer Session

The State Normal School’s Board of Trustees met in Macomb for their first meeting of 1903. The board approved both the budget for the spring term and that the school would follow a summer session calendar similar to the other normal schools around the state.


Jan. 14: Household Department Sets up Pie Shop

During the spring semester, a pie shop was open every Thursday in the main office of the Household Arts Department. More than one dozen varieties of homemade pies, made by students from a baking class, could be purchased by the slice or as a whole pie.

Jan. 17: Training School Holds Fundraising Film

A showing of the film “Rip Van Winkle” was held in the Main Building (Sherman Hall). A free will donation was charged for those attending, with the proceeds going to school supplies for the training school. A total of $57.80 was collected from the audience.

Jan. 20: Western Beats Carthage College for First Win

The Western basketball team got their first win of the season after winning a tough defensive game against Carthage College by a score of 17-15.


Jan. 14: Break-in at "Bar None" Store

A break-in was reported at the “Bar None” student goods store, which was located in the student lounge barracks building just east of Garwood Hall. The thieves got away with several sweatshirts, t-shirts, candy and $25 in cash.

Jan. 17: Dr. Mary Bennett Elected to Science Association

Dr. Mary Bennett, who was head of the biology and zoology departments, was elected to the American Society for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Bennett was admitted due to her research work dealing with animal behaviors.

Jan. 18: Biology Department Receives Donation

Western’s Biology Department received a donation consisting of a large collection of plants from the southwestern United States. Much of the collection consisted of cacti, shrubs, desert flowers, and tree branches and bark. The collection was donated by former WIU student Frances Ricket of Tucson.


Jan. 15: Biology Department Rescues and Rehabilitates Owl

The students and faculty of the Biology Department worked all week to rehabilitate an injured barn owl. The owl was found in Hancock County and had suffered damage to the feathers on its right wing. Members of the Biology Department repaired the damaged wing by replacing the damaged feathers with transplant feathers from a road-kill owl. After four days of observation, the owl was released into the wild.

Jan. WIU Announces Tuition Increases

Due to a recommendation from the Board of Governors (BOG), WIU announced it would increase tuition rates by 10 percent beginning in Fall 1981, from $606 a semester to $667 a semester.

December 10-17


Dec. 11: Normal School Hosts Farmers Convention

The State Normal School hosted a convention for farmers of the Military Tract region of Illinois. More than 200 farmers attended the two-day convention, where they shared how well their crops and livestock had done for the year and discussed new methods and procedures to increase yields in the upcoming year.

Dec. 12: Henninger Recruitment Trip

John W. Henninger, president of the State Normal School, left on a three-day recruitment trip in Green County Illinois. He visited high schools in White Hall, Wrights, and Greenfield to speak with the students about the new Normal School and why they should attend Western.

Dec. 17: Last Day of Classes

Dec. 17 was the last day of class in the inaugural year of 1902 for the State Normal School. Students left Macomb and went home for the holidays until classes resumed Jan. 6.


Dec. 13: Professor Gives Talk on Military Tract

J.C. Burns, history professor, presented a lecture on the origins and history of the Military Tract region of Illinois. He covered how the idea had been formed to pay soldiers in the War of 1812 with land and what life was like for the first settlers to live in the Military Tract region.

Dec. 17: School Christmas Party Held

A school-wide Christmas party was held for the students of the Normal School. Refreshments were served, carols were sung, and almost everyone, including important figures like President Morgan and the Dean of Women Caroline Grote, wrote letters to Santa Claus.


Dec. 11: Pep Band Tryouts

The WIU Music Department announced that it was holding tryouts for positions in the school's pep band. All students who could play instruments were encouraged to audition for a spot, as both instrumental and conductor positions were available for the basketball season.

Dec. 13: Illinois Football Coach Speaks at Football Banquet

Ray Eliot, the head coach of the University of Illinois football team, was in Macomb to speak at the Western High/Western Illinois State College football awards banquet.

Dec. 14: Sigma Tau Gamma Goes Undefeated, Wins IAC Football Crown

The Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity beat the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity 41-0 to complete an undefeated football season and win the IAC (Inter-fraternal Athletic Conference) football championship.


Dec. 10: Sexual-Harassment Policy Established

Western's official sexual harassment policy was created (it was implemented in Spring 1981). WIU became the first university in the state to have an official policy.

Dec. 10: Students Hold Memorial Gathering for John Lennon

A large group of WIU students gathered at the University Union to mourn the death of John Lennon, who had been shot outside his New York City home Dec. 8.

Dec. 12: Fraternity "Freezes" for Iranian Hostages

Members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity began a "freeze for the hostages" campaign to gain attention and sympathy for the American hostages in Iran, who were spending their second Christmas in captivity. Members of Sigma Phi Epsilon took turns camping out and braving the cold winter temperatures on the front yard of their Adams Street residence through all of finals week.

December 3-9


Dec. 8: Physics Department Receives Wireless Telegraph

The Normal School's physics department received a donation of a wireless telegraph, and held a demonstration in the Sherman Hall Auditorium.


Dec. 5: All School Basketball Tournament Held

An inter-class basketball tournament was held at the Normal School. Two teams were comprised of WISNS students, and teams for the 9th-12th grades of the Academy were organized, with a total of six teams participating. The tournament’s winner was the 12th grade Academy team.

Dec. 7: Athletics Constitution Amended

Coach Roberts met with the Board of Control regarding the need to amend the athletics constitution due to complaints about the way varsity letters, numbers, and awards were given out following football season. The amendment was aimed at lessening the requirements for players to receive awards in the future.


Dec. 4: Russian Art Exhibit Displayed in Arts Building

The Work of Russian Artist Alexander Archipenko was displayed at the Arts Building until the beginning of Christmas Break.

Dec. 6: New Addition to the Morgan Gym

Construction of a new addition to the Morgan Gym began. The new two-story addition featured an enclosed swimming pool, locker rooms, a student lounge, five multipurpose activity rooms, and a two-lane bowling alley.


Dec. 4: Trash Fire Chute Fire at Wetzel Hall

Macomb firefighters were called to Wetzel Hall in the early morning hours to fight a fire, which originated in the building’s trash chute. The 10th through 13th floors received smoke damage (no one was injured). The cause of the fire was later found to be a cigarette that was thrown down the chute.

Dec. 8: University TV Launches Children's Programing

TV-2, Western's television station, began airing "Macomb Express," a children's educational program. The show was hosted by Engineer Mike and his puppet friend, Clancy.

November 26-December 2


Nov. 26: Western's Inaugural Football Season Ends

The first football season for the State Normal School came to an end when the team traveled to the Tri Cities for a match against Moline High School on Thanksgiving Day. Western lost the game 33-5, which gave the team a final record of 3 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie.

Nov. 28: State Normal School Hosts McDonough County Teachers Institute

A teacher’s institute was held for the McDonough County public school teachers.


Nov. 29: Good Speech Week to be Held at State Normal School

Nov. 29 marked the beginning of “Good Speech Week” at the Normal School. All week Western students were told about how and why it was important to practice “good English” in their daily lives. Some of the programs that were presented included "Down with Slang," "Good English: An Asset to Business: and "The 10 Commandments of Good Speech."


Nov. 26: Long-time Former Professor Cooper Dies

Bessie M. Cooper died at a hospital in the Quad Cities. Cooper retired in 1946 after spending 34 years as an elementary education instructor in the laboratory school. Even in her retirement, she had remained involved and volunteered regularly at the school.

Nov. 27: Laboratory School Opens New Gym

The Western High Cardinals basketball team moved into a new gymnasium, which was opened on the north side of the laboratory school (now the COFAC Recital Hall). The first game in the gym was played against Keokuk High. Western High lost 44-28.


Nov. 30: WIU Debate Team Places at State Tournament

Western’s debate team competed in the Illinois State Debate Tournament and came home with a third place finish. Some of the teams they faced and defeated were Wayne State, Illinois State, and Northwestern University. Harvard University won the tournament.Winona and Leslie Malpass, 2003

Dec. 2: Freshmen Class Enrollment Projected to Rise

WIU President Leslie Malpass announced that he expected the 1981 freshmen class to be significantly larger than the Fall 1980 class. On Dec. 1 applications were up 15 percent and acceptance into WIU had increased more than 7 percent compared with the figure from the previous year.