Advancement & Public Services

A Look Back at WIU Through the Years images

January 28-February 3

1903

Jan. 29: Trustees Travel to Springfield to Speak to Legislature

Three of the Western Illinois State Normal School trustees traveled to Springfield to request an additional $100,000 to complete the construction of the Main Building (Sherman Hall).

Feb. 2: New Edison Movie Shown

The newest motion picture from Thomas Edison’s movie company, "A Trip to the Moon," was shown in the Main Building. Following the movie, Professor A.F. Odell spoke about what the science world actually knew about the moon.

1921

Jan. 30: Debate Forum Held on Turkish Empire

The Geography Department held a discussion and debate forum on the break-up of the Turkish Empire.

Feb. 3: Academy Third Grade Wins Physical Education Banner

A contest was held between the elementary grades of the Training Academy to see which class was the most athletic. Games were held between different grades during physical education classes with points being awarded for wins and losses.

1951

Jan. 28: Graduate Program Enrollment Increases Slightly

The Western Illinois State College announced that graduate enrollment had increased from 58 to 60 students for the spring semester.

Jan. 31: Increase in Student Fees Announced

Beginning with the 1951 summer session, student fees at Western State College were increased, including registration ($15 to $20) and graduation fee increase ($5 to $10). Two new fees were implemented, a $10 activities fee and a $1 fee for each test that was taken late.

Feb. 1: WWII Assembly

The Pi Kappa Delta Fraternity sponsored an assembly on World War II, with several veterans speaking about their experiences. Kenneth Phlamm spoke on the 2 1/2 years he spent as a pilot of a B-24 Bomber in the Pacific, while Spiro Lekas talked about the two bombings he lived through while working as a radio operator in Greece.

1981

Jan. 28: Fraternity House Damaged in Fire

The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house, located at 420 N. MacArthur St., was damaged by a fire. Due to a quick response by both the fraternity members and the Macomb Fire department, no one was injured. The fire was contained to the third floor of the house. The cause of the fire was found to be electrical.

Jan. 29: WIU Receives New Radio/TV Tower

The Board of Governors approved the construction of a new 485 foot microwave radio tower for the Macomb campus. Besides radio, the tower supported television signals and was part of the CONVOCOM Public and Educational Television Network. The new tower, which cost $3,500, strengthened television signals so that the city of Peoria, as well as communities in Iowa and Missouri, could receive programming from the WIU campus.

Feb. 2: Hardee's TV Room and Lounge Closes for Renovation

The student lounge and T.V. room located next to Hardee’s in the Union closed for renovations. Once the work was completed, the new lounge, "Union Station," sported décor of a 1900s railroad station.

January 21-27

1903

Jan. 22: State YWCA Official Visits WesternPresident Bayliss

Floy G. Coleman, assistant secretary of the Illinois YWCA, visited the State Normal School to deliver a program for female students. This meeting was also used to gauge the interest in starting a YWCA chapter at Western.

Jan. 23: Bayliss Addresses Students on Summer School

School Superintendent and Trustee Board Member (and future Western President) Alfred Bayliss addressed the students of the Normal School on the recent decision to hold a summer session at the school and the benefits of such a session.

Jan. 26: Professor Sutherland Elected V.P. of Teachers Association

State Normal School Professor of Geography and Geology W.J. Sutherland was elected vice president of the Central Illinois Teachers Association at the association’s meeting in Peoria.

1921

Jan. 21: President Morgan Speaks with Junior ClassPresident Morgan

President Morgan called a mandatory meeting of the junior class to discuss what he felt were several ongoing issues among members of the class. He spoke of how he was disappointed in the lack of involvement in class organizations, lack of school spirit, and the fact the many members failed to attend their classes on a regular basis. President Morgan stated he expected all of these problems to be fixed within the next few weeks. Before they could leave, students had to form a line which passed the president, shake his hand, and promise to do better.

Jan. 24: Student Council Elections

The Normal School held elections for the spring semester student council members. Mr. Tabunar was elected council chair and Mr. Torrens was elected secretary.

1951

Jan. 22: Pi Kappa Sigma Sorority Announces "Hell Week"Angie Marini, senior running back on the 1950 WIU football team

The Pi Kappa Sigma Sorority's WIU chapter announced “Hell Week” for all the girls pledging the sorority. Some of the tasks that were expected of the pledges were to wear turquoise and gold everyday, no talking to boys, carry bags filled with cigarettes and gum around campus for anyone who requested some, spend every night during that week at the chapter house, and prepare a full meal for all fraternities on campus. At the end of the week, the pledges were initiated as members of the sorority.

Jan. 24: Marini Named Top Running Back in IIAC Conference

Angie Marini, senior running back on the 1950 WIU football team, was named the top running back in the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). Marini totaled 13 touchdowns and 570 yards on 103 carries that year, as well as playing defense in the linebacker position for several games during the season.

Jan. 25: Green Door's Annual Variety Show Held

The Fourth Annual Variety Show was held by the Green Door Club in the Morgan Gym.

1981

Jan. 22: Record Late Registration Numbers Force Class Cancellations1981 Sequel wins third place in national contest

Due to a record number of students registering late for classes, the first two days of classes after the holiday break were cancelled for a number of classes. Almost 750 students had their classes cancelled due to the confusion which stemmed from both late registration and the fact that the Registrar's office was temporarily moved to Memorial Hall due to the installation of an elevator in Sherman Hall.

Jan. 25: The Sequel Wins Third Place in National Contest

The WIU yearbook, The Sequel, won the third place prize at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s national yearbook competition. The competing yearbooks were judged by professors of graphic design and journalism from Columbia University and scored based on their structure, photographic lay-out and design, coverage and community advertising.

Jan. 27: Leathernecks Defeat Northern Michigan, Take Conference Lead

The Western Illinois men's basketball team beat the Northern Michigan Wildcats 83-72. The win was WIU’s fourth straight in the Mid-Continent Conference, put the Leathernecks in first place in the MCC with a conference record of 4-0 (13-4 overall), and moved them into 12th place in the nation among NCAA Division II programs.

January 14-20

1903

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.

1921

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.

1951

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.

1981

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. 20: 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

1902

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.

1920

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.

1950

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.

1980

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

1902

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.

1920

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.

1950

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.

1980

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.