Western Illinois University

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For Quad Cities campus of Western Illinois University, see Western Illinois University-Quad Cities.
"WIU" redirects here. For other uses, see WIU (disambiguation).
Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University Logo.svg
Motto Higher Values in Higher Education
Established 1899
Type Public
Endowment $43.2 million[1]
President Jack Thomas
Undergraduates 11,300
Postgraduates 2,300
Location Macomb, Illinois, USA
40°28′13″N 90°41′16″W / 40.470392°N 90.68774°W / 40.470392; -90.68774Coordinates: 40°28′13″N 90°41′16″W / 40.470392°N 90.68774°W / 40.470392; -90.68774
Campus Small town, 53 buildings over 1,050 acres (424.9 ha) on the Macomb campus
Athletics Fighting Leathernecks
Colors Purple and Gold          
Mascot Bulldog (Colonel Rock)
Website http://www.wiu.edu

Western Illinois University (WIU) is a public university located in Macomb, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1899 as Western Illinois State Normal School. Like many similar institutions of the time, Western Illinois State Normal School focused on teacher training for its relatively small body of students. As the normal school grew, it became Western Illinois State Teachers College. Today, Western Illinois University is composed of two campuses that provide a wide range of academic programs. While the main campus is in Macomb, Western Illinois University-Quad Cities is in Moline, Illinois.

History[edit]

Sherman Hall

Western Illinois University was founded in 1899. The land for the University was donated to the State of Illinois by Macomb's Freemasons (Illinois Lodge #17). Macomb was in direct competition with Quincy, Illinois and other candidates as the site for a "western" university. The Illinois legislature selected Macomb as the location. University administrators uncovered evidence of the Freemason's efforts on Macomb's behalf when they opened Sherman Hall's (the administration building) cornerstone during their centennial celebrations.

Sherman Hall served as the University's primary facility for many years, but as the University and its programs expanded, a need surfaced for further expansion. Today, the Macomb campus consists of 53 buildings over 1,050 acres (424.9 ha). Sherman Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Western's presence in the Quad Cities spans more than 40 years. In Fall 1960, the University offered its first undergraduate course in the Quad Cities.

University presidents[edit]

1st John W. Henninger (1901–1905)
2nd Alfred Bayliss (1906–1911)
3rd Walter P. Morgan (1912–1941)
4th Frank A. Beu (1942–1957)
5th A. L. Knoblauch (1958–1967)
6th John T. Bernhard (1968–1973)
7th Leslie F. Malpass (1974–1986)
8th Ralph H. Waggoner (1987–1993)
9th Donald S. Spencer (1994–2001)
10th Alvin Goldfarb (2002–2011)
11th Jack Thomas (2011–present)

Academic organization[edit]

Western Illinois University is composed of four academic colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology, Education & Human Services, and Fine Arts & Communication, in addition to an Honors College the School of Extended Studies, which includes nontraditional programs. Ranked 413 among the best public and private colleges and universities, from the student's point of view in Forbes.

The University also offers a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed. D.), which was established in 2005.[2]

The University offers 69 undergraduate majors over 51 bachelor degree programs and 13 pre-professional degrees at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, 42 degree and certificate programs are offered. 95% of all courses are taught by full-time faculty.[3]

Western’s Cost Guarantee Plan is a four-year fixed rate for tuition, fees, room and board that remains in place as long as students are continuously enrolled. Western was one of the first institutions in America, and the first state university in Illinois, to offer the guarantee.[4] WIU's program served as a model for all other Illinois state universities through the state's "Truth in Tuition" program; however, Western is the only public university in Illinois that includes fees, room and board in its Cost Guarantee.[4] Western Illinois also offers the Cost Guarantee for graduate students enrolled in a degree program, as well as to transfer students earning an associate's degree. Those students who transfer to WIU the following semester upon completing their associate's degree will receive the previous year's cost guarantee rates.[4]

WIU also provides the FYE (First Year Experience) Program for all incoming freshmen. This program is designed to ease the transition from high school to college, and fosters the participation of FYE students in co-curricular events such as concerts, art exhibits, and guest lectures. In addition to their FYE program, WIU also provides a TYE (Transfer Year Experience) program to interested students. This program is aimed at introducing transfer students to the services and resources on campus within a residential setting.[5]

Library system[edit]

Five libraries make up the WIU Libraries system.[6] The current Dean of Libraries is Michael Lorenzen.[6]

Completed in November 1975, Memorial Library (renamed and rededicated The Leslie F. Malpass Library in 2001) is the main branch of the library system. Designed by Gyo Obata, Malpass Library stands at six levels high and 222,000 square feet.[7][8] Other WIU libraries include the Music Library, Physical Sciences Library, Curriculum Library, and the WIU-Quad Cities Library (Moline, Illinois) that was opened in the late 1990s to support WIU's growing presence in the Quad Cities.

Western Illinois University Libraries house several archives and special collections that aid in documenting the history of the west-central Illinois region.[9] The libraries are the home for the Center for Hancock County History, the Center for Icarian Studies, the Civil War Collection (documenting the western Illinois experience in the war), the Decker Press Collection and the Mormon Collection.[10][11][12][13]

The library's one millionth volume, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, by Lucy Mack Smith, was added in 2002.[14]

National rankings[edit]

Currently, US News & World Report ranks Western Illinois University as 49th among regional universities.[15]

US News ranked Western Illinois University as 11th in Regional Universities (Midwest).[16]

Western Illinois University has been repeatedly recognized as one of the “Best in the Midwest Colleges” by The Princeton Review.[17]

Most Dangerous Colleges In America[edit]

Business Insider compiled a list of the "Most Dangerous Colleges in America" in 2012 and ranked Western Illinois University as the #20 Most Dangerous Campus in the United States. In 2011 alone there were 8 forcible rapes at Western Illinois University according to FBI statistics. [18]

Illinois Centennial Honors College[edit]

Western Illinois University is home to the Illinois Centennial Honors College, which was founded in 1983 in order to attract more adept students as freshman, as well as an avenue by which the most talented students at Western Illinois could distinguish themselves from other students at the university. Accordingly, the GPA admissions standard for the Illinois Centennial Honors College is nearly a full grade point higher (0.9) than the minimum GPA of any other college at the university, the second being the College of Business and Technology. Honors students complete a series of courses and projects unavailable to average students studying at Western Illinois, and are also eligible for a host of exclusive foundation scholarships.[19]

Due to the intense nature of honors coursework, students vying for a spot in the Illinois Centennial Honors College should be prepared to dedicate additional time and effort to their schoolwork. Honors can be completed in many of the majors at Western Illinois, but there has not been a curriculum fashioned for every discipline.[19]

Consistent with its mission, the Macomb Honors Program provides a curriculum consisting of special tutorials, seminars, guided studies, and research projects, as well as opportunities to develop leadership and professional skills and participate in community and social services. A unique curriculum, honors faculty, and opportunities for leadership and service are integral to the honors experience. These are critical reasons to participate in the Honors Program for students seeking to maximize their collegiate years.[19]

The prestige associated with the Illinois Centennial Honors College has led many to believe that graduates from the Honors Program receive preferential job placement, and applications to graduate schools are viewed more favorably than those of typical Western Illinois students.[19]

Student life[edit]

Athletics[edit]

Inspired by the surrounding “vast golden prairie strewn with purple coneflowers,” Western Illinois University adopted purple and gold as its official colors in 1902. WIU is the only non-military institution in the nation with permission from the Department of the Navy to use the United States Marine Corps Official seal and mascot, the Bulldog. Colonel Rock, or Rocky, is the University mascot representing “The Fighting Leathernecks” for all male sports teams. Rocky was named after Ray "Rock" Hanson, a former WIU athletic director and former Marine. As of the Fall of 2009 the men's and women's teams were unified under the Leathernecks name. Previously, the women's teams and athletes at the school were known as Westerwinds.

Western Illinois sports teams participate in the NCAA Division I Summit League. Leatherneck football competes in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Western Illinois University was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1914-1970.

Media[edit]

The Western Courier is a collegiate newspaper that serves more than 14,000 students, faculty and staff at Western Illinois University, publishing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the academic year, excluding holidays and breaks. Summer publication is on Wednesdays only. The Western Courier is the only officially recognized student newspaper on campus and is distributed free at 80 locations throughout the campus (including residence halls) and throughout the Macomb, Illinois business community.

Greek Life[edit]

WIU has 6 PHC Sororities and 11 IFC Fraternities

PHC Sororities[edit]

  1. Alpha Sigma Alpha
  2. Alpha Sigma Tau
  3. Chi Omega
  4. Delta Zeta
  5. Phi Sigma Sigma
  6. Sigma Sigma Sigma

IFC Fraternities[edit]

  1. Alpha Gamma Rho
  2. Alpha Gamma Sigma
  3. Delta Tau Delta
  4. Delta Upsilon
  5. Theta Xi
  6. Pi Kappa Alpha
  7. Pi Kappa Phi
  8. Sigma Chi
  9. Sigma Pi
  10. Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  11. Tau Kappa Epsilon
  12. Theta Chi

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]