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In this Issue

WIU Alumni Association grows to more than 125,000
WIU's Korea Connection | WIU, City of East St. Louis Partnership
Western Wednesdays in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Quad Cities areas
Join WIU on the Golf Course this summer
Your WIU Alumni Association is coming to Quincy
WIU "Chicago Homecoming" and WIU at Northwestern


WIU Alumni Association grows to more than 125,000

Commencement 2014Nearly 1,800 of the 2,400 students eligible to walk in the Spring 2014 ceremonies crossed the stage and transitioned from student to alumnus last month. They now join a network of more than 125,000 alumni around the world. Commencement ceremonies were held on May 10-11 in Macomb and May 12 in the Quad Cities when Western Illinois University welcomed the newest members to the Alumni Association.

During the Saturday ceremonies, Richard P. Lavin '76, president and chief executive officer of the Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) Inc., New Albany, OH received the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. Sandra Keiser Edwards ‘74, deputy director of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, received the Western Illinois University Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

President Jack Thomas addressed the soon-to-be graduates during the commencement ceremonies. Watch his speech "Graduates of Purple and Gold: Great Thinkers, Game Changers, and Generous People".

WIU's Korea Connection

Korea gatheringWestern Illinois University's Korea connection spans more than three decades, beginning with Gwangju University's founder In-Kon Kim.

Kim, who devoted his life to Gwangju, received an honorary doctorate from WIU in 1983. Kim, referred to at Gwangju University as Founder Kim, endowed a special scholarship for Korean students at WIU, and arranged for student exchanges, because of his friendship with President Emeritus Leslie Malpass. His son, Hyuk-Jong Kim '87, Gwangju's current president, called Western home in the 1980s, earning a master's degree in education from WIU. He also received the International Alumni Achievement Award in 2009 and was the inaugural recipient.

Throughout the years, both Kims have sent many students from Gwangju to Western to continue their education. A museum in honor of the elder Kim was established at Gwangju and a section of the Kim Museum is dedicated to Western Illinois University, including In-Kon's cap and gown from WIU.

Currently, Kim's son, Dong Jin (DJ) '13, completed his master's degree in education at Western and is now enrolled in the University's education doctorate degree program. The Kims' connection to the University was brought full circle recently when President Jack Thomas and Rick Carter, executive director of the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach, traveled across the ocean to visit the Kims and other WIU alumni in Korea and hosted more than 20 alumni for dinner in Seoul.

Read more.

WIU, City of East St. Louis Partnership

Western Illinois University and the City of East St. Louis have entered into a partnership that will provide law enforcement training and educational opportunities for individuals in the St. Louis area through the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute (ILETSBEI), which is housed at WIU. As part of the partnership, WIU Admissions Counselor D'Angelo Taylor '11, who is also a WIU alumnus, will staff a new office in the East St. Louis City Hall building and will serve the greater St. Louis area, beginning in August.

"We are pleased and excited to enter into this partnership with the City of East St. Louis. This partnership demonstrates our core values of academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth and social responsibility, as we are providing access to a quality and affordable college education and training programs," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "The law enforcement institute at WIU and the University's School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration offer superior educational and training opportunities, which will serve to improve the quality of life in this metropolitan area."

Read more.

Western Wednesdays in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Quad Cities areas

Join your WIU Alumni Association as the Western Wednesdays After Hours tradition continues! We began in Chicago, then launched Washington D.C. Western Wednesdays last January, and kicked-off our Quad Cities Western Wednesdays in May. We'll rotate every other month in the Chicago, Washington D.C. and Quad Cities areas this year! Hundreds of alumni have joined us every month for great food, great conversation and a few beverages!  

Western WednesdaysWestern Wednesdays After Hours in Plainfield
Wednesday, June 4
Nevin's Brewing Company
12337 South Rt. 59, Plainfield, IL
Social: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Social, light appetizers while they last & cash bar - FREE

Save the Date -- Washington D.C. Western Wednesdays (last Wednesday of every other month)
Wednesday, July 30 in Rockville, MD
BONUS DATE Wednesday, June 25 in Metro D.C.
~ Hosted by WIU President Jack Thomas

Save the Date -- Quad Cities Western Wednesdays
Wednesday, September 3 in Rock Island, IL at On the Rock

Pre-registration is preferred, however walk-ins are welcome. To pre-register, please call 309-298-1914 or email

For the complete list and details of upcoming Western Wednesdays After Hours visit

Join WIU on the Golf Course this summer

Join President Jack Thomas as he perfects his swing at Seven Bridges and TPC Deere Run in June. Both outings are filling up rapidly, sign up now! You do not want to miss the exciting changes we have in store for you!

Seven Bridges Golf ClubThe Western Open Alumni & Friends Golf Outing
Monday, June 9
Seven Bridges Golf Club
One Mulligan Drive, Woodridge, IL
11:00 a.m. Registration; 12:30 p.m. Shotgun Start
4 Person Scramble
5:00 p.m. Social; 6:00 p.m. Dinner
18 holes, social, dinner, cash bar - $120
Social, dinner, cash bar - $20
Proceeds to support the President’s Scholarship Fund

Autographed picture of Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford will be raffled at The Western Open golf outing. Chances may be purchased for $10 the day of the outing.

TPC Deere RunQuad Cities Alumni & Friends Golf Outing
Monday, June 16
TPC Deere Run
3100 Heather Knoll, Silvis, IL
10:30 a.m. Registration; 12:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
4 Person Scramble
5:00 p.m. Social; 6:00 p.m. Dinner
18 holes, social, dinner, cash bar - $100
Social, dinner, cash bar - $22
Proceeds to benefit Alumni Association Scholarships

Both Outings Include:

  • WIU Bar and ChairsRegistration gift for all players – golf glove with custom WIU magnetic ball marker
  • Prepay option for activities all day: (2) mulligans; (5) 50/50 raffle tickets; (1) hand for Par 3 Poker Challenge; & (1) chance at water game - $40
  • Silent auction – WIU golf bag, custom WIU portable bar with umbrella & chairs, and WIU chair
  • Proximity games & prizes
  • Par 3 Poker Challenge

Hole and Flag Sponsorships available.

Director of Athletics Tommy Bell, new Head Men's Basketball Coach Billy Wright and Head Softball Coach Holly Van Vlymen '00 '08 will be joining us at the QC Golf Outing. At both golf outings, Head Baseball Coach Ryan Brownlee, Head Women's Basketball Coach JD Gravina and Head Football Coach Bob Nielson will be hitting the links with us.

Your WIU Alumni Association is coming to Quincy!

Quincy Gems BaseballWIU Quincy Gems Alumni & Friends Event
June 18, 2014
QU Stadium
1800 Sycamore, Quincy, IL
Picnic: 5:30 p.m. and Game:  6:35 p.m.

Join President Jack Thomas, Head Baseball Coach Ryan Brownlee and Alumni Director Amy Spelman ’98 for an evening at the ball park and watch several Leathernecks who will be playing for the Gems this summer! Our pre-game picnic will be along the first baseline. Game tickets may be picked up at the north entrance before the game.

$15/person (adult) or $6.50/person (kids 10 & under)
If you already have a ticket to the baseball game, you can join us for the picnic for only $12.

To register for this or any of the above events, contact the WIU Alumni Association by calling 309-298-1914 or using our Online Event Registration.

WIU "Chicago Homecoming" and WIU at Northwestern

Chicago Homecoming

In addition to our traditional on-campus Homecoming events on October 3-4, WIU will host a "Chicago Homecoming" this fall when the Leathernecks take on the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on September 20. Leading up to the football game, we will be hosting alumni socials at various locations in the Chicagoland area.
September 15 - Homewood
September 16 - Arlington Heights
September 17 - Schaumburg
September 18 - LaGrange
September 19 - Downtown Chicago
September 20 - WIU vs. Northwestern Pregame Social & Football Game


Homecoming 2014

Then be sure to join us for our traditional WIU Homecoming Oct. 3-4!


RockyCan you find this exact Rocky (in black and white) somewhere else in the eNewsletter? If you find him, email us at
and let us know where he was placed. One winner will be picked from all the entries emailed on the first day of the month and will get a WIU Prize Pack! Good luck!

****Congratulations to the May winner--Beth Bansfield Rutherford '84. She discovered Rocky on the Athletics page.****


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Western Illinois University Alumni Association
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