2022 Honorary Alumni Award

tateTate Lindahl (Posthumous Award)

WIU Administrator Tate Lindahl passed away Oct. 29, 2020. Lindahl came to Western in 1967 as part of a team charged with design and implementation of computer use for administrative purposes, as well as for research and instruction. Previously, he had taught statistics at Kansas State University, been a systems engineer for IBM, chaired the math department at Black Hawk College (BHC) and established BHC's data processing curriculum. During his 23 years in academic computing at WIU, he authored three textbooks and co-authored a fourth on computer programming, and was instrumental in the evolution of computer use by faculty and students. He retired in 1990. 

Throughout the years, Lindahl and his wife, Sharon, were avid supporters of the performing arts and other initiatives at WIU, and in 2011, the Lindahls arranged for a seven-figure bequest in Tate's estate plans to assist in the maintenance of the Center for Performing Arts on the Macomb campus. A longtime supporter of the arts at Western, Lindahl began his tradition of generosity by giving artwork to the University in the early 1980s. Five Rembrandt prints, considered the most valuable items in the WIU Art Gallery's permanent collection, were gifts from Lindahl. He has also contributed works by Georges Rouault, Gatja Rothe, and Francisco Goya. 

Lindahl also supported artwork conservation initiatives at the WIU Art Gallery, the Honors College and scholarships, and many community initiatives including the Al Sears Jazz Festival. 

"Tates gift for the Center for Performing Arts is the most humble gift I've ever witnessed—he did not want a naming opportunity, he just simply wanted to support maintenace of the facility," said WIU Foundation Executive Officer Brad Bainter.

"Nothing would be better than to present this award to Tate, even though he would not hav eliked being the center of attention and preferred to stay in the background," Spelman added. "While he wasn't a WIU alumnus, he dedicated his life to Western and was a true Leatherneck through and through. He was a humble man, and he loved WIU. It's an honor to present his wife, Sharon, with this posthumous honorary award."

The Honorary Alumni Award is presented to an individual who is not a WIU graduate but who has provided exceptional service to the WIU community. Previous recipients include Bill Howard (2021); Dr. Kenneth Wright (2019); LaVern McEntire (2018); C. Don Weston (posthumously, 2017); Jeff Mabrey (2016); Garry Johnson (2015); John Biernbaum (2014); Dan O'Neill (2013); Lisa Ward (2012); Al Goldfarb (2011); Gil Belles and Marion Blackinton (2010); Bob Anstine (2009); Jack Stites (2008); Bill Brattain (2007), Marilyn Johnson (2005); Donald Dexter (2004); Mark Martin (2003); Mel and Judy Kerr (2002); Charlene Callison (2001); Ed Holzwarth (2000); Donald S. Spencer (1999); Laura Kent Donahue (1998); Cathy Early (1997); Dick Miller (1995) and Dennis Iversen (1994).