College of Education & Human Services

Alejandro Valadez Memorial Scholarship in
Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Police officer Alejandro "Alex" Valadez, 27, a three-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department was called along with his partner, Officer Thomas Vargas to a shot fired call shortly after midnight, June 1, 2009. When the officer arrived at the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue, the gunfire had ceased. Officer Valadez was questioning a man when a car marked with a bullet hole from the earlier shooting returned to the scene. The three men inside of the vehicle were determined to seek revenge. Seconds later, both officers were on the ground. Officer Vargas was unharmed and stood up to see his partner and friend bleeding. Officer Valadez had been shot twice. He was rushed to Stroger Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries in the afternoon. The men who shot Officer Valadez were tried and convicted. In 2010, the Valadez Law was enacted in memory of Officer Alejandro Valadez. The law mandates that any gang member found to be in the unlawful possession of a firearm must serve a prison sentence. Following his death, Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity brothers chose to honor him with a scholarship at WIU. Officer Valadez was a WIU graduate. The brothers began raising funds through cookouts, comedy nights and other fundraisers. After four years of perseverance, they raised the money to endow this scholarship.


CRITERIA:  To be eligible for this scholarship a student must be a second-semester freshman, sophomore, junior or first-semester senior. The student must exhibit a strong commitment to academics and must have a 3.0/4.0 GPA at WIU. Preference will be given to male students of Latino descent.

TERMS:  Award amount is based on annual interest earnings on the endowment. The award will be applied to the student's University account, 1/2 fall, 1/2 spring.

SELECTION PROCESS:  Student must write an essay to answer a question stated on the application. One recommendation letter must be provided by a faculty member or advisor. A high school transcript must also be provided. The COEHS Scholarship Committee will select the recipient.


INQUIRIES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO , Suzanne Woodward, Dean's Office, College of Education and Human Services  Horrabin Hall 117, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455-1390,