Fifty years ago, Western Illinois State College became Western Illinois University. Illinois Gov. William G. Stratton approved the change on July 5, 1957 and Western began its transformation into a university.
To commemorate Western’s change to a university, various celebrations have been planned throughout the remainder of 2007. “From College to University…Celebrating Western’s Golden Anniversary” officially kicked off May 5 with the WIU Foundation Major Donor Recognition.
A visual display highlighting “Then and Now” on campus was designed for the University Union Murray Street entrance display case, while the Major Donor event featured campus photographs from the 50s, nostalgic music from the 1950s and a video presentation highlighting photographs from the 1957 Sequel Yearbook. The “Then and Now” exhibit will be on display through July.
WIU administrators, alumni and distinguished guests will serve 50th anniversary cake from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, June 23 in the Macomb Chandler Park Gazebo in conjunction with Macomb Heritage Days.
Other activities celebrating 50 years as a university include New Student Convocation and Welcome (August), Founders’ Day (September) and Homecoming Weekend (September).
“We look forward to celebrating Western’s 50th anniversary as a university with the WIU community, as well as our many alumni and friends,” said President Al Goldfarb. “We are grateful for the foresight of the faculty, staff, administrators and students who were on this campus half a century ago. They believed that Western Illinois would flourish as a university and provide even greater educational opportunities to its students. We have the responsibility to assure that we continue to build upon their dreams.”
Western was founded April 24, 1899.