University News

Col. Rock III (Rocky) Turns Three

February 28, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- He's Western Illinois University's "famous face" and is welcomed by young and old alike at community and campus events. Col. Rock III (aka Rocky), Western's official mascot, will turn 3 years old on Sunday, March 3 and members of the campus and Macomb communities will have two opportunities to celebrate his special day.

Celebrations will be held at the Saturday, March 2 Leathernecks men's and women's basketball games in Western Hall, complete with cupcakes, Col. Rock III button giveaways and a giant card for his fans to commemorate the day. On Monday, March 4, Col. Rock III (and his owner) will be in the University Union Concourse from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. giving out cupcakes and buttons (and high fives) to celebrate his birthday. Col. Rock 2013 calendars will also be sold for $5 at the games and at the Union.

Rocky joined the WIU family in May 2010 as a 10-week-old pup. WIU alumnus Joe Roselieb, director of residential facilities at Western, and Carisa Swanson, a kindergarten teacher in Astoria (IL), are Rocky's "people," providing him with a loving home, teaching him tricks, making sure he's healthy and chauffeuring him to numerous WIU and community events each year.

"I am so blessed to be a part of Rocky's life and to be able to share him with others," Roselieb said. "He's a wonderful dog and truly represents the spirit of Western Illinois University."

The English bulldog was donated to Western by Richard and Beth Siess of the Siess Ranch in Seneca, KS. Dr. Karen Blakeley of Macomb's All Pets Veterinary Clinic and the WIU School of Agriculture, along with other University and community organizations and individuals, make sure Col. Rock's care is tended to.

To help supplement funding for Rocky's care, the Western Illinois University Foundation established the Col. Rock III Fund, which helps meet travel-related, food, healthcare and "clothing" expenses. Donating is simple: text the word Rocky to 84700 to make a $10 contribution to the WIU Foundation. Donations, made payable to WIU Foundation, can also be sent to: WIU Foundation, 303 Sherman Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390. Contributors who send in donations are asked to include a note that designates the gift for Rocky's Fund.

To follow Col. Rock's exploits on Facebook type Colonel Rock in the search bar or go to his page at Col. Rock's photo shoots over the past three years, taken by his personal shutterbugs (WIU's Visual Production Center photographers), can be found at Click on "Colonel Rock III."

For more information on Rocky's Fund, contact the WIU Foundation Office at (309) 298-1861.

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