University News

Alumni Association Heads to Ohio, Michigan

September 13, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- Alumni, friends and guests, oh my!

Western Illinois University's Alumni Association is on the road later this month, heading to Ohio and Michigan, which will include an event at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosted by zoo CEO and President Tom Stalf, a 1992 Western biology graduate. Join WIU President Jack Thomas at the Ohio events, along with Director of Alumni Programs Amy Spelman, to hear the latest updates about Western and meet old (and new) friends.

The first stop on the Ohio tour will be in Cincinnati with a social from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at Via Vita ($15/person).

On Sept. 25 from 5-7:30 p.m., join WIU Alumnus Tom Stalf (and some select animals!) at the renowned Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for a social and picnic-style dinner ($20/person). Stalf was named the president and CEO of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium in February. He began his career as a zookeeper at the Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, IL, in 1995, where he later served as the director (and at the time was the youngest zoo director in the U.S.). He left in 2010 to become the senior vice president of operations at the Columbus Zoo. In addition to his zoo work, Stalf spent more than 15 years traveling with Jack Hanna for educational programs, zoo promotions and national television appearances.

"We are so looking forward to all of the stops on our trip and such a unique event at the Columbus Zoo to hear about Tom's work and more about the welfare and conservation of wild animals," Spelman said. "Our alumni and friends are in for a treat as there will be some 'special' guests that Tom will be bringing along."

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 animals, which represent over 575 species from around the world. The zoo's complex includes a 22-acre water park, an 18-hole golf club and a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park.

Cleveland will be the third stop for a social from 6-8 p.m. Thursday , Sept. 26 at the D'Vine Wine Bar ($20/person).

Spelman will continue the tour with a final stop in the Motor City Friday, Sept. 27. A social will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Vinotecca in Royal Oaks, MI ($20/person).

Register online at or call (309) 298-1914 . For more information, contact the Alumni Association at or visit our web site

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Office of University Relations