University News

Col. Rock III (Rocky) Fourth Birthday Celebration

February 25, 2014

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MACOMB, IL -- For a "paws-itively" good time Monday, March 3, stop by the Western Illinois University Union Concourse and wish Western's beloved mascot "happy birthday. Col. Rock III (aka Rocky), Western's official mascot, will turn 4 years old March 3 and members of the campus and Macomb communities will have a few opportunities to celebrate his special day.

Celebrations will be held at the Saturday, March 1 Leathernecks men's basketball game 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 3, Col. Rock III will be in the Union Concourse from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. giving out cupcakes and buttons (and posing for photos) to celebrate his birthday. Col. Rock 2014 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, is Rocky's "person," providing him with a loving home, teaching him tricks (the latest: "dunking" a basketball), making sure he's healthy and chauffeuring him to numerous WIU and community events each year.

"He's smart, fun and so good-natured. Rocky loves jumping in the car and heading to campus and community events to see everyone," Roselieb said. "He represents our University so well, and is so loved. It's an honor to be his owner."

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 on Facebook type Colonel Rock in the search bar or go to his page at Col. Rock's photo shoots over the past four years, taken by his personal paparazzi (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.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations