University News

2017 WIU Homecoming Grand Marshals: Dave & Jackie Thompson

September 18, 2017

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University alumni Dave and Jackie Thompson have been named the grand marshals for the Western Illinois University 2017 Homecoming Celebration, "Storybook Homecoming: A Tale of Leatherneck Pride."

"The Thompson's commitment to, and lifelong support of, their alma mater demonstrates their Leatherneck pride through and through. They are the ideal choice to lead the 2017 parade," said WIU Alumni Programs Director Amy Spelman.

Jackie, a 1985 and 1994 graduate, served as the vice president for administrative services at Western for 14 years, retiring in 2011 after 41 years of service. Dave, a 1972, graduate, is a Macomb Northwestern Mutual Financial agent.

During her career at Western, Jackie funded and fully endowed the Jackie and Dave Thompson Scholarship through payroll deduction. This award is intended for incoming freshmen from Vermont-Ipava-Table Grove (VIT) High School and provides $1,000 to the recipient each year of their undergraduate study. In her position as vice president, she served as the University's chief administrative, business and financial officer, and as treasurer for the Board of Trustees.

Dave graduated with a bachelor's degree in education, and immediately entered the insurance business with Northwestern Mutual, with whom he recently completed his 45th year. He has earned the professional designations of CLU and CLTC within the industry and is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), the Premier Association of Financial Professionals. Dave also is a retired lieutenant colonel of the Illinois National Guard, having served as commander of the local guard unit for nine years.

Upon Jackie's retirement, Dave committed $25,000 to endow a second scholarship in honor of her service to WIU. The Dave and Jackie Thompson Scholarship is awarded to a graduate of Macomb High School, with preference given to a dependent of a military family. This scholarship also provides $1,000 per year for four years to the recipient.

Most recently, they provided significant funding for the creation of a life-size memorial statue of legendary war hero and longtime WIU coach and athletic director Ray "Rock" Hanson, which will be unveiled at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 in a ceremony open to the public. The Thompsons have also contributed to numerous causes, events and programs at Western, such as the Col. Rock III fund, the annual Day of Giving, WIU Athletics, the Alumni Association, the Performing Arts Society, other scholarships and many more. They have provided major support for the Fallen Soldiers 5k Run/Walk, now in its sixth year.

In 2015, the Thompsons fully funded the WIU Wellness Program to support its annual activities. After years of collaboration with the Department of Kinesiology and Campus Recreation on programs designed for the health and wellness of WIU employees, a formal program was established under Jackie's direction, including Western Walks, which led to a full-time employee in Human Resources dedicated to training and development. The inaugural Jackie Thompson Lecture, established by the Employee Wellness Program Committee in 2011 in recognition of her diligent advocacy of employee wellness, is now held each fall.

They remain active in the campus and community, having received many awards and accolades. Both are recipients of the WIU Alumni Achievement Award, Jackie in 2003 and Dave in 1986.

Dave received Macomb's Citizen of the Year Award in 2006; is a member of the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation, serving as president in 2004-2005 and currently serving as treasurer; and is a member of the Macomb Rotary Club. He was awarded the Boy Scout Rank of Eagle Scout in 1963 while a member of the Macomb Boy Scout Troop No. 366.

Jackie serves on the WIU Foundation Board of Directors, now entering her third year as president, and on the WIU chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association, serving twice as president. She has received the Outstanding Community Service Award, Affirmative Action Director's Award and McDonough County United Way's Isaac and Ethel Leighty Award.

The Homecoming Parade will begin on the Macomb square at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30 and eventually pass by the Alumni House. For a complete homecoming schedule of events, visit and

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations