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Lana Myers, a retired University employee and granddaughter of Edwin DeCamp, who first rang the bell Sept. 23, 1902 to signal the start of classes at Western Illinois State Normal School, carries on the tradition.
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2017 Founders' Day Sept. 25

September 18, 2017


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In 1899, a bill to establish Western Illinois University (then called Western Illinois State Normal School) was passed by the state legislature. Macomb was selected in 1900 as the location for the new normal school in west central Illinois, and on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 1902, Western Illinois State Normal School opened its doors for the first official day of classes on the new campus.



Faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to celebrate the founding of Western at the 24th annual Founders' Day Celebration Monday, Sept. 25 at Sherman Hall. This year's event will feature a new format, including a guest speaker.

The 2017 Founders' Day Celebration will begin at 1 p.m. on the front steps of Sherman Hall with the ceremonial bell ringing by Lana Myers, a retired University employee and granddaughter of Edwin DeCamp, who first rang the bell Sept. 23, 1902 to signal the start of classes at Western Illinois State Normal School. Participants are asked to gather on the front steps between 12:45-1 p.m.

Following the bell ringing, the program will continue at 1:15 p.m. in the Sherman Hall Auditorium (third floor), with guest speaker WIU Alumnus, Former State Sen. and chair of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board of Directors Kirk Dillard '77. A post-event reception will be held immediately following the program. The Sept. 25 program is open free to the public.

A Founders' Day Celebration will also be held at the WIU-QC campus at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 in the Rock Island County Board Community Room (Rms. 103/104) in Riverfront Hall on the WIU-QC campus.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations