University News

Baughman to Serve as Grand Marshal of WIU Homecoming Parade

September 13, 2018


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MACOMB IL – It will be a year of "eights" for Western Illinois University alumnus George Baughman '60 ‘67 when he serves as the 2018 Homecoming Parade grand marshal.

This year's parade will also include retired WIU mascot Col. Rock III, serving as honorary grand marshal.

Baughman turned 80 this year, rode in his first parade in 1958, as a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and remembers coming to his first WIU Homecoming Parade when he was 8 years old.

"We are so very pleased to have George Baughman as our 2018 Homecoming Parade grand marshal and Colonel Rock III, 'Rocky' as our honorary grand marshal," said WIU Alumni Programs Director Amy Spelman. "It's George's year of the eights: he celebrated his 80th birthday this year, graduated from WIU 58 years ago, while he has been coming to WIU Homecoming since he was a baby, his first WIU Homecoming memory was when he was 8 years old and now it has come full circle as he will serve as our 2018 grand marshal. He is such a beloved member of our University community, a great alumnus and a true, true friend. We are lucky to have the opportunity to honor him in this way for all he has done for his alma mater."

Baughman has not missed a WIU Homecoming, except during WWII, and each year he drives Homecoming royalty in the annual parade.

He received his bachelor's degree in education in 1960, and his master's degree in education in 1967. He retired after 37 years as a teacher, coach, administrator, advisor and class sponsor at Lewistown High School. He also taught at Spoon River College, worked at an accounting firm and owns and managed a farm.

In his professional life, Baughman served on numerous local and state boards, including the Masonic Lodge, Western Illinois Business Teachers Association, the Illinois Education Association, is a 40-year member of the Illinois Secretary of State's Antique Auto Show judging team and has served as a deacon at Lewistown Presbyterian Church.

Baughman has also served on the alumni corporation board of Gamma Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He has been an avid supporter of WIU over the years, as well as his fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. As an alumnus, he has served as a member of the advisory board for the fraternity from 1960-66 and from 1997 until recently. He was named Greek Advisor of the Year in 2000. Baughman has also been a member of the WIU Alumni Council and is currently a member of Western's Library Leadership Board.

At WIU, Baughman has established the George Baughman Scholarship for the WIU College of Business and Technology. He has also made generous gifts to support the Malpass Library, Alumni Programs, Athletics, the Performing Arts Society and University scholarships. He was named a WIU Alumni Achievement Award recipient in 2015.

In his retirement, Baughman collects antique cars and travels the United States participating in and judging antique car shows.

Col. Rock III

Col. Rock III, the University's mascot for the past eight years, will serve as an honorary grand marshal in this year's parade. "Rocky" retired this summer and is now teaching Col. Rock IV, "Ray," the tricks he needs to know to be the University's mascot. "Rocky" now lives with his caretaker and owner Joe Roselieb '07 '09, director of residential and auxiliary facilities for WIU Student Services.

"To celebrate Colonel Rock III, "Rocky's" retirement we are excited he has agreed to come out of retirement to join us as our honorary grand marshal this year," said Spelman. "This continues to be the year of eights as Rocky retired after eight years as our mascot and turned 8 on March 2 this year. We wish him well in retirement and look forward to seeing him during the parade."

The Homecoming Parade will begin on the Macomb square at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 29 and eventually pass by the Alumni House. For a complete homecoming schedule of events, visit wiu.edu/alumni.




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