University News

WIU Alumni Plaza and Mascot Memorial Unveiling

October 9, 2020

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To celebrate Col. Rock, Western Illinois University's beloved mascot, the Mascot Memorial Plaza project has been established. It is being unveiled as part of the WIU Virtual Homecoming Celebration this weekend.

The centerpiece of the plaza is a English Bulldog statue, that is lit at night, to honor WIU's live mascot, Colonel Rock, both past and present. Additional features that will be added in the coming months include a donors plaque, as well as a commemorative plaque that showcases a timeline of the live mascot program and each dog's years of service.

The statue is also surrounded by an alumni plaza, which is comprised of bricks inscribed with the names of alumni and friends.

In September 1959, the first English Bulldog joined the Western Illinois University family to serve as the University's official mascot.

Col. Rock III, who retired in Summer 2019, turned 10 in March 2020. While he still makes public appearances now and again, he's turned over the collar to Ray (Col. Rock IV) and is enjoying retirement. Rocky and Ray are taken care of by Joe and Ketra Roselieb, WIU employees and graduates.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations