University News

Western Challenge Day of Giving, Purple & Gold Day Celebration Set for April 22

April 19, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University alumni and friends from across the country and around the world will come together this Friday (April 22) as one Leatherneck community for WIU's sixth annual Western Challenge online day of giving.

According to Director of Annual Giving Tim Hallinan, Western builds upon a tradition of creating opportunities each year through the Western Challenge, which unites the Leatherneck community to provide support for their favorite colleges, departments, programs, teams, and causes on campus.

"The collective impact of giving also unlocks a world of opportunities for WIU students, while raising the profile of the University. When you make a gift to Western, you join thousands of alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and students who make a WIU education possible for many while enhancing it for everyone," Hallinan added. "Every charitable gift made to Western 'moves the needle,' so to speak, in terms of our alumni giving percentage, which factors into our rankings. You truly influence everything when you give to something at Western, and every gift counts."

In addition to giving, Leathernecks are encouraged to join the celebration by going "thoroughly purple (and gold)" on social media during the 24-hour event, sharing the campaign page, posting photos of their time at Western and sharing what they support using #LeathernecksGive, and as an online advocate for the event.

Advocate registration is now open. To sign up as a Western Challenge advocate, register a match or challenge gift, and to participate on April 22, visit

In addition to the Western Challenge, WIU's Purple & Gold Day will be celebrated April 22 (the official Purple & Gold Day is Sunday, April 24). WIU Alumni Relations will host a Purple & Gold Day Alumni Breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Alumni House, and a Purple & Gold Day social at The Sports Corner in downtown Macomb from 4:30-7 p.m.

The tradition of celebrating Purple & Gold Day at Western began April 24, 2000, with the close of the University's 100-year celebration. The date in 2000 marked the 100-year anniversary of the day in 1899 when the Illinois Legislature approved the creation of what would become WIU.

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