University News

Investiture, Inaugural Address: Founders' Day Sept. 23

September 1, 2011

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas will be invested as WIU's 11th president and will deliver his inaugural address as part of Western's 18th Annual Founders' Day celebration Friday, Sept. 23 in Western Hall on the WIU-Macomb campus. Thomas will also present his inaugural address at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26 at the WIU-Quad Cities 60th Street campus in Moline.

Established in 1994, Founders' Day honors the beginnings of the University which has evolved from a normal and training school with an enrollment of 229 students when it opened its doors Sept. 23, 1902 to a comprehensive four-year university serving nearly 13,000 students.

Doors will open at 11:15 a.m., with the buffet luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon ($10 per person) includes a grilled chicken breast, tossed salad, vegetable medley and parmesan roasted potatoes. Registration, due by Friday, Sept. 16, may be made online at, select "online event registration page" and then select "Inaugural Celebration/Founders' Day Luncheon at Western Hall." Individuals also may register by contacting Hilary Churchill at (309) 298-1874 or

Gallery seating will be available for those unable to attend the luncheon.

The Founders' Day program will begin at noon, with a historic video created by Jeffrey Hancks, associate professor, librarian and unit coordinator of WIU's Leslie F Malpass Library's Archives and Special Collections, and Michael Thompson, University Television producer. Recognition of the major award recipients from the 2010-2011 academic year will be given; and Lana Myers, granddaughter of Edwin DeCamp, who rang the bell for the first time Sept. 23, 1902, signaling the start of classes at the Normal and Training School as it was known then, will ring that same family bell.

Following the Founders' Day celebration, Thomas will be invested as Western's 11th president. He will then present his inaugural address as president of Western Illinois University.

A dessert reception, hosted by Western Illinois' student body and open to the entire WIU campus community, will be held in the Multi-Activity Courts gymnasium in the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center, following the ceremonies.

WIU's University Television will air Founders' Day, President Thomas' investiture and his inaugural address on Comcast cable channel 3 in Macomb.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations