University News

McLaughlin Retirement Reception: Dec. 2

November 10, 2011

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- The longtime director of the Western Illinois University Advising and Academic Support Center (UAASC) will retire at the end of this month. And while Candace McLaughlin has been a part of the advising community at Western for 29 years, and serving as UAASC director for 17 of those years, she has technically been a member of the WIU community for nearly 50 years, starting as a kindergartner at Western's Lab School, continuing through Western High and obtaining both her bachelor's and master's degrees here before being hired in 1982.

McLaughlin, who has been in University advising since 1982, will retire Nov. 30. A retirement reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 in the WIU Multicultural Center.

McLaughlin was an original member of Western's new University Advising Center and was hired in 1982 as the adviser to the handicapped and adviser for high risk/undeclared students. She served as adviser for those students until 1985. From 1985 to 1989 she also was the coordinator of Western's special advising program and disabled student services. McLaughlin was named acting director of the advising center in 1989. One year later, she was named the permanent director of the center. In 1994, UAASC was created and McLaughlin was named the director of the merged organizations (University advising and academic services).

During her time at WIU, McLaughlin co-founded and served as adviser for the student organization, People United to Support the Handicapped (PUSH), which later was called People Respecting Individuals with Disabilities Everywhere (PRIDE) (the group is now known as Students for Disability Awareness). She was also the co-creator of the first Disability Awareness Day in 1983, a cross-campus event that is still held today. In 1992, McLaughlin developed the Transitional Advising Program (TAP) for students who changed their majors or who were required to change majors because they weren't succeeding in their original chosen majors. McLaughlin facilitated the merger between the University Advising Center and the Office of Academic Services in 1994, and spearheaded the name change of undeclared students from General Orientation to University Advising. In addition, she has served as the chair of the University-wide Council on Academic Advisers since 1989.

She has been a member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Board of Directors, and was the the founding chair of the NACADA Commission on Undecided/Exploratory Students, which became the largest commission in the organization.

"Candace has been an incredible advocate and mentor for so many of our students. She had the vision and the foresight to create much-needed services for students, and she has served as a role model for academic advisers across campus," said Provost Ken Hawkinson. "We wish Candace well and extend our sincere appreciation for her years of dedicated service to Western."

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations