University News

Dr. Arthur G. Tillman
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Arthur G. Tillman Family Dedication and Scholarship Presentation April 30

April 26, 2012

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's College of Arts and Sciences will hold an Arthur G. Tillman Family Dedication and Scholarship Presentation at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 30 at Tillman Hall.

Arthur Tillman's son, Dr. Roderick Tillman, will make the presentation of the family plaque, which highlights his father's contributions to Western Illinois University during his 29-year tenure as a faculty member and administrator. Samuel Thompson, professor and chair of the geography department, will present the Arthur G. Tillman Scholarship for Geography and Meteorology Majors. The ceremony also will include a welcome by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Susan Martinelli-Fernandez and remarks by WIU President Jack Thomas. A reception will follow the presentation.

As the plaque reads, in part: "…he taught scores of courses in geography, geology, meteorology and conservation of natural resources. He was devoted to his students and beloved by them. He instituted field study in his courses and led numerous highly regarded geology field trips. With A.B. Roberts he developed a program of summer tours for college credit. He was instrumental in planning and designing Western's first science building, Tillman Hall. … He and his wife Dr. Florence Whitbeck Tillman, also a geographer, devoted their lives to the University and the community."

Tillman joined Western Illinois University in 1928 (then Western Illinois State Teachers College) to head the geography department. Under his leadership, the department was reorganized into the Department of Geography and Geology, where he taught for 29 years. Tillman also taught meteorology for Western's first aviation classes during World War II, which became the foundation for the meteorology major. He headed the War Council, which recommended ways that WIU could contribute to the war effort. Tillman, a World War I veteran, taught meteorology to Navy and Marine pilots in training during 1941-1944.

Tillman helped organize the Macomb Community Chest and the Kiwanis Travel and Adventure series, and he was an active member of First Presbyterian Church.

He earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing