Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Sawyer Shares Success with College of Business and Technology
August 23, 2012
MACOMB, IL – Mona Sawyer of Stamford, CT, has quite a family history with Western Illinois University. Her father, Wayne Yard, earned two degrees from Western: a bachelor's of education in 1934 and a master's of education in 1947. Wayne was one of six siblings; two brothers completed degrees at Western, one sister attended and another sister worked at Western for many years. In all, 12 family members attended Western.
Sawyer was born in Macomb in 1932 while her father was a student at Western, leaving at age six when he took a teaching position in Sherrard, IL. Mona returned to Western upon high school graduation, earning her bachelor's degree in business education in 1955.
With her Western degree, Sawyer taught for a short time before moving to New York City, where she worked in research for an industrial advertising agency, where she met and married her husband. The couple relocated to Connecticut where she established her antiques business. Her husband was a successful advertising executive and her business became very successful, as well.
"I am a graduate of Western Illinois University's College of Business," said Sawyer. "I learned enough about business and research to open my own antiques business and build a fabulous customer base, all because people knew that I knew what I was doing. I thank Western for that."
Sawyer recently established a $100,000 charitable gift annuity to benefit students in the College of Business and Technology. She also has included Western in her estate plans.
"I thank Western for getting me started," said Sawyer, "and I am paying it back now. I firmly believe that whoever helps you get a start should be rewarded," Sawyer noted.
"I kept my track shoes on all my life, running my own business (sink or swim) for over 30 years, always moving forward," she continued. "I went to college on a scholarship, and I hope my gift will enable deserving students to get an education."
"Mona is a terrific champion of Western’s core values," said Vice President of Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter. "Her generosity and desire to give back to Western will enable many students to follow her example of business success and loyalty to her alma mater."
Posted By: Julie Murphy, WIU Foundation, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606