Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Nov. 7: First Term Ends
The inaugural fall term of the Western Illinois State Normal School was completed. At this time the year was divided into four terms (fall, winter, spring, and summer).
Nov. 9: Quincy High Beats Normal School in Football
The second game of the state normal school’s inaugural season was played against Quincy High School, which beat Western 16-0. It was common in the early years of the school’s sports programs to schedule contests against both college and high school teams.
Nov. 10: Professor Meyer Gives Speech on Religion and Education
State Normal School Professor I. F. Meyer gave a presentation on the role that religion and the church played in education. In addition to his work at the normal school, Professor Meyer was a regular speaker at churches in the McDonough County towns of Good Hope and Emmet.
Nov. 5: Western Holds Mock Election
The normal school students held a mock “straw-poll” election. Just as in the real election, Warren G. Harding won the election in a landslide.
Nov. 5: Motion Picture Shown for Students
State normal school students packed into the gym for a showing of the motion picture “The Secret Garden.”
Nov. 11: Controversy Surrounds Academy Football Game
The football game played between Stronghurst High School and the Normal Academy team was filled with controversy. During the course of the game, Stronghurst fans swarmed the field and harassed the Academy’s players to the point that play was stopped, and the Academy team refused to continue. It was later discovered that the officials had been bribed to make calls in Stonghurst’s favor. These happenings caused Stronghurst to be removed from future Normal Academy schedules.
Nov. 7: American Education Week Observed
This week was designated as American Education Week. WIU observed the occasion by hosting the Illinois School Curriculum Revision Community.
Nov 7: Burl Ives in Concert at Western
Burl Ives, “The Singing Troubadour,” gave a concert in Morgan Gym on this evening in history. Ives was a folksinger famous for such songs as “Barbara Allen,” “Jesse James,” as well as the Christmas classics, “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold.” His archival collection is housed in the WIU Archives.
Nov. 11: Western Shuts out Rival EIU in Football
The final home game for the 1950 season was played on this day in history, as Western defeated its cross-state rival Eastern Illinois in a 13-0 shut out. It was an impressive victory for the Leathernecks as Eastern had previously only lost one game and had been in position for the conference championship.
Nov. 7: WIU Named New Home for the National Council for Geographic Education
WIU became the home of the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) as the council established its headquarters in Tillman Hall. The council had been based out of the University of Houston, and chose to move to WIU because the institution had the largest geography department in the state, as well as one of the top programs in the nation.
Nov. 8: Computerized Feeding System to Aid in Cattle Research
A new computerized feeding system was implemented at the University Farm. The system was used to research and keep track of the amount of feed that was consumed by the farm’s cattle. The information was used to determine a particular animal’s feed-to-meat conversion ratio.
Nov. 10: New Inter-Fraternity Council President Elected
James Colbeck was elected the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) president by a unanimous vote. Colbeck was a member of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.
October 29-November 5
Oct. 30: Conspiracy Against Sherman by Normal School Staff Reported
On this date, a story was printed in the Chicago Tribune reporting a supposed conspiracy against Speaker of the Illinois House L.Y. Sherman by several prominent members of the Western Illinois State Normal School. The story claimed that President John W. Henninger and several of the school's board members met with Illinois Gov. Richard Yates to prevent Sherman from being re-elected to the Illinois State House of Representatives. President Henninger immediately denied the story saying he and entire staff of the normal school had a "good friendly relationship" with Sherman. Sherman was re-elected to the House of Representatives in November.
Nov. 5: Western's First Football Game
On this day in history, the Western Illinois Normal School played its first football game. The game, which was played on a field constructed behind what is now Sherman Hall, pitted the normal school against the Macomb Normal and Business College. Western won the game 38-0.
Oct. 29: President Morgan Visits Normal School Club
President Morgan traveled to Moline to visit the newly-formed Western Illinois Normal School Club. This club was comprised of teachers from the Quad Cities and surrounding areas who attended the normal school for at least two years.
Nov. 1: Grote Hall Hosts Fall Dance
The women of Grote Hall had a large and successful dance in their residence hall's parlor on Oct. 31. This was an event that every female student looked forward to every year as each girl was allowed to invite a date. The evening was spent listening to music and enjoying the refreshments provided by Miss Caroline Grote.
Nov. 5: Juniors Elect Officers to Sequel Board
The junior class of the normal school held the election for their class's two seats on the board of the normal school's yearbook, The Sequel. Mata Smith and Marjorie Greener were the winners of the 1920 election.
Oct. 30: Western gets New Physician
Dr. Irwin Koll was hired as Western's first fulltime campus physician. Before coming to Western, Dr. Koll worked at the Valley Forge Military Hospital during World War II, as well as the attending urologist at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.
Nov 1: Short Story Contest Held
The Fifth Annual College Short Story contest was held at Western. The contest, sponsored by the English department and Tomorrow Magazine, awarded a $500 cash prize to the winner.
Nov. 1: Sale Presents "Americana" Comedy Sketches
Actress Virginia Sale was in Morgan Gym Oct. 31 as she and her traveling acting company performed "Americana" sketches. The sketches reflected the lives and comical occurrences of average people around the county with acts like "Mealtime in Indiana."
Oct. 29: Endangered Bat Species Found in Thompson Hall
Several endangered Indiana Bats made an appearance in Thompson Hall, just in time for Halloween. The bats, which did not carry rabies, were captured and released by biology students.
Nov. 3: FCC Approves WIUM as an FM Radio Station
Western's radio station, WIUM, received approval from the Board of Governors and the FCC to become a fully functional FM station. This allowed the station to broadcast reliable programing to residents of west central Illinois within a 60+ mile radius of campus, as well as become a National Public Radio affiliate. Previously, WIUM had served the radio needs of the University and Macomb residents.
Nov. 4: Student Voter Turnout Drops 50 Percent in Four Years
On this day, election day for the 1980 presidential election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, approximately 1,000 students registered and voted in McDonough County. That number was down more than 50 percent from the 1976 election.
Oct. 24: Basketball Contest for Female Students
A basketball contest was held on campus for female students to increase their knowledge of the game and to build camaraderie.
Oct. 25: Public Schools President Speaks at Normal School
John Cook, president of the McDonough County public schools, spoke at Western Illinois. President Cook’s message focused on the importance of having the new normal school in Macomb and how it would benefit the schools and education standards of the country in the years to come. All educators in Macomb and the surrounding county were invited to attend.
Oct. 28: Replacement Professor Arrives
Former Oneida (IL) School Principal R.V. Field took over Professor Wilkinson’s teaching position while he was recovering from an illness.
Oct. 22: Western’s Y.W.C.A Chapter Receives New Members
The Western Illinois State Normal School's chapter of the Y.W.C.A. welcomed more than 200 new members to its ranks. The new members were welcomed into the society during a candlelight ceremony, which was followed by Miss Heegard giving a speech to the crowd, titled “The Beauty and Character of Womanhood.”
Oct. 24: Halloween Party a Great Success
A Halloween party was held in the school gymnasium on Oct. 23. Students who attended enjoyed a “Witches and Ghosts Dance,” Coach Roberts played the calliope, and refreshments of pumpkin pie and homemade ice cream were served.
Oct. 28: Hayrack Rides for Academy Students
Students and faculty of the teacher training program offered hayrack rides for the 11th and 12th graders of the Academy School Oct. 27. The group met in front of the Main Building (Sherman Hall) at dusk, and set off into the night for ttours around Macomb and the surrounding countryside, returning to the normal school about 10 p.m.
Oct. 22: Western Outlasts Northern Illinois 28-27 in Homecoming Win
The Western Illinois football team emerged as the winners in a close homecoming contest with the Northern Illinois Huskies. After being down 13-7 at the half, the Leathernecks came back to score 21 points in the second half, allowing them to pull out a one point victory at a sold out Hanson Field.
Oct. 25: New Women’s Lounge Completed
A new lounge and study space for female students at Western opened on this day. The lounge was located in the basement of Morgan Gym, in former classroom C-1.
Oct. 26: Entrance Sign Completed
The new entrance sign - “Western Illinois State College, Founded 1899” - was completed, located at the corner of Adams and Charles streets. Funds for the sign were raised by the Student Council during the 1949-1950 school years.
Oct. 22: Presidential Election Forum Held at WIU
Representatives for presidential candidates Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, spoke to students and faculty in the Sandburg Theatre. Congressman Tom Railsback spoke on Reagan’s behalf, while downstate Illinois Political Director Manker Harris spoke for Carter. Both men spoke on the main points of their candidate's platforms, as well as challenging their opponent's political records and policies.
Oct. 23: Agriculture Awareness Day at Western
The WIU Department of Agriculture and the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity partnered together to hold an Agriculture Awareness Day in the campus mall area near Stipes and Waggoner halls. Different machines and groups of livestock were displayed, and talks were given throughout the day on agriculture's importance to the region.
Oct. 26: Higgins Hall Starts Recycling Program
Higgins Hall Starts Recycling Program: Higgins Hall started a recycling program focused on collecting aluminum cans. Program Director Ross Weller was optimistic that 1,000 lbs. of cans a month (worth around $250) could be collected. He said that if the program was a success, it might be duplicated in other residence halls.
Oct. 15: First Student Organizations Started
On this day, both the Emersonian and Platonian Literary Societies were started at Western Illinois State Normal School. These literary societies strived for the self-development of members in the oratorical, literary, and musical fields. These two societies were based on similar student organizations at Illinois State and Northern Illinois State Normal Schools.
Oct. 17: Students View Lunar Eclipse
Due to the solar eclipse, students of the new Normal School, as well as residents of the city of Macomb, gathered on the lawn of the Main Building (now Sherman Hall) to witness the event from 10:30 p.m. to midnight.
Oct. 20: Construction of Bridge in the Ravine
City workers began work on a bridge over the stream in the ravine on the northeast side of campus. Along with the bridge, several walking paths were planned with the hopes that the area would be used by both students and Macomb residents for nature walks and picnics.
Oct. 15: Student Pep Rally Held
Mr. Dean Crump, who represented both the academy and varsity football teams, led a pep rally for the student body. The purpose of the rally was to excite the student body about their athletic teams after an opposing school accused the school’s student body of having “no pep,” to which the athletic department and President Morgan took much offense.
Oct. 16: W.I.S.N. Banquet Held
The annual Western Illinois State Normal School Banquet for faculty, alumni, and friends was held in Galesburg at the city's Elk’s Club. President Morgan was the event's speaker.
Oct. 16: Cross Country Team Formed
A cross country team, open to all male students, was organized by Coach Charles Roberts. It was the coach's hope for the team to begin its training during this week, with the intentions of holding a cross country competition at Western Illinois State Normal School in early November. The purposed course was 3 miles long and featured several obstacles including creeks, fences, and many steep hills.
Oct. 15: Former Home Ec Student Speaks of World Travels
Marion McKinney, a former student in the Home Economics Department at Western, spoke to students about her travels around the world, including her time living in communist China.
Oct. 16: Work Done to Morgan Gym Pool
Work started on the Morgan Gym pool enclosure. Once work was completed, students enjoyed the pool year-round.
Oct. 20: Caroline Grote Holds Tea for Returning Alums
Caroline Grote held an afternoon tea for the returning alumni from the classes of 1925 and 1940 in the new wing of Grote Hall. This was the first time many alumni had seen the improved building. The new wing, that was completed in Spring 1950, allowed the residence hall to house 165 female students.
Oct. 15: Director Says Beu Health Fees to Increase
Due to a spike in usage at the Beu Student Health Center, Director Dr. Charles Hughes announced that student health fees would be raised. Staff was limited to serving the campus from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday (except for emergencies), but a major increase in after-hours medical aid was noted as students were increasingly visiting the Health Center after normal business hours.
Oct. 16: A Study of WIU’s Admission Standards to be Completed
The Council on Administration, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS) announced that it would conduct a full scale study of the academic standards at WIU. Students needed to be in the top half of their graduating classes, or have a minimum ACT score of 22 to be admitted to WIU. Due to declining enrollment, the study proposed looking at the possibility of allowing students ranked in the top two-thirds of their classes or with minimum ACT scores of 19 to also be admitted.
Oct. 20-21: Big Names Entertain at Western’s Homecoming
The 1980 homecoming was marked by the presence of two nationally-known entertainment acts: comedian Bob Hope, and the band Van Halen. Hope kept his audience laughing for the entire two hours of his show Friday night, while Van Halen put on a “rocking” concert for the nearly sold out crowd at Western Hall Saturday night.