University News

William Gradle Named 2016 WIU Lincoln Laureate

November 11, 2016

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University senior economics major William Gradle, of St. Charles, IL, has been named the University's recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois' Student Laureate Award for 2016.

The award, presented annually to an outstanding senior of each of Illinois' four-year degree-granting institutions, honors a student's overall academic excellence and extracurricular activities.

Gradle is a student in the WIU Centennial Honors College and is minoring in accountancy. Gradle also was recently elected by the student body to serve as the student representative on the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees until June 30, 2017. He has previously served as the director of finance and the president of the WIU Student Government Association.

Gradle was presented with his award Saturday, Nov. 12 in Springfield. Jessica Lin, associate professor of economics, and William Bailey, dean of the College of Business and Technology, accompanied him.

"I am sincerely honored to have been considered and selected for this recognition," Gradle said. "I cannot express enough my heartfelt gratitude toward those who have mentored me throughout my collegiate career. I can say with certainty that without the remarkable faculty, staff and administrators on WIU's campus, I would not have had so many significant opportunities. I am profoundly thankful for my time spent at Western Illinois University."

Gradle is the president of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and has served as a resident assistant and an economics peer mentor for the First Year Experience program. He has also volunteered with The Ability Experience, Dance Marathon, Trick the Town, Appalachia Service Project and several political campaigns.

Gradle was a Truman Scholar nominee in 2016 and was named both the Outstanding Greek Man of the Year and the Office of Student Activities Executive Board Member of the Year in 2015. He was a recipient of the D. Andrianacos Scholarship in 2015 and 2016 and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor fraternity.

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