University News

Homecoming 2017 - Storybook Homecoming: A Tale of Leatherneck Pride

August 9, 2017

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MACOMB, IL -- Once upon a time, in 1899, a local politician by the name of Lawrence Sherman created a bill to establish Western Illinois State Normal School, and because of Sherman's persistence, the new normal school - which is now known as Western Illinois University - was established in Macomb, IL, in 1900. Celebrate the WIU story during the annual Homecoming celebration Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30. This year's theme is "Storybook Homecoming: A Tale of Leatherneck Pride."

To get everyone in the Homecoming spirit, the WIU Alumni Association's' 11th annual "Celebrating Town & Gown" event will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, which will include the unveiling of the final installments of the "Rocky on Parade" statues. Alumni Programs will host the inaugural Macomb Alumni & Friends Golf Outing Friday, Sept. 15 at Gold Hills Golf Club in Macomb.

Homecoming Week kicks off with the annual painting of the paws on University Drive Friday, Sept. 22. The Office of Student Activities has numerous events planned as well, beginning with the Homecoming Kick-Off and Dec the Office Friday, Sept. 22, in conjunction with "Paint the Paws." Other activities include "Paint the Town" (Sept. 23), Rocky's Boat Regatta and Dec the Campus (Sept. 24), Variety Show (Sept. 26) Yell Like Hell (Sept. 28) and the WIU Volleyball Spirit Game (Sept. 29). A complete student activities-related schedule will be available at

The Alumni Association's Homecoming weekend events begin 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 with the All Alumni Social at the Alumni House. Complimentary food, beer, wine and soda will be available, as well as a cash bar. At 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, the "Old Stompin' Ground Runaround" 5K run/1.5 mile walk will be held, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. at the Alumni House. A reunion recognition brunch and social ($5/person), to honor the classes of 1967, 1977 and 1992, will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Alumni House.

Alumni are invited to watch the WIU Homecoming Parade from the Alumni House. The parade, which begins at 10:30 a.m. from downtown Macomb, makes its way through the streets of Macomb, passing the Alumni House and ending at Adams Street and Western Avenue.

At noon, an alumni cookout ($5/person) will be held at "The Right Place" tent in Q-Lot. Events conclude with the Leatherneck football game versus South Dakota beginning at 3 p.m. at Hanson Field. Tickets are available in advance for $15.

The United States Air Force Band of Mid-America's pop group, Starlifter, will perform from 1-2:30 p.m. in Q-Lot. Starlifter is a seven-piece group of Airman Musicians, playing a variety of genre from rock to pop to jazz to country from the 1970s to today, as well as contemporary and traditional patriotic songs. Lead vocalist Senior Airman Denver Murphy is a 2011 WIU graduate.

For more information about WIU Homecoming activities or to register for Alumni Programs-hosted events, visit For more information regarding Office of Student Activities-sponsored events, visit

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