University News

Another Record Breaking Year for The Western Challenge

April 25, 2018

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MACOMB, IL - - The results are in! Leatherneck pride was in full force April 24, as Western Illinois University hosted the annual Western Challenge on Purple & Gold Day. The 24-hour online giving event set a record, raising $153,679 with 851 donors. The gifts surpassed last year's total by $19,697.

Gifts rolled in for a variety of departments, programs, resources, scholarships and special projects, from the wee hours of the morning to the evening's end.

"The Western Challenge is indicative of the type of support the University receives far and wide from alumni, students, friends, faculty and staff. We cannot thank the 851 individuals enough for their incredible generosity and support," said Annual Fund Director Tim Hallinan.

This year's challenge also included the kick off to the fundraiser for the Alumni Plaza project, which will pay tribute to WIU's live mascot, Colonel Rock.

"I would like to thank everyone who donated or participated in Purple & Gold Day, as well as The Western Challenge. We raised over $150,000 and had a terrific turnout for the Alumni Plaza project," said Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter. "I want to also give a heartfelt thank you to Jim Miner for supporting our efforts with his gift of $25,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in honor and memory of his wife, Suzi."

"This year's Western Challenge demonstrates to our current and future students that Western is a place with people who truly care about their success," Hallinan said.

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