University News

WIU-QC Employee Receives Award from National Organization

August 20, 2018

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MOLINE - Paul Plagenz, director of development at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, has received the Volunteers in Public Broadcasting Award from the National Friends of Public Broadcasting, in honor of his support of WQPT-Quad Cities PBS, a public media service of Western Illinois University.

According to his nomination, Plagenz has been an active volunteer with WQPT, serving on various committees, volunteering at events, mentoring development staff, and being available to give fundraising advice when needed. He not only volunteers his time and talent, but is also a WQPT donor himself.

Mary Pruess, WQPT director, noted that in addition to his time and service, Plagenz' fundraising capabilities have made a major impact on WQPT, including helping raise more than $150,000 in Fiscal Year 2018.

"Great development directors care, and Paul is one of those individuals," Pruess said. "When he sees there may be an opportunity for WQPT he is the first person to open the door and has been responsible for WQPT receiving significant gifts from donors.

"We are thrilled that Paul was selected for this prestigious award," Pruess continued. "Paul is a very upbeat, optimistic person and tries to do things that haven't been done before in his professional and volunteer career. Paul is a true fundraising champion, and we're lucky to have him as an advocate and a friend."

Plagenz was named development director at WIU-QC in 2014, after serving in previous development roles for the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Junior Achievement of the Heartland, and Royal Neighbors of America. He holds a bachelor's degree in hospitality management from The Ohio State University.

"This award is an outstanding recognition for the energy and enthusiasm that Paul gives to WQPT and all of his other roles and responsibilities at the University," said Joseph Rives, vice president for Quad Cities and planning. "Paul's volunteerism and service showcases the world-class faculty and staff that we have at Western Illinois University."

Established in 1971, National Friends of Public Broadcasting is a vast network of public media volunteers and volunteer coordinators. According to its web site, National Friends stands in support of Protect My Public Media, a campaign is to activate audiences to support federal funding for public media by taking a stand for the local stations and programs they love.

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Posted By: Alison McGaughey (
Office of University Relations