University News

Employee Memorial Tree Planting Held April 30

May 4, 2021

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MACOMB, IL – As the 2020 annual Western Illinois University Employee Memorial Tree Planting Ceremony to honor employees who passed away during 2019 was postponed last May due to the pandemic, on Arbor Day (Friday, April 30), a special ceremony was held to honor WIU Building Service Worker James Buffalo, Jr., who passed away Dec. 25, 2019.

The annual event is typically held in May. Another ceremony will be held later this month (TBD) to honor employees who passed away between March 2020 and March 2021. The Memorial Tree Grove, located on the southeast section of campus by University Village, near the West Pierce Street entrance, was established in Fall 2003, following a recommendation by members of Western's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 417, with support from the Civil Service Employees Council, the Council of Administrative Personnel, Faculty Senate and University administration.

The annual ceremony includes one tree planted in memory of all employees who passed away during the preceding year. Honorees include employees who die while either actively working, on disability, on workers compensation or on an approved leave from the University. To date, Western has honored 59 individuals.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations