University News

WIU Celebrates Military Appreciation Month in May & Announces New Scholarship

May 6, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University will celebrate Military Appreciation Month throughout the month of May. Part of the celebration will include launching a military spouse appreciation scholarship campaign to run through mid-June.

A series of military holidays will be celebrated throughout May, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 6), Armed Forces Day (May 21) and Memorial Day (May 30).

Today (May 6), WIU is debuting the Supporting Those Who Support Those Who Serve scholarship in honor of military spouse appreciation. As a military-friendly institution, Western supports not only service members, but also their spouses.

"Many of the freedoms and rights we have as a nation come because of those who serve in our military. With nearly one million U.S. military spouses, we cannot thank those who serve enough–understanding and supporting military spouses is one great way we can support them," said Ronald Pettigrew, Veterans Resource Center director.

"This month would have been my 25th wedding anniversary, and I know my wife, who recently passed away, gave up so many things for me to be able to serve that a large measure of my success in the military and ministry was the result of her," added Pettigrew.

The scholarship for spouses of active-duty military, veterans, guard and reservists is for up to $500 per semester or an endorsement to other agencies that will support military spouses continuing their education at WIU.

Western's Veterans Resource Center will also be holding the annual Veterans Leadership Awards (VLA) Ceremony from 10 a.m.-noon Friday, May 13 in the University Union Grand Ballroom, where VLA will recognize SALUTE National Veterans Honor Society inductees and graduates and Fallen Soldiers Scholarship recipients. Awards will be presented for Outstanding Military Service Member or Veteran; Outstanding Veteran Alumni; Outstanding Faculty or Staff Member; Outstanding Service and Leadership; Outstanding WIU Department; and Outstanding Spouse/Significant Other.

Distinguished Alumnus and retired U. S. Coast Guard Captain Joseph H. Snowden will be the guest speaker for the VLA Ceremony.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to return ‘home,' and I credit WIU for three major elements that prepared me for life long success: meeting and marrying my wife, Teresa, who is also a WIU graduate, which resulted in 32 years of marriage, sage advice, friendship and two wonderful daughters; a commission as a Second Lieutenant, resulting in a 32-year military career in the USCG and the U.S Army; and a passion for learning that has led to a master's degree from Troy State University and a master's degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College," said Snowden.

"A military spouse scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to assist spouses to achieve their educational goals," added Snowden. "This scholarship is one way of recognizing our military spouses and mitigating the many challenges in balancing a military lifestyle while trying to earn a degree or learn a trade."

Snowden received his degree in sociology and was commissioned as an Army officer from Western in 1992. He has significant experience in human resources, business contracts, public or military service, emergency management, IT, civic and cultural affairs, and recreation park and tourism administration.

To give to the military spouse scholarship, visit For more information about the WIU Veterans Resource Center, visit

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