University News

Howard Named WIU Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal

October 12, 2023

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University Art Professor Bill Howard has been named the 2023 WIU Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal. WIU will celebrate Homecoming 2023 Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13-14 with the theme "Rocky's Got Game: Let's Win Together." The parade begins on the Macomb Square at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 and will conclude in front of the Alumni House on Adams Street.

Howard, originally from Colorado, joined the art faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in 2009. His area of expertise is printmaking, specifically Intaglio, Lithography, Relief and Monoprinting, and his artwork has been exhibited internationally and nationally and is included in numerous public and private collections.

In 2013, inspired by the Cows on Parade in Chicago, Howard spearheaded the idea for "Rocky on Parade" in Macomb. Working with the WIU Foundation, Howard attracted artists and donors to the inaugural project, which debuted 14 Rocky statues in Fall 2013. Since that initial unveiling, 112 Rocky bulldog statutes have been created and installed throughout Macomb and on WIU's campuses.

In 2019, Howard was one of the lead artists for the Old Dairy mural project, which transformed an older mural into a new, vibrant work of art. This year, he worked with Macomb Beautiful to create a 66-foot mural on the north side of the Gelsosomo's building.

He has received numerous awards from the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC), including Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity; Teaching with Technology; Outstanding Service; Internationalizing the Campus and Excellence in Teaching. Howard was also named Citizen of the Year in 2020 and recognized for service with awards from Performing Arts Society, Town and Gown and Macomb Beautiful, and the Honorary Alumni Award in 2021.

He earned his BFA and MFA in Printmaking from Colorado State University.

For more information about WIU's Homecoming 2022 celebration, visit

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