A Boo-tiful WIU Halloween

It may be Halloween time, but Macomb is no ghost town this weekend; there are many Halloween events planned on campus over the next few days. Tomorrow, October 30th, WIU’s Inter-Hall Council (IHC), Resident Assistant (RA) Council, and University Housing and Dining Services (UDHS) will be holding the 17th annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event in the residence halls from 5-7 p.m. Children 12 and under are invited to the residence halls for this event, but a parent or guardian must accompany all children.

As the temperatures begin to drop, Western’s Director of Residence Life Mishelle Oaks explains why trick-or-treating in the residence halls is a more pleasant alternative to the usual trick-or-treating outside. “This is a great way for kids to trick-or-treat in a safe environment. Parents don’t have to worry about traffic or bad weather,” Oaks said.

Personally, I definitely miss handing out candy every year. It is always fun to see all the costumes and excited faces when you give a child their favorite piece of candy; so this event is a great way for WIU students to still be able to experience that. “We are excited to welcome the community to our residence hall community and show them what we are able to do and see all the different costumes. We are excited to welcome the kids in for a good time,” said UDHS Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications Leann Meckler.

If you are trick-or-treating in the residence halls tomorrow, you should also stop by Thompson Hall for the “Haunted Housing-Rocky Can’t Even Save You” event put on by RA Council members. While there’s no charge to trick-or treat, it’s $5 per person to go through the Haunted Housing, or $3 if you bring a nonperishable food item. The proceeds from this event will go to Loaves and Fishes, the food bank in McDonough County. Western students will also be selling t-shirts at the Haunted Housing event for $12. The money raised from the t-shirts will go to an RA scholarship fund. Haunted Housing will be on the 18th floor in Thompson Hall and is suitable for younger children. It also runs from 5 to 7 p.m., every night through Halloween. If you are in the market for a more “scary” haunted hall, stop by Thompson anytime between 7 and 11 p.m.

The co-chair for the Haunted Housing event, Hannah Wegs, explained that the “extra scary” haunted house that is taking place through Friday was quite popular last weekend. “It went amazing! For the first night we raised over $400 and sold a little over 100 tickets and sold even more the second night. We expect more participants this week! Overall we have approximately made $900,” Wegs said.

These events are a great way for the students at WIU to get to know the community. “The best part of this event is that it brings the WIU campus and the Macomb community together…especially since we have a ‘Family Friendly Night.’ We can open it up to families so we can even show possibly perspective WIU students…for the future…what events our campus has,” Wegs said.

For more information regarding these spooky UHDS events, contact Leann Meckler at (309) 298-2293 or email LR-Meckler@wiu.edu. You can also like “Haunted Housing” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/270626423147203/.

Another “spooky” event this weekend is the Zombie 5K Run/Walk which is organized by the WIU PanHellenic Council. There is a children’s costume fun run at noon and the adult Zombie 5K will be at 2 p.m. For more information on this race, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/674766972630679/ or register here https://runsignup.com/Race/IL/Macomb/PanhellenicZombie5K.

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Pink Power–WIU hosts its 14th Annual Big Pink Volleyball Tournament

While we always Think Purple, the WIU campus was painted pink last week. That’s because the annual Big Pink Volleyball Tournament started on Monday, Oct. 20th and continued through Oct. 23rd. This fundraising event was sponsored by WIU’s Campus Recreation Center and co-sponsored by Thompson Hall.

There were five brackets for the tournament—independents, Greeks, residence halls, clubs/organizations, and faculty/staff. The tournament used a single elimination rule.

If you’ve never watched (or played) Big Pink Volleyball, it’s definitely a sight to be seen. Surprisingly, it doesn’t require actual volleyball skills to be good at Big Pink Volleyball because the ball is not an actual volleyball; it’s just a giant pink inflatable ball. This year, 171 teams participated in the tournament. A team from the faculty and staff bracket won the overall tournament this year; this team was called “Becky’s Brigade”.

Half of the proceeds generated from this event go to the McDonough District Hospital Mammogram Assistance Program. The other half of the money goes to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization in Peoria, Illinois. This year, more than $6000 was raised and money is still rolling in thanks to t-shirt sales. Every year, there is a new t-shirt design. You can check out each year’s design on display at the Recreation Center.

Campus Recreation Graduate Assistant Sarah Frederick explained why this philanthropic event is such a big hit on campus. “So many people are affected by someone who has cancer whether it be a survivor or someone who has passed. They know by doing this, they raise more awareness for this horrible disease,” Frederick said.

My sorority participated in Big Pink Volleyball this year with two teams; we had a team for our active members and one for our new members. The active members lost our first game, but the new members were victorious at first and made it to the second night of games. I didn’t get to participate this year because I had to work on the first night of the tournament but I had a blast playing in the Big Pink Volleyball Tournament last year; my arms were super sore the next day!

As for her favorite part of the tournament, Frederick explained “My favorite part is the first two nights because the games go from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. and all the students are in the Rec playing this game. It’s really fun to watch them,” she said.

Like the WIU Campus Recreation Center on Facebook and check out the many photos taken throughout last weeks’ event at https://www.facebook.com/WIUCAMPUSREC.

The Phi Sigma Sigma new members participated in the Big Pink Tournament.

The Phi Sigma Sigma new members participated in the Big Pink Tournament.

The Phi Sigma Sigma active members had a lot of fun playing at Big Pink.

The Phi Sigma Sigma active members had a lot of fun playing at Big Pink.

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AGR Hosts another Successful Smokin’ Hog Event

The WIU Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity held their 22nd annual Smokin’ Hog philanthropic event on Saturday, October 18th. Smokin’ Hog is a hog roast that raises money for McDonough County’s Volunteers Interested in Benefitting Everyone (VIBE), a group that volunteers and donates money to local non-profit organizations.

Smokin’ Hog is the largest philanthropic event on Western’s campus. Every year, AGR raises thousands of dollars at this event. This year, they raised a total of $17,400. After covering the event expenses, they are able to donate $12,500 to VIBE.

AGR Philanthropy Chair Kyle Oller explained what VIBE will be doing with the proceeds this year. “VIBE chooses different places and causes within McDonough County each year to donate to; like this year, the money is going to (the) Macomb Agri-Science Association, (the) Macomb/McDonough 911 Emergency Equipment Upgrade, the Samaritan Well, and (the) McDonough County Habitat for Humanity,” Oller said.

Seven hogs were smoked at the event this year which served 450 people. Smokin’ Hog is a great family event. Not only is there a delicious meal, but there is also a bounce house for children, face painting, and a raffle.

“The meal would have to be my favorite part of the event because everyone’s family was there to support us. It not only brings us as a fraternity together, but it brings the community together because they come out and help us raise money to give back to the community,“ Oller said.

I think it’s great that AGR has chosen a local charitable organization to donate their money to. The hard work and amount of money that these men raise breaks the typical “frat boy” stereotype. These men are not “frat boys” they are “fraternity men,” who work hard to give back to the community. I’m very proud of all they accomplish. Their philanthropy event has continued to grow over the years and I only see it continuing to become bigger and better as the years go by.

I asked Oller what the fraternity means to him. “Brotherhood is the most important thing. You meet friends that you’re going to be friends with for the rest of your life,” Oller said.

Events like Smokin’ Hog would not be possible without the support of our WIU alumni and friends. “We would like to thank the alumni and community for coming out and supporting us,” Oller said.

To read more about the AGR fraternity at WIU, visit http://www.wiuagr.com//.

Kickin’ It With Phi Sigma Sigma

Tomorrow, October 25th, my sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma is holding a philanthropy event at noon. We’re preparing a kickball tournament to support school and college readiness. The kickball tournament will be held on the field across from the Campus Students for Christ Residence. Anyone can come and watch, but to participate in the tournament, it costs $30 per team. If you don’t want to play kickball, you can still come and enjoy the event; there will be a bags tournament, raffles, food and drinks, and lots of music.

The funds raised from this event will go to my sorority’s fairly new philanthropic cause, school and college readiness. The money will fund numerous book scholarships which will be available to incoming WIU freshman.

Phi Sigma Sigma has already raised $864 dollars; $300 from team registration (so far), $164 from “Pie a Phi Sig”, and $400 from donations. “Pie a Phi Sig” was a new fundraiser we did this year. Anyone could pie any member of my sorority in the face for $1. Being pied was definitely a messy experience, but it was worth it!

Phi Sigma Sigma Philanthropy Chair Lorinda Golab explained how they are almost to their fundraising goal this year. “Our goal this year is to make $1000. We’ve already made almost twice as much as we did last year. It already feels really rewarding so far knowing that we are improving and knowing that all of the money goes to a really great cause,” said Golab.

I love our new philanthropic cause because we get to help out the local schools, even at the collegiate level. It’s really cool to see first hand how the School and College Readiness fund helps students. Not only does this fund provide for numerous book scholarships, but it will also helps us buy school supplies for children at the local schools.

Although this has been our philanthropy for just a year, we already saw how much the money we raised last year benefit the students who received our book scholarships. Phi Sigma Sigma President Katie Campagna explained why the philanthropy is so important to her. “This philanthropy is important to me because I’m a special education major and I’ve seen many schools undergo budget cuts; this philanthropic cause allows Phi Sigma Sigma to help with that. Being a part of helping someone with their education is such a gratifying feeling.”

To sign up for the event, contact Lorinda Golab at la-golab@wiu.edu or visit http://www.gofundme.com/g14uq0. For more information on my sorority (Phi Sigma Sigma), go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phi-Sigma-Sigma-WIU/373893376017916.

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Agriculture Makes the World Go Round

WIU has a great agriculture program. To learn more about it, I contacted Ember Keithley, an academic advisor in the College of Business & Technology. She explained why WIU’s agriculture program is so great.

“I think the students would say it’s a very hands-on program; there’s a lot of practical application for the material they’re learning in the classroom. They find that it is very rewarding to be a part of a very close-knit group. They get to know the professors and their fellow students that are very active,” said Keithley.

Tomorrow (October 24th), you can see this first hand by stopping by the School of Agriculture’s Open House. The event is located at the University Livestock Center, 2201 Wigwam Hollow Road. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the student fair starts at 10:00 a.m. This event helps prospective students get a feel for what the Ag Department at Western has to offer. “The Agriculture Open House is set up so the prospective and transfer students have the chance to meet the organizations and university offices. It also gives them the chance to visit the residence halls and tour the farm facilities,” said Keithley.

There are three different ag majors at WIU, ag business, ag science, and an ag-teacher certification. WIU offers many ag specific minors that you can take along with your major. This lets you get the focus you want in your ag education. And the fact that WIU is located in a rural community means there are many opportunities in this area for internships in the agriculture field.

WIU recently held an Ag Career Fair on earlier this month. Keithley explained what when on at this fair. “We had greater than 45 different employers that came to campus to hire interns; this was specifically for ag students. (The) ag business club put together a resume book so they had their resumes. Some of them interviewed on the spot,” Keithley said.

Although I am not majoring in agriculture, ag still means a lot to me. I grew up on a farm. Living in the same house as a farmer my entire life, (my dad), made me aware of the importance of agriculture. Agriculture puts the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, and the food on my (and many other’s) plate. I saw first hand the long hours and stress that farmers endure. Farmers are always under a lot of stress because their income depends on the weather; one bad storm and you can be out of thousands of dollars. Farming is laborious, but it is also a science.

Ember Keithley also knows the importance of the ag field. “Agriculture is the foundation for most everything. It is the way that America is fed. There is not a career or major that isn’t touched by agriculture. It’s a very far reaching major.”

Some agriculture events coming up include the 8th Annual Ags for Bags philanthropy event on October 25th, the FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of the month and the WIU Ag Mech Club and Farm Expo in February.

For more information on what is happening in WIU’s School of Agriculture, visit http://www.wiu.edu/cbt/agriculture/. To see the schedule of events for the Agriculture Open House, visit http://www.wiu.edu/cbt/agriculture/openhouse.php.

Talent, Determination, & Hard Work…that’s WIU Volleyball

The WIU volleyball team has been working hard all season. Although they have had a challenging season with a 4-17 record, they have improved a lot and are not backing down any time soon.

The WIU volleyball team has a lot of potential; many have watched the players’ progress as the season continues. I interviewed WIU Head Volleyball Coach April Hall to learn more about the team. Coach Hall explained that sometimes the girls’ beliefs hold them back.

“We are capable of so much, and I know when we can all buy into that 100% of the time, we’ll take the rest of conference play by storm,” said Hall.

Hall explained the team’s strengths and weaknesses to me. “We have all of the tools we need in every position with some experienced student-athletes on the court. There’s not a single position that we are weak in, even with Sam Fournier setting for the first time in her career as a volleyball player! She’s doing a fantastic job and is leading this team to a championship. You couldn’t ask for a more talented and experienced group, and I know it’s going to come together for us starting this weekend and going into the second round of conference. I honestly think our biggest weakness is our belief that we can do it. We are working toward turning that into a strength; however, and are starting to see our hard work and focus pay off,” said Hall.

There is one game, in particular, that showed that our WIU Leathernecks can do anything they put their mind to. Their game against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) was a game that no one can forget. That night, the team’s energy was palpable. I have no doubt in my mind that if the team played every game with the energy and determination they had that night, they would win the rest of their games from here on out. Coach Hall explained that this win against IPFW is her favorite memory.

“We have plenty of fun moments that occur in practice and off the court, but my best memory so far would be our win against IPFW. It’s not just because it was a win, either, it’s because of how we won. In my three years here at WIU, that win was the first time I’ve seen us take it to a great team and not let up. We kept pushing harder and harder, even when our lead was huge in the third set. The attitude on the court that our team was exuding was unbelievable. I looked at them prior to the match and just knew something special was about to happen. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it,” said Hall.

The WIU volleyball team is a very talented and experienced group that can win matches. Coach Hall explained to me that she believes they are capable of beating anyone in the league.

A player that has stood out this year and really led the team on the court is Ann Miller. Coach Hall explained that she has enjoyed watching Miller develop from her freshman year until now. “Ann is the type of student-athlete you hope for: she has good grades, is a good person, is coachable and works with her whole heart and soul on the volleyball court. She’s a true competitor that wants to win and will not stop until this team is successful. This has been a standout senior year for her, and I know it will continue to keep getting better,” said Hall.

Coach Hall wants readers to know they appreciate the support of Western alumni and friends. “Without the past, we would not be where we are today, and we are so grateful for the amazing group of alumni who helped pave the way for this program today. Keep up on us – the best is yet to come!” said Coach Hall.

Read more about the WIU Volleyball Team and view their schedule at http://www.goleathernecks.com/index.aspx?path=wvball. You can also like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WesternIllinoisUniversityVolleyball.

Fall + Horn Field Campus = Bliss

Now that the leaves are all changing, we can finally say fall is officially here. In my opinion, fall is the best time to be outside because it is “sweatshirt weather;” all you need is just a light jacket and you’re good to go. With fall being such a great time to be outside, it’s also a great time to check out WIU’s Horn Field Campus, a retreat just about a mile south of Macomb.

I spoke to the Horn Field Campus Program Coordinator, Mindy Pheiffer about what all the Horn Field Campus has to offer. She told me about the corn maze at Horn Field Campus that opened on October 10th. Horn Field’s corn maze is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 8-10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. There will be a special Haunted Corn Maze on Halloween Night (October 31) from 8-11 p.m. Admission is always only $5. She explained that they haven’t raised the price in the nine years that she has worked at Horn Field because they want to keep it affordable so that everyone can participate.

Another favorite fall activity of mine is building campfires. Pheiffer told me about the rental facilities at Horn Field Campus, including a small brick lodge and three brick cabins, built in 1932, which can accommodate almost 30 people total. Most Horn Field visitors that stay in the cabins make a campfire. The facilities are open to anyone to rent.

Horn Field Campus is so beautiful during the fall; in fact, someone recently had their wedding there. Pheiffer said that they have a few weddings at Horn Field every year. I asked Pheiffer what other events they have going on at Horn Field Campus. She explained some annual events including the Annual Late Winter Wellness Weekend and the Annual Wilderness First Responder Certification Course every March. Horn Field is also home to challenge course activities, team courses, a climbing tower and a high ropes course.

After learning so much about the Horn Field Campus, I wanted to know more about the history of it. “Horn Field campus became a part of WIU in 1965; before that it was privately owned. Frank Horn is actually a person. He donated half the land. His intention for the use of the property was for agriculture, outdoor education and the retreat center,” said Pheiffer.

When asked what her favorite Horn Field memory is, Pheiffer stated,”…so many memories, it’s hard to choose. Watching students learn and then get the job they’ve always wanted by learning here. Working with the students and watching them learn and develop.”

But if she really had to choose, Pheiffer’s favorite event would have to be last month’s Lodge and Libations Event which kicked off their fundraising campaign for a new outdoor education building. She loved that all the current students, alumni and friends came together for this event. They also honored Frank “Doc” Lupton, who chaired the Recreation and Park and Tourism Administration Department from 1980-1986, at this fundraising event.

“Our goal is to raise funds to build an outdoor education building at Horn and name it in honor of Dr. Lupton. We have a unique opportunity right now to make giving to (the) Horn Field Campus Outdoor Education Building Campaign easy.  Send a text message to 41444, and then in the message enter HORN50, a space, and the amount you would like to give. Your contribution will help enhance learning experiences for generations to come,” Pheiffer said.

I love that WIU has such a beautiful outdoors facility where we can learn and have fun. It’s also a great place to hold events for both the campus and Macomb communities. For more information about the Horn Field campus, visit http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/rpta/horn_field_campus/index.php.

D.C. You Were So Good To Me!

On Wednesday morning, I returned from Washington D.C. I traveled to our nation’s capital for the 2014 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference. I am the president of Western’s PRSSA chapter. You’re probably wondering what PRSSA does…this is a club for students wanting to go into public relations or who are interested in learning more about it. In PRSSA, we have speakers from the PR field come to every meeting and share their experiences in PR. We also organize and run campaigns for businesses and organizations.

When I tell classmates that I want to go into PR, a lot of times they don’t know what someone in PR does. A PR person is usually in charge of activities like running campaigns, writing press releases and using social media as a tool for an organization.

As for the conference, I spent five days in D.C. On the first night there, I attended a dinner and met other PRSSA members; we ate and mingled for awhile, and then we all danced the night away. The next day, the conference got underway and I attended back-to-back sessions featuring keynote speakers for the next three days. I went to a session called Causes and Concerns: Nonprofit PR. In this session, I listened to the Salvation Army’s National Director of Communications, Jennifer Byrd and Amnesty International’s Field Organizer, Savannah Fox. This session really inspired me to someday do PR for a nonprofit organization. I learned that you usually don’t make as much money in that industry, but the job is more rewarding. I want to love what I do and be excited to wake up for work every morning.

I also attended a session for chapter development which was held exclusively for PRSSA presidents; we broke into small groups and discussed challenges and solutions for our chapter. I now have so many ideas to build up our chapter; I can’t wait to implement them and see our chapter grow.

A session I went to that was very useful was called Rebooting Your Resume. I learned exactly how to make my resume stand out in the right ways. I can’t wait to edit my resume and put a little of my creative side into it.

The most important program or event I went to was the Career Development Exhibition, where I had the opportunity to network with many employers from PR agencies and corporations. We exchanged business cards and I gave them my resume. I never realized how many different PR agencies exist around the country. I was glad to see that I will have a lot of options in my future.

Of course I couldn’t go to Washington D.C. without going to see the White House. On my last day in D.C., I finally got to leave our hotel and do a little sight seeing. I took some pictures in front of the White House and in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office.

I finished off my last day in D.C. by going to my all-time favorite store, Forever 21. My mother should be proud of me because I restrained myself from buying the whole store and only bought a sweater.

I’d have to say my favorite part about being in D.C. was the incredible food. I am a sucker for dining out and I also loved having a Starbucks nearby. D.C. is a really great city. This trip was definitely a learning experience for me…and included many “firsts” for me. In fact, it was the first time I’ve ever traveled on an airplane. I had such a great experience that I’m already planning for next year’s National Conference. I’m so thankful that WIU offers opportunities to students like this one. Learning outside of the classroom and networking is just as important as working inside the classroom.

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Walk (or Run) This Way

Many 5K run/walk events take place on the WIU campus during the school year, but an extra special 5K run/walk is this Saturday. Which one you might ask…it is the Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk. On Saturday, October 18th, check-in/late registration goes from 7-8:15 a.m., the Opening Ceremony starts at 8:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9:00 a.m If you haven’t done so yet, registration is $35.

The Associate Director of Campus Recreation, Judy Yeast stated that WIU’s designation as a “Military Friendly School” makes this specific 5K so important to our University. Most importantly the event honors two Western alumni who were killed while serving our country, Capt. Derek Dobogai and Lt. Col. Robert Baldwin. Capt. Dobogai graduated Magna Cum Laude and Lt. Baldwin was a member of the Student Alumni Leadership Council.

“Last year, the Second Annual (Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk) had 457 runners/walkers, making the Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk the largest road race held in McDonough County. As of today (October 13th), we have 440 runners/walkers pre-registered for this Saturday,” said Yeast.

I couldn’t attend the 5K last past year because I had to work, but I did pass by the race route. Driving by the exquisite set up on my way to work and seeing the countless number of flags filled me with great emotion and pride for our country. Yeast explained that this patriotic event also created a vivid memory that she will never forget.

“Seeing the 174 flags from the Bushnell Patriot Corp blow in the wind…it was just beautiful. This year, we are placing 197 flags on University property around the route. We have Delta Upsilon and Lambda Theta Phi put up the flags on Friday, October 17th starting at 2:30 p.m. After the race on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. the cadets from our ROTC program will take them down. And, it is always humbling to see someone walk or run their first road race and seeing them believe in themselves,” said Yeast.

Competing in a race like a 5K gives you a rewarding experience. I ran track in high school and I’ve participated in a few 5Ks. I always feel accomplished when I hit that finish line. Practice and finishing the race is all up to you; unlike many sports, running really isn’t a team effort. You don’t rely on others to win; you can only rely on yourself. That makes the end result that much more gratifying because when you succeed, you know it was due to your own hard work and dedication. Yeast explained why this race, in particular, is so meaningful to the alumni of our University.

“We are running this for two alumni who brought courage and honor to our University through their service to our country. We start the race at Western Hall because Derek was a Leatherneck member of the Intercollegiate Cross Country team.  We end the race at Hanson Field because Derek was a member of the 2001 and 2002 Track and Field team. Delta Upsilon helps put up the flags and work the race route because Rob was a member of this fraternity. The race route will pass the Veteran’s Resource Center. The race starter will be Dan Wellman, 1992 alumnus, honored veteran and Delta Upsilon brother and classmate of Lt. Col. Baldwin,” said Yeast.

For more information on the 5K run/walk, visit http://www.wiu.edu/vpas/wellness/event.php?id=563.

WIU Homecoming 2014 Grand Marshal Is Proud Of His Alma Mater

Homecoming weekend, I had the opportunity to chat with the WIU Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal, Maurice Kellogg, at the Alumni House. Maurice is a WIU alumnus and Education Professor Emeritus. He was very excited to be the Grand Marshal because WIU is very special to him. He lit up the room with Western pride. I loved every second of getting to know him.

Kellogg explained to me what it means to him to be the WIU Parade Grand Marshal.

“It’s not something you strive to accomplish certainly, but it is an awesome experience. I’ve never had one like it, so I don’t know how to compare, but to be recognized by one’s peers, I don’t know what more you could ask for in life. It’s very special and very unexpected, but very much appreciated,” said Kellogg.

Kellogg stayed very busy through the entire Homecoming weekend. I asked him about his favorite part of Homecoming.

“The alumni activities, probably, that and the parade are always something we look forward to. We live in Macomb so we’ve been able to attend almost all of the activities and festivities that go on,” said Kellogg.

As Parade Grand Marshal, Kellogg rode in the parade and then had lunch at “The Right Place” tent. He then joined many fellow WIU alumni and friends to cheer on the Fighting Leathernecks at Hanson Field. And he enjoyed every minute of it. He explained to me what he loves about WIU.

“Western’s successes and achievements are linked to a lot of very dedicated, committed people. Many of those people are home grown. They are people that started here as students; they ended up as administrators or faculty members and they love Western. They would do anything to help promote Western’s programs. There is so much internal feeling of loyalty among the staff and students. It makes Western strong to have that support,” said Kellogg.

Kellogg explained that he met his wife at Western and meeting her is his favorite memory from attending WIU. Meeting his wife at WIU has given him and his family a special connection to the University.

“I think Western and our lives and our family’s lives are intertwined. Our family started here,” said Kellogg.

As you know, the 2014 Homecoming theme was “A Hero’s Homecoming: Who’s Your Hero?” I explained to Kellogg that he is a hero to me because he was in the service. I then asked him whom his hero was when he went to WIU?

“I think I’d have to say my mother. She was widowed when I was nine. She was there to help me through all of the things that are necessary for a young boy growing up. She was always there and a very hard worker. My mother would be my hero just for the fact that she was so helpful to me. She always assumed I would go to college. I was the first one in my family to go to college. She took a lot of pride in helping me achieve that goal.”

It was an honor to meet Dr. Kellogg; it was so great to meet someone with so much passion for WIU. He was the perfect choice for the 2014 Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal.