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.