Have you ever heard of Purple and Gold Day? It is a day to show your WIU school spirit by wearing Western’s colors—purple and gold. WIU first celebrated Purple and Gold Day on April 24, 2000 with the “Centennial Finale: A Celebration of Purple and Gold”. It was on April 24, 1899 that the Illinois Legislature approved the creation of WIU. We have been celebrating Purple and Gold Day ever since the first one in 2000. This year, WIU is taking Purple and Gold Day up a notch because on Friday April 24, 2015, there will be 15 simultaneous events around the world celebrating the WIU.
The fifteen locations include Macomb, Chicago, Moline, St. Louis, South Korea, Peoria, Naperville, Denver, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Dallas, Orlando, Seattle, Los Angeles and Northbrook. I asked Associate Director of Alumni Programs Amanda Shoemaker which event she will be hosting. “That hasn’t been finalized yet but the Alumni staff as well as alumni volunteers, such as those on the WIU Alumni Council, will be serving as hosts for the 15 simultaneous events. There are only seven members on the Alumni Programs staff so we will work with our Alumni Council members as well as other active alumni to help us host these events,” said Shoemaker.
Personally, I think it’s important to show your school spirit year round, but this day is a great way for all of the students and alumni to get together and “Think Purple”. I for one love our school colors; purple has always been one of my favorite colors so I take every opportunity to wear my WIU gear. “School spirit is at a high on Purple & Gold Day. It’s always great to see the campus community decked out in purple and showing their Western pride, but this year, we’re taking it to a whole other level. We’re very excited to celebrate Purple & Gold Day around the world,” said Shoemaker.
It is so exciting that Purple and Gold Day is becoming a global event this school year. The staff is still working on locations for each event but one item is already confirmed. A message from WIU will be streamed live at all 15 locations. “This is the first time we have organized something like this. It takes a lot of planning, organization and a lot of people, both staff and volunteers. It will be a lot of work but having WIU alumni and friends in 15 locations around the world celebrating all that is WIU, simultaneously, will be worth all the work we put into this great day,” said Shoemaker. I am confident that the Alumni Association and volunteers will organize a great celebration.
I asked Shoemaker if there was anything else she wanted the alumni and friends reading this blog to know. “They can keep up-to-date on all the activities planned for Purple & Gold Day on our web page at http://wiu.edu/alumni/purplegoldday.php . While all the cities have been announced, we are still working on the details for each event. We’ll be sharing that information in the Western News, emails, social media and on our web site so we invite WIU alumni and friends to keep updated as details are announced and get ready to join us for a great Purple & Gold Day next spring,” said Shoemaker.