WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The WIU Grand Entrance Monument

Dec 15, 2013

Drivers coming from the north on Route 67 will clearly know when they’re entering Macomb and Western Illinois University.

The university’s new grand entrance monument is 30 feet tall, roughly 100 feet wide, and is lit up at night.

“It turned out very well,” said Scott Coker, WIU Director of Facilities Management. “This is a great first look at campus.”

The new monument
Credit Tim Schroll/WIU

He said WIU President Jack Thomas deserves credit for making it a priority to improve the look of that part of campus.

Coker said all that remains to do is to plant some grass in the spring. He also said they’re still waiting for a couple light fixtures for the monument.

He said the monument was designed to hearken back to the historic buildings on Western’s campus. For example, the marble sphere on top of the monument is a nod to the two marble spheres in front of Sherman Hall.

There is also a prominent “W” on the entryway sign.

“That hearkens back to the gates in front of Sherman. There’s a “W” there that was installed there in the early 1900s so we’ve matched that look,” said Coker.

The monument also includes three flag poles -- one each for the American, Illinois, and WIU flags.

The ribbon cutting
Credit Rich Egger

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, December 13 after the WIU Board of Trustees meeting.  WIU President Jack Thomas and Macomb Mayor Mike Inman are among those who addressed the crowd at the event.

The monument cost $500,000. That includes the price of design fees. It was paid for with student fees, and Student Government Association President Caleb Markey told trustees during the meeting that students support the use of the money for the project.