mentor-3513738_1280.jpgEvery year on April 24th, Western Illinois University celebrates their Purple and Gold Day — a day meant to commemorate the university’s creation back in 1899. Instead of the usual celebratory events, this year’s festivities were celebrated a little differently.

Students, staff, alumni and friends were able to attend town halls, panels, and other sessions through Zoom. In addition to virtual conventions, the university also introduced The Day of Caring, in concert with the annual Western Challenge to raise money for students who have been especially affected by COVID-19.

During the 24-hour fundraising event, more than $110,000 was raised to help Western students.

“Every year we're amazed at the support and participation we have on this special day. But this year, words cannot even express our gratitude and appreciation," said Annual Fund Director Tim Hallinan. "Thank you to everyone who took part in our Purple & Gold Day of Caring. I am so proud to be a Leatherneck."

With the funds raised from the emergency grant, students can pay for food, housing, medical needs and more — all of which will not have to be paid back.

Visit to donate to the WIU Student Emergency Fund.