Western Illinois University
About Our College
Western Illinois University was founded in 1899. The land for the university was donated to the state of Illinois by Macomb's Freemasons (Illinois Lodge #17). Macomb was in direct competition with Quincy, Illinois, and other candidates as the site for a "western" university. The Illinois legislature selected Macomb as the location. University administrators uncovered evidence of the Freemasons' efforts on Macomb's behalf when they opened Sherman Hall's (the administration building) cornerstone during their centennial celebrations.