Paint the Paws with Western

Steven Barnum, Assistant Sports Editor

Western Illinois University is set to give students a fun and eventful Homecoming week. On Friday, Sept. 21, Paint the Paws will give students, alumni, staff and friends the opportunity to paint paws on the streets around the Macomb campus. Over 250 paws in total may be painted on Western Avenue and University Drive for the event, which is sponsored by the Western Illinois University Alumni Association.

Anyssa Hining, an Alumni Programs Practicum Student, explained the purpose of the event. “It continues to be a kick-off to Homecoming and our way of leading alumni and friends back to campus to celebrate Homecoming,” Hining said.

The paws are placed in locations that guide people to both ends of Hanson Field, where the Leathernecks call home. Painters will be separated into two shifts: the first shift will begin at 1 p.m. and the second shift will begin at 3 p.m. Approximately 15 minutes before each shift, participants are encouraged to check in at Western Hall, where they will then be broken up into groups and sent to a location to begin painting. Hining expects at least 200 people to participate in Paint the Paws this year, which is what the event has usually drawn in the past. For those interested in participating in the long-standing Western tradition and help celebrate Homecoming, Hining can be reached at or (309) 298-1914.

Paint the Paws has been around for 30 years as of this fall, but the event is just one of many chances students will have to participate in Western’s week of festivities. “Paint the Town” will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22 and a Variety Show will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Additionally, the Alumni House is hosting a social event from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28. The event is open to all alumni and will include food and a cash bar.

Moving closer to the big game, the Homecoming Parade will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 and will be making its way around Adams St., Carroll St. and Lafayette St. in Macomb. Later that day at 3 p.m., the Leathernecks will be squaring off against Youngstown State in their Homecoming game. “Game On: Leathernecks Win it All” is the theme for this year’s game at Hanson Field.