Students at Western Illinois University's Quad Cities Campus in Moline can attend class in the newly named “Geneseo Room.”

Students at Western Illinois University’s Quad Cities Campus in Moline can attend class in the newly named “Geneseo Room.”

Geneseo residents and the Geneseo Foundation combined to donate more than $25,000 toward the room.

“Geneseo is a community that values education and steps up together to invest in it,” said Paul Plagenz, director of development for Western Illinois University’s Quad Cities Campus.

While other rooms in the campus’ new Riverfront Hall have been sponsored by businesses or organizations, Room 226 is unique in being supported by an entire community.

“It definitely is innovative,” said Dr. Kristi Mindrup, assistant vice president at Western Illinois University’s Quad Cities Campus. “It offers a way for Geneseo students to connect with their community when they come to campus.”

The Geneseo Foundation donated $5,000 and offered another $5,000 as part of a four-to-one match.

“We agreed to offer $1 from the foundation for every $4 raised,” said John DuBois of the Geneseo Foundation. “It was our chance to partner with a great school and give our local students the opportunity to grow.”

A total of 140 Geneseo High School graduates currently are enrolled at Western Illinois University and more than 5,000 alumni can be found living within a 20-mile radius of Geneseo.

“It’s great to see how much excitement this campus has generated in the Quad-City area,” said Steve McCann, co-chairman of Western Illinois University’s Quad Cities Planning and Advisory Committee and a Geneseo native.

“The Geneseo Room will be a fixture on the campus for years to come,” said Geneseo resident Jim Lodico, president of the Western Illinois University Foundation Board of Trustees.

The technology-enabled classroom features an interactive podium, wi-fi, cameras, video equipment and more, said Plagenz.

The classroom also is designed so students at WIU in Moline can telecommute and participate in classes offered by professors at the university’s Macomb campus.

“The room has the ‘Wow’ factor,” said Geneseo mayor Nadine Palmgren. “Western Illinois has made a commitment to our area, and this campus really is in our backyard, which makes it a perk for both students right out of high school and non-traditional students.”

John Mullin, a 2011 Geneseo High School graduate, is a senior supply chain management student at WIU. He said his Wednesday evening class takes place in the newly named Geneseo Room.

“From a student perspective, this room brings a lot, and it’s really exciting to see the potential it has,” he said.

“I’m excited about what a Western Illinois Quad Cities Campus can bring. I think it will open a lot of doors for the community.”

Western Illinois University’s Geneseo Room was formally dedicated on Thursday, Oct. 30.