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2009 Distinguished Alumni Award

Posted by JoeDecker on Apr 14, 2009 4:09:53 PM

It just seems like yesterday that I was back in college at WIU doing what typical college students do. Most of us have been there. But I think back even then that I knew there was something more to life than just partying. I wanted to find out what it was. So I hit the books, graduated with honors, moved to DC for my internship and in 2000 broke the Guinness World Record for Fitness. Oh, I still like to work hard and play harder but I truly do believe that we should all strive for greatness. It's inside all of us, you just have to find it and go for it. There's an old saying that goes, "Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you'll fall amongst the stars!" I am very honored to receive this award and looking forward to attending my alma mater on Friday!


Work Out with the World's Fittest Man & WIU Alum Joe Decker on April 17


MACOMB, IL -- If you're looking for inspiration to get into shape, look no further than Western Illinois University alumnus Joe Decker. In 2000, Decker made his mark on the fitness world by breaking the Guinness Book of World Records' 24-Hour Fitness Challenge, giving him the right to claim the title of "World's Fittest Man."


Decker, who graduated from WIU in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, is the recipient of the College of Education and Human Services' 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award and will be on WIU's Macomb campus during COEHS Week (April 13–17) speaking to and working out with students.


"Fitness Boot Camp with Joe Decker" will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, April 17 at the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center, and at 2 p.m. Friday, April 17, in Stipes Hall 121, Decker will be talking about his fitness journey and the importance of maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle.


Once overweight and out of shape, Decker is an ultra-endurance power athlete, renowned fitness trainer and syndicated columnist who has helped thousands of women, men, kids and seniors get into shape and lose weight. Decker is a personal testament to overcoming addictions and obstacles, and he has founded his own high-speed fitness company working with individuals, groups and corporate clients. In addition, Decker is regularly involved in charity work and has established a research fund at WIU for childhood obesity from his winnings on the television show "The Weakest Link."


Both of Decker's appearances on WIU's Macomb campus on Friday, April 17 are open free to the public and help celebrate this year's University theme, "Health and Wellness: Challenges and Responsibilities."


To learn more about Decker, visit his website at For more information about Decker's visit to WIU's Macomb campus, as well as about COEHS Week, contact Dana Moon, assistant to the dean in the College of Education and Human Services, at (309) 298-1690 or

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