Leaving a powerful legacy

A $1.5 million estate gift from William Hill, a 1942 SIU graduate, will establish two scholarships each year to junior or senior zoology majors with grade point averages of at least 3.0 in all zoology courses.

“Scholarships are essential to attract the most talented students to SIU, especially in this highly competitive science field,” said Lori Achenbach, recently retired dean of the College of Science. “These students, whom we expect to serve as leaders in the College of Science, are vitally important to the program’s future success.”

Hill died Feb. 19 in Decatur, Illinois, at the age of 98. After graduating from SIU, he spent his career with the United States Food and Drug Administration, holding several prominent positions with the agency, ranging from inspector to director.

In retirement, Hill became even more appreciative of his SIU years. When he returned to campus in 2002 to mark the 60th anniversary of his graduation, he presented the university with a $100,000 gift to establish the William C. Hill Zoology Scholarship Endowment.

In a 2015 interview, Hill reflected on his initial gift, saying: “We had extra money and thought supporting SIU would be the best way to invest it. The education I received at SIU truly prepared me for success in the FDA. It provided me with knowledge that allowed me to be a great fit for what the organization required.

“This is my way of paying SIU back.”

Jim Salmo, chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, said the gift marks a positive development at a time when scholarships are needed to help minimize students’ debt burdens.

“William Hill knew what an education could mean for people, and he was committed to helping them go to school,” Salmo said. “His gift to the zoology department is going to be meaningful, and we hope it will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.”

Gift Honors Lives Of Discovery, Education

We rise by lifting others.

Haree Deutchman dedicated her life to the excitement of discovery.

Her mother, Muriel, is helping others who share her daughter’s passion by establishing the Muriel and Bernard Deutchman Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of Dr. Haree Lynn Deutchman. The fund provides scholarships to support graduate students in philosophy.

Haree earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology from SIU in 1976 and 1979, respectively. Tragically, she passed away in 1984 at the age of 34.

While her time as a professional was short, it was productive. Haree was a prolific researcher involved in a number of published works.

She was particularly well versed in Native American antiquities, the subject of both her master’s and doctoral theses.

Haree spent time working on the Black Mesa Archaeological Project, a well-known initiative within the archaeology community. About 1.3 million Navajo, Hopi and ancient Anasazi artifacts were unearthed and delicately moved to another location.

A New York City native, Haree came to SIU after earning her bachelor’s degree at New York University. While studying in Carbondale, she received the SIU Dissertation Research Award and an SIU Fellowship. Haree was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma XI, the Scientific Research Society on campus.

Muriel Deutchman said Haree had many wonderful memories from her time at SIU. She hopes the fund will help other graduate students with their studies. Recipients of the scholarship will be known as Dr. Haree Lynn Deutchman Scholars.

Haree’s father, Bernard, is also memorialized by the endowed scholarship. He was an educator in New York, and Muriel said it was important to honor Bernard’s legacy.

Education played an important role in the Deutchman family, and that was a key factor in Muriel deciding to make such a gift to her daughter’s alma mater.

She hopes that by keeping Bernard and Haree’s memory alive, others will be able to better afford their research and follow in their footsteps.

Endowments are a wonderful way to honor those who inspire and make a difference. Donors have the option of endowing a chair, professorship, visiting lecturer, faculty fellowship, graduate fellowship, scholarship or facility. Doing so ensures the gift leaves a lasting legacy while ensuring SIU students have access to a topnotch educational experience.

For more information about establishing an endowment, visit www.siuf.org or call 618-453-4900.

Boat Dock And Pavilion Expected To Be Ready By Spring

SIU Ralph E. Becker Pavilion

Have you seen the progress at the boat dock and pavilion? You aren’t the only one.

Ralph E. Becker, the man responsible for the $1 million donation that’s funding the work, is also monitoring the construction via a private camera feed to his North Carolina home. Mr. Becker, one of the pioneers of the university’s radio-television program, is an SIU Carbondale graduate class of 1955 and an Alumni Achievement Award recipient.

Those watching have witnessed the first phase of the renovation of the more than 50-year-old structure. The boat dock has been reinforced and repainted. New lighting and decking have been added. Stonework now surrounds the water front and patio façade.

“Since the inception of the project, SIU has experienced a great collaboration with the architectural firm of Eggemeyer Associates (Herrin), Samron Construction (Murphysboro) and all of the talented SIU physical plant workers,” Scott Weber, university engineer, said.

SIU Ralph E. Becker Pavilion

In April, the first phase was finished, and the second phase of the project was put out for bid and was won by Marion-based Evrard-Strang Construction. The company will be redoing the plumbing, adding HVAC and insulation, installing a new roof and adding glass windows which will act as exterior walls.

The work is expected to be done by the end of February 2018. SIU Recreational Sports and Services will be responsible for the upkeep and administration of the facility. There will be canoe and paddleboat rentals available. Event space will be available for a variety of purposes, including classroom and social activities, banquets and even weddings.

Once completed, the facility is expected to be one of the crown jewels of campus.

For many, including Mr. Becker, that would be a welcome sight.

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Business alumnus Lynn McPheeters donates to help future business Salukis succeed

Lynn McPheetersby Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Growing up on a farm near Canton, F. Lynn McPheeters never imagined he would become the chief financial officer and vice president of Caterpillar Inc. Now, he’s donating $1 million to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, his alma mater, to help future Salukis succeed.

The endowment gift establishes the McPheeters Family Scholarship to benefit undergraduate College of Business students, Chancellor Carlo Montemagno announced this week.

“Without SIU, I would never have been in a position to have the opportunity to do something like this,” McPheeters said. “I’m a first-generation college student, and being able to attend SIU – a national, state-supported college – enabled me to have the career and life I’ve had. My hope is that this scholarship will allow others who are in similar situations the opportunity to attend SIU and succeed in their chosen field as I was able to.”

Benefitting business students

McPheeters’ gift will enable the university to award about $40,000 in scholarship assistance annually to deserving first-generation business students.

“Mr. McPheeters has been a longtime supporter of SIU, and we are very appreciative of his ongoing involvement and this generous contribution,” Montemagno said. “Countless students will realize their dreams of attending college because of this gift, and its impact on the world of business will reach far into the future.”

The scholarship funds are earmarked for first-generation students in the College of Business who are from Illinois counties located south of I-80; preference will be given to those who major in finance or accounting. Recipients must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to retain their eligibility and the scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

The McPheeters story

McPheeters is a 1964 accounting graduate from SIU’s College of Business. He joined the Fortune 500 company soon thereafter and held a number of finance-related positions in the United States and abroad during a 40-year career capped off by a term as CFO. He fostered a working partnership between SIU and Caterpillar during his career. Since he retired, he remains active professionally on behalf of SIU and as a proponent for public education and charitable causes.

McPheeters was the first to enroll at and graduate from Spoon River Community College, then known as Canton College, and he established the Francis G. and Dorothea B. McPheeters Scholarship there in honor of his parents. He continues to serve as a board member for several companies, including RLI Inc. and WPC Technologies.

A member of the SIU Foundation board since 2002, McPheeters has served as chair of the audit committee and later as board president; he is currently an emeritus board member. He was one of the first members of the College of Business external advisory board, holding a seat since 1988. He was inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame in 1988 and has earned a number of other honors, including the College of Business Alumni Achievement Award in 2004.

In 2006, McPheeters and his wife, Susan, supported SIU with a $585,000 gift of appreciated Caterpillar stock, which was invested to create the Susan F. and F. Lynn McPheeters College of Business Leadership Endowed Chair, the college’s first endowed chair. The McPheeters’ philanthropy has also extended to various other charitable organizations and efforts in the health, education and abuse-prevention areas, earning them the title of Outstanding Philanthropists for Central Illinois in 2006.

“Lynn McPheeters has been associated with SIU and the College of Business for a long time. He has also been a loyal and generous friend,” said Terry Clark, dean of the College of Business. “Over the years, his love for our institution has been shown in many ways, from serving on the college’s External Advisory Board to serving on the SIU Foundation Board. Lynn’s institutional spiritedness is legendary. We are deeply grateful for his most recent gift. Through his generosity, another generation of Salukis will be helped onto the ladder that Lynn climbed so notably upon graduation from the college in 1964.”

Forever SIU

The McPheeters Family Scholarship endowment was made in conjunction with the Forever SIU fundraising campaign, to advance the university’s goal of providing the best education possible to students of all disciplines. More information about the campaign is available at foreversiu.org.

Artist’s gift to benefit graduate students

Artist Jimmy Wright is providing a $1 million gift to fully fund fellowships for graduate students in art at SIU.

By Rebecca Renshaw

CARBONDALE – Artist Jimmy Wright, who earned a master of fine arts degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1971, is providing a $1 million gift to fully fund fellowships for graduate students in art at SIU.

The Jimmy Wright Fine Arts Fellowship endowment, announced by SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, will assist graduate students who need financial support as they pursue their graduate studies in art. Such a gift mirrors Wright’s experience at SIU.

“My graduate school years at SIU Carbondale were an incredibly rich time of education, studio practice and friendship,” Wright said. “I’m pleased to know that future young artists educated at SIU will, in some part, be my heirs.”

A dean’s fellowship provided Wright with the additional financial assistance he needed to complete his degree. He also received other important help along the way, including art department research and teaching fellowships.

“During my time in Carbondale, my home caught fire, destroying all of my equipment, clothing, household goods and artwork,” Wright said. “I was devastated. It was only through the generosity of students and faculty members from the art department who donated their artwork in an auction that I was able to get back on my feet.”

Wright left SIU to teach in New York State in 1973. Moving to New York City in 1974, today he is an accomplished oil and pastel artist and is represented by the DC Moore Gallery in New York City and Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago. His works hang in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Wright is also a member of the 1910 Society at Ox-Bow, the School of the Art Institute’s summer home in Saugatuck, Michigan, where he has served as a guest faculty member for eleven years.

“Mr. Wright’s commitment to our university is clear,” Montemagno said. “This gift will benefit graduate students for generations, and Mr. Wright’s legacy will extend far beyond this university.”

The estate gift, which was made as part of the Forever SIU fundraising campaign, furthers the university’s mission of providing the best experience for students across disciplines, including the arts and humanities. For more information about the campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org.

To learn more about Wright and his work, visit www.jimmywrightartist.com, http://www.corbettvsdempsey.com/artists/jimmy-wright/, http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/jimmy-wright.

Big hearts with big dreams

Calvin and Jean Ibendahl

By Rebecca Renshaw

Gilbert Kroening first came to know Calvin Ibendahl when they both attended SIU as students. Later, their paths crossed again when Kroening returned to SIU as the dean of the College of Agriculture at the same time Ibendahl re-enrolled in SIU.

Ibendahl, a World War II and Korean War veteran, had been unable to continue farming while originally attending SIU, so he left the university during his senior year in 1956. He soon was able to buy a bigger farm and found success.

It was only when Kroening returned to SIU that he and William Doerr, then the assistant dean of the college, found a way for Ibendahl to finish his degree in agriculture.

Kroening, B.S. ’59 and M.S. ’60, explains: “Calvin only needed one or two more courses of general study courses, but his farming activities in the spring and fall always got in his way. So we found a way to allow him to start a course in the spring and then finish it in the fall.”

At that point, Ibendahl and his wife, Jean, were successful, so it wasn’t about getting the degree to make a living. It was more about finishing what he had started – and that’s just what he did, earning his bachelor’s degree in ag business in 1983.

While Calvin Ibendahl was considered an introvert, his wife was just the opposite. Ibendahl was considered a progressive farmer for his time, and his spouse was equally driven. As a strong proponent of women in agriculture, she served as vice chairman of American Agri-Women and was president of Illinois Women for Agriculture and chairman of the National Livestock and Meat Board. She also was a member of a U.S. Department of Agriculture task force to help improve high school agriculture economics programs.

“Those opposite personality traits are probably what helped them to be such a successful and influential couple,” Kroening said.

The Ibendahls also initiated the Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarship in 1991. This scholarship is available to any woman between the ages of 18 and 23 who is engaged in farming, ranching or agribusiness. It supports the pursuit of accredited courses in agriculture leadership, communications, rural sociology, medicine or any other courses directly benefiting agriculture.

Calvin Ibendahl died in 2006; his wife continued the couple’s legacy until her death in early 2017.

The Ibendhals maintained a strong affinity for SIU, and in the early 1970s they gave a substantial real estate gift to the university. In their last years they arranged to give an estate gift of $300,000, ensuring that their legacy could be carried out far beyond their lifetimes.

Rhiannon Storm, development officer for the College of Agriculture, said she came to know Jean Ibendahl personally over the last few years.

“Jean wanted to make a mark and leave a legacy,” Storm said. “Since they never had children of their own, she liked to think the SIU students were her children. She just had a helping heart. She’d be pleased to know students are the ones that will end up benefiting from the Ibendahl legacy.”

To learn more about the needs of the College of Agricultural Sciences, visit http://foreversiu.org/colleges-units/agricultural-sciences.php.

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Automotive technology meeting growing demand

SIU Automotive Technology

By Jeff Wilson

Innovation thrives when students are engaged, and students are most engaged when they’re immersed in their passion to learn.

To that end, students in SIU’s automotive technology program are engaged in gaining valuable experience that will enhance their contributions to the industry.

“We’re known for the quality of the students we produce,” program chair Mike Behrmann says.

With one of just 12 automotive technology baccalaureate degree programs in the country – and the only one at a major research institution – SIU helps graduates become uniquely prepared for their profession.

Of the more than 280 students in SIU’s program, about 90 percent serve paid internships, and just under 90 percent will accept a job offer before graduation. The other 10 percent are likely weighing multiple options.

“We cannot produce enough graduates for the industry,” Behrmann says.

This incredible real-world preparation comes at a substantial investment from both the program and its students. For example, the toolboxes that line the corridors of the automotive technology workspaces inside the Transportation Education Center cost each student between $1,500 and $2,000, including the tools inside them.

Students put these tools to work right away on vehicles, engines, parts, service and safety equipment, and more.

Similarly, training successful graduates requires access to university-supplied vehicles, including hybrid, electric and diesel vehicles. Students need to spend time working with a plethora of components in each vehicle, including – but not limited to – battery packs, engines, transmissions and drivetrains, as well as electrical systems.

Students also spend time working with testing equipment, such as diagnostic software and emissions-testing tools.

Service equipment also is necessary to the learning mission. The equipment includes shop presses, engine hoists, heavy-duty workbenches, impact wrenches and sockets, exhaust ventilation fans and more.

The program’s continued success will rely on investments in, or donations of, the tools and equipment that will give students hands-on experience.

“Our industry is facing changing consumer needs,” Behrmann says. “There is a major demand for a properly trained workforce, and we are prepared to help meet it.”

To learn more about the automotive technology program, visit automotive.siu.edu. To learn more about the needs of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, visit http://foreversiu.org/colleges-units/applied-sciences-and-arts.php.

Library improvements would benefit recruitment, retention

SIU Morris Library

By Jeff Wilson

Morris Library is a bastion of SIU’s campus.

For students, its value is obvious, but it’s much more than just a library. In fact, the word “library” doesn’t mean what it once did.

The library is much more than just books – although there are more than three million of those. Students are looking for high-end technology, spaces to gather and study and opportunities to enrich their experience.

After undergoing major construction about a decade ago, the building accommodates more students and has more things to offer. Still, it lacks some of the upgrades and details students are seeking.

“They redid the building, and they did a fantastic job,” Karen Wolf, Morris Library events coordinator, said. “But there are many other important things the library needs to better accommodate students.”

A robust library is a selling point for potential students. While many see all the great things Morris Library has to offer, it’s also clear some areas need to be upgraded, refurbished or repaired.

There is a major need for new computers. After 10 years, computers are decommissioned for security purposes. Last year, the library lost 20 computers and will lose at least 40 this year.

Computers are missing in areas on the first, third and fifth floors. All of the empty spots are outfitted with power and Ethernet. Furthermore, the library hopes to offer the full complement of Adobe creative programs on at least four computers on the first floor.

“This software would give students from many colleges, with many majors the ability to work with this important creative software in a centralized location on campus,” Wolf said.

There is also hope to add touchscreen monitors at the library’s entrances. These monitors would share information about library and campus events.

“The library is one of the most frequently visited buildings on campus,” Wolf said. “These touchscreen monitors would be helpful for people looking for the location of an event or more information on where to look for information that they may need.”

There are also specific areas in need of upgrades. Room 174, which needs to be reconfigured with front-facing tables to accommodate its many users, is one such area.

“Students and instructors would both benefit from this project, as this is the largest computer lab we have in the building that is open for instructor use throughout the semester,” Wolf said.

The library also offers two living room-style study spaces, Rooms 550A and 580A.

“Students use these study room extensively throughout the semester and especially during finals week to study,” Wolf said. “These particular rooms offer a great place for group work and study sessions.”

Unfortunately, the furniture is worn and tearing from so much use, and the walls need to be painted.

The list of needs goes on:

  • Replacing about 40 red chairs that are in disrepair;
  • Improving displays in the Hall of President and Chancellors;
  • Upgrading the Lerner Music Studio, including a larger conference table;
  • Replacing a broken monitor used for collaborative projects on the seventh floor.

For more information about the Forever SIU campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org. For more information about Morris Library’s goals, visit www.foreversiu.org/colleges-units/morris-library.php.

Theater injects life, art into community

SIU McLeod Summer Playhouse Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat Pick Ups

As a venue for multiple shows each summer, the McLeod Summer Playhouse brings thousands of visitors to SIU. This longstanding pillar of SIU recently wrapped up its 2017 season, bringing to a close another successful performance for a program that helps fulfill the university’s goal of providing the best for SIU students and the community at large.

“It’s a window into what we do at the university,” said J. Thomas Kidd, associate professor of theater/directing and chair of the Department of Theater at SIU.

According to Kidd, the McLeod Summer Playhouse is the only professional theater in Southern Illinois.

“It helps bring artistic life and increases the quality of life in the community,” he said.

Students also benefit greatly from the presence of a high-end theater production, and those enrolled in particular courses are offered credit for working with the playhouse. They often earn internships, which can lead to jobs within the production.

Being part of the playhouse offers important experience for graduates who plan to work in theater, film, advertising and more.

“This is a gateway degree into the entertainment industry,” Kidd said. “For many, (the McLeod Summer Playhouse) is their first professional experience.”

While the program does have an annual budget allotment, the funds don’t fully cover the costs of updating and maintaining the theater.

Kidd said the theater is in need of major upgrades, including new seats and a new sound system. Much of the backstage infrastructure has been brought up to date, but it’s the front of the house that requires improvement now.

“It’s in need of upgrades to bring it up to standards,” he said. “It needs to reflect where we are going.”

To support an endowment that fund and sustain the performing arts for students and the region, including the McLeod Summer Playhouse, visit http://foreversiu.org/colleges-units/liberal-arts.php.

Grace Handlos grateful for dean scholarship

SIU College of Agricultural Sciences student Grace Handlos

By Rebecca Renshaw

Grace Handlos has set her sights high.

The junior from Salsbury, Indiana is majoring in animal science production. Throughout her life, Handlos has worked with horses. Now, she wants to become a show horse trainer.

“I love horses and always have,” Handlos said. “The College of Agricultural Sciences has made it so easy for me to achieve my dreams.”

Handlos is a dean scholarship recipient. She says she will never forget opening the envelope from SIU informing her of the scholarship award.

“When I read I received the scholarship, I was ecstatic. I never thought college could be affordable without going deep into debt,” Handlos said.

Like so many other students and faculty, Handlos says the college feels like one big family.

“Even when I first visited SIU and the college when I was trying to decide where to go to school, I sensed that they were like family,” she said.

Handlos serves as an Ag Council representative for the live-stock judging team, is a member of the honors program, and conducts research in the plant pathology program.

Earlier this year, the SIU Foundation launched Forever SIU: The Campaign for Students. The three-year campaign set a $75 million fundraising goal. Most of the money received through the campaign will go toward student scholarships.

For more information, visit www.foreversiu.org. For information on how to donate to the SIU College of Agricultural Sciences, visit http://foreversiu.org/colleges-units/agricultural-sciences.php.

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