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Salukis engage with alumni, partners in St. Louis

 

Chancellor Austin Lane addresses the crowd at the Chancellor’s Reception during the Saluki Takeover Tour in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS – The Saluki Takeover Tour returned to St. Louis along with the SIU Men’s Basketball team for the week of the Arch Madness MVC Tournament.

The keystone event was the Chancellor’s Reception, hosted Wednesday, March 6, in the Lindbergh Room of the Hilton at the Ballpark. 150 alumni and friends gathered to celebrate their Saluki spirit.

“It’s great to see all the Salukis here,” Chancellor Austin Lane said. “We do the Saluki Takeover Tours in several cities throughout the year, and we always look forward to coming back to St. Louis.”

Earlier in the day, Chancellor Lane and a group of university leaders visited Eureka High School and Collinsville High School on recruiting trips. On Thursday and Friday, the members of the group planned to make their way to STEAM Academy, Duchesne College Prep, and Lutheran St. Charles.

Many other events dotted the schedule between Tuesday and Friday:

  • The College of Liberal Arts hosted an alumni social event at The Armory STL on Tuesday.
  • The SIU Foundation hosted a Corporate Partners Brunch at the Hilton at the Ballpark on Thursday.
  • There was also a Planned Giving Social Hour at the hotel on Thursday, hosted by the foundation.
  • Members of the Paul & Virginia Society gathered on Friday morning at The London Tea Room.
  • The SIU School of Medicine hosted an alumni dinner at Kreis’ Steakhouse.
  • The SIU Alumni Association hosted a pre-game event Thursday evening at PBR St. Louis in Ballpark Village.

Six corporate partners took part in the brunch on Thursday morning, including the St. Louis Cardinals, Boeing, First Mid Bank & Trust, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Horner & Shifrin, and StraightUp Solar. The discussion, led by Sherrica Hunt, assistant vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Shane Bennett, senior director of development for corporate and foundation relations, focused on how companies can benefit from engaging with SIU and its students.

The Salukis fell Thursday night in the first round of the MVC Tournament, 84-82, in a double-overtime thriller against the University ofIllinois Chicago. The Dawgs finish the season 19-13.

The Saluki Takeover Tours, which began in 2021, include student recruitment visits to local high schools and colleges, as well as alumni events, and meetings with valuable partners around the country. To see highlight videos from previous Saluki Takeover Tours, click here.

Day of Giving: More than 2,600 Salukis donate over $3.1M

Matt Kupec and Chancellor Austin Lane at WSIU
Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations Matt Kupec (left) and Chancellor Austin Lane discuss the SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the WSIU-TV studio.

The 8th annual SIU Day of Giving was Wednesday, Feb. 28, and once again, Saluki spirit was on display for 24 straight hours.

The SIU Foundation raised more than $3.15 million, and more than 2,600 donors participated. In total, there has been about $17 million donated during the Days of Giving. Every gift pushes the Imagine SIU 2030 fundraising campaign one step closer to its goal of raising $500 million by 2028.

“We put those dollars to work,” said Chancellor Austin Lane during the Day of Giving livestream from WSIU-TV studio. “Once we receive the support that’s coming from those who give during the Day of Giving that were able to put that in hands of our students.”

Leading the way with 670 donors was the Balancing Education, Experience, and Reality (B.E.E.R.) Scholarships, driven by the Carbondale in the ’80s and ’90s Facebook group. Nearly $45,000 was raised for the endowed scholarship fund.

Other areas that topped the donor total list included:

  • WSIU Public Broadcasting: 502
  • School of Medicine: 279
  • College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics: 240
  • College of Health and Human Sciences: 142
  • Saluki Athletics: 127
  • College of Arts and Media: 120

The College of Business and Analytics raised $764,835, the most of any college, school, or unit.

Other areas that received the highest dollar amounts included:

  • School of Medicine: $555,765
  • School of Law: $526,456
  • College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences: $195,917
  • College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics: $188,893
  • College of Liberal Arts: $157,143
  • Touch of Nature: $93,510

Some donations were still being counted, including donations made through fundraisers at St. Nicholas Brewing Co. MDH at Southern Illinois Airport and Freddy’s in Carbondale. Both restaurants donated percentages of some of Wednesday’s sales to the College of Health and Human Sciences.

SIU Credit Union kicked off the Day of Giving by donating $35,000 in total, designating $20,000 to New Student Programs and $15,000 to Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center.

The Day of Giving livestream aired from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and can be viewed in its entirety on the SIU Foundation YouTube channel. It featured segments from every college and school and many other units. Hosted by Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations Matt Kupec, there were interviews with campus leaders, including Chancellor Lane.

To see the full totals, visit siuday.siu.edu.

Saluki Takeover Tour heads to Florida

The Saluki Takeover Tour returned to Florida for the second straight year.

On Monday, Feb. 19, the SIU Alumni Association hosted an event at the Savannah Center in The Villages, followed by a Tampa Alumni Chapter gathering on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Coppertail Brewing Company.

Like last year, the first Chancellor’s Reception was hosted in Naples. Seventy-five Salukis came together at Windstar on Naples Bay.

“We need you to help us spread the message about how great SIU is,” Chancellor Austin Lane said. “The more we come and engage with you, the more we hear about the great things you’ve done in your careers, we want to make sure we’re telling our students and campus community about that.”

Many guests stayed after the reception to watch as the Saluki Men’s Basketball team took on Murray State on ESPN+. The Dawgs won the game, 72-68.

Thursday in Miami

Chancellor Lane, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Wendell Williams, and others met with representatives from Miami Dad College on the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 22.

That evening’s Chancellor Reception was hosted at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Alumni and friends gathered to share stories and camaraderie.

Friday in West Palm Beach

The takeover tour in Florida wrapped up Friday with a Chancellor’s Luncheon at Norton Art Museum. This event was sold out.

Afterward, there was a visit to Oxbridge Academy to explore potential partnerships.

More to come

There will also be a Saluki Takeover Tour of Southern Illinois in April and May. Information on those events will be available soon.

To see highlight videos from previous Saluki Takeover Tours, click here.

 

 

What a difference a day makes – SIU Day of Giving 2024

SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, Februrary 28

Everyone can make an impact on Wednesday, Feb. 28

CARBONDALE – The 8th annual SIU Day of Giving is Wednesday, Feb. 28, and expectations are higher than ever.

Raising more than $14 million in its first seven years, the SIU Foundation is asking everyone to donate online at siuday.siu.edu. Every gift makes a difference, no matter the size.

“Each year, the SIU Day of Giving highlights the power of philanthropy and community engagement,” said Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and SIU Foundation CEO. “We ask our alumni and friends to show their Saluki spirit, and Saluki Nation never disappoints.”

Each year, the SIU community comes together for a 24-hour online Day of Giving. Supporters are encouraged to visit siuday.siu.edu on Wednesday, Feb. 28, and make a gift of any size. Donations can be directed to any college, unit, program, or initiative.

Last year, more than $4 million was raised through more than 3,700 individual donations. Donors can choose to be honored on the Donor Wall, give in honor of another, or give anonymously. All gifts are made securely and are tax-deductible.

Gifts can also be made through Venmo by searching for “@SIU-Foundation” under the Charities tab and typing “Day of Giving” in the message. Donors should also add the area of campus they want to support.

Day of Giving broadcast

The SIU Day of Giving will feature every college and unit on campus during its live broadcast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WSIU-TV studio. Streamed on the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page and hosted by Kupec, there will be live interviews with Chancellor Austin Lane and other campus leaders and live Day of Giving updates.

“The broadcast is one of the most unique parts of the SIU Day of Giving,” Kupec said. “We engage with our campus leaders, showcase every area of our great university, and watch along as the totals rise. It’s an exciting, inspiring day.”

During the broadcast, viewers will learn about the exciting things happening each day at SIU and how they can best support their favorite area of campus.

Getting involved

Other than making a gift and watching the broadcast, there are other ways for alumni and donors to support the Day of Giving.

Simply by using #SIUDay on social media and sharing posts from the SIU Foundation and other units on campus is a great way to show support. It’s not too late to become an SIU Day of Giving advocate by signing up at siuday.siu.edu. Advocates get special Day of Giving updates and can share their own Day of Giving messages with others.

Saluki Takeover Tour visits Nashville

More events coming soon in Florida, St. Louis, and Southern Illinois
Chancellor Austin A. Lane thanks Drs. Pam and Phil Pfeffer for hosting the Chancellor’s Reception during the second annual Saluki Takeover Tour in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Saluki Takeover Tour made its second annual stop in Nashville, Tennessee, this week.

Between Monday, Feb. 12, and Wednesday, Feb. 14, representatives from SIU visited high schools and hosted events with alumni and friends.

SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin A. Lane and Nashville State Community College President Shanna L. Jackson signed the agreement that includes the Saluki Step Ahead program during an event on the college’s White Bridge campus in Nashville – the first such pact in Tennessee.

“SIU Carbondale is providing Nashville State Community College graduates a seamless path to a bachelor’s degree, saving them time and money,” Chancellor Lane said. “And if students can’t come to us in Carbondale, Illinois, we are bringing the experience and resources of a doctoral research university to them through Saluki Step Ahead.”

Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Wendell Williams and others visited Independence High School, LEAD Southeast High School, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School, Brentwood Academy, and Hume Fogg Academic High School. These recruitment trips build bridges between potential future Salukis and the university.

“Strategically, we knew Nashville was an area we had to take over,” Chancellor Lane said. “Salukis are here. There are some exciting things happening. We’re hitting some really high points.”

This year’s Chancellor’s Reception was hosted by SIU alumni Drs. Phil and Pam Pfeffer. The Pfeffers, two of SIU’s most distinguished alumni, welcomed dozens of SIU alumni, staff, and friends into their home the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 13.

“Pam and Phil, thank you for hosting us and for your commitment and dedication and many years of service to SIU,” said Judge Phil J. Gilbert, chair of the SIU Board of Trustees. “It’s people like you that put us on the map.”

On Thursday, Feb. 14, the SIU Alumni Association hosted an event at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. Dozens of alumni enjoy food, drinks, and Saluki spirit before the Saluki Men’s Basketball team took on Belmont. The Salukis fell to the Bruins, 82-68.

The next stop on the Saluki Takeover Tour is a three-location run through Florida, including events in Naples, Miami, and West Palm Beach. Those events are Wednesday, Feb. 21, through Friday, Feb. 23. For more information, click here.

After that, Salukis will take over St. Louis during the Arch Madness MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Chancellor’s Reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Lindbergh Room at the Ballpark Village Hilton. For more information, click here.

There will also be a Saluki Takeover Tour of Southern Illinois in April and May. Information on those events will be available soon.

To see highlight videos from previous Saluki Takeover Tours, click here.

Sharp Museum dedicated in honor of $1M donation

Professor James Franklin Sharp attended SIU from 1954 to 1956

By Jeff Wilson

With a $1 million gift, Professor James Franklin Sharp has chiseled his name into SIU’s legacy. Now, the university has honored his generosity by renaming the University Museum as Sharp Museum.

On Friday, Oct. 20, the university unveiled the Sharp Museum naming and renamed the Southern Illinois Gallery as the Mrs. Rosanna Sharp Myers Southern Illinois Gallery, after Sharp’s sister.

“(Professor Sharp) is forever tied to the history of this institution,” Chancellor Austin Lane said. “How fitting to have something like this during Homecoming week.”

Professor Sharp attended SIU from 1954 to 1956, but the university didn’t offer a four-year degree in engineering at that time. Still, he said he always felt a strong connection to the university.

While an SIU student, he played seven intramural sports, including football, corkball, basketball, volleyball, softball, badminton, and horseshoes. He was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity.

“Professor Sharp was all in during his time at SIU,” said SIU System President Dan Mahony. “He took advantage of that experience, and when you do that, it becomes a life habit.”

He transferred to the University of Illinois from SIU and completed his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering. He later earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

“I guess I would say I enjoyed my time at SIU more than the other colleges I attended,” Professor Sharp said.

Professor Sharp taught at three universities: Rutgers University, New York University Stern Graduate School of Business, and Pace University Lubin Graduate School of Business. He also held management positions at AT&T and founded Sharp Seminars in New York, which became a leading provider of training for Wall Street investment analysts and investment portfolio managers.

He has also written 36 books and had many articles published. He has achieved the following professional designations: CFA, CIPM, CMA, CFM, and Mensa.

A Chester High School graduate, Professor Sharp has made supporting education a lifelong endeavor. He has made multiple donations to Chester schools, totaling more than $600,000.

Sharp Museum first opened as a natural history museum in 1874, and it has evolved into a teaching museum that represents the humanities, the sciences, and the arts. With roughly 70,000 objects in its care, the Sharp Museum captures and illuminates the human story, opening a window to who we are and where we came from.

“This museum is deep in my heart,” said Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz. “It’s such an incredible resource for this whole area.”

University breaks ground on SIU Credit Union Event Center

Photo Caption: Brian Croft, director of Touch of Nature (from left); William Lo, executive director, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce; Darin Fager, president, Fager-McGee Construction; Chancellor Austin Lane; Sara Bond, director of development, SIU Foundation; state Sen. Dale Fowler; Kim Babington, vice president of community outreach, SIU Credit Union; Nicole Gray, program assistant for hospitality service, Touch of Nature; Mike Lantrip, president, SIU Credit Union; Chris Sievers, chairman, SIU Credit Union Board of Directors; and Tom Brummer, associated director of facilities and operations, Touch of Nature break ground on the SIU Credit Union Event Center on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center.
Photo Caption: Brian Croft, director of Touch of Nature (from left); William Lo, executive director, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce; Darin Fager, president, Fager-McGee Construction; Chancellor Austin Lane; Sara Bond, director of development, SIU Foundation; state Sen. Dale Fowler; Kim Babington, vice president of community outreach, SIU Credit Union; Nicole Gray, program assistant for hospitality service, Touch of Nature; Mike Lantrip, president, SIU Credit Union; Chris Sievers, chairman, SIU Credit Union Board of Directors; and Tom Brummer, associated director of facilities and operations, Touch of Nature break ground on the SIU Credit Union Event Center on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center.
Facility funded by $500K donation

MAKANDA – With shovels in the ground, progress is officially under way on the SIU Credit Union Event Center at Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center. The project is being funded by a $500,000 donation from the credit union.

Chancellor Austin Lane was joined by state Sen. Dale Fowler and representatives from SIU Credit Union, Touch of Nature, Fager-McGee Construction, the SIU Foundation, and the university for a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 27, near the entrance of Touch of Nature.

“SIU students get their start right here at Touch of Nature,” Chancellor Lane said. “We are fully behind this project, and we want to thank the SIU Credit Union for all they do.”

At the beginning of each fall semester, Touch of Nature hosts Dawg Days for incoming students, providing them with an opportunity to have fun, make friends, and learn more about SIU.

In August 2021, the SIU Credit Union presented a $500,000 check to fund the construction project. The hope is to have the event center completed in the spring of 2024.

“Touch of Nature is a pride and joy of SIU,” Chancellor Lane said at the time. “This partnership with SIU Credit Union is magnificent. This gift will provide the credit union with great visibility among our students and the community.”

SIU Credit Union has a long history of supporting the university, including major donations during the annual SIU Day of Giving. In recent years, the credit union has supported SIU’s New Student Programs, Saluki Food Pantry, and Morris Library, along with Touch of Nature.

“We knew that we needed to do something for SIU and the region,” said Mike Lantrip, CEO of SIU Credit Union. “We think it’s going to be something that helps put Southern Illinois on the map even more.”

Touch of Nature is a full-service outdoor education center that serves SIU, the region, and the nation. It provides opportunities for team building, environmental education, zip lining, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, overnight camps, and more. Nationally recognized for its therapeutic recreation camp, Camp Little Giant, Touch of Nature has provided camps and programs for people with disabilities since 1952. Touch of Nature is an ACA-accredited facility, a National Environmental Education Landmark, and soon to be home to an IMBA-designed Mountain Bike Park.

“This is an incredible partnership with SIU Credit Union,” said Brian Croft, director of Touch Nature. “We expect this to be a spot for community members to come and enjoy the outdoors. It’s amazing to see what facilities like this can do for SIU.”

Croft also introduced state Sen. Fowler and praised his continued support for Touch of Nature and the university. Fowler said he appreciates the impact the event center will have on tourism in the region.

“This facility will be an amazing complement to Touch of Nature,” Fowler said.

For more information about Touch of Nature, visit ton.siu.edu.

Salukis take over Chicago, tout enrollment success

By Jeff Wilson

In its third year, the Saluki Takeover Tour in Chicago brought excitement and SIU pride to the Windy City.

Earlier in the week, the university announced the first increase in overall student enrollment since 2014. On the heels of that incredible news, the Saluki Takeover Tour events were buzzing with energy.

Chancellor Austin Lane addresses enrollment news to attendees of the Saluki Takeover Tour Chicago Chancellor's Reception.“You need to hear directly from me how much I appreciate your support,” said Chancellor Austin Lane to a crowd of 250 Salukis on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. “When you look at these enrollment numbers, we’re not shocked. When you have this many people that passionate about their alma mater, incredible things are possible.”

SIU System President Dan Mahony echoed Chancellor Lane’s sentiment about building enrollment.

SIU System President Dan Mahony addresses the crowd at the Saluki Takeover Tour Chicago Chancellor's Reception.“The only way you get enrollment numbers like this is as a team,” Mahony said. “You’re talking about faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, donors, everybody playing their part. We could not be in a better place with the type of support we have had from everyone over the last few years.”

Building, rekindling connections

Things kicked off on Wednesday, Sept. 6, with visits to multiple community colleges and high schools, including agreement signings at College of DuPage and Elgin Community College. Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Wendell Williams, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sheryl Tucker, Extended Campus Executive Director Susan Wegmann, and many others visited with leaders of many other schools around the region.

Group photo of attendees for the Saluki Takeover Tour Chicago MEDPREP Reception.

Later that evening, Dr. Randy Burnside, director of the MEDPREP, hosted an intimate reunion gathering for MEDPREP graduates at the Black Barrel Tavern. The Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program prepares educationally and socioeconomically disadvantaged students for medical, dental, and other health profession schools.

Photo of corporate representatives at the Saluki Takeover Tour Chicago Corporate Networking Breakfast.On the morning of Friday, Sept. 8, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Sherrica Hunt and Senior Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations hosted a Corporate Networking Breakfast at the Residence Inn.

Attendees including representatives from multiple corporations, including Enterprise, Caterpillar, Stryke Connect, and Ariel Instruments were welcomed by President Mahony.

“We’ve always had this really strong Chicago connection, and it’s getting even stronger now,” he said.

Group photo of attendees at Saluki Takeover Tour Chicago Multicultural Networking Reception

That evening, Vice Chancellor for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paul Frazier hosted a Multicultural Networking Happy Hour at Highline Bar & Lounge.

“Beyond your dollars, we need your human capital,” Dr. Frazier told the crowd of over 30 people. “In order for our Cook County students to feel at home at SIU, we need you to be there for them and share your experiences.”

Group photo of attendees from the SIU Alumni Association Stumpy's Pub event.On Friday evening in Rockford, about 100 SIU alumni gathered at Stumpy’s Pub. Hosted by the SIU Alumni Association, alumni and friends enjoyed free pizza while sharing their favorite Saluki memories.

Salukis win again

On Saturday, Sept. 9, nearly 100 alumni joined the pregame tailgate before SIU’s 14-11 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies. It marks the second straight year the Saluki Takeover Tour in Chicago being capped by a Saluki Football win against an FBS opponent. Last year, the Salukis topped Northwestern.

“I’m just a small part in all of those wins,” said Saluki Football coach Nick Hill. “We’ve had really good players, and players win the games. It’s fun to be on teams that believe you can win (against FBS teams).”

Taking over

Hosted by the SIU Foundation, the Saluki Takeover Tour has made its way to Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, and Florida. Over the next year, there will be takeover tours in other parts of the country, including Southern Illinois from April 24 to May 4.

“When the chancellor got here, he said it was time to take SIU on the road. We’re going to go to Chicago. We’re going to put the flag in the ground, and we’re going to tell the Windy City that this is Saluki territory,” said Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations and SIU Foundation CEO Matt Kupec.