CARBONDALE, Ill. – New collegiate Southern Illinois University Carbondale license plates sporting a new look – the Saluki athletic logo with the beloved dog head – are now widely available.
Any Illinois driver can order random-number, vanity or personalized plates by visiting the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State’s website. (Previously this year, only people who already had SIU Carbondale plates were getting the newly designed ones as replacements.) A portion of the proceeds benefit undergraduate scholarships.
Chancellor Austin Lane said the newly designed plates fit well with the university’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, and its branding and partnerships pillar.
“This is a very exciting time for Saluki Nation,” Lane said. “These new license plates are a way for the Saluki family to show their pride, make SIU Carbondale more visible and support our students. We are grateful to the SIU Foundation for making this possible and to everyone who buys a Saluki plate.”
Lane also thanked Matt Baughman, chief of staff, and John Charles, the SIU System’s executive director of government and public affairs, for their efforts.
“The SIU Foundation is proud to help bring the new Saluki license plates to Illinois drivers,” said Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and CEO of the SIU Foundation. ”It’s an exciting venture, and we look forward to seeing more Saluki spirit out on the road.”
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.
Even though it had been around for years, the phrase “supply chain” wasn’t on everyone’s mind until COVID-19. SIU alumnus Herb Shear, on the other hand, was an expert on the subject well before the pandemic.
With companies focused on improving supply chain logistics, Shear knew it was imperative for SIU’s College of Business and Analytics (COBA) to lead the way for the next generation of students. That’s why he chose to donate $200,000 to the Center for Logistics and Supply Chain Seed Fund.
“It was important before COVID, but it’s even more prevalent now,” he said. “This is how products get onto the shelves. You can’t have a modern business school without a supply chain program.”
Shear, a 1969 COBA graduate, is the former executive chairman and CEO of GENCO, which was sold to FedEx in 2015. He is also the executive chairman and co-founder of G2 Reverse Logistics, which provides reverse logistics software.
“GENCO was a small family business in Pittsburgh, when I took over,” he said. “We grew it to a nationwide supply chain services company and developed the concept of reverse logistics, which deals with consumer returns. Every major retailer in the U.S. and Canada used us.”
A self-described “really bad high school student,” Shear was accepted to SIU on a probationary basis. It didn’t take long for him to find success.
“I enjoyed my education in the business school,” he said. “It helped lay the foundation for my career. I always wanted to give back to SIU.”
In 2006, Shear made a $525,000 gift to the COBA Critical Impact Fund, which aimed to enhance the curriculum and student experience in the college. He is a former member of COBA’s external advisory board and the college’s campaign advisory board.
“My hope with this most recent gift is that it allows a pathway for a major corporation to come in and invest in the supply chain center,” he said. “Hopefully, it will create recruiting opportunities for the college and offer experiential learning opportunities for students.”
Shear encourages other alumni and friends of the university to consider making a similar impact if they are able.
“If you feel SIU was successful in helping you in your career and want to help others, a good way to do that is to make a gift to your school or college,” he said.
For more information about making a gift, visit siuf.org.
After years as a city planner, Allan Hodges is once again looking to the future by making a planned gift to his alma mater, SIU. His substantial estate gift will establish the Allan A. Hodges Graduate Scholarship in the School of Earth Systems and Sustainability Endowment Fund.
Born to British parents in Calcutta, India, the path to SIU wasn’t a direct one.
“We moved to England after World War II and immigrated to the U.S. in 1948,” Hodges said.
Originally hoping to become an architect, he enrolled at Ohio State University and later switched to the community analysis program. He spent a winter quarter at Mexico City College and became interested in the Latin American culture. He found a college bulletin advertising SIU’s Latin American Institute and Community Development Institute and decided to take the bus to Carbondale.
“They basically created a curriculum for me, which showed it was a caring environment,” Hodges said.
During his time at SIU, he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity along with Mike Morris, son of then SIU President Delyte Morris.
“They invited me to their home, and they invited me back the year after I graduated to meet Margaret Mead, who was speaking at graduation,” Hodges said. “It was an important phase in SIU’s history, and I was there. I enjoyed my entire experience at SIU. I met a lot of people and maintained many friendships for a long time.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1962, Hodges worked in Columbus, Ohio, for two years before deciding to pursue a master’s degree at Michigan State University. It was then that he married his wife, Carol, and got his start in urban planning in Boston with Parsons Brinckerhoff (now known as WSP), a multinational engineering and design firm.
“I traveled across the country working on many important projects,” Hodges said. “I was the environmental document manager during the Big Dig in Boston, which started in 1986.”
The Big Dig was a major project in Boston that transformed the city’s transportation flow, including redesigning Interstate 93, the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel (I-90) under Boston Harbor, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park above the I-93 tunnel.
Reconnecting with SIU
Hodges said he didn’t feel connected to SIU for many years. He noticed when the Saluki Football team won a national championship in 1983 and when Saluki Men’s Basketball had a run of NCAA Tournament appearances in the early 2000s.
“SIU was in the news,” he said. “I followed the sports from my home in Boston.”
More recently, Hodges said he’s taken notice of fundraising efforts that have exemplified how many people have been impacted by SIU.
“On the Day of Giving, SIU had more than 3,800 donors raising over $4 million. That’s impressive,” he said. “Then there was more than $600,000 raised in one night in Chicago at the Saluki Ball. Larger schools don’t see that level of support. I believe in the mission of the university.”
During a recent trip to Europe, Hodges spotted someone wearing something familiar.
“In Athens, I saw someone with an SIU sweatshirt,” he said. “I meant to circle back and acknowledge it, but I missed my chance. You really do see Salukis everywhere you go.”
Hodges hopes that his gift will help the School of Earth Systems and Sustainability expand more offerings to more students.
“I think SIU has the disciplines throughout the university to have a very important community planning curriculum in the near future that would really benefit Southern Illinois,” he said.
For more information about making a planned gift, contact Kathryn Sime at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on how to make a gift, visit siuf.org.
Teacher, counselor, scholar, pilot, philanthropist. Ruth-Marie Frances Chambers has excelled in a diverse range of careers and avocations. A common theme running through all these life experiences is a commitment to open doors of access and opportunity by fostering educational opportunities.
A lifelong learner, Chambers’ commitment to education was demonstrated recently when she established the Ruth-Marie Frances Chambers Endowed Scholarship through a $100,000 planned gift, naming the SIU Foundation as partial beneficiary of her retirement accounts.
Chambers received her SIU bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1974 and subsequently began graduate studies in 1974-75 in the SIU Rehabilitation Department. In 1975, her interest in education and prevailing health and humanitarian concerns in developing nations led her to travel throughout the global community as a goodwill ambassador. She subsequently accepted an invitation to the United States Peace Corps as lecturer at the National School of Administration in Niger, West Africa. Chambers returned to SIU to complete her Master of Science in rehabilitation administration and services in 1982. After graduation, Chambers relocated to California to work at several educational institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley and Los Rios Community College.
When asked why she chose the SIU Foundation for her retirement account beneficiary designations, Chambers listed the qualities of an SIU education that she continues to value, including “leadership, integrity, a respected research university, and faculty committed to student achievement.”
At SIU, Chambers was particularly impacted by her graduate school advisors and mentors, Dr. Irene Hawley and Dr. Jerome Lorenz.
“The diversification of prospective students within the campus community who require affordable access to educational and financial support to enhance their collegiate experience is a challenge for many educational institutions,” she said.
At SIU, she valued the “invaluable leadership skills, shared humanity, and scholarly pursuits” that helped her to “confidently navigate the global and campus community with purpose.”
The Ruth-Marie Frances Chambers Endowed Scholarship will support a graduate student studying behavior analysis and therapy, communication disorders and sciences, or rehabilitation counseling.
As has become tradition, the SIU Credit Union kicked off the SIU Day of Giving with a donation to multiple areas of campus.
This year, the SIU Credit Union donated $45,000, which included $20,000 to SIU’s New Student Programs, $15,000 to Touch of Nature Environmental Center, and $10,000 to Morris Library.
“We want this partnership with SIU,” said Kim Babington, SIU Credit Union Vice President of Community Outreach. “It helps not only the credit union grow, but it helps SIU grow. That helps us here in our economy in Carbondale.”
Members of the credit union team gathered Thursday, March 23, at Anthony Hall to present Chancellor Austin Lane and other SIU representatives with the check before the Day of Giving officially started.
“Our students need to bridge the financial gaps, and this is one way for them to be able to do that,” said Chancellor Lane.
For the credit union, making such a donation reflects its mission.
“I’ve been here my whole life, so being able to give back to the university that helped me get to where I am is a great feeling,” said Mike Lantrip, SIU Credit Union President and CEO and a 1991 graduate of SIU’s College of Business and Analytics.
New Student Programs facilitates the integration of students into campus and the community. These funds will enhance its ability to engage with students.
“All of the funds that we receive go back to the students to really enrich their experience while they’re on campus,” said Jennifer Phillips, director of New Student Programs.
Touch of Nature Environmental Center is a premier outdoor activity facility in the Midwest. The funds will largely go toward the Dawg Days summer camp.
“The money that SIU Credit Union is giving us is really going to help us grow and expand,” said Brian Croft, director at Touch of Nature. “Dawg Days is, in essence, a four-day, three-night summer camp for incoming freshmen.”
Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz said the library’s portion of the funds are earmarked for furthering their vision for the future.
“We are going to be using this donation to establish the Digital Scholars Commons on the first floor of the library,” he said.
The credit union’s generosity was just the spark at the beginning of a record-breaking SIU Day of Giving. The SIU Foundation raised $4,037,918 through 3,702 individual gifts during the seventh annual 24-hour fundraiser. For more details, visit siuday.siu.edu.
For the second straight year, the Saluki Takeover Tour in St. Louis brought together SIU alumni and friends to celebrate their shared school spirit.
Coinciding with the Missouri Valley Conference Arch Madness Tournament, Saluki maroon flooded the streets of downtown St. Louis from Wednesday, March 1, though Saturday, March 4.
More than 275 Salukis and friends gathered with university leaders on Thursday at Schlafly Tap Room for the Chancellor’s Reception.
“What an incredible sight,” Chancellor Austin Lane said. “I hope you feel the energy that’s in this room. We’re excited, we’re fired up, and we have a lot more work to do.”
SIU System President Dan Mahony echoed Chancellor Lane’s sentiment, leading the crowd in the refrain, “Salukis get it done!” between making points.
“We’re up over 40 percent in our freshman enrollment from where we were in fall of 2019,” President Mahony said. “We have, year after year, set records on our Day of Giving. That’s on March 28, and we’re going to set another record.”
Starting with a bang
Before Thursday’s main event, the Saluki Takeover Tour in St. Louis featured two gatherings on Wednesday.
One was a social for College of Business and Analytics alumni at Ballpark Village.
“The Dawgs are in the house,” said Marc Morris, interim dean of the college. “We’re going to be in St. Louis every year.”
Not far away, the SIU Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Group was hosting a similar event at Schlafly Tap Room.
“Saluki Nation is really showing out,” said Brian Munoz, SIU Alumni Association board member. “Events like this are so important to connect people.”
Earlier in the week, Chancellor Lane, President Mahony, Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management Wendell Williams, and others met with local high school administrators in an effort to push SIU’s recruitment efforts.
An exciting weekend
On Friday, the SIU Foundation and its corporate division hosted a Corporate Networking Breakfast at Mid-America Transplant – The Family House.
Chancellor Lane led the conversation, discussing how companies could best interact with SIU and produce a pipeline that connects businesses to SIU graduates.
Later that day, Saluki alumni and friends gathered at the Crown Room in Ballpark Village for a pre-game event before the men’s basketball team took on Missouri State at the MVC tournament.
Joined by the Saluki Spirit Teams, Marching Salukis, and Grey Dawg, revelers sent the Salukis off in style. The Dawgs defeated Missouri State, 54-51, in a heart-pounding quarterfinal game.
After another send-off event on Saturday, this time at PBR St. Louis, the Salukis fell to Drake, 65-52, in the tournament’s semifinals.
More to come
After multiple successful Saluki Takeover Tours across the country, including stops in St. Louis, Chicago, Florida, and Nashville, plans are in motion to bring more events to alumni in other areas.
“We want to take the university where our alumni live,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “Salukis are everywhere! We’re looking to engage our alumni and to ignite Saluki Nation.”
Stay up to date on all SIU Foundation events, including Saluki Takeover Tours at siuf.org.
As one of SIU’s most resolute benefactors, F. Lynn McPheeters has left an impression on the university he credits with setting him up for success.
During a recent SIU Foundation Board of Directors meeting, McPheeters, an emeritus member of the board, announced a $1 million estate gift. It will supplement the existing McPheeters Family Scholarship Endowment and establish the F. Lynn McPheeters Chair of Finance Endowment Fund in the College of Business and Analytics.
McPheeters, a 1964 graduate, donated $1 million in 2017, which provides scholarships for first-generation COBA students who are from Illinois counties south of Interstate 80, with preference given to those majoring in finance or accounting.
“I was able to complete my degree because of campus work opportunities and scholarship money,” McPheeters said. “In order to assure that future Salukis have that type of opportunity, a few years ago I established the McPheeters Family Scholarship Endowment.”
Half of the new gift will add support to the scholarship fund, and the other half will establish the endowed chair.
“Hopefully, this will spur others to make commitments, either on-the-spot commitments or future legacy-type commitments, to help us carry forward and achieve the new $500 million goal for the Forever SIU campaign,” McPheeters said.
A LAUNCHING PAD
McPheeters transferred to SIU from Canton College, now Spoon River College, a community college in his hometown of Canton, and finished his accounting degree at SIU.
Soon after, he started at Caterpillar, Inc., and began a steady rise through the company. In 1973, he moved to Switzerland to serve in a financial management position with Caterpillar overseas. He also worked in Tokyo for Caterpillar Mitsubishi and in Hong Kong at Caterpillar Far East Limited. He retired in 2005 as vice president and chief financial officer for the Corporate Services Division.
“SIU led me to an incredible career with Caterpillar that took our family around the world and gave us tremendous opportunities,” McPheeters said. “Southern Illinois University Carbondale made all this possible, and I’m very happy I’m able to do this.”
The new endowed chair is the second established by McPheeters in the College of Business and Analytics. In 2006, he and his wife, Susan, donated $585,000 of appreciated Caterpillar stock, which was invested to create the Susan F. and F. Lynn McPheeters College of Business Leadership Endowed Chair.
“Lynn McPheeters has been associated with SIU and the College of Business and Analytics for a long time. He has also been a loyal and generous friend,” said Terry Clark, dean of the College of Business and Analytics, at the time. “Lynn’s institutional spiritedness is legendary. 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.”
In the decades since his graduation, McPheeters has served SIU in multiple ways. He joined the SIU Foundation Board in 2002 and served as chair of the audit committee and board president. He was one of the first members of the College of Business and Analytics external advisory board and inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame in 1988. Among other honors, he earned the College of Business Alumni Achievement Award in 2004.
“I’m very proud to be part of this organization, the Foundation, to call myself a Saluki,” McPheeters said.
The Forever SIU campaign launched in 2017 with the goal of raising $75 million in three years. The Foundation sped past that milestone seven months early, which prompted the decision to set a new goal of $90 million.
“At the end of 2019, we had already surpassed that new goal,” Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation, said. “That’s when we set our sights on $200 million by 2024.”
Once it became clear that SIU and its supporters were going to reach that goal early, Chancellor Austin Lane announced that the Forever SIU campaign would extend to 2028 with a goal of raising $500 million.
The College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics is producing the next generation of technical leaders, and the Leadership Development Program (LDP) is a microcosm of that mission.
Students in the program have increased their fundraising activity since the inception of the SIU Day of Giving in 2017. Through their Day of Giving efforts and telefund calling operation, LDP students have raised about $20,000 each year. The funds have been used for equipment and facility upgrades used by the students.
Their largest project has been the renovation and establishment of the Student Lounge on the bottom floor of the COECTM building. Through their fundraising efforts, bolstered by matching funds from Dick and Brigitte Blaudow and furniture donation from James and Deana Jannetides of University Loft Company, the lounge offers space for students to gather, study, and relax.
“This is an incredible accomplishment,” said Chancellor Austin Lane during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9. “This is a golden opportunity to showcase our university and how our students and our alumni can make an impact.”
The creation of the Student Lounge was a multi-year project, which entailed floor-to-ceiling renovation. What was previously a poorly lit room housing vending machines, now features LED lights, new tables, barstools, chairs, and two large-screen TVs that promote college and university events.
“This is an amazing program,” said Sam Ramirez, a member of the LDP. “It has been one of the highlights of my time at SIU.”
The opening of the Student Lounge is just one of many potential projects planned in the college. Improvements to classrooms, study spaces, and other common areas are under consideration.
“This a momentous opportunity to celebrate what student initiative can accomplish,” said Bruce DeRuntz, director of the Leadership Development Program. “All of the credit goes to the students of the LDP and our sponsors.”
Duward Bean’s personal narrative over the past nine decades offers a touching portrait of the American dream. SIU played a big part in his story of accomplishment, generosity and determination. Born in Anna to a farming family, Bean knew that hard work was going to be his personal key to achieving success.
“I worked and put my way through college. I washed dishes to pay for school and babysat my landlord’s children in exchange for a bed. I worked hard for my education, but I loved my time at SIU,” Bean said.
Bean shared that his experiences at SIU taught him a great deal about people. “Coming from a small town like Anna, I had never been exposed to people who talked, thought, and looked differently than myself. I met all types of people from other cultures and it was a great experience.”
“I believe part of my success comes from my outlook on life that I formed at SIU. I have always tried to fit in with people wherever I was. And, I have always looked at life through a positive lens. I think that is why I got along well in my career,” Bean said.
Bean received a degree in business from SIU in 1952 and began an insurance career with Country Companies in Pinkneyville. He was quickly promoted to an agency manager and moved to Benton where he spent his professional career.
During his time in Benton, Bean developed a close friendship with SIU’s legendary basketball coach, Rich Herrin.
“Before Rich came to SIU, he served as Benton’s high school basketball coach, so we were both established members in the Benton community. I helped him out during that time, and when he went on to coach at SIU, Rich did not forget me. In fact, one year when he took the Salukis to the NCAA tournament, Rich called me up and invited me to fly with the team. He was a great friend and a giving person,” said Bean.
Bean recalls that his favorite memories of SIU revolved around his membership in Nu Epsilon Alpha fraternity.
“We had about 20 guys in the fraternity and our house was called The Manor. My roommate was John S. Rendeman who was also from Anna, so we had a lot in common. The best part about living there was that I often had to go babysit at my landlord’s house where I could watch television. That was a treat in 1952 considering very few people even had televisions back in those days,” said Bean.
Bean attributes his longevity to clean living and taking good care of his health.
“Besides Country Companies, I also owned farm land and I watched other farmers around me die early. So, I stopped eating meat several decades back and I stay physically fit. In fact, I still walk three miles a day. I think that’s what has kept me around for so long,” said Bean.
Bean is passionate about helping others.
“I’ve been blessed, so I have always tried to give back to my church and my community. When Rich Herrin passed away at the end of 2020, it reminded me of SIU and the good people and friendships I made there. I haven’t been back to SIU since those days with Rich Herrin, so my plan is to present my donation to the College of Business and Analytics during homecoming. I’m looking forward to coming home again.”