Day of Giving trophies awarded: B.E.E.R. Scholarship donors, COLA, Law, Medicine, and Athletics honored

By Jeff Wilson

The SIU Day of Giving trophy presentation has become a tradition that puts an exclamation point on the annual fundraiser.

Each year, the SIU Foundation hands out five trophies honoring areas of campus that performed the best during the Day of Giving, but this year a sixth trophy was added. The winners are:

  • College of Liberal Arts: Largest Dollar Amount Raised, Academic Unit
  • School of Medicine: Most Individual Gifts, Academic Unit
  • College of Liberal Arts: Largest Average Gift
  • Saluki Athletics: Largest Dollar Amount Raised, Non-Academic Unit
  • Balancing Education, Experience & Reality (B.E.E.R.) Scholarship: Most Individual Gifts, Non-Academic Unit
  • School of Law: Highest Alumni Participation Rate

SIU Foundation CEO Matt Kupec kicked things off by expressing his appreciation for everyone involved in the Day of Giving and his excitement for the future of the Forever SIU fundraising campaign.

The most recent goal for the Forever SIU campaign was $200 million, but the Foundation recently surpassed that goal early, and the campaign was extended to 2028.

“This year, we set a Day of Giving goal of $3 million, and in typical Saluki fashion, we surpassed expectations by raising more than $3.5 million,” he said. “At the end of the Day of Giving, we kicked off the Saluki Takeover Tour in St. Louis, and Chancellor (Austin) Lane announced to the world that we would raise that goal to $500 million.”

The success of the Day of Giving and the extension of the Forever SIU campaign fit perfectly into the Imagine 2030 strategic plan set forth by Chancellor Lane.

“We don’t get to 2030 without your support, your energy, and your stories,” he said to the crowd gathered at the front steps of Shryock Auditorium. “I can feel the passion, the excitement, and the energy. We can get there, and that’s because of you, our alumni.”

President Dan Mahony and Chancellor Lane both came to SIU when the Day of Giving goal was a bit more modest.

“When I first came to SIU, the Day of Giving goal was $1 million, and we shot past that. At the time, Matt (Kupec) told me we could do even better, but I never envisioned we would be at $3.5 million,” he said.

Andrew Balkansky, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, received two trophies during the ceremony. The college raised $723,265 on the Day of Giving and had the largest average gift.

“We made this a priority from Day One,” he said. “It takes a great team, and we have that here.”

Dr. Jerry Kruse, dean of the School of Medicine, accepted his school’s trophy and promised to take it to locations across the state. The school had 372 individual donors.

“The best thing is the spirit of working together,” he said. “This will be a true traveling trophy.”

Saluki Athletics finished with a Day of Giving total of $109,645. Kupec, who is also the interim athletic director, was handed his department’s trophy by Chancellor Lane.

“The future of Saluki Athletics is incredibly bright,” he said. “You know what SIUC stands for – Southern Illinois University of Champions.”

The School of Law earned the new Saluki Spirit Award, which honors the academic unit that saw the highest rate of alumni participation during the Day of Giving.

“Res ipsa loquitur. That’s Latin for ‘It speaks for itself,’” said Camille Davidson, dean of the School of Law. “We may be small, but we are mighty.”

Represented by about 15 alumni, the group known for the B.E.E.R. Scholarship was honored with a trophy for the fourth consecutive year. This year, 698 individuals made a gift to the scholarship fund.

“The amazing thing about this one is how many people donate to it,” said Jim Raffensperger, who represented the group. “Small donations make a large difference. This year, there were six B.E.E.R. Scholarships awarded from this fund. Amazing.”

For more about the Forever SIU campaign, visit foreversiu.org.

 

Finding Stability in Turbulent Times

Kathryn Sime, SIU Foundation Senior Director of Gift Planning

Have the constant ups and downs of the stock market lately reminded you of a roller coaster? While a thrill ride in an amusement park may be fun, market volatility can make your head spin and stomach churn for completely different reasons. The good news is that opportunities exist to make a difference through your giving to benefit Southern Illinois University while also offering some potential financial advantages in your planning for the next tax season.

Even though the market is down from the highs of 2021, you may still have some considerably appreciated assets. If you make a gift of stock to the SIU Foundation directly from your brokerage account, you will likely bypass capital gains taxes and may also take advantage of a charitable deduction on your taxes next year. Even better, your stock is sold immediately and turned into student scholarships, faculty development, facility improvements and more at Southern Illinois University.

Some donors use appreciated stock as a basis for a charitable gift annuity (CGA). With a CGA, you receive an annual annuity payment, largely tax-free, with a portion of your gift going to the SIU Foundation at the end of your life. When funded with appreciated assets, you avoid capital gains taxes and may take advantage of a charitable deduction, while benefiting from an annuity based on the current price of the stock when it is gifted to the SIU Foundation. In uncertain financial times, many donors appreciate the constant source of income from the annuity, while also knowing that their gift will ultimately support the mission of Southern Illinois University.

Donors who are 70.5 or older and have an IRA have one more win-win option available: giving through their IRA as a Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD). A QCD, sent directly from your financial institution to the SIU Foundation, ultimately reduces your income tax obligations related to your required minimum distribution (RMD). While seniors don’t have to take an RMD until they are 72, the option to make a QCD begins at age 70.5.

Want to learn more about how you can find win-win solutions that may provide tax-wise solutions for you and benefit SIUC? First, always consult your financial advisor to learn how these ideas may impact your personal financial situation. Then, for more information about giving through the SIU Foundation, contact Kathryn Sime in the SIU Foundation gift planning office: kathryns@foundation.siu.edu or 618-453-4268.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

SIU Day of Giving totals more than $3.5 million: Annual event has raised over $10 million in six years

SIU Chancellor Austin Lane and SIU Foundation CEO Matt Kupec prepare for their SIU Day of Giving Livestream at the WSIU Public Television studio.

CARBONDALE – The SIU Day of Giving reached new heights this year by raising more than $3.5 million.

In its sixth year, the 24-hour online fundraiser received more than 2,400 donations and set numerous records. In its six years of existence, the Day of Giving has brought in more than $10 million.

“Once again, Salukis everywhere came together and showed their spirit,” Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation, said. “We were awed by the outpouring of support throughout the day.”

The Day of Giving was capped by Chancellor Austin Lane announcing the expansion of the Forever SIU fundraising campaign. The SIU Foundation plans to raise $500 million in its continuing effort to support the mission of the university. After surpassing its original $200 million goal, Chancellor Lane said he’s excited to keep going.

“This is about supporting our students and strengthening the university,” he said. “Our alumni and donors understand the importance of this mission, and their generosity is what has set us on this path to half a billion dollars.”

The $3.5 million total is the highest in the history of the SIU Day of Giving. Last year, the university raised $2.8 million on the day, which started in 2017.

The College of Liberal Arts led the way by raising more than $723,000, and the School of Medicine came in a close second, bringing in more than $681,000.

Some of the other highest totals were:

  • College of Business and Analytics: More than $230,000
  • College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences: More than $188,000
  • College of Arts and Media: More than $167,000
  • College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics: More than $135,000
  • Saluki Athletics: More than $109,000

Donors to the Balancing Education, Experience, and Reality (B.E.E.R.) Scholarship continued their tradition of Day of Giving support by combining to make nearly 700 gifts and raising more than $52,000.

Other areas with the most donations were:

  • School of Medicine: 374
  • Saluki Athletics: 184
  • College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences: 147
  • College of Arts & Media: 128
  • College of Health and Human Sciences: 108

“The Day of Giving is one of the best days of the year at SIU,” Kupec said. “Our alumni and donors make it so much fun. They have made it into an unbelievable success.

Going live

For the second straight year, the SIU Foundation hosted a livestream event during the Day of Giving. Featuring presentations from Chancellor Lane, deans, university officials, students, and staff, it showcased some of the best that SIU has to offer.

“We were the only university to go live last year, and it was so terrific that we knew we had to do it again,” said Kupec, who hosted the livestream from the WSIU-TV studio.

Broadcast on the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page, followers were able to comment and interact with the livestream as Kupec made real-time announcements about gifts and other important news.

Salukis in St. Louis

The Day of Giving wrapped up with the Chancellor’s Reception at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark as the university kicked off its inaugural Saluki Takeover Tour St. Louis.

The takeover event lasts four days in conjunction with the MVC men’s basketball tournament. Numerous events around the city allow alumni and supporters to gather and celebrate the Saluki spirit. Chancellor Lane and others have also announced partnerships with St. Louis-area high schools and community colleges as part of the university’s effort to increase enrollment.

“The excitement surrounding these events is palpable,” Kupec said. “Saluki pride is an incredible thing, and it has been on full display this week.”

*****

Media Contact: Rebecca Renshaw, SIU Foundation associate director of communications, 618-453-1328.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

SIU Credit Union Makes First Corporate Gift for SIU Day of Giving 2022

Pictured left to right: Leah Weil, Emily Spann, Rachel Brewster, Jennifer Jones-Hall, Mark Dynis, Chancellor Austin A. Lane, Jeffery Burgin, Kim Babington, and Matt Kupec.

The SIU Day of Giving simply wouldn’t be as special without the support of the SIU Credit Union. This is the sixth year that the SIU Credit Union has kicked off the day with a gift.

This year, they presented SIU with a check for $35,000. The first donation of $20,000 will benefit SIU’s New Student Programs and the second donation of $15,000 will go to SIU Touch of Nature’s Dawg Days program.

The SIU Credit Union was represented by Kim Babington, vice president of community outreach and Mark Dynis, marketing director.

Chancellor Austin Lane received the donations from the group and said he appreciates the support SIU Credit Union has consistently demonstrated.

“This generous gift goes a long way toward helping us recruit students. It is this type of gift that will help us continue our trend of increased enrollment for the freshman class,” he said.

Jennifer Jones-Hall, SIU dean of students, was ecstatic about the donation.

“SIU Credit Union is consistently so good to us, and we love how they continue to show up and support our students. They are great leaders in our community,” she said.

Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation, said the SIU Credit Union’s continued support of the Day of Giving is inspirational.

“The SIU Credit Union is an amazing partner of SIU. We appreciate how they always help us launch our SIU Day of Giving with the first gift of the day,” he said.

Tom Brummer, director at Touch of Nature, appreciates the ongoing support.

“We are honored the SIU Credit Union is recognizing the value of the work we do here at Touch of Nature,” he said.

Pictured left to right: Leah Weil, Tom Brummer, Mark Dynis, Chancellor Austin A. Lane, Jeffery Burgin, Matt Kupec, Kim Babington, Sara Bond, and Brian Croft.

The SIU Foundation is encouraging others to follow the SIU Credit Union’s philanthropic lead and help make an immediate difference in the lives of current and future Salukis. To make your gift, visit siuday.siu.edu and give to your favorite SIU initiative.

SIU Day of Giving brings excitement, livestream March 2

CARBONDALE – The 6th annual SIU Day of Giving is Wednesday, March 2, and the show is hitting the road.

After introducing a Day of Giving livestream last year, the SIU Foundation will add a second live event from the Saluki Takeover Tour kick-off event in St. Louis.

“This is going to be one incredible day,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “We’re excited for it, and we know our alumni are as well.”

What is the Day of Giving?

Each year the SIU community comes together for a 24-hour Day of Giving. Supporters are encouraged to visit siuday.siu.edu on Wednesday, March 2, and make a gift of any size. Donations can be directed to any college, unit, program, or initiative of the donor’s choice.

Last year, more than $2.8 million was raised through more than 3,400 donations. There were donations from all 50 states and 11 countries. Donors can choose to be honored on the Donor Wall at siuday.siu.edu or give anonymously. All gifts are made securely and are tax-deductible.

Two livestreams

Last year, SIU was one of the only universities in the country to host a Day of Giving livestream, and this year it’s adding a second one from St. Louis.

The first livestream will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until about 2 p.m. It will be available on the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page, facebook.com/siualumni, and at siuday.siu.edu.

The event will feature Chancellor Austin Lane, a parade of college deans, university officials, students, and alumni. The schedule for that event is available at siuday.siu.edu.

“We can’t wait for everyone to see this year’s livestream,” said Kupec, who will host. “We’re going to be live from the studio at WSIU, and it’s going to be a great time.”

After the first livestream ends in Carbondale, preparations for the grand finale in St. Louis will begin. Things will pick back up on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page and the Day of Giving page at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2.

Chancellor Lane will update the Day of Giving totals and make an exciting announcement that will impact how we imagine the future of the university. This reception will be broadcast live from the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.

“We’re trying to break Day of Giving records and set the stage for Chancellor Lane as he makes a major announcement,” Kupec said. “It’s going to be a great day to be Saluki.”

Saluki Takeover Tour

After taking over Chicago in October, SIU is hosting its inaugural Saluki Takeover Tour St. Louis. In conjunction with the MVC Arch Madness men’s basketball tournament, there will be multiple Saluki-themed events taking place in St. Louis and the Metro East.

The Chancellor’s Reception, which will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, will be the first of multiple events between then and Saturday, March 5.

“SIU will be all over the city,” Kupec said. “We’ll be cheering on the Dawgs, meeting with alumni, building partnerships with local schools and community colleges, and spreading Saluki spirit everywhere we go.”

For a full schedule of events or to register for the Chancellor’s Reception, visit siuf.org/stlouis.

Get involved

Other than making a gift and watching the livestream, there are a few other things alumni and donors can do to support the cause.

Simply 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 also not too late to become an SIU Day of Giving ambassador by signing up at siuday.siu.edu. Ambassadors get special Day of Giving updates and are encouraged to share their own Day of Giving message with others.

“The Day of Giving has become one of the most anticipated days of the year,” Kupec said. “We hope everyone is inspired to get involved by watching the livestream and joining us in St. Louis.”

-30-

Media Contact: Rebecca Renshaw, SIU Foundation associate director of communications, 618-453-1328.

SIU College of Business and Analytics Prepares Students for Success

Students in the SIU College of Business and Analytics receive a helping hand through the many services its Business Placement Center offers. Students receive training on everything from etiquette lessons to how to craft an effective resume.

Services start the first day a student attends classes at the College of Business and Analytics and continues throughout the student’s career.

Thomas Becker, employer relations coordinator for the college says that students benefit from a wide array of career development opportunities, programs, career fairs, and receive exposure to many employment options.

“We host business fairs for the students and connect students to employers. We also like to take students on exploration trips to corporation headquarters in cities across the country. In the Spring of 2019, we took approximately 50 students to Nashville’s Country Music Association’s (CMA) headquarters where they listened to the CEO of CMA share her business experiences with the students,” said Becker.

Bridgette Sargent, Assistant Dean of Students Services at the College of Business and Analytics says the goal is to take the students to major cities across the country.

“We have taken trips to St. Louis where we visited the St. Louis Blues Hockey headquarters and that trip was invaluable. We would love to take them to Indianapolis and Atlanta as we have several alumni in those cities as well. The experience for the students is impactful and they learn a great deal from our alumni about business. It is so worthwhile to let them get first-hand experience.

But, it costs money to make such trips,” said Sargent.

 

Student feedback regarding the exploration trips:

“Thank you for allowing us to take this trip to see first-hand how companies operate and how individuals become successful. It was nice to not have to worry about coming up with money to pay for the trip.”
Elizabeth Hall, Accounting.

 

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to broaden our horizons in career choices. As an accounting major, you sometimes forget there is more out there than jobs in audit and tax, but these trips help remind me there are so many more opportunities within my career field.”
Ragan Goldasich, Accounting.

 

“Thank you so much for giving me an insight as to what the real world is like. Experiences like these are invaluable.”
Katie Bevis, Finance.

 

“Thank you very much for the opportunity to travel and listen to speakers. I have never been a part of something like this and I learned a lot from this experience. Trips like this are beneficial to students and it helps them think outside the box of what other careers might be available to them with their degrees.”
Nicole Lopez,  Hospitality, Tourism, & Event Management.

 

Students also benefit from the Career Closet where they receive free business attire for their use during interviews.

“The closet includes over 800 pieces of professional business attire that is appropriate for interviews and other business functions. Students are able to visit the closet throughout the semester and borrow complete business suits or just the pieces they need to complement their outfit,” said Becker.

Since its creation in 2016, the Career Closet has provided over 1,400 items that have helped over 600 students participate in professional development events such as career fairs, interviews, and professional meetings.

“We dry-clean the suits and we provide everything right down to their shoes. We give them portfolios to put their resumes in so they aren’t just walking in with a single sheet of paper. All of this is donor driven and so we are hoping that our alumni and donors step up and help us out again this year,” said Becker.

Becker and Sargent are hoping to raise funds for the Business Placement Center during the upcoming SIU Day of Giving slated for Wednesday, March 2.

Sargent says that each year, the colleges alumni really step up and lend a helping hand to its students during the SIU Day of Giving.

“We did well last year but we are really hoping to turn the attention to the placement center so we can help more students,” said Sargent.

To learn how you can donate to the SIU College of Business and Analytics, visit siuday.siu.edu on March 2. If you would like to donate earlier, visit https://siuf.org/giving/college-unit/business.php and indicate your gift is for the SIU Day of Giving.

SIU Interior Design Students Take Trip to Chicago’s NeoCon Exposition

Last fall, students from SIU’s Art & Design and Interior Design departments traveled to Chicago to attend the annual NeoCon Exposition as part of the SIU Foundation’s Chicago Takeover Tour. Held at the renowned Merchandise Mark Plaza, NeoCon is a major event where the industry’s major manufacturers as well as emerging companies showcase thousands of new products and services in categories including furniture, fabrics, flooring, interior building products, interior finishes and technology.

Laura Morthland, Program Director of Interior Design, said the trip was a resounding success.

“The trip was spearheaded by Mary Carroll, development officer for the SIU Foundation, and she worked collaboratively with alumnus Mark Steftenagel, CEO of Whitney Architects in Chicago as well as the industrial design firm QDesign. Fifteen students and four faculty made the trip and listened to industry leaders and participated in several tours during the multi-day event. We were well pleased with how this trip unfolded for our students,” said Morthland.

Students and faculty kicked off the field trip with a tour of Kimball/National showrooms where they toured Kimball’s showrooms and learned about the latest trends in commercial office spaces and the changing healthcare needs. Students were also honored by a breakfast and tour at Whitney Architects where students were able to chat with several industry leaders, including special guest John Rouse, former editor of Contract Magazine.

On the first night of the St. Louis Takeover Tour, students attended Chancellor Lane’s Chicago Takeover Tour reception at the Palmer House where they listened to Chancellor Lane, President Mahony and alumnus Mark Silverman, co-host of the Waddle and Silvy Show on WMVP, ESPN1000 address the crowd of more than 200 proud Salukis.

While in Chicago, the students enjoyed the Merchandise Mark Plaza in their free time and returned to SIU with a wealth of experiences and knowledge on cutting-edge trends in the industry.

“I want to extend a big thank you to Mark Steftenagel, Byron Morton, John Rouse, Kay Wulf, Whitney Architects and Q Design. This was an unforgettable experience for our students that they will carry forward throughout their lives,” said Morthland.

 

Brown leaves proud Saluki legacy, looks to next level

Qua Brown

Qua Brown (7) is congratulated by Makel Calhoun during the Salukis’ 22-10 win over South Dakota on Nov. 27. (Photo provided by Saluki Media Services)

By Jeff Wilson

While it didn’t end the way he hoped, Qua Brown made the most of his time as a Saluki.

A senior, who played safety for the Saluki Football team, graduated just weeks after SIU fell to North Dakota State in the FCS playoffs. He leaves SIU with a bachelor’s in sports administration and the goal of playing professional football.

The Deland, Florida, native came to SIU in 2016 on a football scholarship. After a redshirt season, he spent the next five years exceling as a starting safety.

“I had a few scholarship offers, but when I visited SIU, I knew it was the right fit,” Brown said. “The football facilities are top-notch, and the campus wasn’t too big or too small. I was excited to play for Coach (Nick) Hill. He has special connection with his players and is really involved in the community.”

Players are keenly aware of the cost of maintaining a successful program, and Brown emphasized the value of donor support.

“It’s literally everything to us. We’re basically living off every dollar,” he said. “Traveling, equipment, food, hotels – that money can go a long way for us. By giving, donors are making some players’ dreams come true.”

On the field, it’s been money well spent. Brown finished his Saluki career with nearly 300 tackles and has been a major factor in some of the program’s biggest wins. During the team’s first-round playoff victory over South Dakota, Brown had two interceptions. In front of more than 10,000 fans at this year’s Homecoming win against North Dakota, he notched 11 tackles.

“That giant crowd at Homecoming was humbling and inspiring,” he said. “It as a great feeling, especially coming off the COVID-affected season.”

Brown was also impressed by the dozens of former Saluki football players who returned to SIU for the that day’s festivities.

“When I saw one of their national championship rings, I was like ‘Dang, I want one of those,’” Brown said.

Recently, SIU has become known for producing NFL talent, especially at defensive back. Most famously, Jeremy Chinn was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and finished second in the NFC Rookie of the Year voting.

“There is NFL talent all over our league (the Missouri Valley Football Conference), and you understand what it takes to come from a smaller school. I look forward to pursuing that opportunity and hope to represent that ongoing tradition,” Brown said.

If you would like to support SIU Athletics, click here.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Saluki Athletics Launches Four-Year Giving Campaign

A four-year, $25 million fundraising campaign will provide necessary funding to support the future of Southern Illinois University Athletics.

Salukis Forever was launched in February by Saluki Athletics and the SIU Foundation. The entities are working together to raise private funds to support the mission of the SIU Athletic Department.

The new effort is part of the ongoing Forever SIU campaign, which the SIU Foundation launched in 2017 and extended in 2019.

Like so many other aspects of daily life, Saluki Athletics was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign gives donors and alumni a chance to reconnect with the programs and student-athletes.

“Whether it’s supporting scholarships, coaching staff, a specific sport or fund, or simply giving to Saluki Athletics in general, every dollar helps,” said SIU Foundation CEO Matt Kupec. “The Saluki spirit is the tie that binds generations of fans and alumni together. This is the opportunity to make a tremendous impact.”

Donors will have the opportunity to support Saluki Athletics in general or a particular program. SIU has 13 individual programs, which bring hundreds of student-athletes to the university.

“Our student-athletes are some of the best students on campus,” Kupec said. “Our teams have produced more than 100 Academic All-Americans and have GPAs that rank among the best in the country.”

The on-the-field success is just as impressive. The Salukis have won eight national championships, dozens of conference titles and featured more than 60 Olympians. From Walt Frazier hoisting the 1967 NIT Championship trophy to hammer throwers DeAnna Price and Gwen Berry representing the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics, SIU’s history is rich with tradition and success.

“Saluki Athletics is the front door to SIU,” Kupec said. “Our teams spread awareness of our brand, which aids the university when recruiting potential students across the country. When the Salukis win, we all win.”

Beyond giving directly to the Saluki Athletics or a particular sport, donors can support the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund, the AD Excellence Fund, the Women’s Initiative Fund, and the Salukis Well-Being Fund.

Learn more at: foreversiu.org/athletics.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Siblings Support Saluki Family: Brother-sister duo make gift to name Guida-Moller Family Alumni Center

Julie Guida and Scott Moller

When considering the opportunity to make a transformational gift to SIU, the idea of naming the Alumni Center made perfect sense to Julie Guida and Scott Moller, siblings and proud SIU alumni.

With their $500,000 donation, the C-wing of Woody Hall will be named the Guida-Moller Family Alumni Center. The funds will be used to support the SIU Alumni Association, its scholarships, and programs.

“We feel fortunate to give back to the university that gave so much to us,” Moller said. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to commemorate our time at SIU with this naming.”

In 2019, the Alumni Association moved into a newly renovated space in Woody Hall. The center includes amenities that allow the Alumni Association to continue its mission of connecting with alumni and current students and sharing the success of SIU with the world.

“Woody Hall is an iconic building on campus. It is centrally located and once served as a female dormitory,” Guida said. “While we attended, the building housed class registration and the bursar’s office. I definitely spent my fair share of time in Woody Hall.”

Guida and Moller can’t help but laugh when talking about their experience as students inside Woody Hall.

“We both remember the ‘Woody Shuffle,’ which was the term used to describe the rigmarole students were put through to put together a semester class schedule,” Moller said. “The experience was nerve-racking.”

SALUKI EXPERIENCE

Guida, who graduated in 1979, and Moller, who graduated in 1985, both earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism with specializations in advertising. Moller later returned to SIU to earn his Master of Business Administration.

Both worked at the SIU Arena, in what was an 11,000-seat facility at the time, marketing events and selling tickets to some of the university’s biggest shows. Guida worked as promotions director from 1979-81. Moller worked part-time in the ticket office from 1980-83 and then as promotions director from 1984-86.

“At the time, the arena was the mecca of Southern Illinois entertainment,” Guida said. “Working there was probably just as good an education as my classes. People from throughout the region came to the Carbondale campus to see the most popular entertainers of the time.”

Guida and Moller promoted some of the biggest rock ’n’ roll and country tours of the day, including REO Speedwagon, Elton John, ZZ Top, Kenny Rogers, Foreigner, Hall & Oates, Alabama, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and more. Other entertainment acts included Ringling Bros. Circus, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Sesame Street Live. When you combine their tenures as promotions directors, the duo brought more than 250,000 people to the SIU campus.

Guida recalls Bruce Springsteen’s love for playing to live audiences. In fact, as the night wore on, Springsteen just kept playing and playing one song after another.

“We thought we might have to turn the lights on inside the hall to get him to end his performance,” Guida said with a laugh.

Moller was a Sammy Hagar fan and enjoyed the fact that he promoted him first as a solo performer and then later as a member of Van Halen.

Guida also worked in sales for the Daily Egyptian. Moller worked for Campus Services and held off-campus jobs at the University Mall, WTAO Radio, and WSIL-TV3.

“We worked hard and played hard,” Moller said. “We had multiple jobs and an active social life. Julie and I were definitely all in. I encourage all college students to make the most of their college years.”

LIFE AFTER SIU

After leaving SIU, Guida went on to work at the St. Louis Checker Dome, and then for a motorsports event promoter. Moller worked for a concert and theatrical promoter in Houston.

In 1987, they teamed up and founded Marketing Werks, a consumer-based marketing firm, and grew it into a $100 million-plus company. The firm developed strategy and execution for experiential marketing campaigns for some of the world’s largest brands, including Verizon, Walgreens, Hershey, LEGO, PlayStation, Bridgestone, Archer Daniels Midland, ConAgra, and many others.

“At its height, we employed more than 200 full-time professional service employees at our headquarters in Chicago and offices in New York City and Southern California,” Moller said. “We also contracted with 3,000 field staff to implement programs for the agency’s clients.”

Marketing Werks was regularly recognized in numerous industry and business publications. Crain’s Chicago Business chose it as one of Chicago’s 50 Fastest Growing companies for five years running. Promo magazine and Event Marketer magazine consistently ranked Marketing Werks as the top independent experiential agency in the U.S. The Chicago Tribune included the company several times in its annual list of Best Places to Work.

“We took the information we learned in class, combined it with the real-life work and social experience we had in Carbondale, and applied those learnings to our life and work after SIU,” Guida said. “SIU offers students hands-on experiential learning that has lifelong value.”

They sold the company in late 2013.

Today, Guida splits her time between Newport Beach, California, and Chicago. She is an active board member of Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center. Moller resides in Chicago. He is a principal of AKA Partners, a marketing communications firm. He also serves on the SIU Foundation Board and SIU Alumni Association Board.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.