Aspiring physician a perfect fit for new scholarship

Maryam Makhdoom receives first Thanu and Nongyao Kulachol Library Scholarship

Pictured left to right: Maryam Makhdoom, Jared and Maryann Dorn.

By Rebecca Renshaw

Maryam Makhdoom hadn’t heard of the Thanu and Nongyao Kulachol Library Scholarship. It’s a new scholarship with a specific focus, and that made Makhdoom its ideal first recipient.

Established in 2019, the scholarship supports students who want to work with populations in Southeast Asia doing public health projects, which aligns with her desire to go to Singapore for a semester to learn more about international public health.

Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz contacted Makhdoom, a senior majoring in public health, to share the good news.

“I was thrilled to discover I was awarded this scholarship because it fits in so well with my desires to further my knowledge about public health in southeast Asia,” said Makhdoom, who is also the university’s 2020 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate.

Makhdoom plans to devote her life to helping improve the health and lives of people however she can. She is particularly interested in the emerging interdisciplinary fields of global health diplomacy.

Her goal is to become a physician, focusing on health disparities and inequalities. She said she will likely specialize in the care of women and children.

She is also seeking a Fulbright scholarship for 2021-22 to expand her research into how cultural values affect health outcomes.

“Should I be awarded the Fulbright, I will use the Thanu and Nongyao Kulachol Library Scholarship I have received to travel to Singapore,” Makhdoom said. “I have been so blessed that this scholarship fits so well with my dreams.”

The creation of the scholarship was a collaborative effort between the SIU Foundation and Library Affairs, along with donors Jared and Maryann Dorn.

“Sometimes many students are not aware of scholarships that are available to them that align with their future plans,” Makhdoom said. “Donors really open up career paths for students and broaden their horizons. Such opportunities open their eyes and allows them to focus more clearly on their hopes and plans. I would encourage other donors to give so more students could benefit from opportunities such as the ones I have received here at SIU. I am so thankful for donors like Jared and Maryann Dorn, and I am excited about the future before me.”

Inspired, driven, thankful: Alumnus finds success, helps others achieve

james and joan hood

James and Joan Hood

By Rebecca Renshaw

What can someone do with a degree in English literature? Plenty, and SIU alumnus Jim Hood is the perfect example.

Hood’s degree propelled him into a successful career in the news and information industry.

“When you study and research literature, you learn how to condense a whole lot of information down to the essence,” he said. “In my opinion, it’s impossible to go wrong studying English literature. If you get a real base studying and researching literature, you can go out and do anything.”

Hood ’69 and his wife recently established the James R. and Joan Lisante Hood Fund for New Media Technology with a $30,000 gift. In 2020, the James R. and Joan Lisante Hood Endowed Scholarship for Creative Nonfiction will be created with an additional $40,000 contribution.

SIU offers inspiration, experience

John Gardner was Hood’s favorite professor. Gardner had built a reputation as a rebel in the field of medieval studies, specifically in the study of Geoffrey Chaucer.

“I remember Gardner reading ‘Canterbury Tales’ to my class. He would read it line by line and explain it in middle English,” Hood said. “It was as much anthropology as English literature. Gardner transformed it from a study of old bones into a study of beautiful poetry and fiction.”

While a student at SIU, Hood gravitated toward local news and spent most of his time as a radio reporter and freelance correspondent covering the social upheavals of the 1960s. He served as the news director of WSIU radio, covering civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activities. Hood also worked at WINI in Murphysboro and WJPF in Herrin.

“I remember finishing up the 2 p.m. news at WJPF when the phone rang,” he said. “A guy asked if I was the one who just delivered the news, and when I said that I had, he offered me a job at a radio station in Phoenix. After graduation, I packed my bags and went to Phoenix.”

Hood also regularly sat in on classes taught by Buckminster Fuller. He credits Fuller, in part, for his entrepreneurial spirit.

“I never forgot what I learned at SIU,” he said. “Fuller taught me about design, how to look at problems, and then how to think outside the box to solve those problems.”

Bridging the gap

Hood worked for 14 years as an editor and executive for Associated Press outlets across the country. His knack for solving problems coupled with his technical skills pushed him to start several startup companies, such as Zap News and Consumer Affairs.

“I’m the guy you can blame for consumers who won’t buy anything until they read the reviews,” Hood said.

Hood, now semi-retired, lives in Fairfax, Virginia, and runs Fairfax News.

“Basically, it’s my personal hobby. We cover Washington, D.C., and do stories on cops and robbers – that kind of thing.”

By giving to SIU’s creative writing program, he hopes to help bridge the gap between creative writing and technology.

“Sometimes people with a technical bent don’t know how to express themselves, and literary types are hopeless when it comes to technical stuff,” Hood said. “It’s my hope that by implementing new media projects using technology, it will help one or two starving English majors.”

Hood credits SIU with introducing him to some of the brightest people he ever met.

“I’ve always felt obligated to give back to SIU. It helps diverse students and attracts students from other countries. It also helps to lift up students from inner cities like East St. Louis and Chicago,” he said. “I think big universities like SIU need the benefits of philanthropy much more than private institutions.”

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Alumna Honors Parents Through Gift to the Saluki Alumni Plaza

By Rebecca Renshaw

Whenever Karen Bedwell Herhahn receives marketing material for SIU Carbondale, the photo of the iconic Pulliam Hall is most often prominently featured. However, Bedwell Herhahn does not see just the clock tower of the building—instead she sees University School where she went to junior high and high school. Fond memories of her formative years spent in that building always spring to her mind.

So last year when reviewing the plans for the new Saluki Alumni Plaza statue featured prominently in front of Pulliam Hall, she felt moved to donate $2,000 to the Plaza.

“I spent a lot of time in U-School looking out over SIU campus and it carries a special significance to me. My Father, R. Ralph Bedwell, was recruited by President Delyte Morris to serve as the Director of the newly developed Small Business Institute. Knowing the importance of a good education, my parents sent all of their children to University School. We had opportunities that did not exist in typical small-town schools.”

The primary purpose of University School was a place to do special research and observation. In 1951, the school building was completed. Lower classes, nursery, pre-school, etc., featured two-way glass for student teachers training. Juniors and seniors were able to enroll in university classes. Many of the instructors had their Ph.D.’s. An Olympic size pool, a large art and industrial arts wing with classrooms, an exceptional music program along with top academic programs were available to students. The last high school class to graduate was 1968. Grades nursery through 6th grade were closed in 1971.

Bedwell Herhahn currently sits on the College of Business and Analytics Dean’s External Advisory Board. Members of the Board address and make recommendations on strategic planning, the curriculum, development, and other critical issues.

In the early 2000’s, Bedwell Herhahn made a deferred gift of nearly $150,000 in honor of her parents and established the R. Ralph and Elnora J. Bedwell Endowment for Small Business Development. The purpose of the endowment is to support seminars for the small business community in Southern Illinois.

“Even though I completed all three of my college degrees at other universities, no other university has ever held my loyalty and fond memories like SIU Carbondale,” said Bedwell Herhahn.

 

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Library Establishes New Endowment to Honor Carus Family

By Rebecca Renshaw

Morris Library has worked with the SIU Foundation to transfer $1 million from the Carus Mineral Trust to create the new Alwin C. Carus Endowment.

John Pollitz, dean of library affairs says the relationship the library has with the benevolent Carus family has been long standing.

“The Carus family has been a valued supporter of the Morris Library and the Special Collections Research Center for over forty years. They have entrusted SIUC with the preservation and promotion of the complete papers of the Open Court Publishing Company. By creating this endowed chair, they have moved our relationship to the next level.”

To read the full press release and learn more about the Carus family and their commitment to science, religion and philosophy, click here. To support SIU’s Morris Library, click here.

SIU School of Law Alumna Extends a Helping Hand Once Again

Earlier this year, Beth Boggs, ’91 SIU School of Law alumna, and a partner of Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs, donated 10,000 meals and face masks to students in the St. Louis public schools. A feature article on Boggs efforts can be read here.

Now Boggs is giving back again – this time to her alma mater, The SIU School of Law.

Recently, Cindy Walker, development officer for the law school, searched for a way to raise $27,600 to pay for AdaptiBar software to help with the third-year law students’ bar study.

“When I asked the Board of Visitors at the law school to help us fund this need, Beth stepped right up and donated $20,000 and helped raise another $1000.  Other board members then donated the rest,” said Walker.

“We have so many remarkable and loyal alumni,” said Camille Davidson, who took over as dean in July.

“Beth Boggs is a perfect example of the amazing SIU School of Law alumni who are willing to pay it forward and help us meet the needs of our students.”

SIU’s Morris Library honors Carus family with new endowment

Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will honor a benevolent family by establishing the new Alwin C. Carus Endowment. The library’s leadership recently worked to the SIU Foundation to transfer $1 million from the Carus Mineral Trust to create the endowment. It will support archival work and a future endowed chair, the Alwin C. Carus Archivist and Professor of Philosophy, all fully funded by the revenue from the trust.

The Carus family’s relationship with the library is longstanding. Alwin Carus’ grandfather Edward Hegeler and his father, Paul Carus, founded the Open Court Publishing Company in La Salle, Illinois, in 1887. It was one of the first academic presses in the country without a university affiliation.

In the 1960s, Alwin and other surviving family members connected with SIU’s Morris Library, donating materials from the publishing company. The collection of manuscripts, books and other materials is one of the largest in the library’s Special Collections Research Center. It includes subjects focused on religion, science and philosophy, and it has an international reputation that draws people from around the world.

When Alwin Carus died in 2004, Morris Library also received $450,000 from a mineral trust in the family’s name. Every year since, the library has received an additional $150,000.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Carus family and the work of our Special Collections team, for many years we have developed our archival collections and assisted students and professionals locally and around the world,” said John Pollitz, dean of library affairs. “The establishment of the endowment is a win-win, in that it sets up the library into the future to continue its work while simultaneously honoring the original donor, Alwin C. Carus, and his final wishes.”

SIU Chancellor Austin Lane added that the future creation of an endowed chair is significant.

“Endowed chairs help us attract or retain outstanding faculty who are leaders in their fields,” Lane said. “We are deeply grateful to the Carus family, past and present, for helping us preserve and maintain our valuable, historical special collections.”

The youngest son of philosopher Paul Carus, Alwin C. Carus shared his father’s interests in history, archeology and astronomy. Alwin was born in 1901 in La Salle. He majored in chemistry and physics at the University of Chicago, worked in the research laboratory of the Carus Chemical Company and owned farms and ranches in the Badlands of North Dakota, western Minnesota, eastern Montana and the Peace River Valley of Alberta. He traveled to Iraq and Turkey in the 1950s to visit ancient archeological sites and joined several professional astronomical expeditions for observing solar eclipses.

“This particular endowment supports the Open Court collection, which, together with the John Dewey Papers, highlights our strengths in American philosophy,” Pollitz said. “SIU has, in past years, been celebrated as one of the top-tier leaders of this discipline, and the endowment helps to revitalize a commitment to this identifying feature of the university.”

The endowment will support an archivist for the Open Court Publishing Company records and its related collections, as well as other collections in philosophy. The position will also report on the activities and accomplishments with the Open Court Publishing Company records, the Alwin C. Carus Papers, Hegeler-Carus Family Papers and other relevant collections.

Chicago Alumnus Donates $5,000 to the Saluki Food Pantry

Scott Moller ’85 presented Tena Bennett, director of the SIU Student Center with a donation of $5,000 to benefit the Saluki Food Pantry. LDP director, Bruce DeRuntz and junior Tamara Keene were also present for the check presentation at the Saluki Alumni Plaza.

Tena Bennett, the director at the SIU Student Center, home to the Saluki Food Pantry, recently received a $5,000 donation from alumnus Scott Moller ‘85. Bennett says that since March, they have given 1,000 emergency food bags to students in need and that this donation will go a long way to continue supporting this important initiative.

“The Saluki Food Pantry is 100 percent funded by private donations and we rely on those funds to purchase supplies and keep the doors to the pantry open,” said Bennett.

Moller is committed to solving hunger insecurity and contributes his time and donations to several food pantries in Illinois.

“Students here really need the help, especially in this time of living through a pandemic,” said Moller. He estimates his gift will provide 200 food bags to students who find themselves in need.

Moller, a member of the SIU Alumni Association and SIU Foundation boards, is encouraged by the efforts of the Leadership Development Program (LDP). The RSO recently did a food drive in front of the Student Center on October 15 and received over 630 food items that they donated to the food pantry. Bruce DeRuntz, professor of technology who leads the LDP, said the program truly transforms these students into leaders who give back to the community.

“SIU has a tradition of giving back and I am proud of the LDP students who donate their time and effort to help their fellow Salukis,” said DeRuntz.

If you would like to learn how you can give to the Saluki Food Pantry, learn more here: https://studentcenter.siu.edu/services/saluki-food-pantry.php

SIU School of Law Alumna Gives Love and Hope Through Free Lunches

By Rebecca Renshaw

Life, at least for now, has changed dramatically across the United States as we face the coronavirus pandemic along with the rest of the world.

The shelves at our grocery stores often stand empty. Our favorite restaurants and entertainment venues are either closed or operating in much different ways than before. Our arenas are quiet and the crowds are gone. Around our interstates and neighborhoods, we’re spotting signs and messages that remind us of really just how different life feels now.

But, in St. Louis, if you are paying attention, there’s also a lot of love and hope being extended. From teddy bears in windows and messages of hope written in chalk on sidewalks, although we’re apart, we’re finding ways to remain deeply connected.

Beth Boggs, ‘91 SIU School of Law alumna, and a partner of Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs, has committed to such love and hope by making sure students in North County School District in St. Louis receive free lunches and facemasks each week.

Boggs says she has sponsored and helped a food pantry in St. Louis, Ritenour Co-Care, for several years. One of her colleagues, Angela Gabel, serves on the pantry’s board of directors. Boggs and Gabel had a meeting in early March where they determined they had to do something for the pantry as it began to face higher demands for food. From that day forward, they have seen an incredible coming together in the community.

Through her connections in St. Louis business and civic affairs, Boggs encouraged others to join their efforts. Wallis Oil Company agreed to put their commissary employees to work making lunches. Wallis also agreed to transport donated meals to area drop-offs each week. Boggs soon got The Orchards Golf Course kitchen staff to make lunches. The owners of JJ Twigs Pizza were able to bring back some of their employees to pitch in and make lunches for students.

“Besides all of those volunteers, we also now have a minor league team who pitches in and helps make meals,” said Boggs.

She says what is remarkable is that through these efforts, some small businesses are now able to pay their staff and put them to work.

“Through a charity that my husband, Darin (SIU School of Law ’90) and I formed in 2005 called Step It Up, we give these businesses the food to make the meals and the wages to pay their staff,” she said.

Boggs was also impressed by the generosity of her fellow alumni from SIU Carbondale. “Each spring, we host a charity golf tournament to raise funds for SIU. While several of my participants and sponsors had already paid their entry fees, not one of them asked for a return of their money when the tournament had to be cancelled. When they heard of our efforts, they collectively donated the $13,500 in fees to the University Scholarship fund. That’s the Saluki spirit that makes SIU so strong,” she said.

While the North County School District does provide one free lunch drop-off a week, many of the students can’t find the transportation to get to the drop-off point.

“The problem with the school district free lunch program is that they only drop off lunches in an area where the students would be forced to take public transportation to get to the food,” said Boggs. With the help of the school libraries, Epworth Charities and the NAACP, they now are delivering 10,000 meals to multiple locations across the county five days a week.

Boggs says she and her behind-the-scenes volunteers are not doing this for publicity. “It’s simply the right thing to do. If we can give this food with no hardship to us, then it would be wrong to ignore this major need in our city right now,” said Boggs.

Boggs said they also give out 10,000 face masks to the students and their families along with their meals.

“Of all the positive COVID-19 cases in St. Louis, 70 percent are in these hard-hit communities of color. I am so thankful for the help of NAACP’s St. Louis County president, John Bowman. While we have the resources of money and food, Mr. Bowman has the connections to get to the people who need help the most,” said Boggs.

Boggs is amazed at the touching outpouring of humanity she has witnessed during the last month.

“I recently had to go to Chicago to visit my brother who is battling leukemia. His young daughter is quarantined due to his illness and said she wished she could help. I told her that she is wonderful at baking bread, so maybe she could make a loaf and send it to the food pantry. A week later, she shipped us 25 loaves of bread. She is a shining example of spreading love and hope with whatever resources are available,” Boggs said.

Boggs and the group of volunteers will continue to give 10,000 meals and face masks each week to students through the end of May. While Boggs was reluctant to draw attention to herself, she does so only to encourage others, especially Salukis, to get involved and give back to others during this time.

“I absolutely loved my years at SIU and I found the grit and determination of the students there remarkable. I am sharing my story only in hopes that others who call themselves Salukis will join me and extend love and hope to others as well,” she said.

Many former Salukis have donated funds and time to help.

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Banterra Scholarship Opens Doors to Opportunity

Danielle Lorentz

Danielle Lorentz

by Rebecca Renshaw

Danielle Lorentz’s heart bleeds maroon. A senior majoring in communications with specializations in interpersonal and organizational communication, Lorentz refers to herself as a “townie.”

“My mother worked at SIU, so I grew up in Carbondale. We attended tailgates, football games, you name it, we were there. It just felt natural that I would attend SIU. I could not be prouder to be both from Carbondale and be a Saluki,” she said.

In her junior year, Lorentz says, she stumbled upon a study abroad program through the College of Business that would apply toward a minor in international marketing while studying in Grenoble, France. However, she was concerned about the expenses involved with the program and decided to take one of the campus prerequisites to see how she liked the material.

At the same time, Lorentz learned she was a recipient of a Banterra Bank scholarship.

“Knowing I had the funds to study abroad allowed me to continue to pursue my interest in marketing. It was as if a door had opened up and exposed me to a whole new side of the business world. If I hadn’t received the scholarship, I would never have pursued a new path in marketing,” she said.

As it turned out, Lorentz discovered she enjoyed the class and the content. She felt earning a minor in marketing would pair nicely with her communication degree and give her an opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lorentz did not get to realize her dream of studying in France. However, she said the excitement the scholarship gave her and the new path it presented made all the difference.

“I want to thank Banterra Bank for its generosity and its willingness to positively impact students’ lives in ways that didn’t even seem possible. I have already been so fortunate in what SIU has given me and this scholarship added even more,” she said.

Jeff May, president of Banterra Bank, said the Banterra Scholarships were part of an agreement to name the Banterra Center on campus.

“Ensuring that a scholarship program was set up as part of our naming-rights agreement was a key requirement for us to move forward with our SIU partnership,” May said. “Being able to assist with education needs of our youth as well as grow enrollment for one of the region’s largest employers is incredibly important to Banterra.”

When Lorentz heard the scholarships being announced at a SIU basketball game, she felt pride sitting in the stands knowing she was one of the recipients.

“That amount of money can make or break a student’s opportunities. It gives young people like myself the freedom to pay for books or pay for a program or get certified online,” said Lorentz.

“I also want to express to potential donors out there that even though they are giving a monetary donation, for students, it is so much more. Not only does it provide opportunities, it is also a sign of encouragement for students to keep moving forward,” she said.

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A Lasting Legacy: Future farmers, teachers to benefit from former professor’s gift

Jim and Sue Legacy

Jim and Sue Legacy

By Rebecca Renshaw

Jim Legacy’s passion for agriculture started at an early age. Now, he and his wife, Sue, are sharing that passion with others.

The Legacys donated $1 million from their charitable trust to the SIU College of Agricultural Sciences. Per their wishes, 80 percent will help fund scholarships for SIU students who participated in Future Farmers of America, and 20 percent will go toward faculty.

Jim Legacy came to SIU in 1977 as professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He retired at the end of 2001.

“The most enjoyable experience of my life was being a professor,” he said. “As an instructor, you have these 18-year-old kids who come ready to learn from your knowledge. They carry a great deal of respect for a professor, and you end up playing an important and often extended role in their lives.”

During his tenure, he had multiple students come to his home for dinner and attended many of their graduation ceremonies and even weddings.

Legacy participated in international agricultural projects that took him all over the world.

“SIU gave me so many memorable experiences that I will never forget,” he said. “I traveled to Africa, China, Jamaica and Western Samoa to do meaningful work. It definitely enriched my life.”

Hard work & education

Born on a dairy farm in upstate New York, Legacy’s first agricultural experience came when he was 10 years old and his grandfather gave him 50 chicks to raise. As he neared high school, he received land from his father, and he milked 15 cows every day for nearly four years.

“I took math and science and vocational agriculture at Franklin Academy High School, and those classes furthered my interest in getting higher education degrees in agriculture,” Legacy said. “I had an agriculture teacher who encouraged me to go to college and get a degree in agriculture. I listened to him.”

Using the money he saved milking cows, Legacy attended Cornell University, earning his doctorate from Cornell in 1976. He was quickly hired by Purdue as an assistant professor of agriculture. After one year there, he began searching for a university that would give him the freedom to be his own person.

“SIU was a perfect match for me and my family. SIU allowed me to teach students how I wanted and run my program the way I saw fit,” he said.

An investment in the future

The Legacys strongly believe in the value of the FFA, which made it the clear choice for financial support.

“The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of high school students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success,” he said. “There are over 700,000 student members in grades 7 through 12 who belong to FFA chapters, and what is surprising is that most of them are not farm kids.

“It provides students with a huge structure. It teaches them how to speak in public, gives them direction and shapes them into leaders.”

Legacy said there aren’t enough instructors to teach all these students. Last year, Illinois universities graduated 28 individuals who received an Agricultural Education Teacher Certification. However, there were 97 open teaching positions throughout secondary schools in the state. He’s hoping more scholarship opportunities will encourage more agriculture majors to obtain a teaching certificate.

“Most high schools have abandoned vocational programs. Agricultural programs like the FFA are the few that still exist,” Legacy said. “It’s a program that can make so many young kids shine. My hope is that this donation will help SIU and further the mission of the FFA.”

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