Donations to SIU Carbondale increase by 25 percent

SIU Pulliam Clocktower

Donors contributed more than $25.2 million last year to support Southern Illinois University Carbondale students and programs, a 25 percent increase over the previous year, according to SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.

“Our alumni and friends believe in SIU, and they are coming together to advance the university,” Montemagno said. “Their investment in our students and our future is incredibly important. On behalf of the entire campus community, I thank all donors for their support and confidence as we move forward to fulfill our vision for the university.

“These gifts support scholarships for SIU students, equipment for laboratories, library resources, positions for outstanding faculty and much, much more,” Montemagno added. “Many students wouldn’t be able to attend SIU – or benefit from all we offer — without the generosity of our alumni and friends. Donors make the difference.”

All of the gifts and pledges were made between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

More than $15 million of the total came in the form of cash and other gifts that can have an immediate impact, said Jim Salmo, the foundation’s chief executive officer. The balance includes pledges for the future. For example, many donors make a commitment to include SIU in their estate plans, he said.

“All gifts — large and small — are important and valued,” Salmo said. “Donors have a lot of options in the ways they can structure a gift to serve a cause that is important to them – whether it’s paying it forward with a scholarship or investing in student and faculty research or academic facilities.”

SIU is in the midst of a three-year, $75 million fundraising initiative called “Forever SIU: The Campaign for Students.” To date, the campaign has raised more than $60 million.

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org or call 618-453-4900.

Impact of scholarships featured at annual luncheon

In February, a group of donors and students gathered for the 2018 SIU Academic Scholarship Lunch. Dozens of scholarship recipients were given the chance to meet and thank the very people who made their scholarships possible.

“It’s amazing to see people who were able to be successful come back and give to people and help them be successful, as well,” said scholarship recipient Jacob Trammel. “I can’t express how thankful I am.”

Dr. Marsha Ryan, a member of the SIU Board of Trustees and scholarship sponsor, addressed the crowd during the annual event.

“What truly matters in our communities and at this university are the people we make of ourselves and the people we assist in the making of themselves,” she said. “The nice thing about SIU is that it’s a wonderful place to do both.”

Scholarship recipients Abbie Spiwak and Saikrishna Balasubramanian spoke about the significance of financial assistance and how they hope to make a long-term impact.
“The thing I’ve had in my mind since starting school and wanting to be a dietitian is to help other people,” Spiwak said.

“What this scholarship has enabled me to do is really achieve my dreams, and I hope to give back to other students someday,” Balasubramanian said.

Forever SIU campaign co-chair Dan Korte said students need support because they are the future.

“These young people are going to change the world and help propel the future that we depend on,” he said.

To make a gift, visit www.siuf.org/giving.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The ripple effect

The Ralph E. Becker Boat House and Pavilion Dedication

Ralph E. Becker, third from left, joins university officials to open the renovated Ralph E. Becker Boathouse Pavilion.

It all started with a phone call in August 2016.

“I can remember it clearly,” said Jim Salmo, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations. “The phone rang and it was Ralph Becker, a 1955 SIU alumnus, pioneer of SIU’s radio-television program, and loyal donor. He called to challenge me with a $1 million donation that would make a difference on campus.”

Salmo presented Becker with several projects, and Becker chose the Campus Boathouse. As the renovations began, the SIU plant and service operations crew set up a camera so Becker, who lives in North Carolina, could watch the renovation progress.

Fast forward 18 months to April 28, when the SIU Foundation dedicated the newly renovated Ralph E. Becker Boathouse Pavilion. Hundreds came to attend the ceremony, and many lingered to offer Becker a heartfelt thanks and to share their memories of what the boathouse meant to them.

Sally Wright waited in line to share a memory. When she reached Becker, she said, “I just want to thank you for restoring the boathouse. My husband Mike and I were married here. This year will mark our 31st wedding anniversary. This place has some unforgettable memories for us and I just want to thank you for your generosity.”

Troy Vaughn, recreational sports and services director, believes the renovated boathouse will reenergize both students and the community.

“This brings an incredible amount of energy to the campus,” he said. “So many units came together to make it a reality. It was just an incredible team effort.

“Students are going to have a blast here,” Vaughn added. “The diversity of events is going to be amazing. Biology professors can hold classes here, student organizations can meet at the boathouse, and community members can rent it for a variety of events. We even hope to host weddings here again.”

In remarks made at the ceremony, SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno said, “The Becker Boathouse is a transformative gift that symbolizes the resurgence of SIU and its prominence as the bright maroon jewel in the crown of Illinois higher education.”

Becker summed up the celebration. “This is absolutely terrific. I never expected the university to go to this extreme,” he said. “Everything I ever accomplished started right here at SIU Carbondale. Seeing this, and all of the people who came out, I believe this is the best day of my life.”

“The campus lake restoration and the boathouse renovation are the two most uplifting projects we have promoted this past year … they just bring back good memories for people,” Salmo said.

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Campaign Update: A Goal Within Reach

Forever SIU campaign goal is $75 million and we have currently raised $60 million. (80 percent)

SIU Carbondale launched the Forever SIU at the beginning of January 2017 with a goal of $75 million. Thanks to the generosity of many donors during the past year and a half, 80 percent of the goal has already been achieved, according to campaign co-chair Dan Korte, a 1985 SIU alumnus.

“It’s a great place to be at this point in the campaign, but the public phase of any campaign can be more challenging because it requires a greater number of people to make many smaller gifts,” said Korte.

“That’s why we need the help of all loyal Saluki donors now more than ever, because in the increasingly competitive world of higher education, this campaign is vital to ensuring that SIU Carbondale will continue to be a university that future generations of students want to attend.”

As attendees learned at last year’s public kickoff event, the campaign goals include increased scholarships for students, provide expanded opportunities in the classroom, enhance facilities and resources, and offer a deeper community engagement.

As of April 30, 2018, approximately 30,000 gifts have been received for the $60,616,889, or 80 percent of the $75 million goal, according to Jim Salmo, chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation.

“Support from alumni has made a major impact in the early success of the Forever SIU campaign. More than 57 percent of all donations have come from alumni. More than 27 percent have come from other friends of the university,” said Salmo.

Salmo urges donors to connect with the foundation staff members to identify the many different opportunities to make a gift.

“Many alumni mistakenly think we are looking for only large donations, but that is just not true,” said Salmo. “We offer a number of ways to make donations of all sizes, from matching gifts, to securities, or to honor loved ones.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org or call 618-453-4900.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

New Student Programs benefits from SIU Credit Union corporate gift

SIU Credit Union gives $20,000 on SIU Day of Giving

In March, SIU Credit Union kicked off the 2018 SIU Day of Giving with a $20,000 donation to New Student Programs.

“We are thrilled to receive the donation and are appreciative of the great corporate partnership the university has with SIU Credit Union,” said Cordy Love, director of New Student Programs.

The money will support the annual Saluki Start Up and Weeks of Welcome programs, which help new students as they begin their Saluki journey.

This year, representatives from the credit union will speak to new students and their families about financial planning and banking. During these sessions, New Student Programs will give away 3,000 USBs containing a pre-made budget and other financial information.

SIU Unveils Impressive New Boathouse

Ralph E. Becker Pavilion at SIU Campus Lake

by Rebecca Renshaw

Carbondale, IL – Southern Illinois University Carbondale will unveil an impressive renovation of the Campus Lake boathouse on April 28.

Alumnus Ralph Becker contributed $1 million to renovate the popular boathouse, a focal point of Campus Lake for more than six decades. Construction workers have put the finishing touches on the project just in time for this year’s 45th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, which is returning to Campus Lake this year. The structure sits at the starting point for the race.

The SIU Foundation will host a dedication celebration of the boathouse, located at 1493 Douglas Drive on campus, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 28. The 45th Annual Great Cardboard Boat Regatta will be held at 1:00 pm that day.

“This boathouse holds many sentimental memories for our alumni, and I am pleased to say that it will create many more lasting memories for our students and those to come,” said Jim Salmo, CEO of the SIU Foundation and vice chancellor for development and alumni relations.

Ralph Becker’s vision

Becker, who will attend the dedication with his family, was one of the pioneers of the university’s radio-television program. He is a 1955 SIU graduate and an Alumni Achievement Award recipient.

Becker and his wife, Jane, live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and have been generous supporters of SIU. Becker’s philosophy is that once a goal has been achieved, one should work hard and set additional goals.

“I want to challenge everyone to give back to others, and to what is important to them,” Becker said. “It is extremely important to challenge others to do bigger and better than what I am able to accomplish. That is the only way progress will be made.”

Xanadu on the lake

Generations of SIU students, staff and community members have flocked to the boat house to enjoy a variety of outdoor experiences. One of the most popular was moonlight canoeing. Each month, when the moon was full, students and community members enjoyed a free canoe or paddleboat ride across the lake.

The boathouse has also been home to weddings, receptions and countless celebrations. The renovated facility will include event space for a variety of purposes, including classroom and social activities.

Many other events such as the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta were hosted at the boat house for over 40 years. Due to the draining and cleaning of the lake, the regatta was temporarily moved to a different location. Thanks to the restoration of the lake and the added benefit of a renovated boat house, the race is back where it all began.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Design alumnus, entrepreneur strengthens legacy through philanthropy

Mark Stenftenagel, 1973 alumnus of the SIU Design program

By Jeff Wilson

Each spring, the SIU School of Art and Design hosts Design Days, which brings professional designers, both alumni and non-alumni, to campus.

With “Momentum” as this year’s theme, the focus was on moving the field of design forward. The event and its theme were each representative of the dedication needed to be successful.

Mark Stenftenagel is a good example of that dedication. A 1973 alumnus of the SIU Design program, Stenftenagel has made an impact through monetary donations and personal effort.

“I had an extremely rich, enjoyable experience at SIU,” he said. “The more I get involved, the more I enjoy it. It’s a great university. There are really good students here.”

Making a noticeable impact  

His philanthropy has helped the university’s Design program stay modern. In 2014, the program moved to a new workspace in Pulliam Hall, leaving behind the Blue Barracks on East Campus. A $30,000 donation from Stenftenagel helped ensure the program could thrive in its new location.

“Because of people like Mark, we have dedicated Design scholarships,” said Rob Lopez, interim director of the School of Art and Design. “It helps with recruitment and retention. Our students can be proud when they leave.”

Stenftenagel also facilitates the delivery of free furniture that comes from Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The mart is a wholesale design center, and when it gets new inventory, the old items need a home. Stenftenagel has made sure the SIU Design program is one of those new homes.

Before visiting SIU for Design Days on April 6, he loaded a truck and trailer (donated by his colleagues at Installation Specialists in Itasca) and brought a shipment of new furniture along with him.

From football to furniture design and beyond

Stenftenagel came to SIU on a football scholarship. He later decided to forgo football and focus on design.

“I wanted to study design, and I also wanted to play football,” he said. “Southern was the best place to do that. I hated to leave the team. It was tough.”

After his junior year, Stenftenagel took a break from the design program and started an on-campus preschool. He designed the furniture for the school so that it could be easily set up and broken down each day.

“It was called Alpha Preschool,” he said. “It had a really open environment, which is what a lot of schools are going to nowadays.”

After meeting his future wife, Margaret, a 1972 SIU alumna, Stenftenagel sold the preschool and finished his design degree. After graduating, the couple moved to Boston for about two years, before returning to Illinois and settling in Elmhurst.

In 1984, he founded Whitney Architects, which focuses on architecture and interior design. A year later, he started Q Design, which does industrial design, focusing mostly on furniture.

Mark Stenftenagel, 1973 alumnus of the SIU Design programA giant Q on the wall in the Pulliam Hall Design Wing, denotes Stenftenagel’s impact on the program. It represents the Q Lounge, which is filled with furniture he helped acquire.

“The world needs good design,” Stenftenagel said. “What we learned (at SIU) is more pertinent today. Design is the essence of problem solving. All kinds of companies are looking for design. The need is there.”

To learn more about the School of Art & Design, visit www.cola.siu.edu/artanddesign.

The SIU Foundation is in the midst of Forever SIU, a three-year fundraising campaign. To learn more about the campaign and how to give, visit www.foreversiu.org.

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Estate gift will help others rise

Susan McClary (left) and her parents, Dan and Toccoa McClary (right).

Susan McClary (left) and her parents, Dan and Toccoa McClary (right).

By Rebecca Renshaw and Jeff Wilson

Dan and Toccoa McClary worked to ensure that their daughter, Susan McClary, had every opportunity to succeed. She didn’t let them down.

Susan, a renowned musicologist and 1968 SIU graduate, is furthering her parents’ mission by making a $400,000 estate gift through the SIU Foundation. The Don and Toccoa McClary Scholarship will benefit female Native American or African American students who enter programs focused on science, technology, engineering or math (commonly known as STEM).

Her parents were SIU professors who taught microbiology and math. Her father, who was Cherokee, grew up in Oklahoma during the Great Depression. He served in World War II; through the GI Bill, he was able to attend college and earn his doctorate.

“My parents were deeply committed to education, because the education they received allowed them to get out of the Dust Bowl,” Susan said. “They made an enormous jump in life by the virtue of education.”

That drive was instilled in their daughter, and Susan took their ambition to another level. After earning a bachelor’s degree in music from SIU, she received her master’s and doctoral degrees in musicology from Harvard University.

“My parents insisted on excellence in education. It was clear I had to make the best grades and always be focused on moving forward,” Susan said. “My father wept when he learned I was going to Harvard.”

She went on to hold a number of positions in higher education, spending time at the University of Minnesota, McGill University, the University of Oslo and UCLA. Currently, she is a professor in the Department of Music at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I work with a program that brings kids from the inner city to campus,” Susan said. “My parents would want kids who are disadvantaged to have the same opportunities I did.”

Her many accomplishments include being awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship from 1995 to 2000. In the spring of 2017, she received an honorary Doctor of Music Arts degree from SIU, the place her parents loved so dearly.

“It’s a beautiful area. My parents loved going to Giant City and Little Grassy,” she said. “The landscape is just gorgeous.”

Dan and Toccoa McClary stayed in Carbondale until their deaths in 1984 and 2005, respectively.

“It was quite obvious that I wanted to reinvest in higher education,” Susan said. “SIU is a really good place for kids who are the first generation to get their degrees. It’s where the money will have the greatest impact.”

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

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Donor honors family with endowment

By Jeff Wilson and Rebecca Renshaw

When Jason Kane’s parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2017, he decided it was the perfect time to honor their legacy.

With a $25,000 endowment, he created the Scott and Lynn Kane Family Scholarship. It benefits students in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Scott Kane graduated from SIU in 1967 with a degree in radio and television. He went on to serve on the Communications Alumni Board and be honored as the college’s Alumnus of the Year.

“My father made a difference at SIU,” Jason said.

During his time at SIU, Scott was a part of an expanding radio/TV department. His experience left him with fond memories of the university.

“The education was hands-on, and the students had great relationships with the instructors,” he said. “There was amazing success coming out of SIU. It had reach around the world.

The endowment will cement Scott and Lynn’s legacy at SIU, Jason said.

“It will allow students to know who my father was,” he said. “It’s tangible and meaningful. It impacts future generations. It’s a way to honor their legacy that goes into perpetuity.”

Jason’s mother, Lynn, is not an SIU alumna, but Jason said her impact was just as important.

“She stood by my dad the entire time,” Jason (pictured, far right, with his parents and other family members) said. “He was able to do the things he did because of her.”

“If people have dreams and goals, how do they reach them without an education?” Lynn said.

To learn more about the Forever SIU campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org.

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Donor inspired by professor, lifelong friend

Madeleine Smith (below) stayed connected to SIU by sending postcards during her travels abroad.

Madeleine Smith (below) stayed connected to SIU by sending postcards during her travels abroad.

By Jeff Wilson

Tom Catania’s continued support of SIU is largely derived from the inspiration he received from one influential professor, Madeleine Smith.

Catania, a 1967 graduate, set up the Madeleine Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor the woman who guided him as a student and befriended him afterward.

“She was like no other person I’ve known. She had a brilliant mind,” he said. “She really inspired me.”

Smith came to SIU (then Southern Illinois State Normal University) in 1929. She taught French as part of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. She retired in 1971 but kept in contact with the university by sending postcards during her travels abroad.

From April 1943 to November 1945, she served as a member of the Signal Corps in the War Department in Washington, D.C. In 1946, she was selected as one of 100 American French instructors to visit France as part of a goodwill visit.

“She was working for us, for our government,” Catania said. “That’s says something about her, too.”

After receiving his degree in foreign languages and literature, Catania taught high school English and some French in Chicago. He and Smith continued their friendship until she passed away.

“She was a teacher in the truest sense of the word, like Socrates,” Catania said. “She taught by example. I tried to pass on a little bit of what I got from her. Besides being smart, she was a great person.”

Catania said he hopes his gift will honor Smith’s legacy and ensure that students have opportunities available to them.

“I think that it’s important to give young people an opportunity to find a school that gives them an education and the tools they need,” he said.

The goal of the Forever SIU fundraising campaign is to increase student scholarships and opportunities. To learn how you can help, visit www.foreversiu.org.

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.