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.

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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

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


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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


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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


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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


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2018 SIU Academic Scholarship Lunch

“What truly matters in our communities and at this university are, first, the people we make of ourselves and, second, the people we assist in the making of themselves. The nice thing about SIU, and there are many, is that it is a wonderful place to do both.”
– Dr. Marsha Ryan, JD ‘87

Salukis Supporting Salukis – Harold Bardo

harold bardo

I first came to SIU on a basketball scholarship in 1957. Like so many others, had it not been for that financial assistance, I would have never become a Saluki.

While earning two degrees, I received support and encouragement from faculty and staff members. My commitment to give back is personal. My life has been immeasurably changed by SIU, and I could never repay the university for what it has given me.

I’m encouraging everyone to help make a difference during the SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 7. This 24-hour, online giving campaign seeks to raise funds and awareness of on-campus needs, largely focusing on student scholarships.

When I came here, people helped me, and it made a major difference in my life. The Day of Giving is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of current and future Salukis.

You can make a gift of any size by visiting You can do so now or bookmark the page and wait until March 7.

Donations can be made in a number of ways, including payroll deductions. Click here to download the payroll deduction form.

I also encourage everyone to help spread the word about the Day of Giving. Follow the SIU Foundation on Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtag #SIUDay on your social media accounts.

This year, there will be added competition among the colleges. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the college that raises the most money and the college that receives the most individual gifts.

On March 7, there will be Day of Giving booths in the Student Center and Morris Library. Chancellor Carlo Montemagno will speak at 2 p.m. in Morris Library.

Being a Saluki means being part of a great tradition. On March 7, I’m asking all members of the SIU family to help ensure the Day of Giving becomes a part of that tradition. Together, we can build a strong future.

Harold R. Bardo Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emeritus

Mundschenks challenge others to give

Nancy Mundschenk, director of teacher education

If there is one thing Nancy Mundschenk, director of teacher education, is passionate about, it is the Office of Teacher Education and the important work of teacher preparation at SIU. She and her husband, Paul, are setting up a $5,000 SIU Day of Giving challenge for a newly established Teachers Shape the Future fund that will directly support teacher candidates.

Mundschenk says she wants everyone to know that the Office of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Human Services works with faculty and staff across the university to prepare outstanding teacher candidates that graduate every year from SIU.

“I think some people don’t realize that we have teachers who come from the College of Agriculture, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science, in addition to the College of Education and Human Services. All of these exceptional graduates will go out into the world and teach the next generation of students in classrooms from early childhood through high school,” she said.

Nancy Mundschenk, director of teacher education

“We are a living example of dynamic synergy across many programs. I firmly believe the Office of Teacher Education is one of the shining gems in the crown of this university and we want to provide a tangible commitment to this program.”

The Mundschenks encourage everyone to share in their pride of our teacher candidates. To give to Teachers Shape the Future fund, visit and give a gift today or on March 7.

Tedrick gift expands research, creative opportunities for undergrads

SIU students

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A gift from Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumni Roger and Sally Tedrick will expand opportunities for SIU students to get involved with research and creative activities as part of a world-class undergraduate experience, according to SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.

Currently, about 25 students receive funding for research and creative projects each year through a program called “REACH,” which stands for “Research-enriched Academic Challenge.” Past projects have ranged from biomedical research on the endocrine system to finding lost grave sites and researching and preserving artifacts to designing formal wear for people who use wheelchairs.

The Tedrick Undergraduate Research Fellowship will increase the number of students who can participate to about 40 each year. The donation from the Tedricks provides $50,000 a year in grant money for five years.

Montemagno said the awards give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in their field of interest.

“Providing our undergraduate students with strong research and creative opportunities has set SIU apart, and this donation only strengthens that commitment,” said Montemagno. “Such opportunities prepare our students for the challenges they will face after graduation, either in graduate school or in their chosen fields of employment.”

REACH awards support the projects of qualified, full-time undergraduate students who compete for funding. Awards are granted based on the evaluation of the applications by a panel composed of experts from a range of academic backgrounds.

Selected students can receive up to $2,000 for their project and an assistantship that will pay for the student to work up to 10 hours per week on it. Teams can receive an additional $500 per additional team member. To be eligible, a student must be a sophomore or higher and carry a GPA of at least 2.8.

The Tedrick donation also creates a new “Best in Category” award. This special recognition is based on the quality of the students’ applications and the promise of their proposed research or creative activity. One student in each of the following disciplines will be recognized: art and design, humanities, communication/media, science and engineering.

To apply, students should submit an application by March 30. The first awards including the new funding will be made in mid-April.

Roger Tedrick is a 1970 SIU graduate and Sally Tedrick graduated in 1973. Both are longtime SIU supporters and life members of the SIU Alumni Association.

Roger Tedrick is owner, president and CEO of Tedrick Insurance Agency in Mount Vernon. He has served on the SIU Foundation Board and as its president, also serving as chair of the Saluki Futures Campaign for athletic facilities.  He was a member of the SIU Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2011, presiding over the board as chair for six years.  His university service also includes service on the SIU Alumni Association Board of Directors.


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$75 Million ‘Forever SIU’ campaign reaches 75 percent of goal in first year

Forever SIU campaign goal is $75 million and we have currently raised $56 million. (75 percent)

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A three-year, $75 million fundraising campaign to support students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale raised more than $56 million in its first year.

“Forever SIU: The Campaign for Students” launched Jan. 1, 2017. As of Dec. 31, approximately 5,000 donors contributed $56,317,674, or 75 percent of the $75 million goal, according to Jim Salmo, chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation.

The campaign’s progress is a sign of confidence in the university, said SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.

“As we meet with our alumni close to home and across the country, I hear stories that reflect great pride in SIU,” Montemagno said. “As we approach our 150th anniversary in 2019, I’m grateful to the many graduates and friends who are investing in our future.”

More than half of the total raised is for student scholarships and fellowships, with the balance supporting academic programs, facilities and technology.

“Every gift, large and small, benefits our students,” Montemagno said.

Salmo said many donors work with foundation staff members to identify options for making gifts. Some make outright donations, some pledge gifts to be made over several years, and some defer commitments to be made through an estate or other means.

“Many donors are surprised to learn that they have a lot of flexibility in making a gift that supports something near and dear to them at SIU,” Salmo said. “And some are blending their gifts so that they have both immediate and long-term impact. However they choose to give, we are grateful for the positive difference they are making for SIU and its students.”

“The success of ‘Forever SIU’ is only the beginning,” Montemagno added. “There is so much ahead that we can accomplish in partnership with our alumni and friends.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit


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