Crowdfunding campaign seeks to honor well-known poet, editor

Jon Tribble, a poet, editor, mentor, and friend to many, passed away in 2019. Now, the Department of English at SIU hopes to endow a scholarship in his memory.

For 22 years, Tribble served as the editor of the Crab Orchard Poetry series, published by Southern Illinois University Press. In that time, as in his capacity as managing editor of The Crab Orchard Review, Tribble played an unparalleled role in bringing hundreds of American literary voices into more prominent view.

“Jon Tribble was one of the first and best editors for creating an inclusive space in American publishing,” said Camille Dungy, author and winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Competition Award. “Many of the nation’s top writers, including women writers and BIPOC writers, got their starts because of Jon’s active, dedicated, and continuous efforts to build a more diverse and equitable writing world.”

Tribble received the 2003 Artist Fellowship Award in Poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, and his poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. At SIU, he taught creative writing and literature, and directed undergraduate and graduate students in internships and independent study in editing and literary publishing for the Department of English.

“The editorial work that Jon Tribble did for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry at SIU Press was little short of heroic. Scratch that; it was heroic,” said author Dan Albergotti. “He built that series into a powerhouse in the world of contemporary American poetry.”

By visiting salukifunder.siu.edu/tribble and making a gift of any size, donors can help the scholarship reach the $25,000 plateau, which would create an endowed fund. That would allow a $1,000 scholarship to be granted to one poet every year in perpetuity.

Donors may also send a check made payable to: SIU Foundation, Jon Tribble Memorial Endowment, 1235 Douglas Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901.

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Professor-student bond inspires memorial scholarship

Hagy donates $10K to honor memory of John Jones

Black and white photo of John Jones.

Image of John Jones.

By Jeff Wilson

When John Jones entered his first class with professor Brad Hagy he made an immediate impression.

“He sat in the front row,” said Hagy, a senior lecturer of Information Sciences and Technology at SIU. “He was a model student and was going to do anything to further his future.”

Jones, who worked in IT for the SIU Foundation, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  In Jones’ memory, Hagy donated $10,000 to establish the John E. Jones Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will benefit non-traditional students who are majoring in Information Technology (ITEC).

The 37-year-old Jones was one semester away from earning his bachelor’s degree in information technology. He made straight A’s and was on the Dean’s List every semester.

“I want to promote what John loved,” Hagy said. “He was working to better his life. I want to help students like John.”

Jones had started his college career in 2002, but he left school after his father passed away. He returned to SIU more than 14 years later determined to get his degree. In an email to Hagy after the Spring 2020 semester, Jones shared his appreciation.

“The one thing that we all lose is time, and there is not a way to get that back,” Jones said in the email. “So, in my journey, I was fortunate enough to meet people at SIU that reminded me of myself as a young man fresh out of high school living carefree and people that are willing to help anyone who gives their time to learn. Mr. Hagy you have made this transition from working full-time to full-time student one of the best experiences I have ever had.”

Reading that message, in which Jones goes on to express his hopes for the future, Hagy can’t help but become a bit choked up.

“John understood time,” he said. “He knew he had lost time, but he was still willing to go back and get his degree. In that email, he was speaking from his heart and for his future.”

Hagy spoke at Jones’ memorial service and has remained close to Jones family, to the point that Jones’ mother gifted a pair of blue and white Air Jordan from his shoe collection that matched the color of Jones’ motorcycle. They were both members of the Carbondale Eagles 2569 Eagle Riders motorcycle club that has an annual charity ride for the Southern Illinois Special Olympics.

“Those shoes are now on the shelf in my office,” Hagy said. “He wasn’t just a student. He was a great person, a friend.”

John Jones, 1983-2021

Born and raised in Carbondale, Jones exceled in math and information technology. More than anything, Jones is remembered as a family man.

He is survived by his son, Jerald Cameron Jones; and fiancé, Tamara Buchannan-Boens; and her sons, Christopher Buchannan, Warren Eanes, and Dominique Boens. He is also survived by his mother, Debra Johnson-Jones; sister, Raven-Iman Jones; grandmother, Barbara Sanders; and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Jones enjoyed participating in American Poolplayers Association competitions, riding his motorcycle with his fellow Eagle Riders, shooting targets at the gun range, and working on and building computer/robotics systems.

After his planned graduation, the SIU Foundation was set to make Jones a full-time member of the IT staff.

“We thought the world of John,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “He was liked by all. His words and his actions were always consistent. Everyone at the Foundation was deeply saddened by his untimely passing. Professor Hagy’s inspiring gift is a testament to their connection and the impact they had on one another.”

To make a gift to the John E. Jones Memorial Scholarship, visit salukifunder.siu.edu/johnjones.

Pictured left to right: Brad Hagy and Matt Kupec

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WSIU Supports SIU Foundation’s Day of Giving Livestream

Special thanks to the outstanding team at WSIU Public Television for making our livestream a reality!

The SIU Day of Giving is proof that it truly does take a village to pull off a victory. Without the continuous help from others across campus who graciously step up each year and help fill the gaps, we would not witness such phenomenal success year after year.

In 2019, it was the SIU’s theater department who agreed to do a theatrical performance at the rotunda in the Morris Library. The stage production department also graciously agreed to build an elaborate gift box for the SIU 150th celebration. Plant and Service Operations agreed to play a version of Happy Birthday from the bell tower at Pulliam Hall. It is yearly contributions from departments like those who help make the SIU Day of Giving continually sparkle.

This year, the foundation was faced with the dilemma of trying to host another SIU Day of Giving during a pandemic. The foundation team asked themselves how they were going to capture people’s attention if they could not gather or engage with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community across campus. Thanks to some creative thinking, the foundation determined it would use a livestreaming platform to capture the needed attention. As the details of what was needed emerged, the foundation’s marketing staff quickly realized this would stretch their capabilities to the limit. In short, they worried if they could pull off an eight-hour livestream featuring dozens of deans, heads of units, the chancellor, and several foundation development officers.

That’s when in walked WSIU and extended a helping hand. WSIU’s Interim Executive Director Jak Tichenor, Larry Hunter, Darryl Moses, Mark J. St George, Abby Asher and several other team members, graciously agreed to help co-produce the event at their WSIU station located in the SIU Mass Communications building. Known as the largest station south of Chicago, WSIU helped the foundation staff deliver a professional, polished production that rivaled any fundraising event airing anywhere on television.

The event was a success and the 24+ hour effort resulted in 3,440 gifts from donors representing all 50 states and 11 countries. The $2,800,000 raised during the Day of Giving shattered last year’s results of $1.6 million and gifts are still being counted.

Following are some photos from the day’s activities.

SIU Day of Giving raises over $2.8 million: More than 3,000 donors chip in

Pictured left to right: Chancellor Austin A. Lane and SIU Foundation CEO Matt Kupec discuss the importance of SIU Day of Giving on set in the WSIU-TV studio.

CARBONDALE –  The numbers are in, and they tell an incredible story.

More than $2.8 million was raised during the 2021 SIU Day of Giving, shattering last year’s record.

“What an incredible day to be a Saluki,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “Our alumni and donors take a lot of pride in supporting this university, and the Day of Giving puts their dedication on display.”

There were more than 3,400 individual gifts made during the 24-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday. This, too, far outpaced totals from previous giving days. Donations were made in 50 states and 11 countries.

“The sheer number of people who decided to log on and make a gift is inspiring,” Kupec said. “All gifts, no matter how large, make an impact. Our students, faculty, and staff are thankful for every donor.”

The highlights

Whether supporting a college, program, or specific scholarship, donors were able to choose from several initiatives.

The Balancing Education, Experience & Reality Scholarship received more than 900 individual gifts, which totaled more than $63,000. That’s enough to endow two more B.E.E.R Scholarships.

The idea for the scholarship was born out of the Carbondale in the ’80s and ’90s Facebook group before the 2019 Day of Giving. Through the generosity of Day of Giving donors, there will now be six endowed B.E.E.R Scholarships.

The SIU School of Medicine earned the largest amount of total dollars, bringing in more than $363,000. The College of Liberal Arts came in a close second with more than $325,000. Here are the other areas that finished in the Top 10:

  • College of Business and Analytics, $319,000
  • Saluki Athletics, $266,000
  • College of Health and Human Sciences, $188,000
  • College of Agricultural, Life and Physical Sciences, $129,000
  • Morris Library, $111,000
  • College of Engineering, $102,000
  • School of Law, $94,000
  • School of Education, $67,000

Exact totals were still being finalized Thursday morning. For a full list giving totals, visit siuday.siu.edu.

The livestream

The Day of Giving went live on the SIU Alumni Association Facebook page and the Day of Giving website at 8 a.m. Wednesday. For the next eight ours, viewers were able to watch 22 segments and more than 100 videos.

The livestream was broadcast from WSIU’s television studio, and staff from WSIU and the Foundation worked together to produce the daylong event.

“WSIU was integral in making this a success,” Kupec said. “We knew we had to do something different because of COVID-19 restrictions, and a livestream made a lot of sense. We presented them with our plan, and their expertise elevated the entire day.”

Chancellor Austin A. Lane was the featured guest during the afternoon section of the livestream.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, we’re still charging forward,” said Chancellor Lane during the livestream. “We’re not just surviving, but we’re thriving. That’s the Saluki spirit.”

For more information about the SIU Foundation or to make a gift, visit siuf.org.

Special thanks to the outstanding team at WSIU Public Television for making our livestream a reality!

SIU Day of Giving brings excitement, livestream March 3

CARBONDALE – The fifth annual SIU Day of Giving is going fully virtual.

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 3, and make a gift of any size. Donations can be directed to any college, unit, program, or initiative of the donor’s choice.

Normally, the day features an in-person celebration, but because of the constraints brought on by COVID-19, that tradition had to be put on hold. Instead, the SIU Day of Giving will be livestreamed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the SIU Alumni Association Facebook page, facebook.com/siualumni.

“Like so many things during the past year, we’ve had to adjust our approach,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “We’re not sitting on the sideline. We’re adapting, and we expect to have a very successful Day of Giving.”

The livestream

Kupec, who will host the livestream, will kick things off at 8 a.m. During the eight-hour event, he’ll be joined by Chancellor Austin A. Lane, a parade of college deans, development officers, program directors and others.

“We’re going to discuss many of the exciting things happening around campus,” Kupec said. “Watch a lot or watch a little, we’ll be live all day. I’m looking forward to some very engaging conversations.”

Every college and school will have a time slot, as will many programs and units, including Saluki Athletics, Morris Library, Touch of Nature Environmental Center, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, and more. For a full livestream schedule, visit siuf.org/siuday.

The livestream will be hosted at WSIU, which has partnered with the SIU Foundation to bring a full schedule of Day of Giving content to alumni and donors. Viewers on Facebook are encouraged to ask questions in the comments section. Some of those questions may even become part of the broadcast.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place. The on-camera subjects will be separated by plexiglass, while masks will be worn at all other times. Only a limited number of people will be allowed in the studio at a time to maintain social distancing, and the set will be sanitized between segments.

“Safety is of the utmost importance to us,” Kupec said. “We’re taking great effort to ensure no one is put in harm’s way.”

Other than the Alumni Association’s Facebook page, the livestream will also be available at siuday.siu.edu.

How to give

On March 3, all gifts can be made at siuday.siu.edu. Once there, choose an area to support and make a gift.

Each gift will be featured on the Donor Wall, although donors can choose to give anonymously. A ticker on the homepage will keep track of the overall total. Last year, the SIU Day of Giving raised more than $1.6 million.

“It’s really simple to make a gift,” Kupec said. “All the options are right at your fingertips, and there’s so many worthwhile choices. The most difficult part can be deciding where to give.”

There are four trophies handed out at the end, which recognize the academic and non-academic units that raise the most funds or receive the most individual gifts.

Last year, the College of Liberal Arts received more than $197,960, making it the academic unit that raised the most funds. The School of Medicine had the highest number of individual gifts for an academic unit at 285. Among non-academic programs, Saluki Athletics received the most in-total donations at $139,301. The Balancing Education, Experience and Reality Scholarship, supported by the Carbondale ‘80s & 90s Facebook group received 815 individual gifts and earned the trophy for a most gifts raised by a non-academic unit.

Get involved

Other than making 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 is all about interaction,” Kupec said. “We want to show people the power of philanthropy and showcase the incredible infrastructure of support that keeps SIU strong.”

Chancellor Lane: A Day to Move Forward Together

You don’t need me to tell you how challenging the past year has been. We’re all acutely aware of the hardships caused by the global pandemic.

Let’s rewind the clock one year. The 2020 SIU Day of Giving took place just before COVID-19 took hold of our country. Through the support of our generous donors, we raised more than $1.6 million – a truly incredible number.

Weeks later, our everyday lives were jolted into unfamiliar territory. Since then, we’ve adapted and adjusted our lifestyles to combat this terrible virus. Beyond those affected directly by it, COVID-19 has impacted the lives of every American in other ways, and Salukis are no different.

Students have struggled to stay in school, pay their bills, and make ends meet. The university has invested millions in personal protective equipment, increased cleaning and sanitizing efforts, and upgraded technology to support remote operations. Saluki Athletics has lost enormous revenue while seeing costs rise.

Now, nearly a full year later, we’re still battling the ramifications of the pandemic, but relief seems to be in sight. As vaccinations are rolled out and life begins to gain a semblance of normalcy, we are looking ahead.

Coincidentally, it’s brought us back to the SIU Day of Giving, and it’s time for us to move forward together.

On March 3, I’m asking all Salukis to visit siuday.siu.edu and donate. It doesn’t matter if it’s $5, $50 or $500. Each year, thousands of Salukis join the cause and make the Day of Giving special, and every dollar makes a difference.

Gifts can be made to a general scholarship fund or the unit of your choosing. Support your college or school, an initiative that’s close to your heart, a program or group you are connected with, a fund you find important, or any other of the many options at siuday.siu.edu. Gifts can also be made via the payroll deduction form.

If you can’t give on March 3, you can still support the Day of Giving by using #SIUDay on social media and following the Day of Giving livestream on the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page at facebook.com/siualumni.

As we reach this milestone and reflect on the year behind us, there’s no doubt better days await. The SIU Day of Giving is one of those days, and I can’t wait to feel the excitement it brings.

I’m proud to be a Saluki, and I know you are too. Together we can show it. Together is how we move forward.

With Saluki Pride,

Chancellor Austin A. Lane

Friends of Morris Library seeking support

SIU Morris Library

The Friends of Morris Library have a proud tradition of providing students, faculty and staff with essential extras.

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, the group has been able to support the library’s educational and scholarly mission. This year, like so many others, the Friends have been unable to go about business as usual.

“The Friends of Morris Library are essential to advancing the mission of the library,” said John Pollitz, dean of library affairs. “The innovations and services they have supported over the years have allowed us to do more for SIU students and faculty that we would be able to on our own. Your contribution allows us to continue looking to the skies and not the rocky ground.”

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on in-person events, the Friends of Morris Library were unable to host its annual fall fundraiser. Normally, the event includes live music, a silent auction and delicious food.

With money raised through this and other events last year, the group provided the library with the following:

  • A podcast studio and equipment in which students and alumni have utilized. The University Press recently used this space to produce an audio book.
  • A Glowforge Laser Printer/Cutter which uses a beam of light the width of a human hair to cut, engrave, and shape designs from a variety of materials.
  • Financial support for Library Facilities/Technology needs.
  • Financial support for “Constitution Day” held annually at Morris Library.
  • Major funding for the 2020 Day of Giving.

In past years, funds raised by the group have provided Apple laptops, a state-of-the-art scanner for a 3D printer, additions to the library collection and much more.

Future contributions are planned to support a three-year faculty initiative designed to create free textbooks for students. To do so, though, the Friends of Morris Library need the help of its donors.

Whether a first-time donor or a regular Friends of Morris Library benefactor, every dollar makes a difference. Morris Library is the largest research library in the region and serves students, faculty and scholars, both on campus and around the globe.

“I have worked under every library dean from 1988 until my retirement in 2018. It makes my heart glad to know that I am part of a mission that continues to advance its commitment to students and faculty, especially as we adapt to new ways,” said Toni Vagner, president of the Friends of Morris Library. “I also know that it is difficult to do great things without the generous support from community and alumni. Personally, and on behalf of the Friends board members, I appeal to your generosity so that we may continue to provide great support to Morris Library.”

To make a gift, visit https://salukifunder.siu.edu/project/22043. A contribution by check is payable to Friends of Morris Library and should be mailed to: SIU Foundation, Colyer Hall, Mail Code 6805, Carbondale, IL 62901.

Questions may be directed to the Morris Library Administrative Office at 618-453-2522.

SIU Day of Giving totals top $1.6 million

Day of Giving – Chancellor John M. Dunn discusses the fourth SIU Carbondale Day of Giving campaign during festivities on Wednesday. The 24-hour fundraising campaign raised more than $1.6 million.

CARBONDALE, Ill., — The preliminary total raised through Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s fourth Day of Giving on March 4 reached more than $1.6 million. The total reflects more than 2,441 individual gifts from 43 states and 10 countries.

Chancellor John M. Dunn thanked donors for continued growth in support through the annual Day of Giving, from $340,000 in 2017 to more than $1 million in 2020. Last year, donors contributed $910,000 through the Day of Giving.

“The annual growth in contributions is another signal of confidence in the university’s momentum,” he said. “As we near the end of our 150th year, donors are positioning SIU for the next 150.”

Dunn added that ultimately, the Day of Giving is not about the number.

“It’s about impact,” he said. “Every gift made will help a student, support a program or contribute to the greater community through the arts, athletics and service. We are deeply grateful to everyone who gave.”

The theme of this year’s Day of Giving was “1 Vision. 24 Hours.” Between 6 a.m. March 4 and 5:59 a.m. March 5, donors visited siuday.siu.edu to support more than 150 programs, initiatives and scholarships.

The numbers aren’t final, said Rae Goldsmith, chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation.

“The immediate totals include gifts made online,” she said. “The numbers will grow as we count gifts made in person, by phone and by mail in the days ahead.”

The Day of Giving includes a friendly competition for traveling trophies recognizing academic and non-academic units raising the most funds or attracting the most individual gifts.

The College of Liberal Arts received more than $197,960, making it the academic unit that that raised the most funds. The School of Medicine had the highest number of individual gifts for an academic unit at 285. Among non-academic programs, Saluki Athletics received the most in total donations at $139,301. The Balancing Education, Experience and Reality Scholarship supported by the Carbondale ‘80s & 90s Facebook group received 815 individual gifts, earned the trophy for a most gifts raised by a non-academic unit.

“Every gift of any size makes a difference,” Goldsmith said. “The Day of Giving demonstrates the power of community and philanthropy.”

She added that all gifts to the Day of Giving also support the foundation’s current $200 million Forever SIU campaign for the university.

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Arena puts SIU on the esports map

By Jeff Wilson

Walking into Student Center’s northside entrance, the blue light is eye-catching. It draws attention to one of the university’s newest attractions – the SIU Esports Arena.

Esports feature competitive multiplayer video game matches. Already popular across the globe, the draw of esports is still growing. A February report from Newzoo, a gaming industry analytics firm, estimated global esports revenue would hit $1.1 billion in 2019. In July, 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf won $3 million playing Fortnite, one of the most popular video games featured in esports.

With the new arena, SIU has a spot at the forefront of the esports market.

“The Esports Arena adds a new opportunity for our students to engage with each other while playing competitive or recreational video games,” said Tena Bennett, Student Center director.

The arena’s entrance is located in the Bowling & Billiards area of the Student Center, and it’s open to students, faculty, staff and community members for a small fee. It can also be booked for groups or parties. For more information, email esports@siu.edu.

SIU Esports also has a registered student organization, which will compete with other universities. The hope is to expand the team and its ability to compete in the future.

Of course, as is the case with all technology, there is a constant need for upgrades.

“In efforts to keep the SIU Esports Arena competitive among other universities, schedules have been implemented for equipment replacements including arena digital displays, gaming PCs, peripherals, chairs and controllers,” said Brandon Macier, assistant marketing director for the Student Center. “Annual software upgrades and new game licensing are also a continual expense as new games are released.”

To support the esports initiative and help the arena thrive, visit siuf.org/esports.

“By donating to the Esports Arena, you are supporting students and adding to the dynamic culture we strive to build and maintain on our campus,” Bennett said.

 

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150 Stories of Philanthropy: SIU Day of Giving Makes Library’s Digital Scanner Dream Come True

Student uses SIU Morris Library SIU Morris Library Knowledge Imaging Center Bookeye 4 system

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop

Morris Library received 53 acts of kindness last March during SIU’s 3rd annual Day of Giving.

“We had gifts of all sizes, and we appreciated each and every one of them,” said Dean John Pollitz.

The total of those gifts amounted to $17,865, a steady increase in giving to the library since the university started the 24-hour online campaign in 2017. During that first year, the library received $4,000. Pollitz hopes the donations continue to rise as the event progresses.

“The SIU Day of Giving is an extraordinary event as it draws alumni, staff and students together for a unifying cause,” he said. “I’m not sure how we are going to top last year, but I’m sure hoping we can do it again this coming March.”

The increase in donations allowed for the purchase of a scanning machine that is drastically changing the way students and professors approach their research – free of charge.

With the Day of Giving funds, Morris Library purchased the Knowledge Imaging Center Bookeye 4 system. Associate Professor of Reference and Instruction Josh Vossler said the versatile system makes digital scanning and organizing research very simple, while also being easy on original materials. Documents and books are placed face-up, and an overhead digital scanner takes a picture. It adjusts automatically for the natural curve of bound books so users won’t have to crush the spine of a book to get the full image.

“A typical scanner takes 40 seconds to scan one page. This machine can scan in 3.5 seconds per page,” Vossler said. “It’s a game changer as far as time goes. This will save students and community members thousands of hours each year.”

Using the touch screen, users can edit and convert the image into a variety of formats. More importantly, the system identifies all of the scanned characters and allows the image to become searchable.

“Another benefit is that it is compatible with accessibility software features,” said Vossler. “There are so many positives that this machine brings. We are beyond grateful to the donors who helped us purchase this station.”

Pollitz thanks all of the donors who made this acquisition a reality.

“This is what can be accomplished through collaboration and a giving heart. I believe this new system will help our students and faculty become more productive than ever before possible,” he said.

How to Give to Morris Library

If you would like to help maintain Morris Library as one of the top 100 research libraries in the nation, please visit siuf.org and make a gift today.