Category Archives: Crowdfunding

SIU Credit Union donates $35K to Touch of Nature, New Student Programs

Gift kicks off 8th annual SIU Day of Giving

SIU Credit Union has long been a resolute supporter of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and once again it was on display to jumpstart the SIU Day of Giving.

The credit union donated $35,000 in total, designating $20,000 to New Student Programs and $15,000 to Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center. This gift, and all Day of Giving donations, benefit the Imagine SIU 2030 fundraising campaign.

“I look forward to this every year,” said Chancellor Austin Lane. “We can’t thank SIU Credit Union enough for this partnership.”

These gifts will help the university welcome new students by funding programming and offer experiences that build Saluki spirit and help them form lifelong bonds with each other and the university. One such event is Dawg Days, hosted each fall at Touch of Nature.

“Touch of Nature wouldn’t be what it is today without the SIU Credit Union,” said Brian Croft, director of Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center. “Thank you for everything you do for SIU students.”

In the fall, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the SIU Credit Union Event Center at Touch of Nature. That project stems from a $500,000 donation the credit union previously made.

“Being an alumnus, it’s important for me to give back to the university that got me where I am,” said Mike Lantrip, SIU Credit Union president and CEO and a 1991 graduate of SIU’s College of Business and Analytics. “Touch of Nature has a special place in my heart.”

Kim Babington, SIU Credit Union’s vice president of community outreach, complimented the staff of Touch of Nature and Student Affairs, which operates New Student Programs.

“It makes such a difference to see the passion that they have for their programs,” she said.

Beyond the experiences, the funds play a major role in bringing students to campus and keeping them here.

“I want to emphasize what the credit union’s support and commitment means to us,” said Jennifer Phillips, director of New Student Programs. “It’s important to recruitment and retention, and we couldn’t do it without you.”

Each year, the SIU Day of Giving brings thousands of Salukis and SIU supporters together for a 24-hour, online event, which has raised nearly $14 million over its first seven years. Gifts can be made all day Wednesday, Feb. 28, at, and every day at

The SIU Foundation celebrates Black History Month by encouraging donations to support Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Black History Month February 2024 - Ancestral Healing

This Black History Month, SIU embraces Ancestral Healing, honoring the past while actively building a more just and equitable future. Join the SIU Foundation in fueling this mission by supporting our Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) initiatives. Your gift will make a real difference, empowering students and fostering a welcoming space where everyone can thrive.

“Together, we can build a university fueled by belonging, where every student has the resources and support to flourish and change the world with your support, says Sherrica Hunt, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations for ADEI.

Invest in the legacy of ADEI at SIU by supporting one of these impactful funds:

  1. African American Achievement Scholarship
  2. Black Resource Center
  3. Black Students in Business Development
  4. Burris Financial Emergency Endowment Fund
  5. Darius Robinson Scholarship Endowment
  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Development Fund
  7. Dr. Cynthia Howard Sims Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Endowment Fund
  8. Dr. Donald and Mrs. Frances Davenport Scholarship Endowment
  9. George Floyd Equity and Justice Scholarship
  10. McDaniel Oats Memorial Scholarship
  11. Michael L. Haywood Scholarship Endowment Fund
  12. Mitchel and Carol Livingston Scholarship Endowment Fund
  13. Pendleton Family Bridging the Gap Fund
  14. Seymour and Marjorie Bryson Academic Achievement Scholarship Endowment Fund
  15. School of Education African American Award Endowment Fund

Here’s how you can give:

  • Visit the SIU Foundation website.
  • Insert the fund name(s) in the Designation field. You can support multiple funds!
  • Spread the word: Share this blog post and tell your friends and family about the impact they can make.

*The site accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and Venmo. If you are SIU faculty or staff, you can also give via payroll deduction.

Let’s celebrate Black History Month by building a brighter future for all. Donate today and make a meaningful difference in the lives of SIU students.

*If you would like to learn more information on establishing a fund at SIU, contact Sherrica Hunt, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations for ADEI, by email at

SIU Day of Giving: More than 3,700 donors give over $4M

SIU Chancellor Austin Lane (left) speaks with SIU Foundation CEO Matt Kupec on Tuesday, March 28, during the SIU Day of Giving live broadcast in the WSIU TV studio on campus at SIU Carbondale.

The 2023 SIU Day of Giving reached new heights raising $4,037,918 in 24 hours.

The funds will enhance scholarship opportunities, supporting faculty, purchasing equipment, and much more. There were 3,702 individual donations made from donors in 45 states. The total raised and amount of donations are both new SIU Day of Giving records.

“The Day of Giving continues to be a marquee event on campus,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “Each year, the excitement builds, and Saluki Nation shows what it can accomplish when everyone comes together.”

Areas of campus with the highest dollar total raised were:

  • College of Business and Analytics, more than $819,000
  • School of Medicine, more than $652,000
  • College of Liberal Arts, more than $488,000
  • College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics, more than $156,000
  • Touch of Nature, more than $123,000

Hundreds of alumni, largely connected to the Carbondale in the ’80s and ’90s Facebook group, donated to the Balancing Education, Experience, and Reality (B.E.E.R.) Scholarship. That group raised more than $50,000 – enough to endow two more B.E.E.R. Scholarship – and lead the way with 837 total gifts.

Other groups with the largest individual gift totals were:

  • WSIU Public Broadcasting, 765
  • Saluki Athletics, 299
  • School of Medicine, 260
  • College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics, 250

“These incredible numbers tell the story,” Kupec said. “Our alumni and friends see the value of this university. Their support drives us forward and inspires the next generation of Salukis.”

Going live

For the third consecutive year, the SIU Day of Giving featured a live broadcast from the WSIU studio. Streamed on multiple platforms and hosted by Kupec, the broadcast featured Chancellor Austin Lane, the dean of every college and school, multiple members of the faculty and staff, and students.

“It’s turned out to be a day of excellence,” Chancellor Lane said during his live segment. “To showcase all of the departments, and for people to be able to see exactly where their dollars are going, it’s a great day.”

The live broadcast began out of necessity in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of the tremendous success of the event, the SIU Foundation has continued the tradition. It ended near 2:30 p.m. with an address from Chancellor Lane at Morris Library.

Seven years of success

Beginning in 2017, the SIU Day of Giving has become a tremendous day of alumni and donor activities. Growing each year in both amount raised and participation rates, campus was aflutter with activity this year.

Morris Library hosted a “Dunk the Dean” event, which allowed donors to make a small gift on their phones and attempt to dunk Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz and others into a dunk tank. The School of Law hosted a food truck and celebrated its 50th anniversary. Numerous other groups set up tables and encouraged giving throughout the day.

For a full recap of the SIU Day of Giving totals, visit

SIU Day of Giving supports students, faculty

Donors can utilize Venmo to make a gift

CARBONDALE – The 7th annual SIU Day of Giving is Tuesday, March 28, and this year’s focus is on engagement.

After raising nearly $10 million in its first six years, the SIU Foundation is asking more people than ever to go to and make a donation – small or large.

“The SIU Day of Giving is about Saluki spirit. It’s about engaging with the university and being a part of something bigger,” said Matt Kupec, SIU Foundation CEO. “When thousands of Salukis focus their energy on a singular goal, it’s an incredible sight to behold.”

Each year, the SIU community comes together for a 24-hour online Day of Giving. Supporters are encouraged to visit on Tuesday, March 28, and make a gift of any size. Donations can be directed to any college, unit, program, or initiative.

Last year, more than $3.5 million was raised through more than 2,400 individual donations. Donors can choose to be honored on the Donor Wall, give in honor of another, or give anonymously. All gifts are made securely and are tax-deductible.

This year, gifts can also be made through Venmo by searching for “@SIU-Foundation” under the Charities tab and typing “Day of Giving” in the message. Donors should also add the area of campus they want to support.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, university leaders and students will gather at the Morris Library rotunda for a Day of Giving announcement from Chancellor Austin Lane.

Going live from WSIU

For the third consecutive year, the SIU Day of Giving will feature a live broadcast from the WSIU-TV studio. Follow along at or the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page, Post a comment during the broadcast, and watch it pop on the screen in real-time.

The broadcast will feature Chancellor Lane, every college’s dean, members of the faculty and staff, students, and it will be hosted by Kupec.

“The live broadcast adds a unique element to the Day of Giving,” Kupec said. “We were the first college to go live back in 2020, and it’s been so fun and so well received that we wanted to keep doing it.”

Getting involved

Other than making a gift and watching the broadcast, there are other ways for alumni and donors to support the Day of Giving.

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

Day of Giving funds support online textbook initiative

SIU Morris Library

Morris Library launched the SIU Affordable Textbook Initiative in 2021 to increase equity in student success by decreasing course material costs.

The initiative is just one of myriad critical ways that SIU’s Day of Giving has made a daily impact on Salukis. The Day of Giving is a 24-hour fundraiser during which donors are encouraged to give whatever they can to support SIU students and faculty.

“We’ve used Day of Giving money to fund the initial two years of the SIU Affordable Textbook Initiative. Building on the early success of the Initiative, we’ve also received additional grant funding from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries (CARLI) to develop open textbooks and open course materials for high enrollment courses,” Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz said.

These open textbooks reside in the public domain or have been legally released for repurposing. Faculty are incentivized to find out about potential avenues for open textbooks and adapt them to their classes.

“We’ve tried very hard to raise awareness of free online textbooks and how they make college more affordable,” Pollitz said. “There’s been significant movement around the country to create open educational resources. They are an important tool in student retention.”

This leaves printing pages of the online textbooks, which is optional, as the only cost to students enrolled in courses which use an open textbook. After tuition, textbooks are usually the biggest financial drain facing students. According to the most recent data by the SIU Office of Financial Aid, an undergraduate will spend an average of $1,100 on textbooks during the 2022-23 academic year.

Funds from the Day of Giving allow Morris Library to advance the creation of open textbooks in the curriculum, which keeps money in students’ pockets.

Morris Library staff member Amber Burtis, who oversees the Affordable Textbook Initiative, noted that studies have shown that a majority of faculty and students perceive the quality of open textbooks to usually be equal, if not better than, commercial textbooks.

Pollitz estimates students have saved nearly $40,000 to date, but he hopes that the number reaches six figures soon with increased exposure to the program for students and opportunities created by faculty.

In past years, Morris Library has also used Day of Giving money for a state-of-the-art podcast booth and a high-tech scanner. Your Day of Giving donation to Morris Library is an investment in SIUC students. Learn more at

Mueller, Deloitte Foundation make $100K investment in diversity

Pledge creates School of Accountancy fund to benefit students

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, like many institutions, has made diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority.

Beth Mueller, an SIU alumna and SIU Foundation board member, and the Deloitte Foundation, have made a financial commitment that reflects that mission.

Mueller, a Carterville native, recently made a pledge of $50,000 to the School of Accountancy, which the Deloitte Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar. Together, that $100,000 will establish the Deloitte Foundation Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fund at the School of Accountancy.

“It’s something the Deloitte Foundation and I are enthusiastic about,” Mueller said.

The goal is to bring more diversity into the accounting profession, particularly by making it easier for students to meet the requirements to achieve CPA certification. As a tax partner at Deloitte Tax LLP, Mueller knows firsthand the importance of representation.

“Incorporating DEI into an organization’s strategy is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense,” Mueller said. “Teams made up of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and points of view perform better.”

Strengthening the university’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is one of the five pillars of Chancellor Austin Lane’s Imagine 2030 strategic plan. The College of Business and Analytics has been a leader in this area, and this pledge embodies the necessary dedication to that goal.

“Through this fund, we want to amplify SIU’s programs,” Mueller said. “SIU is positioned to serve a diverse population of students. It’s a place that has historically given all people a chance.”

The contribution by Deloitte Foundation reflects Deloitte’s ongoing dedication to driving greater diversity in accounting. Through its $75 million MADE (Making Accounting Diverse and Equitable) commitment, Deloitte is working to fuel greater racial and ethnic diversity in accounting through a comprehensive strategy that aims to attract more diverse individuals into the field and support them as they chart their pathway from high school to business professional to leadership in the profession.

While becoming a CPA requires proven professional qualifications, such as rigorous educational, exam, and experience requirements, this fund can help students aspire to a CPA career and cultivate inclusive pipelines of CPA talent.

“Many major organizations are seeking more diversity as a way to better reflect society as a whole,” Mueller said. “The underlying challenge the profession is facing is the ability to both drive awareness and attract diverse candidates to the tax and accounting field.”

Mueller sees this fund as part of a full-circle tool that can boost existing programs, increase awareness among younger students who are interested in accountancy, and help bridge the gap for those who plan to become CPAs.

“We want to advance students of diverse backgrounds and increase their visibility across the profession,” she said. “Many groups are underrepresented in the world of accountancy, and we feel very passionately about changing that trajectory.”

For more information about the SIU Foundation and how to give, visit

Remembering John Jones: Scholarship endowed, degree awarded

Professor-student bond inspires fundraising effort

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).

With the large donation from Hagy and support from numerous donors through the SIU Foundation’s crowdfunding platform, SalukiFunder, the scholarship was recently endowed with $25,000. The scholarship will produce a $1,000 scholarship each year.

During the 2022 Spring Commencement, Jones was honored with a posthumous Bachelor of Science from the College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics. Members of Jones’ family attended the ceremony to receive his degree.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the family and share your pride in his accomplishments,” Chancellor Austin Lane said.

To make a gift to the John E. Jones Memorial Scholarship, visit

‘He wasn’t just a student’

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.”

Pictured left to right: Brad Hagy and Matt Kupec

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

By Jeff Wilson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more about the Forever SIU campaign, visit


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the other highest totals were:

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

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

Other areas with the most donations were:

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

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

Going live

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

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

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

Salukis in St. Louis

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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