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 salukifunder.siu.edu/johnjones.

‘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 foreversiu.org.

 

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.”

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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 siuday.siu.edu and give to your favorite SIU initiative.

SIU Day of Giving brings excitement, livestream March 2

CARBONDALE – The 6th annual SIU Day of Giving is Wednesday, March 2, and the show is hitting the road.

After introducing a Day of Giving livestream last year, the SIU Foundation will add a second live event from the Saluki Takeover Tour kick-off event in St. Louis.

“This is going to be one incredible day,” said Matt Kupec, CEO of the SIU Foundation. “We’re excited for it, and we know our alumni are as well.”

What is the Day of Giving?

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

Last year, more than $2.8 million was raised through more than 3,400 donations. There were donations from all 50 states and 11 countries. Donors can choose to be honored on the Donor Wall at siuday.siu.edu or give anonymously. All gifts are made securely and are tax-deductible.

Two livestreams

Last year, SIU was one of the only universities in the country to host a Day of Giving livestream, and this year it’s adding a second one from St. Louis.

The first livestream will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until about 2 p.m. It will be available on the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page, facebook.com/siualumni, and at siuday.siu.edu.

The event will feature Chancellor Austin Lane, a parade of college deans, university officials, students, and alumni. The schedule for that event is available at siuday.siu.edu.

“We can’t wait for everyone to see this year’s livestream,” said Kupec, who will host. “We’re going to be live from the studio at WSIU, and it’s going to be a great time.”

After the first livestream ends in Carbondale, preparations for the grand finale in St. Louis will begin. Things will pick back up on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page and the Day of Giving page at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2.

Chancellor Lane will update the Day of Giving totals and make an exciting announcement that will impact how we imagine the future of the university. This reception will be broadcast live from the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.

“We’re trying to break Day of Giving records and set the stage for Chancellor Lane as he makes a major announcement,” Kupec said. “It’s going to be a great day to be Saluki.”

Saluki Takeover Tour

After taking over Chicago in October, SIU is hosting its inaugural Saluki Takeover Tour St. Louis. In conjunction with the MVC Arch Madness men’s basketball tournament, there will be multiple Saluki-themed events taking place in St. Louis and the Metro East.

The Chancellor’s Reception, which will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, will be the first of multiple events between then and Saturday, March 5.

“SIU will be all over the city,” Kupec said. “We’ll be cheering on the Dawgs, meeting with alumni, building partnerships with local schools and community colleges, and spreading Saluki spirit everywhere we go.”

For a full schedule of events or to register for the Chancellor’s Reception, visit siuf.org/stlouis.

Get involved

Other than making a 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 has become one of the most anticipated days of the year,” Kupec said. “We hope everyone is inspired to get involved by watching the livestream and joining us in St. Louis.”

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

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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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