University Achieves Minority Scholarships Goal

by Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Hope and Opportunity initiative has successfully reached its $1 million goal to provide equal opportunities and financial assistance to minority students and other traditionally underrepresented populations.

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, announced the success of Hope and Opportunity today (Oct. 7). The University initiated the fundraising drive in 2007, with the primary goal of seeking donations from individuals and corporations to support scholarships and other financial aid for minorities and women.

McCurry says attaining the $1 million goal marks the beginning — not an end — for what he says will continue to be a priority on the SIUC campus.

“The success of Hope and Opportunity demonstrates that alumni and friends of SIU Carbondale truly care about the next generation. Thanks to their generosity, many students will receive an opportunity to pursue dreams that otherwise, may not have been possible,” McCurry says. “Although we have attained our $1 million goal, the University will continue to seek funds to support the academic endeavors of minorities, women, and all underrepresented populations on campus.”

Seymour Bryson, who chaired the Hope and Opportunity initiative, says that donor contributions of any amount to support this effort are greatly appreciated.

“We’re very pleased and excited that people responded so positively to this effort. We raised funds that will help allow a lot of students to receive a quality education,” Bryson says. “This effort reflects the University’s longstanding commitment to racial, ethnic, economic and gender diversity. We are also pleased that University leadership has expressed an interest in continuing forward efforts to raise funds for underrepresented populations.”

SIUC Chancellor Rita Cheng echoed the sentiments of McCurry and Bryson. She aspires to lead the University’s continued commitment to serving underrepresented populations on the Carbondale campus.

“Even in a challenging economic climate, alumni and many other friends of the University continue to invest in student success, and we appreciate their generosity,” she said. “Access and inclusiveness are part of our institutional DNA. We are committed to creating opportunities for more students because we know the education we offer transforms lives.”