Student Experience Urges Grad to Give Back

Norma Faust

When Norma Faust contemplated which university to pursue her doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction, SIU stood out among the rest. And she has never forgotten how faculty and staff made her feel welcome.

“SIU was very student-centered, honest and listened to me. I had completed many credit hours beyond my master’s degree. SIU wanted me to be a graduate of their program and therefore, would transfer in six hours, at most; that meant a lot to me,” she says. “I appreciated them being student- and program-centered. The University demonstrated its integrity in many ways.”

This continued when Norma, a 1992 Ph.D. graduate, enrolled at SIU. She points out that the University assisted her in all aspects of college life, including housing and programming, in addition to preparing her for future endeavors. It served to enhance her successful career as a school teacher and principal, culminating with her retirement in 2003.

Norma says: “My professors and final Ph.D. committee members were dedicated, knowledgeable, demanding and helpful as I achieved my goals.”

The Evansville, Ind., resident says this was the catalyst behind her decision to bequest funds to SIU through an agreement with the SIU Foundation. Norma and Ron, her husband of more than 46 years, devoted their careers to education. Both are supporting their respective alma maters in this fashion. A percentage of Norma’s estate funds will be donated to the Southern Illinois University Foundation.

Norma is striving to offer student and faculty program support through these funds. She encourages fellow alumni to follow suit.

“Including an alma mater in your will is as easy as writing a declarative sentence,” she says. “It is even better if you contact an SIU Foundation representative to communicate and designate how you would like to allocate the funds you’re leaving to the University. I would say to my fellow alumni: ‘You, too, may leave a legacy.’”

Norma’s devotion to the University has included returning to campus and staying in contact through the alumni magazine and staff.

“People at SIU have never forgotten me as an alumna,” she says. “The University continues to make me feel special and did so even before they knew I had included SIU in my will.

There are people at SIU that I can call on. I really appreciate what the University has done for me.”

“A Heart of Gold”

After starring for the Saluki football team in the late 1960s, Carl Mauck ’69 embarked on a 13-year playing career with four teams in the National Football League. The SIU business management major then subsequently served more than 21 years as a NFL assistant coach.

Mauck’s exploits are well-documented in southern Illinois. The high school football field in his native McLeansboro is named in his honor, and last year he was honored as a member of SIU’s All-Century Football Team.

His contributions go beyond the football field, and he remains loyal to his roots.

“Southern Illinois is a wonderful place to grow up,” he says. “I have great memories of SIU. In addition to receiving a quality education, I’m still in touch with people that I met on campus. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience.”

Mauck continues to pay it forward. He and his two younger brothers – George, a priest in Carlyle, Ill., and Walter ‘76, a dentist in Springboro, Ohio, have established a scholarship endowment in memory of their late parents. The Walter and Aurelia Mauck Scholarship will honor an SIU student from Hamilton County who maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Walter and Aurelia Mauck

The Mauck brothers funded the scholarship through the sale of their parents’ farmland. Walter, Sr. was a World War II veteran and post office worker, while Aurelia served as an administrative school secretary for more than 20 years.

Mauck has made giving back to SIU a habit. He led efforts to establish a scholarship fund in memory of the late Saluki football player Billy Patrick to support student-athletes who need to return home due to hardship. Following his NFL coaching career, he came back to Southern as a volunteer tight ends coach under former Saluki coach Jerry Kill.

“I don’t know anyone with a bigger heart or more loyal than Carl Mauck. I know this through personal experience,” Kill says. “They will never make another Carl Mauck.”

The Saluki Hall-of-Famer continues his work with young people as a high school football coach in Texas. His Argyle Eagles advanced to the class 3A state championship last season.

“Carl has a heart of gold and loves Southern Illinois University,” says SIU Head Football Coach Dale Lennon. “He wants SIU to thrive and aspires to help others in the area become successful. When he does something, it is definitely genuine and there’s no other intention but to do good.”

Close friend Mike Reis ’78, SIU’s Hall of Fame broadcaster, agrees.

“SIU means the world to him, and gets mad when SIU fails – whether it’s from an academics or athletics standpoint,” Reis says. “Carl is not self-centered. If he can help SIU succeed, he just feels that it is what alumni are supposed to do.”

Reis says Mauck’s devotion to SIU and his hometown are further demonstrated through the establishment of this scholarship.

“It was important to Carl to reward a Hamilton County student who wanted to attend SIU, whether or not he or she is an athlete,” Reis says. “He hopes this creates SIU awareness among Hamilton County students, and that they will recruit others to enroll at the University.

“Carl will want to know about the winner, his or her family, and will probably follow and talk to them while attending SIU. He’ll want to know if he can be of any further assistance. He gets huge satisfaction from helping. We need so many more like him.”

If you are interested in establishing a scholarship endowment, please contact the Director of Development for Scholarships, Gary Bogue, at 618/453-4906 or

“There Are No Self-Made People”

John Gunter

While dining at Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Marion, John Gunter is asked why he has generously supported his alma mater. He responds without hesitation.

“It is a matter of paying it back by paying it forward,” he says. “I received a solid education and strong foundation in forestry at Southern Illinois University. The university and its professors prepared me for graduate school, too.”

John, a 1966 SIU forestry alumnus, makes special mention of former professors Dwight McCurdy and Ronald Beazley for their guidance during his undergraduate years. After completing his master’s and doctorate degrees at Michigan State University, John proceeded on to a distinguished career in forestry, which culminated with serving as dean and professor at Mississippi State University, a post he retired from in 2002.

“Vic Rudolph was my major professor at Michigan State. After I received my doctorate, I asked him if I had the potential to be a dean,” John says. “He replied with the affirmative so that encouraged me to pursue a career in higher education administration.”

A McLeansboro native, John says his work in the industry has taken him to all 50 states. Prior to his stint at Mississippi State University, John taught, did extension work and conducted research at four additional institutions including Michigan State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Georgia, where he headed the extension forestry program, and University of Arkansas at Monticello as Dean of Forestry. In addition, his contributions included working for private industry and the federal government at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.

John has authored or co-authored numerous forestry articles for journals and research publications, as well as three books. He is a fellow of the Society of American Foresters and has twice received Alumni Achievement awards from the College of Agricultural Sciences at SIU.

Some of his fondest memories of SIU include participation in a spring quarter field campus, through which he and classmates received their initial hands-on experience in forestry. He was also active in the student forestry club. John decided to retire in his native southern Illinois, in part because of farmland he owns in the region, and because he wanted to live close to the university.

The SIU alumnus also serves on the College of Agricultural Sciences Leadership Board and is a life member of the SIU Alumni Association.

Nearly five decades after graduating from SIU, John is endowing the John E. Gunter Scholarship Fund through the SIU Foundation. John has also made provisions in his estate plan for additional contributions to this endowment.

The John E. Gunter Scholarship is awarded to qualified forestry students who have attained at least junior academic standing and demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to students who have served as officers in specific registered student organizations.

“The permanency of this scholarship through an endowment option was particularly attractive. This investment will grow over time and support students for generations to come,” he says.

“There are no self-made people. We all had help along the way and owe something to society. There’s no better way to accomplish this than to assist young students in financing an education that will pave the way to their futures.”