SIU Foundation brings in record number of gifts, awards record number of scholarships

Southern Illinois University Saluki mascot Grey Dawg clapping with SIU Marching Band on SIU Day of Giving.

By Jeff Wilson

The SIU Foundation received a record-breaking number of gifts in FY23, leading to the organization’s second-best fundraising year.

Through 38,621 gifts, the Foundation raised over $31.2 million. It also awarded a record number of scholarships (1,645) and total scholarship dollars ($4,931,584) to students. Over 14 percent of all SIU students received an SIU Foundation scholarship in FY23.

In the last two years, the SIU Foundation has raised nearly $64 million, which is, by far, the most the organization has raised over a two-year period. Since the beginning of the Forever SIU campaign, the Foundation has raised more than $287 million on its way to its $500 million goal by June of 2028.

“We have received incredible support from our donors,” said Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and SIU Foundation CEO. “There has a been a wave of momentum leading us to these heights, and that momentum is continuing today.”

Championed by Chancellor Austin Lane and his leadership team, the Forever SIU campaign continues to align with the pillars of the Imagine 2030 strategic plan – student engagement and success, diversity, equity, and inclusion, branding and partnerships, research and innovation, and sustainability.

“As we continue to move forward with the campaign, we are going to see even greater synergy with the bold strategic plan set forth by Chancellor Lane,” Kupec said. “With continued support from our alumni and friends, we know the best days are still ahead.”

The SIU Foundation’s outreach efforts connect with alumni and donors in Southern Illinois and across the country. The SIU Day of Giving, which began in 2017, received support from more people than ever before. This year’s Day of Giving brought in more than $4 million from 3,702 gifts.

The Foundation hosted Saluki Takeover Tours in Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Tennessee, and the Florida Gulf Coast. During these events, alumni meet with university leaders, gather with friends, and rekindle connections. This year, Southern Illinois and Springfield will be added to the takeover tour schedule.

In April, the Foundation hosted the inaugural Saluki Ball at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago. The event was attended by 618 people and raised more than $600,000 in funds that bridge the gap for students who need a little extra assistance to complete their education at SIU.

“From the Day of Giving to the Takeover Tours to the Saluki Ball, we have seen the greatest groundswell of alumni support in the history of this university,” Kupec said. “Honestly, it’s been inspiring, and we’re excited to see what’s next.”

To learn more or make a gift, visit

Hodges plans a bright future for SIU students

Headshot of Allan HodgesBy Jeff Wilson

After years as a city planner, Allan Hodges is once again looking to the future by making a planned gift to his alma mater, SIU. His substantial estate gift will establish the Allan A. Hodges Graduate Scholarship in the School of Earth Systems and Sustainability Endowment Fund.

Born to British parents in Calcutta, India, the path to SIU wasn’t a direct one.

“We moved to England after World War II and immigrated to the U.S. in 1948,” Hodges said.

Originally hoping to become an architect, he enrolled at Ohio State University and later switched to the community analysis program. He spent a winter quarter at Mexico City College and became interested in the Latin American culture. He found a college bulletin advertising SIU’s Latin American Institute and Community Development Institute and decided to take the bus to Carbondale.

“They basically created a curriculum for me, which showed it was a caring environment,” Hodges said.

During his time at SIU, he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity along with Mike Morris, son of then SIU President Delyte Morris.

“They invited me to their home, and they invited me back the year after I graduated to meet Margaret Mead, who was speaking at graduation,” Hodges said. “It was an important phase in SIU’s history, and I was there. I enjoyed my entire experience at SIU. I met a lot of people and maintained many friendships for a long time.”

Vintage photo of Allan Hodges wearing his graduation cap and gown.
Allan Hodges poses for a graduation photo outside the Phi Sigma Kappa house in 1962.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1962, Hodges worked in Columbus, Ohio, for two years before deciding to pursue a master’s degree at Michigan State University. It was then that he married his wife, Carol, and got his start in urban planning in Boston with Parsons Brinckerhoff (now known as WSP), a multinational engineering and design firm.

“I traveled across the country working on many important projects,” Hodges said. “I was the environmental document manager during the Big Dig in Boston, which started in 1986.”

The Big Dig was a major project in Boston that transformed the city’s transportation flow, including redesigning Interstate 93, the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel (I-90) under Boston Harbor, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park above the I-93 tunnel.

Reconnecting with SIU

Hodges said he didn’t feel connected to SIU for many years. He noticed when the Saluki Football team won a national championship in 1983 and when Saluki Men’s Basketball had a run of NCAA Tournament appearances in the early 2000s.

“SIU was in the news,” he said. “I followed the sports from my home in Boston.”

More recently, Hodges said he’s taken notice of fundraising efforts that have exemplified how many people have been impacted by SIU.

“On the Day of Giving, SIU had more than 3,800 donors raising over $4 million. That’s impressive,” he said. “Then there was more than $600,000 raised in one night in Chicago at the Saluki Ball. Larger schools don’t see that level of support. I believe in the mission of the university.”

During a recent trip to Europe, Hodges spotted someone wearing something familiar.

“In Athens, I saw someone with an SIU sweatshirt,” he said. “I meant to circle back and acknowledge it, but I missed my chance. You really do see Salukis everywhere you go.”

Hodges hopes that his gift will help the School of Earth Systems and Sustainability expand more offerings to more students.

“I think SIU has the disciplines throughout the university to have a very important community planning curriculum in the near future that would really benefit Southern Illinois,” he said.

For more information about making a planned gift, contact Kathryn Sime at For more information on how to make a gift, visit