Chancellor’s Golf Scramble raises scholarship funds

SIU Chancellor Austin Lane (right) with First Southern Bank President & Chief Executive Officer John Dosier.

Nearly 100 golfers dedicated their Friday to supporting scholarships for SIU students during the 3rd annual Chancellor’s Golf Scramble at Hickory Ridge Golf Course.

“This is the largest group this tournament has ever had,” Chancellor Austin Lane said. “The funds we raise here are going to our students and helping us move enrollment forward.”

SIU Board of Trustees Chair J. Phil Gilbert and Chancellor Austin Lane.

Twenty-four teams teed off, including SIU Board of Trustees Chair J. Phil Gilbert, members of the SIU Foundation and SIU Alumni Association boards, the Chancellor’s Cabinet, and many other members of the SIU and regional community.

The event was presented by First Southern Bank. Other sponsors were Follett Higher Education, Fager-McGee Commercial Construction, Ike Honda, Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners, State Farm, SIU Credit Union, New York Life, the SIU Alumni Association, and the SIU Foundation.

The golf scramble was won by a team of Saluki Athletics Hall of Famers, including Derrick Taylor, Terry Taylor, Robert Jones, and John Wilson. Jones is Saluki Baseball’s all-time career home run leader. Derrick Taylor, Terry Talyor, and John Wilson were part of the 1983 Saluki Football national championship team, which was inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame this year.

Mike Blumhorst won the closest to the pin and longest putt competitions. Robin Lester and Ted Oxeudine took home the title for longest drives.

Sharp Museum dedicated in honor of $1M donation

Professor James Franklin Sharp attended SIU from 1954 to 1956

By Jeff Wilson

With a $1 million gift, Professor James Franklin Sharp has chiseled his name into SIU’s legacy. Now, the university has honored his generosity by renaming the University Museum as Sharp Museum.

On Friday, Oct. 20, the university unveiled the Sharp Museum naming and renamed the Southern Illinois Gallery as the Mrs. Rosanna Sharp Myers Southern Illinois Gallery, after Sharp’s sister.

“(Professor Sharp) is forever tied to the history of this institution,” Chancellor Austin Lane said. “How fitting to have something like this during Homecoming week.”

Professor Sharp attended SIU from 1954 to 1956, but the university didn’t offer a four-year degree in engineering at that time. Still, he said he always felt a strong connection to the university.

While an SIU student, he played seven intramural sports, including football, corkball, basketball, volleyball, softball, badminton, and horseshoes. He was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity.

“Professor Sharp was all in during his time at SIU,” said SIU System President Dan Mahony. “He took advantage of that experience, and when you do that, it becomes a life habit.”

He transferred to the University of Illinois from SIU and completed his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering. He later earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

“I guess I would say I enjoyed my time at SIU more than the other colleges I attended,” Professor Sharp said.

Professor Sharp taught at three universities: Rutgers University, New York University Stern Graduate School of Business, and Pace University Lubin Graduate School of Business. He also held management positions at AT&T and founded Sharp Seminars in New York, which became a leading provider of training for Wall Street investment analysts and investment portfolio managers.

He has also written 36 books and had many articles published. He has achieved the following professional designations: CFA, CIPM, CMA, CFM, and Mensa.

A Chester High School graduate, Professor Sharp has made supporting education a lifelong endeavor. He has made multiple donations to Chester schools, totaling more than $600,000.

Sharp Museum first opened as a natural history museum in 1874, and it has evolved into a teaching museum that represents the humanities, the sciences, and the arts. With roughly 70,000 objects in its care, the Sharp Museum captures and illuminates the human story, opening a window to who we are and where we came from.

“This museum is deep in my heart,” said Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz. “It’s such an incredible resource for this whole area.”

Tedricks make historic $6M donation, naming SIU welcome center

New building planned to engage prospective students, community

The image depicts a spacious green landscape in front of a grand two-story building labeled "TEDRICK WELCOME CENTER." The architectural design of the center showcases large white pillars, arched windows, and red brick accents.
This concept art shows what the Tedrick Welcome Center could look like once constructed. (Provided by Hafer Architects)

By Jeff Wilson

CARBONDALE – With a $6 million donation, Roger and Sally Tedrick are leaving yet another indelible mark on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus.

In honor of their donation, a planned new building on campus will be named the Tedrick Welcome Center. The proposed building was presented to the SIU Board of Trustees’ architecture and design committee in April, and approval of its construction will be on the board’s Feb. 8 agenda.

Image of Roger and Sally Tedrick dressed formally at an SIU event smiling while standing next to Salukis.

Roger and Sally Tedrick are both alumni of Southern Illinois University and have long been supporters of the university. (Provided by Roger and Sally Tedrick)

“This university is moving forward in an exciting way, imagining a future with more students and prolific success,” Roger Tedrick said. “Sally and I knew we wanted to be part of something that would make a tremendous impact, and this welcome center is just that. It will be the launching point for thousands of Saluki journeys.”

SIU Admissions will begin open houses, orientations and host groups of students at the welcome center, which will be located just off U.S. Highway 51, near the previous location of McAndrew Stadium.

“Roger and Sally Tedrick are visionaries. They believe in our mission, and this gift exemplifies their remarkable dedication to this university and all Southern Illinois,” said Chancellor Austin Lane. “The Tedrick Welcome Center will be the first place that students walk into and experience what it’s like to be a Saluki. It is the capstone to our strategic plan.”

Roger Tedrick, a 1970 graduate of SIU’s College of Liberal Arts, is a member of the SIU Board of Trustees and the SIU Foundation Board of Directors. He is the owner and CEO of Tedrick Group Risk Management Solutions, based in Mount Vernon. Raised in Carbondale, he attended University High School on SIU’s campus. Sally Tedrick is a 1973 graduate of the SIU School of Education.

The Tedricks have a rich tradition of supporting the university. Their many contributions have included creating an endowed fund to enhance university excellence, making a lead donation toward the construction of the Saluki Alumni Plaza, sponsoring the inaugural Saluki Ball, and supporting numerous causes across campus.

“It’s a great pleasure to thank Sally and Rogers for how they have served SIU Carbondale,” said SIU System President Dan Mahony.

The state-of-the-art building will also house the philanthropy center, which will include SIU Foundation offices.

“It is more important than ever to support an institution as historic and impactful as SIU,” Roger Tedrick said. “This is the perfect thing for us to do. This building is going to help bring in and recruit the next generation of Saluki students.”

SIU & SNP: Planting the seeds of success

John Deere dealership partners with CALPS to provide equipment

By Jeff Wilson

In the past few years, SIU’s University Farms have gotten even greener, John Deere green.

The farms are a living laboratory that connect man and machine to cultivate land and immerse students in a unique experiential learning environment. Most of the machines used on the farms are provided through a lease agreement with Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners (SNP) John Deere dealership.

Photos of the Chancellor and Faculty visiting the SIU Farms on October 10th, 2023.

Students in SIU’s College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences (CALPS) spend hours working the hundreds of acres, and many of those hours are spent working with tractors, combines, sprayers, etc. provided by SNP.

“This partnership has been huge for us, both when recruiting and retaining students, and it fuels our push toward becoming an R1 research institution,” said CALPS Dean Eric Brevik.

Photos of the Chancellor and Faculty visiting the SIU Farms on October 10th, 2023.

Each year, SNP provides state-of-the-art equipment that enhances the learning experiences of CALPS students and puts the college at the forefront of agricultural education. Recently, Chancellor Austin Lane was able to get behind the wheel of a combine provided through the partnership. After a quick tutorial from a CALPS student, Chancellor Lane harvested a row of corn.

“This is truly a gamechanger,” Chancellor Lane said. “This is where these students need to be. These fields are their classroom.”

The equipment provided by SNP is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that records valuable data about farming in Southern Illinois.

Photos of the SIU Farms on October 10th, 2023.

“Having this localized data showcases this partnership, and that’s important for us,” said Jared Nobbe, vice president of centralized services at SNP.

SIU also displays the equipment when it brings thousands of prospective students to campus for numerous ag-related events on campus.

“I was in FFA throughout high school, and I can tell you this is huge for those students,” said USG President Phillip Hartke.

To support students in CALPs, visit

Saluki Women’s Weekend: Empowering Today, Inspiring Tomorrow

By Jeff Wilson

The second annual Saluki Women’s Weekend provided a forum for women to celebrate sisterhood and find empowerment through philanthropy. More than 100 women took part of the events hosted between Wednesday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 7.

“Your resources, time, and talent – all of those things really come together to make an impact at SIU,” said Sherrica Hunt, assistant vice chancellor for anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, to dozens of women on Friday, Oct. 6, at Student Center Ballrooms.

Chancellor Austin Lane started the event by touting SIU’s enrollment numbers, pointing out a rare twist.

“Fifty-two percent of our students are female. I have never worked at an institution with more female students than male students,” he said. “When people tell you that women are running things, they’re right.”

The Saluki Women’s Weekend was presented by Compardo, Wienstroer, Conrad & Janes at Moneta Group and the SIU Credit Union. It featured breakouts sessions, sponsored by SIH; a networking breakfast, sponsored by Legence Bank; and a mentorship brunch, sponsored by Dawn Korte, Ph.D. There was also a Saluki Women Vendors Fair, featuring 20 local artisans and female entrepreneurs.

Three women were honored during Friday’s event:

  • Woman of the Year – Shari Rhode, who was a member of the SIU School of Law’s inaugural class and has more than 50 years of experience as an attorney.
  • Trailblazer Award – Lynn Lindberg, who was honored for her efforts as executive director of the SIU Research Park, forging pathways for women at the university and in the community.
  • Emerging Leader – Lauren Lurkins, who operates Lurkins Strategies, LLC, which affects environmental policy and supports academic research projects.

“I’m sure there was someone more deserving, but I appreciate the fact that you found that I was,” Rhode said. “Pay it forward.”

Friday was filled with educational and inspirational presentations from women who have led the way, as leaders in higher education, philanthropy, and service.

“Today is about shaping our future,” said Diane Compardo, president of the SIU Foundation Board of Directors. “Women in leadership isn’t a trend, but a transformative force.”

Compardo shared many of the initiatives the SIU Foundation has been involved with recently, including raising funds for Saluki Cares during the COVID-19 pandemic; a $1 million grant to accelerate the fermentation science program at McLafferty Annex; support for the Dr. Seymour Bryson Future Scholars program; faculty grants for podcasting, robotics, and more; the new entrance sign at Touch of Nature Environmental Center; and the planned Welcome Center to be built on campus.

“Southern embraced me and allowed me to grow at a pivotal moment in my life,” she said. “I invite everyone to make a lasting impact on the university.”

Dr. Sheryl Tucker, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, gave the keynote address. Tucker, who has three sisters, expressed how the bond of sisterhood stretches beyond family.

“Anyone who has ever been a mentor knows you get more out of it than the mentee,” she said. “It’s women empowering women. You should want your inspiration to lead to impact.”

Tucker established the mantra, “Link, learn, lead to leave a legacy,” as a way to empower female students.

“I wanted my legacy to be about the people. I want other young girls to understand what a college education can look like,” she said.

She also pointed out that events such as the Saluki Women’s Weekend are the model for engaging with young women to ensure they can clearly see their potential.

“The only way to effect change is to have a seat at the table. You have a seat at the table here today,” she said. “Be part of the conversation. Have input. You have to be willing to participate.”

It was a sentiment that was echoed throughout the weekend, including during a video message from Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.

“Learn, inspire, and encourage one another,” she said. “Our potential is limitless as long as we keep working together.”

Tami Kupec, who has more than 15 years of fundraising experience, spoke during the Women’s Philanthropy Luncheon, focusing on the value and impact of women in philanthropy. Most recently, Kupec was executive director of development with Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. During her trips to the African nation, Watoto worked to build an educational building and mentor the women and children in the village.

“I wanted to experience a deeper level of contribution,” she said. “I fell in love with the women and children of the village and the holistic work that Watoto was doing to raise the future leaders of Uganda.”

Kupec was introduced by Stellah Nakiranda, a young lady whom she met and mentored through her work in Uganda and who recently enrolled at SIU.

“Never in a million years did I think I’d be in the U.S. on this stage speaking in front of you wonderful women,” Nakiranda said. “I have known Tami for 10 years. She’s challenged me to have my own dreams.”

Kupec defined the six Ts of philanthropy – time, talent, treasures, ties, testimony, and trust – explaining that giving in any way makes a major impact on the lives of others.

“Right here at SIU, there’s an incredible opportunity with the Women’s Leadership Council,” she said. “We are encouraging women to reach their full potential and walking alongside young women, giving them a hand up. It is a circle of women passionately focused on the needs of young women.”

An inspiring event

The Saluki Women’s Weekend began Wednesday, Oct. 4, with Jill Wine-Banks presenting the Hiram H. Lesar Distinguished Lecture at the SIU School of Law. During her presentation, “Breaking Barriers for Equality, But Still Dancing Backwards in High Heels: How Women’s Success Benefits All,” she discussed her pioneering career, which included working as the only female prosecutor during the Watergate trial, and the issues still facing women today.

On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 5, the Women’s Leadership Council Board of Directors hosted a wine and cheese reception at the McLafferty Annex, which included a presentation by Susan Lighty and Marta Albiol Tapia detailing diversity initiatives in the Fermentation Science Institute.

Mentors and mentees gathered on Saturday, Oct. 7, for a Mentorship Brunch, and the Women’s Leadership Council Board held an official meeting later that day.

“The future is in our hands,” said Dr. Dawn Korte, co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Council and member of SIU Foundation Board of Directors. “It’s that empowerment that we can all share that resides deep within us.”

Supporting sponsors of the event were Walmart Carbondale Supercenter #196, Walmart Anna Supercenter #233, Holiday Inn Carbondale, First-Mid Bank, and Dr. Kelly Higgins.

For more information about the Women’s Leadership Council, visit