Association awards $15,000 in textbooks, supplies

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Thirty-five Southern Illinois University Carbondale students received more than $15,000 in textbooks and supplies from the SIU Alumni Association earlier this week.

The awards came during ceremonies Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Student Center Ballrooms.

“The generosity of our alumni makes these awards possible,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Many of them benefitted from much-needed assistance during their time as students. We hope that when these recipients have the opportunity, they too will support the students who follow in their footsteps.”

Ray Serati, president of the SIU Alumni Association, said, “Support of this kind is invaluable to many of our students, and we take great pride in providing such assistance again this year. Such financial support would not be possible without our members, who continue to help sponsor initiatives like this at our alma mater.”

In April 2008, the SIU Alumni Association’s national board allocated funds for investment, with the earnings earmarked to support the financial needs of current and future SIU Carbondale students. The Board’s scholarship committee, with the assistance of the University’s financial aid office, identified the need for textbooks and supplies as an area of extreme importance for student success, concluding the money could best be used to fill this type of gap that often occurs in student funding.

The SIU Carbondale financial aid office identified students using criteria that include a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a demonstration of financial need. The University’s International Programs and Services office assisted in identifying international students to receive the award. Students are chosen based upon their academic success and demonstrated SIU Carbondale alumni family legacy.

The allocation of funds helps demonstrate the alumni association’s continued commitment to students, and serves to also assist the University in its ongoing retention efforts, said Michelle Suarez, alumni association executive director.

“I know that supporting current and future SIU students is something that gives many of our Association members great satisfaction,” Suarez said. “Such textbook awards serve as a great example of how fellow Salukis help others follow in their footsteps.”

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