Matt Solverson: A Lifetime Saluki

By Rebecca Renshaw

Ask anyone what they remember about their college years and chances are you’ll hear about unforgettable moments, lifelong friendships, and stories about memorable classes and professors. For Matt Solverson, SIU has played a prominent role throughout his entire life.

“I have always been deeply connected to SIU as my late father was an SIU professor teaching agribusiness economics for 32 years,” he said. “My mother earned her master’s degree in special education from SIU, and I met my wife, Christy, as we both earned degrees while at SIU. I attended Carbondale schools, so I was always on campus with my family.”

Solverson is a 1986 graduate of the College of Engineering and a member of the college’s Industrial Advisory Board. He is the Director of Research and Development Programs at General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, where he has been employed for over 30 years.

Solverson can point to several areas where SIU played a significant role in his upbringing. His family has held season tickets for SIU athletic events for many years.

“I remember being on campus as a young boy with my father, and he would take me to his office. We would go to the basketball and football games, and that is where my love of SIU Athletics began. I would say our blood definitely runs maroon” he said.

After serving on the SIU Foundation board for several years, Solverson will begin his tenure as president of the board on July 1, 2021.

“We have watched the SIU Foundation step up instead of sit down when the pandemic hit last year. Together, we have furthered our mission, and we stand eager to move forward together as we continue into this fiscal year,” he said. “I am so honored and excited to lead the board as president. The future looks promising for SIU, and I can’t wait to see where the next few months lead us.”

His wife, Judge Christy Solverson, a two-degree alumna of SIU, serves as Presiding Circuit Judge for Jackson County in the First Judicial Circuit. The Solversons have one adult daughter and reside in Carbondale.

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