Salukis take over Florida’s west coast

Representatives from SIU gathered with alumni and friends down the Gulf Coast of Florida during the recent Saluki Takeover Tour in the Sunshine State.

After successful takeover tour events in Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville, it was time to head south. Chancellor Austin Lane, many administrators, and staff hosted receptions in The Villages, Tampa, and Naples.

“It’s so refreshing to see so many Salukis,” Chancellor Lane said. “You, the alumni, are serving as our ambassadors. Salukis are everywhere. Our goal as we connect, and sometimes reconnect, is to further ignite Saluki Nation.”

Things kicked off Wednesday, Feb. 15, with dozens of Salukis coming together at the Savannah Recreation facility. With its ever-growing population, The Villages is home to a number of Saluki alumni, who were excited to meet with campus leaders.

From there, the takeover tour headed south to Tampa on Thursday, Feb. 16, for a luncheon at Seasons 52 restaurant. Again, dozens of Salukis filled the room with maroon and white as they celebrated their school spirit.

The final event took place Friday, Feb. 17, at the Naples Yacht Club. More than 100 Salukis joined the fun as the takeover tour wrapped up.

Between the receptions, Chancellor Lane, Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management Wendell Williams, and others visited community colleges and high schools in an effort to build partnerships that will positively impact SIU’s recruitment efforts.

“We want our students to imagine what they can become and realize they can do it if they start at SIU,” Chancellor Lane said.

After such a strong turnout on the west coast, plans are already under way for a Saluki Takeover Tour in other parts of Florida.

Beyond the takeover tours, alumni were encouraged to attend other upcoming SIU events, including the Saluki Ball on Saturday, April 22, at the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

“We’re looking forward to meeting all the alumni and future alumni,” SIU First Lady Loren Lane said. “We’re really excited to bring you the inaugural Saluki Ball. It’s going to be wonderful evening honoring alumni and supporting our students.”

Look for more information about future Saluki Takeover Tours at, and learn more about the Saluki Ball at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *