by Greg Scott
CARBONDALE, Ill. — A six-member steering committee is generating private support of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Way project. Individuals serving on the Saluki Way steering committee are Greg Cook, president of Cook Portable Warehouses in Cobden and a member of the SIU Foundation Board of Directors; Marshall Sheffer, owner of Sheffer Insurance Agency in Herrin; Lisa Short, office manager of Short Brothers Construction in Marion; Barry Smith, market president of Regions Bank in Paducah and a member of the SIU Alumni Association Board of Directors; Jeffrey Speith, Old National Bank Southern Illinois Region president; and Wesley Wilkins, an attorney in Anna who also serves on the SIU Foundation Board.
Rickey N. McCurry, SIUC vice chancellor for institutional advancement and CEO of the SIU Foundation, says volunteer leadership is an asset in Southern’s quest to reach its desired $83-million goal for Saluki Way. “This institution is grateful to have community and business leaders step up in this fashion. These volunteers have exhibited a strong commitment to this institution over the years, and aspire to see the athletic program thrive well into the future,” McCurry says. “We have individuals who realize how pertinent Saluki Way is and their contributions will move us one step closer to transforming this dream into a reality for Saluki fans.” Mario Moccia, director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Southern, adds: “Our six volunteers have helped us achieve the fundraising success we currently enjoy. They are representative of the loyalty, pride and devotion exhibited by Saluki supporters nationwide. We have alumni, friends, and supporters of our athletic program who realize the importance of upgrading our facilities and they take great pride in Saluki Athletics. That is what is making Saluki Way a reality.” Saluki Way, unveiled in 2005, is comprised of three primary components including construction of a new football stadium, retrofitting the SIU Arena and building an athletics support facility that will feature locker rooms, meeting rooms and office space for the Saluki men’s and women’s basketball program as well as the football program. McCurry says the University has raised close to $70 million through student fees, the City of Carbondale’s pledge, private donations and the sale of football suites. Saluki Way is scheduled for a groundbreaking date of March 3.