Salukis recognized for takeover of Springfield

SIU honored at the State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD – Southern Illinois University Carbondale leaders are raising the university’s visibility and nurturing relationships with alumni, state officials, local schools, and others during this week’s Saluki Takeover Tour in Springfield.

This was the inaugural stop in Illinois’ capital for the Saluki Takeover Tour, which has made previous stops in Chicago, St. Louis, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee. The takeover tour will revisit these areas over the next few months and add new locations, including a takeover of Southern Illinois.

The capstone event of each takeover tour is the Chancellor’s Reception. With nearly 200 Salukis in attendance, the excitement was palpable. Guests also had the opportunity to view the Jerome M. Mileur Presidential Campaign Memorabilia Collection.

“There’s something special about Springfield. When get here and run into all our alums, state reps, and senators, that’s what’s unique,” said Chancellor Austin Lane. “We need your support. We need to you be engaged. We need you to be proud of the work that is occurring.”

Capitol recognition

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Illinois State Rep. Will Davis, ’89, announced the Salukis in Springfield on the House Floor in the Illinois State Capitol and read excerpts of the House resolution to honor SIU Carbondale. Rep. Patrick Windhorst, ’00, School of Law, also welcomed SIU leaders.

“Bright days are ahead, and it’s a bright future based on your leadership,” Windhorst said.

A House resolution on Wednesday honored the SIU School of Law in celebration of its 50th anniversary this year.

“We welcome them here to Springfield for their takeover event here, and you’ll start to see these takeover events in more communities around the state,” Davis said.

Exciting interactions

Also on Tuesday, Chancellor Lane was interviewed by WTAX News Radio and NPR Illinois in Springfield.

Chancellor Lane and university leaders explored Stellar Aviation. During the visit, the SIU Foundation received a $50,000 gift from Dr. Susan Shea ’86, who is the director of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics. The funds will endow a scholarship for SIU Aviation students.

“I’m very grateful to Southern Illinois University for giving me the opportunity, and I want to say thank you back for the wonderful education I got there,” she said during the Chancellor’s Reception.

Sheryl Tucker, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Robert Morgan, dean of the College for Health and Human Sciences, and Linda Baker, a professor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, engaged with the Illinois Department of Human Services – Funeral and Burial Benefits.

Additionally, SIU System First Lady Laura Mahony hosted the leadership from the Conference of Women in Legislators at the SIU System president’s home, discussing strategies to increase membership and fund scholarships for women resuming their education. The day concluded with a dinner alongside SIU School of Medicine members at Panther Creek Country Club.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, leaders from the Office of Innovation and Economic Development and the SIU Foundation exchanged creative ideas for the future of the Southern Illinois region with the Director of the Department of Agriculture Jerry Costello II. Costello ’97 is a proud Saluki and graduate of the School of Education.

During the takeover tour, university leadership visited administrators and counselors at Springfield Lamphier High School, Springfield East High School, Springfield High School, Lincoln Land Community College, and Sacred Heart Griffin (Cavalry).

On Thursday morning, dozens gathered for the WSIU Friends Breakfast at Harvest Market. Attendees connected with WSIU Friends and staff for a complimentary buffet.

For more information about upcoming Saluki Takeover Tours, follow the SIU Foundation on social media or visit

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