Technical Service Center naming honor Missavage’s legacy

Family honors longtime director, professor with $500K gift

Ribbon Cutting (Left to Right) John Brajkovich, Dennis Missavage (Brother of Roger Missavage), Dean Liu, Arlene Liss (Sister of Roger), Gene Liss (Arlene’s Husband and Brother-In-Law of Roger), and Jason Fairfield

By Jeff Wilson

Roger J. Missavage, a longtime professor at Southern Illinois University, was an outstanding faculty of the College of Engineering. He was director of the Computer Assisted Instruction & Research Laboratory for 29 years.

When Roger passed away in November 2021 at age 71, his brother Dennis Missavage, and sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Gene Liss, established the Roger J. Missavage Endowed Fund for Engineering Education with a $500,000 gift in Roger’s memory.

Xiaoqing “Frank” Liu, dean of the College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics

On April 19, 2024, Xiaoqing “Frank” Liu, dean of the College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics, hosted a dedication of the Roger J. Missavage Technical Service Center. The center will bolster information technology initiatives within the college.

“This is an exciting moment for this college,” Liu said. “Technology is the foundation of our college. The funds from this endowment will cover the technological needs of this college. Our students, faculty, and staff will benefit from this endowment in a significant way.”

Roger Missavage, a Herrin, Illinois, native, graduated from SIU in 1978 with a degree in engineering and added a master’s degree in mining engineering in 1991. He taught multiple courses at SIUC, including mechanics of rigid bodystatics, mechanics of rigid bodies-dynamics, rock mechanics principles and design, and analysis and design of mine excavations. He was also a Professional Engineer, which requires licensure from a state board of registration to practice engineering. He provided outstanding information technology support to the college for a long time.

John Brajkovich, director of the Roger J. Missavage Technical Service Center, gave a tour of the facility.

John Brajkovich, who will manage the Roger J. Missavage Technical Service Center, was a student worker for Missavage and a former colleague.

“He was just a guy who would help you with anything you needed,” he said at the dedication. “He would make loans to students if they were having problems. Anything he could do to help. A very charitable man. A very giving man.”

Liu credited Roger Missavage with being influential in many of the college’s advancements in information technology and facility and philanthropic support.

“The Roger J. Missavage Technical Service Center will permanently establish Roger’s legacy at our college and SIU,” he said.

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