150 Stories of Philanthropy: The right chemistry

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

By Rebecca Renshaw

Bob Gower’s personal narrative over the past seven decades offers a touching portrait of the American dream. SIU played a part in his story of accomplishment, generosity and determination. Born in West Frankfort to parents with an eighth-grade education, Gower knew that hard work was going to be his personal key to achieving success.

“I worked and paid my own way through college, which wasn’t easy to do when majoring in chemistry,” Gower said. “Balancing classes and working on weekends was difficult, but through hard work I grew up fast. I learned that success doesn’t come automatically and that I just had to persevere through the hard times.”

Gower said that his experiences at SIU taught him so much about other people. He said those experiences taught him about character, taught him about honesty, and gave him an appreciation of diversity.

“In West Frankfort, Illinois, there were no African-Americans in the 1950s. When I arrived at SIU, I met all types of people from other cultures and countries, and it was a new and stimulating experience. I learned about people, what drove them and how to work with others who did not come from my background,” he said.

While he was a senior getting his undergraduate degree, Gower was encouraged by friends to go on a blind date with freshman Mary Beth Miller.

“I remember sitting across from this beautiful young girl, sharing a soda with her when she told me she was taking a freshman chemistry course and could really use some help with it. I thought, God must be smiling on me right now. I knew I was good at chemistry and that I could help her,” he said.

Fifty-eight years later, Gower credited his wife for helping him far more than when he helped her with her chemistry class.

Gower went on to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SIU in 1958 and 1960, respectively, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1963.

Upon graduation from SIU, Gower began an industrial career starting at Sinclair Oil Corporation as a research scientist.

“I quickly realized that I was just as able as some of the people running the companies that I worked for, so I asked to be moved into sales and experienced a range of business development and planning positions to broaden my background,” he said.

Gower soon rose to prominent positions in Atlantic Richfield and its divisions of the company. He became vice president of ARCO Chemical Co. in 1977 and senior vice president in 1979. In June 1984, he became senior vice president of Atlantic Richfield Co. Gower became president of Lyondell Petrochemical Co. when it was formed in April 1985 and was elected chief executive officer in October 1988. That same year, Gower led Lyondell through the largest initial public stock offering up to that time.

While Gower has had an illustrious career, he and his wife have always maintained a steadfast loyalty to SIU Carbondale’s chemistry department. Recently, Gower gave $800,000 to the department.

“SIU is moving toward being a well-recognized research institution with excellent faculty,” he said. “Beth and I would like to help it become a great research institution.”

One might think that with all of the success he achieved in his life, Gower would sit back and take it easy. Not so.

One of his current passions is the field of nanotechnology, which he has used to help develop a therapeutic, abuse-resistant opioid pain drug.

“It is currently in clinical trials, and the FDA recently gave Ensysce Biosciences a fast-track designation, which means we won’t have such a lengthy process to approval,” he said.

Gower said that opioid drugs are the only way to handle certain types of severe pain, so simply banning them from use is not the answer.

“The problem is that people quickly become addicted to opioid drugs,” he said. “We need to prevent abuse. What we have done with our drug is to modify it so that the drug is not active when taken. Only when it is in the digestive system and it meets an enzyme known as trypsin does it become activated via a two-step reaction. If a person snorts it or dissolves it and injects the drug, it will not be activated. If chewed, the reaction still will not take place until it gets to the digestive system.

Gower is also passionate about providing opportunities for underprivileged children. For the past 30 years, he has worked with Communities in School, and he headed its operation in Houston for much of that time. CIS is a campus-based, nonprofit organization providing direct services and resources to under-served children with unmet needs, many with mental health issues. By surrounding them with a community of support, CIS empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life.

“Anyone can do what I have done, or something better, or something comparable. Each of us brings our own unique set of contributions to society. Everyone is important on this stage,” he said.

To find out how you can contribute to the SIU College of Science and the chemistry department, visit foreversiu.org/colleges-units/science.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: SIU Scholarship Recipient Melina Launay

150 Stories of Philanthropy: SIU Scholarship Recipient Melina Launay

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

Melina Launay is a senior from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, studying elementary education.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose to go to SIU because they made me feel confident in their ability to lead me onto becoming a great teacher. I am very excited about the progress I have made as a future educator.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I decided to become a teacher because I want to be that positive influence in the students who may not have someone at home. I love children and I have a strong desire to see our future generations grow up and lead the country. Strong and caring teachers need to be teaching our future politicians, doctors, and inventors.

What was your reaction when you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was actually very surprised. I had not heard anything from the scholarships and just assumed I did not make the cut. I was very overwhelmed with joy upon receiving notice of my scholarship.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
This scholarship made me realize how fortunate I am a student of Southern Illinois University. I am passing the word and encouraging other students to apply for SIU and their scholarships because they are available for so many different students of all kinds.

Do you have a message that you would like to share with Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand?
I would like to thank you for your generous donation. This scholarship is helping me pay for schooling, as well as limit the amount of student debt I will have upon graduation. I am using this money towards school, which ends up helping me buy supplies for my future classroom because I have more money in my pocket. I greatly appreciate your scholarship, and I hope to use this to take every opportunity I have at becoming the best possible teacher.

Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
I am very fortunate. However, many people I know do not continue their education because they cannot afford it. Financial aid can be hard to complete for students who may have messy family situations. Scholarships are a great way to give back to the community and invest in the life of a prospective leader.

Has receiving this scholarship inspired you to give back to SIU in the future?
I will definitely consider finding a way to give some sort of donation to either a student or school in the future. I want to make a difference in the lives of others, and I was very appreciative of my scholarship.


Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: Business alumnus Lynn McPheeters donates to help future business Salukis succeed

Lynn McPheeters

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Growing up on a farm near Canton, F. Lynn McPheeters never imagined he would become the chief financial officer and vice president of Caterpillar Inc. Now, he’s donating $1 million to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, his alma mater, to help future Salukis succeed.

The endowment gift establishes the McPheeters Family Scholarship to benefit undergraduate College of Business students, Chancellor Carlo Montemagno announced this week.

“Without SIU, I would never have been in a position to have the opportunity to do something like this,” McPheeters said. “I’m a first-generation college student, and being able to attend SIU – a national, state-supported college – enabled me to have the career and life I’ve had. My hope is that this scholarship will allow others who are in similar situations the opportunity to attend SIU and succeed in their chosen field as I was able to.”

Benefitting business students

McPheeters’ gift will enable the university to award about $40,000 in scholarship assistance annually to deserving first-generation business students.

“Mr. McPheeters has been a longtime supporter of SIU, and we are very appreciative of his ongoing involvement and this generous contribution,” Montemagno said. “Countless students will realize their dreams of attending college because of this gift, and its impact on the world of business will reach far into the future.”

The scholarship funds are earmarked for first-generation students in the College of Business who are from Illinois counties located south of I-80; preference will be given to those who major in finance or accounting. Recipients must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to retain their eligibility and the scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

The McPheeters story

McPheeters is a 1964 accounting graduate from SIU’s College of Business. He joined the Fortune 500 company soon thereafter and held a number of finance-related positions in the United States and abroad during a 40-year career capped off by a term as CFO. He fostered a working partnership between SIU and Caterpillar during his career. Since he retired, he remains active professionally on behalf of SIU and as a proponent for public education and charitable causes.

McPheeters was the first to enroll at and graduate from Spoon River Community College, then known as Canton College, and he established the Francis G. and Dorothea B. McPheeters Scholarship there in honor of his parents. He continues to serve as a board member for several companies, including RLI Inc. and WPC Technologies.

A member of the SIU Foundation board since 2002, McPheeters has served as chair of the audit committee and later as board president; he is currently an emeritus board member. He was one of the first members of the College of Business external advisory board, holding a seat since 1988. He was inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame in 1988 and has earned a number of other honors, including the College of Business Alumni Achievement Award in 2004.

In 2006, McPheeters and his wife, Susan, supported SIU with a $585,000 gift of appreciated Caterpillar stock, which was invested to create the Susan F. and F. Lynn McPheeters College of Business Leadership Endowed Chair, the college’s first endowed chair. The McPheeters’ philanthropy has also extended to various other charitable organizations and efforts in the health, education and abuse-prevention areas, earning them the title of Outstanding Philanthropists for Central Illinois in 2006.

“Lynn McPheeters has been associated with SIU and the College of Business for a long time. He has also been a loyal and generous friend,” said Terry Clark, dean of the College of Business. “Over the years, his love for our institution has been shown in many ways, from serving on the college’s External Advisory Board to serving on the SIU Foundation Board. Lynn’s institutional spiritedness is legendary. We are deeply grateful for his most recent gift. Through his generosity, another generation of Salukis will be helped onto the ladder that Lynn climbed so notably upon graduation from the college in 1964.”

Forever SIU

The McPheeters Family Scholarship endowment was made in conjunction with the Forever SIU fundraising campaign, to advance the university’s goal of providing the best education possible to students of all disciplines. More information about the campaign is available at foreversiu.org.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: SIU Scholarship Recipient Leah Hall

SIU Scholarship Recipient Leah Hall

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

Leah Hall is a freshman from Carbondale, Illinois, studying animal production.

Why did you choose SIU?
SIU has a great animal science program that could offer me a lot of hands-on experience.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I’ve been obsessed with animal science since I was a kid. I would always choose Animal Planet over cartoons and I decided to turn that childhood passion into a career.

What was your reaction when you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was so surprised. This scholarship took a huge weight off my shoulders. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay my tuition for the semester, so it felt like the greatest gift ever.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
Every single scholarship I receive motivates me to be a better student and a better person. Having complete strangers believe in me and my ability to succeed just makes me confident that my passion will impact others.

Do you have a message that you would like to share with Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand?
I’m so grateful that you saw something in me that was worth rewarding. Lately, every time I feel down I just remember this blessing and that without it, I could have been in a much worse situation. Thank you.

Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
There shouldn’t be a price tag on education, but unfortunately, there is. There are thousands of students like me who have to work while attending school and that kind of pressure shouldn’t be put on anyone if it doesn’t have to be.

Has receiving this scholarship inspired you to give back to SIU in the future?
I want to give back by using what I learn at SIU to enter the agricultural industry and leave my mark.


Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: Nigel Kilby awarded the Herrin Security Bank Athletic Scholarship

Nigel Kilby awarded the Herrin Security Bank Athletic Scholarship

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

By Ron Reeves

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Nigel Kilby, a junior from Fort Wayne, Indiana and a member of the Saluki Football team, received the Herrin Security Bank Athletic Scholarship for the 2018-19 academic school year. Kilby was honorable mention All-MVFC last season, recording a season-high seven catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns against South Dakota.

“Nigel is a transfer student-athlete to SIU who has done an outstanding job,” said head football coach Nick Hill. “He has done well in the classroom and has made a big impact on the field and we are looking forward to his senior year.”

While at Garden City Community College, Kilby was rated the No. 37 junior college prospect in the country, and according to 247sports.com, he was the No. 3 junior college tight end. During his first season as a Saluki, he caught 16 passes for 230 yards, a 14.38 yard average and scored 6 touchdowns.

“Nigel is in a difficult degree program (Exercise Science) and has powered through at every step,” said Hilary Wittenborn, academic coordinator. “He values his education and knows how to balance it all.”

This fund was established on behalf of Charles Helleny and Sharon Ruth Helleny, SIU graduates from the College of Business and Administration and the College of Education, respectively. Charles is a strong supporter of Southern Illinois University sports and WSIU-TV8. He graduated from SIU with a degree in business administration in 1954. In 1957, Helleny began his career as a bookkeeper at Herrin Security Bank during the bank’s first year of operation. During his tenure at Herrin Security Bank, Helleny worked as a teller, assistant cashier, loan officer, cashier and executive vice president. In 1975, he became the director of Herrin Security Bank and in 2001 was named president and chief executive. In 2018, SIU Athletics named the pavilion in SIU Arena the Charles Helleny Pavilion. Additionally, the first Division I home men’s basketball game has been named the Charles Helleny Tip-Off Classic.

“This scholarship will open an unbelievable amount of doors for me,” said Kilby. “It gives me the opportunity to earn my degree and compete in a sport I love.”

Kilby said he is grateful for the opportunity the scholarship has created for him.

“This scholarship has helped my family and me immensely. I am very blessed and thankful.”

To see a full list of athletic endowments, click HERE.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: Childress Scholarship grows benefitting business students

James B. and Rosemary Samuel Childress

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Braden Drake had been paying his own way through Southern Illinois University Carbondale, so learning he was one of this year’s James B. and Rosemary Samuel Childress Scholarship recipients was quite a relief.

Drake, a 2018 accounting graduate from Carterville, said the scholarship was a big help in paying tuition, fees, books, apartment expenses, medical and vehicle insurance bills and other costs of living. He was also excited to learn that upon their deaths, the Carterville couple added a $2 million bequest to SIU’s scholarship fund bearing their names, allowing students to benefit even more from the scholarships in the future.

“Any time I’m able to receive a scholarship, it helps me get one step closer to covering my expenses without having to take out any student loans,” Drake said. “I really want to thank the Childresses for their donation to College of Business students and helping me be able to reach my goals.”

James and Rosemary “Dee” Childress married as high school sweethearts before James went off to serve as an electrician’s mate with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. He returned to his hometown, graduated from Carterville High School and then earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The couple lived in a small second-story apartment, and he worked at the Carterville Post Office to put himself through school.

While their married life began with meager means, James became a successful businessman. Over the course of his career, he went on to own or co-own various steel erection, construction and sales businesses as well as motels and nursing homes in the Midwest and south, according to Robert Howerton, a relative of the couple who served as their attorney. Hard work and wise investing grew the Childress fortune, Howerton said.

“They were unable to have children but they were very successful, very devoted to each other, very family-oriented and very generous and charitable to others,” Howerton said. “They also realized the value of a good education and wanted to do something to help other people, people who they hoped could also go on to be successful if they just had a little help.”

Thus, the Childress’ philanthropy included SIU. The couple originally endowed a scholarship at James’ college alma mater in August 1989, earmarking the funds to go each year to SIU business students who are graduates of high schools in Jackson or Williamson counties or to students who graduated from community colleges and high schools within those counties. Financial need is considered and preference goes to students who are working to help cover their college expenses. Applicants must also submit an essay. Recipients are eligible to apply for a scholarship renewal.

Dee Childress passed away in July 2015 and her husband died the following May. Both were 90 at the times of their deaths, and they had given untold amounts through the years to charitable causes, particularly education, civic, health, historical and relief organizations. Their final wish was to offer a helping hand to even more young people, so they added a $2 million gift to SIU’s James B. and Rosemary S. Childress Scholarship endowment. SIU Foundation officials estimate the fund will now generate about $80,000 annually that can be awarded to SIU business students.

“We know scholarships make a difference in the lives of our students,” said SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.  “We at the university witness that every day. The Childresses felt that impact while they were living. Seeing how scholarships affected students meant a great deal to them. Their bequest to the Childress Endowment will help students in the College of Business in an even more significant way for years to come. Those students and SIU are most appreciative of the Childress’ generosity.”


Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: Turning Dreams into a Reality

Lori Quig Scholarhsip Donor at Southern Illinois University

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

By Rebecca Renshaw

It often is said that while most of us dream about great things, engineers just go and do them.

That certainly rings true for Lori Quigg, a 1991 alumna of the SIU College of Engineering. Quigg didn’t let the fact that she was entering a male-dominated field stop her when she began her engineering education in 1988. She worked hard, made the grades and did the work necessary to get her degree.

Nor did it stop her a few years later, when she decided to start her own engineering firm.

“When you wake up one day and say, ‘Today is the day I’m going to go $500,000 in debt’ – well, that took some courage and perseverance,” she says, laughing. “But I did it somehow. There’s a fine line between being really smart and really stupid. Fortunately for me, everything worked in my favor.”

Quigg Engineering Inc., now headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, has seen steady success and growth over the past 10 years.

“We went from two employees in a little office in Jacksonville to now over 75 employees in multiple offices in Illinois, as well as Iowa and Florida,” Quigg says. “Yes, I work hard, but the saying is certainly true for me that ‘when you enjoy what you do, you are not really working.’ I go 24/7. In fact, my entire family’s motto is, ‘Work hard, play hard.’ ”

Quigg attributes much of her success to SIU.

“I loved SIU because the professors actually taught me what I needed to know,” she says. “Sometimes, at large universities, professors spend all their time on research while teaching assistants do the teaching. Not SIU. I found that my professors who taught me were all very accessible and caring. That made a big impact on me that I’ve never forgotten.”

Quigg recently decided to give back to SIU and help those following in her footsteps by establishing an endowed scholarship for female engineering students.

“Whenever I see an issue, I always try to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem,” she says. “I have seen a problem in the state of Illinois in hiring female and minorities. The fact is there is a definite shortage of female engineers. Even the Illinois Department of Transportation is being forced to search for job candidates in other states because there are so few female candidates.”

Quigg says that her daughter, a pre-med student at SIU, continues to see women struggle in traditionally male-dominated fields.

“I always knew for the last 20 years that I wanted to start a scholarship specifically for women,” Quigg says. “I know how much an education costs, and how frustrating it can be. This is something I did because I have walked that path. Now I want to give a helping hand to other women who want to pursue this type of degree.”

Quigg wants students to know that getting a degree in engineering doesn’t mean they must be exceptionally gifted students.

“I always tell young people that they don’t have to be brainiacs,” she says. “I assure them that, as long as they are mathematically inclined, they will be fine. They will be taught and they will learn. I also want them to know that an engineering degree can open so many doors of opportunity. From transportation to oil and gas or the government, engineers are needed in so many fields.

“It’s a great career choice as a woman, especially if you want to raise a family someday. I have always made my family a priority throughout my career, and I want to encourage other women to do the same, if that is their goal. My career choice has truly allowed me to have the best of both worlds.”

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: The Art of Giving

Roy and Mary Ann Abrahamson

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

By Rebecca Renshaw

The first thing you notice about Roy and Marianne Abrahamson is the distinct twinkle in their eyes. Married 56 years, they share a life rich in art, laughter and the art of giving.

“Art is transformational,” says Roy Abrahamson, an SIU art education professor for 31 years until his retirement in 1996. “Art is the ability to transform what one sees into an artistic formation according to one’s inner holistic view.”

The transformational power of art led the couple to establish the Dr. Roy E. Abrahamson Art Education Endowed Scholarship to help students afford an education – so the students, in turn, can contribute to the artistic transformation of others.

“Roy is the type of artist that doesn’t sit and sketch what he sees,” Marianne Abrahamson says. “Instead, he takes in the scene and records it with an inner eye.”

Roy and Mary Ann AbrahamsonThe gift of expression is evident throughout the Abrahamsons’ home in Carbondale. The artwork that adorns their walls and coffee tables reflects Roy Abrahamson’s fascination with multiple types of art – from temperas, to oils, to caseins, to acrylics, to watercolors and wood sculptures.

Roy Abrahamson’s love of art has taken him from one coast to the other. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Minnesota, he studied with Henry Schaefer-Simmern at the Institute of Art Education in Berkley, California. After obtaining a master’s degree in elementary and secondary education from San Francisco State University, he served three years in the Army during the Korean War.

Following his military service, he taught public school in San Francisco. In 1960, Roy and Marianne married, and in 1963 they moved to New York, where Roy Abrahamson earned a doctoral degree in art education at Columbia University. In 1965, he joined the School of Art and Design faculty at SIU, teaching art education to hundreds of students during his tenure.

While at SIU he also served as president of the Illinois Art Education Association, and was a member of the National Art Education Association and the International Society for Education through Art. In addition, he wrote and published many research articles in professional journals. He also took part in a research grant program involving student teachers and mentally handicapped children and organized annual hands-on art sessions for children from southern Illinois schools.

Perhaps one of Roy Abrahamson’s greatest achievements came after his retirement from SIU. He was asked by the widow of his late mentor Schaefer-Simmern to co-edit a book titled “Consciousness of Artistic Form.” A copy of the book sits prominently in the couple’s living room.

Marianne Abrahamson says they recently saw an opportunity to give back to the university that was such a significant part of their lives.

“Being a native of Germany myself, and both of us growing up during WWII, the experiences of that time formed our outlook,” she says. “While we never had much money back in the early years, we knew how to make the most of what we had. And now that we have the funds, we want to help deserving students in art education get their education.”

“Throughout my career and throughout our lives, it’s always been about helping students demonstrate art that is true to their inner being,” Roy Abrahamson says. “Marianne and I established the scholarship to help students who could not otherwise afford an education. It is a good feeling to have.”

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: ZeVeyon Furcron awarded the Julius A. and Norma H. Johnson Athletic Scholarship

ZeVeyon Furcron awarded the Julius A. and Norma H. Johnson Athletic Scholarship

ZeVeyon Furcron awarded the Julius A. and Norma H. Johnson Athletic ScholarshipBy Ron Reeves

CARBONDALE, Ill. — ZeVeyon Furcron, a sophomore from Crest Hill and a member of the Saluki Football team, received the Julius A. and Norma H. Johnson Athletic Scholarship for the 2018-19 academic school year. Furcron helped pave the way for 1,000 – yard rusher D.J. Davis in 2018.

“ZeVeyon does everything right for our team and leads by example,” said head football coach Nick Hill. “His attitude and personality is contagious and makes people around him better.”

“Having a scholarship here at SIU is a huge deal for my family and me,” said Furcron. “I am the first one in my immediate family to go to college with a scholarship.”

Even though he redshirted during his first year at SIU, Furcron was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Academic Honor Roll and the team’s Defensive Scout Player of the Year. During this past season, he switched positions from defensive tackle to left guard which helped improve the offensive line.

“This scholarship shows that all my mom’s hard work didn’t go to waste,” added Furcron. “I am able to pay her back with this scholarship and by hopefully making it to the NFL one day.”

Julius Johnson was a St. Louis, Missouri native who earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from SIU in 1975. As a member of the 1956 and 1957 SIU gymnastics team, Julius was a stellar performer especially on the parallel bars. After receiving his degree, he served in the Army before earning his law degree from Howard University in 1963. Julius and Norma were married in June 1964. Julius worked as public defender, law school lecturer, and assistant U.S. attorney before his appointment as administrative judge for the Department of Labor in 1976. He was honored in 1997 as an SIU Distinguished Alumni. Norma Johnson was a Lake Charles, La. native, who was the first African-American women appointed as the U.S. District Court Chief Judge. Julius passed away in 2010, and Norma in 2011. Their legacy continues to this very day.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

150 Stories of Philanthropy: SIU Scholarship Recipient Max Goins

SIU Scholarship Recipient Max Goins

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

Max Goins is a senior from Herrin, Illinois, studying history.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I enjoyed watching the History Channel as a kid a lot. I also liked going through old photographs of my town Herrin.

What was your reaction when you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was overjoyed.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
Since this will make it easier to further my education, I will be able to share my knowledge with others.

Do you have a message that you would like to share with Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand?
I would like to thank them for helping me and allowing me to further my education.

Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
If you can help students then they can then give back to the community one day.

Has receiving this scholarship inspired you to give back to SIU in the future?
I believe all scholarships make people feel inspired to give back. It really just sparks the giving chain and makes you truly happy.


Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.