March 10, 2004

Associations offer life-long relationship with SIUC

by Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Once Southern Illinois University Carbondale students conclude their initial year on campus and parents and family members complete their inaugural year as Saluki Family Association members, they are invited to become a member of a larger University family by joining the SIU Alumni Association.

Alumni, students, and friends of SIUC have historically been encouraged to establish lifelong relationships with Southern and each other through the SIU Alumni Association. A new effort on campus encourages family members of current SIUC students to remain a part of the University family long after their students graduate.

The SIU Alumni Association and Saluki Family Association (formerly the SIUC Parents Association) are partnering to strengthen the relationship between parents, family members and the institution.

Currently, incoming freshmen and their parents receive a complimentary membership into the Saluki Family Association when they participate in the Student Orientation Advisement Registration program (SOAR).

During their first year on campus, the Saluki Family Association strives to create a smooth transition for new students in the University setting in areas involving academic, social, wellness, and environmental concerns. Additionally, SOAR addresses parental and family member concerns.

The primary goal is to nurture a positive experience for first-year students and their families. The Saluki Family Association is comprised of 2,000 families.

The one-year membership in the Saluki Family Association includes a welcome packet, membership card, discounts at local businesses and hotels, "Proud Saluki Family Member" T-shirt, Insight Newsletter at least twice a semester, advance information about Saluki Family Weekend events, and much more. Family members appreciate receiving increased levels of communication and support throughout the first year of their student's college career.

Following their first year in the Saluki Family Association, families will be encouraged to continue their relationship with the University, through membership in the SIU Alumni Association. They will receive all the same benefits as a regular alumni member. Such benefits include invitations to functions in their area of residence, such as SIU's events at Chicago's Wrigley Field and St. Louis' Busch Stadium. In addition, the Alumni Association welcomes members at appreciation football, basketball, theater, and symphony events on campus throughout the year.

New members can also stay abreast of SIU news through Southern Alumni magazine and Saluki Pride newsletter, and receive discounts for products and services at various local and national businesses. (Please refer to page 5 of Southern Alumni for a complete list of benefits).

Parents and families are truly unsung heroes as our students strive to earn their college degree," said Ed Buerger, executive director of the SIU Alumni Association. "Their encouragement can often make the difference in achieving academic success.

Our partnership with the Saluki Family Association also demonstrates that SIUC parents and families are vital members of the Southern family. The critical family relationship that is established when their student initially rrives on campus can now continue long after the student graduates from Southern."

"The collaboration between the Saluki Family Association and SIU Alumni Association allows us to better serve students and their families," says Beth Lingren, director of New Student Programs. "We strive to establish relationships with families at the beginning of the enrollment process. Through our partnership with the Alumni Association, members receive an increased number of benefits.

In turn, the University's relationships with SIUC families will endure. I look forward to seeing families of our students at alumni member functions for many years to come."