May 11, 2005

SIUC receives $1 million for Southern@150 scholarships

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials announced today (May 11) that an anonymous donor has established a trust that will create a $1 million endowed scholarship fund upon her death, establishing the Southern at 150 Scholarships in honor of the University's long-range plan.

SIUC's Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Rickey N. McCurry said the gift will benefit academically talented students from Southern Illinois, with priority going to first-generation college students and children of veterans. The trust is established through the SIU Foundation.

"We are very appreciative of this gift that creates Southern at 150 Scholars," McCurry said. "We talked to this particular donor about creating scholarships that would carry her name. She thought about it and told us she would rather call them Southern at 150 Scholarships in recognition of the power and insight more than 240 individuals had when they put together our long-range plan, Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment."

SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler said the gift will be far-reaching because it will live on in perpetuity. "This individual has given the gift of opportunity to generations of future students. In choosing to honor many through Southern at 150, she created a living example of humility for our students to follow. We thank her deeply for her generosity and for her support for Southern."

McCurry said the endowment will fund at least one undergraduate scholarship for a student in each year of study – freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Students who attended high schools south of Interstate 64 who score 30 or better on the ACT (or equivalently on the SAT) can apply. Continuing students must have a cumulative SIUC grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 (perfect) scale to receive or renew the award.

The awards will cover at a minimum the cost of tuition and fees – currently about $6,000.

"This is a very special gift from a very special individual," Wendler said. "We know future Southern at 150 Scholars will be among the next generation of leaders for the University, the region and the world at large."

The goal of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment is to articulate a series of commitments and actions that will place it among the Top 75 public research universities in the United States by the year 2019, when the University celebrates its 150th anniversary, while it continues to provide the foundation for academic, economic and social progress in Southern Illinois.