March 30, 2006

Habitat for Humanity founder to visit SIUC

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The founder of an internationally acclaimed housing program for low-income families will visit the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus next month.

Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity International, speaks to SIUC School of Architecture students at 3 p.m. Friday, April 7, in Browne Auditorium, room 124 in Parkinson Laboratory. The SIUC College of Liberal Arts and the Fine Arts Activities Lecture Series are sponsoring the event.

Christy Poggas, assistant professor of architecture and coordinator of the lecture series, said architecture students can learn a lot from Fuller's example.

"I hope they hear about the need to do public service and that this is an important part of architecture and design," Poggas said. "Quite a few of our students do work with Habitat for Humanity on the weekends and we encourage them to participate while they're in school here. Hopefully, they'll continue as a service to their community afterwards,"

Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976, guiding it into a worldwide charitable, Christian housing organization. The group has a large network of affiliated organizations that helps needy families build their own homes using donated materials and volunteer labor.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton honored Fuller with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. In 2005, Fuller and his wife, Linda, started The Fuller Center for

Housing, which works alongside Habitat for Humanity in its mission to provide low-income housing. The center recently committed to work with a Habitat affiliate in Shreveport, La., to build 60 new homes for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

The event is free and open to the public. Licensed architects may count the hours toward continuing education requirements in Illinois through self-reporting.

On April 8, Fuller will be the guest speaker at a dinner at the Carbondale Civic Center to benefit a Lutheran Social Services of Illinois program that enables incarcerated juveniles and adults to build housing components for low-income family homes. Inmates at Taylorville and Centralia Correctional Centers, for example, fabricated several of the homes targeted for the Shreveport project.

For further information about the dinner, contact Jane Otte of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois at 618/997-9196.

Serving others is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Millard Fuller

Millard Fuller
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