June 22, 2006

Media Advisory – Awards Ceremony

Sonya Locke, a member of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Hall of Fame, will be the keynote speaker Friday, June 23, when African American students from Carbondale are honored at the Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony.

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the ceremony, set for 7 to 9 p.m. at Carbondale Middle School, 1150 E. Grand Ave. The Southern Illinois Regional Career Preparation Program and Concerned Citizens of Carbondale are the co-sponsors of the program. The top African-American students in grades four through 12 in the Carbondale schools will be honored for outstanding academic achievement. Students who maintained perfect attendance during the past school year also will be recognized.

Locke, who coached volleyball at SIUC for 14 years, now serves as an academic adviser for Saluki athletics. An All-American, she played volleyball for the Salukis from 1979 to 1982. She returned as head coach in 1991. In 2002, she led her team to a 23-10 record and its first-ever Missouri Valley Conference tournament final appearance. That same year, she was the conference coach of the year and earned the National Black Coaches Association Female Coach of the Year award.