November 27, 2006
SIU Law School alumni fund scholarships
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Four Southern Illinois University Carbondale law school alumni are providing scholarship funds for students at the SIU School of Law.
The Springfield law firm of Hodge Dwyer Zeman, along with Springfield attorney N. Lee Beneze are providing $22,000 in scholarship funds through the SIU Foundation for use by second- and third-year law school students.
"We are very proud of these alumni and we are humbled by their gifts. It is very nice to know that they believe we are doing the right thing in educating our students," School of Law Dean Peter C. Alexander said. "We cannot thank them enough for their financial support."
Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advance and CEO of the SIU Foundation, said increasing scholarship support for all students is an important goal at SIUC, and is "especially important for our professional schools."
"We are grateful to these donors for their willingness to partner with Dean Alexander and the faculty to aid us in attracting top students to the SIU School of Law," he said.
Hodge Dwyer Zeman, a Springfield firm that concentrates on environmental law, is contributing $15,000. Partners Katherine D. Hodge, Edward W. Dwyer, and Christine G. Zeman, each graduated from the law school — Hodge in 1986, Dwyer in 1987, and Zeman in 1979.
The 10-lawyer firm, whose clients are primarily business and industry, started in 1991 and carries a definite Saluki pedigree. Five SIU School of Law graduates work in the firm, including a member of the one of the law school's first graduating classes and a 2006 graduate.
"We all agree that our experience at SIU has allowed us to achieve a significant degree of success as lawyers," said Hodge, a native of Marion. "We are pleased to help the Law School in offering financial assistance to deserving students pursuing a law degree at SIU."
The three attorneys express hope that their contribution to the SIU Foundation will encourage others, in particular alumni, to make similar contributions, Hodge said.
Beneze is contributing $7,000. He earned his law degree from the SIU School of Law in 1985, and has been active in the SIU School of Law Alumni Association since graduation. He is currently the law school alumni association secretary.
Beneze is the legal services developer with the Illinois Department on Aging.
"I am proud to have graduated from SIU School of Law. It was the excellent education I received at the law school that gave me a great start in my legal career. Over the years, I have always sought to give something back to the law school," he said.
"Contributing to this scholarship is a way to build something that will exist as long as there is a law school. I strongly urge my fellow alumni to contribute to the scholarship fund, which will allow the SIU School of Law to better serve the profession and the community well into the future."
Cultivating relationships with alumni and private industry 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.