September 07, 2007

SIU Foundation progresses toward campaign goal

by Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. — With just under a year remaining in its $100-million comprehensive capital campaign, the Southern Illinois University Foundation is making significant progress in pursuit of its goal.

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement and CEO of the SIU Foundation, announced that the University has received close to $80 million in gifts and pledges through The Opportunity Through Excellence Campaign For Southern.

"This campaign is a vehicle for alumni to give back and provide resources that foster a bright future for their alma mater," McCurry said. "In addition, a number of corporations and businesses continue to demonstrate support of our initiatives.

"We have a lot to accomplish during the upcoming months. But we are confident that this campaign will be successful as a result of leadership and commitment exhibited by our volunteers and board members and the dedication of our development staff."

SIUC's first comprehensive campaign commenced in July 2002 and is scheduled to conclude in June 2008. The campaign seeks to solicit and raise funds from private sources to create additional scholarships and graduate assistantships for students, embellish faculty positions and enhance University programs and facilities.

"Opportunity Through Excellence is focused on generating support of the people, programs and places of SIU Carbondale," McCurry said. "The SIU Foundation has received ongoing support of this effort by individuals both on and off campus."

The foundation, which is governed by a board of directors, is administering the campaign and coordinates efforts with a corps of volunteers to assist in attaining its goal. A steering committee, comprised of alumni leaders across the United States, is working closely with foundation officials in pursuit of its $100-million goal.

"Our alumni and friends care a great deal about SIU Carbondale," McCurry said. "We are thankful for the extraordinary leadership our steering committee has demonstrated to get us to this point."

Marsha Ryan, a 1987 SIUC law graduate, chairs Opportunity Through Excellence. She said private support is essential in the University's quest to thrive.

"Private dollars are even more pertinent in lieu of declining state support. This is an important time in Southern's history," she said. "I'm asking each of our alumni and friends to give to the extent that they can. Our support does make a difference."

Foundation officials have received the following contributions during the campaign:

• one gift of $5 million

• two gifts between $2.5 million and $5 million

• seven gifts between $1 million and $2.5 million

• 13 gifts between $500,000 and $1 million

The foundation has also received approximately 61,000 gifts of $10,000 or less.

The campaign has generated 101 new scholarship endowments, which has increased the foundation's total to 516.

"This allows the University to assist the financial burden of SIU Carbondale students who are pursuing a college degree," McCurry said. "We're appreciative of the support that has already been demonstrated and hope that others follow suit."

The SIU Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that provides alumni and friends a means to invest in the University's future. Established in 1942, the foundation solicits and administers gifts from private sources in support of SIU Carbondale's academic mission. Private funding is generated through annual giving, planned giving, major giving, corporate and foundation relations and campaigns.

For more information, call the SIU Foundation at 618/453-4900, or log on to