September 12, 2007

Delaney family creates endowment to honor father

by Greg Scott


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CARBONDALE, Ill. — A former Southern Illinois educator who stressed the importance of integrity and honesty to his students is being honored through an endowment established in his memory at the Southern Illinois University Foundation.

G. David Delaney, a 1983 SIUC graduate, said the $100,000 endowment, named in his father's honor, will benefit students in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He adds that the award appropriately pays tribute to his father.

"My father was a great role model in the way he lived his whole life. He had a consistent, positive outlook that shaped his character and influence on others," Delaney said. "This endowment honors a man who understood that there are consequences for a person's behavior and attitude. He respected the power of choice and he always chose to see the glass half full."

The late George Delaney, who died in 1985, taught high school agriculture in Eldorado and Harrisburg for 15 years. He also mentored students through the Future Farmers of America organization, served on the school board and city council, and was a deacon of his church.

Delaney's work ethic derived from his days growing up on a farm in Porum, Okla., during the Great Depression. He subsequently enlisted in the United States Army, where he served as sergeant from 1953 to 1956. He proceeded to study agriculture at Oklahoma State University, attaining a bachelor's degree in 1960.

Delaney's three children, Walli Kimmel of Benton, Charles Delaney of Roland, Okla., and David Delaney of Lake Forest, are all University graduates. Walli, who received her bachelor's and master's in 1977 and 1984, respectively, is a teacher at Benton Middle School. Charles, a 1982 agricultural education and mechanization graduate, is a regional sales manager for Agrotain International. David, a 1983 agricultural education and mechanization alumnus, is president of PCS Sales (USA), Inc., in Northbrook.

David said his father's presence was significant.

"My father was a great motivator. He had an easygoing manner but his actions displayed wisdom and integrity," he said.

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement and CEO of the SIU Foundation, said the impact Delaney had on his family and friends is his true legacy.

"Mr. Delaney clearly had a passion for teaching and being a positive influence on everyone around him," McCurry said. "He embodied the attributes that are so pertinent in our society today. This endowment is a fitting legacy to Mr. Delaney as it will honor our agriculture students who are striving to follow in his footsteps."

The University began presenting the George Delaney Endowed Scholarship this fall. Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded each year. The award is presented to students who have a declared major in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Additional consideration is given to students who are Southern Illinois residents with solid academic standing.

This year's scholarship recipients are Jacqueline Crosser, a junior from Anna majoring in dietetics; Daniel Etienne, a sophomore from Eldorado majoring in agribusiness economics; Scarlett Horton, a freshman from Eldorado majoring in agricultural communications; and David Yandell, a sophomore from Tunnel Hill majoring in agribusiness economics.

For more information about the George Delaney Endowed Scholarship, contact Rebecca Stenhaug in the College of Agricultural Sciences at 618/453-1848.

Caption: The Delaney family created a $100,000 endowment to honor the late George Delaney, pictured here with his wife Shirley.