May 05, 2008

Ryan Rendleman to receive degree posthumously

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will award a degree posthumously to a senior photojournalism student from Batavia who died from injuries received in a car accident last week south of Nashville, Ill.

Nick Rendleman will accept an undergraduate diploma on behalf of his brother, Ryan M. Rendleman, during commencement exercises for the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts on Saturday, May 10. The commencement begins at 1:30 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium.

Ryan Rendleman, 22, died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident Tuesday, April 29. He was on his way to a photo shoot and stopped in traffic at a construction zone when a tractor-trailer hit his car from behind. Rendleman was on his way to an assignment for the University's student-run newspaper, The Daily Egyptian, when the four-vehicle crash occurred.

Interim Chancellor Samuel Goldman approved a request by Gary P. Kolb, interim dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, to award Rendleman's degree posthumously.

"We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this gifted, warm and much-beloved young man," Goldman said. "Presenting Ryan's degree to his family is a well-deserved tribute."

Rendleman planned to participate in commencement ceremonies on May 10; he was planning to work in a summer internship to earn the final credits to formally graduate in August, Kolb said.

"We were all very saddened to learn of Ryan's death. He was a talented photojournalist with a bright career ahead of him," Kolb said. "He was a friend to many students at the DE and beyond. Most importantly he wanted to make pictures and do things that mattered in this life. His concern was to make the world a better place and that fits into the tradition of what we in photography refer to as 'Concerned Photography,' a tradition that goes back to photographers like Robert Capa, Dorthea Lange, and W. Eugene Smith. Ryan shared their vision and their commitment. He will be missed."

William H. Freivogel, director of the School of Journalism, said Rendleman's passion for journalism shown brightly.

"All of us in the School of Journalism loved Ryan and his passion for journalism," Freivogel said. "When he died, he was on his way to write a story about a young girl with a serious illness -- the kind of story he loved.

"It's a cliché, but Ryan lit up my classroom the moment he entered. Ryan would have made a great professional journalist," Freivogel said.

William Recktenwald, a senior lecturer and journalist-in-residence, had Rendleman in several classes, including a current class. He said he is proud to call Rendleman a friend.

"Ryan was a fine student and a delight to have the classroom," he said. "While he took school and the business of journalism seriously he never took himself too seriously, he was always cheerful and would greet you with a smile. He was first and foremost a devoted Christian -- he would read his Bible daily and attended church regularly.

"For those who will never have a chance to meet Ryan, no words can describe this extraordinary young man. For those of us who were blessed to have known him, no words are necessary," Recktenwald said.

"I am indeed certain that he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," Recktenwald said.

Eric J. Fidler, managing editor at the Daily Egyptian, said he knew Rendleman as a student, colleague and friend.

"He was a delight to be around and he was loved by virtually all who knew him. He was beloved in our newsroom and we miss him deeply," Fidler said.