October 15, 2008

Rendleman scholarship fundraiser planned

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A fundraiser and auction is set for next week to raise donations for a scholarship that honors a Southern Illinois University Carbondale photojournalism student who died from injuries received in a car accident last spring.

The event for the Ryan Rendleman Photojournalism Scholarship is Friday, Oct. 24, at Blue Sky Vineyards, 3150 S. Rocky Comfort Road, Makanda. Lunch begins at 12:15 p.m., with the auction at 1 p.m.

The scholarship is closing in on $18,000, according to Ron Graves, constituency development officer for the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts and associate director for institutional advancement with the SIU Foundation.

The scholarship will honor Rendleman, a 22-year-old senior, who died April 29 south of Nashville. The crash occurred less than two weeks before Rendleman was to earn his bachelor’s degree. Family members accepted Rendleman’s diploma posthumously during commencement ceremonies May 10.

Lunch registration is possible by contacting with the SIUC School of Journalism at 618/453-5200, or by email at kwaldron@siu.edu. The lunch is $10 per plate.

Among the items up for auction are photographs Rendleman shot, along with photos taken by other SIUC School of Journalism graduates, said William H. Freivogel, director of the school. Four members of Rendleman’s family plan to attend. Rendleman was on his way to interview a young relative of winery owner Barrett Rochman for a story on Tay-Sachs disease when the accident occurred. Rochman waived the pavilion use fee for the event, Freivogel said.

“We always want to keep Ryan in our thoughts. He is the reason for this. He is someone whom we miss a lot and who was a talent in the School of Journalism,” Freivogel said.

Freivogel said he anticipates announcing an additional $2,000 contribution by four faculty members who initially contributed money when the scholarship fund started.

“I hope by the end of the day that we are close, if not there,” Freivogel said. “I think we are doing well. I think we are going to get there. I’m every encouraged. It’s one of those things you have to stay on until you get it done. I hope we will be there either at the Oct. 24 event, or soon after.”

The event is in conjunction with the Southern Illinois Editorial Association mid-year meeting, Freivogel said. Roger A. Hart, a lecturer in SIUC’s College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, is giving a short talk to SIEA members at noon, Freivogel said.

Graves said he is very pleased with the progress in the scholarship drive, and he hopes more people will step up to reach the $25,000 endowed scholarship goal. The scholarship will go to an SIUC photojournalism student. Other specific criteria remain to be determined.

Contact Graves at 618/453-4748 or by email at rdgraves@siu.edu for more information on the Ryan Rendleman scholarship or to contribute.