February 24, 2012

Benefit planned for family of student from Kenya

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale community is coming together to honor one of its own, sponsoring a benefit to help Alice Wakonyo Mbugua return home for the last time.

Mbugua, a student from Nairobi, Kenya, was completing her doctorate in rehabilitation this semester.  But, she died unexpectedly Sunday of a cerebral hemorrhage, just days before her 41st birthday.  Now, her friends on campus are planning a benefit on March 1 at Rustle Hill Winery to raise funds to help Mbugua’s family bring her back to Kenya for burial.

Shane Koch, associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Education and Human Services, along with fellow members of the Moving Mary Band, will play from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  Proceeds of the concert will go to Mbugua’s family. 

Tickets are $10 each and you can purchase them at the door or in advance from Michelle Mansfield, 618/536-7704, at the Rehabilitation Institute in Rehn Hall, Room 308.  If purchasing tickets via check, make the check payable to SRA (the Student Rehabilitation Association) or to SIU Carbondale and write SRA in the memo line. 

The SRA registered student organization is also accepting donations for the family.  Send contributions in care of Michelle Mansfield, to Rehabilitation Institute, 1025 Lincoln Drive, Mail code 4609, Carbondale, IL 62901.  Please designate that they are for Mbugua.

In addition, there is a bank account set up at Old National Bank, 509 S. University Ave., #1, Carbondale, IL 62901, to collect donations.  Make checks payable to Alice Mbugua Memorial Fund.

The daughter of Jason Mbugua and Louise Kihara, Alice Mbugua earned her master of science in rehabilitation counseling from SIU Carbondale in August 2008.  She also earned a master’s of education from Loyola University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Her father, three siblings and other relatives survive her.  A memorial service is set for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, at Murdale Baptist Church.  A reception will follow at the SIU Baptist Student Center, on the corner of Forest and Mill streets.