September 24, 2015

Ellis family wins ‘Family of the Weekend’ honor

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Taquisha Ellis, a freshman at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is “living a dream” and pursuing the goals her family envisioned. 

Taquisha, an undeclared major from Chicago, and her family, will be honored as “2015 Saluki Family of the Weekend” during Saluki Family Weekend festivities, which run Friday through Sunday, Sept. 25-27. Ellis’ family earned the honor based upon their responses to three essay questions from 41 families who qualified after correctly answering 10 online questions relating to the university. A total of 157 families participated this year. 

Taquisha will be joined by her parents, Tineasha and Dwayne Ellis, Grandmother Mashell Appleton and Uncle Willis Appleton for the weekend’s festivities. 

Sponsored by the Saluki Family Association, the package includes tickets to the Family Weekend Brunch and special seating; reserved seating at the Saluki Family Tailgate, and Chancellor Suite passes to Saturday’s football game against Liberty. There will also be gift baskets and assorted SIU items, a two-night stay at Hampton Hotel in Carbondale and other prizes. 

In the essay, Tineasha wrote: “My daughter is living a dream that I always wanted to experience and couldn’t because my mother was a single parent of three children and couldn’t afford to send me away. Having a Saluki in the family is showing the next generation of our family that they can attend SIU.” 

She also wrote that the family visited many colleges before choosing SIU Carbondale, and that the experiences elsewhere were “totally different.” 

Tineasha Ellis added there is a “sense of comfort” that her only child is on a campus “that has a family oriented structure” and is in a safe environment. “Family means togetherness and as a Saluki family we are here together to ensure that our Saluki student will strive and be the best at all of her achievements. We are family in this together.” 

More information on Saluki Family Weekend is available at