August 31, 2017

SIU Carbondale accepting honorary degree/service award nominations

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale is now accepting nominations for honorary degree and distinguished service awards that will be presented at May 2018 commencement ceremonies. 

The nomination deadline is Oct. 25. The nominations are also open to the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. The nominating committee, comprised of faculty and university constituency members, will submit 2018 award recommendations to Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, who will forward his recommendation to SIU System President Randy Dunn for approval at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 14. 

Honorary degrees are presented to individuals who have made outstanding scholarly contributions or are of considerable renown in any field of activity. The degree can also be awarded to people who have uniquely contributed to human well-being or whose accomplishments resulted in a marked benefit to society. Distinguished Service Awards honor individuals who have contributed to Southern Illinois, the state, nation, world or the university.

Nomination letters must include a two- or three-page resume, curriculum vita or biographic sketch that includes a description of the nominee's unique contributions. All nominations, including with the nominee, are confidential. Further information about these awards is available at  

Previous honorary degree recipients include former Illinois governors Jim Edgar, William G. Stratton and Otto Kerner; former SIU Carbondale Professor R. Buckminster Fuller; former SIU Chancellor Donald L. Beggs; Joan E. Higginbotham, an SIU alumna and the first Saluki to fly aboard a space shuttle; actor and humanitarian Eddie Albert; co-founder and retired CEO of C-SPAN Brian P. Lamb; former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon; Jeanne Hurley Simon; comedian, author, activist and former SIU cross country and track standout Dick Gregory; Judge Abner J. Mikva; and Minnijean Brown Trickey, a former SIU Carbondale student, and member of the "Little Rock Nine,” who with eight other African-American students attempted to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in the late 1950s. 

Previous distinguished service award recipients include 2017 honorees Greg Cook, businessman and SIU supporter; Gene Callahan, former SIU Board of Trustees member, journalist and political adviser, and former educator and longtime SIU supporter Dorothy A. “Dede” Lingle Ittner. Other recipients include former journalist, political adviser and Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director Michael J. “Mike” Lawrence; Dr. Marsha G. Ryan, surgeon and university philanthropist; SIU School of Law founder Hiram H. Lesar; trailblazing journalist Virginia Marmaduke; Marianne Webb, Distinguished University Organist and professor emeritus of music; and longtime university supporter Barbara Lesar.

For more information, or to submit a completed nomination, contact Gina Shiplett, Office of the Chancellor, at 453-2341 (phone), 453-5362 (fax) or by email at Please indicate in the submission whether the nomination is for honorary degree or distinguished service award consideration.