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December 02, 2021

SIU Carbondale to award posthumous degrees to students

by Kim Rendfeld

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale will award posthumous degrees to four students who tragically died during the fall 2021 semester.

Chancellor Austin Lane informed the SIU Board of Trustees during his presentation of plans to recognize each student the university lost this semester.

“We lost precious members of the Saluki family this semester,” Lane said. “Commencement reminds us of how they each had a promising future. We hope awarding the degrees to these deserving students will provide their families and friends some measure of comfort as they face the holidays without their loved ones.”

The students receiving posthumous degrees are:

  • Joseph Ermel, aviation flight and aviation technologies.
  • Keeshanna Jackson, business management.
  • Jacob Jurinek, journalism.
  • Daniel Lobo, biological sciences.

Ermel, Jackson, Jurinek and Lobo were enrolled in classes at the time of their deaths. SIU also lost a recent graduate, Dominik Faciano, aviation flight and aviation management.

Degrees will be awarded to Jackson, Jurinek and Lobo at commencement ceremonies on Dec. 11 at the Banterra Center. At the request of the family, Ermel’s degree will be awarded in May.

Awarding the posthumous degrees has the support of the SIU Faculty Senate and the students’ college deans.