After being associated with Southern Illinois University for over thirty-six years I am still spell bound by it’s natural beauty. SIU Carbondale began as a teacher’s college in 1869 in beautiful southern Illinois near the Shawnee National Forest. Contained within the campus is both Thompson Woods and Campus Woods which surrounds Campus Lake.
Under the presidency of Delyte W. Morris the teacher’s college was transformed to a nationally and internationally recognized university and grew in enrollment from 3,500 to over 23,000 student between 1950 through 1980. During the phenomenal growth of the Carbondale Campus Dr. Morris emphasized the retention and development of the natural beauty of the physical location. Upon Dr. Morris arrival at SIUC it was soon noted that he had a great interest in the trees on campus and said in one of his first tours of campus that the library and the greenhouse were two of the two most needed facilities.
It is often said by both new student and their parents that SIU is the most lovely campus in the state of Illinois.
The following is a photo of President Morris planting a tree at the Edwardsville Campus during his tenure. Indeed he not only grew the Carbondale Campus but added a Campus at Edwardsville and a Medical School in Springfield, Illinois.
A commemorative bronze statue of the man responsible for much of not only the growth of SIU but also it’s continued physical beauty.