As you may have guessed by now…Southern Illinois University is a primary passion of mine. It has been so for nearly forty years. After having worked there for thirty-two years, two months, and three weeks…the University became part of my life. Now I am in the seventh year of my retirement, and I only love the institution more than ever.
Over the past few days as I was walking the Campus, I noticed many of the Red Bud trees are already in bloom with their beautiful red/pink blossoms.
As I continued my walk I encountered an impassioned and articulate SIU student conducting a tour for a prospective SIU Family. As I listened to her terrific rendition of the spectacular opportunities at SIU…it occurred to me that our University may be on the cusp of becoming greater than it has ever been!
Certainly SIU has had extreme challenges for the past several years due to primary budgetary issues caused by a diminishing of students and the state of Illinois failure to address their fiscal deficit.
Nothing focuses a person or an institution’s efforts…vision…and willingness to go the extra mile and accomplish what needs to be done more than a dark and perilous valley of change.
I have talked, of late, with a good friend and one of my colleagues from my SIU days. Elizabeth’s passion and vision and energy for helping SIU is extraordinary…and gives me renewed hope that all is not lost…perhaps this is the beginning of the true Halcyon Days of our wonderful institution of higher education.
I read a budgetary hopeful email from University President Dunn today…perhaps the clouds are at last clearing?
One truth is irrefutable…our University will rise on the enthusiasm of it’s Community! If our legislature and Governor will at long last come to an agreement on the State’s Budget…we will all win!
Is the current situation we find ourselves in desperation or opportunity? Is it sunset…or perhaps a glorious sunrise?