As I partook of a, chilly, walk, today, on campus I thought of the countless, good, people that had labored and striven to build such a marvelous institution of higher education.
I recall, as if it were yesterday, my passion for excellence for all things that are SIU!
My inspiration for excellence was the, wonderful, custodial staff that I was privileged to work with!
Building Services was, and is, a department that knows that they are vital to the success of the university.
Often I feared that I was asking too much from my dedicated staff….but discovered, time and again that they had such a fervent desire to ensure their school’s success…that there was, simply, no end to their efforts of produce immaculate buildings and mentor their, beloved students!
I was watching a news item, the other day, and was saddened to see that there are many homeless students that are attending universities across the country.
I remember the daily/nightly activity of our full time staff bringing food for their student staff.
The greatest event of our year was the annual Thanksgiving Dinner that was began by one of our foreman, Gerald Davis.
This was an event that all of our 200+ student staff attended and the looks of joy on their faces…said it all!
I wonder if university administration understands the dedication of their civil service staff? I know members of the staff, right now, that work for the betterment of SIU…24/7!
I emailed, my friend, Chancellor John Dunn. He replied with a warm response and I am very pleased that he has been chosen in this critical, interim, position…at this ‘page turning’ time for our campus.
There is a rooted sense of place and a, intrinsic passion for the Carbondale Campus!
The success of SIUC…is held in the hearts of the members of the university community! If they are rallied to the paramount cause of our university and our region and our alumni and our emeritus….we can rebuild a school that is, desperately, waiting for the clarion call of, collaborative, success!
The vision of success that catapulted Southern Illinois University was a dream of raising up those who had not had a hand extended to them before.
Former university president, Delyte Morris, was a visionary in many areas…but two were profound…or really three!
His, groundbreaking dedication to diversity.
His commitment to access and opportunity to individuals with physical and intellectual challenges.
His inclusion of all of the members of the university community in the vision of the Carbondale Campus.
Have you ever encountered someone who made you feel so welcome and included and a part of their world…that being with them enhanced your life experience and expanded your mind and enlivened your zeal to become more than you currently were?
That is what being a member of Southern Illinois University did for me for over 32 years…up until and including today!
SIUC has always been as strong as it’s people! When the university community is empowered and provided with the tools necessary to succeed…it will draw students to it…like a magnet!
If we focus on what is missing…we will continue to search.
If we focus on common ground…we will build together!