Having been affiliated with SIUC for over 40 years, I am excited about the opportunities that await our wonderful University!
When I began working at SIUC, Jimmy Carter was our President and the Iranian Hostage Crisis had not yet happened. Pope John Paul II was named within a month of my appointment.
Warren Brandt was the President of the Carbondale Campus while Kenneth Buzz Shaw was the leader of the Edwardsville school.
Clarence ‘Doc’ Daugherty was the Vice President of Campus Services and Anthony Blass was the Director of the Physical Plant. The Superintendent of Building Services, and the man who hired me was, George O’Hara.
There was a cafeteria at Woody Hall and my friend, Thelma Griffin, managed it. My buddy Steve and I enjoyed many breakfast in the Woody Cafeteria before we attended classes.
In those, 1978 days, there was no central leader of Southern Illinois University and thus both Campus Presidents reported, regarding the business of their respective campuses, to the Board of Trustees.
During my first year with the Campus, Kenneth Shaw and Warren Brandt, both competed to become the Chancellor of Southern Illinois University…Shaw was selected and Brandt left SIUC.
I began my affiliation with Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale many years before our Campus experienced it’s highest enrollment during the early 1990’s. At this time having almost 25,000 students caused an excitement and a challenge for the University Community! I recall Housing placing three students in two student dorm rooms by placing another bed and desk in each room…and it was crowded!
Our staff in Building Services would stock the chalkboards in the classrooms with several, full, sticks of chalk, each evening and return the next evening to find only powder!
Housekeeping had over 200 hundred student staff, and the majority of them were international students and the majority of the international students were Malaysian. When I was the Building Custodian for Parkinson Lab and the Allyn building, in 1980, I had a Malaysian student worker as a member of my staff, and his same was Salman. One night we were on the third floor of Parkinson and I was training Salman in his custodial duties. Now, Salman was a very pleasant young man…and I told him to, ‘run down to the other end of the hall to retrieve a dust mop,’. Salman began running, at top speed, to the other end of the third floor hallway and then he turned around, on a dime, and ran back…just as fast!
I learned that colloquialisms do not translate to our international friends!
When we had students everywhere we looked…I wonder if we appreciated them as we should have? Now we desperately want to invite and convince students to join our family!
I met with the nicest and most impressive group of dedicated and professional civil service staff, yesterday, and it was my honor to be included in their midst! These are people that have been elected to represent their colleagues and who have taken on the work of two….three…and four…or more open positions of their former co-workers! They have done so out of a supreme love for their University…and to think anything else…would be an insult to these great Salukis!
New businesses are coming to Carbondale! Quality hotels are coming to Carbondale! New restaurants are coming to Carbondale!
Illinois now has a Governor that believes in the importance and priority of higher education! SIUC is to receive the best state budget that it has in several years! Our Campus is being led by a good man and a leader that has, deep, experience with the needs of Southern Illinois University and the Southern Illinois Region!
The SIUC recruiters are working over time! The enrollment projects are looking promising! Civil Service staff are working their fingers to the bone to ensure the success of their campus!
Let us continue our success by rebuilding the people that are working tirelessly for the renaissance of our School!
Let us realize and acknowledge that the only reason that SIUC has made it though the long valley of suffering that was predicated, in our past, by a Governor and political leaders that did not have Southern as their priority, and affirm that a well cared for staff and faculty…equals happy students who tell their friends about the secret to Little Egypt…Southern Illinois University!