Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Lt. Col. Chay M. Derbigny will become commander and a professor of aerospace studies for Air Force ROTC Detachment 205 at 10 a.m. Friday, June 28, at Saluki Alumni Plaza, located between Woody and Pulliam halls on the SIU campus.
Murphysboro native named commander of SIU Air Force ROTC 
By Carly Gist, News Editor • July 15, 2024

Lt. Col. Chay M. Derbigny will soon take over as commander and professor of aerospace studies for Air Force ROTC Detachment 205 at Southern Illinois...

Marcus Domask (left) and Lance Jones (right) during a Purdue-Illinois game Jan. 5, 2024 at
Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. Photo credit to Illinois Athletics.
Three Former Salukis set to play in NBA Summer League 
By Ryan Grieser, Sports Reporter • July 13, 2024

As the NBA 2K25 Summer League kicked off on July 12, three former Salukis began their professional basketball careers.  Though none of them...

SIU chancellor, Austin Lane, poses for a portrait in his office on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 in Anthony Hall at SIU.
SIU leadership gets bonuses, salary increases from Board of Trustees
By Carly Gist, News Editor • July 11, 2024

Three proposals received approval by the SIU Board of Trustees regarding salary increases for university officials at the July 11th meeting. The...

Saluki Pride Committee seeks to beautify Carbondale

Enan Chediak
A Saluki Pride mural is painted on the wall of the Mountain Valley Water Sept. 23, 2023 in Carbondale, Illinois

On the streets entering Carbondale, large paw prints inform travelers of SIU. These paw prints were created and are currently maintained by the Saluki Pride Committee. The committee is run by the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce to promote SIU and strengthen the relationship between the town and the university.

“It was important for the Chamber to support the university anywhere they could, and the university that in turn saw that’d be a good place to also support. It was created to make sure the city of Carbondale visually understands how important the university is to the city,” said Sean Cooney, chair of the Saluki Pride Committee and assistant director of student engagement and programming in the Office of Student Engagement.

Throughout town, the committee has created murals to beautify old buildings. The murals show SIU-inspired art in support of the university.


Cooney joined the committee two years ago when it began working on the murals. The paw prints, which have been being expanded and maintained for 17 years, were already an ongoing project. Both are the most visible of the projects the committee has done.

The murals take a few months at minimum to complete. The committee has to have the space approved, and then get the materials as well as the people to create the mural. Members work hand-in-hand with the city of Carbondale and the university to create these.

The university has assisted the committee in funding the projects, which can be seen all over town. One of the projects they worked together on was the mural, featuring art of SIU majors, on South Illinois Avenue.

The committee is involved in many other projects. Every year, it selects a handful of students to receive their Saluki Stay scholarships. The scholarship is awarded to students who have shown a commitment to the community. This can be shown by volunteering or being an integral part of the community, whether on campus or in the city.

“It’s a way of celebrating students, that’s kind of a big cornerstone of the background work,” Cooney said.

This scholarship is on the portal and presented at a luncheon held at the Banterra Center every August. This year, Cooney had the opportunity to inform the attendees of the scholarship. The committee funds the scholarship through fundraising and donations.

“Behind the scenes, we’re working on getting flags sold to community members to fund the scholarships,” Cooney said.


The committee did not disclose any ideas it is currently working on. However, members are always accepting new people who would like to get involved. People can attend the monthly meetings and pitch any ideas.

“There’s a really dedicated group of people who really care about the university in the area,” Cooney said.

The committee consists of community business owners, staff from the university and Chamber of Commerce members. Every month, the committee meets on the first Thursday at noon to hear new ideas for new projects, gather updates on current projects and discuss fundraising.

“It’s about 10 or 15 people that are pretty active in it from all across campus as well as the city of Carbondale,” Cooney said.

During the monthly meetings, the committee has an informal vote to decide what project they are going to take on next. After that process, they discuss who they need to consult to get the projects started.


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