SIU alum encourages other alumni to give back


A new Daily Egyptian sign donated by SIU alum Steve Brown. (Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE)

By Brandi Courtois, Staff writer

Southern Illinois University alum, Steve Brown, thinks that alumni can be the change in enrollment by giving back to SIU through donations.

“You’re not going to attract people to find out the details of the package if you have these negative images,” Brown said.

Tami Boaz, the Director of Development in the College of Engineering, said updates are needed all over campus.


“We need technology that represents what students are going out into the world and using,” Boaz said.

Brown recently donated an updated sign for the Daily Egyptian. It’s a step, he hopes, in a direction that will make the school of journalism more attractive to prospective students.

“Appearance is always part of the package,” Brown said.

He hopes the sign will work as encouragement to his fellow alumni to give back to SIU.

Brown talked about changing the old bulletin boards in the hallways of the school of journalism into something more modern, like video boards with live streaming. In his opinion, the school is in need of these kinds of updates.

“Once people get through that first step they’ll find great programs, great people, and great faculty,” Brown said.

Tuition and fees traditionally make up around 20 percent of the revenues the university uses to fund university activities.


As a result of declining enrollment, which decreased 9 percent from 2016, revenues from student tuition and fees decreased $12.2 million between 2017 and 2016.

One alum, Tilden “Tim” Parks, has given numerous donations over the last few years for students. He has established memorial scholarships and an estate gift to benefit students in the athletic department, school of journalism, and the Morris Library.

Parks said he wants to help students “see their dreams.”

“I’ve been blessed in my life,” Parks said, “I want to give back.”

Parks said he had a great time when he went to SIU and he’s hopes he can help students go on to do great things.

“We’ve always got to be looking towards the future,” Parks said.

Boaz said that if anyone sees a project they want to support they can call her or call the SIU foundation.

“We’ll make sure we get their stipulations and agreements in place,” Boaz said.

Forever SIU, which launched at the beginning of 2017, started with a goal of $75 million. The campaign has currently raised $60 million and is 80 percent of the way to its goal.

Forever SIU has several initiatives including increased scholarships, expanded classroom opportunities, enhanced facilities and resources, and deeper community engagement.

The SIU Foundation lists many ways to give including cash, gifts in-kind, endowments, and estate gifts.


Staff writer Brandi Courtois can be reached at [email protected]

To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois University news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.