‘BEER’ scholarship endowed, raises over $25,000

By Isabel Miller, Photo and Multimedia Editor

The Balancing Education, Experience and Reality (BEER) scholarship has raised $32,064 —$7,000 above the $25,000 needed to become an endowed scholarship at Southern.

The money came from 826 gifts from SIU alumni across the country, according to the SIU Foundation’s website.

Dan Giedeman, an SIU alumni, came up with the idea of the scholarship in a Facebook group but said the scholarship was a group effort by SIU alumni.


“Close to 1000 people donated to the scholarship because they believe in the future of SIU,” Giedeman said.

Giedeman said the scholarship has accumulated a total of $38,000, but is not certain of the exact amount as not every donation has been officially counted as of yet.

“I think everyone in the Facebook group is pleased that the scholarship is now endowed,”  Giedeman said. “While the scholarship name is perhaps amusing, the group’s intent to help students was truly serious.”

The BEER scholarship has the highest amount of donors out of all the groups donated to during the Day of Giving and is the fifth most donated scholarship.

Ruth Saborio, a member of the group, arrived to SIU at the age of 16 in 1996.

“For alumni, I hope it is reminding all of us how SIU and the Southern Illinois community have helped shape who we are today,” Saborio said. “For students, the importance of living the moment, enjoying school and the community in all its aspects, weather its sports at the arena or Rec center, music at Shryock or Copper Dragon, Giant City rappelling or the Apple Festival. Four years may not be enough to enjoy it all!”

Saborio says she wants the accomplishment of the scholarship to encorage everyone to keep on giving.


“Even $5 will make a difference in a students life and will have a ripple effect in the Southern Illinois community,” Saborio said. “Lets continue to bring excitement to SIU.”

To qualify for the scholarship you must be a junior or senior at SIU, must be in good academic standing and must submit a one page essay or less about how the student came to love SIU. The scholarship is open to all majors.

The Day of Giving celebrates SIU’s first 150 years and started Wednesday, March 6 and ended Thursday, March 7.

In total, SIU’s Day of Giving raised $868,505 from 2,461 gifts made to various groups on campus.

Photo and Multimedia editor Isabel Miller can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @IsabelMillerDE.

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