SIU presents trophy to ‘BEER’ scholarship creators


Jodee Harmon | @jlharmonphotography

Attendees gather for a group photo during the BEER scholarship trophy presentation on Friday, March 29, 2019 during the SIU Day of Giving outside Shryock Auditorium.

By Rana Schenke, News Editor

John Dunn, interim chancellor, presented the ‘Carbondale in the ‘80s and ‘90s’ group with a trophy on Friday for having the most individuals donating money to their scholarship.

The Balancing Experience, Education and Reality scholarship, or ‘BEER’ for short, was started by the Facebook group and raised over $32,000 on the Day of Giving alone.

“Yesterday we had another rush of giving because people wanted to hit that $50,000 level so we could have two endowed scholarships,” Dan Giedeman, SIU alum and member of the group, said at the ceremony. “I’m happy to announce that we’ve actually reached it.”


Giedeman presented Dunn with a check for $50,000+ from the group. Dunn said he has always been impressed by the amount of pride at SIU, and it was evident in this group.

“True happiness can only be obtained through giving,” Dunn said. “You represent that in spades and I am very, very proud of you.”

Dunn presented the group with the Day of Giving trophy for most individual gifts, non-academic.

“You were the most successful in terms of what you were able to put together,” Dunn said. “You came together in a really collaborative effort again to raise the flag to show the Saluki pride.”

Giedeman, who accepted the trophy, said there had been concern in the group that the administration wouldn’t approve of the name, but they were very excited when they found out that not only had the name been accepted, but the chancellor himself would be presenting the trophy with the name on it.

Jim Raffensperger, the SIU alum who came up with the name, said he came up with it as a joke.

“It was tongue in cheek, but when we talk about what SIU […] has come to be about, […] we all came down here for an education,” Raffensperger said. “But we also got along the way an experience. And not just that one experience, of the education, but we made friends […] We experienced everything that Carbondale has to offer.”


Giedeman said the scholarship is important because it lets students know that alumni care about them and are there for them.

“There’s this whole group of people out in the world that you can connect with,” Giedeman said. “There’s a lot of people out there who have enjoyed their time [at SIU, and] we have an affinity for you guys.”

News Editor Rana Schenke can be reached at [email protected].

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