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SIUE inducts 10 into Alumni Hall of Fame during ‘A Night Among the Stars’

SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame inductees: (L-R back) Terry Ganey, BA mass communications ‘70, Bruce Rotter, DMD ‘82, SIUE Chancellor James T. Minor, Ph.D., Kyle Griffith, MS nurse anesthesia ‘05, Frank Grasso, BS nursing ‘06 and MS nurse anesthesia ‘10, Senator Christopher Belt, MPA ‘02, (L-R front) Scott Miller, BS civil engineering ‘96, Diana Isaacs, PharmD ‘09, Dr. Franklin Boster, BA psychology ‘72 and MA behavioral science ‘75, and Damon Harbison, MBA ‘04. Not pictured: Kathleen Madigan, BA mass communications ‘88.

 

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville honored 10 remarkable graduates at the 2022 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony, “A Night Among the Stars,” held Friday, Sept. 23, in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom. The impressive alumni have made exceptional contributions in their chosen fields, in their communities and at SIUE through their leadership, character and hard work.

“These individuals personify SIUE’s values,” said SIUE Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD. “Among them, you will find communicators, educators, business leaders, elected officials, engineers and health care professionals. What they share is a dedication to service and a deep love for their alma mater. Each of them has, in their own way, paved a path for SIUE students to succeed today.”

Each honoree had the opportunity to take the stage and share their remarks about their experience at SIUE and receiving this recognition.

The College of Arts and Sciences recognized two inductees: Terry Ganey, BA mass communications ‘70, and Kathleen Madigan, BA mass communications ‘88.

“I remember all of the professors and teachers who showed me a path forward,” Ganey said. “I know that current faculty are inspiring students in the communications department now as are their colleagues across campus. I hope current students are as eager, enthused and engaged as we were. They are the truth-tellers and fact-checkers of the future.”

“I am flattered and so proud to be in the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame,” Madigan said via video as she is currently touring for her comedy show. “Most comedians never end up in a hall of fame because somewhere along the line we have probably done something offensive. What I am proud of is that I drove to SIUE every day from St. Louis, and I didn’t hit a deer. That’s harder than you think!”

Damon Harbison, MBA ‘04, acknowledged that his time as a student while working full-time was difficult, but it allowed him to put his class material into immediate action.

“I am a huge cheerleader for SIUE,” Harbison said. “The university really set the course for me in life. My favorite thing was I would work all day long, come to SIUE for graduate school, and I knew that I was jumping out of bed the next day to try to apply the theories and principles I was learning.”

“I appreciate being honored for my work at the School of Dental Medicine, particularly my time as dean,” said SIU School of Dental Medicine’s inductee Bruce Rotter, DMD ‘82. “I would like to recognize the dedicated and talented administrative team, faculty and staff that worked with me in supporting the school. I have also had the privilege of working with some of the most outstanding students in my career.”

The special night continued with School of Education, Health and Human Behavior inductee Dr. Frank Boster, BA psychology ‘72 and MA behavioral science ‘75, reflecting with gratitude on the individuals who created and have advanced SIUE.

“I am grateful to those community leaders, legislators and citizens who voted to approve the bond issue to create SIUE,” Boster explained. “Without them, I would not have gone to a university.  It is important to recognize the kind of university that they created. This is one in which faculty administrators were willing to give so much of themselves, including their time and their expertise to help students like me. Those are debts that you can never repay.”

School of Engineering honoree Scott Miller, BS civil engineering ‘96, continued his family’s legacy by attending SIUE. In addition to his thoughts on the university’s legacy and future, Miller shared a new university slogan that was a crowd favorite: “Scratch ‘em Cougars.”

The School of Nursing inducted two honorees, including Frank Grasso, BS nursing ‘06 and MS nurse anesthesia ‘10, and Kyle Griffith, MS nurse anesthesia ‘10.

“The educators at SIUE put something in us to think outside of the box,” said Grasso. “I feel lucky, humble, and blessed.”

“I had gone to previous universities for a period of time, so I was exposed to a lot of faculty members,” added Griffith. “When I came to SIUE, I had a preconceived idea of what faculty were like and I was proven wrong. I was completely blown away by the high-quality faculty at SIUE.”

“I remember the first day of school that everybody knew our names, which was quite unique,” said Diana Isaacs, PharmD ‘09, a member of the School of Pharmacy’s first graduating class. “The faculty believed in me and gave me opportunities beyond knowledge itself. I have so much gratitude to SIUE. I encourage current students and alumni to take this amazing foundation that we have and use it to go and make a difference.”

The night wrapped up honoring Graduate School inductee Senator Christopher Belt, MPA ‘02.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined going from 1999 to being on this stage being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” he said. “Talk about life coming full circle. We are here because of others who have paved the way and allowed us to achieve.”

For more information about this year’s Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, visit siue.edu/news/2022/07/SIUEtoInduct10intoAlumniHallofFameDuringANightAmongtheStars

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