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Governor Pritzker speaks on SIUE’s campus on investment in higher education

Shown, from left, SIU System President Dan Mahony, Ph.D.; Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy, first-year SIUE student Virgie Jones; Illinois Governor JB Pritzker; SIUE Chancellor James T. Minor, Ph.D.; and State Representatives Katie Stuart, Amy Elik and Jay Hoffman. (SIUE photo)

Chancellor James T. Minor, Ph.D., welcomed Illinois Governor JB Pritzker to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s campus on Thursday morning, April 6, 2023, for a press conference as part of the Governor’s tour of various state universities. The pair were joined by SIU System President Dan Mahony, Ph.D., State Representatives Katie Stuart, Amy Elik, Jay Hoffman, and Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy.

“SIUE endeavors to be first-and-best in class for providing affordable high-quality degree opportunities for all students, regardless of their background or family income,” Minor said in his welcome remarks. “We know that for public universities like SIUE, the partnership with the State of Illinois is important for keeping college within reach for so many deserving students and families. I am very pleased that today in Illinois there is a commitment to public higher education and to college affordability. I want to personally thank the Governor for his demonstration of that commitment.”

Governor Pritzker spoke to the many ways the state is planning to invest in higher education in the next fiscal year.

“We all stand together when it comes to lifting up SIUE and all of the students across the state of Illinois,” Governor Pritzker stated. “Over the last four years, we’ve worked to make college attainable for every Illinois student. The smartest young people are choosing SIUE in greater and greater numbers. That’s great progress for us to celebrate.”

The overall proposed budget includes the largest percentage increase for higher education in more than 20 years, including increasing the funding of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding by $100 million totaling to $701 million. With these investments from the state, 30 percent of SIUE undergraduates are MAP grant recipients.

“Coming to SIUE was one of the best decisions I have made,” said Virgie Jones, first-year civil engineering student at SIUE and MAP grant recipient from Cahokia Heights. “The MAP grant has allowed me to attend college without the stress of financial hardship.”

Earlier this week, SIUE executed a contract for the $105 million state funded Health Sciences Complex; a new building to accommodate SIUE’s School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing.

“SIUE students offer so much to this city from the moment they set foot on campus to long after they graduate,” added Edwardsville Mayor, Art Risavy. “I am encouraged by the commitment Governor Pritzker and our state leaders have shown to increasing opportunities to students to attend Illinois universities such as SIUE.”

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