* Setting the stage…
The Illinois Senate on Sunday confirmed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s appointees to the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.
In March, Prizker appointed Edgar Curtis, Ed Hightower, Subhash Sharma, John Simmons and Roger Tedrick. They have been serving as board members since then, pending Senate confirmation.
The appointees were confirmed with no dissenting votes on a legislative day dominated by the selection of a new Senate president.
* And then the governor traveled to the region for a National Guard ceremony…
Pam Maxey, of Texico, had tears streaming down her face as she embraced her son, Spec. Drake Hess, on Tuesday afternoon in Banterra Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale during a mobilization ceremony for Illinois National Guard soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Marion. […]
The soldiers are being mobilized in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and will deploy to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility in spring 2020 after they complete additional training at Fort Bliss in Texas. […]
During the ceremony, state and military officials spoke, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, adjutant general; Maj. Gen. Michael Zerbonia, assistant adjutant general; and Lt. Col. Greg Settle, battalion commander. […]
“You have all the strength of the people of Illinois standing with you,” Pritzker said. “Godspeed, soldiers.”
More on that operation here.
* And he wrapped it up with a media-friendly project announcement…
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the release of $8.3 million in funding to SIUC for renovations to the communications building at a press conference while visiting campus Tuesday.
The communications building is currently home to multiple programs at the university, including journalism, radio/television/digital media, cinema and photography, communications studies and theatre.
There were plans in place to renovate the communications building in 2015, but the process was stalled due to the lack of a state budget for the [next] two years.
During the press conference, Pritzker mentioned all the upgrades the new facility will have, including updated equipment, better auditorium space, media labs, digital post-production suites and a combined broadcast-print newsroom.
“Students who learn in this facility won’t just be prepared to meet the needs of the media industry of the future,” Pritzker said. “They’ll be prepared to lead it in its next phase.”
Mackenzie Rosario is a junior at SIU. She won’t get to benefit from that major upgrade on the Carbondale campus, but she’s excited about what it could mean to future students.
“SIU is a very special school that a lot of people just don’t know about. So maybe if we have an up to date facility and a lot of students can come and actually check out what we have. They’ll decide to come, and hopefully, it will help them in their careers,” Rosario said.
The communications building was built in 1964. […]
Local representatives from both sides of the political aisle say the governor’s visit shows the needs of the region are not going unnoticed.
“Exciting day for SIU and the people of southern Illinois. To see the state of Illinois sees the needs of the university of SIU and the people of southern Illinois. So it is an exciting day for us,” said Representative Dave Severin (R-117th District).
Republican State Senator Dale Fowler of Harrisburg said at a recent lunch with members of the SIU Foundation, the group produced a new phrase to highlight the great things happening at SIU-Carbondale.
“Somebody said, ‘absolutely!’ But, we came up with a new name, AbSaluki! So, we’re going to start using that every now and then if that’s alright.”