Dr. Ed Hightower has earned three degrees from SIUE; a 1974 BS in physical education, a MSEd in 1977, and a Specialist Degree in 1991. Ed’s relationship with SIUE is a lifelong one. He has served as the superintendent of the Edwardsville School District for 16 years, being widely recognized for his efforts as the first African-American superintendent in the district's history. His awards as a school principal include the 1993 National Distinguished Principals Award. He has made a lifetime commitment to SIUE, serving as Vice Chair of the SIU Board of Trustees, a member of the SIUE Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. He is also a nationally-recognized, award-winning NCAA basketball official.