(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The School Spirit and Pride Committee—a group of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students dedicated to erecting a bronze statue of a cougar, the University’s mascot—will offer a Trivia Night on Thursday, Feb.16., to help raise money for their cause.
The Trivia Night, to be offered at the Edwardsville American Legion, begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. Snacks will be provided; beverages will be available for purchase from the American Legion, located on Illinois 157 across from Lincoln Middle School.
Admisison for a table of eight, with a maximum of 10 per table, is $80. In addition, a silent auction will be available as well as door prizes.
The School Spirit and Pride Committee, in conjunction with SIUE Student Government, announced last year its intention to erect the bronze statue on campus to display the school mascot. Nikki Grashoff, chair of the committee, said the proposed sculpture would be “a monument” to the live cougars that lived on campus between 1968 and 1987. “This statue will be a monument to Chimega and Kyna and will enrich the campus by providing a rallying point for students to show their pride in SIUE.” She pointed out that $30,000 is the goal of the student fund-raising effort.
The bronze sculpture, created by artist Dawn Weimer, of Loveland, Colo., is nine feet tall and depicts a stalking cougar. Four locations are being proposed for placement of the sculpture, Grashoff said: two locations near SIUE’s Morris Center, in the area above the “hairpin” turn near the Stratton Quad, or in the flag pole area between Rendleman and Peck halls.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Edwardsville High School Robotics Team, in collaboration with the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering, will conduct a two-day Robotics Camp for middle school students from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 11, and Monday, Feb. 13, at the SIUE Engineering Building.
The robotics camp is limited to the first 24 students who return a completed application. The focus of the camp is to introduce robotics to students who will receive a hands-on experience in designing, constructing, and competing with robots. Cost for the camp is $50 per person.
Please contact Scott Hagin through e-mail: email@example.com or by telephone: (618) 656-7100, Ext 20886, for further information and a registration form.
Additional details include:
• Campers will work with high school students to design, build, and program a robot to compete in a Mars mission task.
• The camp will be staffed by graduate students from the SIUE Department of Computer Science, EHS math teachers, and EHS robotics team students.
• Parents of participants will be required to provide transportation to and from the camp.
The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SDM)—in cooperation with the Madison District Dental Society, the St. Clair District Dental Society and the Lewis and Clark Community College Dental Hygiene and Assisting programs—will conduct the Third Annual Give Kids A Smile Day, from 7:30-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Give Kids A Smile Day, scheduled at the SDM Main Clinic, 2800 College Ave., Alton, is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free dental treatment for underserved children.
Free dental care, including examinations, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions, will be offered in the interest of offering oral health care to children who may not otherwise receive it.
Locally in Alton last year, more than 320 children received treatment during the one-day event. The volunteer dentists and staff offered more than $69,000 in oral health care treatment for the children.
Parking is located at the south entrance of the dental clinic. To reach the parking lot, enter Annex Street from College Avenue. The clinic is the second building on the right and the patient parking lot is just after the building. A ramp is available for patients restricted to wheelchairs.
Note there is a press conference set for 10 a.m. For more information, contact Steve Schaus, (618) 474-7271.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Education will conduct its Third Annual Open House on Saturday, Feb. 18, for prospective undergraduate students and their families.
The event, scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon that Saturday, will be an opportunity for prospective students to tour and observe specialized labs and equipment, while also speaking with faculty and staff from the School of Education as well as current students.
The SIUE School of Education offers undergraduate programs in psychology, speech pathology and audiology, exercise wellness (kinesiology), and the teaching fields of early childhood education, elementary education, special education, physical education, and secondary education.
For additional information and to pre-register for the open house, visit the Web site: www.siue.edu/education or call: (618) 650-3350.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in collaboration with Paulsen Productions of Chicago, will conduct an all-day professional-development seminar for SIUE staff, students, and local business professionals March 15 at SIUE’s Morris University Center. Deadline for registration is Feb. 28.
The seminar will focus on personal image, using patented presentation design methodology and visual aids. “This seminar will use extensive videotaping of all participants with a team-teaching approach,” said Theresa Ebeler, SBDC director. “We encourage those who want to participate to register early because space is limited.”
Registration is $395. For more information about the seminar, contact Jane Bagent by telephone: (618) 650-2929 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) University Housing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been awarded the 2005 Educational Benchmarking Commitment to Excellence Award from Educational Benchmarking Inc. (EBI). The Silver Award recognizes institutions that have demonstrated a superior level of commitment to continuous quality improvement efforts.
University Housing began participation in the benchmarking program in 2000 to measure student satisfaction and trends, and learn where programs and services could be improved. “The data we’ve received has supported some of our original theories and has given us support to make some positive changes for our students,” said Michael Schultz, director of University Housing. Changes include improvements in the education, policy and enforcement of quiet hours, restructuring how a meal plans work, implementing new visitation policies, improvements to parking policies, and making University Housing a smoke-free environment, just to name a few.
Residents are given the EBI/ACUHO-I (Association of Colleges and University Housing Officers – International) benchmarking survey annually in March prior to Spring Break. University Housing boasts a return rate of more than 73 percent for the nearly 3,000 students who live on campus.
EBI presents three types of commitment awards annually: the Silver Award acknowledges institutions that have assessed their program five times in the past six years, including the current year; the Gold Award recognizes institutions that have assessed their program for six consecutive years, including the current year. Institutions assessing programs each year since a program’s inception receive the Charter Award.
Charles Hayes, program director for University Services to East St. Louis, effective Sept. 1, 2005, after nearly eight years service.
William C. Logan Jr., a coach in Intercollegiate Athletics, effective Oct. 1, 2005, after 12 years of service.
Barbara Whaley, a community worker for University Services to East St. Louis, effective Dec. 1, 2005, after eight years of service and six years on disability.
Alexandra Babione, a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature, effective Jan. 1, 2006, after more than 20 years of service.
Diane Jones, an admissions and records officer in the School of Business, effective Jan. 1, 2006, after nearly 29 years of service.
A memorial service for Professor Annette Baich, who died Dec. 8, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at the SIUE Religious Center. Baich was professor emerita of Biological Sciences.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) More than 40 state officials, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville faculty, and members of the construction industry from Illinois and Missouri, met today at SIUE to “engage in an interactive discussion” about the New Mississippi River Bridge Project.
The session, sponsored by the SIUE Construction Leadership Institute, explored the bridge project, with special emphasis on the impact it would have on the region’s construction industry.
James Pennekamp, special assistant to the SIUE Chancellor for Regional Economic Development, began the program by providing an historical overview of the project and its economic impact to the region. Tim Garvey, executive director of the Southern Illinois Builders Association, expanded on the Project, focusing on the financial issues surrounding it.
Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman, chair of the Committee on Transportation and Motor Vehicles, provided a political perspective on the project. Hoffman stressed the importance of the project, saying, “This is the number one economic tool to ensure regional growth.”
Finally, a panel featuring Brooks Brestal, Studies and Plans Engineer with IDOT, and Deanna Venker, P.E., St. Louis Area Engineer with MoDOT, discussed the project from the unique perspective of the construction industry and answered questions from the group.
The panel was moderated by Jon Danuser, system branch manager of Johnson Controls Inc. Other speakers included Gary A.Giamartino, dean of the SIUE School of Business, Paul A. Seaburg, dean emeritus of the SIUE School of Engineering, and Mary Sumner, associate dean for Executive Education in the SIUE School of Business.
The program was one of ten sessions developed by the Construction Leadership Institute, an innovative executive education program developed cooperatively by the SIUE School of Business and School of Engineering.
The Construction Leadership Institute provides training in business skills and strategy that individuals need for leadership roles in the construction industry. The program, designed by construction industry experts and practitioners and SIUE faculty, is offered annually each winter.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing recently unveiled its newly furbished Simulated Learning Center for the Health Sciences (SLCHS), which brings virtual nursing and realistic patient care scenarios to students—helping them prepare for split-second, critical decisions they will have to make in the real world.
“The future for adequate medical-care delivery in downstate Illinois is right here in this nursing school,” SIU President Glenn Poshard said during the unveiling ceremony on Jan. 23. “We need more baccalaureate-educated nurses and nurse practitioners to fill the current gaps in health-care delivery.”
Along with human-patient simulators, the SLCHS offers wireless communication, fully equipped exam and patient rooms, an obstetrics suite suite, two testing rooms in which students can videotape and critique their performances, and a drug-dispensing machine.
“The patient simulators mimic virtually all human responses,” said Karen Conners, SLCHS coordinator, adding, “They have a pulse, they breathe, their pupils dilate.” The simulators, coupled with the most state-of-the-art training equipment, draw students to the University’s Nursing program. Conners noted students can practice patient assessment, adding, “It’s like being in a real hospital.”
The SLCHS provides undergraduate and graduate nursing students and other students in health sciences access to equipment and features they will use in the real world. “It helps the students with hone their critical thinking skills before they enter the clinical setting,” Conners said.
Students in the SLCHS also can use an intravenous simulator, a state-of-the-art device that allows them to practice starting IVs on “patients.” Conners explained, “It’s a virtual excursion of intravenous line placement. There are a variety of patients to choose from when using this device. They vary in age and circumstance.” Students learn immediately if their technique was successful. If not, they will hear the “patient” say “ouch.”
The SIUE School of Nursing has forged partnerships with local community colleges and hospitals. These organizations are invited by the School of Nursing to bring their students or nurses to the SLCHS to practice skills.
Click here for photo from SLCHS unveiling ceremony (cutline below)
Learning: The SIUE School of Nursing recently unveiled its newly furbished Simulated Learning Center for the Health Sciences, which brings virtual nursing and realistic patient care scenarios to students—helping them prepare for split-second, critical decisions they will have to make in the real world. Here, SIU President Glenn Poshard learns about the upgraded Center from SIUE Nursing students. “The future for adequate medical-care delivery in downstate Illinois is right here in this nursing school,” Poshard said during the unveiling ceremony. “We need more baccalaureate-educated nurses and nurse practitioners to fill the current gaps in health- care delivery.” (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Alexander String Quartet, one of the premier ensembles of its kind, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, 2006, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as part of SIUE’s Arts & Issues series. The concert will take place in SIUE’s Dunham Hall theater and is sponsored by Erato Wine Bar and Shop, with locations in Edwardsville and St. Louis.
Having appeared in the major music capitals of four continents, ASQ will present an evening of Mozart in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday. The quartet also has established itself as an important advocate of new music through more than 25 commissions and numerous premiere performances.
SIUE’s Arts & Issues program is in its 21st season of presenting world-class performers and noted speakers to Southwestern Illinois audiences.
The New York Times praises the quartet as “an unusually fine group-musically, technically, in just about any way one wants to view it.” The SIUE concert will feature music from Salzburg’s favorite son as well as the music of Shostakovich that promises to be performed with the “lyricism, accurate pitch, handsome sound, and technical fluidity” that impressed the Boston Globe.
Those attending the concert are invited at intermission for a special wine tasting hosted by Erato Wine Bar & Shop.
Tickets are $24; students, $12, and are available by contacting the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774, or at the Web site: artsandissues.com. Tickets for the March 17 performance by the Minnesota Dance Theatre also are available.
Click here for a photo.
Carl Shipley Lossau of Edwardsville, emeritus professor of Geography and one of the pioneer faculty for SIU in Southwestern Illinois, died Monday, Jan. 16, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. He was 74.
A native of Chicago, Lossau came to SIUE in 1963 as a member of what was known then as the Special Sciences division, specializing in regional planning and geography. He later became professor of Earth Science, Geography and Planning at the University.
Lossau received his undergraduate (1953), a master’s (1954), and a doctorate (1962) at Northwestern University. He also was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during the occupation of Germany. He was an Edwardsville alderman, served on the city planning commission, and was active with the Edwardsville Little League and Boy Scouts.
Before joining SIUE, Lossau had been a planner with the Chicago Department of City Planning and later the St. Louis City Plan Commission as a chief planner. He also had been a lecturer at DePaul University in Chicago.
During retirement, Lossau was active with the YMCA as an officer in the Fencing Club. He was nationally ranked in the American Fencing Association's Senior Division.
Visitation is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Weber Funeral Home in Edwardsville. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Dr. Kathleen Lossau, pastor of Williamsville United Methodist Church, officiating. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Edwardsville.
Memorials may be made to the SIUE Foundation in support of an award in geography for undergraduate students, or to the Edwardsville YMCA.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A Season for the Child series—co-sponsored by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friends of Theater and Dance (FOTAD) and TheBANK of Edwardsville—continues with a fun-filled musical production of The Three Little Pigs at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, in SIUE’s Dunham Hall theater.
Audiences, age 4-7, will enjoy Piwacket Theatre for Children’s production of this popular fairytale as they present Alfred B. Wolf, who teaches the three pigs “the importance of cooperation.” This original musical adaptation of the familiar mid-19th Century British fairytale promises to enchant young and old with catchy songs, colorful costumes, and magical props.
Piwacket Theatre—produced by OFF The CUFF Productions Inc., a not-for-profit corporation (www.piwacket.com)—is in its 14th season of captivating St. Louis area audiences with cleverly adapted fairytales. Piwacket has been working with FOTAD for more than a decade and continues to produce family-oriented theater for the organization, which raises money for scholarships to qualified theater and dance students.
A Season for the Child is in its 17th year of presenting family-oriented theater to Southwestern Illinois audiences. The series features professional theater troupes from St. Louis that stage adaptations of various children’s stories, using interactive techniques that not only delight children and parents, but also provide a learning experience.
In March, FOTAD brings the Imaginary Theatre Co. of St. Louis to campus with its popular production of Box Wars.
Tickets for Three Little Pigs or Box Wars are $5 per person and may be obtained through the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A former Southern Illinois University Edwardsville dance student, who has established a widely successful dance-choreography career in Southern California, returns for the St. Louis premiere of his award-winning and controversial piece, Kruel Summer.
Michael Mizerany, known to SIUE audiences in the 1980s as an accomplished dancer-choreographer who also performed with the Mid-America Dance Co. in St. Louis, will bring his critically-acclaimed work to the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), 524 Trinity Ave., University City, Mo., at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.
Now artistic director-choreographer of MIZERANYDANCE! in San Diego, Mizerany had earlier made a name for himself in Los Angeles where he was a member of Loretta Livingston and Dancers and then Bella Lewitzky Dance Company, an internationally acclaimed troupe. Mizerany himself has been nominated seven times for the prestigious Lester Horton Dance Award for performance, and took home the prize in 1995 and 1996 for his solo works Tin Soldier and Bump in the Road.
Mizerany said Kruel Summer was created after interviews with more than three dozen soldiers on active duty, combining modern dance and agit-prop theater “to examine the lives of two men as they confront the atrocities of way in very different and tragic ways.” Critics have called the piece “a dark, surrealistic tale (that) packs a visceral punch.”
Tickets are $18; students and senior citizens, $15; reservation may be made by calling (619) 861-5286, or by e-mail: email@example.com.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Department of Athletics is looking for nominations for the 2006 Hall of Fame class.
Members of the SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame Committee gather names of nominees year-round and also are asking for on-line nominations. Cougar Athletics fans, friends and alumni may fill out a nomination form on the institution's athletics web site at www.siue.edu/ATHLETIC/HALL/ or by contacting SIUE Sports Information at Box 1129, Edwardsville, Ill. 62025.
The deadline for online nominations for the Class of 2006 is Feb. 28.
There are four categories of honorees: individuals, teams, coaches/administrators, and "Friends of the Program" or other individuals. Each category has a specific set of criteria for nomination.
Former student-athletes may be inducted with the following criteria: a minimum of two years of participation at SIUE, provided a substantial impact to their team, and are a graduate of SIUE. Individual candidates become eligible 10 years after completing their last season at SIUE.
Teams may be inducted by vote of the Hall of Fame committee. Ten years after competing at SIUE, an inducted team must have achieved a high degree of success and made a substantial impact on the program.
Coach/administrator honorees to the Hall of Fame are eligible two years after their final season at SIUE. These individuals must have served the University for at least four years and made a substantial impact and brought credit to the athletics program.
Other individuals and "Friends of the Program" may be inducted into the Hall of Fame as individuals who have had substantial influence on the athletics program.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian and Scholarship Awards have been announced by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The awards will be presented at the university’s 24th annual celebration of the birthday of the Rev. King at SIUE on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
The awards are given each year to recognize those who exemplify the philosophy of nonviolent social change as demonstrated by Rev. King. This year’s guest speaker will be Wenona Whitfield, associate dean for Academic Affairs and associate professor at the SIU School of Law.
The luncheon program will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Meridian Ballroom of SIUE’s Delyte W. Morris University Center, followed by a reception in the Goshen Lounge for the winners of the Scholarship and Humanitarian awards to be honored at the luncheon. Winners of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. High School Essay, Poetry, and Visual Arts Awards also will be honored.
Winners of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards include:
• Adrienne L. Smith of Glen Carbon—A 22-year-old undergraduate pursuing a bachelor’s in Mass Communications toward a career in the film industry as a producer and director, who will receive the MLK Scholarship and Humanitarian Award;
• Rev. Edwin Coleman—Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church and active in the Alton chapter of the NAACP, who will receive the Community Humanitarian Award; and
• Dwight McLeod, also of Alton—Chair of the Department of Applied Dental Medicine at the SIU School of Dental Medicine, who will receive the University Humanitarian Award.
Winners of the MLK high school competition awards are:
• Jessica Nemec, a junior at Edwardsville (IL) High School—poetry award;
• Joshua Scheu , a junior at Roosevelt High School in St. Louis—essay award; and
• Emily Kautzer, also a junior at Edwardsville High—visual arts award.
Joining the law faculty at SIU in 1981 as an assistant professor, Whitfield went on to become an associate professor in 1987 and associate dean in 2004. She also is a member of the adjunct faculty at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield in the departments of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities.
During her career, Whitfield has been a visiting professor of law at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., at the University of Ghana, and at the University of Missouri School of Law. She also has been a visiting lecturer at Tsinghua University School of Law and at the East China University of Politics and Law, both in Shanghai.
Tickets for the MLK luncheon are $15; students, $8. For reservations, call (618) 650-2660.
Lewis Bender, professor of Public Administration and Policy Analysis, effective Jan. 1, after more than 18 years service.
Vickie Cherry, dental assistant at the School. of Dental Medicine, effective Jan. 1, after more than 27 years service.
Brian Donnelly, executive director of University Park, effective Jan. 1, after more than 24 years service.
John V. Farrell III, associate professor of Political Science, effective Jan. 1, after more than 31 years service.
Darlene Fox, manager of the University Bookstore, effective Jan. 1, after nearly 37 years service.
Michelle Funk, dental assistant at the School. of Dental Medicine, effective Dec. 1, after more than 30 years service.
Carolyn Goetten, dental assistant at the School. of Dental Medicine, effective Dec. 1, after more than 30 years service.
LeAnne Lochhaas, manager in the Office of Human Resources, effective Jan. 1, after nearly 29 years service.
Kevin McClearey, professor of Speech Communication, effective Jan. 1, after more than 26 years service.
Ronald Scott, building service worker for Facilities Management, effective Jan. 1, after more than 16 years service.
Paul Seaburg, dean of the School of Engineering, effective Jan. 1, after more than six years service. Dean Seaburg also was granted emeritus dean status.
Connie Stierwalt, secretary in Speech Communication, effective Jan. 1, after nearly seven years service.
Hans Steffen of Edwardsville, emeritus professor of Management in the School of Business, died Jan. 12, at Saint Louis University Hospital. He was 76.
A native of Hannover, Germany, Steffen was a part-time instructor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and at Rutgers University, both in New Jersey, before joining the faculty in 1969 of what was then known as the Business Division at SIUE. He retired from the SIUE School of Business in 1996.
He also had been a consulting psychologist with American Management Psychologists in New York and was a licensed practicing psychologist in the state of New Jersey. He also had been an elementary teacher in Germany from 1952-57 and was a resident consultant in marketing research with Prudential Insurance Co. in Newark, N.J., from 1960-69.
Steffen earned a bachelor’s in elementary education in 1952 at the Teachers College in Hannover, and received a master’s and a doctorate, both in educational psychology and both from the University of Nebraska, in 1955 and 1960, respectively. He joined the SIUE faculty to teach courses in industrial psychology and educational psychology.
A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Christ Lutheran Church, 1 Selma, Webster Groves, Mo. Memorials may be made to: Gateway Regional Hospice, 2100 Madison Avenue, Granite City, IL 62040
Exhibits: Computer generated prints by Michael Mason, curator of The University Museum at SIUE, and drawings by Dennis Ringering, emeritus professor of Art and Design, go on exhibit Friday, Jan. 13, at the Xen Gallery in the Central West End of St. Louis. The two exhibits continue at the Gallery, 401 North Euclid Ave. (at McPherson), until Feb. 12. The pieces by Ringering (click here for an example) are mixed media drawings on paper, inspired by the study of petroglyphs and pictographs found in the American Southwest. In his Homage to American architect Louis Sullivan, Mason manipulates scanned organic images into complex geometric designs inspired by Sullivan's architectural ornament (click here for an example). An artist reception is scheduled from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday.
Arts & Issues: Former two-time presidential candidate and visionary economist Steve Forbes, who is president and CEO of Forbes Inc. and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, spoke recently at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as part of the SIUE’s Arts & Issues series. Forbes’ visit was sponsored by the SIUE School of Business. In this photo, Forbes is shown meeting with students from the SIUE School of Business. During a reception, Forbes, at left in this second photo, took time to chat with SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift (center) and Stephen Wigginton, newly appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
Congratulations: Joy Tedford, a secretary in the SIUE Department of Civil Engineering, is the Employee of the Month for January. She was nominated for the recognition by department Chair Mark Rossow. In the photo, from left, are Gregory J. Conroy, director of Public Affairs and a member of the Employee Recognition Selection Committee; Rossow, Tedford; and Rich Walker, assistant vice chancellor for Administration, Lora Flamm, assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and Rudy Wilson, assistant Provost for cultural and social diversity, all members of the selection committee. In addition to the framed certificate Tedford received, she was awarded a $25 gift certificate from the University Bookstore, lunch coupons from the University Restaurant, and parking privileges near her office for a month.(SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
Click here for Employee of the Month presentation
Scholar: Katherine Sammons of Bethalto (third from right) recently received the Faculty for Collective Bargaining Scholarship from the SIUE Staff Senate. The $500 scholarship is awarded, when funds are available, to children or grandchildren of current or retired SIUE staff who are members of a represented union under contract on campus. From left are Melanie Schoenborn, an operations assistant at Lovejoy Library and chair of the Staff Senate Scholarship Committee; SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift; Ms. Sammons, a sophomore at the University; her father, Garry Sammons, an electrician in Facilities Management; and her mother, Laura. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
Click here for photo of scholarship award presentation
Leo Christopher Chears, known to WSIE-FM listeners and to many jazz aficionados throughout the country as “The Man In The Red Vest,” died Monday, Jan. 2, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital after a long illness. He was 72.
Chears, who began his broadacasting career in 1960 at the old WAMV radio station in East St. Louis, went on to make a name for himself as a jazz broadcaster in the early 1960s at KADI Radio in St. Louis, where he shared the airwaves with the likes of Spider Burks, one of the first black disc jockeys in St. Louis. Chears said he learned much from Burks about jazz and decided to devote the rest of his life to the music he referred to as “America’s Art Form.” Over the years, Chears appeared countless times on stage as welcoming host to jazz greats from around the world who came to perform in St. Louis.
As was the case with many radio broadcasters in the early days, especially black announcers, the pay was low and Chears held a full-time day job for many years at Barnes Hospital as lab technician. In 1970, he moved to KSD Radio in St. Louis as host of an all-night jazz show. He also wrote and produced several radio commercials for Anheuser-Busch while at KADI and then at KSD. In fact, executives at A-B gave Chears the impetus for the moniker—“The Man in the Red Vest”—which became his signature.
Chears went on to establish a long-standing popular jazz show at WMRY Radio from 1974-1986 at the station operated by the Oblate Missionary Fathers at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. After a five-year stint at WRTH Radio, he joined the staff of WSIE-FM at SIUE, where he played his favorite music for nearly 15 years.
Radio managers found that when they hired Chears, his vast jazz record library was part of the deal, and he turned to it frequently to bolster a station’s jazz holdings.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chears was a native of Lamar, Miss., and moved to Brooklyn, Ill., with his family in 1940 at the age of eight. The family eventually resided in East St. Louis, where Chears graduated from Lincoln High School. He went on to serve in the military from 1955-57 at Ft. Lewis, Wash., and attended classes at Puget Sound City College in Tacoma, Washington.
Visitation is scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at Nash Funeral Home, 144 N. 16th St., East St. Louis. A funeral service will be conducted at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, 3424 LaSalle St., St. Louis. Burial will be in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.