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SIU Board of Directors approves honorary degrees and Distinguished Service awards


02 December 2021

SIU Board of Directors approves honorary degrees and Distinguished Service awards

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Former U.S. Senator and Revolutionary Illinois Politician Roland W. Burris will receive an Distinguished Service Award after approval by the SIU Board of Directors today (December 2). Burris is one of six people recommended by SIU Chancellor Carbondale Austin A. Lane for honorary degrees and distinguished service awards.

A 1959 graduate from SIU Carbondale in political science, Burris became only the sixth African-American to serve in the United States Senate and the only SIU graduate to hold that seat when he was appointed in January 2009 to take the seat vacated by then-elected President Barack. Obama.

The appointment notes Burris’ distinguished career, which included becoming the first African-American National Bank Examiner when he was hired by the US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the Chicago area in 1963. He was the first African American to hold a statewide position in Illinois in 1978 when he was elected Comptroller and after three terms was elected Attorney General in 1989. His private legal practice s ‘is focused on the laws of the environment, consumption and inheritance. from the board of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society, Goodwill Industries and the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. The many honors bestowed on Burris by the SIU include the SIU Alumni Achievement Award.

Others who will be honored at the start of May 2022 or at a future start are:

  • Carolyn Taft Grosboll, Distinguished Service Award. Grosboll served as clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court from January 2011 until her retirement on November 30, where she “played a leading and central role in modernizing and streamlining the operations” of the court, while by improving “communication, business management and expanded access to the general public.”

A two-degree alumnus of SIU Carbondale, she received her BA in history in 1984 and a law degree from SIU School of Law in 1987. The appointment notes that Grosboll “has made a significant contribution to the administration of justice. and the preservation of natural resources in Illinois. throughout his decades of public service in the State of Illinois.

During her years in private practice, Grosboll was a partner in a Springfield law firm and also “excelled as legal counsel and then director of the Illinois Nature Reserves Commission, president of Illinois Audubon Society and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sojourn Shelter and Services. , which provides services to victims of domestic violence.

The nomination notes that in all his efforts, Grosboll has built a “reputation as a smart, innovative, efficient and tirelessly professional contributor to the legal system, the environment and the public welfare”.

  • John S. Jackson III, Distinguished Service Award. A visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute since 2002, Jackson served the university for more than 50 years, beginning as an assistant professor of political science in 1969. Jackson went on to become a full professor and higher education administrator, including serving in as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Acting Chancellor.

The nomination notes that Jackson “has dedicated himself to teaching and mentoring young people who have made careers at the local, state, national and international levels.” His research profile and publications are impressive, and even in retirement, Jackson is “dedicated to making scholarly contributions and working with student researchers to ensure they have the opportunity to realize their own potential and to leave their mark. brand in the world while following their passions ”.

Jackson continued to work with international students on summer programs through the US State Department “to promote international relations and cultural appreciation while teaching American democracy.” He continually seeks and promotes opportunities for students to gain real-world experience through internships in public policy and government departments.

The appointment also notes that Jackson’s respected voice continues to provide “in-depth information on elections, poll data and societal trends” that helps “all Illinoisians better understand our world.” He also oversaw and edited the 357-page “150 SIU” which “does an excellent job in telling the rich history of SIU Carbondale”.

  • Thelma Mothershed-Wair, Distinguished Service Award. Mothershed-Wair is perhaps best known as a member of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American college students who first entered Little Rock High School in 1957, but she is one of three. students to attend SIU Carbondale, earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics education in 1964. She then obtained a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from UES Edwardsville in 1970.

The appointment notes that Mothershed-Wair “devoted her professional life to serving students and their families in the East St. Louis school system, working as a home economics teacher and counselor,” retired in 1994. She also worked for St. Clair County. Detention of minors in prison

Center and as a survival skills instructor for women at the American Red Cross Second Chance Homeless Shelter.

A champion of diversity, inclusiveness and equity, and recognizing her bravery and perseverance in overcoming school segregation and years of service to others, Mothershed-Wair and fellow Little Rock Nine members received the prestigious NAACP Spingarn Medal. The group was also honored with the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton in 1999.

  • Richard hunt, honorary doctorate in public arts. The nomination notes that Hunt, who became a guest artist at SIU Carbondale in 1969 and had a solo exhibition in 1970 at the Mitchell Gallery of the University Museum, “is perhaps the most important living contemporary sculptor in the United States. United “. While at Carbondale, Hunt taught both sculpture and printmaking, and he remained “committed and supported to SIU Carbondale, helping to facilitate the donation of dozens of important prints and artwork to the museum. from the University of a New York City gallery and his own. personal collection.

Hunt has over 150 public commissions to his name and recently completed a 13-year project “which resulted in a superb tribute to Ida B. Wells in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.” His welded bronze sculpture, “Swing Low,” hangs above the lobby entrance of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC His work is exhibited in more than 20 states, more than any other sculptor, the appointment states. Hunt’s welded bronze work “Starwalk” is on display at the University Museum Sculpture Garden near Faner Hall.

Born in south Chicago, Hunt attended the Junior School of Art Institute in Chicago. The youngest artist exhibiting at the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, Hunt received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the Art Institute of Chicago. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as one of the first artists to serve on the Board of Trustees of the National Endowment for the Arts, and he also served on the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian Institution.

  • Cho-Yee at, honorary doctorate in educational leadership. Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan and a 1967 Doctor of Education from SIU Carbondale, To “is an internationally renowned educator, scholar and pioneer in the field of multidisciplinary research in educational theory.” indicates the appointment. To’s thesis at SIU was on “John Dewey’s View of the Relationship between Education and the Democratic Ideal” and he began his academic career at SIU at the Center for Dewey Studies.

He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1967 as an assistant professor and was subsequently promoted to associate professor and full professor. To has been visiting professor, research professor and dean of education at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Professor Gerald R. Read at Kent State University; lecturer Ruth Wong and lecturer TY Wu at the National University of Singapore; and speaker Daisaku Ikeda from Soka Gakkai International in Tokyo.

Originally from Hong Kong, To received a BA in Education from the United College of Hong Kong / The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1959 and an MA in Education from the University of Washington in 1963. The University of Washington recognized To in as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2016, and he was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Start from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2006. He has also received honorary chairs at universities in China, England, Japan, Korea and in Malaysia.