Scholarship created in SIU Chancellor Montemagno's memory - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Scholarship created in SIU Chancellor Montemagno's memory

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An outpouring of support from the community following SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno's death has created an opportunity for a student. A memorial scholarship has been created in his name by the SIU Foundation and the SIU Alumni Association. 

Jim Salmo, the SIU foundation's CEO, says locals began sending in memorial gifts soon after his passing and the groups decided to put them together to create the scholarship for SIU students. 

"When we do these kind of things we will see $3,000- $5,000 come in, this fund is going to be much bigger," Salmo explains. "The impact that Chancellor Montemagno had on the institution and the area was such that people are giving at a larger gift rate." 

Salmo expects at least $10,000 to be raised, and if $25,000 is donated, the scholarship has potential for endowment. However, much of the scholarship's details still need to be set by Montemagno's family. 

The family will set applicant criteria, as well as, how the funds will be disbursed. "If we go over the $25,000, we kind of look to the family and say do you want it to be an endowment. Or maybe they don’t want it to be forever, they may want it to have the greatest impact it can have over 10 years." 

One of the first people to donate is Dede Lingle Ittner, a 14-year-member of the SIU Alumni Association. Lingle Ittner can remember the first time she met Montemagno. The encounter was during a dinner in June 2017 meant for alumni to get to know him and other candidates for the chancellor position. 

"I was very intrigued with him, he was just so dedicated to what was going on here," Lingle Ittner recalls. " He said you have such strong traditions and history and that was my first experience talking to him." 

She was invited, not only as an Alumni Association Executive Committee member, but as part of the community for her deep ties to the university, "Five generations have gone to SIU starting with the first summer that SIU opened and it was Aunt Olive Zimmerman." 

After Montemagno became chancellor, Lingle Ittner would see him on campus at least once a week and out in the community, "You couldn’t help but begin to say it’s no ivory tower, he’s in there and he’s doing things. He considers you a friend, and so I could consider him a friend." 

Lingle Ittner says anyone can donate and that it may create a family tradition for students to attend SIU like her own, "I would encourage people, where ever they are in Southern Illinois, to consider the fact that this would be an opportunity to reach out to the students and per chance be a few first generations out of this effort." 

The first recipient for the scholarship will likely be chosen in Fall 2019. 

Donations to the Montemagno Memorial scholarship can be made online at the Foundation's website here. Or by check with Montemagno Memorial scholarship in the memo and addressed to: 

SIU Foundation
Colyer Hall
1235 Douglas Drive
Mail Code 6805
Carbondale, Illinois 62901

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