Business Night brings more than 400 local students to SIU
December 18, 2018,
The College of Business hosted a Business Night at a recent SIU men’s basketball game, giving more than 400 local high school and community college students the opportunity to see that business provides a promising future. The Salukis took on St. Louis University on Dec. 5 in an exciting game and the group of enthused future business students helped cheer on the Salukis to victory over the St. Louis University Billikens.
The students in attendance have all shown an interest in business by either being a member of their school’s Future Business Leaders of America group, taking business classes or expressing interest to their academic counselor. They and their chaperones were invited to enjoy a CoB showcase event on campus and they received complementary tickets for the game.
“The aim was to bring teachers, advisors and students to campus so they can see all the great things going on at SIU and the College of Business, and to have a little fun watching the game,” Rachel Richey, the college’s director of enrollment management, said.
The ballgame showed the students a little of what campus life is like as a Saluki. However, the students also got the opportunity to see what it is like to be a part of the CoB family.
The event opened in the Student Center’s International Lounge with an academic college fair. Numerous CoB staff and students greeted the schools as they arrived and individually chauffeured them throughout the night. Representatives from CoB and other SIU colleges were available to share information about their colleges, answer questions and offer guidance to the future Salukis.
Participants also got to hear several successful individuals endorse the CoB and SIU. Speakers included Terry Clark, CoB dean; Jerry Kill, SIU acting athletic director/special assistant to the chancellor; Mike Henry, Carbondale mayor; Bob Bleyer, The Bank of Carbondale president, Meera Komarraju, interim provost; Bradley Marks, former state FBLA president and current CoB student; and DeAnna Price, CoB alumna and USA track and field Olympian.
Price credits the CoB for her success on and off the field. While sharing a few inspiring words about her journey, she proudly held up her recent Wing Award, earned for Best Outdoor Championship Performance.
“Southern Illinois University made me who I am,” Price said.
The mayor touched on the small-town charm of Carbondale and its connection with SIU.
Kill, a former SIU football coach, huddled the students closer for a meaningful speech about the impact SIU and the community has had on him. He said Southern Illinois has everything to offer including a great education at SIU.
Kill noted that when he travels around the world, people recognize him by saying “You’re a Saluki.”
Students never leave empty handed at the CoB. Before the game started, they received T-shirts, game tickets and concession stand vouchers.
Jarmekia Walker from Belleville East High School was the winner of a $500 scholarship, courtesy of The Bank of Carbondale. She was recognized at the center of the floor during the game and will receive the money upon enrollment as an SIU College of Business student.
During the basketball game, several students participated in the time-out and half-time giveaway competitions, including “Deal or No Deal” and a lip-sync battle to “Taking Care of Business.” Students could choose between CoB or SIU Athletics gift baskets, a Dr. Pepper mini-fridge, a gift card to the Saluki Team Store sponsored by 710 Bookstore or a $50 bill from The Bank of Carbondale. SIU cheerleaders and the Saluki Shakers also threw out CoB gear to the crowd.
The students who attended the event represented 28 local schools from throughout Southern Illinois.
“Not only has this event strengthened relationships that were already established, but it has opened lines of communication with new teachers and advisers throughout the community as well,” Richey said.
The college is striving to strengthen connections to local high schools. Community support and enhancing local student enrollment is vital to SIU’s CoB.
The sense of home and the welcoming Southern Illinois nature occurs naturally at the CoB. Everyone at CoB wants students to feel like Rehn Hall is a hometown all its own. The prospective students were able to experience these qualities for themselves while learning more about SIU and how the CoB can further support their future business aspirations.