About the Association

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An Advocate for Excellence

As the largest and oldest organization on campus, the SIU Alumni Association has been proudly serving SIU alumni and friends since 1896. It seeks to engage alumni, students, and friends of the university by preserving SIU traditions, promoting pride in an SIU education, and facilitating opportunities for students and alumni to connect professionally.

Today, the Association has continued to grow and serve as a connection between more than 250,000 alumni in every state of the U.S. and in more than 100 countries, as well as family and friends of the university. This is done by the Association playing a major role in key University functions by working with various departments across campus, including SIU Career Services, Saluki Athletics, and the Chancellor’s Office, on events and programs that support the university’s mission.

The Association sponsors the Student Alumni Council, a student run organization linking students with alumni and friends of SIU, and offers a nationally-recognized Extern program, while also delivering financial assistance programs in the form of scholarships and textbooks. Reunions are also organized and steered by the Association in order to bring Salukis back home. These include the Black Alumni Group and the 50-Year Class Reunion.

All of this allows the Association to continue its mission of: "revealing to the world the excellence of Southern Illinois University."
brown saluki dog

SIU 1897 Graduating class
The 1897 graduating class
taken from "A Picture History" by Betty Mitchell.

A Long Proud History

In 1896, the Association was established by a group of students whose purpose was to continue the involvement with their alma mater and fellow graduates. Their first meeting was held on June 10, 1896. In 1897, annual membership dues cost a mere 25 cents.

Fifty years later, the organization was officially formed as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and now rests under the university’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations along with its sister organization, the SIU Foundation.

SIU Alumni Strategic Plan