During his memorial service Tuesday, friends and colleagues of SIU-Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno remembered him as a determined man with a vision for the school.
SIU interim President Kevin Dorsey told a gathering at Shryock Auditorium that Montemagno did the difficult work of getting change started. Dorsey says it's up to the rest of us to finish it.
"Together I think we can succeed in this task. If we put SIU and our learners ahead of self."
Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry said he and the chancellor shared a common priority of increasing enrollment.
"With that in mind, we built stronger relationships between the City and the University. We shared planning and objectives, participated together in city and campus events."
Southern Illinois Healthcare President and CEO Rex Budde said Montemagno understood the importance of the business community working with the university and vice versa. That was apparent when the chancellor proposed a four-year nursing school.
"Not designed to compete with the community college programs that already exist, but designed to augment and support the mission of those colleges, so that we could train nurses right here in southern Illinois."
Speakers also talked about Montemagno's remarkable passion for SIU-C.
SIU Board of Trustee member J. Phil Gilbert.
"He was always talking about his love for SIU, its students and the things he was hoping to accomplish to improve the educational opportunities, which he believed would attract more students to this campus."
SIU-C interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Meera Komarraju said Montemagno focused on students, the community and the region.
"He urged us to step up our game and enhance our recruitment and retention efforts, so, that the institution, including students and employees, as well as the community, could thrive."
Montemagno loved spending time in the Dawg Pound student section at Saluki sporting events. The group's immediate past president Joe Locher said the chancellor brought energy.
"I think his involvement with the Dawg Pound was a great, simplified expression of his impact on campus.
He encouraged us all to be proud, show our spirit, be weird if necessary, and have faith in the community we can build at SIU."
Montemagno passed away October 11th after a battle with cancer. He was 62.