Part of SIU-Carbondale's 3rd annual Day of Giving included the kickoff of the school's 150th anniversary celebration.
During an event Wednesday at Morris Library, a huge gift box opened with students dancing to celebrate the many different career paths offered at SIU-C.
Interim Chancellor John Dunn then spoke to the sizable gathering about SIU-C's legacy of serving students.
"Many alumni tell us that SIU gave them a chance, many as first generation students, when other schools would not."
The City of Carbondale supported SIU-C's Day of Giving. Mayor Mike Henry read a proclamation at Morris Library.
"The City of Carbondale, Illinois urges all citizens to recognize that together in just one day, we can create opportunities for current students and future Salukis to find a home and find success. Ordered this 6th day of March, 2019."
Mayor Henry said the university's yearlong celebration of its 150th birthday is also a big moment for the city.
"Going to be a lot of alumni coming back to visit and they're getting ready for them and of course that's good for our businesses here in town. What's good for SIU is good for the City and vice versa."
Henry said he believes the positive feelings from the Day of Giving and the 150th anniversary celebration will help let people across the country know about the quality of SIU-C.
Part of the birthday celebration features the release of a book on the school's history.
John Dunn talked about the publication at Morris Library.
"We will have a book signing in the Student Center on March 22. So, stay tuned for more information. I've had a chance to look at the book. It's really well done."
The book is entitled, "Southern Illinois University at 150 Years: Growth, Accomplishments and Challenges." Editor John Jackson said he tried to create a coherent story of where the school has been, including the school's recent struggles.
"We have many challenges. I tried to explain, especially in that first chapter, why those challenges were steep hills to climb in a lot of cases."
The book is available through SIU Press.