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New Saluki Stadium

CARBONDALE – The dream of a new football stadium at SIUC may have seemed farfetched at one time, but fans including alumni Greg Cook have seen it is no longer just a dream.

“The first words or thoughts that come to mind for me are ‘Wow. We did it. We actually did it,” Cook said.

Cook was one of several speakers at the Saluki Stadium opening ceremony on Tuesday. Fans were able to see the completed stadium including the new high-tech turf, video scoreboard and new seating.

The event included a reception, a ribbon cutting and words from members of the SIU Board of Trustees, administrators, students and alumni. U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, State Sen. David Luechtefeld and State Rep. Mike Bost were also in attendance.

Before the speeches, the team and the band made what will be their new game-day trek from the SIU Arena and into stadium through south entrance.

Wide receiver Joe Allaria said the team is humbled by the stadium and proud to call it home. Head football coach Dale Lennon said the Saluki Way project is one of the main factors in him becoming a Saluki.

It truly has been impressive watching everything come together,” Lennon said.

He said he cannot wait to hear the fans support the team and hopes there is a sense of pride of what was accomplished.

Jeff Troutt of Christo-pher graduated from SIUC in 1961 and has been a football season ticket holder since 1970. He said he was impressed with the new stadium and is eager for the season to begin.

“So far, so good,” Troutt said. “I’m very pleased with it. I think it’s going to be an enjoyable place to watch football.”

Many thanks

The alumni, SIUC students, former head coach Jerry Kill, Lennon, Mayor Brad Cole and the Carbondale City Council and the construction workers were among those thanked by the speakers.

SIU President Glenn Poshard also thanked Board of Trustees Chair Roger Tedrick for be a leader in getting the project approved and for having the idea to build the stadium and renovate the SIU Arena at the same time.

“Because of that decision, this project has come on time and under budget,” Poshard said.

Athletic Director Mario Moccia also made special mention of Saluki Athletics, the architects and former Chancellor Sam Goldman for their commitment to the project. He said that there is still a lot of work to be done on Saluki Way but hopes that the fans will enjoy the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of people.

17 months

SIUC Chancellor Rita Cheng said it is “remarkable to think that the groundbreaking for Saluki Way just 17 months ago” and stressed the important role athletics play at a university by bringing the campus and the region together. She also said first impressions for prospective students are important and the new stadium will do just that.

“The results are outstanding and I hope you are as proud of the accomplishment as we are,” Cheng said.

Marcus King, president of the SIUC Undergraduate Student Government, said the student athletes finally have a stadium that honors their hard work and dedication.

“Not only does SIU have the best athletes, but now it has the best sports venue,” King said.

Cook, like the other speakers, was mostly ready to see the Salukis bring in some more win-ning seasons and maybe a national championship or two.

“What a fitting place this will be to hang those banners,” Cook said.

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Here are most photos (courtesy of Wan Burhan) to the previous two postings before:

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Continue from previous posting Camping at Ferne Clyffe State Park

More photos from our camping at Ferne Clyffe Park in Southern Illinois.

As part of the activities, we would hike around the park early in morning after our Fajr prayer. (Standing L-R) Che Wahab, Karim (me), Rashid and TJ Jailani while Yazid and Burhan sitting. Yazid is now a Professor at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (former KUSTEM – transferred from UPM Serdang). Despite comiing from Negeri Sembilan he is now comfortable speaking his wife’s Trengganuspeak.

Slow flowing stream is just a few yards from our tents. (L-R) Rashid, Burhan (seated), TJ Jailani (standing), ?, Wahab (hat), Yazid.

Rashid is the only non-Malaysian that always joins us in usrah, various gatherings and outings. As the sole Malay from Singapore among the hundreds of Malays at Carbondale he mixed well among us. The last I spoke to him was in early 1990s while traveling to Singapore. Unfortunately, with my tight schedule then we only managed to spoke over the phone.

Posing on the log (L-R) – Rashid, TJ, myself (hidden) Burhan, Yazid and Wahab catching up. Che Wahab Che Man is now the Principal (Assistant?) of MRSM in Sarawak. I last met him after the last Raya Puasa prayer at Masjid Putih Kuala Terengganu.

Dinner time in front of our tent. Team work is always being tested and preparing for dinner is one of them.

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Now that it is summer, it reminds me of one of the favorite things that we do together during this season was to go camping.

Recently Wan Burhan shared his photos of our camping at the Ferne Clyffe State Park.


Sitting around the campfire enjoying our coffee – L-R Jailani (TJ), Che Wahab, Yazid, Rashid, Karim (me) and Burhan.

During the day we would be enjoying the beautiful scenery around the park – (L-R) Rashid, Wahab (with the hat), Burhan (sitting at the back), ? (front) and Karim (me).

(L-R) – ?, Rashid, Jailani, Burhan, Wahab and Yazid (standing)

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To us from Malaysia, coming from hot and humid weather all the year round and never ever will see snow in our lifetime (if we never got the chance to study overseas), it was one of the most beautiful experience we had every time it snowed in Carbondale.

That would be the time we will put extra layer of thick clothing [even though sometime it was not that cold] covering every part of our body. Everyone of us got the chance of having to play snow for the very first time. How wonderful.

There were a few occasions when SIU had to be closed as many of the roads were not passable. But then for us it will be time to wander around the campus to enjoy the knee deep snow or sometime up to our waist level.

It is so memorable that we would take these opportunities to capture forever in photo shots of various locations, posing as many shots and playing childishly.

Unfortunately, those shots supposed to be captured for future nostalgic story telling to others were not kept properly and either lost or damaged by our humid weather back home. With working up our career and photos kept all over in kampung somewhere and moving from one house to another in keeping up with hectic life – we lost the those memorable shots that we intend to keep.

And that was what happened to me. Many of those photos were gone, lost or damaged.

Here are some of those that I managed to salvaged. Some had to be digitally doctored else the colors were so bad that you wonder what season they were shot – snow turned out yellowish!

Please share you photos here. Send to me your scanned photos.

With Shukri Azam – who has the most sophisticated camera among us.

The childish play … and we enjoyed it

Was this near the Student Center?

By the little “forest” next to the Student Center.

With Che Wahab Che Man … pretending it was a waist deep!

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Taman Tasik Ampang HilirFor those who are not familiar with Ampang area, you may want to use the map below as a guide.

Directions:

1.Using Middle Ring Road (MRR2)

a. Coming from Zoo Negara:

Pondok Tmn Tsk Ampang HilirExit at Ampang Jaya i.e. before Ampang Point flyover. Follow under the flyover to the Ampang road junction take right at the light towards the city. Turn left after Shell and Petronas (before Lorenzo) – Lorong Ru. Turn right at Jalan Ampang Hilir. The lake is at your right. Parking and and entrance clearly visible.

In case you missed the Ampang Point/Jaya exit, proceed the MRR2, U-turn at the next two exit (i.e. exit Pandan Jaya – passed Tesco). Then follow (b.)

pandangan Tmn Tsk Ampang Hilirb. Coming from Cheras:

After Tesco (Kg Pandan), take Jalan Ampang exit after Shell and the lake. Keep left and turn towards the city at Jalan Ampang. Turn left after Shell and Petronas (before Lorenzo) – Lorong Ru. Turn right at Jalan Ampang Hilir. The lake is at your right. Parking and and entrance clearly visible.

2. Coming from the city along Jalan Ampang, U-turn at the light under the MRR2 flyover. Take Jalan Ampang back towards the city, turn left after Shell and Petronas (before Lorenzo) – Lorong Ru. Turn right at Jalan Ampang Hilir. The lake is at your right. Parking and and entrance clearly visible.

The map below should be helpful.

Guide to Taman Tasik Ampang

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Calling SIU-C Alumni, especially 1982-1987, we plan to have a simple Raya picnic (with your family along).

Date: 11 October 2009 (Sunday)

Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 am (most of us need to rush to other Raya Open House invitations and/or wedding receptions after that – so let us all be punctual and finish on time)

Agenda: Just meet and talk, talk, talk

Location: Taman Rekreasi DBKL Tasik Ampang Hilir (just opened before Raya) – next to Shell Station along MRR2 before Ampang Point if coming from Cheras or after Ampang Point if coming from Zoo Negara (map)

Food/Drink: Simple Nasi Lemak bungkus, a little bit of pasta, and other light Raya cookies (as you will all be going to attend various functions after that) – and mineral water. Unless we have other sponsors (please tell me)

SPECIAL GUEST: Bro. Osman Mokhtar El-Mubarak (Sudanese) SIU-C 1985-1987 – he and his family has been in town for vacation since yesterday – and wish to meet all his Malaysian friends.

PLEASE confirm your attendance to avoid food wastage (and also tak cukup makan!).

HELP spread the words …

Person to contact:

1. Karim Omar 019-3199-788 (akarimomar@yahoo.com)

2. Wan Burhan 016-395-6497 (logonwb@yahoo.com)

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Updated (9 Oct 09):

Confirmed coming:

  1. Mohd Zambri Tenang *
  2. Moslim Jaafar ++
  3. Wan Burhan Ismail +
  4. Othman Ismail
  5. Wan Ibrahim Wan Long *
  6. Mohd Saupi Fauzi
  7. Khalid Zakaria

Confirmed NOT coming:

  1. Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Ismail
  2. Shuki Osman
  3. Mohd Hussin Ali
  4. Mukhsin Tajuddin

Note:

  • + : with spouse
  • ++ : with family
  • * : no indication

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from Daily Egyptian:

SIUC shut down for second straight day, expected to be open today

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As the university shut down its campus for a second consecutive day Wednesday, poor weather continued to pose a hazard to students and community members around Carbondale.

The National Weather Service reported more than an inch of snow had covered the area by 5 p.m., and many motorists were trapped in banks of snow produced by city plow trucks.

Randy Mathis, a spokesman for the Carbondale Police Department, reported six crashes as of 3 p.m. All were minor wrecks with no injuries, he said, and the department had been getting several calls from motorists for assistance.

Mathis said they were still encouraging people to stay off the roadways if at all possible.

The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 30 degrees for today with a chance of light snow in the evening. Friday’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies with a high in the upper 20s, while the rest of the weekend should not include anymore snow.

Colburn Dittmer, a senior from Omaha, Neb., studying agricultural systems technology, said he saw a tow truck get stuck while trying to dislodge another vehicle from the mounds of snow.

But while some students had problems with their cars, others enjoyed the time off school.

Dittmer said he spent his Tuesday with a group of friends sloshing through the snow with a Jon boat on the back of a truck.

Sean Morgan, a senior from Naperville studying agribusiness economics, said they took his roommate’s boat out to the arena and went sledding with it. Their plans were to do more of the same on their second day off from classes.

Dittmer said he was hoping for a third snow day, but SIUC spokesman Rod Sievers said today’s classes would unlikely be cancelled.

Brad Dillard, associate director of the Physical Plant, said campus crews would work through the night to clear parking lots and walk ways on campus.

“All of our resources are at work and we have a lot of work ahead,” he said.

Sievers said the winter storm also caused damage to the campus farm, which suffered a collapsed roof because of the weight of snow and ice. Sievers said no people or animals were injured but a barricade surrounding the building would be put up to protect students and animals from the hazardous building.

SIUC campus police officer Sergeant Bennie Joe Vick said officers kept busy overnight by trying to keep students off the Campus Lake.  He said they chased between 30 to 40 students off the lake.

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From Daily Egyptian: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Administrators say retention problem main reason for decrease

Source: Provost Don Rice

Enrollment

Despite a rise in the freshman and sophomore classes, a retention problem with upperclassmen has led to a 1.5 percent decrease in enrollment, administrators say.

Provost Don Rice said enrollment for freshman and sophomore classes is up more than 11 percent from last year, but a 12.9 percent decrease in juniors and seniors is sinking early enrollment numbers.

The drop reflects a continuing problem that has plagued the university for years.

Enrollment peaked in 1991 at 24,869 students, according to university records. By fall 2007, that number had fallen to 20,983. Enrollment numbers affect everything from faculty and staff salaries to building maintenance.

more: [click here]

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