SIUE Chancellor Joins East St. Louis Mayor for State of the City Address
EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor, James T. Minor, PhD, joined East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III during the annual State of the City Address held Thursday, May 26 at the SIUE East St. Louis Center.
“I have had the great pleasure of spending time in East St. Louis even before my March arrival to listen and learn about the history and just how resilient this community is and has been,” Minor shared in his opening remarks.
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Minor went on to reflect on and highlight a couple of celebrations, which marked significant points along the educational continuum. In May, he shared in the milestone achievement of young, local scholars as they graduated from the SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start program’s end of the year celebration. That same day, he spoke at the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School (CHS) commencement ceremony. CHS valedictorian Evan Bonner will attend SIUE in fall 2022, a remarkable demonstration of the successful bridge that has been created to connect East St. Louis residents to SIUE’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.
“SIUE is one of the few places in the nation where students can go from pre-school to PhD, pre-school to dental school, and pre-school to pharmacy school,” Minor said.
During his address, Eastern expressed his optimism about the progress of the city and focused on the reduction of crime and ongoing development projects.
Minor listened intently to learn more about challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, especially with regards to collaborations between SIUE and the City of East St. Louis.
“Our service to this historic and resilient community is important to me as chancellor,” Minor stated. “I know that every great community has a great university. I know that education has the power to transform the lives of young people. Individuals who have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree earn a million more dollars over their lifetime compared to those with only a high school diploma. Today, SIUE is the number one producer of college graduates in the region.”
“I know that the economic, civic and democratic vitality of a community is enhanced by a greater number of citizens with postsecondary education,” he continued. “And I know that higher education holds the ability to take a student who may be the first in their family to ever set foot on a college campus and turn them into a community leader, business owner, pioneering scientist, or someone who influences an entire industry.”
Minor encouraged residents to take advantage of the SIUE East St. Louis Center’s outreach initiatives and programs, which include, but are not limited to a free nursing clinic, a dental clinic, Library Resource Center, The Center for the Performing Art and TRIO Upward Bound programs that help prepare individuals for successful careers.
“SIUE stands ready to intensify and expand its partnership and authentic collaboration with you, Mayor Eastern and East St. Louis, by leveraging our University community,” said Minor. “We firmly believe in the promise of this city. I’ve shared a little about what is happening today, and I look forward to speaking with the mayor about our tomorrow.”
With a focus on empowering people and strengthening communities, the SIUE East St. Louis Center is dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals—from pre-school through adult—in the Metro East region. The Center offers programs that give the community renewed hope and an opportunity to reach educational, career and life goals. It does so by providing comprehensive programs, services and training in the areas of education, health, social services and the arts.
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