Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Interim Chancellor Stephen Hansen, PhD, and his wife Julie, associate professor emerita, have been staunch supporters of SIUE since first arriving on campus in 1984. They say it was the vibrant energy they felt within the institution that compelled them to commit their life’s work to SIUE’s students, faculty and staff.
To further underscore that dedication, the Hansens have generously contributed to the University through a gift of $50,000. They have divided their gift into two equal parts, $25,000 of which has created the Stephen L. and Julia Y. Hansen Collections Endowment at SIUE’s Lovejoy Library. The second $25,000 is directed to the Emeriti Faculty Association Endowment.
“Julie and I donate to the University, because we believe that SIUE does important work in educating and transforming the lives of students,” Stephen Hansen said. “We believe in and have respect for the honest and valuable work everyone does for the University.
“We have come to understand that SIUE is exceptional in so many ways, as a University and as a community. The current fiscal crisis in Illinois has made the University’s strengths and uniqueness’ abundantly clear. We believe in the future of SIUE, and in the faculty and staff who are shaping that future.”
The Stephen L. and Julia Y. Hansen Collections Endowment at Lovejoy Library will support collection development through the purchase of new books and materials in the areas of English and history.
According to Julie Hansen, “These storehouses of knowledge are the lifeblood of teaching and research. No University can claim to be excellent without a strong library. Our contribution is intended to assure that these tools will be available to SIUE’s faculty and students.”
“We are extremely grateful to Steve and Julie Hansen for their generous support in establishing the Stephen L. and Julia Y. Hansen Collections Endowment at Lovejoy Library,” said Regina McBride, PhD and dean of SIUE Library and Information Services. “Their endowment will ensure that future generations of students and faculty will have access to some of the finest resources available in history and English.”
Stephen Hansen established the Emeriti Faculty Association in 2013, emphasizing the enriching impact of emeriti faculty and their spouses/partners’ active participation in the University community. The Hansens intend for their contribution to build the endowment that will support current faculty by giving them a continuous source of funding aimed at advancing SIUE’s academic quality.
“The Emeriti Faculty Association is enormously grateful for Steve and Julie’s generous gift,” said Jim Weingartner, PhD and professor emeritus of historical studies at SIUE and chair of the Emeriti Faculty Association. “It will go far towards sustaining the association’s ability to support projects that enrich the educational experiences of our students and the effectiveness of our faculty through its annual awards program.
“That program, established under Steve’s leadership, has supported a wide variety of initiatives, ranging from the visit to campus of a prominent violinist to conduct a master class to integrating biofuels research into an introductory biology laboratory. Steve and Julie’s gift is only one of many examples of their inspiring devotion to this University over the past three decades.”
During his tenure at the University, Stephen served in multiple roles, including dean of the SIUE Graduate School and history professor in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Stephen retired in July of 2012, but remained involved with the University, attending engagements and organizing events among the Emeriti faculty.
He returned to the University in January 2015 to assume the role of CAS interim dean. Following that appointment, Hansen was asked to serve as interim chancellor, a post that will conclude at the end of July 2016.
Julie Hansen also has a long history of service to the University, including a leadership role as president of the Faculty Senate. She was the humanities librarian in Lovejoy Library from 1989 through her retirement in July of 2012.
Through their gift, Stephen and Julie Hansen’s commitment to SIUE will continue to positively impact the exemplary work of faculty and students through the future.
“The knowledge that is created and disseminated at SIUE improves lives and society as a whole,” Stephen Hansen concluded. “There’s nobility in what this University does. It provides outstanding services and creates a wonderful environment that enables people to learn and grow.
“It is our hope that our gifts will help make a difference in SIUE and add to its margin of excellence.”