...to speak at my Alma Mater - SIUC

first time back in 17 years.
it is freaking scary to be away that long and realize upon your

it was fun to see my old dorm. stomping grounds.
army barracks (a remnant of the 60's that was intended to be temporary housing for the school or art and design, still home for the classes.)

Alumni of the School of Art and Design reunited at their alma mater Friday in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library for a panel discussion to give advice to current design students and share stories about their experiences at SIU and time spent with their professor, the late Fuller.

Fuller was a designer, inventor, an author who wrote more than 30 books and an SIU professor in the School of Art and Design from 1959 to 1971. He was also featured on the cover of the January 1964 issue of Time Magazine.

The panel included former students Bob Doty, Bob Gailen, Jim Vloek, Tereasa Surratt and Warren Williamson who were asked questions by Busch, a retired professor in the School of Art and Design. Busch’s questions focused on the panel’s individual designing, like what design program experiences best served the alumni in their careers, what they wish they knew in school that they know now and what advice they had for current design students. Several alumni in the audience also provided guidance and shared their own reminiscent accounts about Fuller in their time at the university.

Mary Carroll, associate director of institutional advancement for the SIU Foundation and organizer of the panel, said she visited design alumni who have graduated in the past 40 years to create the panel. She asked them what skills they learned at the university that helped throughout their career and held strong even as the use of new technology increased.

Carroll said the alumni told her creativity, innovation, collaboration, and problem solving were important for students’ success.

“We invited them to come back and share these concepts because we believe that if (those concepts) have sustained (them) for the last 40 years when we couldn’t even envision what (the world) would look like, what skill would you need 40 years from now?” she said.

The panel also shared personal stories about Fuller. Busch said classes would be canceled and everyone would race to his location to hear him speak whenever Fuller came back to campus.

Carroll said Fuller always attributed solutions to the world’s problems to nature, and people are all a part of Earth and they can collaborate to find a way to sustain civilization.

“Buckminster Fuller was a comprehensivist, meaning, you needed to understand the big picture,” she said.

Carroll said the panel was great and she was very thankful to see the alumni return to SIU.

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