Main Content

Spring 2022 Alumni Newsletter

We are so excited to present you with this spring newsletter to keep you informed about the exciting initiatives at SIU School of Law.  In this issue, we highlight the tremendous accomplishments.  Despite the challenges we have collectively faced in the past 2 years, SIU School of Law continues to thrive. 

Dean and Professor of Law

Dean Davidson


The Southern Illinois University School of Law is gearing up to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. SIU Law was established in 1972 and classes began in the fall of 1973. Several events are being planned and we hope you will join us in the forthcoming celebrations. We wanted to unveil our 50th logo in this newsletter. This logo will be utilized for marketing and on clothing items, so be on the lookout for future online stores! We hope you are as excited as we are, as we prepare to celebrate 50 years of serving the public good.


The Holiday Receptions were held in Murphysboro - November 17, Chicago - December 9, Springfield - December 14 and St. Louis - December 15. It was great to get to be "in-person" and catch up with our alumni.



The Southern Illinois University School of Law is hosting the inaugural Diversity Prelaw Summer Institute on May 25-29 in Carbondale, Illinois. The Diversity Prelaw Summer Institute operates for and benefits diverse college and university rising juniors and seniors who desire information and strategies to prepare for law school. Participants will learn about the application and admissions process, the Law School Admissions Test, how to properly read and review a case, legal writing, paying for law school, and various career paths. Institute attendees will interact with and have presentations and discussions facilitated by lawyers, law students, and law school faculty.

Participants will also take field trips to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN, and the St. Louis law firm, Armstrong Teasdale, as well as visit a courthouse. All participants will also be granted free access to an online LSAT prep course following the institute.

A full agenda and application can be found here. Applications are due March 15, 2022.

The Program Coordinator for the summer institute is SIU Carbondale Law School graduate Deidre Powell (’21). Powell is an associate at Armstrong Teasdale in their litigation practice group.

This inaugural program is possible because of the generous support of School of Law alum, Kyle Stokien (’04) and the St. Louis Bar Foundation. Stokien, who is the Managing Director of Executive Financial Management at Goldman Sachs, took advantage of the Goldman Sachs Matching Gift Program. He donated $12,500 and Goldman Sachs matched his gift, creating a $25,000 donation for the Summer Institute. Stokien wants to encourage his fellow alumni to check whether or not their company has corporate matching. The St. Louis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis also awarded the School of Law a grant for $1,500 written by Cindy Walker from the SIU Foundation.   


Chris BehanProfessor Chris Behan traveled to Kampala, Uganda from November 21 to December 11, 2021, as a Fulbright Specialist sponsored by the United States Department of State. His project is to work with faculty and administrators at the Law Development Centre (LDC) in the capital city of Kampala to develop curriculum and teaching materials for their trial advocacy and clinical programs.

The LDC is a post-graduate law school that all Ugandan law graduates must attend in order to obtain a license to practice law. Along with Linda Alinda-Ikanza, a colleague from the LDC, Professor Behan is writing a trial advocacy textbook for use in LDC courses that focuses on practice and procedure in Ugandan courts. Professor Behan is scheduled to return to Uganda this coming summer to help train advocacy instructors at the LDC.

Pictured: Frank Nigel Othembi, LDC Director; Professor Behan; Lecturer Linda Alinda-Ikanza.


Emeritus Professor W. Eugene Basanta and his wife Laura have long been supporters of the SIU School of Law. Professor Basanta started the JD/MD dual degree program in 1989 in conjunction with the SIU School of Medicine. At the time it was one of few JD/MD programs in the country. This year the Basantas pledged to donate $30,000 over the next three years to support the General Health Activities Fund.



by Pete Rosenbery

Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Stillman College signed a memorandum of understanding on January 26 to help students from the historically Black liberal arts college enroll and earn a degree from the SIU School of Law, with the aim of diversifying the legal profession.

“We are committed to being an anti-racist and inclusive law school,” School of Law Dean Camille Davidson said. “The only way to have real access to justice is to train attorneys from various backgrounds. Students from underrepresented populations are often not exposed to the study of law, and many who are interested are not prepared for the application and admissions process. Building partnerships with HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, like Stillman, will help SIU School of Law become more diverse.”

Under the agreement, SIU and Stillman College, a 761-student institution in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will engage in collaborative academic activities with the SIU School of Law that promote a path for Stillman College students to enroll in the law school and earn their law degree. The MOU also includes other options for students considering how they can continue their education after earning their bachelor’s degrees.

Davidson noted that about two-thirds of minority applicants who apply to the law school are not accepted primarily due to low Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores. In October 2021, there were 246 students in the law school, of which 17, or 7%, were Black.

“We are honored to be included as the first HBCU to partner with the Southern Illinois University School of Law to better prepare our pre-law students for professional legal studies,” Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick said.

“This program will allow selected students to participate in a summer pre-law program to expose them to the rigor and policies of law school admissions. We are also looking to advance similar programs in pre-health professions for students in Stillman’s Biomedical Academy with SIU. Collaborative efforts like this will ensure Stillman students are competitive for entry and success in law school and other professional programs. We are grateful to SIU for creating this opportunity.”  


Do you find yourself wishing you could locate your classmate from 1985? Trying to find a fellow SIU alum that works in estate planning in Indianapolis? With 360 alumni you can do both, but we need your help! 

When this database was started, the decision was made to set up SIU law alums as anonymous, which required you to claim your profile. As of March 1, 2022, all alumni in our database will be made public, so you no longer have to claim a profile, but we would love it if you would personalize your profile. Click here to update!

360 Alumni is used to create a community of meaningful relationships through digital engagement. We have a lot of plans at the Law School for utilizing this service to its full potential. We plan to create Class Groups, with class reps. We will be posting our events on this platform, and we hope you will use it to connect with your fellow alumni! 


The School of Law has a long history of accommodating our diverse population of students and that has not changed in recent years. Recently Dean Camille Davidson spoke with an alum of the Law School who asked if there was still a family study room in the School of Law Library. The room is still there and this year the Law School added a Meditation Room as well.

P.A.L.S, a student organization that stands for Parents Attending Law School, runs the family study room on the second floor of the Law Library. It is a private room with games, toys, and even a television with movies that was started around 2015. This room can provide a space for a parent to study while their child plays. According to P.A.L.S President, Alexandria Zeigler, “I am a mother to a three-year-old, a one-year-old, and a three-month-old. For me, when I need to bring one of my children on campus, it can be very stressful. This room gives space for my child to be comfortable and entertained so that I don't have to worry about distracting other students while I try to study.” The study room is also available to use as a lactation space for mothers who need a space to pump. The room even has a refrigerator where milk can be stored during the day.

The School of Law Meditation Room is also located on the second floor of the School of Law Library, which is available to provide students with a relaxing spiritual environment. All students, from any cultural background, can use this space for prayer and quiet reflection.



Dean Camille Davidson and Stephanie Parton, School of Law Development Officer will be featured on the Day of Giving livestream at 10:23am on the SIU Alumni Association’s Facebook page, You can also watch and make a gift here

SIU LAW Day of Giving will feature the Caribbean Hut Food Truck. The truck will be set up at the Law School Patio on March 2nd from 11am-1:30pm. $1 of every purchase will be donated to the Strategic Excellence Fund. Everyone is welcome! Stop by the Law School, and enjoy some Caribbean food, while supporting the School of Law.

You can park in Lot 63 on Oakland Ave, behind the School of Law. 

Stay in Touch- Activate your 360 Alumni Account TODAY

As we all look forward to getting back together in person again, now is a great time to make sure that you have activated your 360 Alumni profile. You can and should find specific directions here to make sure that we have your best contact information. Make sure that you tag organizations in which you participated too.

L E C T U R E 


U P C O M I N G   E V E N T S 

March 29, 2022 – Law School –  Lecture – 5:00 PM   

BEATTY JURIST-IN-RESIDENCE - STACI YANDLE, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois and the HONORABLE MARK A. BEATTY, United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern Illinois District of Illinois
April 4-6, 2022 – Law School –  April 6 – Reception – 4:30 PM – Lecture – 5:00 PM   

April 20, 2022 – Law School – Reception – 4:30 PM – Lecture – 5:00 PM  

We Need YOU for Future Newsletter Topics and Submissions 

Please feel encouraged to send us your updates for future newsletters.  Specifically, we want to know about your professional accomplishments and publications so that we can publish a future section detailing the accomplishments of each graduation class.  We also want to know about the future Saluki Lawyers that you bring into the world as well as celebrating the lives of alumni who have passed. Please send all updates to