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Paul Simon

 

Simon with SSU Students at the Capitol, 1971.
Simon with SSU Students at the Capitol, 1971.
 

Death of Paul Simon

Former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, who died Tuesday, December 9, at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, had many connections to UIS and supported the university in many ways.

"We will always be grateful for his generosity, for his lasting contributions to UIS, and his willingness to participate personally in causes to benefit the people of Illinois," said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

SSU Preisdent Robert Spencer, Lt. Gov. Paul Simon, Gov. Richard Ogilvie, and Supt. of Public Instruction Ray Page at the Sangamon State University Groundbreaking, June 10, 1970.
SSU Preisdent Robert Spencer, Lt. Gov. Paul Simon, Gov. Richard Ogilvie, and Supt. of Public Instruction Ray Page at the Sangamon State University Groundbreaking, June 10, 1970.

Here are some of Simon's connections to this university:

Public Affairs Reporting Program: After Simon lost the Democratic primary for governor in 1972, he taught for a couple of years at then Sangamon State University, where he founded the Public Affairs Reporting Program.

The program is now nationally recognized as a first-rate master's program that trains journalists about how to cover government, particularly Illinois state government.

Illinois Issues: Simon was one of three co-founders of Illinois Issues magazine, which was first published in 1975. He and co-founder Sam Gove, now professor emeritus at UIUC, went to New York to secure a Ford Foundation grant to get the magazine started. Simon was serving on the magazine's board at the time of his death.

Illinois Campaign Finance Reform Project: Simon, while in the U.S. Senate, co-chaired the Task Force of the Illinois Campaign Finance Project from 1994-97.

Simon teaching a SSU class in 1972.
Simon teaching a SSU class in 1972.

The project was based at UIS, and directed by Illinois Issues and the Institute for Public Affairs at UIS, now the Center for State Policy and Leadership.

Illinois Channel: Simon also co-chaired an effort along with former Gov. Jim Edgar to get the "Illinois Channel" up and running. The Illinois Channel is still in its infancy, but is like an Illinois version of C-SPAN. The Institute for Public Affairs conducted the feasibility study to get the channel going, and UIS was the home for the channel's small staff during those formative years.

Simon speaking at the 1991 SSU Commencement.
Simon speaking at the 1991 SSU Commencement.

A Man of Integrity
Known by his bow tie, Simon gained a reputation for integrity through his 50 years in public life. He retired from the Senate in 1997, after having served in the U.S. House, as Illinois' lieutenant governor and in the General Assembly.

Most recently, Paul headed the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and he continued to write books, as he had his entire public life.

A funeral service was held Sunday, December 14, in Carbondale, IL.

Read the St Louis Post-Dispatch coverage of the service.

 

 

 

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