SIC Dedicates Chuck Hearn Outdoor Educational Complex
During a dedication ceremony on Monday, June 22 at Southeastern Illinois College, honored guests spoke highly of a teacher, leader, friend and father.
Now, the outdoor educational complex at SIC will forever bear the name of Charles “Chuck” Hearn.
Dr. Jonah Rice, President of SIC, served as master of ceremonies for the event. He praised Hearn’s dedication to the Board of Trustees and to SIC as a whole.
“We remember and celebrate a man who dedicated much of his life to this College,” said Rice. “At the end of today we know we will be able to let his memory live on, not just in the minds of those who were close to him, but also to those who come to this campus and benefit from Chuck’s noble work to make this College great, including the multitude of valuable outdoor educational opportunities and training SIC provides. Chuck was instrumental in creating this open instructional space, including life-saving coal mine training, gun safety training, fire science training, archery and so much more.”
Hearn’s daughter, Leslie Galovich of Abilene, Texas, also an SIC graduate, thanked those in attendance, and gave an account of Hearn’s history with SIC.
“We are humbled by the outpouring of love we have received since Dad’s passing,” said Galovich. “Thank you for joining us here today to celebrate Dad’s legacy and all that he contributed to SIC.”
Hearn became a student of SIC in the Fall of 1966 when SIC was still housed in Harrisburg High School. He was a part of the sixth graduating class of SIC in 1968. After graduating from SIU, Hearn taught Chemistry for SIC part-time from 1970-1972. In 1987, he was elected to the SIC Board of Trustees.
Hearn was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in 1988. He fought cancer for 27 years before his passing on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 at the age of 66.
“On more than one occasion, I told Dad that he was still here because he still had things to do — and do, he did. For 27 years, he fought cancer & fought for SIC alongside some of the great past presidents of SIC including Dr. Harry Abell, Dr. Ben Cullers, Dr. Mary Jo Oldham, and current president Dr. Jonah Rice,” said Galovich.
Hearn also helped guide SIC through many events including multiple successful reaccreditation visits, curriculum developments and construction projects.
Known for being an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing and hunting, Hearn successfully shot sporting clays and black powder sports at the national level and was sponsored by a number of sporting goods companies.
Long-time friend and fellow trustee, Gary Allen described Hearn as being a straight-shooter, both literally, and for the college.
“Chuck was one of the most straight-forward and unassuming people I have ever known,” said Allen. “To me, that and his honesty were some of his best characteristics.”
Traditionally, campus areas, buildings and halls throughout SIC are named after honored individuals who have contributed greatly to the college’s success or a program area’s creation and/or success.
“Without Chuck Hearn, there wouldn’t be an outdoor educational complex,” said Allen. “He knew that shooting and archery were sports that represented and reflected the students of this area. He wanted SIC to utilize the skills of this region.”
Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, Ill., with an extension center in Carmi, Ill., was founded in 1960 and serves more than 10,000 district residents in the counties of Gallatin, Hardin, Pope and Saline, as well as portions of Hamilton, Johnson, Williamson and White. The college sustains accountability, ranking sixth in the state for degree and certificate completion and offers nearly 120 certificate and degree programs, as well as specialized training in a multitude of interest areas. SIC maintains affordability with some of the lowest tuition rates in the state at $94 per credit hour. Southeastern provides accessibility as the area’s leader in online classes, successful high school dual credit programs, accelerated courses and night classes.
With approximately 5,000 full or part-time students throughout the course of a year and nearly 300 employees, SIC is a top employer for the area, and is committed to the economic growth of the communities it serves. Through community education offerings to all ages, cultural events and commitment to workforce and small business development, SIC endeavors to fulfill its mission to enhance lifelong learning by providing quality educational programs, cultural enrichment opportunities and support for economic development. For more information, visit www.sic.edu or call 618-252-5400.