SIC Hosts Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony
Southeastern Illinois College hosted its Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony Thursday, Nov. 9, at the George T. Dennis Visual & Performing Arts Center, honoring the dedication and sacrifice of local veterans.
Sgt. William E. Cover, an Information Technologist Specialist with the U.S. Army and SIC alumnus, delivered a heartfelt keynote address. Originally from Chicago, Cover, now a Harrisburg resident, shared his military journey and the transformative impact it had on his life. Graduating from SIC in 2018, he seamlessly transitioned to civilian life, currently serving as an Information Security Specialist with Legence Bank. Cover expressed gratitude for the guidance of his IT instructor, Scott Reed, acknowledging Reed’s patient and effective teaching methods.
Regarding joining the military, Cover stated, “This is the most noble thing you can do… you gain a sense of camaraderie with people from various backgrounds… and we knew we would lay down our lives for these (formerly) complete strangers… It changed my entire life, and my perspective on everything.”
Cover was accompanied during the ceremony by the Color Guard from Eldorado VFW Post 3479 members Dwain Glascock, Kenny Fals, Greg Fry, Chuck McCallister, Julia Knott, and Hazel Forrester.
Charlotte Mathis of Harrisburg and Lucinda Rogers of Eldorado, members of the Michael Hillegas Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, laid a wreath to honor fallen heroes and show support for those who have returned home or continue to serve in the military.
Dr. Karen Weiss, SIC Vice President of Academic and Student Services, welcomed attendees, urging them to express gratitude to veterans this weekend as our country celebrates our military heroes. The ceremony featured The National Anthem sung by Robin Johnston of Harrisburg, America The Beautiful sung by Theresa Pankey of Harrisburg, and God Bless America sung by Jared Mitchell of Norris City. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by event organizer, Michelle Metten, SIC Senior Director of Financial Aid and Veterans Coordinator, and the invocation was given by Pastor Aaron Phelps of Star Church in Eldorado.
Approximately 20 veterans and their dependents currently utilize veteran educational benefits at SIC. The college’s commitment extends beyond the ceremony, encompassing benefits such as certifying and recertifying educational benefits, special recognition events, free fitness center access, care packages, and assistance with grants and scholarships. Moreover, SIC recognizes military experience with college credit.
For more information on SIC’s veteran programs and events, please visit sic.edu/veterans or contact 618-252-5400 ext. 2450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.