Harbinger Society

The Harbinger Society was established in 1984 by the Southern Illinois University Foundation at the School of Medicine to honor the philanthropic efforts of special friends and alumni who provide significant contributions of private resources to enable the SIU School of Medicine to remain a leader in medical education, patient care and research.

How to become a member

Membership in the Harbinger Society is open to alumni and friends of SIU Medicine who make a significant financial commitment in support of its goals. Parties may qualify as members by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • Making a gift of $25,000 in cash, securities, equipment, materials, supplies or other gifts-in-kind.
  • Pledging $25,000 payable over a 5-year period, not less than $5,000 annually.
  • Bequeathing a whole-life insurance policy valued at $50,000 or more.
  • Donating a trust (instrument) valued at $50,000 or more.

Membership in the Harbinger Society continues as long as any one of the above criteria is maintained by the donor and as long as the purposes of the Society are properly served.

Payment of gifts and bequests

All gifts and bequests should be made payable to the SIU Foundation.

Tax considerations

Personal circumstances and applicable tax laws and regulations vary. An attorney or tax advisor can provide specific tax information.

Use of gifts

Gifts made by members of the Harbinger Society to the SIU Foundation are used exclusively for the benefit of the SIU School of Medicine. Gifts may take various forms and be designated for a variety of purposes:

  • A member may request that the gift be used to support a specific project, to fund specific research, scholarships or endowed chairs.
  • A member may elect to let the School of Medicine decide to apply the gifts where the need is greatest. Such gifts ordinarily are used to support the ongoing programs of the School of Medicine, including scientific research, faculty awards, library development, special equipment and medical student scholarships and loans.
  • A member may choose to establish a trust fund or endowment to demonstrate a commitment to medical science, education or practice or to memorialize the commitment of a loved one. Managed by the SIU Foundation, the member may designate such trust funds to support research, to provide scholarships or fund other programs of the School of Medicine. In consultation with the School of Medicine or SIU Foundation officials, members may structure their own, individual methods of contributing.
  • $25,000 is the minimum amount to establish a gift annuity.
  • $25,000 is the minimum amount to establish an endowment.

Harbinger of Good Will

The Harbinger of Good Will, a sculpture created by noted sculptor Kenneth G. Ryden of Greenville, Illinois, was commissioned in 1981 by the SIU Foundation as part of the commemoration of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's 10th anniversary. The artist has said, "I created the work to represent the many aspects of medicine, the researchers and practitioners as well as the humans being served. The wings are suggestive of medical practice, offering dignity, hope and good will, and the figure itself symbolizes the spiritual essence of humanity." Members of the Harbinger Society honor these high ideals.

Harbinger history photo