SIU Carbondale mortuary science students spend time beautifying local cemetery

Picture of student club in cemetery.
Working hard — Members of Sigma Phi Sigma, SIU Carbondale’s MSFS service fraternity, recently spent a day washing headstones and cleaning Durham Cemetery in Galatia. Participating students were, from left to right: Back row – Biana Navarrete, McKenna George, Sydney Baumeister, Cayce Halbin and Rachel Smoot; Front row – Haley Eppes, Salena Pierre, Erica Lenardt and Sierra Logue. (Photo provided)

Students in the Mortuary Science and Funeral Service (MSFS) program at SIU recently participated in a cemetery cleanup at Durham Cemetery in Galatia, Illinois.

The members of the program’s service fraternity Sigma Phi Sigma washed and scrubbed headstones and swept them off. The work benefitted the cemetery and the students had a good time. Sloan Funeral Home in Galatia sponsored the event and is donating to the fraternity.

Participating students, by their hometowns and year in the MSFS program were:


  • Aurora: Salena Pierre, senior with degree.
  • Carterville: Rachel Smoot, senior.
  • Macomb: Erica Lenardt, senior.
  • Markham: Sydney Baumeister, senior.
  • Mascoutah: Sierra Logue, senior.
  • Rockford: Haley Eppes, senior.
  • Sesser: Cayce Halbin, senior.
  • Waukegan: Biana Navarrete, sophomore.


  • Rhinelander: McKenna George, junior.

Not the only service project

The service fraternity has participated in a bake sale for Tender Mercies, a program that helps who have been through the loss of an infant or child.

Next month, the fraternity will hold a food drive benefitting Herrin House of Hope. The food drive is Nov. 11-15 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Items may be dropped off in Room 70 of the College and Applied Sciences’ building, located on the mail floor.

The bachelor’s degree program is the only mortuary science and funeral service program of its kind offered at a public university in Illinois. The program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education and students who graduate meet the state’s Department of Professional Regulation licensing requirements.

There are 75 students in the program, with 87 percent of the students female.

Picture of students cleaning headstone.
Getting it clean – Cayce Halbin, left, and Sydney Baumeister, right, work on a headstone during a service project at Durham Cemetery in Galatia by Sigma Phi Sigma, the service fraternity for SIU Carbondale’s mortuary science and funeral service program. (Photo provided)
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