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In memory of her late husband, Phil ’74, the Rev. Diane J. Slocum ’76, has made two gifts that strengthen Carthage’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

The gifts create the Phil and Diane Slocum Endowed Scholarship and name the lounge associated with the Engagement and Inclusion Center.

“It’s important for all students, for whatever reason they may feel different, to feel safe and affirmed,” says Rev. Slocum, a retired associate pastor of Elmhurst Presbyterian Church in Illinois, who served as a youth ministry director before her ordination.

She was a freshman at Carthage when Mr. Slocum first caught her eye in biology class. Their first date came in fall 1972. The late Phil Slocum and Rev. Diane Slocum  

At the time, he was a popular resident assistant nicknamed “King RA,” a member of Tau Sigma Phi, and a center on the football team under legendary head coach Art Keller. She became an RA and a cheerleader.

The two hit it off and married in 1976. The Slocums raised four children and enjoyed the fruits of fulfilling careers.

Mr. Slocum rose through the ranks at Chicago Board Options Exchange, a remarkable trajectory from a runner on the trading floor to executive vice president. Initially a teacher, Rev. Slocum later found a new calling as a pastor.

Philanthropy had always been a shared priority throughout their marriage, says Rev. Slocum. Before her husband died of cancer in 2021, he said it would be up to her alone to make those decisions.

That meant thinking “long and hard about the best way to honor his life,” she says. Ultimately, she settled on her alma mater.

Carthage connections branch out farther along the family tree. In addition to the couple’s daughter, Megan Slocum ’03, two of Rev. Slocum’s sisters graduated from the College: Cynthia J. Gustin ’81 and Cristine K. Alrich ’78.

She says her own memorable Carthage experiences, in addition to influential faculty — “and, obviously, meeting Phil” — changed her life.

“Carthage was really our story. That’s where our story began,” she says. “These gifts truly reflect how much Carthage meant to us and what we hope Carthage can be for other people.”