Construction begins on Hise Art Museum at SIC

May 30, 2018

A crowd of over 100 community members, affiliates, organization representatives, along with friends and family celebrated with Retired Air Force Colonel William C. Hise during the ground breaking ceremony and reception for the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art Tuesday, May 29 at Southeastern Illinois College.

Located on the east side of campus near the south entrance off College Road, this museum will be a showpiece for the region. The Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art is 100 percent privately funded. Col. Hise and the estate of his late twin brother Air Force Brigadier General James C. Hise, have given this generous gift. This museum will be named in honor of their late sister, Ella Elizabeth Hise, a teacher and art supervisor for Harrisburg Public Schools.

The museum will be over 8,000 square feet, including three exhibit halls, an educational space, storage space for art and office space among other functional areas. A unique portion of this gift is an endowment to help offset the costs of operation.

“The operational endowment is a very important part of this gift as it will ensure the funding of this building and its mission for decades to come,” said SIC President, Dr. Jonah Rice. “This is a wonderful way to help SIC flourish in this time of diminishing dollars from state support to higher education.”

Guest speaker, local artist and member of the museum operations and collections committee Barb Allen spoke of the impact the museum will have on the region.

“Mr. Hise, your vision for this museum, in this place, is a dream come true for our SIC campus, for Harrisburg and all neighboring communities,” said Allen. “It will have a positive impact on our local and regional economies and will be a place of comfort, excitement and confirmation for all those who value and love art and especially for our youth - those students your wonderful sister spent her life helping.”

The Hise Museum Operations and Collections Committee has set a tentative process for exhibit selection of permanent pieces and are currently accepting submissions for the acquisition of collection pieces from the 40 county region.

“Mr. Hise’s gift will benefit not just those of us he has come to know, but the many people he does not personally know who will still benefit from his generosity and love for the region,” said Rice. “His gift of the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art will make life better for the students who will learn in the facility as well as the community who will experience exciting works of art on display, providing opportunities that did not exist before now.”

Construction on the museum will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in one year.

“We at Southeastern are so proud of our friendship with Mr. Hise, and we are so grateful for his philanthropy,” said Rice.

For further information on the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art, or to submit an artifact, visit, or contact museum curator Sara DeNeal at 618-252-5400 ext. 2232 or