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SIU Helped Prepare Grandstaff for Successful Career

By Christi Mathis

Every Saluki has a unique story to tell about their SIU experience and the impact it has had on their lives. Journeys will, on occasion, spotlight some of our COEHS alumni and their special stories.

Harvey Grandstaff enrolled in SIU in 1958, coming from the small town of Mounds, located about 45 miles south of Carbondale. At that time, Grandstaff’s hometown had a population of about 2,000 so SIU and Carbondale represented a big change. He completed his bachelor’s degree and went on to earn his Master of Science degree in speech pathology.

“Coming from a small town and a middle class family, financial support for a college education in the late 1950s was a major concern,” Grandstaff recalls. “So, as a freshman at SIU, I worked as a garbage man for the collection of debris in Thompson Point woods. Later, I worked at the boat docks at Lake on the Campus and also as a life guard. Following that stint, I was given a scholarship to manage the entire Lake on the Campus. I left this positions to become a resident fellow at the Vocational Technical Institute at SIU. Later, I was awarded a Vocational Rehabilitation Administration grant from the federal government to support my graduate studies in speech pathology.”

“I also played in a rock-‘n’-roll band four nights a week for three years to supplement my undergraduate and graduate studies stipend,” Grandstaff said. “This very popular Phi Kappa Tau fraternity band was called ‘The Four Taus’ and our 35-page website continues today at: www.4taus.com.”

With Grandstaff on bass and providing backup vocals, the college band played at clubs including “The Rumpus Room,” drawing large crowds of dancers. They also played gigs in Florida and Colorado and the members, all SIU alumni, reunite periodically to record new music and share memories.

Grandstaff said he was unaware when he got into the speech pathology graduate program at SIU that the late Delyte Morris, then president of SIU, was also a speech pathologist and a past president (1949) of the American Speech and Hearing Association. Grandstaff said his SIU graduate school training laid solid groundwork for his subsequent advanced studies at the University of Cincinnati where he earned his doctorate in speech pathology. He served with distinction as a teacher and clinical supervisor in the speech pathology program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, from 1966 to 1993 and is now professor emeritus there.  

During a sabbatical experience sponsored by Miami University, Grandstaff received additional training in clef palate and craniofacial disorders at Duke University, training under the guidance of Dr. Robert Mason, a craniofacial orthodontist.

“Dr. Mason has the distinction of being the only known PhD-level speech-language pathologist and orthodontist combination in North America,” Grandstaff said.

Grandstaff has been fully retired from a fulfilling career in speech pathology since 2000 but he’s most definitely staying busy.

“I began enjoying my hobbies of creating music and serving as a computer webmaster,” he said. “I have recorded 30 CDs and I have built 902 websites for a wide variety of organizations and businesses.”

His current website address is www.GrandstaffWebDesign.com.  

Grandstaff said his feelings about his alma mater can best be summarized by a heart-felt, “Thank you SIU!”