Corydon Vine, 2020 SIU alumni, passed away March 12, 2022, following a battle with stage four gastric cancer. The 26-year-old Carbondale native received his Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Radio Television, and Digital Media and a minor in Video Game Design in 2020. In his memory, family and friends have started this fundraiser to raise money for a dedicated spot in his name on the SIU campus where Cory spent so much time.
Vine was diagnosed in October of 2020, when a tumor was found in his stomach after experiencing months of symptoms. Ultimately, he made the decision to seek treatment to extend the time he had left with his loved ones. After his diagnosis, his friends and family helped him live the rest of his life to the fullest, including a family trip to the Gulf so Cory could see the ocean for the first time. His mother Carrie Vine told the Southern Illinoisan of that trip, “But literally, I am so glad we did that trip. I have pictures of him on the beach, just smiling. I have pictures of him holding his little sister's hand walking out in the ocean and finding seashells. Those are memories that she's going to have forever.”
Cory has been described by friends and family as being creative, intelligent, and compassionate. One of his favorite hobbies was playing Dungeons and Dragons, which his mom told the Southern Illinoisan started as early as 3rd grade. The D&D table is also where he met his best-friend and fiancé Laney McCrary, who told the Southern Illinoisan, “I fell in love with the amount of enthusiasm and creativity and how passionate he was about the game,” McCrary said. “He’d create these worlds and these characters and these personalities. It makes the game feel so…he would just bring it to life. I always joke that he should be an actor or voice actor. He was just incredible at it. He was truly incredible.”
During his time at SIU, Cory became involved with the SIU Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and Co-Founded the Saluki Adlab. His creativity and calming personality, which he received the ADDY Award “Soothe-Sayer” for, helped the AAF group with their National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) in 2019-20. He also worked with many clients throughout the southern Illinois community with his videography, animation and editing skills. Saluki Adlab Faculty advisor Bridget Lescelius, who had the honor to work closely with Cory, had this to say:
“Since his passing, I’ve heard it over and over from many different students, faculty, etc. that ‘Cory was a friend of mine.’ And that really sums up who he was as a person. He was a friend first. Leading with kindness and empathy, well beyond his years. That’s what made him such a great collaborator and creator. He had no fear going outside his box, learning, and growing. What he knew wasn’t set in stone…what he knew and believed in was always evolving based on his own journey of discovery. His mind was open. His heart was full. What a powerful combination for a human being to possess.”
A celebration of life service is being held at Bell Hill Mansion in Cobden on April 30, 2022. Attendants are encouraged to arrive starting at 3 p.m., as the service will begin at 4 p.m. with a potluck reception at 6 p.m.