SIU benefactor Dr. Chad Rubin succumbs

Southern Illinois University



SIU benefactor Dr. Chad Rubin succumbs

September 20, 2016, Timothy James Crosby


As the son of two SIU employees – a faculty member and a research librarian – Chad Rubin once said there was never any doubt where he would attend college. And the Carbondale native had no intention of leaving his hometown for higher education.

“I knew my parents would pay my tuition if I went to SIU,” he joked. It was a family affair of sorts, as he, his four brothers and sister all enrolled at SIU. He earned his undergraduate degree there in 1985 and went on to graduate from the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield in 1989.

Rubin, who went on to become a practicing surgeon in Columbia, S.C., later would give back to his alma mater in a big way. His $500,000 deferred gift to SIU will fund scholarships for microbiology students. Upon making the gift, he also presented the Department of Microbiology with an additional $25,000 for immediate support.

“I’m at the point in my career where I can make a commitment to SIU,” Rubin said at the time.  “Microbiology helped me get where I am today and I wanted to give something back.”

Dr. Rubin died in July, after a courageous fight with cancer.

Born in Blue Island in 1963, Rubin grew up in Carbondale. His parents were Harris Rubin, a professor with the SIU School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute at SIU, and Angela Rubin, a research librarian at Morris Library.

Rubin “fell in love” with microbiology while taking a required course at SIU. He became intrigued as he listened to now-retired Professor Michael Madigan, an eventual mentor who presented him with research opportunities and initially informed him that microbiology was a major area of study at SIU.

“My bachelor’s degree in microbiology was a springboard to becoming a surgeon,” he said.  “Microbiology plays a huge role in surgery with the risk of infection.”

Rubin said the overall SIU experience lived up to expectations.

“It was fantastic. I was amazed at what was going on from an academic standpoint,” he said.  “I attended SIU during an era when it had a party school reputation, but you can make what you want out of an educational experience. I knew the resources were here for me to attain my goals in education.”

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Rubin became increasingly intrigued by medicine through Medical Explorers, a student organization comprised of first-year medical students.  He attended presentations conducted every two weeks and was enthralled by the information shared by participants.

He subsequently chose to attend the SIU Medical School because it offered a “cutting-edge education.”  Rubin was further influenced by Roland Folse, chair of surgery, who “took me under his wing and guided me through the residency process.”

After applying at some of the country’s most competitive programs, Rubin interviewed and was accepted into residency at Wake Forest University. He completed his residency in 1994 and began practicing in South Carolina.

His career included several national leadership roles.  He was the past chair of the committee on young surgeons of the American College of Surgeons, chair of the American College of Surgeons General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee, alternate delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates, and was past chief of staff and chief of surgery at Richland Memorial Hospital.

Although he spent his career in South Carolina, Rubin always felt connected to his alma mater.

“There are a number of SIU graduates in various roles here.  We have our own group,” he said. “It’s fascinating to meet and work with so many graduates while living this far from Illinois.”