Lentz, Eli Gilbert (1881-1963) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Eli Gilbert Lentz was born in Illinois, on May 27, 1881. He attended Creal Springs College and taught in district schools while attending Valparaiso University 1(898-1901). He taught school one year in Indiana and was principal at Monroe Center, Illinois, at the Carterville schools for two years, and the Creal Springs school for three years.
On April 2, 1903, he married Lula Gillespie in Creal Springs. She had been a teacher at the school where he was principal.
In 1907 he taught history and civics at Marion High School. He subsequently became principal at Marion, organized the township high school in Marion, and in 1910 was chosen superintendent of Marion schools.
Lentz joined Southern Illinois Normal University in 1914 as an English instructor at SINU. He taught Mathematics (1915), High School Education (1916), and finally joined the History and Civics Department (1917). He rose to the rank of assistant professor (1920) and associate professor (1927). He earned a B.A. in History from Indiana University (1930) and an M.A. from the University of Illinois (1932).
Lentz was appointed full professor in 1939, Dean of Men (1935-1945), Curator of the Clint Clay Tilton Library (from 1945); and University Historian (1946). President Delyte Morris asked him to write a history of SIU for its Diamond Jubilee in 1948. Professor Lentz chaired the Diamond Jubilee Committee and In 1955 published Seventy-five Years in Retrospect.
On November 1, 1948, Lentz was appointed “University Professor," an honorary title never before bestowed at SIU.
Lentz formally retired on September 1, 1950, but served as Acting Director of Alumni Service until 1952. He received the Alumni Association's Great Teacher Award in 1961, and after his death on March 24, 1963, at 81, the SIU Board of Trustees renamed the General Student Loan Fund in his honor--The E.G. Lentz Memorial Fund.
Plochmann, G.K. The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University. Carbondale: SIU Press, 1959, pp. 560 & 600.
Smith, G.W. History of Southern Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1912, Vol. III, pp. 1112-1114.
Lentz, E.G. Seventy-five Years in Retrospect. University Editorial Board, SIU, Carbondale, 1955.
Inactive faculty personnel files, Personnel Office; E.G. Lentz. In SIU Archives, Carbondale.
Inactive faculty personnel files, President's Office; E.G. Lentz. In SIU Archives, Carbondale.