The marker is located at the Public Safety Center, 501 South Washington Street, Carbondale, IL.
The evolution of Southern Illinois University began here in 1856 when Presbyterians founded Carbondale College. Suffering hardships during the Civil War, the College was sold to the First Christian Church in the mid-1860s and renamed Southern Illinois College. The existing college with a student body of 300 was pivotal in Carbondale being chosen as the location for Southern Illinois Normal University in 1869. Leading these efforts were town founder Daniel Brush, businessman James Campbell, and minister Clark Braden. The university opened at its current location In 1874, and was renamed Southern Illinois University in 1947.