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October 28, 2002

ISU to honor Distinguished Alumni

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Banquet will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in Dede I of the Hulman Memorial Student Union. For more information, call the Office of Alumni Affairs at 237-3707 or 800-258-6478.  [See complete Homecoming schedule]

The next deadline for submission of Distinguished Alumni nominations is March 31, 2003. Any ISU alumni, department or faculty members, students or community members may submit nominations. Eligibility criteria and forms are available in the Alumni Association Office, Gillum Hall, Room 102 or on the web at http://www.indstate.edu/alumni/


2002 Indiana State University Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:

E. Ronald Culp

Ronald Culp

Ronald Culp

Senior Vice President, Public Relations and Government Affairs for Sears, Roebuck and Co. Resides in River Forest, Ill.

Q. What are your most precious ISU memories?

A. Unfortunately, my fondest memories are based on non-classroom experiences -- being editor of The Statesman, president of College Republicans and my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta (I was in the first pledge class of the fraternity as it returned to ISU after being gone for a century.)

Q. Who at ISU left an impression on you or served as a role model?

A. Five professors immediately come to mind -- Drs. Fowler and Maxam in political science, and Dr. John Boyd and Mr. Claude Billings in journalism. Dr. Fowler was my political science adviser, while Dr. Boyd (the elder) helped create the journalism department while my wife and I were on campus. My wife, Sandra Bowman, was the first journalism major at ISU, and I minored in the subject. Mr. Billings was the Statesman adviser and helped us land our first reporting jobs, plus he taught us not to take ourselves too seriously. Dr. Maxam helped instill the love of politics by exposing me to actual political campaigns, not just the textbook. John Myers for Congress was my first campaign. The fifth role model may be a surprise to her, although I would love to know where she is today in order to thank her. The instructor's name is Regina Perry, and I believe she gave me a C in a class that had a lasting positive impact on my life. She made the intro course to art appreciation come to life. I didn't take art seriously at the time, but always remembered her as I began to discover and fall in love with all forms of visual arts.

Q. How do you feel about receiving this award?

A. ISU helped make my dreams come true. Little did I know at the time that my parents could only afford to send me to ISU, which at the time was charging $9.50 per semester hour. My parents were very proud of my being the first in the family to go to college, and my younger brother followed me to ISU four years later and his son another 20 years later.

I hope this award tells young people coming to ISU that they can achieve whatever they want if they stay focused, stay humble and always remember their roots.

Q. In what ways are you still active with your alma mater and contribute to the traditions of the institution?

A. Many of our best friends today are college classmates and fraternity brothers, so we think about ISU every time we talk with these fellow alumni. It is important for successful alumni to help our alma mater provide opportunities for other young people. Due to our distance from ISU, we primarily help through financial contributions and words of encouragement to those carrying the torch.


Herm Davis

Herm Davis

Herm Davis

Executive Director, National College Scholarship Foundation, Inc. Resides in Rockville, Md.

Q. What are your most precious ISU memories?

A. A special day was the homecoming parade of 1958 when I met my wife. She was riding in an AOPi convertible and I was sitting on the street curb. When she went by, I asked my roommate who she was. He knew her well and introduced me to her that night. We have been together ever since. I was a Navy veteran from a relatively low-income family. To know that Indiana State accepted me after four years in the service and realizing that I could attend college on my GI Bill was in itself a memorable occasion.

Q. Who at ISU left an impression on you or served as a role model?

A. Professor Richard Becker in the Business Department (School) was extraordinary in going beyond the classroom to build my confidence for being successful in college. After receiving my master's degree from ISU and teaching for two years, I was invited to become a staff member of the ISU Placement Office. Dr. Al Harding was the director at that time.

He was truly a role model. He was not only my boss, but he was responsible for my developing a clear understanding of professional marketing and public relations standards.

Q. How do you feel about receiving this award?

A. Amazed. It is truly an honor. There are so many ISU alumni who are very successful in their field and in the lives of their family that to be selected out of all of these potential recipients is truly an honor.

Q. In what ways are you still active with your alma mater and contribute to the traditions of the institution?

A. I am not quite sure of the definitions of "traditions" of the institution. As an educator, I do practice good work ethics, honesty, love of country, and respect for all mankind. As an educator, I vowed many years ago that I would not forget my heritage. That heritage included being raised in a large family of low income, parents with less than 6th grade education, brothers who had to leave high school to serve in WWII. With that self promise, I have volunteered hundreds of counseling hours and given hundreds of financial aid workshops to assure that the students from low-income families and students of other languages are able to attend college. I believe the above philosophy is included in the ISU tradition. In regard to being active with ISU, I would say that over the years I have been reasonably involved. As a college transfer counselor and a college financial aid planner I have had the opportunity to recommend and assist well ISU. As the contributing editor to the American Legion's Need-A-Lift publication, I always made sure that ISU's name was always in the forefront. Since the ISU alumni chapter was founded in D.C. metropolitan area, I have served on the Scholarship Committee. As an innovation to promote contributions to the scholarship fund for the Washington, D.C., ISU Alumni group, my wife and I donated $10,000 as a challenge match. For each dollar donated to the D.C. ISU Alumni board, we will match it dollar for dollar. In addition, this amount then will be matched by the ISU Lilly Grant for an additional $2. So a $1 contribution becomes $4 for the scholarship fund.

We are an ISU family. My wife (Sara Jo Maratta) holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in elementary education from ISU. Our son (Craig Davis) is also an ISU graduate. He attended ISU from 1992-1997 majoring in food service management. He now owns his own restaurant in Ocean Pines, Md. So, you might say we contributed a legacy to the ISU student population.


Norman L. Lowery

Norman Lowery

Norm Lowery

President, Chief Executive Officer of Terre Haute First National Bank and Vice Chairman and Vice President of First Financial Corp. Resides in Terre Haute.

Q. What are your most precious ISU memories?

A. Because I worked, I would often study in the early morning. The custodian at Holmstedt Hall would look out for me each morning to let me in the building. He also made sure I had a Coca-Cola to drink (caffeine to keep me awake). When I graduated he was as proud as I was.

Q. Who at ISU left an impression on you or served as a role model?

A. Dr. William Maxam without a doubt. He challenged us and never ceased encouraging us. He was instrumental in my decision to attend law school which set the stage for my career. I can never thank Bill Maxam enough. He was an excellent professor but a better friend.

Q. How do you feel about receiving this award?

A. Needless to say I am honored. At the same time I am humbled to be considered with the other honorees and those who preceded us. I am also thankful. This honor is the by-product of the support I have always received from my family, friends and co-workers. Any recognition I receive must be shared with them.

Q. In what ways are you still active with your alma mater and contribute to the traditions of the institution?

A. I serve on the ISU Foundation Board. I recently completed my duties as chairperson of the Continuing The Legacy Campaign for Sycamore Athletics. This was the first major capital campaign in the history of the University raising slightly more than $3 million.


Carolene R. Mays

Carolene Mays

Carolene Mays

President and General Manager of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper. Resides in Indianapolis.

Q. What are your most precious ISU memories?

A. There are many and they vary from athletics to community service to academics. Getting an A in Statistics was a huge accomplishment. My professor announced on the first day of class he had never given an A in his long career of teaching Statistics. I told him I would be his first! And I got it! It was hard work, but well worth it. Making the ISU Cheer Team was a major highlight and dream come true.

I was captain of the reserve squad for two years. Then my senior year was a member of the varsity squad. We completed that year in the national championships and were in the top 20 in the nation. Also, I enjoyed the many community service activities I was involved in throughout my sorority -- Alpha Kappa Alpha. The most memorable were when we worked at a local youth community center. One year I was an elf -- in costume and all. It was hilarious and great fun.

Q. Who at ISU left an impression on you or served as a role model?

A. There were many. The professors in the School of Business had a tremendous impact on my life. They were extremely challenging, but very good and thorough. Especially in the areas of accounting, computer programming basics and statistics.

Q. How do you feel about receiving this award?

A. I am overwhelmed with excitement! It is a tremendous honor. I am extremely humbled -- especially when I look at the company I am in.

Q. In what ways are you still active with your alma mater and contribute to the traditions of the institution?

A. Since graduating from ISU, I've come back periodically for sporting events and sorority activities. Also, financially I have made a commitment to the President's Society and am committed to be a life member of the Alumni Association.


Kasivat Paruggamanont

Kasivat Paruggamanont

Consul-General of Thailand. Resides in Chicago

Q. What are your most precious ISU memories?

A. Being an international graduate student, I always found that English, as my second language, was my greatest challenge. I remember reading and re-reading books several times just to be able to barely grasp at the surface of its contents.

Fortunately for me, I was able to face and overcome this challenge with the support and kind assistance of my professors. The environment and atmosphere of ISU truly fostered my desire to work hard and achieve academic excellence and is what I remember best about ISU.

Q. Who at ISU left an impression on you or served as a role model?

A. The person who left the greatest impression on me was at that time the Chairman of the political science department, Dr. Dowell. I will always be grateful to him for helping me to adjust to the American culture and university life. Dr. Dowell, along with the rest of my professors, were incredible role models and encouraged me to always learn and seek out knowledge, not only in academics but also in life.

Q. How do you feel about receiving this award?

A. I consider it a great honor for me, as well as for my family and my country, for me to be a recipient of this award. I have always been very proud and grateful to be an ISU alumnus. The knowledge and experiences I have gained while being a student at Indiana State have contributed much to the person I am today.

Q. In what ways are you still active with your alma mater and contribute to its traditions?

A. As the Consul-General of Thailand to the Midwestern States and an alumnus of ISU, I would like to see more Thai students have the opportunity to experience what ISU has to offer. I envision a stronger relationship between Thailand and ISU and therefore, I am working to promote greater educational cooperation and increased exchange programs.

I believe that a stronger coalition between Thailand and the university will not only benefit faculty and students, but will contribute to the overall good relations between Thailand and the United States.

Fortunately for me, I was able to face and overcome this challenge with the support and kind assistance of my professors. The environment and atmosphere of ISU truly fostered my desire to work hard and achieve academic excellence and is what I remember best about ISU.

Q. Who at ISU left an impression on you or served as a role model?

A. The person who left the greatest impression on me was at that time the chairman of the political science department, Dr. Dowell. I will always be grateful to him for helping me to adjust to the American culture and university life. Dr. Dowell, along with the rest of my professors, were incredible role models and encouraged me to always learn and seek out knowledge, not only in academics but also in life.

Q. How do you feel about receiving this award?

A. I consider it a great honor for me, as well as for my family and my country, for me to be a recipient of this award. I have always been very proud and grateful to be an ISU alumnus. The knowledge and experiences I have gained while being a student at Indiana State have contributed much to the person I am today.

Q. In what ways are you still active with your alma mater and contribute to the traditions of the institution?

A. As the Consul-General of Thailand to the Midwestern States and an alumnus of ISU, I would like to see more Thai students have the opportunity to experience what ISU has to offer. I envision a stronger relationship between Thailand and ISU and therefore, I am working to promote greater educational cooperation and increased exchange programs.

I believe that a stronger coalition between Thailand and the university will not only benefit faculty and students, but will contribute to the overall good relations between Thailand and the United States.


(Editor's note: Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Kasivat Paruggamanont is Indiana State University's first international Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.) Photos are available by e-mailing Tony Campbell at devcampb@isugw.indstate.edu or calling (812) 237-3788.

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Contact:
Liz Tuttle, associate director of Alumni Affairs
(812) 237-3707 or
almtuttl@amberindstate.edu

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or http://isunews.indstate.edu