Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU Foundation announces Distinguished Philanthropy Awards

April 24, 2008

In a ceremony entitled "You Can Do Magic," Thomas and Deborah Bareford of Carmel, William J. Brett of Terre Haute, and the Indiana State University Federal Credit Union, were honored for their dedication and vision to enhance the growth and success of Indiana State University.

“The inspiration from how Tom and Debbie Bareford used their philanthropy to recognize their daughter Susan, the way Dr. Brett gives so much to include his years of teaching as well as his charitable gifts, and how the ISU Federal Credit Union has supported our students with their support is truly humbling,” said Dr. Gene Crume, President of the ISU Foundation.

Michael Simmons, long-time supporter of Indiana State University and the 2005 Distinguished Service Award recipient was proud to present The Philanthropic Excellence Award to Thomas and Deborah Bareford. The Barefords have been giving back to their alma mater for 43 years in order to leave a legacy for future students to have the opportunities they had to grow and flourish with an outstanding education. Through a five-year commitment to March On! The Campaign for Indiana State University, they encouraged others to give at the leadership level through a matching gift opportunity. They were also instrumental in the creation and completion of the Michael Simmons Student Activity Center by making a charitable gift to have the classroom named for their daughter Susan, an ISU alumna who passed away from cancer in September 1992.

The Faculty and Staff Philanthropy Award was given to William J. Brett, retired chairperson of the life sciences department who continues to teach as an adjunct instructor. Brett served for 37 years at ISU. During his tenure, Brett and his wife, Judy were loyal contributors to ISU and tireless supporters for the university’s students. Most recently, they established their fifth endowment to benefit the students learning in the corrections education program. The award was presented to Dr. Brett by Tom Sauer, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Lou Jensen, who served ISU for 34 years, including as special assistant to the vice president and provost for academic affairs, presented The Indiana State University Federal Credit Union with The Corporate Philanthropy Award for the Credit Union’s strong and loyal support of ISU. The Credit Union was one of the first to establish a Presidents Scholarship, which provides full tuition, room and board, and a laptop to an incoming freshman for four years. The Credit Union also supports other projects and programs on campus when they see a need to fulfill their mission of “people helping people”. Trent Kerr, CEO of the ISU Federal Credit Union, accepted the award of behalf of the board, staff and members of the credit union.

Two Book and Torch Awards, a society dedicated to honoring donors for their cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more, were also presented. The book and torch are emblematic symbols with deep roots in Indiana State University history. They are depicted on the university seal and used in the Founder’s Day ceremonies. The book symbolizes knowledge and truth gained in the halls of Indiana State. The torch symbolizes the light of inspiration passed to generations of students. These historic symbols are used to represent this society. The three levels of this society are so designated as knowledge, inspiration, and truth respectively. President Lloyd Benjamin III and Wieke Benjamin have been instrumental in the establishment of this society. They were on hand to take part in presenting the awards.

Timothy and Bobbie O’Neill were presented with one of the Book and Torch awards. Mr. O’Neill was the recipient of the Philanthropic Excellence Award (formerly the Distinguished Service Award) in 1994 for his outstanding service to ISU. He is also a past chairman of the Indiana State University Foundation Board of Directors and interim president of the foundation. He is a past trustee of the university. Bobbie Merle Durham O’Neill graduated in 1972 with a degree in elementary education and then taught in the Greenwood public school system. Bobbie is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

The second Book and Torch award was presented to Robert Clouse and Bonnidell Clouse. Robert Clouse served for 40 years at ISU and is a professor emeritus in the department of history. Bonnidell Clouse gave 34 years to the university and is professor emerita of educational and school psychology. The Clouses established an endowed award, the Dr. Bonnidell Clouse Research Award, that is given annually to an outstanding graduate student who researches ways to apply psychological or educational theory to a school problem.

The Philanthropy Awards dinner was held on April 18. Master of ceremonies was Dave Campbell, chairman of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors. Gene Crume, president of the foundation, and Lloyd W. Benjamin III, president of Indiana State University, made remarks.

Contact: Tess Green, public relations manager, Indiana State University Foundation, 317-673-4290 or 320 Gillum Hall 101 W. Ohio St. Suite 1792 Terre Haute, IN 47809 Indianapolis, IN 46204 (812) 237-3732 (800) 242-1409 (317) 673-4290

Story Highlights

In a ceremony entitled "You Can Do Magic," Thomas and Deborah Bareford of Carmel, William J. Brett of Terre Haute, and the Indiana State University Federal Credit Union, were honored for their dedication and vision to enhance the growth and success of Indiana State University.

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