Indiana State University Newsroom

Commencement 2011 set for May 7

April 27, 2011

Indiana State University's spring commencement takes place Saturday, May 7 at Hulman Center, with the processional of graduates scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

Reflecting the university's commitment to environmental sustainability, commencement gowns for the class of 2011 are made of fabric produced from recycled plastic bottles. Video of the ceremonies will be streamed live online at

Student, alumni speakers to address grads, honorary degree to be awarded

When Annie Smith arrived at Indiana State University four years ago, her main goals were playing Division I soccer and pursuing a degree in public relations.

But after one year, her goals changed.

"My dad and I spent an afternoon sitting on the porch, talking about college," said Smith, who will deliver the student commencement address to her fellow graduates May 7 in ISU's Hulman Center. "We talked about the integral role college plays in who we become and what we achieve."

At the end of the conversation, her father left her with some advice which guided her through the next three years.

"We have this incredible opportunity to impact other people's lives. But it is our choice as to whether we make this a positive impact or a negative impact."

That's when Smith decided to become more involved on campus.

"My dad was involved in his school's union board as a student so I decided to start there," she said.

"I met so many people through Union Board, which led to more opportunities to connect with others on campus," said Smith. "When I joined UB and my sorority I felt connected. I love ISU."

During her sophomore year, Smith participated in Up ‘Til Dawn, a letter-writing campaign that supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. During the evening, one of the student directors, a cancer survivor, turned to her and said, "Do you know what you did tonight? You probably just paid for a child to receive free radiation treatment. I wish someone would've done that for me."

That experience set her on a new path. The following year, she served as co-executive director for ISU's Up ‘Til Dawn campaign and started a new student organization, ISU Dance Marathon, to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children.

"I participated in Dance Marathon in high school and I thought it would be good to bring to campus," she recalled. "There's nothing like it - everyone's together for six hours celebrating Riley Hospital."

The first ISU Dance Marathon in February 2010 raised more than $4,200. The 2011 Dance Marathon was even more successful, raising $8,800.

Smith served as an event marketing intern at St. Jude's fundraising office in Chicago last summer, where she created public relations materials, obtained sponsorships and donations and assisted with the logistics and planning of major events such as the 25th Annual Chicago Golf Classic, Chicago Marathon/St. Jude Heroes and the Peoria to Chicago Run. She also attended the national leadership conference for Up ‘Til Dawn in Memphis.

"I loved going to work each day," she said, beaming.

"The biggest accomplishment I have made at Indiana State is taking three sentences that an Up ‘Til Dawn director and cancer survivor shared with me and placing them in my heart," Smith said.

In her commencement remarks, she will talk about how the simple rules she learned in kindergarten - never forget your pleases and thank yous; be respectful; listen; share with others; treat others the way you would like to be treated - have helped her make a positive impact on campus.

"We follow these fundamental rules so that, when that our life becomes connected with another, we can ensure that our impact on that other life is a positive one, and that it improves that life, if even in just a small way."

But there is more to Smith's collegiate experience. While pursuing a public relations major and marketing minor, she has maintained a 3.93 grade point average while being active in Chi Omega sorority, Hulman Memorial Student Union Board, playing intramurals, serving as a Sycamore Ambassador, studying abroad in London and attending two Public Relations Student Society of America national conferences, presenting at the 2010 conference in Washington, D.C.

She spent a portion of her spring break participating in the National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw State University.

Her attendance at those events was funded and supported by the university, for which she is grateful.

"They were incredible experiences," she said. "I don't think I would've had that same opportunity anywhere else."

Smith has accepted a position in the marketing department of Columbus-based Cummins, Inc.

"I was always a good student in high school but I never thought I could stand out," she said. "Other schools have opportunities for student involvement but ISU made it easy to get involved and grow as a person. Now I stand out."'

Indianapolis-based broadcaster to deliver alumni address

Gerry Dick, president and managing editor of Grow Indiana Media Ventures, will serve as alumni speaker for ISU's spring commencement.

He is a 1990 graduate of Indiana State with a bachelor's degree in radio/TV/film and a minor in marketing. Dick and technology entrepreneur Scott Jones launched Grow Indiana Media Ventures in 2000 to deliver business news and information through multiple media sources. Its products include Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick, Indiana's most watched local business television program, Inside Indiana Business Radio and various interactive media products.

Dick knows the importance of giving an audience what it wants. With that in mind, he has invited graduating ISU seniors to take part in an online survey in which they have the opportunity to provide input about the topics they would like to hear addressed during commencement. He will use the surveys' responses in crafting his message to graduates.

"As I began to formulate a few ideas for my speech, my first thought was, ‘what would these graduates want to hear?'" Dick said. "This is their day and it is a day they will remember for the rest of their lives. Why not go to the source - the grads themselves - to get an idea of what might be important to them? I am quite honored to have been asked to do this and my goal will be to deliver remarks that honor the graduates, their families and ISU. I think getting some direct input from students will be helpful in the process."

Dick is a frequent keynote speaker and moderator on issues related to the Indiana economy and serves as a business analyst for WISH-TV 8, the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, and 93.1 WIBC. His broadcast background includes 14 years as a principal reporter and field anchor at WRTV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis. He has also held reporter and anchor positions at television stations in Terre Haute and Fort Wayne. His work with WRTV earned an Emmy nomination for a 1993 series on Indiana companies doing business along the U.S.-Mexico border and he later earned four Emmy nominations for Inside Indiana Business. He has also been recognized as Journalist of the Year by the Small Business Administration.

Prior to the creation of Grow Indiana Media Ventures, Dick served as senior vice president of the Indianapolis Economic Development Corp., where he was responsible for a broad range of managerial and operational initiatives, including marketing, communications, advertising and media relations.

Scott College of Business benefactor to receive honorary doctorate

ISU President Dan Bradley will present retired businessman Donald W. Scott with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the university's spring commencement.

A Terre Haute native, Scott attended Indiana University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Kelley School of Business in 1958. Returning to Terre Haute, he began his business career at the Home Packing Company where his father, Robert, was president. He married Susan Templeton in 1962 and started a family.

In 1963, Scott joined Adam Miller, Susan's grandfather, and Susan's cousin, John Templeton, in the property and casualty insurance business. Miller Templeton Scott Insurance was located at 643 Ohio Street. In 1968, Scott became president of the company and it was renamed Sycamore Agency, Inc. He and nine co-owners merged the Sycamore Agency with Old National Bank in 2000. At the time of his retirement in 2003, Scott was chairman and chief executive officer of Old National Insurance, one of the state's largest independent insurance agencies.

Scott shared his leadership and investment skills with a variety of organizations, including the ISU Foundation and its Investment Committee. He was also instrumental in the early years of developing ISU's insurance and risk management program. Scott has spent over 20 years as a member of Lloyd's of London, participating in insurance risks such as the Florida hurricanes, California earthquakes, and the World Trade Center tragedy. In 2009, the Scotts made a significant gift to the Indiana State University Foundation for the Scott College of Business. Their gift has enabled the college to advance its educational programs and allowed for the preservation of key historical elements of the Terre Haute Federal Building which will serve as the home of the college beginning in 2012.

Photos: - Anna Smith - Gerry Dick - Donald W. Scott

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or

Writer: (Annie Smith segment) Paula Meyer, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3783 or