Indiana State University Newsroom

Four selected as Distinguished Alumni

September 21, 2011

The Indiana State University Alumni Association has selected four individuals to receive its Distinguished Alumni Award for 2011. This year's recipients are:

Robert W. Best, a Nappanee native who now lives in Dallas, received his bachelor's degree in pre-law from Indiana State in 1968. He went on to earn a law degree from Indiana University. Best led the senior management team of Atmos Energy, the country's largest natural-gas-only distributor, for 13 years until his retirement as chief executive officer in 2010. Immediately following his retirement, he was named executive chairman of the board for the company. Prior to joining Atmos, he worked extensively in the natural gas industry, especially in the interstate pipeline, gas marketing and gas distribution segments, during his 36-year career. Best has long been active in civic, charitable and industry organizations. He is a past chairman of the American Gas Association, American Gas Foundation, Southern Gas Association and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce. He serves as chairman of The Senior Source in Dallas, as director of the Maguire Energy Institute in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, the State Fair of Texas, Associate Electric and Gas Insurance Services and the Gas Technology Institute. Best is married and has three children and two grandchildren.

Richard T. Bonds of Indianapolis, graduated from Indiana State in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in marketing. He is certified as a human resources professional by the Society of Human Resources Management. Bonds served as a senior human resources executive for more than 29 years with significant accomplishments in premiere financial services. An accomplished professional, Bonds demonstrates expertise in a variety of areas including performance effectiveness, strategic planning, employee relations, executive leadership training, management development and executive coaching. In his last corporate assignment, Bonds served as senior vice president of human resources for the nation's second largest bank holding company, JP Morgan Chase (formerly Bank One Corporation). Bonds retired from Chase in September 2003. He now works as a human resource consultant and is involved in community and professional activities. Bonds is a past member of the ISU Board of Trustees and has served on many other boards, including 100 Black Men, National Council on Educating Black Children, United Way, YMCA, Madame Walker Center and the Indianapolis Private Industry Council.

Larry S. Boulet graduated from ISU in 1974 with a B.S. in accounting. Retired after a career as a senior audit partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he is now owner and president of Boulet Consulting. He advises mid-sized companies on strategic and succession planning. He also serves on the board of directors of Bioanalytical Systems, an Indiana company that performs early stage drug research for pharmaceutical companies. Boulet chaired the ISU Foundation Board of Directors and continues to serve as a director. As chairman, he led the restructuring of the foundation's governance and the initiation of the March On! Capital Campaign. Boulet and his wife Buffy co-chair the campaign's national committee. He has also served as an alumni and admissions volunteer to recruit students for his alma mater. Boulet and his wife make their home in Indianapolis.

Jan Alan Eglen of Terre Haute holds four degrees from Indiana State: a Ph.D. in counseling psychology (1983), master's degrees in life sciences (1980) and psychology (1966) and an A.B. in pre-medicine (1965). He retired in 2004 as a full-time psychologist and president of Associated Psychologists and Counselors, having accumulated nearly 40,000 hours of experience as a therapist. Currently, Eglen is president and CEO of Digonex Technologies in Indianapolis. He holds several patents, is a published author, frequent speaker at digital media events and has also written recorded music. He has lectured at Indiana State and several other higher education institutions.

This year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be recognized during ISU's Homecoming weekend, Oct. 14-15. Established in 1957, the award recognizes graduates who have made significant contributions to their community, state or nation while continuing a connection with the university and/or Alumni Association after leaving campus.