Founders, award recipients honored at annual USI Alumni Association luncheon

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The University of Southern Indiana recognized its founders, supporters and award recipients at the annual Alumni Association Founders’ Day Luncheon, held on September 11 in Carter Hall.

“Think about this for a second: for the men and women who came before us in 1965 to be part of developing a university, it was, without question, nothing but a simple idea. People came together and talked with one another, but all it was was an idea, a possibility,” said Dr. Ronald Rochon, USI president. “And so you talk about the power of an idea? Never underestimate what it can do, how it can transform lives, and how it can propel a community. The University of Southern Indiana does that each and every day.”

The event, which featured remarks from Rochon and a recognition of the University’s past leadership, closed with the presentation of the Alumni Association’s three major awards: the Alumni Service Award, the Honorary Alumni Award and the Faculty Recognition Award.

Alumni Service Award

The 2019 Alumni Service Award was presented to Kevin Hammett ’90, president and chief executive officer of Regency Properties.  Hammett graduated from USI with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1990 and has spent his career giving back to the University with his time and expertise.  Since 2008, he has served as the chair of the USI Foundation Board of Directors (2016-2018), president of the Alumni Association (2010), chair of the Romain College of Business Board of Advisors (2016-2018), chair of the alumni division of Campaign USI – Elevating Excellence and as an alumni representative on the 2017-18 presidential search committee.

Hammett is a former member of the USI Varsity Club Board of Directors and the Accounting Circle and has served on steering committees to select members of the Board of Trustees and USI Distinguished Accountant Award recipients. Additionally, Hammett is a current board member for the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, Youth First, Inc., the EVSC Foundation and Buffalo Trace Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is a former board member for the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce and Patchwork Central, and a member of the Rotary Club of Evansville.

Honorary Alumni Award

Penny Goshert was recognized as the recipient of the 2019 Honorary Alumni Award for her dedication, service and passion for USI. As a volunteer, Goshert began her connection to USI through assistance with heart screenings for student athletes more than a decade ago. This interaction led to the beginning of her involvement with the Varsity Club, where she served as chair of the Board of Directors from 2017-18. Additionally, Goshert serves on the Society for Arts and Humanities Board of Directors and the planning committee for the annual Toast to the Arts fundraiser, and is a member of President’s Associates along with her husband, Mark.

Goshert currently serves as the outreach and access coordinator for Deaconess Hospital. She was instrumental in the launch of the HeartSaver program in 2014, in conjunction with Deaconess Foundation, which strives to place automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, throughout the Tri-state. She also serves as an advocate for the annual Go Red for Women luncheon, which is in part sponsored by The American Heart Association and Deaconess Hospital.

Faculty Recognition Award

Kathryn M. Waters, professor emerita of art, was the recipient of the 2019 Faculty Recognition Award. Since joining the USI faculty in 1981 through her retirement in 2019, Waters has served as chair of the Art Department, interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, director of the McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries and interim chair of the Art and Design Department. As a practicing artist, Waters’s drawings and paintings appear in many corporate, university, museum and private collections and have been exhibited widely at the national and regional levels.

Waters is the recipient of the 2019 Mayor’s Art Award from the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, an Arts Midwest National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting, the Clowes Fellowship in Painting at the Vermont Studio Center and two Indiana Arts Commission Master Fellowships. She also has been selected for artist residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center and the Ragdale Foundation. She was honored with the 2015 University of Southern Indiana’s Distinguished Professor Award and a Phenomenal Woman of USI Award.

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