USI Honors Founders, Presents Awards At Founders Day Luncheon

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USI Honors Founders, Presents Awards At Founders Day Luncheon

The University of Southern Indiana paid homage to its founders and recognized supporters at the annual Alumni Association Founders Day program, held on September 13 in Carter Hall.

”A half century ago, an institution of public higher education in southwestern Indiana was the dream of many business and community leaders,” said USI President Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett. “It took the dynamic leadership and perseverance of many people to make this dream a reality.”

The luncheon, sponsored by the USI Alumni Association, featured remarks from Bennett and the presentation of the Association’s three major awards: The Alumni Service Award, the Honorary Alumni Award and the Faculty Recognition Award.

Alumni Service Award

The 2017 recipient of the Alumni Service Award is Janet Heldt Baas ’86, senior vice president and director of Diversity and Work Life Programs at Old National Bank and president of the Old National Bank Foundation. Baas has been involved in many aspects of the University including serving as a volunteer for Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence, as a member of the Volunteer USI Advisory board and the 50th Anniversary Alumni Subcommittee, and as a Families Weekend volunteer. For many years Baas has served as a career mentor for the Alumni Career Mentor Program. She maintains those relationships and continues to mentor the students long after the official program has concluded for the year.

At Old National Bank, Baas has developed innovative programs to help Old National Bank employees balance their professional and family lives. She works to ensure diversity is well supported by Old National Bank. Baas has developed programs to help women transition into and out of the workplace, including a nursing mothers program, alternative work schedules program and a phased-in retirement program. Additionally, she was instrumental in creating Emerging Leaders, a mentoring program partnership between Old National Bank and Vectren.

Honorary Alumni Award

Dan and Janet Fuquay were honored as recipients of the Honorary Alumni Award. The Fuquays have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to higher education and to the USI student experience. They are members of the President’s Circle, Reflections Society, and support students through the Daniel M. and Janet L. Fuquay Presidential Scholarship Endowment. Additionally, the Fuquay Welcome Center, a new entrance point on campus for visitors currently under construction, was made possible through the Fuquays’ generous leadership gift to Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence.

After almost a decade as general manager of Hahn, Inc., Dan Fuquay and a business partner founded D & F Distributors, which became a leading provider of industrial, commercial and municipal pumps and related equipment. When Fuquay sold the company, it had six offices in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Janet Fuquay, also an entrepreneur, published a television facts magazine and later managed a Dunhill franchise to recruit pharmacists and occupational and physical therapists nationwide.

Faculty Recognition Award

Dr. Kevin Celuch, Blair Chair of Business Science, was the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Recognition Award. His active engagement approach to teaching has been recognized for innovation in business undergraduate and graduate education. Celuch is the co-creator of the Entrepreneurship Minor at the University of Southern Indiana, which has been internationally recognized as an emerging undergraduate program, and is a presenter on such topics as critical and creative thinking, collaborative learning, change and innovation.

Celuch has been actively involved in marketing communication, market information, customer engagement, and organizational partnering-related research. He has held Affiliated Faculty/Research Staff status at the Carl Gunnard Johnson Research Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, for his work on management issues in the metal processing industries. He has worked with numerous profit and nonprofit organizations.

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