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AU recognizes alumni with awards

Fri, 2008-10-17 12:58 -- univcomm
October 17, 2008

Anderson University launched a weekend of homecoming events with a special convocation Thursday that included honors for some distinguished alumni.

Ben Davis, director of alumni relations, and Paul Mumaw, president of the school’s alumni council, presented the annual awards to four alumni and a scholarship to a current student.

“These honorees were chosen by our alumni counsel, a panel of volunteers who represent our alumni association of more than 20,000 people across the world who call Anderson their alma mater,” Davis told students. “As we celebrate this homecoming weekend with reunions, performances and hopefully a few athletic whoopins around here, you will see hundreds of these alumni and their families who come back to visit the campus. It’s a celebration of the memories they have from their time at AU and of the relationships they formed while they were here.”

Each honoree was showcased with a narrated, biographical slide presentation. The awards were as follows:

  • Phyllis Newby, a 1972 AU graduate, received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award. While working as a missionary in Haiti, Newby has helped develop more than 200 church-schools that have educated nearly 40,000 children.
  • Michelle Bitler Kourouma, a 1999 AU graduate, received the 2008 Young Distinguished Alumni Award. Kourouma has worked as a language teacher in the United States and France and is now working as an intercultural living exchange assistant at the University of Maryland Baltimore-County, where she assists teachers and students involved in cultural exchange programs.
  • Judy Matas received the 2008 Distinguished Service Award. Matas came to the school in 1964 as an elementary education major. She met her husband, Ron, at the school, and together the couple raised three children and fostered more than 20 others. Matas worked at the university from more than 20 years before retiring last year.
  • Phil Fair received the 2008 John H. Kane Loyalty Award. A 1961 AU graduate, Fair has served as the executive director of the mass communications board of the Church of God and has held posts in worship ministry at East Side Church of God and North Anderson Church of God. At the university, he worked as assistant director of admissions and then director of admissions. He was also executive director of advancement and church relations before retiring this year.
  • Sarah Zehner received the 2008 Alumni Council Scholarship. She is the daughter of Kathy Holbrook and August Zehner, both AU graduates. Sarah Zehner is also a graduate of Anderson High School and plans to major in elementary education at AU.

The university also announced that Barbara Douglas, professor emerita of music, has received the 2008 Outstanding Music Award. Douglas taught voice and music history for 36 years. In recent years, she has sung with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival in Virginia, the Louisville Bach Society and Chamber Arts Society and Masterworks Chorale in Muncie.

The morning chapel service also rallied students for upcoming athletic events and recognized the college’s homecoming court, and President James Edwards announced seniors Dane Benton and Sarah Walker were voted homecoming king and queen.

Homecoming schedule of events is as follows:

Performance events:

School of Music Homecoming Concert, 7:30 p.m. today, Park Place Church of God. Featuring the Chorale, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Choir and the Chamber Orchestra. Outstanding Music Alumni Award to Barbara Douglas, Professor Emeritus of Music. Free.

Cheap Thrills, 7:30 and 10 p.m. today, Reardon Auditorium. Cost: advance $2.50, $3 at the door.

“Seussical,” 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Byrum Hall, special family performance. Admission: children 12 and under admitted free, $12 for those 13 and over, $10 for seniors and military, $5 students. For information, call Byrum Hall ticket office at (765) 641-4351.

“Old School” encore on Saturday at 8 and 10 p.m. Reardon Auditorium. Admission: advance $2.50 and $3 at the door (Agathos alumni $2.50).

Sandi & Friends, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Reardon Auditorium. Admission and further information, visit Reardon Box Office.

Athletic events:

Alumni softball game, 9 a.m. Saturday. Open to all softball alumni, softball diamond.

Alumni baseball game, 9 a.m. Saturday. Open to all baseball alumni, at Raven Park.

Locker Room Legacy Project Open House, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Football locker room. Free to all football alumni.

Alumni men’s soccer game, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, East Fifth Street soccer complex.

Women’s soccer game, 1 p.m. Saturday. Anderson University vs. Taylor Fort Wayne, East Fifth Street soccer complex.

Women’s volleyball vs. Huntington, noon Saturday, O.C. Lewis Gymnasium. Free.

Homecoming football game, 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Anderson University vs. Franklin College. Halftime introduction of the 2008 homecoming king, queen and court. Macholtz Stadium. Admission $5, seniors, students and children under 6, $3, faculty and staff free.

Men’s soccer game, 3 p.m. Saturday. Anderson University vs. Taylor Fort Wayne, East Fifth Street soccer complex.

Alumni women’s soccer game, 5:15 p.m. Saturday, East Fifth Street soccer complex.

Campus events:

Admissions Discovery Day, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, Kane Room, Olt Student Center, for prospective students. Parents encouraged to attend. Advanced registration at (800) 428-6414.

University Bookstore open today and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Residence Halls open today and Saturday, noon to midnight.

Campus Illumination today at dusk, campus and valley.

Street Fair, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, University Boulevard, rain location at Kardatzke Wellness Center. This event includes activities hosted by the alumni office, social clubs, interest groups, honor societies and athletic teams. There will be bookstore apparel, activities for kids and food.

Alumni events:

Alumni Council meetings

Reception in the Valley, today, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Hartung Hall plaza. Cider and fellowship. Rain Location at Decker Commons.

Continental Breakfast for Communication Arts Alumni, 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, third floor lounge, Decker Hall. Guest speaker: Cory Edwards.

Continental Breakfast for chemistry/physics alumni, 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, third floor, Hartung Hall.

Sociology/social work/criminal justice alumni reception, 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Decker Hall, second floor, outside the department offices.

RavenFest, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, University Boulevard.

Department of Student Life reunion for student leaders, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, student/alumni fair for anyone who has been a student staff member of the student life family. Rain location: Rice Hall lobby.

Theatre Alumni Reception, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Byrum Performance Hall Classroom B112. All alumni are welcome.

School of Adult Learning tailgate party, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Current adult students and alumni are invited., University Boulevard. No Charge. RSVP at or (765) 641-4250.

15th annual 1950s Hospitality Tent, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, inside Macholtz Stadium entrance.

Special events:

L’Amifidel Alumni Cookout, 6 p.m. today, Decker Commons Courtyard. Cost: to be announced (one meal swipe for students).

School of Nursing alumni dinner: 6 p.m. today, social networking hour. 7 p.m., dinner. Guest speaker: Becky Haskett speaking on emotional intelligence. Kane Dining Room. Cost: $20. Presentation of alumni awards: Lifetime Achievement Award, Service to the Community Award, Distinguished Alumni Award, Friend of Nursing Award.

Register for the following:

Alacritas Alumni Breakfast, 9 a.m. Saturday, Kane Dining Room, Olt Student Center. Free.

Avanti Booster Alumni Breakfast, 9 a.m. Saturday, South Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. Cost: $12.

Camarada Alumni Breakfast (with Dativus), 9 a.m. Saturday, North Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. Cost: $12.

Dativus Alumni Breakfast (with Camarada), 9 a.m. Saturday, North Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. Cost: $12.

Multicultural Alumni Reunion, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Kane Dining Room, Olt Student Center. No cost.

Class of 1968 Alumni Reception, 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. No cost.

Class of 1983 Alumni Reception, 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. No cost.

Class of 1998 Alumni Reception, 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. No cost.

Under 2002-07 Alumni Reception, 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Schield Dining Room, Olt Student Center. No cost.

Hall of Fame Awards Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Cozway, Kardatzke Wellness Center. Cost: $25.

For more information about homecoming, call the Office of Alumni Relations at (765) 641-4100.

—Barrett Newkirk is a reporter for the Herald Bulletin. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.