Anderson University will honor several distinguished alumni during the Homecoming chapel/convocation on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m. in Reardon Auditorium. Persons being honored include Dan Hamer (Distinguished Alumni Award); Kyle Lacy (Distinguished Young Alumni Award); Pat Griffin (Distinguished Service Award); Sandi Patty (John H. Kane Loyalty Award); Shelby Rhoades (Outstanding Music Award); and Katelyn McKaig (Alumni Council Scholarship). Anderson University’s 2010 Homecoming celebration is scheduled for October 1-2.
The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Dan Hamer. Hamer is currently the senior associate pastor at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington, where he launched an orphan care initiative with his wife of 33 years, Kathleen. They have five children — Philip, Erica, Patrick, Derek and Reggie, and the family collectively has a passion for bringing awareness to the issues of orphaned and abandoned children.
Dan started his ministry work in the early '80s with a non-profit organization called World Shoe Relief, which he and Kathleen launched and directed, where they collected gently used and new shoes for those in need globally. Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., hired Dan in the late '90s as CFO and supported his and Kathleen's dream of launching an orphan care initiative.
In 2004 they went to the East African country of Kenya with Saddleback Church and their children Philip and Pat. On that trip they unexpectedly fell in love with an abandoned and homeless 5-year-old child named Derek and later his 3-year-old brother, Reggie. They began the process of adopting as empty nesters. Now the family has an organization to help homeless children around the globe called UntilThen.org, where each family member does their own part to contribute. Dan and Kathleen currently lead mission trips to Kenya and are making a profound difference in the world.
The Distinguished Young Alumni Award will be presented to Kyle Lacy. Lacy knew at a young age that he wanted to own his own business. He attended Anderson University to study marketing and graduated in 2006 with a degree in graphic design. While at AU, Kyle served two years as the Vice President of Marketing for Orangehaus Records and began working with social media networking to promote singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin’s first album. He took a job with Roundpeg, an Indianapolis-based marketing firm, after graduation. But Kyle was still driven to own his business, and in 2007 he co-founded a social media consulting firm.
At 25, Kyle is the CEO of Brandswag, a company that offers business owners the help needed to build and connect with their customers through social media networking. Brandswag operates from two offices in Indianapolis, Ind. and Oklahoma City, Okla.
Kyle has been recognized as a social media expert. He has nearly 15,000 followers on Twitter and has twice made the list for the Top 150 Social Media Blogs in the world. He is the author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies and has a second edition scheduled for release in February 2011. Kyle was also named to the 2010 roster of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty-under-40. He continues to play an active role in the Anderson community serving on the Board of Directors for Community First Initiative, Exodus House and Ambassadors for Children.
The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Pat Griffin. Griffin retired in 2009 from Anderson University after serving 36 years in the nursing profession. She worked for AU for 26 years, most recently serving in the School of Nursing as interim dean. In this position, she made sure the department ran smoothly until a new dean was selected.
Griffin graduated from Indiana University’s nursing school in 1972. She worked at Riley Children’s Hospital and Community East Hospital, both in Indianapolis, and St. John’s Hospital in Anderson before coming to AU. She began her AU career in 1983 doing clinical work before joining the faculty. She taught up until she was given the task of facilitating the university assessment.
As a professor, Griffin realized what a great responsibility teaching was. What she taught and modeled influenced how her students would react to patients in the future.
Now that Griffin is retired, she and her husband, Gerry, have a mobile home in Florida to enjoy and two grandchildren to spoil. She feels blessed that she was able to spend the better part of her career at Anderson University.
The John H. Kane Loyalty Award will be presented to Sandi Patty. As one of the most highly acclaimed performers of our time with five Grammy® awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records, five gold records, and eleven million units sold, Patty is simply known as The Voice.
Sandi is the most awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history. With thirty-nine Dove Awards, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and as an Indiana Living Legend in 2007. She has released more than 30 albums, including her recent album, The Edge of the Divine (August 2010).
While her 30-year career is heavily rooted in the gospel music industry, Sandi has had the opportunity in more recent years to extend her career outside the genre. Sandi has performed with symphonies across the country, including the New York Pops, Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Dallas Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Her first Pops album, An American Songbook, was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her prolific musical career, Sandi is also an accomplished author. For the bestseller Broken on the Back Row, Sandi received the 2006 Silver Angel Award. As an author of seven books, her other titles include Life in the Blender, Falling Forward, Layers, and her forthcoming book, The Edge of the Divine. Her down-to-earth style and sturdy common sense have endeared her to Women of Faith® audiences, with whom she has traveled since 2005. She’s an example to all of us of the freedom that comes from learning how to move on, learning from her mistakes and letting God use her in any circumstance.
Sandi and her husband, Don, have eight children. While she spends a great deal of time writing, recording and performing, Sandi does not fail to make the time for her children, whom she has encouraged to attend her alma mater.
The Alumni Council Award will be presented to Katelyn McKaig. McKaig is the daughter of Rev. Tim and Annetta (Harden) ’84 McKaig of Logansport, Indiana. Besides her high school activities, Kate enjoyed being involved in Special Olympics, mission trips to Mexico, and 4-H. She comes from a family of AU grads, but more than that, she wanted to attend a small, Christian university where she would be challenged to grow both academically and spiritually.
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 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh 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.