Anderson University honored several distinguished alumni during the Homecoming chapel/convocation on Thursday, October 20, at 11 a.m. in Reardon Auditorium. Persons honored were Senator Dennis Kruse (Distinguished Alumni Award); Chris Witt (Distinguished Young Alumni Award); Michael Collette (Distinguished Service Award); Joe Royer (John H. Kane Loyalty Award); and Courtney Rice (Alumni Council Legacy Scholarship).
Dennis Kruse BA ’68 is a member of the Indiana State Senate, representing District 14. He served in the Indiana State House of Representatives from 1989 to 2004. Additionally, Kruse has worked as a real estate broker and an assistant to corporate officers at Ambassador Steel. He has been owner and president of Dennis Kruse and Associates, Auctioneering and Real Estate since 1968. He has also worked as an auctioneer for Kruse International, collector car auctioneers, since 1971 and auctioneer/owner of Reppert School of Auctioneering since 1996.
Chris Witt BA ’03 is a film and video editor based in Los Angeles. He recently edited the film Kavi, which was nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for “Best Short Film (Live Action).” The film also received a Gold Medal Student Academy Award in 2009. Witt also edited the 20-minute film The Butterfly Circus, which garnered the $100,000 grand prize in The Doorpost Competition. Among his many credits, Witt served as one of the principal editors for A Ripple of Hope, a documentary film created by Covenant Productions® at Anderson University capturing one poignant day in the life of Robert Kennedy and his little-known act of personal courage and responsibility.
Dr. Michael Collette serves as professor of management in the Falls School of Business at Anderson University. Prior to joining the faculty in the Falls School of Business in May, Collette served as vice president for marketing and strategic planning at AU. At the completion of the 2011 academic year, Collette concluded a distinguished career of 34 years in administrative leadership. He has worked at AU since 1977 and served as a member of the institution’s executive team since 1986. Prior to joining administrative leadership, Collette served as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Business and Economics from 1984-86. He also served AU as director of placement services and academic advising, director of special academic programs and senior planning officer, and vice president for enrollment management and information systems.
Joe Royer is in his 28th year of service at AU, where he began as director of physical plant. He has been directly involved in many campus building projects, including the Nicholson Library expansion, Hartung Hall expansion, the Welcome Center, the broadcasting complex, University Boulevard renovation, the Kardatzke Wellness Center, Fair Commons, and now the York Performance Hall. He became the director of facilities in 2000 and has assumed additional responsibilities as a purchasing agent for property and liability insurance and risk management.
Courtney Rice is the daughter of Marc BA ’86 and Janet (Isley) BA ’89 Rice and is from Montesano, Wash. Courtney was chosen for the Legacy Scholarship based on her strong academic record and her involvement in athletics, music, and volunteer activities. In her application essay, Courtney wrote, “I know that at AU I will gain a better understanding of the world I live in and will find the mentors, resources, and environment that will prepare me for success.” Courtney feels a call to ministry and looks forward to participating in AU’s Tri-S program.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the eighth 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.