Anderson University will honor several distinguished alumni during the Homecoming Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Schield Dining Room in the Olt Student Center. Individuals being honored include Dr. Peter Beckman (Distinguished Alumni Award); Amanda Scott (Distinguished Young Alumni Award); Connie Graham (John H. Kane Loyalty Award); Dr. Stanley Stephens (Distinguished Service Award); and Samuel Judd (Alumni Council Legacy Scholarship). Anderson University’s 2012 Homecoming celebration is scheduled for October 5-6.
Dr. Peter Beckman BA '85 is a recognized global expert in high-end computing systems. During the past 25 years, he has designed and built software and architectures for large-scale parallel and distributed computing systems. Peter helped found Indiana University’s Extreme Computing Laboratory. He also founded the Linux cluster team at the Advanced Computing Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a Turbolinux-sponsored research laboratory that developed the world’s first dynamic provisioning system for cloud computing and HPC clusters. Furthermore, he acted as vice president of Turbolinux’s worldwide engineering efforts. Peter joined Argonne National Laboratory in 2002. As director of engineering and chief architect for the TeraGrid, he designed and deployed the world’s most powerful Grid computing system for linking production high performance computing centers for the National Science Foundation.
He served as director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility from 2008 to 2010. He is currently the director of the Exascale Technology and Computing Institute, where he leads Argonne’s exascale computing strategic initiative. He is co-founder of the International Exascale Software Project (IESP).
In addition to his undergraduate degree from Anderson University, Peter received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1993.
Amanda Scott, a 2007 Anderson University alumna, joined the Obama for America campaign in 2008. Four short years later, she has become the senior digital communications strategist at the U.S. Department of Energy. Amanda’s stellar career began in humility as a volunteer during the Ohio primary. She focused on “organizing new media for specific states to get supporters to vote.” Before transitioning into her current role, Amanda served as a special assistant for the Obama-Biden transition and new media coordinator for U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
While at AU Amanda majored in marketing and minored in not-for-profit management and public relations. Now Amanda is writing press releases for a governmental institution with 16,000 employees. Amanda is glad to have the opportunity to make an impact: “I always wanted to go into work and do something that let me feel like I was giving back to a community.”
Connie Graham is a 1975 graduate, as was her late husband, Dale Myers. After Dale’s death in 1998, Connie married Jerry Graham in 2002, who is the associate pastor of youth at Mt. Haley Church of God in Midland, Mich. Connie taught elementary school for 27 years, securing her master’s degree from Michigan State University. She has been the director of youth ministries for the Church of God in Michigan since 2005.
Her two children and their spouses are also alumni of AU — Sarah (Myers) Rowe and her husband, Jason graduated in 2001; son Jonathon Myers graduated in 2006 and his wife Katie (Pickett), in 2005. Connie also has two step-sons— Bob Graham, a 2003 AU alum, and Joe Graham, a Calvin College grad. She and Jerry have five grandsons and two granddaughters, with another granddaughter due in November. Connie is also very active in her church and various community organizations.
Connie served two terms as a member of the Anderson University Alumni Council, never missing a meeting or Homecoming weekend. Every year, Connie and Jerry faithfully pack a van of prospective AU students — high school students from Michigan CHOG congregations — and bring them to Anderson for campus visits. Numerous AU alumni can point to Connie as a key reason they call Anderson their alma mater. She has also represented Anderson University at the Midland College Fair for the past five years.
Originally from Niagara Falls, N.Y., Dr. Stanley Stephens BA ’65 followed his sister, the late Dr. Sandra Stephens Clark BS ’64, to Anderson University as a student. The brother and sister both completed long-term careers as faculty at AU. Dr. Nicholson invited Stephens to join the math faculty at AU in 1971. Over the last 40 years, he not only taught, but also served as chair of the math department. He has been active on various university committees and in organizations related to mathematics. In retirement, he and his wife, Christie Smith Stephens BA ’65, plan to spend more time with family in Tennessee and Alabama.
Samuel Judd was born into a family that has continually loved and supported him throughout his life. He grew up in a rural area of Ohio and regularly attended the Eaton First Church of God. While many experiences led Sam to Anderson, he believes that, most importantly, God had Anderson University written into the plan for his life.
Sam can remember going to his first AU football game when he was seven or eight years old, and has been a regular visitor ever since. His sister, Bailey — now a junior at AU; his mother, formerly Robin Brooks BA ’82, and his grandmother, formerly Bonnie Kearns BA ’52, have all lived in Morrison Hall.
Sam is grateful to receive the Legacy Scholarship and plans to focus his academic attentions on biology and chemistry, with the goal of entering medical school after graduation. He feels AU will prepare him well. His ultimate life goal is to become an orthopedic surgeon, all the while serving Christ.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.