Anderson, Indiana

AU well represented among ACS Hall of Fame inductees

Tue, 2012-10-23 09:37 -- univcomm
October 23, 2012

Being successful, whether building on what already exists or starting something new, all comes back to education.

That is one point Gary Hoover made as he spoke to a crowd of about 150 at Friday night’s Anderson Community Schools Hall of Fame banquet.

Hoover is one of 14 new inductees into the Anderson Education Foundation’s ACS Hall of Fame, celebrating the successful lives of ACS graduates and showing Anderson’s commitment to education and raising funds to support classroom grants, according to AEF Executive Director Cynthia Granger.

[Photo: Dr. Beverley Pitts speaks during her induction into the ACS Hall of Fame.]

The AEF established the Hall of Fame in 2010.

“If they’ve lost interest in learning,” Hoover said about students, “we’ve lost them for life.”

The inductees visited ACS schools this week and spoke with students. Each was introduced Friday by a student ambassador and given a few minutes to speak to the crowd.

ACS Hall of Fame inductees included:

  • James F. Ault, Anderson University honorary degree recipient
  • Sharon Buchanan, AU alum
  • Wayne Ellsworth
  • Robert Gillette
  • Lee Handley
  • William H. Hardacre, AU honorary degree recipient
  • Gary Hoover
  • Misty Novak, AU alum
  • John Pistole, AU alum
  • Dr. Beverley Pitts, AU alum and honorary degree recipient
  • Holly Renz, AU alum
  • Joe Royer, AU alum and staff member
  • Bobby Wilkerson
  • Gene Yates

Read more about the honorees.

Hoover, an entrepreneur who’s founded multiple companies, said it’s important to inspire and figure out ways to engage students since they are the future.

When he graduated from Madison Heights in 1969, he said he was excited about topics he had learned, such as history and economics.

[Photo: William H. Hardacre speaks during his induction into the ACS Hall of Fame.]

Bobby Wilkerson, who spent seven seasons in the NBA, said he was grateful for his opportunity through sports to go on to college, and that “education really is the way to go.”

Kids need to get back to the basics, he said, adding that many are losing hope.

“We have to get that hope back, and we can but it’ll take everyone,” he said.

When he was young, Joe Royer’s parents divorced.

He was at a crossroads and could have taken a different path, he said, but there were teachers in ACS who gave him direction.

Royer, executive director of facilities and property management at Anderson University, said everyone has the opportunity to help guide others onto a good path.

Jim Ault, who ended his long General Motors career as executive vice president of GM Overseas, said he is “grateful to be a product of Anderson Community Schools.”

He said he recognizes the school system is still facing challenges, but that it’s been an “eye-opening week” as he saw what he called outstanding teachers and students and good leadership.

“I think we have something to be proud of,” he said. “Be positive, keep going and we’ll be OK.”

Quang Vinh, president of the Anderson Education Foundation Board of Directors, said the inductees’ accomplishments make others involved in ACS want to work harder. He thanked them for being “the juice in our tank.”

The foundation is already taking nominations for the next group of Hall of Fame inductees. Recipients are selected by a committee of former educators and community leaders.

— Dani Palmer is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission. Anderson University added the names of honorees and their relationship to the university. Photo credit: Don Knight/The Herald Bulletin.

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.