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1965 - 1975

Robert OrrLieutenant Governor of Indiana, Robert D. Orr (right), gave the 1973 commencement address. The Evansville Campus of Indiana State University awarded degrees to 347 students.

roger zionThe Honorable Roger Zion (far left), U.S. Congressman, spoke during the 1973 Black History Convocation. The convocation was sponsored by ISUE’s history department.

Sylvia PorterFinance columnist Sylvia Porter (left) visited campus in 1974 when she gave the Commencement address. At the height of her journalism career she had over 40 million people reading her column. She was a leading force who made it possible for women to enter the field of business and financial journalism.

1976 – 1985

President and owner of Executive Inns of Evansville and Vincennes Robert Green visited campus in on March 24, 1976. Mr. Green gave advice on how to succeed in the business world to ISUE business students at the Executive-in-Residence program.

buckminster fullerR. Buckminster Fuller, a world scholar and architect, lectured in an American Issues course in February 1976. His topic was Utopia or Oblivion.  Most famous for his design of the geodesic dome, Fuller was on the faculty at Southern Illinois University as Distinguished University Professor. He was 80 years of age when he spoke to USI students and faculty.  

Dr. Beurt serVaasDr. Beurt R. SerVaas (left), publisher of the Saturday Evening Post and vice chairman of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, delivered the 1984 Commencement address. SerVaas was also president of SerVaas, Incorporated, and of Review Publishing Company, both in Indianapolis.

william zinsserWilliam Zinsser (right), general editor of the Book-of-the-Month Club and author of several books on writing, brought the Commencement Address at the last Commencement of Indiana State University Evansville.

1986 – 1995

James T. Morris, president of the Lilly Endowment Inc., in Indianapolis delivered the 1987 Commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his efforts to achieve excellence in education. Morris joined the Indianapolis philanthropy as director of community development programs in 1973 and became president in 1984. Through his work in community development, he has helped formulate plans and projects for the revitalization of Indianapolis.

president george h.w. bushVice President George H. W. Bush visited campus on April 26, 1988. He started his Indiana primary campaign for president at USI. News reports stated that he was expected to be the Republican presidential candidate. The USI College Republicans hosted the vice president on campus. A capacity crowd greeted him.

ernestine morris raclinErnestine Morris Raclin (right), a leader in business, education, and civic affairs in South Bend who has been called “Indiana’s First Lady of Banking,” brought the Commencement address in 1988. Raclin was chairman of the Board of 1st Corporation and 1st Source Bank in South Bend. She was an early leader in South Bend/St. Joseph County economic development programs, and also the director of First Chicago Corporation, First National Bank of Chicago, and the Northern Indiana Public Service Company of Hammond, Indiana.

evan bayh

Governor Evan Bayh (left) visited USI in 1989 to learn about early childhood education programs.

Dan Engelke, who was instrumental in the 1970s in establishing ceramic and design programs for the USI Art Department, was the judge for the 1989 Student Art Exhibition. At the time Engelke was an associate professor of art at Purdue University. He has won numerous regional and national honors and created an outdoor sculpture on Lake Michigan.

judith clabesJudith G. Clabes (right), editor of The Kentucky Post who helped forge community support for the University while she was editor of the Evansville Sunday Courier & Press, gave the Commencement address in 1990.

mcdonald and o'danielFrank F. McDonald (far left), and Joseph E. O’Daniel (left), Evansville leaders who were instrumental in the creation and continuing the development of USI, were together at the dedication of student housing during the summer of 1994.

Editor in chief of Harper's magazine at the end of the '60s, Willie Morris, was the inaugural convocation speaker for the inauguration of President Dr. Hoops on March 17, 1995. Morris is the author of two autobiographies, North Toward Home (1967) and its sequel, New York Days (1993) which gave him literary detail to his migration from Mississippi to New York City.

1996 – 2005

millard fullerMillard Fuller is the Habitat for Humanity International founder who was on campus in 1997 as the Robert and Rossanna Enlow Distinguished Lecturer. He is a lawyer, social activist, and humanitarian. The goal of Habitat, an organization staffed by volunteers, is to eliminate substandard housing wherever it exists. His campus appearance prompted the start of a USI Habitat group on campus.

Retired publisher of Arts Indiana Magazine, Ann M. Stack, was the speaker for the University’s 1997 Commencement. Stack is a long-time supporter of Historic New Harmony, the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and USI arts programs. During the ceremonies she received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in recognition of her leadership in advancing the arts in Indiana.

Advertising executive Chris Elliot was the featured speaker at a 1998 free public seminar. A senior partner of Bozell Worldwide, Inc., Ad Agency in Southfield Michigan, Elliot is best know as the creative director responsible for the Little Caesars Pizza television commercials that featured, among other things, a man on a hospital cot being pulled through the corridor, through doors and around corners by the stretchy Little Caesar's cheese. That series of ads was ranked among the ten best commercials in America for three consecutive years in Advertising Age. Elliot's other clients include AirTouch Cellular and Hush Puppies.

In April 1998 international artist Stephen Pace visited campus. Pace, who got his start in New Harmony, Indiana, has lived and worked in New York since the late 1940s, earing a reputation as an abstract expressionist and later as a figurative painter. His work is in major museums around the country and in Europe and two paintings hang in buildings at USI.

joe kernanLt. Gov. Joe Kernan (right) visited the University in April 1998 to address the Tri-State World Trade Council. He called attention to the many companies in Indiana that are engaged in international trade and their positive impact on the state’s economy.

dennis gageDr. Dennis Gage (left), a partner in Bradley David Productions, an Evansville multimedia company which produces the weekly television program, “My Classic Car,” was the featured speaker in October, 1998 for the School of Business Executive-in-Residence program. His topic was “Managing Growth in a Start-Up Company.”

michael medvedFilm critic and social commentator Michael Medved (right) delivered the Distinguished Enlow lecture at USI in October 1998. Medved’s columns on media and society have been published in hundreds of periodicals, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The Sunday Times of London, where he served as a frequent Hollywood correspondent.

Well-known local historian and radio personality Kenneth McCutchan attended the opening of the McCutchan Gallery in October of 2000.The gallery is named in his honor for donating an impressive collection of works by Indiana artists to the University.

Feminist artist, scholar, and author Judy Chicago was a 1999 visitor to campus. She created “The Dinner Party,” a monumental feminist art installation that triggered debate in the art world, in universities, in the media, and on the floor of Congress.

frank o'bannonGovernor Frank O’Bannon (right) visited campus in November of 2001 to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing. USI’s O’Bannon Hall which opened in 2001, is named after the late governor.

Chicana muralist Judith F. Baca (left) was keynote speaker April 20, 2002 for the first RISC Showcase. Baca is best known for large-scale public artworks, including The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a representation of the history of ethnic peoples of California from their origins to the 1950s.

senator richard lugarU.S. Rep. John Hostettler and Sen. Richard Lugar (right) visited campus March 8, 2002 as guests of the USI Young Republicans. The Indiana congressman and senator encouraged students to be active in the political process.

In 2003 Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard who was murdered because of his sexuality in 1998, spoke to a standing room only crowd in Carter Hall of the University Center. Introducing herself as just a mother having a talk in my living room, she spoke calmly on topics ranging from gay marriages and the Gay Pride Parade to Matthew Shephard's murder and hate crime legislation. She covered the ideals of diversity, acceptance, and above all, respect.

Former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders (right), visited campus in March of 2004 and gave a presentation on issues in health care for minority populations. Elders’ progressive stand on issues frequently stirred controversy in the 1990s.

martha teichnerVeteran CBS News correspondent Martha Teichner (left) was a campus guest in spring 2004. The Emmy-Award winning journalist shared her experiences covering the war in Bosnia, the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the Romanian Revolution, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the end of apartheid, and the Persian Gulf War.

elly ronoFormer University of Southern Indiana All-American Elly Rono ‘99 was inducted into NCAA Division II Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Friday, November 19, 2004 at the Hall of Fame Pasta Banquet. The banquet was held in conjunction with NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships hosted by USI. Rono has posted two top 10 finishes in the Boston Marathon (9th in 2003 and 10th in 2004) and was fourth overall in the 2003 New York Marathon.

Robert Corn-Revere, a law partner in the Washington D.C. firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, was the speaker for the 2004 Berger Lecture. Corn-Revere has acquired a reputation for strict adherence to the cause of free speech. He was lead counsel in Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, challenging the constitutionality of the national “do-not-call” telemarketing regulation.

nile rodgersNile Rodgers (left), a popular music composer for Sister Sledge (“We are Family”) and Diana Ross (“I’m Coming Out”) who is now the pioneering king of the video game soundtrack industry, was the keynote speaker for the 2004 RISC Showcase. In December 2003 Rodgers received the New York Heroes Awards, which honors outstanding individuals whose creative talents and accomplishments cross all music boundaries and who are integral to the vitality of the music community.

mitch danielsGovernor Mitch Daniels (right), visited campus prior to the 2004 election for a roundtable discussion with students.

Barbara Earl Thomas, a noted African American artist and writer, discussed and showed slides of her artwork in Kleymeyer Hall in January 2005. Thomas’s work may be found in prestigious corporate collections such as the Microsoft Corporation; in public collections including the Seattle Art Museum; and in private collections. In addition, she has been represented in one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States, including the landmark 1989 exhibition, “Washington to Washington: Women in Art Today,” organized for touring by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

brad ellsworthVanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth presented the Alumni-in-Residence program in March 2005. Ellsworth discussed his journey from undergraduate in the University of Southern Indiana’s Sociology Department to top law enforcement officer in the county. In 2003, he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor an Indiana governor bestows, and was president of the Indiana Sheriff’s Association. He is on the board of directors of Operation City Beautiful, Old Courthouse Society, American Heart Association, Youth First, and Youth as Resources, and volunteers with Albion Fellows Bacon Center and Arc Crisis Center.

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