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Friday, March 03, 2006

Honorary degrees to be awarded to local residents; largest class will graduate

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A retired bank executive and two retired Evansville educators will be recognized during the University of Southern Indiana 2006 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2006.

The USI Board of Trustees at the board meeting on March 2, 2006 approved honorary degrees for Wayne F. Henning, Mattie S. Miller, and William E. Miller. Board members also approved degrees for 1,675 degree candidates, making the Class of 2006 the largest class to graduate from USI.

Henning, an advocate for expansion of public higher education, retired this spring after 42 years with Old National. He was the executive vice president and regional chief operating officer upon retirement.

This year the Indiana legislature recognized Henning’s community service by passing a resolution in his honor describing him as “being deeply involved in the Evansville business and cultural community most of his adult life.” He is the associate co-chair of Evansville Catholic High School Campaign and serves on the Honorary Cabinet of Hands on Discovery Children’s Museum. He is past president of the Evansville Freedom Festival and has served as the associate general chairman of the United Way.

Several community organizations have recognized Henning for his impact in the community. He has received the Beacon Group Community Award, the Best of Evansville Decades of Wisdom Award, the Memorial High School Distinguished Service Award, The Multiple Sclerosis Hope Award, and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Buffalo Trace Council Boy Scouts.

He has been active with the Evansville Association of Commercial Banks, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, and Greater Evansville Lenders Association. He is a past member of the board of directors at the Evansville Association of Retarded Citizens, Roberts Stadium Foundation, and the Evansville Airport Advisory Board. He served as financial chair at Holy Rosary Church, vice chair of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce, board member of Mesker Zoo, and chair of the Southern Indiana Financial Institutions for I-69.

Henning is a graduate of St. Edward’s University and The Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

He will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Laws from USI.

William and Mattie Miller, leaders in education and Evansville civic affairs, have earned state and national recognition for their work in education. William received the Meritorious Teachers Award from the Indiana Industrial Arts Teachers Association, the Principal of the Year Award from the Indiana Middle School Association, and in 1984 he participated in an educational study tour of nine countries with the National Education Association.

William Miller is presently serving as construction chairman and board member of the African American Museum in Evansville, the first museum of its kind in Indiana, planned to open this year. He also is on the Board of Directors for Vanderburgh County Council on Aging.

He was the first African American elected to the Vanderburgh County Council. He was president of the Evansville Board of Public Safety and chair of the Evansville Police Merit Commission. He has been an active Liberty Baptist Church member for 60 plus years, and he volunteers for Liberty Mentoring and Tutoring Program for students.

Mattie Miller earned the Sagamore of the Wabash award from the state of Indiana for her service to youth in the state and was named a Lilly Endowment Leadership Education Fellow. For six years, she was with the National Education Association, elected by teachers to represent them in Washington, D.C.

Mattie was the community representative on the USI presidential search committee in 1994 and a former University of Southern Indiana Foundation Board member.

She has participated in educational study tours of schools in Paris, Brittany and Lyon, France; five countries in West Africa; and Saskatchewan, Canada. She is currently the president of the Vanderburgh County Retired Educators’ chapter, and she is an adjunct instructor of English at Ivy Tech Community College. She is active in Liberty Baptist Church and is a volunteer with students in grades 1 through 12 through the tutoring and mentoring program there. For 20 years she served as President Reagan’s appointee to the United States Selective Service Draft Appeals Board for District 43 in Evansville, where she served as chair of the board.

Both husband and wife spent their education careers in the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation. William is a former K-8 elementary school industrial arts teacher, assistant principal, elementary school principal, and retired principal of McGary Middle School. Mattie is a former English teacher, reading teacher clinician, high school guidance counselor, assistant middle school principal, and retired principal of Harper Elementary School.

William is a Kentucky native and graduate of University of Evansville, where he earned a baccalaureate degree and Master of Arts degree in Education. His administration certification is from Indiana University.

Mattie is from Tennessee and received her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee Institute, Master of Science degree in Education from Indiana University, and counseling and administration certification from University of Evansville and Indiana University.

They each will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from USI.

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