The Suzanne A. Nicholson Leadership Award honors those who have exercised strong leadership roles in fulfilling the Foundation's mission in support of the University of Southern Indiana, and all who embody the late Susie Nicholson's dedication and spirit in meeting the needs of the University. The 2019 recipient who fulfills that criteria is Neal Franklin.
Neal continues to lead by example at USI and her interest in students is genuine. Neal and her husband, Jef, can be seen attending student theatrical productions, athletic games, and admiring student artwork at various exhibitions on campus. In addition to interacting with students, the Franklins choose to support them through generous charitable gifts. From the arts to athletics, their engagement and support of USI is all encompassing.
Neal has been a part of many University milestones, most recently the inauguration of President Rochon, serving as a delegate from Vassar College in the inauguration ceremony. From Vassar to Evansville, with a few stops in between, Neal and Jef have made Evansville home. The Franklins are involved in several community organizations and USI is fortunate to be among them. Joining the USI Foundation Board of Directors six years ago, Neal's service is invaluable. Her contributions of time, insights, and continuing to go out of her way in advocacy for the University is commendable.
Through involvement, example, and personal generosity, Neal Franklin exemplifies the very best qualities of leadership and reflect the ideals of the University.