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iun medallion

2017 Medallion Recipients

John and Ann Barney
John and Ann Barney’s love of Indiana University dates back more than 50 years. It was where they first met as undergraduates, and where they both earned degrees that have led to successful careers in business and education in Northwest Indiana.

As chairman and CEO of Barney Enterprises, John oversees the management of 11 Wendy’s restaurants, serves as a co-developer for student housing developments, an imaging center and co-operates a heating company, among other pursuits.

With businesses extending across Northwest Indiana, the Barneys feel strongly about their responsibility to give back to the communities in which they operate. As a result, the Barneys’ involvement in community organizations and charitable endeavors is extensive.

A Gary native, Ann worked as an educator until the birth of their two daughters, and continued to be active in her church and various school committees, all while passing on her philanthropic spirit to Julie and Kathleen, who are also active leaders in their community endeavors.

IU Northwest is grateful to be one of the most important benefactors of the Barneys’ support. In addition to their financial support over many years, the Barneys have given their time to IU Northwest boards and committees, including formally serving on the Chancellor’s Board of Advisors.

They continually look for new ways to improve IU Northwest and its impact on students, including a new scholarship they are working to create for a specific group of underserved students. 

Dr. William and Leslie Nelson
Dr. William “Bill” Nelson, professor of finance at Indiana University Northwest, credits much of his success to his alma mater: IU Bloomington. The education he received while as an undergraduate was only made possible because of other’s generosity. With that same philanthropic spirit, Bill and his wife, Leslie, have given back to IU Northwest so that students now have the same opportunities, and learning experiences, he was once afforded.

The Nelsons have endowed three scholarships at IU Northwest, as well as made a host of other financial contributions to the campus that assist students in a variety of majors, including, but not limited to, business, nursing, theater, and education.

Ensuring classroom innovation and excellence in education, the Nelson Family Fund was also established at IU Northwest. Through this student-managed investment fund, students have the rare opportunity to invest in the stock market, producing real financial results.

Bill and Leslie also established the William and Leslie Nelson Trading Floor, an interactive and real-time trading floor within the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics, where students learn how financial markets are set up, as well as trade stocks.

Bill has taught finance at IU Northwest for more than 35 years, while also serving as the associate dean of the School of Business and Economics. Leslie is also passionate about education, having spent many years as a primary school teacher. 

BP Corporation North America, Inc.
For more than 125 years, BP’s Whiting Refinery has been an anchor for the Northwest Indiana economy. The facility first opened in 1889 as Standard Oil Company, situated on the Lake Michigan shoreline at the intersection of the pipelines and railroads that carry BP’s products throughout the Midwest.

With more than 1,600 employees at its 1,400-acre complex, BP is the largest oil refinery in the Midwest and BP’s largest refinery in the world. It remains a steadfast community partner, supporting more than 11,300 jobs as it conducts business throughout Northwest Indiana.

BP’s philanthropy runs deep throughout the entire state. Last year, BP made $3.9 million in charitable contributions in Indiana, with nearly $1.8 million made directly to Indiana University.

Having been the beneficiary of more than $110,000 of those philanthropic dollars, IU Northwest is grateful for BP’s enduring support, used primarily to support student scholarships, including a non-endowment scholarship that BP created.

However, BP’s support goes well beyond its monetary contributions. The company is committed to nurturing partnerships for the health of the entire region, with higher education as one of its highest priorities. BP demonstrates this as an active participant of many IU Northwest boards including the Chancellor’s Board of Advisors, and the Chancellor’s Commission on Community Engagement.