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IU Northwest News

IU Northwest kicks off 2014 Homecoming with alumni awards


Volunteer Sandy Becker, student Jessica Palfi recognized for their contributions to IU Northwest

Friday Oct 31, 2014


A University’s Homecoming is a time for connecting old and new friends. For expressing gratitude. For showing pride. This time-honored tradition has taken root at Indiana University Northwest and seems to grow more momentous with each passing celebration.

In the spirit of Homecoming, the Indiana University Northwest Office of Alumni Relations and the IU Northwest Alumni Association (IUNAA) thanked two of its most treasured supporters on October 31 with a recognition breakfast as part of the 2014 Homecoming celebration.

As Chancellor William J. Lowe said in his welcome address to the attendees, “Today, our campus is the vibrant, enriching and modern institution it is, because of your continuous support and commitment. The giving of your time, talent and treasure has been, and will continue to be instrumental in advancing IU Northwest and, in particular, supporting our greatest asset, our students.”

Mary Goolik, President of the IUNAA and a faculty member in the School of Nursing for the past 14 years, welcomed friends of IU Northwest and expressed her appreciation for all those who have given back to the campus. She explained that the IUNAA felt strongly about recognizing those who have demonstrated a philanthropic spirit.

“Through a call for nominations sent to the campus and community,” she said, “the Committee was delighted by the response received. It was a true testament that IU Northwest is blessed with great students, alumni and friends. I am honored to have the opportunity today to recognize two individuals who, in all that they do, help to strengthen the IU Northwest campus through their enduring commitment to our students, and their downright school spirit.”

Sandy Becker of Portage proudly accepted the IU Northwest Volunteer Service Award, established to recognize an individual who through fundraising, recruiting, advocacy or faithful service has brought honor and distinction to IU Northwest.

Becker has been committed to IU Northwest for more than 20 years. A successful local business owner, Becker volunteers her time at events like the IU Northwest Golf Outing and the Chancellor’s Medallion Celebration and serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Commission on Community Engagement.

Jessica Palfi of Crown Point accepted the IU Northwest Student Spirit Award, established to recognize a current student who through exceptional service, leadership and school spirit has also brought honor and distinction to our campus.

Palfi graduates in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. A leader who is passionate about all things RedHawks, Palfi is an extremely active student serving as a member of the Student Alumni Association, Student Ambassadors, Student Activities Board, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Student Government Association.

Jeri Pat Gabbert, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement and External Affairs, told the group about the transformative effect both Becker and Palfi have made on the Northwest campus.

“I know both of them well,” Gabbert said, “and can personally attest that they have been instrumental in assisting me and my Advancement colleagues as we work toward achieving our academic mission through active engagement and philanthropic giving. The time, talent and treasure they have given back to our campus is worthy of recognition.”

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