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IU Northwest Neal-Marshall Alumni Club recognizes 2011 award recipients

Student and community-centered service central to awardees

IU Northwest file photo
Neal-Marshall President Sandra Hall Smith (left), Vice President Phyllis Barlow (center), and Legacy of Leadership award recipient Dharathula (Dolly) Millender, founder and CEO of the Gary Historical and Cultural Society.

The Northwest Indiana chapter of the Indiana University Northwest Neal-Marshall Alumni Club made its 2011 award presentations in April.

Among the honorees were Legacy of Leadership award recipient Dharathula (Dolly) Millender, founder and CEO of the Gary Historical and Cultural Society; Outstanding Staff Member recipient Audrea Davis, of the IU Northwest Library; Emerging Leader award recipient Terri G. Martin, executive director of the Gary Community Health Foundation; and President’s Award recipient Suzanne Green, of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

“I enjoy doing what I do,” said Martin, whose organization pursues advocacy, education and outreach on unmet health needs in Gary and Lake County. “You never know who’s watching you. I had no idea that (nominator) Don (Young) and the committee members were really watching what I was doing in the community, because I go from day to day and I just do what I do. Always do your best, put your best foot forward, and the rest will follow.”

Davis, an IU graduate, has worked for the IU Northwest Library for 20 years, and has served on numerous university committees and working groups for diversity and other issues. The Neal-Marshall group acknowledged Davis for her “behind-the-scenes” efforts and her commitment to student success.

One of Davis’s student workers described Davis as a “counselor, boss and mother figure.” Another stated that Davis would “not mince her words when you ask for her advice.”

“I am thankful to God for the opportunity to serve,” Davis said after accepting her award. “All I want to do in my life is serve, and hopefully I will continue to serve.”

Millender, who remains active in community service in her ninth decade, also spoke to the value of helping others.

“The joy of living is the joy of giving service,” she said. “I really appreciate you thinking about me.

“I feel grateful for people to say ‘thank you’ for having helped them, because you never know who you’ve helped. You never know who you have influenced. You just do what you do because you enjoy doing it.”

Green began working for IU Northwest as a student in the 1970s. Since that time, she has counseled and assisted hundreds of students in the SPEA program, in addition to providing invaluable support service for one of the largest academic divisions on campus.

Green’s SPEA colleague, Neal-Marshall Club President Sandra Hall Smith, presented Green with a clock bearing the inscription: “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

“I wanted to award you this clock because of the timeless effort that you put in advising students and encouraging them,” Smith said. “We just want you to know that we appreciate you.”

The Neal-Marshall Club of Northwest Indiana also acknowledged IU Northwest’s Class of 2011 and the graduates who will become the club’s newest members.  

The Neal-Marshall Alumni Club is named for IU alumni Marcellus Neal (B.A. 1895) and Frances Eagleston Marshall (B.A. 1919), who were the first male and female African-American graduates of Indiana University. The club was formed in the 1970s to provide African-American alumni with opportunities for networking, social interaction and service to the university.

The Neal-Marshall Alumni Club also seeks to address the needs of African-American students, faculty and staff, and to promote awareness of and appreciation for the history, traditions and legacy of African-Americans at all IU campuses. The Northwest Indiana chapter serves all IU alumni in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
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Additional Article Photos

IU Northwest file photo
Outstanding Staff award-winner Audrea Davis of the IU Northwest Library