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Last modified: Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Beckley to retire as head of IU Alumni Association Jan. 31

Jan. 24, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University Alumni Association President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Beckley will retire from the organization on Jan. 31 after five years of service.

Beckley became president of the IU Alumni Association on Feb. 1, 2002, after an extensive search by then-IU President Myles Brand and a unanimous recommendation by the search committee.

As president and CEO, Beckley oversaw a period of tremendous growth in the IUAA's programs and services. Task forces of staff and alumni volunteers studied virtually every area of the IUAA's operation and made recommendations for enhancement. The IUAA has already acted on dozens of the recommendations with more actions to come.

Achievements during Beckley's tenure include unprecedented increases in alumni membership, the enhancement of the association's information technology capabilities, the establishment of student alumni associations on all IU campuses where they did not previously exist, and innovative changes to the alumni chapters program. During Beckley's presidency, IUAA events and publications received seven awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District V, which includes all of the Big Ten member institutions.

Beckley also oversaw major initiatives in the area of finances, including the sale of Shawnee Bluffs, a property that had been an IUAA family camp in the 1980s and 1990s, and turning over management and financial responsibility for Camp Brosius to the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Perhaps most significantly Beckley obtained special permission from Brand for a one-time fundraising campaign to establish the Jerry F. Tardy Operating Endowment. Named in honor of Beckley's predecessor, who died in office in 2001, the endowment provides a stable source of operating revenue for the IUAA. The two-year campaign raised more than $8 million in gifts and pledges to support the association's programs and services, and the endowment now has approximately $9 million in investments and pledges.

In addition to his work with the Alumni Association, Beckley served on the search committee for a new IU president in 2003 and chaired the search for a new IU Bloomington athletics director the following year.

"No five-year period of my professional life has been more rewarding to me," Beckley said. "The IUAA is strong because of the hard work and efforts of dedicated staff, alumni volunteers and university partners. I will miss them very much."

Beckley, a Lynnville, Ind., native, earned a bachelor's degree from IU in 1962. He spent 14 years as a television journalist, including nine years as anchor at WRTV in Indianapolis. In 1977 he became the first director of university relations at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He later had a career at H.H. Gregg Appliances & Electronics, retiring as executive vice president of that company in December 2001.

He came out of retirement in 2002 to head the IUAA. Beckley had previously served IU as a volunteer for more than 30 years, including four years on the IUAA's national board of managers and one year as chairman of the board. Beckley's wife, Audrey (Hofelich), also has volunteered extensively for IU and has been a strong partner during Beckley's presidency.

A 13-member search committee headed by Judith G. Palmer, IU vice president and chief financial officer, is seeking Beckley's successor and will submit recommendations to IU President Adam W. Herbert.

"We are extremely grateful to Ken Beckley for the vision and dedication he has brought to his role as president of the Indiana University Alumni Association," Herbert said when he appointed the search committee in August. "Ken has compiled an extraordinary record of accomplishment in the five years he has served in this key position. IU has always enjoyed strong support and a remarkable level of loyalty from its alumni, but Ken found many ways to strengthen those ties. His service has set the bar high for his successor."

Beckley was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on Dec. 8 for distinguished service to the state of Indiana. The award was presented by IU President Herbert on the governor's behalf. Also, Beckley was recently named the 2006 recipient of the William S. Armstrong Ambassador Award, given by the IU Foundation. The award recognizes those within the university community who extend the influence of IU to a broader audience. He is a 1998 recipient of the IUAA President's Award, the highest honor bestowed by the IU Alumni Association. At its biannual meeting on Dec. 9, 2006, the IUAA Executive Council passed a resolution recognizing Beckley's service and designating Jan. 31, 2007, as "Ken and Audrey Beckley Day."

More information on Beckley's retirement is available at

The IU Alumni Association is dedicated to serving the university and its diverse alumni, students and friends. As one of the nation's largest alumni organizations, serving nearly 490,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA provides many programs and services to its members, non-member alumni and the university. For information, visit or call (800) 824-3044.