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Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Five to receive IUís highest alumni award at Cream and Crimson Weekend June 13-15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Five Indiana University alumni have been named as recipients of the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

The award is the university's highest honor reserved solely for IU alumni and provides recognition for outstanding career achievements and significant contributions benefiting the recipient's community, state and nation or IU.

This year's recipients will be Kenneth A. Beckley and Sallie W. Rowland, both of Indianapolis; Tony A. Mobley of Bloomington, Ind.; Joseph J. Russell, Columbus, Ohio; and Desmond C. Wong, Northbrook, Ill. With the addition of these recipients, IU will have honored 294 alumni since the award's inception in 1953.

The honorees will receive the award in Bloomington during IU's annual Cream and Crimson Alumni Weekend, June 13-15. The award recognition dinner will take place on June 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. Tickets to the dinner cost $25.

Following are individual bios of each award recipient:

Kenneth A. Beckley

Since his graduation from IU in 1962, Kenneth A. Beckley has put his training in radio and television to excellent use as a reporter and anchorman, as IUPUI's first director of university relations, as executive vice president of H.H. Gregg and as president and chief executive officer of the IU Alumni Association.

For his accomplishments he has been named Indiana Advertising Person of the Year and received the American Advertising Federation's Silver Medal Award.

Throughout his career, he has been tireless in serving his community, his church, his fraternity and, above all, his alma mater. An outstanding volunteer, he has contributed to IU in myriad positive ways, among them as a member of the President's Council, volunteer head of the Alumni Association, national chair of the Foundation's annual fund, a director of the university's research and technology corporation and part of search committees for men's basketball coach, athletic director and university president.

His inclusive vision has made him a champion for all of the university's campuses and alumni. During his five years as president of the Alumni Association, he established its multimillion-dollar operating endowment and oversaw a period of tremendous growth in its programs.

Tony A. Mobley

Tony A. Mobley

Tony A. Mobley

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When he finished his master's and doctoral degrees and left IU in 1965, no one knew that Tony A. Mobley would return to Bloomington a scant 11 years later to become, at the young age of 38, the dean of the nation's oldest school of its kind, the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Nor did anyone surmise that he would lead the school for 26 years, one of the longest terms for an academic dean in the university's history. But the quality of his service distinguishes his career even more than its length. During his tenure, the school more than doubled its enrollment, increased its research productivity and visibility and grew to national and international pre-eminence.

With warmth and grace he secured eight endowed professorships and forged international exchange agreements with 17 universities around the globe. Nor was his leadership limited to his school. He has served as president of virtually every professional organization in the field of recreation, where his calm demeanor and generosity of spirit have brought about clarity and consensus on contentious issues.

He continues to offer leadership as executive director of the National Recreation Foundation, which strives to improve the quality of life through healthy lifestyles and support of youth at risk.

Sallie W. Rowland

Sallie W. Rowland

Sallie W. Rowland

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From the time of her graduation from IU in 1954, Sallie W. Rowland has been making history as a pioneer in interior design and an outstanding entrepreneur.

After honing her skills as vice president of Business Furniture Corp., she founded Rowland Design in 1968, guiding her company to outstanding success. Throughout her career she has melded artistic talent, business acumen and warm, nurturing leadership.

Ernst & Young named her its 1994 Entrepreneur of the Year and in 1995 the Kelley School of Business gave her its Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. Always passionate about historic preservation, she has been a board member of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and was the first woman to serve as president of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. Because she challenged the prevailing bulldozer mentality, several historic districts were designated and historic structures preserved.

Among other firsts, she was the first woman president of the Economic Club of Indianapolis and the first woman to chair the United Way Campaign for Central Indiana. In retirement, she continues to serve. She is a member of the Kelley School's Dean's Council, a trustee of Hanover College, a board member of the Economic Club of Indiana, and co-chairs the Urban Design Oversight Committee, which is charged with establishing urban-design guidelines for downtown Indianapolis.

Joseph J. Russell

Joseph J. Russell

Joseph J. Russell

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With a name synonymous with diversity, human rights and social justice, Joseph J. Russell has provided outstanding leadership throughout his career to stimulate people to expand their vision and work toward a common goal.

After earning his master's degree in 1968 and his doctorate in 1971 from the School of Education, he served as chairman of IU's Department of Afro-American Affairs. He helped to develop the fledgling department into a nationally recognized unit and to gain respect for a field of study previously considered outside the scholarly mainstream.

As dean of Afro-American Affairs, he created a productive campus environment for African-American faculty. In both roles, he fostered a "giving back to the community" mentality, which he embodied by chairing the city's then-new human rights commission, serving as a deacon in his church and spearheading the expansion of the B.G. Pollard Elks Lodge.

He worked behind the scenes to create at IU the African-American Studies Program, Minority Achievers Program, the Strategic Hiring Program and the African American Arts Institute -- programs duplicated at universities around the country. One of the founding members of the National Council for Black Studies, he served as its first executive director for 16 years. A consultant to minority business start-ups and educational organizations, he is known as a leader, mediator and mentor.

Desmond C. Wong

Desmond C. Wong

Desmond C. Wong

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With a depth of service that belies his years, Desmond C. Wong is combining a successful career in international business with volunteer service to his community and alma mater.

Following executive positions with major U.S. corporations, including nine years as Ernst & Young's Americas Coordinating Partner for China and its designated resident China expert, in 2006 he became president and chief executive officer of Sino Strategies Group in Chicago. In this position, he advises companies and private equity firms on the economic, financial, operational and cultural aspects of doing business in China and India.

His dedicated public service is as remarkable as his business success. Since receiving his accounting degree in 1973, Wong has served IU in numerous volunteer roles. For nearly 20 years, he has been an esteemed member of the IU Foundation board of directors.

He is a past president of the Kelley School of Business Alumni Association and the current chairman of the Kelley School's Dean's Advisory Council. A former director of the Harvard Club of Chicago and former trustee of the American Red Cross National Disaster Endowment Fund, he is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and a board member of Junior Achievement of Chicago.

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 more than 500,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA provides many programs and services to its members, nonmember alumni, and the university. For more information about IUAA and Cream and Crimson Weekend, visit http://www.alumni.indiana.edu or call 800-824-3044.