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Ken Beckley
IU Alumni Association

Last modified: Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Five to receive IUís highest alumni award

April 26, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Five Indiana University alumni have been named as recipients of the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Service Award. The award is the 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 Frederick F. Eichhorn of Bloomington; V. Sue Shields of Noblesville; George Taliaferro of Bloomington; Ronald J. Webb of Niceville, Fla.; and James E. Weigand of Bloomington. With the addition of these recipients, IU has honored 284 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 16-18. The award recognition dinner will take place on June 17 at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

Following are individual bios for each award recipient:

Frederick F. Eichhorn

Fred Eichhorn received his bachelor's degree in business in 1952 and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. After earning his law degree from the IU School of Law-Bloomington in 1957, he joined his father's law firm in Gary and became a partner in 1963. He served on the boards of numerous civic organizations in northwest Indiana. He served as president of the Indiana State Bar Association, received the Chancellor's Medallion from IU Northwest and is a member of the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows. Eichhorn served as a member of the IU Board of Trustees for 15 years and was president from 2002 to 2005.

V. Sue Shields

Sue Shields earned a law degree from the IU School of Law-Bloomington in 1961. She was the first woman to be elected judge of a general jurisdiction trial court in Indiana, the first female judge in the Indiana Court of Appeals and the first female U.S. magistrate judge in Indiana. She also has been inducted into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, the highest honor the IU School of Law bestows upon its graduates. Shields received two lifetime achievement awards from the Indianapolis Bar Association.

George Taliaferro

As the leading rusher, George Taliaferro helped lead the 1945 IU football team to the only undefeated Big Ten championship in IU football history. He was the first African American player to be drafted by the National Football League. Taliaferro earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from IU in 1951. He later served as dean of students at Morgan State University, and as special assistant to the IU president, the IUPUI chancellor and the dean of the School of Social Work. He has had a distinctive career in the field of social work, has fought to overcome discrimination against minorities, and was a founder of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club.


George Taliaferro

Print-Quality Photo

Ronald J. Webb

Ronald Webb received an education degree from IU in 1960. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and was held as a prisoner of war in Hanoi for nearly six years after a mid-air collision led to his capture. After his release, he continued to serve in the Air Force and earned two Silver Stars before retiring as a colonel in 1985. President Ronald Reagan appointed him a special assistant to the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and President George H.W. Bush appointed him FAA aviation assistant to the Secretary of Transportation.

James E. Weigand

James Weigand has been an outstanding ambassador for education. He earned his doctorate from the IU School of Education in 1964 and worked to develop its Department of Science and Environmental Education. He served as special assistant to the IU president for 10 years. In 1979, he was appointed dean of the School of Continuing Studies and helped to establish numerous international programs in the school. Since his retirement, he has served as special assistant to the president of the IU Foundation.

As one of the nation's largest alumni organizations, serving more than 481,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA is also a connection between alumni and the university. The association is a dues membership organization but provides many programs and services to the general university community. For information, visit or call 800-824-3044.