Indiana University

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2007

Five to receive IU’s highest alumni award

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May 31, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Five Indiana University alumni have been named as recipients of the 2007 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 Kathryn Ryan Booth, of Harrison, N.Y.; Jesse H. Cox, of Carmel, Ind.; Francois Delachaux, of Hunawihr, France; Richard L. Johnson Sr., of Columbus, Ind.; and Viola J. Taliaferro, of Bloomington, Ind. With the addition of these recipients, IU will have honored 289 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 15-17. The award recognition dinner will take place on June 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

Following are individual bios of each award recipient:

Kathryn Ryan Booth

Booth has enjoyed a successful career on Wall Street since earning her fine arts degree from IU in 1972. As a senior managing director and director of global equity research at Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., she has broadened her department's product line to include Latin America, Asia and Europe and has used 21st-century technology to make research a driving force for all areas of her investment banking, securities trading and brokerage firm.

A strong advocate for women, Booth was honored by the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women with its 2006 Women of Power and Influence award. She is a member of the Financial Women's Association and was tapped by Bear Stearns to launch its Equities and Legal Women's Network.

Booth has served IU as a member of the IU Foundation board of directors and the dean's advisory board of the College of Arts and Sciences. She also is active with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the Central Park Conservancy and Women in Need. Booth and her husband, Russell, live in Harrison, N.Y.

Jesse H. Cox

At the age of six, Cox began working on family farms and in family businesses. He put himself through IU by creating a mimeograph enterprise and a transportation service between Bloomington and Indianapolis. After earning a business degree from IU in 1944, he founded his own business, J.H. Cox Manufacturing.

He later purchased a bankrupt company and created Aero Drapery, which grew over several decades to become a thriving Indianapolis firm with 920 employees. He farmed nearly 1,500 acres in Boone, Hamilton and Putnam counties and managed commercial real estate and agricultural investments.

In 1999, Cox and his late wife, Beulah, donated 126 acres and three homes to the Hamilton County Parks Department to create the Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, Ind. Cox's generosity established the Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox Scholars program, which provides scholarships for working students on IU's Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, and the pavilion in the Arboretum at IU Bloomington also bears the Coxes' name. Cox was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon in 2002. He resides in Carmel, Ind.

Francois Delachaux

Delachaux received a master's degree in business administration from IU in 1963 and is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur. He became president and chairman of the board of his family's century-old business, Delachaux S.A., in 1977 and led it to worldwide prominence through acquisitions and expanded operations.

The firm now has more than 2,000 employees and operates in 45 countries, with more than 80 percent of its sales coming from outside of France. It manufactures and markets products and systems for railways, urban transit, the aeronautical and automobile industries, and for the transfer and control of electric power and electronic data.

Delachaux holds directorships in 20 businesses, corporations and financial institutions on three continents. A devoted ambassador for IU, he has served as the Richard N. Farmer Executive in Residence at the Kelley School of Business and is a longtime member of the business school's Dean's Advisory Council and the Academy of Alumni Fellows. He has been honored by the president of France with the nation's highest order, the Légion d'Honneur. Delachaux and his wife, Dominique Le Sourd-Delachaux, live in Hunawihr, France.

Richard L. Johnson Sr.

With firm roots in Indiana, Johnson has used his entrepreneurial skill to strengthen his community and his university. Johnson received his business degree from IU in 1955 and served for two years in the U.S. Army. In 1957 he started his own company to distribute petroleum in the Columbus, Ind., area, with the company becoming one of the largest independent gasoline distributors in the country.

He has served as a director of the Indiana Limestone Co., AuthorHouse and Salin Bank, and he is now chairman of the board of Johnson Ventures. The Johnson family established an entrepreneurship endowment for the IU Kelley School of Business that led to the creation of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a national leader in entrepreneurship research and education.

The Johnsons also are longtime supporters of the IU Press and funded the paintings for the classic publication Birds of Indiana. Johnson is a life director of the IU Foundation and a member of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. He has been honored nationally as the Ernst & Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year and has received the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award from the Kelley School of Business Alumni Association. Johnson and his wife, Ruth, live in Columbus, Ind.

Viola J. Taliaferro

A passionate advocate and a wise and resolute judge, Taliaferro has devoted her life to strengthening families and protecting children. After earning a degree at Virginia State College, she began her career as a social worker and teacher, furthering her education at Morgan State College and Johns Hopkins University.

She earned her law degree from the IU School of Law-Bloomington in 1977 and established a private law practice. In her role first as magistrate and then as judge of the Monroe County Circuit Court, Taliaferro established a national reputation as an advocate for children. She served as a juvenile justice consultant to former Attorney General Janet Reno and as a member of the National Research Council on Juvenile Crime.

Her commitment to the most vulnerable participants in the legal system has earned her the respect and recognition of her peers. She was elected to the American Law Institute, and named Judge of the Year by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The Indiana State Bar Association presents the Viola J. Taliaferro Award annually to an individual or group for extraordinary efforts on behalf of children, and her law school inducted her into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows. The Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women and the Monroe County Commissioners named her Woman of the Year. Taliaferro and her husband, George, reside in Bloomington, Ind.

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