IUS honors Judy O’Bannon
Two ‘dedicated community leaders,’ including one with strong ties to Harrison County, received the Chancellor’s Medallion from Indiana University Southeast.
IUS Chancellor Sandra R. Patterson-Randles made the presentations Saturday night to former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon of Corydon and retired banker Jerrol Miles of New Albany. The program was held at Huber’s Plantation Hall in Starlight.
Pam Bennett Martin of New Salisbury and Julie Phillips of Boonville spoke about O’Bannon, while Miles’ three grown children, daughters Stacy and Melissa and son Chris, talked about growing up under their father’s influence.
‘Judy’s enthusiasm has inspired others,’ said Martin, as she described O’Bannon’s early leadership in the ‘orydon Main Street program, the ‘governor’s gardening buddies,’ and organizing family orphanages in places like Moldova in Eastern Europe.
In closing, Martin said, ‘Judy, you may no longer be Indiana’s First Lady, but you’ll always be our first lady. Thank you for what you do for us and for the world.’
Phillips, wife of former State Sen. Mike Phillips, said she met Judy O’Bannon in 1971, as both women ‘tried to balance life in Indianapolis and support families.’ She said O’Bannon co-founded Partners in Politics and also helped with ‘many events for the disabled and those with special needs.’
O’Bannon, now director of external affairs for Peace House in Indianapolis and a strong advocate for preserving historic landmarks and structures throughout Indiana, said Indiana University Southeast, on Grant Line Road in New Albany, ‘isn’t the same place as when you started.
‘I have seen the difference you’ve made in lives,’ she said, commenting that the library, which recently had a major renovation, ‘is not just a place where you keep things with writings on them,’ but has evolved into a ‘lifelong learning’ facility with computers and tapes.
‘Thank you for bringing that to our home place on the Ohio River,’ she said.
O’Bannon’s other involvements include the Indiana State Museum, Indiana Arts Commission, Silvercrest Children’s Development Center in New Albany, and Old Centrum Foundation in Indianapolis.
O’Bannon also said she was proud to be sharing the evening with the Miles family.
Miles, an Indiana University alumnus, retired in 2003 as senior vice president and manager of the special credits department at National City bank, where he spent 33 years. His community work includes the Southern Indiana 2020 Steering Committee, Floyd Memorial Hospital Foundation, Indiana School Board Association, New Albany-Floyd County School Corp., and Gov. Robert Orr’s Task Force on Mental Health and his Personnel Advisory Committee.
The former banker recalled standing on the abandoned farmland where IUS is now located.
‘Although Judy and I are being honored as medallion recipients, the real purpose tonight is to raise money for scholarships … ‘ Miles said.
Two Chancellor’s Medallion Leadership Scholarships were presented to non-traditional IUS students Jan M. McDowell of Loogootee and Ben Wilmes of Louisville.
‘You have heard from two people tonight who have made all of us a part of their family,’ said WDRB-TV Fox 41 newsman Barry Bernson, the master of ceremonies for the event.
The Chancellor’s Medallion Alumni Silent Auction, with bidding taking place before and during dinner, raised a record $19,688. Last year’s total was $18,000, doubling the 2003 amount of $9,000. Donated items ranged from Heine Brothers Coffee, an REMC umbrella and Schimpff’s Confectionary, all valued at $10, to a two-night stay at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, valued at $3,200.