TERRE HAUTE —
The Indiana State University Foundation recently honored Todd and Beth Whitaker with its most prestigious award for supporters of the university.
The foundation recognized the Whitakers, ISU faculty members and avid supporters of education and athletics, with a 2012 March On! Award in the faculty, staff and emeriti category. The award, which is the foundation’s most prestigious recognition of those who have generously supported the University, was given at a celebration April 14 at the Sycamore Event Center on the Indiana State campus.
Todd Whitaker, a professor of educational leadership, administration and foundations, and Beth Whitaker, a professor of early, elementary and special education, co-chaired the university’s inaugural faculty and staff campaign. Together with their colleagues, the Whitakers helped March On! The Campaign for Indiana State secure more than $3.3 million in gifts and commitments from other faculty, staff and emeriti professors.
“I am most proud to be a Sycamore because at Indiana State you can really make a difference,” Todd Whitaker said. “Of all the things we have a chance to do in life, making a difference is probably the thing that we most care about and I feel Indiana State is the perfect place to have that opportunity.”
The couple has made a personal commitment to the university that has honored them through the naming of the Whitaker Conference Room in the Bayh College of Education at University Hall.
“Todd and Beth have been exceptional faculty members in the Bayh College,” said Brad Balch, dean of the Bayh College of Education. “Their leadership can be seen among their peers across campus and their true blue spirit has made an impact on the students and programs their philanthropy touches.”
The Whitakers’ passion for Sycamore athletics is steadfast. They have been men’s basketball season ticket holders for nearly two decades. Beth Whitaker also serves as a member of the Sycamore Athletic Foundation.
“We’re so honored that this is happening. We do what we do because it’s the right thing to do. We are so blessed,” Beth Whitaker said.
In honor of their contribution to the ISU Foundation, this year’s March On! Award honorees received a sculpture created especially for the award. Designed by Roger Berry of Clarksburg, Calif., the art, entitled “Sycamore Cycle,” was a finalist for an ISU Foundation sculpture project for Meis Plaza, located outside the Foundation office. The sculpture, made of Indiana limestone and stainless steel, is an artistic interpretation of the sycamore leaf that represents the school.
“This award represents the important role that our donors play in impacting the lives of our students and enhancing the programs and facilities at Indiana State,” said Brent Beeler, interim president of the Indiana State University Foundation. “Its design is symbolic of the significance of the March On! Campaign and the generosity of our donors.”
The Whitakers were among 21 honorees recognized this year. Other individual and corporate honorees from the Wabash Valley, listed by recognition type, include:
Book and Torch Society, Honoring Truth, for lifetime giving of $1 million or more:
• Donald and Susan Scott, Terre Haute
• Wabash Valley Community Foundation
Book and Torch Society, Honoring Inspiration, in recognition of lifetime giving of $500,000 to $999,999:
• First Financial Bank, Terre Haute
Book and Torch Society, Honoring Knowledge, in recognition of lifetime giving of $100,000 to $499,999:
• Thompson Thrift, Terre Haute
• Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Holiday Inn of Terre Haute
• Richard Jenkins Construction, Terre Haute
The 1865 Society:
• Tom and Kathleen Sauer, Terre Haute
• Michele Boyer, Terre Haute
• Bob and Julie Baesler, Terre Haute
• Brad and Tonya Balch, Terre Haute