IU East students thankful for support shared during Spirit of Philanthropy

Indiana University East students welcomed community supporters to campus in appreciation of their contributions toward scholarships, internships, leadership experiences and community service opportunities. Guests were invited to the Spirit of Philanthropy Luncheon held October 22 on Lingle Court in the Student Events Center.

group photo of IU East students with Chancellor Girten and President Whitten in the Student Events Center

(Left to right) IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten, Gabby Mitchum, David Yocom, Sam Roberts, Richard McHone, Addie Brown, Vincent Narcisse, Terei Norman, Erin Bell, Lindsay Osborn and IU President Pamela Whitten gather for the Spirit of Philanthropy on October 22.

IU President Pamela Whitten was the featured speaker for the event. Just four months into her new position as president and a week away from her inauguration on November 4, Whitten attended the event to thank donors for their generosity that helps to ensure student success and a thriving campus.

“Taking care of our students is our most important mission at Indiana University,” Whitten said. “We want to ensure, of course, that they receive an excellent, affordable education. And we also want to ensure that their experience during their time at IU is exceptional.”

Whitten thanked the donors for their gifts that provide the support to students so that a college is possible.

“For 50 years, the service and support of loyal alumni and friends of IU East has allowed this campus and its students to thrive,” Whitten said. “Our regional campuses exist because of the dedicated support of alumni and friends like you. Indiana University is deeply grateful for all that you continue to do.”

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten welcomed the students and scholarship donors to the event.

“Spirit of Philanthropy is one of my favorite events because it provides an opportunity to say thank you to all of you for investing in the lives our students. And, perhaps more importantly to you…this luncheon provides an opportunity for our students to share all they have achieved during their time at IU East, even during a global pandemic,” Girten said.

Girten added because of philanthropy, students experience additional opportunities to their coursework including internships, travel experiences and engaging research while also enhancing programs available to students.

“Much of this is possible because of your investment in our students and this campus. Thank you for the important role that you play in making these opportunities possible,” Girten said.

The Spirit of Philanthropy returned to Lingle Court this year as IU East is able to host more in-person events and activities on campus. During 2020 when campus events were not possible, IU East paired student scholarship recipients with donors to meet each other virtually on Zoom to continue the Spirit of Philanthropy celebration during the COVD-19 pandemic.

President Whitten speaking at a podium

IU President Whitten addresses guests at the Spirit of Philanthropy held on October 22 on Lingle Court in the Student Events Center. Whitten thanked the donors for their role in helping to provide an excellent and exceptional educational experience.

The new tradition continued this year with a few scholarship recipients meeting with donors on Zoom.

Virtual meetings this year included: Alyssa Neal, recipient of the Anne Szopa Scholarship, with Rob and Nancy Tolley; Elizabeth Muir, recipient of the Jean and George Simpson Education Scholarship, with George Simpson; Derian Dalton and Jessica Sanders, recipients of the Byron and Elizabeth Park Scholarship, with Dr. Byron Park; Tabitha Robinson, recipient of the Jerry and Terri Logan Fine Art Scholarship, with Jerry and Terri Logan; Roz Jeter, recipient of the Glenn and Joyce Goerke Scholarship, with Joyce Goerke; and Angela Schuck, recipient of the William K. Richardson Scholarship, with Jennifer Ehlers.

During the luncheon, the student-led event featured speakers for the Showcase of Student Success. Students shared their experiences and accomplishments during the luncheon. This year’s student speakers included:

Addie Brown who also served as the luncheon emcee. She is from Oxford, Ohio. She is a senior double-major in communication studies and psychology. Brown is a member of the women’s basketball team, president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an Admissions Ambassador and she works for the Office of External Affairs and Office Communications and Marketing, and for the Communication Center. Additionally, she works with the Office of Athletics during men’s and women’s soccer games or volleyball matches.

Brown said her experiences on campus have helped to shape her into the woman she is today.

“I chose IU East because of the family environment I felt when I went on my recruitment visit. The coaches, players, and faculty members I met made me feel right at home,” Brown said. “This family environment holds true today as I have so many IU East faculty, staff, and friends who are helping me achieve my goals after I graduate.”

Vincent Narcisse smiling from behind the podium

Vincent Narcisse shares his IU East experience and appreciation to donors during the Spirit of Philanthropy. He is the 2020 Lingle Scholar.

Erin Bell is from West College Corner, Indiana. She is a senior majoring in biochemistry. She is a technician on the Student Laboratory Staff, and this semester she is the primary staff member preparing the molecular biology and genetics lab and secondary staff member preparing the general chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, and introductory biology labs. She is a member of the Xi Delta Chi chapter of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society (TriBeta), and serves as the vice president of TriBeta. Bell is also the secretary for the Pre-Professionals Club and a member of MedLife. She plans to work in a pathology lab before pursuing graduate school to become a physician’s assistant. When not in the classroom or lab, Bell is employed at Ainsley’s Cafe in Brookville, Indiana.

Bell transferred to IU East, a choice she said has provided her with a multitude of experiences from working with her peers, helping others, working as a laboratory scientist, and conducting research alongside faculty.

“When I first made my way to this beautiful campus, I was excited to experience the endless possibilities that came with being a Red Wolf. Starting at a new college as a transfer student, I was welcomed with open arms and provided with a multitude of opportunities,” Bell said. “IU East is a tight-knit community and since it is a small campus, it allows for closer connections to be formed between faculty and students.”

Richard McHone is from Waco, Kentucky. He is a senior mathematics major. He is a member of the Student Government Association, Honors Program, and is a Summer Research Scholar. This September he presented at the Mathematics Association of America on research he conducted on probability theory with Nayeong Kong, assistant professor of mathematics, a result of meeting twice a week since May. He attended the Mid-East Honors Convention. McHone is a first-generation college student.

Chancellor Girten Spirit of Philanthropy speaking from behind podium

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten shares with Spirit of Philanthropy guests all that students may experience because of philanthropy including internships, travel and engaging research.

McHone is a transfer student who has changed majors and career aspirations. After graduating high school with top honors and after his first college experience, he thought maybe college wasn’t for him and pursued other career paths, including as a successful realtor, until March 2020 when COVID-19 brought life changes. After initially transferring to IU East, and then leaving college again because of poor academic performance, he said he decided to re-apply to IU East and was accepted on academic probation. This second chance has led McHone to opportunities to virtually meet students nationally and internationally, and he significantly increased his academic performance and GPA. His accomplishments are in support of faculty, staff and donor scholarships.

“I stand before you as someone that has beat the odds as a first-generation college student and will continue to do so because of those of you in this room that make it possible,” McHone said. “Your scholarships, your dedication, and your unselfish care for those around you have made dreams come true. For that I thank you.”

Gabby Mitchum is from Brookville, Indiana. She is a criminal justice major with a minor in psychology. She is a member of the women’s soccer team. She is a recipient of the Whitewater Valley Chapter IU Alumni Association scholarship. This summer Mitchum graduated from the 48th class of the Indiana University Police Academy. This December after graduation, Mitchum will work with the IU Police Department in Bloomington.

Mitchum said she attended IU East because her mother is an alumna. Her mother passed away from cancer when Mitchum was 14 years old, and she had made a promise to her that she would play soccer in college. IU East provided her with that opportunity, earning an athletic scholarship after being a walk on her freshman year.

“I wanted to be closer to my mom but what I experienced was much more than what I could have imagined,” Mitchum said. “The community I have built and the family I have found are irreplaceable. The constant love and support from my team, the athletic department, professors, coworkers, etc. have made my time here at IU East unforgettable. The passing of my mother left a giant hole in my heart but I am overwhelmed by the large amount of people who have stepped up to fill that hole with love and light here at IU East. I came here to be closer to my mother and am proud to say that I am leaving here with a family I never expected to have gained.”

Vincent Narcisse is from Richmond, Indiana. He is a sophomore majoring in human life science with a minor in Spanish.

Narcisse has completed internships and job shadowing with a physical therapist, physical therapy assistants and chiropractors – a profession he hopes to one day pursue. He is in the Honors Program and an officer in the Honors Club. When not in class, Narcisse works for a local dealership. He is a 2020 Lingle Scholar.

“With my scholarships and grants, I was able to feel a huge and literal debt roll off of my shoulders,” Narcisse said. “However, being a full-time student only leaves so many hours a day to go out and work a job. With the Lingle Scholarship however, I can say that my stress has certainly been repressed in my overall financial well-being…I am incredibly grateful for this amazing opportunity.”

Terei Norman is from Fountain City, Indiana. She is a senior nursing major. Norman has worked as an office assistant for the Office of External Affairs and during special events including Palette to Palate, Spirit of Philanthropy, Commencement, IU East Day at the Wayne County Fair and many more. Recently, she traveled on the B.S.N. senior nursing trip to Calamityville in Xenia, Ohio, and earned multiple certifications in basic disaster life support, advanced disaster life support, Stop the Bleed, and FEMA incident command system trainings. She is a first-generation college student. She is a recipient of the Hill Scholarship and the IU East Nursing Scholarship. When not in the classroom, Norman works at Reid Health.

“I would like to thank the donors for the scholarships you have given me. I am forever grateful for the opportunities these scholarships have given me and I hope one day in the future I am able to help out another college student in their academic journey as these scholarships have helped me,” Norman said.

Lindsay Osborn is from La Porte, Indiana. She is a junior communication studies major with a minor in technical and professional writing.

She is the creative nonfiction editor for Tributaries and the 2020 Judith Roman-Royer Essay Contest winner. She works for the Office of Communications and Marketing as a copy editor. She was a virtual team member for Empowering Wayne County in 2020 which developed an advertising campaign for Women’s Workshop Richmond. Osborn earned her associate degree in general education in 2019 from Ivy Tech Community College. She transferred to IU East so that she could pursue her bachelor’s degree online, an option that meet limitations for time to commute and finances. Previously, Osborn said she felt lost and uncertain of what career path suited her strengths.

“I was just going through the motions—pursuing a degree without any direction. IU East quickly changed all of that. Each interaction I had with a faculty member was like a domino effect, providing me with new experiences and opportunities,” Osborn said. “I am so grateful for the support IU East has given me so I could make it today—because I knew I could not miss an event where I can finally thank everyone for what they have done for me. From the generosity of the philanthropists who help students like me in need, to the passion and dedication of IU East’s faculty and staff—your support matters; it can create a life-changing domino effect on a student’s life. And I thank you all so much for having that effect on me.”

Sam Roberts is from Centerville, Indiana. He is a junior business administration major with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship and a minor in sports marketing and management. Roberts is a Lingle Scholar recipient and a participant in the IU East Honors Program. He is also a member of the men’s golf team and active in several campus clubs.

Roberts, a vocalist, performed Vienna by Billy Joel.

David Yocom is from Camden, Ohio. He is a senior double-major in secondary education and mathematics. He is a first-generation college student. He is the recipient of the Hill Scholarship.

Yocom said he is thankful for the time his high school counselor took to review his academic profile and to see that he was eligible for an academic scholarship to IU East, an opportunity he did not know existed. He has interests in pursuing teaching, mathematics, biblical school and giving.

“What I am particularly thankful for is that there was an academic route for such a scholarship, as there really was no other option which would allow me to pursue any degrees of this nature,” Yocom said. “There are many things that I am passionate about…And with my limited experience, I can definitively say that if we can help someone to pursue something they are passionate about, or even to instill that passion in the first place, it will be time well spent.”

SoP crowd - 300 pix

Guests listen as Lindsay Osborn, a junior communication studies major from La Porte, Indiana, shares about her online education and IU East experience during the Spirit of Philanthropy held on Lingle Court in the Student Events Center on October 22.

For more photos from the Spirit of Philanthropy, visit IU East on Facebook.