IU East to award honorary degree to Paul Lingle

Indiana University East will award an Indiana University honorary degree to Paul W. Lingle during its Commencement Ceremony next month.  The honorary degree will recognize Lingle’s exceptional leadership and service to the campus and greater community.

Indiana University will confer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Lingle during the IU East Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 11, at the Richmond High School Tiernan Center.

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will confer five honorary degrees during the upcoming university-wide commencement season, which runs this year from May 4-13.

The honorary degree, the highest academic recognition Indiana University can bestow, is awarded to individuals who demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity and sincere concern for the public good. In addition, candidates for the honorary degree generally have significant ties to the state of Indiana or to Indiana University. Through this high honor, IU seeks to honor individuals who may serve as role models for students, faculty, alumni and the people of the state of Indiana.

“Paul Lingle has devoted a lifetime of service to our community,” said Chancellor Nasser Paydar.  “Paul is one of eastern Indiana’s most distinguished business and civic leaders, and he has been unwavering in his dedication to IU East and the Richmond area.  I have always admired his optimism and determination as marks of his leadership style.”

Lingle is president of Lingle Real Estate and member of the IU East Board of Advisors.  Established in 1971, IU East has transformed into a baccalaureate and graduate institution with nearly 4,000 students, and Lingle has advised the campus and its administration at each phase of development.

In 2005-2006, Paul was a committee member for the IU East Campaign for Community, helping the university to raise money for the arts, nursing and science laboratories, and scholarships. He was also the co-chair for the IU East Campaign for Indiana in 1990 which raised funds for the construction of Hayes Hall.

In order to keep the brightest and best students in Wayne County, Paul and his wife, Pat, established the Lingle Scholars Program, offered to incoming freshmen enrolled in the IU East Honors Program, an academic program that provides an intellectually enriched curriculum for highly-motivated students. Recipients receive a four-year scholarship, provided by the Lingles. The scholarship has been offered since 2005.

“As the longest-serving member of the Board of Advisors and as a trusted friend, Paul has been the closest community advisor to all of the chancellors of IU East,” said Chancellor Emeritus David Fulton.  “I believe that all of them sought out and received his counsel and support on most if not all of their major initiatives, including several capital campaigns in which he has stepped forward as both a major donor and solicitor.”

With a focus on improving the quality of life for area residents, Lingle has been a leading voice in the areas of economic development, healthcare, and higher education.  His current and past board directorships include Reid Hospital & Health Care Service, Reid Foundation, Small Business Development Center, Economic Growth Group, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Wayne County, Richmond Family YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, and Richmond Symphony Orchestra.

“He is a great example of leadership, good citizenship, community service, and positive attitude,” said Richmond Mayor Sally Hutton.

Lingle’s community service and leadership have been recognized through several awards, including the Wayne County Vision Award, NAACP Community Service Award, Community Service Award from the City of Richmond, IU East Chancellor’s Medallion for Distinguished Service Award, and Junior Achievement of Eastern Indiana Business Hall of Fame Award.

Other honors include the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Indiana Association of Realtors, Outstanding Community Leadership Award from Leadership Wayne County, and Citizen of Year for Wayne County from the Chamber of Commerce.

Lingle earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Wittenberg University and a Master of Science in Industrial Relations from West Virginia University.