On November 5, 2021, Indiana State University hosted the inaugural President’s Dinner. This special event honored the University’s Distinguished Alumni for their significant achievements professionally and within their communities, locally and globally. The evening also celebrated philanthropy to the institution by honoring donors for their generosity and dedication to the advancement of the culture of giving at Indiana State.
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Michael “Mike” Alkire, ’85
Alkire grew up in Akron, Ohio, and was a two-time All-American swimmer before attending Indiana State. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in computer science. Alkire now serves as President & CEO of Premier Inc., a technology-driven healthcare improvement company uniting an alliance of more than 4,400 hospitals and health systems and approximately 225,000 other providers and organizations.
Since joining Premier, he has taken the company public and created more than $4 billion in value for member health systems across the country. Alkire is a thought leader in the healthcare industry, and led Premier’s efforts to address a nationwide drug shortage, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives regarding Premier research on shortages and gray market price gouging. More recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he led his company to use domestic suppliers and global sourcing to bring 226 million masks and respirators, 106 million gowns, and 750 million exam gloves to U.S. providers in a time of need.
Alkire currently serves on Premier Inc.’s Board of Directors as well as the board of the Alliance for Healthcare Policy, and participates on the Healthcare Leadership Council. He is also host of the InsideOut podcast, sharing compelling stories of innovation across America’s healthcare system. He was named one of the Top 25 chief operating officers in healthcare for 2018 by Modern Healthcare. Alkire and his family reside in Dallas, Texas.
Paul Chaney, ’88, and Susan Chaney, ’92
The Chaneys are both first-generation college graduates. Both were active in Greek life at ISU — Paul as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Susan as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Paul Chaney attended ISU because it has an excellent ROTC program. He served on Active Duty, in the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard from 1983-2009. He retired as a lieutenant colonel with two Bronze Star medals and having served in Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. Paul Chaney has also worked over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He is currently an Executive District Sales Manager for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, overseeing a team of 10 sales professionals in the cardiovascular area.
Susan Chaney, originally from Indianapolis, attended ISU "because it was a smaller university that offered my major" and "was close to home so I could go back home frequently to visit my family." She graduated with a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising. She is owner of Pinky's Classy Creations LLC, an online retail store specializing in personalized custom gifts for special occasions.
The couple is active in community service. Paul Chaney has mentored youth through his fraternity’s Guide Right Program; coached AAU track; and served as a Big Brother for more than five years. Paul Chaney currently serves on the ISU Foundation board. Susan Chaney mentors college women in her sorority. In Alabama, the Chaneys are members of the Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. The couple resides in Madison, Alabama.
Richard “Rich” Porter, ’77
Porter, from Hammond, Indiana, graduated with a degree in business management while also competing for ISU's track and field team as a hurdler.
Porter’s 40-year career includes positions at Kimball International, Rockwell International, and Ingersoll International. For the past 15 years, he has been a partner in a private equity group. He has built a platform of manufacturing companies in Ohio and New Hampshire.
The Porters have a history of giving to ISU. In 2015, Rich played an instrumental role in the donation of $500,000 in software to the College of Technology from Hurco Companies, where he serves on the board of directors. Porter and his wife, Robin, recently donated $250,000 to create the Rich & Robin Porter Cancer Research Center. The donation will support five research fellows.
Porter currently serves on the ISU Foundation Board as Chair. He also serves on the boards of the James Cancer Hospital (Ohio State University) Foundation and the French Oil Company. The Porters reside in Troy, Ohio, and Hilton Head, S.C.
March On Philanthropy Award Recipients
Sandy Senior Dauer and Keith Dauer
An eagerness to share their love of exploration led ISU alumna Sandy Senior-Dauer and her husband, Keith Dauer to establish an endowed scholarship at Indiana State. Their $250,000 gift created the Sandy Senior-Dauer and Keith Dauer Department of History Study-Abroad Scholars to support students and faculty in the Department of History. The endowment will provide support for both academic and cultural learning experiences through travel.
Susan and Norman Abazoris
Sue and Norman Abazoris made a $300,000 gift to Indiana State to create the Susan Dauberman Abazoris Scholarship in the Bayh College of Education. The endowed scholarship is the first to support students pursuing a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. Sue Abazoris earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Bayh College of Education and worked in the public school system as an elementary teacher and high school counselor.
Jerry and Jan Cockrell
Jerry and Jan Cockrell have been loyal donors to Indiana State, supporting the University for more than 30 years. Dr. Jerry Cockrell retired as a Professor of Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology from ISU in 2012. Jan Cockrell earned her bachelor's degree in recreation from ISU in 1975. She retired from Terre Haute-based Westminster Village Life Plan Community in June 2021 after 40 years of service. She serves as an active member of the ISU Advisory Council for the College of Health and Human Services. The couple has created two endowed scholarships supporting students in the College of Health and Human Services and College of Technology.
Magnet Forensics is a global leader in development of digital investigation software that acquires, analyzes and shares evidence from computers, mobile devices, the cloud, and more. The company’s tools are used by over 4,000 agencies in 93 countries, helping to fight crime, protect assets and guard national security. Their $1 million software gift provides students and faculty in our cybercriminology program with access to the company’s XIOM Cyber software and training.
John P. Newton Spirit of ISU Award Recipient
Sycamore Alumni Legacy of Change Endowment (SALCE) Group
The SALCE Group formed with the purpose to support students further their education while building a culture of philanthropy and engagement among black alumni. Their vision, dedication, and philanthropic commitment led to the creation of an endowed scholarship to support students striving to be a catalyst for change in their communities.
Student Philanthropy Award
The ISU Honors Council
The first annual student philanthropy award will be presented at The President's Dinner. Through the vision of the Student Philanthropy Group the award recognizes Indiana State students for their dedication and significant contributions to enhance the University’s culture of philanthropy. The Indiana State University Honors Council was selected by the Student Philanthropy for the 2021 Student Philanthropy Award for their commitment to promoting a culture of philanthropy among their fellow students. They have championed student giving by hosting events and activities for their peers, including for Give to Blue Day. They have produced creative videos to energize students while spotlighting the importance of philanthropy at Indiana State.