1940
Dolly Millender, ’41, Naomi Millender, ’67

Growing up the youngest of eight children, Dolly (Hood) Millender, ’41, remembers her parents’ constant preaching of the importance of education. The daughter of an entrepreneur father and civil rights activist mother, Millender came to Indiana State University with aspirations of becoming a librarian.

To the Hood family, going to college was an expectation. Their Sycamore dendrochronology-ish legacy began in the early 1900s. Their inspiring tale of a three-generation Indiana State family that spans all four institutional name changes earned the Hoods the 2014 Legacy Award. This award, presented by the Indiana State Alumni Association, recognizes multi-generational Indiana State families.

The Hood family heritage began with Millender’s aunts, Jessie Hood and Josephine Hood. The first women in their family to attend Indiana State Normal School, the sisters were only two of a few dozen African-American students at the institution during this time. Undeterred, they earned education degrees in pursuit of teaching careers.

Inspired by their aunts’ accomplishments and parents’ persistence, the second generation of the Hood family began their Indiana State Teachers College journey. Ruth (Hood) Battle, ’32, was the first in the family to attend the institution. A talented pianist, she won a contest and earned a $1,000 scholarship that covered all four years of tuition at the institution. She went on to a 35-year career as an English teacher at Gary Roosevelt High School in Gary, Ind. In her retirement, Ruth served as the president of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association.

Orestes Hood, ’37, was the first and only brother of the Hood family to earn an Indiana State degree. As a student, he was responsible for desegregating the university’s dining facility by orchestrating a “one-man sit-in” in the lunch room. The progressive event was successful and granted African-American students access to the same dining facility as white students.

Millender, who was attending Indiana State at the same time as Orestes, clearly remembers this day.

“I was too scared to sit down for lunch, but my brother — he didn’t care. He wanted to say that he sat down at lunch,” Millender said.

After graduating, Orestes became a well-known psychologist in California.

Like Ruth, Gladys (Hood) Johnson, ’42, attended Indiana State and earned her degree in education. Gladys served as the first African-American female principal in the Gary, Ind., school district.

Millender was the last of her eight siblings to attend Indiana State. She studied English, music appreciation and library science was involved with the student council. After graduating, she became a librarian and worked at several school libraries, as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition, Millender authored five children’s books, including biographies of Crispus Attucks, Louis Armstrong and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Millender’s daughter, Naomi Millender, ’67, followed in her footsteps by becoming a third generation Hood family member to attend Indiana State. As a Sycamore, Naomi was active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was one of four students who helped to start the Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter at Indiana State. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV/Film, Naomi went on to become a successful educational consultant and later the director of the Follow Through Educational Projects.

“Indiana State was a fabulous education institution in those days, and that’s the reason it’s that way now – because it started that way,” Millender said.


1950
Dale McKee, ’57, and Family

The McKee family was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Legacy Award presented by the Indiana State University Alumni Association. Family members who were honored and are alumni of Indiana State include Clyde McKee, ’31, Dale McKee, ’57, GR ’60, Craig McKee, ’YR, Diane McKee, ’83, GR ’93, Beth McKee, ’83, and Chris McKee, ’87. Dale’s wife, Nancy, was also honored, as she is a prominent nursing faculty member at Indiana State.


1960
Dolly Millender, ’41, Naomi Millender, ’67

Growing up the youngest of eight children, Dolly (Hood) Millender, ’41, remembers her parents’ constant preaching of the importance of education. The daughter of an entrepreneur father and civil rights activist mother, Millender came to Indiana State University with aspirations of becoming a librarian.

To the Hood family, going to college was an expectation. Their Sycamore dendrochronology-ish legacy began in the early 1900s. Their inspiring tale of a three-generation Indiana State family that spans all four institutional name changes earned the Hoods the 2014 Legacy Award. This award, presented by the Indiana State Alumni Association, recognizes multi-generational Indiana State families.

The Hood family heritage began with Millender’s aunts, Jessie Hood and Josephine Hood. The first women in their family to attend Indiana State Normal School, the sisters were only two of a few dozen African-American students at the institution during this time. Undeterred, they earned education degrees in pursuit of teaching careers.

Inspired by their aunts’ accomplishments and parents’ persistence, the second generation of the Hood family began their Indiana State Teachers College journey. Ruth (Hood) Battle, ’32, was the first in the family to attend the institution. A talented pianist, she won a contest and earned a $1,000 scholarship that covered all four years of tuition at the institution. She went on to a 35-year career as an English teacher at Gary Roosevelt High School in Gary, Ind. In her retirement, Ruth served as the president of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association.

Orestes Hood, ’37, was the first and only brother of the Hood family to earn an Indiana State degree. As a student, he was responsible for desegregating the university’s dining facility by orchestrating a “one-man sit-in” in the lunch room. The progressive event was successful and granted African-American students access to the same dining facility as white students.

Millender, who was attending Indiana State at the same time as Orestes, clearly remembers this day.

“I was too scared to sit down for lunch, but my brother — he didn’t care. He wanted to say that he sat down at lunch,” Millender said.

After graduating, Orestes became a well-known psychologist in California.

Like Ruth, Gladys (Hood) Johnson, ’42, attended Indiana State and earned her degree in education. Gladys served as the first African-American female principal in the Gary, Ind., school district.

Millender was the last of her eight siblings to attend Indiana State. She studied English, music appreciation and library science was involved with the student council. After graduating, she became a librarian and worked at several school libraries, as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition, Millender authored five children’s books, including biographies of Crispus Attucks, Louis Armstrong and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Millender’s daughter, Naomi Millender, ’67, followed in her footsteps by becoming a third generation Hood family member to attend Indiana State. As a Sycamore, Naomi was active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was one of four students who helped to start the Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter at Indiana State. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV/Film, Naomi went on to become a successful educational consultant and later the director of the Follow Through Educational Projects.

“Indiana State was a fabulous education institution in those days, and that’s the reason it’s that way now – because it started that way,” Millender said.

Connie Hamilton, ’65, GR ’67

Hamilton was honored by Duneland Schools as she retired from her 41-year teaching career.


1970s
Bill Lansaw, ’73

Lansaw was named vice president for transportation of LeSaint Logistics, a nationally recognized provider of warehousing, inventory control, transportation management and technology solutions, in Chicago.

Dave Kiley, ’73

Kiley retired from Cloverdale High School.

Tim Roth, ’76

Roth was inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame by the National Football Foundation and the Indiana Football Coaches Association. Roth holds the record of all-time football wins at Winamac and was the head coach in the North-South All-Star Football game last year.

 


1980
Quintin Mikell, ’84

When Quintin Mikell first visited Indiana State as a prospective student in 1979, he had never flown in an airplane and had never seen snow. The New Orleans teen landed at Indianapolis airport in a major snowstorm.

“The weather was so bad that I had to spend the night at an athlete’s home in Indianapolis. I couldn’t make it to Terre Haute,” Mikell recalled.

Despite his wintry welcome, Mikell, ’84, decided to attend Indiana State on an athletic scholarship and has never regretted it.

“I had a great experience at ISU,” he said. “I had come from an inner-city high school in New Orleans. The students and faculty at Indiana State are very diverse, and they made me feel welcome.”

A key person who was “very instrumental in all facets of my life” was head football coach Dennis Raetz, along with technology professor Dr. Clarence Fauber. As is his nature, Mikell is very modest about his days as a Sycamore.

Not only was he on the football team his entire college career, but also he was team captain for multiple years as well an All-American honorable mention and assistant football coach while he was pursuing his master’s degree. Mikell still holds two all-time records in football at his alma mater.

But what he is most proud of is his wife Donna (whom he met at Indiana State) and his three sons — Quintin Mikell Jr., who played in the NFL for 11 years; Darrian Mikell, a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan and national champion long jumper; and Devyn Mikell, a Dean’s List sophomore at Indiana State and a horizontal jumper and sprinter on the track-and-field team.

With a degree in manufacturing technology and graduate studies in management, Mikell is vice president of operations at Zee Medical Inc. in Indianapolis and a dedicated community volunteer. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., whose foundation is based on scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.

That’s right, the young man who arrived without a stitch of winter clothing decided to make Indiana his home.

“It’s an awesome place to live,” he said. “I’m a member of the Sycamore Athletic Fund Advisory Board, because I want to give back to the university that gave so much to me.”

Kurt Lentz, GR ’82

Lentz retired from his position as principal at White River Valley Elementary School in Lyons, Ind.

Danny Tanoos, ’79, GR ’83, Ed.S. ’97

Tanoos, the Vigo County School Corp. superintendent, was honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash award by Sen. Tim Skinner and State Rep. Clyde Kersey.


1990
Maya Stewart, ’96

Stewart was promoted to vice president of Old National Bank’s Financial Center.

 

Ann Ryan, GR ’91

Ryan was promoted to chief marketing officer for Old National Bancorp.

 

Rob Hochstetler, GR ’93 and Linda (Eldridge) Hochstetler, ’92

The Hochstetlers have relocated to Columbia, S.C., where Rob accepted the position as president and CEO of Central Electric Power.


2000
Heather Walters Thompson, ’02

Not only did Heather (Walters) Thompson, ’02, earn a great education at Indiana State University, but also she created the wonderful life she enjoys now.

“It’s funny how things turn out,” she said. “When I think about it, Indiana State played a major role in who I am and is largely responsible for the life I have today.”

When Thompson first visited Indiana State, she was excited “and a little overwhelmed” at being a college freshman.

“The idea of being away from home and on your own was a little intimidating,” she recalled. “I graduated from Southmont High School in Crawfordsville (Ind.) and there were only 123 in my senior class.”

However, there was never any doubt that she would go to college.

“It never occurred to me not to go,” she said. “My parents put a lot of importance on getting a college education, and I knew it was an important step for my future.”

Thompson quickly made friends when she arrived in Terre Haute and some of those college buddies are still her best friends. Plus, she caught the eye of a fellow student. In September, Aaron and Heather will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.

“We’re going to Las Vegas with good friends that we met at ISU,” Heather said. The couple now has two sons — Andrew, 8, and Alex, 4 — both avid soccer players like their dad.

A speech communications major, Thompson is now manager of communications for Hendricks Power Cooperative in Avon and an active community volunteer. She is president-elect of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, secretary for Leadership Hendricks County, PTO board member for Hickory Elementary School and a team manager for Westside United FC soccer club.

She also is working on her master’s degree at Indiana State University’s Scott College of Business.

“I really did love my time at ISU,” she said. “I can’t even imagine life without it.”

Jan Croft, GR ’07

Croft started a part-time private mental health counseling service with The Maple Center for Integrative Health.

Dana Haggenjos, GR ’06

Haggenjos was appointed head women’s basketball coach at Franklin College.


2010
Jessica Weesner, ’14

Weesner competed in the Miss Indiana competition.

Benjamin Dye, ’10

Dye was promoted to assistant trust investment officer at First Financial Bank.

Natalie Smailis, ’12, GR ’14

Smailis was named marketing and tourism director at Opry Mills, the largest outlet and value retail destination in Tennessee.