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, 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
David Lotter, ’68, GR ’73

Lotter was elected to the Vigo County School Corporation School Board.

Frank Jozsa, ’63, GR ’72

Jozsa published a new book title, “National Baseball Association Strategies: Business Expansions, Relocations and Mergers.”

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.


1970s
David Williams, ’75

Williams was inducted into the American Society of Hematology as president. Williams is chief of hematology/oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and chairman of pediatric oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

David Lotter, ’68, GR ’73

Lotter was elected to the Vigo County School Corporation School Board.

Cindy Belt, ’79

Belt joined the Paris Community Hospital in Paris, Ill. as the primary physician recruiter.


1980
Karen Webb, ’81, GR ’83, GR ’88, ’97

Webb received the Outstanding School Librarian Award by the Indiana Library Federation. Webb is currently the media specialist at Honey Creek Middle School in Terre Haute.

Luvita Koisun, ’88, GR ’90

Koisun was named the district officer for Penampang, Malaysia.

Marty Kovacs, ’89

Kovacs was named the new funeral director at Wallace-Thompson Funeral Home in Rusk, Texas.


1990
Karen Webb, ’81, GR ’83, GR ’88, ’97

Webb received the Outstanding School Librarian Award by the Indiana Library Federation. Webb is currently the media specialist at Honey Creek Middle School in Terre Haute.

Bruce Hauk, ’92

Hauk was named the new president of Illinois American Water in Belleville, Ill.

Luvita Koisun, ’88, GR ’90

Koisun was named the district officer for Penampang, Malaysia.


2000
Eric Losee, GR ’02

Losee was appointed regional chief for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in Merrill, Wis.

Waylon Fonderhide, ’06

Fonderhide was promoted to correctional sergeant at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

Greg Vitale, ’01

Vitale was named parks and recreation director for Munster, Ind.


2010
Kyle Miller, ’13

Miller was named New Orchestra Teacher of the Year by the American String Teacher Association. Miller teaches at Pierre Moran Middle School in Elkhart, Ind.

Jessika Noffsinger, GR ’13

Noffsinger joined Baptist Home Care as a speech-language pathologist in Madisonville, Ind.

Mallory Halleck, ’11

Halleck was promoted to associate examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, Ohio.