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.

Garvin McDaniel, ’59

McDaniel retired after 39 years of service as a public school teacher. McDaniel retires from Barker Middle School in Michigan City, Ind.

Tony Milazzo, ’55, GR ’57

Milazzo was inducted into the Hammond, Ind., Sports Hall of Fame.

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.

Louanna Simon, ’69, GR ’70

Simon started a one-year term as chairperson of the Association of American Universities.

Gene Lloyd, ’63, GR ’64

Lloyd was inducted into the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

Michael Jack, ’65

Michael Jack was only 17 when he graduated from high school and headed off to college. “I didn’t have a sense of what I wanted to do,” he said.

However, he quickly discovered that finance and business were a good fit for his interests. So Jack became a member of the first class to graduate from Indiana State University — which actually not as long ago as it sounds. The Class of 1965 was the first to graduate when Indiana State College changed its name to Indiana State University.

The class will celebrate its 50th reunion on Aug. 1. “My first reaction is it can’t be 50 years,” Jack said. “My second reaction is it is great to remember and celebrate one of the memorable times in my life and to also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Indiana State becoming a university.”

To help honor the occasion, Jack and close classmate Ed Andrews have established a 50th anniversary scholarship fund.

“Ed gets the credit for coming up with the idea,” Jack said. “It seemed like a terrific idea to me. Scholarship and availability of funding were very important to both of us, and we felt it would be an excellent recognition for our class if we could create the same type of help for potential candidates.”

Having companies come to Indiana State to recruit potential employees provided a big boost in his career, Jack added.

“I received a number of offers and picked one that in retrospect gave me a sound foundation to build on for my next career moves,” he said.

When Jack retired as senior vice president and corporate controller for Telephone and Data Systems Inc. — a Fortune 500 company with co-locations in Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago — he and his family moved from Madison to Fishers, Ind. Jack and his wife, Judi, have four children: Jennifer, Michael, Amy and Christina.

But Jack is not one to rest on his laurels. “I flunked retirement,” he joked. “I am engaged in the CPA peer review process and have volunteered for nonprofit projects.”

He is also enjoying his lifelong interests in racecars and photography. Growing up in the Indiana community of Brazil, Jack said he “finally got on the race track in the 1980s and have been hooked ever since.

“Initially I did track days, eventually got my SCCA license and raced briefly. After that, I graduated to being an instructor for students at high-performance driving events. Those who understand what goes on, know one has to be mentally ill to get into a fast car with a student and have no control other than voice. “

Meanwhile, Jack started taking photographs at major races which piqued his interest in photography. This year, he said, “will be the first year I have completely given up the track for photography. My track car has been sold and a portion of the money reinvested in photography equipment and travel related to photography. I take mostly landscape, architecture and car images and have a website and exhibit my work in some galleries.”

Looking back over the past half century, Jack said he is so glad he discovered Indiana State and would recommend it to prospective students.

“It has a focus on the needs of the student, it offers a wide variety of educational opportunities and outstanding educators, it is right-sized — neither too small, hence expensive or too large, thus impersonal, and it offers a great educational value for the expense,” he said. “March on!”

Don Bradley, GR ‘71

Bradley retired after 33 years as a professor of business and marketing at the University of Central Arkansas.

Steve Williams, ‘71

Williams was awarded the 2015 Litigator Award in recognition of his work to help seriously injured clients. Williams is a trial lawyer in Terre Haute.

Susan Holt Kralovanski, ’72

Kralovanski published her 14th children’s picture book, “Twelve Cowboys Ropin’” with Pelican Publishing.

Brad Miley, ’82

Miley was selected as a 2016 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Chuck Johnson, ’84

Johnson was named president of Vincennes University.

Alan Clayton, ’86

Clayton was named director of first party operations of Frost-Arnett Company in Nashville, Tenn.

Heather Blasingame, ’99

Blasingame was promoted to correctional and team manager at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

Dick Helton, PhD ‘91

Helton was named interim president of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

Samuel Gray, ’95

Gray was promoted to Construction Executive with the Solar & Emerging Renewables Group at M.A. Mortenson Construction in Minneapolis.

Brett Fisher, ’05

Fisher was named director of retail sales and vice president of First Merchants Bank in Muncie, Ind.

Brian P. Smith, ’00

Smith was named assistant vice president of Springs Valley Bank and Trust in French Lick, Ind.

Dan Sichting, GR ’00, Ed.S. ’04

Sichting was named a regional Superintendent of the Year. Sichting is the superintendent of the Bloomfield, Ind., school district.

Abby Koester, ‘10

Koester was named director of education at the Children’s Museum of Illinois.

Alexandria Warren, ’10

Warren joined the North Putnam Family Practice in Bainbridge, Ind., as a nurse practitioner.

Michael Scott Jr. ’10

When Michael Scott Jr. was a young boy, his ambition was to be a pilot. He would sit on the family porch with binoculars and watch planes as they flew into the two Chicago airports.

“I could tell you the airline just by looking at the color. I could tell you the type of plane,” he said. “I was intrigued with flight, with the idea of being able to fly through the sky.”

In his senior year of high school, however, Scott’s career ambitions veered off that pilot path and soared even higher. As citywide student council president in Gary, Ind., Scott took part in an exchange program with other Indiana schools in Valparaiso and Crown Point. He saw what his school lacked and what others had. He noticed the strong effect that good schools, motivational teachers and quality education have on young people.

“I had an epiphany,” he said. “Education became my calling …. Someone told me that old saying, ‘If you want to be immortal, become a teacher. A little piece of you lives on in your students.’ I knew how important education was and that altered my future goals.”

Looking back at his high school years in Gary, Scott notes that 333 students were in his freshman class. Four years later, “only 127 of us were walking across the stage to graduate. And only 15 percent of us have gone on to complete college. Understandably, college is not for everyone, but it is critical to show young people that they can get more education, that going to college is possible and often necessary to get a sustainable job.”

Earlier this year, Scott added, U.S. Steel in Gary announced it was laying off another 285 workers.

“U.S. Steel was the backbone of Gary,” he said. “It is no longer a guarantee that you can get a job or keep a job in an industry like U.S. Steel. But ultimately, young people need to find a sustainable career they are passionate about and work to get it. A college degree is often key to that sustainability.”

With several scholarships (he was co-salutatorian of Lew Wallace High School Class of 2006), Scott began checking out colleges to fulfill his ambition. He was already familiar with Indiana State University — his sister had gone there and so had two cousins, as well as high school teachers and principals he admired. He liked the beauty of the campus, enjoyed the hospitality of faculty and students and knew the university has an excellent college of education.

“Some of my friends tried to talk me out of being a teacher,” he said. “They knew of my ambition to be a pilot, but teaching is my passion …. Education is the bedrock of any community. I can’t think of any calling more important than being a teacher.”

While at Indiana State, Scott served as student government association president and started two organizations focused on mentorship and leadership development. Upon graduating cum laude in 2010 as a social studies education and political science major, Scott was the recipient of the President’s Medal for Leadership, Scholarship and Service, and the Alan C. Rankin Distinguished Senior Award.

Then he headed off to teach — first as a social studies teacher at Kipp Truth Academy in Dallas, where he taught two years as part of Teach For America. Then he spent time at Democracy Prep Harlem in Harlem, where he has been teaching 7th grade social studies for two years.

With the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Scott will be going back to school himself — he was accepted into the Harvard Graduate School of Education on a two-year fellowship.

“I never ever expected this to happen,” the 27-year-old said. “If you had told me seven months ago, I would be going to Harvard in the near future, I would have laughed. I wouldn’t believe it.”

Getting into the prestigious graduate school was the result of trying. That’s right — Scott decided to try, and he succeeded.

“I got an email about a program at Harvard,” he said. “I might have deleted the email, because I was already teaching. But I learned at ISU, when opportunity knocks, seize the moment. Open the door and see what’s on the other side.”

At Indiana State, one of those “carpe diem” experiences happened in 2008 when Scott heard about a program for college students to attend the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis or the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“I thought I probably won’t get it but I went ahead and wrote a one-page application on why I wanted to go,” he said.

The result? “I witnessed history in the making,” Scott said. “I saw Barack Obama accept the Democratic nomination for president of the United States …. If I could give any advice to anyone, it would definitely be to seize opportunities as they come along.”

After his Harvard master’s program, Scott will begin a principal residency in Chicago Public Schools. Becoming a principal will allow him to set the tone for a school and to create better educational opportunities for students and teachers.

“My goal,” he said, “was to be a principal by the time I was 30. It looks as though I will accomplish that goal by the time I am 29. Ideally in the fall of 2017, I will be either a principal or assistant principal in a Chicago school.”

Much of the motivation for setting goals and achieving them has come from his parents, Scott said. “My parents didn’t go to college until after they raised us. They valued education and made sure my sisters and I did, too.”

His mother, Sharon Scott, is an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in Gary. His father, Michael Sr., was director of the Youth Services Bureau for the city of Gary and served on the local school board from the time his son was in first grade until Michael completed his time at Indiana State.

“Two weeks after I graduated from Indiana State University, my father passed away,” Scott said. “He had a big impact on my choices in life and I know he would be very proud of what I am doing.”