Dolly Millender, ’41, Naomi Millender, ’67

The Hood family’s legacy of three generations of Sycamores spanning all four institutional name changes earned the Hoods the 2014 Legacy Award.


  1. Congratulations to the Hood Family for receiving the Indiana State University 2014 Legacy Award. These are my cousins. Josephine Hood was my late Mother’s Mother and my Grandmother!

    • glad you saw this, CARL. so sorry you could not be there to help celebrate the “Hood Legacy”. You represented the first generation, MOM’s AUNTS and MY GRANDFATHER’S SISTERS. (sMiles, NAOMI)

  2. I had the pleasure of getting to know Naomi and her mother during my years at ISU as Naomi and I worked toward graduation in 1967. During our undergrad years, Mrs. Millender was an inspiration to all of us who knew her. She spoke at a recent Reunion at ISU and her stories about her years in Terre Haute, and her time at ISU mesmerized us all. She was indeed a pioneer for social justice. Naomi and her mother honored me in 2012 when they came to Indianapolis to celebrate my 3rd graduation from ISU when I received a Ph.D. The two of them have worked tirelessly through the years in Gary providing music workshops and Symphonic programs for the students in the Gary public schools. The legacy continues, and the foundation laid by the Millender family still inspires me. I am proud to know both Naomi and her mother, and to join in congratulations for this well-deserved Recognition and achievement.

    • What a beautiful Tribute, GWEN. Funny that before I saw this today on Google, I was thinking about the greatest workshop for Teacher’s Classroom Learning Centers I had even seen – -YOURS! Remember, back when I was director of those Follow Through Schools in Chicago, Topeka and Compton? You did the one for us in Chicago, and it was awesome! You inspired a lot of our teachers and teacher aides.

      • What a wonderful tribute to an extraordinary family living in the great city of Gary, Indiana. Mrs. Millender is a great historian and should be celebrated. Her family has been and remains a tremendous blessing to the CITY of Gary and there is still more to come. We have too many unsung heroes that have gone on. Let’s not hate but celebrate, those who are yet among us, who are so DESERVING.

        • Thank you, Ms. Vanessa Nichols, for your comments about our family’s Gary legacy – a city we are proud to be a part of. you yourself are an inspiration to all ages of students – both as an enrichment teacher in our ghcs summer enrichment for learning program (teaching french and positive social skills), and now as the “new” athletic director for the gary public schools. thank you, also, for your years of service to our gary civic symphony as our tympanist and as the assistant manager. (sincerely, NAOMI)

    • GWEN, it is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my mother, dolly hood millender, on christmas day 2015 at the age of 95. we will have her homegoing services in gary on jan. 2. please email: for further info. (NAOMI)

  3. to our sycamore family, with great sadness i announce the passing of my mother, Mrs. Dolly (Hood) Millender (ISU ’41) on christmas day 2015. we will have services for her on jan. 2 in gary. please email: for further info as needed. (Daughter Naomi)

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