By Lauren Huffman
(October 17, 2009) With many alumni in town for the homecoming festivities, school spirit and nostalgia were present on campus on Saturday, October 17. This was also apparent at the College of Education Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at the Bone Student Center. Dean Deborah Curtis and President Al Bowman inaugurated six College of Education alumni who have accomplished some outstanding achievements in the field of education, both locally and nationally.
After a hearty breakfast, President Bowman welcomed everyone to the ceremony to congratulate those who have gone on to make contributions in the field of education, and to really make an impact on the students with whom they teach. Dean Curtis expressed gratitude to the inductees who have “served the College of Education community in many ways throughout their lengthy and esteemed careers.”
Each alumnus was presented with a commemorative plaque to take home with them. Their names will also appear on an Alumni Hall of Fame plaque, on display in the College of Education.
Joan Kane, ’73, was praised for her work as an elementary and middle level educator and for her involvement not only in a multitude of teacher associations, but for her dedication to her students. “This is my 37th year of teaching and I still enjoy going to work every day.”
Even in his retirement, Gerald Lewis, ’65, continues to devote his time to helping individuals with disabilities. For the past several years, he has been working to develop a center in the second poorest county in Wisconsin for at-risk and special-needs students.
Mary Jane Linton began her career as a school nurse, but went on to achieve her Master’s of Science in medical-surgical nursing, followed by an Ed.D. at Illinois State in 1997. Linton was recognized for her distinguished work as an author in the field of nursing education, her work with multiple grants, and her willingness to lend a hand to anyone. She remarked that her induction “is truly humbling.”
Kathleen O’Leary’s, ’67, career has spanned 36 years in the field of education. Her work as a learning disability teacher extends from central Illinois to California, and she received recognition for her dedication to the profession wherever she went. O’Leary could not be present to accept her award on Saturday, however, Dean Curtis hopes to present it to her in person in San Diego this December.
Charles Powers, ’49 and ’50, has been in the field of education for 60 years now, and according to his son who nominated him, he shows no signs of slowing down soon. Not only has Powers served as a teacher, but an athletic coach, principal and superintendent in schools in the suburbs of West Harvey and Oak Lawn. He has also served in the Office of Admissions at ISU.
John Tenny, ’73 and ’74, came all the way from Oregon to receive his acceptance into the Hall of Fame. While attending Illinois State, not only did Tenny earn a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Reading Education, but he was part of the team of carpenters who built Stevenson Hall. Tenny later moved to Oregon to earn a Ph.D., and began his career as an educator where he later was credited with developing a graduate school of education at Willamette University.
Dean Curtis made closing remarks, congratulating the alumni inductees once more, and commended them for their service in the education community. It is because of educators like these that the College of Education maintains its admirable reputation.c