With more than 201,000 graduates worldwide, many Ball State University alumni have dedicated their time and talents to create a diverse and lively alumni community. As a tribute to the alumni who have helped build this community, the Alumni Association presents annual Alumni Awards to recognize their dedication to Ball State and beyond.

Here is a list of the Alumni Association’s 2020 Alumni Awards recipients:

Volunteer of the Year

Presented to individuals who go above and beyond volunteer board expectations and have tremendous impact on their respective constituent groups, communities, and our association.

Teresa Jeter, MURP ’95
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Dwight Smith, ’87
Co-President and Executive Producer
Mission Control Media
Burbank, California

James Hatcher Leadership Award

Presented to a top alumni volunteer in recognition of lifetime engagement, leadership, and support of the Ball State Alumni Association, this award was created in honor of a longtime friend of the Ball State Alumni Association, Jim Hatcher, ’65 MA ’66, who served as chairman of the Alumni Council in 1979 and was the recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997.

Larry Metzing, ’70
Senior Partner and Owner
Indiana Business Advisors
Indianapolis, IN

Alumni Achievement Award

Recognizes the expanding achievements or leadership of alumni whether professional or civic. This award honors alumni whose achievements have brought distinction to themselves as well as recognition to Ball State University.

Sarah Hempstead, ’98
CEO & Principal
Schmidt Associates
Indianapolis, Indiana

Honorary Alumni Award

Presented to honor individuals who are not graduates of the University but who have made significant contributions towards its welfare, reputation, or prestige.

Jeff Smulyan
Emmis Communications
Indianapolis, Indiana

Distinguished Alumni Award

The highest award bestowed on an alumnus by the Ball State Alumni Association. The award salutes both a commitment to Ball State and the achievements of alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater.

Robert “Bob” Hunt, ’69
Chairman Emeritus
Hunt Construction Group
Indianapolis, Indiana
Retired and living in Paradise Valley, Arizona

Benny Award

Awarded for service to Ball State or the Alumni Association. The award’s name come from the statue of Beneficence, the University’s long-standing symbol of unselfish contribution of one’s talents, energy, and time. Eligible candidates are Ball State alumni, University employees, community members, corporations, or businesses that contribute outstanding service in support of the University or Alumni Association.

Brian Hayes, ’96 MA ’02 MAE ’10
Senior Lecturer of Journalism
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Michael Smith, ’73
Retired journalist and educator
Evanston, Illinois

Stephanie Arrington
Executive Director of Presidential Events and Operations
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Gayle Hartleroad, ’95 MA ’97
Director of Student Services, Miller College of Business
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Recognizes those who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree within the past 10 years for their outstanding accomplishments and potential as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievements.

Emily McGowan, BS ’11 BFA ’11
Medical Planner
Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum
Washington, D.C.

Megan Gish Carrico, ’12
Manager of Communications
Indianapolis Airport Authority
Indianapolis, Indiana

Joseph (JD) Dalfonso, ’10
President and CEO
Peoria Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Peoria, Illinois

Samantha Keen Parmerlee, ’15
Special Education Teacher/Emotional Disabilities Resource
Delaware Trail Elementary
Indianapolis, Indiana

Megan Farley, ’12
Musical Theater/Tap Instructor at Joe Hall Dancers and Center
Chicago, Illinois

Rachel Handt, ’13
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Indiana University Health & Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana
Carmel, Indiana

Michele Murday, ’13
Branch Manager
Gary, Indiana

Josh Spencer, ’11
Vice President and Chief Actuary
Brotherhood Mutual
Fort Wayne, Indiana


Nominations for all awards listed above are accepted throughout the year and remain in consideration for up to three years. To be considered for the current year, nominations should be received by January 31. The honorees are selected by the Alumni Awards Committee of Ball State University Alumni Council.

More Information

Learn more about Awards and Scholarship or contact Jamie Acton, senior associate vice president of Alumni Engagement and president of the Ball State University Alumni Association, at jacton@bsu.edu or 765-285-1085.