The Solarium in the Indiana Memorial Union was filled with cocktails, chatter, handshakes, hugs and people who all have a connection to IU.
Five IU alumni were honored at the Distinguished Alumni Service Award dinner, which took place at 6 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
The honorees, selected by a committee put together by the chair of the IU Alumni Association and the president of the university, were Matthew Gutwein, CEO of Health and Hospital Coordination of Marion County, Jane Jorgensen, a founding member of the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, Edwin Marshall, the School of Optometry's associate dean for academic affairs and student administration, Isaac Torres, who established the Issac P. Torres Family School of Business and Economics Scholarship, and Lillian Stokes, professor emeritus for the School of Nursing.
There were around 300 people in attendance, said J.T. Forbes, CEO of the IUAA, in his remarks which prefaced the award ceremony.
“We say a lot of things about who we are and what we want to be, but they are made manifest in this evening,” Forbes said.
Forbes also introduced IU President Michael McRobbie, who presented the awards.
When the honorees received their awards, the audience was shown a video depicting some of the distinguished alumni's accomplishments. The honorees were provided the opportunity to deliver a speech.
After receiving her award, Jorgensen, who did not prepare her speech beforehand, spoke of her gratitude for the recognition, her drive to be grateful and humble and her passion for philanthropy. Among other philanthropic work, Jorgensen established two endowed funds that provided scholarships for the Global Gateway for Teachers participants and helps to guide the Colloquium for Women of Indiana University.
“I love what I do for this university,” Jorgensen said. “I get joy giving. I love to do it.”
In his speech, Torres thanked IU for providing him a way to get out of his comfort zone and establish his financial services company InterCambio Express. He also said he had planned to move back to Mexico City, where he lived before he came to IU, but ended up staying in Indiana because it gave him a feeling of home.
“I came to Indiana for the education, and despite the weather, I stayed because the community made me feel so welcomed,” Torres said.