FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Four Indiana University alumni will receive IU’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award on June 11 in a virtual ceremony. The award is the highest bestowed on an IU alumna or alumnus by the university.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie will present the awards to 2020 honorees Eric C. Deggans, Louise E. Goggans, Ann Shilling Harrison, and Milton R. Stewart.
These 2020 recipients were to have been honored in October 2020, but the pandemic required the ceremony be postponed. IU will honor its 2021 DASA recipients in October 2021.
Recipients of the award are chosen for service and achievement in their fields, and for significant contributions to the community, state, nation, or university. With the addition of these recipients, IU has honored 349 alumni since the award’s inception in 1953.
Following are brief individual bios for each award recipient:
Eric C. Deggans, BA’90
In the 30 years since his graduation, Eric Deggans has distinguished himself as a major figure on the modern media landscape.
Deggans became National Public Radio’s first full-time TV critic in 2013, and in that job he crafts stories and commentaries for shows such as Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He also appears on NPR podcasts including Life Kit,Code Switch, It’s Been a Minute, and Pop Culture Happy Hour.
In addition to his NPR work, Deggans is a contributor and media analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, dissecting media issues on NBC TV platforms and online. He is also an adjunct instructor of journalism and public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Deggans came to NPR from the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), where he served as TV/media critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years.
In 2019, he became the first African American chairman of the board that selects the George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media. In 2017, Deggans was named one of the country’s 15 Most Influential Media Reporters by the website Mediaite. And, in 2016, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from The IU Media School.
His 2012 book, Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, looks at how prejudice, racism, and sexism fuels some elements of modern media.
“Eric Deggans’s record of service to his alma mater is extraordinary. I have no doubt he will continue to shine the best light on IU in the years to come,” says Radhika Parameswaran, former chair of journalism in The Media School.
Louise E. Goggans, BA’56, MS’69, MedScD’82
Louise Goggans is a lifelong health educator who has worked ceaselessly to improve the well-being of IU students and all Indiana citizens.
Her passion for education and community health led her to establish a diet clinic at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, which she directed for more than 30 years. She has led the charge to start neighborhood health centers, prenatal dietary programs, and a local chapter of Meals on Wheels.
Goggans has served as a leader in women’s philanthropy at IU and created the Dr. Louise Goggans Lectureship at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI. She has also been committed to strengthening the bond between Indiana University and its Black alumni. To that end, she was a charter member of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club, and was active in developing the Indianapolis chapter of the club, of which she is a past president.
In gratitude for her career of service, she was awarded the IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (2006, 2017), the IUAA President’s Award (2009), and the Maynard K. Hine Medal (2019).
“Louise’s commitment to enhancing the academic mission of IU and the well-being of the communities it serves is readily apparent, and she serves as a model for current and future alumni to emulate,” says James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs at Indiana University.
Ann Shilling Harrison, BS’67
Philanthropist Ann Shilling Harrison finds no greater personal fulfilment than in leading projects that enrich her community and provide musical-arts opportunities to students in her hometown.
Co-owner of the Harrison Steel Casings Company in her hometown of Attica, Ind., Harrison’s life was changed when she visited IU as a teenager. Her experience viewing the opera Aida moved her to a life devoted to the arts and art education, with a focus on introducing children to the transformative power of art.
Among her many community involvements, she is a charter member of Area Sharing Kindness (a homeless shelter and food pantry in Attica), founder of the Attica Farmer’s Market, and founder of the Attica Elementary School String Project, modeled on a program she witnessed in Bloomington, Ind. Harrison attended an IU Jacobs School of Music violin project at Fairview Elementary School in Bloomington and saw how the children were profoundly affected. She committed to a similar installation in her hometown, rallied community support, and today her string program is touted as a key factor in increased student learning, higher test scores, and correlated lower truancy and student apathy rates.
Harrison’s philanthropy is seen also in her involvement as a founding member of the IU Women’s Philanthropic Council, and as a member of the IU Foundation Board, IU Eskenazi Museum of Art National Advisory Board, and the Jacobs School of Music Dean’s Advisory Council.
“It takes one person to make a difference,” says David H. Jacobs, DM Hon’13. “Ann Harrison summons daily her courage honed through her association with Indiana University and reminds our world of the effects of IU’s remarkable resources on its alumni through her perception, words, and deeds.”
Milton R. Stewart, BA’68, JD’71
From humble origins, Milton Stewart enjoyed a stellar undergraduate career at IU, eventually earning a law degree summa cum laude, and becoming a source of inspiration for many.
After graduation, Stewart served in the U.S. Army and then joined the Portland, Ore., law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, where he became a partner and positioned himself as a leader in the increasingly international field of business law. In his 28-year career, he led the firm’s pro bono and diversity programs and earned a reputation for special excellence in business mergers and acquisition.
A devoted alumnus, Stewart’s support for IU is evident in the Maurer School of Law’s Milt and Judi Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession and a named law professorship, held by the center’s director. In addition, he and his wife established the Stewart Fellows Global Internship Program, which has funded close to 200 students working in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and NGOs internationally since 2010.
Stewart’s support for IU is often subtle and understated: He donates suits to deserving students, and considers his most important contribution to the university to be “Stewart’s Hideaway,” a revitalizing space tucked away in the recesses of Dunn’s Woods. Additionally, he has served on numerous IU boards, including the IU Foundation and IU Eskenazi Art Museum Board of Directors.
“I know of no person who serves his profession and his university more broadly, with greater insight and energy than Milt Stewart,” says Curt Simic, BA’64, LHD’16, president emeritus of the IU Foundation. “He is the perfect example of the ‘servant leader.’”
The IU Alumni Association is a global alumni organization that brings more than 725,000 IU graduates together to support one another and Indiana University throughout their lives.