I Association to Honor Seven Individuals


BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—In two September ceremonies, Indiana University will honor seven individuals associated with the Hoosier athletics program with some of the I Association’s highest awards.

Four women will be honored with the Leanne Grotke Award, bestowed on living persons whose service has made exceptionally outstanding contributions to Indiana University’s women’s athletics program. It is the highest honor of its kind given by the university. The ceremony will be Friday, Sept. 7, in the Henke Hall of Champions in Memorial Stadium.

Two former Hoosiers will receive the Z.G. Clevenger Award, presented to living I-Men who, as alumni, have made outstanding contributions to Indiana University through service to its athletics program. The ceremony will be conducted on Friday, Sept. 21, in the Henke Hall of Champions in Memorial Stadium.

One major advocate for the university will be given the Bill Orwig Award, recognizing outstanding contributions made by a non-alumnus to the Indiana University athletics program. It is named for Bill Orwig, IU’s athletics director from 1961 to 1975. The award will be presented during the Clevenger ceremonies.

Leanne Grotke Award

Ellen Jay

A multitalented athlete during her time at IU, Ellen Jay played field hockey, basketball, softball, and volleyball. In addition to playing numerous sports, she graduated with honors, held leadership positions in a number of campus-wide student activities, and studied French horn with IU’s world class faculty in the Jacobs School of Music.

After leaving IU, Jay worked as a primary school classroom teacher and elementary school library media teacher in Maryland, and later was acting director of school library media for Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools. She also served as an adjunct professor at several Maryland universities.

In 2003, through the IU Foundation, Jay established the Jay Information Literacy Fund, which provides grants to support collaborative activities between IU librarians and teaching faculty on the Bloomington campus. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU School of Education in 1991, and is a member of the Presidents Circle, Well House Society, and the Women’s I Association.

Le Shundra D. “DeDee” Nathan

A star athlete at IU, DeDee Nathan won track letters from 1987 through 1990 and won a total of six Big Ten championships. After graduating from IU, she won the gold medal at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba, and was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team in heptathlon.

Nathan was inducted into the IU Bloomington Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. Other outstanding highlights of her athletic career include being: ranked No. 1 U.S. heptathlete, 1999–2001; named 1999 world indoor champion; named Collegiate All American, 1988–90; and inducted into the Indiana Track and Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame in 1992. She was a professional athlete competing in the heptathlon for 15 years.

Recently retired from the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township (Ind.), where she was assistant principal at Pike High School, Nathan has also held positions as assistant athletic director, dean of students, and head girls track and field coach. 

Wendy-Jo Y. Toyama

Wendy-Jo Toyama was an all-around gymnast who represented IU in women’s gymnastics from 1979 to 1983. She was women’s gymnastics team captain in 1982–83 and received the Academic Athletic Honor Award in 1982 and 1983.

Since leaving IU with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, she has enjoyed a diverse career working as an artist, corporate designer, and manager of advertising at the Tribune Company; director of marketing at Kohl Children’s Museum; vice president of marketing/communications at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago; and senior vice president of membership at the American Dental Association. Since 2014, she has served as executive director of the American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association  located in Chapel Hill, NC. She also serves as adjunct assistant professor at the UNC School of Dentistry.

Toyama received an MBA degree from the Northwestern University J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1992, and is a certified association executive with the American Society of Association Executives. 

Phyllis A. “Woodie” Walker

As an IU student in the late 1940s, Phyllis “Woodie” Walker faced three career choices. Upon graduation from IU, she could become a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary. Instead, she became a legend in the field of tennis—as a professional umpire.

Beginning her officiating career in 1968, Walker became manager of Tri-State Racquet Club in Evansville, Ind. in 1972. She was chief umpire of the U.S. Open from 1985–88 and served as chief tennis umpire at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She presided over her last U.S. Open, at the age of 86, in 2014.

Walker has won numerous awards for her services to tennis, including a 2017 Special Recognition Award from the United States Tennis Association. Also in 2017, the Woodie Walker C.A.R.E. Award, a new USTA award, was presented at the U.S. Open in her honor. Even though she “officially” retired in January of this year, she still does consulting work for the USTA.   

Z.G. Clevenger Award

Robert O. Kennedy

Bob Kennedy represented Indiana University in track and cross country from 1988 to 1992. As a student at IU, he was a 20-time Big Ten champion, a four-time NCAA champion, and was named IU Athlete of the Year.

A two-time Olympic runner, he was a 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter American record holder, holding the 5,000-meter American record for more than 13 years. Kennedy competed in the 5,000 meters at both the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, finishing in 6th place at the 1996 games. He was ranked No. 4 in the world in the 5,000 meters in 1996.

As co-owner of the Athletic Annex, Kennedy has also been in the running and walking specialty retail business for more than 14 years, and is recognized nationally as an expert in the field. He served as president of the IU Varsity Club in 2016–17.

Edward M. Warm

Ed Warm turned his experience as an IU football manager in the 1980s into a successful career as an entrepreneur, bar owner, and country-music promoter. He is a partner at Joe’s Bar in Chicago and an organizer of the Windy City Smokeout, an annual Chicago BBQ and country music festival.

A three-time Academy of Country Music Promoter of the Year Award winner, Warm was a Hoosiers football letterman as a manager from 1983 to 1986. He was a senior manager for Coach Bill Mallory in 1986 when the Hoosiers participated in the 1986 All-American Bowl.

A life member of the IU Alumni Association and the I Association, as well as an IU Varsity Club donor, Warm is a loyal longtime IU season ticket holder in football and basketball. Joe’s Bar is a regular spot for many Chicago Chapter of the IU Alumni Association events and hosts IU football and basketball game watch parties each season. 

Bill Orwig Award

Robert G. Morgan

An NCAA head baseball coach for 30 years, Robert Morgan served as IU’s head baseball coach from 1983–2005, boasting an IU record of 782–496, which is the most wins of any coach (in any sport) in the history of IU. He led the IU baseball team to a Big Ten Championship in 1996, was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 1996, and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1993.

Since leaving his position as head baseball coach at IU in 2005, he has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at the IU School of Public Health Bloomington, teaching classes in theories of coaching, baseball coaching, tennis, and wellness.

Morgan also served as head baseball coach and assistant athletics director at Kent State University and head baseball coach and assistant football coach at the College of Wooster in Ohio, achieving an overall career record of 1,074–583. 

The I Association is made up of letter-winning IU alumni and is one of only two athletic alumni associations in the country managed by its alumni association. The IU Alumni Association is a global alumni organization that brings more than 690,000 living IU graduates together to support one another and Indiana University throughout their lives. The IUAA activates IU’s powerful network through events, webinars, scholarship programs, and traditions.