Class of 2012

hall of fameDr. Joey Barnett
Dr. Barnett graduated from Central High School, the University of Southern Indiana, and served as an undergraduate research fellow at Argonne National Laboratories and the University of Chicago. He earned a doctorate in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University and trained in cardiovascular research at Harvard University. He became Assistant Dean, Acting Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, and Professor of Pharmacology, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at Vanderbilt University.

Senator Vaneta Becker
Honorable Vaneta Becker is a graduate of North High School and the University of Southern Indiana. In 1981 she was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives where she remained until 2005 when she was elected to the Indiana State Senate. Senator Becker is the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Office of Women’s Health, through the Indiana State Department of Health, and is a champion for public education.

Wilfred (Bill) C. Bussing, III
Mr. Bussing, owner of the Evansville Otters and an attorney, is a longtime supporter of education. He received the Unsung Hero Award from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy in 1999. He is a member of the Superintendent's Business Council and a major supporter of the EVSC Foundation. Mr. Bussing chairs the Southern Indiana Network of Grant makers and serves on the boards of several organizations that support education: Bussing-Koch Foundation, Cecil A. and Mabel Lene Hamman Foundation, and Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation.

Karen and Niel Ellerbrook
Ms. Ellerbrook graduated from Harrison High School and Indiana State University. Mr. Ellerbrook, a Ball State University graduate, served as Chairman and CEO of Vectren Corporation. The couple has supported the Evansville community by chairing, or otherwise, playing a significant role in several major fundraising campaigns. The Ellerbrooks are longtime supporters of the EVSC Foundation. Under Mr. Ellerbrook's leadership, Vectren Foundation focused on education as a building block for a strong and vibrant community. Ms. Ellerbrook is an advocate for early childhood education and is a founding member of the Da Vinci Institute.

Alan B. Graf, Jr.
Graduating from Harrison High School and the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Mr. Graf joined FedEx when the company was in its early stages and had few employees. He helped grow the company into a multi-billion dollar, worldwide operation, and currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Graf serves on the Board of Directors for Nike, Inc., the Indiana University Foundation, and Mid-American Apartment Communities.

Bettye Lou Jerrel
Mrs. Jerrel graduated from Bosse High School and the University of Evansville. Mrs. Jerrel was the first female chairperson of the Republican Party and served as President of the Vanderburgh County Commission. Her work on the Vanderburgh County Commission led to a major grant for the study of Interstate 69. As a member on the Indiana Public Defender Commission she was instrumental in encouraging Vanderburgh County to establish a Public Defenders program.

Robert G. Jones
Mr. Jones is the President and CEO of Old National Bancorp and a member of its Board of Directors. He has changed the local landscape of corporate engagement, increasing support to public education and charities. Under his leadership, Old National has been nationally recognized, receiving an Award of Excellence for Corporate Engagement, an Employee Volunteer Program of the Year award, and acknowledged for three consecutive years as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Dr. Ira T. Neal
Dr. Neal earned a BS from the University of Evansville, an MS from Indiana University, and an Educational Doctorate from Nova Southwestern University. He was the Director of Federal Projects at EVSC and established the EVSC African American Choral Ensemble and the African American Academy. Dr. Neal served as a Trustee at Vincennes University and serves on the USI Foundation Board of Directors.

Dr. Rodney Perkins
Dr. Perkins graduated from Bosse High School, Indiana University, and undertook his surgical residency at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Currently he is the founder, Chairman and Chief Medical Officer of EarLens Corporation, which is developing a new method of sound translation and hearing improvement. Dr. Perkins received the distinguished Medical Alumnus award from Indiana University, has eighteen issued patents and is a member of the BioX Advisory at Stanford University.

Ron Romain
Mr. Romain graduated from Harrison High School and the University of Southern Indiana. He is CEO of United Companies, which includes United Leasing, Inc., Romain Automotive Group, and Professional Transportation, Inc. Mr. Romain founded the annual United Leasing Golf Championship, which helps support numerous community-wide, nonprofit organizations. He is a major supporter of public education, including EVSC, University of Southern Indiana, and he chairs the Southwest Indiana Business Coalition for early childhood development.

Steven Sater
Mr. Sater graduated from Harrison High School, Summa Cum Laude from Washington University, and received a Master of the Arts in English Literature from Princeton University. An exceptionally talented poet, playwright, lyricist, television writer, author and screenwriter, Mr. Sater won two Tony Awards for the musical Spring Awakening. Mr. Sater received the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Mr. Sater also received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical.

Patrick A. Shoulders
Mr. Shoulders graduated from Harrison High School and received his BA and JD degrees from Indiana University. Recognized in legal publications as one of Indiana’s top attorneys, he has served his profession, our community, and IU in many ways. Currently a member of the IU Board of Trustees, he is past President of the IU Alumni Association, the Evansville Bar Association, the Evansville Museum, and the YMCA and Parks Foundation.