The group of inductees to the 2011 IPS Alumni Hall of Fame includes a real estate developer whose philanthropy is changing the local landscape, and two women whose community service spans more than 60 years.
Seven alums (six living and one deceased) will be honored at a luncheon ceremony at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on Oct. 4.
The inductees are :
- Lynda C. Burrello, Emmerich Manual High School class of 1963.
- Sidney Eskenazi, Shortridge High School class of 1947.
- Rick Fuson, Arlington High School class of 1971.
- Yvonne Perkins, Shortridge High School class of 1967.
- Gregory W. Porter, Shortridge High School class of 1973.
- Joyce Q. Rogers, John Marshall High School class of 1975.
- Dr. Stanley E. Woodard (deceased), Broad Ripple High School class of 1978.
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Burrello is the longest tenured employee with the City of Indianapolis, working as Senior Regional Park Manager at Garfield Park. She began her 48-year career with the city’s parks department as a playground counselor at Willard Park. A native Southsider, Burrello attended Emma Donnan School 72 and Manual High School. As a child, she excelled in multiple sports, and after graduation went on to play softball and basketball competitively. In 1969-1970, she was named Indiana’s Outstanding Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Women’s Basketball Player, and was the 1969 AAU Rookie of the Year. She has played in five national softball tournaments in addition to playing in three AAU basketball tournaments. In 1984, Burrello was elected to the Softball Hall of Fame by the Indiana Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame Committee. In 1998, the Burrello Family Center at Garfield Park was named in her honor for her commitment to the community.
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Eskenazi was 13 when the death of his father jolted him out of childhood. To help put food on the table for his mother and two sisters, he juggled a variety of small jobs ranging from filling candy machines to selling women’s shoes. He spent the majority of his high school career at Manual, but graduated in 1947 from Shortridge. He earned both his bachelor’s and law degrees from Indiana University. One of his first clients was Melvin Simon – later to become a mall magnate. After seeing how the real estate game was played, Eskenazi formed his own company, Sandor Development, which quickly became an industry leader. Today, Sandor Development operates retail strip centers in 23 states. Most recently, Eskenazi’s generosity has garnered him attention, as he and his wife Lois have donated $40 million to Wishard Health Services to build a new hospital to serve the city’s poor.
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Fuson joined Pacers Sports and Entertainment in 1984, where he has been influential in shaping events across the city. He served on the Executive Committee for the 1991 World Gymnastics Championships and oversaw the opening ceremonies. He was co-chairman of special events for the 1991, 1997 and 2000 NCAA Final Four, and served on the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 2006 and 2010 NCAA Final Four. He produced the opening ceremonies of the 2001 World Police & Fire Games and the closing ceremonies of the Pan American Games in 1987. Fuson also served on the LOC for the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008-2011 Big Ten Basketball Championships. In 2000, Fuson helped oversee the Pacers move to Conseco Fieldhouse. He currently serves on the 2012 Big Ten Basketball LOC and the 2012 Super Bowl Committee. He has received multiple honors, including the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Hospitality,” “Who’s Who in Sports” and “Forty Under Forty.”
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Perkins has spent 41 years in roles of ever-increasing responsibility at Citizens Energy Group. As the vice president of community relations, she is responsible for establishing the strategic vision for the utility’s major internal and external communications initiatives, brand management, public relations programs, neighborhood development initiatives, corporate philanthropy, and improvement strategies for diversity management. She has been active in multiple community organizations ranging from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, to Planned Parenthood of Indiana. For a decade, she served on the board of the IPS Education Foundation. She is a 2003 recipient of the state’s Sagamore of the Wabash, winner of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Sarah Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism, and recipient of the 2006 Madame C. J. Walker Outstanding Woman of the Year Award from the Center for Leadership Development.
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Porter has served the people of Indiana as a member of the House of Representatives since 1992. He is a voice for the residents of House District 96 on the city’s Northeastside. When not at the Statehouse, he works as the vice president of external affairs for the Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County. In this role, he advises the president and CEO on communications strategies and serves as a liaison for community involvement. A strong advocate for Grades P-20 education, Rep. Porter is the education chair for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. He is the author of legislation that established statewide accountability and standards for Grades K-12 school districts, requires cultural competency be infused into school curriculum, and addresses educational disparities.
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Rogers is the vice president for development at Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s largest public post-secondary institution. In 2001, Rogers served as the first chief operating officer for Indiana Black Expo; later, she was named the first woman to serve as the organization’s president and CEO. With a heart for social service, women’s issues, and mentoring, Rogers has worked tirelessly in the areas of education, entrepreneurship and health care. In 2007, Rogers led efforts to partner with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) to purchase for Indiana the nation’s second prostate cancer medical mobile unit to promote prostate cancer testing and awareness. A Stanley K. Lacy graduate, her numerous awards and recognitions include the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Gov. Frank O’Bannon, the Coretta Scott King Matriarch Award and the Indiana Commission for Women Torch Bearers Award.
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Dr. Woodard (deceased) was an engineer, scientist and innovator who dedicated his 25-year career to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). After graduating from Broad Ripple, Dr. Woodard earned degrees from Purdue, Howard and Duke universities. During his NASA tenure, Dr. Woodard was the recipient of two R&D 100 Awards, called the “Oscars of Invention” by the Chicago Tribune. In 1996, Dr. Woodard was named the Black Engineer of the Year, and in 2008 he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Dr. Woodard held more than 20 patents and authored more than 80 published articles. Dr. Woodard’s sage advice would serve Broad Ripple students well today: “The names of organizations do not matter as much as the people, their vision and their perseverance and passion to achieve their vision.”