Four to receive IU’s highest alumni award

Four to receive IU’s highest alumni award

  • Sept. 29, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — During Homecoming weekend, four Indiana University alumni will receive IU’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award on Oct. 14. DASA is the university’s highest award given only to an alumna or alumnus.

The recipients are Chris Botti, of Encino, Calif.; Moses Gray, of Indianapolis; Richard A. Reed, of Saudi Arabia; and Lorna Schofield, of New York City.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie will present the awards to the honorees. Nathan Feltman, national chair of the IU Alumni Association, will preside at the ceremony, which will take place in Henke Hall at Memorial Stadium.

The DASA recipients were chosen for service and achievement in their fields of endeavor and significant contributions to community, state or nation. Including these awardees, IU has honored 329 alumni since the award’s inception in 1953.

Following are brief individual bios for each award recipient:

Chris Botti

IU’s legendary jazz instructor, the late David Baker, encouraged Chris Botti to leave school in 1984 to take a job playing in Frank Sinatra’s backup band.

“It’s nice when they (graduate),” Baker said in a 2006 article in the Indiana Alumni Magazine. “But if they’re ready to go play, they should go.”

Botti went — and has since become the largest-selling American jazz instrumentalist, garnering numerous awards. His album “Impressions” won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Pop instrumental Album.

After studying with Baker and Bill Adam at IU, Botti has gone on to a career that includes performances with Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Paul Simon and Sting, along with a stellar solo effort. He has also performed with many symphony orchestras in the U.S. and abroad.

Botti frequently talks about his time at IU at concerts.

“I’m really glad I went to Indiana,” he said in the IAM article. “On Friday and Saturday nights, I never went out. I practiced my instrument. The reality is that most musicians are not really well-rounded people. It’s music and the trumpet. That’s really all I ever wanted to do. It’s all I’ve known.”

Moses Gray

Moses Gray is a retired General Motors employee, but it is his work outside of the plant in Indianapolis that brought him widespread community acclaim.

Gray’s work toward acquiring families for adoptable black children has been recognized through the Moses William Gray Award, initiated in 1986 by the staffs of Homes for Black Children and the Children’s Bureau. His many honors include B’nai B’rith Man of the Year in 1974, the General Motors Award for Excellence in Community Service gold medal in 1978, a national Chivas Regal Extrapreneur Award in 1990 and the National Black Police Officers Community Service Award in 2015.

His many affiliations include the Wilma Rudolph Foundation, national secretary for eight years of 100 Black Men of America Inc., president of the State Council on Adoptable Children in 1972, president of the Black Adoption Committee in 1973 and inaugural president of the Indiana Association for the Rights of Children in 1974.

Gray played football at IU and professionally for the Indianapolis Warriors and the New York Titans. He is a member of the I Association and a chairman for IU’s Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. He chaired the center’s fundraising committee.

He joined Detroit Diesel Allison as an inspector in 1962 and worked his way up through the ranks, retiring in 1992 as general superintendent of manufacturing plants in Speedway.

Richard A. Reed

When disaster strikes anywhere in the world, chances are that an Indiana University graduate will be on hand to coordinate relief efforts. Richard A. Reed is hailed as one of the U.S. government’s foremost experts and leaders in the field of disaster response for more than 20 years.

“What it really boils down to is if your town is devastated by a flood or tornado, or a new strain of flu threatens a pandemic, Richard Reed will be your best friend, even if you never hear his name,” said President Barack Obama in a letter of support for Reed’s DASA.

Reed, who holds three IU degrees, spent 20 years working for the federal government in a number of high-ranking positions, including six years at the White House for two presidents. He now leads corporate emergency management and continuity at Saudi Aramco.

Guided throughout his career with a strong desire to help people, Reed started his professional life at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, where he secured a grant and helped to design, implement and open Indiana’s first transitional housing development for homeless veterans.

As he moved on to service in the federal government, he wrote policy for effective disaster programs and played roles in relief efforts in a coal mine explosion in West Virginia, the devastating earthquake in Haiti, oil spills, hurricanes and tsunamis, and disease pandemics.

“What is most remarkable about Mr. Reed is that no matter what level of endeavor he is engaged in, the basic interest that motivated him to become a social worker holds true today — to find a way to improve the human condition,” said Michael A. Patchner, dean of the IU School of Social Work, from which Reed holds two degrees.

The Hon. Lorna G. Schofield

As the first federal judge, under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, of Filipino-American descent, the Hon. Lorna G. Schofield is hailed as a trailblazing figure in the field of law and for women of Asian descent.

She was nominated to the bench in 2012 by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, serving in one of the busiest courts in America, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seated in lower Manhattan.

Prior to her appointment, Schofield was a highly successful lawyer and partner in the international firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the Southern District of New York, and an associate at Cleary Gottlieg Steen & Hamilton. She is a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation.

Her practice focused on litigation in complex commercial matters, including the defense of companies and individuals in regulatory and white-collar criminal investigations. She successfully defended TV celebrity Rosie O’Donnell, whose publishers sued her for $300 million over her decision to terminate her interest in Rosie magazine after the company attempted to seize editorial control from her.

In addition to receiving IU’s highest alumni accolade, Schofield will be honored with the 2016 Distinguished Asian/Pacific American Alumni Award to recognize her impact on the legal profession and the Asian community both at IU and beyond. The IU Asian Alumni Association is an affiliate group of the IU Alumni Association.

Schofield earned her bachelor’s degree at IU before attaining a law degree from New York University, where she was editor of the New York University Law Review. In 2013, she was selected for the inaugural cohort of College Luminaries for IU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The IU Alumni Association is a global alumni organization that brings more than 660,000 IU graduates together to support one another and Indiana University throughout their lives. The IUAA activates IU’s powerful network through live events, webinars, scholarship programs and seriously fun traditions.


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