Purdue University Northwest (PNW) has numerous high-achieving alumni who seek to make an impact on their communities and dedicate energy back to their alma mater. On Thursday, June 8 PNW inducted three more alumni into its PNW Alumni Hall of Fame during its second annual induction dinner.
Friends, family, and alumni from all over the Region gathered in PNW’s Alumni Hall to celebrate these distinguished alumni and recognize them for their accomplishments.
The PNW Alumni Hall of Fame was started in 2022. The annual recognition honors high-achieving alumni who are transformative professionals in their fields, involved members of their communities, and who have engaged with PNW well beyond their time as students. They also stand out as examples of what current PNW students can aspire to be after they graduate.
“The Alumni Hall of Fame is so important. It allows us to recognize our graduates of the university who have done something spectacular and thank them for all the hard work that they’ve done after they finished their degree here. We strive to show our community what a quality institution we are, and what more can we say about the quality of our institution than the value of our graduates,” said PNW Chancellor Thomas L. Keon.
This year’s honorees included Robert Johnson III, the president and CEO of Cimcor, Inc, Stewart “Stu” McMillan, the founder of the Multi Agency Academic Cooperative (MAAC) Foundation in Valparaiso, and Alfredo “Al” Sori, who led a distinguished career at Kiewit Corporation. On top of everything they’ve contributed to the Region, all three alumni have continued to give back to PNW.
Katie Holderby, director of Alumni Engagement at PNW, couldn’t emphasize enough how excited PNW was to commend these alumni and thank them for everything they’ve achieved.
“The honorees exemplify leadership, innovation, and giving back to their respective communities and institutions. The students, faculty, and staff of PNW appreciate our alumni and their support as they continue to excel in their fields and help our students and institution to succeed as well,” said Holderby.
Following dinner, the honorees took to the stage to share their appreciation for being recognized and thank PNW for helping them get where they are today.
“When I first walked through those doors when I was 17 years old I never dreamed that I was taking the first step of a lifelong journey and that PNW would be a key partner of that journey. My professors and mentors were not only dynamic teachers whose lessons echoed through these great halls, but they were people who took the time to help me. They took the time to see me and believe in me and challenge me. Because of that, I’ve had the opportunity to follow my passions and desires,” said Johnson.
The honorees also thanked their friends and families for always pushing them and helping them succeed.
“I’ve been blessed with great parents,” said Sori. “My parents made great sacrifices when they left Cuba to come to this wonderful country to make sure my siblings and I would have a better life. I’m just so blessed and truly honored to be here today.”
“The person that I would like to thank tonight is somebody that I don't think anybody here knows, and that is the person that had the bright idea that education should be distributed amongst other locations and regional campuses. Because of that, folks like me who had to work at the same time they're going to school could accomplish and achieve the American dream,” added McMillan.
The evening came to a satisfying close when the three honorees posed for pictures in front of their brand-new plaques in the Student Union and Library Building concourse. The smiles on their faces as everyone congratulated them one last time said it all: the second annual Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Dinner couldn’t have been more touching.
Sponsors of the event included Cleveland Cliffs, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, The Times Media Co., and One Region.
To learn more about Purdue University Northwest’s Alumni Hall of Fame, visit pnw.edu/hall-of-fame.