May 29, 2012

Lingle appreciates IUE degree's link to past

Longtime university contributor impacted by previous honorees

 By Rachel E. Sheeley Staff writer


For Paul Lingle, the significance in receiving an honorary doctorate degree from Indiana University East is not so much in the recognition but in the people upon whom such degrees have been conferred in the past.

Lingle received the honorary degree May 11 at the IU East commencement. He was honored Tuesday during a reception on the Whitewater Hall patio at the university.

"We appreciate all you have done and will continue to do for Indiana University East," departing IU East Chancellor Nasser Paydar said.

Lingle is the president of Lingle Real Estate and a member of the IU East Board of Advisors. He helped lead the fundraising effort that built Hayes Hall, Paydar said.

Paydar noted that in 2005, Lingle and his wife, Pat, established the Lingle Scholars Program, offered to incoming freshmen enrolled in the IU East Honors Program, to keep the brightest and best students in Wayne County. Paydar said that program now is attracting students to the college.

Lingle talked Tuesday about the past honorary degree recipients who had an impact on his life, including Art Vivian, Ellen Klemperer, Al Cobine, Charlie Combopiano and Paul Rhoads.

Vivian, he said, was his mentor. "He really loved this place," Lingle said.

"Art Vivian taught me how to be involved in fundraising. He'd call me, 'Partner, they need to build a new building at IU East and I'll be talking to you, Partner.'"

On the day Lingle received his congratulatory letter from IU President Michael McRobbie, he said he took time to reflect upon the people who led the way, "plowed the fields," for him to come along and continue supporting the school and community.

Lingle said that 43 years ago when he returned to Richmond, "the only talent I really had was listening" and those people were among those who emphasized to him the importance of servant leadership.

He said the honorary degree was not something he was aiming to get, but that it is nice to be recognized for something "that is part of you." His only wish is that his parents could be around to see him recognized and to realize the influence they had upon him.

After the presentation, former IU East Chancellor David Fulton said that he is delighted that Lingle was presented an honorary degree.

Fulton said Lingle has picked up the mantle of community service and IU East support that Vivian embodied.

"I can't ever remember him saying, 'No,'" Fulton said. "There have been five chancellors since the campus' creation and he was there at the beginning."



Get Paul Lingle talking about the things in Richmond and Wayne County that make him especially proud and you are going to hear an earful. In fact, from Reid Hospital, ranked among the top 100 heart care hospitals nationally, to Indiana University East, the fastest growing campus in the Indiana University statewide system, to the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, one of the finest orchestras of any community this size, to the current capital campaign to expand the

Wernle Children's Home and Treatment Center to provide more services to more youth from broken homes, Lingle has been a factor in the successes of these institutions, and of many, many more. He has served on the boards and rolled up his sleeves to do the heavy physical and fundraising lifting to better the organizations and, as a result, the community. Lingle and his wife, Pat, have made the investments in programs like the Lingle Scholars and IU East Honors designed to attract and retain some of the brightest young minds and potential future great leaders to Richmond and Wayne County. But if you are looking to turn the conversation to Paul Lingle and his vast and continuing philanthropic contributions locally,

you are getting outside his comfort zone. And if you are inclined to dwell on the sizeable sums the Lingles make available to deserving causes, you are probably really trespassing on forbidden ground. For Paul Lingle, causes are measured not in the dollars given, but rather in the shared sense of community and commitment -- the better angels, if you will -- that stir in all of us. He will talk as enthusiastically, if not more so, about the $5,000 that he and two other Richmond businessmen each pledged five years ago when it looked like the community, for lack of funds, might have to forego a July 4 fireworks display, as he will when discussing the $500,000 pledged to the RSO or Wernle capital campaigns.

Forget the dollar differences. What the fireworks community fund drive had in common with the other two was that they

challenged the residents to come forth with a match, and in so doing sharing with

Lingle that sense of accomplishment, of ownership when the campaign succeeds and goals are reached. At his IU East reception Tuesday, Lingle talked of the importance of servant leadership and drew on the names of those past honorary degree recipients who have had profound impacts on his own life: Art Vivian, Ellen Klemperer, Al Cobine, Charlie Combopiano and Paul Rhoads. The Lingles' legacy will ultimately be defined, and rewarded, by those future generations of Richmond and Wayne County residents who can comprehend the virtues of and are responsive to the powerful and giving leadership example Paul Lingle leaves to us.

Thank you, Dr. Lingle.


The Palladium Item; May 30, 2012

Lingle A Factor In Many Successes