Gerry Stroman, chief of staff, and Diane Bever, librarian for reference and information services, were recognized for their work and contributions that will be valued for years to come.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke acknowledged both women, who will retire in February, with the highest honor she can bestow.
“We all know if we want to know something about IU Kokomo’s past, you have to ask Diane,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “Because of her work and passion for the preservation of our history, she has developed a complete IU Kokomo history archive.
“Gerry believes firmly that academic excellence and organizational excellence is dependent on diverse voices,” she added. “She’s worked tirelessly to help others see the need for diversity and equity.”
She also thanked Stroman for leading efforts to improve and centralize advising, creating the Office for Student Success and Academic Advising, and for her work promoting diversity.
During her 38-year career at IU Kokomo, Bever has preserved campus artifacts and has served in various leadership roles, including as interim dean of the Library. She began working on campus in 1979, first as an assistant reference librarian and later as reference and information services librarian, and also archivist and historian. She received the Indiana Library Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in October 2016.
Bever noted that she started work when the library was still in the Main Building. She is thankful for former and current deans who supported her professional development.
“It allowed me to grow and serve our library, and to serve in a leadership role,” she said. “I will miss all of you, and the relationships I have developed over the years.”
Bever, a Forest resident, will continue serving IU after retirement, as a member of the IU Bicentennial Oral History Project team.
Polly Boruff-Jones, dean of the Library, called Bever “the institutional memory not only for our library, but for our campus and IU,” for her work as campus archivist.
“Many of our artifacts would have been lost forever if Diane had not consistently paid attention to the people and impacts that impacted our history,” she said. “Diane has played a pivotal role in public services at the IU Kokomo library. She has ensured that students and all library users receive the resources and develop the skills they need.”
Stroman joined IU Kokomo as director of the University Division in 1986, and later served as assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs. She retires satisfied that she leaves the campus better than she found it when she arrived.
“I have given my heart to this campus for the last 31 years,” she said. “I don’t regret any of it, and it has truly been a blessing. I think God put me here for a reason. Every day when I walk in here, I know where my strength comes from.”
In addition, Stroman, who also serves as the campus affirmative action officer, received the first-ever Distinguished Inclusive Excellence Award award from James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs. He commended her for being someone who is committed to setting an example for others to follow, and for demonstrating her commitment to inclusiveness.
“This award will be given rarely, because people like Gerry are rare,” said Wimbush. “It will be given to individuals who have demonstrated through their work that they don’t just talk about diversity, they really mean it, and they really embrace it.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.