KOKOMO, Ind. Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke was honored for her leadership in the community, receiving the Distinguished Citizen Award from Boy Scouts of America, Sagamore Council.
Sciame-Giesecke was humbled and honored to receive the award, because of her love for Kokomo and the area. When she joined the IU Kokomo faculty in 1977, her original plan was to teach there for only a few years.
The reason this award means so much to me tonight is because it is the Distinguished Citizen Award of Kokomo. This place has meant so much to me,” she said. “The place I thought was only going to be a stop in my life became my life. The reason it became my life is because of the people here, people who care and want to make it a better place.
I proudly say I live in Kokomo, Indiana, because of the people who are here.
Ben Blumenberg, Sagamore Council scout executive, said Sciame-Giesecke “exemplifies the values of scouting,” which include good citizenship, outstanding moral fiber with a dedication to others, and living by the Scout Oath and Law. She often hosts the monthly Eagle Board of Review meetings on campus, he added.
Sue's dedication to youth and education in our community is bar none,” he said. “There’s no one doing more than she is. She is a remarkable person, and has done so much.”
Paul Wyman, Howard County commissioner, commended her for her leadership, and her willingness to offer campus resources for events such as the Howard County Youth Leadership Summit, University of Scouting, the Walk into My Future event for 1,500 kindergartners, and meetings of community leaders to address the opioid crisis.
“The impact the campus has on our community is a direct result of the leadership of Sue Sciame-Giesecke,” he said. “She cares about people, her community, her students, and her family. It is that caring that allows us to be here tonight.
“The truth of the matter is, our community is a better place because Sue is a part of it.”
She also received tributes via video from John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs; Nancy Sylvester, professor emerita of speech at Rock Valley College, who was her freshman speech professor; Ruth J. Person, chancellor emerita of IU Kokomo; and her daughters Lauren Giesecke and Lindsey Berce.
Her daughters spoke about the importance of family, faith, and her work to their mother, and the example she sets for them, and for her granddaughter, Kennedy. Applegate noted her remarkable commitment to Kokomo, and her ability to inspire others through her communication skills.
“Instead of telling people where to go, she leads by example, and brings people along with her,” he said. “She presents a compelling vision of the future, and that excites people and encourages them to work closely with her, and to go the extra mile in advancing the goals of the campus.”
Danielle Dunten, a member of Scouts BSA Troop 619, also spoke about her experiences as a member of one of the first girls’ troops in the council.
Sciame-Giesecke is the seventh chancellor of IU Kokomo, after contributing to numerous areas across the campus for many years.
She was honored at the council’s annual Distinguished Citizen Award dinner Wednesday, October 9, at the Elite Banquet and Conference Center, Kokomo.
The Distinguished Citizen Award is presented to individual community leaders who provide outstanding civic service to the adults and/or youth in the community. Those who receive the award are not necessarily Boy Scout volunteers, but people who personify what the Boy Scouts stand for.
Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.