Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin was honored Tuesday with the Sagamore of the Wabash award, presented by Indiana State Sen. James Arnold.
Arnold surprised Dworkin as he entered an all-campus forum hosted by Dworkin to present the framed Sagamore of the Wabash award. Arnold told the group that had assembled to hear a campus update from the chancellor that this was the first time he had nominated anyone for the award that must be approved and signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Arnold said that he felt Dworkin was deserving of the award, citing his “dedication to the betterment of education and the betterment of the community.”
“I could not be more proud,” said Arnold as he presented the award before departing to a meeting in Indianapolis.
The Sagamore of the Wabash award is one of the highest distinctions bestowed by the Governor of Indiana. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered distinguished service to the state. The award was created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. Sagamore of the Wabash honorees have included astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians and citizens who have contributed to enriching Hoosier heritage.
Dworkin has established a long history of service to Purdue University, the local community, the state and beyond.
He joined Purdue University in 1976 and has served as PNC chancellor since January, 2000. Since then, PNC has expanded its academic offerings from six bachelor’s degrees to 24 bachelor’s degrees. The PNC campus will soon see the addition of a fourth building, the planned Student Services and Activities Complex. Construction is expected to begin in 2014.
Under his leadership, PNC has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for six consecutive years in recognition of its record of PNC commitment to student community service and service learning. In addition, PNC was awarded the Community Engagement Classification from the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for its work in civic engagement.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has designated PNC a Champions of Character institution for nine consecutive years for its commitment to demonstrating character values, respect, responsibility and servant leadership in area athletic contests, on campus and in the community.
Dworkin helped initiate the PNC College Bound program that provides a college education for first generation college students in the Michigan City, LaPorte and Portage school systems. He has played a vital role in economic development activities in the Northwest Indiana.
Dworkin has been an active member of the local community through the years. He was presented with the LaPorte County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award as part of its Law Day activities; he earned the NIPSCO Luminary Education Award and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Medical Association of Northwest Indiana, in recognition of his work to better the quality of life in Northwest Indiana. The Indiana Association of United Ways recognized Dworkin’s commitment to the United Way with the Castaldi Award.
“It is a great honor for me to receive this prestigious award,” Dworkin said. “I am very grateful to Governor Pence, State Senator Jim Arnold and all those individuals who were involved in making this possible.”