Community Foundation asks what legacy you will leave

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Putnam County Community Foundation held its annual meeting Wednesday evening at the DePauw University Ballroom. Keynote speakers Drs. Bob and Carol Steele asked attendees what legacy they would leave behind.

The Steeles are recent transplants to Putnam County, moving here in June from St. Petersburg. They are very involved in non-profit organizations. Sharing the podium, the two philanthropists spoke about using time, talents and treasures to leave a legacy behind.

Dr. Bob Steele explained leaving a legacy is often built upon who we are and what we do.

"It's both personal and professional. Personally, it is all about who we are as individuals and professionally it's what we do in our professional life. That includes things like our ethics and values," he said.

He related his personal values back to both sets of his grandparents. One, well-known Brown County artist T.C. Steele and his other set of grandparents who were suffragists, fighting for women's rights in the early 1900s.

Dr. Carol Steele talked about her roots being in a small family business on the Southside of Chicago where she spent many hours with her parents and siblings working in their business.

"I learned the value of hard work, the gift of family time and how important ensuring customer satisfaction is," she told the crowd.

Both tied their legacies back to craftsmanship, commitment and professionalism.

Dr. Carol Steele joined DePauw University this summer as an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. She has held many key managerial posts in her career including SRI International, The Center for Ocean Technology at the University of South Florida and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Dr. Bob Steele will be the Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism and a Scholar-in-Residence at the Janet Prindle Ethics Institute at DePauw. He is a former reporter and news manager and has served on faculty at the University of Maine. He has been on the faculty at The Poynter Institute, a premier training and development program for professional journalists and a research think tank. He is also a 1969 graduate of DePauw and a Vietnam veteran.

In other business, Murray Pride, Foundation president, asked for the election of two new board members for 2009. They are David Archer and Susan Price.

Archer was the first Vocational Director of the Putnam County Area Vocational District (Area 30 Career Center) serving in that capacity for seven years. He was elected as the Executive Director of the West Central

Price retired from the Clay Community Schools in 2004 as the Director of Special Services. She held this position for 15 years. Prior to that, for eight years, she was the Director of Special Services at Old National Trail Special Services Cooperative in Putnam County. She currently works part-time in Clay County as an administrative consultant to the Director of Special Education.

Honorary Board members Louis Fontaine, Sue Murray and John O'Hair were also recognized. These three will be honorary board members all their lives and will be included in all Foundation activities.

The Putnam County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1985 to administer funds, award grants and provide leadership, enriching the quality of life and strengthening community in Putnam County.

They have administered more than 174 funds for donors supporting a variety of charitable activities and more than $5.13 million in grants and scholarships. They can be reached at 765-653-4973 or at

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