VU News Releases


Three community leaders to be recognized at VU

September 7, 2016 / Community Leaders to be Recognized

VINCENNES, Ind. - Three community leaders will be recognized at Vincennes University’s Alumni Association Awards Breakfast on Sept. 17. The honorees are Helen R. Sierp, VU ’95; VU President Chuck Johnson; and Scott Shipman, director of Helping His Hands.

The Awards Breakfast will be held at the Beckes Student Union on Saturday, September 17, 9:00 a.m. (EDT), as part of VU’s Fall Family and Alumni Weekend. Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased by calling the Alumni Association, 812-888-4354 or 800-945-ALUM.


Alumni Faculty Citation - Helen R. Sierp, VU ’95, Vincennes

This award recognizes an individual’s achievements in his or her professional field and is given to a VU alumnus who graduated more than 10 years ago.

Seirp joined Old National Bank in 1980 and currently serves as Vincennes Region President which encompasses banking centers in three counties including Knox, Daviess, and Martin. She has over 40 years of banking experience.

She attended Vincennes University where she pursued a degree in Finance. She is actively involved in several community organizations, currently serving as president of the Good Samaritan Foundation Board and chair of its Capital Campaign; member and treasurer of United Way of Knox County Board; co-chair of the Historical Downtown Mural Committee; and as a member of the KCDC Board, VU Foundation Board, Red Skelton Museum Foundation Board, and InVin. Sierp is also very active at Vincennes First Baptist Church where she currently serves on the Building Committee and as a Trustee. She has also served on numerous banking committees, including the founding committee of the Old National Bank Foundation.

Sierp was a 2012 recipient of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Award and is a past recipient of the United Way Volunteer of the Year Award. She received the Civitan Citizen of the Year Award in 2014.

President’s Service Award - Scott Shipman, Vincennes

This honor is presented to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the Vincennes University Alumni Association or the VU community. The recipient does not have to be a VU employee or alumnus.

From youth minister to heavy equipment operator, Shipman has “worn many hats” throughout the years. But the one thing that has remained constant in his life is his passion for helping others.

This mentality began when he was a child in southern Illinois and has continued to flourish over the years. His resume is packed with various endeavors, but he is currently the campus minister for Vincennes University and the director of Helping His Hands, a short-term mission organization. Under Shipman’s leadership, Helping His Hands has grown tremendously, specializing in disaster response. The organization also operates a food pantry that serves more than 1,400 people each month and has recently opened a homeless shelter called the House of Hope.

Shipman is a recent recipient of the N. Philip Shelton Humanitarian Award, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital of Vincennes.

Honorary Alumni Award - VU President Chuck Johnson, Vincennes

This award honors exemplary service by individuals who make significant contributions to Vincennes University’s welfare, reputation, and prestige, and who are not graduates of Vincennes University.

With the December 2015 appointment of Dr. Charles “Chuck” Johnson as the 22nd president of Vincennes University, the Board of Trustees validated VU’s place as an integral part of Indiana’s educational and economic future. Johnson had served VU as Interim President of Indiana’s oldest college since the previous August, following the retirement of long-serving President Dick Helton.

A native of Washington, Indiana, Johnson came to VU in 2012 from Purdue University, West Lafayette, where he served for more than 14 years overseeing internationally ranked MBA, master’s, and executive education programs for the Krannert School of Management. While at Purdue he also served as a consultant to a start-up institution of higher education in Kuwait, the American University of the Middle East. He later served as a member of its Board of Advisors.

Prior to joining Purdue, Johnson worked in training and development and human resources for National City Bank in Toledo, Ohio (now PNC), and in a variety of student and academic affairs and instructional positions over 11 years at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Johnson graduated from Washington Catholic High School prior to earning his B.S. in economics from Indiana State University. He holds an MBA from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Purdue University, West Lafayette.


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