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Alumni Award Recipients

Interested in nominating someone for the alumni award? Click the link below for an alumni award nomination form. 
                                                                         Alumni Award Nomination Form

If you have information to add or correct regarding any alumni, please contact Mr. Moline at the high school.
We are missing information for a few people below. Mr. Moline can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Risk 001
 J. Fred Risk
 1987 Award Recipient
 Class of 1946
 College: Indiana University
 Occupation: Private Investment Banker

Former Chairman of Indiana National Bank
Founder and Long Range Planning Committee, Admiralty Pointe
Chairman of Security Group, Inc.
Director of Steak and Shake Company, 1971 to 2009
As an investment banker, his holdings are spread across all fifty states and over 140 countries
Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Academy of Alumni Fellows, 1970 

Mr. Risk has spent his life in the world of business and finance, perhaps most notably as the Director of Steak and Shake. His incredibly successful career has spanned the globe and his investment company has affiliates in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Spain and China. A graduate of Indiana University's prestigious Kelley School of Business, Mr. Risk's investment focus is in the manufacturing and service industries. He was also instrumental in establishing the first scholarship of the Milan Community Dollars for Scholars program in 1989.

Baylor 001
 Chester Baylor

 1988 Award Recipient
 Occupation: Owner, Baylor Company, retired
 Class of 1937


Retired owner of Baylor Trucking Company, created with his wife, Ruth, in 1945
Founder of Baylor Foundation

Mr. Baylor has done much to contribute to the Milan community. After returning from World War II he and his wife, Ruth, formed the Baylor Trucking Company. The company is still in the Baylor family and is incredibly successful today.
Through the Baylor Foundation and Milan Dollars for Scholars, the family awards scholarships to Milan students attending a college or trade school. Hundreds of students have benefited from the kindness and success of Mr. Baylor.

Plump 001
 Bobby Plump
 1989 Award Recipient
 Class of 1954
 College: Butler University
 Occupation: Businessman (Insurance Company and Restaurant Owner)

Played on 1954 State Championship basketball team, shot the winning basket to defeat the Muncie Bearcats.
Played semi-professional basketball.
Currently owns an insurance company and Plump's Last Shot restaurant in Indianapolis.

Mr. Plump has done much to spread the word and fame of Milan. His name is synonymous with Indiana basketball, thanks in part to the movie Hoosiers. Mr. Plump is much more than a former basketball player, however. He is a highly successful businessman who has his own insurance company and owns a very highly rated restaurant in Broad Ripple.


 Dolf Droge
 1990 Award Recipient
 Class of 1946
 Occupation: National Security Council specialist, Free-lance speaker, Radio talkshow host

National Security Council Specialist
USAF during Korean War
US Information Agency
USIA Global Radio Network
US Agency for International Development, Training Division
Office of Public Liason
Member of AIM/AEF Speaker's Bureau
Chairman of the Council for Defense of Freedom

Mr. Droge spent thirty-two years serving our nation in various capacities. He was a specialist for the National Security Council and worked with President Lyndon Johnson, President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Droge spent five years in the Air Force (1951-1954), US Information Agency, and the US Agency for International Development. A well-known radio host, Mr. Droge was stationed in Thailand, Laos, Poland, and Vietnam as well as being part of the Voice of America. A renowned speaker and radio personality, Mr. Droge has hosted and appeared on numerous national radio shows and authored a book about the Vietnam War.

 Major Gary Michael Walker, MD
 1991 Award Recipient
 Class of 1972

 College: Marion College. Indiana University School of Medicine, Edward Herbert School of Medicine
 Occupation: General Surgeon and resident doctor at US Air Force Medical Center, Keesler/SGHS, Mississippi

Sigma Zeta Honorary Science Society
Distinguished Graduate, Aerospace Medicine Primary Course, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine
Physician’s Recognition Award, American Medical Association
Board Certified Medical Examiner
Association of Military Surgeons
Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons
Candidate Group, American College of Surgeons
Presentation to 34th Annual Symposium of the Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons
Commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel

Major Walker, an accomplished musician in high school, graduated in the top 10% of his class in medical school on his way to a distinguished career in medicine. He has won numerous awards and been involved in many professional organizations. His career as a successful surgeon led to several honors as well as a commission as a Kentucky Colonel.

 Jenny Johnson-Kappes
 1992 Award Recipient

 Class of 1968
 College: Franklin College / Indiana University
 Occupation: Softball Coach, Field Hockey Coach, Athletic Director, Professor and Adviser

Softball World Champion and MVP 

Softball Hall of Fame
Franklin College Women's Softball Coach (1978-2010)
Physical Education Professor and Student Adviser at Franklin College

Mrs. Johnson-Kappes was a world-class athlete who used her knowledge and passion for athletics to touch the lives of thousands of students and athletes at Franklin College. As a student at the school, she graduated magna cum laude and was a standout athlete in basketball, softball, volleyball, field hockey, and track and field. She was the first person inducted into the US Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame in the Female Player category in 1981. She maintained a batting average of .500 for her softball career and won several national championships and a world championship in 1976 (and was named the Most Valuable Player). She coached the Franklin College Field Hockey team from 1977 to 1989 and won two NAIA district titles. She also coached the Grizzlies softball team from 1978 to 2010 and won several championships and coach of the year honors. She was inducted into the Franklin College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and was named the Player of the Century and All-Century shortstop for the greater Cincinnati area as well as winning the prestigious National Association of Women's and Girls Sports Pathfinder Award. In addition, she served as an athletic director at Franklin as well as a professor and adviser in the Physical Education department.

Mortara 001
  Dr. David Mortara
  1993 Award Recipient
  Class of 1958

  College: Purdue University
  Occupation: Physician, Businessman

Founder and President, Mortara Instrument (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Purdue Distinguished Alumni Award, School of Physics, 2003
American College of Cardiology Honorary Fellow, 2011

Dr. Mortara was a leader in creating and perfecting the ECG heart testing machine. His work in this regard has saved countless numbers of lives. As the founder and president of Mortara Instrument, Dr. Mortara has continued his pioneering work into ECG heart testing and interpretation of results. His highly successful company has operations in the United States, Italy, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands. His accomplishments have been recognized around the world.

Glover 001
 Dr. William Glover
 1995 Award Recipient
 Class of 1934

 College: Purdue
 Occupation: Veterinarian
US Air Force in WWII
Longtime veterinarian in Milan

Dr. Glover was a well-known and well-loved member of the Milan community. His incredibly interesting life included flying on a bomber in World War II that was shot down over Germany. He subsequently spent years as a prisoner of war. When he returned home he attended Purdue University and obtained his degree to become a veterinarian. He served the community in that regard for the remainder of his life. He also served many years on the Milan School board.

Fledderman 001
 Jody Fledderman
 1996 Award Recipient

 Class of 1980
 College: University of Cincinnati
 Occupation: President and CEO of Batesville Tool and Die

Chairman of Precision Metalforming Association

Board of Directors New Horizons Rehabilitation
Board of Directors Indiana Manufacturers Association
Board of Directors State of Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors Batesville Community Education Foundation

Mr. Fledderman is an accomplished businessman who serves on many important boards around the state. He is an example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. As President and CEO of Batesville Tool and Die company, Mr. Fledderman runs an international company that provides precision metal stamping and welding for companies in the automotive, appliance, and industrial industries. 

Craft 001
 Ray Craft
 1997 Award Recipient
 Class of 1954

 College: Butler University
 Occupation: Associate Commissioner of IHSAA, principal

Member of Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Principal of Shelbyville and Clinton Central High Schools
Member of 1954 Milan state champion basketball team
Played basketball for Tony Hinkle at Butler University

Mr. Craft had an impact on countless students and athletes across the state of Indiana in his roles as a teacher, principal, coach, and IHSAA commissioner.  A member of Indiana’s basketball hall of fame, Craft had an incredibly successful career as an athlete at Milan and Butler and as a coach at Milan and Clinton Central. His love for teaching and for athletics led him to a stint as the associate and then the assistant commissioner of the IHSAA.

Thompson 001
  William (Bill) Thompson
  1998 Award Recipient

  Class of 1942
  Occupation: President of Milan Furniture Factory, Member of Milan School Board

Active in getting Milan into the basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle, Indiana
President of Milan PTA for many years
Active booster of Milan community and school activities
Served on Milan town board
Head Marshall for many local parades
Announcer for many MHS basketball games

Mr. Thompson was the epitome of a “booster” as he worked to improve the life and enjoyment of everyone involved in Milan High School events and academics. He was a great supporter of Milan basketball as an announcer and benefactor in making Milan part of the Indiana basketball Hall of Fame. He was a leader in local civic organizations and could always be found attending events at his alma mater.

Knowlton 001
 Floyd Knowlton
 1999 Award Recipent
 Class of 1935

 College: Purdue University
 Occupation: Director of Chemical and Fermentation Development for Bell Laboratories


Graduated with chemical engineering degree from Purdue
Helped increase yield of penicillin
Part of a team that developed several new antibiotics as well as anti-cancer drug Taxol

Mr. Knowlton graduated from Purdue University with a prestigious degree in chemical engineering. He began his career as a Chief Quality Control Chemist at Seagram’s in Lawrenceburg before moving to Connecticut where he worked as a quality control supervisor for US Rubber Company. He then moved to Syracuse, New York, to work at Bell Labs. While there, he was part of a team that developed antibiotics such as staphcillin and ampicillin, among others.

Givan 001
  Dr. Deborah C. Givan
  2000 Award Recipient
  Class of 1969

  College: Indiana University
  Occupation: Pediatrician
Professor of Pediatric Pulmonology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Medical Director, Riley Hospital
Director of Children's Sleep Disorder Center, Riley Hospital
Pediatric Pulmonologist, Riley Hospital
Chairperson, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Advisory Board

Dr. Givan has done much to improve the lives of children. In her many roles as a pediatrician, she has worked on the front lines of children's sleep disorders and pediatric pulmonology. She is one of the most sought after experts in the area of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and has worked tirelessly to combat it. Dr. Givan has risen to the pinnacle of her profession at one of the top children's hospitals in the world.

 James R. McMillan, Jr.

 2001 Award Recipient
 Class of 1972
 College: Purdue University, US Naval Academy, Armed Forces Staff College, US Marine Corps  Command &  Staff College
 Occupation: Commander, US Navy

NATO Medal for Service with NATO on Operation sin Relation to the Former Yugoslavia, 1994
Navy Commendation Medal for Meritorious Servce as Combast Systems Officer in USS John Hancock
Responsible for inspection and seizure of a merchant vessle carrying 33 tons of munitions in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions
Served with distincion as Tactical Action Officer during the height of the Iran-Iraq War
Executed two successful search and rescue missions during Iran-Iraq War which saved many lives
Direction the interdiction of 10,000 pounds of illegal substances and the arrest of drug smugglers
Management of the Combat Systems Department resulted in savings of more than $1.6 million
Has traveled nearly every ocean in the world and visted over thirty countries in the course of those travels
Has received fifteen different awards and commendations from the Navy

The importance and responsibilities of the position Commander McMillan holds are tremendous. He is proud of his hometown roots and even though he has travled the world he comes back to Milan every opportunity he gets. As a student at Milan, he was an excellent athlete and still holds the school's 100 meter dash record. 

Meyers 001
  Kenneth Ward Meyers

  2002 Award Recipient
  Class of 1944
  College: Indiana University
  Occupation: Marketing Manager for Ford Motor Company


US Navy, 1944 to 1946
2nd Lieutenant, US Army Reserve, 1948-1950
Marketing Director, Ford Parts Division
Led major campaign in auto industry against foreign parts counterfeiters

Mr. Meyers decided while he was attending Milan High School that he wanted to work for Ford Motor Company one day. Not only did he accomplish that goal, he became an important company executive. He began his career as a simple general office and field position worker, but climbed the corporate ladder to the very top. He spent several years in Brussels, Belgium and Bonn, Germany, as marketing director for Ford’s Parts Division. He retired in 1991 from Ford World Headquarters in Detroit as Marketing Manager of the Motorcraft Parts Division.

Ridenour 001
 Dave Ridenour
 2003 Award Recipient

 Class of 1948
 Occupation: Farmer

Worked for the Monsanto company
Instrumental in setting up the Milan scholarship committee with his wife, Carol

Mr. Ridenour was a longtime farmer and even had an egg route at one time. He was also an excellent athlete who was invited to try out for the Cincinnati Reds. He was also very active in the Lions Club as well as being instrumental in the Milan scholarship committee. Mr. Ridenour dedicated a scholarship to his wife, who was on the founding commitee and a past president. Many Milan graduates have been supported on their journey to college through the kindness and hard work of Mr. Ridenour and his wife.

Droege 001
 Catherine Droege
 2004 Award Recipient

 Citizenship Award
 Occupation: Teacher

Longtime educator in Milan schools

Ms. Droege taught government and English for many years in the Milan school district. Upon retirement she continued to volunteer to tutor elementary students. She was known as an excellent teacher who was very patient, kind, and generous. She gave exceedingly of her time, taking hundreds of home baked cookies to area nursing homes each week.

Barton 001
 Donna Barton
 2005 Award Recipient
 Class of 1971
 College: Hanover
 Occupation: Teacher

Schein 001
 William Schein
 2006 Award Recipient
 Citizenship Award
 College: Indiana University

 Occupation: Band and Music Teacher at Milan High School (1957 - 1997)

Stationed in Munich, Germany, as part of US Armed Forces 1956-1957

Taught Band and Music to Thousands of Students at Milan High School

Mr. Schein was a long-time educator at Milan High School, having taught for thirty-nine years. He was integral in guiding thousands of young men and women through Milan High School and is known as an excellent example, a gentleman, and a skilled musician and teacher. He was very dedicated and taught all ages of children in his years as a teacher. 

Wilhite 001
 Dr. Michael Willhite
 2007 Award Recipient

 Class of 1985
 College: Indiana University
 Occupation: Medical Doctor

Dr. Wilhite maintains a family medicine practice in Versailles.
A board-certified physician, he takes care of patients from children to senior citizens.

Steve Baylor
2008 Award Recipient
Class of 1968
College: Indiana University
Occupation: Businessman, Milan School Board President
Successful businessman who gained the trust and respect of employees and customers.
Milan School Board President
Contributor to many school activities, including donating funds for senior trips and buying shoes for the football team to play at the Hoosier Dome

Mr. Baylor cares strongly about the quality of education at Milan and about the teachers and students in the school district. As a board member and president, he made sure that decisions made by the school board would benefit the community. 

Wichmann 001
 Robert K. Wichmann
 2009 Award Recipient
 Class of 1955

 College: Purdue University, Harvard Business School
 Occupation: Corporate Vice President, Pioneer Seed Company

Graduated from Purdue with a degree in Agronomy

Graduated Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program
Held various sales and administrative positions at Pioneer
District Sales Manager for Virgina and North Carolina, 1960-1975
Director of Sales for Eastern Divison, 1975-1980
President of Sales for Eastern Division, 1980-1988
Corporate Vice President of Sales for all of US, Canada, and Mexico
Awarded Purgue Ag Alumni Association's Highest Honor: "Certificate of Distinction" for his contributions to Indiana Agriculture (1988)
Awarded "Distinguished Alumni Award" from Purdue in 1992
Agri-Marketer of the Year Award, 1993, the Highest Professional Honor bestowed by the National Agri-Marketing Association

Mr. Wichmann is one of the most successful and influential businessmen in the field of agriculture marketing in the world. He has been recognized numerous times with the highest possible honors available for his work for Pioneeer Seed Company. He has twice been a member of US Feed Grains Council Trade Missions: to China and Japan in 1985 and to Turkey in 1987.

Hoffman 001 Commander Stephen Hoffman
 2010 Award Recipient

 Class of 1987
 College: US Naval Academy 
 Occupation: Officer in Charge of the European Commander’s C41 (Command and Control, Communications, and  Computers/Intelligence)  detachment at NATO in Brussels, Belgium from 2005 to 2008.

Flew Navy’s SH-60B “Seahawk” Aircraft with the HSL 49 “Scorpions”
Deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1995 and 1997, flew missions to enforce UN sanctions against Iraq
Maintenance Officer responsible for 25 personnel, $30 million in aircraft, and $12 million in parts in Iraq, 1997
Part of first detachment to ever fly with the Hellfire missile
Executive Officer for 4th Battalion

Selected among best instructors at the Naval Academy
Naval Academy Admissions Board, 2005
Served on staff of Commander of USS George Washington battle group in Norfolk, Virginia
Led Seahawk Helicopter Community in San Diego, California as part of HSL 47 (“Saberhawks”)
Helicopter detachment located and seized $153 million in narcotics in Central America
Member of Board of Directors for the Association of Christian Conferences and Teaching Services
Elected to National Council for Officers’ Christian Fellowship
Presented at Norway’s International Conference on Ethics

Mr. Hoffman has had an incredibly successful and rewarding career as part of the US Navy. Among his many accomplishments and leadership roles are several historic firsts and many instances of making our country, and our world, safer and more secure. His leadership extends beyond his role in the military as he is active in Christian organizations and as an educator and instructor.

Linda Baurley
  Linda Baurley
  2011 Award Recipient

  Class of 1966
  College: Indiana University
  Occupation: PE teacher, Milan (1970-1976, 1983-2007)

Successful volleyball, track, and basketball coach
Cheerleading, pep club, and GAA sponsor
Volunteers for Milan Scholarship Fund, Milan ’54 Museum, Milan Main Street, Ripley County Retired Teachers, and Council of Churches Christmas Project

Mrs. Baurley is very involved in the Milan community. She willingly gives her time and energy to improve the lives of children, as well as adults, in Ripley County. Her involvement in the community is a continuation of her many years of service as a teacher, coach, and sponsor in the Milan school district. She is an integral part of several important local community foundations.

 Dr. Chris Owens
 2012 Award Recipient

 Class of 1985
 College: Indiana University / Harvard Medical
 Occupation: Vascular Surgeon


Vascular Surgeon
Instructor at Harvard Medical SchoolPublished at least twenty-nine peer-reviewed articles
Wrote several chapters in medical textbooks
Lectured and presented in several prestigious symposiums

Dr. Owens has accomplished a significant number of things in his life. He is an accomplished vascular surgeon who attended Indiana University as well as Harvard School of Medicine. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals several times as well as in many medical textbooks. He has worked in many places across the United States and currently lives in San Francisco, California.

Heller 001
 M. Tim Heller
 2013, 1994 Award Recipient

 Class of 1961
 College: Morehead State University
 Occupation: Superintendent of Muncie Community Schools

 3Greg Schwipps
 2014 Award Recipient

 Class of 1991
 College: Depauw University
 Occupation: English Professor, Depauw University
Earned Master's Degree in Fine Arts

Longtime English Professor at Depauw
Recognized in 2011 by Depauw with an Exemplary Teacher Award
Has Written Two Books: Fishing for Dummies and the novel What This River Keeps
What This River Keeps won the 2010 Indiana Author's Award

Professor Schwipps has had a productive career in writing and education as well as philanthropy. He generously donated the $2500 gift from the Indiana Author's Award to the Milan Public Library. An avid fisherman, Greg co-authored the second edition of the popular book Fishing for Dummies. He has influenced countless lives in his position as a professor of English at Depauw University.


 Mark Collier
 2015 Award Recipient

 Class of 1978
 College: Marian College
 Occupation: Principal, South Ripley Elementary
Began his 33-year career in education as a teacher in the Milan school district.
Principal at the opening of the brand new South Ripley Elementary School in 1991.
Serves on Board of Directors of the Ripley County Community Foundation
Made a significant impact on thousands of lives as principal at several elementary schools.

 Gene White
 2016 Award Recipient

 Class of 1954
 College: Franklin College
 Occupation: Teacher and Coach

Member of Franklin College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Served two years in the Army after graduating from Franklin.
Taught for over forty years at Milan, Batesville, and Franklin High Schools.
Coached Milan's boys basketball team to 1985 sectional championship.
Adjunct professor for twenty-five years at Franklin College at twenty at Purdue.
Coached Franklin College women's basketball team for ten years.
Served as president of the Franklin College Alumni Association.

Mr. White has always been available to give back to the Milan community and has acted as an ambassador for Milan, traveling and telling our story wherever and whenever he can. He has also been married to his wife, Anita, for fifty-nine years. 
Jamie Johnson
2017 Award Recipient

Class of 1990
College: Louisville Technical College
Occupation: Musician

Milan High School is proud to announce Jamie Johnson as the recipient of the prestigious 2016-17 Milan High School Alumni Award! Jamie is a 1990 graduate of Milan High School. After high school, Jamie moved to Louisville, KY where he received an associate's degree in electrical engineering from Louisville Technical College. However Jamie’s passion for music could not be stifled and he moved to Nashville in 1998 to chase the dream of becoming a country music star and playing on country music’s biggest stage, The Grand Ole Opry. In 2004, Jamie and some of his closest friends founded a group called “The Grascals” who achieved dreams they never thought possible. Some of Jamie’s musical highlights include….

  • 3 time Grammy nominee
  • 150+ performances at the Grand Ole Opry
  • 2 time Bluegrass music’s Entertainer of the Year
  • 2 time DOVE Award Nominee
  • 11 time SPGMA Award Winner
  • Southeast Indiana Musician’s Hall of Fame
  • 2 performances at the White House (President Bush and President Obama)
  • Several performances on major television (Late Night w/Jay Leno, The Talk, The Late Show, CMT)

In addition to his awards and accolades, Jamie has performed with some of country music’s biggest stars including Dolly Parton, George Jones, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr, Dierks Bentley, Joe Nichols, Brad Paisley, and others.  

In recent years, Jamie has retired from touring in the music business and now shares his experiences with high schools and addiction treatment centers. Jamie routinely visits addiction centers using music therapy to write songs with patients and help them on their road to recovery. Last spring, Jamie visited Milan High School where he performed for several student groups while sharing his experiences and spreading his message of strength and hope.

Roselyn McKittrick
2018 Citizenship Award Recipient

Hometown: Forest City, Iowa
Occupation: Author, Owner-Operator of Milan '54 Museum

Owned Railroad Inn restaurant
Opened an antique store in Milan
Opened the Milan '54 Museum
      Museum averages 2500 visitors per year from all around the world
Co-author of Milan, Indiana, A Storied Past

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