Elements of Excellence Gala Draws Record Attendance

by Katie Bradley | Nov 25, 2015

The Elements of Excellence Gala brought together alumni, donors, parents, students, and friends with some of the state’s finest leaders in business, health care, education, and civic life to celebrate Marian University’s mission of educating leaders, strengthening our commitment to science, technology, engineering, health sciences, mathematics (STEHM), and creating opportunities through scholarship.

With a record 1,800 people in attendance at the JW Marriot Indianapolis, the university raised nearly $1.8 million for scholarships. St.Vincent was the night’s platinum presenting sponsor and Browning sponsored the reception. The videos celebrating Marian University and the night’s honorees were sponsored by Decatur County Memorial Hospital.


Ed and Peggy Bonach chaired the event with the leadership support of Michael and Bea Becher, Stephen Fry, Jonathan and Cathleen Nalli, and Joe and Sandra Slaughter. 

During the gala, the university honored two alumni:
Dennis Donahue ’62 with the Donald A. Fleming Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement and Bill Eckman ’74 with the Founders’ Award for Distinguished Service to Marian University.


Three community leaders were also honored; Raul Zavaleta with the John A. Purdie Innovator of the Year Award and Sarah and John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D. with the Franciscan Values Award.


Emceed by Angela Buchman, meteorologist at NBC-affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, the night featured a performance by Marian University Knight Fusion Singers and the Benediction Prayer sung by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana and the Marian University Sacred Choir.   

See photos from the night by visiting Flickr

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