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Tichenor Trine's Woman of Distinction
Philanthropy, professionalism net award
Few individuals have demonstrated more dedication to Trine University than Dr. Dolores Tichenor.
Trine honored Tichenor, its assistant vice president of study abroad, director of institutional planning and analysis, and professor of mathematics, with the 2008 Woman of Distinction award Friday, Sept. 26, at the annual Touchstone Dinner during Homecoming weekend. The award recognizes extraordinary contributions of women in the areas of philanthropy, business, and education.
Tichenor joined Tri-State University as a mathematics instructor in 1967 after earning a bachelor’s degree in math and physics from Mundelein College in Chicago and a master’s degree in math from Purdue. At that time, she didn’t predict the 40-year stint at TSU. “I met my husband here, got married in 1969, we both went back and got our doctorates at the University of Missouri at Rolla, and then came back here,” she said.
TSU has benefited greatly from that return trip. Tichenor moved on to fill the positions of chair of the Department of Mathematics and Sciences, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and vice president and director of Institutional Planning and Analysis. She added the job of Assistant Vice President for Study Abroad to that of Director of Institutional Planning and Analysis in 2006.
She is a prolific and successful grant writer, securing National Science Foundation and Lilly Foundation funds for scholarships and diverse projects. A distinguished member of the academic world, she has seen numerous scholarly articles published in academic journals.
She was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and was named to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” in 1994, 1999, and 2004. She earned the Helen Smith McKetta Excellence in Teaching Award, the Barrenbrugge Award for Excellence, and the Jannen Renaissance Scholar Award from TSU in 1990, 1993, and 2004.
She has further demonstrated her support for the university through financial support. Her contributions have supported the university’s endowed scholarships, Annual Fund, Scholarship Gala, Alumni & Friends Golf Outing, and library collections.
At the announcement of the award, Tichenor expressed surprise and modestly deflected the praise heaped upon her. She noted her retirement next year, humorously stating that the timing takes her out of the job before she begins teaching the students of third-generation Trine families. A crowd of warm support surrounded her after the presentation, as many pressed toward her to offer their congratulations.
"I have a different perspective of the university than other donors because I see the day-to-day experiences of our students," Tichenor said." I see how successful they are and can become. When my husband, Don Tichenor, passed away in January 1993, I decided that the means to honor his association with the university was with a scholarship for the students, because his greatest concern was always students."
“It is appropriate this evening that we present Dr. Tichenor with Trine University’s Woman of Distinction award, given annually to women who have set the standard in the areas of philanthropy, business, and education,” said Trine University President Dr. Earl Brooks II in presenting Tichenor’s award. “Her model for achievement, support, dedication, and leadership in education will be preserved for years to come, and will serve as an ideal for future recipients.”