From IUP Reporter, a monthly newsletter published by the Communications Office.
Brigadier General Rodney Ruddock ’65, M’75 and Ellen Sylves Ruddock ’65 will receive the 2008 President’s Medal of Distinction at the 2008 Leader’s Circle event on March 13 at Rustic Lodge.
The Ruddocks will be recognized with the award for dedication and support reflecting service to both the university and the community.
The President’s Medal of Distinction is the highest nondegree award presented by IUP. It was established in 1985 to honor citizens of the state and region whose contributions in the areas of professional achievement or public service are of national significance or whose contribution is of special significance to the university.
Rodney Ruddock received IUP’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996 for his duel career achievements as a brigadier general in the United States Army and as an accomplished leader in the field of secondary education. He currently serves as the chair of the Indiana County Board of Commissioners, a position he has held since 2004. As commissioner, he has been instrumental in advancing the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex project.
Prior to his election as commissioner, Rodney Ruddock completed thirty-five years in public education, twenty-five of them in the Indiana Area School District, and thirty-seven years in military service. He has been an avid volunteer for IUP, serving for more than two decades on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Athletic Policy, as liaison officer of the 99th Regional Support Command to the IUP ROTC program and a chapter member of Phi Delta Kappa. He is an advisor to the John P. Murtha Homeland Security Institute at IUP and is on the board of the IUP Research Institute. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and was inducted into the IUP Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ellen Ruddock, a retired entrepreneur, has been tireless in her commitment to Downtown Indiana and currently holds the title of director emerita on the organization’s board and is active with the Renaissance Indiana project. She was the first woman elected to the Indiana Borough Council and the first ATHENA Award Recipient in Pennsylvania. She was selected as one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business in 1999 and as Indiana County Civic Leader of the Year in 2000.
She is past president of PowerLink, Inc. a business owner’s advisory program; past chair of the Board of Directors of Athena International; and actively serves both organizations as director emerita. She is a former director, life member, and facilitator of community planning sessions for the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce.
She has actively served the IUP Alumni Association as a member of its Board of Directors. She also has served the Foundation for IUP as a volunteer and as a consultant for the Gateways to Opportunity Capital Campaign.
The Leader’s Circle event also recognizes Indiana’s Civic Leader of the Year and ATHENA Award winners. IUP has nominated Ruth Podbielski, a retired faculty member and administrator, for the ATHENA Award and Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology, for Civic Leader of the Year. Award winners will be announced at the event.