Annual banquet honors College of Liberal Arts alumni

April 20, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's College of Liberal Arts honored five distinguished alumni during its 2015 annual awards banquet held on April 17.

Michael Coyner, Kathy Nimmer, Todd Putman, Loretta Rush and Maj. Gen. Erika Steuterman are this year's recipients of the distinguished alumni award. Since 1986, the distinguished alumni award has recognized alumni who are change agents in their careers and innovative and dynamic thinkers.

* Coyner, of Indianapolis, is bishop of the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church. He has overseen the life and ministry of over 1,200 United Methodist congregations in Indiana since 2004 and continues to serve on the boards of United Methodist agencies and institutions throughout Indiana. He received his bachelor's degree in history in 1971.

* Nimmer, of West Lafayette, has taught high school English and creative writing at William Henry Harrison High School since 1992 and was named the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year. She is a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year. She has written two books and she gave a TED Talk at TEDxPurdueU in March 2014. Nimmer earned a Master of Arts in English in 1992.

* Putman, of Los Angeles, California, is the chief commercial officer of Bolthouse Farms and has worked in partnership with the first lady, Michelle Obama, on the "Eat Brighter" and TeamFNV campaigns. He presented at TEDxPurdueU this month. Putman earned his bachelor's degree from the Brian Lamb School of Communication in 1984 and currently is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Liberal Arts.

* Rush, of Lafayette, was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court in September 2012, took office in November 2012 and became the first female chief justice in 2014. Rush was selected as one of Indianapolis Business Journal's 2013 "Women of Influence." She earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1980.

* Steuterman, of West Lafayette, is a retired major general with a 34-year career in the United States Air Force. She is a Purdue Mortar Board Adviser and a Purdue Old Master. Steuterman earned a bachelor's degree from the School of Languages and Cultures in 1976 and an MBA from Krannert in 1977.

The College of Liberal Arts includes the Brian Lamb School of Communication; School of Languages and Cultures; School of Interdisciplinary Studies; the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts; and the departments of anthropology, English, history, philosophy, political science and sociology. 

Writer: Rachel Semple,

Source: Christine Sharp, 765-494-7884, 

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