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April 15, 2008

College of Liberal Arts names 2008 distinguished alumni

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University College of Liberal Arts honored five people as its 2008 distinguished alumni.

Recipients are Joann Pasquale DiGennaro, David Geeslin, Charles L. Jones, Dorothy Leland and Betsy Turner. They were honored at a banquet on Friday (April 11).

* DiGennaro is president of the Center for the Excellence in Education in Oakton, Va. She earned her bachelor's degree in communication in 1965.

* Geeslin is the superintendent and chief executive officer for the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis. He earned his bachelor's degree in linguistics in 1989.

* Jones is vice president of global product consumer design at Whirlpool Corp. in Stevensville, Mich. He earned his bachelor's degree in industrial design and human factors engineering in 1981.

* Leland is president of Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga. She earned her bachelor's degree in English in 1971, her master's degree in American studies in 1973 and her doctorate in philosophy in 1978.

* Turner is counsel for Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in New York City. She earned her bachelor's degree in communication education in 1977 and her master's degree in communication in 1979.

The College of Liberal Arts enrolls 6,200 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students at Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The college encompasses 11 academic departments: communication; English; foreign languages and literatures; health and kinesiology; history; philosophy; political science; psychological sciences; sociology and anthropology; speech, language and hearing sciences; and visual and performing arts. Purdue's trustees approved a 12th department, anthropology, which will be recognized in fall 2008.

The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is ranked nationally for its graduate programs. The Department of Communication also is recognized nationally for its organizational, health and interpersonal areas.

The college is home to 15 interdisciplinary programs: African-American studies, American studies, Asian studies, Asian American studies, classical studies, comparative literature, film studies, Italian studies, Jewish studies, linguistics, medieval studies, peace studies, philosophy and literature, religious studies, and women's studies.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Source: Chris Sharp, director of alumni relations and special events, (765) 494-7884,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Complete biographies and publication-quality photos of the 2008 distinguished alumni are available online

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