Franklin College will recognize five honorees during the Hail to Franklin Awards program and reception on Friday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m. at Garment Factory Events in downtown Franklin. Guest registration is required at alumni.franklincollege.edu/e/haw-hail-to-franklin-awards-2023.
The annual awards program is a highlight of Homecoming and Alumni Week and honors individuals for their outstanding professional and/or community achievements as well as service to the college. Honorees are selected from nominations reviewed by the Alumni Council, which established the awards program in 1954.
The 2023 award recipients include the following Franklin College alumni and friends:
Distinguished Alumni Award honoree Shannon (Baunach) Anderson, class of 1995, touches the hearts and minds of children and adults alike with her storytelling. As an award-winning author, educator, TEDx speaker and presenter, she excels at sharing relatable content that imparts encouraging life lessons.
Anderson taught elementary school for 25 years and was the gifted and talented coordinator and literacy coach for her school district. Furthermore, she was named one of the 10 teachers who “awed and inspired” the “Today Show” in 2019, and the JC Runyon Foundation named her Person of the Year in 2018 for her work supporting children with social and emotional needs. Anderson is a past regional adviser for the Indiana Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and was previously on the boards of directors for the Indiana State Literacy Association and the Prairie Arts Council.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Franklin College and a master’s degree in education from Indiana Wesleyan University. Anderson is the mother of two daughters, Madison and Emily, and resides in Lafayette, Indiana.
Hail to Franklin Award honoree Don Treibic, class of 1965, has been a fixture in athletics at Franklin College for more than six decades. From serving as team manager for the Grizzlies during his student years to serving as the game-day announcer for 21 years after he graduated, Treibic has shown lifelong loyalty. Moreover, he is a founding member of the Franklin College Football Touchdown Club, an organization started in 1999 for alumni, friends and parents dedicated to promoting program excellence.
Treibic, a past president of the Franklin College Alumni Council, was inducted into the Grizzlies’ Athletic Hall of Fame in appreciation of his football program involvement.
Over the years, he and his wife, Candy (Poindexter), also a Franklin College graduate, class of 1965, have made significant gifts toward maintaining and enhancing Faught Stadium, home of the Grizzlies. In addition, they are funders of the Treibic – Poindexter Endowed Scholarship in Education. Treibic is retired from a career in commercial real estate and lastly served as senior vice president of industrial sales and leasing at Cushman and Wakefield. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Franklin College and a master’s degree in education administration from Indiana University.
He resides in Franklin, Indiana, with Candy, and they are the parents of three grown children, Adam Treibic, a 1996 Franklin College graduate, Paul Treibic, a 1993 Franklin College graduate, and Christine (Treibic) Holcroft, a 1997 Franklin College graduate.
Young Alumni Award honoree Matt Taylor, class of 2008, is widely recognized among football fans as “The Voice of the Colts.” Taylor joined the Colts organization in 2012 and today serves as both the manager of radio production and the play-by-play announcer on game day. He also hosts weekly radio and audio content throughout the year. Taylor’s previous roles with the Colts include radio sideline reporting, hosting TV programming and performing play-by-play for preseason telecasts. Besides his role with the Colts, Taylor is part of the IHSAA Champions Radio Network broadcast team.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Franklin College, where he also was a four-year letterman on the football team and team captain his senior season. Taylor resides on the south side of Indianapolis with his wife, Samantha, and their two children, Molly and Hayden.
Associate Alumni Award honoree Mike Leonard was the head football coach at Franklin College from 2003 – 19 and was in the coaching profession for 36 years, including a stint with a professional team in Japan. While at Franklin, he led the Grizzlies to a 129-55 record, including nine outright and two shared conference championships.
Leonard retired from Franklin with the second-most wins in college program history and the most Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) championships. More than 400 student-athletes on the football team graduated and more than 200 earned all-conference accolades during Leonard’s time as head coach. Furthermore, 12 Grizzlies earned the league’s player-of-the-year honors, and 11 collected All-American recognition. Leonard was recognized as HCAC Coach of the Year seven times while at Franklin. He also is a 2021 Indiana Football Hall of Fame inductee and 2021 National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award recipient.
Today, Leonard serves on the Franklin College Football Touchdown Club Board of Directors and helps engage fans of the Grizzlies in supporting the program and having a great game-day experience. Leonard and his two brothers are funders of an endowment at Franklin College honoring their parents’ memory and supporting the football program. Leonard and his wife, Susan, reside in Franklin, Indiana. They are the parents of two grown children, Bart, a 2012 Franklin College graduate, and Emily (Leonard) Bailey, a 2017 Franklin College graduate.
Associate Alumni Award honoree Maria Teresa G. “Terry” Bissonnette, M.D., is a retired pediatric physician and longtime servant leader. She earned her doctor of medicine from the University of Santo Tomas, in Manila, Philippines. Throughout her medical career, she actively contributed to professional societies and associations in New York, Florida and the Philippines. Further, she is a past American Academy of Pediatrics Fellow.
Terry is married to Leonard L. “Len” Bissonnette, M.D., Franklin College class of 1962. Their shared devotion to humanitarianism is reflected in their lifelong mission work in health care. Primarily, their efforts have focused on the Philippines, Terry’s native country. The Bissonnettes are funders of a mobile hospital equipped with two operating rooms and have participated in the unit’s medical outreach in remote areas of the islands. They also serve on the Philippine Cultural Foundation Board of Directors, helping to preserve and present the culture as a legacy for future generations.
Honoring Len’s alma mater and their lifelong love of medicine and community service, the couple are funders of two endowed student scholarships in pre-medicine at Franklin College. They also made a significant gift toward launching the Franklin College Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program and endowed a scholarship for students’ program expenses. Further, they fund an endowment supporting engaged learning in the sciences, and the Franklin College Science Center features three areas funded by their generosity: the zoology lab, botany lab and museum.
The Bissonnettes reside in Brooksville, Florida.
POSTED Sep 7, 2023