College Thanks Retired Staff Members for Their Service
Campus News

Several Franklin College staff members retired from the college recently. Combined, they represent nearly 210 years of service to the institution. Franklin College thanks each for their service to its students, colleagues and community.

 Retired staff members include:

Ann Barton, Assistant Director, Pulliam School of Journalism and Assistant to the President for Special Projects, Office of the President

Barton retired after 38 years of dedicated service. She was hired by the institution in 1983 to serve as director of publications and media relations, a role she was drawn to because of the opportunity to work with students in a mentoring capacity. She then served as director of media relations and special projects before being promoted to director of public affairs in 1988.

Assisting students with their journalism training compelled Barton to serve as acting instructor of journalism during the 1998-99 academic year. She then joined the Pulliam School of Journalism (PSJ) as program coordinator and lecturer and eventually became the PSJ assistant director, a role that allowed her to serve as an academic adviser and teach.

Another role Barton held since 2004 is assistant to the president for special projects. In this position, Barton assisted with coordinating an array of campus events and eventually advising the Student Foundation, a group of student leaders who serve as representatives at college and alumni gatherings.

At various roles at the college, Barton assisted with convocations/lectures, the Sesquicentennial and 175th anniversary observances, the Wonder Five centennial event, a visit by the National Taiwan Academy of Arts and dedication/rededication ceremonies of a number of campus facilities.

While at Franklin, Barton also has served as acting vice president of development and public affairs, affirmative action officer, president of the Indiana Council for Advancement and Support of Education Board and chair of the Convocation and Lecture Committee. She also lent expertise to the Heartland Film Festival Advising board, the Hoosier Salon and Southside Art League boards and the Center Grove Education Foundation board.  

Barton’s colleagues honored her with the 2005 Margaret A. Hommell Staff Service Excellence Award and the 2018-19 B.O.S.S. Mentoring Mentor of the Year award from the Center of Diversity and Inclusion. She also has been nominated as a Woman of Distinction. Barton earned her bachelor’s degree with majors in journalism and education from Indiana University and her master’s degree in public relations from Ball State University.

Barton resides in Greenwood with her husband, Kevin. She is the mother of two children. Her son, J.T., is a 2014 graduate of the college.

Greg Cataldi, Electrical and General Trades Supervisor, Physical Facilities

Cataldi, a 1980 Franklin College graduate, moved straight from student to employee, and never looked back. In April, after more than 40 years of service in the physical facilities department, Cataldi closed a large chapter of his life and retired, and is now looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren.

“Greg has been a great electrician, alumnus and friend to many of us for as long as we have been at Franklin College,” said Tom Patz, assistant vice president of physical facilities. “He has mentored many students and provided them with opportunities to work in the physical facilities department over the breaks in the academic year. I can’t begin to describe the enormous role he has played in keeping electrical, mechanical and safety systems operating. He is and always will be a true Grizzly.”

Cataldi assisted on numerous college committees through the years, and he also served as the men’s and women’s cross-country coach in the 1980s. In 2001, Cataldi was honored for his dedication to the college with the Margaret A. Hommell Staff Service Excellence Award.

Cataldi, a father of two sons, passed down his love for the college to son David, who graduated in 2004, and enjoyed sharing work life with his daughter-in-law, Jenny, a 2005 graduate and current director of global education.

Cataldi, formerly a long time resident of Franklin, is now a resident of Indianapolis (46203).

Patty Dilley, Assistant for Academic Records, Academic Records

Dilley dedicated 22 years of service to Franklin College and its students. She started as an assistant in the academic records department, and retired from the same position, but in between Dilley served many years as the Education Program manager.

In both roles, Dilley worked directly with students. In the education department, Dilley’s responsibilities included keeping up-to-date on accreditation processes, teacher licensure and certification, elementary and secondary education field experiences and various other administrative duties. As part of the academic records team, she processed transcripts, aided with student course registration, evaluated transfer transcripts and monitored adherence to academic policies.

“Patty was the friendly face of the Academic Records Office for everyone calling or visiting the office, and provided exceptional customer service while maintaining the integrity of and adherence to all of the institution’s academic policies,” said Lisa Mahan, registrar.

Dilley, who resides in Whiteland with her husband, Tony, is the mother of four sons, three of whom are alumni – Robert graduated in 2003 (and wife Shay in 2004), Nicholas graduated in 2008 and Nathan graduated in 2009 (and wife Casey in 2007).

Tim Garner, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Not too many people can say they have experienced all aspects of the Franklin College spectrum, but Garner can make that claim. After graduating from the institution in 1979, Garner went on to secure both his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign before returning to Franklin College in 1986 as a faculty member, teaching sociology. Eventually, Garner made the leap from faculty to administration, serving in institutional research and analytics under several administrations. Through the years he also stepped in to serve as interim vice president in the departments of student affairs, enrollment/marketing and academic affairs, providing stability for the college during pivotal times.

Garner received several awards during his tenure at Franklin, including the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence and the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. He also was honored by the Sears Foundation and the Council for Independent Higher Education with the Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership.

Over the years, Garner served on the boards of several organizations, including TechPoint, Leadership Johnson County, Turning Point Regional Domestic Violence Shelter and Indiana Data Cooperative.    

Garner’s expertise in and passion for technology proved invaluable as he helped spearhead the successful acquisition of the $1 million Charting the Future grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help fund the college’s digital fluency initiative, new esports program and the Center for Tech Innovation.

“Tim has devoted his professional career to the success of Franklin College and our students,” said Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather. “He and his work will be missed, and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Franklin College is a stronger institution with a brighter future because of Tim’s influence.”

Garner lives in Whiteland with his wife, Cheryl. They have two adult daughters.

Joe Hornett, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer

While serving Franklin College for three years, Hornett made a valuable impact on the campus during a short time, earning the respect of colleagues campus-wide for his diligent efforts in helping to ensure the current and future financial stability of the institution.

“I have relied on Joe enormously since becoming President, and have benefited greatly from his knowledge of our comprehensive financial picture and his creativity in addressing significant needs with limited resources,” said Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather.

Hornett was instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic in identifying and accessing the funds made available by the federal government to assist students as well as funds designated to address institutional COVID-related expenses.

Hornett earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration from Butler University. He is also certified as a management accountant, financial manager, treasury professional, business manager and fraud examiner, as well as a licensed real estate broker. He brought a wealth of experience to Franklin College, with past experiences at American Red Cross (Indiana region), Purdue Research Foundation, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Indiana Bell Telephone Co. 

Hornett resides in Brownsburg with his wife, Sally. They have three adult sons and several grandchildren.

Mike Leonard, Director of Development, Office of Development and Alumni Engagement and Former Head Football Coach

When Leonard made the leap from head football coach to director of development, it surprised many people. But Leonard knew the key to both jobs – and to most jobs – is cultivating relationships. And relationships are Leonard’s specialty, whether it’s nurturing young men as they transition from high school to college, or fostering an interest in alumni and community members in supporting the college’s mission.

And while he officially retired from the college as a successful development officer, it will be his impact on the field that most people will remember. In January 2003, Leonard took over the reins as the head football coach and quickly turned Franklin College into a powerhouse at the Division III level. He compiled a 129-55 (70.1%) record over 17 seasons and captured 11 outright or shared conference championships. He led his team to nine playoff appearances during that time and ended his coaching career as the all-time leader in coaching wins.

More than 200 student-athletes earned all-conference accolades during Leonard’s time as the head coach with 12 players earning one of the league’s player of the year honors and 11 players collecting All-American recognition. Leonard himself was recognized as the HCAC Coach of the Year on seven different occasions.

After finishing his prep career at Speedway, he went on to play football at Hanover College before stepping right into the coaching ranks. While coaching at DePauw, Leonard earned his master’s degree in 1986. Before making an impact as Franklin’s head coach, Leonard made coaching stops all over the world, working on the sidelines at DePauw, Wittenberg, Hanover, Holy Cross, Alabama, Butler, and with a professional team in Japan.

The Central Indiana Chapter of the College Football Hall of Fame recognized him with a Distinguished American Award in June. Leonard was inducted in July into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Leonard and his wife Susan reside in Franklin. Both of their children graduated from Franklin College – Bart in 2012 and Emily in 2017. Emily’s husband, Ethan Bailey, also graduated in 2017 and earned his Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies degree in 2021.

Kevin Mitchell, Superintendent of Building Services, Physical Facilities

Mitchell spent the last 14 years managing all the college’s building services (custodial) staff for both day and evening shifts. This is an aspect of college life that rarely goes noticed, unless it goes undone. Mitchell made sure it was rarely noticed.

Mitchell made many changes to the department during his tenure, including working on a special initiative to make the physical facilities department “greener” by using recyclable products and eliminating the use of aerosols. His staff also has the challenge of working around events at the college, so looking at the calendar and scheduling the cleaning of rooms around the use of those areas is essential. The past year proved to be the most memorable for Mitchell and his staff.

“As we worked through challenges presented by COVID-19, Kevin was an invaluable resource for campus,” said Tom Patz. “Kevin not only helped solidify supply chains of cleaning products during a very difficult time, but also adapted delivery methods to the changing times with items such as sanitization stations and classroom sanitation kits. I wish him the very best in retirement. Kevin will be missed.”

Mitchell enjoyed serving the college in other areas outside of his main work responsibilities. On several occasions, he volunteered time as an ambassador of the college by providing airport rides and tours of the area for student and chaperone visitors from Japan during the city of Franklin’s annual Kuji Student Exchange program. Interacting with the Japanese students and learning more about their culture was something he always looked forward to each year.

Mitchell and his spouse, Julie, live in Franklin. They have five children, including son Paul Mitchell, a 2012 graduate.

John R. Shafer, Director of Counseling, Student Development

Shafer joined the Franklin College staff as assistant dean of student services in 1983, fresh out of graduate school where he earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology after completing a bachelor’s degree in music, theater and psychology, both from Ball State University. Widely known as “Doc Shafer” to students, he received his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Concordia University.

In 1984, Shafer was promoted to director of student development. Through the years, Shafer made an impact on the campus in many ways. The most notable was his instrumental role in establishing the counseling center, providing a haven for students at Franklin to turn to when dealing with personal, social, career or academic issues. Shafer also helped establish the T.R.U.S.T. Troupe (Trained Referral Understanding Support Team), created and advised the Grizzly Pride Alliance and began the Safe Zone program on campus.  

Shafer was involved in many other facets of campus life, including Franklin College Student Veteran Support Team, FC Presents (providing programming to senior residents at local retirement facilities), Alcohol Programming Committee and a faculty advisor to the collegiate chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In addition, Shafer has been involved in campus music and theatre productions through the years, has helped to lead Immersive Term trips abroad and has taught public speaking as an adjunct professor.

Shafer has used his training to benefit the community as well, serving on the Franklin Police Merit Commission, volunteering as a Certified Red Cross disaster clinician and serving as a member of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction All Hazards Advisory Committee, a position to which he was appointed to by then-Governor Mitch Daniels.

After nearly 38 years as a member of the campus community, Shafer’s influence will be long felt not only by the students, but by his colleagues as well. Shafer resides in Franklin with his two boxers.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED Aug 12, 2021