I was honored last Friday night at an awards banquet at Eastern Illinois University and received an Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award. Jill and I were able to spend some time on EIU's campus, I gave an artist talk to the Art Department, helped David Griffin (my first Metals professor) cast some pieces with his students, and Jill and I spent some time visiting with Dave and Daphne. It was such a pleasure to see people from our past and to have our accomplishments honored.
Dave and Daphne's mentorship is so meaningful to us and we cannot express how it has enriched our lives. They have both served as amazing role models for what it means to be creative, but more importantly what it means to be "good people”. The example that Dave set in following his passion in life and being true to who he is as a craftsman led me through difficult times in graduate school and again through tenure and I can say now that his example allowed me to become the person I am today, and to create the things I create, and teach the way I teach. I would not have made it through those difficult times if I hadn’t had Jill telling me to trust in the things that Dave had taught me at EIU.
This weekend Jill and I enjoyed reminiscing about our time at EIU and seeing the current changes. We have so many fond memories from our time in Charleston. Our time at EIU started us down a path that we never could have mapped out. Dave and Daphne played such an important role in our journey and we can't thank them enough for taking time to help celebrate our visit back to EIU. Thank you.