Four exemplary individuals will receive awards at the annual Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner on Friday, September 21 at the North Campus gymnasium of the University of Saint Francis (USF) during Homecoming weekend.
Alex Cornwell will receive the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. He completed a Bachelor of Arts at USF in 2009 and co-owns and publishes The Waynedale News in Fort Wayne. The community newspaper reaches 35,000 readers every two weeks and 40,000 monthly visitors on the news website.
An active undergrad at USF, he led various clubs and student organizations, while serving on the Three Rivers Arts in the Park committee and the Brenda Hanchar Foundation board. He also pioneered a freelance graphics /web design agency with an international clientele.
After graduation he became co-owner and publisher of The Waynedale News, producing record-breaking sales for the 80-year old company. He engages with his community through the newspaper, creating and sponsoring various events and providing grants to area non-profit agencies.
Terry Growcock will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Growcock earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Saint Francis College in 1983, and is the retired chairman of the board for The Manitowoc Company Inc. in Wisconsin.
Throughout his business career, he progressed through increasingly responsible roles with King-Seeley, Universal Nolin and United Technologies. In 1990, he joined Siebe PLC and held executive vice president and general manager positions with Paragon Electric in Wisconsin and Robertshaw in Tennessee.
In 1994, he was named president of Manitowoc Foodservice Division in Wisconsin, and in 1998 he became chairman/CEO of the Manitowoc Company, a global manufacturer of lift solutions and food service equipment. He held the post until retirement in 2008. The Manitowoc Company's market cap rose from $300 million to over $4 billion during his years at the helm.
Today he enjoys serving on four independent corporate boards, global travel with his wife and friends, golfing and spending time with their five grandchildren.
Leanne Mensing earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1960 and a Master of Science in Special Education in 1967 at Saint Francis College. The recipient of the Distinguished Service by an Alumna Award, she has devoted her life to nonprofit organizations through service on boards and committees.
After graduation, she taught and served as director for Parkwood Nursery School from 1970 until 1980. She then served as assistant principal at Anthis Career Center in Fort Wayne for 18 years. Mensing has served committees and boards throughout the city and state, including the Parent-Teacher Association, Boy Scouts of America, Brownies and Band Parents, in addition to school and church organizations.
She worked with committees responsible for the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, the McMillen Health Center, Safety Village, Stop Child Abuse and Neglect and other city improvement programs. After serving 22 years on the Allocations Panel member and as chair for the Allen County United Way, she is learning about technology programs on the Tek Venture board.
Jane Gerardot will receive the Distinguished Honorary Alumna Award. She is a Fort Wayne attorney who serves on the boards of the University of Saint Francis and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.
She attended Saint Francis College from 1965-1966. She later earned a bachelor's degree in physical therapy and master's degree in allied health education at Indiana University. She worked in physical therapy rehabilitation health care and administration for 18 years prior to entering the field of law. Completing her law degree at University of Michigan in 1989, she is a board-certified Indiana trust and estate lawyer, working in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust and estate administration, and elder law.
A principal in the law firm of Boeglin, Troyer & Gerardot, she is active in local and state bar associations. She has served on the University of Saint Francis Physical Therapy Assistant Advisory Committee since its inception. Her husband of 18 years, Jeff Leffers, is a USF alumnus and supporter.