Dr. Brian Haag ‘74, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb ’90, Gwilym S. Jones ‘64 and Phil Mullins ’72 were recognized during the Alumni Achievement Awards luncheon, Saturday, May 4, in the J. Graham Brown Campus Center. The honors, presented annually since 1960, recognize Hanoverians who have enhanced the reputation of the College by making significant contributions to their community, state or nation through professional service, public service and/or civic activities.
Haag is a distinguished renal and trauma specialist, educator and volunteer. His medical career has spanned more than 40 years.
He completed studies at the Indiana University School of Medicine and followed with a general surgery residency at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and organ transplantation fellowship at the University of Chicago. Named Methodist’s surgical director of renal transplantation in 1985, he was honored in 2005 after performing his 1,000th kidney transplant.
Despite leaving clinical surgery in 2013, Haag remains active as an educator and advocate.
He continues to teach advanced trauma life support at Indiana and is an assistant professor at Marian University, lecturing in clinical anatomy and transplantation. He has twice received the Sobat Distinguished Teacher Award, given by residents for outstanding contributions in surgical education.
In addition, he has helped Central Indiana veterans with disability claims and recently served as a regional medical director for a national hospice organization, utilizing his experience with end-stage kidney and liver disease to provide quality end-of-life care. He has also provided surgical leadership for Methodist's Level-1 trauma center and served the International Motor Sports Association with trackside care to injured drivers.
Holcomb currently serves as Indiana’s 51st governor. He has earned a reputation as a consensus-builder throughout a lengthy career in public service.
He worked as the Hoosier State’s lieutenant governor for nine months before ascending to the governor’s office. After a successful, and unprecedented, 106-day campaign, he was sworn in Jan. 9, 2017.
In two years as governor, he has led the largest, long-term infrastructure investment in state history with a 20-year program to improve roads and bridges. He has also worked to strengthen Indiana’s economy and increase employment opportunities – including more high-demand, high-wage jobs, expand pre-kindergarten for low-income children and support community-based efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
Previously, Holcomb served as advisor, campaign manager and deputy chief of staff for former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. He was also chair of the Indiana Republican Party, member of the Republican National Committee and, later, chief of staff for U.S. Senator Dan Coats.
Holcomb served six years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy following his graduation from Hanover. He was stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., and Lisbon, Portugal.
Note: Holcomb was presented with his Alumni Achievement Award during a March 28 engagement on campus.
Jones, a renowned biologist, educator and conservationist, retired in 2013 after 37 years at Northeastern University.
In addition to his classroom work, he conducted field research in 35 U.S. states, Canada, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico and Taiwan. He named new populations of numerous organisms, including a genus of a snake, two subspecies of shrews, five species and a subgenus of mites. He also authored numerous articles for peer-reviewed journals and special publications, abstracts and technical reports.
In 1979, he was named founding director of the Northeastern University Center for Vertebrate Studies, which ranks among the world’s best with more than 1,500 species and 500 marine mammals.
He worked closely with Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife from 1981-99. He was first chair of MassWildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee and assisted in the establishment of Massachusetts’ first endangered species list. He also served as a consultant for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Boston Zoological Society and Massachusetts Audubon Society.
In 1990, he was selected conservationist of the year by the Massachusetts Wildlife Federation. He received a special certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1998.
Mullins has been president of Windward International since 1998 and a dedicated member of the College and local communities for 50 years.
Through the group-travel management and consulting company, he has served a wide range of corporate, higher education, political and government clients in 50 states and more than 150 countries. In 2015, he managed the Hanover College Alumni Travel Program’s trip to Ireland and the United Kingdom. The journey, including more than 100 Hanoverians, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the College’s Shakespeare-in-England off-campus study program.
Mullins, inspired to public service during his junior year while studying under the late Glenn Mower at the United Nations, continues to be active in local and state politics. In 2016, he was elected to represent Indiana’s 6th Congressional District at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
During a recent six-year span, he served the Hanover Alumni Association as president and past president. He has also been a Pub Night host in both Chicago and Madison, Ind., and continues to support Hanover’s athletic program as a member of the Panther Club.