Press Release courtesy of Illinois Athletics
The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and its Varsity “I” Association are excited to recognize its 2017 honorees during Homecoming weekend. This year’s award winners are:
Achievement Award: Rick Anderson (Swimming ’68) and Ellen Bailey Dickson (Volleyball ’84)
Merit Award: Harv Schmidt (Basketball ’57)
Honorary “I” Inductees: Fred & Carolyn Helmuth, Philip & Heidi Sarnecki, Matt Wheeler and Floyd & Sarah Yoder
The Varsity “I” Association will present its Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a past letterwinner for post-graduate accomplishments to Rick Anderson and Ellen Bailey Dickson.
Anderson received his bachelor’s degree in community health from Illinois in 1969 and his master’s in public health from the Pittsburgh in 1971. While at Illinois, Anderson was a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, earning three letters.
Anderson has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) in Bethlehem, Penn., since 1985. He has overseen St. Luke’s evolution into one of the larger health networks in Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey with an operating budget of $170 million in 1985 to $2 billion in 2017. Anderson played a major role in the establishment and development of The Bethlehem Partnership for a Healthy Community, an award-winning national model of 200 community partners to improve the health status of the community. In 2010, in recognition of Mr. Anderson’s accomplishments as CEO of St. Luke’s University Health Network and his 25 years of leadership, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name a 500-acre parcel of land, including a hospital, The Richard A. Anderson Campus.
Anderson was named a “Lehigh Valley Business Leader to Watch” in 2017 by The Morning Call and by Becker’s Hospital Review for several years in succession as one of the nation’s “100 Non-Profit Hospital, Health Systems CEOs to Know.” According to Becker’s Hospital Review he is the longest tenured health care CEO in Pennsylvania and possibly the country. He has served as a leader in numerous charitable endeavors. Rick is currently a member of the Temple University School of Medicine Board of Visitors and the Lehigh Valley Partnership Board of Directors.
Dickson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in architectural studies from the Illinois in 1984. Following her bachelor’s degree, she went on to obtain her master’s degree in architecture in 1988 from Illinois. Dickson was a walk-on for the Illinois volleyball team from 1980-1981, culminating in a trip to the NCAA tournament in Santa Barbara in 1981. In 1983, she studied abroad at Ecole d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme in Versailles, France.
Post-graduation, Dickson founded Bailey Edward, a woman-owned architecture, engineering and construction management firm. Founded in 1991, the Illinois-based firm currently manages over $300 million in active design projects. Of special note, her firm has spent over 15 years designing on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, completing 127 projects on campus, including 11 historic building renovations on the main quad. In recognition, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce recognized Bailey Edward as its 2014 Small Business of the Year.
Dickson continues to stay connected with the UI by volunteering time with the Department of Architecture, serving as a juror for several competitions and teaching as a visiting professor. She also founded and participated in the UI Department of Architecture mentor program. She continues her involvement in sports as a participant and board member of the Chicago Curling Club.
Varsity “I” will present the Merit Award to Harv Schmidt for his loyalty and service to Fighting Illini athletics as a former letterwinner who also served as a staff member for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Schmidt, who unfortunately will not be able to attend the event, is a graduate from the Illinois in 1958 with a degree in physical education. During his time at Illinois, he earned letters in basketball and was named team captain and MVP as a senior in 1957. After completing his collegiate career, Schmidt was drafted 11th overall by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1957 NBA Draft. He returned to his alma mater as head men’s basketball coach in 1967, a position he served in until 1974. His most successful season came in 1968-69 when his team placed second in the Big Ten and posted a 19-5 regular-season record. Illinois led the nation in attendance in 1970, averaging 16,128 per home contest, as students routinely camped out for tickets outside the newly opened, state-of-the-art Assembly Hall (now State Farm Center).
A native of Kankakee, Ill., Schmidt currently lives in Littleton, Colo.
Along with the Achievement and Merit Awards, the Varsity “I” Association also inducts honorary members for their long-standing loyalty, service and contributions to Illinois athletics.
The 2017 Honorary “I” recipients are Fred & Carolyn Helmuth of Arcola, Ill., Philip & Heidi Sarnecki of Bucyrus, Kan., Matt Wheeler of Tolono, Ill., and Floyd & Sarah Yoder of Arthur, Ill.