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Huntington honors alums at homecoming

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YOUNG ALUMNUS AWARD:Keirsh Cochran, class of 2013, was awarded the 2019 Young Alumnus of the Year Award on Friday morning at Huntington University’s homecoming chapel during the University’s 70th homecoming celebration.
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HOMECOMING COURT: The 2019 homecoming courtwaspresented at the homecoming chapel on Friday, Oct. 4. Freshmen Brooke-Destinee Lockwood and Kyler Bourne, sophomores Kayla zurBerg and Elijah Hills, and juniors Rebecca Allen and Jesse Grimm. Senior homecoming court students: included Joelle Beals and Isaac Sponseller, Holly Holton and Nate Arni, Bianca Tisdale and Sangeun Woo, and Molly Mitchell and Zakry Cummings.
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ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR: Dr. MatthewCampbell, class of 1999, was awarded the 2019 Alumnus of the Year Award at Huntington University’s 70th homecoming celebration chapel service on Oct. 4.
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DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS:Brian Hughes, class of 1979,was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award at homecoming chapel on Friday morning at Huntington University.

by James Ehle - jehle@h-ponline.com

Huntington University honored three alumni during a homecoming chapel as part of the University’s 70th annual homecoming celebration.

Alums Keirsh Cochran from the class of 2013, Matt Campbell from the class of 1999, and Brian Hughes from the class of 1979 were given special alum awards at Friday morning’s chapel service.

Huntington University president Sherilyn Emberton said part of the process of selecting alums who would be honored at the ceremony included seeking those who have had major milestones or accomplishments either in their professional careers, their personal lives or through their mission in ministry.

Cochran, an officer with the Fort Wayne Police Department, was awarded the 2019 Young Alumnus of the Year by the University. He graduated from Huntington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. He worked jobs in the broadcasting industry including as production staff for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps and an account executive for NBC 33.

Cochran was watching news coverage of the unrest in Ferguson in 2014 when he decided to become a police officer.

“At 25 years old it hit me for the very first time that not everyone thinks police officers are the good guys,” said Cochran. “I remember sitting there going ‘I have to fix this, I’ve gotta go do this, I’ve gotta become a police officer and be the solution and fix it.’”

Cochran has worked to fight public misconceptions of police officers.

“Your calling is not that hard,” Cochran said. “All you have to do is find what breaks your heart and wear yourself out trying to fix it.”

Dr. Matthew Campbell, who graduated in 1999, was awarded the 2019 Alumnus of the Year award during the homecoming chapel award ceremony.

Campbell combined his love for missions and surgery and now works as a General Surgeon at Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The mission-oriented hospital has supported Campbell’s desire to continue mission work.

“The mission in life is 24-7, the mission in life is wherever you are. Huntington just really equipped me to look at every day as a mission,” said Campbell. “So whether I’m in my hospital in Wisconsin or working at church or preparing to take a team down to Bolivia or even just doing something recreationally, Huntington taught me to view it all as an integrated whole.”

Brian Hughes, who graduated from Huntington University 40 years ago, was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award.

Hughes is also a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Excellence (PACE), which works to “assist in the pursuit of excellence in every phase of the University’s operation.”

Hughes recently became the CEO of Sun Federal Credit Union, which has an asset value of $511 million.

“There were times we had the philosophy don’t let books interfere with your education,” said Hughes. “What we meant by that was we learned so much just from our involvement in activities and in student government, that it was as valuable as anything we learned in the classroom.”

Hughes was the student body president of Huntington University’s student government, led singing at a church, toured with choir, toured with the wind ensemble, participated in pep band, and wrote for the newspaper.

He had trouble finding jobs upon graduating in 1979 following a recession, and took a job painting houses before becoming a staff accountant at a CPA firm. He worked his way up through Hayes Travel of Ohio before becoming vice president of Sun Federal. On Feb. 2, 2019, Hughes took over as CEO of the credit union.

“I’m very humbled about the alumni award and that Huntington University would notice my life,” Hughes said. “I’m overwhelmed that they would want to celebrate it.”

Before parting from the stage Hughes shared a final word with the homecoming audience.

“Huntington also taught me how to do some unique pranks,” said Hughes. “By day we were respected student leaders, but by night – pranks.”

Students on the Homecoming court were also presented at the homecoming chapel. Freshmen Brooke-Destinee Lockwood and Kyler Bourne, sophomores Kayla zurBerg and Elijah Hills, and juniors Rebecca Allen and Jesse Grimm.

Senior homecoming court students included Joelle Beals and Isaac Sponseller, Holly Holton and Nate Arni, Bianca Tisdale and Sangeun Woo, and Molly Mitchell and Zakry Cummings.