- Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1986)
Judge John Michael Ryan was a wise counselor and adjudicator, an effective political leader, and close confidant of governors and university presidents. Educated at the University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University's School of Law, he began his professional career in Indianapolis, where he eventually served all three branches of government.
Judge Ryan began as city prosecutor and then moved to the benches of the Marion County Circuit Court where he was known for his fairness and impartiality. After serving a productive term as state senator and senate parliamentarian, the executive branch of Indiana government sought his skills as economic advisor to the lieutenant governor and as special counsel to the governor. Judge Ryan's dedication to public service was reflected in numerous appointments and commissions, and in countless hours of volunteer service to charitable, civic and professional groups.
Avoiding public recognition and praise, Judge Ryan gave indispensable assistance to three president's of Indiana University, advising them in development and assisting in other important endeavors. He contributed greatly to IU's success and set a strong example for future alumni.