Paul W. Lingle


Bicentennial Medal (2019)
Honorary Degree (2012)
Doctor of Humane Letters
IU East Commencement
Location: Richmond
IU East Chancellor's Medallion (1992)
IU East Chancellor's Medallion
Location: Richmond
Presenter: Charlie Nelms


A man of vision. An agent of change. That's how friends, colleagues, and peers refer to Paul Lingle. His honors and awards include such recognitions as the Wayne County Vision Award, the NAACP Community Service Award, the IU East Chancellor's Medallion for Distinguished Service, the Outstanding Community Leadership Award for Wayne County, and Citizen of the Year from the Richmond/Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce. Paul wears many occupational hats and currently holds the title of president three times over, for Lingle Real Estate, Inc.; Meadow Park, Inc.; and Bayberry Development Company, Inc. As a businessman, Paul had the prescience to realize that his work would not succeed if the community was not thriving; thus, he determined to do everything in his power to ensure the success of both.

"There's not a noteworthy achievement in the Richmond area without Paul's fingerprints of positive influence," says Indiana University East Chancellor Nasser Paydar, who asserts that Lingle is one of the few visionaries whose community contributions are transformational and whose counsel is invaluable. "His example and character are revered here and have made him a role model to me and the entire community, benefiting Indiana University East and every organization that he has touched."

Among Lingle's many indelible community contributions, two major achievements stand out. One is the founding of the Lingle Scholars Award program, which grants scholarships to outstanding graduating high school seniors who have been accepted into the Honors College at IU East. The Lingle Scholars program has been recognized for retaining some of the best of Wayne County's students who otherwise might not have chosen to pursue their education at a local university. Paul had the vision to provide students with more opportunities to succeed academically and to enhance the community's intellectual vitality, which in turn has bolstered the Honors Program at IU East.

The second major contribution is chairing the capital campaign for the new state-of-the-art Reid Hospital and Health Care Services facility adjacent to IU East. He is the lead gift donor to both the IU East and Wenle Children's Home capital campaigns- both underway in the Richmond community. In addition, Lingle had a hand in raising over $2.7 million for IU East and over $7.2 million for Reid Hospital, which helped form a partnership between the school and hospital that allows third- and fourth- year medical students to complete clinical clerkships in Richmond. This year, IU East began a Master of Science in Nursing degree program. Karen Clark, dean of nursing at IU East, has worked with Lingle on a number of initiatives and testifies to his championing of quality education and accessibility. Lingle's role in overseeing the new hospital and his vision for quality health care exemplify his dedication to enriching the community.

His generosity extends far beyond education and health care. Rob Zinkan, vice chancellor for external affairs at IU East, remembers when Lingle and his wife committed $500,000 to the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and challenged the community to match this amount, because "he couldn't imagine anything worse than the prospect of having to say that our community 'used to have' a symphony." David Franz, associate professor of management and dean of the School of Business and Economics at IU East, recalls riding his bicycle past Lingle Realty and seeing Lingle tending the flowers around the building. "He is, at the core, a cultivator," says Franz. "His innovative spirit, sense of optimism, and genuine humanness are seen through the way he conducts his business and his life."

According to Stephen Borchers, executive director of the Wayne County Foundation, Lingle distinguishes himself from other deserving candidates for an honorary doctorate because of his ability to challenge those around him to succeed at a level they didn't know was possible. "He shows us the ways we can all succeed and expects nothing less," says Borchers.