On September 28, the Indiana University School of Public Health will award Valpo Parks Director, John Seibert, the W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is the oldest and most prestigious alumni recognition bestowed by the School of Public Health to a graduate who has demonstrated outstanding personal and professional achievement in his or her career. Since the award's inception in 1976, recipients have characterized the ideals set forth by the School's first dean, Willard W. Patty. Under his leadership, the School rose to national stature and produced some of the finest professionals in their fields. This award is presented annually in his honor by the School of Public Health Alumni Association Board.
Seibert reacted to news of the award with surprise and gratitude, saying that “many who have received this distinguished award in the past are amongst his friends, colleagues, mentors and heroes. It is such a privilege to be associated with so many world class people and leaders in our field.”
In over 30 years with Seibert as Director, the Valpo Parks team, along with City and Community partners, have been consistently recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for innovation and quality. Their facilities and services have received multiple awards from organizations including the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, Porter County Tourism, Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Indiana Greenways Foundation, and the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. In 2016, the American Planning Association recognized Valparaiso’s Central Park Plaza as one of “America’s Great Public Spaces”. Valpo Parks have been featured in regional, state and national media productions.
Seibert was President of the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) in 1995. He has received IPRA’s Outstanding Professional Award and its Distinguished Life Member Award. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands.
Locally, he has served on many Boards and Commissions ranging from Housing Opportunities to the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, Valparaiso Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, and the Mayor’s Human Right Advisory Commission. He was named as a United Way Executive of the Year and was the 2016 Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Community Leader of the Year.
John Seibert continues to be grateful for and inspired by the world class professionals and the extraordinary relationships, not only from his I.U. experiences but also by his professional colleagues and the countless extraordinary leaders with whom he has been associated in his career in Valparaiso and Northwest Indiana. “This award is a reflection of our community and our department and it will be my privilege to accept it on behalf of those City Leaders, the Park Board, the Park Foundation Board, Park Staff and community volunteers that I have had the privilege to serve with,” Seibert said.