By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — Terry White has been a professor, chronicler of history and musician.
He’s led the Brethren Missionary Herald publishing company and worked for Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship in Washington, D.C.
And he’s now a recipient of the Circle of Corydon award.
Winona Lake Town Manager Craig Allebach presented White with the state award at the Winona Lake Family Festival at Winona Lake Limitless Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. That was done on behalf of Gov. Eric Holcomb and State Rep. Craig Snow, R-Warsaw, the latter of whom nominated White for the award.
Holcomb created the award in 2017.
It “honors Hoosiers who have made a remarkable contribution to the betterment of Indiana and its people, demonstrating through life and service qualities exemplified by the state’s greatest citizens,” stated Allebach before he gave the award to White.
Allebach also profiled White’s background and accomplishments before handing him the award.
Among them is his authorship of the book “Winona at 100: Third Wave Rising,” chronicling the history of Winona Lake.
Allebach noted that White opted to write that book, with help from fellow Winona Lake resident Steve Grill, due to being concerned no one was recording Winona Lake’s history. It was published in 2013.
White became passionate about Winona Lake early in life, shared Allebach. Originally from Pennsylvania, White attended Grace College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1964. He met his wife Sharon there.
White would leave the area for 27 years before returning to serve as the executive director of Brethren Missionary Herald publishing company.
“I revived the publishing company from the dead. It had died back in the late ’90s,” he said. “I did that for about 10 years and then I … brought one of my students on to be my successor, Liz Gates, and then I shifted over full time to Grace and so I’ve been working at Grace ever since then.”
Though he retired as a journalism professor from Grace College in 2019, White still serves the school by being Grace President Dr. Bill Katip’s speechwriter and handling press releases.
White is heavily involved in area activities. He volunteers for the Winona History Center and serves as president of the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts Board of Directors and through his church Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church.
Allebach also shared congratulations to White from Snow during the award presentation. Snow was unable to be at Saturday’s event.
“Thank you for being such a great mentor, fellow servant, friend and brother in Christ,” Snow said.
White was grateful for the award, but raved on the town of Winona Lake and other people that served it.
“Well, I mean of course I’m honored and of course I’m humbled because there’s lots of people that deserve awards for what they do around town, but I appreciate the recognition and I think it’s a symbol of what a great community Winona Lake is,” White said. “The fact that we would have the honor in this little town, why it says something about the quality of life here and the quality of people here.”
White is the second Winona Lake resident to receive the Circle of Corydon this summer. Al Disbro was recognized with the award in July. He was present at Saturday’s event.
Before the presentation, people enjoyed various activities at the festival.
There was face painting, bingo, a dinner, a petting zoo put on by Animal-Grams of North Manchester, pony and miniature horse rides by Indiana Pony Parties of Larwill, a bouncy house, a dunk tank and cornhole among other things.
The annual event for Winona Lake residents is run by the town with the help of sponsors.
Allebach said this is the third year for it. It morphed out of the annual community dinner the town had, he said.
As attendees for that dinner had decreased in number, the town opted for a new event, which would have activities for families, said Allebach.