“What makes this award so important to me, is that it represents not only scholastic achievement, but extracurricular activities, leadership, and most important to me, character,” said Shelby Caulk, BS'17, recipient of the J. Dwight Peterson Key award in 2017.

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Shelby Caulk, BS'17, recipient of the 2017 J. Dwight Peterson Key Award, stands with award presented John Peterson, who is J. Dwight Peterson's son.

First awarded in 1988, the J. Dwight Peterson Key Award is the most esteemed honor bestowed on an undergraduate student from the Kelley School of Business on IUPUI's campus.

It is given annually to an outstanding senior on the basis of scholarship, extracurricular activities, leadership, and character. The award is named for J. Dwight Peterson, who graduated from Indiana University in 1919.

“Receiving this award is such an honor, because it’s who I strive to be as a person," added Caulk. "It’s my responsibility to live up to what this award represents. I promise you and your family, that I will not let you down.”

“I’m forever proud to represent my father in any of the great contributions he’s made to the university. I don’t know of anything else, of all the things he was most successful with and rewarded with through his life, that was more meaningful. And I am most proud to be part of the creation and awarding the J. Dwight Peterson Key," said John Peterson, BS'55, who is J. Dwight Peterson's son and now helps to present the award.

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The Indianapolis Foundation 1960 Board of Trustees include (seated, left to right): Robert A. Efromyson, John L. Woolling, Eli Lilly, Ardath Burkhart, J. Dwight Peterson, and William P. Flynn. Courtesy: IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives.

"He was so grateful to have an opportunity to have a degree from Indiana University, and I hope all students feel the same way," said Peterson.

"The experiences you've had through the Kelley School, no one else in the country had that opportunity. Approach it just that way. Go on, and be successful."

"And if you happen to be successful, don’t forget the Kelley School," he added. "Don’t you dare forget them. Ten years from now, the student body is going to want your input, and they also are going to want your contribution and your help. Constantly remember what got you there."

In this video clip, J. Dwight Peterson's son, John Peterson, presents the award and relays its history and the meaning of it to an audience during the school's annual scholarship and award breakfast.