Community leader receives Aspire Higher Award

December 12th, 2015 | SMWC


Throughout her career, Becky Buse has always been interested in service to the community. At the 2015 winter commencement, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) honored her for that service. Buse received the President’s Aspire Higher award which recognizes community leaders who demonstrate a passion for using the present to create a better future.

“To be recognized by an institution that I hold in such high regard and is well respected in the community means so much to me,” said Buse. “I am humble and honored.”

Buse recently retired from the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana as the advocacy and community development director, a position she held for the last eight years. During her tenure, SMWC partnered with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana on several initiatives and in July 2015 awarded a $10,000 scholarship at the Girl Scouts’ Girls of Distinction brunch in Indianapolis, Ind.

“Becky understands that The Woods and the Girl Scouts both believed in the empowerment of girls and young women,” said Dottie King, Ph.D., president of SMWC. “Both organizations provide opportunities for individual growth, service to their communities and strong leadership skills for young women. Becky is a true example of what it means to aspire higher — personally, professionally and spiritually. She has been a great friend to The Woods, the Wabash Valley and to the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.”

Prior to her position with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Buse served two years as the development director of the Covered Bridge Girl Scout council. For nine years, she served as the executive director of the Vigo County YWCA and previously also served as the executive director of the Vigo County Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Buse has also worked with VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), where she started the Vigo County CASA Program in the juvenile court. Her past and present affiliations and volunteer organizations include being a member of the Hulman Street Wesleyan Church; Rotary (past president and assistant district governor); an Indiana Senate Appointee to the Kid’s First Trust Fund Board since 1993; a REX Host Homes Coordinator; member of the Vigo County Building Corporation; Vigo County Public Defencers Board (president); board member of Hospice/VNA and the YMCA; past member of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce; a volunteer for Youth for Understanding, hosting 22 exchange students from all over the world; a past foster home; member of the Emmaus Walk Community and a participant on two mission trips to Guatemala.

Prior to receiving the President’s Aspire Higher Award from SMWC, Buse was the recipient of the Athena Award sponsored by the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce; Book of Golden Deeds Award from the Vigo County Exchange Club; Business and Professional Woman of the Year; Award of Merit for Outstanding Achievement from the Indiana Central Labor Council; Terre Award Winner for Public Sector given by the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and she was named a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.

Buse, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., has been married for 52 years to Ervin Buse, also retired. The couple have two children, Michelle and Rodney and three grandchildren, Kelsey, Zach and Josh.