Muncie Resident, Tom Farris, Receives State’s Golden Hoosier Award for a Lifetime of Service to His Community 

Tom Farris

STATEHOUSE – Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, remarked “It is my pleasure to honor our recipients of the 2023 Golden Hoosier Award, the highest honor   I can bestow upon an older Hoosier on the state of Indiana.  Since 2008, Hoosiers have been recognized for service to their communities with the Golden Hoosier Award.  It is not just one act of community service, but rather a lifetime of community service and commitment to serving others that are honored with the award.  As the fifty-second Lt. Governor of Indiana, it is my privilege to continue this great tradition of expressing our appreciation to these fine Hoosiers.” 

Lt. Governor Crouch continued, “The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Aging, and I, along with our cohost, AARP Indiana, are thrilled in recognizing these deserving individuals receiving their awards this year.  They are heroes from every corner of our state and serve their communities in many capacities.” 

This year’s Golden Hoosier Award recipients include: 

  • Mike Andree, Sr. / Griffith, IN – Lake County
  • Bonnie Carrigan / Rising Sun, IN – Dearborn County
  • John Clarke / Bentonville, IN – Fayette County
  • Thomas L. Farris / Muncie, IN – Delaware County
  • Phillip Griffith / Valparaiso, IN – Porter County
  • Clorius Lay / Gary, IN – Lake County
  • Rob Ohlemiller / Indianapolis, IN – Marion County
  • James L. Peters / Greenfield, IN – Hancock County
  • Jeanne Wease / Crown Point, IN – Lake County
  • Bob Wortman / Morristown, IN –  Shelby County

Jenny Hamilton, CEO of LifeStream Services, Inc., stated in her letter of nomination that Tom Farris has spent more than 60 years dedicating his life to non-profit organizations, his community, his church, Ball State University and regional businesses. When it comes to ideas, strategies, art and communication, he’s always been a creative genius, to the benefit of East Central Indiana. 

As president of the Ball State Alumni Association and longtime member of the Alumni Council, Tom led over 198,000+ BSU alumni help support university advancement, strategic plans and programs. He helped raise over $200 million for the Ball State University Bold Campaign, the most ambitious campaign ever completed by the University. These funds were invested in scholarships, endowed chairs and other projects that have reinvigorated the school.  His volunteerism with the University covers over 50 years.  He played tennis at Ball State in the 1960’s and was a founding member of the Beta Theta Pi social fraternity chapter at Ball State. 

Tom has had a great impact over his many years of serving on the board of LifeStream Services and Yorktown Properties. He helped provide oversight and governance as chairman of the board, supporting its mission to improve quality of life and maintain independence for older adults and those with disabilities. He created the LifeStream name and original branding.  His volunteering with LifeStream covers over 30 years, and Tom has been a leader with other ECI non-profits.  In 2001, he was named Outstanding Board Member by the Indiana Association oof Areas Agencies on Aging. 

Farris has also shared his leadership, expertise and ideas with: Ball State University College of Business Alumni Advisory Board; Muncie Federal Credit Union; Indiana Association of Regional Councils; Muncie Rotary Club/Rotary International; Hillcroft Services, Inc; Owlsley Museum of Art; Heartland Chapter of American Red Cross; Beta Theta Pi Fraternity; Indiana Plein Air Painters Association; Advertising Federal of ECI; The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County; Cracker Jack Collectors Association; and others.  

Farris has been an idea developer for the business community and city/county officials for years, looking for innovative and effective options that will improve Muncie, Delaware County and East Central Indiana. His insightful analysis and expertise is appreciated as he works to make communities and organizations more effective in strategically achieving their missions.  Tom has many diverse projects underway. 

Besides advising the above and other organizations, at age 79, Tom is an award-winning artist, photographer, sculptor, writer, poet, lyricist and inventor.   During his 60+ year business career, Farris co-owned marketing firm, T.L. Farris & Associates, and QuestMark Strategic Research, with his wife Linda.  Tom is an avid pickleball player and fitness/nutrition enthusiast.  He encourages people of all ages to develop all facets of their lives and to share their talents and passions to make their communities better places for all, including seniors.