Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region to present honorary degree to John Adler
KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region will present an honorary degree to John Adler, a retired United States Air Force colonel and long-time Kokomo area businessman and supporter of the College, during its May 12 commencement ceremonies. He will receive an honorary Associate of Science in College and Community Service degree in recognition of his many contributions to the College, the state, and the nation.
“We at Ivy Tech are pleased to honor John for his life of service, as a career Air Force officer, successful businessman, and economic development leader,” said David Bathe, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo and Lafayette Region. “From leading squadrons of aircraft in defense of our nation to expanding the family seed company into a nine-state, high-tech operation to offering his services to better the lives of central Indiana residents, John is truly deserving of this recognition.”
Bathe noted the College has benefited from his participation as a member of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Board of Trustees since 2011 and he currently serves as its vice chairman. “John has participated in many College events,” the chancellor said, “and students in our Agriculture program have benefited from the support of scholarships funded by his business, Adler Feed Express.”
During his Air Force career, Adler served as a command pilot and fighter squadron commander, accumulating more than 4,500 flying hours in eight different fighter type aircraft at 13 military bases both overseas and in the United States. He commanded a squadron of 24 F-4 aircraft tasked with multiple roles worldwide including air-to-air combat, weapons delivery, nuclear alert and missile defense suppression.
Adler also served in the position of inspector general, leading a team responsible for evaluating and rating the combat readiness of fighter units in the eastern half of the United States. As operational commander of the largest active fighter wing consisting of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the RF-4 Phantom, he was instrumental in developing fighter tactics and writing the original air campaign for the Desert Storm war and later was recognized for his service in integrating fighter units into the government’s antidrug program.
In 1993, Adler joined the private sector. He became general manager of Adler Seeds during significant changes in the seed industry, increasing sales of new technologies in corn and soybeans and expanding the company into nine states before selling the business in 2008. He remains active as owner of Adler Feed Express, a retail lawn, garden and feed store opened in Kokomo in 1994.
His civic contributions to the community have been extensive, having served on the Indiana Crop Improvement Association Board, the North Central Indiana Workforce Development Board and the Workforce Investment Board, the Tipton County Economic Development Board, and the U. S. 31 Coalition Board. He has served his church as stewardship chairman.
Along with extensive professional military education, Adler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from Purdue University and a master’s degree in business from Webster University. He and his wife, Jan, have three children and five grandchildren.
SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region