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Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards were founded in 1951 to recognize individuals who have achieved professional and personal successes, who have shown their loyalty to Drury University, and demonstrated exemplary service to their community.  The Alumni Council proudly presents Distinguished Alumni Awards at Alumni Reunion weekend each year.  

Distinguished Alumni Award Distinctions

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes alumni of Drury University whose life and accomplishments have earned the respect of their industry, profession or community. The Award is given to a person whose accomplishments, service and engagement embody both the University’s and the Alumni Council’s mission and values.

The University Engagement Award recognizes recipients for extraordinary achievement in their personal and professional endeavors, with special attention to their exceptional service to the University. Among the qualities considered are notable success in a profession or business, loyalty to the University and outstanding contributions to society.

The Outstanding Service Award celebrates an alumnus who has served his or her community in an exemplary way, sustaining a record of leadership and dedicated service.

The Career Achievement Award recognizes graduates who have exceptional achievements in their professional endeavors, reflecting honor on the University and its alumni. The Award is given to a person who has sustained a record of accomplishment with special attention to the accomplishments which embody the University’s mission.

The Young Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus of Drury University who has earned special distinction in his or her career, reflecting honor on the University and its alumni. The award is given to a person who graduated within the last 15 years and whose accomplishments set a standard for life-long excellence.

The Faculty/Staff Appreciation honors a faculty and staff member for achievement in their professional or academic field and loyalty to the University. This award is given to a faculty and staff member who has sustained a record of accomplishment in their professional realm, their loyalty to the University and their service to the Drury community.

Nomination Process

Nominations are accepted at anytime during the year.  On March 1 each year, the nomination cycle closes to allow for selection of DAA honorees for that year.  Any nominations received after March 1 will be saved for the next year of selections.

The selection committee is made up of members of the Drury Alumni Council Executive Officers. Final selections will be made by April 15 each year. Award recipients will be notified, in most cases, by May 1 of each year.

Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception & Dinner held during Alumni Reunion each October.

Distinuished Alumni Nomination Form

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Dr. Sue Carter Porges ‘66
Distinuished Alumnus - Lifetime Achievement Award

Sue Porges ’66, Ph.D., is proof of how far a Drury education can go. Graduating summa cum laude with a BA in Biology, Dr. Porges went on to complete her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Arkansas and Postdoctoral education at Michigan State University. Her career has spanned the breadth of higher education across the country as a research fellow, professor, and now as Director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction and Rude Professor of Biology at Indiana University. Dr. Porges has published over 500 academic papers and has been a valuable asset to the scientific community through her continued studies.

Steven D. Edwards ‘88
Distinguished Alumnus – University Engagement

Steve Edwards ’88 knows the meaning of hard work. In high school, he was part of the grounds crew and an Emergency Room Attendant at Cox Medical Center and today he is the President and CEO of CoxHealth. Edwards has a mind for leadership, and a heart for serving the Springfield and Drury community. After graduating from Drury with degrees in Political Science, Philosophy, and Communication, he went on to Washington University where he earned his Masters in Health Administration. From there, Baylor University to complete a post-graduate fellowship. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, running, and outdoor sports.

Dr. Calla Wiemer ‘77
Distinguished Alumnus – Career Achievement

Calla Wiemer ‘77, Ph.D., is truly a global scholar. After graduating from Drury’s Breech School of Business, Dr. Wiemer earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received a tenured faculty position at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she remained until 1997. Since, she has taken teaching positions across Asia and now teaches at the University of the Philippines School of Economics and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian Economics. She began the recycling program at Drury in 1974 and has worked tirelessly at creating sustainable communities. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling around some of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Janet Steinmetz Trotter ‘53
Distinguished Alumnus – Outstanding Service

Janet Trotter ’53 has tirelessly served the Springfield, MO community for decades. Her passion for serving children with special needs began in the 1960s when she started the Missouri Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. She worked with Springfield Public Schools and helped establish chapters of the organization in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia. At the time, Missouri had no other program for helping children with special needs and she was influential in creating special education classrooms in public schools and in passing legislation requiring all districts to provide Special Education services. She remains dedicated to education and community service around Springfield, and brings the Drury spirit of service wherever she goes.

Dr. Adam McClellan ’05
Distinguished Alumnus – Young Alumnus

Adam McClellan ’05, D.D.S., took his Drury education to dental school. Accepted into the highly competitive program at the University of Missouri –Kansas City and later a Periodontal Residency, Dr. McCellan has used his talent to not only earn a living but also to give back. As chair of the “Pouring from the Heart” gala, Dr. McClellan was instrumental in raising enough money to fund the free pediatric clinic at the UMKC Dental School for four years. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Missouri Boys State. Dr. McClellan owns his own practice, Periodontal Care, in Kansas City.

Traci Sooter
Distinguished Appreciation - Faculty/Staff

Traci Sooter, AIA, LEED AP is a Professor of Architecture and the Director of Design/Build Programs in the Hammons School of Architecture.  Sooter specializes in Sustainable Design/Build courses serving charities and communities in need.  She led teams of Drury students through four Design/Build projects for Extreme Makeover. Professor Sooter has also completed seven other community design/build projects including the first ever Platinum LEED home for Habitat for Humanity International.  She, along with a team of Professors and students from Drury University and Crowder College, led the 2015 Solar Decathlon team against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, earning 8th place.

Past Distinguished Award Winners 

  • Lifetime Achievement
  • University Engagement
  • Outstanding Service
  • Career Achievement
  • Young Alumni
  • Faculty/Staff Appreciation
    • 2015 Ralph K. Manley '49
    • 1952 Dean James F. McKinley '25
    • 1957 Helen Wiemer James '29
    • 1957 Robert Cummings '32
    • 1957 James Hartford Robertson '36
    • 1958 Bert Goss '28
    • 1958 Rev. Thomas Shipp '41
    • 1959 Dr. George Melcher '26
    • 1960 Margaret Johnson Bosworth '45
    • 1960 Rev. Don Newby '47
    • 1964 R. William Greer '39
    • 1964 Connie Hjelmeng Johnson '64
    • 1965 David Brand Woodruff '38
    • 1966 Thornton Smith '36
    • 1967 James Trig Brown '46
    • 1968 William Collinson '33
    • 1968 Edgar E. Martin '33
    • 1968 David Weiser '42
    • 1969 William C. Hayes '41
    • 1971 Henry C. Duncan '43
    • 1971 Marvin VanGilder '48
    • 1972 Clarence R. Haflinger '38
    • 1972 Robert Heimburger '39
    • 1972 John B. Haseltine '60
    • 1973 Elizabeth Grinstead Mallory '31
    • 1974 Durward Hall '30
    • 1974 John K. Hulston '36
    • 1976 James Findlay '52
    • 1978 Frank Ross '25
    • 1978 Maurice Wilson '28
    • 1978 F. Marian Bishop '49
    • 1979 Flavius Freeman '32
    • 1981 Dr. Oscar Fryer '25
    • 1983 Allen V. Eikner '49
    • 1984 Henry S. Schneider '49
    • 1985 Ray Aton '37
    • 1986 Hilbert Keisker '26
    • 1987 Wallace Springer '47
    • 1989 Helen Jones Stoneman '28
    • 1989 Harold Stoneman '33
    • 1990 Janet Steinmetz Trotter '53
    • 1990 Marthe Drummond Close '57
    • 1990 Barbara Cook Hall '57
    • 1991 Thomas S. Gambill '49
    • 1993 Sally Bodlovich Tharp '90
    • 1995 Joel N. Gamel '40
    • 1997 Patsy Witherspoon Poulos '47
    • 1998 Don Akers '48
    • 1999 William E. Pettit '42
    • 2000 John R. Johnson '55
    • 2001 Lyle D. Reed '70
    • 2001 John D. Beuerlein '76
    • 2008 Lewis T. "Johnny" Johnson
    • 2015 John William (Bill) Ricketts, MBA ’71
    • 1959 J. Charles Grosskreutz '43
    • 1961 Leonard F. Bush '31
    • 1961 Mary Jane Pool '46
    • 1969 Virgil E. Fieker '47
    • 1969 Walter H. Hoffman '39
    • 1976 Charles H. Brown '41
    • 1978 Helen Koch
    • 1980 Donald Ray Hodge '61
    • 1981 John C. Herweg '43
    • 1982 Leeson C. Meador
    • 1985 Donald C. Dailey
    • 1986 Mitsuo Aoki '40
    • 1987 Rev. Robert H. Challinor '47
    • 1988 Ben Parnell '39
    • 1989 Betty Jane Rathbone Turner '45
    • 1990 H. Wes Pratt '73
    • 1991 Ralph Turner '31
    • 1991 Mary Rose Sweeney '41
    • 1992 Vernon K. Ausherman '42
    • 1992 Eleanor Barstow White '64, '70 MEd
    • 1993 Charles Sheppard '41
    • 1994 Dale Creach '63
    • 1994 Ormal Creach
    • 1996 Hope E. Harris '43, '57 MEd
    • 1996 Rosemary Sullivan Bane '46
    • 1997 Dr. James W. Clawson
    • 1998 Carolyn Lambert Teter '73
    • 1999 Dorothy Gay Warren '47
    • 1999 W. Warren Kallenbach '49
    • 2001 Joan E. Gilmore '51
    • 2002 Bill H. Cantrell '42
    • 2003 Jean Short Coday '52
    • 2003 David Clohessy '78
    • 2004 John H. Simmons '60
    • 2004 Drury Women's Auxiliary 
    • 2005 Mona Tourlentes '50
    • 2006 Marcia Williams Johnson '70
    • 2006 Darline Dill
    • 2008 Lewis T. "Johnny" Johnson
    • 2009 Kirk Presley '80
    • 2010 Patsy Shean Summers '64
    • 2011 Rev. David L. Scott '79
    • 2012 Carolyn B. Cotta '60
    • 2013 Mark L. Walker '79
    • 2014 Eunice Schmiechen Wallar '63
    • 2015 Mary Faith Buresh Holzer ’68
    • 1944 Edward L. Clark '29
    • 1951 Jean Laubenheim Shephard '12
    • 1951 Kenneth B. Elliott '16
    • 1951 William A. Beiderlinden '17
    • 1951 Lester E. Cox '18
    • 1952 Marion Hines '13
    • 1952 Erwin E. Nelson '14
    • 1952 James E. Ruffin '16
    • 1953 Faye Steinmetz '10
    • 1953 Harry A. Shuder '11
    • 1953 Arthur "Duff" Allen '13
    • 1953 Edward Mason '14
    • 1954 John T. White '16
    • 1954 Louise Trimble Foster '18
    • 1954 Paul W. Barrett '24
    • 1954 Frank McDowell '32
    • 1955 Dora Beggs Shields '07
    • 1955 Joseph Williams '11
    • 1955 Otto C. Egdorf '20
    • 1955 Paul Leonard '25
    • 1956 Warren White '04
    • 1956 William Knight '07
    • 1956 Otto Smith '07
    • 1956 Reba Staggs '34
    • 1957 Walter Brunkhorst '17
    • 1957 David Robertson '32
    • 1958 David McKnight '28
    • 1959 Samuel Dawson '21
    • 1959 Rollin Gillespie '30
    • 1960 Walter Thompson '28
    • 1960 Bob Barker '47
    • 1961 Morris E. Garnsey '28
    • 1961 Gordon A. Riley '33
    • 1962 Bruce Joseph Brown '15
    • 1962 Guy Raynor Hill '27
    • 1962 Charles F. Robinson'36
    • 1962 Jeanne Meador Schwarz '37
    • 1963 Allan S. Humphreys '10
    • 1963 Lois Hall '14
    • 1963 Dorsey D. Jones '20
    • 1964 C. Robert Mitchell '30
    • 1965 Virgil W. Adkisson '25
    • 1966 Helen Malin Reuber '29
    • 1967 Joseph King Vivion '16
    • 1967 William D. Hackett '36
    • 1968 Archie Russell '39
    • 1968 Lois Jennings DeNauw '50
    • 1970 Eugene Everett '48
    • 1973 Adelaide Haseltine Jones '24
    • 1973 Ralph K. Manley '49, '69 MBA
    • 1973 William C. Virdon '53
    • 1973 Mary Ruth Cuddy '59, '62 MEd
    • 1974 Minnie Mae Prescott '28
    • 1975 William Fred Schaeffer '33
    • 1975 Betty Cole Dukert '49
    • 1975 Rabbi Walter Jacob '50
    • 1975 Ralph L. Andreano '52
    • 1976 R. R. Watson '25
    • 1976 Billie Crawford Davis '61
    • 1977 J. York Johnson '25
    • 1977 James Ewing '38
    • 1977 Frank W. Clippinger '48
    • 1978 F. Marion Bishop '49
    • 1978 Delmar E. Caywood '55
    • 1978 James R. Buchholz '57
    • 1979 John Geyer '29
    • 1979 Robert McKinnell '49
    • 1979 Sandra Kennon Harrison '61
    • 1980 Leonard C. Pronko '47
    • 1980 Carol Junge Loomis '51
    • 1980 Jeanine Smith '63
    • 1980 Jerry Von Rohr '66
    • 1981 John P. Edwards '47
    • 1981 Susanne Logan O'Neal '53
    • 1982 Dorothy Van Dyke Leake '14
    • 1982 John T. Carlson '51
    • 1983 C. Truman Steele '34
    • 1984 David E. Sweet '55
    • 1986 Gary L. Matthews '60
    • 1987 Sterling Newberry '37
    • 1988 Jerry Poe '53
    • 1988 Willard Graves, Jr. '62
    • 1989 John W. Hammon '64
    • 1990 Emily Haymes '61
    • 1991 Richard C. Dunn '58
    • 1991 Margaret H. Cooper '66
    • 1992 Robert H. Hurlbutt '47
    • 1992 Kenneth L. Fitts '67
    • 1993 Donald C. Flesche '56
    • 1993 J. Regan Thomas '68
    • 1994 Charles E. Fritz '42
    • 1994 Georgia Clark Sadler '62
    • 1994 J. William Langston '65
    • 1994 Fred S. Gorelick '70
    • 1995 Andrew Jackson Wann '40
    • 1996 Nancy Hasler Watsling '46
    • 1996 Ellen Gray Massey '60 MEd
    • 1997 Rev. Elton O. Smith '50
    • 1997 Larry Wallis '66
    • 1998 Thomas R. Whitlock '76
    • 1999 Tom Kellogg '58
    • 1999 Richard French '59
    • 2000 James R. Silkenat '69
    • 2001 John D. Burczak '76
    • 2002 Michael Mallory '77
    • 2003 Revs. John and Paula Bowman Sandford '51/'53
    • 2003 Russell Robinson '74
    • 2004 Dr. William R. Schiller '58
    • 2005 Paul Stillwell '66
    • 2007 Jerry L Redfern '57
    • 2007 Dr. Carol Gevecker Graves '62
    • 2008 Dorothy "Dottie" Dillard '45
    • 2008 Lisa Farmer '82
    • 2009 Judge H. Dean Whipple '61
    • 2010 Walter George '79
    • 2011 Dr. D. Greg Farwell '90
    • 2012 Dr. Ilene K. Gipson '66
    • 2013 Curtis L. Dinan '89
    • 2014 Kim Harrison Hamm '86
    • 2015 Dr. Heidi Prather Bradley ’87
    • 1976 Marcia Mobley Mitchell '67
    • 1977 Frances Presley Rice '73
    • 1978 Mark Anschutz '66
    • 1979 Glenn Richardson '65
    • 1985 Sue Carter Porges '66
    • 1985 Brian Gendece '79
    • 1987 James Wesley Mitchell '73, '81 MEd
    • 1990 Susan West '75
    • 1991 Wayne Schrier '75
    • 1992 Susan Montgomery McCammon '73
    • 1993 Michele Reeves Smith '88
    • 1995 Charlotte C. Hardin '85
    • 1997 James R. Dunlap '84
    • 2001 Brian R. Reynolds '83
    • 2004 Karen L. Williams '85
    • 2005 Marci Bowling '95
    • 2008 Michael Wehrenberg '99
    • 2011 Amber B. Campbell '98
    • 2012 Christopher B. Kennedy '99
    • 2013 Sarah Lester Wilkerson '01
    • 2014 Nathan Pettyjohn '01
    • 2015 Cliff Johnson ’03
    • 1986 Dr. Lora Bond, Biology
    • 1987 Dr. W. Curtis Strube, Business Administration
    • 1988 Dr. Willard Graves '33, Mathematics
    • 1989 Dr. Jorge Padron, Chemistry
    • 1990 Dr. Charles Mercer, Accounting
    • 1991 Dr. Victor Agruso, Psychology
    • 1992 Dr. Ruth Bamberger, Political Science
    • 1993 Dr. Rabin Roy, Chemistry
    • 1994 Dr. Richard D. Killough, Philosophy and Religion
    • 1995 Dr. Richard Mears, Language and Literature
    • 1996 Dr. Tijuana Julian '81, Music
    • 1997 Dr. Harriett Mears, Art
    • 1998 Dr. William D. Rohlf, Jr., Economics
    • 1999 Dr. Wayne Holmes, Literature
    • 2000 Dr. Joseph P. McAdoo, Communication
    • 2001 Dr. Peter D. Browning, Philosophy and Religion
    • 2002 Dr. Harvey Asher, History
    • 2003 Eltjen Flikkema, Ph.D., German, Literature, Director of Honors Program
    • 2004 Joyce A. Roberts, Special Instructor of Dance and Choreography/Dramatics Productions
    • 2005 Dr. Thomas E. Russo, Art
    • 2006 Dr. Barbara Wing, Biology
    • 2007 Dr. Donald Weber, Physics
    • 2008 Dr. Penny Clayton '83 MBA,Accounting
    • 2009 Dudley Murphy, Design Arts
    • 2010 Alkis Tsolakis, Architecture
    • 2011 Dr. Lisa M. Esposito, Philosophy and Religion
    • 2015 Daniel Cashel, Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement