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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 Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement 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 Distinguished Alumni Award for University Engagement 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 Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service celebrates an alumnus who has served his or her community in an exemplary way, sustaining a record of leadership and dedicated service.

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement 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 Distinguished Alumni Award for Young Alumni 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 Distinguished Appreciation Award for Faculty/Staff 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.

Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form


2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

James & Marilyn Bogle Buchholz ‘57/’62
Lifetime Achievement Award

In the 55 years since Jim and Marilyn met at Drury, the two have shared a lifetime of adventure. Jim has more than 50 years of experience in investment counseling and institutional finance, beginning with his first job as Drury University’s Business Manager. At the same time, Marilyn pursued her love of learning and service, coaching debate and teaching high school biology. Later, she served as the Head of Health Services at Columbia’s Red Cross. In 1988, Jim co-founded Prime-Buchholz and Associates, Inc., a business that has grown into one of the nation’s leading investment consulting firms with branches in Boston, Atlanta, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Dr. Thomas Lynch ‘65
University Engagement Award 

While Lynch’s life journey has taken him many places since graduating from Drury, he has never forgotten his alma mater. After earning his medical degree in 1969, Lynch went on to serve as a doctor in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, where he was stationed in locations ranging from Hawaii to San Francisco to West Point. Ultimately, he returned to Springfield where he recently retired after 41 years as a practicing dermatologist. Lynch’s commitment to Drury is evident in the various service roles he has held over the years, including President of the Drury Alumni Association, volunteer physician for the Panthers basketball team, and a 32-year member of Drury’s Board of Trustees.

Dwayne Holden ‘64
Career Achievement Award 

A graduate of the Breech School of Business, Holden left Drury with a degree in business administration. In 1977, he established a successful Springfield-based company, Custom Metalcraft, Inc. Starting with a staff of just three people, Custom Metalcraft has grown into an internationally recognized producer of specialty equipment for major companies in almost every industry. Holden currently serves as the company’s president and CEO, and his four area plants employ more than 160 people.

Thomas W. Stevens ‘59
Community Service Award 

Stevens began his service in the United States Air Force as a tail gunner aboard a B-29, flying 27 combat missions during the Korean War. At 85-years-old, he continues to touch the lives of those he encounters as he honors the sacrifices of his fellow veterans. In recent years, he has established a chapter of the National Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) in his residence of Overland Park, Kansas, and served for two years as president of the National KWVA organization.

Meg Myers Morgan ‘05
Young Alumnus Award 

Even as a student at Drury, Morgan knew she wanted to spend her life helping others. After three years at the United Way of Tulsa, she went on to earn both her Masters in Public Administration and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She now serves at OU-Tulsa as the Director of the Public Administration/Nonprofit Management program, and co-director of the Center for Community Engagement. In 2016, Morgan was featured in a TEDxOU Talk called “Negotiating For Your Life,” which sparked her career as a professional development speaker and career coach.

Dr. Bruce Callen
Distinguished Appreciation – for Drury Faculty/Staff 

Since his arrival at Drury in 1991, Dr. Callen has taught a variety of classes, led research projects, and helped innovate Drury’s math and science curriculum. Despite taking on administrative responsibilities at Drury in recent years, Callen continued to teach both upper-level physics and general education courses. He is also co-founder of the Drury Scholars Program, a summer program that supports the educational attainment of African American youth in the Springfield area. Through his leadership in teaching, advising, and curriculum, Callen has helped shape the Drury experience into what it is today.


Past Distinguished Award Winners 

  • Lifetime Achievement
  • University Engagement
  • Outstanding Service
  • Career Achievement
  • Young Alumni
  • Faculty/Staff Appreciation
  • Special Merit
    • 2015 Ralph K. Manley '49
    • 2016 Dr. Sue Carter Porges ‘66
    • 2017 Warren B. Davis '59
    • 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
    • 2016 Steven D. Edwards ‘88
    • 2017 Gail "Gene" Summers '63
    • 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
    • 2016 Janet Steinmetz Trotter ‘53
    • 2017 Raymond E. Hackett '80
    • 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
    • 2016 Dr. Calla Wiemer ‘77
    • 2017 S. David Gohn '64
    • 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
    • 2016 Dr. Adam McClellan ’05
    • 2017 Lauren Holtkamp '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
    • 2016 Traci Sooter, Architecture
    • 2017 Judi Grier Thompson '61, University Advancement
    • 1992 Mercedes Freeman Smith '89
    • 2000 William Dannevik '66
    • 2001 Ronald Neville '69
    • 2002 Betty Herndon Meyer '40