Alumni Awards 2014

McKendree University celebrated the accomplishments and contributions of following alumni on October 25, 2014 during Homecoming Weekend at the 2014 Alumni Awards Dinner.


Loyal Service Award


Mr. Gregory Snyder '70

 

Gregory SnyderGreg Snyder’s service to McKendree began during his time as a student.  He led and participated in “work days” as President of the Ferox (Phi Rho Chi) Fraternity and the Intersociety Council. He also served as Editor of the McKendree Review.

After graduating from McKendree in 1970, Greg moved to the Chicagoland area to become Field Operation Manager for a major excavation and paving company.  Greg then became Regional Vice President and Division President with national residential homebuilder Lennar and its predecessor U.S. Home in the Chicago area and New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.  In this position Greg earned Top Performing Division President honors three times, twice in Homebuilding and once in Land Development. He then became Vice President of MPKA, a national real estate consulting firm and he is currently the Managing Director with Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., an East Coast real estate firm that sells all types of real estate for a wide variety of clients.

Greg’s commitment to service doesn’t stop with McKendree. He served on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey and during his tenure as a board member, Greg was an integral part of the organization’s efforts to build the Samuel and Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place, the new headquarters located in Monroe, New Jersey. Greg served as project manager and helped to conceive and design the building.  He also secured the land donation and managed the zoning and development approvals for the project.  Greg is currently a board member for the Holmdel Theatre Company, a troupe whose mission is to integrate professional actors, directors and technicians with young people in a collaborative artistic and educational exchange.

Since graduating in 1970, Greg has continued his involvement with McKendree.  While living over 900 miles from the University, Greg is a regular attendee at Homecoming and other campus events.  He served on the Ferox 50th Anniversary Reunion Committee in 2013, an event that brought over 60 Ferox members together on campus, many for the first time since graduating. Greg is a dedicated supporter of McKendree. A member of the William McKendree Society and a supporter of the University’s ongoing capital campaign.

He resides in Clarksburg, NJ and has one daughter and a grandson.


Rising Star Award


Dr. Brian Klostermann '04

Brian KlostermannAs a member of the Class of 2004, Brian graduated magna cum laude from McKendree with a degree in athletic training.

As a student at McKendree, Brian was involved in athletics as a member of the baseball team and was named a NAIA Academic All-American.  He was also involved with the athletic training program and as a member of the game day event staff.

After completing his degree at McKendree, Brian went on to earn his medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  He is currently practices as a family and sports medicine physician with the HSHS Medical Group.  Brian is also the chairman of the Clinton County Medical Health Board.

Brian has remained involved in McKendree and in his community. He regularly volunteers as a sports medicine physician and is a member of the Bearcat Booster Club.

Brian continues to remain an active alumnus of McKendree, coming back for University events and maintaining relationships with faculty and friends. He and his wife Ann live in Breese, Ill., with their one-year-old son, James.

 

Dr. Sara Rubenacker '06

 

Sara RubenackerSara is a 2006 graduate of McKendree with a degree in in biology.  As a student at McKendree, Sara was involved with the Honors Program, New Student Orientation, Campus Activities Board, Phi Kappa Phi, Biology Honor Society and served as President of the Student Government Association.

After completing her degree at McKendree, Sara earned a degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  While pursuing her medical degree Sara served as class chair.  She is currently completing her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Springfield Memorial Hospital.  She will complete her residency in June of 2015 and will join Heartland Women’s Healthcare in Mt. Vernon, Ill.

Sara has continued her relationship with her alma mater by regularly returning to campus for William McKendree Society events, Founders’ Day, performances at the Hett, and volunteering at Scholarship Weekend.  Sara resides in Springfield, Ill.

 

Mr. Courtney Logan '08

 

Courtney LoganAs a member of the Class of 2008, Courtney graduated from McKendree with degrees in communications and philosophy.  He went on to receive his J.D. from Saint Louis University of Law in 2012.

Courtney was an active student during his time at McKendree.  He was a member of the nationally ranked speech and debate team, was President of the Deneen Law Society, served as a Senator on the Student Government Association, participated in Model United Nations, helped recruit students as a Student Ambassador, and played on the football team. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Lambda Pi Eta.

While in law school Courtney was a member of the Moot Court Board, National Moot Court Team, and the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team.  He clerked for Judge Carol E. Jackson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Missouri.  After law school he served as the Assistant State’s Attorney for Saint Clair County in the Domestic Violence Division.  Currently Courtney is an associate attorney for Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen in Edwardsville.

Earlier this year, Courtney’s book entitled Shaped by Fire was published.  The book documents how he overcame struggles and how he is using his upbringing and experience to inspire others.

In his community, Courtney is the president of the Board of Directors for New Yu Youth Outreach and volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Prisoner Re-Entry Summit for Hope and Youth Offender Day.

Courtney resides in East St. Louis, Ill., with his wife Rachel (Witcher) ‘07 and son, Courtney.


Academy of Excellence Inductees


Business


Mr. Kenneth Cope '68

 

Kenneth CopeA member of the Class of 1968, Kenneth (Ken) graduated from McKendree with a degree in business and a minor in economics.

Shortly after graduation from high school in 1964, Ken started his business, Cope Marine, with just one other person.  Growing a business while attending college was not always easy, but Ken’s hard work has paid off.  In the 50 years since he started the business he has achieved all industry sales and service awards for all manufacturers' representatives. In 1998 he opened a second location at Table Rock Lake, in Southwestern Missouri which is still in operation.  An avid business man, he has also purchased over 15 other marine dealerships to acquire inventory and quality personnel. He led as President of the Greater St. Louis Marine Dealer Association for 18 years.

Ken is actively involved in the community as board member of the O’Fallon/Fairview Heights Lions.  He was recognized for his work by receiving the Melvin Jones Award, the highest form of recognition that a Lion can receive for their charitable work.  He is also an active McKendree alumnus who attends events at the Hett and supports Bearcat Athletics.

When they are not working, Ken and his wife Sheila enjoy boating and spending time with their two children and three grandchildren.  They reside in Swansea, Ill.


Community Service


Mr. Jeffrey Thornton '88

 

Jeffrey ThorntonA member of the class of 1988, Jeff graduated from McKendree with a degree in accounting and a minor in computer science. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in education. As a student, he was very active.  He was a member of the Ferox (Phi Rho Chi) Fraternity, Student Government Association, and wrote for the McKendree Review.  He was also very involved with McKendree athletics serving as a manager for the men’s basketball team for two years and as assistant coach of both the women’s basketball and softball teams.

Since graduation, Jeff has spent for over 25 years with U.S. Bank and currently holds the position of Assistant Vice President, Indirect Dealer Services.

Jeff believes community service is the most important gift one can make to the community.  In 1994 Jeff joined the Rotary International District 6510 serving southern Illinois and he has embodied the Rotary motto “service over self” since.  Jeff helped create the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) to bring together high school students in southern Illinois to work on leadership skills and to promote community service.  He served on the International Rotary Youth Leadership Awards committee in 2004 and was honored to serve as the Rotary District Governor of Southern Illinois, overseeing 47 clubs throughout Illinois, in 2011.

In 1997 Jeff played an integral role in the development of the Interact/Explorers group.  The group combines local Rotary group and the Boy Scouts to teach local high school students the value of community service, career development and reaching life goals.  Jeff also serves as president of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference United Methodist Men, the official organization for the men in The United Methodist Church.

In addition, Jeff has been involved with McKendree in a variety of capacities. Jeff has served on the Alumni Sports Selection Committee and the Business Selection Committee, he has presented at career day events and was the internet broadcaster for the women’s basketball team.  Jeff also frequently attends campus events such as Homecoming, athletic events, Hett performances, and Founders’ Day.

Jeff and his wife Missy reside in Lebanon, Ill, and have five children, including their daughter Madison who is a sophomore at McKendree, and one granddaughter.


Nursing


Ms. Debra Turpin '90, '07

 

Debra TurpinDebra Turpin, RN, MSN, ONC is a graduate of the RN to BSN degree program in 1990 and in she completed the MSN in Nursing Management/Administration. As a student Debra excelled and was honored as the recipient of the Edward Stiften Scholarship while earning her MSN.

Debra’s career began at Alton Memorial Hospital, BJC Health Care in 1982 as an evening staff nurse. After holding many positions at Alton Memorial Hospital, she is now the Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nurse Executive, the highest position in nursing, a position she’s held since 2009.

A loyal alumna, Debra was instrumental in fostering a partnership between McKendree University and Alton Memorial Hospital. Her support has allowed McKendree to establish a relationship with Alton Memorial Hospital to provide nursing education opportunities for nursing students in the Alton area. In addition Debra was instrumental in the recent Memorandum of Agreement between BJC Health Care and McKendree University for the RN to BSN program to ensure the BJC nurses receive a strong educational opportunity with McKendree University.

Debra is a true friend of McKendree University and continues to be an ongoing supporter of McKendree University Division of Nursing.  She resides in Jerseyville, Ill.

 

Social Sciences


Mrs. Carol Klopmeyer ’71

 

Carol KlopmeyerAfter completing her degree in history 1971 from McKendree, Carol went on to share her love of history as a teacher in the Mascoutah Middle School.  

It is her love of history that has driven her in retirement.  A charter member of the Mascoutah Historical Society, Carol has serves as the Society's President numerous times since first holding the position in 1980. As President, Carol was instrumental in the acquisition and renovation of the Berger-Kiel House and the creation of the Mascoutah Heritage Museum. In 2000, Carol was honored as a recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for her work with the Mascoutah Historical Society and the Berger-Keil House by the Illinois Humanities Council.

A loyal alumna, Carol has actively assisted McKendree in the acquisition of donated historic goods.  She was instrumental in assisting the university in the appraisal of a donated collection that provided financial support.  She has been a devoted volunteer and has aided McKendree as a curator, archivist, and historian.

Carol and her husband Jack reside in Mascoutah, Ill., they have two children and six grandchildren.


Sports Hall of Fame Inductees


Mrs. Emily Meyer '08

 

Emily MeyersEmily Hart Meyer became one of the most dominant scorers and rebounders in the history of the McKendree women’s basketball program. She was a leading force in helping the Bearcats to unmatched success during her four-year career.

By the time her playing career concluded in 2006-07, Emily compiled 1,981 points and 942 rebounds at McKendree. She showed great consistency over the final three years of her career with the Bearcats averaging at least 17 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest. Emily led McKendree in scoring in each of her final three seasons, and was the team’s top rebounder as a junior and senior. A great shooting touch also enabled Emily to connect on 53.4 percent of her field goal attempts while shooting 71.8 percent from the free throw line with the Bearcats.

At the time of her induction, Emily ranks second on the Bearcats’ career scoring list and third all-time in rebounds. In addition, she made 708 field goals over a four-year span, which ranks third on the career charts at McKendree. Emily also sits in the top 10 for several season records with the Bearcats. She made 188 free throws as a senior, which is the most by any McKendree women’s basketball player in a single season. As a senior in 2006-07, Emily poured in a career-high 36 points in a contest against Olivet Nazarene University and grabbed a career-best 19 rebounds versus The Master’s College. Both of those totals rank second all-time among McKendree players in a single game.

With Emily leading the way, McKendree earned four consecutive trips to the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship in Jackson, Tenn. She was also part of two American Midwest Conference Tournament championship squads with the Bearcats.

Individually, Emily was a three-time AMC All-Conference selection. She also made her mark in the classroom, collecting AMC Academic All-Conference honors in each of her four years with the Bearcats, and she was a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete.


Mr. Kyle Jahn '09

 

Kyle JahnKyle Jahn came to McKendree after winning a state wrestling championship as a senior in high school. He took that one step further by the time his career with the Bearcats was completed in 2007-08, with a national championship as the centerpiece of a prolific career at McKendree.

Wrestling at 133 pounds in each of his first two years as well as at 141 pounds as a junior and senior, Kyle posted a career record of 102-21 at McKendree, winning more than 82 percent of the time he took the mat for the Bearcats. He was the first wrestler in program history to record 100 career victories, and had a career-high 30 wins as a senior in 2007-08. Kyle became the first four-time NAIA All-American in program history and represented McKendree at four consecutive NAIA National Championships.

Kyle burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2004-05, finishing as the national runner-up at 133 pounds at the NAIA tournament. He continued that remarkable run of consistency for McKendree, posting 27 wins in each of the next two seasons while earning another second-place finish at the national tournament as a sophomore along with a sixth-place showing to close out his junior year.

As a senior, Kyle moved up to 141 pounds and produced one of the most memorable seasons in McKendree wrestling history. He surpassed the 100-win mark for his career during the NAIA National Championships, and punctuated his collegiate wrestling career by winning the national title at 141 pounds. He became the second McKendree wrestler to win a NAIA national championship.

After his wrestling career was complete, Kyle moved on to the coaching ranks with McKendree as he served as a student assistant coach, then assistant coach with the Bearcats following his graduation in 2009.


1999-2002 Women's Indoor Track & Field Teams

 

Track and Field TeamWhen the McKendree women’s indoor track and field program made the trip to Lincoln, Neb., for the 1999 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, the school had yet to win a national title in any sport. Four years later, the words “McKendree” and “dynasty” were being used in the same sentence to describe the indoor track and field program that Coach Gary White and his staff had assembled.

From 1999-2002, McKendree did what no other institution in NAIA history had accomplished. The Bearcats won four consecutive NAIA national championships in women’s indoor track and field. When McKendree’s run of titles began, no other NAIA school had even won three national crowns overall. In 1999 and 2000, the Bearcats rolled to the championship in convincing fashion. McKendree claimed its first NAIA national championship by scoring 96 points at the 1999 meet to win the event by 32 points. The Bearcats defended their title in 2000 by rolling up 125 points during competition, which at the time of induction is still the third-highest scoring total in NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship history.

McKendree then showed a flair for the dramatic in keeping its string of consecutive national championships alive in 2001 and 2002 as the national meet moved to Johnson City, Tenn. In 2001 -- competing with just five team members at the national meet -- the Bearcats trailed entering the final event of the competition, the 4 x 400-meter relay. McKendree needed to secure a third-place finish in the race to collect its third consecutive NAIA championship. The Bearcats did just that, taking third place by .09 seconds to extend its title streak to three.

The fourth and final championship in the run for McKendree came in even more dramatic fashion in 2002. Once again, the NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship came down to the 4 x 400-meter relay. This time, the Bearcats needed to win the race to rally for yet another national championship. And McKendree did just that, winning the final race of the day by nearly five seconds to capture its fourth straight NAIA indoor title. McKendree is still the only school to win four consecutive NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field national championships.

During its four-year run, McKendree won a total of 16 individual NAIA national championships at the women’s indoor nationals, along with three relay events. Two Bearcats won three consecutive individual national championships during that span – Agne Visockaite in the 200-meter dash and Sarah Korir in the 5,000-meter run. Visockaite was also named the Outstanding Performer of the Meet for NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field three times – in 1999, 2000 and 2002.

White earned NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Coach of the Year honors in 1999 for leading the Bearcats to the first of their four consecutive national titles. In all, White guided McKendree programs to all seven of the institution’s NAIA national championships. In addition to the run of four straight women’s indoor crowns, White was also the head coach of teams that won NAIA national championships for the 1999 men’s outdoor track and field national meet, the 2001 women’s outdoor track and field event and the 2011 NAIA Women’s Bowling Invitational.


Mr. Tom Pile '65

 

Tom PileTom Pile attended McKendree from 1963-65 before serving his country with the United States Army during the Vietnam War. After returning as a decorated war veteran, Tom embarked on a teaching and coaching career that saw him develop one of the most successful baseball programs in the state of Illinois.

For 31 years, Tom taught numerous history courses at the high school level, guiding thousands of students during his three-plus decades in the classroom. He took an active role in the learning process with his students and was rewarded at both Washburn High School and Edwardsville High School with Teacher of the Year honors.

Tom also made his mark in coaching circles as he guided teams in football, basketball and, most notably, baseball. In football, he was part of an Edwardsville staff that coached the Tigers to six consecutive winning seasons for the first time in school history. On the basketball court, Tom collected more than 500 wins.

It was on the baseball field where Tom made his biggest impression. For 18 seasons (1981-98) he served as the head baseball coach at Edwardsville, where he compiled a record of 508-147. During that time his Tigers’ teams made five state tournament appearances, leading the program to the 1990 and 1998 Illinois state championship. Tom led Edwardsville to the 1990 state title by guiding the program to a 32-3 record and a No. 7 national ranking. His 1998 championship team with the Tigers stood out even more as they rolled to a perfect 40-0 record while ending the year as the nation’s top-ranked team.

Over the years, Tom received nearly 70 coaching honors for his baseball accomplishments. He earned National Coach of the Year accolades from several organizations, and was a three-time Coach of the Year honoree by the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Six times, Tom was selected as the St. Louis-area Coach of the Year by the IHSBCA. He was also recognized as the area Coach of the Year six times each by both the Belleville News-Democrat and the Alton Telegraph. Tom received numerous honors and awards from local organizations as well, including the Paul Wray Award from the St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Association in 1998 and the Special Achievement Award from the Missouri Athletic Club.

In addition to the many honors and accolades awarded for his coaching accomplishments, Tom coached 10 players who were drafted and played professional baseball.


Peter Akers Award


Mrs. Donna Dosier '56


Donna DosierDonna graduated from McKendree College in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in social studies.  While at McKendree she was very involved with many organizations on campus, including Student-Faculty Council, CLIO, Band, Kappa Chi, McK Club, Religious Life Council, Future Teachers of America and she was a candidate for Homecoming Queen.  It was at McKendree that Donna met the love of her life, Bob Dosier.  They married in her home church in Posey, Illinois on July 6, 1958.

Following her time at McKendree, she began her teaching career.  Her first teaching position was in the primary grades at the Centerville School in Cahokia.  She then moved on to the Columbia Grade School where she taught in the primary grades as well.  After a couple years teaching in Columbia, Donna started her most demanding career as a stay-at-home mom to John and Jeff.  Both she and Bob thought it was very important to provide a stable home where the family was most important.  Donna was a room mother and an active PTO member, but more importantly, she was able to get her sons to their after school practices and she was a fixture at their games.  She did find time to do substitute teaching.  As their boys got into high school and college, Donna taught at Signal Hill School in Belleville from 1979 to 1991 in the area of special education.

Donna is an active member of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville and she has been a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.

As an alumna of McKendree, Donna is proud to have both of her sons, John and Jeff, graduate from McKendree and her granddaughter, Olivia, is currently a senior and will graduate in May.

Donna has been a wonderful supporter of McKendree throughout the years.  She received the Loyal Service Award in 1986.  She and Bob contributed to the Heritage, Heart and Hope Campaign which provided for the building of the Hett.  Donna has been a devoted and long-time member of the William McKendree Society, the Bearcat Boosters, McKendree Presents and she is supporting our current campaign to renovate the Voigt Science Building.