2011 Alumni Award Winners

The McKendree University Alumni Association, Sports Hall of Fame Committee, and the Office of Development, Alumni and Parent Relations, extend sincere thanks to all the individuals who contributed their time and talents towards making this evening and the 2011 Homecoming Weekend a success. We salute and think our Homecoming Committee for their continued commitment, loyalty and support of their alma mater.

Loyal Service Award

Mr. Kent A. Marty '80 - Since graduating in 1980, Kent has been involved with McKendree in a variety of capacities. Kent has previously served on the Sports Hall of Fame Committee, frequently attends McKendree events, and has been the primary force behind the establishment of the Steven Marty Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship Fund was created in honor of Kent's late brother, Steve, a 1979 graduate of McKendree with an administration of justice degree who enjoyed an extensive career in law enforcement. The Steven Marty Memorial Scholarship fund is designed to benefit students who are, like Steve, pursuing careers in the field of law enforcement. Kent has been responsible for raising approximately $125,000 for the Scholarship Fund, resulting in a tremendous benefit for our McKendree students and honoring with distinction his brother's legacy. Kent received his degree in business administration with a minor in marketing from McKendree and then completed his MBA at Lindenwood University. He is now the Director of International Trade Channel Development for Aclara Technologies and has enjoyed a distinguished career with the company for the last 31 years. He and his wife Gina reside in Edwardsville, IL and Have two daughters, Ellen and Mary, who are both students at the University of Missouri.

Rising Star Awards

Mr. Joseph E. Blasdel '00 - As a student at McKendree, Joe was very involved in debate and Model UN, and as a member of the Class of 2000, he majored in political science, speech, math, and philosophy. After receiving his master of arts in political science from Syracuse University, he became an instructor of political science here at McKendree. Since 2005 he has been influencing and educating McKendree Students as a distinguished and beloved faculty member. Joe has been successfully coaching the debate and individual events team at McKendree since 2003 and was placed on the Board of Trustees for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence in 2011. His teams have consistently been advancing to final rounds in national tournaments and his coaching has led McKendree's debate program to numerous championships, leading to a 1st place finish for the 2010-2011 season. Joe and his wife Amy Gildersleeve ('00) have one daughter Hillary, and reside in Lebanon, IL.

Mr. Matthew R. Olmsted '01 - As a member of the Class of 2001, Matthew graduated from McKendree with a double major in marketing and music. While a student at McKendree, Matthew was a very involved campus and community leader. He was committed to student involvement, actively involved in Choir and Cantori as well as New Student Orientation. During his time at McKendree he also studied abroad in Ireland and was selected to study in Japan where he gained insight on the Japanese economy, education and culture. Matthew currently works for RR Donnelley Roman Financial in Hong Kong as Director of Sales. His areas of focus include not only Hong Kong, but Korea, India, the Philippines and Taiwan. His career has taken him across the globe, having worked in a variety of countries and regions to develop and expand the RR Donnelley Roman Financial presence as well as coordinate and communicate client logistics. Matthew has been a prominent force in international business and still manages to be an active alumnus of McKendree, coming back for University events and maintaining relationships with his faculty and friends. Matthew currently resides in Hong Kong.

Academy of Excellence Inductees


Mr. Charles W. Kamm, Sr. '55 - After completing his degree in German and history in 1955 from McKendree, Charles completed his M.S. in Educational Administration from SIUE. He was a teacher at Summerfield Grade School for 6 years before becoming a School Administrator in 1961 serving in a variety of roles as Principal and Superintendent. As Principal for 23 years, he received numerous accolades and awards for his commitment to his students and the schools he has served. He is the subject of a recent book, The Man who Became A School, where his work in education is praised for being a teacher “who lives on and through his students.” Charles has been involved in numerous civic organizations including the St. Paul United Church of Christ Church Council, Volunteer for Interfaith Caregivers, the McKendree University Teacher Advisory Council and a liaison for the Hoyleton Children’s Foundation. Charles has been recognized as a Lebanon Education Foundation Hall of Fame Inductee and received the Kappa Gamma Epsilon Career Achievement Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of Public Education. Charles and his wife Lynne have two children and three grandchildren and reside in Lebanon, IL.


Rev. Robert E. "Bob" Souders '58 - Upon graduation from McKendree in 1958, Robert completed his master’s degree in sacred theology at the Garrett Biblical Institute and studied at the Luther-Rice seminary, Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies. He has served as Sr. Pastor at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church and has had a career in ministry since 1955. Bob is a recipient of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award and is a founding member of the Mission Society for United Methodists. He has also served in the Boy Scouts of America as an active volunteer and Scout Master and as a member of the Memorial Hospital Board for 25 years. His civic and career involvements are expansive. He has also been an involved volunteer and supporter for McKendree University helping with annual fund drives and volunteering as a chapel speaker. Bob and his wife Beverly (’58) reside in Caseyville, IL and have three children, eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Language, Literature and Communication

Mrs. Anne E. Meyer-Thomure '80 - As a graduate of the Class of 1980 with an English major, Anne has had an extensive career in public relations. She has served as the editor for numerous newspaper publications and for a brief time as McKendree’s Director of Public Relations. For the past 22 years she has served with distinction as Director of Hospital and Community Relations for Memorial Hospital in Belleville. In that role she has been recognized as one of only six women featured in “Eye to Eye Women who Make a Difference,” featured in the Belleville News-Democrat. She has also been named as a Phenomenal Woman of Metropolitan St. Louis by Racial Harmony and as Ambassador of the Year by the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. Anne is actively involved in the community and volunteers actively with the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois as well as the United Way and Hospice of Southern Illinois. She is a member of the Fairview Heights, IL Chamber of Commerce and serves as Vice President for their Board of Directors. Anne and her husband Gregory have two children and one grandchild.

Mathematics, Science and Technology

Dr. Kristi L. McQuade '91 - A member of the Class of 1991, Kristi graduated from McKendree with her degree in chemistry and pursued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where in 1996 she received her Ph.D. in biochemistry. She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then a Research Fellow at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Since then, Kristi has been a faculty member of Grinnell College and Bradley University where she is currently an associate professor chemistry and biochemistry. As a faculty member, she was awarded the Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Service to students and has mentored over twenty undergraduate researchers and three graduate students. With numerous publications, projects and presentations relative to her field of study, Kristi has made a mark upon the world of biochemistry and is a deeply committed and highly regarded professional. Kristi and her husband Craig have three children and reside in Edelstein, IL.

Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Mr. John B. Batson '88 - A men’s basketball player during his time at McKendree, John was an outstanding player and student. After graduating from McKendree with a degree in criminal justice, he pursued a career as an Insurance Broker for Arthur J. Gallagher and was a small business owner in the Chicagoland area. Currently a state police officer for the State of Illinois, one of his greatest achievements has been in his civic and community involvement. As founder of First Step Youth Foundation, which provides mentoring and tutoring services to at-risk youth by using their love and talent for the game of basketball, John has had tremendous influence on the lives of student athletes in his area. John has been an outstanding example of how leadership on the court translates to leadership for the community in which he lives and works. John lives in Chicago, IL and has two children, Joshua and Chelsea.

Ms. Jamie L. Dienell '04
- A member of the Bearcat Women’s Soccer team in 2001 and 2002, Jamie was a gifted soccer player and valuable member of the team. Since graduating from McKendree with a degree in physical education, Jamie has been an assistant coach for the Lady Bearcat’s Soccer program since 2006 and has worked with Coach Tim Strange to bring the women’s soccer program at McKendree to prominence through American Midwest Conference championships and NAIA recognition. She is currently an Associate Professor at McKendree in the Division of Health Professions and is a committed member of the athletic department, coaching and leading her students in the classroom and on the field. Jamie is soon to be married to fiancé Jason Crustals and currently lives in Lebanon, IL.

Mr. Cory M. Wilson '04* - Cory Wilson was a graduate of McKendree University in 2004 with a degree in psychology. During his time here, he was an integral member of the McKendree Varsity Football team and a leader both on and off the field. A beloved team member and talented player, during this time he continued his football career as a student coach for the Bearcats during his final year at McKendree. He was also a volunteer coach for the Collinsville Kahoks football team. Cory began his professional career with ABB, Inc. in St. Louis, MO, where he was quickly promoted to Project Manager for their marketing department and then First Line Supervisor soon thereafter. In January 2010, Cory’s life was tragically taken, but his impact and legacy continue to be felt throughout our community. The Cory Wilson Scholarship Association has awarded ten scholarships to Metro East area high school seniors and the Collinsville Raiders now play football on the Cory Wilson Memorial Field. Cory is survived by his parents, grandparents, siblings and beloved niece.

* Deceased

Mr. Henry W. "Hank" Feldt '59 - Hank Feldt has served his country, has served the Lebanon School District for 50 years, and more importantly served students and athletes for a half-century. A member of both baseball and basketball teams during his time at McKendree, Hank graduated in 1959 with a degree in physical education and biology. He went on to complete his master’s degree from Indiana University and began teaching at Lebanon CUSD #9 where he has been head softball coach for 22 years. During his career he coached seven different sports both male and female, as well as serving as the district’s only Athletic Director until his retirement. Under his coaching, he has enjoyed 336 wins, 9 national titles and 6 sectional titles. He has been nominated for Coach of the Year three times and was recognized by the State of Illinois for his 50 years of service. Hank was also recently selected as a finalist in the 2011 National Coach of the Year Award by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA). Hank has been a prolific leader and mentor to the students who have played for him as well as his coaching staff and colleagues. The impact he has had on student athletes continues to be felt today. He resides in Mascoutah, IL and continues to shape young minds and serve as an excellent mentor to the youth in our community.

Peter Aker Award

Rev. Robert H. "Bob" Edwards '57 - A graduate of the Class of 1957, Robert graduated from McKendree with a degree in social studies and a minor in religion. Bob went on to complete a master’s degree from Boston University School of Theology in 1961. He has had a career in ministry with the United Methodist Church that spanned 45 years until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure, he served six years as District Superintendent for the Vandalia District U.M.C. and following his retirement, he served four years as associate pastor of Union United Methodist Church in Belleville, IL.

He has been recognized as Mascoutah’s Person of the Year and has been actively involved in numerous civic organizations including Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

As a member of the McKendree University Board of Trustees, Bob has served on the Academic Affairs Committee and Church Relations Committee. In addition, he is a William McKendree Society Member and sponsor of the Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts. He is an active alumnus and valuable Trustee and his vision, commitment and dedication have been critical to preserving McKendree’s reputation of excellence.

Bob is also a dedicated and committed community volunteer and is a member of Nomads On a Mission Active in Divine Service (NOMADS) which provide volunteer labor for United Methodist organizations. Through his experiences with this group, he has served on several missions to Mississippi, New Orleans, and Nuevo Progresso, in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Bob and his wife Linda have raised three children and have been blessed by four grandchildren. He is a beloved friend to the University and his presence and influence inspire and encourage all those around him. Bob and Linda reside in Mascoutah, IL.