McKendree to Honor Outstanding Alumni at Awards Dinner Oct. 25

Akers Award, Loyal Service, Academy of Excellence, Rising Stars, Sports Hall of Fame

(LEBANON, Ill., October 21, 2014) — McKendree University will celebrate the accomplishments of several alumni at its annual awards dinner on Oct. 25. The 2014 awardees include two retired teachers, two physicians, a marine dealer, New Jersey realtor, nursing administrator, banker and attorney, all of whom have made their mark in their professions and at McKendree.

All alumni are invited to the Oct. 25 event at St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, Ill., beginning with a 6 p.m. reception followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32 per person, required in advance. Call (618) 537-6826 or e-mail For more information about homecoming and reunion weekend activities, visit

Donna Dosier, a Belleville, Ill., resident, will receive her alma mater’s highest alumni honor, the Peter Akers Award. Named for McKendree’s first graduate and first president, it recognizes professional success, outstanding service and loyalty to the university. Dosier received a degree in social studies in 1956. The former homecoming queen candidate was involved in many campus organizations including Student-Faculty Council, CLIO, Band, Kappa Chi, McK Club, Religious Life Council and Future Teachers of America.

She taught at Centerville School in Cahokia and Columbia Grade School before staying at home to raise sons John and Jeff. She later returned to the classroom to teach special education at Signal Hill School in Belleville from 1979 to 1991.

Mrs. Dosier and her late husband, Bob, have loyally supported their alma mater throughout the years as donors and members of the William McKendree Society, Bearcat Boosters and McKendree Presents.

Gregory Snyder, of Clarksburg, N.J., will receive the Loyal Service Award. The 1970 graduate led the Ferox (Phi Rho Chi) fraternity and Intersociety Council on campus and served as editor of the McKendree Review newspaper.

Snyder is the managing director of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. on the east coast. He serves on the board of the Holmdel Theatre Company and was an integral part of the effort to build a new headquarters for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey as a member of its board. Although he lives over 900 miles away, Snyder has returned to McKendree for homecoming and events such as the 2013 Ferox 50th Anniversary Reunion. He is a member of the William McKendree Society and a supporter of the university’s ongoing capital campaign.

Four alumni enter the Academy of Excellence this year for achievement, leadership and character in business, community service, nursing and health professions, and social sciences.

Kenneth Cope, of Swansea, Ill., graduated from McKendree in 1968 with a business degree and a minor in economics. In the 50 years since he started his business, Cope Marine, he has achieved all industry sales and service awards for all manufacturers’ representatives. In 1998 he opened a second location in southwest Missouri and has purchased over 15 other marine dealerships to acquire inventory and quality personnel. He led the Greater St. Louis Marine Dealer Association as president for 18 years.

Cope is on the board of the O’Fallon-Fairview Heights Lions and received its highest recognition for his charitable work. He, too, is an active alumnus who supports McKendree’s arts and athletic programs.

Carol Klopmeyer, of Mascoutah, Ill., completed her degree in history in 1971 andwent on to share her love of the subject as a teacher at Mascoutah Middle School.

A charter member of the Mascoutah Historical Society, she has served as its president numerous times since 1980. She was instrumental in the acquisition and renovation of the Berger-Kiel House and the creation of the Mascoutah Heritage Museum. In 2000, the Illinois Humanities Council honored her with the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. She has assisted McKendree in the acquisition and appraisal of donated historic items and as a voluntary curator, archivist and historian.

Debra Turpin, RN, MSN, ONC, of Jerseyville, Ill., is a 1990 graduate of the RN-to-BSN degree program and in 2007 obtained her master’s in Nursing Management-Administration.

She began her career in 1982 at Alton Memorial Hospital, BJC Health Care, and in 2009 became its vice president of patient care services and chief nurse executive. She has helped foster a hospital-university partnership that allows McKendree to provide nursing education opportunities for Alton area students. She was instrumental in a recent agreement that ensures BJC nurses receive a strong educational opportunity with McKendree’s RN-to-BSN program.

Jeffrey Thornton, of Lebanon, Ill., graduated in 1988 with a degree in accounting. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education. As an undergraduate, he was a member of the Ferox (Phi Rho Chi) fraternity, Student Government Association, and the McKendree Review staff. He was a manager for the Bearcat men’s basketball team and an assistant coach for women’s basketball and softball.

Thornton is assistant vice president of indirect dealer services with U.S. Bank, his employer for over 25 years. Active in Rotary International District 6510 since 1994, he helped create the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), served on the International RYLA committee in 2004, and oversaw 47 clubs as Rotary District Governor of Southern Illinois in 2011. He is also president of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference United Methodist Men.

At McKendree, Thornton has served on the Alumni Sports Selection and Business Selection committees, presented at career day events and broadcast women’s basketball games on the internet. He often returns to campus for homecoming, arts and athletic events, and Founders’ Day.

Two physicians and an attorney are this year’s Rising Stars. Established in 2010, the award is given to McKendree graduates of the past decade who have made significant achievements in their professions or chosen fields, and who have demonstrated a high level of involvement in the university and in their respective communities.

Dr. Brian Klostermann, of Breese, Ill., received a degree in athletic trainingin 2004, As a Bearcat, he was named a NAIA Academic All-American baseball player and worked with the athletic trainers and game day event staff.

Klostermann went on to earn a medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He is a family and sports medicine physician with the HSHS Medical Group and chairman of the Clinton County Medical Health Board.

He remains involved as a volunteer sports medicine physician for the university and a member of its Bearcat Booster Club.

Dr. Sara Rubenacker, of Springfield, Ill., received a biology degree in 2006. As a McKendrean, she was president of the Student Government Association and involved with the Honors Program, New Student Orientation, Campus Activities Board, Phi Kappa Phi and the Biology Honor Society.

Rubenacker earned a degree in obstetrics and gynecology from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where she was class chair. She is currently completing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Springfield Memorial Hospital and will join Heartland Women’s Healthcare next June.

She often returns to her alma mater for William McKendree Society donor events, Founders’ Day, Hettenhausen Center performances and Scholarship Weekend.

Courtney Logan, of East St. Louis, Ill., received degrees in communications and philosophy in 2008 and went on to receive his J.D. from Saint Louis University of Law in 2012. After law school he was an assistant state’s attorney for St. Clair County in the Domestic Violence Division. He is now an associate attorney for Lashly & Baer in St. Louis, Mo.

Logan was on McKendree’s nationally ranked speech and debate team, president of the Deneen Law Society, a Student Government Association senator, Model United Nations participant, Student Ambassador, and Bearcat football player. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Lambda Pi Eta honor societies.

Earlier this year, Logan published “Shaped by Fire,” a book documenting how he overcame struggles and how he uses his upbringing and experience to inspire others. He 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.

Entering McKendree Bearcat Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 are Tom Pile ’65, alumni coach and sports professional; the 1999-2002 women’s indoor track and field teams; Emily Hart ’08, women’s basketball; and Kyle Jahn ’09, men’s wrestling.