McKendree University Honors Outstanding Alumni

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

(LEBANON, Ill., October 6, 2017) — McKendree University celebrated several of its accomplished alumni at its annual awards dinner, held on Sept. 30 at the St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, Ill. Chosen by the alumni board, the 2017 winners have made their mark in their professions and at their alma mater.

William “Bill” Blythe, of Edwardsville, Ill., received the highest alumni honor, the Peter Akers Award for professional success, outstanding service and loyalty. The 1963 graduate majored in history and was involved in Student Congress, public affairs groups and the Platonian Social Society on campus. He earned a master’s degree from SIUE and taught at Edwardsville Junior High School for 32 years. Blythe has served on the Edwardsville Plan Commission, Model A Restorers Club, and Illinois Oil and Gas Association. He is also the co-founder and president of Quad “B” Oil, Inc. The long time McKendree supporter served on the Alumni Association board and is a William McKendree Society member, a Forward Campaign donor and a Friend of the Hett.

The Loyal Service Award went to Susan Harbaugh, of Red Bud, Ill., who graduated in 2004 with a business administration-accounting degree and has worked in accounting for more than 35 years. In 2000, she was named chief financial officer for Human Support Services in Waterloo, Ill., where she has been employed since 1992. Harbaugh has served on the Red Bud Economic Development Commission, Red Bud Civic Center Committee, and Master Naturalist Advisory Committee, and was treasurer for the Red Bud School District. Currently she is an alderwoman for Ward IV in the City of Red Bud, part of the Kaskaskia Valley Audubon Society, Clifftop Finance Committee, Weekend Gardener Committee and Board of Directors for the St. Clement Community Foundation. She is an Illinois Notary Public, a Certified Illinois Master Naturalist with the University of Illinois Extension, and a National Weather Service storm spotter.

Two alumni entered the university’s Academy of Excellence for achievement, leadership and character in the humanities and in language, literature and communication. Dr. Donald Wagner, of Lebanon, Ill., is a pastor and teacher at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Lebanon. He graduated in 1984 with degrees in history and secondary education. In 1988 he earned a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry at Eden Theological Seminary. Rev. Wagner serves on the board of the Rural Pastors Institute and is the charter chairperson of Family 4 Ministry, which provides individual and family counseling. In 2012 he hiring the first parish nurse and continues to support this initiative today. He also serves on the McKendree Research Institutional Review Board.

Lori (Rehmet) Moore, of Louisville, Ky., graduated in 1998 with a business administration degree, went on to earn four masters degrees, and has completed course work for a Doctorate of Education. She taught as an adjunct instructor at many institutions including McKendree University’s Kentucky campus. Moore is active in her community and an avid traveler who has visited all 50 states, 65 countries, and participated in mission trips to Kenya and Cuba. In recent years her writing has earned honors and awards from Readers Favorite for “From Zero to Christian in Just 35 Years,” “Missing Andy” and “Grady the Gray Cat Gets Adopted.”

Rising Stars are McKendree University graduates of the past decade who have made significant achievements in their professions or chosen fields, and who have been highly involved with the university or their communities.

Kyle Eversgerd, formerly of Breese, Ill., now residing in Woodland Hills, Calif., enters his ninth year with the Rams NFL organization and third as director of external football affairs. He oversees the team’s youth and high school football programs and the Rams’ Legends community program. As fan development manager from 2013-2014, he developed and implemented the Rams Training Academy, a 20,000 square-foot indoor training and development facility. The National Football Foundation awarded him the 2014 Eddie Cochems’ Award for his outstanding contribution to amateur football. Eversgerd graduated from McKendree in 2007 with a degree in organizational communication (marketing and sales). In college, he was a member of the Campus Activities Board and captain of the Bearcats football team in 2007.

Josh Nimmo ’07, of Maryville, Ill., graduated in 2007 with a degree in athletic training and went to work as an athletic trainer and exercise specialist with Monroe Physical Therapy and The Training Room. He later became an athletic trainer for Freeburg High School while managing fitness operations at The Training Room and in 2012, opened CrossFit Metro East in Belleville. Nimmo’s involvement with the Metro East Fellowship of Christian Athletes has allowed him to travel and share FCA’s mission as far as the Ukraine. At McKendree, he played football for the Bearcats and participated in intramural sports.

Entering the McKendree Bearcat Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 are Sam Hipple, Class of 1962, men‘s basketball; Andrew Sanchez, Class of 2011, men’s wrestling; Oku Satcher, Class of 2002, football; and Gary White, former coach of cross country, track and field, and bowling. Read more about the new Hall of Famers at