The McKendrean Magazine for McKendree Univeristy - Winter 2023

Alumni Award Recipients

Photo of Edward “Ed” McGlynn ’68
Edward “Ed” McGlynn ’68 | 2022 Peter Akers Award Recipient

The Alumni Association’s highest honor recognizes remarkable professional success, outstanding service, and unparalleled loyalty to McKendree University.

After graduating from McKendree, Ed McGlynn worked as a labor relations representative for General Motors Corporation for two years. He later graduated from Seton Hall University Law School in 1974 and joined McGlynn, McGlynn & McCormack. He served as planning board attorney for the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach for three years, then as the Borough attorney until 1982. Ed went on to become executive assistant deputy attorney general for New Jersey Attorney General Irwin I. Kimmleman. As a result of his interaction between the Governor’s office and the State Legislature, he was named deputy chief of staff by Governor Thomas Kean from 1985-1990.

State government experience prompted Ed to go into private practice of law in January 1990 after the end of Governor Kean’s term, working extensively with the solid waste industry getting governmental licenses and governmental approval to continue operating in this state. In 1995, Ed formed ERM Government Affairs, Inc., working in tandem with The Alman Group, and specializing in traditional lobbying and government affairs along with a significant amount of business development for many clients.

In 2016, Ed joined The Zita Group as senior counsel for legislative and regulatory affairs. Ed is a member of the New Jersey and New York Bar Associations and is admitted to practice before the United States Third Judicial Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of McKendree University until 2018 and is a member of the William McKendree Society.

While at McKendree, Ed met his wife, Jeanne (Manning) McGlynn ’70, and they married in 1968. Together, they have two children, Michele D. Castor and W. E. Richard McGlynn; five grandchildren, Alexander Kay Castor, Cade Edward McGlynn, Liam Charles McGlynn, Keegan Richard McGlynn and Aiden Patricia (Diemont) McGlynn; and one great-grandchild, Aubree Michelle Castor. Ed enjoys playing golf and collecting stamps, and he still works as an attorney and government affairs representative.



John Sanders ’73 | Loyal Service Award

Recipients have shown distinguished, loyal service to the Alumni Association, its principles and purposes, and their commitment has enhanced the University’s goals and mission.

John Sanders of Rockford, Ill., earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from McKendree. As a student, John played on the men’s basketball team and on intramural teams and was involved with Phi Beta Lambda/Investment Club and Delta Phi Sigma. He also served on the Inter-Society Council and was a resident assistant in Baker Hall. John earned his MBA from Indiana University Bloomington in 1975 and became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1977. He worked for RSM McGladrey Pullen from 1975 until his retirement in 2015. He currently serves as the chief financial officer at Anderson Enterprises, LLC and also serves as a strategic partner for the Financial Executives International chapter in Rockford.

John has been a loyal supporter of McKendree since 1975, joining the William McKendree Society in 1995 and the Dean’s Circle of the Society in 1997 until he moved up to the President’s Circle of the Society in 2005. He regularly contributes to the McKendree Bearcat Booster Club. He serves on the board of directors for the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Forest Hills Country Club and the Rockford Art Museum. He is also a member of the Lions Club and is on the finance committee at both Rockford University and the Rockford Country Club.

John is married to his wife, Dr. Mary K. Sanders, and has two step-children, Donald Wicker and Deanne Wicker. His hobbies include golf and yard work.




Rising Star Awardees

These graduates of the past decade have made significant achievements in their professions or chosen fields and have been highly involved with the University or their communities.

Ryan Vincent ’12

Ryan Vincent of O’Fallon, Ill., earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from McKendree. As a student, Ryan was in the Honors Program and served as a tutor for the computer science and math department for three years. He was actively involved in Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, the Association of Computing Machinery, Sigma Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi, Math Club, and homecoming court. He was recognized as an Active Collegians Engaged in Service (ACES) recipient for having volunteered more than 400 hours of service to communities, churches, schools and organizations. He also spent the summer of 2011 as a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) intern at the University of Houston to study automatic text summarization.

Ryan regularly presents leadership development courses to college students across the country for Alpha Phi Omega. A member of the William McKendree Society, he also co-presented a discussion about career opportunities to the computer science department at McKendree and is the advisor to the Alpha Phi Omega group on campus. He has led and completed an effort to digitize leadership courses for APO in response to COVID-19 and was elected as the Alpha Phi Omega Section 49 chair for three years. Ryan is married to his wife and fellow McKendree alumna, Jennifer (Melusky) Vincent ’15, and has three children: Lucas and Olivia, and newborn daughter Alaina Joy, born this September.

Airika (Tyler) Detmer ’12

Airika (Tyler) Detmer of O’Fallon, Ill., earned a degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice from McKendree. She was active on the women’s track and field and cross-country teams and was a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee as a student. She was also a student ambassador, an NSO group leader and UNI 101 peer mentor, and a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honor Society and Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society.

After McKendree, Airika attended SIU School of Law and earned her JD in 2015. She began working in the St. Clair County State’s Attorney Office as an assistant state’s attorney in the juvenile division in 2017 and was named supervising assistant state’s attorney within the division two years later. Currently, she serves in the felony division as an assistant state’s attorney.

Airika is married to her husband, Colin, and has one son, Bentley Detmer. She enjoys reading, running, traveling and spending time with her son and husband. She also is a former Junior Service Club member in St. Clair County and a former basketball coach for 4th-6th grade girls at Lewis and Clark Jr. High School in Wood River, Ill.

Jon Becker ’13

Jon Becker of Effingham, Ill., earned a degree in athletic training from McKendree. As a student, he was a member of the men’s golf team and was active in the University’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Government Association, New Student Orientation, intramural sports, and volunteered for Special Olympics and McKendree Race Day. He is a member of Iota Tau Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi. While earning his Athletic Training Certification (ATC), Jon earned Honor Student of the Year from the nationally-acclaimed program.

After graduation, Jon earned a position as head athletic trainer for all varsity athletics at Nashville Community High School in Nashville, Ill. He then served as a minor league athletic trainer in the New York Yankees organization from 2017-2022, most recently with the Hudson Valley Renegades. Jon recently was hired as the assistant golf pro at Effingham Country Club in Effingham, Ill. He enjoys golf, fitness, attending concerts, and playing cards and board games with his family.




Academy of Excellence

Inductees have made exceptional contributions to the honor and prestige of the University through their achievements, leadership and character, and have demonstrated the values of a liberal arts education in their professions or chosen fields.

Kristin (Voegele) Kneedler ’03 | Social Sciences

Kristin (Voegele) Kneedler of Collinsville, Ill., earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is the CEO of Counselors Associates Ltd. On campus, she was the captain of the tennis team, a member of the psychology club and the speech and debate team, and volunteered at the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service. She was also a delegate representative for the Technos International program in Japan and volunteered in Jamaican orphanages.

Kristin continues to serve McKendree by providing internships to students in the Graduate Counseling program. She also served as an adjunct professor for many years in the undergraduate psychology and sociology programs, the graduate counseling program and the School of Education. Kristin is married to her husband, Ryan. Together, they have four children: Bay, Parker, Kalen and Eli. Her hobbies include hiking, snow skiing, running, yoga, reading and playing with her children and two dogs, Nova and Oliver.

Glen Kinder ’02 | Business

Glen Kinder of Eddyville, Ky., earned a degree in business administration in economics and finance. He is the branch chief for the USDA Forest Service’s Government Purchase Card program. As a student, he was chosen as the Student Lincoln Laureate in 2002, was a regular volunteer for 4-H and the Second Chance Homeless Shelter in East St. Louis, Ill., and was a member of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), the nation’s largest community service fraternity. Through his service to APO, Glen has been recognized with a Distinguished Service Key at the Chapter Level in 2001, the Selection Level in 2008, the Alumni Association in 2019 and the Region Level in 2020.

Since graduating from McKendree, Glen has returned on several occasions to support the Presidential Scholarship interview and was also honored twice as an alum of the APO Chapter of the University. He is married to his wife, Becky, and has one son, Quin, and one daughter, Finley.


Regina Peterson ’09, MSN ’13, DNP ’18 | Nursing/Health Professions

Regina Peterson of Mascoutah, Ill., is a triple alumna of the University. She earned her BSN, MSN and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in Ethical Leadership. Following the completion of her degree, Regina became the chief nursing officer at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, Ill. She continues to serve the University by mentoring nursing students for the BSN, MSN and DNP programs and providing preceptorship and clinical opportunities. She collaborated to help create the BSN and MSN cohorts at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, and she is a member of the nursing advisory council.

Regina is married to her husband, Clifford Lee, and has two children: Brittany Peterson-Marx and Zach Peterson. She is active at her church, St. Nicholas in O’Fallon, Ill.

Danita Lynn Smith ’02 | Community Service

Danita Lynn Smith of Black Jack, Mo., earned a BSN degree from McKendree. She then graduated with an MBA degree from Webster University in 2009. Danita is the owner and founder of My Blooming Health, a mobile phlebotomy company in St. Louis since 2013. She started the mobile medical lab after she realized that many disabled and elderly patients were not monitoring and maintaining their health due to their homebound status, transportation issues or work conflicts. She is also a volunteer nurse with Health Protection & Education Services in University City, Mo.

Danita has won many awards, including the St. Louis American Foundation Excellence in Healthcare Award in 2017, the National Black Nurses Association Nurse Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021 and the Distinguished Alumni Award of Alton High School in 2021. She is involved with the Urban League Guild, St. Louis Care Alliance and many community health fairs.




Sports Hall of Fame

Inductees are athletes, former coaches, alumni coaches or sports professionals who, through leadership and character, have made exceptional contributions to the honor and prestige of McKendree in the field of athletics.

Ricardo Harris ’03 | Football

Ricardo “Rico” Harris first arrived at McKendree in 1999, just a few years following the revival of the Bearcats’ football program. In his four seasons, he became one of the top defensive linemen in the program’s history. As a senior in 2002, he was named the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League Defensive Player of the Year and earned First-Team NAIA All-American honors.

Ricardo currently stands tied for fourth in school history in forced fumbles (6) and sixth in tackles for loss (40), and he tied for 10th in quarterback sacks (16.5). Ricardo was a three-time MFSA All-Midwest League selection and a two-time NAIA All-American at defensive end. He is one of nine Bearcat football players to garner NAIA All-American honors twice in a career as he earned the honor in both 2001 and 2002.

Amy (Quirin) Kremmel ’09 | Softball

Amy (Quirin) Kremmel was one of the most dominant pitchers in McKendree University softball history during her four-year career as a Bearcat. She was a part of a McKendree program that won 128 games from 2006-2009 and advanced to the NAIA National Championships in 2009.

In her four seasons, she posted a career record of 65-36 with a 1.71 ERA in 688.0 innings of work. In those 688.0 innings of work, she tallied 619 strikeouts and recorded 84 complete games and 17 shutouts. She holds nearly every career pitching record in McKendree softball history as she is the school’s all-time leader in wins (65), appearances (115), starts (88), innings pitched (688.0), complete games (84), strikeouts (619), shutouts (17) and is fourth in career ERA at 1.71. In addition, she is one of two pitchers in school history to have three seasons with 125 or more strikeouts.

Dylan Mueth ’14 | Hockey

As the second men’s hockey player to be inducted into the McKendree Sports Hall of Fame, Dylan played two seasons in 2011 and 2012 before sitting out the next two seasons due to having open-heart surgery. When he returned to the ice in 2015, he led the team in scoring with 26 goals and 20 assists for 46 points. As a senior in 2016, he captained the Bearcats to the program’s second-ever National Tournament appearance. He was part of a McKendree program that won 57 times over his four seasons on the team, including winning 19 games during the 2015-2016 season. Dylan closed his Bearcat career with 93 goals and 62 assists for a total of 155 points.

Dylan spent the 2016-2017 season as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bearcats and then spent two years (2019-2021) as the head coach of McKendree’s Division II men’s hockey team. He currently serves as the head coach of the St. Louis AAA Blues U13 Pee Wee Major team.

2002-2003 Men’s Basketball Team

The 2002-2003 team finished the season with a 34-4 overall record and advanced to the NAIA Final Four for the first and only time in the program’s history. The 34 wins are the second most in program history, while the team’s .895 winning percentage is also the second highest in school history. During the regular season, the Bearcats earned their first No. 1 ranking in the NAIA poll and claimed the regular season American Midwest Conference (AMC) title with an unblemished 10-0 record – the first undefeated record in league play in school history. Matt Laur, who averaged 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, was named the NAIA National Player of the Year, while Coach Statham was named both the AMC and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association-NAIA Coach of the Year. Additionally, Coach Statham became the NAIA’s all-time leader in career victories with 817.