65th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards
Drury University honored six people at the 65th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony in October 2016 as part of the annual alumni reunion celebration. The Distinguished Alumni Awards were founded in 1951 to recognize individuals who have achieved professional and personal successes, shown their loyalty to Drury University and demonstrated exemplary service to their community. The 2016 honorees include:
University Engagement Award
Steven D. Edwards ’88
Edwards is the President and CEO of CoxHealth and a member of the Drury Board of Trustees. After graduating from Drury with a major in political science and minors in philosophy and communication, he attended Washington University where he earned a master’s in health administration. From there, he went to Baylor University to complete a post-graduate fellowship. He became a Drury trustee in 2012.
Career Achievement Award
Dr. Calla Wiemer ’77
After graduating from Drury’s Breech School of Business, Wiemer earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received a tenured faculty position at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she remained until 1997. Since then, Wiemer has held teaching positions across Asia and now teaches at the University of the Philippines School of Economics, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian Economics. She began the recycling program at Drury in 1974 and has worked tirelessly at creating sustainable communities.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Sue Carter Porges ’66
After graduating with a degree in biology, Porges completed a Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Arkansas and a postdoctoral education at Michigan State University. Her career has spanned the breadth of higher education across the country as a research fellow, professor and now as Director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University. Porges has published over 500 academic papers and has been a valuable asset to the scientific community through her continued studies.
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award
Sooter is a professor of architecture and the director of design/build programs in the Hammons School of Architecture. She specializes in sustainable design/build courses serving charities and communities in need. She led teams of Drury students through four design/build projects for the ABC television show, “Extreme Makeover.” Sooter completed seven other community design/build projects, including the first ever Platinum LEED home for Habitat for Humanity International. In 2015, she helped lead the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, earning 8th place.
Young Alumnus Award
Dr. Adam McClellan ’05
After graduating from the highly competitive dental program at the University of Missouri– Kansas City, McClellan has used his talent to not only earn a living, but to also give back. As chair of the “Pouring from the Heart” gala, he was instrumental in raising enough money to fund the free pediatric clinic at the UMKC Dental School for four years. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Missouri Boys State. McClellan owns his own practice, Periodontal Care, in Kansas City.
Outstanding Service Award
Janet Steinmetz Trotter ’53
Trotter’s passion for serving children with special needs began in the 1960s when she started the Missouri Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. She worked with Springfield Public Schools and helped establish chapters of the organization in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia. At the time, Missouri had no other program for helping children with special needs, and Trotter was influential in creating special education classrooms in public schools and in passing legislation requiring all districts to provide special education services.
ALUMNI COUNCIL NEWS
From the Outgoing President of the Drury Alumni Council
John Everett ’99
It’s true that the only thing that doesn’t change is that everything changes. That certainly can be said for Drury University. Dr. Cloyd and Drury’s senior leadership team have brought many fantastic changes to the Drury campus. In that spirit, I had the goal for the alumni council to update the alumni association’s constitution and bylaws. It has been nearly 13 years since revisions have been made to the documents. The changes to the bylaws and constitution were approved by the alumni council at its March 2017 meeting. Those changes are posted on the alumni page of the alumni association website for your review (www.drury.edu/alumni/alumni-association). It was an honor to serve as the alumni council president for the past year. I have been very fortunate to be a first-hand witness to all the amazing students, faculty, alumni and administration of Drury University. I look forward to continuing my involvement in the future, and I am grateful for the support that I have received over the past year.
From the New President of the Drury Alumni Council
Will Cologna ’99
I graduated from Drury in 1999 with a BA with honors in history. Currently, I serve as the vice president of product solutions for Guaranty Bank, where I have worked since 2000. I oversee new product, software and service initiatives for the bank. Although I was not a business major, the well-rounded education I received at Drury taught me critical thinking and writing skills that have been invaluable in the business world. I participated in a few Drury “Business to Business” networking events and reconnected with classmate Michael Wehrenberg ’99, who encouraged me to apply for alumni council. I am now entering my fourth year on the council and I enjoy connecting with the students and alumni. In addition to my service on the alumni council, I am a past president of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Springfield and have been active on the finance and building committees at my church.
Three Major Goals of My Term:
- Strengthen the relationship between the council and the regional alumni groups to improve alumni engagement.
- Continue the development of opportunities for alumni to interact with and mentor current students.
- Encourage alumni to promote Drury within their communities and identify and recommend future students.
Save the Date
Thursday, October 12 through Sunday, October 15
View this year’s schedule and register at www.drury.edu/reunion
Alumni Earns National Top Score
Dr. Tracy Dill ’83 received notification from the American Board of Internal Medicine that he passed his recertification exam with a score of 800, the top score in the United States and well above the average score of 488. Tracy graduated from Drury in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry.
Mother and Son Claim Awards at Chamber Banquet
“Pay it forward” is a mantra embraced by Drury alumni Kim McCully-Mobley and her son, Jake McCully. The McCully’s hometown of Aurora, Missouri, recognized their efforts to “pay it forward” in January at the 2017 Aurora Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Kim, a teacher at Aurora High School and a 25- year adjunct faculty member at Drury, received the town’s top service honor in recognition of her work with journalism, education, economic development and historic preservation. Jake is starting his second year on the Chamber board and earned the “Stepping Up to the Plate” award for tackling paperwork and supporting the Chamber’s various projects throughout the year.
Kim and Jake are graduates of Aurora High School, 1979 and 2008, respectively. They both claim to be die-hard “houn’ dawgs.”
Kim earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1994 and a Master of Education in 2000 from Drury. She was named the Drury Online LEADS Exemplary Course Instructor of the Year in 2015. Jake earned two bachelor’s degrees from Drury in 2012; one in business and one in history. Jake graduated magna cum laude from the Breech School of Business and was a Judge Warren White Scholar and a Drury Presidential Scholar. He played baseball for the Drury Panthers his first two years and was active in Students in Free Enterprise (Enactus).
Both are active in the Aurora Rotary Club, where they have helped spearhead the annual Rotary chili supper for the past 20 years. Jake started helping when he was only seven. Kim served as the club’s first female president in 1997-98, while Jake is currently president-elect for the 2017-18 term. Kim has been active with the Aurora Chamber of Commerce since 1987, when she became managing editor of The Aurora Advertiser. She held that position until November 2004 and went to work full-time at Aurora High School, where she is involved with youth empowerment, student council, media writing and co-chairs the district’s professional development committee.
Jake is the treasurer for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and lives in Springfield with his wife, Cara, and German Shepherd, Ellie.
Kim served as director for the Drury satellite campus in Aurora for 11 years and will finish her second year on the Drury Alumni Council this spring. She is the current president of Main Street Aurora and is the secretary for Aurora’s Economic Development Committee and Aurora Highlands Habitat for Humanity. She lives eight miles south of Aurora on a small farm with her husband, Al, and dogs, Polly and Otis.
Kim and Jake recently helped launch another project in Aurora through a school/community partnership. Plans are moving forward for a Houn’ Dawg Alumni & Outreach Center at the community’s historic armory. Drury University and Empire District Electric Company provided expertise and resources for the groundbreaking and landscaping projects on site in fall of 2016. A Houn’ Dawg Hall of Fame, an interactive classroom, a mural and a gallery walk are also in the works.
Good to Go Mobile, Inc.
BY STACY SHOEMAKE ’04
The mission of Good to Go Mobile, Inc. is simple: find and feed the hungry.
It all started with two friends reuniting and talking about what has come of their lives. One tells of a career and family, the other talks about how he became homeless. One friend leaves and returns to his camp on the street. The other starts to research the concept of a mobile soup kitchen.
After talks with her small group at The Venues, founder and Executive Director Denise Johnson ‘97, decided the time was right to make her dream a reality by opening Good to Go Mobile, Inc. She found inspiration in “The Soup Man” in Dallas, Texas, and modeled the organization to provide healthy food to hungry people. Rather than make the hungry travel to get their food, the concept is to find the hungry and feed them.
Since December 2016, every Thursday evening Good to Go has served 125 adults and 10 children. The idea came to Johnson after her friend mentioned that he wished he did not have to walk two miles to get a meal. Currently, the work is done with volunteers and donors handing out meal kits that include tuna or chicken salad, pudding or string cheese, a fresh fruit and a bottle of water. For kids, they provide peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apple juice.
For many, this meal keeps them from going to bed on an empty stomach. For others, it makes them realize they aren’t forgotten, and there are people out there who care about them. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In the next year, Good to Go Mobile, Inc. hopes to have their own mobile soup kitchen. They dream of being able to prepare and hand out healthy foods from the food unit, traveling across the city to find those who need food. With donations and monthly sponsors increasing, they hope to double their service to provide for 250 hungry people throughout Springfield, Missouri.
Within 5 years, they hope to have two mobile food units serving five meals a week in Springfield, and are considering the need to branch out into cities surrounding the Queen City area. Hopefully, fresh local produce will be procured from a fully sustainable garden and will be added to the meals.
Drury Experience Fund
Drury believes that cost should never deter a student from earning a degree. For that reason, Drury seeks to provide scholarships and financial aid to deserving students.
The Annual Drury Experience Fund is an effort to raise $1.5 million in annual support for student scholarships and financial aid.
Watch a special message from Drury president Dr. Cloyd and students who have received scholarships for their education.
Summers, Ritzen and Seboldt Legacy
Many families have had long, special relationships with Drury University, but few as long as the Summers, Ritzen and Seboldt family, which began their Panther legacy in the 1920s.
Jacob Summers (Sigma Nu) began the family trend when he graduated from Drury in 1922 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. During his time at Drury, he served as president of the student body and was captain of the Panthers basketball team. In 1924, Jacob’s sister, Marie Summers Boyce (Pi Beta Phi), would make Drury history by becoming the first woman elected as student body president. The 1925 Drury yearbook notes, “It seems to be a weakness of the Summers family to rate student body president jobs…and Marie makes a dandy one.” Jacob and Marie’s younger sister, Ruth Summers Mayfield (Pi Beta Phi), would follow them to Drury in 1928, but transferred and graduated from Valparaiso University.
As the next generation of the extended Summers family grew up, they had their sights set on Drury. In 1963, the Summers’ niece, Carol Ritzen Kem (Zeta Tau Alpha), would continue the Panther family legacy by graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in history, joining Skiff honor society and serving in student government just like her Aunt Marie. Carol’s brother, James Ritzen (Sigma Nu), followed her to Drury and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
Almost a decade later in 1976, the Ritzens’ niece, Kathy Seboldt Potter, arrived at Drury. Although she graduated from California State University in Los Angeles, she met theatre major William “Joe” Potter ’77 while at Drury, and they married the summer after graduation.
Kathy’s younger sister, Lisa Seboldt Kelpe, graduated from Drury in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies and earned a Master of Education in 1993. Kathy and Lisa’s niece, Chelsey Seboldt ’16, also attended Drury and graduated 94 years after her greatgreat uncle, Dr. Jacob Summers, with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and management.
Following graduation, these family members would pursue a variety of careers. Dr. Jacob Summers became a physician and WWII veteran. Carol and Joe became professors at the University of Florida and William Woods University, respectively. Others are attorneys, teachers and businesswomen.
Families with Drury legacies create meaningful relationships with the university and shed new light on Panther Pride. Having an ongoing legacy as strong and involved as the Summers, Ritzen and Seboldt families enriches Drury’s community and contributes to its progressive history. This family has left its mark on Drury for almost an entire century. And, Drury has left its mark on the family. We look forward to discovering how future generations of the family will continue to serve and enhance the Drury community.