October 18, 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 18, 2016 — Drury University honored six people at the 65th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony on Friday. The banquet event was held 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. Nominations are taken from the Drury community and the Alumni Council selects honorees. The 2016 honorees include:
The 2016 honorees from left to right: Adam McClellan, Traci Sooter, Sue Carter Porges, Janet Steinmetz Trotter, Calla Wiemer and Steve Edwards.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Sue Carter Porges ‘66
After graduating with a degree in Biology, Porges completed her Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Arkansas and her 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.
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 degrees in political science with minors in philosophy and communication, he attended Washington University where he earned his Masters 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 her 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, she has taken 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.
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 she was influential in creating special education classrooms in public schools and in passing legislation requiring all districts to provide Special Education services.
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 also to 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.
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award – Traci Sooter
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 Extreme Makeover and has also completed seven other community design/build projects that include the first ever Platinum LEED home for Habitat for Humanity International. In 2015, She helped lead the 2015 Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, earning 8th place.