UNK Homecoming Award Recipients

Each year, the UNK Alumni Association recognizes UNK graduates who have achieved distinction either in their professional fields or through their involvement in civic, cultural or charitable activities. We invite you to nominate individuals who deserve to be recognized. The annual award recipients are recognized during homecoming weekend festivities.

Annual awards:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Distinguished Young Alumni Award
  • Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Service Award

Please complete and return the nomination form by April 1 to tricia.danburg@unkalumni.org or UNK Alumni Association, PO Box 2678, Kearney, NE 68848. 

Below is a list of all award recipients dating back to 1980 and links to the Homecoming Banquet programs containing the award recipients' biographies.

To see a full list of Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, visit Lopers.com.




Past Award Winners and Banquet Programs
1980 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Ewald Ehly, '58
Dr. Milton Hassel, '41
Richard Mengler, '33
Mary Elaine House, '40
Rae Weimer, '26
1981 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Pete Kotsiopulos, '70

Dr. Clarence Lindahl, '29
Dr. Jim Nielsen, '45
1982 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Bill Milldyke, '58
John Mitchell, '47
Clayton Morey, '40
Edross "Kay" Uehling Robinson, '31

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jim Rundstrom, '64

1983
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Mildred Hansen, '28
John Marrow, '40
Wayne Smithey, '44
Dr. Don Welch, '54

Jim Rundstrom
Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Earl Rademacher, '54

1984 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Stan Miller, '66
John Payne, '62
Marilyn Peterson, '55
Bob Phares, '62

Jim Rundstrom
Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Don Briggs, '51, MAE '57
1985 Program Link 
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Homer McConnell, '27
Wayne McKinney, '48
Dr. Ward Newcomb, '44
Burnell Saum, '50

Jim Rundstrom
Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Barry Sherman, '64
1986
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Leland Holdt, '71
Dr. Elizabeth McMahan, '43
Jim Morey, '66
Dr. Leonard Skov, '56
Dr. Herbert Welte, '24

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Connie Shivers Hatcher, '69

1987 Program Link 
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Carlisle Anderson, '36
Bill Beavers, '58
Thelma Lang, '59
Dr. Clifford Trump, '59


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Dr. Ora Lindau, '41
1988 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Gary Haller, '62
Dr. Jim Hansen, '58
Larry Ludden, '46
Scott Nelson, '71


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Dallas Sinnen, '56
1989 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Neal Dunning, '44
Larry Hall, '64
Dr. Charles Lindly, '52
DiAnna Schimek, '63

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Ron Landstrom, '53
1990
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Halvor Christensen, '35
Dr. Louis Kenney, '39
Celann LaGreca, '79
Dr. Joe Lutjeharms, '58

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Maureen Neary Miller, '74
1991 Program Link 
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

James Barton, '38
Dr. Lynn Casey, '65
Dr. Helen Stauffer, '64
Dr. Dick Triplett, '58

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Dale Falter, '59
Joan Christ Falter, '59

1992 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Betty Kort, '64
Dr. Daniel Lydiatt, '73
Norman Otto, '49
Juanetta Strohmyer, '66

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Joe Davenport, '53
1993 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Karen Kilgarin, '79
Duane Obermier, '65
Dr. Kenneth Schroer, '69
E. K. Yanney, '49

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Lori Lienhart Waters, '74
1994 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Jim Griess, '63, MSE '68
Lucile Wiley Ring, '44
Dr. Warren Treptow, '75
Barc Wade, '48

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Al Lybarger, '57
Addie Lewis Lybarger, '55

1995 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Ronald Crampton, '63
Dr. Elisabeth Wright Erling, '42
Dr. Daniel Mowrey, '73
Dr. Larry Peterson, '58

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jean Nama, '53
June Nama Murty, '55

1996 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Merle Hinrichs, '64
Bettelee Frahm Lewis, '47
Mark Lundeen, '81
Dr. Paul Paulman, '74

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Dick Hock, '48
1997 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

George Beattie, '69
Dr. Tom Green, '77
Joyce Bryan Strout, '70
Dr. Gary Thomas, '55

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Ethel Rother, '73
1998 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Tyler Martin, '81
Dr. Verla Worthing Robbins, '43
Dr. Mike shada, '43
Jacklyn Brunke Smith, '72

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Dottie Holcomb Lowe
1999 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Dianne Gabrukiewicz Bystrom, '75
Dayle Fitzke, '51
Judge Karen Jueck Hunt, '61
Dr. Robert Kupper, '73

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jim Van Marter, '53
2000 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Ron 'Gus' Gustafson, '88
Jerry Kriha, '59
Marilyn Prososki McGahan, '65, MAE '77
Paul Younes, '75

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jennie Silas Gutierrez, '73, MAE '81
Dale Kastens, '64

2001 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Joyce Focken Blackwell, '79
Lori Goa McClurg, '82
Dennis Nelson, '73
Larry Schulte, '70, MA '78

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jim Armagost, '65, MAE '67
Betty Jo Gillespie Armagost, '67

2002
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Curt Coffman, '84
Joe Green '75
Dr. Larry Hardesty, '69 & '71
Dr. Marge Kindvall Harouff, '62

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Janell Godberson Beveridge, '79
2003 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Kip Anderson, '90
Jack Garlock, '77
Joe Higgins, '64
JoAn Scott, '86

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Paul Wagner, '58
2004 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Judge Richard Kopf, '69
Dr. Larry Peterson, '79
Karen Wyatt Rhoads, '81


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Roger Jones, '65

2005
Centennial Celebration
No awards presented
2006 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Norris Haring, '48
Nancy Montanez Johner, '94
Dr. Gary Smidt, '59
Ron Williams, '67

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Sue Batie, '73
2007 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dwayne "Butch" Brown, '70
Kevin Rader, '84
Judy Henggeler Spohr, '63
Dr. Don Unger, '65, MSE '69, PhD. '80


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jeff Stelling, '93
2008 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Tom Carman, '71
Bill Dunn, '73
Dr. Jean Ochsner Lukesh, '85, MAE '90, MSE '93
Brenda VanLengen, '88

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Kathy Horvath, '67
Dallas & Sheryl Wymore, '74

2009 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

LaVern Franzen, '67
Thomas Buecker, '73
Ron Larsen, '66
Teresa Kowalski Porter, '80


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
John E. Clinch, '62
2010 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award
Don Envick, '61, MSE '65, Ph.D.
Dennis Pool, '70, Ed.D.
Carolyn Wagner Snyder, '64
Cameron "Cam" Sutton, '70

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Larry Edwards, '64

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Greg Daake, '98

2011 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Andrew Aprill, '85
Jack Crowley, '60
Dr. Phyllis Markussen, '68, MSE '88
Linda Nelson Timmons, '85

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
John Wolf, '73

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Dr. Chad Vokoun, '96
2012 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Jamie Gutierrez, '89, '90
Bill McGahan, '64, MSE '68, EDS '91
Jeanette Keller Wojtalewicz, '84


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jerry & Nancy Stahr Dulitz, '65

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Dan Whelan, '00
2013 Program Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Susanne Bloomfield, '68, MAE '79
Dr. Harold Deselms, '64, MSE '68
Terry Heimes, '86
John Leehy, '80

Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
John & JoDell Payne, '62



Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Dr. Brad Bohn, '06


2014
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert Hippe, J.D., '63
Dr. David Jacox, '72
Mary Vaughn, '78


Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Ron Glandt
Myron Placek, '80
Gregg Grubaugh, '79

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Travis Hollman, '01
Dr. Angela Emrick Hollman, '01
2015
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Chuck Schwartz, '72
Julie Ignowski Speirs, '78



Jim Rundstrom Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Sharron Jacobson Altmaier, '55



Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Travis Miller, '01
Andrea Walton Miller, '02
2016
25-year celebration
No awards presented
 2017 Bios & Pictures Link
UNK Alumni
Distinguished Alumni Award

Col. (Ret.) Jan R. Frye, '72
LeRoy Swedlund, '69
Shannon (Welch) Vesely, '77, MAE '79

Jim Rundstrom
Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Brenda (Snodgrass) Christensen, '83

Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Dusty Reynolds, '04

International Distinguished
Alumni Award

Francisco Hildago-Suarez, MBA '80

College of Education
Distinguished Educator of the Year
Sandra (Thomas) Hanson, '81, MAE '89

Dr. Don Fox Lecturer
Julie (Slaughter) Larsen, '77, MSE '88

Dr. Gary Thomas
Distinguished Music Alumna

Sarah Ponder, '03
 

 

 
 


 
 
 
 

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