Alumni Award of Merit

The Alumni Award of Merit is an honor the college bestows on alumni who achieve outstanding success and are game changers in their career fields. 

While nominations are accepted year-round, only those submitted by January 31 will be considered for awarding at that year's Homecoming celebration.

Past recipients

2023 | Clinton Stevenson '73
2022 | Scott Riemenschneider '90
2021 | Paula Ginder Lentz '89
2019 | Bill Schmarzo '79
2018 | Bob Young '65
2017 | Jack Evans '70 and Janet Box-Steffensmeier '88​
2016 | Bruce Spivey '56 and Herbert Brunkhorst '66
2015 | Gary Schlarbaum '65
2014 | Jung Lowe '54 and Richard Anderson '59
2013 | Richard Mackey '58 and Donald Roby '58
2012 | Don Erusha '52, Bruce W. Jafek '62 and Albert Kircher '51
2011 | Jane F. Early '61
2010 | David Jones '60
2009 | Johanna Josephson Abernathy '69 and Frank Westphal '44
2008 | Larry I. Bone '57, Ray R. Kavanaugh '68 and Mike R. Mead '67
2007 | David Herbert Cox '57, Shirley Hughes '67 and Howard Lenhoff '50
2006 | Russ Knapp '30 and Colette Freeman '56
2005 | Frank W. Bonvino '63 and Fran Reuse Hansen '65
2004 | Dean E. Hutter '44 and George T. Henry '49
2003 | Robert Turpin '63
2002 | Kenneth P. Roberts '42 and Peter S. Bryant '62
2001 | Robert J. Johnson '61
2000 | Eliza J. Ovrom '75 and Arthur D. Taylor '40
1999 | Elinor Kanaske Day '49
1998 | Douglas R. Gracey '58
1997 | Lester B. McAllister '42 and Dale D. Morgan '47
1996 | Robert O. Frederick '36, Jerome J. Leksa '46 and Nancy Hamblin Evans '71
1995 | Douglas W. Eastwood '40
1994 | Donald W. Brinckman '53
1993 | Carol Houghton Hollingsworth '21 and John P. Bickel '43
1992 | K. Raymond Clark '30
1991 | Theodore J. Miller '66
1990 | Milton F. Kiesau '29, William P. Whipple '35 and Samuel R. Jackson '40
1989 | H. Don Martin '40, Charles D. Metcalf '55 and Mary Jeanne Krob '74
1988 | Chester J. Petranek '38, George W. McNelly '50, Del F. Rusher '63 and Clark E. McLeod '68
1987 | Walter L. Ritter '62 and June Loughridge Lockemann '62
1986 | Howard W. Johnston '35, Vernon L. Stintzi '36, Jane Davis Roberts '41 and
             M. Jerome Sabacky '61
1985 | Earl L. Meyers '30, Charles L. Selzer '35 and Wayne F. Baden '40
1984 | Warren K. Martin '34, Walter C. Schwank '34, Rodger E. Weismann '34 and
             Mary Hamblin Ovrom '49
1983 | Vivian Eaton Buchan '33, Daniel B. Knock '33, Leona Mooney Ward '33 and Robert B. Evans '38
1982 | Hale C. Reid '22 and Gary A. Sojka '62
1981 | Ruth M. Webster '31, DeWayne W. Moore '36 and H. E. "Em" Wright '51
1980 | John L. Anderson '30, Arnold L. Brokaw '37 and Wade R. Franklin '25
1979 | William G. Murray '24, Harley L. Moore '40, Robert F. Ray '44, Allan C. Peremsky '54 and
             Donald H. Niggemeyer '44
1978 | Gladys Ward '23, Herschel L. Bricker '28, Paul C. McWilliams '28 and Alice M. Sundberg '32
1977 | Clyde O. Bedell '19, Donald P. Chehock '29, Fred J. Petrick '29 and John W. Miller '26
1976 | William G. Hoyman '28, Lois Johnson Swaney '29, Beulah Detwiler Gundling '38 and
             Donald R. Ebinger '47
1975 | James Canfield '22, Edna C. Dieman '25, John D. Krumboltz '50 and Vernon P. Smith '50
1974 | D. Kirkland West '24, Arthur D. Swarzentruber '35, Zora Pauk DuVall '47 and John D. Neff '49
1973 | Raymond L. Powell '23, Ann E. Miller '28, Forest M. Hinkhouse '48 and Louis E. Nelson '48
1972 | Fran Allison Levington '28, Thomas J. Brice '42 and Marv D. Levy '50
1971 | Edward P. Barrows '30, Harold R. Letner '33, Charles E. Troughear '27 and Robert R. Preston '20
1970 | J. Judson Taylor '30, Charles E. Loomis '44, Ruth Steele McMillan '16 and
             Thomas B. McMillan '17
1969 | Ralph H. Clements '19, Inga B. Tapper '26, Barton Pope '22 and Isabel Biddick Winkrantz '25
1968 | A. B. Crites '16, George R. Baker '51, A. Lloyd Spooner '16 and W. Willis Bradley '17
1967 | B. De Wayne Silliman '17, George E Simpson '26, Clair V. Felker '40 and Grace Stewart Low '09
1966 | Eliza Hickok Kesler '31, M. G. Woodward '39, Frank E. Bauder '41 and Rose Marie Jun '49
1965 | Graham E. Harris '22, Ruth A. Outland '17, Donald R. MacKay '35 and John H. Blomquist '37
1964 | Bernadine C. Hanby '24, William H. Olmsted '09, Ella Johnson Miller '24 and
             Richard F. Blomquist '34
1963 | Sarah Marquis '18, E. B. Shaw '20, Elizabeth M. Bender '25 and Irving M. Ariel '32
1962 | William V. Burger '22, Victor R. Hurka '37, Esther Youel Armstrong '25 and
             Lawrence Kremers '20
1961 | Robert M. Wray '31, Dora Jane Hamblin '41 and Sarah Fong Sung '21
1960 | Burnard T. Pull '35, L. A. Woodward '30 and Robert S. Gates '31
1959 | C. J. Lynch '26, Forest Rittgers '25, Keith H. Storks '30, Ellen Swomley Kuhns '41 and
             Ethel R. Outland '09
1958 | Grace Sailor Hamblin '14, Dr. C. Loyal Swanson '33, Harris A. Lamb '27, Thomas B. Powell '31                 and Alma A. Turechek '25
1957 | Llewellyn Dunlap '05, Howard Helscher '27, Grant Perrin '22 and Gertrude Dieken '32
1956 | John C. Steinberg '16, Dr. & Mrs. Fred Murray 1895, Jay R. Townsend, Sr. '07,
             Ben F. Wolverton '18, Elizabeth Patton Moss '25 and Ruby Hickman '30
1955 | Robert C. Armstrong '18, Alfred W. Meyer '24 and S. Donald Stookey '36
1954 | Donald P. McCrea '21, Henry P. Martin '18 and Ben Peterson '18
1953 | George E. Booth '05, Everette T. Evans '27 and Marvin Cone '14
1952 | Paul H. Engle '31, Edward S. Murray '30 and Owen Elliott '07


Award eligibility

  • Professional success exemplifies the superior educational quality and ideals of Coe College.
  • Nominees must have graduated from Coe College a minimum of 15 years ago.
  • Award may be presented posthumously but living award recipients must be present to accept the award.
  • Current members of Coe's Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors/President's Advisory Council, or Alumni Council cannot receive this award while serving their term.

Judging criteria

The Coe Alumni Council evaluates nominees based on the following weighted criteria:

60%–Distinction in their professional field
Recognition including, but not limited to, scholarship, awards, and leadership recognition by one's peers in, trade associations, business, education, sports, and medicine.

20%–Loyalty to Coe
Dedication to the college measured in volunteer service or financial stewardship including, but not limited to, admission assistance, student engagement, alumni events, Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors/President's Advisory Council, Alumni Council or Coe Fund.

20%–Community Engagement
Service to the nominee’s community, including, but not limited to, board, committee, task force, and volunteer service.