Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is a lifetime achievement honor for alumni or friends of the college who display exceptional stewardship to Coe through their service and/or financial contributions. 

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 | Harold Robinson '68 and Steve Kennedy '78
2021 | Heather Daniels '95
2019 | Kevin Welu '86
2018 | Peter Bryant ’62
2017 | Kent Herron
2016 | Terry Hiebert '76
2015 | Bob Trimpl '60
2014 | Barbara Powell Sherman '61 and Bob Sherman '62
2013 | Mary Ann Turnbull Kucera '58
2012 | Cece Lynch Van Metre '52
2011 | Robert and Joan Kocher
2010 | Ralph LaCombe '50 and Wanita Ward LaCombe '50
2009 | Jayne and Allan Peremsky '54 and Jean Johnson
2008 | Don E. West '53 and Mary Lou Pazour '58
2007 | Dr. Margaret Haupt
2006 | Nancy Lamb Skogsbergh '53 and John Skogsbergh '56
2005 | David L. Marner, Sr. '55 and Don R. Dempsey '65
2004 | Helen Wilson Casali '49 and Chet Casali '51
2003 | William C. Smith '43, Frank E. Kinney '48 and Dr. Karl Goellner
2002 | Shirley Engelbert Grimes '42 and Donald M. Ross '42
2001 | Bill Fletcher
2000 | Carolyn J. Schmidt
1999 | P. Jack Laugen and Patti K. Owara
1998 | Dorothy Dukes and Takao Kitamura
1996 | William H. Quinby
1995 | Elizabeth Gotschall Slappey '74
1994 | James C. Manville '34
1992 | Barrie W. Ernst '76
1991 | John R. Battin '51
1987 | Gene D. Carson '37 and Margaret Hawkins Pugh '49
1984 | George T. Henry '49 and Ruth Moon Dooley
1982 | Frank W. Pfaff '32
1981 | Norman E. Erickson '41
1980 | Russell F. Knapp '30, Reginald K. Watters '30 and Paul S. Ray
1978 | Roger W. Baxter '28 and Lois McBroom '35


Award eligibility

  • This award is given to alumni or friends of the college who display exceptional stewardship to Coe through their service and/or financial contributions. 
  • Nominees must have graduated from Coe College a minimum of 25 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:

20 %–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.

50%–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.

30%–Community Engagement
Service to the nominee’s community, including, but not limited to, board, committee, task force, and volunteer service.