Association announces 2017 SIU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients
The SIU Alumni Association has announced the four individuals it will honor for the 2017 SIU Distinguished Alumni Ceremony set for April 28.
Each year the Association awards alumni in the areas of Career Achievement, Humanitarian Efforts, Cultural Impact, and Young Alumni Achievement. This year’s ceremony is set for 3:30 p.m. in the John C. Guyon Auditorium of Morris Library. A reception will immediately follow in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.
This year’s four Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:
JOHN HUBERT DUNN
B.S., Education and Human Services ‘43
John Hubert Dunn is recognized as the father of gymnastics in the Pacific Northwest, and he began his involvement with the sport at SIU, as a team captain and six-time championship winner. Born in Pickneyville, Illinois, Dunn earned his bachelor’s degree in education from SIU in 1943, before entering the U.S. Navy as a communications officer and anti-submarine warfare officer aboard the destroyer, U.S.S. Shubrick. He participated in the Invasion of Normandy. After the war, he accepted a teaching position at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where he earned his master’s degree in education, established a varsity gymnastics team and directed about 150 clinics and exhibitions in the region, which culminated in him setting up the Pacific Northwest College Gymnastics Meet, as well as the Washington State High School Gymnastics Meet.
Dunn earned a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois in 1960 and in 1962 accepted a teaching and coaching position at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb Illinois. There, he taught courses in kinesiology, physiology, and bio-mechanics and produced eight winning seasons in gymnastics out of ten. He earned NIU’s Excellence in Teaching award in 1968. Dunn retired in 1986 and established an endowed scholarship for bio-mechanic students at NIU. Dunn held positions in several national offices for collegiate athletics and has received numerous awards, including inductions into six halls of fame for his work in gymnastics. He was recently posthumously inducted into the SIU Athletic Hall of Fame for 2017. Dunn passed away in January 2016.
B.S., Agricultural Sciences ‘59
M.S., Agricultural Sciences ‘60
Gilbert Kroening is a professor emeritus of SIU, having served in various capacities – including as dean of the School of Agriculture for 12 years – from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. His final appointment was as professor and chair of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition. A native of Altamont, Illinois, Kroening was the youngest of four children and the first in his family to go to college. After completing both his bachelor’s degree (’59) and master’s degree (’60) in animal industries at SIU, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Cornell University in 1965.
During his tenure, Kroening led SIU in efforts to alleviate famine and world hunger, with successful projects for the United Nations in Brazil, USAID in Zambia, Africa and Peshawar in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. After stepping down as dean in 1986, Kroening became director of the Office of International Agriculture, where he supported faculty in additional aid projects across the world. He was also active in the Association of International Agriculture and Rural Development and served on the Joint Committee on Agriculture Research and Development for the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development. Kroening, along with his wife, Jean (Engel) Kroening ’60, currently sponsor a lecture series with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. All three of their children attended SIU, and the couple are life members of the SIU Alumni Association.
HARRISON SCOTT KEY
Ph.D., Liberal Arts ‘03
Harrison Scott Key is the author of “The World’s Largest Man: A Memoir,” named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best nonfiction books of the year and winner of the 2016 Thurber Prize in American Humor. A native of Mississippi, Key earned his doctoral degree in speech communication at SIU in 2003, concentrating in playwriting and performance studies. Prior to that, Key earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, an master’s degree in theater from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a master of fine arts in writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.
Key has taught English, communications, and creative writing at Tulane University, Mississippi State University, Chamberlain-Hunt Academy, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he currently teaches nonfiction, memoir, and humor writing. His writing has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Southern Living, Reader’s Digest, and Oxford American.
B.S., Business ‘02
Young Alumni Achievement
Jeff Rose is a certified financial planner and CEO of Alliance Wealth Management. He is a nine-year veteran of the Army National Guard, which included a 17-month deployment to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2002. Since then, Rose has authored the best-selling book, “Soldier of Finance,” and founded the award-winning personal finance blog GoodFinancialCents.com.
CNBC has nominated Rose to be part of the Digital Financial Advisor Council, and Financial Advisor Magazine pegged him as one of the “Top 10 Young Advisors to Watch.” In addition, he currently contributes to Forbes, CNBC, Business Insider and HuffingtonPost.com. Rose is a life member of the SIU Alumni Association.