SEMO to present service awards

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association will honor six Missourians with Distinguished Service Awards during Homecoming celebrations Oct. 21, school officials said.

The recipients will be June Barton of Catron, Mo., owner of Barton Farm; former corporate executive Bob Keathley of Bernie, Mo., and his wife, Yvonne Keathley, a retired high school journalism teacher; Dr. Jerry Kinder of Cape Girardeau, medical director of the Wound Healing Center at Saint Francis Medical Center; retired artist and educator Wedel Nilsen of Cape Girardeau; and Harry Rediger of Cape Girardeau, retired manager of J.C. Penney and newly elected chairman of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

The awards are presented to individuals who have made lasting contributions to their communities and the university, said Jane Stacy, director of alumni services and development at Southeast.

Recipients will receive the awards at an all-alumni breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the future alumni center, formerly the First Baptist Church, at 926 Broadway.

Barton, who graduated from Southeast in 1963, manages a 6,000-acre farm.

Bob Keathley has been a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts. He authored "1700s in America," a book published in 2004 by the Southeast Missouri State University Press.

Yvonne Keathley graduated from Southeast in 1976. She taught high school journalism and English in Bernie, Mo., for more than 20 years.

Kinder graduated from Southeast in 1957. He practiced surgery from 1966 to 1997.

Nilsen established an endowed scholarship in memory of his late wife, Dorothy, to benefit nursing students. He had a long career as an artist and educator. He illustrated, edited and helped write social studies textbooks for young readers.

Rediger retired from J.C. Penney after 38 years. He has been active in civic affairs, including serving as chairman of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation and president of the university's booster club.

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