Andres gifts $50,000 to scholarships
FAYETTE, Iowa (October 09, 2008) - Upper Iowa University honored four distinguished alumni with special awards at its annual alumni banquet on Saturday, Oct. 4 during homecoming weekend.
Preceding the awards ceremony, Betty Andres, alumnus and long-time supporter of the university, presented President Alan G. Walker with a $50,000 check for scholarship support. The Andres Education and the Andres Business scholarships are awarded annually to a sophomore student in the education and business programs, respectively, for their junior year and are renewable for their senior year if the criterion is met. Andres is the wife of the late William Andres, also a UIU alumnus and former CEO of Dayton Hudson Corporation.
Ryan Kramer was presented the Young Alumni award for personal and professional achievement. Kramer graduated in 2001 with a degree in biology, and then continued his education at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Today he owns his own business in West Des Moines, Chiropractic in Motion and is the official team chiropractor for Iowa Energy, the state's National Basketball Development League team.
Dr. Lon Butikofer was given the Community Service award. Butikofer is a 1983 graduate of UIU's RN-BSN program; his nursing career led him to numerous degrees and up the chain of hospital administration. Now serving as chief executive officer of the Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Manchester, Butikofer is responsible for the successful proposal to Upper Iowa to reinstate the RN-BSN program. He placed high importance on a quality, affordable education for nurses in northeast Iowa that also provided flexibility to accommodate their varying work schedules. Butikofer served on the advisory committee for the RN-BSN program and now serves on a subcommittee to expand it to a graduate degree. He has also donated equipment to the UIU program, arranged for employees at RMC to serve as faculty, and is a constant source of knowledge to students in the program.
Bob Firth was awarded the Service to the University award. He graduated in 1989 from UIU's External Degree Program and in 2000 was one of the first to complete an MBA through UIU's Online Program. Firth is currently president and CEO of Atlas Pipeline Mid-Continent, a subsidiary of Atlas Pipeline Partners, and president and COO of Atlas Pipeline Holdings, the general partner of APL. Firth serves on the Board of Trustees and has been instrumental in developing a plan for continual improvement of the Fayette campus. Firth and his wife, Betty, have also established a $500,000 endowment for grants to start or expand businesses in Fayette; ride annually with Team Peacock to raise money for student scholarships; funded a renovation of the External Degree Program offices; teach classes in Management, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship at the university, and travel to the Fayette campus regularly for sporting events.
Mark Ebetino was elected to receive the Professional Accomplishment award but at the last minute was unable to attend the ceremonies. The award will be presented to Ebetino at a later date.
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