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Each of the individuals highlighted below has received one of our prestigious alumni awards. We are inspired by their outstanding professional accomplishments as emerging alumni, or through service to the University, community, or country.

If you know someone who is especially deserving of recognition, please nominate them for one of our Alumni Awards. Recipients are honored each year during Homecoming. Specific details on this event will be shared soon. For now, save the date for Homecoming week set for October 7-13, 2024.

Nomination Deadline is June 28, 2024. Please direct questions to the Alumni Office at [email protected] or 563-425-5388.

2023 Service to University Award

jason berggren

Jason Berggren

Class of 2017

Jason enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1990 and spent nearly 30 years defending our country with assignments in Hawaii, Japan, Afghanistan, and beyond. A natural leader, Jason was deployed with the Defense Logistics Agency as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader and later retired in 2016. He earned his associate of arts degree in general business in 2017. He began connecting with his alma mater at alumni events and the UIU Iowa State fair booth. Jason and his wife, Maggie, joined Team Peacock and have been cycling with the team and fundraising for Upper Iowa ever since. When they are unable to ride, they are support crew members and team sponsors.

Jason has also served as the keynote speaker at UIU’s Veterans Day program. He’s a proud UIU Donor Club Member. In addition, he was recently featured in a video project to share his own story of being an adult learner. This effort helped raise money for Upper Iowa student scholarships, specifically adult learners.
Jason & Maggie reside in Indianola, IA and he works as a Regional Facility Maintenance Manager at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He’s an avid fisherman and enjoys spending time with his children, Colton, Caitlin and granddaughter, Charlotte.

2023 Emerging Alumni Award

bridget saffold

Bridget Saffold

Class of 2020

Bridget earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2020, utilizing UIU’s online platform. In 2015, she launched “Focus On Diabetes,” a non-profit organization promoting additional diabetes education beyond the clinic. During the pandemic, this evolved as she recognized an incredible need in her community. Diabetic patients were struggling to gain access to essential supplies resulting in alarming life-or-death situations. She acted swiftly and launched the “Focus On Diabetes COVID-19 Assist Program,” which provided supplies to more than 200 individuals. She and a team of volunteers would drop off supplies at the doorsteps of those who were in need and also arranged for drive-through and other pick-up locations throughout the community.

Bridget’s organization partners with Allen College of Nursing and Hawkeye Community College to immerse healthcare students into the community and provide hands-on learning opportunities. Last fall, Iowa Governor Reynolds declared Sept 5-10th as “Focus On Diabetes Week” in Iowa due to the success of Bridget’s annual event raising awareness and offering health screenings. Her organization continues to expand. “Project Health,” a prostate cancer initiative, was recently launched to improve services and the screening process in Black Hawk County. In addition to her non-profit, Bridget is also Clinic Administrator for MercyOne, in Waterloo, IA.

2023 Professional Accomplishment Award

carl hargrave - option 1

Carl Hargrave

Class of 1976

Carl graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1976. Some of you may recall him as a star defensive back on the Peacock Football Team, earning 1st team All-Conference Honor all four years. He was drafted by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders soon after graduation and later returned to the UIU campus to join the Peacock coaching staff until 1980. Carl excelled at coaching football alongside some rather noteworthy mentors at the collegiate and professional levels including Northwestern University, the University of Iowa, the University of Pittsburg, the University of Houston, Mesa Community College, Minnesota Vikings,
and Arizona Cardinals.

In 2015, Carl became the founder, owner, and director of Fit Four Recovery, serving Phoenix and Denver. The aim is to inspire those fighting drug and alcohol addiction to turn their lives around through engagement in personal fitness. The focus is on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements. He works collaboratively with candidates who are desperate for change. What sets Carl’s approach apart from other programs is that he ‘inspires’ them from his personal journey with addiction. He infuses his extensive knowledge of fitness and coaching with a drive to foster a supportive team environment. He won his personal fight with alcoholism, reinvented himself, and knew he wanted to give back to the community that supported him. His organization has impacted hundreds of men and women who have turned their lives around through a commitment to fitness and well-being. While Carl no longer coaches on the football field, he takes great pride in “coaching on the field of life.”

2023 Service to Community Award

william kunzman - option 2

Bill Kunzman

Class of 1969

Bill earned his bachelor of science degree in 1969, majoring in mathematics and physics. For the last 23 years, Bill and his wife Phyllis would winter in Mission, Texas. At age 85, one might assume he was enjoying the typical retirement community activities. But not Bill. He became involved in and took over Mabel’s Building Mission, leading a group of retired senior citizens in building homes for impoverished families in Mexico.

He spearheaded a team of volunteers who would drive nearly two hours twice each week, October through May, to build modest homes measuring 12×16 ft., accommodating up to six people and all of their basic needs. Each home costs approximately $2,000, so he would also organize fundraising efforts to complete their project. He shared with friends once that he couldn’t believe how much someone would generously contribute for one apple pie! For his years of service, it’s estimated Bill was responsible for the completion of 540 homes, impacting nearly 3,000 young couples and children.

Completely community-minded, Bill poured his heart and soul into countless organizations back in Iowa including St. John Lutheran Church in Nashua, Strawberry Point Jaycees, Nashua City Council, Park Board, Ambulance Service, VFW Post, Meals-On-Wheels, and more. Sadly, Bill passed away on August 14, 2023 after a short battle with lung cancer. His family knows he would have been extremely honored to receive this recognition.

Wall of Fame

We honor past recipients of our prestigious alumni awards.

Professional Accomplishment Award

NameAwarded YearGraduate Year
Carl Hargrave20231976
Elizabeth "Beth" (Streicher) Alverson20221972
David Stevens20211977
Rick McGeough20201968
Bill DeLauro20191978
Kathleen (Kerrigan) Horstmeyer20181966
Marcia Anderson20171972
Veryl Sell20161960
Urmilah Dass20152003
William Daniels20141962
Teri (Vanderheiden) Salmons20121976
Jamie Bunn20121992
Michael Prochaska20101989
Harry Maue20091976
Mark Ebetino20081998
Victor Miller20071969
David Vaudt20061976
Michael Daniels20051978
Derek Mosley20041992
Bill Ites20031988
Kris Hansen20021992


Service to University Award

NameAwarded YearGraduate Year
Jason Berggren20232017
Jerry Gazaway20221966
Marcia Andrews20211973
Jeffrey Stavnes20201976
Pamela Whitmore20191965
LaVerne McCoy20181998
Jann (Schellhammer) Henkes20171978
Becky (Anderegg) Wadian20161972
Sabrina Schmitt20162000
Shankar Thiruchelvam20152003
Raleigh Amyx20131974
Roger Bowen20121955
Foster Cass20111941
Lewis Churbuck20101967
Betty (Follett) Andres20091946
Bob Firth20081989
Jim Day20071967
Bill Prochaska20061963
Bruce Campbell20041969
Cabby Caballero20031956


Emerging Alumni Award

NameAwarded YearGraduate Year
Bridget Saffold20232020
Jake Bass20222014
Hadeel Osman20212014
Matthew Beatty20202015
James Ebert20192011
La'Mont Williams20172010
Jeremy Johnson20162008
Dano Grayson20152010
Dave Wenger20142006
Natalie Brown20132005
Narthreza Abdullah20122004
Scott Michels20092003
Ryan Kramer20082001
Matthew Snitkey20072001
Neil Wilkinson20061999
Matthew Cowley20052000
Amy (Peterson) Hayek20042002
* Previously known as Young Alumni Award.


Service to Community Award

NameAwarded YearGraduate Year
William Kunzman20231969
Dominic Hillesheim20222018
Jon Miller20211975
Larry Kaberle20201965
Jason Zilk20191994
Cheryl (Dale) Hand20181971
Daniel Bencivenga20172013
Freddie Northern20161976
Lowell Tiedt20151971
Edie Sieg-Reed20142008
Mike Aschinger20132011
Leota (Morgan) Didier20121943
Brad Mattear20101995
Fred Tully20091963
Lon Butikofer20081983
Jacquelyn (Bowers) McTaggart20071964
Wacinque Amistad Kaizen BeMende20061996
Pamela Whitmore20051965
Scott Lebin20041964
Warren Mitchell20031942, 1976
Richard Smith20021952


Service to Country Award

NameAwarded YearGraduate Year
Ben Correll20221995
Dietrich Denali Cerna20212011
John Welch20202017
Tito Reed20192013
Bob King20181987
Michael Knight20172001
Wacinque Amistad Kaizen BeMende20161996
J.R. Richardson20151981
Robert Betz20141989
Lawson Coapstick20131983
Benjamin Cooper20121998
Angie (Kimball) Joseph20121982