Alumni to be Honored at Homecoming Events

Homecoming 2006 will see several Truman alumni being honored at various events.

The 2006 Alumni of the Year honor goes to Guy and Betty (McKanna) Burton. Guy, a former football player at Truman, earned a B.S. in physical education and business in 1953, and a M.A. in education administration in 1955 from Truman State University (then known as Northeast Missouri State Teachers College). Betty, a former cheerleader at Truman, graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1968 with a B.S. in art. The Burtons reside in Leawood, Kan., and are active members of the Kansas City Alumni Chapter of Truman State University. Guy serves on the Truman Foundation Board, and he and Betty are distinguished fellows of the Kirk Society as well as members of the President’s Circle in recognition of their generous contributions to the University.

This year’s Young Alumna of the Year is Sarah (Hartmann) Burkemper, who graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in economics, a B.S. in business administration, and a master of accountancy degree. At the same time, Burkemper was named Outstanding Graduate Accounting Student. She went on to complete an M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Since graduating, Burkemper has worked as a staff accountant for KPMG Peat Marwick, with May Department Store Company, for James Mudd, C.P.A., and as the Lincoln County (Mo.) Public Administrator. She is in her third term as public administrator and is an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Troy, Mo. Burkemper continues to actively support the Truman community, having served previously on the Truman State University Foundation Board and as a current member of the Truman State University Board of Governors.

Gerald “Shag” and Sarah Grossnickle will serve as the 2006 Parade Grand Marshals. After graduating from Truman State University (then known as Northeast Missouri State Teachers College) in 1942 with a B.S.E. in physical education, Shag served in the U.S. Navy as the chief specialist in the physical education program for the Navy Reserve Training Center at Newport, R.I. Sarah and Shag were married in 1942, after she completed her 60-hour certificate from Truman. After the war, Shag taught world history and was a coach at Kirksville Senior High School, and Sarah became a homemaker. Shag served two four-year terms as Adair County sheriff, followed by three terms as Adair County assessor. He also served two terms as public administrator. Sarah also served three terms as public administrator, and between the two, the Grossnickles have contributed 40 years of public service (28 for Shag, 12 for Sarah).

A football player at Truman, Shag was inducted into the Truman State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984. Shag is also a member of several other halls of fame, including the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce, Carlisle High School, El Kadir Shrine Wildlife and the Kirksville Baseball Association. In addition to membership in the Kirksville Area Alumni Chapter of Truman State University, Shag and Sarah are also members of the Kirk Society.

This year’s Alumni Distinguished Service Awards go to Geraldine “Gerry” (Toth) Ready (’70), Dwayne Smith (’84)(’91) and Charles “Chuck” Woods II (’86).

Ready graduated from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in 1970 with a B.S. in business administration and a minor in economics. She has worked for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. for 36 years, and is a project manager and member of the J.C. Penney Direct Operations and Systems team. Ready is treasurer and a founding member of the Truman Dallas Alumni Chapter and is a member of the Truman Alumni Board of Directors. She and her husband, Michael, are members of the Joseph Baldwin and John R. Kirk Society, and fund an annual scholarship at Truman.

Smith, a native of St. Louis, is the vice president for academic affairs at Harris Stowe State University. Smith attended Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University), where he earned his B.S. degree in psychology in 1984, and his M.A. degree in education administration in 1991. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in educational leadership and policy analysis with emphasis areas in multicultural education and black studies. He also completed the management development program at Harvard University. Smith is a founding board member of Kirksville’s Habitat for Humanity, and has previously received Truman’s Multicultural Alumni of the Year Award.

Woods is director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. In this position he is responsible for the development of the Long-Range Business Plan, preparing financial forecasts, internal performance reporting, supporting external financial reporting and capital planning. Woods holds a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) and an MBA from Southern Illinois University. Serving as the Boeing executive focal to Truman State University, Woods is also a member of the Truman State University Foundation Board of Directors.
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