Distinguished Alumni

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The community of Culver-Stockton College is honored to recognize Joseph Schwan ‘59 and his late wife, Charlann, as distinguished alumni during Culver-Stockton’s 2014 Homecoming weekend. The Schwans have been avid supporters of Culver-Stockton and have done much to enhance the student experience at C-SC. Potential students have learned more about Culver-Stockton in the beautiful Discovery and Opportunity Conference Center, located in Henderson Hall. Current students have benefited from the state of the art Schwan Business and Technology Center, located in the Herrick Foundation Center, and visitors have had a wonderful first impression while entering campus on the Charlann Schwan Parkway, which features new brick signage and landscaping.

While Charlann did not graduate from Culver-Stockton, her ties to the Disciples of Christ Church created a sincere fondness for C-SC. A member of Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Linclonshire, Ill., for over forty years, she believed in the importance of a DOC-affiliated education, and the support she provided the College has helped C-SC advance greatly. Her unexpected passing in 2013 deeply saddened all who knew her.

A member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Joe graduated from Culver-Stockton College in 1959 with his Bachelor of Science degree in business. He went on to earn his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Executive Program. Joe began his career at Wallace Computer Services where he spent the next 26 years in various sales, marketing and administrative positions, including corporate executive vice president.  Schwan retired as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Standard Register in 2000. He has held board positions for Hach Co., the Air Force Museum Foundation, and the Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. Joe currently consults in the graphic arts industry.

Joe and Charlann were married for 49 years, and have three children and seven grandchildren.  Juliann Larimer, her husband and three children reside in Lake Forest, Ill., where she serves as vice president at Zebra Technologies. John Eric, his wife and two daughters reside in Palo Alto, Calif., where he is vice president of sales at Tintri. JV, his wife and two children reside in McClean, Va., where he is director of Government Affairs for Baxter International.

Outstanding Young Alum

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Captain Timothy Fretwell ’05 has been selected as the Young Alumnus honoree for Culver-Stockton’s 2014 Homecoming. Fretwell is a Foreign Area Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. He is also the youngest commissioned officer in modern U.S. military history, at age 19. Fretwell has received numerous military decorations during his two deployments to Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and multiple diplomatic and security cooperation exercises within 10 countries in Southeast Asia. He has also published several articles on military subject matter.

Fretwell graduated with a 3.97 GPA from Culver-Stockton College with his Bachelor of Science degree in finance. While at Culver-Stockton, Fretwell was a Pillars for Excellence Scholarship recipient and was also involved with the Student Government Association. Fretwell belonged to Alpha Tau Omega and was active in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Fretwell hails from Canton, Mo. He and his wife, Patricia, and their child, live in Pacific Grove, Calif.

Education Hall of Excellence

Dr. Stanley Butler ’76Stan Butler.jpg

Dr. Stanley Butler ’76 is being inducted into Cuvler-Stockton’s Education Hall of Fame during the 2014 Homecoming Weekend. Butler is an associate professor of kinesiology and director of the Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. Butler teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as general education and activity programming.

Butler has been an active member of the SJSU faculty, sitting on committees, achieving grant funding and creating new programming. He served as the president of African-American Faculty and Staff Association of SJSU from 2000-2005. In 1994, he received a grant to conduct the first National Youth Sports Program at SJSU and has received continued funding over the past 13 years to provide opportunities for over 3,000 youth from urban, underserved communities to participate in educational, health and fitness development programs. He has also exceeded $1 million over the last 17 years in acquiring external funding to conduct programs aimed at providing educational enrichment and life skills development opportunities for underserved youth in urban areas.

Butler graduated from Culver-Stockton with his Bachelor of Art in psychology. He also holds a Master of Education from Northwestern State University and an Education Doctorate from Texas A&M University. Butler’s research interests lie in the areas of fitness, equity and diversity in sport and physical activity and youth education and development through sport and physical activity. His areas of specialization include teacher education, fitness, sport activities and African-American in sport.

Fine Arts Hall of Fame

Michael BenningMike Benning.jpg ’77

Michael Benning graduated from Culver-Stockton College in 1977 with his degree in art education. He has spent his career as an artist, displaying his work at galleries around New Mexico over the last 21 years. His work is currently on display at the Fermin Hernandez Fine Art Gallery in Albuquerque. He has also participated in the annual New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair since 1994, winning the “Best Decorative Ceramics” award in 2012.

In addition to creating art, Benning is a collector of pre-1940 Native American material, as well as Civil War and American antiques. He has backpacked to several remote, prehistoric sites in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. He has also traveled to the Caribbean and Mexico.

Benning is married to Karen Benning, and the couple has a son, Ethan, who is currently in his second year as a general surgery resident at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. In addition to his work with ceramics, Benning is also a custom cabinetmaker.

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Timothy Connors graduated from Culver-Stockton College in 1972 with his Bachelor of Art in drama and speech. Connors also holds a Master of Arts in Theatre from Central Missouri State University and a Ph.D in Theatre from the University of Kansas.

In his career, Connors has directed over 65 theatrical productions and has acted in over 50 stage productions. He also has experience in film, commercials and radio. In addition, Connors has over 35 years of experience as higher education faculty. He is currently a tenured professor of theatre at Central Michigan University. He has also held teaching positions at Midwestern State University and Northern Arizona University.

Connors is a member of several professional organizations, including the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). He has also held leadership roles at several theatre festivals and has traveled extensively through Ireland during the course of two sabbaticals.

He is married to C-SC alumna, Miriam (Goodman) Connors ’72. They have one daughter, Janeice.

Michele Crider ’84Michele Crider.jpg

Crider attended Culver-Stockton College in 1984 as a student of vocal music. She then transferred to the University of Iowa to continue her study of voice. During this time, she performed her first opera role in Madama Butterfly, as well as winning the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions twice.

Crider then went to Zurich, where she continued her studies at the studio of the Zurich Opera House. In 1988 she was the finalist of the Luciano Pavarotti competition. The following year, she won one of the three first prizes at the Geneva International Music Competition. This prize directly led to her engagement to her participation in the International Grand Prix, which she won.

Crider performs regularly in the world’s great opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Convent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera in New York, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Staatsoper Berlin, the State Opera Houses in Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Arena di Verona, Rome, Opéra de Paris Bastille, Zurich, the Liceu in Barcelona and Teatro Real in Madrid.

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George M. Irwin spent much of his lifetime furthering the arts in the Tri-State areas. Among his accomplishments, Irwin was the founder and first president of the Quincy Society of Fine Arts, as well as an organizer and director of the Quincy Civic Music Association. He was also the founder and first conductor of both the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and the Quincy Chamber Music Society. In addition, Irwin was an early member and director of the Quincy Art Center.

Irwin has long time connections to Culver-Stockton, earning an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the College. He was also a member of the Culver-Stockton Board of Trustees. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Quincy University and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Other civic volunteerism included his role as chairman of the board for Quincy Compressor Company.

Irwin’s hobbies include collecting American fine art and decorative art. He currently resides in Quincy.

Bob March ’58Robert R. March.jpg

Robert March graduated from Culver-Stockton College in 1958 with his Bachelor of Music degree. He went on to earn his Master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

In addition to performing in several choral concerts and chamber ensembles, March was the organist at the Federated Church in Clayton, Ill., for 60 years. He also spent 55 years as a member of the Quincy Symphony and is currently a charter member. He was an adjudicator for Illinois state music contests and the Illinois Piano Teachers Association. Currently he plays for the organ for the First Christian and United Methodist Churches in Quincy, in addition to other volunteer work.

At Culver-Stockton College, March represented the College at NMSU (Truman State) playing Chopin Etude in C minor, and he played 2nd Piano Concerto of Rachmanioff for Professor Spenser Johnson’s twenty-fifth anniversary at C-SC. He also accompanied Comedienne Henny Yungman at the dedication of the Robert W. Brown Performing Arts Center.

March was married to his late wife, Margaret, for 56 years. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.