Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will honor seven remarkable graduates at the 2016 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony A Night Among the Stars on Friday, Sept. 30, in the Morris University Center.
A cocktail reception in the Morris University Center gallery will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dinner and an awards presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the MUC Conference Center.
“Those selected for the Alumni Hall of Fame represent the best of SIUE,” said Alan, Kehrer, SIUE Alumni Association president. “It is our honor to induct these outstanding individuals.”
The 2016 honorees listed by their college or school:
School of Business: Raj Kumar, MBA ’84
Raj Kumar began his career at Nestle Purina as a design engineer in February 1982 in the corporate engineering department. He eventually progressed to his role as director of operations performance in product supply at the St. Louis corporate headquarters. He has provided technical and management support to 18 dry pet food and canning pet food production plants throughout Nestle Purina PetCare North America. He is responsible for the energy and water conservation and reduction of waste in Purina businesses. He is a certified energy manager with the Association of Energy Engineers. Due to his exemplary work in resource conservation and environmental sustainability, AEE gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award by declaring him a Legend in Energy in North America.
College of Arts & Sciences: Fred Irby III, MM Music Education ’74
Fred Irby III has been a professor of music at Howard University in Washington, D.C. since 1974. He is the coordinator of instrumental music, trumpet instructor, and founder and director of the internationally acclaimed Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE). In 2008, Irby received an “Achievement Award in Jazz Education” and was inducted into the Grambling State University Alumni Hall of Fame. At the 2009 MENC Teaching Music Awards ceremony, he received the Disney Performing Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching Jazz. He was designated a Lowell Mason Fellow at a ceremony during the MENC 2010 Music Education Week. Irby travels internationally giving lectures and charity concerts for disadvantaged children and families.
David Williams, BS Sociology ’71
David Williams serves as a distinguished professor at the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University (GMU) in Arlington, Va. He is also the director of GMU’s Center for Organizational Performance and Integrity (COPI). Before joining the faculty at GMU, Williams served as the Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Postal Service. Williams has served as IG for the following five federal agencies: the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Social Security Administration, the Department of the Treasury, the Tax Administration of the Department of Treasury, and the acting IG for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Williams served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence and began his civilian career as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service.
SIU School of Dental Medicine: Dr. Darryl Pendleton, DMD ’86
Dr. Darryl Pendleton joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (UIC COD) in November 2002. He currently serves as the associate dean for student affairs and diversity affairs and clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. In addition, he serves as the director of the college’s Urban Health Program. Previously, Pendleton served as the director of multicultural affairs at the Marquette University School of Dentistry from 1994-2002. He also served as executive director of the Milwaukee Area Health Education Center from 1992 -2003. Pendleton will accept this award at the School of Dental Medicine Dean’s Scholarship Gala on Oct. 15.
School of Education, Health and Human Behavior: Thelma Mothershed Wair, MSEd Counselor Education ’72, PMC Educational Administration ’78
Thelma Jean Mothershed Wair made history as a member of the Little Rock Nine, the African-American students involved in the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. This followed the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision in which it was determined that state-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. She has spent her life championing diversity efforts. Wair has been the distinguished recipient of numerous awards. Her honors include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Spingarn Medal in 1958, the Pere Marquette Discovery Award and the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest civilian award. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from SIUE in May 2016.
School of Engineering: Thomas Niederhofer, BS Civil Engineering ’80
Thomas Niederhofer’s 30-plus year career at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began in St. Louis. He is a member of the small group of volunteer “Rescue Engineers” across the country that supports the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System. In August of 2002, he was asked to help manage the San Francisco based headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers US&R Program for four months during a transition office restructuring and ultimately never left that position. The US&R provides technical and operational support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) US&R program and other state, local and International Urban Search and Rescue Programs.
School of Nursing: Dr. Nelma Shearer, MS Nursing ’88
Dr. Nelma Shearer is a highly acclaimed and accomplished leader and innovator who is making an outstanding difference in nursing education, research and practice. Throughout her career she has been a passionate advocate for advancing the health and well being of older adults, and for advancing nursing education. Her work has made a sustained impact on the nursing care of older adults through her work on health empowerment theory. She is a prolific and internationally, renown author, who has co-authored three editions of a widely used graduate level nursing theory text, Perspectives on Nursing Theory and another nursing theory text, Nursing Knowledge and Theory Innovation. She recently served as associate professor at Arizona State University and the director of its Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.
Graduate School: Bill Luan, BS Electrical Engineering ’84, MS Electrical Engineering ’85
Bill Luan is a senior program manager and regional lead in developer relations team at Google. He is responsible for running Google developer outreach programs in the Greater China Region, helping business partners adopting Google technologies and platforms for their business service innovations and new product development. He is an experienced manager in high-tech product development, information system design, business strategies and process planning, industry partnership building and technology training. During the past decade, he organized many technology conferences and built a large community of developers for web and mobile innovations with applications being used by millions of users around the world.
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at siue.edu/homecoming/alumni. Free parking will be available in Lot B. For more information, call (618) 650-5176.