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Hall of Fame

William Penn University appreciates the dedication and service of our many alumni and community supporters. It is representative of the values we aim to instill in all of our students. Each year at Homecoming, individuals or groups of people are selected to be recipients of the awards listed below. They are honored at the Recognition Banquet with the awards and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Distinguished Career Award

The Distinguished Career Award is given to an individual based on esteemed and meritorious achievement in career and life. Candidates for this award are alumni of William Penn University or Nebraska Central College.

Jim Lindenmeyer

Dr. James Lindenmayer–2019 Distinguished Career Award Recipient

The Distinguished Career Award is given to an individual based on distinguished and meritorious achievement in career and life in general. Candidates for this award are alumni/ae of William Penn University or Nebraska Central College. This year’s candidate, Dr. James Lindenmayer is worthy of recognition.

Lindenmayer received his undergraduate degree from William Penn University. He graduated in 1973 with a degree in physical education major; was involved in football and baseball and also a member of Delta Beta Phi fraternity.

After graduation from college Jim worked for two years in International Sales with Amana Refrigeration. He then went to work at William Penn University where he worked for five years in Admissions and Financial Aid. While working at William Penn, he obtained a Master’s Degree from Truman State University.

He then went to work at Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) and while working at IHCC received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. His higher education career has spanned nearly 40 years and encompassed the areas of admissions, financial aid, community education, human resources and culminated in being President of Indian Hills Community College for 12 years until his recent retirement.

Indian Hills serves a ten-county area in southern Iowa with three campuses and eight county seat centers. During his tenure as President, enrollment grew from 3500 students to a high of over 5800 students. The scholarship endowment, which in itself is rare for a community college grew from $2 million to about $25 million.

Lindenmayer was active in many circles that included workforce development, the development of a Rural Entrepreneurship Center, the construction of a Rural Health Education Center and the acquisition of a Job Corps Center in Ottumwa, Iowa as well as Wyoming and New Hampshire. The Ottumwa Job Corps Center has a unique partnership with Indian Hills Community College and Iowa Workforce Development. This model was developed on the Indian Hills North Workforce Campus that is now a Department of Labor model for centers all over the country. The partnership brings together several entities to enhance opportunities for young people in the region.

In 2013 the Dr. Jim Lindenmayer Award for Exceptional Leadership was established to recognize a business or community leader located in the IHCC ten-county region who has displayed outstanding leadership traits – compassion, integrity, service and vision. Dr. Lindenmayer was the first recipient of this award.

Since his retirement he has remained active by working briefly as a community college liaison with the University of Iowa, and serves on several boards, including the Foundation Board for the Iowa School for the Deaf and Sight Saving School, he chairs the Regents Board for Campus Life and Student Affairs and is the current Chair of the National Job Corps Association, a trade organization located in Washington, D.C.

He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on June 29, 2018. The Iowa Board of Regents oversees the three state universities and the Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa School for Braille and Sight Saving. Paraphrasing Gov. Reynolds, “Jim has spent the bulk of his career in leadership and has a passion for work-based learning. His focus was on training Iowans and getting them the advanced skills and experience needed to meet workforce needs and provide them with a great career”. William Penn University is proud to present the Distinguished Career Award for 2019 to Jim Lindenmayer.

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Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is bestowed upon an individual whose life of service has been exemplary. This honor extends beyond the circle of Penn alumni to those who embody the William Penn commitment to community and humanitarian service.

Ron Bryan

Ronald Bryan–2019 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

The Distinguished Service Award is bestowed upon an individual whose life of service has been exemplary. This honor extends beyond the circle of Penn alumni to those who embody the William Penn commitment to community and humanitarian service. This year’s recipient has become a familiar face around William Penn University.

When serving in the Air Force and dappling in the business world did not result in long-term residency, Ronald Bryan had a personal confrontation to be more obedient to God. Ron married his wife, Joyce, at a young age and enlisted in the Air Force in 1963. He served four years in the areas of Intelligence Gathering and Air Defense Command. Over the course of eight years, Ron attempted to work in the business field as a buyer and then self-employed.

Shortly before the 1980s, Ron was confronted with a need to answer a call from God to be more obedient in nature. He found that training through formal education was an important step in that process. Ron received his Bachelors of Arts in 1980 from Vennard College in University Park, Iowa. For 24 years, he pastored in only two different church locations.

In 2003, a unique opportunity presented itself as Ron was encouraged to submit an application to become the General Superintendent of our Friends Churches in Iowa Yearly Meeting. While serving as the General Superintendent, Ron served on the Board of Trustees for William Penn University and the Barclay Board of Trustees in Haviland, Kansas. He often traveled with the Board of Friends United Meeting while serving on the founding board of trustees for the Friends Mutual Health group—of which served several states out of Pennsylvania for Quaker Schools, Yearly Meetings, and Retirement Housing Corporations. Ron held his General Superintendent position and active board member roles until 2015, when he chose to return to school. This time he received his Master’s of Arts in Transformational Leadership at the age of 69. This opened a new door for Ron to serve others.

Upon the decision of retirement, Ron was solicited by President John Ottosson, and encouraged by the academic Dean, Dr. Noel Stahle, to serve as a faculty member for William Penn University and as the Beane Endowed Chair Holder. Ron served as an Instructor of Religion from 2015 – 2019.

“It has been my privilege to continue to serve God in this role and learn a whole other aspect of life from the academic view. I have enjoyed a great deal of support and friendship from my Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and many, many other faculty here at William Penn,” says Ron.

Ron and his wife, Joyce, have raised five children together over the last 55 years together. He is still instructing religion courses at WPU, while serving as the Presiding Clerk for the Friends United Meeting—including two General Boards in both North America and Africa.

For his willingness to serve in Quaker leadership roles throughout his community, country, and internationally, along with his service to William Penn University, William Penn is proud to present the 2019 Distinguished Service Award this year to Ron Bryan.

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Torch Award

The Torch Award was initiated during the 1972 Parents’ Weekend as a way of acknowledging and honoring alumni and non-alumni parents who have shown exceptional commitment to William Penn University. Each year the Torch Award is given to an alumni family of at least two generations; or to non-alumni parents, all of whose children have attended William Penn University. Consideration is also given to the interest and loyalty shown by the recipient family in the programs and ideals of the University.

Elwood and Ila Jones Johnson Family

Elwood and Ila Jones Johnson Family –2018 Torch Award Recipient

William Penn is pleased to recognize the Elwood and Ila Jones Johnson family as the 2018 Torch Award recipients.  A commitment to education is an understatement when you look at the history of this Quaker family.  Pullman and Margaret Morgan Johnson had six children, of the six children, five of them either attended or graduated from William Penn.  Omer graduated from Penn in 1921, Elwood graduated from Penn in 1922, Flossie (Robinson) attended Penn from 1920-22, Fern did not attend Penn, Retha (Gripp) attended Penn from 1926-27 and Lylbern graduated from Penn in 1937.  In addition, Lylbern was also known to have played quarterback every year he was at Penn.

The Johnson family believed strongly in education and family connections.  Pullman and Margaret moved their family to Oskaloosa for two years while Omer and Elwood attended Penn so the entire family would be living nearby.

Elwood married Ila Jones, a Latin teacher who graduated from Parsons College in 1924.  To their union, three daughters were born, Ruth, Lael and Lois Kay.  Skipping a generation at Penn, the next generation of Elwood and Ila’s family came to take their place on campus.  Ruth Johnson Jaeckel’s youngest son, Eric graduated from William Penn in 1984 while Lael Johnson Wellington’s son, Greg graduated in 1982.

Adding to the family connections, Elwood’s mother, Margaret had three brothers and a sister.  Margaret’s sister, Amy Morgan married Ott Schmitter and they had four children which later added a handful of cousins to the campus community.  Lyle Schmitter graduated in 1927, Letha (Ludin) attended Penn from 1926-28, Doyle attended Penn from 1930-31 and Dean attended from 1934-36.  The most recent family graduate was Nancy Schmitter Swope, Doyle’s daughter, who graduated in 1990.

Throughout the family generations there are numerous teachers.  We believe the family has demonstrated their commitment to education.  Elwood had a deep and abiding love for his Alma Mater.  A scholarship was established in his honor in 1989 to help future William Penn education students receive their degree.  For the family dedication to William Penn, we are pleased to recognize the Elwood Johnson family.

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Emerging Young Leader Award

This award was designed to recognize established and future leaders among recent William Penn University alumni. Standards for recognition include one or more of the following: demonstrated leadership capability, substantial indication of a commitment to the service of others, demonstration of potential for leadership/distinction in the long term, and a substantial commitment to William Penn University and its mission. The award is open to all alumni who are within their first 10 years of graduating from William Penn University.

Nik Rule

Nik Rule – 2019 Emerging Leader Award Recipient

Nik Rule, graduate of William Penn University’s class of 2010, is changing the landscape at William Penn University. Rule earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communications and History/Government. After Penn, Rule went on to earn a MS from Liberty University in Sports Administration in 2015 and earned his Master’s in Business Leadership from William Penn University in 2016.

Serving as President of the Student Government Association while a student at Penn gave Rule the foundation for developing his leadership skills as he focused on outreach, events and forums for students. He represented the student body on the WPU Board of Trustees and served on the university Retention Task Force.

For the first two years following graduation, Rule held a position at Musco Sports Lighting as a Company and Community Team Leader where he analyzed market research for social media data and originated the plan and processes designed to enhance their market standing in digital media. While at Musco, Rule served as company public relations leader to the Little League World Series, the London Olympics and numerous other special events. He managed the project driven team tasked with carrying out company and community projects.

Hired to be the Head Women’s Golf Coach at William Penn University, Rule took over a program with three scholarship student-athletes and grew the program to 18 during his seven-year tenure. He coached, mentored and guided the team to three conference titles and national tournament appearances, led the team to four straight years of being represented in the NAIA National Top-25 poll, and implemented a character building program that led to two national awards for being the Top Team of Character. Rule was appointed by coaching peers to lead conference women’s golf efforts and serve as a national rater in his third season as a coach. He chaired and directed the Midwest Collegiate Championships Conference Tournament for men and women in 2012 to 2014.

Becoming a member of the Advancement Team in 2012, Rule established the Corporate Sponsorship program raising additional funds and exposing partners to campus athletic activities. Serving as the liaison between the Advancement and Athletic departments, his efforts enhanced the collaboration on events and fundraising efforts. While in this role, Rule coordinated the negotiations for William Penn Athletics first apparel contract with Nike.

Demonstrating his leadership ability, Rule was named Director of Athletics and Student Life in 2017. In his new role he oversaw the research and development of adding three new sports. Beginning fall 2019 William Penn will field Men’s Volleyball, Men’s Lacrosse and Women’s Lacrosse. Noting his leadership, he serves as the William Penn University representative to the Heart of America Athletic Conference Board of Governors and also serves as the Board of

Governors representative for the Heart of America Athletic Conference for men’s and women’s bowling, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse and the Champions of Character program.

His community service efforts include being appointed as one of three citizens to serve on the Mahaska County Judicial Magistrate Nominating Commission, serves on United Way of Mahaska County Board and recently appointed to the Oskaloosa Chamber and Development Group Board. We’d also like to recognize your new appointment as dad. Congratulations on the birth of your son.

Your leadership, energy and team-building make you a deserving recipient of the Emerging Young Leader Award for 2019. William Penn University is honored. Congratulations, Nik.

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Ed Thomas Award

Those that are successful in coaching young students in the world of athletics have a special gift of shaping and changing the lives of those they come in contact with. The late and great Ed Thomas, whom this award was named after, had a great impact on his athletes. He passionately believed that his job as a coach was not to prepare kids to be college athletes, but to make their involvement in football or other sports a learning experience.

Faith, family, and excellence is what Thomas believed in and those core values are also present in the recipients of the Ed Thomas Award.

Tom Carbajo – 2019 Ed Thomas Award Recipient

Tom Carbajo hails from Shawnee, KS where he attended Saint Joseph High School. His athletic participation in high school earned him the recognition of being a four-time Letterman in wrestling, four-time Letterman in Cross country, was voted Most Valuable Wrestler for three years, was a qualifier for the Kansas High School State Tournament and served as team captain for three years.

Carbajo graduated from William Penn in 1979 with an Industrial Arts Education degree. He was a four-time letter winner in wrestling and two-time letter winner in cross country while at William Penn. Tom was a NCAA Division III national qualifier, led the wrestling team in escapes and reversals for two years, was an All-Conference wrestler his junior year and was inducted into the WPU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

Following his collegiate career, Carbajo spent the next 40 years teaching and coaching at Unified School District #230 in Spring Hill, KS. Recently retired, he spent his time in the classroom as a Technology Educator. Along with his classroom responsibilities, as in many instances, his time with the students did not end with the classroom bell. Let’s mention the time commitment Tom gave working with the students in Spring Hill, KS. He was the Head High School Wrestling Coach for 25 years, Head Middle School Wrestling Coach for 27 years, Head Middle School Football Coach for 20 years and Head Boys Middle School Track Coach for 4 years.

Coach Carbajo lives his faith every day at work and in life. He models the characteristics of being a man, husband, father and an engaged community member for his athletes in everything he does. He demonstrates kindness to all the students, celebrates when students succeed, consoles when they fail, and pushes his students to be the best person that he/she can be. Most importantly, he models the true spirit of humility. Taking a moment during a tournament, he talked with one of his students about showing respect to his opponents in all situations. Life moments being taught.

He has developed a video production, Maverick Minutes, that recognizes a wide-range of student talents beyond the classroom, creating video highlight films for all sports and fine arts activities for over twenty years. Dedicating thousands of hours to help share the evidence of Spring Hill students’ work.

His coaching career accolades include a few mentions: 27 State place winners, 5 state champions, 128 state qualifiers, 20 wrestlers that continued to wrestle in college. Spring Hill High School dual record of 227-32-0, 62 tournament wins, Regional Tournament Team Champion 5 times, Team League Champion 12 times.

Tom Carbajo is the picture of strength, humility and passion. William Penn University is honored to present the Ed Thomas Memorial Award for 2019 to Coach Tom Carbajo.

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Athletic Hall of Fame Recipients: 2019

Dr. David Cozart Sr

Dr. David Cozart (’69) , Football

Marty Hanna

Marty Hanna (’75) , Football

David Scott

David Scott (’73), Football

Andy Stokes

Andy Stokes (’05), Football

Lifetime Statesman Award

This first-time and perhaps one-time award is given to recognize support and service to William Penn University that is transformational in nature and at the same time foundational to Penn’s historical mission.

2016 Recipients–Joe Crookham and Jeanie Bieri