CU Alumni Association to present awards during Homecoming 2012 festivities

The Cameron University Alumni Association will recognize the winners of its 2012 Distinguished Alumni, Outstanding Young Alumni and Faculty Hall of Fame Awards during Cameron’s annual homecoming celebration. The honors will be presented during the Aggie Family & Friends Awards Lunch on Saturday, February 25 in the McCasland Ballroom of the McMahon Centennial Complex. The ceremony kicks off at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance by calling 581-2988.

The Distinguished Alumni Award and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award are presented to former Cameron students who have made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments have brought credit to Cameron by distinguishing themselves in their careers and/or in service to their communities and/or through continued support of Cameron University. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to Cameron alumni who are 40 years of age or older. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is presented to Cameron alumni who are 39 years of age or younger.

Diane Denham, Class of 1971, and Richard Allen, Class of 1971, are the 2012 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.  Dr. Krista Lemley, Class of 2006, is the 2012 recipient of the Outstanding Younger Alumni Award. .

The Faculty Hall of Fame Award emphasizes teaching effectiveness, positive impact on students’ lives and involvement at Cameron outside of the classroom and in the community. The 2012 recipients are Dr. Von Underwood, Professor of English and Dean, School of Liberal Arts, and Dr. David Fennema, Professor of Theatre Arts.  

photo of Diane DenhamAbout Diane Denham

Diane Denham, a wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, has served her alma mater through service and contributions for the past 40 years. She served on the Cameron University Foundation Board of Directors for more than 15 years, providing vital leadership as both president and vice president.

She and her husband, Ronnie, have been members of President’s Partners since 1993.They have contributed to numerous university initiatives, including the unprecedented “Changing Lives” campaign, KCCU, and the School of Liberal Arts.

Denham is active in the Lawton Community Theatre, is a member of Lawton Business Women and Lawton Credit Professionals. Previous service includes leadership roles with Goodwill Industries of Southwest Oklahoma and North Texas, Southwest Oklahoma Opera Guild, Lawton Chamber of Commerce, the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra and Comanche County Hospital Foundation.

She received the 2008 Roma Clift Montgomery Citizen of the Arts Award from the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council.

photo of Richard AllenAbout Richard Allen

Since graduating from Cameron with a degree in business administration, Richard Allen has become a community and business leader whose impact on Lawton-Fort Sill is undeniable. Allen is the owner of Affiliated Van Lines, Inc. and Affiliated Archives, Inc., and is a partner in BOA Commercial Investment Properties. He is actively involved in numerous trade associations, including the Oklahoma Transportation Association, where he is the only professional from Southwest Oklahoma to be appointed to that organization’s Board of Directors.

He is a former president of the Southwest Oklahoma Hospice Foundation, where he continues to serve on the board, and of the Oklahoma Heart Association, Southwest Chapter. Other community involvement includes United Way of Lawton, Comanche County Memorial Hospital Foundation, Lawton Recreation Commission and numerous other organizations.

His service to Cameron is equally impressive. He has been a member of President’s Partner for more than 10 years and has served as both President and a board member of the Cameron University Alumni Association.

photo of Krista LemleyAbout Dr. Krista Lemley

After earning a Bachelor’s of Chemistry from Cameron in 2006, Dr. Krista Lemley attended Oklahoma State University-College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in May 2010 as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. She is currently serving a residency at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Lemley was a Presidential Leaders University Scholar (PLUS) at Cameron and was also named as one of Cameron’s Top 20 Students during her senior year in recognition of her leadership and academic success.

Since graduating from Cameron, she has remained a strong supporter of the university and frequently speaks on behalf of Cameron when interacting with high school students who are considering pursuing higher education.

She is an active member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and has organized community blood drives and booths for health fairs.

photo of Von UnderwoodAbout Dr. Von Underwood

Dr. Von Underwood came to Cameron in the fall of 1988 and has served as Dean of the School of Liberal Arts since July 2006. He also served as Director of Cameron’s Honors Program and Coordinator for the British Studies Program. 

Cameron students have praised Dr. Underwood for his motivation, guidance and tireless dedication in helping students achieve their goals.

Dr. Underwood has received numerous accolades, including Educator of the Year in Humanities from the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council and the Sigma Tau Delta Professor of the Year Award. He was also the first recipient of the National Award for the Promotion of Excellence in Higher Education from the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

He was elected president of the Board of Directors of The DaVinci Institute, an Oklahoma think-tank whose mission is to promote creativity, in August 2010. He also serves on the board of the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council and the Quartz Mountain Music Festival.

photo of David FennemaAbout Dr. David Fennema

For the past 28 years, Dr. David Fennema has impacted the lives of countless Cameron University students. He joined the faculty at Cameron University in 1983 and teaches numerous classes pertinent to the theatre. He has been called a “teacher’s teacher” and is known for his enthusiasm, whether teaching a class on multiculturalism or directing a theatrical production.

Dr. Fennema received the Harold and Elizabeth Hackler Teaching Excellence Award in 2009 and was heralded “as a noble example of what every other educator should aspire to be” by one of his colleagues, Dr. Justin Walton.

The results of his ability to bring student actors to their highest possible level of performance can be seen this February when his production of Moliere’s classic comedy, “Tartuffe,” comes to the University Theatre.

For more information about the Cameron University Alumni Association, call 580-581-2988.

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February 13, 2012

PR# 12-028