Thursday, May 1, 2014
The Callaway County chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association handed out its annual awards Tuesday night, with Bob Hansen taking home the honor for Outstanding Alumnus.
Alumni association board member Mary Ann Beahon said Hansen — an associate professor, program coordinator of leadership studies and executive director of the Emerson Center for Leadership and Service at Westminster College — was selected for the award based on his long track record of service — especially in East Africa and Rwanda.
According to a press release, Hansen is a president of the board of directors of Humanity for Children and he is the founder of the Rwanda Community Partnership between Fulton and Callaway County and Kibungo Town/Ngoma District of Rwanda.
“Bob is a three-time graduate of MU and he has done so much in his career to inspire students to do service and has done so much service himself — in particular with Humanity for Children in Rwanda and Tanzania,” Beahon said.
Hansen said he was raised to realize the importance of service — and of making it part of one’s everyday life.
“I was taught from an early age that serving others is just what we do — not a chore, not something you do to be noticed — just something that we do. Living by the Golden Rule was also part of my early education,” Hansen said. “My work as an educator and with Humanity for Children is just a continuation of this ethic. Although I’m very honored to receive this award, I don’t really feel that I’ve done anything special and certainly not as much as so many others who have made unbelievable sacrifices in service to others.”
He referenced a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “’You can’t do everything…but you can do something.’”
“This quote and the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi serve as daily reminders of my role on this earth,” Hansen said. “I feel very privileged for all that I’ve received in my life, including this award.”
Also during the alumni banquet, Buce Robertson received the Agriculture Award and Robert Cannell received the Education Award.
According to the release, Robertson graduated from the University of Missouri in 1979 with a degree in biology and then graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983. Robertson started the Midwest Veterinary Clinic in Fulton in 1985.
The release stated that Cannell received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in education from Mizzou, where he also participated in Marching Mizzou for three years. Cannell has taught at the college level in Iowa and Illinois and was the director of education for the Woodhaven Learning Center in Columbia. He served as principal and director of special education in North Callaway R-I Schools from 1979 until his retirement in 1994.
Stephanie Rose Atkinson of Holts Summit, a student at Helias High School, received the $1,000 Capstone scholarship. Local alumni scholarships also were awarded to North Callaway High School student Abigail Meffert of Auxvasse and South Callaway High School student Clara Norris of Mokane.
The gathering included election of officers for next year as well: Tim Conner, president; Mike Conner, vice preisdent; Kelly Neudecker, secretary; Danielle Campbell, treasurer.
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