Anthony F. "Tony" Bonderer will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award when the Callaway County chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association celebrates its 25th anniversary Tuesday, June 15.
In lieu of a banquet this year, the event will be a casual family affair starting at 5:30 p.m. at Serenity Valley Winery in Millersburg. Big Daddy's BBQ food truck will be on site for dinner.
Former astronaut and University of Missouri alumna Dr. Linda Godwin will be the featured speaker. Two other awards and four student scholarships will also be presented.
John and Sara DeFily — Fulton Public Schools teachers — will receive the Education Award and Luke Linnenbringer will be given the Agriculture Award.
Bonderer graduated from the University of Missouri in 1959 with a bachelor's of science in civil and environmental engineering. He started with BD Simon Construction in 1959 and worked there for 30 years before becoming one of the founding partners of Professional Contractors and Engineers.
Bonderer's community service includes serving on the Housing Authority Board for the city of Columbia and serving as chairman of the board for the Salvation Army.
Bonderer served as president of the Central Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers and is a lifetime member of MSPE. He has been honored by the MU College of Engineering by being inducted into the Civil and Environmental Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
Bonderer also received the MU Engineering Alumni Organization Citation of Merit Award in 2001 and the James E. "Bud" Moulder Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014.
Sara DeFily has been the library media specialist at Fulton High School since 2012. Prior to that, she taught English and speech for 15 years. John DeFily has taught language arts and coached football at Fulton High School since 1996. Before that, he taught in Linn.
Both DeFilys are 1994 MU graduates — Sara with a degree in communications and John with a bachelor's of science in secondary English education. Sara earned her teaching certification for secondary English and speech and theatre in 1997, and completed a master's degree in curriculum, instruction and certification in teaching English to speakers of other languages in 2010.
Linnenbringer — a 2001 Mizzou graduate with a degree in agriculture system's management — is a full-time farmer in Auxvasse. His enterprises are diverse — non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) grain, beef, poultry and pork. He regularly works with 1,500 chickens.
Linnenbringer is a nationally recognized speaker, known for innovation in regenerative, sustainable agriculture. He designs and assembles his own buildings and implements, and he directly markets and sells his products to Columbia restaurants and grocery stores.
Award recipients from 2020 will also be recognized June 15 since last year's banquet was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They include Dr. Tom Cooper — a family practice and emergency room physician — who will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award; Kelly Neudecker, Fulton Public Schools director of bands, who will be presented the Education Award, and David Metz will be given the Agriculture Award.
Cooper grew up on a farm near Hayti, the youngest of 12 children. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1970 with a degree in health and physical education. He was then commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps.
Cooper earned a medical degree at MU in 1978 and then completed the three-year residency program in family and community medicine. During his career, he has been an emergency room physician, family practitioner and cattle farmer.
A 1995 Fulton High School graduate, Neudecker earned a bachelor's of science in education from Mizzou in 1999. She taught in New Bloomfield, Mexico and St. Elizabeth before returning to Fulton in 2005.
Neudecker held various teaching positions — assistant band director, Fulton Middle School general music teacher and eighth grade choir and drama — before becoming director of bands.
While teaching in Fulton, Neudecker earned a master's degree in music education from Central Methodist University.
Metz graduated from Fulton High School in 1999 and earned a bachelor's of science in general agriculture — with an emphasis in animal science — from MU in 2003.
A fifth-generation farmer, he raises commercial Angus. While his numbers vary, depending on forage availability, Metz's farm has doubled in size over the years.
His ultimate goal is to be able to give his children the chance to return and produce cattle one day if that is their objective.
The chapter has also been presenting scholarships to local students since 1997. This year, the chapter will give a $1,000 Capstone scholarship — renewable for four years — to South Callaway High School graduate Kasey Dunnavant.
A local alumni scholarship for $1,000 will be presented to Fulton High School graduate Lima Sherzad.
Two Fulton High School graduates will also receive funds to continue their education at Mizzou. Kelly Gillespie will receive the $2,000 Pinet Scholarship and Leah Speer will be given the $2,000 Forward Callaway Scholarship.
In 20202, the $1,000 Capstone scholarship went to Gillespie and New Bloomfield High School graduate Heath Brandt received the $1,000 local alumni scholarship.
Carlie Cunningham — a homeschooled student — was given the $2,000 Pinet Scholarship last year and Eric Gilmore — a Helias High School graduate — received the $2,000 Forward Callaway Scholarship.
Alumni and friends of Mizzou — as well as friends of the honorees — are invited to attend the Callaway chapter's 25th anniversary celebration. The deadline for reservations is June 8 — email Bruce Robertson at [email protected] or call 573-220-0388.