Legacy of the Honorary Alumni Association Lives On

Jun. 11, 2014 - by kechesley

Legacy Banner

Legacy of the Honorary Alumni Association Lives On

By Carol (Knight ’81, MA ’08) Best

At the age of 91, Dr. Otto Theel is still raising money for scholarships at MNU. Recently he challenged the MNU community by offering a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50,000 for funds raised during the President’s Scholarship Challenge at President’s Honors. Then on the evening of the event, he increased his gift to a total of $75,000. That portion of the April 11, 2014, gala resulted in $137,235 raised through generous gifts of patrons and the matching gifts from the Theels.  

Dr. Theel and his wife, Beulah, have made generous matching gifts before. One such gift to the University Fund in 2011 was also a $50,000 match. In fact, Dr. Theel can claim an idea that has garnered more gifts than any other: the Mid-America Nazarene College Honorary Alumni Association (HAA). 

Officially organized on April 17, 1969, when the fledgling institution had no alumni, 114 individuals met in the Campus Center to hear a presentation by Assistant to the President Bill Draper and Dr. Theel. Ninety-five responded and became “honorary alumni.” The group would go on to raise thousands of dollars through the years with varied activities and an annual banquet. By 1978 membership had grown to 1,000. 

The HAA promoted MANC, assisted with admissions recruitment and provided scholarship funds. According to MidAmerica Nazarene College: The Pioneer Years 1966-1991, a book by the late Donald S. Metz, PhD, professor and dean emeritus, “It was, in the early years of the College, the primary source of financial assistance for students, aside from government loans. When the HAA merged its activities with the Autumn Auction, its financial contributions became identified with the results of the auction.”

Jon North, vice president for university advancement, says that the HAA continues now in a new form—The President’s Honors.

“Dr. Theel's leadership and passionate support helped create a culture of generosity that has continued for nearly 50 years,” North says. “Today’s President’s Honors was inspired by Dr. Theel’s original vision. His continued dedication to the cause of MNU has impacted the lives of thousands of MNU students and will continue to benefit the university for generations to come.”

Generations of Pioneers owe a debt of gratitude to the Theels for their generosity and stewardship.

Dr Otto Theel 

Dr. Otto Theel pictured with MNU President, Dr. R. Curtis Smith in 1969 and again with MNU President Dr. David Spittal in 2014.

 

 

MNU News

Tuesday, July 7
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Alum Wins Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science

Alum Wins Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science

Jeremi (Heiney '88) Wonch is one of two Kansas teachers winning a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Chosen by a…

Read More
Mark Wood
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Founder Kicks Off 6th Annual Rock Orchestra Camp July 12- 19

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Founder Kicks Off 6th Annual Rock Orchestra Camp July 12- 19

International recording artist and music education advocate Mark Wood, one of the founding members of the multiplatinum group Trans-Siberian…

Read More
MNU - Caitlin-2
Youth No Limit To Great Career

Youth No Limit To Great Career

Caitlin Wienck, Graphic Design Major, ’14, has a competitive resume.  Less than six months past graduation, it includes working for not one, but two NFL teams. First as an intern for the KC…

Read More
Maker Faire 2015
Center for Games & Learning Wins Merit Award at KC Maker Faire

Center for Games & Learning Wins Merit Award at KC Maker Faire

The Center for Games & Learning booth won a Maker of Merit award at Maker Faire KC June 27 and 28 at Kansas City's Historic Union…

Read More
MNU-Fiber-Optics-Groundbreaking-062015
New Fiber Ring Installation Upgrades Campus

New Fiber Ring Installation Upgrades Campus

Installation is well underway for the new fiber optic network on the Olathe campus. Pictured below MNU President David Spittal and K&W…

Read More
UO8A0594 upcropped
Football Coach discovers joy of teaching

Football Coach discovers joy of teaching

  “Salt and light is all you can be at the end of the day,” said Ashford Collins (’12) as he sat in the same cafeteria where he used to share meals with his teammates. “When I came to…

Read More
Annie Kee
Alum Wins Stewardship Scholarship

Alum Wins Stewardship Scholarship

Andra Kee (‘13) is one of three winners of the Stewardship Sermon Scholarship awarded by Stewardship Ministries of the Church of the Nazarene. Funds for this scholarship are awarded annually to up…

Read More
outcomes-11
Compassion for Animals Leads to Career

Compassion for Animals Leads to Career

It didn’t take holding down a lioness during surgery for Lisa Najarian ('07), biology major, to be affirmed in her calling.  Usually it comes just seeing a four legged passenger with its head…

Read More
Facebook Infographic v3
MNU Announces Fully Online MBA

MNU Announces Fully Online MBA

New this fall at MNU is a fully online MBA program. The university has offered an MBA program for nearly 30 years, but until now all classes were held on site in Olathe or Liberty. Now students who…

Read More
Sports
Wade Watkins Joins MNU XC/T&F Program

Wade Watkins Joins MNU XC/T&F Program

MNU Athletics is pleased to announce the addition of Wade Watkins to the MNU Track and Field/Cross Country program as Associate Head Coach...(click title for more)

 
Brittney Kellar Promoted to Assistant AD

Brittney Kellar Promoted to Assistant AD

Brittney Kellar has been promoted to Assistant Athletics Director for Business, Marketing and Event Management...(click title for more)

 
MNU Football Golf Tournament

MNU Football Golf Tournament

(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas