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11th Annual President's Honors Gala April 14, 2023

by Carol Best
President's Honors graphic
Honorary Alumni Association Founder To Be Recognized

President’s Honors, MNU’s premier annual fundraising event to benefit student scholarships, is set for April 14, 2023, doors open at 6 p.m. in Cook Center on MNU’s campus in Olathe. Through its first ten years, generous donors have contributed more than $6 million through this event.

An exquisite dinner is interspersed with live and silent auctions, entertainment and celebrations of generosity that directly impact students’ education at MNU. Among several honorees this year, MNU will present its Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to Dr. Otto Theel, founder of the Honorary Alumni Association.

When MidAmerica Nazarene College was being formed, Theel had a visionary idea. By creating a regional association of honorary alumni for the soon-to-be-built college, he gathered like-minded individuals to support the work of Christian higher education in the middle of the country.


Above:  Dr. Curtis Smith, first president, with Dr. Otto Theel, founder of MidAmerica’s Honorary Alumni Association.

This generous group helped promote the college that would become MidAmerica Nazarene University. Through the years, Theel continued to support MNU, establishing an endowment and providing exceptional support to President’s Honors. Theel passed away in 2015, but his legacy of giving continues.

Honorary co-hosts for the gala are Brent and Lynnette Barkman. Both are alums of MNU and generous supporters of its mission. The couple owns Barkman Honey in Hillsboro, Kansas and actively promotes philanthropy in Kansas.

Tickets for the gala are $100 and are available for groups and individuals. Sponsorships are also available. Visit for more information.