President Spence honored with “Lifetime Achievement in Business Award”
July 21, 2012 | Chase Replogle
The Springfield Business Journal honored Dr. Robert H. Spence, president of Evangel University, with its “2012 Lifetime Achievement in Business Award” on Thursday, July 19, 2012.
“Tonight we honor Dr. Spence for his outstanding influence on the economic growth of our community,” said Joe Jenkins, MC and co-owner of Jenkin’s Diesel. “He is a great man and a respected leader throughout our region.”
The award was one of several that were presented at the SBJ’s annual Economic Impact Awards banquet at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center.
“We are so proud to have you here and be able to honor you tonight,” said SBJ founder and president Dianne Elizabeth Osis. “You are extraordinary! You are breaking the mold!”
Dr. Spence started at Evangel in May 1974. He is the longest-serving college president in the state of Missouri and the second-longest-serving in the USA.
During his tenure, Evangel has doubled enrollment, added 9 master’s degrees, gained university status and totally transformed the campus with 12 major building projects.
A special edition of the Springfield Business Journal, featuring Dr. Spence on the cover, was handed out at the end of the banquet. The lifetime achievement story about him discussed his influence on the community and the influence of his wife, Anne, on his career.
It also touched on how he will be remembered.
“If there is anything I’d like to be known for, it’s empowering people and encouraging people to work together and accomplish things that none of us could do by ourselves,” he said.
Dr. Spence is active in civic and community affairs in Springfield, having served as chairman of the boards for City Utilities, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Branson National Airport. He has served as president of the board of directors of Cox Health and has been president of the Springfield Downtown Rotary Club.
Currently he serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences and is chairman of the board of directors for Maranatha Village, a retirement community for the Assemblies of God.
In 2004, Dr. Spence received the “Springfieldian Award,” the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s most acclaimed honor that recognizes outstanding community service and commitment to Springfield.
That year, being his 30th anniversary as president, Dr. Spence was also honored on the floor of the State Senate with the “2004 Missourian Award,” which acknowledges the most accomplished citizens of Missouri.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dianne Elizabeth Osis, SBJ founder and president (left), and Jennifer Jackson, SBJ publisher (right), congratulate President Robert H. Spence and Anne for his “Lifetime Achievement in Business Award.”
– Maria Hoover, SBJ features editor, and Paul K. Logsdon, EU director of public relations
Other awardees honored
Jim Morris Oil Company received the “Philanthropic Business of the Year” honors, and The Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield was recognized as the “Business Advocate of the Year.”
Economic Impact honors were also announced in four categories. Honored were Phoenix Home Care Inc., in the Knights category for companies in business locally for one to five years; Everything Kitchens LLC, in the Bishops category for companies in business locally for six to 15 years; Marlin Network Inc., in the Rooks category for companies in business locally for 16 to 29 years; and CoxHealth, in the Kings category for companies in business locally for 30 or more years.