SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel University Alumni Association will honor Dorothea Lotter, the longest serving employee in the history of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
The Trees of Honor ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., during the Homecoming Celebration Luncheon in the University Plaza Convention Center. She will be recognized along with three other members of the Evangel family.
Lotter was the first full-time staff employee hired by what was then the Assemblies of God Graduate School, in 1972. She served 43 years and retired in December of 2015.
Throughout her tenure, Lotter experienced continuously escalating areas of responsibility, and she says her “treasures” are “the relationships with students, alumni, staff, faculty, board members, and friends over four decades.”
Trees of Honor
The Trees of Honor project began as an idea formed by a small group of graduates from the early 1960s and took root following Springfield’s great ice storm of 2007. The idea was to help replace lost trees and restore the natural beauty of the campus.
Trees have been planted on Evangel’s campus in acknowledgement of the legacy of service each of the recipients has provided to the university. An engraved bronze plaque is placed at the base of each tree as a permanent tribute to the person being honored.
An enduring legacy
Dorothea Lotter has been called, “the most recognized name in AGTS history.”
She served with six AGTS presidents and four executive vice presidents, starting as administrative assistant to Executive Vice President Cordas C. Burnett, moved to registrar, then director of admissions and records, then added financial aid to her purview.
When Evangel launched its adult education program, Lotter saw an opportunity to finish her degree. After graduating in 2003, she developed and implemented a business plan for the seminary to offer an accelerated master’s program in theological studies for church leaders working full time. In 2004, she became director of the MATS Degree Completion Program.
Lotter served the last eight years of her career as director of institutional and alumni relations and special assistant to the president.
As she added responsibilities, Lotter had the opportunity to take her skills to other institutions.
“There were times when professionally I felt restless or was contacted about positions by other seminaries and universities,” she said. “But each time there was the awareness of the work to be done and the excitement of creatively rising above challenges and finding solutions.”
She added, “There were so many firsts with the birth, development, life and growth of the seminary through the decades that kept me fully engaged. The joy of seeing men and women accomplish their academic goals and succeed in their vocational and ministry goals to serve in more than 126 countries made the long hours worth it.”
Dr. Byron Klaus, president emeritus, says Dorothea left behind “an enduring legacy of faith, integrity, and professional excellence. She has served longer than any other person in the history of AG higher education in Springfield, and her legacy is a standard worth emulating.”
Dorothea graduated from Evangel in 2003. Her husband, Ken, attended in the 1960s before being drafted. They have three sons — Kevin ’00; Shaun ’03, and his wife Kendra (Goetz ’04); and Brandon. They also have four grandchildren.
Additional Trees of Honor award recipients for 2016 include:
- Dr. Terry Bleek, former professor of New Testament, Greek and Biblical Theology at CBC and EU.
- Dr. Joe Nicholson, visionary educator and former chair of the Department of Music.
- Sandra Sorbo, the driving force of women’s athletics at Evangel for more than three decades.
For more information, contact the Evangel University Alumni Relations Department at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7333.