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Summary: EU honors three 2015 “Trees of Honor” recipients

Published on Sep 28, 2015 by Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Evangel University Alumni Association will honor three retired employees for their exemplary service to the university on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The Trees of Honor ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., during this year’s Homecoming Celebration Luncheon in the University Plaza Convention Center.

All three recipients are local and will be present.

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.

With this year’s group, 24 people have been honored on Evangel’s campus, acknowledging the legacy of service each recipient has provided to the university. An engraved bronze plaque has been placed at the base of each tree as a permanent tribute to the person being honored.

The following individuals will be recognized this year:

Dr. Glenn H. Bernet

Bernet, Dr. Glenn HC15-200dpiSpringfield native Glenn Bernet’s involvement with Evangel goes back 60 years — he was the Boy Scout who played the trumpet at the first flag raising ceremony, on the very first day of classes, in 1955.

Bernet began his teaching career at Evangel in 1963 and served for 51 years, retiring in 2014 as provost/vice president for academic affairs. After being named V.P. in 1985, he continued to teach one mathematics class every semester — and has continued that pattern even into retirement.

During his time of service, Evangel’s enrollment increased nearly four-fold. Under his leadership, the college earned university status and added master’s degree programs, adult degree-completion programs and its first doctoral degree program.

Bernet has been active in the community. He is a past president of the Southeast Lions Club and a long-term member of Springfield Rotary. He has also served several terms on the deacon board and as treasurer at Central Assembly.

“There are few more worthy of this Trees of Honor recognition than Dr. Bernet,” said Dr. Linda Wellborn, director of institutional effectiveness & accreditation activities. “He has led by example; he has mentored many Evangel faculty members; and he leaves a legacy which will be a credit to Evangel, his name and our Lord.”

FULL STORY on Glenn Bernet:

Shirley Shedd

Shedd, Shirley HC15-200dpiShirley (Hansen) Shedd is one of the most faithful Evangel graduates. She was a student at Evangel (then College) from 1958 to 1962, and has been a participant of every homecoming since. She has also been an active leader in the Evangel University Auxiliary since the 1960s.

Shedd taught journalism at Springfield’s Central High School from 1963-1969. Following a break to start her family, she had a five-year stint at Central Bible College, teaching English and writing.

In 1981, she joined the Evangel faculty, and in 1987, she was appointed as chair of the Department of Communication, a position she held until her retirement 25 years later.

Shedd is a nationally recognized professor of journalism. Under her leadership, Evangel’s campus newspaper, The Lance, was inducted into the “Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame” in 1998. The National Society of Collegiate Journalists honored her as the first recipient of the “Adviser of the Year” award in 2000, and she was inducted into the Missouri College Media Association’s “Advisor Hall of Fame” in 2007.

After she retired, Shedd worked with Betty Chase in the university archives. Upon Chase’s retirement, Shedd became the university archivist, a position she still holds today.

FULL STORY on Shirley Shedd:

W.E. “Gene” Thomlinson

Thomlinson, Gene HC15-200dpiGene Thomlinson started as Evangel’s first full-time director of campus security in 1969.

During his 44 years of service, he developed and refined a professional Department of Public Safety that had 14 full-time and three part-time employees when he retired at the end of 2013.

Thomlinson also utilized technology to make the campus safer — he outfitted Evangel with electronic security access systems, CCTV surveillance with 100 cameras blanketing the campus, and enhanced campus communication systems for emergency response.

In addition to his duties at Evangel, Gene served 38 years with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department and was captain of the department’s reserve unit.

In 1994 the EU Alumni Association recognized Thomlinson’s outstanding service with the Distinguished Service Award.

“Always eager to assist or just to listen to a student ponder the future, he never turned anyone away — and when needed, he would share a story or a prayer,” said Patti McDaniel, who as a student saw Thomlinson and his wife Judy as role models. She later served more than 25 years as a member of the Illinois State Police.

FULL STORY on Gene Thomlinson: