SPRINGFIELD, MO. — The Evangel University Alumni Association will honor John Shows, retired music department chair and director of bands, on Saturday, Oct. 11. A Trees of Honor ceremony will be held at 12-noon during the Homecoming Celebration Banquet in the University Plaza Convention Center.
Shows will be recognized along with three other former faculty members.
Shows spent 41 years serving the school and his beloved music department. His contributions to the department and his leadership as chair helped create one of the finest music programs in the nation. The Barnett Fine Arts Center was completed during his tenure.
“John was an outstanding teacher and conductor who was, and still is, passionate about Evangel,” said Michael Kolstad, a former student of Shows and now the vice president for university advancement at Evangel University. “He was an outstanding leader as the chair of the music department.”
Trees of Honor
The Trees of Honor project began as an idea formed by a small group of graduates from the early 1960’s 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 will be placed at the base of each tree as a permanent tribute to the person being honored.
From graduate to department chair
Shows, now professor emeritus, joined the faculty of Evangel (then College) in the fall of 1966, just 3 months after graduating from Evangel’s music program. He taught in the music department while also continuing his own education.
In 1981, he stepped into the role of department chair, a position he held for the next 26 years. He led the program well during his time, but Evangel’s band was especially near to his heart. Under his direction, Evangel’s concert band toured extensively across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and throughout Europe.
Shows was also in charge of the pep band at home football and basketball games, and his dream of an Evangel marching band became a reality just a few years after he retired.
In 1992, Shows received the E.M. and Estella Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service from Evangel. In 2008, he was named Music Administrator of the Year by the Missouri Music Educators Association.
He was also actively involved in groups such as the Missouri Association of Directors of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Music, and several others.
Additional Trees of Honor award recipients for 2014 include the following: Dr. Zenas Bicket, former academic dean; Dr. Steve Davidson, former 38-year professor of biology; and Dr. Billie Davis, former chair of the behavioral sciences department.