Alumni / ae  Awards


Eckels Society

The Eckels Society identifies and honors United Theological Seminary graduates of 40 or more years who have given dedicated service to Christ. The Society is named for the Rev. Dr. Harry L. Eckels who earned a diploma and five degrees from United over the years from 1941 to 1989. Harry Eckels exemplified dedication to the church, faithful service in ministry, deep pastoral care for all he met, a sincere life-long commitment to continuing education and the best that the United alumni/ae represent. This Society, named in his honor, is our way of recognizing those who, like Harry Eckels, honor God, Christ, the Church and United Theological Seminary by their lives.


Effective Ministry Award

Beginning in 1976, United’s Alumni/ae Association began awarding the Effective Ministry Award to one of its alumni/ae.  This award is given to a person who has developed outstanding new or unique ministries, who is engaged in a particular local expression of ministry and witness, or who serves in challenging areas of ministry defined by characteristics such as geographic region or cross-cultural appointments.

Year Name Class
1976 Paul W. Frees '38
1977 Richard Kohler '55
Glenn M. Dietrich '56
1978 Alan S. Brown '64
Robert S. Zimmerman '58
1979 Keith A. Shepherd '50
1980 James E. Flinchbaugh '47
1981 Thomas L. Salsgiver '75
1982 Charles J. Chipman '57
Paul A. Lauchle '76
1983 Jaime Potter-Miller '75
1984 Harold R. Biederman '63
1985 James W. Grubb '68
1986 Joyce E. Fry '71
2001 Dot Erickson '67
Judith A. Stone Olin ’67 and ’88
2003 Dorsey E. Levell '60
2005 Martha Matteson '87
Patricia Green '93
2007 Farrell Bruce Williams '94
Kenneth W. Cummings '93
2009 Ronald A. Mowry '72
2010 Cathy Johns '84
2011 David F. Martin '72
2012 James H. Maynard '77
Billie Ann Maynard '77
2013 Bernie Lieving '63
2015 Michael Bowie '07
2016 Ernie Bringas '66
Eugene Skipworth '66
2017 Wade Giffin '91

Distinguished Alumnus/a Award

In the mid-1980s, another award was established, the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. It honors those who have obtained denominational, ecumenical or professional distinction.

Year Name Class
1984 Harry L. Eckels '44
1987 Roy E. Bosserman '45
1989 John A. Smith '36
Virginia Smith (wife), Distinguished Honorary Alumna Award
1990 Frederick D. Hill '58
1991 Captolia D. Newbern ’80 and ’82
Louis and Dorothee Ryterband, Distinguished Honorary Alumnus Award
1992 Newell J. Wert '50
1994 Joseph H. Yeakel ’52
1995 David H. Andrews '54
1996 Shirley K. Cadle '72
1998 Vernon K. Robbins '63
1999 George W. Bashore '58
2001 Neil L. Irons '63
2003 Floyd H. Flake '95
2007 Suzan Johnson Cook '90
2009 Daniel Shearer '41
2010 John K. Bergland '55
2011 G. Edwin Zeiders '73
2012 Gregory G. M. Ingram '91
Jessica Kendall Ingram '94
2013 Martha Mullen '02
2014 Ronald Patterson '67
2015 Vashti McKenzie '93
2016 David Schar '66
2017 Joseph Chandler '13

Outstanding D.Min. Alumnus/a Award

In 2012, another award was established, the Outstanding D.Min. Alumnus/a. It honors those who have developed an outstanding program or ministry outreach as a result of effective work in United’s Doctor of Ministry program.

Year Name Class
2012 Allyson D. Nelson Abrams '00 and '05
2013 Stephen Swisher ’94 and ’00
Teresa McIlwain ’03
2014 Mike Slaughter '90
2015 Steve Gill '08
2017 Stacey Cole Wilson '12

Nominate Someone

Nominations for all three awards are accepted. Based on the nominations, the awards are presented at the Alumni/ae Banquet, held each fall in conjunction with the J. Arthur Heck Lectures.

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