The Buena Vista University National Alumni Association honored seven individuals over Homecoming weekend for their service to the university and to society. The awards were presented at a special ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Those honored were:
Paul Fredericksen, Class of 1968, wasthe recipientof the Henry Olson Distinguished Service Award.The award is the highest honor presented by the BVU Alumni Association. Named in honor of BVU's 13th president, the award recognizes former students who have made significant contributions to society and/or to the University for their exceptional effort, dedication and self-sacrifice in service to others.
Paul has been the president and general manager of KCCI-TV in Des Moines for 27 years.
A native of Newell, after graduating from Buena Vista with degrees in accounting and business management Paul worked at Aetna Life and Casualty and Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
In 1973, he started his career at KCCI NewsChannel 8 as assistant business manager and was soon promoted to serving a dual role as assistant treasurer of Cowles Communications, KCCI's parent company at that time, and business manager of Channel 8. In 1982, Paul was named vice president /treasurer of KCCI and in 1986 he was promoted to president and general manager.
Under his leadership KCCI has consistently ranked #1 in local television news ratings and is one of the highest rated CBS affiliates in the nation. In 2003, he received the prestigious Iowa Broadcaster of the Year Award.
Paul, who was a member of the BVU Board of Trustees from 1987-1995, has been an active alumnus serving on the Alumni Board, and involving KCCI in BVU's annual job summit program. In 1986, he received the John Fisher Award from BVU National Alumni Association.
He has been active in leadership at his church and is involved in professional and civic organizations.
Paul's wife, Janet, a graduate of the Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing in Des Moines, is an administrator for Telligen, a health care information technology organization. They have three adult children: Brandon, Ankeny, a mortgage broker; Nicole Giddens, Kansas City, Mo., a stay-at-home mother; and Matt, Waukee, a personal trainer. Paul and Janet have three grandchildren.
Rob and Tara (Radke) Hach, Classes of 1998 and 1997 respectively, werethe recipients of the Keith Briscoe Alumni Award. The award was named in honor of BVU's 16th President, who led the University from 1974 to 1995. It is intended to recognize graduates for their past student achievements and present career success.
Rob and Tara are partners in Anemometry Specialists of Alta. Rob is the founder and president of the company and Tara is vice president and serves as controller and bookkeeper.
The company provides a variety of wind resource assessment and management services for wind energy developers and investors in the United States and international locations. In 2009, the company started a new division, Wind and Solar Specialists, which sells and installs wind turbines, wind panels and solar arrays for farms, ranches and residential properties.
In 2010, Anemometry Specialists was named the Iowa Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Tara is a 1997 graduate of BVU with a degree in biology. Rob graduated from BVU in 1998 with a degree in entrepreneurship/business management. While they were students, both were involved in student organizations and activities. At the age of 19, Rob also started several entrepreneurial ventures which provided experience that helped him in establishing Anemometry Specialists in 2002. Rob credits his passion for the wind energy business to his father, Kenneth Hach, one of the early pioneers in the industry.
Prior to establishing Anemometry Specialists, Rob worked at Clipper Windpower, Enron Wind and Zond Renewable Energy, Inc. Tara previously worked at Minnesota Corn Processors and Mangold Environmental Testing.
The Hachs are active in wind energy industry organizations and Rob serves on the board of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. They are also involved in community civic organizations.
They remain involved with BVU and in 2011 established a scholarship for women in the field of business management and in 2012 they established a scholarship program for children of the employees of their company.
Rob and Tara have three children: Madison, 14, Kenneth Robert Hach III, 10, and Ethan, 8.
Dr. Craig Meier, Class of 1986, wasthe recipient of theJohn Fisher Alumni Award. The award was established in 1970 and named for Buena Vista's 14th president. This outstanding service award recognizes a former student who possesses a consistent and persevering dedication to the qualities for which the University stands.
Craig is a family physician at the Alegent Health Clinic in Elkhorn, Neb.
A biology and chemistry double major at Buena Vista, Craig was active in several campus organizations, played on the tennis team (the top player his junior and senior years), consistently made the Dean's List, was a math and science tutor for four years, and graduated cum laude. He is a native of Carson, Iowa.
Following graduation, he conducted AIDS research from 1986-89 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he then attended medical school on a military scholarship. In 1993, he was accepted into the Family Medicine Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., and from 1996 to 2000 served as a staff physician at Fort Riley, Kansas, and then started his practice in Elkhorn. He served several deployments while a physician in the Army.
Craig remains an active alumnus, having served on the BVU Alumni Board from 2005 to 2008 and participating in several Career Symposiums on campus as well as regional gatherings.
Outside of work, Craig enjoys sports and playing and coaching tennis. He and his family are active members of the Westside Christian Church in Omaha. He is involved in professional and civic organizations, including Hope Medical Outreach which provides health care services to the underprivileged in the Omaha area.
Craig has also been active in Christian Life Ministries, providing medical aid to the organization's orphanage in Lira, Uganda in 2006. He continues to support this mission and plans to return to the orphanage in 2013.
He and his wife, Beth, who is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, have three children, Megan, 16, Mason, 12, and Miles, 9. Beth is currently a stay-at-home mother.
James W. Cravens and Margaret Cravens were the recipients of the 2012 Wendell Halverson Outstanding Friend Award, which is named in honor of the 15th president who served Buena Vista University from 1961 to 1973. This award recognizes individuals who are not alumni who have shown consistent and persevering dedication to the qualities for which this University stands. They have exemplified the highest level of excellence in promoting their communities and this institution.
James, a prominent northwest Iowa banker for 68 years, and Margaret have been longtime benefactors of Buena Vista University.
James is still active in banking and is chair of the boards of Sanborn Savings Bank and United Community Bank (UCB).
A native of Sanborn, he attended the University of Iowa and Drake University and during WWII worked for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, Calif., for five years. He then attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned a degree in business administration in 1954.
James started his career as a bookkeeper at Sanborn Savings Bank and was named its president and board chair in 1966. In 1974, he purchased the Dickinson County Savings Bank in Milford. That acquisition was followed by purchase of the other banks that now form UCB, which has offices at Okoboji, Milford, Lake Park, Ocheydan and Hartley and $200 million in total assets.
Margaret, a native of Des Moines, attended Frances Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Ill., and Drake University. She and James were married in 1940 while students at Drake. After working for a short time, she was a stay-at-home mother while their children were growing up.
Over the years, James has been involved in a number of charitable, civic and professional organizations and activities, including the board of Dickinson County Hospital where he was a member for 25 years, serving 22 years as chair. Margaret has been active in St. Alban's Episcopal Church at Spirit Lake and in community projects.
Both James and Margaret serve on the board of the John Haywood Cravens Foundation, a philanthropic organization named in memory of their late son.
Their son James Patrick Cravens is president and CEO of Sanborn Savings Bank. Their daughter, Margaret “Mitzy” Porter, Spirit Lake, is retired after 25 years as manager of the Okoboji office of UCB. The Cravens have five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Ron Magruder was the recipient of the 2011 Wendell Halverson Outstanding Friend Award, which is named in honor of the 15th president who served Buena Vista University from 1961 to 1973. This award recognizes individuals who are not alumni who have shown consistent and persevering dedication to the qualities for which this University stands. They have exemplified the highest level of excellence in promoting their communities and this institution. The award was not presented last year because he was unable to attend the award program.
Ron, a member of the BVU Board of Trustees from 1997-2006, has worked in the restaurant and food service industry for 40 years, holding various senior executive positions in the United States and Canada.
A member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame since 1994, he has been a supporter of BVU's wrestling program and a significant benefactor of the university.
Ron began his career at General Mills (now Darden Restaurants) in 1972 as part of the Red Lobster operating team. He started as a manager trainee and rapidly moved up to vice president of operations and continued to advance to senior executive positions in the organization and became vice chairman of the board of directors.
In 1995, he was named president and COO of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, doubling the number of restaurants to nearly 400.
Following his retirement, in 2001 he took on a new career as president of Hop's Brew pubs and in 2003 he moved on to become president of Cara USA.
In 2007, Ron was named president and CEO of Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. He is now retired.
In addition to serving as a BVU Trustee, he has been on advisory boards of the University of Central Florida, the University of Delaware and the University of Mississippi. He has been the recipient of numerous awards in the restaurant/food industry and is a past chairman of the National Restaurant Association.
He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in White Sulphur Springs, W.V. They have two children, Raymond Magruder of Jacksonville, Fla., and Amanda Platt of Toronto, Ontario, and three grandchildren.