ACU presents five awards to faculty, staffers; honors retirees, long-time servants

For Immediate Release
April 23, 2001

For more information contact:

Tom Craig, Director of Media and Community Relations

Abilene Christian University honored its employees during an annual Appreciation Dinner Friday, April 20. Two Outstanding Staff Members of the Year were presented, along with the Unsung Servant Award and two faculty awards. Thirteen employees also were recognized as they retire.

Outstanding Staff Awards were presented to Karen Griffith, who works in the Registrar's Office, and Dempsey Peterson, who works in Information Technology.

In a fast-paced office where customer service is an intense priority, one of Griffith's co-workers said she has never been seen to lose her temper with anyone.

In another intense customer service area, information technology, Patterson was described as a leader, listener and mentor.

Rita Harrell, chapel secretary, was named ACU's Unsung Servant for 2001. Co-workers described her as efficient, thoughtful and able to handle any situation that comes her way in a Christian manner.

The faculty chose to honor two of its own with the Faculty Senate Award and the University 100 Faculty Award. University 100 is a class designed for freshman and transfer students as an introduction to college and ACU.

Dr. Charles Siburt, the Frazier professor for church enrichment and associate dean for ministry and church services, was presented with the Faculty Senate Award.

He "flat knows more about how to do effective ministry than anyone I know," said Dr. Jack Reese, dean of the College of Biblical Studies.

Dr. David Wray, Robert and Kay Onstead chair of Bible and associate professor and chair of Bible, Missions and Ministry, was presented with the University 100 Faculty Award. In 1993 he was presented with the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year award for the College of Biblical Studies.

Retiring faculty and staff members who were honored include:

  • Roy E. Shake, professor of biology with 43 years of service
  • Dr. Alvie Davis, professor of chemistry with 42 years of service
  • Dr. John L. Robinson, professor of history with 36 years of service
  • Dr. Chantrey A. Fritts, professor of education with 34 years of service
  • Dr. Ed George, professor of music with 32 years of service
  • Dr. Ian Fair, professor of theology with 23 years of service
  • Betty Hale, administrative coordinator with 23 years of service
  • Dr. Henry Speck, professor of history with 21 years of service
  • Bill Spaunhorst, physical resources employee with 21 years of service
  • Dr. Milton B. Fletcher, ACU Foundation senior officer with 17 years of service
  • William E. "Bill" Young, church relations director with 17 years of service
  • Ewell Prather, security director with 15 years of service
  • Ken Arnold, security officer with 15 years of service

Other employees were honored for their many years of service, including Dr. Carl Brecheen, professor of Bible, Missions and Ministry, for 40 years of service; and Dr. David B. Merrell, professor of English, for 35 years of service.

Others were recognized for 30 years of service, including Dr. Richard Cox, professor of English; Dr. Edwin Headrick, professor of psychology; Dr. Marianna Rasco, professor and chair of family and consumer sciences; and Dr. John Willis, Burton Coffman chair of Biblical studies and professor of graduate school of theology.

Danelle Brand, registrar; Ray Hansen, board of trustees member; and Bob Strader, director of leadership camps; were recognized for 25 years of service.


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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Tom Craig, director of media and community relations, at or call 915-674-2692 (cell phone: 665-5469).

Last update: April 23, 2001
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