Park University Alumni Association to Host 65th Annual Awards Luncheon

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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Aug. 21, 2013 — The Park University Alumni Association will host its 65th annual awards luncheon on Friday, Sept. 20, honoring alumni and friends of the University who have demonstrated notable contributions to their professions, communities and to the University. The ceremony, held at the Kansas City (Mo.) Marriott Downtown begins at noon and is a part of the University’s Alumni Weekend 2013 festivities.

This year’s honorees are:
         Distinguished Alumni Award — Bob Kendrick, ’85, and Jeannette Prenger, ’09
     •    Park Promising Young Professional Award — Sarah Hopkins-Chery, ’07, ’09
        Torchlighter Award — Louise Morden

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Park University alumni who have distinguished themselves through career, service or community achievements.

Bob KendrickKendrick (left), president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Park in 1985. After graduation, he worked for The Kansas City Star before getting hired as the NLBM’s vice president of marketing. Kendrick left the museum in 2010 to become executive director of the National Sports Center for the Disabled-Kansas City and returned to the museum as president in 2011. Among his many accomplishments, Kendrick is charged with the renovation of the 99-year-old Paseo YMCA building, one of the first African-American YMCAs in the country.

Jeanette PrengerPrenger (right), founder and president of ECCO Select, an award-winning technology and human enterprise provider, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management/computer information systems in 2009. Prenger is an avid volunteer and civic leader serving on boards such as Park University’s Board of Trustees, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the (Kansas City) Zoo. Nationally, she has served advisory positions for organizations such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Some of Prenger’s recent awards include “Enterprising Woman of the Year” for 2013 from Enterprising Women magazine, Ingram’s “Top Ten Women Executives in Kansas City,” the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Region VII Minority Small Business Champion of the Year” and the Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association’s “CEO of the Year.”

The Park Young Professional Award recognizes a Park alumnus/a who shows exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to their profession and/or community.

Sarah Hopkins-CheryHopkins-Chery (left) is a Park University women’s basketball assistant coach and adjunct instructor of communication arts, and shift manager for US Airways. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with honors in 2007 and a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership degree in 2009. Hopkins-Chery, a three-time Daktronics/NAIA Scholar-Athlete honoree, helped lead Park’s women’s basketball team to its first NAIA national tournament appearance as player in the 2005-06 season. She also ran cross country and track for the Pirates.

The Torchlighter Award is given to honor individuals who have made significant, long-standing contributions and commitment to Park University, whether alumni, faculty or friend. Recipients of this award who are not graduates of Park are bestowed the honor of honorary alumnus.

Louise MordenMorden (right) is a former member of Park University’s Board of Trustee and current honorary trustee and loyal financial supporter of the University. She recently funded the renovation of the board room on the University’s Parkville Campus that bears her name. Her relationship with the University began in the 1970s as a member of the Board when the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as the Community of Christ) partnered with Park to provide financial stability. Morden and her late husband, Paul, were members of the church. In her early career, Morden taught junior high school while working summers with her husband to manage their motel and three souvenir stores in Niagara Falls, N.Y. After visiting Madame Tussauds wax museum in London, the couple built the Niagara Falls Wax Museum Complex, which Morden manages today.

Individual tickets for the luncheon are $25 for the general public and $15 for Park University faculty and staff.Tables of eight are $200 and sponsorships are $300. The sponsorships include tickets to a Park University private event at the Real Pirates exhibit at Union Station on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The awards ceremony is one of the many festivities celebrating the University’s 2013 Alumni Weekend. Other weekend events that the public is invited to attend include Park athletics alumni games, the “Pirate Parade,” basketball and soccer clinics for children, the Park Pirate Family Fun Day, and the Maroon and Gold men’s soccer game. For the full calendar of events, visit

For more information or to purchase tickets for the luncheon, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or (816) 584-6207. Also, tickets can be purchased at