UNI Alumni and Friends Honored at Distinguished Awards Celebration

The University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association and the UNI Foundation will host a Distinguished Awards Celebration during a dinner and program Friday, November 20, in the UNI Commons. The awards program includes the annual Heritage Honours Awards and the President's Philanthropy Awards. Alumni and friends will be recognized for their professional accomplishments and service to the university.

Recipients of the Heritage Honours Awards include:

  • Stan and Rose Lorenz will receive the Honorary Alumni Award for exceptional support of UNI. Stan served many years on the executive committee of the Panther Scholarship Club and was a top fundraiser for Panther athletics. As past president of University Book & Supply, Rose built strong relationships with the university and served on numerous boards and committees.
  • Sue Caley (B.A. '81) will receive the Alumni Service Award for her continuous service to UNI. As a resident of West Des Moines, Caley is a strong advocate for UNI in her community as well as across the state. She also serves on the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisory board at UNI.
  • Andy Van Fleet (B.A. ‘98) will receive the Young Alumnus Award, which recognizes graduates of 40 years of age or younger who have excelled in their professions. Van Fleet embarked on his entrepreneurial career in 2001 by founding Darning Pixels, Inc. He is now a partner with Visual Logic. In 2005, Van Fleet was named one of the Waterloo Courier’s “20 Under 40.”
  • John Talley (B.A. '74) will receive the Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding overall professional accomplishments. Talley is one of the world's most accomplished medicinal chemists, having received the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Discoverers Award for his discovery of Celebrex® for the treatment of arthritis. His other inventions include Dynastat™ for acute postoperative pain treatment and Trocoxil™ for treating pain and inflammation in animals. Talley is currently the Chief Scientific Officer for SARmont, LLC, in St. Louis. He and his wife Patricia have established the Dr. John J. Talley Chemistry Scholarship at UNI.

Recipients of the President's Philanthropy Awards include:

  • Transamerica, part of the Aegon Group, will receive the Corporate and Foundation Award for their significant long-term support of students and faculty. During the past 27 years, the company has contributed to UNI’s Early Childhood Center, the Real Estate Program, scholarships for students in the College of Business Administration, the Iowa Math Coalition and international opportunities.
  • William R. Thrall will receive the Faculty and Staff Award for his dedicated long-term service and support to UNI. Thrall is UNI professor emeritus, founding director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services (HPELS) and served as president of IAHPERD. He established the Elinor A. Crawford & William R. Thrall Hall of Excellence event, which recognizes graduates from the College of Education's School of HPELS who have distinguished themselves as professionals in their field and volunteers many hours each year planning this event. He and his wife Kay are actively engaged on campus and regularly attend Foundation and athletic events.
  • Michael Armbrecht (B.A. '90) will receive the Emerging Philanthropist Award for support and creative leadership. Armbrecht donated his first gift to UNI as a college student and has not missed a year since. He supports various scholarships and programs and established the Michael R. Armbrecht Endowed Honors Scholars Scholarship.

To learn more about the award recipients, visit unialum.org or uni-foundation.org.