Alumni Award recipients

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dennis Tuel Sr.

College of Science and Engineering honoree is Dennis Tuel Sr. �59, Fergus Falls, Minn., founded ShoreMaster, an international leader in the manufacture of residential and commercial waterfront equipment.

James Graves pic Joseph Nayquonabe pic Kathy Grundei Michael Spanier picture Dennis Tuel Sr.  Bob White Picture James Bullard pic James Bouffard pic Gery Lee pic 

St. Cloud State University has announced its 2009 Alumni Award winners – graduates, staff and friends recognized by the St. Cloud State Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to society and the university. 

The nine award winners will be recognized during a ceremony hosted by the St. Cloud State Alumni Association Board of Directors on Friday, Oct. 9, during Homecoming festivities.  Register to attend the event by calling the St. Cloud State Alumni Relations office at 320-308-3177 or 1-866-464-8759.

View the award recipients in a photo slide show with music.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to graduates who have distinguished themselves over a lifetime in their professions and in service to the university and society.  Taking the honor this year is James Graves ’74, Minneapolis, Minn., executive officer and founder of Graves Hospitality Corporation (GHC), a real estate development and management company. Just two years after its creation, GHC founded AmericInn® Lodging International.  Under Graves’ direction, the brand expanded throughout the Midwest and currently includes more than 200 hotels in the United States. Graves has 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has established an impressive portfolio consisting of more than 90 successful hotel, resort and exclusive housing developments.

The Alumni Service Award recognizes alumni or university friends who performed exemplary service for the university and/or community.  Honoree Robert White ’70, St. Cloud, is former chief executive officer of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, the third largest publisher and information services company in the world. In addition to his career in finance, White is also very involved in the St. Cloud area community as a member and contributor to the United Way, YMCA, Boy Scouts, CHS Foundation, former chair of the St. Cloud State University Foundation board of directors and former chair of the St. Cloud Hospital board of directors.

The Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award recognizes undergraduate alumni of the past decade who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their professions or in service to the university and/or community.  This year’s recipient is Joseph Nayquonabe ‘04, Onamia, Minn., the corporate vice president of marketing for the Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.  Nayquonabe launched his career through a promotions internship at Grand Casino Mille Lacs/Hinckley while studying marketing at St. Cloud State. Today, he oversees a staff of 100 people in the areas of marketing, entertainment and promotional campaigns and has crafted many promotional initiatives for Grand Casino including their multi-tier

Players Club, Nayquonabe is also a 2009 honoree of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s "40 Under Forty" award.

Alumni from the separate colleges at St. Cloud State have been recognized with College Leadership Awards for outstanding achievement and leadership in their professions.

G.R. Herberger College of Business honoree James Bullard ‘84, St. Louis, Missouri, is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He joined the reserve in 1990 and was appointed as president in 2008, after having served as economist, policy adviser, macroeconomics section chief and vice president, and deputy director of research for monetary analysis. Bullard holds a doctorate in economics and has taught at Southern Illinois University, the University of Missouri and Washington University in St. Louis. He is also co-editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control and a peer reviewer for more than two dozen periodicals.

College of Fine Arts and Humanities honoree Kathy Grundei ‘71, Medina, Minn., is the arts education consultant for the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley.  The Perpich Center for Arts Education is a state agency serving students, teachers, artists, schools and arts organizations. After graduating from St. Cloud State, she earned a master’s in education from Hamline University. Grundei also facilitates the professional development of other Minnesota educators through instructional practice, curriculum and assessment. She is co-chair of the Minnesota State Standards K-12 Arts Revision Committee and has received three Art Educators of Minnesota awards.

College of Education honoree is Michael Spanier ’71, ’76, ‘81, Sartell, Minn., has several degrees from St. Cloud State. He has served as principal at Sartell Middle School for more than 20 years and is a four-time Middle Level Principal of the Year honoree of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. In addition, he works as an education consultant for seven Minnesota school districts and the University of North Dakota.  Spanier also has extensive experience officiating for high school, college and professional sports, including football and basketball in the Big Ten Conference and playoffs in the National Football League.

College of Social Sciences honoree Gary Lee ‘69, Bowling Green, Ohio, is an accomplished educator and researcher of sociology in the area of family relations. He is a professor and chairperson of sociology at Bowling Green State University and has taught at Washington State University and the University of

Florida. Lee has authored several books and published numerous academic works in research journals and books. He is currently writing a book, "The Limits of Marriage: Why Getting Everyone Married Won’t Solve All our Problems."  Lee serves on the board of the National Council on Family Relations, and in 2000 he was awarded the council’s Jan Trost Award for contributions to comparative family research.

College of Science and Engineering honoree is Dennis Tuel Sr. ‘59, Fergus Falls, Minn., founded ShoreMaster, an international leader in the manufacture of residential and commercial waterfront equipment, in 1973 and served as CEO and president of the company. After 30 years in the industry he retired, but remained active by inventing other products, most notably "floating concrete." Tuel along with his daughter and son in law operate Buffalo Pass Ranch, which includes wholesale marketing company, Buffalo Meat, Inc. He and his wife Marsha are active in the Fergus Falls community and have been instrumental in establishment of the new Continental Divide Visitors Center. Tuel recently earned a doctorate in international business and is writing his autobiography.

The University Leadership Award goes to a member of the faculty or staff who has provided leadership at the University and in the community.  Honoree Edward Bouffard, St. Cloud, began his service to St. Cloud State in 1990 as director of the University Conference and Information Center in Atwood Memorial Center.  Later, he became associate director of operations and has worked to bring new technology to all aspects of the student center. Bouffard coordinated the installation of a $90,000 computer network involving research, purchase, installation and network supervision for more than 60 work stations throughout the building. He also co-led a successful campaign to obtain student approval for a $5 million student union renovation bond. Bouffard’s dedication has shaped the Atwood Memorial Center into a welcoming environment – a student centered community.


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