Alumni Association to honor seven on April 15

Release Date: 3/22/2011

Clarksville, Ark. --- The University of the Ozarks Alumni Association will present its annual awards to seven distinguished honorees during the Alumni Weekend 2011 Awards Banquet, scheduled for 5:30 p.m., on Friday, April 15, in the Seay Student Center.

Fred and Andrea Romo

Fred and Andrea Romo, both 1968 Ozarks graduates, will receive the Alumni Merit Award on April 15.

Fred and Andrea Romo of Ozark, Ark., both 1968 graduates, will receive the Alumni Merit Award, which is given for meritorious work done for the university.

The Alumni Achievement Award, which is given to someone who achieves recognition in his or her chosen profession or occupation, will go to three alumni: Joel Gibbons ’57 of Plano, Texas; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Hugh Overholt ’55 of New Bern, N.C.; and Charlie Spoonhour ’61 of Las Vegas, Nev.

Rebecca Green D’Aquin ’01 of Arlington, Texas, will receive the Young Alumni Service Award, which is awarded to someone who is at least five years out from graduation and under 35 years of age who has been active in alumni activities and has demonstrated loyalty to the university.

In addition, the Alumni Association has chosen one alumnus to receive the 2011 Legacy Award to recognize a lifetime of unselfish giving of his resources to support Ozarks. Lt. Col. (Ret.) Claude Donaldson ’60 of Warminster, Penn., is the recipient of the 2011 Legacy Award.

Fred and Andrea Romo have been long-time supporters of the university and are members of the Ozarks Legacy Society. Fred was a member of the Alumni Board from 1996-2007 and has served on the university’s Board of Trustees since 2006. Andrea served on the Alumni Board from 1996 to 2010, serving as the board’s president from 2007-2009. The Romos have hosted numerous alumni events and have been guest speakers during the university’s Senior Dinners.

Gibbons retired in 2009 from a career as a CEO, owner and consultant in commercial construction. In the 1960s and early1970s, Gibbons worked as a civilian intelligence research specialist and supervisor with the U.S. Air Force and later in the National Security Agency. He has been active with numerous service organizations in the Dallas area, including the Highway 80 Rescue Mission. An ordained minister of the Gospel by the Southern Baptist Convention, Gibbons has served as pastor of several small, rural churches. He also founded and operated The Gospel Music Forum and The Gladwater Saturday Nite Opry, non-profit live music shows. Gibbons has composed more than 100 Gospel songs and ballads, and is currently writing a book titled, “God’s Answer to Life’s Most Controversial Questions.”

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Hugh Overholt

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Hugh Overholt '55 will receive one of three Alumni Achievement Awards to be presented on April 15.

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Overholt served as an attorney in the U.S. Army for 32 years. From 1985 to 1989 he served as The Judge Advocate General (TJAG), overseeing more than 2,400 lawyers and other legal personnel associated with the U.S. Army’s JAG Corps throughout the world. He continues to work in private practice in North Carolina.

Spoonhour is a former nationally recognized basketball coach who compiled an impressive 750-311 record in a 40-year career that included stints on the high school, junior college and major college levels. His NCAA Division I head coaching stops included Southwest Missouri State (1983-1992), Saint Louis University (1992-1999) and University of Nevada-Las Vegas (2001-2004). He took teams to the NCAA Tournament eight times and was named the United States Basketball Writers Association national Coach of the Year in 1994. He retired from coaching in 2004 and works as a TV commentator and motivational speaker.

D’Aquin and her husband, David, own and operate Baseball Diamonds, a jewelry store in Arlington, Texas. For the past five years she has hosted an alumni gathering at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington during a major league baseball game. The event has quickly become one of the most popular alumni events of the year.

Lt. Col. Claude Donaldson

Lt. Col. Claude Donaldson will receive the 2011 Legacy Award during the alumni awards banquet on April 15.

Lt. Col. Donaldson, who retired from a 21-year career in the military in 1969, has been a supporter of the university for more than 20 years, and established the Donaldson Turner Endowed Scholarship in 2007 to provide scholarships for students who need financial assistance. Donaldson has remained active as a volunteer with the AARP, teaching driver’s education and helping seniors prepare their taxes.

Tickets for the Awards Banquet are $15 each. For more information on the Awards Banquet or any Alumni Weekend 2011 event, please call the Alumni Office at 479-979-1234.