Alumni awards


Read the Criteria for the Distinguished Alumni Awards >>


2017 Distinguished alumni award recipients 


Barry Davis


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Barry Davis is a regional managing partner for BKD, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting and advisory firms with 35 offices in 16 states, more than 2,700 employees including 270 partners, and more than $550 million in annual revenues. Davis joined BKD two years after earning an undergraduate accounting degree from Central Missouri in 1981. He was honored this fall at the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Dinner during Homecoming.

In his more than 30 years of experience, Davis has provided business and financial solutions to manufacturing, distribution, construction and service companies. As a regional managing partner, he provides leadership and direction for BKD offices in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

An avid believer in community service, he has played major roles in many nonprofits, including United Way of Greater Kansas City, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, and the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University. 

He also is a constant supporter of the UCM Harmon School of Business and Professional Studies, leading giving efforts by BKD employees and other UCM alumni to fund a distinguished professorship, an accounting lab in Ward Edwards, and scholarships and assistance to help faculty and students attend professional conferences. A keen sports enthusiastic, he is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Executive Committee and Kansas City Sports Commission Board of Directors.

Read the feature about Barry in UCM Magazine.

Major General Karen LeDoux


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Karen LeDoux is a retired major general in the U.S. Army. Her last assignment was as the commanding general of the 88th Regional Support Command at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, overseeing base operations for the Army Reserve across 19 states. As a civilian, she is a program vice president at the Logistics Management Institute with an ERP business modernization portfolio. She was honored this fall at the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Dinner during Homecoming.

She graduated from UCM in 1983 with a degree in music, thinking she would become a professional violinist. Instead, she found a calling in the Army. Her first assignment in 1983 was the 1st Armored Division in Germany. After advanced officer training at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, she joined the 5th Infantry Division, 83d Army Reserve Command and 1st Brigade 2d ROTC Region,  after which she transferred to the Army Reserve. In 1997, she mobilized and deployed to Germany, serving in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics of the U.S. Army Europe in support of operation Joint Guard. Later, she was mobilized and deployed twice to Southwest Asia in support of military operations in Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

Her military leadership roles include serving as a company commander, deputy commander and commander (forward) of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Support Unit, G3 Operations 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, brigade commander of the 55th Sustainment Brigade, commanding general 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, commanding general of the 94th Training Division, Commanding General of the Army Material Command – Southwest Asia and Third Army G4. Among her many decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.

Read the feature about Karen in the UCM Magazine.


Robert Ruth


Watch the Video Honoring Rob >> 
Rob Ruth keeps busy between his family, career, community, church and alma mater. This 1975 alumnus grew up in Warrensburg, graduating from WHS in 1971. At UCM, he pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon and was president of the Physical Education Club. He also was a four-year starter for Mules Baseball and all-MIAA player in 1974-75, helping the team win the MIAA title and make their first appearance in the World Series. That 1974 team, including Ruth, is now a member of the UCM Athletic Hall of Fame. Rob was honored this fall at the Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner during Homecoming. 

Upon his UCM graduation, he was in charge of student recruitment for two years, starting the Student Ambassadors Program. His career with State Farm began in 1977 where he worked as an agent, agency manager, agency director and agency field executive until he retired in 2013. He served as president of the Columbia, Missouri, and Abilene, Texas, Life Underwriters Association and currently is a representative for Service King Collision Repair. 

As a volunteer, he has been president of the UCM Alumni Association and served on the Board of Directors of the UCM Foundation. He also has played a major role in establishing and encouraging the growth of the DFW Mule Nation Alumni Club. In addition to generous gifts to the Fund for Excellence, Mules Baseball and various scholarships, he also is helping to advance the university’s future through his estate.

Says Ruth of his feelings for UCM, “I honestly don’t understand why a high school student who is planning to attend college doesn’t choose UCM as THEIR university! I obviously bleed ‘Mule Red!’”  

Read the feature about Rob in the UCM Magazine. 


Chang Bin Yim


Watch the Video Honoring Chang >>  
Chang Bin Yim is the retired vice president of Textile Rubber and Chemical, a chemical and technology company with manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the world. He came to Warrensburg from Seoul, South Korea, and earned degrees in math and chemistry in 1963. After earning a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Missouri, he started his career with Textile Rubber.  This fall, Chang was honored at the Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner during Homecoming. 

While working his way to vice president, he started some 25 companies that involved exchanged goods between America and Asia. Through his side ventures, which most notably includes Numatex, Inc. in Japan, Korea Texacort in South Korea and Chanhua Company in China, he became immensely successful.

In 2000, he became involved with the Korean American Chamber of Commerce and served as its president from 2000-01. His job involved working with small and medium Korean manufacturing companies and helping to organize the 4,500-some Koreans who travel overseas to do business.

As a result of his achievements, Yim was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Winners of this prestigious award are recognized by the U.S. Congress and listed in the Congressional Record. He also received the South Korean government’s highest honor, Mukkungwa, for his work. His ultimate goal is to unite South and North Korea and the 10 million families separated by the Korean War.

Read the feature about Chang in the UCM Magazine.

LaTanya Buck


Watch the Video Honoring LaTanya >>   
LaTanya Buck is the first person appointed as dean of diversity and inclusion at Princeton University, an Ivy League school considered one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious. She holds two degrees from Central Missouri: a bachelor’s in public relations in 2002 and a master’s in college student personnel administration in 2004. She earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University.  LaTanya was honored this fall at the Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner during Homecoming. 

Buck, originally from St. Louis, has made an impact on a variety of college campuses. Following stints at Maryville University, Missouri State and Morehead State, she became director of the Cross Cultural Center at Saint Louis University. She joined Washington University in St. Louis in 2014 where she founded the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Throughout her professional career, she has dedicated her work to developing strategic initiatives that engage and support students of color and other underrepresented and marginalized populations. She also has established collaborative partnerships to identify and create efforts to engage all students around identity, difference and inclusion. She is a member of ACPA College Student Educators International, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, among others.

“Being involved in several student organizations and initiatives as an undergraduate student at CMSU was pivotal to my career success. I learned the importance of co-curricular education. To be honored for doing what I love by an institution that has shaped so much of who I am today and why I chose this career path is humbling. I am most grateful.”

Read the feature about LaTanya in the UCM Magazine.







Adrian Andrews has lived on high alert during his 28 years with the U.S. Secret Service, leading federal and state undercover stings and providing protection detail for presidents, vice presidents and foreign dignitaries. He was honored by the UCM Alumni Foundation in October as a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.  READ MORE



Rick Mustion’s extraordinary professionalism, competence, commitment and character are credited with his military achievement becoming a major general. The two-star designation is the highest permanent rank given during peacetime in the uniformed services, requiring final approval by both the Senate and President. He was honored by the UCM Alumni Foundation in October as a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. READ MORE



Dan Power has succeeded in three career paths – education, real estate and finance – and along the way, has helped every community where he and his wife, alumna Shirley Barr, lived and raised their family. He was honored by the UCM Alumni Foundation in October as a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for Service.  READ MORE




If you know of alumni deserving of such recognition, please contact us for a nomination form at Suggestions will be reviewed by a committee and those individuals selected for formal nomination will be contacted for additional information.


read about our 2015 da winners

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