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Reunion Classes Recognize Award Winners

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June 23, 2016

The Alumni Achievement Awards recognize alumni who have been successful in their careers or active in church and community service. The awards are presented annually by the SJU Alumni Association Board of Directors and the university.

Each 20 through 50-year reunion class holds an awards presentation during its class reunion dinner.

View photos from Reunion 2016.


Steve Askew '66

Steve Askew had a well-documented career of working to make the judicial system effective while serving Minnesota's citizens, particularly some of its most at-risk. In his 26 years as an Anoka County District Judge, Askew had the difficult and important task of presiding over many child protection cases. He was recognized for his public service in an October 2015 story in the Star Tribune when a former minor under court supervision singled him out for making decisions that laid the groundwork for her transition from court jurisdiction to Harvard Law School graduate and Hennepin County assistant public defender.

Terry Hartman '66

His 34 years as a history and social studies teacher in Hastings, Minnesota, and 40-year coaching career allowed Terry Hartman to mentor countless students and earned him Employee of the Year in 1999-2000. He donates his leadership and communication talents to his church. He played on two national champion Johnnie football teams. However, when asked his most significant accomplishment, he answers his 48-year marriage to Renee Dinndorf. "This may be surprising to some who do not know what a humble man he is," one classmate says, "but Terry realizes his role as a loving husband takes precedent over more public roles and achievements in his life."

J. Todd Kelly '66

An inherited retinal disease that took his vision inspired J. Todd Kelly to help others see their full potential as he was able to realize his own. Kelly taught middle school social studies and religion for 26 years and started instructing blind adults how to use computers in 1992. In 2000, he began teaching other adults with disabilities computer skills at the Courage Center in Golden Valley, Minnesota, showing them that if he could do it, they could do it. As a classmate says, "Todd believes that when a disabled person is able to work, their self-esteem, satisfaction and happiness skyrockets."

John Lawler '71

John Lawler puts his expertise to work for corporations and Christian faith-based non-profits. A finance executive in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 40 years, he became the youngest U.S. House of Representatives Chief of the Office of Finance in 1975 at age 25. He founded East West Financial Services, Inc. in 1987 and remains its president in addition to starting and leading two other investment advisory firms.

Lawler also helped two parishes in Washington, D.C. establish endowments now worth millions of dollars and currently is the chairman of the finance committee of his local mission church that is building a new church.

Frank Dooley '76

Frank Dooley, Ph.D., is a renowned agricultural economics teacher and researcher. He has taught at Purdue University since 1998 and currently serves as vice provost for teaching and learning. Dooley has received numerous awards at Purdue and nationally for teaching, research, and service. He has published four books and more than 200 articles or other publications in his area of expertise, logistical and supply chain management for food and agribusiness. He has done much to further both student learning and the food and agriculture business. As one of his nominators notes, "Food and learning have been made better by Frank Dooley."

Evan Applequist '81 (posthumous)

Capt. Evan Applequist held many distinguished positions during his 30-year career as a Naval Dental Officer, including personal dentist for President George W. Bush. He also served on the aircraft carrier USS America and as program director for the Comprehensive Dentistry residency at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School in Bethesda, Maryland. Applequist made time to teach as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University and became a mentor to his students, many of whom flew across the country for his memorial service in Washington after he died from cancer on Dec. 11, 2015.

Shaun McElhatton '81

Shaun McElhatton is an attorney with a unique sense of service. McElhatton specializes in real estate development issues, particularly affordable housing projects, and was involved in high-profile projects like downtown Minneapolis's Block E and Graves 601 Hotel. Meanwhile, the Harvard Law School graduate dedicated countless hours to the Boy Scouts High Adventure Program leading scouts on trips to destinations including Glacier National Park, Isle Royal National Park and the Florida Keys. In 2014, he resigned his shareholdership in a national law firm and has spent the past two years in the Peace Corps serving the people of Naryn, Kyrgyzstan.

Paul Nakasone '86

Maj. Gen. Paul Nakasone is Commander of the Cyber National Mission Force and a highly decorated officer who has held command and staff positions across all levels of the U.S. Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. He previously served as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Cyber Command, as Director of Intelligence, J2, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan and on two occasions as a staff officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His classmate nominator explains, "He has dedicated his career to educating and leading countless military personnel."

Murray McCartan '91

Murray McCartan is recognized not just for contributing to society but for helping those who need it most. As a special education teacher at Bloomington Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minnesota, he has spent nearly 20 years teaching his students the skills they need to live as independently as possible and was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Minnesota teacher of the year. When one of his children was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, he threw his passion for fitness into the Children's Tumor Foundation's Minnesota NF Endurance team and continues to do endurance runs and marathons with the NF TEAM Foundation to raise awareness and money for neurofibromatosis.

Dan Schumacher '96

As CFO and chief operating officer at Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare, Dan Schumacher helps lead the country's largest health insurance company. When the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal named him its CFO of the Year in 2014, it noted the finesse he used to guide the company through health care reform and adjust to rising health care costs. Today, he uses that same sense of collaboration and teamwork to help people live healthier lives. One classmate, who also cited Schumacher's involvement in the community, says, "He is an extremely ethical individual. Dan has the ability, and intelligence, to create ways to help the bottom line without compromising his principles."