Ben Bingle '02 addresses the crowd after being presented with Monmouth College's Distinguished Young Alumnus award.
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Monmouth College announced six award winners at a ceremony during Homecoming weekend earlier this month.
Recipients included international educator Tom Ulmet ’64, who was inducted into the college’s Hall of Achievement, the highest honor MC bestows upon its graduates, and political science professor Farhat Haq, who received the Hatch Award for Distinguished Teaching.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to attorney Bradley Nahrstadt ’89; the Distinguished Service Award went to retired MC administrator Don Gladfelter ’77; and the Young Alumnus Award was presented to social activist Benjamin Bingle ’02. The Ford family was honored as the college’s Family of the Year. Tom Ulmet:
Ulmet was selected for the honor for leadership and innovation in international education and for humanitarian service. After serving as superintendent of Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS) in China from 2001 to 2013, Ulmet moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong last October to join the Yew Chung Education Foundation Headquarters.
YCIS is one of the top international schools in Asia, offering international baccalaureate programs to outstanding students. During his tenure as superintendent, Ulmet helped create five new campuses and oversaw the expansion of YCIS from 1,100 students in 2001 to nearly 6,000 students in 2013. Other international stops during his career include Austria, England, Switzerland and Germany.
“Tom’s contributions to international education and to the development of the premier network of international schools are striking, and worthy of our recognition,” said associate dean Bren Tooley, director of MC’s international initiatives and recruitment. “Tom praises Monmouth for helping to open doors for him that have led him into a productive and rewarding career.” Bradley Nahrstadt:
After graduating summa cum laude from Monmouth, Nahrstadt earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1992. He began his legal career as an associate at the Chicago firm Williams Montgomery & John. He was named partner in the firm in 2001 and, in 2006, he became the youngest member of the firm ever elected to equity partnership. In 2012, Nahrstadt became one of the five founding members of Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis Ltd., where he currently serves as president and managing partner.
Nahrstadt was awarded an honor reserved for less than 1 percent of U.S. attorneys when he was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2008, and he has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the fields of product liability defense and medical malpractice defense. The author of more than 85 articles and 35 book chapters on all manner of legal practice, Nahrstadt currently serves on the college’s board of trustees. Don Gladfelter:
Gladfelter served as Monmouth’s vice president for finance and business for 36 years, 32 of them as its chief financial officer. He began working as an assistant in the business office while still a student and was appointed controller nine months after graduation. During his tenure, Gladfelter presided over an endowment that grew from less than $4 million to more than $80 million. He was also the driving force behind the successful completion of campus construction projects totaling more than $120 million.
Considered a trusted sounding board and astute advisor by senior leadership, Gladfelter “demonstrated remarkable dedication to Monmouth over his tenure, and the college is better for having benefited from his services as a forward-thinking CFO,” said chairman of the board Bill Goldsborough during the ceremony. “Don’s diverse combination of management skills allowed him to not only head the business office, supervise the physical plant, and manage the college’s investments, but he also had the challenging job of overseeing the office of financial aid.” Benjamin Bingle:
After double majoring in business administration and political science at Monmouth, Bingle served two stints with AmeriCorps, working in microenterprise development for low-income, disadvantaged populations in Iowa. As an operations officer at his next position, Bingle implemented a federally-funded initiative in 45 states, helped procure more than $1.3 million in grants and other funds and traveled extensively to conduct training on effective microeconomic development. Bingle is currently working on his doctoral dissertation at Northern Illinois University, where works with the Center for Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development.
“Ben exemplifies the best attributes of a Monmouth College education,” said faculty member Ken McMillan. “He excels. He accomplishes. He leads. He serves. Most important, he teaches people the most fundamental precept of solid citizenship – to take charge in providing their own livelihood and to take responsibility for their own lives.” The Ford family:
Robert Ford and his wife, Evelyn (Dolly) graduated from Monmouth College in 1952. Ford used his degree to help run the family farming business throughout his lifetime, while Dolly taught physical education and math in the Stronghurst/Southern School District for 25 years and coached volleyball, track and cheerleading.
Their three daughters, Kathy Ford Vitali ’76, Kris Ford Peterson ’81 graduate and Kelly Ford ’85 followed in their footsteps, as did Kelly’s daughter, Samantha Bundy ’12.
The Fords have been active in giving to the college financially and in serving in key leadership roles. Over the years, they have been instrumental in sending other students to Monmouth College and helping them find gainful employment after graduation. Dolly passed away in June of 2013, and Robert died exactly one year later. Farhat Haq:
Chair of the political science department, Haq began teaching at Monmouth in 1987. She has won several awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities for advanced studies related to her scholarly and pedagogical interests, and she has been a leader and active participant in many Midwest Faculty Seminars at the University of Chicago and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. In 2002 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Pakistan, and she recently served as the ACM faculty adviser for its program in Pune, India.
In regard to her distinguished teaching, dean David Timmerman commented, “In the classroom with students, she has a commanding presence and intellectually challenges students even as she provides them with abundant support. She invites students into conversations about complicated, global issues, and has an amazing way of empowering them to weigh in or ask questions. … Her passion for the subject matter is evident and compelling.”
Haq regularly teaches during the summer at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the top universities in her native Pakistan, and she currently serves on the executive committee of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies as treasurer.