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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM Honors Distinguished Alumni During Homecoming

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 14, 2013) – The University of Central Missouri will recognized four university alumni during the 2013 Homecoming festivities with the annual Distinguished Alumni Award, the Distinguished International Alumni Award and the Distinguished Alumni for Service Award.

The recipients will be honored Friday, Oct. 7, during a dinner reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Elliott Student Union atrium and the Distinguished Alumni Dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Sandra Temple Elliott Ballroom in the Elliott Student Union. They also will introduced during halftime of the Homecoming football game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

Established in 1978, the Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest honors presented by the UCM Alumni Association. They recognize alumni who are considered esteemed by their peers as the “brightest and most distinguished” in their various fields of endeavor. Award selection is based on nominations from friends, associates and former professors.

L. Marlene Mawson and Lt. Col. Gavin Tade will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

L. Marlene Mawson

Known as the Mother of KU Women’s Athletics,” Mawson is recognized as a pioneer in intercollegiate women’s athletics before federal legislation required equal opportunity for men and women student athletes.

A native of Archie, Mo., Mawson graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in physical education and English. After starting her teaching career at Van Horn High School in Kansas City and completing a master’s degree, she accepted a faculty position at the University of Kansas, where she started women’s athletics programs in four intercollegiate sports. After completing her doctorate and coaching for several years, she moved into academic administration. She then served a department chair at Illinois State University and the University of West Georgia before retiring and returning home to Lawrence, Kan.

Mawson was inducted into the KU Athletics Hall of Fame and was honored with the naming of the Marlene Mawson Woman Athlete of the Year Award at KU.

Lt. Col. Gavin Tade

Tade received a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology from the University of Central Missouri in 1994 and joined the Air National Guard. After earning his wings, he received training on the F-16 and became a functional check flight pilot. He flew three tours of duty in Iraq between 1999 and 2002, enforcing the no-fly zone in northern Iraq.

After serving with the 458th Fighter Squadron at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, he was named assistant director and director of operations for the 301st Operational Flight Wing. Most recently, Tade was named  commander of the 73rd Aerial Port Squadron at NAS Fort Worth. In his civilian career, Tade is a pilot for American Airlines and involved with the Allied Pilots Association, the collective bargaining unit for American Airlines pilots, and serves as chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He spent many hours as an instructor on different aircraft, including the F-16 and became a test pilot for NASA in 2010.

Paulo T. Guerra will be honored with the Distinguished International Alumni Award.

Paolo T. Guerra

With a desire to improve aviation safety in his native Brazil, Guerra received a master’s degree in aviation safety from the University of Central Missouri in 1989. As a senior officer in the Brazilian Air Force, he was sent to UCM by his government to learn about aviation safety so he could return home and help revamp the country’s system of research and prevention of aeronautical accidents.

In addition to his military service, Guerra also has served as postgraduate professor for the University of the Brazilian Air Force and an instructor pilot for the Brazilian Air Force Academy. He has served as vice director of CENIPA, the Brazilian equivalent of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and is the official representative of Brazil to the SICOFAA, an international organization that promotes cooperate between North and South American. He also was a representative from Brazil to the Flight Safety Foundation in Switzerland, Great Britain, Panama, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile.

Guerra is the recipient of 12 Medals of Honor from the Brazilian Air Force, and has volunteered as an air safety officer and consultant.

Frank Fendorf will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service.

Frank Fendorf

Fendorf arrived on the UCM campus in 1942, only to have his college career interrupted by his military service in World War II. Upon his return to campus in 1945, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music, studying under the late Professor Paul Utt, the name sake of UCM’s current music building.

Fendorf started his career as a music educator at Warrensburg High School, moving to Chillicothe High School. In 1965 he left education to become a partner in Wingert Jones Music Company, a publisher and distributor of music for educational music programs. His new career allowed him to sustain lifelong friendships with his fellow music educators. He remained with the company until his retirement in 2004.

Throughout his business career, Fendorf also remained active as a musician. He enjoyed playing with jazz bands in the Kansas City area and serving as conductor of the Overland Park Civic Band for 42 years. He also was instrumental in founding the UCM Alumni Band, which brings UCM music alumni back to campus on a regular basis to participate in Homecoming and Alumni Band concerts.