Fulton Resident Receives Alumni Award from WWU

Patricia O’Rourke of Fulton was one of five honorees to receive awards during Alumni Weekend at William Woods University, April 21-23. O’Rourke received the Outstanding Service Award, presented to an alumnus for many years of outstanding service to the university and support in multifaceted areas.

Others receiving awards were:

• Neal (Cornelia) Clapper of Switzerland, who received the Alumni Award of Distinction. A 1980 WWU graduate, she is the vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s Storage Works Division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

• Deborah Weedman of St. Albans, Mo., who received the Green Owl Award for service to the alumni association and the university.

• Cyndi Butler of Springfield, Va., who was named an Honorary Alumnus

• Thomas S. Thomas of Columbia, who received the Order of the Owl Award, which is given to honor the spouse of an alumnus who has shown a special interest in promoting and supporting the activities of the university.

O’Rourke is a 1952 graduate of William Woods, who went back and earned a B.S. from the school in 1974. She received the Green Owl award from the alumni association in 1996.

She taught at the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton from 1969 to 1996. After her retirement, she has continued on a part-time basis as the associate editor of the Missouri Record. She also is the co-author of two books, “Daytrips Missouri: A Travel Guide to the Show Me State” and “Daytrips Illinois: A Travel Guide to the Land of Lincoln.”

O’Rourke has served on the National Alumni Board, on the Bid and Breakfast Committee, Presidential Concert and Lecture Series, Ivy Pathway Committee (since its inception) and is presently a docent for the art department. She also served on the Presidential Search Committee in 1989 when Dr. Jahnae Barnett was selected as president.

The Alumni Award of Distinction, which Clapper received, honors an alumnus who has achieved national or international recognition in his or her chosen field. Clapper joined HP in 1980 and has held a variety of roles at the worldwide and region level for HP’s Storage, Sales, Services and Software Business Units.

Weedman, a 1977 graduate, earned a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas. She worked in private practice until she joined the legal department of Apex Oil Company in St. Louis, Mo., in 1990. An active member of the alumni board, she was responsible for reorganizing the alumni weekend golf tournament.

Butler, the new honorary alumnus, was appointed to the WWU Board of Trustees in 2005. A graduate of American University and a licensed nursing home administrator, she is owner and administrator of a Falls Church, Va., nursing home. She also is the president and chairman of the board of the Lucille and Bruce Lambert Charitable Foundation, which has contributed generously to William Woods over the years.

Thomas, the recipient of the Order of the Owl Award, is a 1966 Westminster College graduate and the husband of Nancy Waller Thomas, WWU ’67, who is the current chair of the WWU Board of Trustees and a former alumni association president. He has just completed 37 years in hospital and health systems management, and is now involved in his own health consulting business.