William Woods University recently presented awards to five alumni and named another person an honorary alumnus.
Lt. Col. Joy Henson Primoli, currently stationed in Afghanistan, received the Alumni Award of Distinction, which honors a graduate who has achieved national or international fame in his or her chosen field.
Anna Marchesi Shy of St. Charles, Mo., was awarded The Order of the Owl Award, which is designed to honor spouses of William Woods alumni who have shown a special interest in promoting and supporting the activities of the university.
Dr. Julie Dill of Warsaw, Mo., received the Graduate College award. The award was created in 2011 to honor successful individuals who completed their degrees through the William Woods Graduate College.
Jennifer Beggs Vescovo of Memphis, Tenn., received the Outstanding Service Award, which honors an alumnus for his or her many years of support in multifaceted areas and outstanding service to the university.
Adam Patchett of Columbia, Mo., was awarded The Green Owl Award. This award is given to those who have given years of service to the Alumni Association and the university.
Dr. Sue Hallgarth of Corrales, N.M., was named an honorary alumnus. Honorary alumni are selected for their distinguished personal achievement, outstanding community service and dedication to William Woods University.
Primoli graduated from William Woods in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in paralegal studies at William Woods University. After graduation, she attended St. Louis University School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 2000.
Currently, Primoli she serves as the deputy staff judge advocate for the combined joint interagency Task Force 435 in Kabul, Afghanistan. During her career, she has earned a number of awards and decorations, including meritorious service medal, air force commendation medal, national defense service medal, global war on terrorism service medal, and air and space campaign medal.
Shy is the wife of Justin Shy, who is the alumni board president. Both graduated from William Woods in 2002. As an alumna and spouse,
Anna Shy has supported her husband’s commitment to WWU in a variety of ways, such as recruiting students to come to WWU, hosting “Senior Send-Off” events at their home for seniors in the St. Louis area, creating thematic children’s baskets for the silent auction, attending every Alumni Weekend since her graduation, and all but three Greek recruitments. The Shys are contributors for the Imagine Campaign and the Loyalty Fund.
Dill became the first doctoral graduate from William Woods University in December 2012. She is the superintendent of schools at Johnson County R-VII school district in Centerview, Mo. In addition to being an alumna, Dr. Dill has served as an adjunct faculty member for William Woods University for the past seven years, teaching classes at the master’s, education specialist and doctoral level.
Vescovo has been a member of the National Alumni Board since 2002, and has served in numerous roles on the executive committee, including second vice president, first vice president and president. As first vice president, she oversaw every aspect of Alumni Weekend and appointed chairpersons. Additionally, she has hosted numerous alumni gatherings.
Establishing an impressive list of achievements throughout her education, career and community service, Vescovo has held a number of interesting positions, including working as a tour operations manager of the Graceland division of Elvis Presley enterprises in Memphis.
Patchett attended William Woods University on academic and athletic scholarships, and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics. After earning his Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University in 2006 and his Master of Laws degree-taxation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008, he returned home and now practices law in Columbia.
A valued member of the alumni board since 2007, Patchett has assisted in numerous ways, including serving as the nominating committee chairman. He also has given countless hours to helping rewrite the bylaws, a process that took a full year.
Hallgarth taught English at William Woods from 1968 until 1985, and served as department chair for two years. She later was a writing
consultant and editor for the National Council for Research on Women and held a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
Although Hallgarth has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, “On the Rocks” is her first book of fiction and the first in a series of adventures with Willa and Edith. The book was featured in “O,” the Oprah magazine, as one of the “Top 10 Titles to Pick up Now.”