The St. Pat’s Celebration Committee at Missouri University of Science and Technology has announced its 2014 list of Honorary Knights of St. Patrick. The Honorary Knights are Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader, Sen. Roy Blunt, Mark Kearse, Keith Wedge, Dilek Acar, Angela Perkins, Gary Amsinger and Bob Edwards.
The new knights will be honored during a public coronation at 9 p.m. Friday, March 14, in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall on the Missouri S&T campus.
The 2014 St. Pat’s Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, on Pine Street in Rolla. Sigrid and Donald Cronin will serve as parade marshals and as Honorary St. Pats. Biographical information is as follows:
2014 Honorary Knight Cheryl B. Schrader
Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader of Rolla, Mo., is the 21st leader of Missouri University of Science and Technology. Since becoming chancellor in the spring of 2012, Schrader has led a comprehensive strategic planning effort involving thousands of S&T stakeholders and more than a year of work and study. Previously, Schrader was associate vice president for strategic research initiatives at Boise State University in 2011 and was dean of Boise State’s College of Engineering from 2003 to 2011. Schrader lives in the Chancellor’s Residence on the Missouri S&T campus with her husband Jeff. They have one son, Andrew, who is currently studying mechanical engineering at Valparaiso University, and one daughter, Ella, who attends elementary school in Rolla.
2014 Honorary Knight Sen. Roy Blunt
Sen. Roy Blunt was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Blunt serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee; the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Senate Armed Services Committee; and the Senate Rules Committee. From 1996-2008, the people of southwest Missouri elected Blunt seven times to the U.S. House of Representatives. Before serving in Congress, he was a history teacher and a county official. In 1984 he became the first Republican elected as Missouri’s Secretary of State in more than 50 years. Blunt also served four years as the president of his alma mater, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. Blunt is married to Abigail Blunt and has four children and six grandchildren.
2014 Honorary Knight Mark Kearse
Mark Kearse, Rolla’s chief of police, has spent his career in law enforcement, beginning with the Rolla Police Department (RPD) in 1982. He worked for the Missouri Highway Patrol from 1989-1991, and then returned to RPD in 1991. Kearse become the police chief in 2007, after attending the FBI National Academy. He and his wife D’ettra Kearse own The Fugitive Run Mud Obstacle Course, The Fugitive Beach and Kearse Appraisal Co.
2014 Honorary Knight Keith Wedge
Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Wedge of Rolla, Mo., retired from the U.S. Army in 2004. He earned a bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in geology and geophysics from S&T in 1970, 1971 and 1973, respectively. He is past chair of the S&T Academy of Mines and Metallurgy and current secretary of the Miner Alumni Association. He serves as president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s educational foundation and is a member of the Order of the Golden Shillelagh donor society at Missouri S&T. In the Rolla community, Wedge is a past president and current secretary of the Rolla Noon Kiwanis Club. Wedge is a current member of the national board of directors of the Army Engineer Association.
2014 Honorary Knight Dilek Acar
Dilek Acar of Rolla, Mo., graduated from The Ohio State University in 1982 with degrees in geography and urban development. She moved to Rolla 26 years ago and has raised two daughters, who are her pride and joy. Acar actively participates in Coterie of S&T, the Turkish Student Association of S&T, and Celebration of Nations. She supports and advocates involvement with The Community Partnership in Rolla, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Central Missouri, Russell House and Champions of Rolla Education (C.O.R.E.). Acar has practiced real estate for the past 16 years and opened her own brokerage 10 years ago.
2014 Honorary Knight Angela Perkins
Angela Perkins of Rolla, Mo., is director of student life at Missouri S&T, where she advises the Association for Black Students and Student Union Board. She earned a bachelor of science degree in sociology from Illinois State University and a master of science in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Perkins is a genealogy enthusiast who spends countless hours digging for clues that can piece together her family’s ancestral history. She and her husband, Will, have two daughters, Kylea and Kazmin.
2014 Honorary Knight Gary Amsinger
Gary Amsinger of Defiance, Mo., is corporate vice president of safety for McCarthy Building Companies Inc. Amsinger joined McCarthy as a project engineer 33 years ago after earning his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1980. He holds a Certified Safety Professional designation and serves on the executive boards of the National Association of General Contractors Safety and Health committee and the National Construction Safety Executives organization. At S&T, Gary is a member of the Career Opportunities and Employers Relations (COER) Advisory Board and the Academy of Civil Engineers. He has led McCarthy’s hiring efforts at Missouri S&T for more than 28 years. Amsinger’s fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, elected him a Student Knight of St. Pat in 1980. As a freshman in 1976, he was elected to pull St. Pat and his court on the manure spreader. Gary and his wife, Jan, live in Defiance, Mo.
2014 Honorary Knight Bob Edwards
Bob Edwards of Rolla, Mo., and his wife, JoAnn, moved their family business to Rolla in 1967. Bob’s father-in-law, Herb Grellner, founded Grellner Truck Line in 1940. With Bob and JoAnn’s leadership, the company has become Grellner Sales & Service, Inc., one of the largest beverage distributorships in Missouri. An honorary St. Pats Board Rep, he has served on the St. James Ambulance Board and currently serves on the board of the Pregnancy Resource Center. Bob is also active in the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Phelps for the Fort, Rolla and St. James Chambers of Commerce and other philanthropic organizations. Bob and JoAnn have five children and 12 grandchildren.
2014 Honorary St. Pat and parade marshal Sigrid Cronin
Sigrid Cronin of Rolla, Mo., was named an Honorary Knight in 2004 for her work organizing St. Pat’s celebrations for numerous years using her background of hotel and restaurant management. She has served as a substitute instructor for German classes in the arts, languages, and philosophy department at S&T. Cronin was born, raised and educated in Germany. She worked for several years in her profession before her marriage to Dr. Donald Cronin. They have two sons, who live with their spouses in Tucson, Ariz., and Cleveland, respectively.
2014 Honorary St. Pat and parade marshal Donald Cronin
Dr. Donald Cronin of Rolla, Mo., professor emeritus of mechanical and aerospace engineering, taught at Missouri S&T for 30 years. He conducted fundamental research on energy dissipation in dynamic systems and applied research for the automotive industry. He earned bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University in 1957, and a master of science and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1961 and 1966, respectively. He was named an Honorary Knight in 1993.