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A Celebration of MU Loyalty
(From Mizzou Weekly)
Retirees annual luncheon renews campus bonds

Dr. James E. Creed, Chancellor Brady Deaton, Ernest Hilderbrand

Chancellor Brady Deaton congratulated James E. Creed, left, professor emeritus of veterinary medicine, and Ernest Hilderbrand, right, a retired staff member from the Department of Computing Services, with annual Retiree of the Year awards at an April 28 luncheon at the Hearnes Center.

- Rob Hill photo

There were plenty of familiar faces and even more hugs and handshakes when MU retirees gathered April 28 in the Hearnes Center for the annual retirees luncheon. Some of the same greetings were heard over and over again: “Haven’t seen you in a long time.” “What have you been doing for excitement lately?”

Colleagues and former coworkers caught up on what has been happening in their lives over the past year, and they reminisced about the old days. If you added up all the years of service to MU from the more than 250 in attendance, it almost surely represented several millennia of campus expertise.

Chancellor Brady Deaton congratulated the retirees on their continuing contributions to MU and to the Columbia community. He pointed out that faculty and staff retirees still stay involved in the classroom at Mizzou and continue teaching and research.

“I look around this university and see many retirees so involved in leadership roles,” Deaton
said. He urged retirees to “stay aware of what’s happening in the civic affairs of this state
and make sure your voice is heard.” The chancellor described the annual luncheon as “a celebration of loyalty.”

Kee Groshong, vice chancellor emeritus for administrative services and president of the MU Retirees Association, pointed out some other contributions by retirees. For instance, retirees always make a strong showing in the annual United Way campaign, and provide generous donations to the university.

When the For All We Call Mizzou campaign closed in late 2008, retirees had donated
$29.7 million to the campaign. Groshong said that represented 78 percent of all the money
contributed to the campaign by faculty, staff and retirees. Groshong urged retirees who are not members of the retiree association to consider joining. One primary mission of the association is to support the university. Another mission is to keep track of what’s happening to university retirement benefits. “Not much today is happening to them,” he said, “and that’s good news, given what is happening in many segments of the economy.”

The retirees luncheon is always a time to renew old acquaintances, but it’s also a time to recognize MU retirees for the contributions they continue to make in their community. The Retiree of the Year Award is presented each year to a retired faculty and staff member. The award honors their continuing contributions made since retirement.

The faculty award winner this year is James Creed, professor emeritus of veterinary medicine. The staff retiree award winner for 2009 is Ernest Hilderbrand, who retired from the Department of Computing Services.

Creed, who retired in 1992, continues to stay involved in veterinary medical organizations. For the last several years, Creed has headed a committee for the Western States Veterinary Conference which organizes speakers, seminars and continuing education presentations. He has done similar work for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s conference.

Although Creed likes to stay in the background, he is active in the local Optimist Club, where he has held every office, and he sits on the High Council of the Mormon Church. Other behind-the- scenes good deeds include his work with the Boy Scouts, in which he helps young men with Eagle Scout projects, and he often speaks to youth groups about pet care and health.

Hilderbrand retired as associate director of Computing Services in 2000. Since then, he has put his expertise to good use, helping the retirees association develop and maintain a database that enhances the group’s outreach and efficiency. His work with the Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity and Cleanup Columbia is well known.

A special project of Hilderbrand’s in recent years has been his work with the Midwest Wood Workers Association, where he is chair of the Toy Project. This past year, he and fellow members built and assembled 2,500 toys that were given to day care centers, the Ronald McDonald House and other local children’s service agencies.

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Last Update: February 24, 2012