Current Honorees

We are pleased to announce our alumni awards and special recognition recipients for 2013. Each of these individuals has made significant contributions to Northwestern and helped fulfill Northwestern's mission of giving God-honoring leadership in the home, church, community and world. Congratulations to the 2013 award recipients!

Laurie Bolthouse

Distinguished Alumnus
Laurie (LeGree ’89) Bolthouse

Laurie Bolthouse has lived around the world and served those in the mission field through the support ministry Thrive. Her recent role as producer of the motion picture Trade of Innocents has been life changing.

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Sara Robertson

Buckles-Hanna Service Award
Sara Robertson ’54

Sara Robertson is an educator, writer and active Kingdom worker. She has served Northwestern on the Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.

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Terry Esau

Music Hall of Recognition
Terry Esau ’78

You may have hummed a Terry Esau tune without even knowing it. As the composer of hundreds of commercial jingles, Esau has left his musical mark and has also impacted lives through his writing and ministry endeavors.

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Henry Charles Smith

Music Hall of Recognition
Dr. Henry Charles Smith

Grammy Award-winning conductor and trombonist Henry Charles Smith has had a musical career spanning decades and has blessed countless people through music.

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Julie Pipp

Athletic Hall of Fame
Julie (Bleadorn ’86) Pipp

As someone who at one time held on to Northwestern records in five different events, Pipp’s name sat atop the school rankings in races ranging from the 100-meter dash all the way to the second-longest distance in the 3,200-meter event.

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Joe Wise

Athletic Hall of Fame
Joe Wise ’03

The only person to rush for more than 4,000 career yards in his Eagle career, Joe Wise learned to pursue his goals with a passion both on and off the field.

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Laurie (LeGree ’89) Bolthouse – Distinguished Alumna Award

Laurie (LeGree ’89) Bolthouse is the 2013 Distinguished Alumna. An elementary education grad, Bolthouse and her husband of 24 years, Bill, and their daughters Molly 15, Meredith 17 and Madison 17, have traveled extensively and lived in Eastern Europe as missionaries for several years. She is the founder of Women of the Harvest, now called Thrive. This nonprofit encourages and empowers global women to be successful on the mission field through community, retreats and advocating for the needs of North American women serving cross culturally.

While on a short term mission trip their family's life was permanently interrupted for the better after spending time with girls trafficked from Southeast Asia. This miraculously led them to being producers for Trade of Innocentsa motion picture drama exposing the sex trafficking of young girls and the people who are fighting against it. Today, they continue being very active on this issue. They are grateful to be experiencing this work-life balance in the beautiful Rocky Mountain state of Colorado.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented annually to an alum who has demonstrated God-honoring leadership to humanity and service in his or her profession as well as leadership in the home and church.

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Dr. Sara Robertson ’54 – Buckles-Hanna Service Award

Sara Robertson, Ed.D., receives the Buckles-Hanna Service Award for 2013. Robertson serves on the University of Northwestern Board of Trustees as Vice Chair, and the Academic Affairs Committee Chair. She is retired as Vice President of Development for Pioneer Clubs, Wheaton, Illinois.

Robertson received an M.A. from Northwestern University in Illinois and Ed.D. from Northern Illinois University. She is an ordained elder for First Presbyterian Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where she serves on the Stewardship Committee, as well as on the Towel and Basin Servants with a focus on helping women start up missions. She also sings in the choir.

Robertson serves on the board of Christians for Biblical Equality and the Greater Chicago Chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality. She is also on the board of Scripture Union USA, as well as the board of JUST, the DuPage County jail ministry.

In addition to writing numerous magazines and journal articles, Robertson is a published author of Helping the Hurting, published by the Christian Stewardship Association. She also contributed a chapter, "Funding the Dream," to Serving Those in Need, edited by Edward L. Queen II and published by Jossey-Bass in 2000. Other contributions are in the Dictionary of Christian Education, published by Baker Books.

Robertson's hobbies are swimming, sailing, reading, gardening, bicycling, traveling and camping.She has served on the Board of Trustees since 1990.

The Buckles-Hanna Service Award recognizes and honors a member of the University of Northwestern community and who has given outstanding service to Northwestern and its mission.

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Terry Esau ’78 – Music Hall of Recognition

Terry Esau is being honored as a 2013 inductee into the Music Hall of Recognition. From small town punk, playing in a garage band with his Fender amp cranked to eleven—stomping on his wah-fuzz pedal, to becoming the Jingle King of Minneapolis, Esau has written and produced thousands of pieces of music for TV commercials…from Target to McDonalds, Pepsi to Perkins, Harleys to Hondas, and Golden Grahams to Billy Graham. He climbed the creative corporate ladder only to find disenchantment once there.

That’s when he got proactive. He wrote a book called Blue Collar God/White Collar God. (Thomas Nelson, 2001) He started telling stories about the one product that he knew could change people’s lives—a relationship with Jesus. He knew, because his life had been changed.

Now he’s taking this story on the road. He’s created a two-part exercise for churches called Breathing Lessons. The "Surprise Me Experiment," based on his book, Surprise Me, (Nav Press, 2005) is a lesson in spiritually inhaling and has been rolled out in churches across America. Esau’s latest book, Be the Surprise (Nav Press, 2008), is filled with stories of spiritually exhaling, and puts a stamp of action on the Breathing Lessons exercise. A new book is now in the works called Neon Cathedral with an expected release date of 2014.

Esau is also the founder of a nonprofit call Free Bikes 4 Kidz, which accepts donations of used bikes, refurbishes them, then gives them away to kids in need. In five years it has become one of the largest distributors of free bikes in the country—6,000 bikes annually—and is in the process of expanding to other cities.

Esau’s latest endeavor is the establishment of a brand-consulting group that evaluates corporate brands and creates strategy and creative to make brands more ‘sticky.’

Esau spends much of his time traveling and speaking to audiences, encouraging this life of adventure, surprise, and learning to breathe spiritually. He and his wife, Mary, have three daughters, two sons-in-law, two grandkids, and a disobedient dog. They live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Music Hall of Recognition was created to recognize those individuals who best exhibit the spirit, integrity, and Christian commitment that exemplify University of Northwestern and the Department of Music. 

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Dr. Henry Charles Smith – Music Hall of Recognition

Henry Charles Smith is being honored as a 2013 inductee into the Music Hall of Recognition. Smith won a Grammy with the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble for “Album of the Year, Classical” in 1969. While associate and resident conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, he conducted over 1,000 concerts. As principal trombonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he played over 2,000 concerts with Eugene Ormandy and many other of the 20th century’s greatest conductors. As trombone and euphonium soloist, as chamber music player, and as writer and editor, his recordings and editions are internationally known. His guest conducting includes the Detroit, Dallas, Kansas City, and National Symphony Orchestras, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis, San Antonio, Delaware, Oregon, North Carolina, and Phoenix Symphonies. He has conducted the Calgary Philharmonic, and Edmonton Symphony in Canada.

Smith has served on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music, Indiana University, Temple University and the University of Texas at Austin. From 1989 till 1993 he was Director of Orchestral Activities at Arizona State University. He is now professor emeritus at ASU. He was music director of the South Dakota Symphony for 12 years and is now conductor emeritus. Smith was conductor of the Mendelssohn Club Choir of Philadelphia and the Bach Society Chorus of Minnesota for six years each.

Smith is a frequent conductor of All-State and other educational festivals. He conducted the Young Artist Orchestra at Tanglewood for two summers and was music director of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen for 16 years. He recently served for 2 years as interim music director and artistic advisor of the Cedar Rapids Symphony in Iowa.

Henry Charles Smith's connections to Northwestern include conducting the Maranatha Orchestra, a professional Christian orchestra which appeared on the Northwestern Fine Arts Series. He also conducted the United Bethel/Northwestern Orchestra, a collaboration between Northwestern College and Bethel College. He was also the host of "Conductor's Choice," a radio program devoted to classical music, which aired on KTIS and the Nothwestern radio network.

Henry Smith was born in Philadelphia and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Curtis Institute of Music. In May 2007 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He lives with his wife Norma Jean in Roseville, Minnesota.

The Music Hall of Recognition was created to recognize those individuals who best exhibit the spirit, integrity, and Christian commitment that exemplify University of Northwestern and the Department of Music.

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Julie (Bleadorn ’86) Pipp – Athletic Hall of Fame

Track & Field 1983–1986

Julie (Bleadorn) Pipp represents Eagle women as this year's Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. Whatever the distance, Julie (Bleadorn) Pipp gave it her all on the track. Someone who at one time held on to Northwestern records in five different events, Pipp’s name sat atop the school rankings in races ranging from the 100-meter dash all the way to the second-longest distance in the 1,600-meter event. Julie’s efforts yielded top honors in both 1986 and 1987 when she left the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championship meet with All-American honors.

Pipp’s versatility on the track prepared her well for ministry opportunities as an adult. After going on a summer mission trip to Holland upon graduating from Northwestern, she met her husband Dan at Bible Study Fellowship and were together a part of the original membership at Northwood Church, a church plant in Maple Grove, Minnesota. She and Dan enjoy leading family outings with children Zach and Hannah that include hiking, biking and camping. In addition to being a mother, Pipp is active in student ministries at the churches her family has been involved with. Julie’s workplace ministry has brought her to TCF Bank and Edward Jones. She is thankful for the strong biblical foundation that Northwestern helped develop in her life, allowing her to cultivate a deeper understanding of Christ and who she is in Him, allowing her to have a greater love for God and other people.

The Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who best exhibit the integrity and Christian commitment that exemplify University of Northwestern and the Athletic Department.

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Joe Wise ’03 – Athletic Hall of Fame

Football 1998–2001

Joe Wise represents Eagle men as this year's Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. One of the most decorated players to wear a Northwestern jersey, Joe Wise rewrote Eagles football history as the only person to rush for more than 4,000 career yards. A two-time NAIA All-American and the 2001 National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Offensive Player of the Year, Wise ran for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. His top marks for longest run in a game (95 yards), most rushing touchdowns in a game (four), rushing touchdowns (18) and single season points (114) still stand in the team’s record book while Wise’s performances helped lead Northwestern to its first-ever NCCAA Victory Bowl appearance in 2000.

In addition to fending off oncoming tacklers on the football field, Wise points out that his Northwestern experience helped give him a foundation of competitiveness, drive, and passion for life. While attending school, Wise learned valuable lessons that instilled in him a desire to relentlessly strive for his passions and goals and to keep fighting despite adversity, knowing that challenges are meant to be overcome. As Joe seeks to be an All-American husband to his wife Amy and dad to daughter Ava, God has been at work in his life by growing in wisdom, decision-making, and patience. Outside of the home, Wise seeks to impact those around him in his church and community through his participation in road races and as a handyman.

The Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who best exhibit the integrity and Christian commitment that exemplify University of Northwestern and the Athletic Department.

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