Skip to Main Content
Michigan State University

2021 Alumni Award Recipients

Alumni Service Award

Dr. Barbara Ann Given Ph.D.

B.S. in Nursing, The Ohio State University | M.A. in Medical-Surgical Nursing/Administration, The Ohio State University | Ph.D. in Administration and Higher Education, College of Education, Michigan State University. She's a 50-year-career MSU University Distinguished Professor Emerita, MSU College of Nursing Associate Dean Emerita and a Spartan. With a nearly 60-year career in nursing instruction, including more than 50 years at Michigan State University, Dr. Barbara Given is revered for her immeasurable impact on generations of Spartan nurses through teaching, inspired support for compassionate care and expansive research. A pioneer of oncology nursing, she led MSU's College of Nursing's efforts to improve the care of cancer patients during treatment. She received over 34 years of National Institutes of Health funding for research focused on the relationship between the formal health care and informal patient and family care systems. Among her numerous awards and honors, Given is a 2019 recipient of the American Cancer Society Trish Greene Quality of Life Award. In 2001, she was named MSU University Distinguished Professor and is an MSU College of Nursing Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Given and her Spartan husband, MSU professor emeritus Dr. C. William Given, are strong supporters of MSU, donating to the College of Nursing and College of Music to support student scholarships, the arts and behavioral health. 'In this pandemic, we have seen wonderful work within the MSU campus community: with our hospital systems, with the homeless and greater community''


Distinguished Alumni Award

Ms. April Madonna Clobes

B.A. in Marketing, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University | M.A. in Advertising, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University | M.B.A., Western Michigan University. She's president and CEO of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, patron of the arts and a Spartan. Clobes joined MSUFCU in 1996 as a marketing specialist and rose through the ranks before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2015. She has largely contributed to MSUFCU's growth of more than $6.3 billion in assets and status as the nation's largest university-based credit union. Among her prolific involvements fusing business leadership and a passion for arts, Clobes is a governor-appointed member of the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. She serves on the executive committee and board of directors for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and Lansing Symphony Orchestra. She also serves on four credit union industry boards. At MSU, Clobes is on the Wharton Center Advisory Council and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum Advisory Board. She is a former member of both the Broad College of Business and the Communications Arts and Sciences Alumni Boards. As a member of the MSU College of Music National Leadership Council, Clobes also contributed to its endowed scholarship. She and her Spartan husband, Glen Brough, established a student scholarship in their names, and funded the Billman Music Pavilion's Brough Student Lounge. 'Now more than ever, it's what we do in our community to help people achieve their goals and dreams that touches hearts.'

Dr. Wilhelm D Meriwether

College of Natural Science, Michigan State University (Attended) | M.D., School of Medicine, Duke University | M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University. He's a retired director of the U.S. Public Health Service's National Influenza Immunization Program, a Sports Illustrated-featured USA Outdoor Track and Field champion and a Spartan. Dr. Wilhelm Delano Meriwether began a life-long journey of extraordinary achievement by attending Michigan State University's College of Natural Science as a pre-veterinary medical student, eventually becoming the first Black American to graduate from the Duke University School of Medicine. He was the United States 100-yard National Sprint Champion Outdoors (1971) and the 60-yard National Sprint Champion Indoors (1972), landing him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Over the next three years, he was a member of the first two U.S. Track & Field National teams to travel to communist China. In 1976, he served as a White House fellow and special assistant to the Secretary of Health where he directed the National Influenza Immunization Program, immunizing 45 million people against Swine Flu. Meriwether served as one of six missionary physicians in Africa in the 1980s, treating over 500,000 people in apartheid-stricken South Africa and accommodating tens-of-thousands of refugees fleeing terrorist-fueled strife in Mozambique. Additionally, Meriwether and his wife were part of the successful, in-country efforts to free Nelson Mandela from prison. In 1986, Meriwether was a key member of a South African-based medical team that discovered the connection between folic acid deficiency and pregnancy anemia. This discovery subsequently led to the worldwide incorporation of folic acid into bread and all modern-day prenatal vitamins. He and his South African-born wife founded The Meriwether Foundation, an international, nonprofit, charitable, Global Health Organization that operates and supports philanthropic programs and human rights activities in Southern Africa. He says, 'Growing up in the segregated South during the 1950s and attending Michigan State University in the 1960s helped prepare me to face the unique challenges of working in South Africa during the apartheid era. Michigan State helped prepare me for the future, and provided me with an outstanding, broad-based education. For that, I am an eternally grateful `proud Spartan.''

Mr. Toichi Takenaka

Bachelor of Economics, Faculty of Economics, Konan University | M.B.A., Broad College of Business, Michigan State University. He's Honorary Chairman of the Board of Japan's Takenaka Corporation, benefactor to MSU students abroad and a Spartan. Toichi Takenaka is one of Japan's well-respected business leaders - through his illustrious career, he honors both his family and his Spartan roots. A 17th-generation descendant of the Takenaka Corporation's original founder, Takenaka assumed the role of president and CEO in 1980. The Takenaka family founded their business in 1610 as a shrine and temple builder and is now one of the largest architecture, engineering and construction firms in Japan. Among its many accolades, Takenaka Corporation pioneered quality management activities in the Japanese construction industry, and their passion for quality has received high praise over the years. The company has been involved in many landmark projects such as the Tokyo Tower and Singapore Airport Terminals 1 and 4. The company has also developed projects and owns assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. After spending two significant years in East Lansing, Takenaka returned to his firm and has preserved a 'toryo (master builder) spirit' of architecture from his forefathers, passing it down to future generations. As a loyal global Spartan, Takenaka is an engaged member of the MSU Alumni Club in Japan. He also regularly welcomes MSU students to the 'Business and Culture in Japan' Study Abroad Program, generously sharing his expertise and advice. On MSU's campus, he was one of the contributors to help enable the development of the MSU Broad College of Business Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion in 2019. 'Sharing your expertise with future generations, especially in international interests, is critical to growing our globalization. That is why maintaining a relationship with MSU is so important to me.'


Honorary Alumni Award

Ms. Patricia L Merry

Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University (attended) | B.S. in Physics, Hiram College | M.B.A. in Finance, Eastern Michigan University. She's a former Ernst and Young principal, Lyman Briggs philanthropist, MSU Horticulture Gardens volunteer and an honorary Spartan. Patricia Merry has come full circle. Having attended classes in Michigan State University's Lyman Briggs College, she has returned as a Spartan force for philanthropic good. Before completing her MSU degree, Merry joined her Spartan alumnus husband, Dr. Donald Borseth, for his advanced degree work elsewhere. She spent her career at Ernst and Young, rising to Global Support Practice principal. In memory of her Spartan alumna sister, Merry established the Pamela Ann Merry Endowed Scholarship in Lyman Briggs, which has aided students for 20 years. Merry and her husband also established a Lyman Briggs scholarship for Cass Technical High School students from their hometown of Detroit. Merry served on Lyman Briggs' volunteer board for MSU's Empower Extraordinary Campaign and spearheaded the college's 50th anniversary efforts. Merry's support has blossomed through MSU Horticulture Gardens volunteerism. She and her husband established the Endowment for Education in the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden to improve educational programs. Named 2010 Docent of the Year, Merry teaches children's programs, and even helps with plant sales and garden maintenance. 'I've been part of the Briggs family, but not having an MSU degree was always a missing piece and so being an honorary alumna means that missing piece is filled.'


Philanthropist Award

Mr. Robert Wilfred Schaberg

B.S. in Accounting, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University | M.B.A., Wayne State UniversityThey are co-founders of the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation, community advocates and Spartan philanthropists. Robert Schaberg is founder and president of Amurcon Corporation of Virginia, a realty company specializing in multi-family housing throughout the state. A native of Lansing, Michigan, he earned a CPA, trained as a housing developer in greater Detroit and in 1978 moved to Richmond and established AMURCON Corporation of Virginia. AMURCON became a developer of multi-family housing including apartments, for-sale condos and elderly and assisted living facilities. It has built over 5,000 units of housing in Virginia and currently manages 40 properties. Anna Lou Schaberg has been an active partner with Robert in their community advocacy and philanthropic efforts. In 1990, Bob created the Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition, now known as the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation. When Anna Lou retired from public education in 2000, she joined Bob to direct grant and gift programs. The foundation's mission is to enable vulnerable populations to thrive. It supports nonprofits working with housing, workforce development and children and adult services from grassroots organizations to community collaborations and advocacy. The foundation currently works with more than 70 nonprofits in Virginia as well as those of special interest to the Schabergs. Most recently it has responded to community needs that arose during the pandemic. In addition to their foundation work, the Schabergs have given generously to MSU's Eli Broad College of Business, MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and MSU Athletics ' enabling faculty endowments, facility construction, scholarships and program development. They created the Ernest W. & Robert W. Schaberg Endowed Chair in Accounting, named The Broad College of Business Minskoff Pavilion Welcome Plaza and enhanced the Broad student experience through support of a full-time director of student engagement position and development of a platform to collect information on co-curricular activities. Additionally, the Schabergs have helped finance construction of the Spartan Stadium North End Zone and funded Broad College of Business Residential Business Community student scholarships. 'Giving back to MSU is my way of showing appreciation for my MSU education. I'm proud to continue to invest in its success.'

Mrs. Anna Lou A Schaberg

B.S. in Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University | M.Ed. in Special Education, Virginia Commonwealth University. They are co-founders of the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation, community advocates and Spartan philanthropists. Robert Schaberg is founder and president of Amurcon Corporation of Virginia, a realty company specializing in multi-family housing throughout the state. A Lansing, Michigan native, he earned a CPA, trained as a housing developer in greater Detroit and in 1978 moved to Richmond and established Amurcon Corporation of Virginia. Amurcon became a developer of multi-family housing including apartments, for-sale condos and elderly and assisted living facilities. It has built over 5,000 units of housing in Virginia and currently manages 40 properties. Anna Lou Schaberg has been an active partner with Robert in their community advocacy and philanthropic efforts. In 1990, Bob created the Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition, now known as the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation. When Anna Lou retired from public education in 2000, she joined Bob to direct grant and gift programs. The foundation's mission is to enable vulnerable populations to thrive. It supports nonprofits working with housing, workforce development and children and adult services from grassroots organizations to community collaborations and advocacy. The foundation currently works with more than 70 nonprofits in Virginia as well as those of special interest to the Schabergs. Most recently it has responded to community needs that arose during the pandemic. In addition to their foundation work, the Schabergs have given generously to MSU's Eli Broad College of Business, MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and MSU Athletics - enabling faculty endowments, facility construction, scholarships and program development. They created the Ernest W. & Robert W. Schaberg Endowed Chair in Accounting, named The Broad College of Business Minskoff Pavilion Welcome Plaza and enhanced the Broad student experience through support of a full-time director of student engagement position and development of a platform to collect information on co-curricular activities. Additionally, the Schabergs have helped finance construction of the Spartan Stadium North End Zone and funded Broad College of Business Residential Business Community student scholarships. 'Giving back to MSU is my way of showing appreciation for my MSU education. I'm proud to continue to invest in its success.'


Young Alumni Award

Ms. Lauren Nicole Bealore

B.A. in Social Relations, James Madison College, Michigan State University | M.A. in Public Policy, The New England College. She's the Democracy Director for State Innovation Exchange, advocate for female entrepreneurs of color and a Spartan. Lauren Bealore breaks age, gender and racial barriers to forge her own path, and clear the way for others. She has become a dynamo in politics at the state and national levels, committed to political strategy, civic engagement, mentorship and service. She was the first African American in her role with America Votes, Southfield's youngest elected Precinct 19 delegate and the youngest appointed commissioner for Southfield's Total Living Commission. She began her political career in fundraising and raised more than a quarter of a million dollars from 2013-2017. In her current role, Lauren works with state legislators nationwide to champion reforms, including identifying policy areas of interest to help legislators become experts on state democracy policies such as redistricting and criminal justice reform. As co-founder of Y.A.B., a start-up venture conglomerate, Bealore uplifts entrepreneurial women of color, helping connect them with resources and foster collaborations to help develop and promote businesses. Among her many recognitions, she received Crain's Detroit Business's Twenty in their 20s, Oakland County Democratic Party's Young Democrat of the Year and has been featured in Forbes, NBC News, POLITICO, and CBS News Detroit. Bealore has continued her engagement with MSU students and faculty as a speaker and mentor through the James Madison College Alumni Board, MSU Advocacy Scholars program, MSU W.I.L.D. Conference, Detroit Spartans, MSU Black Alumni Association and the MSU Women's Networking Association. 'The desire to be a vocal advocate for unheard voices and bridge the gap between different communities has been an ongoing thread in my life.'

Dr. Praise Matemavi D.O.

A.S. Nursing, Lake Michigan College | B.A.S., Siena Heights University | D.O. College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University. She's assistant professor of surgery and attending physician at University of Mississippi Medical Center, one of 10 African American female transplant surgeons in the U.S. and a Spartan. Praise Matemavi, D.O., has transcended adversity and, with unfailing determination and grace, is now one of only 10 African American female transplant surgeons in the United States. Despite facing an unplanned teenage pregnancy and subsequent domestic abuse, Matemavi worked tirelessly as a single mother to provide for her children and graduate from MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine. She was the only woman in her class as general surgery resident at New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital and completed an Abdominal Transplant Surgery and Hepatopancreatobiliary Fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In her current role, she performs mostly kidney and pancreas transplants, as well as vascular access and general surgery. She is the author of the award-winning book 'Passion and Purpose: Black Female Surgeons.' She is the recipient of the 2018 University of Nebraska Medical Center`s Provider of the Quarter; and New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital's 2017 Surgical Resident of the Year, 2012 General Surgery Junior Resident of the Year, and 2011 Intern of the Year. In 2010, she received MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine's Walter Mill Award of Excellence in Surgery.' I've always believed that if you want something badly enough, there's nothing that can stop you from achieving it.'

Mr. Kyle Andrew Welch

B.A. in Hospitality Business, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University. He's co-founder and president of Chicago Scoops, a founding board member of Prosper Chicago and a Spartan. Kyle Welch is an entrepreneur, leader and devoted mentor who has taken Chicago Scoops from a single-unit-operator franchise in 2014 to the largest Cold Stone Creamery franchise with more than 45 locations across 13 states. In 2019, Welch acquired Epic Burger and served as president to the eight-unit Chicago mini-chain. Under his leadership, the Epic Burger brand was named one of QSR magazine's '40/40 for 2020: America's Hottest Startup Fast Casuals.' He is a member of the Northern Illinois Franchise Association, the Illinois Restaurant Association and Young President's Organization Chicago. He also mentors future leaders through his role with College Possible, a nonprofit promoting college access and graduation for low-income students. He is a mentor at the Food Foundry Chicago, and a founding board member of Prosper Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated to erasing food insecurity. In 2020, Welch was recognized as one of Crain's Chicago '40 under 40.' Welch was featured in the MSU Innovation Center's 'Innovate State Speaker Series' and has shared his entrepreneurial insights to students of MSU Hatch, the university's student startup incubator. 'I was just born to go to Michigan State. Helping inspire others and being recognized by the university I love so much, and the institution that helped me so much, is by far the best feeling.'