Alumni Awards

Olivet Nazarene University is pleased to honor alumni who exhibit the characteristics and ideals of their alma mater.

"O" Awards

Since 1957, the Olivet Alumni Association has recognized outstanding alumni through the presentation of the "O" Awards at the annual fall Homecoming Celebration. One ministerial and one lay person have been chosen from nominations submitted to the Alumni Board. Qualified individuals represent the ideals of the University and have distinguished themselves in their professional fields.

  Don Reddick '79

“I feel extremely humbled and undeserving,” he says. “but I am so thankful for all the opportunities that have been afforded to me at Olivet.”

In addition to teaching music courses and providing leadership as the dean of Olivet's School of Music for 26 years, Dr. Reddick has served as music coordinator for five General Assemblies for the Church of the Nazarene; served as music coordinator for three International Laymen's Retreats for the Church of the Nazarene; served on the Board of Directors for NASM; served for 13 years as the Band Director for the Kankakee School District, and; served for 30 years on the music staff at Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene.

"Olivet feels like home. So much has happened in my life and my families life at Olivet,” he reflects. Dr. Reddick has played an important role in many milestone moments for the University as music often underscores the commemoration of important events. From accompanying Proclamation Gospel Choir to directing jazz band, from entertaining crowds by playing with the Don Reddick Trio to arranging special orchestrations of hymns for congregational worship, Dr. Reddick's musical expertise has uniquely influenced the evolution of Olivet's School of Music. 

Don Reddick holds a master of science degree in music education from the University of Illinois, as well as a doctor of education degree in music education, also from the University of Illinois.

  Stephen & Joy Yoon '99

“Receiving the "O" Award is an incredible honor,” Joy reflects. “More than honoring us, we know that it honors the work God is doing in and through us.”

"ONU is the place where you can develop into a world-oriented Christian serving Christ as a Christian professional," Stephen says. At Olivet, Stephen and Joy fully embraced opportunities to get individually involved in extracurriculars like athletics and academic societies, and participate together in Missions Club and volunteer trips to San Francisco and China. "For both of us, one key Olivet memory is the chapel in which Joni Eareckson Tada received an honorary doctorate" says Joy. "Little did we know that that chapel was the beginning of God working in our hearts for the disabled around the world."

In 2008, Stephen and Joy founded IGNIS Community in North Korea. Through IGNIS Community, the Yoons lead a multi-organizational and multi-national ministry team that utilizes medical, humanitarian and social entrepreneurship avenues in one of the most secluded countries in the world.

Young Alumni Award 

In 2011, the Young Alumni Award was established, honoring two alumni — one male and one female — to be presented at the annual fall Homecoming Celebration. Recipients are chosen by vote of the Alumni Board, and must have graduated from Olivet within the last 10 years. This award is made possible through a generous gift from Mel '73 and Judi (Tucker) '71 Sayes. 

Watch the 2022 award presentation »

  Daley (Schimmelpfennig) Morera '15

“I'm honored to be receiving the Young Alumni award. It's humbling to realize that I could be someone students could look to as what they would want to accomplish in their future" says Morera. "It feels like only yesterday I was sitting in their chapel seat.”

Daley is a woman on a mission - one to cure cancer. Now a medical student at Augusta University, she plans to become a physician scientist, combining medical research with patient care. As a cancer researcher, she has successfully set herself apart in the field through multiple first author peer-reviewed publications in academic journals; by receiving an F31 research grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund research in bladder cancer; and by presenting at local and national cancer research conferences. “There is so much to be gained from attending a university like Olivet that is not available at many other schools. The quality of education is great of course, but I was also surrounded by faculty and staff that love God and love students" Daley says. "The mentorship I received from my professors at Olivet was unmatched when compared to my future peers' undergraduate experience.”

  Addison Newell ’15
“My path after Olivet has been to earnestly listen for God's voice and to try and go wherever He calls and do whatever He asks," Addison says. "No matter where you go, God can speak to you, transform you, and use you in miraculous ways because His love, joy and grace are bigger than any single decision we make."

As managing director for Refinery46, the founder and CEO of Prevenient Consulting, and the founder and CEO of Pfunanane Properties, Addison's purpose is to just help people, ideally as unconditionally as he can with the hope that even if just for a moment, they feel fully seen, heard and loved in a way that would make God proud.

He completed a master's degree in Public Administration from Indiana University (Bloomington), as well as a master's in the art of teaching from Marian University (Indianapolis). Then for three years, Addison and his wife, Katrina (Holm) '13, served as missionaries in South Africa. During that time they fostered five children and for two, the Newells were able to help facilitate reconciliation for the family by building a relationship with their birth mother. Addison and Katrina now have two children of their own, Aizen and Machaira, whom they call "Mac."