News - Greenville University Announces Its 2020 Alumni Awardees

Greenville University Announces Its 2020 Alumni Awardees

KaufmannGreenville University is pleased to announce its 2020 Alumni Awardees: Author, lecturer and scholar U. Milo Kaufmann ’56; music industry trailblazers Paul and Courtney (Somerville ’03) Klimson; and longtime champions of Greenville University students, Dennis and Deborah Fenton. 

Gracious, Godly Scholar

GU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to prolific author and career educator U. Milo Kaufmann (at left). Dr. Kaufmann earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Yale University. For decades, he shared his love of literature as professor at North Park College and the University of Illinois-Urbana, where he earned the title professor emeritus. In “retirement,” Kaufmann continued lecturing at U of I. Apart from his academic contributions and achievements, Kaufmann and his wife Helen are known for the warm hospitality they routinely extend to others. Persons who know Kaufmann describe him as gracious, loving, wise, and godly.

Building a Safe Haven

The Klimsons, creators of Theory One Productions, are recipients of GU’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. While each has engaged in various aspects of music production, their most recent venture together fills a void in the music industry. Their newly founded Roadie Clinic, a nonprofit that serves touring musicians and their families, provides assistance in the often-overlooked areas of mental health and self-care, family health, and finances. As Rolling Stone Magazine said, the Klimsons have created “a safe haven for gig workers—helping them combat exhaustion, financial strain, mental health problems, and other touring woes.”


Champions for GU Students

Dennis and Deborah Fenton are this year’s recipients of the Dr. Gene A. Kamp Loyalty Award. They are founding members of GU’s Heritage Circle giving society and the parents of two GU alumni. Dennis faithfully served on the University’s Board of Trustees for 12 years, including the transition from Greenville College to Greenville University. He and Deborah—familiar faces at Homecoming, GU’s President’s Society Dinners, and other campus events—have demonstrated their support of students over the years by giving their time, talents, and treasures to ensure student success.


The Greenville University Alumni Association sponsors GU’s Alumni Awards. Learn more at or call 618-664-7119. The nomination deadline for the University’s 2021 awards is January 31, 2021.

This story was published on October 06, 2020

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