By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
In its annual awards banquet the night before graduation, Montana State University-Northern will honor four of its graduates along with the 50-year reunion of the class of 1953.
The four graduates to be honored with the 2003 Founders' Excellence Awards at the banquet May 9 are Norm Gorder and Ken and Karen Myers of Havre, and John Kuhr of Kalispell.
Gorder, a 1939 graduate of Northern Montana College, now MSU-N, served in North Africa, India, Bangladesh and the Himalayan Mountains on the border of Nepal and Tibet as a medical technician in the U.S. military in World War II.
Gorder worked for Heltne's Oil Service in Havre, retiring as general manager in 1989. He is an active volunteer, and uses the experience and training he received while managing Heltne's, including more than 200 workshops and management seminars he attended, as a business counselor and coordinator for the Service Corps of Retired Executives. Gorder co-chaired SCORE from 1989 to 1996.
Gorder has served on the MSU-N Foundation Board for the last eight years, and is a charter member of the Havre Public Schools Foundation. He also has volunteered at Northern Montana Health Care information desk and served on the organization's Foundation Board.
Gorder, who raised five daughters and one son in Havre with his wife, Margie, has been active in many other community and service organizations. Those include Toastmasters Interna-tional, First Lutheran Church, Lions International, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled Veterans of America.
Karen Myers, a 1969 Havre High School graduate and 1974 graduate of Northern, returned to teach in the Havre High business department in 1974. She was involved with the national Office Education Association while she taught, including serving on its national advisory board for four years.
After receiving a master's degree in vocational education in 1981, she taught in the Havre adult education program for five years. Myers also started an accounting service based in her home, which she still operates.
Myers has been active in the Northern Alumni Association since 1975. She served on its board of directors from 1984 to 1999 and was president of the association from 1992 to 1995. She joined the Northern Foundation Board after leaving the Alumni Association board, serving as president from 2000 to 2002 and is now vice president.
Myers and her husband, Ken, have been active in Northern's program to "adopt" college athletes, helping make them feel part of the community and serving them and their parents meals.
Myers has been active in many other community organizations, including the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wells Fargo Bank Community Board of Directors.
Ken Myers moved to Havre to attend Northern in 1966, graduating with a bachelor's degree in history in 1970. After teaching in the Flathead area, he returned to Havre.
Myers sponsors many Havre-area sporting events, youth activities, high school sports and events like the Jaycees Demolition Derby through his business, Havre Distributors, and through connections with Anheuser-Busch.
He has been active in many Northern Alumni Association activities since 1975, and provides part of the funding for the Baker/Myers scholarships. Myers is active in and supports many community organizations, services and activities, including Boy Scouts, Kiwanis, the Great Northern Fair, and the Chamber.
Kuhr is the youngest son of early Havre community leaders Max and Marian Kuhr. He was an honor student at Northern, elected president of the freshman class and played on the basketball team.
He was awarded a basketball scholarship to the University of Utah after earning most valuable player status at the Regional Junior College Tournament in Provo, Utah. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah, and his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1956.
That year, he also joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as a first lieutenant from 1956 to 1960.
He met Martha Ann Good, who was serving in the U.S. Air Force, while they were both stationed in Washington, D.C. They later married and raised four children. She died in 1992.
Kuhr returned to Havre, and practiced law with the firm of Bosch, Kuhr, Dugdale, Martin and Kaze.
He was chair of the Montana Human Rights Commission during Gov. Stan Stephens' administration. Kuhr was also a member of the Montana State Reapportionment Commission, the Gender Fairness Task Force, and the Montana Judicial Nomination Commission, and served as chairman of the board of directors of Blue Cross/Blue Shield from 1983 to 1986.
He was active in many local businesses and organizations, including serving as a trustee for Northern Montana Hospital and as president of its board from 1972 to 1978, and as an advisory director of Norwest Bank-Havre. He also served on the local board of the Salvation Army.
Kuhr now lives in the Flathead Valley with his wife, the Rev. Caroline Kuhr. He is active in the Flathead Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
Kuhr and his family established the memorials in front of Cowan Hall - the Marian Kuhr Memorial and Kuhr Pond in memory of Max Kuhr.
The Founders' Excellence Dinner starts with a social hour at 6 p.m. May 9 in the Student Union Building ballroom and dinner at 7 p.m. in the SUB dining room.
Dinner tickets are $16 per person and reservations are required. They must be phoned in by 5 p.m. May 7 to the MSU-Northern Foundation Office, 265-3711.