Board of Regents President John Klebba announced today that State Technical College of Missouri’s outgoing president Dr. Donald Claycomb will be receiving an honorary degree from the college and the Information Technology Center will be dedicated and renamed the Dr. Donald M. Claycomb Information Technology Center.
Claycomb has been president of State Tech for 23 years and will be retiring on June 30. According to Klebba, Claycomb’s level of contribution over the years is deserving of the college’s first honorary degree and the dedication of the building that is the hub of the main campus.
During the college’s annual employee appreciation and retiree luncheon on Friday, Klebba announced that Claycomb would be receiving an honorary degree for his service and dedication to the college. The degree will be presented to Claycomb at the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony on Saturday, where he will serve as the keynote speaker.
“At commencement it is a custom to call upon one of our own graduates to deliver the commencement address,” commented Klebba. “We do this in order to have before the graduates an example of what our graduates can do after leaving State Tech. This year is no exception.”
“The honorary degree reflects Dr. Claycomb’s passion for the college,” said Vicki Schwinke, Chief Academic Officer. “It honors one of the many traditions that he has established for graduates to serve as our commencement speaker.”
In addition to the honorary degree, Klebba also announced the plans to dedicate and rename the Information Technology Center in honor of Claycomb. The building was completed in 2001 and was one of the first buildings to be constructed under Claycomb’s leadership.
Scott Peters, Executive Director of the Foundation for State Technical College of Missouri, stated that the college and foundation’s gift naming policy provides State Tech’s Board of Regents a vehicle to express appreciation to deserving candidates for the impact made by their level of contribution.
“Recognition through special building or other property naming can be bestowed for those making a significant financial gift or who have provided service of a meritorious nature of the college,” commented Peters.
According to Peters merit of service recognition is based upon distinguished service by an individual who through their contribution bring distinction to the institution or that through their actions, impact the course of history for the college in a positive way.
Peters stated that when he read through the evaluation criteria for the merit of service recognition, the State Tech Foundation Board of Directors eagerly supported the decision of the Board of Regents to dedicate and rename the building in honor of Claycomb.
“It’s a reminder that this building was the first of many facilities built under his leadership,” said Schwinke. “It recognizes and honors his vision and tenacity to create a college campus worthy of the State’s one and only statewide technical college.”
In addition to the honorary degree and the building dedication, Klebba also announced a new tradition was being established during the commencement ceremony.
Klebba stated that State Tech will now have a mace present at commencement. The mace symbolizes the college’s governing authority and is present only when the President and Board of Regents are in attendance. It signifies the proceedings have official sanction.
“As an ancient symbol of authority, it reminds us that State Tech is a custodian of both enduring traditions of learning and of the power to bestow upon those who come to learn,” commented Klebba.
With input from the presidential retirement committee, the Machine Tool Technology program designed and produced the mace. Machine Tool Chair and Instructor Chris Muenks stated that the mace includes some history.
“The grooves at the bottom of the mace represent the nine college presidents including Dr. Claycomb,” commented Muenks. “It also includes four images which include the old Linn Tech official seal, the Linn State Tech official logo, the current State Tech eagle logo and the current State Tech official seal.”
“Additionally, the brass pieces have the college name engraved and the college mission statement,” said Muenks. “Lastly, on top is a bronze replica of the eagle monument in the roundabout of the main campus entrance.”
Klebba announced that Claycomb’s leadership over the past 23 years warranted him to be the proper person to carry the mace for the first time.