Three individuals and a local manufacturer will be honored with Distinguished Service Awards from the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association during Homecoming festivities Oct. 14.
Recipients include Vicki Boren and Forrest and Ernestine Kidd, all of Cape Girardeau, and TG Missouri of Perryville, Missouri.
Distinguished Service Awards are presented to individuals and organizations that have made lasting contributions to their communities and to the University.
The awards will be presented at an All Alumni Breakfast to be held at 7 a.m. in Kem Statuary Hall in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center at 926 Broadway. Cost of the breakfast is $15 per person, payable online in advance. For more information, call the Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victoria Sue “Vicki” Boren served as president of the Southeast Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2013 to 2017. During her tenure, the Alumni Association introduced several new alumni programs and benefits, established a number of new alumni chapters and experienced a significant growth in alumni outreach and engagement activities.
Boren is a retired vocal music teacher from the school districts of Webster Groves, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, and Marissa, Illinois. During her 22 years at Webster Groves High School, she directed five choirs, co-directed the musicals, and served as department chair. She also sang professionally with the Terry Thompson Orchestra for 14 years. She retired from teaching in 2002 and moved back to her home town, Cape Girardeau.
Boren received her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1971 and her Master of Music Education degree in 1989, both from Southeast. While attending Southeast she was a member of Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Alpha Iota. Other family members who have attended Southeast are her late brother Lee Boren, sister-in-law Cathy, niece Tori Boren Logsdon and several cousins. A business scholarship was recently established in Lee’s name.
Boren now enjoys singing in church and community vocal groups, including the “Faith in Harmony” quartet, the Trebleaires women’s choir, the Messiah Choir and the University Choral Union.
“Vicki epitomizes what is great about our alumni,” said Bill Holland, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “She is enthusiastic and impassioned about Southeast Missouri State University. Her commitment of time and talent has helped to make the Alumni Association what it is today.”
Forrest and Ernestine Kidd
Forrest and Ernestine Kidd met in an ornithology class at Southeast Missouri State College nearly 60 years ago. After graduating and getting married in the early 1960s, Forrest took a job with Standard Oil of Indiana. The Kidds moved to Jacksonville, Illinois, and then Peoria, Illinois, where they operated a Standard Oil service station for several years. The Kidds moved to Cape Girardeau in the late 1970s and purchased a Shell service station on the corner of Broadway and West End Blvd.
Moving back to Cape Girardeau and acquiring a business so close to campus re-ignited their affinity for education and Southeast Missouri State University. As they grew their businesses, they began to regularly support the University, eventually providing scholarships through the Kidd Family Foundation and the Cape West Rotary Club. They are members of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation’s Horizon Club, the President’s Council and the Copper Dome Society, and are multi-year Redhawk Level members of the Southeast Alumni Association. The Kidds say they feel education is necessary for the success of the community and the country.
Forrest, from Brownwood, Missouri, graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a double minor in geology and geography. He was the first member of his immediate family to earn a college degree. Following graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Ernestine, from Scopus, Missouri, graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in biology education and a minor in history. She was also the first member of her immediate family to earn a degree. She taught in Valley Park, Missouri, until they married in 1963.
Forrest recalls that in the 1970s there were about a dozen service stations along Broadway between Kingshighway and the Mississippi River. Today, only Kidd’s remains and is currently undergoing a complete renovation. In addition to Kidd’s, they also sell marine fuel along the Mississippi through a pumping facility just north of Main Street.
The Kidds have two daughters, Jessica and Gena, a son, Adam, who is also a Southeast alumnus, and 10 grandchildren.
“Forrest and Ernestine are great examples of people who are about giving back,” Holland said. “They are committed to providing educational pathways for people to obtain a college degree.”
The TG Missouri plant, which is marking its 30th anniversary, is Toyoda Gosei North America’s largest operation, with approximately 1,700 employees, nearly 1.8 million square feet under roof on a 246-acre site near the intersection of U.S. 61 and Route 51 on the northern edge of Perryville. The facility recently completed Phase IV of what is currently one of North America’s largest and most advanced chrome plating operations.
TG Missouri Corporation in Perryville, Missouri, is one of this region’s largest employers and is part of a diversified manufacturing company headquartered in Troy, Michigan, known as Toyoda Gosei North America, a subsidiary of Japan-based Toyoda Gosei. The company researches, develops and manufactures rubber- and polymer-based products such as steering wheels, airbag systems, drive train components, brake hoses, plastic fuel tanks and instrument panels for the automotive industry.
In addition, the company makes optoelectronics (LED lighting modules} for the automotive, aviation, traffic control and telecommunications markets. The company’s key customers include Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Ford and Subaru. It’s safe to say that hundreds of thousands of vehicles on American roads today have component parts that originated in the Perryville plant.
TG Missouri is participating in ongoing discussions with Southeast Missouri State University and the University’s College of Science, Technology and Agriculture on a number of fronts, including co-curriculum course development, career placement, student-led projects, internships and corporate giving. With the recent creation of an undergraduate degree in industrial and systems engineering at Southeast, TG Missouri will be able to recruit engineering degree graduates. The company is also able to work with Southeast on projects ranging from robotic programming and thermoplastic processing theory to die cast processing and work flow design incorporating Toyota production systems (TPS} methodology coupled with just-in-time lean manufacturing and assembly line auto stop techniques.
“Southeast Missouri State University is extremely fortunate to be able to build a relationship with a company of TG Missouri’s caliber which benefits our students through educational and employment opportunities,” Holland said. “Not only do our students benefit, but so, too, does TG Missouri as it helps us prepare qualified students for potential employment with the company. It’s a win-win-win relationship for TG Missouri, for the University and, most of all, for our students.”