University News

Honorary Doctorate Recipients

April 5, 2006

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MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees approved a recommendation at their March 10 meeting to name Dr. Russell Dohner and Norman C. Teeter and Dr. Carmelita B. Teeter as the recipients of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to be awarded at the University's May 13, 2006 Commencement Exercises. Dohner will be recognized at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony; the Teeters will be recognized at the 4 p.m. ceremony.

Dohner, a Rushville (IL) physician, was a member of the first pre-med group at Western Illinois University after World War II. He then attended the Northwestern University Medical School, graduating in 1953. Following two years at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, Dohner returned to Rushville and has served as a doctor there for more than 51 years, making house calls that cost patients just $5.

“Dr. Dohner has made public service his life. His bottom line isn’t money; rather it’s people’s well-being. For a doctor of today to still make housecalls – and charge only $5 – is simply amazing and awe-inspiring,” said WIU Provost Joseph Rallo. “We're proud of his association with our University.”

Dohner was proclaimed the 1992 winner of the Pfizer Quality Care Award by Illinois Gov. George Ryan and was second runner-up in 2004 for the National Country Doctor of the Year Award. He was named one of the Illinois Country Doctors of the Year last year. Dohner is a recipient of the 1982 Alumni Achievement Award at Western and was the first recipient of the Rushville Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow Award.

The Teeters, of Memphis, TN, have established multiple drug and alcohol abuse clinics in Tennessee and Kentucky that assist recovering addicts. Norman Teeter received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western in 1967.

Over the years, the Teeters have provided monetary support for graduate assistantships for international students in Western’s psychology department. In addition, the Teeters support graduate research projects in psychology and have contributed to upgrade equipment in the psychology department.

“The Teeters’ personal involvement with WIU, as well as the work they do to improve the lives of others is something we can aspire to,” Rallo said. “Because of their philanthropic and altruistic endeavors, it’s only fitting to recognize the Teeters with our University's highest honor.”

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Relations