2002 Honorary Alumni Award

Mel & Judy Kerr

The Kerrs moved to Macomb in 1977 from San Diego, CA, where Dr. Kerr was in private practice in ophthalmology. As a member of the medical staff at McDonough District Hospital (MDH), Dr. Kerr initiated many new procedures in ophthalmology including laser retinal therapy. He served as president of the medical staff at MDH, and later affiliated his practice with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He retired from practice in January 1999. Mrs. Kerr has been a member of the WIU Foundation Board of Directors for 15 years, serving as president from 1997 1999 and vice president from 1995-1997. She is currently a member of the Foundation's executive and scholarship committees.

"The Kerrs have been strong advocates and generous benefactors to the Foundation's growing scholarship program. They have also provided ongoing funding for the Laura and Lisa Kerr Scholarship Endowment which is named for their daughters, both Western graduates," said Gordy Taylor, associate vice president for alumni programs. "Judy has been a driving force on the Foundation Board to ensure that attracting private contributions for scholarships for academically qualified students remains a priority. I'm honored to present this year's award to Mel and Judy Kerr."

In 1999 the Kerrs donated 219 acres, including a house, barns, grain bins and other structures to Western's agriculture department to expand the University's Agriculture Field Laboratory. The agriculture department plans to make the Kerr Ag Field Lab a centerpiece of its research facilities.