Five Receive 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award

Sprunk, Kohlstaedt, Hood, Juneau, Murray honored by Alumni Association


Categories: Alumni , Campus , History

The outstanding accomplishments of five UM alumni are being recognized with the University’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Eric Sprunk ’86; Elizabeth Vinson Kohlstaedt, Ph.D. ’89; Charles Hood ’61, M.A. ’69; Denise Juneau, J.D. ’04; and Jim Murray ’76 will be honored at a September 26 ceremony during Homecoming. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor presented by the UM Alumni Association.

Eric Sprunk

Sprunk is Nike’s chief operating officer. The first COO in Nike’s history, he is responsible for leading all manufacturing, logistics, IT, procurement, and global real estate and facilities. As a staff accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Portland, Ore., he was assigned the Nike account and soon was recruited by Nike as finance director of the Americas region. During the next twenty years, he served as finance director of Nike Europe, director of Nike Europe Footwear, vice president and general manager for the Americas region, senior vice president of global footwear, and executive vice president of global product and merchandising. He has served on the UM School of Business Administration Dean’s Business Advisory Council, the National Advisory Board for Grizzly Athletics, and the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center/Rosemary Anderson Board.

Kohlstaedt is chief clinical officer of Intermountain, one of Montana’s oldest and most respected nonprofit child welfare and mental health agencies. During the past twenty-four years, she has facilitated the agency’s dramatic growth and diversification, the training of professionals from around the world, and the development of a growing partnership between the agency and UM. Kohlstaedt oversees treatment for more than 1,300 traumatized children and has honed Intermountain’s unique relationship-based therapeutic model. She has written or cowritten more than forty-five publications and presentations, served as an adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University, taught at Helena College University of Montana, trained medical interns from SUNY Health Science Center, and trained psychology, social work, and counseling interns from across Montana.

Elizabeth Kohlstaedt
Charlie Hood

Hood was a faculty member of the UM School of Journalism for twenty-six years and served ten years as dean. He was a widely respected expert on Senator Mike Mansfield’s life and career, a reporter for United Press International in Helena, and a reporter and editor at the Lewistown Daily News, Great Falls Tribune, and the Missoulian. He was cowinner of a National Headliner Award in 1975 and earned recognition from the American Medical Association. Hood served as exchange faculty at Kumamoto University and Toyo University in Japan. In his retirement, he created a journalism exchange between UM and Charles University in the Czech Republic, worked for the Prague Post, and copyedited for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. Hood died of Parkinson’s disease in 2013.

Juneau is serving her second term as the superintendent of public instruction for Montana. A member of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes and descendent of the Blackfeet Tribe, she is the first American Indian woman to serve in a statewide elected office. In 2010, she launched the statewide effort Graduation Matters Montana. She also created the Montana Schools of Promise initiative, an unprecedented effort to turn around Montana’s lowest performing schools. Juneau holds an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Carroll College, was named Educator of the Year by the National Indian Education Association in 2009, and in 2013 received an Alumni Achievement Award from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Alumni Achievement Award from Montana State University.

Denise Juneau
James Murray
Murray is the professional development leader of Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Group and a member of the firm’s executive committee. The only insurance coverage attorney to be twice named national MVP in Insurance Coverage by Law360, he has assisted clients in securing more than $1 billion in insurance recoveries in the past decade. Murray became UM’s twentieth Rhodes Scholar in 1976, was a teaching fellow in Harvard’s philosophy department, clerked at the United States Court of Appeals, and served as a special assistant to then-FBI Director William H. Webster. A founding partner of Gordon Murray Tilden in Seattle, Murray served on the Montana State Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for more than a decade and is a member of UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences External Advisory Board.
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