Centre College names Margaret Menges Stroup ’60 and Jeffrey L. Briggs ’06 Associate and Young Associate of the Year
Centre College has named Margaret Menges Stroup ’60 and Jeffrey L. Briggs ’06 the 2016 Associate and Young Associate of the Year, respectively. The College made the announcement at the Centre Associates Dinner on Jan. 30 at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville.
“Each year, the people chosen to be Centre Associate of the Year and Young Centre Associate of the Year are so outstanding that I experience a moment of panic wondering if we will ever find two so ideally suited people to honor again,” Richard Trollinger, vice president for college relations, joked. “Then, another year rolls around and we find two people whose achievements and records of service are such that I have that same moment of panic all over again.”
Stroup, nationally recognized as a corporate planning and management expert, has played a vital role in institutionalizing planning at the Board level for Centre.
“Margaret Stoup is one of the most able people I have known and had the pleasure to work with over the past two decades,” Trollinger said. “She has been a leader in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds and a devoted trustee of her alma mater. She is a great teacher, and I have learned so much from her about strategic planning and the qualities of effective leadership.”
Stroup became St. Louis County’s first-ever woman department head as well as the first woman at Monsanto to become a member of Key Management. In 1993, she became the Loaned Executive to the Olympic Festival in St. Louis, and in 1995 she became executive director of the Talking Tapes, a nonprofit organization that provides taped versions of textbooks for learning disabled and visually impaired students.
She is highly committed to education, having taught history at the high school level in California before moving to St. Louis and teaching at Florissant Valley Community College, where she served as the chairperson of the History Department.
Stroup, co-valedictorian of Centre’s Class of 1960, served as a member of the Centre College Board of Trustees from 1989 until 2013, when she became a trustee emerita. Throughout her 24 years of active service, she served as a member of the Board’s Planning Committee, chairing it for 14 of those years and leading Centre to national recognition for strategic planning in higher education. She also served as a member of the Academic Affairs, Administrative Services and Executive Committees.
Briggs was recognized for his record of professional achievement, civic engagement and loyalty to Centre.
“Jeff Briggs is the young Centre alumnus who was the rocket scientist who appeared on Jeopardy,” Trollinger said. “Having since left NASA, he is now a business executive. Jeff has a resume that would be impressive for a person twice his age. He is a person that all of us at the College admire for both his brilliance and his commitment to service.”
After spending his early career as a systems engineer with NASA, Briggs worked with Solarflo Corporation in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, is now president of Radiant Electric Heat and has led investments in several start-up companies. He also serves on the boards of directors for Solarflo and DecisionDesk, an end-to-end cloud-based admission platform for higher education.
Within his community, Briggs serves on the boards of directors for Harvard Avenue Performance Academy, a charter school in a low-income, inner city neighborhood in Cleveland, and Promise Partners, an organization that empowers members to achieve their goal of business ownership. He is also a volunteer and foster dog home for Canine Lifeline.
Despite the demands of his academic schedule, Briggs found time to be a member and to serve as captain of both the cross country and track teams at Centre. In cross country, he was named to the All-Region team, recognized as an Academic All-American and twice qualified for the NCAA D3 National Championships. He was also active in Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC). Moreover, he was named a John C. Young Scholar his senior year.
Briggs, his wife, Genine Nemecek Apidone, and their son, Alan, live in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with dogs Luci and Gino.
by Elise L. Murrell
February 2, 2016