Distinguished Service Awards Granted at 2011 Alumni Weekend
highlight of the 2011 Alumni Weekend, held June 17 - 19 on the campus,
was the presentation on June 17 of the Distinguished Service Award (DSA)
to five alumni in recognition of their personal and professional
achievements. The award is the university’s highest alumni honor.
Sponsored by the Muskingum University Alumni Council,
the DSA recognizes and honors alumni who have distinguished themselves
through their professional endeavors and exemplary services to society.
Any living Muskingum graduate or former student is eligible to receive
Awards were granted to William A. Cooper ’61, Frank G.
Helman ’51, Jan A. Levy ’60, John C. Taylor ’37 and Leonard M. Thomas
William A. Cooper ’61
William A. Cooper has had a profound impact on the
economic landscape of Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the American
advanced technology sector. Renowned for his accomplishments on the
college and professional football fields, he is an inspiration to
scholar-athletes at all levels.
Mr. Cooper is President of Cooper & Company, a
full-service industrial and commercial real-estate brokerage and
real-estate development firm in Santa Clara County. Since the late
1960s, he has helped strengthen Silicon Valley’s dynamic entrepreneurial
climate, providing technology start-up companies with access to
facilities which support their innovation and business growth. Silicon
Valley today is home to world-leaders Apple, Google, HP, Intel, eBay,
Adobe, Yahoo, and many more.
A professional football player for the San Francisco
49ers from 1961-1966, Mr. Cooper’s achievements have brought a positive
and powerful spotlight to the educational and athletic ideals embodied
by NCAA Division III. In 2000, he became the first Ohio Athletic
Conference player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
in South Bend, Indiana. As a power fullback for the Muskies,
“Cannonball Cooper” gained 3651 yards rushing during his college
career. He led the Muskies to the 9-0 undefeated 1960 season with 1102
yards rushing that year, and was named to the 1960 Associated Press
All-American Football first team. He is a three-time member of the
All-Ohio Athletic Conference first team, and the first and only
three-time recipient of the OAC’s Mike Gregory Award.
Mr. Cooper earned his Muskingum bachelor’s degree in
economics and a Master of Business Administration degree from Santa
Clara University. He has served as a member of the Muskingum University
Board of Trustees for over 25 years. He is married to fellow classmate
Sandra (Sonie) Green Cooper, and through their wise leadership and
generous support of their alma mater, they have furthered educational
opportunities for generations and generations of students. The Coopers
reside in Monte Sereno, California. They are the parents of Kent Cooper
and Stephanie Kochhar, and they have five grandchildren.
Frank G. Helman ’51
Frank G. Helman is renowned for his expertise in
international law, his philanthropic leadership, and his dedication to
promoting global understanding and protecting human rights and dignity.
A member of the Muskingum class of 1951, Mr. Helman
earned his Juris Doctor degree from New York University’s School of
Law. He is fluent in German, Norwegian, and Russian. He served our
country in the United States Air Force and in the diplomatic corps as
Vice Consul and 3rd Secretary to the United States Embassy in Oslo,
Mr. Helman helped lead the development of multinational
manufacturer Mannesmann Demag Corporation, serving as chief financial
and administrative officer of its United States operations for nearly
twenty years. In his legal practice, Mr. Helman specializing in complex
trust, estate, and tax matters which cross international legal
boundaries. For two decades, he was a member of the prominent New York
City law firm Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green, founded by his
mentor and friend Otto L. Walter. Mr. Helman is a prolific author whose
scholarly writings have been published in both U.S. and German legal
As President and Director of the Otto and Fran Walter
Foundation, Inc., Mr. Helman furthers the humanist and intellectual
values exemplified by Otto and Fran Walter through projects which uphold
and advance human rights. Under his dynamic leadership, the Otto and
Fran Walter Foundation has educated children in the world’s poorest
areas, fostering hope, good health, academic achievement, and self
esteem; fed the hungry in the United States and abroad, including those
devastated by Hurricane Katrina; cared for Holocaust survivors;
protected citizens from governmental human rights abuses in Europe and
Central Asia; helped families break the cycle of domestic violence; and
strengthened the performing arts and their transcendent power to uplift
the human spirit.
Mr. Helman resides in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he
is an active civic and church leader. He and his wife Martha Peak
Helman are the parents of Mark, Lars, and Christian.
Jan A. Levy ’60
Jan A. Levy, M.D. changed lives each day of his
distinguished thirty-nine year career as a general surgeon and medical
Dr. Levy earned his Muskingum Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude,
and graduated from the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern
University in Chicago, Illinois. He completed his internship and
general surgical residency at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and
served our nation as a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserves.
In 1969, he established his practice as a general
surgeon in Radford, Virginia. Dedicated to continuous innovation and
improvement in patient care, he introduced many significant new clinical
procedures to the Radford Community Hospital. Highly-respected by his
colleagues, he held important leadership positions as Chief of the
Medical Staff and Chairman of the Department of Surgery.
Dr. Levy created the first emergency medical technician
training program in his region, and through his clinical teaching, he
generously shared his knowledge and expertise with new generations of
Over the course of eighteen years, Dr. Levy and his
wife Shirley, a trained nurse, traveled the world as medical
missionaries, visiting underdeveloped countries in East Africa, Central
Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean. Dr. Levy performed surgery,
taught surgical procedures, trained local medical staff, and established
new operating theatres in four mission hospitals.
In his home community of Radford, Virginia, Dr. Levy is
an active civic leader and Rotarian. He served as the high school
athletic team physician for twenty-five years, and was honored with the
1996-1997 McCue Award as Sports Medicine Physician of the Year for the
Commonwealth of Virginia.
He and Shirley are the parents of Jeff Levy, Scott Levy, Maureen Hylton, Dean Long, Cyndi St. Clair, and David Long.
John C. Taylor ’37
Dr. John C. Taylor has devoted his life to
international service as an ordained minister, missionary dentist, and
He earned his Muskingum Bachelor of Science degree in
Biology in 1937, along with letters in four varsity sports – football,
wrestling, distance track, and field. He graduated from the Cedarville
Seminary in Xenia Ohio with his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1939 and
from the University of Pittsburgh with his Doctor of Dental Science
Degree in 1949.
Over the decades, Dr. Taylor’s travels have taken him
to impoverished areas of India, Nepal, Liberia, Ecuador, Mexico, and the
United States. His exceptional background has allowed him to provide
spiritual care and dental care, educate children and adults, and inspire
others to become teachers, pastors, and medical professionals. He
established many medical, dental, educational, and children’s home
facilities in the regions he served.
Exemplifying his commitment to “all of God’s
creatures,” he became a leading figure in the wildlife preservation
movement in India. He is the founder of India’s National Cheetal Park
and a co-founder of Indira Ghandi’s internationally-known “Save The
Tiger” project, which became an important part of the Indian
government’s wildlife conservation programs during the 1970s.
Dr. Taylor has answered the call to lead five congregations as pastor. He is a published author, whose books such as Wildlife in India’s Tiger Kingdom focus on topics of creation, mankind, and animals.
Dr. Taylor and his wife, missionary nurse Adah Boggs
Taylor live in Irwin, Pennsylvania, where he has been an active civic
leader. They are the parents of seven children.
Leonard M. Thomas ’52
Leonard M. Thomas is a consummate musician,
internationally- respected for his distinguished accomplishments as a
conductor, arranger, pianist, and vocalist.
He is best known for his thirty-one year association as accompanist, choral director, and principal arranger for Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians,
the popular orchestra and chorus who “taught America how to sing.”
Touring with the group, Mr. Thomas’ appearances spanned countless radio
and television shows, concert stages, and resort clubs. Performance
highlights include sharing the stage with luminaries such as Bob Hope
and Jimmy Stewart, and soloing at the White House and at New York City’s
Mr. Thomas served as the Music Director for the renowned Fred Waring Choral Workshop held
at Penn State University each summer, where Maestro Waring developed
the groundbreaking method of choral articulations known as “tone
syllables.” After Maestro Waring’s death in 1984, Mr.
Thomas co-founded and led the U.S .Chorus in a series of
nationally-televised PBS performances. For twenty years, Mr. Thomas was
Keyboard Editor of the Shawnee Press and Recording Director of Glory Sound, meeting the demand by choirs across the nation for Fred Waring arrangements and recordings.
Throughout his career, Mr. Thomas has been an active
and highly sought-after teacher, soloist, choir director, clinician,
adjudicator, and choral festival conductor. He continues to program and
accompany reunion concerts of the Pennsylvanians and to advance Fred Waring’s America, a foundation dedicated to preserving tapes and manuscripts spanning the seven decades of the Pennsylvanians’ performances.
He holds a Muskingum Bachelor of Science degree in
Music Education and is a member of the Beta Lambda Chapter of Phi Mu
Alpha Sinfonia, the national music fraternity. He earned his Master of
Arts degree in Sacred Music from Boston University, where he made his
1953 professional debut in a combo with the legendary Louis Armstrong
and was the featured soloist with the Boston University Choir at Boston
In the photo: Leonard M. Thomas ’52,
Jan A. Levy ’60 (seated), Alumni Council President Gordon Litt,
Muskingum University President Anne C. Steele, William A. Cooper ’61,
John C. Taylor ’37 (seated) and Frank G. Helman ’51.