Carder earns Distinguished Alumni Award for Service

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Nicole Cooke, for The Muleskinner

Although retired, Carder has recently created a consulting firm where he helps universities and businesses establish positive brand identities. (Photo courtesy of University Relations)

After more than 20 years of working on the UCM campus, Dale Carder has been awarded the first ever Distinguished Alumni Award for Service.
Carder, who retired in December 2011, has held many positions since he first came to UCM in 1991. He had come up for reassignment in the military and there happened to be a position open at his alma mater, UCM, in the ROTC department.
“I served my country and my alma mater, and I’m very fortunate to have done that,” Carder said.
From there, he made his way to director of extended campus. He was working to promote and advertise degree programs for continuing education, such as promoting weekend classes and Central at Night – 200 classes at night to help non-traditional students.
He was moved to marketing and began working to help create an integrated marketing campaign for UCM. The campaign involved many new and different advertising techniques, such as billboards and advertising in movie theatres, making UCM the first college to do so.
To help with recruitment, a CD-ROM was also created to mail to students, functioning much like today’s current website, something that didn’t exist at the time.
Up until 2009, Carder continued to help with the integrated marketing plan between University Relations, marketing and several other offices. At that time, he was named executive director of the UCM Foundation.
Students were in the middle of a tough economy, so the Foundation started Scholarships Now. People were able to donate $500-$1,000 directly to scholarships.
“We turned around and gave that money straight to the students,” Carder said. “People like to donate and see the impact it has on students. A lot of people are very dedicated to helping the students and the university.”
Carder graduated from UCM, then CMSU, in 1979.
“Some of the faculty from when I graduated were still here [when I came back] and to see them in a different light was a lot of fun,” Carder said. “They invested a lot of time in me and mentored me. It was my time to give back to my alma mater, and it’s been a very satisfying experience.”
Giving back through the UCM Foundation is just one of many ways Carder has helped the community.
He has also been the president of the Optimist Club, which is dedicated to helping local youth.
He has served as the president of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, and has also served as a Chamber committee member.
He is currently on the military affairs committee and serves on a council in the Whiteman Air Force Base community.
He has also had the opportunity to be involved in many statewide organizations.
Carder exemplifies what it means to be a recipient of the service award. Giving back is something that is very important to him.
“To be a true professional, no matter what field, you have to contribute to the community you live in,” Carder said. “It’s a good feeling to have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping others.”
Traci Via, director of Alumni and Constituent Relations, said the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service was established this year to honor individuals who have “given their time, talent and resources to enhance the university, their community, or both, and are a true inspiration to all UCM alumni.”
When Carder was notified he would be the first recipient of the alumni service award, he said he was initially shocked.
“But after awhile, I realized this was for all the work I did with a lot of people,” Carder said. “My name may be on the award, but I’m accepting it for all the people who have helped with the work we’ve done in the community of Warrensburg.”
After Carder made the choice to retire this past winter, he decided to continue working on a smaller scale.
He recently formed the Carder Group LLC, which helps universities and businesses establish a positive brand identity.
He just finished working with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and is now branching out to small businesses.
With his unique experiences in many fields, including fundraising, marketing, advertising and education, he said he thought he still had something to give, just not full time.
He is, however, making time for himself.
Since retiring, he and his wife have been to 14 states and Canada, which he said reminds him of when he traveled in the military.
Carder, a Warrensburg resident, has been to campus several times since retiring to go to arts and sporting events.
He will be returning to work with students Thursday, by speaking to several classes on campus.
He will return again Friday for the Distinguished Alumni dinner, where he will be presented with his award.
“I’ve been going to alumni dinners for years and it’s such a nice event to get to see videos of the award recipients to see what they’ve done,” Carder said.
“You appreciate how great UCM is. All these people have graduated and gone on to do these great things. UCM is making a huge impact on the world.”
The Distinguished Alumni dinner and ceremony will be Friday at 6:30 p.m., following a reception at 5:30 p.m. in Union 240.
The event will also honor three other alumni receiving the Distinguished Alumni award.
For more information, contact the office of Alumni Relations at 660-543-8000 or by email at [email protected].