In celebration of Homecoming week, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) recognized several EKU alumni for the Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals that have demonstrated great service within EKU or their own communities. Recipients of the award are expected to bring awareness, support growth and advocate for people in their community.

Alongside Chris and Gracie Hager, winners of the Distinguished Service Award this year include, Phillis Adams, Michael Cadore, and Andy Stofleth.

Adams, class of ‘69 and ‘70, has been an active member of the Madison County community since 1976.

A first generation student, Adams had a hard time warming up to student life.

After switching from a two-year administrative secretary degree to a four-year business education degree, Adams saw an opportunity to combine her knowledge of business and her passion for volunteer work to better her community.

“I think it’s an advantage to be able to visit organizations in the community and do community service locally,” said Adams.

In the time since her graduation, Adams has worked in a variety of organizations including Head Start, Linkage of Care, Madison County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy and Youth Impact Team.

Today, Adams holds the title of President for the Madison County Library Board of Trustees.

Adams said she did not expect the Distinguished Service Award. “I really did not think about it, honestly. I’m just a worker and I like to get things done,” said Adams.

Dr. Michael Cadore, class of ‘88, moved to Florida after graduating from EKU with a degree in corrections and administration of justice.

Cadore came from a family of people working in law enforcement.

“I was already gravitating towards being able to serve and protect but more importantly serve,” said Cadore. “Law enforcement was a natural gravitation and I’m glad I went that route.”

While in graduate school, Cadore began his business, Magnus Solutions, to offer consultations to help people in both business and leadership skills.

“People have good ideas, but they want great solutions,” said Cadore.

Cadore explained that while he is thankful for the award, he would not be anywhere without the people that encouraged him on his journey.

“I am accepting an award such as this because, honestly, it gives thanks to those that helped me along the way,” said Cadore.

Cadore explained that the Distinguished Service Award helps him “be grateful, be humble, and be obedient” in why he serves.

Stofleth, class of ‘15, is a former marine, and former nontraditional student that has decades of experience with service.

Stofleth explained that he was taking high school exams on September 11, 2001, and immediately felt the call to action.

After leaving the military and working in the Richmond Army Depot, Stofleth decided to enroll at EKU with a degree in public relations and a minor in business.

Stofleth explained that despite anxiety about going from the military to college, he really enjoyed his time in school.

Following graduation, Stofleth worked for several for-profit businesses before switching to non-profit organizations.

Stofleth explained that EKU had a great effect on his life today. “If I had not gone to Eastern, I may not have been successful,” said Stofleth.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorion caused destruction throughout the Bahamian Islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco. As director of communications for SBP, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping those affected by disaster, Stofleth arrived on site to lend his efforts in disaster relief.

“It’s kind of weird to be celebrated for doing your job,” said Stofleth, “but I am extremely grateful.”

Stofleth said that while grades are important, students can help themselves the most by using the skills they have learned in school and getting involved locally.

“It’s great to make the grades, and it’s great to learn, but you’ll also benefit by building your skills for the future,” said Stofleth, “supporting things locally and in the community is a good place to start.”

These three EKU alumni, along with Chris and Gracie Hager, received their Distinguished Service Award on Saturday, Oct. 22.

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