Sterling College recognizes 2019 Alumni Award winners

Sterling College recognizes 2019 Alumni Award winners
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sterling College recognized its Alumni Award winners for 2019 who were awarded at Homecoming on Oct. 10-12. The Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Robert “Bob” Thompson ’45, the Spirit of Sterling Alumni Award was posthumously awarded to the late Dr. Jamie “JC” Chambers ’83 and to the late Ronald A. Raglin ’84, and the Young Alumni Award was given to Kacie (Rogers) Hastings ’12.

Robert Thompson graduated from Sterling with a degree in physics. He served as a math professor and department chair from 1947-66 at Sterling College. His late wife, Barbara “Barbie” (Dietz) ’47, gave piano lessons through the College and taught first grade at Sterling Grade School from 1955-67. 

In 1967, the Thompsons moved to Topeka where Bob served Washburn University as an associate professor of mathematics. He was secretary and treasurer for the Kansas section of the Mathematical Association of America. He also served on the board of the School of Religion at the University of Kansas. He received an honorary degree of doctor of science from Sterling College in 1969.

The Thompsons impacted students’ lives through their service to Sterling College and the Sterling community. They have endowed two scholarships at Sterling, the Dr. Robert H. Thompson Endowed Mathematics and Natural Science Scholarship and the Barbara Thompson Music Endowed Scholarship Fund that Bob established to honor his wife in December 2015.

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest alumni honor presented. It honors and recognizes a lifetime of service that exemplifies the purposes for which Sterling College exists—exceptional contributions to society, distinguished professional accomplishment and outstanding leadership and character. The recipient or recipients are chosen by vote of the Alumni Council and Sterling College’s Board of Trustees.


The late Dr. Jamie “JC” Chambers graduated from Sterling with a degree in Art and Psychology. He and his wife, Lorri (DeWerff) ’86 were married in 1984 after his first year at Sioux Falls Seminary. Following seminary, he received his ED.D from the University of South Dakota and became licensed as a psychologist with special interest in at-risk youth, families, and chemical dependency.

In 1994, Chambers started at a grace-based counseling practice in Sioux Falls called Stronghold Counseling Services named after Proverbs 18:10. He was credentialled in many areas throughout his career including as an addiction therapist, marriage and family therapist and a licensed counseling psychologist.


The late Ronald A. Raglin graduated from Sterling with a degree in elementary education. He met his wife, Tena (Powles) ’85, and were married in 1983. 

He spent his entire career in public education as a teacher, coach and administrator. His career took him from Dos Palos, Calif., Merced, Calif., to Chicago, Ill. Most recently, Raglin served as the assistant superintendent of educational support programs and alignment for School District U-46. Located west of Chicago, his district included 57 schools that served nearly 39,000 Pre-K through 12th grade students. Raglin was awarded the 2019 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award by the City of Elgin for his leadership and tireless work on issues surrounding educational equity as well as his work towards creating “The Beloved Community” that, among other things, supports student success. 

The Spirit of Sterling Alumni Award recognizes a Sterling graduate who exemplifies the heart of Sterling College’s mission. This designation honors a servant leader of distinction who embraces Sterling’s mission and serves Christ Jesus in their career, church, community and human relationships.


Kacie (Rogers) Hastings graduated from Sterling with a degree in Christian Ministries with a youth emphasis and minored in theatre. She served the College as arts admissions counselor until 2017. She earned her teaching certificate in Theatre Education, teaching at Independence High School, Emporia Middle School and currently is at Emporia High School as the theatre teacher.

The Young Alumni Award is presented to a recent graduate of the past decade of who has achieved success as a younger leader and demonstrated excellence in career, service to others, and loyalty to Sterling College.

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit