Four to receive highest honors from Auburn Alumni Association

Published: October 02, 2015
Updated: October 06, 2015
Font Size

Article body

The Auburn Alumni Association has named four recipients to receive its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2016.

They are: Jane B. Moore, retired faculty member of Auburn University; Edward Lee "Ed Lee" Spencer '52, chairman of the board of AuburnBank; Col. James Shelton "Jim" Voss '72, NASA astronaut; and Walter Stanley "Walt" Woltosz '69, owner of Simulations Plus Inc.

Lt. William Joel "Joel" Shumaker '05, registered military nurse, is the recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes extraordinary accomplishments of a member of the Auburn Family age 40 and under.

Moore, Spencer, Voss, Woltosz and Shumaker will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony on March 12, 2016, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

Jane B. Moore made significant professional contributions to Auburn University over a 28-year career on the faculty of the College of Education and the Department of Health and Human Performance (now the School of Kinesiology). Her service to Auburn has been recognized with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and the Pamela Wells Sheffield Award, which recognizes Auburn women exemplifying grace, character and a community-minded spirit. Moore collaborated with other researchers within Auburn University's Motor Behavior Laboratory, making scholarly contributions to advance the understanding about how children move and learn to move. She was the first woman to serve on the Auburn University Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. In 2003, she became the first woman at Auburn to have an athletic facility named solely in her honor when the Auburn Softball Complex was renamed Jane B. Moore Field in recognition of her dedication and service to athletics at Auburn University. Active in community service, Moore is an annual member of the Auburn Alumni Association.

Ed Lee Spencer was the first Fulbright Scholarship recipient from Auburn University. After completing his studies, he worked at Spencer Lumber Co., then expanded his interest in construction by establishing Lee Electrical Supply, Spencer Heating and Air and Auburn Millwork. In 1975, Spencer joined AuburnBank's Board of Directors and, in 1985, became chairman of the board. In 1990, he was named president and CEO of AuburnBank and currently is again serving as chairman of the board. Under his leadership, the bank added branches in other cities in Alabama and moved from $25 million in total assets to more than $668 million by the end of 2007. In 1991, U.S. Banker magazine named AuburnBank among the nation's top 200 community banks, the only bank in Alabama to receive this recognition. In 2011, Spencer was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. Active in community service, where he has been a longtime advocate of affordable housing for moderate-income families, Spencer and his wife, the former Ruth Priester, have three grown children. He is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.

Jim Voss went to work at NASA's Johnson Space Center in 1984 and was selected as an astronaut in 1987, training for space shuttle flights as well as training in Russia as a backup crew member to the Mir Space Station. Beginning in 1991, Voss began 10 years of shuttle space flights, including 163 days as a member of the Expedition 2 crew on the International Space Station. Since his retirement from NASA in 2003, Voss has been a professor and associate dean of engineering at Auburn, vice president for space exploration systems at the Transformational Space Corp., vice president of engineering for SpaceDev and director of advanced programs at Sierra Nevada Corp. In 2009, Voss joined the faculty of the University of Colorado as a full-time Scholar in Residence. He was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001. Voss is married to the former Suzan Curry '71, a member of the Dean's Leadership Council in the Auburn College of Science and Mathematics. The couple has one daughter. Jim and Suzan Voss are joint life members of the Auburn Alumni Association.

Walt Woltosz developed his first augmentative communication system for persons with severe communication disabilities after his mother-in-law was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). That first iteration, which is still on display at the Smithsonian Institute two decades later, led him in 1981 to establish Words+, a company that offered many firsts for communication needs for the severely disabled. Renowned astrophysicist Sir Stephen Hawking wrote "A Brief History of Time" using Woltosz's technology in 1988. In the late 1990s, Woltosz turned his inventor's eye to the development of simulation and modeling software for drug discovery and development, and today his products are used by the world's top 15 pharmaceutical firms to analyze new products. Woltosz serves on the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council, is chairman of the council's research committee, serves on the Auburn University Foundation Board and funded the Woltosz Engineering Research Laboratory in the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology. Woltosz and his wife, Virginia, have homes in Auburn and in California. He is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.

Joel Shumaker served in the U.S. Navy as a Navy Hospital Corpsman and enrolled in the School of Nursing in 2003. After graduating in 2005, Shumaker worked as a registered nurse with the Navy as he rapidly moved up the ranks, being promoted to charge nurse, department head and division officer in three years. In June 2013, Lieutenant Shumaker was deployed to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa, the only enduring U.S. military base on the African continent. At Camp Lemonnier, Shumaker was one of only four nurses caring for more than 6,200 qualified beneficiaries from all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Also while at Camp Lemonnier, Shumaker served the surrounding communities by making multiple weekly trips to a local orphanage and to shelters for street children. Shumaker served as department head of the maternal/infant unit at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, before transitioning to Navy Reserves in December 2014. He currently manages 41 in-patient beds in the medical/surgical/oncology specialties at St. Vincent's East Hospital in Birmingham. Shumaker has three daughters and is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
The Auburn Alumni Association is a member-based nonprofit organization funded by membership contributions, individual donations and corporate sponsorships. The mission of the Auburn Alumni Association is to foster and strengthen the relationship between Auburn University and its alumni and friends; to preserve and promote the university's traditions, purposes, growth and alumni; and to keep alive the spirit of affection and reverence for Auburn University.

For more information on the Lifetime Achievement Awards, contact Jessica King, director of alumni communications and marketing, at (334) 844-2960 or jessicaking@auburn.edu.

Related Links