Waldorf University honored two of their own with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award at the annual homecoming celebration held Oct. 8 in Forest City, Iowa. 

Waldorf President Robert Alsop presented the awards to this year’s recipients: Bruce E. Carter, a 1973 graduate from Rock Island, Ill., and Capt. Donald R. Shunkwiler, USN Ret., a 1976 graduate from Ferryville, Wis.

The Alumni Distinguished Service Award recognizes Waldorf alumni who have performed distinctive and meritorious service in areas such as public affairs, education, church, business and government and have demonstrated their Christian faith in service to community and church.

Carter was honored for his outstanding service and leadership to the aviation industry and commitment to serving both profession and church with integrity and faith.

Carter, who is the director of aviation at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill., was born in Sioux City, Iowa. He attended Waldorf College where he met his future wife, Faith Griffith. After graduation from Waldorf, he entered the aviation program at Mankato State and soon began a livelihood in aviation.

Throughout Carter’s 40-year career, he has served as the airport operator in Clarion, Iowa, and as the airport director in Waterloo, Iowa. After Waterloo, Bruce held the aviation director position in Springfield, Ill., and then Peoria, Ill., before joining the Quad-City team in 1999.

In 2012, he was elected chairman of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Before that, Carter served as president of the Great Lakes Chapter of the organization, chaired the National Airports Conference and the Airport Ground Handling Association. He also served on the International Association of Airport Executives.

In 2014, Carter was honored with AAAE's Distinguished Service Award and recently, he was recognized by the Illinois State Legislature for his service to Illinois aviation.

Waldorf also recognized Shunkwiler for his exemplary leadership and service to the United States Navy and lifelong dedication to church and community.

Shunkwiler, a native of Callender, Iowa, currently serves as the executive director of Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wis.

After earning his associate degree in 1976 from Waldorf College and his bachelor’s degree from Augustana College, Carter received his commission at Officer Candidate School in 1982. He went on to serve a proud and busy career aboard several vessels including the USS Dubuque, USS McClusky, USS Peoria and the USS Duluth, where he won the Pacific Fleet Junior Officer Shiphandler of the Year award. 

Shunkwiler has held various commands and officer positions throughout his career including command of the USS Harpers Ferry and USS Germantown. He later returned to the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon where he served as the Head, East Asia and Pacific Branch, Maritime Security Cooperation Division and then as executive assistant and chief of staff, Expeditionary Warfare Division. Afterwards, Shunkwiler assumed command of the USS Tarawa. Shunkwiler completed his Navy career as commanding officer, Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Pacific.

Shunkwiler has been awarded the Legion of Merit with three gold stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, the Navy Commendation Medal with four gold stars and numerous campaign and unit awards. He retired from the Navy in 2012. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married 38 years.