Woman holds plaque flanked by 3 men
Jeana Howald was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award by the MVNU Alumni Association during Homecoming Chapel on Nov. 10. Pictured, from left, are, Dr. James Smith, Vice President for University Relations; Mike Cheek, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Advancement; Jeana Howald; and Ron Keiser, President MVNU Alumni Association. 

MOUNT VERNON — Jeana Howald (Class of 1982) was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award during Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Homecoming Chapel on Nov. 10.

The Distinguished Alumni Service Award is given by MVNU’s Alumni Association to an alum who has shown and modeled the values of the University in their lives and careers.

It is a recognition of those who have humbly and lovingly served above self and are engaged in the motto, “To seek to learn is to seek to serve.”

Howald (’82) has served as women’s softball coach since 1990. In 1993, women’s softball earned its first national title.

Over her 34 years as head coach, Howald guided the team to the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament 10 times and earned several Coach of the Year honors throughout her career.  

“What makes Jeana special goes beyond her title and performances. She exudes the spirit of MVNU. She is a leader of women who lives the MVNU motto of service and life change,” said Dr. James Smith, Vice President for University Relations.

“She mentors her players for life after athletics through commitment to their academics and their personal relationship with Christ. Her personal relationship with each player does not end when they stop playing for her as she continues to foster relationships with her alumni.” 

“I’ve been at a lot of different schools and met a lot of different challenges, but I’ve done what I have because of people like Jeana,” said Dr. Lora Donoho, former MVNU Athletic Director and first female athletic director in the nation. “She is such a good person and I’m thankful for her.

“She is ‘good people!’ Jeana gives every challenge everything she has. She is loyal — to her church, to her players, and to her peers. She is a special servant. If I were looking for a crew of my ship, I’d hire Jeana!” 

As a student-athlete, Howald was a three-sport standout in basketball, volleyball, and tennis. She was inducted into the Cougar Wall of Fame in 1998. 

To view the award presentation, visit mvnu.tv, and search On Demand for MVNU Chapel – Homecoming. 

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