SCC Press Release


The SCC Alumni Association recently announced Nancy Hodson and James Engle as the recipients of the 2009 SCC Distinguished Alumnus Awards. The awards are given annually to alumni of SCC, or one of its predecessor institutions, including Burlington Junior College and Keokuk Community College, who have achieved substantial public recognition for their accomplishments or success. One is awarded to an alum of the College's Keokuk campus and one from the West Burlington campus. Nancy Hodson was selected as the recipient for the Keokuk campus, James Engle for West Burlington.

A Distinguished Alumni Award recipient must have made substantial contributions to the good of his or her fellow human beings, been recognized as an outstanding practitioner of his or her profession or vocation, or served as a motivational force for others in a positive manner.

Nancy Lee Hedgecock Hodson (Class of 1973) is the 2009 Keokuk Campus Distinguished Alumnus. Hodson is a charter member of SCC Alumni Association and served on the Board from 1996-2006. She is on the advisory committee for Keokuk Area Hospital Home Health, Resident Advocate Committee at the Donnellson Care Center, and a volunteer for Hospice of Central Iowa and Area Agency on Aging. She and her husband, Robert, live in Farmington, IA.

James Bruce Engle (Class of 1938) is the 2009 West Burlington Campus Distinguished Alumnus. Engle, a graduate of Burlington Junior College Class and a Rhodes Scholar, spent 32 years of his military career living overseas in eighteen countries. He had 36 career assignments, both diplomatic and military, and conducted public business in eight foreign languages. He volunteered for military service in five wars. Engle lives in Peacham, VT where he lives with his wife, Pricilla.

Nancy Hodson moved to Iowa from her native California with her husband, Robert, after earning her License Practical Nurse (LPN) in 1958 from Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. While raising three children, she worked as an LPN at various area locations. She completed her Associate Degree Nursing (A.D.N.) from Southeastern Community College Keokuk Campus in 1973. After earning her RN (Registered Nurse) she became the supervisor of the Behavior Modification Unit at Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute. She later supervised the mental health units that served patients from Lee, Henry, Louisa and Des Moines counties. In the late 1970's she worked in obstetrics at Fort Madison Community Hospital. She joined the faculty of Southeastern Community College Keokuk Campus Nursing Program in 1980 and earned a Bachelor's Degree from Western Illinois University in 1989.

Hodson retired as the Nursing Coordinator and instructor at SCC in 2003. Since her retirement she has served as an adjunct instructor for various health-related courses at SCC and was involved with the Iowa Organization for the Advancement of Associate Degree Nursing for several years. She has served as an active organizer of the Eva Brown Walk-Run for SCC Foundation Nursing scholarships since 1999.

After graduating first in his class from Burlington Junior College in 1938, James Engle enrolled at the University of Chicago. He majored in Political Science and graduated first in his class. He was a Graduate Honor Scholar at the University of Chicago. He then enlisted in the Navy.

Engle later attended Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and Oxford University at Exeter College on a Rhodes scholarship. He won Fulbright Scholarships to the University of Stanieri in Perugia, Italy and the Instituto Italiano in Naples, Italy.
Engle worked for Vice Consul, Political Officer, Deputy Chief and Charge d'Affaires for U.S. embassies around the world, including Ecuador, Brazil, Italy, London, Germany, Ghana, Accra, Cambodia, West Africa, and Nicaragua.

The SCC Alumni Association Board of Directors reviewed and voted to recommend two nominees for the Keokuk and West Burlington Distinguished Alumni awards. The SCC Board of Trustees approved the two candidates for the 2009 Distinguished Alumni awards on October 16, 2008.

The SCC Alumni Association will host a reception in Hodson's honor on Wednesday, May 13 at the Holiday Inn Express in Keokuk. Hodson will deliver the keynote address at the Southeastern Community College Commencement Exercises at the Grand Theater at Keokuk's Grand Theater at 7 p.m..

For health reasons, Mr. Engle will not be able to attend the May 14 graduation at Burlington's Memorial Auditorium.

Interested persons are welcome to attend Commencement Exercises free of charge. Tickets are available for purchase for Mrs. Hodson's reception.

Anyone can submit nominations for SCC Distinguished Alumni Awards by visiting and completing the online form.

For more information, contact Julie Glasgow at or (319) 208-5062.



Back to top