Springer Named Van Meter Award Recipient
November 1, 2022
Parsons, KS – The Labette Community College (LCC) Alumni Association is proud to announce Neil Springer as the recipient of the 22nd Annual William & Allene Guthrie Van Meter Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. This prestigious award is presented by the Foundation and Alumni Association to a graduate 50 years of age or younger who has made significant professional and community service achievements.
As an alum of LCC, Springer is recognized for the outstanding safety, service, and protection he has given to the community and college over the years. He is an inspiration to the youth in our community by achieving his goals he set at a youthful age of serving in the military and working in law enforcement. He has coached youth sports -football, basketball, baseball, and softball since 2003. He also organized the Shaun Hill Youth Football Camp for many years. His involvement with the youth has helped teach that police officers are there to help when ever needed.
Springer trains the college staff on Alice (Active Shooter course). He has served on the LCC Alumni and Foundation Board for 7 years where he was the Past-Chair, Chair, and Vice-Chair. “Neil is the epitome of a servant leader. He has volunteered to work at numerous college events and he provides valuable leadership in board meetings too,” said Lindi Forbes, Executive Director of the LCC Foundation.
Springer came to LCC in 1994, after serving in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Normandy. In 1998, he received his associate’s degree from LCC in Criminal Justice.
He served in the Reserves when his troop was deployed to Operation Desert Storm for six months. He has been a member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars since returning from Desert Storm. In June of 2022, he was elected to serve as the Post Commander of Brown-Bishop Post #704 in Parsons, after serving as the Post’s Junior and Senior – Vice Commanders the proceeding three years. He plays an active role in helping keep the VFW building and grounds maintained so members and the community can use it for dedicated events. He is also a member of the American Legion and Parson’s Elk Lodge.
While in the Navy, he earned the Southwest Asia Service Medal with Star, National Defense Medal, Battle “E” and Sea Service Ribbon.
In October 1995, Springer was hired on at the Parson’s Police Department (PD). He worked for the Parson’s PD for over 18 years and was known for his uncanny ability to diffuse situations by simply talking to those involved. While at the PD he received the Life Saving Award, Medal of Valor, the “Stork” Award, and 15-year service medal.
Springer currently is employed by Labette Health as the Security Supervisor and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “In my 44 years of leadership I can unequivocally say that Neil is the finest individual that I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said Springers former supervisor, Rod Landrum. “It was an honor to be considered part of his team!” He serves on multiple committees at the hospital that include Safety, Emergency Preparedness, Quality Council, and the Trauma Committee.
He currently is the Chairman of the Southeast Kansas Healthcare Coalition Emergency Preparedness Management and currently in his second term. He serves on the Labette, Montgomery, and Neosho County local Emergency Management Planning Committees and serves as the Vice-chair in Labette and Montgomery. He has served as Past-Chair in Labette.
He is the chair for the Labette Exercise Planning Committee, which is a sub-committee of the LEPC.
Over the years he has served on the Parson’s Chamber of Commerce as Chair, Past-Chair, and Vice-Chair. He has received the Co-volunteer of the Year Award and shares this honor with Dr. Wayne Gilmore.
He has his own DJ business that he has donate his time and talent for local organization’s charity events.
Springer has one biological child but claims seven children along with three grandsons, and one granddaughter.
Neil Springer is very deserving of the Van Meter Award due to his outstanding service he has given to the community and the Labette Community College. The award was named in memory of the Van Meters for their generous estate gift that funded renovation of the Thiebaud Theatre at LCC. William was a 1929 graduate of the college and Allene taught romance languages at the college from 1929 to 1935.
For more information, about the Van Meter Award or LCC please go to www.labette.edu or call Lindi Forbes, LCC Foundation and Alumni Director at 620-820-1212.