The Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at Missouri Southern has announced the recipients of the Outstanding Alumnus and Lion-Hearted awards.

Kevin Hooks, a 1992 graduate of Missouri Southern, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Former soccer coach and Hall of Famer Hal Bodon is the recipient of the Lion-Hearted Award. Both will be honored during the annual Alumni Awards Dinner at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in the North End Zone Facility.

“These awards are selected by the awards committee of the Alumni Board of Directors based upon nominations throughout the year,” said Lee Elliff Pound, alumni director. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have these two outstanding representatives of MSSU added to the already amazing list of recipients.”


Kevin Hooks
Outstanding Alumnus Award

Kevin Hooks, ’92, serves as president and CEO of the Las Vegas Clark County Urban League.

Kevin Hooks

Kevin Hooks

After graduating with a degree in communication, he worked for State Farm for six years, where he became the senior public affairs manager; and later as general manager for Urban Elevation. He then served as vice president and general manager for UPP Entertainment Marketing, introducing celebrity brand placement protocols for events such as the Sundance Film Festival, People’s Choice Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards.

He then took on the role of executive vice president at Weber Shandwick, where he was in charge of spearheading the integrated marketing initiatives through consumer, entertainment and multi-cultural disciplines.

A member of the Urban League at the national level since 1997, he became president and CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League in 2013. He serves as the principal spokesperson for communicating the organization’s mission, programs and services within the community. Services offered include GED support, helping clients attend college to learn a trade and teaching application and interview skills, as well as offering literacy, child development and financial empowerment programs.

Along with his participation in various community organization, Hooks was recently appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval as chairman of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission.


Dr. Hal Bodon
Lion-Hearted Award

Dr. Hal Bodon was the first head coach of the Missouri Southern men’s soccer program, after introducing the sport as a club in 1972.

Hal Bodon

Hal Bodon

The team’s first games as an official athletic program were played in 1976 and he served as the head coach for 11 seasons. He had a career record of 138-72-21, resulting in a .637 winning percentage.

As an instructor, Bodon taught French and German, theories of second language learning and oral communication. He chaired the annual Foreign Language Field Day for several years and helped to establish Missouri Southern’s annual Honors Convocation.

Following his retirement in 1996, he and his wife worked as missionaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. From 2010-12, Bodon served as director of the Huntsman World Senior Games Soccer Tournament in St. George, Utah, and also as an adjunct professor at Dixie State University.

In 1998, a dedication was held for the Hal Bodon Soccer Field at Missouri Southern, and he was inducted into the MSSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.


The pre-dinner social will begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner and program starting at 7 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. RSPVs are requested by Monday, Oct. 3, by calling 417-659-5466.