Booster Gala

2022 Booster Gala a huge success for HLGU

The 2022 Hannibal-LaGrange University Booster Gala featuring new HLGU President Dr. Robert Matz was an incredible success for the University.

The Booster Gala, formally called the HLGU Booster Banquet, capped off a packed Homecoming Weekend at HLGU. Friends of the University and community members enjoyed fellowship and great food in the Roland Fine Arts Center prior to the formal program. Attendees enjoyed live music performed by assistant professor of music and music department chair Ms. Alyssa Pyne throughout the evening.

“Our first Booster Gala was a wonderful success,” said Lauren Youse, Director of Alumni Services and Development. “It had a very festive atmosphere and great food. It is a great addition to our Homecoming weekend. I was so pleased to see and visit with so many HLGU alumni and friends. It really felt like a reunion.”

After this time of food and fellowship, everyone shifted into the Parker Theatre for the Booster Gala program. Guests were welcomed to the Booster Gala by Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Ray Carty.

“While the journey to complete campus sustainability has not been finished, much has been accomplished in the last few months,” Dr. Carty said in his introduction. “We praise God for who He is and we thank Him for what He has done at Hannibal-LaGrange University through you. Many have helped us financially and by volunteering on campus.”

Three awards were given out to outstanding HLGU Alumni. The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was presented to Josh Pierce ’12 M ’17, the Outstanding Service Award was presented to Jim ’76 and Linda ’79 Youse, and the Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Brett R. ’92 and Mindy (Stinson) ’90 Akright. The audience was treated to a performance by the HLGU Chamber Choir, followed by a keynote presentation by Hannibal-LaGrange University President Dr. Robert Matz.

Dr. Robert J. Matz was voted as the 18th President of Hannibal-LaGrange University on October 14, 2022. Since July 2021, Dr. Matz has served HLGU as Vice President of Academic Administration, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Theology and Preaching. Dr. Matz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering (2005). He earned a Master’s of Divinity with a concentration in systematic theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2009) and a Ph.D. in theology and apologetics from Liberty University (2015). Dr. Matz is a member of and regular presenter at the Evangelical Theological Society. He was appointed to and served on the Southern Baptist Convention’s special task force on evangelism in 2017-2018.

Dr. Matz’s message to HLGU on Saturday night was one of encouragement to jump in and support the work that God is doing at HLGU.

“Join in where God is moving,” Dr. Matz said. “We each have an opportunity to be a part of what God is doing here at Hannibal-LaGrange University.”

Dr. Matz spoke about Hannibal-LaGrange University’s commitment to teaching in a biblical worldview.

“Be it in classes on Old and New Testament and biblical worldview, or in every other subject matter that we teach, we hold high the Bible and understand that all truth is God’s truth,” Dr. Matz said.

As Dr. Matz spoke on the pillars that Hannibal-LaGrange University is built on, he shared five core values integral to the institution. These core values are Biblical Worldview, Educational Relevance, Community Mindset, Transformational Leadership, and Generational Impact.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Matz tied these five core values together and unveiled Hannibal-LaGrange University’s new mission statement: “Hannibal-LaGrange University transforms lives and communities through relevant education anchored in a biblical worldview.”

The audience listened to a testimony of HLGU Board of Trustees member Dr. Vinita Henry. Dr. Henry shared the impact that HLGU had in her life and the lives of her family members.

“If a student comes to HLGU, they will get a quality education,” Dr. Henry said. “Students will leave HLGU with their biblical worldview strengthened, and HLGU will foster Christian service and leadership. I’ve seen this in my own children and many other graduates from HLGU. Hannibal-LaGrange University creates students who impact others with the love of Jesus.”

Dr. Matz shared one last word, encouraging everyone in attendance to support the University.

“I want to encourage you that when you give, you are taking an action that works to transform lives and communities through relevant education anchored in a biblical worldview,” Dr. Matz said. “As you give, you have my commitment to you that we will steward your gift well to provide scholarships to our students and to equip the next generation with the relevant education they need to transform lives and communities.”

This HLGU Booster Gala was sponsored by HNB Bank. HLGU also would like to thank Fresh Ideas for catering this event.

For more information about HLGU’s annual Booster Gala, please contact Lauren Youse, Director of Alumni Services and Development, at 573-629-3126 or via email at

Booster Banquet Archives

  • 2009 Bruce Wilkinson
  • 2008 Nazareth
  • 2007 Gloria Gaither
  • 2006 Guy Penrod
  • 2005 Wally Magdangal
  • 2004 Dennis Swanberg
  • 2003 Joe White
  • 2002 Dave Dravecky
  • 2001 Heather Whitestone
  • 2000 Darrell Scott

  • 1999 Dr. Alan Keyes
  • 1998 Ruth Graham McIntyre
  • 1997 Mike Singletary
  • 1996 Cal Thomas
  • 1995 Naomi Judd
  • 1994 Dan Shealy
  • 1993 Mildred McWhorter
  • 1992 Dr. Larry Lewis
  • 1991 Dr. Debbye Turner
  • 1990 Rex & Jennifer Hudler

  • 1989 Tandy Rice
  • 1988 Paul Wrenn
  • 1987 Bill Glass
  • 1986 Zig Ziglar
  • 1985 William J. Murray
  • 1984 Dr. Bertha Holt
  • 1983 Honorable Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell
  • 1982 Dr. Adrian Rogers
  • 1981 Honorable John Ashcroft, Honorable Max Bacon
  • 1980 Minnie Pearl

  • 1979 Dr. J. D. Grey
  • 1978 Jerry Clower
  • 1977 Dr. A. E. Prince, Dr. L. A. Foster, Dr. Gerald Martin
  • 1976 Dr. Ben Fisher
  • 1975 Tom Lester
  • 1974 Willa Dorsey
  • 1973 Dr. Gerald Martin
  • 1972 Dr. Dick Cole
  • 1971 Dr. Frank Kellog, Harold Dickerson, Wally Jones
  • 1970 Tom Haggai

  • 1969 Paul Harvey
  • 1968 Dr. Earl O. Harding
  • 1967 Dr. Kenneth McFarland
  • 1966 Dr. Wayne Dehoney
  • 1965 Dr. Earl O. Harding
  • 1964 Dr. Merrimon Cuninggim
  • 1963 Dr. J. D. Grey
  • 1962 Dr. Herschel Hobbs
  • 1961 Dr. C. Oscar Johnson
  • 1960 Rev. Charles F. Wellborn

  • 1959 Dr. Sterling L. Price
  • 1958 R. G. LeTourneau
  • 1957 Dr. Porter Routh
  • 1956 Dr. James L. Sullivan
  • 1955 Dr. Earl O. Harding
  • 1954 Dr. C. Oscar Johnson
  • 1953 Dr. Wallace Bassett
  • 1952 Lula (Pulliam) Colwell
  • 1951 Congressman Clarence Cannon
  • 1950 Dr. T. W. Medearis

  • 1949 J. C. Penney
  • 1948 Dr. M. E. Dodd
  • 1947 Dr. C. Oscar Johnson
  • 1946 Congressman Clarence Cannon
  • 1945 Senator Frank P. Briggs
  • 1944 Dr. J. E. Dillard
  • 1943 Dr. Thomas H. Taylor
  • 1942 Dr. C. Oscar Johnson