|An invitational tournament is named for Leo Brunner.|
Leo died in 2003. Kermit Wells, on Facebook, mentioned the annual Leo Brunner tournament. Leo knew all the baseball statistics, and I do mean all of them. He loved to hand someone a baseball encyclopedia and answer any trivia statistic from it, such as lifetime stolen bases or RBIs in each year.
He used that unique gift in teaching and coaching. I remember him enjoying that fact at one of our reunions (MHS 66). He told me how he wowed the kids with his memory. I did not realize it was the last time we would talk.
We were at Augustana together, so I often gave him rides when I had the family car.
Augustana appoints Kim Brunner as Chair of Board
Augustana College is pleased to announce Kim M. Brunner has been elected chair of the college's Board of Trustees. As chair, he is responsible for leading board members and the college community in fulfilling Augustana's mission to provide students with a distinctive, private liberal arts education and help them discover their desired path in life. Brunner, a 1971 graduate of Augustana, is the executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of State Farm Insurance. His position as chair is a four-year term, and he replaces outgoing chair Doug Hultquist.
"Between his professional accomplishments and his deep appreciation of the transformative power of a liberal arts education, Kim Brunner brings a formidable combination of skills and enthusiasm to his leadership of the board," says Augustana President Steven Bahls. "His passion and acumen as a trustee have strengthened the governance of Augustana College, and will continue to do so under his chairmanship."
Brunner believes the next four years will provide many defining moments for his leadership partially due to the national economic downturn. "Augustana must be prepared for what could be an extended period of financial uncertainty. President Bahls and his staff have already established a proven track record of good judgment and decision-making in managing within our means," says Brunner.
He is also appreciative of the college's successes during the last 150 years. "In the years since my graduation from Augustana, I've gained a much fuller appreciation of the debt we owe our predecessors, without whose steadfast dedication Augustana College would not have achieved its present-day status as one of America's leading liberal arts colleges," says Brunner.
"No other college does a better job than Augustana in providing an outstanding educational experience. No other is superior in preparing graduates for success and leadership in a world where change is occurring at such an astonishing pace. Our commitment to developing students broadly, in mind, spirit and body is deeply rooted and unwavering. Augustana College is a special place," he adds.
Brunner supervises the State Farm corporate law department, the third largest law department in the United States. He was inducted into the prestigious Warren E. Burger Society in 2006 by the National Center for State Courts in recognition of his dedication to the administration of justice.
He grew up in the Quad Cities and was the first of his family to attend law school. After graduating from Augustana, he earned his J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law. At Augustana, he was an exceptional baseball player and earned the Knute Erickson Scholar Athlete Award. Brunner is married to Donna (Huber) Brunner and lives in Bloomington, Ill. Their son, Jeremy, also graduated from Augustana.
Augustana's 40 member Board of Trustees consists of leaders from a variety of backgrounds including business, industry, finance, law, medicine and ministry.