Biundo is the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus
Jim Biundo '59 '62 and wife, Antoinette '65 '69
Having spent his career in education, Jim Biundo '59, '62 believes education is not an end, but means, and is a lifelong experience beyond the classroom.
"Through education we are able to get information about the world, past and present, synthesize it, and then apply it to our own lives," he said.
Biundo, the 2013 Adams State University Outstanding Alumnus, has taken that philosophy to heart throughout the years he spent in the classroom, boardroom, and in all aspects of his life. He will receive the award at the Alumni Banquet and Annual Meeting. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, in the Student Union Building room 131. Tickets, $25 per person, can be purchased by calling 719-587-8110.
Upon hearing he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award, Biundo said: "Adams State has a very special place in my heart. My whole career in education began here, first as a student and then, later, as a faculty member and administrator. Just prior to receiving my bachelor's degree, I was interviewed on campus for my first teaching job at Las Animas High School. Five years later, I was interviewed on campus for my teaching job at the college level. Adams State prepared me well for what would become my life's profession, just as it has done for generations of other students. Access, opportunity, and excellence continue to be the hallmarks of Adams State. I am proud to call it my alma mater."
Eneritus Professor of English Don Stegman '61,'64 has continued his friendship with Biundo that began in their student days and became closer once they both joined the Adams State faculty. "Jim was a popular professor. He was fair and very good at what he taught." Stegman said Biundo took that upbeat attitude with him when he joined the administration as head of the Language and Literature Division.
During Biundo's tenure at Adams State, he observed the work of his colleagues and their various teaching and administrative techniques. "I learned the importance of collegiality and recognized that teaching truly is a noble profession, and, as educators, we can make a positive impact on the lives of our students."
As an English, speech, and theatre major, Biundo drew on the arts throughout his career. He said: "Administrators, of necessity, have to deal with a considerable amount of organizational detail. It is easy to get caught up in the detail and lose sight of the broad view. Poetry, as is the case with all the visual, written, and performing arts, has helped remind me of the broad view and, in doing so, has made me a better administrator."
Dr. John Marvel, emeritus president, remembers Biundo as an "outstanding" professional and very sociable. "He was always concerned that people live up to the expectations of their positions."
Since retirement in 2000, Biundo has lived in Surprise, Arizona, where he serves as the vice mayor. He has served the city of Surprise on a variety of boards and committees, including the City of Surprise Arts and Cultural Commission and the West Valley Art Museum Board of Trustees. He also completed the Surprise Citizens Academy.
According to Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Biundo was appointed to fill her seat on the city council when she stepped down to run for mayor. She said: "Jim is thoughtful in his work, genuine in his manner and detailed in his approach to solving problems. What I admire most about Jim is his selflessness. He is truly committed to serving his city and making it a place we are all proud to call home."
In the letter nominating Biundo for the Outstanding Alumnus Award, his daughters wrote: "He (Biundo) continues to work for the betterment of the city and enhancement of city services for the residents of Surprise. He also works closely with a charter school for low-income children in the district."
- Wife, Antoinette '65 '69
- "My wife and I have three wonderful daughters, all of whom have become successful women in their professional lives."
- (pictured above) Terrilee (Ron) Day '93; Kimberly (Kevin) Peets '82; Tammy (Greg) Gerstner
- Five grandchildren.
Mentors and Professors
- Ernest Bruegel, principal of Las Animas High School
- "Mr. Bruegel hired me for my first teaching job and was the epitome of the professional educator."
- Dr. John Marvel, Adams State emeritus president:
- "Dr. Marvel brought the concept of 'shared governance' to Adams State and kept colleagues fully involved in the decision-making process."
- Dr. John Turano, emeritus professor of teacher education
- "Dr. Turano practiced and affirmed that quality teaching and learning are the foundations of higher education."
- Donald Brooks, emeritus professor of English
- "He taught me about the universality of theatre and the importance of respect for the use of the English language."
- Dr. Dean Lyman, who taught Shakespeare classes and was an accomplished jazz pianist
- "The most memorable moments in Dr. Lyman's classes were when he, a tall, thin, seemingly frail man, would draw himself up to his full height and, with a strong booming voice, read passages from Shakespeare."
- Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
- "The book shows the resilience of the family unit and the strength of the matriarchal figure, which reminds me of my mother who raised a large family, often during some difficult times."
- "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," by Robert Frost. "The last three lines of the poem serve as a life reminder."
- "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."
- William Faulkner
- "Southeast Missouri State University, where I spent the latter part of my career, has one of the four largest collections of original Faulkner works. I was fortunate to have access to those in the Rare Books Library and to have discussions with one of the eminent Faulkner scholars who was a member of the faculty."
- Other than Shakespeare, "the favorite would be Robert Frost because of his clear, universal messages in such poems as Stopping by Woods… and Mending Wall."
- Visits to Venice, Italy, and Lucerne, Switzerland, were memorable; however, "Las Vegas has been a favorite vacation spot."
- Being involved in the community.
- "I Know Another Side," Weekend Portfolio, The Philadelphia Tribune
- "Three Poems: Colors, I know Another Side, Deep Bright Remembrance," A Flood of Emotions, Vandalia Missouri: The Right Writer's Group;
- "Intimated Immortality," On the Threshold of a Dream, Maryland: The National Library of Poetry. Editor's Choice Award, North American Open Poetry Contest;
- "Elk Cycle," Of Diamonds and Rust, Anthology, Maryland: The National Library of Poetry. Editor's Choice Award, North American Open Poetry Contest.
- In the Beginning: The Writing Process, Berkeley, California: McCutchan Publishing Company
- Moments of Selfhood: Three Major Plays by Luigi Pirandello New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
Recent Published Articles
- "The Frozen World of Ethan Frome," Proceeding of the Society for Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery
- "Like Watching a Miracle," The Rotarian
- "Searching for Self," American Association of Behavioral and Social Science Perspective Journal
- "Motiveless Malignity," American Association of Behavioral and Social Science Perspective Journal
- For nearly 25 years, Biundo presented at academic and professional development conferences across the country and internationally.
- Assistant to the President for University Relations, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau
- Executive Director of Public Affairs/Director of Marketing, Pima Community College, Tucson, Ariz.
- Assistant to the President for Community Relations, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- English professor, special assistant to the president, Director of Public Affairs, Adams State College
- English teacher, Las Animas, Colo.
- Designated Rotary Paul Harris Fellow by Cape Girardeau Rotary Club, 1995
- International Society of Poets International Pen Award in 1991
- Poet of Merit Award in 1992
- Adams State Alumni Association Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement, in 1985
Greatest Professional Experience
- Met US Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton
- Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English, speech, and theatre, Adams State College