2018 Calvin College Knight of Distinction - Kelli Schutte
Dr. Kelli (Lautenbach) Schutte is the 2018 recipient of the Calvin Knight of Distinction Award.
Schutte will receive the award Thursday night during the annual Calvin C' Club Awards Celebration.
Each year C Club, the Calvin College alumni athletic organization, recognizes a former Knight who has served God, church and community with the Christian character that was shaped in part by participation in the athletic program at Calvin College. Previous recipients of this award have been Dr. Anthony Diekema '56, Dr. Mark Veenstra '76, Gretchen Toxopeus Pyles, '91 and Dr. Chris Holstege, '88.
Schutte is a 1991 Calvin College graduate where she was a standout in the classroom and on the track.
As an athlete, Lautenbach was a four-time All-MIAA selection in women's track and field. She was named the MIAA's co-MVP in 1990 and the MIAA's MVP in 1991. A sprinter, she captured four consecutive MIAA individual titles in the 400 meter dash, three MIAA titles in the 100 meter dash and one league crown in the 200 meter dash. She established school records in all three events during her time at Calvin while also running on record-setting 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams.
During her final two years, she led the Calvin women's track and field team to MIAA co-championships which ignited a string of 28 consecutive league titles by the Calvin women's track and field program.
She was also a three-time NCAA III All-American. At the 1990 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships she placed fourth in the 400 meter dash and was part of a 4x400 meter relay team that finished eighth. In 1991, she again earned All-America accolades with a seventh place finish in the 400 meters at the national meet.
Schutte later received her Master's Degree in Finance from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D in Labor Relations from Michigan State University.
After graduating from Calvin with a degree in economics, she served as a commercial bank lending officer. She later returned to Calvin to serve as a professor in the school's business department.
Schutte later relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband Kevin Schutte who is a pastor at Pathway Community Church and a church plant director with Resonate Global - a new church ministry of the Christian Reformed Church.
After moving to Kansas City, Schutte joined the faculty at William Jewell College as business professor. In 2009, she was appointed Chair of the William Jewell Department of Business and Leadership and continues in that role today.
During her tenure at William Jewell College, Schutte has served on the Even Better Task Force, led the college's creativity and innovation initiative, worked with the Entrepreneurial Society to enhance entrepreneurship on campus.
Schutte and her husband Kevin are actively engaged foster parents and have led foster care and youth outreach programs at Pathway Community Church. Schutte and her husband also have a daughter Abigal and a son Jeremy.