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News

Carthage Flame awarded to Bob and Michele Bonn

October 18, 2021

In recognition of the incredible and lasting impact they made on so many lives, former Carthage athletic director Bob Bonn and his wife, Michele, were awarded the Carthage Flame at a Homecoming Weekend ceremony. The College’s highest honor, the Carthage Flame recognizes outstanding service to the College and the greater community.

Michele Bonn receives Carthage Flame awardThe award was presented as part of the 2021 Homecoming festivities on Friday, Oct. 15, in tandem with Mr. Bonn’s induction into the Carthage Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Mr. Bonn, who passed away in June 2020 was the director of athletics from 1992 to 2018. Michele Bonn worked as an assistant professor, registrar, and director of advising at Carthage.

During his tenure, Mr. Bonn raised 117 banners — each signifying a conference championship or top-eight national finish. Over that period, Carthage added four men’s and five women’s NCAA Division III sports, completed more than $50 million in facility renovations, and built a $3 million endowment.

“Dr. Bonn built a lasting legacy at Carthage and, through his work, touched the lives of so many Carthage student-athletes and families,” said Director of Athletics Nate Stewart. “Our athletic success and the great facilities our student-athletes have to compete in today is a testament to the vision and dedication of Dr. Bonn. I have enjoyed getting to know Michele and I am thrilled they are being recognized with the Flame award for their dedication to Carthage College and the many students they have inspired through the years.  

A pair of prestigious awards in 2019 illustrated the scope of Mr. Bonn’s influence. A former president of both organizations, he was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Athletic Development Directors.

Mr. Bonn earned a doctorate in sport psychology and sociology from Boston University in 1983. He started his career in coaching, first in high school basketball and then at the collegiate level. He then added administrative duties at Pacific University in Oregon before finding a long-term home in the Kenosha area, where he continued to live in retirement.

Michele Bonn accepted the award at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in front of numerous friends and family including the couple’s sons Ryan and Steven, a 2010 Carthage graduate.

“Bob and I were married for 46 years, 26 of which were at Carthage — he was my most beloved friend,” said Mrs. Bonn. “We worked with wonderful people and students during our time here, and are so proud of all their accomplishments. Carthage is in good hands now which would make Bob extremely happy. He would’ve been so humbled and very appreciative of this award. ”

In addition to Mr. Bonn, nine other former student-athletes and administrators were inducted into Carthage’s Athletic Hall of Fame, selected for their dedication to Carthage in competition, the classroom, the community, or leadership.

The Carthage Flame