Honorary Alumni Award

Nita Harder

Nina Harder, President Patricia H. Draves, David Harder '57Nita Harder was made an honorary alumna. Born in Tulsa and raised in El Reno, Oklahoma, Nita Harder now resides in St. Charles, Missouri, with her husband of 60 years, David Harder '57. Nita and David met at a senior high camp when they were teenagers but didn't start dating until they were both attending Oklahoma State University.  

A lifelong educator, Harder has worked for 33 years at both the high school and elementary school levels to become a beloved and respected physical education teacher. Her calling to work with young people came while attending a Community of Christ camp when she was 27. Harder answered that call and never looked back.

This past summer marked 41 consecutive years working with the Oklahoma delegation at SPECTACULAR (SPEC), a Community of Christ high school camp held on Graceland's Lamoni campus. She is excited about the dozens of young people who have attended SPEC due to her encouragement and have had the experience of the Graceland and Lamoni communities. 

Nita and David’s love for Graceland has spread to their sons, Travis '82 and Keith '86, and five of their grandchildren who are, or who plan to become, Graceland graduates. Her passion and support for Graceland continues to grow.

Harder feels like she still has so much more to give to the world, and we think so too. When informed she would receive this year’s Honorary Alumni Award, she said, “Just make sure the plaque says honorary and not ornery.” You will know exactly what she means when you get the honor of meeting her.