Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU Award
Broadcaster, Retired; Tucson, AZ
Journalist & Author; Phoenix, AZ
Marie Rolle personally chose to honor Larry Schnebly and Lisa Schnebly-Heidinger with the Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU award for their long-standing dedication to Northern Arizona University. Joe Rolle was a friend to Larry and a valued mentor to Lisa during her time as a student.
Larry and his daughter, Lisa, both attended NAU: he graduated from there with an English degree in 1952, and she with a journalism degree in 1987.
While still working toward his degree, Larry began his lengthy career in broadcast journalism in 1948. He retired from KGUN TV, Tucson's ABC affiliate, in 1994 after 34 years with that station. Larry received a Gold Axe Award as a student and went on to earn an Outstanding Alumni Award in the late 1960s. Larry worked for two years as the assistant director of Alumni Relations, the editor of PINE and the director of Housing for NAU.
“My first head residents on the [Arizona State College] campus in Taylor Hall were Joe and Marie Rolle,” Larry explained. “They've been involved so much in the lives of so many Lumberjacks that it is an incredible honor to receive such an award. I don't know that the award has ever gone to a father-daughter combination before, either. That is certainly special to both of us.” When asked what his favorite thing about being an alum is Larry had many, but this one rose to the top. "One of my favorite things is meeting other NAU/ASC grads around the state. We share the commonality of the Mountain Campus and although most of us had different instructors and friends, we know we share a touchstone of loyalty and gratitude to our alma mater."
Lisa is a well-known journalist and author in Arizona. She has written for publications including Arizona Highways magazine, the Arizona Republic, Tucson Lifestyle, and more. She has also published a few books, including Arizona: 100 Years Grand, which is the official book of the Arizona Centennial. As a student she worked in the Blome building where her parents had attended primary school and done practice teaching. She wrote about NAU president Eugene Hughes for the Arizona Republic, then worked for NAU president Clara Lovett for three years.
“In everything I do, my experiences at NAU are there,” Lisa said. “NAU is both a constant and wonderfully organically growing entity. NAU is in my life, my goals, my soul.”
Joe and Marie Rolle played many roles in the growth of NAU. Joe, who died in February last year, was an administrator for Arizona State College/NAU for 36 years.