Three Catawba College alumni were honored during the college's Homecoming Weekend activities as recipients of a Distinguished Alumnus Award on Saturday, Oct. 19. The honorees include 1995 alumna Alison Horner Klopp of Mooresville; 1969 alumnus Edwin Stuart Powell, Jr. of Holly Springs; and 1950 alumnus the Rev. Banks D. Shepherd of Thomasville.
These awards are given annually by Catawba's Alumni Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and have served the Catawba College community.
Catawba President Brien Lewis made the presentations, assisted by the president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Clarke Leichte '91 of Black Mountain, and vice president of the alumni records and recognition committee, Julie Ramseur Lewis '84 of Charlotte.
Lewis also recognized Tom Childress '64, who retired in May as senior vice president responsible for development and athletics.
Alison Horner Klopp '95
1995 alumna, Alison Horner Klopp of Mooresville, is employed as a senior sales representative by Jostens Yearbooks.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Alison came to Catawba after graduating from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania and majored in sports medicine. She was a member of the student athletic training staff and involved in Wigwam Productions. In 1994, she was elected Homecoming Queen. She was recognized as a student with the Most Outstanding Lil' Chief award during the '93 and '94 academic years, and received the David Hoyle Award for Outstanding Service in the area of Student Activities her senior year.
After graduating, she worked for two years as an Admissions Counselor for Catawba.
Alison has consistently served her alma mater as a Catawba Alumni Ambassador, a president of the Catawba Alumni Board, as director of the Catawba Chiefs Club and as a Chiefs Club Sponsor of the Catawba Men's and Women's Swim Team. She and husband Breon have also established the Horner Maddra Athletic Training Scholarship at Catawba, named in honor of her parents who encouraged her to pursue her education.
Alison and Breon are parents of sons, Garrett, 5, and Alex, 3.
Edwin Stuart Powell, Jr.
Edwin Stuart Powell, a 1969 alumnus of Catawba, makes his home in Holly Springs, North Carolina.
After graduating from Catawba, he earned his master of arts degree from Wake Forest University thanks to a graduate scholarship and fellowship. Later in his life, he completed additional coursework at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, at The American Institute of Property and Liability Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America, both in Malvern, Pa., at the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors in Austin, Texas, and at the International Risk Management Institute in Dallas, Texas, all in support of his work and certifications in insurance. His is licensed in North Carolina as a property and liability agent, as a life and health agent, as a Medicare Supplement and long term care agent, and also has his broker's license.
He served as president of an agency he founded, The Powell Agency in Reidsville, from 1973 until 1995. He has worked since that time for Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina in Cary, first as Director of Education there, then as Director of Technology and Technical Affairs, and since 2004, as Vice President of Insurance Operations and Technical Affairs.
His professional awards and activities are numerous, as are his publications regarding his profession. He has written about everything from Cyber Exposures and Insurance to Flood Insurance and even Dog Bites Insurance.
He is past president of the Reidsville Chamber of Commerce and the Reidsville Downtown Corporation and a past member of the Rockingham County Airport Authority. The Reidsville Jaycees honored him with their Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the Holy Trinity Church in Raleigh.
Married for 46 years to Martha Koontz Powell, the couple has two children, Edwin Stuart Powell, III and Amanda Powell Hite, and four grandsons.
The Rev. Banks D. Shepherd
The Rev. Banks D. Shepherd of Thomasville is a 1950 alumnus of Catawba College. He came to the college from his hometown of Whitsett and while a student was a member of the Adelphians, an organization for pre-ministerial students and editor of the college magazine.
From Catawba, he went on to Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he earned his bachelor of divinity degree. Twenty years later, he earned his master of divinity degree from this same seminary. He completed post-graduate work at the Human Relations Institute of Fisk University.
He was ordained in June 1953 by the Southern Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church. Since that time, he has served pastorates in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, including Brookford E & R Charge in Hickory; Boger/St. James charge in Mt. Pleasant, New Gilead UCC in Concord, Smyrna/Bethany Charge UCC in Claremont, Bethany UCC in Winston-Salem, and Beck's UCC in Lexington.
Rev. Shepherd's life has centered on his faith, including his service. He has been active over many decades in social action causes of the Southern Synod E&R and the UCC. He has served as past president of the Southern chapter of the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society, a past secretary and president of the board of trustees for Blowing Rock Assembly Grounds, and as director of various camps held at the UCC's Johns River Valley Camp in Collettesville. He authored New Gilead Church: A History of the German Reformed People on Coldwater in 1966 during his pastorate at New Gilead UCC in Concord. He served as chaplain of the Lexington Lions Club and served as steering committee and president of the Board for Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry.
To commemorate his 1946 graduation from Nathanael Greene High School, he established a Class of '46 Scholarship Fund to encourage future graduates of that school to pursue their college education.
A longtime contributor to the Catawba Alumni Fund, Rev. Shepherd has consistently encouraged his young parishioners to attend Catawba College.
Married to wife Eulene, the two are members of First Reformed UCC in Lexington and parents of children David, Howard, Elizabeth and Robert, and grandparents to three.
Previous Award Winners