Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Three individuals were honored as recipients of Catawba College's Distinguished Alumnus Award on Saturday, Oct. 22 at barbecue luncheon held in Goodman Gymnasium as part of the college's Homecoming Weekend activities. The honorees included 1976 alumnus William V. "Bill" Godley of Woodleaf, and twin brothers, 1986 alumni Benjamin "Benjy" Hamm of Louisville, Kentucky, and Bradley J. Hamm of Bloomington, Indiana.
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. College President Dr. Joseph B. Oxendine made the presentations, assisted by Phil Stillman, a member of the class of 1986 who serves as president of the Catawba Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Lynn Shuping Gullett, a member of the Class of 1984 who serves the Alumni Association as vice president of the alumni records and recognition committee.
William V. "Bill" Godley '76
A 1976 alumnus, William V. "Bill" Godley of Woodleaf, is the owner of Godley's Garden Center and Nursery, Inc. and Serendipity Gifts and Home Décor in Salisbury and the owner of a wholesale nursery with 70 acres in Rowan and McDowell counties.
Bill came to Catawba from Ringoes, N.J. and while here, he played baseball and was involved in all intramural sports, as well as the business administration club. He was voted Class Favorite by his classmates for several years. He earned his degree in business administration.
Bill consistently gives back to his alma mater and serves as Class Agent for the Class of 1976. He is a regular contributor to the College's annual fund, and has supported the Shuford Stadium lighting effort, the swimming program, the annual service of lessons and carols, the Chiefs Club and the Grid Iron Club. He has also been very generous to Catawba through the years with his in-kind contributions of landscaping plants and materials.
Active in the community, he is a member of Enon Baptist Church where he has served as Deacon Chair, chair of buildings and grounds, chair of the pastor search committee and as a Sunday school teacher. He serves the Rowan County United Way and is active in supporting Rowan Helping Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, the Good Shepherd Clinic, the Salisbury Symphony, Piedmont Players, October Tour, and the Rowan Museum. He is a Woodleaf Fire Department Commissioner and serves on the Mayor's Advisory Board. He is a member of the N.C. Landscape Nursery Association and the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce. He was named Salisbury Lions Club "Man of the Year" for 2005 and has served as a Rowan County Little League Coach and as a Seniors League Coach.
Bill is the husband of Margaret "Peggy" Kivett Godley, a 1977 Catawba alumna, and the two are parents of daughters Sara Dickinson and Mary Godley, and son William Godley III.
The Hamm Brothers, Benjamin and Bradley – '86
Benjy and Brad Hamm are twin brothers who grew up in Salisbury and attended East Rowan High School. Their affiliation with Coach Ed Dupree as their coach of a young runner's track club set them on the course for their eventual careers. As the Sports Editor of the Salisbury Post, Dupree invited the Hamm twins to the newsroom occasionally. They became hooked. While at Catawba, they both worked part-time for the Salisbury Post as they majored in Communications. After graduation, they both worked full-time for one year at the Post and then went on to the University of South Carolina where they earned master's degrees.
Benjamin "Benjy" Hamm '86
Benjamin "Benjy" Hamm makes his home in Louisville, Kentucky where he serves as editorial director for Landmark Community Newspapers, which owns more than 60 newspapers and seven college sports publications in 14 states. He works on the corporate staff and oversees newsroom operations and issues for all of the company's newspapers.
Benjy's prior employment has included serving as managing editor of The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg, S.C., as editor of The Lancaster (S.C.) News, as a reporter and editor at The Associated Press, and as a reporter at the Salisbury Post.
While a student at Catawba, Benjy served as station manager and D.J. for WNDN, then the college's radio station, and was a member of the staff of the student newspaper, the Pioneer. He was a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, president of Phi Epsilon, an honorary scholastic society, vice president of the Residence Life Association, a resident assistant, a member of the media board, an ALPHA, and a Catawba Guide. He was the recipient of the prestigious Whitener Award, voted Catawba Male Student of the Year for 1985, and a member of Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities that same year. As a symbol of his support of Catawba College, he is a member of the True Blue Alumni Society.
A member of Middletown United Methodist Church, Benjy serves as head coach of the Middletown Elementary School cross-country team. He is a board member of Louisville's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the journalism advisory boards for Western Kentucky University, Murray State University and Indiana University – Southeast. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009 by the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Married to wife Tanya, the couple has two daughters, Emily, 14, and Callie, 12, and son Jacob, 9.
Bradley J. Hamm '86
Brad makes his home in Bloomington, Indiana where he works as Dean of and Professor in the School of Journalism at Indiana University, one of the oldest journalism programs in the United States and the world.
Prior to joining the faculty at Indiana University, he served as associate dean of the School of Communications at Elon University. He has taught in programs in Japan, China and Great Britain and holds his Ph.D. in Mass Communication Research from the UNC Chapel Hill. His teaching and research interests are in reporting, journalism history and media theory.
While a student at Catawba, Brad served as the editor of the Pioneer, Catawba's student newspaper, and was on the staff of Catawba's yearbook, The Sayakini, and WNDN radio. He was active in the student government association and like his brother, was a member of Phi Epsilon, an honorary scholastic society.
He is on the National Advisory Board of Poynter Institute and a member of the Board of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. He was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of South Carolina College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Married to wife Hiromi Sumiyoshi, the two have a son, Yoshiki, who is one and a half years old.
PHOTOS: 2011 Recipients
The Catawba College Alumni Association recognized two of their own as recipients of Distinguished Alumnus Awards during Homecoming activities on October 9. Gregory M. Alcorn '79 of Salisbury and Thomas E. "Tom" Burdette '73 of Clifton, Va., received the awards during a barbecue luncheon held in Goodman Gymnasium on campus.
These awards are given annually by Catawba's Alumni Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and have also served the Catawba College community. College President Dr. Craig Turner made the presentations, assisted by Jolene Miller Henning '96, president of the Catawba Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Lynn Shuping Gullett '84 who serves the Alumni Association as vice president of the alumni records and recognition committee.
Gregory M. Alcorn '79
A 1979 alumnus, Greg Alcorn of Salisbury, is the CEO and owner of Global Contact Services. He jokes that he grew up on the Catawba campus before he actually became a student here since his family lived in the nearby neighborhood. While a student at Catawba, he was involved in the Pioneer, student newspaper; the coffeehouse on campus; and the sales and marketing club. He majored in business as an undergraduate, and later earned his MBA from UNC Charlotte.
Alcorn has served Catawba in a number of capacities. He is a member of the College Board of Trustees and chairs the enrollment committee of that board. He serves as a Board of Trustees liaison to the President's Climate Commitment Committee that recently developed a Climate Action Plan for the institution. He serves on the Lilly Center Advisory Council and is a past president of the Catawba College Chiefs Club. He has been tapped to serve on Catawba's presidential search committee, to assist with fund-raising efforts and as a guest speaker at the college.
A member of the First United Church of Christ in Salisbury, Alcorn is active in the community. He is a trustee and chair of the First UCC Foundation and past council president of First United Church of Christ. He chairs the board of the United Church Homes and Services and also the board of Salisbury Academy, and serves as a board member for the Community Bank of Rowan. He is a member of the Salisbury Community Foundation, the AAUW, and the American Bankers Insurance Association. He is also an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts.
Alcorn is the son of Edith Alcorn of Salisbury and the late Reverend Ed Alcorn. He and wife Missie are parents of two children, Clark and Eleanor.
In accepting his award Alcorn said, "I don't think I'll ever have a chance to give back to Catawba what it has given me, but I'll try." He also recognized the Catawba College students of today that he had had a chance to meet, noting that they have "an eyes wide open approach" to their future.
Thomas E. "Tom" Burdette '73
A 1973 alumnus, Tom Burdette today makes his home in Clifton, Va., and is a CPA and managing shareholder of The Burdette Smith Group, P.C.
Burdette came south from his hometown of Hyattstown, Maryland, to study accounting and play football at Catawba. He was a starter in the defensive secondary during all four of his years at Catawba, coached by Harvey Stratton. He was named All Conference and All District as a senior player at the college. While a student, he was also active in intramurals, served as treasurer of the student government association during his senior year, and served as treasurer of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) during his junior and senior years. He was a member of the Accounting Club, and during his senior year, he was named to Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Several years after his Catawba graduation, he quickly made a name for himself when at age 27, he started his own CPA firm in the Washington, D.C. area. Today, his firm, The Burdette Smith Group, P.C., employs approximately 40 people, and his area of expertise is dealing with high income, high net worth individuals who mostly own their own businesses. His business has been named Best Professional Firm by the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and Burdette has been named Business Leader of the Year by that same organization.
Burdette currently serves on Catawba's Board of Visitors and has served on its Alumni Board, and has long supported fund-raising efforts related to the institution's football program. He contributed to the Shuford Stadium construction effort and to the grassroots campaign that raised funds to put lights in that stadium.
He serves on the board of directors for Potomac Bank of Virginia and is past president of Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, the Country Club of Fairfax and the Fairfax Rotary Club. He is a member of Burke United Methodist Church.
Married to wife Wendy, the two are parents of four children, Allie, Jeff, Wes and Amanda.
In accepting his award Burdette said, "I was lucky to have chosen Catawba over the other schools that recruited me. A lot of us could have gone to another school academically and athletically, but I know I made a good choice when I chose Catawba."
PHOTOS: 2010 Recipients
Four Catawba College alumni were recognized as recipients of Distinguished Alumnus Awards during Homecoming activities on October 3. Nancy Foster Councill '80 of Monkton, Md., Dr. Verne Lanier '62 of Durham, N.C., Dr. Arlan Mantz '62 of New London, Conn., and Barbara Marshall '72 of Cary, N.C., were honored during a barbecue luncheon held in Goodman Gymnasium on campus.
These awards are given annually by Catawba's Alumni Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and have also served the Catawba College community. College President Dr. Craig Turner made the presentations, assisted by Shannon Davenport McCoy '03, president of the Catawba Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Lynn Shuping Gullett '84 who serves the Alumni Association as vice president of the alumni records and recognition committee.
Nancy Foster Councill '80
Councill is the president of Risk Management Councill, Inc. As a student at Catawba, she was involved in many activities and sports, including the Student Government Association, basketball and softball. She majored in psychology as an undergraduate, and went on to earn her master's of administrative science degree in management from Johns Hopkins University.
In recent years, she has served on the Board of Visitors, and currently serves as a member of the College Board of Trustees, sitting on its enrollment committee. A member of Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, Maryland, Councill serves on the house committee of the Baltimore Country Club and has volunteered for the past three years with the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. She and her husband, Dick, are parents to three sons.
Dr. Verne Lanier '62
A retired plastic surgeon, Lanier currently serves on Catawba's Board of Visitors and is a former member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. After graduating from Catawba, he spent four years as a student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, six years of general residency, interrupted by two years spent in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam conflict. After his time in the service, he spent three years at Duke University training in plastic surgery.
Lanier has had his medical research work published many times. After a successful medical career, he is now enjoys pursuing his various hobbies, including music. In his service to Catawba, Lanier carries on a tradition established by his parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. Verne Clifton Lanier, who were leaders in the United Church of Christ and very supportive of the College. Lanier's father, a 1929 Catawba alumnus, served on the College Board of Trustees. His sister, Sarah Lanier Warnecke, is also a Catawba alumna of the class of 1964. Lanier and his wife Dean have three grown daughters.
Dr. Arlan Mantz '62
Mantz recently retired from Connecticut College where he was an Oakes Ames Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics. He earned his master of science and his Ph.D. in physics from the Ohio State University. Although retired, he continues to be actively engaged in research which utilizes tunable diode lasers in the detailed study of molecular absorption line shapes at room temperature and at low temperature. An international presenter, he has authored many published papers and chapters. He holds several patents on such diverse subjects as laser-stable isotope ratio monitors for medical applications.
At Catawba, Mantz was the recipient of the Whitener Award, the highest honor given to a male and female student each year since 1927 at graduation. As a student, he was active in Sigma Pi Sigma and held various officer positions in the Seymore Science Club. He spearheaded the founding of the Class of 1962 Endowed Scholarship to mark his 30-year class reunion. He and wife Barbara are parents of an adult son.
Barbara Marshall '72
Marshall majored in math as an undergraduate at Catawba and went on to earn her master's of science degree in mathematics from Clemson University. She recently retired from IBM after 30 years as a systems programmer and senior software development manager.
While a student at Catawba, she was active in the Student Government Association, Phi Epsilon, the band, and served as a tutor to junior high and high school math students. She played varsity tennis for one year and was a participant in the intramurals program at the college. Her parents, Thomas R. and Sarah L. Marshall were members of Catawba's class of 1941, and her siblings are both alumni – her brother, Philip Marshall, is a member of the class of 1971, and her sister, Nancy Marshall, is a member of the class of 1976.
Marshall has served two terms on the College Alumni Board of Directors and has served as that board's past president. She currently chairs Catawba's Board of Visitors. Outside of the College, she serves as a sectional official with the U.S. Tennis Association and is a member of the board of directors for Kildaire Farms Racquet and Swim Club. While she chooses to remain anonymous in most of her community support, her efforts help the work of Hospice of Wake County and the American Cancer Society.
PHOTOS: 2009 Awards
Three Catawba College alumni were honored as recipients of the College's Distinguished Alumnus Award during a barbecue luncheon held Saturday, October 18th in the Goodman Gymnasium of the Abernethy Physical Education Center before the football game against Tusculum College.
Alumni Joey Popp '77 of Charlotte, Sally Whitney '77 of Mooresville, and Bill Hall '66 of Salisbury were recognized with these awards which are made annually at homecoming by the Catawba College Alumni Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and served the College community.
Joey Popp '77
Joey Popp, a 1977 Catawba College alumnus, is a broadcast veteran known throughout Charlotte for his television appearances, radio work, documentaries, and marketing projects. He is seen each week on WTVI, the local Public Broadcasting Service station, hosting "HealthWise," a medical interest broadcast that is widely viewed in the Charlotte area. On the radio, Joey can be heard hosting "Weekend Edition" on WFAE-FM every Saturday morning.
Joey serves as a media specialist for numerous corporations and nonprofits and has contributed articles to The Charlotte Observer. He and wife Catherine operate Marketing & Media Resources/Joey Popp Productions.
He has served as emcee for countless galas and fundraisers for groups such as Hospice at Charlotte, Leadership Charlotte, and the Dowd YMCA. He emcees Catawba College's Distinguished CEO Lecture Series, sponsored by the Ketner School of Business, and Catawba's Business Hall of Fame. He chairs the Business Advisory Board for the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business.
Sally Whitney '77
A native of Lancaster, Pa., Sally Whitney graduated in 1977 from Catawba with a bachelor of arts degree in accounting, economics and business. She played two sports, basketball and volleyball, while she was a student at Catawba.
The year she graduated was the year she began her career with Duke Power Company. Since landing her initial job at Duke Power which is today known as Duke Energy, Sally has held a variety of leadership positions in information technology and information management, and helped develop and support computerized applications for areas including human resources, financial and materials management.
She directed Duke Energy's enterprise-wide Year 2000 Program, which was designated "best-in-class" in independent reviews. In that assignment, she was responsible for matrix management of more than 20 projects throughout the world to assure Duke Energy's systems were Y2k ready. A certified public accountant in North Carolina, she holds her master's of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is also certified as a project management professional from the Project Management Institute of which she is a member.
Currently, Sally serves as the senior vice president for financial re-engineering and financial information technology for Duke Energy. In this role, she directs the major finance process improvement initiatives and associated revamping of the supporting information systems. A resident of Mooresville, Sally serves on Catawba College's Board of Visitors.
Bill Hall '66
Rowan County native, Bill Hall graduated from Catawba College in 1966 after he majored in health and physical education and minored in history. He went on to UNC-Chapel Hill the next year to earn a master of arts degree in teaching.
Thereafter, he came back to Catawba to work as an Admissions Counselor under the late Chub Richards. That first job at Catawba led to others on campus for Bill. He served as Director of Student Activities, Dean of Students and then Dean of Admissions. After leaving Catawba, Bill went to work for Jostens Yearbook Sales Division in 1983, where he has spent the last 26 years, winning numerous awards for his outstanding job performance.
Bill was awarded Jostens Sales Achievement Awards in 20 out of the last 25 years. In 2006, he was inducted into Jostens' Master Club and the Ace Club. He has also been honored by his fellow sales reps at Jostens with the Service Award, given to the sale representative whose peers feel has given the most back to others at Jostens and to the community.
Today, although Bill no longer is employed by Catawba, he still "works hard" for the institution – serving on the Chiefs Club Board, twice as its president, and supporting many of the efforts to enhance the athletic physical plant and the newly renovated library. Bill and wife Rosemary make their home in Salisbury and love cooking for and tailgating at Catawba football games. Last year, the couple established an endowed scholarship at the institution.
PHOTOS: 2008 Awards
THREE HONORED WITH DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS
Catawba College Alumni Charles David "Dave" Robbins '66 of Richmond, Va., Dr. Shirley Peeler Ritchie '52 of Salisbury, and Dr. Karen Dutson Wood '72 of Salisbury were recognized during a barbecue luncheon as part of Homecoming 2007 festivities. as recipients of Distinguished Alumnus Awards. These awards are made annually at homecoming by the College Alumnus Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and served the College community. View Photos »
Charles David "Dave" Robbins '66
Considered one of the premier college basketball coaches in the nation, Robbins is in his 30th season as head coach of the Virginia Union University's men's basketball program. In his 29 previous seasons, Robbins has amassed 691 wins, nine victories away from the 700-win milestone.
While at Catawba, he was recognized with many football honors, including All-Conference, All-Region, All-State, and honorable mention All-American. Following graduation from Catawba, Robbins played semi-professional football with a team in Richmond. Then, after several years coaching high school basketball, Robbins joined Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., in 1978. During his first year as head coach (1978-79), he led his team to the CIAA Championship, the first time that Virginia Union had captured the CIAA crown in 24 seasons.
While at WUU, Robbins has collected 13 CIAA Championships, three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II National Championships. He is responsible for helping mold the careers of NBA All-Stars Ben Wallace and Charles Oakley.
With his winning percentage nearing 80%, Robbins is a strong candidate for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He is a member of Catawba's Sports Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the coveted National Coach of the Year Award as selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
A native of Gastonia, Robbins and wife Bunny are the parents of two daughters and members of Bon Air United Methodist in Richmond.
Dr. Shirley Peeler Ritchie '52
A Salisbury native and a 1952 alumna of Catawba, Dr. Shirley Peeler Ritchie double majored in religion and philosophy and sociology. She earned her master's degree in guidance and counseling and her doctorate in the areas of child development and family relations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
A member of the Catawba faculty from 1981 until her retirement in 1993, she served as director of the college's elementary education program. She received both the Swink Prize for outstanding classroom teaching and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award during her years at Catawba. Ritchie was recently honored when Catawba's new Academy for Teaching was named in her honor as Catawba Shirley Peeler Ritchie Academy for Teaching.
She has served on the faculty at UNC-Charlotte and as director of Project ASCENT, a special program for gifted children that operated under the auspices of the N.C. State Department of Public Instruction. She has worked as a coordinator and counselor for a federal program to mainstream handicapped children in the Salisbury City Schools; as an elementary school counselor and school social worker in the Salisbury City Schools; and as a social service worker in the Cabarrus County Department of Social Services.
She serves on the board of Partners in Learning and has served as chair of that board. She is a member of the Catawba College Board of Trustees. She has served as chair of the Charlotte Area Educational Consortium, and has also served on the board of Rowan Regional Medical Center, the board of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Family Resource Center, the board of Meals on Wheels of Rowan County, and as a member of the Congregation Council of St. John's Lutheran Church.
Ritchie and husband Raymond, a 1953 alumnus of Catawba, are parents of three adult children, Cliff, Mark, and Celia.
Dr. Karen Dutson Wood '72
Dr. Karen Dutson Wood, a native of Medford, N.J., now makes her home in Salisbury where she received her bachelor of arts degree in English and psychology from Catawba in 1972. She earned her educational specialist designation and master's degree in reading education from Appalachian State University and her Ph.D. in reading education from the University of Georgia. She is a member of the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, serving as a professor of reading education and coordinator of the master's in literacy program and for the literacy specialization in the Ph.D. program in curriculum and instruction in urban education.
The author of more than 175 articles, chapters and books, Wood was employed as a textbook author for McGraw-Hill for 17 years. She often invites her students to co-author material with her and published her first article with a student in 1991.
Before joining UNCC in 1982, Wood was a reading teacher and specialist and a K-12 instructional coordinator in the public schools. In 1995, she was the first recipient of UNCC's College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award. She was a finalist for UNCC's Bank of America Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000 and 2006. In February of 2007, she was presented with the Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentoring Award at UNCC.
She is a member of the International Reading Association, the National Reading Association, the College Reading Association, Delta Kappa Gamma and Phil Delta Kappa. She is a member of Catawba's Chiefs Club and a supporter of the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony.
A member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, she and husband David are parents of four children.
Catawba College Honors Three Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming BBQ
Three Catawba College alumni were honored as recipients of the College's Distinguished Alumnus Award during a barbecue luncheon held Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Goodman Gymnasium of the Abernethy Physical Education Center before the football game against Presbyterian College.
College Alumni Grady Shoe '49 of Mooresville, Larry Cloninger '74 of Salisbury, and Tom Childress '64 of Salisbury were recognized with these awards are made annually at homecoming by the College Alumnus Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and served the College community.
Grady Shoe '49
Shoe, who enjoyed a long career in the automotive industry, recently stepped down as owner and operator of several Ford dealerships, including Mooresville Ford. Active in the Mooresville community, he served as the first chairman of Mooresville's ABC Store Board and for 30 years, from 1969 to 1999, he served as an elected commissioner for the Town of Mooresville. He is credited with being one of Mooresville's community leaders who successfully lobbied for business diversification during a time when textile industries in the Piedmont area were going out of business.
In 2004, Shoe was the recipient of the State of North Carolina's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. His other honors include Jaycees Boss of the Year, Kiwanian of the Year, Mooresville Outstanding Citizenship award, the Ford Motor Company's President' Award, and the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award, which Shoe was the only N.C. automotive dealer to receive. He serves on the board of directors for BB&T in Mooresville and is a member of the Carolinas Transportation Compact. He has served as past chair of the Lowrance Hospital and taught Sunday school at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Mooresville for more than 30 years.
Shoe has long supported the College's annual fund, various capital campaigns, the Shuford Stadium campaign and more. Recently, he made a $100,000 gift to Catawba to establish an endowed scholarship and to endow the institution's annual Orientation Program for new students.
Married to wife Frances, they are parents of four adult children.
Larry Cloninger '74
A native of Gaston County, Cloninger is president of Cloninger Ford-Toyota of Salisbury and serves on the Catawba College Board of Trustees. He has co-chaired the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce's capital campaign and is supportive of many community organizations including the Boy Scouts, the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony, Waterworks Visual Art Gallery, Salisbury Academy and the Cannon School of Salisbury.
He and wife Susan recently established the Cloninger First Family Scholarship fund at Catawba. The couple also made a substantial gift to furnish and maintain the College's guest house which was the 2004 Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Guild's Designer House. That house, which the Cloningers' gift helped furnish and maintain, is now named the Cloninger Guest House in their honor.
Tom Childress '64
A native of Mt. Airy, Childress currently serves as Catawba's senior vice president responsible for development and athletics. He joined the College in 1995 as athletic director, but only spent one year in that position before moving to his current post.
Under his leadership, between the 1996/1997 academic year and the 2005-2006 academic year, $101.6 million dollars has been raised for the institution - $63.3 million of that in gifts, $31.4 million in deferred gifts, and $6.9 million in open pledges. Additionally, the College endowment has increased by $10 million in the last 10 years and now stands at $36.2 million.
Last year, the College saw its highest number of donors contributing to the institution – 3,427, with a 30% alumni participation. It also saw President's Circle membership at its highest point ever – 378 members. The institution's Tower Society members more than doubled from just 80 individuals in 1998-99 to 179 in 2005-2006. Chiefs Club membership last year was also at its highest level ever – 449 members. Additionally, the number of First Family and Endowed Scholarships at the institution numbered 281.
Childress coached at East Surry High School and served as assistant coach at Appalachian State University before becoming head basketball coach at Pfeiffer where he spent 14 years. In that capacity, he led his team to two conference championships and a conference tournament title. He was named Carolina Conference Coach of the Year five different times.
He served as athletic director at Pfeiffer from 1977 until 1990. During his tenure, Pfeiffer expanded from nine varsity sports to 14 and developed facilities for tennis, softball, lacrosse and field hockey. Childress instituted Pfeiffer's Sports Hall of Fame into which he was inducted in 1992, and he was inducted into Catawba's Hall of Fame in 1998. In his hometown, in recognition of his own athletic prowess and his work to promote athletics, he was inducted in 2006 into the Mt. Airy Sports Hall of Fame.
He and wife Judy '65 are parents of four adult children and eight grandchildren.
Homecoming Weekend »
Four Catawba College Alumni Recognized During Homecoming Weekend
Four graduates of Catawba College were recognized as Distinguished Alumni Saturday, Oct. 15 during the College's Homecoming Weekend activities. Their award presentations were made during a noon barbecue luncheon for alumni held in the Goodman Gymnasium prior to the College's football game against Newberry College.
Joseph "Joe" R. Gorman '74 of Greensboro, Ga. , G. Edward Hughes '72 of Union, Ky. , Ray Oxendine '61 of Maxton, and Ralph J. Sturkey '39 of Salisbury received Catawba's Distinguished Alumnus Awards, given annually by the Alumni Association Board of Directors. They join other Catawba alumni who have been cited for their service to their communities, their expertise in their professions, and their service to the College community as award recipients.
Joseph "Joe" R. Gorman
Since January 2004, Joseph "Joe" R. Gorman has served as president and chief executive officer of SP Newsprint Company, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. , and is the fourth largest producer of newsprint in North America. As a 26-year veteran of the company that he now heads, he has served in a number of capacities, including executive vice president and chief operating officers, senior vice president, vice president and general manager of West Coast operations, president of SP Recycling Corp. (the wholly owned recycling subsidiary) and chief financial officer.
A member of Catholic Church in Greensboro, Ga. , Gorman currently serves on the board of directors for American Forest and Paper Association and on Catawba College's Board of Visitors. He previously served on the board of the Dublin United Way and the Dublin Rotary Club, and has served as president of Dublin Exchange Club, Dublin Toastmasters, and the Dublin Country Club. He and wife Sharon Cochran Gorman '77 have three children, Bill, Russell and Julie.
G. Edward Hughes
G. Edward Hughes is the founding president and chief executive officer of Gateway Community and Technical College in Ft. Mitchell , Ky. During his 32-year career in higher education, he has served as a faculty member, division chair, dean and president in four different community colleges. Following his graduation from Catawba, he earned his master's degree in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University and his Ph.D. in higher education from Southern Illinois University.
He serves as chairman of the President's Academy for the American Association of Community Colleges, as president and a member of the executive committee of the Southern Association of Community, Junior, and Technical Colleges, as chairman of the United Way of Northern Kentucky, and as founder and chairman of the Challenger Center of Kentucky. He served on Catawba College's Board of Visitors from 1998 through 2004, and is a charter member of Catawba's Tower Society. He also has been a President's Circle donor at Catawba for the past 27 years. He and his wife of 21 years, Sarah, have three adult children, Laurie, Lauren and Jennifer.
Ray Oxendine spent his career in education, serving as a teacher, a football, baseball, wrestling, and track coach, an assistant principal, and as a principal at various high schools across North Carolina. These schools included Mt. Airy Senior High, Greensboro's Grimsely High, Hallsboro High, Acme-Delco High, East Montgomery High, West Montgomery High, Purnell Swett High, South Robeson High, Scotland High and East Laurinburg Academy. He also coached at Catawba, serving as assistant football and head baseball coach for almost a decade.
A U.S. Army veteran, he served for three years with the 82nd and the 11th Airborne Division, spending two years in Germany. After his graduation from Catawba, he earned his master's degree in public school administration from Appalachian State University and completed post-graduate work as an educational specialist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His awards and honors are numerous. He was inducted in to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and is also a member of the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame and the N.C. American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame. He was named principal of the year in 1992-1993, by the N.C. High School Association of Administrators and was Principal of the Year for the Montgomery County Schools in 1985. Most recently, he spent several weeks in Mississippi, working with the American Red Cross to deliver Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief. A member of First Presbyterian Church in Maxton,
he is father of two daughters, seven grandsons and one granddaughter.
Ralph J. Sturkey
Ralph Sturkey is a retired U.S. Marine major who served in World War II and saw action in battles in Okinawa, China and Iwo Jima. He notes he actually saw the American Flag fly over Iwo Jima following the battle there. He also served on the faculty of a Marine Officer's School. He was employed by A.B. Dick Corporation in Chicago in Chicago for 20 years rising to vice president of personnel and public relations, and since 1970, he has been a private investor in Florida.
Sturkey worked his way through Catawba, working after his classes and fulltime during the summers. He completed graduate courses at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. For 39 years, he has been a member of Catawba's Founder's Society and is also a member of its Tower Society. A member of First Methodist Church in Salisbury, he is married to wife Eloise.
Two graduates of Catawba College were recognized as Distinguished Alumni Saturday, Oct. 9 during the College's Homecoming Weekend activities. Their award presentations occurred during a noon barbecue luncheon for alumni held in the Goodman Gymnasium prior to the College's football game against Wingate University.
D. Bryan Jordan '84 of Vestavia Hills, Ala., and LTC Chester C. "Trip" Buckenmaier III, M.D. '86 of Gambrills, Md., received Catawba's Distinguished Alumnus Awards, given annually by the Alumni Association Board of Directors. They join a cadre of other alumni cited for their service to their communities, their prowess in their professions, and their service to the College community.
D. Bryan Jordan is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Regions Financial Corporation in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to his current position, he was employed with Peat, Marwick, Main & Co. and then, First Union in Charlotte.
A member of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, Jordan serves as the United Way of Birmingham's corporate campaign co-chair, and has participated in both Leadership Charlotte and Leadership Birmingham. He is a member of NCACP and AICPA and serves on Catawba's Board of Visitors. He is married to wife Kimberly and the couple has three children.
Dr. Buckenmaier is chief of the regional anesthesia section with the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He served four months in Iraq last year and is currently doing extensive research in groundbreaking, battlefield anesthesiology. In addition to applying for and receiving many government and corporate grants to support this research, he often speaks on the subject and makes presentations. He is also in the process of writing chapters in several medical textbooks.
Following his graduation from Catawba, Buckenmaier earned his master's degree in biology from East Carolina University and his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He and his wife have three daughters.
Two Catawba College alumni were honored Saturday, Oct. 25, as part of homecoming weekend activities when they received the college's Distinguished Alumnus Award. The presentations were made during a barbecue luncheon that preceded the college's 1:30 p.m. football game against Newberry College.
The Reverend Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel '80 of Fleetwood, Pa., and Dr. Michael Joseph Mayhew '75 of Boone were recipients of the award that has been given annually since 1974 as part of Catawba's Homecoming activities. The award, made by the Catawba College Alumni Association Board of Directors, recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their profession, in service to their local communities, and in service to the college community.
"Parents of new students increasingly ask us about the accomplishments of our alumni," Catawba College President Dr. Robert Knott explained, as he made the award presentations. "Since their graduations, these two we honor today have brought pride to their alma mater."
Kershner Daniel earned both her master's degree of divinity and her doctorate degree of ministry at the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pa. She serves as senior pastor of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Fleetwood, Pa., a position she has held since 1993. Between 1989 and 1993, she served as associate pastor at St. Paul's and from 1983 to 1989, she served as pastor of St. Luke's United Church of Christ, Kenhorst in Reading, Pa.
A member of the Lancaster Theological Seminary Board of Trustees since 1999, Kershner Daniel is currently serving as vice-chairperson of that board. She is a chairperson of the Chaplaincy Advisory Committee of the Reading Hospital and Medical Center, a member of Rotary International and the Fleetwood Community Bus Ministry. She volunteers at Tarsus Manor Senior Adult Housing and Tarsus, Inc. Senior Adult Workshop in Fleetwood, Pa., and is actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America.
A native of Philadelphia, she is married to The Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, executive director of Retirement Housing at Phoebe Ministries in Allentown, Pa. The couple has two sons, Mark, 15, and Christopher, 12.
In accepting her award, Kershner Daniel joked that her "longevity" at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Fleetwood, Pa. was directly attributable to "a wonderful congregation and an even more wonderful family." She noted that when she was looking for a college, she wanted a small one which was affiliated with the United Church of Christ Church. When she first visited the Catawba campus on a March day, she recalled that while there was snow on the ground in Philadelphia, her hometown, students on the Catawba campus were playing Frisbee outdoors and lying in the sun.
She remembered how then Catawba College Admissions Director M.M. "Chub" Richards '41 of Salisbury met with her during her admissions interview process and "took the time to ask what I valued in life." That initial meeting, she said, "set the whole tone for my experience at Catawba."
Kershner Daniel also recalled how Catawba history professor, Dr. Bruce Griffith '62, shared with her his belief that "ministers should be the most well-rounded of all members of society," and thereby encouraged her to take classes she would never have taken otherwise.
"When I recall my experiences at Catawba, it is with love and care," she explained, "and I will continue to love Catawba with all my heart."
Mayhew, who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry in 1979, also earned both his pediatric dental specialty and orthodontic dental specialty degrees from UNC-CH. He is the only dually
trained and dually board certified dentist in North Carolina who practices both specialties. He is a current member of multiple dental organizations and has held various offices and served as past president of the N.C. Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the UNC Orthodontic Alumni Association.
He is a member of the Catawba College Board of Visitors and the Catawba Chiefs Club, past member and officer in the Boone Jaycees, a former deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Boone, and the current campaign chair for Watauga Education Foundation's "Our Children – Our Future" Endowment Fund Campaign.
A native of Lexington, N.C., Mayhew is married to the former Sara Vetter of Rockingham. The couple has three children, Kelly, a senior at Appalachian State University; John, a freshman at Elon University; and Katherine, a sixth grader.
Mayhew, who attended college on a basketball scholarship, remembered the influence that former Catawba College Basketball Coach Sam Moir of Salisbury had on his life.
"When I came here as a 17-year-old freshman," Mayhew said, "I did not realize that the friendships we developed here are long-lasting. The individual relationships I had with faculty and staff well prepared me for graduate school at a large university. I think most of us here today would agree that our overall Catawba experience served us well.
"Catawba does a great job of preparing us for our futures," he continued, "and as more and more freshmen come here and graduate I think we'll be able to look at Catawba and say, ‘She's done a good job.'"
Two Catawba alumni were honored with Distinguished Alumnus Awards, given annually since 1974. William "Bill" Graham '83 of Salisbury and Dr. Gwen Roberts Sharp '49 of Green Cove Springs, Fla. shared the limelight with Moir.
Graham, the son of Catawba alumnus John '62 and Betty Graham of Salisbury, is an attorney with Wallace & Graham P.A. in Salisbury and a member of the Catawba College Board of Trustees. Graham earned his law degree from Wake Forest University and is a former member of the Cabarrus County Board of Elections and the N.C. Rules Review Commission. He
and his wife Shari '83 are the parents of two children.
Sharp, a retired anesthesiologist, practiced in North Carolina, New York and Florida during her career. She received her M.S. in physiology from Wake Forest University and her M.D. from Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
Sharp told the crowd, "I think you'll agree with me that when you leave with your education and go out into the world and its uncertainty, there is always one certainty. When you come home to Catawba, you'll be met with welcoming arms and friendly faces."
A Salisbury native was one of four Catawba College alumni honored as a distinguished alumnus Saturday during the college's homecoming celebration. The four honored included Judy Gooch Newman '81, Eleanor Thompson Wortz '42, Wade Hampton Shuford, Jr. ‘ 50, and Charles Muse '68.
Salisbury native Newman is the director of the Rowan County Convention & Visitor's Bureau, a position she has held since the bureau's inception in April of 1989. In that capacity, she has been instrumental in establishing Rowan County as destination for Leisure, group tour and convention business. She is past president of the North Carolina Association of Convention & Visitor's Bureaus and has served on the regional and state boards of Mid-Carolina Host, the Travel Council of North Carolina, Inc., and the Travel & Tourism Coalition. She is a member of Catawba's Board of Visitors.
Wortz, originally from Spencer, now makes her home in Los Altos, California. After graduating from Catawba, she received her master's degree from San Jose State University. She was an engineering test pilot and retired from the WAF-WASP, Women Airforce Service Pilots. That organization was the first civilian woman's group formed as an experiment through the military. She also was employed as a college business instructor. Wortz, who has had numerous members of her family graduate from Catawba, is a member of Catawba's Tower Society.
Shuford, who makes is home in Hickory, received a certificate in Christian Education from Austin Presbyterian Seminary in 1965. An entrepreneur, he has also been employed as a high school teacher and as a Christian Education director in Richmond, Virginia. His passions include photography, video, movies and travel. He is active in his church, working in its Adult Life Program, and has served on the Catawba Board of Trustees since 1960. Currently, he is a member of that board's Academic Affairs committee.
Muse, who makes his home in Florence, South Carolina, received his MBA from East Tennessee State University and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. Since 1969, he has served with the United States Marine Corps Reserve and currently holds the rank of colonel. He is employed as vice president of academic affairs at Florence-Darlington Technical College in South Carolina. Prior to assuming his current post, he had served in numerous administrative positions in higher education, including college relations and continuing education program, as well as serving as an adjunct or associate professor at various institutions. He is past president and a former member of Catawba's Alumni Board.
Two Catawba College graduates Honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards
Col. Edward Rector
Col. Edward Rector of Washington, D.C., one of the original members of the famed Flying Tigers, and Catawba trustee C.A. "Junie" Michael III, president of Parkway Ford in Winston-Salem, were recognized Oct. 21 during the college's homecoming luncheon.
Rector, a 1938 graduate of Catawba, was unable to attend the event. Edith Weant Peeler, a 1940 Catawba alumna, accepted the award on his behalf.
Rector, a native of Marshall, served in the U.S. Navy for two years before joining the Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group which protected the Chinese Burma Road from the Japanese. When the Flying Tigers disbanded, Rector became a squadron commander with the China Air Task Force.
After World War II, he worked as director of operations for the Military Assistance Advisory Group to the Chinese Air Force. Rector retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1962 and worked as an aviation industry consultant in India, North Africa and Europe.
He was inducted earlier this year into the Gathering of the Eagles, a program that recognizes history-making aviation pioneers. Rector was also this year's recipient of the Americanism Award. Others who have received this award include Dr. Jonas Salk, Brig. Gen. Charles Yeager, Barry Goldwater and H. Ross Perot.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Chinese Order of the White Cloud and Banner and British Distinguished Flying Cross.
Michael, a 1970 Catawba alumnus, is a principal partner of 14 car dealerships. In addition to serving on the Catawba Board of Trustees, he serves on the board of Wachovia Bank of North Carolina.
He is a former board member of the Ford Dealer Advertising Association, the Better Business Bureau for Northwest North Carolina, the United Way of Forsyth County and the advisory council of Wake Forest's School of Business and Accountancy.
He and his wife, Teresa, have one daughter, Joy.
Four individuals received Distinguished Alumnus Awards at Catawba College during homecoming festivities Oct. 16.
The individuals are James and Martha Seiwell "Marty" Dayvault, president and vice president of Rita Staffing, a company in Lakeland, Fla., which specializes in the recruitment and placement of information technology candidates for clients throughout the Southeast; Richard Seiwell, partner with the investment firm Farrell & Seiwell Inc. of West Chester, Pa.; and Fred Sisley, retired brigadier general from the U.S. Marine Corps.
James and Martha Seiwell Dayvault
The Dayvaults opened Lakeland Florida Staffing Division in 1974. Subsequently, they have added offices in Plant City, Winter Haven, Sebring, Melbourne and Lake Mary. A second Lakeland office will open in December. James Dayvault, a 1964 Catawba graduate, served as president of the Student Government Association and recipient of the Whitener Award during his years as an undergraduate. Marty Dayvault, daughter of Porter and Maria Seiwell, is a 1963 graduate. Porter Seiwell, a 1935 Catawba graduate, served as campus minister and a member of the religion faculty from 1960 to 1977.
The Dayvaults, along with Distinguished Alumnus Richard Seiwell and his wife, Linda, have established the Porter W. and Maria Long Seiwell Fund for Campus Ministry and the Seiwell First Family Scholarship. In addition, the Dayvaults have established the Dayvault Endowed Scholarship. Marty and Jim Dayvault serve on the Youth for Christ Board of Directors in Polk County. They also actively support many local organizations and community projects through Rita Staffing. Marty is a member of the Mid-Florida Human Resource Management Group and the American Business Women's Association. She is also a business advisor to the Greater Lakeland Junior League. The Dayvaults have one daughter, Susan Hames.
Richard Seiwell Seiwell, a 1967 Catawba graduate and Catawba trustee, is the son of Porter and Maria Seiwell. He served as senior class president at Catawba. Seiwell holds an MBA from Ohio State University. A chartered financial analyst, he has served as vice president and co-manager of Equity Research of Provident National Bank; vice president of investment research and portfolio manager with Provident Capital Management; founding partner and director of research with Cashman, Farrell and Associates; and director of research with Pilgrim Baxter Value Investors.
Seiwell is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church in West Chester and serves as a volunteer in development for the Presbyterian Church Foundation. He and his wife, Linda, created the Carl and Dorothy Petree Scholarship in memory and honor of Linda's parents. They have two children, Andy and Julie.
Brig. Gen. Frederick E. Sisley
Sisley, a native of Uniontown, Pa., graduated from Catawba in 1957. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University. In addition, he is a graduate of The Basic School, the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, the Armed Forces Staff College, the Naval War College and the Institute of Higher Defense Studies. He served in Vietnam, Japan and Germany, in addition to numerous posts in the United States, before his retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1988.
Sisley's honors include the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal with two gold stars and Combat "V"; the Navy Commendation Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with silver star. After completing his career in the U.S. Marine Corps, Sisley began a second career in law firm management. In 1989 he became the legal administrator of Carruthers & Roth, a 25-attorney firm in Greensboro. He is past president of the local chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and remains active in the Retired Officers Association, Starmount Presbyterian Church and Starmount Forest Country Club. Sisley recently retired from Carruthers & Roth and lives with his wife, the former "Dinny" Avignone, in Greensboro. They have four children: Richard Sisley, Diane Sisley and Susan Rechin, all of Virginia; and Pat Petruzziello of Okinawa, Japan.