Past honorees have made a difference on and off the Emory community. Below you will find a list of past honorees from the last decade for each award.
The Carl & Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award
2015: Dr. Mark Handy, '86
Mark finished at Emory & Henry with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and graduated from East Carolina School of Medicine and the ETSU Family Residency Program. He is a family medicine practitioner in Abingdon, Virginia. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the ISHN Board of Quality Assurance, is Medical Director of Hometown Hospice, and is Medical Director for Intrepid Home Health. He received the Board of Governors for East Carolina University School of Medicine. He is President and CEO of Abingdon Medical Arts, President and CEO of Triple H Farms of Alleghany, President and CEO of William M. Handy, MD, PC, and Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Virginia. He is a past winner of the Teacher of the Year Award at UVA, the Resident Teacher Award, and was named Medical Director of the Year for Emergency Medical Services. He is an accomplished banjo player and champion clogger, and is a member of Mountain Park Old Time Band and Tune Town Band, which won Vocal Group of the Year at Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising in 2014.
2014: Gary M. Reedy, ’78
Gary M. Reedy, ’78, earned a bachelor of science degree in Biology from Emory & Henry and presently serves as Vice President, Government Affairs and Policy for Johnson & Johnson. Gary is the immediate past chair of the American Cancer Society National Board of Directors and a board member of The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He is a past member of the American Cancer Society Foundation Board of Trustees, and has served as Chair of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He previously served on the Boards of BioNJ and C-Change. Gary is a charter member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and is Founding Chairman of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard Task
2013: Becky Kurtz, ’84
Becky Kurtz graduated from Emory & Henry in 1984, was the winner of the E&H Snavely Prize, the 1984 Outstanding Senior, and was a summa cum laude graduate in Sociology and Political Science. She finished at Columbia University School of Law in 1988, and her first professional position was Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York Law Department in New York City. From 1994 until 2010 she was the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for the State of Georgia. She currently serves as the Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs housed within the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C.
2012: Lt. Col. Lewis “Bucky” Burruss, ’65
Lt. Col. Lewis “Bucky” Burruss, E&H ’65, is retired from the U.S. Army. He worked with the late Colonel Charles Beckwith to help form and train the first Special Forces Operational Detachment (known as Delta Force). He completed the British Special Air Service Selection Course, volunteered for the Special Forces, and was assigned to Special Forces’ Mobile Strike Force. He was awarded the Silver Star, four Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, and three Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry. He retired from military service in 1987 to pursue a career in writing and is the author of several novels and works of history. He is an active supporter of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation which serves to support surviving children of fallen soldiers. The organization had its beginnings when Mr. Burruss served as a participating member of Operation Eagle Claw (the attempted rescue of Iranian hostages in 1980).
2011: David G. Foster, ’81
David G. Foster, E&H ’81, is Executive Director of the American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) located in Horse Cave, Kentucky. At Emory & Henry he received a B.A. degree in Music Theory with a minor in Geology. He earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree in Geology at Mary Washington College, and studied at Western Kentucky University. He has received the Cave Conservancy of the Virginia’s Award for Volunteer Achievement in Cave Conservation and Management, and under his leadership the ACCA was named the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education’s Organization. He also won first, second and third place honors in the National Cave Ballad contest in 1979. He is a member of the National Speleological Society, the National Caves Association, and is a past Commissioner for the Hart County Tourism Commission.
2010: Gina Horton Fimbel, ’98
Gina Horton Fimbel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Emory & Henry in 1998. She has served as a social worker at a homeless shelter for women and children in Fairfax, Virginia. She also worked for Child Protective Services in that same city. She is currently serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is the founder of Andrew’s Toybox; an organization that provides toys for children with life-threatening or chronic illness.
2009: Jennifer Murphy, ’00
Jennifer Murphy, E&H ’00, earned her bachelor's degree in biology at E&H and a Ph.D. in environmental microbiology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is conducting her post-doctoral research, focusing on methods for identifying and purifying contaminated drinking water, through the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill's School of Global Public Health. Ms. Murphy has recently made presentations to the NATO Working Group on Field Water Standards in Ottawa, Canada, and the United States Department of Defense Joint Medical Field Water Subgroup Meeting, Hampton, Virginia. Jennifer's time in Cambodia was spent researching means of providing clean drinking water to residents of developing countries.
2008: Elizabeth Crowgey Young, ’34
Elizabeth Crowgey Young, E&H ’34, was a history major at Emory & Henry, a debater in the Thalian Literary Society, and a member of the women's basketball team. She was a public school librarian in Bristol, Virginia, and in Dade County, Florida, until her retirement. Mrs. Young holds a master's degree in education from East Carolina University. She and husband, Jack (Class of 1936, deceased), have two daughters. Elizabeth, although well into her 90s, continued to volunteer several times a week with Alzheimer’s patients at the local Veteran's Hospital.
2007: Dr. Tal Stanley, ’83
Dr. Tal Stanley graduated summa cum laude from Emory & Henry College in 1983 with a B.A. degree in history. He received a M.Div. degree in 1986 from Emory University's Candler School of Theology. In 1996 he received a Ph.D. in American studies from Emory University. He is the director of E&H’s Appalachian Center for Community Service and chair of the Department of Public Policy and Community Service. Tal showed remarkable dedication to community enhancement that resulted in a new medical facility in downtown Meadowview.
2006: Dr. Paul Brown, Jr. ’64 & The Rev. James Dougherty, ’62
Dr. Paul Brown, Jr., is a 1964 E&H graduate. He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia with a medical residency at Tuft's University St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Brown is a clinical professor of medicine at the James H. Quillen School of Medicine and is a staff member at several hospitals in the Tri-Cities (Tennessee) region.
The Rev. James Dougherty is a 1962 E&H graduate. He received his master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from Emory University. An ordained United Methodist minister, Rev. Dougherty served the New York and the Holston Conference for 40 years.
The two received the award jointly for their years of devotion to a medical mission to Mexico.
2005: Mark R. Graham, ’85
Mark R. Graham, E&H ’85, is shareholder and director at Boucher, Hutton, Kelly & Graham, P.C., Attorneys at Law in Abingdon, Virginia. He received a J.D. from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in 1989. Mr. Graham is a member of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges and a former board member at Virginia Highlands Community College. He is assistant governor for District 7570 of Rotary International and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2000. Mr. Graham was chair of the Washington County Democratic Committee and was recognized as a "40 Under Forty" business leader by the Tri-Cities Business Journal in 2002. An active Rotarian, Mark made a personal commitment to secure a college education for a Bolivian Rotary exchange student who successfully graduated from Emory & Henry College.
2004: Rev. Marcus F. West, ’56
Rev. Marcus F. West, E&H ’56, is in private practice as a marriage and family therapist in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also the adjunct minister of counseling at Providence United Methodist Church. He received his B.D. in 1959 from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and pursued a Ph.D. degree from Florida State University. His hobby of pen and ink sketching also has become a ministry and cottage business.
2003: Elizabeth McKee, ’63
Elizabeth McKee graduated from Emory & Henry in 1963 and served the Washington County school system for 25 years as a teacher and librarian. She is active with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the Washington County and Town of Damascus Tourism Committee, Adopt-A-Highway, People, Inc., Washington County Habitat for Humanity, Virginia Clean Washington County Committee, and the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. Mrs. McKee has been a leader and participant in the Washington County 4-H program, the Rock School auditorium renovation, school and town beautification projects, and the District 3 RSVP Board. She is a lifetime member of the Damascus Rescue Squad, was given the Local Hero Award from the Damascus Little League, and has received countless certificates of appreciation from area community organizations. Mrs. McKee served as the Mayor of Damascus for many years.
2002: Brian K. Spencer, ’87
Brian K. Spencer, E&H ’87, is an area supervisor for Shoney's Inc., and is responsible for restaurants in Hillsville, Galax, and Dublin, Virginia. In 1998, he established the Etoile Berry Children’s Art Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to generate funds for the purchase of art supplies for local elementary schools and to provide scholarship assistance for college students pursuing art degrees. Nearly $23,000 has been raised for the foundation through a collaboration between the Hillsville restaurant and local artists.
2001: Dr. David T. St. Clair, ’73
Dr. David T. St. Clair, E&H ’73, is a United Methodist minister who has served Holston Conference churches in Knoxville, Morristown, Maryville and Chattanooga, Tenn., and Smyth County, Va. He served as chaplain of Emory & Henry College from 1991 to 2000, strengthening the campus religious life program and serving as counselor and pastor to the E&H community. Dr. St. Clair was the College’s first Bonner Scholars coordinator. He currently serves as pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Bristol, Tenn.
2000: Rick & Sarah Gruver Poland, ’81 & ’80
Rick and Sarah Gruver Poland graduated from Emory & Henry in 1981 and 1980, respectively. Mr. Poland received his master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mrs. Poland holds a bachelor of arts degree from Emory & Henry and a bachelor of science degree from Old Dominion University. She is a home educator for the six Poland children, four of whom are adopted. The Polands currently operate a family farm that welcomes persons in transition from prison to mainstream society.
The Distinguished Achievement Award
2015: Dr. James McNeer, '61
Jim graduated from Emory & Henry with a double-major in History and Political Science, and while a student served as student body president and co-captain of the basketball team. He received a master’s degree in History from West Virginia University, and a Doctor of Education at the College of William and Mary. He served as president of Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Virginia, for 16 years. He was Mayor of Colonial Heights, Virginia, for 12 years, and also served as chairman of the city’s school board and library board. He was previously named the City’s Outstanding Young Man, and was once voted the City’s Hero by Lakeview Elementary School. He was recently named a lifetime member of the Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the Presidential Award for Leadership and Courage in the Cause for Human Rights by the Virginia State Unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He received the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service and the Gatlin Award from the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce for work done to save Fort Lee. He currently serves as a director for Virginia Commonwealth Bank and a trustee for Southside Regional Medical Center. He is married to Nancy Wilkinson McNeer, E&H Class of 1962.
2014: Erick H. Long, ’91
Erick H. Long, ’91, joined the Academy of Country Music staff in 2009 and manages the operations of both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Academy’s office in Encino, California. He oversees components of the awards show that include the All-Star Jam Official After Party, ACM Party for a Cause Festival, security, red carpet, transportation, credentials, and catering. Erick spent over six years coordinating special events for Universal Studios Hollywood organizing up to 300 events a year, including huge corporate events for companies like Coca Cola and Toyota. He worked in event production and operations with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games where he was special projects manager in charge of the “Look of the Games.” His other event experience includes the Grammys, Latin Grammys and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
2013: Ben Jennings, ’68
Ben Jennings is a 1968 graduate of Emory & Henry. He has serve on the Virginia Highlands Festival board since the 1970s, and was a founding member of the A! Magazine for the Arts editorial committee. He serves as program chair for the Friends of the Washington County Public Library, is a former Board of Trustees member for William King Museum, and is credited for starting the Arts Array series in Abingdon which is now sponsored by all SWVA colleges. He has been a faculty member at Virginia Highlands Community College for 45 years, serving as Associate Professor of English and Film.
2012: Ken Sorenson, ’79
Ken Sorenson, E&H ’79, is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii. He is a 25-year veteran in the office, and recently achieved a conviction in the United States v. Noshir Gowadia case which has been described as one of the nation’s largest and most significant espionage prosecutions of the past 20 years. Following this conviction, Mr. Sorenson received the National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA) Most Outstanding AUSA Award, also known as the J. Michael Bradford Award. The Bradford Award is given annually to the NAFUSA’s choice of the most outstanding AUSA in the country.
2011: Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker, ’76
Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker, E&H ’76, is Professor of Worship for the School of Theology at Boston University. She received Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master’s of Divinity from the Divinity School of Duke University. She is an ordained Elder with Full Connection in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is currently serving as president of Societas Liturgica, and is Editor-in-Chief of Studia Liturgica, an international ecumenical review for liturgical research and renewal.
2010: Richard “Dick” Kemper, ’64
Richard “Dick” Kemper, Class of 1964, retired after 42 years of service at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 1911, St. Christopher’s is a college preparatory school for boys Kindergarten through 12th grade. He served as Assistant Director of Athletics, Head of the Physical Education Department, Head Football Coach, and Head Basketball Coach. He is currently the Executive Director of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. He is also CEO of a full service consulting firm, EQ MGR Inc., that offers training and education on all aspects of athletic equipment safety. In 2006, The General of Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia passed a resolution commending him for outstanding service.
2009: Beth Perkinson McCoy, ’69
Beth Perkinson McCoy, Class of 1969, received a master of music education degree from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. In 1991 she was consecrated a diaconal minister in the United Methodist Church, and has served the past 16 years as music director for the East Tennessee Children’s Choir. Ms. McCoy has received the Annual Conductor’s Award from the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, the Composer of the Year Award from the Appalachian Music Teacher’s Association, and the Tribute to Women Award in the arts category from the Bristol YMCA. She and husband, Dr. Joseph McCoy, retired E&H chemistry professor, reside in Abingdon.
2008: Paul Harrison, ’82
Paul Harrison, Class of 1982, was an economics and business major at Emory & Henry. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia. A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Harrison began his career in accounting and until recently was vice president of Krispy Kreme Donuts, Inc. Mr. Harrison then became owner of two Ben and Jerry's ice cream franchises in the Triad area of North Carolina where he used his business success to serve the greater community through Habitat for Humanity.
2007: Helen Williams Barbrow, ’63 & Sally Ranck Weaver, ’69
Helen Williams Barbrow (posthumous award) graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1963. She began her teaching career at Clifton Forge Elementary School, but spent most of her professional life at Saltville Elementary School where she retired in 2002. She was a founding member of the Museum of the Middle Appalachians where she volunteered faithfully until her death in December 2006. In 2001 she was named by the Virginia Education Media Association as clinch Region Library Media Specialist of the Year.
Sally Ranck Weaver is a 1969 graduate of Emory & Henry College. In 1981 she graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Law. She has served as vice president and general counsel of Goody';s Family Clothing and as an associate professor of law at the University of Montana School of Law. She also has served as chief professional development officer at the law firm of Powell Goldstein where she also practiced law as an associate partner. She recently retired from the position of CEO of the Atlanta Women's Foundation.
2006: Toni Atkins, ’84
Toni Atkins, E&H ’84, is a member of the City Council of San Diego, California, and in August 2005 was elected by that council to serve as the city's interim mayor until December 2005. Ms. Atkins is chair of the City Council's newly formed Committee on Budget and Finance, and is vice chair of both the Land Use and Housing and the Natural Resources and Culture committees.
2005: Dr. P.W. Keaton, ’57
Dr. P.W. Keaton, Class of 1957, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and received a Ph.D. in physics from John Hopkins University. In 1965, he accepted a position with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and served there as researcher and division leader until his retirement in 1993. Dr. Keaton was recently an adjunct faculty member at the Colorado School of Mines and he continues to serve as chief scientist for John Frassanito & Associates in Houston, Texas. He received a certificate of appreciation for his work with President Reagan's National Commission on Space and the Distinguished Performance Project Team Award for his leadership of a strategic defense initiative project.
2004: Dr. A. Ray Merchant, ’52
Dr. A. Ray Merchant, Class of 1952 (posthumous award), served as Executive Vice President of Mary Washington College until his retirement in 1993. Over the course of his career, he served in a variety of positions, including Registrar, Chairman of the Department of Education, Director of Admissions and Vice President. His committee and board involvement supported numerous community organizations including the American Red Cross, the Mary Washington College Community Symphony Orchestra, and the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve and taught high school in Smyth County for a short time.
2003: Bill Nickle, ’61
Bill Nickle is a 1961 graduate of Emory & Henry and received his master of divinity degree from Duke University in 1964. From 1980-89, he was the director of and manager of Wesley Woods summer camp in Townsend, Tennessee, during which time he expanded the summer programs to include year-round environmental education for children and adults of all ages and backgrounds. In 1990, Mr. Nickle founded Narrow Ridge, a center for sustainable living and earth literacy in Grainger County, Tennessee. In 2000, he spearheaded the establishment of The Earth Lab at Gray Center in Canton, Mississippi, and he currently serves as director. The Earth Lab is a hands-on earth education program in a 700-acre outdoor classroom. Mr. Nickle has been a tireless teacher and has fostered and developed Earth Knows Publishing. He is a charter member of the National Advisory Board of the Environmental Ethics Institute.
2002: Leslie I. “Ike” Prillaman, ’65
Leslie I. “Ike” Prillaman, E&H ’65, is the Executive Vice President-Marketing of Norfolk Southern Corporation. Over a 32-year career, he has served Norfolk Southern in many leadership positions, including Assistant Vice President, Vice President and Controller, and Vice President-Properties. He recently was selected to serve as the chair of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) Board of Directors. Mr. Prillaman was a member of the Emory & Henry Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2001. As a trustee, he served as treasurer of the board and chair of the Budget/Audit Committee.
2001: Sue Sisk Walker, ’57
Sue Sisk Walker, E&H ’57, has devoted her life to her family and her community. She has given active service to numerous committees, boards and organizations, including the Dogwood Arts Festival Board, The Association of Federated Women’s Clubs, Knoxville Symphony League, Knoxville Bicentennial Coordinator Council and the American Cancer Society. Mrs. Walker served as president of the Alliance of the American Dental Association, the YWCA and the Tennessee Federation of Women's Clubs. She has been named Tennessee Mother of the Year and First Lady of Knoxville. Mrs. Walker currently serves as executive director of the James White Fort historic site.
2000: Dr. Bob Buchanan, ’58
Dr. Bob Buchanan graduated cum laude from Emory & Henry in 1958 with a bachelor of arts degree in biology. He joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in 1963, and is currently a professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. His work with redox regulation and seed germination has led to the development of many new technologies and has earned him the Charles F. Kettering Award for Excellence.
Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award
Dean Newman ('62) graduated from Emory & Henry in 1962 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. He has served on the Emory & Henry Alumni Association Board of Directors as a representative for the 1960s decade. He is currently the Owner Operator of Newman Sales, a dealer network for several major heating and barbecue manufacturers in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, and he owns several patents for heating products. He and his wife, Judy, live in Harrisonburg, Virginia and have two children, including Paige who is a 1991 Emory & Henry graduate.
Arthur B. Scott, ’07, earned his bachelor’s degree in geography at Emory & Henry, with a minor in business management. Before taking his career to Washington D.C., the Scott County native learned the business workings of southwest Virginia by studying the Virginia wine industry and by working with the regional planning district commission in Lenowisco. He managed the grassroots outreach programs for the campaigns of former Congressman Rick Boucher and also Senator Tim Kaine, and he helped design and execute field programs to address the diverse geographic and demographic landscapes of Virginia. He was Assistant to the Chief of Staff for Senator Jim Webb, handling all federal appointment processes including judicial nominations. He also coordinated most of Senator Webb’s political and civic outreach initiatives. He is Chair of the Campaign for Renewed Rural Development (CRRD) and serves on the Southern Rural Development Center's Technical and Operational Assistance Committee (TOAC).
Ellis Sasser graduated from E&H in 1968. She received a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is now retired after 32 years as a teacher of the gifted for the Henrico County Schools. She is published in Teaching Exceptional Children, is a member of Who’s Who in American Education, a recipient of an R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence, and a PTA Distinguished Teacher Award. She is a past Chapter President of Delta Kappa Gamma International Society and a Museum District Association member and volunteer.
Betsy Farris Hulcher graduated from E&H in 1968 and earned a master’s in education degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a decorated educator, and served as a middle school and elementary teacher in Henrico County Schools for 26 years. She was employed by the Miller and Rhoads Co. as a Seasonal Trainer, and has worked for Weight Watchers International for 17 years. She is a past officer in the VFWC Sycamore Women’s Club and is a volunteer for the American Heart Society.
Ruth Anne Farley Davis graduated from E&H in 1968, and served as a mathematics teacher in the Henrico County School System for 30 years. She was the math department chair person for 12 years, and an administrative aid and teacher for 14 years. She has taught a mathematics education course at Cape Breton University in Sydney Nova Scotia. In 1987 she received the Gilman Teacher of the Year Award from the Henrico County Public Schools. She has been a member of Heartstrings Choral Group in Richmond, served for 7 years on the Board of Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West, and was on the board of the Key West Woman’s Club.
J.D. and Patsy Fitts Reed, E&H 1968 and E&H 1970, are staunch volunteers for Emory & Henry College. The pair has served on the E&H Parents Council, they have been active admissions volunteers, and they attend every home and away football game to show their pride in E&H sports. Additionally, Patsy served on the alumni board of directors from 2006-2011. J.D. is retired from the Tennessee Social Security and Disability Determination office, and Patsy is retired from various roles in office management.
Todd Woodall, E&H 1994, is an Executive Customer Representative for Merck Pharmaceuticals. He is a member of Merck’s Hall of Fame, Diamond Club, and President’s Club. He has been Merck’s Sales Representative of the Year seven times. He is a member of the E&H Prelude to Performance Campaign Committee and was named 12th Man for the E&H Football Team. He is a Little League coach and supports Diabetic Education in Southwest Virginia through Merck’s “Journey for Control” program.
Donna Proffit Vaughn, Class of 1968, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Latin from Emory & Henry. She received a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Hollins University in 1991. She taught in the Roanoke County Schools, Botetourt County Schools, and Alleghany Count Schools. Upon her retirement she was serving as director of guidance for Alleghany County. She is a current member of the Emory & Henry Board of Trustees, a former member of the E&H Board of Visitors, and a former member of the E&H Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Paul Hubble, Class of 1968, is retired from Roadway Express, Inc., where he served as facility manager for the Harrisonburg/Charlottesville division. Mr. Hubble served as president of the Emory & Henry Alumni Board of Directors during 2005 and 2006 and was the first alumnus to serve on the College's Strategic Planning Committee.
Craig Baker, Class of 1968, is the manager and owner of GCB Executive Search, a firm that specializes in finding highly-skilled employees for many of the largest banks and investment firms in the world. At Emory & Henry, Mr. Baker double majored in political science and German, was a member of Sigma Iota, and played varsity baseball.
Betsy Harkleroad is a 1969 graduate of Emory & Henry College. She has been an active member of the Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs at the local, district and state levels. She served as the Lynchburg Area President of the Virginia Counselors Association and in 1996 chaired their state convention. She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota and was Campbell County (Va.) Schools Teacher of the Year in 1996. She has served E&H in many capacities including chapter coordinator, alumni college coordinator, and president of the E&H Alumni Association Board of Directors. She serves as the coordinator of volunteers for Timberlake United Methodist Church.
Mr. G. Thomas Rudisill is a 1967 E&H graduate. He is a teacher and assistant director at Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville, Virginia. Mr. Rudisill is a member of the Virginia and national associations of Teachers of English, the Virginia High School Coaches Association, and the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association. He currently serves as chair of the E&H I-HEY Leadership Board.
Henry C. Dawson, Jr., Class of 1962, serves as secretary for the board of directors of the United Way of Washington County, having formerly served as president and campaign chair. He is past president of the Depot Artists Association board of directors and still serves as an active member. Mr. Dawson is a former member of the Bristol Concert Choir. During his 31 years of service to Emory & Henry, he served as Director of Alumni Affairs, and Executive Assistant to the President.
Shirley H. Wagner, Class of 1952, has been on the security staff at Emory & Henry College for 23 years. In 1998, her hard work and exemplary duty were recognized by assigning her a badge number that would be retired from use. As a student, she was a member of Alpha Beta Chi social sorority and the women's basketball team.
Lynda Jones Hawkins graduated from Emory & Henry in 1966. In 1988, she retired after 30 years in Virginia education serving as a classroom teacher and counselor for Smyth, Dinwiddie, and Hanover counties. Mrs. Hawkins is a member of the Hanover Rotary Club, Hanover Woman's Club, Hanover Chapter of the American Cancer Society, Virginia Retired Teachers Association, and Lebanon United Methodist Church in Dinwiddie. She is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, serves on the planning committee for her local Relay For Life event, and is project coordinator for Hanover Student Career Resource, Inc. Mrs. Hawkins has served on the E&H Parents Council, has been a class agent for the E&H Development Office, and has been an even t planner for Richmond-area alumni. She served as president of the E&H Alumni Board of Directors from 1999 to 2001.
Ann Grim Sparger, E&H '68, is a member of Emory & Henry Board of Visitors. Ms. Sparger was a member of the Emory & Henry Alumni Board of Directors for ten years, serving as president from 1997 to 1999. She is responsible for the creation of the Alumni Association's "E&H Worldwide Service Day" and has dedicated countless hours to further the mission of the Alumni Association. In her community, Ms. Sparger has been an active leader in Salem United Methodist Church for 29 years and is a member of the Red Hat Society.
Barbara Creasy Polly, E&H '56, is well known in her home community of Big Stone Gap, Va., for her work with the outdoor drama, “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” her leadership of the John Fox, Jr. Museum; her service through Trinity United Methodist Church; and her success as owner of Lonesome Pine Realty. At Emory & Henry she was elected the first female Alumni Association president. Mrs. Polly's leadership of the J. Stewart French Alumni House Committee transformed an old home into a bright, well-utilized guest house and alumni reception hall for the campus.
Dr. Robert McClellan (posthumous award), E&H Class of 1945, was a revered professional in the field of urology. He was inducted into the E&H Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 in recognition of his accomplishments in basketball. He served as a member of the E&H Board of Trustees and as a volunteer for the Nashville Chapter of the E&H Alumni Association. Throughout his life, Dr. McClellan was a generous supporter of E&H academics and student programming.
Mr. F. Winton Lackey, Class of 1955, is president of Mid-Ohio Packaging in Marion, Ohio. He serves on many volunteer boards in his community, including the Red Cross and MARCA Industries (a workshop for persons with disabilities). He is a member of the Rotary Club of Marion and is active in Epworth United Methodist Church. He is a member of the E&H Board of Trustees and the E&H Sports Hall of Fame.
A.L. Mitchell Outstanding Young Alumnus
Eric McClure ('00) graduated from Emory & Henry with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications in the year 2000. Immediately after graduation, he accepted a position at Morgan-McClure Racing, a company founded by his family in 1983, and bought his first race car. In 2003, he made his NASCAR Xfinity debut at Rockingham. In 2004 he competed in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race driving a second entry for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, where he qualified at 35th, led a lap, and finished in the 26th position. In 2006, he secured Hefty brand as a sponsorship partner and began a full-time presence in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 2011, he added Reynolds Wrap as a sponsorship partner. In 2014 he finished 19th in driver standings and completed his ninth consecutive season in the #24 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap – the longest active streak in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Emily E. Wallace, (’04) was a double major in creative writing and art at Emory & Henry, and then earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned a master of arts degree in folklore from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She currently serves as the Director of Communications for the Center for the Study of the American South, and is the Deputy Editor for their academic journal, Southern Cultures. She is a chief contributor to IndyWeek and has written and illustrated for the Oxford American, the Washington Post, GOOD, Culture, Gravy, and Our State. In 2013 she was a judge for the Book Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation. In that same year she was the illustrator for the Southern Foodways Alliance symposium.
Jay Webb graduated in 1999 with a major in Mass Communications. He trained in meteorology at Mississippi State University. His first job was producing the morning show at WCYB-TV 5 in Bristol, Virginia. He also served at WHSV in Harrisonburg before attaining his current position of weekend meteorologist for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia. In 2008, he won an Emmy award for outstanding program achievement.
Tarah Taylor, E&H 2003, is the morning and noon anchor for WCYB TV-5 in Bristol, Virginia. She is a volunteer for the March of Dimes, Girls, Inc., United Way, the American Cancer Society, and the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Tarah has also volunteered for Emory & Henry, through the 175th Anniversary Public Relations Committee, the alumni/student Speed Networking event, the Benefactor’s Luncheon, and the Mass Communications Department.
Robert Thomas, E&H 2001, is a manager in the U.S. Secretary of State’s 24/7 Operations Center. He has served with the U.S. Department of State since 2001, serving in locations that include Nouakchott, Mauritania, and Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Robert is a member of the American Foreign Service Association of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, and he has been published in the American Foreign Service Journal, a publication of the American Foreign Service Association.
Dr. Jeff Bary, Class of 1995, is currently an assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics from Emory & Henry, and received his Ph.D. in Physics from Vanderbilt University in 2003. He received the National Science Foundation Graduate Teaching Fellowship for in 2002 and 2003, and the National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral fellowship from 2005-2008. He was the American Association of Physics Teachers teaching assistant for the year in 2002.
Chris Kolakowski, Class of 1999, received a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in history and mass communications. He finished his master's in public history at the State University of New York at Albany in 2004. Mr. Kolakowski's career has included work at the Civil War Preservation Trust in Washington, D.C., and the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association, Perryville, Kentucky, where he served as executive director from 2005 to 2008. He is currently the chief curator for the National Museum of the Army Reserve in Fort McPherson, Georgia.
Luke Grooms, Class of 2001, was a music major at Emory & Henry with a minor in theatre. He also played football as an undergraduate and sang in the E&H Concert Choir. Mr. Grooms received a master's degree in music from the University of Cincinnati. He resides in New York, New York.
Dr. Phillip Hustad received a B.S. degree from Emory & Henry College in 1997 with a major in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. He later earned a master's degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology from Cornell University. His research experience includes work at Cornell, Brown, and Columbia universities, as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the IBM Research Center in San Jose, California. He is currently Senior Research Scientist at The Dow Chemical Company in Houston, Texas.
Israel O'Quinn is a 2002 E&H graduate. He is the political director for the Republican Party of Virginia and coordinates senatorial and congressional campaigns in the Commonwealth. Mr. O'Quinn is also the point of contact for nomination issues, conventions and the Republican political plan. He served in Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's office as community outreach coordinator and worked as field director for Senator John Warner's campaign for re-election.
Paula Webber, Class of 1990, serves as program director for the Commonweal Foundation's Pathways to Success Boarding and Day School Program. She formerly has served as project manager for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program (funded by the U.S. Department of Education); Science, Engineering and Mathematics Student Support Manager for the Model Institutions For Excellence Program (funded by NASA); and Student Programs Coordinator for the Goddard Visiting Scientist Program. As a volunteer, Ms. Webber is involved with the National independent Living Association, Montgomery County Maryland Homeless Coalition, the House of Ruth Women's Shelter, and the Orphan Foundation of America.
Bonnie Widener Wood is a 1990 Emory & Henry graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in Mass Communications. Her impressive resume which includes work for the Richmond Times Dispatch, WTVR-6 in Richmond, and WJLA-7 in Washington, D.C. She is currently Promotions Producer for WJLA, and in 2003, she won two Emmy Awards for her creative work.
Dr. Michael W. Lane graduated from Emory & Henry in 1995. He received his M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 1997 and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 1999. While in graduate school, he served as lab director for the Atomic Force Microscope and as a graduate research assistant studying interface fracture involving subcritical debond growth (failure), reliability and life prediction of multi-layer interconnect structures for applications in current and developing technologies in the microelectronics industry. Currently, Dr. Lane operates his own lab as a research staff member for IBM TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York.
Matt Hankins, E&H '94, is a decorated former editor of the Clinch Valley News and the Richlands News Press. He served on the Richlands Downtown Revitalization Project Management Team and designed the group's logo and coined their motto, "Back to Front," a reference to the town's main thoroughfare, Front Street. Currently, Mr. Hankins serves as the Public Information Officer for the City of Martinsville, Virginia. He is a certified Firefighter One volunteer and continues to serve as vice president and grant-writer for the Baptist Valley Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. Hankins is a graduate of the Republican Party of Virginia's intensive campaign management academy, Campaign ACES.
Doug Dalton, E&H '94, has turned talent and good choices into an impressive career in a short amount of time. He worked for the George Mason International Institute and Global One before starting his own company, Inext, which was quickly purchased by Troy Systems. Mr. Dalton worked for Netscape Communications before becoming chief engineer and eventually vice president for Knowledge Universe. He left to join Gloss.com, which was recently purchased by Estee Lauder Companies. Mr. Dalton is now the chief technical officer for Estee Lauder Online, a Fortune 500 company.
Rev. Stephen A. Rhodes, Class of 1983, currently serves as pastor of River Road United Methodist Church in Richmond, Va. In addition to his bachelor of arts degree from Emory & Henry, Mr. Rhodes holds a master of divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University where he studied as a Woodruff Scholar. He is the author of Where the Nations Meet: The Church in a Multicultural World.
James A. Davis Faculty Award
Dr. Rebecca Buchanan is an assistant professor in Emory & Henry’s Health and Human Performance department. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she attended on a full scholarship in track and field. She has a master’s degree in sports management and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 1994, she served on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Rebecca was a member of the U.S. World Championship Track and Field Team in 1997 in Athens, Greece, and finalist for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, and was an NCAA All-American from 1988-1992 while at UNC. She is a coach for Glade Spring Little League, a member of the Busy Little Bees Child Development Center Board, a judge for the McGlothlin Excellence in Teaching Awards, a member of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and a deacon at Glade Spring Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Linda Dobkins Dr. Linda Dobkins is Associate Professor of Economics at Emory & Henry College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, Missouri, a master’s in science from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and a master of arts and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Among her many honors are the McConnell Scholarship for Teaching Award, the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Award, and the William Carrington Find Award for Faculty Excellence. She is chair of the Economics Department, former Social Science Division Chair, and was Core Curriculum Director during the approval and implementation of the new Core Curriculum. She served as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.
Dr. Felicia Mitchell has been a member of the Emory & Henry English department since 1987, earning the position of full professor in 1999. She has served as director of the CORE Writing Proficiency Program, coordinator of the campus Writing Center, and served as chair of the English Department for seven years. She has chaired committees including the Committee on the Revision of Sexual Harassment and Assault Policies, the Academic Dean Search Committee, and the Honors Program Development Task Force. Among her many publications is an edited collection of poetry entitled Words and Quilts.
Dr. Denise Stanley joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1992. She earned her Ph.D. from Regent University, her Master’s in Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and her undergraduate degree from Clinch Valley College (UVA-Wise). She is currently an associate professor of business at Emory & Henry. She is a prior recipient of the Ernest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Merit Award, the Exemplary Teaching at a United Methodist-related Institution of Higher Education Award, and the Emory & Henry Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. Edward Hamilton Davis joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1991. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, his M.A. degree in at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and his Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina. He is currently the associate professor of environmental studies and geography at Emory & Henry. He has earned the United Methodist Church Excellence in Teaching Award, and was a recipient of the Hope Award presented by the Appalachian Center for Community Service. He is an active member of the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, helps organize the annual C.R.O.P. Hunger Walk, and does educational programs for area school children on conservation issues.
Dr. James A. Warden joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1991, serving as an associate professor of Physics and Physics Department Chair. He served as Chair of the Natural Sciences Division from 1994-2006. Prior to E&H, Dr. Warden taught at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Rhodes College in Memphis, a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of South Carolina, and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Teresa D. Keller joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1985 after serving as a producer and noon anchor for WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia. Dr. Keller received her master's degree in communications from the University of Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in communications from the University of Tennessee. In 2003 she won the Virginia Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation, and in 1989 she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Emory & Henry College. She is the co-author of Television News: A Handbook for Writing, Reporting, Shooting and Editing (now in its third printing), and is currently overseeing an expansion of the WEHC radio station from 500 watts to 10,000 watts.
Kathleen Chamberlain has been a member of the Emory & Henry English Department since 1989. From 1998 to 2002, she served as associate dean of academic affairs and has been the chair of the Humanities Division since 2002. Dr. Chamberlain received her master's degree and doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1993, the E&H senior class chose her for the Excellence in Teaching Award, and she has received the William Carrington Finch Award for Faculty Excellence and the Virginia Professor of the Year Award from CASE/Carnegie Foundation.
Robert J. Johnson received a B.A. degree in history in 1968 from Dickinson College and a M.Ed. from Springfield College in 1976. He is a combat veteran of Vietnam, serving as a Ranger platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. He has served E&H as head basketball coach since 1980, taking his teams to the NCAA Division III Tournament five times and twice to the Sweet Sixteen. He is a three-time winner of ODAC Coach of the Year honors and has been named NCAA South Region Coach of the Year three times. The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named him the 2007 recipient of the Division III Outstanding Service Award, to be presented at the NCAA Division I Final Four in Atlanta.
Dr. George E. Treadwell, Jr. has served as a professor of biology at Emory & Henry since 1970. He received his M.S. degree in biochemistry from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. in plant physiology and biochemistry from Iowa State. Dr. Treadwell has received the Exemplary Teaching Award from the United Methodist Church, the Burroughs Wellcome Fellowship, the McConnell Faculty Grant from Emory & Henry, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Maiden Award for Leadership from Emory & Henry.
Dr. John T. Morgan joined the faculty of Emory & Henry College in 1986. He is professor of geography and chair of the social sciences division. Dr. Morgan received a B.A. in Spanish from East Carolina University in 1972, and an M.A. in geography from East Carolina, Greenville, North Carolina, in 1976. In 1986, he received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Tennessee with a dissertation on "The Decline of Log House Construction in Blount County, Tennessee." Dr. Morgan is the author of The Log House in East Tennessee.
Dr. John D. Lang graduated summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1969. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1975. He has served in the Emory & Henry English Department since 1983 and currently serves as a full professor, director of the College's Great Book Program, and editor of Emory & Henry's Iron Mountain Review. In 1999 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia Council of Higher Education.
Dr. Frederic R. Kellogg graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in science education from Louisiana Tech University in 1962. He received his Th.M. with honors from Southern Methodist University and his Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University. Dr. Kellogg is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Middle East Studies Association, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Holston Conference Board of Ordained Ministries, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi. He has received the Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Merit Award from the College, the Emory & Henry College Excellence in Teaching Award, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church Award for Exemplary Teaching. Dr. Kellogg has served at Emory & Henry College since 1969 and currently serves as the Shelton Professor of Religion.
J. Allen Neal, E&H '54, taught history at Emory & Henry from 1958 to 1977. After receiving a B.A. from Emory & Henry, he earned an M.A. at Ohio State University. Professor Neal was a United States Air Force historian and served in the 402nd Field Artillery Battalion as well as the 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division. He is the author of the Bicentennial History of Washington County. Mr. Neal has written several publications for the Air Force concerning the development of the pressure suit, the history of the Navaho Missile, and the history of methods of escape from high speed aircraft.
Alan Pickrell, associate professor of speech and theatre, has taught at Emory & Henry since 1964. During his career at the College, Mr. Pickrell has directed more than 175 plays. He has been a member and participant in the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the Library of Congress Symposium and the Popular Culture Conference. Known for his expertise on serial books, pulp fiction, and The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Pickrell has been published in various journals of juvenile literature. He has worked extensively with Bristol Children's Theatre, Theatre Bristol and the Bristol children's Theatre Academy.
Dr. Terry Griffin holds degrees from West Virginia University and the University of Tennessee. He joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1964 and is currently a professor of modern languages. In his community he has served as a leader for the district commission of Boy Scouts of America and as an active member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.