The Emory & Henry College Alumni Association honored five alumni and an E&H professor during Founders Day activities at the College Thursday, March 22.
The honorees included Lt. Col. Lewis “Bucky” Burruss, a 1965 E&H graduate and the recipient of the Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award; Ken Sorenson, a 1979 E&H graduate who was honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award; Tarah Taylor, a 2003 E&H graduate and the recipient of the A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year Award; J.D. and Patsy Fitts Reed, members of the E&H Class of 1968 and 1970 respectively, who were honored with the Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award; and Dr. Denise Stanley, an E&H business professor and the recipient of the James A. Davis Faculty Award.
Lt. Col. Lewis “Bucky” Burruss 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). The Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award is presented to an alumnus/a who has shown extraordinary commitment to others. It is named for Carl (E&H 1929) and Ruth Bourne Looney.
Ken Sorenson 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. The Distinguished Achievement Award is given to an individual with a record of excellence in a volunteer or professional capacity.
Tarah Taylor 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. The A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus Award is given to an alumnus/a who has made outstanding professional achievements during the first 15 years after graduation. It is named for A.L. Mitchell, E&H Class of 1946.
J.D. and Patsy Fitts Reed 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. The Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award is presented to an alumnus/a who has provided extraordinary support to the College. It is named for E&H Alumnus Fred Selfe, Class of 1969.
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. The James A. Davis Faculty Award is presented to an E&H faculty member with a distinguished record of excellence in teaching. It is named for James A. Davis, E&H Class of 1846, the first E&H alumnus to return to his alma mater as a faculty member.