Founders Day at Emory & Henry Celebrates Community

Posted by Leah Prater
The 185th annual Founders Day at Emory & Henry College was celebrated on Thursday, March 24, by awarding citations to two people that gave back to their community in honor of the four founders of the college. The Alumni Association awarded the 2021 and 2020 honorees for the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

“Founders Day is the time during which we recognize those individuals and organizations that conceived of and built Southwest Virginia’s first higher education institution in 1836 and its impact on the region,” said Mark Graham, Vice President for Administration and General Counsel at Emory & Henry. The celebration this year was a digital awards ceremony aired on YouTube at 6 p.m. on March 24.

The first of the honorees are Nancy Johnson of Glade Spring, Va. Johnson is a retired African American artist who served as a resident artist for nearly 20 years at the Arts Depot in Abingdon, Va. Johnson began painting in 1989 after 17 years of nursing. Her art is a multimedia experience, Johnson’s paintings are accented with glued-on features meant to bring the art to life.

The second honoree is Dr. T. Edward Damer, a retired philosophy professor and chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts at Emory & Henry. Damer authored “Attacking Faulty Reasoning” while employed at Emory & Henry and continued to be named the 1988 Virginia Professor of the Year a decade later. In addition to the various teaching awards he received, Damer was awarded for his service while in the Rotary Club on four separate occasions.

Damer and Johnson are being honored for their contributions to the community throughout the years. “We acknowledge the role that local individuals and groups had in supporting Emory & Henry for nearly two centuries by recognizing civic leaders in our community annually during Founders Day,” said Graham.

In conjunction with the time-honored celebration of Founders Day, the Emory & Henry Alumni Association has chosen annual honorees to award the various Distinguished Alumni Awards. “Alumni engagement is important for Emory & Henry because our alumni are important to Emory & Henry,” said Monica Hoel, Alumni Director at Emory & Henry. “We are so proud of what our alumni do in the world, and we are grateful that so many will continue to give back to their alma mater as donors, mentors, career connections, and volunteers.” The Alumni Association presented awards to honorees selected for both 2021 and 2022 this year.

The honorees for the year 2021 are Rob Goldsmith, ’71 for the Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award; Dr. Lisa Jordan, ’84 for the Distinguished Achievement Award; Kishanna Caesar Heyward, ’08 for the A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year Award; Dr. James Duchamp for the James A. Davis Faculty Award; and every E&H in the City Volunteer for the Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award.

The honorees for the year 2022 are Charlie Phillips, ’60 for the Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award; Michael K. Young, ’86 for the Distinguished Achievement Award; Stephen and Jessica Curtis Callahan, ’11, ’11 for the A.L. Mitchell Young Alumni of the Year Award; Cyndi Jennings, ’91 for the Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award; and Dr. Eric Coley, ’04 for the James A. Davis Faculty Award.

“It is very difficult to choose just a handful of alumni to honor each year because we have so many who are worthy of praise and respect; but each year we get nominations from folks who tell stories of the alumni they hope the selection committee will pay close attention to,” Hoel continued. “We really encourage everyone to make a nomination, right now, while it’s on your mind!”

To make future nominations, view the alumni awardee acceptance speeches and see past recipients, visit www.ehc.edu/alumni/get-involved/alumni-awards

  • E&H President Dr. John W. Wells presents the service citation for Nancy H. Johnson.
  • E&H President Dr. John W. Wells presents the service citation to Dr. T. Edward Damer.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/717-emory-henry-college-holds-mid-appalachian"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg" alt="From left to right: Moderator Dr. Michael Puglisi of Emory & Henry College, Dr. Dean Sprinkle..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2138" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/717-emory-henry-college-holds-mid-appalachian">Emory & Henry College holds Mid-Appalachian Higher Ed Summit</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> For the first time in the Mid-Appalachian region, leaders of nine higher education institutions gathered to look at the state of higher education, demographic and economic trends, and workforce and career development needs in the region. <a href="/live/news/717-emory-henry-college-holds-mid-appalachian" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/349-oquinn-challenges-college-to-conquer-new-frontiers"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg" alt="Israel O'Quinn speaks at Founders Day 2018" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2138" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/349-oquinn-challenges-college-to-conquer-new-frontiers">O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> In the 181 years of existence, Emory & Henry College has had many opportunities to conquer new frontiers, according to Virginia House Delegate Israel O’Quinn (’02), the keynote speaker during the annual Founders Day celebration.</p><a href="/live/news/349-oquinn-challenges-college-to-conquer-new-frontiers" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/280-emory-henry-college-opens-interfaith-prayer"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg" alt="Student Safa Farhoumand helps dedicate the Interfaith Prayer Room." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/280-emory-henry-college-opens-interfaith-prayer">Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Equipped with chairs, tables, prayer rugs and religious texts, a room in the lower-level of Memorial Chapel on the Emory & Henry College campus is now available for students of all faiths to have a quiet place to pray and meditate.</p><a href="/live/news/280-emory-henry-college-opens-interfaith-prayer" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/521-emory-henry-college-lands-in-four-national"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.jpg" alt="Emory & Henry College campus view pictured here was ranked as one of the best liberal arts co..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,1043,2133,3174/4542_Pocket-Folder-Cover-RGB_1_4.rev.1536594635.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2133" data-max-h="2131" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/521-emory-henry-college-lands-in-four-national">Emory & Henry College Lands in Four National College Rankings</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Emory & Henry College ranks among the best liberal arts colleges in the United States, according to the annual list of rankings released this week by <em>U.S. News & World Report, Best Colleges</em>. <a href="/live/news/521-emory-henry-college-lands-in-four-national" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>