Founders’ Day Awards Announced
The 2011 Founders’ Day Convocation opened with a procession of international flags representing the diversity of the NC Wesleyan College student body followed by the faculty regally dressed in their academic robes. The Reverend Dr. Barry P. Drum offered the invocation and President James Gray presided over the annual event, which celebrates the founding of the college (Chartered on October 25, 1956) and includes recognition awards for students, faculty, staff, and community members.
This year’s event was held on Thursday, October 20 in Minges Auditorium. The Wesleyan Singers performed several selections and accompanied the audience in singing “America the Beautiful” and “Alma Mater.”
President Gray presented special awards to assistant athletic trainers Josh Long and Tim Donovan, who immediately responded to the scene of a motorcycle accident involving off-duty Rocky Mount police Officer Charles Millender on September 28 near the practice fields on Thomas A Betts Parkway. They have been credited with saving the life of the injured man.
“These young men exemplify the founders’ commitment to serving one’s fellow man,” Gray said. “This was the chief characteristic of those who formed Wesleyan in 1956.”
Dr. Jay Stubblefield presented the Distinguished Staff Awards to Annette Everett Assistant Director of Aspire (Rocky Mount) and Pat Brantley, Divisional Secretary for Academics.
Omicron Delta Kappa president Dani Abbey and vice president Joshua Meeks led the tapping of the new honor society members, including Director of Technology Nhan Nguyen.
Vice President of Finance Loren Loomis Hubbell presented the 2011 NCWC Service Awards. Individuals recognized for 5 years of service to the college are Mildred R. Batchelor, John A. Dismukes, Heather L. Johnson, Gregory J. Boykin, Carroll “Gene” Heavner, Jr., Patricia J. Holloman, Issac Mooring, II, Jeffery, J. Kuglitsch, Molly A. Weise, and George E. Whitwell, II. The 10-year award was presented to Roger E. Drake, Elizabeth B. Lancaster, Stanley R. Smedley, and Patricia “Ann” Watson. The 20-year award was presented to Charlie T. Long, Jr., while Jay R. Quinan was honored with an award for 25 years of service.
The Founders’ Day program concluded with a benediction from Reverend Drum and the recession of the faculty.
Other parts of the program were described in an article written by Jim Holt, reporter for the Rocky Mount Telegram and printed on Friday, October 21:
“Following a raucous, standing ovation for Long and Donovan, Brenda Bandy of the N.C. Wesleyan College Class of 1980 reflected on her early days at the college as part of its first class of students.
Bandy first set foot on N.C. Wesleyan College’s campus in 1960 while the college was still under construction. After taking a hiatus and getting married to a N.C. Wesleyan undergraduate, she returned to receive her degree in 1980.
“I stand before you today as a proud graduate of N.C. Wesleyan, and I will always cherish the fond memories that I have reflected on today,” Bandy said. “Wesleyan prepared me with an education for a brighter future.”
N.C. Wesleyan College Trustee Emeritus J. Phil Carlton recounted the history of not only N.C. Wesleyan College, but the boom and bust periods of higher education growth in the state since the 1700’s.
Every year, the college selects one person to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award – and this year they set their sights on Rocky Mount City Manager Charles Penny.
The award is the highest honor the college bestows for service to N.C. Wesleyan College, and the characteristics of the recipient are compassion and love for one’s fellow man, adherence to Christian ideals, courteous and gentle behavior and active participation in the college or community affairs.
“I am indeed honored to be selected for this prestigious award,” Penny said. “The work I do, I do because I enjoy it. I thank you for this award, but I want to accept it on behalf of Mayor (David) Combs, members of the City Council, our 950 city employees and 57,000 citizens that empower me to do the work I do each and every day.”
The college is extremely important to the community, he said. “We look forward to continued work and progress as we move Rocky Mount, Nash County and Edgecombe County into this 21st century,” Penny said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, and it’s going to take a lot of collaboration.”