Eleven UNC Charlotte alumni honored for service, achievements

Monday, November 5, 2012

In what has become a tradition, the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association presents awards to recognize alumni who embody the core principles of the University and have distinguished themselves through their outstanding service to the University, their chosen field and humanity.

The 2012 awards were presented Saturday evening, Nov. 3, at the Alumni Awards Banquet.

“Our University has so many talented graduates who have excelled in their profession and in the community while simultaneously being supportive and connected to their alma mater,” said Niles Sorensen, vice chancellor for University Advancement. "These 11 outstanding alumni have been instrumental in propelling UNC Charlotte to become the powerhouse that it is today.”

Five of the recipients have direct connections to UNC Charlotte, either as current or retired members of the faculty or staff. They include:

UNC Charlotte Chancellor Emeritus James Woodward - Still very active in the community and state, Woodward serves on several non-profit boards. In addition, he served on such groups as the UNC Tomorrow Commission, the North Carolina Education Lottery and the Judicial Nomination Commission. He also served as interim chancellor at NC State University in 2009-2010.

All these things have not stopped him from enjoying his “leisure” time. He travels extensively with his wife, Martha, their children, and now their grandchildren. He enjoys traveling to Europe and is an avid hiker.

Woodward was honored with the Alumnus by Choice Award, which recognizes a non-graduate of UNC Charlotte who has gone out of his or her way to support the University and the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Mary Lynne Calhoun - For more than three decades, Dean Mary Lynne Calhoun has been a member of the UNC Charlotte faculty and a leader in the College of Education. In 1982 she was appointed assistant director of special education; she has since risen through the faculty ranks to become the College’s chief administrator.

Under Calhoun’s visionary leadership, the College of Education has grown not only in number of faculty and students, but it has also refined its mission and created programs to better meet the needs of Charlotte and the State of North Carolina.

Calhoun was honored with the Faculty Service Award, which recognizes a current UNC Charlotte faculty member for distinguished service to the community while bringing recognition to the University.


Misty Hathcock ’85 ’91 ’92 ’96 ’04 - With five degrees from UNC Charlotte, Hathcock is not only a super alumna, she is a valued faculty member. She has served as director of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program in the College of Education since 1998. She is also a clinical assistant professor, University supervisor, Kappa Delta Pi chapter counselor and First 3 Beginning Teacher Support Program coordinator.

The sixth generation educator who has earned five degrees from UNC Charlotte is also president of the school’s Alumni Association. She was responsible for securing the site for the Harris Alumni Center and beginning the design work on the building and it earned her the 2012 Distinguished Alumna Award.

Hathcock was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association.

Greg Davis ’76 - He was a 21-year-old high school freshman who had been labeled mentally retarded when he dropped out of school in 1972. He got his GED from Central Piedmont Community College. Four years later, he became one of the first African Americans to graduate from UNC Charlotte’s Religious Studies program.

Davis went on to earn a master of divinity degree from Duke and a Ph.D. in American religious history from the Union Institute. Davis went on to oversee minority retention programs at UNC Charlotte with a focus on mentoring first-generation college students.

Davis also was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association.

Ann Mabe Newman ’78 - A registered nurse, Newman received her diploma in nursing from the University of Virginia before completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UNC Charlotte in 1978. She went on to obtain a master’s in nursing from UNC-Chapel Hill and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A board certified specialist in psychiatric nursing, Newman has served as a practicing therapist in the community for more than 40 years. On July 1, 2012, she retired from UNC Charlotte after 30 years of teaching. Throughout her distinguished teaching career, Newman received numerous honors, including the prestigious Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, the University’s top teaching award. In 2010, she was named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte.”

Newman was honored with the Alumni Hall of Fame Award, a highly-selective award. Only 75 of the nearly 100,000 alumni have been named to this prestigious honor.

Other recipients in the five categories were:

Alumni Hall of Fame – A highly-selective award, only 75 of the nearly 100,000 alumni have been named to this prestigious honor. The award is based on the nominee’s career accomplishments and/or service to his or her community, state, nation, or to UNC Charlotte and its Alumni.


  • Dennis N. Bunker III - Bunker is passionate about UNC Charlotte and he has served as a past president of the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association. A fixture at many athletic and community events on campus, Bunker has devoted a lot of his time to the university along with making significant financial contributions.


  • John P. Derham Cato – Cato understands that great things often spring from modest beginnings. His company’s business success bears that out, and his philanthropic endeavors help provide the impetus for students to achieve great things as teachers.


  • Bill Crowder - As a civil engineering student at UNC Charlotte in the early 1970s, Crowder shared common bonds with his fellow students and his professors. Many of the students, including Bill, had just returned from Vietnam. They were going back to school, were married and some had children. Most of the professors were the same age as Bill and his classmates. Together they learned civil engineering and how to teach civil engineering. In the process, they formed bonds that exist to this day.


  • The late Esther Rose Erwin - After Erwin earned her associate’s degree in history from Charlotte College in 1961, she went on to obtain three additional degrees from UNC Charlotte. “She was part of the University and a beacon for UNC Charlotte from the day they rang the bell,” says her friend Martha Price.


  • Curt Walton - Serving as Charlotte's 14th city manager, Walton is responsible for administering the policy and decisions made by the City Council and overseeing the day-to-day operations of city government.


Outstanding Young Alumnus Award – Given to alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years, this award honors those who have shown exceptional service to the UNC Charlotte community and the Alumni Association; career accomplishments as well as community and state involvement are considered.


  • Ashley Clark - Growing up in chilly Watkins Glen, New York, decided in high school to head south for college. Within a week of her arrival at UNC Charlotte, she got a part-time job at the Charlotte Country Club and plunged into the demanding architecture program. Two years later, she was president of the American Institute of Architects Student (AIAS) Chapter, demonstrating a commitment to service that still distinguishes her career.