Alumni Awards

Nominations for the alumni awards are accepted from January 1 through March 31 each year and the awards are presented at Homecoming. For more information check out the awards descriptions and nomination forms below:

Distinguished Alumni Award

Outstanding career achievement and service of the highest order to his or her community [Criteria | Nomination Form | Previous Winners]

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Must have earned first MU degree within the last 10 years. Outstanding voluntary or other public service on a local, state, national, or global level. [Criteria | Nomination Form | Previous Winners]

Outstanding Alumni Service Award

Outstanding service and dedication to Methodist University Alumni Association [Criteria | Nomination Form | Previous Winners]

Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

Must have demonstrated a high level of accomplishment within his or her official duties to Methodist University [Criteria | Nomination Form | Previous Winners]

Philanthropist Award

Must have provided outstanding and generous financial support to Methodist University [Criteria | Nomination Form | Previous Winners]

2016 Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

Johnny Wilson ’99 is the executive director of Fayetteville Urban Ministry (FUM) and manages the Find-a-Friend program that has grown from serving 30 at-risk and court-involved youth to reaching more than 220 youth annually. He started part-time at FUM and rose through the ranks to CEO. Johnny also serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Juvenile Services Association and he is a member of the MU Booster Club. Johnny graduated from Methodist in 1999 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He was a part of the men’s basketball team that won a conference title and advanced to the “Elite Eight” in the NCAA Tournament.


Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Rhyan Breen ’07 is an associate attorney at Farris & Farris in Wilson. He practices litigation primarily in the areas of personal injury, business law, contracts, torts, and criminal defense. He serves as chairman of Wilson County Mediation Center of Eastern Carolina and works as a board member for Youth Oriented Understanding Through Help (Y.O.U.T.H.) of Wilson. He volunteers with North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) mock trial competitions. Rhyan also volunteers as a guest speaker for the MU legal studies program and serves as a mock trial juror. He graduated from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2010. In 2013, he was named an Honorary Monarch at the MU Athletics Banquet. Rhyan earned his bachelor’s degree from Methodist in three years while playing football. He received the Rita Wiggs Courageous Monarch Award in the spring of 2007 after overcoming numerous adversities. In his second season with the Monarchs, he was a USA South All-Conference player but spent the summer rehabbing his knee after a torn ACL in the spring. His father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but Rhyan set goals to return to the football field and graduate in three years so his father could see him.  Rhyan was back on the field in six months but unfortunately his father passed away during the season.


Outstanding Alumni Service Award

Dena Breece ’00 was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2016. This award is presented to a Methodist alum who has demonstrated outstanding voluntary or other public service on a local, state, national, or global level. Emphasis should be placed on service to Methodist University and participation in clubs, service organizations, MUAA activities, or community involvement.

Dena is currently the Chair of the Accounting, Business Administration, Management & Marketing Department at Methodist. She is also a member of the SOAR Inaugural Committee and Accounting Education Conference Committee for the North Carolina Association of CPAs. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Dena serves as a Board of Director and Treasurer for the Fayetteville Downtown Alliance. She is a committed supporter of the University and volunteers with the Loyalty Campaign calling on constituents for donations. Dena works hard to assist graduates with job placement. She and her husband, George, also hosted an alumni and friends event in April 2015.


Philanthropist Award

Marta and Howard Bullard are the the 2016 Philanthropist Award winners. Howard is a graduate of Wake Forest University and serves as president of Bullard Furniture. He and his wife Marta have been committed financial supporters to the University since 1993 including the lead gift to support a new tennis center. Howard was a member of the first Methodist Board of Visitors Committee and in 1996 he joined the Board of Trustees. He is the current secretary of the Board while also chairing the audit committee and serving as vice chair of the investment committee. Howard has received the Center for Entrepreneurship American Business Ethics Award (2013) and the Small Business Excellence Award (1992). Both Marta and Howard are long-time members of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church.


Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

Wendy Vonnegut has been the Director of the Legal Studies Program since 1999. While at Methodist, she has served as chair of the Conflict Management Committee and Mediation Committee, a member of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, Signature Service Committee, Curriculum Committee, Critical Writing and Thinking Committee, and the Advising Committee. Wendy is chair-elect of the Pre-Law Advisors National Counsel, Past-President of Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors, Member of the Board of Visitors for Campbell University School of Law, and member of the Alumni Board of Directors for Mercer School of Law. In 2014 Wendy received the Women in Justice Award from NC Lawyers Weekly. She is a beloved member of the Methodist community.



Other Awards Honoring Alumni

Alumni Business Person of the Year: Presented by the MU Center for Entrepreneurship

Athletics Hall of Fame: Presented during Homecoming.


Graduate Commencement Ceremony

The Winter Commencement Ceremony for students in Methodist University Graduate Programs.

Baccalaureate Service

Prior to graduation, a Baccalaureate Service will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Huff Concert Hall, where Dr. James Howell will deliver the baccalaureate...


This is the undergraduate Winter Commencement ceremony.

Admission by ticket only until 1:55 p.m.

View the Graduation Webcast here!...