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Alumni in Residence and Alumni Awards on Homecoming Weekend 2013
The MU Alumni Association Awards focus on the very best that MU alumni have accomplished in their communities, careers, and in helping to make Methodist the strong institution that it is today. It’s also a celebration of the Faculty and Staff who contribute so much of their time and effort to ensure that students fulfill their full potential as they travel the MU Journey. This year we were fortunate to have seven of the eight award recipients available for a panel discussion on Ethics in the Workplace before an audience of MU students Friday, October 25, 2013. Given the diverse business backgrounds of the awardees, this was a lively panel and students had many questions. The MU Alumni Association (M.U.A.A.) Awards Ceremony will took place Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Yarborough Hall, with M.U.A.A. President, Dr. Kelli Sapp ’91, presiding, and Dr. Ben Hancock, Jr., assisting in presenting awards to alumni.
L to R: MUAA President Kelli Sapp '91; Award recipients Dr. Del Crisp; Thomas Pope '78; Lynn Gruber Clark '72; Steve Driggers '76; Tim Holtsclaw '92; Bob Dunn '70; and The Hon. John W. Brown '71; and Dr. Ben Hancock, Jr., President.
Methodist University Distinguished Alumni Award
The Hon. John W. Brown ’71
John Brown earned his J.D. at Wake Forest and a Master’s in Law & Taxation at William and Mary. He practiced law in Chesapeake for 34 years and was among the most successful criminal defense attorneys in southeastern Virginia. Since 2008 he has served as a Judge on the First Judicial Circuit of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has contributed in numerous ways to his community and state. His statewide service includes serving as a governor’s appointee to the Boards of the Virginia Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and to the State Board for Community Colleges. John has also been involved in real estate development, including the renovation and leasing of commercial office buildings in Chesapeake and Suffolk. He is married and he and his wife Donna have three children.
Robert Dunn ’70
Bob Dunn ’70 is the President of The Finley Group, Inc., a nationally recognized Turnaround and Crisis Management firm, which he co-founded in 1985. For over 25 years, The Finley Group, based in Charlotte N.C., has been a trusted interim management and advisory firm consisting of dedicated seasoned business professionals, as well as a valuable management resource for improving the operational and financial results of healthy companies, returning underperforming companies back to health, and steering organizations in crisis to maximize value. Prior to co-founding The Finley Group, Mr. Dunn was a commercial loan and workout officer at NCNB, the predecessor to Bank of America. He has been involved with Methodist University’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) for many years, and is a recipient of the Business and Economics Award in 2002 by the CFE.
Thomas Pope ’78
Thomas’s father was Dean of Students and religion professor in the '70s, and is remembered fondly by many students. Thomas has made his own mark as a top-notch motorsports journalist and now Sports Editor for the Fayetteville Observer. He has been at the Observer since 1978, and during that time has won 25 awards from the National Motorsports Press Association, including the 1994 George Cunningham Award as Writer of the Year. Pope is also a three-time IHRA Media Person of the Year. In 2013, he received the national Catlin Award, which came with a $1,000.00 scholarship. He designated this to Methodist University. He recently won the Henry T. McLemore Award, given for lifetime contributions to motorsports journalism. He is married to MU alumna Margaret Pope ’78, and they have two children and four grandchildren.
Methodist University Outstanding Alumni Service Awards
Steve Driggers ‘76
Steve has served in just about every leadership role at Methodist University, rotating on and off several times as president and member of both the Board of Visitors and Foundation Board. He is here for every home football game, broadcasting games live and through streaming web on the radio through Mid-South Sports. Steve graduated and started his career in the area of education, coaching and teaching history for fifteen years. He then entered the telecommunication field with CellularOne and SunCom Wireless. Currently he is the Regional Vice President for Systel Business Equipment. He is married to another alum, Patricia Poulk Driggers, also Class of ’76.
Tim Holtsclaw ’92
Methodist University Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty/Staff Awards for 2013 were presented to the following:
Now retired, Lynn returned to her alma mater in 1985 to serve Methodist for many, many years as Director of Alumni Affairs, Special Assistant for Church and Community Relations, and ultimately as Special Assistant to the President. In her work she was meticulous and exemplified excellence in everything she undertook. She is a compassionate, caring person who has touched the lives of thousands of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the University with her personal visits, notes, and hospitality that she has shown to thousands of visitors to Methodist’s campus.
Dr. Delmas Crisp
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean Crisp has been a very strong supporter of the alumni of Methodist University since he started at Methodist. He has brought in highly educated staff and has improved all areas of the School. He attends almost all sports events and is present at many student activities. He has a strong concern for the students as well as the well being of the faculty. You can see him daily involved in the fellowship with students. His goal is to help make Methodist a leader in the academic world. He is a supporter of Methodist among other schools as they look to achieving Strategic Goals that will move the University forward in the coming decades.
Rev. Dr. Mike Safley ’72
Mike Safley is another well-loved, long-time member of the Methodist family, having served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at then Methodist College from 1987-1997, and returning to the campus in 2006 as Vice President of University Relations and Minister to the University. He is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree by the College; and he has been awarded the Methodist College Medallion. Mike has a deep love of and commitment to serving the spiritual needs of young people and encouraging their faith journeys. He often officiates at alumni and sometimes students’ weddings, and over their children’s Baptisms.
Nominations now being accepted for 2014!
If you would like to nominate a fellow classmate or faculty/staff member for one of the awards to be presented at Homecoming 2014, Saturday, November 1, you can download a nomination form HERE. Please e-mail the completed form to or fax to (910) 630-7683, or mail to the address below.
Deadline for 2014 nominations is March 30, 2014. The Alumni board will review the submissions and make their selection at the April board meeting.
Other Awards Honoring Alumni