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Catawba College Alumni Recognize Four of Their Peers during Homecoming

October 05, 2009

Category: Alumni, Events


Distinguished Alumni AwardsFour Catawba College alumni were recognized as recipients of Distinguished Alumnus Awards during Homecoming activities on October 3. Nancy Foster Councill '80 of Monkton, Md., Dr. Verne Lanier '62 of Durham, N.C., Dr. Arlan Mantz '62 of New London, Conn., and Barbara Marshall '72 of Cary, N.C., were honored during a barbecue luncheon held in Goodman Gymnasium on campus.

These awards are given annually by Catawba's Alumni Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and have also served the Catawba College community. College President Dr. Craig Turner made the presentations, assisted by Shannon Davenport McCoy '03, president of the Catawba Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Lynn Shuping Gullett '84 who serves the Alumni Association as vice president of the alumni records and recognition committee.


Nancy Foster Councill '80
Distinguished Alumni AwardsCouncill is the president of Risk Management Councill, Inc. As a student at Catawba, she was involved in many activities and sports, including the Student Government Association, basketball and softball. She majored in psychology as an undergraduate, and went on to earn her master's of administrative science degree in management from Johns Hopkins University.

In recent years, she has served on the Board of Visitors, and currently serves as a member of the College Board of Trustees, sitting on its enrollment committee. A member of Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, Maryland, Councill serves on the house committee of the Baltimore Country Club and has volunteered for the past three years with the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. She and her husband, Dick, are parents to three sons.


Dr. Verne Lanier '62
Distinguished Alumni AwardsA retired plastic surgeon, Lanier currently serves on Catawba's Board of Visitors and is a former member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. After graduating from Catawba, he spent four years as a student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, six years of general residency, interrupted by two years spent in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam conflict. After his time in the service, he spent three years at Duke University training in plastic surgery.

Lanier has had his medical research work published many times. After a successful medical career, he is now enjoys pursuing his various hobbies, including music. In his service to Catawba, Lanier carries on a tradition established by his parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. Verne Clifton Lanier, who were leaders in the United Church of Christ and very supportive of the College. Lanier's father, a 1929 Catawba alumnus, served on the College Board of Trustees. His sister, Sarah Lanier Warnecke, is also a Catawba alumna of the class of 1964. Lanier and his wife Dean have three grown daughters.


Dr. Arlan Mantz '62
Distinguished Alumni AwardsMantz recently retired from Connecticut College where he was an Oakes Ames Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics. He earned his master of science and his Ph.D. in physics from the Ohio State University. Although retired, he continues to be actively engaged in research which utilizes tunable diode lasers in the detailed study of molecular absorption line shapes at room temperature and at low temperature. An international presenter, he has authored many published papers and chapters. He holds several patents on such diverse subjects as laser-stable isotope ratio monitors for medical applications.

At Catawba, Mantz was the recipient of the Whitener Award, the highest honor given to a male and female student each year since 1927 at graduation. As a student, he was active in Sigma Pi Sigma and held various officer positions in the Seymore Science Club. He spearheaded the founding of the Class of 1962 Endowed Scholarship to mark his 30-year class reunion. He and wife Barbara are parents of an adult son.


Barbara Marshall '72
Distinguished Alumni AwardsMarshall majored in math as an undergraduate at Catawba and went on to earn her master's of science degree in mathematics from Clemson University. She recently retired from IBM after 30 years as a systems programmer and senior software development manager.

While a student at Catawba, she was active in the Student Government Association, Phi Epsilon, the band, and served as a tutor to junior high and high school math students. She played varsity tennis for one year and was a participant in the intramurals program at the college. Her parents, Thomas R. and Sarah L. Marshall were members of Catawba's class of 1941, and her siblings are both alumni – her brother, Philip Marshall, is a member of the class of 1971, and her sister, Nancy Marshall, is a member of the class of 1976.

Marshall has served two terms on the College Alumni Board of Directors and has served as that board's past president. She currently chairs Catawba's Board of Visitors. Outside of the College, she serves as a sectional official with the U.S. Tennis Association and is a member of the board of directors for Kildaire Farms Racquet and Swim Club. While she chooses to remain anonymous in most of her community support, her efforts help the work of Hospice of Wake County and the American Cancer Society.


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