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Catawba Recognizes Two Graduates as Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipients

October 25, 2014

Category: Alumni, Events

disalum14.jpgCatawba College recognized two of its graduates as recipients of a Distinguished Alumnus Award on October 25th during Homecoming Weekend activities. The honorees included 1977 alumnus Thomas S. Dennard of Charleston, S.C., and 1967 alumnus Ronald J. Maccaroni of Charlotte.

These awards are given annually by Catawba's Alumni Association to individuals who have served their community, distinguished themselves in their profession, and have served the Catawba College community.  

Catawba President Brien Lewis made the presentations, assisted by the president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Elizabeth Hervey '93 of Atlanta, Ga., and vice president of the alumni records and recognition committee, Julie Ramseur Lewis '84 of Charlotte. [View Remarks]

About the Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipients

Thomas S. Dennard '77
1977 alumnus, Thomas S. Dennard, is chairman and CEO of Grandbridge Real Estate Capital, a commercial real estate mortgage banking company.

A native of Winston-Salem, Tom came to Catawba as student-athlete, pursuing a bachelor's degree in business. He was a standout varsity basketball player for four years and was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a member of the Student Government Association.

Today his professional affiliations include membership on the Grandbridge Real Estate Capital Board of Managers, the BB&T Senior Leadership Team, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Mortgage Banks Association Board of Directors, the National Multifamily Housing Council, and the Urban Land Institute. A licensed real estate broker in North and South Carolina, Tom serves as vice chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association's Commercial/Multifamily Origination Council.

Since his graduation, Tom has remained connected to his alma mater, serving on the Catawba College Board of Visitors and on the Catawba Foundation Board. He and wife Mary Jo, a 1975 Catawba alumna, have also served on the advisory committee for the Campus Ministry Chair Endowment effort and in 2005, made a substantial gift toward this endowment.

A member of Providence United Methodist Church, Tom met wife Mary Jo while both were students at Catawba and taking a religion class taught by the late Dr. King West. The couple has two adult sons, Clayton of Charleston, S.C., who is married to wife Christina and father of son Joseph Dennard, five months; and Taylor of Mooresville, married to wife Lauren and father of daughter Ada, four months.

Ronald J. Maccaroni '67
Ronald J. Maccaroni is a retired Senior Executive Service employee with the Department of Defense and currently works as an adjunct instructor at Graduate School USA.

A native of Waterford, N.J., Ron came south to Catawba where he majored in accounting and earned his bachelor's degree in 1967. He was a member of the football team while a student and also a trainer for the team. He was a Business Club member and served as the Catawba representative to the Salisbury Rotary Club.

Today, he is active in the Unitarian Universalists Church of Charlotte and serves as his church's treasurer and chair of its financial team. He is a leader of an All Things Considered Group at his church and an active volunteer. He is a member of Senior Scholars in Charlotte and is a past president and treasurer of several homeowners community associations.

His service to Catawba is extensive. He has established two endowed scholarships at his alma mater, is a member of Catawba's Board of Visitors, the Business School Advisory Board, and the Catawba Chiefs Club. He also interacts with graduating Catawba students, conducting mock interviews with them to get them work force ready. He even helps recruit students to the Catawba by making calls to high school seniors in Charlotte who have applied to the college.

Married to wife Harriet Winingham, he is father to sons, Michael and Matthew Maccaroni, to stepdaughter Lanier Mayhew, and to stepson, Charles Winingham. He has several grandchildren, Vivi and Leo Maccaroni, and several step-grandchildren, Morgan, Carter and Mara Mayhew, and Thayer Winingham.