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Church/College Award Presented and New Donors Recognized

February 23, 2010

Category: Alumni, Events


HamiltonA 1955 alumnus of Catawba College who is a long-serving minister in the United Church of Christ was honored February 15 as the recipient of the 2010 Catawba's Campus Ministry Church/College Award.

The Reverend Dr. Thomas R. Hamilton '55 of Newton received the award in recognition of his more than five decades of service to both the Church and Catawba College at an event held in Peeler Crystal Lounge on campus. Reverend Hamilton was the fourth recipient of the award presented to him by College President Dr. Craig Turner.

Turner and HamiltonIn making the presentation, President Turner noted that Reverend Hamilton had "been an ambassador for the admissions department, encouraging family members and youth in the communities he has served to become Catawba students." President Turner said that Reverend Hamilton had also "prodded" colleagues, friends, church members and fellow alumni to give generously to his alma mater, adding, "he has set an example in his own generous giving."  Reverend Hamilton's propensity to sing the praises of Catawba was cited, as was his assistance in helping to interpret the mission of the College to clergy, community leaders and church members.

A native of Ohio and a member of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, Reverend Hamilton came to Catawba as a transfer student. After his graduation, he began studying for Christian ministry at Eden Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. Upon graduation from Eden, he returned to North Carolina to serve a mission church in Charlotte and then became the organizing pastor of Faith United Church of Christ in Englewood, Ohio.

In 1967, he accepted the pastorate of Elon College Community Church, pastorate he held for 18 years. During that time, he also served as assistant professor of religion and counseling associate at Catawba's sister institution, now Elon University. From Elon, he moved to the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC where he served as Associate Conference Minister for the Chesapeake and Catoctin Associations.

In addition to his distinguished service to the church, Reverend Hamilton has been active in the wider work of the church, serving as president of the board of trustees for the Blowing Rock Assembly Grounds; on the advisory board of Abernethy Laurels; on the board of the Houston Foundation; as a delegate to General Synods of the United Church of Christ; and as a delegate to the Middle East Council of Churches in Beirut, Lebanon. He is co-editor of the book, "Churches Related," a 40-year history of churches of the Western Association of the United Church of Christ.

Reverend Hamilton is married to Jane Whitener Hamilton, a 1953 Catawba alumna. The couple is parents of three adult children.

Catawba's Campus Ministry Church/College Award was presented for the first time in 2008. Its inaugural recipients were Claude Abernethy, Jr. and Wade Hampton Shuford, Jr. '50. The 2009 recipient of the award was the Reverend Dr. Richard Albright Cheek '47.


New Donors Recognized
New donors making gifts over the past year to the Porter and Maria Seiwell Endowed Chair for Campus Ministry were acknowledged at the Campus Ministry / Lilly Center event. These include:

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  • The Rev. Dr. Jay Ebersole ;
  • The Rev. Wayne and Ms. Doris Trexler ;
  • Mr. John and Mrs. Esther Fisher ;
  • Mrs. Wayne Fraley ;
  • Mr. Ralph Ketner ;
  • Mrs. Tonia Black-Gold  ;
  • Ms. Carolyn Peeler ;
  • Mr. Gregg and Ms. Julia Bealuk ;
  • Mrs. Linda Hamilton ;
  • Mr. Ryan Buchanan ;
  • Mr. Doug and Mrs. Kelly Carroll ;
  • The Rev. Johnny Lengel ;
  • Mr. Charles and Ms. Marie Sigler
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PhotosPHOTOS: Campus Ministry / Lilly Center Dinner

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