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Individuals Recognized, Appointments Announced at Catawba College Trustees Meeting

March 01, 2007

Category: Alumni, Faculty, Staff




Several individuals were recognized and several appointments announced at Catawba College's annual Board of Trustees Meeting held Feb. 19 and 20 on campus.


; ;;Salisbury Man Named Trustee Emeritus
;James G. Whitton of Salisbury, who has served for 20 years on Catawba's Board of Trustees, was recognized for his years of service and honored as a trustee emeritus with a unanimous vote by his fellow board members.

;;Whitton, former president of Whitton Distributors of Salisbury, joined the board in 1987 and served as chair of its buildings and ground committee. In that capacity, he proved an advocate for the College in the Salisbury-Rowan community, and offered sound advice on campus renovation and construction projects.

;;He serves as vice chairman and assistant secretary of the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, Inc., board of directors. He also has served as a member of the Salisbury Community Foundation and the Foundation for the Carolinas. He is a member of the Salisbury Rotary Club and has been active in numerous civic organizations.

;;An alumnus of UNC-Chapel Hill, Whitton and his wife, the former Christine Peeler, are parents of three adult children and members of St. John's Lutheran Church.


; ;;New Trustees Introduced
;Three new trustees were introduced to their peers at the annual meeting. They were Bryan Jordan '84, Deborah Messinger '74, and Robert Wagner '76 and will all be members of the Class of 2011.

;;Bryan Jordan
;Bryan Jordan of Vestavia Hills, Ala., is employed as senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of Regions Financial Corporation in Birmingham. Prior to his current position, he was employed with Peat, Marwick, Main & Co. and then, First Union in Charlotte.

;;A member of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, Jordan has served as the United Way of Birmingham's corporate campaign co-chair, and has participated in both Leadership Charlotte and Leadership Birmingham. He is a member of NCACP and AICPA and has served on Catawba's Board of Visitors. In 2004, he was honored at Catawba's homecoming activities with the Distinguished Alumnus Award and that same year, was named to Birmingham Business Journal's Who's Who in Banking. He is married to wife Kimberly and the couple has three children.

;;Deborah Messinger
;Deborah Williams Messinger of Salisbury earned her master's degree in education from UNC-Charlotte following her Catawba College graduation.

;;She has served on Catawba's Board of Visitors and numerous other civic organizations in Salisbury. Married to husband Dyke, who serves as president of Power Curbers, Inc., the couple has two sons.

;;Robert Wagner
;Robert Wagner of Mooresville serves as senior vice president for store operations west for Lowes Companies, Inc. in Mooresville.

;;A past Rotary Director, he and wife Marilyn, are parents of two sons and members of Davidson United Methodist Church in Davidson.


;;;Catawba College Staff Member Recognized
;Oliver Gilbert Scott of Salisbury, who has served for more than 25 years as Catawba College's assistant to the president for specialEvents, was recognized by trustees for the many contributions she has made to the institution.

;;Catawba College President Dr. Robert Knott announced that donations made by trustees, as well as Scott's family and friends have funded the creation of Oliver's Way on Catawba's campus. Oliver's Way is a lighted, landscaped walkway between the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel and the Robertson College-Community Center on campus, but Knott explained, it is also a term used to describe Scott's way of doing things — "the right way."

;;Due to recent weather conditions, Oliver's Way is still a work in progress and a fountain, donated by Scott's daughters, Mary and Margaret, has yet to be installed. A formal dedication of Oliver's Way is planned for later this spring.

;;Every major function at Catawba, including dinners, receptions and retreats, are well-planned and executed thanks to Scott's touch. Her fine eye for detail and flair for entertaining, help plan menus, entertainment and decorations for these specialEvents. In the decorating which takes place on campus, Scott's touch is a very real part of the mix. She makes sure that there is continuity and consistency in the colors chosen and used in everything from the carpet and paint to the fabrics on various pieces of furniture. The Cloninger Guest House is an example of Scott's work.

;;;Faculty Promotions Announced and Tenure Approved
;Promotions for four Catawba College faculty were announced at the trustees meeting. They include Dr. Karen Horner, from associate professor to professor of psychology; Dr. Jason Hunt, from assistant professor to associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Sharon Sullivan, assistant professor to associate professor of mathematics; and Dr. Maria Vandergriff-Avery, assistant professor to associate professor of sociology.

;;Dr. Horner joined the Catawba faculty in 1998. She holds a bachelor's degree from York University, and her master's degree and doctorate from the University of Western Ontario. Her teaching interests include the psychology of human sexuality, psychology of counseling, psychology of personality, and health psychology.

;;Dr. Hunt joined the Catawba faculty in 2001. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Wofford College, his master's from Wake Forest University, and his doctorate from Emory University.

;;Dr. Sullivan also joined the Catawba faculty in 2001. She holds bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., her master's from the University of Vermont, and her Ph.D. from University of Kentucky.

;;Dr. Vandergriff-Avery, who joined Catawba in 2001, has chaired the College's Department of Sociology since 2003. She earned her bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and her doctorate from the University of Maryland.

;;Trustees approved tenure recommendations made by the Catawba faculty for four faculty members including Drs. Hunt, Sullivan, Vandergriff-Avery, and Dr. Elizabeth Homan, an assistant professor of theatre arts.

;;Dr. Homan joined Catawba in 2003. She holds the bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Florida, her master's degree from Miami University of Ohio, and her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.