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New Scholarship Funds Honor Five Individuals Associated with Catawba College

February 19, 2010

Category: Academics, Faculty, Gifts


Four new scholarship funds have been established at Catawba College in honor of five individuals associated with the institution.

The scholarship funds are established in honor of College President and First Lady, Dr. W. Craig and Mrs. Annette Turner; Senior Vice President, Tom Childress; Director of the Ritchie Academy for Teaching and Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Dr. Cynthia Osterhus; and Director of Vocal Choral and Sacred Music Studies and Associate Professor of Music, Paul E. Oakley.


Dr. W. Craig and Mrs. Annette Turner
TurnersDr. W. Craig Turner and wife Annette joined Catawba College on June 1, 2008 after he had served six years as president of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Turner was recommended to the Catawba Board of Trustees as the top candidate for the job by Catawba's Presidential Search Committee. He was selected for the position from among 156 applicants.

Turner joined the administration and faculty of Hardin-Simmons University in 1992, serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English from 1992 to 1996. He then became Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer until he was named Chief Operating Officer in June 2000. Turner then served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at HSU for a year before becoming the 14th President of Hardin-Simmons University on June 1, 2001.

Prior to coming HSU, he served at Mississippi College (MC) in Clinton, Mississippi, where he was Head of the English Department and Professor of English from 1985 to 1992. He served as a tenured Assistant and Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University from 1976 to 1985 and as a visiting instructor at Baylor University in 1974-1975.

Turner earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Tulane University in British and American Literature in 1977, and earned two degrees from Baylor, the Master of Arts in English in 1971 and the Bachelor of Arts in English and History in 1969.

A native of Bryan, Texas, Annette Enloe Turner met her husband while she was a coed at Baylor University. The two were engaged at the end of her junior year and were married in the middle of her senior year at her home church in Bryan. Mrs. Turner completed her undergraduate degree while Dr. Turner completed a semester of post-graduate work.

Mrs. Turner worked for a time at the Armstrong-Browning Library at Baylor, which houses the largest [Robert] Browning collection in the world, before the couple started their family. Son Scott was the first-born, followed by daughter Shannon. For 17 years after her children were born, Mrs. Turner served as an elementary school teacher in Texas and Mississippi. She wrapped up her teaching career when Dr. Turner became president of Hardin-Simmons.

Today, the Turners are proud grandparents of twin granddaughters.


Tom Childress '64
ChildressA native of Mt. Airy and a 1964 alumnus of Catawba College, Senior Vice President Tom Childress has worn a variety of hats working at his alma mater. In his current position, he oversees the areas of Advancement and Athletics.

Childress played basketball under Coach Sam Moir at Mt. Airy Senior High School and then followed his coach to Catawba where he continued playing while earning his undergraduate degree in physical education. He later earned his Master of Arts degree from Appalachian State University.

He taught and coached at East Surry High School in Pilot Mountain and at Appalachian State University before joining the faculty at Pfeiffer College in 1969. At Pfeiffer, Childress served as assistant professor physical education and head coach of basketball. He served from 1977 to 1986 as Director of Athletics at Pfeiffer before adding to his responsibilities the role of Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid there between 1988 and 1990.

In 1990 after 21 years at Pfeiffer, Childress joined Catawba as dean of admissions. In 1991, he moved into the role of vice president for external relations at Catawba and held that position for several years before returning to Pfeiffer in 1993 as senior vice president for institutional advancement. In 1995, Catawba named him athletic director and then several months later, senior vice president. He has continued in the latter capacity to the present. During his tenure, Catawba has successfully completed three campaigns.

Childress is a member of Pfeiffer's Sports Hall of Fame, which he instituted there, as well as a member of Catawba's Hall of Fame, the Mt. Airy Sports Hall of Fame and the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame.   He was honored as the recipient of Catawba's Trustee Award in 2000.

He and his wife, the former Judy Hollar '65, are parents of four adult children and 12 grandchildren.


Dr. Cynthia Osterhus '73
OsterhusDr. Cynthia Osterhus, a 1973 alumna of Catawba, directs the College's Shirley Peeler Ritchie Academy for Teaching and is an associate professor of teacher education on the faculty.

Osterhus worked for 30 years as a teacher-educator in the sciences and mathematics with the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. She served 13 years as coordinator for that system's K-8 science program and 17 years as a middle and high school mathematics teacher. Additionally, Osterhus served the Rowan-Salisbury Schools for 10 years as director of professional development.

In 1984, she was named North Carolina Gifted and Talented Teacher of the Year and was recognized in 1987 as the state's Teacher of the Year. She was also chosen as a finalist in 1985 for NASA's Teacher in Space program.

In 2003, Osterhus joined the Catawba faculty, working with pre-service teacher education in math and science and serving as coordinator of the mathematics education program. She was named director of the Ritchie Academy for Teaching when it was established in 2007.

Osterhus earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Catawba College. She earned her Master of Education degree and her Ph.D. in mathematics from UNC Greensboro. She makes her home in Salisbury with husband Ken.


Paul E. Oakley
OakleyPaul E. Oakley joined the Catawba College faculty in 2007 as the director of Choral, Vocal and Sacred Music Studies, an associate professor of music, and the College organist.

Oakley "felt called" to return to teaching in 2007 when he left New York City and his position as the Minister of Music and Organist of The Reformed Church of Bronxville. Since Oakley joined the College, the number of students in the choir has grown by several dozen and the annual choir tour, long a Catawba tradition, has been successfully reinstated. Oakley and his choral students toured the Southeast in 2008, performed at Carnegie Hall in 2009, and toured the Mid-Atlantic States in early January of this year.

Oakley holds a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Boston University where he was a Dean's Scholar in Music and a student of the renowned choral conductor, Dr. Ann Howard Jones. He holds two undergraduate degrees from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, one in Organ Performance and another in Sacred Music (Choral Emphasis). At Friends, he was a Presser Scholar in Music. He serves as editor for a series of new choral music and editions of historic classical music for Colla Voce Music, Inc.

A specialist in music of the Baroque era (1600-1750), Oakley is known throughout the U.S. and beyond as a conductor, concert organist, collaborative pianist, lecturer and clinician. He has performed throughout North America, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, and several Caribbean nations. Each year, he conducts numerous All-State High School choirs and festival honor choruses and has prepared choruses for many significant conductors including Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Andrew Parrott, John Rutter, Edo de Waart, Martin Perlman and Kenneth Kiesler.

Oakley makes his home in Salisbury where he is the Director of Music Ministries and Organist at First Presbyterian Church. He also serves as the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Ethos Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Singers, fully professional musical organizations in Charlotte, N.C.


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