Three Catawba College graduates were recognized during Commencement Exercises on campus for academic excellence. Two were honored as the Whitener Award recipients during the 10 a.m. ceremony, while one student was honored as the Barbara Andrews Award recipient during the 2 p.m.
Two students in the day program were recognized during the 10 a.m. ceremony as recipients of the Whitener Awards. These awards have been presented annually since 1927 to honor the man and woman in the graduating class who embody to a high degree the qualities of good character, leadership and scholarship. They are presented in memory of Dr. Edgar Whitener of High Point who served as a trustee of Catawba College from 1921 to 1966 and chairman of the board of trustees from 1925 to 1944.
Meagan Kittle of Winchester, Ontario, was the female Whitener Award recipient. She majored in English with a writing concentration and a double minor in Sociology and French and was consistently on the Dean's List and the Presidential Honor Roll.
Kittle was also active outside the classroom as a member of the women's golf team, a member of women's softball, a Writing Center tutor, and SGA class treasurer for her senior, junior and sophomore years. She has served for four years on the Honors Program Council and has served as that council's chair. She has served as a Junior Marshal, a Catawba Ambassador and as a Resident Assistant. She has also been a member of several honor societies, including Alpha Chi Honor Society, which she served as president; Phi Epsilon Honor Society, which she served as secretary; Phi Sigma Iota Honor Society, and Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society. She was selected as chair of the Social Committee for SGA which plans HomecomingEvents for students and other socialEvents.
She was also involved in community service activities such as the Student Affairs' Annual Duck Draw which raised monies so needy families could have a Thanksgiving meal and a Habitat for Humanity Building project.
In recognition of her collegiate achievements, Kittle's name appears among those listed in Who's Who Among American College Students.
Ryan Dayvault of Kannapolis, N.C. was the male recipient of the 2008 Whitener Award. He majored in political science and minored in business while remaining on the Dean's List and the Presidential Honor Roll.
He was a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, which he served for two years as vice president, and the Phi Epsilon Honor Society. His collegiate achievements earned him a place on the list of Who's Who Among American College Students.
Dayvault was involved in numerous organizations on campus, including the Student Government Association, the President's Student Council, the Order of the Blue and White, the Political Science Association and the College Republicans at Catawba College. He was in fact, a co-founder and a co-chairman of the College Republicans at Catawba and serves as precinct chair for the Rowan County Republican Party's 17th Precinct.
In the broader community, he served on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of Cabarrus County and as a member of the City of Kannapolis Centennial Executive Committee. He was also an outspoken proponent of the N.C. Research Campus and the positive role it will play in not only his hometown, but in this region and the state. Currently, he is assisting the city of Kannapolis in the writing and designing of a Kannapolis History Book.
Barbara Andrews Award Recipient
Anita K. McGowan of Mooresville, a student in Catawba's School of Evening and Graduate Studies, was the recipient of the Barbara Andrews Award.
The award was established and named in honor of Barbara Andrews, the creator of the Lifelong Learning Program at Catawba (now the School of Evening and Graduate Studies), and selection is made by the faculty. It is given annually to the graduating senior in the program who most successfully embodies the attributes of character, leadership and scholarship. Candidates must have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.
A native of Pennsylvania, McGowan is married and the mother of four sons. She served in the U.S. Army from 1987 through 1999 as a special agent in criminal investigations. She has also worked as a certified law enforcement officer in South Carolina. Since 2005, she has been employed as a paralegal at Lowe's Companies corporate headquarters in Mooresville.
She was inducted into Catawba's Beta Sigma Chi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national honor society which promotes academic excellence in non-traditional programs. She was also tapped to serve as a Junior Marshal for the College during the 2006-2007 academic year.
McGowan, who earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Administration of Justice, is also the recipient this year of a new scholarship program launched by Lowe's. Lowe's Carl Buchan Scholarship is awarded nationwide to 25 individuals who are Lowe's employees or the children of Lowe's employees. This $5,000 scholarship award is based on grade point average along with a record of leadership experience and community involvement like that our honoree has demonstrated through her volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics.
PHOTOS: Graduation 2008