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Catawba College Names 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

October 23, 2020

Category: Alumni, Athletics, Events

Four Catawba College graduates will receive 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards at a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 7, during Homecoming Weekend.

Selected by the Catawba College Alumni Association, the award winners are:

  • Tim Readling, Class of ’10, Young Alumni, Career Development, given to an alumnus for quickly developing success in their career field;
  • Theo Shepard, Class of ’15, Young Alumni Award, Service, given to an alumnus for exceptional service to the College and community;
  • John Arrowood, Class of ’79, Distinguished Alumni Award, Career Achievement, given to an alumnus for providing leadership or attaining recognition on a national or regional level within their profession;
  • James Taylor, Class of ’76, Distinguished Alumni Award, given to an alumnus for providing extraordinary service to their community and demonstrated leadership to the College.

The awards will be presented in a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 11 a.m. on Zoom and Facebook Live.


Readling, managing attorney with Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law of Salisbury, graduated from Catawba with honors with a degree in Business Administration. He earned a full merit scholarship to Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served on Law Review Honor Council and earned CALI Awards in six different courses. The CALI Award is given to the top scoring student in each class. He graduated Order of the Coif from Wake Forest in 2016, finishing in the top 10 percent of his class. He joined Davis & Davis in 2017. He is active in the Catawba Chiefs Club, and he and his twin brother, Tommy, have not missed a home football game since 2001, when they were in middle school.

theoshepard15.jpgShepard, Program Leader at school fundraising company Boosterthon in Austin, TX, earned a degree in Communication Arts with a minor in English. At Catawba, he received the Whitener Award and Paul Fisher Service Award and was Chair of the Retreat Leadership Corps. He served as President of Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Association, was a Senator in the Student Government Association, and a Leader in the Campus Crusade for Christ. He participated in Alpha Chi, Phi Epsilon, Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Beta Lambda, the Dead Athenian Society, the Order of the Blue and White, and the International Club.

daa-arrowood.jpgArrowood, of Charlotte, was elected to an eight-year term as a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2018. His election marked the first time an openly LGBTQ person was elected to a statewide office not only in North Carolina but also in the South. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Catawba and received his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 1982. He worked on the Court of Appeals and practiced law in Charlotte before serving as a North Carolina Superior Court Judge in 2007. He has been a member of board of the North Carolina Railroad, the North Carolina Banking Commission, and the North Carolina Arts Council.


Taylor, of Woodleaf, is Senior Relationship Manager at Carolina Farm Credit. He earned a Psychology degree Summa Cum Laude from Catawba and studied at the North Carolina School of Banking. Taylor was a starter on the Catawba wrestling team, where he received the Unsung Hero Award in 1975, and was on the track team. He served as manager of the football team. He was a member of the Catawba National Honor Society. He established the Rowan County Wrestler of the Year Award, in honor of and named for his Catawba coach, Frank “Dutch” Meyers. He is a member of the Catawba Chiefs Club and a prior member of the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business Advisory Board. 

In the community, he is a member of the Salisbury Lions Club, where he served two terms as president, was named Lion of the Year in 1993 and received the Melvin Jones Award in 1994 and the Lions Club’s Jack Stickley Award in 1995. He is a member of the Woodleaf Civitan Club, with more than 40 years of service and two terms as president. He was named District West Outstanding Civitan and District West Club President of the Year. He served on the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Board for eight years and is a prior member of the Rowan Economic Commission, serving as Chair. He is a lifetime member of the Future Farmers Association and served previously on the Rowan County Farm Preservation Board, the Rowan County United Way, where he was Chair of the Agriculture Committee; as President of the Woodleaf Elementary School PTA, and as President of the West Rowan Middle School Booster Club for two years. A member of Enon Baptist Church, he has served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and operator of the Enon Modified Softball League for more than 25 years. He is married to Kim Mowery Taylor, and they have two grown children, Adam and Brooke Taylor.

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