College Presents Special Awards during Graduation Exercises
May 16, 2015
Three graduates were recognized with special awards during Catawba College’s May 16th Graduation Exercises.
These graduates, two from the traditional day program and one from the School of Evening and Graduate Studies, were recognized, through a vote of the faculty, for embodying the words on the college seal: scholarship, character, culture and service.
Sloan E. Kessler of Onalaska, Wis., and Theo F. Shepard of Southport, both graduates in the day program, were the recipients of the Whitener Awards. Shane Eugene Rogers of Charlotte, a graduate of the evening program, was the recipient of the Barbara Andrews Award.
2015 Whitener Award Recipients
The Whitener Awards have been presented each year at Catawba’s graduation ceremony since 1927 in memory of Dr. Edgar Whitener of High Point, who served as a trustee of Catawba College from 1921 to 1966 and as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1925 to 1944. The awards honor the man and woman in the graduating class who embody, to a high degree, the qualities of good character, leadership, and scholarship. Recipients are nominated, with final selections made by the faculty.
Sloan E. Kessler was the female recipient for 2015. A student-athlete, she has been a four-year starter on Catawba’s tennis team and served as its captain. Kessler majored in Sustainable Business and Community Development with minors in both Economics and Politics. She was a member of Alpha Chi honor society, a Junior Marshal, and participated in the College Honors Program. An Environmental Steward, she led by example, founding and tending the Sustainable Garden on campus that provides both the campus and the local battered women’s shelter with fresh, locally grown foods. She served as vice president and president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and as president of Phi Epsilon, an honorary scholastic society.
Theodore F. Shepard was the male recipient of the Whitener Award for 2015. This Communication Arts major and English minor participated in the College Honors Program. Additionally, he was involved with quite a few organizations on campus, including the Retreat Leadership Corps, the Student Government Association, the Campus Crusade for Christ, the Dead Athenian Society, Volunteer Catawba, and the Order of the Blue and White. He was a member of Alpha Chi honor society and Phi Beta Lambda, a national business career student organization. He was the recipient in 2014 of the annual Paul Fisher Service Award. He also served as a work study student in several departments on campus, including the Corriher-Linn-Black Library, Admissions and Public Relations, each of which gave him high marks on his work ethic and attention to details.
2015 Barbara Andrews Award Recipient
Shane Eugene Rogers of Charlotte was the recipient of the award established and named in honor of Barbara Andrews, the first director of Adult Education Program at Catawba College. The selection is made by the Catawba faculty from the six graduating seniors in the program with the highest grade point averages. Students eligible are those who have attended Catawba for at least two years and have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.5.
Rogers achieved a major milestone when he walked across the stage and received his bachelor’s degree. This prototypical adult student started a degree path as a working adult and spent more than two decades as a working adult student. During that time, he earned three associates degrees – two from Mitchell Community College earned between 1991 and 2000, and his third, an Associate’s in Applied Science in Business Administration that he earned between 2009 and 2012 from Central Piedmont Community College. He began his course of studies for a baccalaureate degree at Catawba in 2013 and graduated after earning 60 credit hours in only 18 months with a 4.0 GPA to go along with his Business Administration major.
Employed since 2010 as an inventory control coordinator at Central Piedmont Community College, this honoree is married to wife Natasha and the two have a 2.5 year old son and are expecting a daughter in August. He mentors high risk youth, helps Habitat for Humanity, and promotes recycling in his spare time.