JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 11, 2004– Union University will present six awards to outstanding individuals during its annual Alumni Awards Luncheon Saturday, Feb. 21. The luncheon is part of Union's homecoming festivities.
"The alumni awards honor those who have given of themselves sacrificially for the good of the university," said Gary Williams, associate vice president for advancement and executive director for alumni services.
Dr. Charles M. Baldwin will receive the Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award. He is Union's O. P. and Evalyn Hammons Professor of Pre-Medical Studies and has taught for 27 years in the department of chemistry and physics. He also serves on the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital Institutional Research Board.
"I was totally surprised on learning that I was chosen to receive this award," Baldwin said. "I'm very grateful to the alumni for the recognition. It means a lot to me. Those are people who have sat in classes here, and they are people that I have the greatest respect and admiration for."
University Trustee Harry L. Smith will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award. He resides in Germantown, Tenn., where he is the chairman of Schilling Enterprises, Tucker Saddlery, Inc., and Circle Y Saddles, Inc.
"I'm thankful for being chosen for the award," Smith said. "It's an honor, and I'm very appreciative."
Rev. Paul B. Clark Jr., a 1975 graduate of Union, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Clark currently serves as worship and music specialist for the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention in Brentwood, Tenn. He is on the Union University National Alumni Association Board of Directors. Clark and his wife reside in Franklin, Tenn.
Jackson residents John and Virginia Dickinson will receive the Distinguished Service Award. John graduated from Union in 1948, and Virginia graduated in 1949. Both remain involved with the university in many capacities. Virginia serves on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors, and John has served as president of the National Alumni Association and as a University Trustee. Both currently volunteer in the Office of Alumni Services and Annual Giving and support the Annual Scholarship Banquet.
"We are indeed honored and very flattered to receive this award," Virginia said. "We think it's wonderful."
Rev. Mark and Christine Fairless, 1951 graduates of Union, will also receive the Distinguished Service Award. They volunteer in the Offices of Alumni Services and Annual Giving and Institutional Advancement, and they are Bulldog Boosters. They have lived in Jackson since Mark's retirement from the United States Air Force, where he served as a chaplain for 26 years.
Jennifer Dawn Carter will receive the Outstanding Young Achiever Award. Carter graduated from Union in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and biology and continued her education at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, earning a doctorate in microbiology in 2003. She now studies law at the University of Michigan School of Law in Ann Arbor and expects to graduate in 2006. Carter's work has been published in several professional journals, including International Immunology, The Journal of Immunology and The Nature of Immunology.
The luncheon, which will begin at 11:30 a.m., will be held in Coburn Dining Room in the Barefoot Student Union Building on Union's campus. Tickets are $12 each and can be reserved by calling (731) 661-5139 or (800) 338-6644.
by Katie Gould ('04)