Union to honor 16 alumni and friends at Nov. 3 banquet
JACKSON, Tenn. — Union University will recognize 16 alumni and friends for outstanding achievements in their respective fieldsNov. 3 at the Meritorious Service Awards Banquet during Homecoming weekend.
“Union University has a long history of producing graduates who excel in their careers and in their service to others,” said Catherine Kwasigroh, Union’s vice president for institutional advancement. “We’re looking forward to an evening where we are able to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of this year’s group of award winners.”
Award winners include:
- David Blackstock, Alumnus of the Year Award. This award is presented to a Union graduate for distinction in his or her profession, service to mankind and/or contribution to Union University. A 1964 graduate, Blackstock spent 34 years as Union’s athletic director and coached the Lady Bulldog basketball team to more than 500 wins.
- Allison Davis, Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year Award. This award is presented to a Union graduate, age 40 or under, with a record of significant accomplishment in professional life and for service to Union University or the world. Davis (’12) is associate professor of nursing at Union and chair of the undergraduate nursing program at Union University Hendersonville.
- Keith Absher, Distinguished Service Award. This award, presented posthumously this year, is given to a member of the Union community for distinction in his or her profession, service to mankind and/or contribution to Union University. Absher was dean of Union’s McAfee School of Business Administration from 2004 until he passed away in 2015.
- Alan Chamness, Lest We Forget Award. This award is presented in recognition of longtime service and contributions to the Union University community. Chamness, a 1970 graduate, is minister of music and senior adults at First Baptist Church in Henderson, Kentucky, where he has served on staff for more than 43 years.
- Renee Jones, G. M. Savage Legacy Award. The award is given to a faculty or staff member for their ongoing commitment to Christ-centered education at Union. Jones (’03) is director of the Hundley Center for Academic Enrichment.
- William H. Latimer, Robert E. Craig Service Award. The award is named after Union’s 13th president and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the university. Latimer, of Union City, Tennessee, and his wife Carol established the Bill and Carol Latimer Charitable Foundation and provided a matching grant to build The Logos on the Union campus.
In addition, Union will present Distinguished Achievement Awards to 10 Union alumni for significant contributions in different professional areas. Those recipients are:
- Hannah Elisabeth Guthrie (’13) in not-for-profit. Guthrie works in labor and delivery at Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is helping to plant the Well Church in Henderson, Nevada.
- Dexter Williams (’00) in sports. Williams is the principal and athletic director at West Carroll Junior/Senior High School in Atwood, Tennessee.
- Josh Trent (’01) in government and public service. Trent is deputy chief counsel for the Health Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- James H. Scates (’64) in research sciences. Scates retired in 1995 after working at Boeing for 31 years.
- Justin Wainscott (’02) in church ministry. Wainscott is pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee.
- William (Bill) Gregory (’48) in media/arts. Gregory began Gregory Signs in Jackson in 1983, and his artwork was displayed in several places on the Union campus and on trucks, vans, buses, signs and mailboxes in the community.
- Robert Briley (’85) in education. Briley has taught at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson for three years, after spending 29 years at North Side High School in Jackson.
- Brenda Briley (’88) in education. She spent 22 years at Pope Elementary School in Jackson and has taught middle school English and reading at Trinity Christian Academy for the past three years.
- Robyn Agee Hari (’86) in business. Hari is the managing principal for the Nashville office of Diversified Trust Company, a wealth management firm.
- James (J. R.) Ross (’85) in healthcare. Ross is chief operating officer at West Tennessee Healthcare and was recently named interim president and CEO.
The Meritorious Service Awards Banquet will begin at 6 p.m. in the Carl Grant Events Center. Tickets are $25 each and may be purchased by calling (731) 661-5050.