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Distinguished Alumni Award

USC Upstate will present the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards to Wanda L. Fowler '69 and Christopher Hawkins '89. Fowler delivered the graduation address.

Wanda FowlerWanda Fowler

Fowler began her journey through higher education in 1967 when she became one of the very first students to enroll at USC Upstate (then USC Spartanburg), where she was actively involved in student council and a work study program for the first director. Her lifelong commitment to education began in the traditional classroom where she taught English at Boiling Springs High School for 21 years. In 1993, Fowler accepted the position of executive director for Graduate Regional Studies at USC Upstate, where she worked closely with curriculum coordinators from Spartanburg, Cherokee, Greenville, Union, and Greenwood Counties to plan courses for teachers. She consulted with faculty from the USC Columbia campus to plan graduate programs to be offered on the Spartanburg campus that included master’s and doctorate programs. At the same time, Fowler wrote and secured grant opportunities for teacher education, and wrote proposals and secured funding for the Principals Leadership Academy. During her five years at USC Upstate, Fowler was also an instructor of undergraduate and graduate courses. In 1998, Wanda accepted the position of Executive Director of Middle Tyger Community Center where she was able to collaborate with the school district and other organizations to offer support to children and families.

Chris HawkinsChris Hawkins(1)

Hawkins has seen the USC Upstate athletics program through the eyes of both student and coach. A member of the school’s first varsity baseball team in 1986, he earned his spot as one of the all-time greats in the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. Hawkins began working at USC Upstate as an assistant softball coach under Mark Cooke, after graduating with a degree in physical education in 1989. Now in his 21st season as head coach, Hawkins is the winningest coach in Upstate softball history and in the history of the USC Upstate Athletics Department, with 727 victories. Hawkins coached the 2013 softball team to the program’s and the department’s first-ever A-Sun Tournament championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In 2013, the team received the program’s and department’s first-ever Top 25 national ranking. He became the first USC Upstate coach to lead a team to a No. 1 statistical ranking in the NCAA, coaching the team to the nation’s top defense to end the 2013 season. In 2014, he led the Spartans to a Division I record for wins and was named A-Sun Coach of the Year. He has coached eight of USC Upstate’s nine 40-win seasons in program history. Under his leadership, the school has won three Atlantic Sun titles and appeared six times in the NCAA tournament. 

The University of South Carolina Upstate Alumni Association is extremely appreciative of all the nominations that were submitted for our Distinguished Alumni Award. To submit a nomination for our 2015 award,  please click here.

Past Recipients

Chris Crowley '11

Dr. Sherwood Thompson '80

Sonya Kay Ehrhardt '08

Lee Ann Johnston '80

Michael E. Meilinger ‘93
Penny D. Meilinger ‘92

C. Dan Adams '83

Milton A. “Chip” Smith, Jr. ‘78
Mary Lou Hodge, RN ‘82

Dolores Anderson ‘81

Stephanie Seay ‘91

Lisa Leary ‘87
Jane Bottsford ‘69

Ainsley M. Williams ‘93
Barney G. Gosnell ‘79

William Robert Cobb ‘74

Priscilla Joyce Lipscomb ‘89
Jonathan Taylor McClure ‘83
LTC (Ret) Barry G. Murray ‘82
Dr. Edward Homan Overstreet ‘91

Debroah Ruth Shehan ‘96
Albert V. Smith ‘77
James Robert Smith ‘72
Mike Wood ‘77

Johnny Mack Brown ‘76

Reverend Robert Lee Brown ‘84
Wilson W. Casey ‘77
Henry Alexander Danis ‘83
Dr. Daniel Livingston Dreisbach ‘81
Rebecca Marion Grant ‘83
Harold Andrew May ‘95
Paul Lee Thomas ‘83
Darrell Edward Whitaker ‘92

Kimberly Jean Ashby ’85 & ‘91
Tonie Gail Edwards ‘89
Toni Lea Nunsz ‘91
Jane V. Turner ‘78

David Alan Bellew ‘80
Rev. Mary Jo Cartledgehayes ‘83
Steve Harvey ‘80
Duveen Karen Woolbright ’80 & ‘88

Robert Meadow Carpenter ‘85
Kathleen Gibson Elam ‘83
Gloria Hope Graves ‘91
Vanessa Thompson ‘94

Bonita B. Landers ‘84
Tyrone Sterling Toland ‘90

Harry Howell Clyborne ‘80
Dr. Linda Claire Miller ‘81
Robert Lee Speer ‘83

Lee Hunter Bender ‘82
Elaine Emory Bond ‘90
Paul Alan Gray ‘84
Carl Franklin Hyatt ‘81
Joni S. Phillips ‘90
Lou Lyn Turner ‘84

Dr. Jimmy Arthur Ferrell ‘81
Jeffery Wayne Ray ‘88
John Carter Wallace ‘89

Cynthia Ann Gardner ‘86
William Craig Newsome ‘88
Cynthia Denise Smith ‘81

Janet Sue Kirby ‘83
Susan H. Krause ‘85


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