Reinhardt Honored Alumni & Friends at Talon Awards Gala

Reinhardt Honors Special Alumni and Friends at the Talon Awards Gala on March 20, 2014

Approximately 200 Reinhardt University friends – alumni, trustees, faculty, staff and students – gathered for the Talon Awards Gala on Thursday, March 20, 2014. They honored 16 individuals at the black-tie optional event at The Bluffs at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center.

JoEllen Bell Wilson ’61, vice president for advancement, emceed the affair, and she thanked SEI Investments, the presenting sponsor, for their generous support. “Their gift will allow Reinhardt to use more of the ticket proceeds toward scholarship funds for deserving students,” she said. “In addition to recognizing some very special people, enjoying musical performances by exceptionally talented Reinhardt students and alumni, and sharing a delicious meal, we also raised funds for scholarships. What a lovely evening!”

“10 Under 10” Recognition

10 under 10

Pictured are, left to right, Clancy, Martin, Jape, Pinson, Boyd and Reynolds.

The first to be honored on this special night were the 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients. Ryan Satterfield ’95, president of the Reinhardt Alumni Board of Governors, presented these special awards. Each year Reinhardt recognizes a group of 10 alumni from the last 10 years (2003 – 2013) who are successful in business, the military, nonprofits, government, and/or the arts. A picture identifying each will hang in the Hasty Student Life Center as a reminder of what Reinhardt alumni have accomplished.

The “10 Under 10” honored this year include: Timothy Clancy ’04, a resident of Fernley, Nev.; Ann Bailey ’09, a resident of Canton, Ga.; Daniel Jape ’08, a resident of Ball Ground, Ga.; Jeffrey Cardell ’09, a resident of Marietta, Ga.; The Rev. Susan Moore Pinson ’04, a resident of Atlanta, Ga.; Frank Reynolds ’10, a resident of Canton, Ga.; Hilary Martin ’10, a resident of Young Harris, Ga.; Caitlyn Crippin ’09, a resident of San Francisco, Calif.; Robby Westbrook ’09, a resident of Canton, Ga.; and Lindsay Powell Boyd ’04, a resident of Atlanta, Ga. 

John Wesley Awards

Following the 10 Under 10 presentation, the John Wesley Laity and Clergy Award recipients were named: Dr. Alan and Judy Allen, residents of Waleska, Ga., and The Rev. Dr. James H. Lowry, Jr., a resident of Acworth, Ga., respectively. The Wesley Award was established in 1991 to recognize a layperson who had made a significant contribution to United Methodist institutions of higher education and ministries. Two years later, the clergy award was added. These awards are named for John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. The Rev. Dr. Ron Flowers, president of the Reinhardt Ministerial Association, presented the awards.


Judy and Alan Allen

Judy Allen

Judy Allen is native of Roswell, Ga. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Maryville College and a Master of Arts in middle school education from The University of Georgia. She served for more than 30 years in the Bartow and Cherokee School Systems, and was named Teacher of the Year for Cherokee County in 1987. Judy retired from Teasley Middle School in 1995.

She is a member of the Atlanta-Marietta District Superintendence Committee, and a patron of the FPAC, where she served two terms on the first FPAC Advisory Committee. Judy is also a member of Cherokee County Retired Educators Association and Georgia Retired Educators. She, along with her husband, Alan, attends Waleska United Methodist Church, and is chair of the Worship Committee.

Dr. Alan Allen

Dr. Alan Allen is a native of Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Texas Christian University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University. Alan taught at the secondary level several years before deciding he wanted to teach college-level mathematics. He was awarded a federal grant to attend the Academic Year Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and while furthering his education there, he taught courses at Oklahoma High School. He then went on to pursue and earn a doctorate in mathematics from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

In 1970, after earning his Ph.D., Alan accepted a position at Reinhardt. During his time at Reinhardt, he also served as Chairman of the Faculty and Chairman of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. After his retirement from Reinhardt in 1998, he was awarded Professor Emeritus and served on the Board of Trustees as member and chairman. Alan attends Waleska United Methodist Church where he serves on the Finance Committee and the Meals on Wheels Coordinator.


The Rev. Dr. James H. Lowry, Jr. (left) and Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood

The Rev. Dr. James H. Lowry, Jr.

The Rev. Dr. James H. Lowry, Jr. received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Asbury College in 1967; a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1970; a Masters of Theology from Duke University in 1971; and a Doctorate of Ministry in 1987 from Asbury Theological Seminary. His first appointment was in 1971 when he was charged to start a new church on Highway 5, between Marietta and Powder Springs. This church is now Hollydale United Methodist Church. Lowry’s appointments include Acworth United Methodist Church, McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church and Norcross First United Methodist Church. Lowry presently serves as superintendent of the Atlanta Marietta District.

He has served in missions and preached in 18 different countries, and has visited mission fields in Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand and Russia.

Lowry is married to the former Diane Kilbourne. They have two daughters, Shannon and Joy and two grandchildren, Sara and Jacob.

Honoree Award

The Honoree Award was given to one special recipient this year: Susan Naylor, a resident of Waleska, Ga. The Reverend Dr. James Mooneyhan ’66, elected to Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees in 1992, recommended that Reinhardt’s Ministerial Association create a Ministerial Honoree Scholarship Program. The Honoree Award recipients are identified by a selection committee as those persons whom they wish to honor and lift up to their students, faculty and staff – persons whose character epitomizes the “core values” taught at Reinhardt. The award was presented by Dr. Dennis McIntire, dean of the School of Performing Arts.

Susan Naylor


Susan Naylor

Naylor, associate professor of music at Reinhardt University, received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Converse College in South Carolina, where she played with the Spartanburg Symphony for three years, and was featured soloist with the Symphony on its Concert Series in 1972. She received the Master of Music Degree from Georgia State University where she studied with William Masselos on a scholarship received from the Atlanta Music Club.
Naylor continues her education through participation in workshops, seminars, master classes and state and national conferences. She has performed extensively as a solo and ensemble musician and is in demand as an adjudicator for music competitions. Her students have excelled in local and state competitions, winning awards and scholarships for the past 38 years. This past December, two of her students won first and second place in the college division of the Georgia Music Educators Association State Piano Auditions.

In 1991, Naylor received lifetime National Faculty Certification from Music Teachers National Association. She has been an active member of that organization since 1975, holding offices in the Cobb County and Cherokee Local Associations, serving on the National Certification Board, and as President of Georgia Music Teachers Association from 2000 to 2002. She has served as the Advisor of the award-winning Reinhardt Collegiate Chapter of MTNA since it was organized in 1994. In 2009 Naylor was awarded the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award and was inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Chi, National College Honor Scholarship Society.

She was a founding member of the Cherokee County Arts Council, and has served twice on the Board of Directors of that organization. Naylor currently serves as pianist at Lake Arrowhead Church in Waleska, Georgia.

“Teaching at Reinhardt was God’s plan for my life.”

Naylor recognized the biggest supporters in her life. “I hardly know what to say, the longer I live, the more thankful I am for the people that God puts in my life. I believe that God has a plan for everyone’s life. And teaching at Reinhardt was a plan for my life. As a teacher, I learn something during every lesson; It might not always be what I want to learn, but it is always what I need to learn.

“God has blessed me with loving and supportive family and friends My mother, whom I love and respect beyond measure, has been my inspiration and number one friend my entire life. She’s 99 years old, and still very interested in our lives and proud of our accomplishments.” Naylor went on to thank her sisters, late father, friends and Reinhardt colleagues, including McIntire.

As the conclusion of her thank-you speech, Naylor entertained the crowd with a rap song from the “Naturally Sharp” Collegiate Chapter comedy recital, which is held each spring.

Distinguished Alumni of the Year

The final awards for the night were presented to Drs. Jeffrey and Jerome Dobson ’65 ’65, who were named Distinguished Alumni of the Year. This award recognizes an individual with outstanding personal achievement and an unselfish and dedicated personal devotion to Reinhardt. Randell Trammell ’03, ’09, past-president of the Reinhardt Alumni Board of Governors, presented these two awards.

Dr. Jeffrey Dobson

Jeffrey Dobson

Jeffrey Dobson ’65

After graduating from Reinhardt, Dr. Jeffrey Dobson received his B.A. , M.A. and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia, specializing in Global Resources. He has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska, Ohio State University, the University of Illinois and The University of Georgia.

In 1980, he was Principal Geographer and Head of Spatial Systems for HDR Sciences in Santa Barbara, California. Later, he became Manager for Geographic Management Information Systems for the Missiles and Space Division of TRW in San Bernadino, Ca. In 1982, he founded Data Research and Applications in Knoxville, Tennessee and served as President and CEO until 2009, when he founded InterLink USA, and Global InterLink Corporation where he currently serves as President and CEO.

Dobson’s skills are in real-time Multimedia Emergency Collaboration via hardware and software for data communications. He works in disaster recovery and backup systems and serves as a negotiator of cross-cultural alliances. Dobson is active in Professional and Civic activities, serving on Boards which specialize in data for maritime navigation and computer tracking, routing for addresses, plasma core antennas and nano materials and fabrication. He was an Alderman in the town of Farragut, Tenn., and has been a contestant in the Ernest Hemingway Lookalike Contest in Key West, Fla.

Dobson and his wife, Dana, have 3 daughters and they live in Knoxville, Tenn.

“The highest practice of education I’ve ever encountered was right here at Reinhardt.”

Dobson brought humor and history to his award acceptance. “Thank you very much for this honor. It’s a special privilege to stand here with my brother and dear friend Jerry Dobson. As some of you know, Jerry and I go way back. In fact, we’ve known each other before we were born.

“Reinhardt is my academic hometown. Growing up it was easy to take Reinhardt for granted…sort of like an extension of high school. But looking back, it was much more than that. I’ve attended and taught at several major universities, and I can tell you now, that the highest practice of education I’ve ever encountered was right here at Reinhardt.

“My family’s Reinhardt roots run deep. The seven children of my grandparents, Monroe and Cleo Tippens, all attended Reinhardt; six earning degrees from there. The descendants, including their spouses, of my grandparents have contributed over 500 years combined of time teaching in the Cherokee County school system. On December 24, 2011, the 100th anniversary of my grandparents, my mother, Margaret Tippens Dobson, created a scholarship matching fund in their memory to encourage her sons and other family members to donate. It has been very rewarding to give to this fund.”

Dr. Jerome Dobson

Jerome Dobson

Jerome Dobson ’65

Dr. Jerome Dobson is Professor of Geography at the University of Kansas. After graduating from Reinhardt in 1965, he earned his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.
From 1975 until 2001, Dobson was associated with The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as Senior Scientist for the U.S. Department of State. He received the Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement, Cartography and Geographic Information Society in 2008 and is a Jefferson Science Fellow, which is associated with the U.S. Department of State.

Dobson worked with the Haskell Indian National University, Served as a U.S. Delegate to the International Organization for Standardization, and has worked with the Department of Energy’s Geographic Information Council.
Other Career Highlights include President of the American Geographical Society, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, R. Aaugeenbrug Distinguished Career Award, Lifetime Achievement Award for Cartography and Geographic Information Society, Distinguished Research & Development Staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a major publications writer and contributor.

He and his wife, Gwen, live in Lawrence, KS, and they have two sons, Eric and Craig.

Jerome Dobson added to his brother’s humor and sentiments. “I am sorry our mother could not be here tonight. She always wanted us to dress alike…and this was her first chance since we were in the fourth grade!

“I want to say how much I appreciate this award. The real reason it means so much to me, growing up here in Canton, knowing the people who’ve won it before, some who are in the audience tonight, it’s just awesome to think that the people I looked up to growing up, I now share this honor with them.”

Dinner and Program Entertainment

Also taking part in the evening were Reinhardt students Jennifer Ratchford ’14, Tyler Smith (first year grad student), Adham Hamilton ’16, Brittany Gaddy ’17 and Katherine Dobson ’15, a musical quintet who performed the evening’s dinner music. Levi Penley ’14, Brittany Patterson ’15 and Cheyenne Eng ’15 provided the program’s entertainment by singing selections from the Reinhardt University Theatre’s spring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Visit for more details or to purchase tickets for this production, which will be in the Falany Performing Arts Center April 4-6.

“These are exciting and meaningful times for Reinhardt.”

Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood concluded the evening with special recognition for award recipients and University supporters. “To those who we have recognized this evening….congratulations. Please know your achievements honor us as we appropriately take time to reach out to you and say thank you. I hope you know we are proud of you, and we hope that your university continues to be a part of your life.

“Reinhardt is the most dynamic institution of higher education in the State of Georgia. We are building and growing in every way possible way of that measure of quality can be taken. These are exciting and meaningful times for Reinhardt. But as new students come and graduates students go, as new programs are developed, as new and exciting faculty join us, as new buildings and facilities arise, what I know remains unchanged is the spirit of this wonderful university. We are an institution of relationships that shapes lives and builds futures. No one is unmoved by the Reinhardt experience. We challenge and care and guide people as they find meaning and purpose for their lives. That is as true today as it has always been true.

“We are good and successful because of what all those who have come before us have done, for what our faculty and staff do every day, for the God-graced students who join us every year, and for you what each of you who support us in all we do. Thank you and God bless.”