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Come Celebrate King’s 2015 Dogwood Alumni Award Winners April 11

Dogwood 2015 Award WinnersBRISTOL, Tenn., April 6, 2015 - Each year during Dogwood Weekend, several of King University’s alumni are recognized for exceptional achievement in their career field, remarkable service to King, and commitment to serving as leaders in their communities. King’s Office of Alumni Services is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Dogwood Awards and invites all alumni and friends to attend the alumni luncheon held on Saturday, April 11 at noon in the dining hall in Maclellan Hall on the Bristol campus.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to Barbara Cross. Cross has worked at King in the dining hall for over 10 years. In her role in the dining hall, Cross has served many of our students, faculty, staff, and families. In addition to her service to the King community, Cross and family give back to children throughout the region. In 2012, Cross and her family were watching the local news while enjoying their family Christmas dinner. They heard a reporter explain that more than 300 children would be without Christmas that year. Cross, along with members of her family, created Mable’s Mission in an effort to provide Christmas presents to children who are part of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project. For the 2013 Christmas season, Cross, family, friends, and coworkers were able to provide Christmas for 247 children. In 2014, Mable’s Mission delivered Christmas presents to more than 400 children.

The Young Alumnus of the Year Award is presented to two of King’s young alumni, Eric (’02) and Anita (Whitaker) Fields (’99). In 2006, the Fields founded The Summit Companies, a firm that specializes in providing accounting and strategic consulting services to businesses and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to its headquarters in Bristol, Summit also has offices in Johnson City and Knoxville and has over twenty employees supporting a client base across the Southeastern U.S. In 2010, the Fields directed the formation of Haitian Support Alliance, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting ministry organizations in Haiti. Since then they have managed its operations as volunteer directors and have led six mission trips to Haiti. The Fields are members of Grace Bible Church in Kingsport, where Eric has served as the preaching elder since 2012. Both have been members of the Business Advisory Board for King’s SIFE/Rotaract and are active with local youth and nursing home ministries.

King’s Legacy Award recognizes a family in which multiple family members have attended King. The Burns family has a deep connection with King University. Four siblings all made the trek to Bristol to receive their education. Tim was the first to set the path to King, graduating in 1995. During his time here, Tim met his wife Jane, who graduated in 1996. Peter Burns graduated in 1996, brother Daniel in 1999, and sister Deborah finished in 2000. From 1991 until 2000, there was at least one Burns sitting in class at King.

Graduate and Professional Studies, or GPS, has become a vital part of King’s success over the past few years. Each year, King recognizes alumni from the GPS program who exemplify the University’s goals of excellence, achievement, and stewardship. The Graduate and Professional Studies Award is presented to Tommy Sparks. Sparks is a two-time graduate of King. He received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from King in 2005, and then went on to receive his MBA from King in 2008. In addition to serving Wellmont Health Systems as a Clinical Informatics Analyst, Sparks is also currently completing his Master of Science in Nursing at King. He serves as a volunteer paramedic on the Bristol Life Saving Crew and as an Emergency Management Coordinator for Bristol Regional Medical Center.

This year’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award is presented to Castlewood, Va., native, Brigadier General Rodney Fogg (’87). Currently in command of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Fogg is a graduate of the Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College holding master's degrees in Logistics Management and Strategic Studies. Among his awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC), Iraq Campaign Medal with three Stars, Parachutist and Air Assault Badges. Fogg is currently deployed at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

Please join us in congratulating these award winners and plan to attend the Alumni Luncheon on Saturday, April 11th at noon in the dining hall at Maclellan Hall on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.  Tickets are still available by contacting or 800-621-5464. For additional information, contact Michael Webb, director of Alumni Services or at 800.621.5464. .


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.