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King University’s Dogwood Weekend Huge Success; Alumni Honored

Photo Credit Earl Neikirk: Josh Turner with Twister and the WXBQ RabbitBRISTOL, Tenn., April 5, 2017 – King University has been celebrating its 150th anniversary throughout the past year; Dogwood Alumni Weekend was no exception. From a sold-out concert at Viking Hall to a fishing tournament matching up Veterans with kids, King’s 91st Dogwood Weekend was a rousing success.

Dogwood Weekend is a time of celebration where King’s alumni, students, and friends gather together to reminisce and reconnect. This year, more than 500 were in attendance throughout the course of the weekend.

The events kicked off with a sold-out concert by multi-platinum MCA Nashville recording artist Josh Turner, one of country music’s most recognizable hit-makers. For nearly two hours, Turner entertained an audience of more than 4,600 people. Audience members joined in on hits such as Me & God and Long Black Train.

The weekend included several sporting events including baseball, softball, an alumnae volleyball match, and a men’s alumni soccer match. Tornado athletes old and new gathered to celebrate King’s 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame. This year’s alumni recipients included the 1969 King College men’s basketball team, led by the late Hall of Fame Coach Al Nida; King baseball star Andy Wilhoit, class of 2001; and one of the most decorated women’s volleyball players in King’s history Andrea Montreuil, class of 2007.

Other activities included a picnic with music by local band Acoustifried followed by the Dogwood Ball. Kids also spent the afternoon “Fishing with a Hero.”

“We were so excited to host ‘Fishing with a Hero’ during Dogwood this year,” says King’s Director of Alumni Relations Dana McMurray. “Each child was teamed up with a veteran during a catch and release tournament. This was a great way for kids not only to have a great time but also to meet a real American hero in the process. More than 30 kids participated in the event.”

Jim Jordan ('71)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 2017 Dogwood Awards.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Jim Jordan (’71) of Bristol, Tenn. This award recognizes individuals who have committed a significant portion of their time and talents to furthering the mission of the University, either through their service to King or within their communities and throughout the world in a volunteer capacity.

Katie Arnold ('05)The Young Alumnus of the Year Award was presented to Katie Arnold (’05) of Bristol, Tenn. This award recognizes those who are established and future leaders among King’s young alumni and have made outstanding professional contributions to their field since graduating and have shown a strong commitment to the service of others.

King’s Legacy Award recognizes a family in which multiple family members have attended King. The story of one extended and expanded family encompasses 121 of the 150 years King University has existed. While the Kelley family constitutes the trunk of this family tree, at the root is a Crockett, and its branches are Evans, Everard, Felty, Lowry, Holler, and Saufley members. Legacy Award recipientsFamily members receiving the award included Pete D. Holler (’67), Ann Kelley Holler (’68), John J. Holler, Jr. (’69), Janet Holler Bentley (’94), Jessica Lowry Bell (’98), Julia Lowry Evans (’02), William Buchanan Lowry (’72), Rebecca Kelley Lowry (’72), Barbara Lowry Landes (’71), Norman Evans (’72), Linda Felty Evans (’73), Amy Everard Thompson (’98), Nancy Everard Gordon (’99), Ben Lowry (’02), Chris Sauffey (’93), and Kimberly Kelley Sauffey (’94).

The Graduate and Professional Studies Award recognizes alumni from the GPS program who exemplify the University’s goals of excellence, achievement, and stewardship. This year’s award was presented to Joseph Washington (’14) of Knoxville, Tenn.

Joseph Washington ('14)

The Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award recognized three graduates of King University who have made extraordinary contributions to college, church, and community. This year’s recipient was Bettie Hite (’63) of Bristol, Tenn.

Special recognition was given to a member of the King University community who encompasses what the King spirit is all about. The first ever Lifetime Service Award went to Ms. Jewel Bell of Bristol, Tenn.


Bettie Hite ('63)“This final award is one that will fall short as a measure of the respect, love, appreciation and gratitude one can have for an individual, but we hope it will serve in some small way to express the immense value of a life well lived and a job well done,” said Denise Asbury, director of development. “Jewel believes in giving back – she taught her children to do that, she has taught us all to do that. We wanted to give something back to Jewel, to honor and celebrate her upcoming 65th anniversary with King, to recognize her accomplishments and the indelible mark she has made in the hearts and lives of so many.”

Jewel Bell with President Whitaker


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 on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.