King Honors Class of 1969, Presents Awards during Dogwood Weekend
BRISTOL, Tenn., April 13, 2019 — King University honored members of the Class of 1969 during its annual Dogwood Homecoming Weekend celebration on Saturday and recognized alumni from across the decades for their professional accomplishments and distinguished record of Christian faith and service.
King President Alexander Whitaker welcomed members of the Class of ’69 to his home Friday night for dinner and to campus on Saturday morning for the Jack E. Snider Brunch, where they were each presented with a pin signifying their membership in the 50+ Club. Those celebrating 50 years since their graduation are honored each year during Dogwood Homecoming Weekend.
“It’s been a special time for reliving so many memories,” said Jim Carter, who served as class president in 1969 and organized the reunion for his class. “We are so thankful for the cherished friends who have joined us this weekend and all the wonderful memories we have of King College.”
Individual alumni awards also were presented to four individuals who were nominated by the campus community for exemplifying King’s values. The 2019 awards were:
- Distinguished Alumnus Award to Miller Liston, a King benefactor and long-time member of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Liston came to King in 1943 when his father, R.T.L. Liston, was named King’s president. He enjoyed an active duty career in the U.S. Navy then earned degrees in biology and chemistry from King and a master of divinity degree from Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. His distinguished career as a Presbyterian minister led him to churches throughout the Southeast, while also serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from King in 1987 and both he and his late wife, Anne (Clemmons) of King’s class of 1957, were named Volunteers of the Year in 2010. Dr. Liston has invested generously in students through two scholarship programs – the Anne Liston Foundation Scholarship and the full-tuition Liston Family Scholars Program, King’s most prestigious academic award.
- Honorary Alumnus Award to Jewel Bell, a beloved employee who took a temporary job in 1952 and has stayed for more than six decades. Bell, who has worn many hats and endeared herself to thousands on the King campus during her 66-year tenure, received a standing ovation as she was presented with the first-ever Honorary Alumnus Award. Her two-week job as a maid turned into a permanent career as switchboard operator, then building supervisor and, currently, executive administrative assistant for communications. While performing her assigned duties, she became a second mother to countless students from all walks of life. She was previously recognized at King with a campus street named in her honor, a Lifetime Service award, and the Jewel H. Bell Scholarship, which has provided more than $2.3 million in aid to students since 2008. Elsewhere in the community, she has been an active volunteer with the YWCA of Bristol, the American Red Cross, the Slater Community Center, and Healing Hands Health Center.
- Young Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. David Rudd, an infectious disease specialist. Dr. Rudd currently works at the W.G. “Bill” Hefner Veterans Affairs medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he co-chairs the Antibiotic Stewardship Committee and is a member of the Infection Control Committee. He also serves as Clinical Instructor at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. He graduated from King in 2008, then earned a Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 2012 from the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Rudd and his wife, Lauren (Perrin), a 2007 graduate of King, live in Huntersville, North Carolina, with their three children, Madelyn, Noah, and Eden.
- Legacy Award to Alice Hopper Dokter, a King ambassador who has recruited generations of King students. The daughter of a missionary, Hopper Dokter came to King from South Korea. She earned a degree in English in 1968 and enjoyed her time on campus so much that she convinced her siblings – Barron, David, and Margaret – to enroll. Two decades later, she played a key role in recruiting her son, Justin, and her nieces and nephews – Joseph, Jacqueline, Betsy, and Martha – to come to King. Her daughter-in-law Mandy (Wilkinson), is also a King graduate. She is retired from Emory University, where she worked as an administrative assistant, and teaches English to refugees.