College Honors Alumni for Achievement, Volunteer Service, and Philanthropy

The College of Arts and Sciences held their annual alumni and philanthropy awards ceremony on Friday, April 15, 2016 at the Hilton Knoxville, in association with the spring meeting of the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors. Theresa Lee, dean of the college, presented a total of nine awards in six categories.

Category: Divisional Achievement Awards

The purpose of this award is to recognize alumni who have achieved significant levels of accomplishment in the early to middle stages of their careers. It is designed to publicly acknowledge these “rising stars” who have exhibited exceptional talent and promise.

Nominees can come from each of the four college divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Visual & Performing Arts. We also accept nominations on behalf our Interdisciplinary Studies Programs in this category.

This year two recipients received awards:

Humanities Achievement Award

George Demacopoulos (’92) completed a bachelor’s degree in history at UT and a master’s degree in theological studies (with highest honors), at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1995. He went on to complete a master’s degree and a doctorate in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the founding director of Fordham University’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center which is now a major research institute devoted to the history and culture of Orthodox Christianity.

Social Sciences Achievement Award

Cortney Piper (’03) earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. A member of the UT swim team, she was named to the Academic All-SEC team and the Lady Vol Honor Roll. She has been recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 in Knoxville, and is a member of the Political Science Advisory Board. Since 2008, she has served as president and founder of the Knoxville-based firm, Piper Communications, which specializes in clean energy communications consulting in the private and public sectors.

To nominate an alumnus for this award, click here.

Category: Volunteer Service Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize exceptional service or long-term, continuing service or leadership to the College of Arts and Sciences, or to a department or program within the College. It is designed to publicly acknowledge those individuals—alumni or friends—who have given significant amounts of time and talent over an extended period of time.

John Turley (’74) completed a bachelor’s degree in history and went on to build a successful career as a real estate developer. He has served on the board of the McClung Museum of Natural History for several years. He currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for UT’s Department of History.

To nominate an alumnus for this award, click here.

Category: Scholarly and Creative Achievement

The purpose of this award is to recognize alumni who have achieved a high degree of success in their chosen field in either a scholarly or creative endeavor. The trademark of this recipient is a record of notable accomplishments and a history of outstanding contributions to their discipline and/or creative pursuits. This year we are recognizing two alumni, one for scholarly achievement and one for creative achievement.

Scholarly Achievement Award

John McManus (’96) earned a doctorate in U.S. history at UT. During his tenure as a graduate student, he served as the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society He is an internationally recognized authority on U.S. military history. His a prolific an award-winning scholar whose research focuses on the human element of the history of conflict. He is invited regularly as an expert commentator on PBS, MSNBC and other national news outlets.

Creative Achievement Award

Paige Braddock (’85) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a major in graphic design. During her time at UT she was the comics’ editor for the Daily Beacon. Following graduation she held profession positions with newspapers including the Oak Ridger, the Chicago Tribune, and the Atlanta Constitution. In 2000, she joined Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, where she is Executive Vice-President and Creative Director. Paige oversees the editorial and art direction of the “Peanuts” license world-wide, and she designed the Snoopy U.S. postage stamp issued in 2001. In addition to being the steward of the Peanuts brand, Paige is the creator of the long-running comic strip, “Jane’s World”, the first nationally syndicated gay-themed comic strip. At Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, she started her own publishing company in 2001 and produces graphic and text novels for adults and children.

To nominate an alumnus for this award, click here.

Category: Professional Achievement

The purpose of this award is to recognize alumni who have achieved a high degree of success in their chosen field of endeavor. The trademark of this recipient is a record of notable career accomplishments and a history of outstanding contributions to their profession.

Ashley Capps (’79) earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in cultural studies, religious studies, and philosophy. He began promoting musical acts as a hobby in college. He has now developed this hobby into a national music promotion company. Ashley Capps founded AC Entertainment, which creates and produces music festivals and books and promotes artists from coast to coast. Ashley has made an international name for himself in the music industry and has put east Tennessee on the music map with the Bonnaroo Music Festival and eclectic Big Ears Festival. His company also operates and manages Knoxville’s historic Bijou and Tennessee Theatres. He has served as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Department of Religious Studies for twelve years.

To nominate an alumnus for this award, click here.

Category: College Philanthropist Award

Although many of the individuals we have recognized in previous categories give generously to the College, the purpose of this award is to recognize the exceptional generosity and impact of a philanthropist on the College of Arts and Sciences. It is designed to publicly acknowledge those individuals—alumni or friends—whose philanthropy has made a significant difference to the College of Arts and Sciences over an extended period of time.

Edward J. Boling, awarded posthumously. Edward J. Boling (’48), (’ received both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. His freshman year was interrupted in April 1943 when he was called to active duty in the Army. Following World War II, he returned to UT and finished his degree thanks to the G.I. Bill. He held several jobs, including teaching statistics at UT, before working in state government. He was recruited back to UT by then-President Andy Holt in 1961 to be vice president for development and administration, and eventually serving as president of the University of Tennessee from 1970-1988. After his retirement, Dr. Boling continued to serve the University as president emeritus and was tasked with maintaining and building relationships among UT supporters. At his side throughout their sixty-five–year marriage, Carolyn Pierce Boling (’52) earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from UT.

Bill Ross (’60) earned a bachelor’s degree in geology. A native of Maryville, Tennessee, Ross attended college with support from the GI Bill. His first exposure to geology was working as a cartographic draftsman in the Army. After college, he joined the U.S. Geological Survey working on the research staff for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. He had an additional career as an inspector and consultant for the Virginia Department of Transportation, from which he retired.

To nominate an alumnus for this award, click here.

Category: Dean’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding alumnus/alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences who has attained extraordinary distinction through a lifetime record of achievement and service.

Tim Townes (’73, ’75, ’80) is a native of Knoxville, and received three degrees from the UT– both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in zoology, and a doctorate in microbiology. After completing a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Cincinnati, he joined the faculty of the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), Medical School in 1984 and rose rapidly through the ranks where he is now Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He holds the James C. and Elizabeth T. Lee Professorship and is co-director of UAB’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center and director of UAB’s Stem Cell Institute. In 2012 he was awarded the Hudson Alpha Prize for his work on sickle cell and related blood disorders. Townes is presently serving as the president of the Board of Visitors for the Department of Microbiology.

To nominate an alumnus for this award, click here.

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