Alumni Awards

columns night

recognizing our alumni and chowan community

Each year, Chowan recognizes at least three alumni who have truly excelled in his or her chosen profession at the Distinguished Alumni Dinner which is held Homecoming weekend. 

The recognized alumni have made significant contributions to our society through his or her career or life accomplishments that are a testament to the work and mission of the University.  Distinguished Alumni recipients are recognized for supporting their alma mater through participation in events on and off-campus, board memberships, and financially.   

Nominations for Distinguished Alumni are made through the Alumni Relations Office.

2021 award recipients

Winslow Carter
Distinguished Alumni Award 2021

Winslow Carter was born on October 21, 1950. His parents were
Walter Carter and Betty Griffin Carter. He was born in Jacksonville,
NC and raised on a tobacco farm in a community called Hubert. It is
close to Swansboro and about 12 miles from Emerald Isle.
Winslow is the oldest of four children. He has a brother, James
Carter, another brother, Donald Carter, and a sister Addie Carter
Davenport.
Winslow says that in 1972, “I made the most important decision
of my life. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It has been
the anchor that has guided my life through difficult and good times.”
Winslow attended Swansboro Elementary, Middle and High
Schools. He graduated in June 1969 from high school and entered
Chowan College in the fall of 1969 to begin his post high school
career. Winslow added, “It was the best choice I could have made.”
Winslow is first generation college student, as his parents only had a 5th and 6th grade education. At
Chowan, Winslow added, “I was given the care, attention and personal attention I needed to succeed. I
owe Chowan more than I can ever pay back.”
In 1971, Winslow received his Associate of Arts from Chowan and in the fall of 1971, he entered
Campbell College (now Campbell University). “Chowan had prepared me well. I did very well at
Campbell and majored in History Education and graduated in 1973. I was the Baptist Student Union
President at both Chowan and Campbell Colleges,” stated Winslow.
In the summer of 1973, Winslow attended Meredith College Journeyman training for seven weeks
preparing to go to Kenya Africa for a two-year stint as a teacher at Mombasa Baptist High School where
he taught African History, English and geography. He also did student work with the high school
students as a Sunday School teacher and assisted the career Missionaries in whatever way needed.
While there, Winslow climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in December of 1975.
He returned from Kenya in 1975 and took a job in Gates County, NC as a teacher in a Wilderness
Camp for boys with emotional problems. It was a difficult but rewarding job. He left the camp after a
year to marry Harriet Rosser of Sanford, NC. They met while at Campbell and have had an exciting life
together. In 1980, their first child, Emily Eileen was born and in 1984 they welcomed a son, Andrew
Eugene. Emily has given them two wonderful grandsons Lucas (5) and Max Dodson (7). In addition
to their children, they have had nine foster children and hosted six international high school students.
The Carters also had two Liberians live with them for a year, a Chinese student for a summer and two
Rotary Scholars for several months, San Hee from Korea, and a student, Muyatwa, from Zambia.
Winslow worked at Chowan College as Admissions Director for eight years. He then moved to
Chapel Hill, NC where he worked for 22 years as a high school Career Counselor at Chapel Hill and
East Chapel Hill High Schools.
He retired in 2014 with a total of 42 years in education with the different areas of education in which
he worked. Since retirement, he has been extremely busy with Yates Baptist Church in Durham, NC.
Winslow has also been a Rotarian in the Chapel Hill Sunrise Rotary Club for 18 years. Since 2015, he
has been a tour guide at Duke Homestead the state historic site in Durham where Washington Duke’s
family began in the tobacco manufacturing business and funded Duke University and many other
important causes. This has been a very gratifying experience for Winslow.
Winslow summarized, “My wife, two children and two grandsons have made my life full and each
day something to look forward to in the years ahead. I have been extremely blessed in my life. Chowan
was the beginning of the exciting life I never dreamed could happen to me. I know that without going
to Chowan, I may never have achieved the goals I have and met the people who have so enriched my
life. Thank you, Chowan, for opening doors that have given me a great life.”

Ann Levy
Distinguished Alumni Award 2021

Ann E. Levy was born in Jamaica, West Indies. She
moved to the United States when she was 13 years old.
When she was 25 years old, she came to Murfreesboro
with a desire to complete her college degree. Ann
wanted a profession, not just a job.
She began attending Chowan College in August
1982 and graduated in May 1983 as a Business
Administration major. Her advisor was Mrs. Dorothy
Wallace. In 1993, Chowan transitioned to a four-year
university. At that time, she was employed at Beaufort
County Department of Social Services as an Income
Maintenance Caseworker II. Ann made a written
request to the Director and he approved for her to
attend Chowan on her lunch hour. She re-enrolled and attended classes during
her lunch hour and also evening classes.
Ann spoke with Mrs. Wallace often and expressed her desire to obtain another
position. Ann did not want just another job, she wanted a career. She knew that
she was on track and that her dream would become a reality with her four-year
degree from Chowan University.
One day in 1994, Mrs. Wallace shared with Ann a great opportunity that came
across her desk. The Federal Government was scouting for college students
who wanted a career with the Federal Government. She encouraged her to
compete for the position. Ann took her advice and out of 600 applicants from
three other colleges, Ann was selected for the position and started her career
with the government in June 1994. Ann said, “I will be forever grateful to
Chowan University, Mrs. Dorothy Wallace and others at Chowan who played a
vital part in my education.” Ann graduated with my 4-year degree in Business
Administration May 1995.
Here are Ann’s words, “Since my graduation from Chowan, I have worked
in my community as a foster parent of eight children and adopted two. I have
served on the Chowan Alumni Council for years and enjoy it tremendously. I
am an Evangelist at the Temple of Jesus Christ United Fellowship, Washington,
NC with Bishop James Woolard, Pastor. I have also served as a Co-Pastor under
the Leadership of Apostle Joyce Cherry of Beulah Land International Ministry,
Conway. NC.”
On May, 31, 2021 Ann retired from the Social Security Administration after
27 years and recently acquired her State License to sell Life Insurance Policies
and will go on to study and take the State Exams to work with investments with
Primerica.

Austin
Young Alumnus Award 2021

Austin is a former Hawk Long Snapper, current father
of one (soon to be two!), Rolling Hills Community
Church volunteer/group leader and Account Executive
with Ramsey Solutions.
After four years at Chowan from 2010-2014, Austin
returned to his home of Phoenix, AZ and quickly
worked his way up through Booster Enterprises from
a part-time job to General Manager of the Southwest
Team. Caelen and Austin were engaged and married in
2015 and were involved in a variety of ways at Christ
Church of the Valley. Like countless others in 2020,
Austin was involved with a major company layoff
with Booster which led him to Ramsey Solutions, where he’s been for all of 2021.
Austin is eternally grateful for his time at Chowan. Going from the west coast,
big city of Phoenix to the small town of Murfreesboro was not always easy but
just what God had planned for Austin. His four years at CU developed his faith,
molded him as a young man and provided him with lifelong memories of both
athletic accomplishments and God’s faithfulness. Austin owes much of who he
is today to Drew Phillips, Craig Janney, Leah Lambson, Lou Ann Gilliam and
Mama Mari Wiles.
In 2011 and 2012, Austin was Special Teams Player of the Year. Also in 2012,
Austin was the Presidential Athletic Excellence Award recipient. In 2013, Austin
was Presidential Athletic Excellence Award recipient, Faith in Your Future Award
recipient, Excellence in Leadership Officer Award recipient and Allstate AFCA
Good Works Team Member at the 2013 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Austin supports his alma mater as a member of the Brave Hawks Club and
served as a Chowan Champion during the 2021 Day of Giving.
Austin currently lives just outside of Nashville in Nolensville, TN with his wife
Caelen and daughter Reagan.

Sallie Surface
Community Service Award

In 1983, Sallie Pait Surface began her thirty-eight-year career at
Choanoke Area Development Association, of NC, Inc., (CADA), a
private, non-profit corporation that has served Northeastern North
Carolina-Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, and Northampton
Counties-since 1962. The late Dr. Bruce E. Whitaker, Chowan
President Emeritus, was one of the founders and first President of
the inaugural CADA Board of Directors.
As the Executive Director of CADA from 1991-2021, Ms.
Surface facilitated partnerships to assist families and communities
to build assets and a better quality of life. She expanded CADA’s
role in Community and Economic Development to include:
• Grantee for Head Start and Early Head Start Program and child
development initiatives;
• An educational homeownership counseling program for
prospective buyers and designation as a HUD Housing
Counseling Agency that led to a NCHFA Rural Homeownership
Development Award for the number of first-time homebuyers
served;
• The development of affordable housing communities- Choanoke Meadows in Rich Square and
the expansion of Southgate subdivision in Roanoke Rapids;
• Partnerships with local municipalities such as Roanoke Rapids for the nationally recognized
redevelopment of an economically distressed mill town area of the city;

• The use of historic and low-income tax credits to convert three historic schools into award-
winning, subsidized senior-living apartments: Woodland-Olney School. Ahoskie High School

Apartments, and Enfield School Apartments;
• The ability to respond quickly to community needs such as the aftermath of natural disasters and
the COVID-19 pandemic; and
• Programs such as Welfare to Work and workforce development programs, youth programs,
Mobile Food Pantry, a solar energy pilot program to lower home-energy cost, an IDA Program,
Urgent Repair and Healthy Homes, and a focus on Financial Literacy.
Ms. Surface, a graduate of Wake Forest College-now University, has had additional training in
Economics and Community Development. She is a graduate of the Rural Economic Development
Institute and the Center for Creative Leadership, has served on the Board of Directors for the North
Carolina Low-Income Housing Coalition, North Carolina CRANC (Community Reinvestment
Act), and the PNC Eastern North Carolina Advisory Board.
Currently, Ms. Surface as a Senate appointee serves as Vice-Chair of the North Carolina
Housing Partnership Board that provides oversight of the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund,
and is a member of the NC Weatherization Assistance Program Advisory Council. She has been a
presenter/facilitator for local, state, and national conferences such as the National Rebuild America
Conference, National Affordable Energy Conference and National Weatherization conferences. She
has been featured in the Wall Street Journal for her advocacy for rural banking services as many
rural communities are becoming un-banked.
Ms. Surface received the 2006 Outstanding Rural Leadership Award presented by the NC Rural
Economic Development Center and the Rural Economic Development Organization. In April 2015,
Governor Pat McCrory conferred the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to Ms. Surface for over 30 years
of service to the citizens of North Carolina. She was inducted into the North Carolina Community
Action Hall of Fame in 2004.
The CADA Board of Directors has bestowed on Ms. Surface the title of Executive Director Emeritus.
The counties CADA serves acknowledged her leadership and declared August 22, 2021 Sallie Surface
Day, and on that date, the CADA Board of Directors re-named the CADA Administrative Office,
Rich Square, NC, the Sallie P. Surface Complex.
Ms. Surface and her late husband, Dan Surface, Chowan Coach, Athletic Administrator, and
Professor Emeritus-and for whom two endowed Chowan scholarships are named, have three
children: Dr. Eric Surface, a former member of the Chowan Board of Visitors, Julianne Surface, and
Brian Surface, a Chowan University Graduate.
The Dan and Sallie Surface History Lecture Series at Chowan has been endowed in their memory
and honor by family friend Warren Chauncey.
Ms. Surface encourages all to “Bloom where they are planted” and work for extraordinary results in
ordinary places through partnerships.

Half Century 2021
Half Century Circle

Harold Babb
June Babb
John Bowles
Ray Carter
Barry Jenkins
Julie Jenkins

 

Past Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Kate Mackie Allen ’29
Donna P. Askew ’89
H. Allen Autry ’61
Harold W. Babb ’70
Kemper Baker, Jr. ’66
Thomas J. Ballance, ’69
Lucille Williams Beasley, 1915
Glenn Smith Benthall ’25
William J. Bowman ’69
Barry A. Bradberry ’73
Maggie Boone Bridgers ’32
Randy V. Britton ’60
Dorothy Heath Brown ’33
Grace Pearce Brown, 1916
J. Hatcher Cale, Jr. ’66
Allen J. Casey ’62
Suzanne S. Clifton ’64
Elizabeth G. Craig ’68
W. Marvin Daugherty, ’71
Stanley Eugene Dixon, Jr. ’76
Deborah Blowe Edwards ’77, ’95
M. Frank Edwards ’58
Inez W. Elrod ’35
Edith Vick Farris ’53
Thomas Edwin Forbes, ’74
J.P. Freeman ’35
Miley Williams Glover ’74
Jo A. Grice ’57
Lynwood M. Grice ’57
Hazel Griffin ’26
John R. Griffin ’55
Jerry Harper ’63
Wesley S. Hauser ’69
Michael V. Hendley ’66
Ronald L. Hicks ’66
Julie Hoggard, 1901
W. Dennis Hogue ’65

Cecil Sherwood Hollomon, Jr. ’68
Billy R. Howell ’61
Bradford Lance Jenkins, ’03
John M. Jenkins
Olivia Benthall Jenkins*
Mike Johnson ’58
John R. Jordan ’40
Darlene Jacqueline Keene ’81
Hugh Banks Lewis ’75
Kenneth Lyons ’85
Sandra Gatling Mahler ’62
Charles Preston McElheney, III ’96
Cheryl Hobday McElheney ’65
James C. McGill ’62
Raymond D. Meiggs ’52
Julian R. Mills, Sr. ’59
Michael S. Moore ’92
Elaine Early Myers ’60
Robert A. Newsome, Jr. ’64
Captain Milton A. Outten, ’71
Alton W. Parker ’39
Elton C. Parker ’39
Grace Parker, 1910
Linwood Parker ’66
Sarah Virginia Parker ’57
Brinson Paul ’52
Charles Paul ’55
Lola Mae Freeman Penny 1900
Judith W. Perry ’70
Charles Pond III ’62
Jay White Porter ’33
Drew D. Paster, ’08
Harvey W. Reinhardt ’61
Raymond L. Richards ’72
Tim Roberson ’65
Lawrence W. Smith ’65
Mary C. Smith ’37

Herman L. Spencer, III, ’00
Mitchell Spencer, ’64
Lowell F. Sodeman ’38
William B. Sowell ’55
Emma Gay Stephenson ’31
Louise Strickland ’36
Charles M. Taylor, ’67
Agnes White Thomas ’31
Ruth Thomas, 1917
Jonathan H. Taylor, MD ’90
L. Mack Thompson, ’64
Richard L. Thompson ’61
Mary Wiggins Turner, 1912
Ruby Daniels Udvarnoki ’29
Ethleen Vick Underwood ’28
Ben B. Ussery, Jr., ’68
Ernie Vadersen ’64
S. Keith Vaughan ’83
William T. Vest ’62
Deborah B. Vinson ’77, ’99
Linda Cowan Warfford ’69
Harry W. Webster ’63
M. Scott White ’80
Una Lorraine White, 1913
Vesta Benthall White*
Charlie T. Whitley ’58
Monnie McDaniel Wiley ’28
Eugene Williams ’54
Brenda Simmons Wilson, ’68
Hugh (Butch) Wilson, ’67
Carlyle R. Wimbish ’58
Richard Winstead ’64
T. David Witten ’64
Jerry P. Wrenn ’59
Todd Wright, ’84
Lois Vann Wynn, 1905
*Class year not available

Past Young Alumnus recipients

Charles B. Cole 2001
Laura A. Farmer 1998
Faith Marrissa Jones 1999
Lachelle M. Waller 2001
Karl Gregory Zephir, Jr. 1998

Ellis L. Stephens, III 1996
Craig Janney 2004
Michael W. Dickerson 2006
Maurice Bruce Fluitt 2009
Bradford Lance Jenkins, 2009

Janeen Marshall, 2003
Jena’y Sparkle Nelson, 2012
Allie Kolezynksi, 2012
Chinedu C. Iwuora, 2010
Pamela G. Taylor, 2015

Past Community Service Recipients

1995 Hirian C. Hill, Jr.
1996 Jean Simpson Sharp
1997 Rev. and Mrs. Rowland Pruette
1998 Hannah Brown
2000 Cities of Windsor (NC), Ahoskie (NC), & Franklin (VA)
2001 J.E. Skinner
2002 William Hall
2003 Lynn Howell and Artie Johnson

2004 J. Guy and Gertrude Revelle
2005 David, Deborah, and Josh Lane
2006 William Ivey Long
2007 Ray and Judy Felton
2008 Percy and Lynette Bunch
2009 Bob and Josie Hill
2010 W. Julian Robertson Jr.
2011 Wayne and Shirley Brown

2012 Edward W. Jones
2013 Margaret DeLoatch Futrell ’50
2014 Michael C. Alston, MD
2015 Kay Mitchell Thomas
2016 Wayland L. Jenkins, Jr.
2017 W.J. “Bill” Little, Jr.
2019 Robert Earl and Carolyn Early Brinkley
2020 Howard J. Hunter, III, ’95

Gallery of Distinguished Alumni

Since 1848, Chowan University has educated thousands of young people from all parts of the globe. Many of these graduates have gone on to distinguish themselves in their chosen careers and in service to their communities.

In addition to being featured online, The Distinguished Gallery of Graduates is located on the ground floor of the historic McDowell Columns Building at the heart of the Chowan University campus. This display recognizes those graduates who have set the standard for all Chowan alumni. We are honored to recognize them for their outstanding accomplishments. 

Upcoming
Reunions

Half Century Circle for the Class of 1972 at Homecoming 2022.

25 Year Anniversary at Homecoming 2022.

homecoming 2021