Virtual Homecoming: One for the ages

Although Homecoming traditions looked different this year, Bobcats from years past and present gathered virtually to celebrate and reminisce on 120 years of Lees-McRae. Events included a musical performance by alumna Tennille Kilby Sherrill ’98, athletics scrimmages, Homecoming Court presentation, chats connecting faculty and alumni, a theatrical performance of Changemakers, and alumni reunions for sharing of fondest memories.

Along with other traditions held during Homecoming, each year the Alumni Association presents the recipients of the alumni awards. 

This year’s three awards included the Captain’s Class Agent Award, the Alumni Service Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. All the awards were announced during the annual Green and Gold Alumni Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 10 in a live, virtual meeting of the Alumni Association.

The Captain’s Class Agent Award—given to the class with the highest percentage of class participation—was presented to the class of 1959, honoring their 32% giving participation for the Fiscal year 2019–20.  Accepting the award this year on behalf of the class of 1959 was Betty Walker and Captain Ken Sullivan who spoke about the recognition in a pre-recorded video call with Katie Talbert, director of alumni relations.

For the fifth time in 20 years, two alumni—Justin Kitts ’06 and Deena Chambers ’75—were recognized with the Alumni Service Award

Kitts, the Dean of Students at Lees-McRae, “has shown great leadership and has adapted excellently in these trying times,” states a nominator. “Nothing screams service like going above and beyond your job duties to help current students and recent graduates at every available opportunity.”

Also recognized for her service to the college as the Alumni Board President from 2017–20, Chambers was praised by a nominator for her “outpouring passion for Lees-McRae.” “Deena is on top of Lees-McRae news and gets reunions and other activities together. She works tirelessly at these efforts,” stated another nominator.

To be considered for the Alumni Service Award an individual must meet the following criteria: be an alumnus/a of Lees-McRae College, provide significant service to the college and/or the Lees-McRae Alumni Association, demonstrate a continuing interest in Lees-McRae by attending alumni events on and off campus and by contributing time, energy, or money to programs of the institution, and manifest and commend the hallmarks of the Lees-McRae graduate in his/her life.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Julia Morgan McCombs ’75, current member of the Board of Trustees at Lees-McRae. Retired from Curriculum Associates, McCombs is a member of the North Carolina Association of Alternative Education.  She serves on the Board of the North Carolina Association of American Education as the business liaison. “Her love for our college is evident in her enthusiasm, energy, and involvement in all things Lees-McRae,” states a nominator.

To be considered for the Distinguished Alumni Award an individual must meet the following criteria: be an alumnus/a of Lees-McRae College, demonstrate a respectable profession or life mission for which the college is exceptionally proud, distinguish himself or herself in business, life work, or worthy endeavor, and manifest and commend the hallmarks of the Lees-McRae graduate in his/her life.

Justin Kitts ’06
Deena Chambers ’75
Julia Morgan McCombs ’75
By Katie TalbertOctober 23, 2020
AthleticsCampus LifeCommunityAlumni