Oxford College honors our alumni and other members of our community for their outstanding leadership, dedication, loyalty, and service.

Alumni Awards

Oxford College honors our alumni and other members of our community for their outstanding leadership, dedication, loyalty, and service.

Please consider nominating someone for the various Oxford College Alumni Board and Oxford Board of Counselors awards. Submit your nominations online.

2019-20 Alumni Awards Recipients

R. Carl Chandler Award

The R. Carl Chandler Award for a Lifetime of Leadership through Service to Oxford College is given each year to a person that exemplifies leadership, service, and dedication to Oxford College.

Susan Gregory and Luke Gregory
Susan Gregory 77Ox 79C | Luke Gregory 76Ox 78C (Posthumously)

Susan and Luke Gregory have been supporters of Oxford College and Emory University for all of their married life. Their main passion has been and remains in raising scholarship funds, helping to ensure that others have the same opportunity for the excellent education and close relationships they experienced. 

With family members and friends, Susan and Luke helped endow the Sara McDowell Gregory Memorial Scholarship, the John and Sara Gregory Scholarship, and the Michael S. Overstreet 76OX 78C Scholarship, in remembrance of a beloved classmate. In 2016, Susan and her brother Bob Atkinson 75OX 77B endowed the Dorothy J. and Robert C. Atkinson, M.D. Award at Oxford College in thankful memory of their parents. Susan and Luke have also been supporters of the Gregory-Rackley Award, as well as the Sara Gregory Book Fund, both started in memory of Luke’s late parents.

Susan and Luke have served as mentors for Oxford and Emory students for decades and have continued many of those relationships past the students’ academic years at Oxford and Emory. They chaired many major events for the Nashville Chapter of Emory Alumni and opened their home on numerous occasions for alumni gatherings and parties for incoming Emory and Oxford students. They have been participants in Emory’s Alumni Admission Network and Emory Cares International Service Day. 

Since 2005, Susan has served on the Oxford College Board of Counselors and was chair of the Scholarship Committee, co-chair of the Alumni Engagement Committee, as well as participating in various strategic initiatives at Oxford. 

Susan was the 2014 recipient of the Oxford College William L. Norton, Jr. Outstanding Alumna Award. In 2016, she and Luke were honored to be the first alumni couple to receive Emory University’s J. Pollard Turman Alumni Service Award.

Luke began his undergraduate studies at Oxford College and was the first joint philosophy and religion major at Emory College, where he received a bachelor of arts degree. From there, he earned a master’s degree in religion from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in health administration from Georgia State University. He enjoyed an almost 40-year career in healthcare. At the time of his death in October 2019, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and also the senior vice-president for business development for the Vanderbilt Health System.

Susan began her undergraduate studies at Oxford College where she was the student recipient of the Oxford College Spokesman Award for Outstanding Service. She received a bachelor of arts in sociology from Emory. Following her graduation, Susan worked in the admissions offices of Oxford College and Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. After earning a master’s degree in social work and a certificate in gerontology from the University of Georgia, she spent 25 years in the medical social work field specializing in oncology.

Their families have a long history at Oxford and Emory College. Luke grew up in Oxford, Georgia, as the son of Emeritus Professor of Humanities John Gregory Sr. and Oxford College Librarian Sara Gregory. Their brothers, John Gregory Jr. 70Ox 72C and the late Bob Atkinson Jr. 75Ox 77B were graduates of Oxford and Emory. Susan’s sister-in-law Elison Atkinson 79C attended Emory College. Their daughter Kate Gregory Ericksen 09C is also a graduate of Emory College, and son-in-law Matt Ericksen 09L a graduate of the Emory School of Law. 

Susan and Luke were introduced to one another on her first day as a first-year student at Oxford College in September 1975. They have always considered that meeting as the greatest gift, among many, given to them by their alma mater. 

2018Zoe Hicks 63Ox 65C 76L 83L
2017Homer Sharp 59C
2016Fred L. Palmer 52Ox 57M 58MR 60MR
2015Trulock Dickson 72Ox 74C
2014Eugene Rackley 55Ox 58B
2013Mike McQuaide
2012*Pierce Cline 47Ox
2011Milt Gillespie 59Ox     
2010Hugh Tarbutton, Sr. 52Ox 55B
2009*Bill Murdy, Dean Emeritus     
2008Max Austin 61Ox 63C 69MR
2007Bill Norton 42Ox 48C 50L 
2006Bob Chappell 56Ox 58B 68B
2005Marvin Hardy, III 61Ox 63C 65L
2004Judy Greer, Professor Emerita 
2003Tommy Owens 59Ox 61C 65D 
2002Joe Edwards 54Ox 56B 58B 
2001John and *Sara Gregory   
2000*Marshall and *Fran Elizer   
1999*Bond Fleming 33C 36T, Dean Emeritus
1998*Dean Minor 38Ox 40C   
1997Clifford Bell 46Ox 50C  

*Deceased

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

The Oxford College Alumni Association gives this award to an Oxford alumnus/alumna who shows exceptional dedication, loyalty, and innovation in his or her service to Oxford. They are no more than twelve years out from their Oxford degree.

Casson Wen
Casson Wen 08Ox 10C 13L

Casson Wen is a Fort Bend County, Texas, native and earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Emory University prior to returning home to practice. Currently, he focuses on the areas of real estate transactions, real estate development, general corporate matters, and probate and estate administration. 

Wen worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Susan G. Lowery, County Court at Law No. 3, as well as an intern for the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office. Before joining Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC, Wen worked as an associate attorney at a Fort Bend County-based law firm where he represented clients in transactional, litigation, and probate matters.

Wen believes strongly in serving his community. He currently serves on the board of directors for Behind the Badge Charities, Inc., an organization that serves Fort Bend County’s first responders. He is president of the Fort Bend Young Lawyers Association and a member of the Rotary Club of Sugar Land. Wen aims to be a servant leader in the community and to actively foster and contribute to Fort Bend County's continued growth.

While a law student, he received both the Minister Gloria Jean Fowler Angel Award and Most Outstanding Third-Year Student Award. He served on the Oxford College Alumni Board (OCAB) for 5 years and helps with Emory undergraduate recruitment and with alumni events in Texas.

2018Khatdija Meghjani 12Ox 14C
2017Safiya Jetha 07Ox 09C
2016Will Canon 11Ox 13C

William Norton Outstanding Alumnus Award

The Oxford College Alumni Association gives this award to an Oxford alumnus/alumna who has shown exceptional dedication, loyalty, and innovation in his or her service to Oxford.

Hugh McMaster Tarbutton Jr.
Hugh McMaster Tarbutton Jr. 84Ox

Hugh Tarbutton Jr. is a past chair of the Oxford Board of Counselors, where he has served since 2001. He is a devoted alumni volunteer and leader whose mission has always been the advancement of Oxford College. 

He is part of the Tarbutton family legacy at Oxford and Emory, starting with his grandfather, the late Ben J. Tarbutton 1905C who attended Emory College when it was located in Oxford. His father, the late Hugh Tarbutton Sr. 52Ox 55B, served on the Oxford Board of Counselors and, with his wife Gena, provided funding to build the Hugh and Gena Tarbutton Performing Arts Center. The generosity of the Hugh M. Tarbutton Family (including Hugh Jr.) was highlighted in the featured donor presentations made at the Emory Campaign Gala (September 2008). Hugh has numerous other close relatives who have graduated from Oxford and Emory, but he remains one of the most dedicated alumni to Oxford College.

While on the Board of Counselors, Tarbutton has served on many committees, including the Executive Committee, Leadership Development Committee, the Oxford College Campaign Committee (2007-2012), and the By-Laws subcommittee.

His signature role has been as chair of the Library and Academic Commons committee, leading the successful fundraising effort to build a much needed expanded and modernized facility (2006-2013). An ardent advocate to get the new library built, he worked to increase giving from the Board of Counselors and the alumni body. He led by example, giving the first major gift to the construction of the new library in honor of Fran Elizer. Due to his dedicated work, the groundbreaking ceremony was held after Commencement on May 12, 2012, and the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new facility was held on August 24, 2013.

To honor Fran Elizer, long-time library assistant at Oxford and wife of Professor Marshall Elizer, Tarbutton—along with Oxford College Dean Stephen Bowen, Oxford Dean of the Library Kitty McNeill, and Oxford Development and Alumni Relations staff—visited Elizer at her assisted living facility where they held a symbolic groundbreaking for the new library. This took place on December 14, 2011, just three days before she passed away at age 95. Tarbutton has also served on university-wide committees and boards including the Emory Board of Visitors (2003-2006).

Hugh has been an avid supporter of Oxford College and supported many strategic projects including Oxford’s new Library, Oxford’s new Student Center; and he established the Tarbutton Leadership Fellows in memory of his late father Hugh Tarbutton Sr.

Hugh earned his associate's degree from Oxford College in 1984 and continued his education at the University of Georgia, earning a BBA in finance from the Terry College of Business in 1986. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Georgia and has served on the Alumni Board of Directors of the Terry College of Business.

His Oxford student activities included Circle K, Solicitor, Conduct Council, Resident Hall Advisor, Student Body Vice President, and student representative to the Board of Counselors.

Tarbutton is the senior vice president of business development at Triad Advisors, which he joined in June 2016. He came to Triad Advisors from Ameris Bank where he was the managing director of Wealth Management for two years. Before that, he spent several years at SunTrust, most recently as senior vice president and manager of its Wealth Solutions Group within SunTrust Private Wealth Management, and, before that, as senior vice president-director of products and services for SunTrust Investment Services. He had served as managing director-manager, Products and Solutions for Alexander Key Investments, which merged with SunTrust Investments to form SunTrust Investment Services. Before that, he was vice president and manager of the Equity Strategy Group at Robinson-Humphrey Company.  

Tarbutton has recently become a resident of Oxford, refurbishing a historic home close to the Oxford campus. He is a past member of the board of trustees of the Nature Conservancy in Georgia and former vice president and director of the Gena and Hugh Tarbutton Foundation.

2018Christopher Arrendale 99Ox 01C
2017Barbara J. Carter Rivers 65Ox
2016Chi Chi Okezie 98Ox 00C
2015Julie Nelson 95Ox 96C
2014Susan Gregory 77Ox 79C
2013Kip Hart 94Ox 96C
2012Tom Brodnax 65Ox 68C
2011Warren Brook 70Ox 72B
2010Joe Bartenfeld 64Ox 66C
2009Teresa Rivero 85Ox 87B 93PH
2008Paul Jackson 82Ox 84B
2007Marvin Hardy 61Ox 63C 65L
2006Joe Edwards 54Ox 56B 58B
2005Dan Ragsdale 59Ox
2004Mellie Davis 59Ox
2003William (Bill) Norton 42Ox 44C 50L
2002Art Vinson 66Ox 68C
2001Hugh Tarbutton 52Ox 55C
2000Dean Minor 38Ox 40C
1999Jim Bailey 67Ox 69C

Outstanding Teaching Award

The Oxford College Alumni Association gives this award to an Oxford faculty member, past or present, who has imbued a love of learning, a mastery of the work, and a sense of community in the course of teaching at Oxford.

Frank Maddox
Frank Maddox

Dr. Frank Maddox is an emeritus professor of economics at Oxford College. An award-winning economics professor, he used a variety of strategies to make vivid the realities of poverty and wealth, industrial and craft production, and consumption. One method used video instruction to teach the models encountered in principles of economics courses. In another example, his students use Buddhist tenets to deconstruct neoclassical consumer models and examine a wide variety of production externalities.

Maddox used such unorthodox methods, along with a genuine interest in his students, to engage in a broader range of learning capacities than is typically experienced in economics courses.

In 2016 after Maddox retired, Oxford called him right back from retirement so he could fill in to teach economics. He happily did so. The Class of 2015 named their class tree for him in honor of his retirement. He also learned Mandarin Chinese so he could better communicate with his students.

He received a BS from Georgia Southern University and a PhD from Georgia State University.

2018Reza Saadein
2017Ken Carter 87Ox 89C
2016Clark Lemons 74G 78PhD
2015Steve Henderson
2014Hoyt Oliver 54Ox 56C
2013Eloise Carter 78G 83PhD
2012Bill Cody
2011Andy Autry
2010Kent Linville
2009Dan Moore 35Ox 37C 40G
2008Bill McKibben
2007Judy Greer
2006Mike McQuaide
2005Homer Sharp 56Ox 59C
2004John Gregory
2003Neil Penn
2002Dick Shappell
2001Joe Guillebeau
2000Marshall Elizer
1999Curry Haynes

Outstanding Staff Award

The Oxford College Alumni Association gives its Outstanding Staff Award to an Oxford College staff member, past or present, who has shown exceptional dedication and loyalty in his or her service to Oxford. They also appreciate the sense of community that Oxford offers.

Susan Laird
Susan Laird 71C 79T

Dr. Susan Laird retired from Oxford in 2014 after 30 years of working at the university. She was the coordinator of the Career Services Office (1994-2012) and helped the alumni office establish the Oxford Mentor program. She planned career events, training seminars, and worked with students on finding internships, their career path, and summer jobs. Laird had a knack for working with 18-year-olds.

She lives in Atlanta and has a husband, daughter, and many pets. One nominee wrote, “Susan was always a joy to work with and you could always count on her to cheer you up and help you with anything you needed!” Susan is very much missed at Oxford.

She received a BA in religion from Emory University, a MEd from the University of Georgia, a MDiv from Emory's Candler School of Theology, and a PhD in counseling psychology from Georgia State University.

2018Alan Mitchell
2017Debbie Mote
2016Lyn Pace 02T 17T
2015Todd Cain
2014Joy Budensiek
2013Rodger Brunson
2012Marvlyn Kirk
2011Jennie Taylor
2010Mary Barnes
2009Eugene Williams
2008Stephen Bowen

Honorary Alumna Award

The Oxford College Alumni Association gives its Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award to a person who did not graduate from Oxford College but who has shown exceptional dedication in his or her service to Oxford.

Carol D. Penn
Carol D. Penn 59C

Carol Penn is the wife of Dr. Neil S. Penn 73G, emeritus professor of history at Oxford College, recipient of many distinguished teaching awards and former member of the Oxford Board of Counselors. He is also an active participant in the Emeritus College. In 1998, the Neil Penn Book Fund at Oxford College was established as an endowed book fund for the purchase of books for the Oxford Library in honor of Neil Penn.

Carol Penn is a longtime member of the Emory University Woman’s Club and serves as the Oxford College Liaison on the Executive Board. She was recognized for her work on the successful Emory Woman's Club fundraiser held February 28, 2011, which raised over $11,000 for Oxford College's outdoor classroom.

The Penns have been active in the Oxford College community for many years, becoming close to many of the faculty families over the years. They helped with the solicitation letter in the spring of 2005 to raise funds to endow the Sammy Clark Scholarship. 

The Penns live in Oxford and have been active in the city community as well. They have served as historians for the Oxford Historical Cemetery Association. At the Oxford mayor and City Council meeting on April 6, 2015, they were named as “Honorary Councilmembers” for the month of April.

Carol has many Oxford and Emory relatives. Her first marriage was to the late John F. “Jeff” Hough Jr. 58C, a social studies instructor at Oxford who passed away in 1964 at the young age of 28. (A named book fund was established at Oxford Library in his memory.) Her children from that marriage are Evan T. Hough 83Ox 85C and Jennifer Hough Weston 82Ox 84C. Her granddaughter (Jennifer’s daughter), Joanna Leigh Weston 06Ox 08C is also an Oxford and Emory alumna. Carol and Neil Penn married in 1973. They continue to be a couple who clearly love the Oxford College community.

2018Amanda Arrendale
2017Doug Shipman 95C
2016Stephen Bowen
2015Sheilah Connor
2014Nancy Murdy
2013Kitty McNeill
2012Kathy Brook
2011Penny England
2010James Wagner
2009Mary Louise Flemming 70G
2008Mike McQuaide
2007Sammy Clark
2006Lil Long
2005Paul Anderson 38C 40L
2004Dean Dana Greene, Joe Moon, and Jennie Taylor
2003John Temple
2002Jake Ward 33C 36G
2001Judy Greer
2000Bond Fleming 33C 36T
1999William H. Murdy