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Fall Alumni Weekend 2019
November 22-24
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Alumni Awards Gala

Alumni Awards Gala

By fallalumniweekend
Posted on 10 August 2017 | 1:58 pm

Hosted by the College of Charleston Alumni Association and
Presented in partnership with the College of Charleston Foundation

Each year, the Alumni Awards Gala recognizes alumni whose accomplishments in their chosen fields have brought honor to the College. Your Gala ticket includes an elegant cocktail reception, a gourmet dinner, and fellowship with College of Charleston alumni, families, and friends.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 award recipients through February 1, 2020. Make your nomination here.

In 2019, we will honor the following recipients:

 

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Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine

Theresa Sullivan Gonzales ’79 – Gaithersburg, MD

Theresa Sullivan Gonzales grew up in Walhalla, SC, and graduated from the College of Charleston in 1979, with a degree in biology. She received her D.M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 1984, followed by residencies in general practice and oral pathology through the United States Army and Naval Dental School, as well as a fellowship in orofacial pain at the National Naval Medical Center.  She holds master’s degrees from George Washington University in oral biology and in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. After nearly 30 years of distinguished service, Gonzales retired from the United States Army in 2013, as consultant to the Surgeon General in orofacial pain management with the rank of Colonel.

In 2013, she joined MUSC as director of orofacial pain management and as a professor in oral pathology. She became a tenured professor in 2015, and was named associate dean of curriculum and communication for the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine at MUSC.

She has been the recipient of many awards during her career including the MUSC Distinguished Alumnus Service Award, James B, Edwards College of Dental Medicine in 2017, and the Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award as Outstanding Women Dentist in 2013.

In 2017, Gonzales was named Executive Director of the American College of Dentists in Gaithersburg, MD.

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Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Person of the Year Award

Marcia Howie Snyder ’93 – Johns Island, SC

Marcia Howie Snyder, of Johns Island, SC, is the Assistant Dean of Student Learning and Accreditation for the School of Business.  She earned her B.S. in economics from the College of Charleston in 1993, followed by a MSc. in environmental and natural resource economics from the University of London in 1994.  In 1997, she became the program coordinator for the Tate Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Charleston, and has been working with the School of Business ever since.

She manages the entire accreditation operations for the School of Business, which directly impacts the quality of the courses taught. She also manages to teach two-three courses each semester, always making sure School of Business graduates are ready to work.  She maintains contact with many of her former students throughout their academic career and afterward, as they enter the business world.  The positive impact she makes on students and their careers continues past graduation.  She encourages alumni to give back through helping new students network, build interviewing skills and locate employment.  She has an impact on every graduate of the School of Business, thereby strengthening the quality of the workforce in Charleston and beyond.

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Young Alumnus Award

Shaun D. Kraisman ’12 – New Orleans, LA

Shaun Kraisman is an Emmy-nominated television news anchor, reporter, and host. His career got its start while he was a communication major at the College of Charleston.  He worked for WCSC, the CBS/FOX affiliate in Charleston as a production assistant, audio director, photographer, news reporter, and fill-in traffic anchor.  Following his graduation from the College in 2012, he continued as a multimedia journalist for WCSC; shooting, writing, and editing general assignment news stories and presenting live on camera.

He hit the national spotlight during the premiere of “American Idol”, season 11, as the “Ryan Seacrest Doppelganger.” This led to a nationwide radio tour and appearances in hundreds of publications including USA Today, E! News, and many others.

Kraisman worked as a host and emcee for the Miss America Organization from 2012 – 2015, while also working as the evening anchor and host of “Living Dayton”, an hour-long live lifestyle show on WDTN-NBC in Dayton, Ohio.  In 2015, he joined WINK, the CBS/CW affiliate in southwest Florida as a morning and noon anchor, and breaking news field reporter.  He joined WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, as an evening anchor in 2016, and has received two regional Emmy nominations, both for Best Evening Newscast.

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Alumna of the Year

Debra J. Gammons ’87 – Daniel Island, SC

Debra Gammons is a trailblazer. She has been breaking down barriers and building bridges since her days as an English major at the College of Charleston.  Elected the first female black president of the Student Government Association, she received the highest student award given by the College, the Bishop Robert Smith Award, at her commencement in 1987, along with several other awards recognizing her leadership.  This outstanding  leadership continued at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she was president of the Student Bar and associate justice of the Moot Court Bar.

Gammons served as Greenville, South Carolina’s assistant city attorney for 11 years, and was elected President of the Greenville County Bar Association. She joined Charleston School of Law in 2009, as director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives, and a distinguished visiting professor.  Her goal has always been to work for equality, education, and engagement.

These themes are also reflected in her volunteer work at the College of Charleston.  She has served on the Board of Trustees, and is the chairperson for the Friends of the Library Board.  She also serves on the College of Charleston Graduate School Advisory Board

In February of 2019, Gammons became the first black president of the Charleston County Bar Association.  Her life reflects exemplary service as an advocate and a leader.

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Distinguished Alumnus Award

Roland A. Cruickshank ’94 – Memphis, TN

The College of Charleston changed the life of Roland Cruickshank and that of his family.  Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he received a scholarship to play basketball for the legendary John Kresse at the College of Charleston, and was soon followed by his two sisters, Aisha Cruickshank Singletary ’00, and Dimsoy Cruickshank ’02.  A political science major at the College, Cruickshank learned the value of team work on the basketball court, and played in the 1994 NCAA tournament.   He also learned how to build relationships that respected and celebrated other cultures while a student at the College. After graduation, he earned his master of health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and a master of public administration from the University of South Carolina.

His career in healthcare administration has taken him from Georgia to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas over the past 20 years.   In 2018, he was named president of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, the largest and most comprehensive hospital in the Methodist Healthcare system. Cruickshank is known as a dynamic and talented leader who enables top quality patient care and outstanding financial results in a complex healthcare system.  He considers leadership in a faith-based healthcare system a calling and has a passion for ensuring access to high-quality healthcare for all.

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Alumni Award of Honor

Gregory D. Padgett ’79 – Charleston, SC

A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Greg Padgett has been actively involved on campus since his days as a business major.  The organizational skills he learned as a member of Pi Kappa Phi and other campus organizations translated well into the world of business.  After a successful career as a certified public accountant, he became the Chief Financial Officer of Fennell Holdings, an investment holding company in Charleston which encompasses the hospitality, waste services, real estate, aviation, and finance industries.  He has held that position for over 20 years.

Padgett’s involvement with the College has been longstanding and far-reaching.  He is the past chair for the College of Charleston Board of Trustees and was the first alumnus to hold the Alumni Association Trustee seat.  He is a past chair of the College of Charleston Foundation, and a past Cougar Club Board member.   He currently serves on the College of Charleston School of Business Board of Governors and recently served on the College’s Presidential Search Committee. He was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the College in 2018.

Padgett has worked tirelessly in support of the College of Charleston and has been a passionate advocate and ambassador for his alma mater. With his selfless generosity and unwavering commitment, he truly embodies the concept of servant leadership.

 

The 2019 Fall Alumni Weekend website is currently under renovation. Tickets to the 2019 Fall Alumni Weekend events will go on sale in the fall. Questions? Call 843-953-5630 or email alumni@cofc.edu.