Each year during Thomas University’s Homecoming festivities, outstanding alumni are honored at the annual Alumni Awards Dinner. This year’s event was held Friday, Oct. 24, at Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville.
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is given to an individual under the age of 40 in honor of his or her professional and personal accomplishments. This year’s recipient is Candis Jones, who graduated from TU in 2004 with the Bachelor Social Work Degree. She was one of the first TU students to receive the Title IV-E Child Welfare Grant, which requires recipients to pay back their tuition scholarship through years of service to the Division of Family and Children Services. Jones not only fulfilled her obligation, she also climbed the ranks of the child protection investigative workers and is now the Director of the Thomas County Division of Family and Children Services.
The Distinguished Alumni award is presented to an alumnus over the age of 40 in honor of his or her personal and professional accomplishments as well as that alumnus’ support and commitment to TU. This year’s recipient is Neil Clements, who graduated from TU in 2001 as part of the first class in the Master of Business Administration Degree program. He went on to earn an Education Specialist Degree from Valdosta State University. Clements returned to TU to teach undergraduate management courses. He now serves as Program Director of Business Administration at Southwest Georgia Technical College. In 2014 Clements was named Instructor of the Year at SWGTC and received the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction. He also represented the College in the competition for the state Rick Perkins Award.
The Alumni Ambassador Award honors an individual in appreciation of exceptional volunteer commitment to Thomas University. This year’s recipient is Rebecca Cain, who graduated from TU in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She is a staunch TU supporter, advocate and volunteer. Cain serves as secretary of the TU Alumni Board of Governors and has volunteered at every ABOG event and every TU fundraiser this year.
In addition to the award recipients, six alumni were also recognized for outstanding accomplishments by being named to the Alumni Wall of Fame. As part of the recognition, their photos and brief biographies will hang on the wall in the TU Campus Center for the next year. Wall of Fame inductees include Jan Feldman (class of 2010 and 2012), Troy Rich (class of 2004), Amy Maison (class of 2009), Ashley Dodd (class of 2004), Scott Blanton (class of 2011) and Theresa T. Corker (class of 2009 and 2013).