Awards

2019 Alumni Award Winners

 

Distinguished Alumna/us Award

The Distinguished Alumna/us Award is presented to an alumna/us who has made a significant contribution to society in his or her particular career. Basis for selection includes career advancement and related service to others, significant honors in one's field, and commitment to the College.

David E. Clapp '65

David Clapp graduated from Davis & Elkins College in 1965 with a degree in biology. As a student, he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and played on the Senator’s first soccer club team.

In his college entry essay, Clapp wrote about his perceived future life and career that he hoped would involve nature, teaching, research and travel. At the time, he considered all of those things just a dream.

After graduating from D&E, Clapp earned a master’s degree and taught molecular biology for a short time before being accepted into a physical anthropology degree program in Washington state. A family obligation brought him back to his home state of Massachusetts where he went to work for a conservation organization and began to realize his dream career was becoming reality.

Eventually, Clapp blended together two careers with the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Smithsonian Institution. A respected naturalist and teacher who worked extensively in land conservation and habitat management, Clapp helped establish a state park, several wildlife sanctuaries and the Museum of American Bird Art in Massachusetts. He has taught at Northeastern University, lectured on strategies for land protection in the United States, Africa, Europe and Asia, and consulted for an array of governmental and conservation agencies.

For nearly 30 years, Clapp also has led Smithsonian Journeys adventures from pole to pole training naturalists and providing history materials.

On a trip to Tanzania in 1995, he and his colleagues visited the Kibaoni School – a temporary mud and stick structure used as classrooms. They soon went to work to organize a foundation to raise funds to build a better facility. Now, many years later that school is a beacon in rural Tanzania with 800 students learning the skills they need to prosper and succeed.

Senators Community Service Award

The Senators Community Service Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus in recognition of service to the community which resulted in significant impact.

Dr. Andy Johanson '63

Dr. Andy Johanson graduated from Davis & Elkins College in 1963 with a degree in religion and philosophy. As a student at D&E, he was a member of the football team and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Professionally, Johanson is a practicing psychotherapist, ordained minister and adjunct professor at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. With more than 30 years in private psychotherapy practice, Johanson has integrated the disciplines in psychology and theology. He is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, diplomate for the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and an approved supervisor with the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy.

With long standing involvement in Rotary, Johanson has achieved many honors including Rotary Exceptional International “Service Above Self Above Self ” in 2011, Rotary Distinguished Service Award in 2010, Rotary Four Avenues of Service Citation from Rotary International in 2009, Rotary Distinguished Service Award in 2005, Rotarian of the Year in 2004, Distinguished Rotarian Award in 2000, Past President of Blue Bell Rotary Club and Paul Harris Fellow.

Since 2010, he’s participated in Rotaplast, a non-profit humanitarian organization providing free reconstructive operations and treatment for children with cleft lips and palates worldwide. The medical mission trips have taken him to South America and the Philippines. There he is part of a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other volunteers from throughout the United States who each share their expertise to play an integral role in the surgeries. Johanson’s role is helping patients and families feel more at ease by playing with the children and reassuring their parents of the surgical team’s high level of competency.

In continuing to serve his alma mater and pay tribute to his former professor and academic adviser, Johanson helped establish the William E. Phipps Interdisciplinary Lectureship in 1995 in honor of Dr. William E. Phipps, the late Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy at D&E.

Tower Award 

The Tower Award is presented to an alumna/us for outstanding commitment and service to the College and its alumni programs. This award recognizes alumni who have gone above and beyond for the College. Basis for selection includes volunteering of time, talent and/or funds in support of the numerous student and alumni programs the College offers.

Deborah A. Larkin '11

Debbie Larkin has filled many roles at Davis & Elkins College – student, alumni and an employee from 2001 to 2018. Throughout her career, she worked in various offices including admissions, registrar, athletics, development and retention. However, the position she calls a passion is that of veterans liaison officer in which she helped student veterans and their families transition from military culture to college life.

Seeing a need to give student veterans recognition, provide them with guidance in completing required paperwork and make them feel at home in the college setting, Larkin spearheaded the veterans program in 2010. Along with Curator of Special Collections Mark Lanham ’14, she also helped establish the Student Veterans Association. Serving as the group’s co-adviser, she assisted in forming ties with national and local veterans organizations, and partnering for activities on and off campus. Annually, the student veterans travel to Canaan Valley Resort for the Gathering of Mountain Eagles where they provide comradery to disabled veterans and their families while participating in winter sporting events. Larkin also helped organize a student veteran presence in the Elkins Veterans Day Parade and planned many Veterans Day ceremonies on the College campus.

Always supportive of campus events, Larkin served as a member of the Social Club and, along with her husband, Steve Larkin, participated in the host family program.

After retiring, Larkin continued her ties with D&E as a member of the NAC and helps organize events for the Carolinas Alumni Chapter.

Outstanding Young Alumna/us Award 

The Outstanding Young Alumna/us Award is presented to a young alumnus who graduated within the last 10 years and shows promise in his or her profession and loyalty and commitment to the College. Basis for selection includes professional achievements and honors, community service/service to others, and commitment to the College.

Madalyn M. Humphrey '17

Madalyn Humphrey is a native of Elkins and a 2017 Graduate of Davis & Elkins College with a major in human services and a minor in psychology.

As a student, Humphrey performed as a dancer with the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble. This year, she is serving as co-director of the Appalachian Ensemble dancers, along with Laurie Goux under the direction of Emily Miller to continue to pass on traditional Appalachian music and dance.

Professionally, Humphrey is the executive director of Elkins Main Street, a local non-profit committed to creating an inviting and vibrant atmosphere in downtown Elkins. She also serves on the boards of Woodlands Development Group and Mountain Arts District.

Through her work, Humphrey maintains a continual presence in the development of the local community by coordinating events, and collaborating with non-profits, local government and local businesses.

An alumna of the Old Brick Playhouse Apprenticeship Program, Humphrey has remained active in local and regional arts programs as a volunteer, mentor and choreographer working with young artists to grow as actors, dancers, and young adults.

Crystal Mace Award

Considered the College’s most prestigious award, the Crystal Mace Award is presented in recognition of transformational leadership, service and/or character, and of unparalleled gifts of time, talent and/or treasure.

Dr. June B. Myles  

Board of Trustees Emerita Dr. June Myles grew up in Elkins. She earned a degree in physics from Hollins University and later served as president of the business her father founded, Myles Lumber Company.

As Davis & Elkins College has always held a special place in her heart, Myles began her service to the Board of Trustees in 2000. She has generously provided a vision for growth and a desire to bring the College and community together.

Many facilities on the campus bear the Myles name – the Myles Ahead track in The McDonnell Center and the George A. Myles Pool, named in honor of June’s father.

In 2008, the Myles Family Foundation of Elkins announced a gift to Davis & Elkins College: the Elkins Tire Company site at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Sycamore Street. The site is part of the original Graceland Estate once owned by College co-founder Henry Gassaway Davis. After months of planning and excavation, Myles Gate was constructed as a green space that reflects the beauty of natural surroundings and serves as a welcoming essence to the College.

In 2012, Myles Center for the Arts was dedicated following massive renovations that included new fixtures in Harper-McNeeley Auditorium and the creation of art studios for painting, drawing and ceramics. Completion of The Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum added to the functionality of the space.

In 2018, Myles offered a $6.7 million gift for renovations to Myles Center for the Arts. The project will include a 5,200-square foot glass enclosed addition, a two-story brick rotunda and restructuring of Myles Plaza to feature grassy areas, sections for conversations and a tiered seating area that can be used as an outdoor classroom.

In addition to her degree from Hollins University, Myles holds an honorary doctoral degree from D&E. She serves as a docent at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and is a rug hooking artist.