Davis & Elkins College will honor three alumni and a member of the College’s Board of Trustees for their achievements and contributions in the annual Founders’ Day convocation at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. The ceremony is part of Homecoming and Family Weekend.
Honorees are: Joyce Butler McKee Allen, Crystal Mace; G. Marion Brady ’49, Distinguished Alumnus; Louis W. Stark ’76, Tower Award; and Houston T. Darling ’14, Outstanding Young Alumnus.
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.
Allen has been a mainstay at Davis & Elkins College since joining the Board of Trustees in 1992. Her service to the Board spans more than 25 years, with terms from 1992-2004, 2005-2015 and again from 2016-present. She has worked with the academic affairs, development and student affairs committees of the Board and co-chaired the College’s highly successful Centennial Campaign. Her enthusiasm for education has been evident in her gifts to the College that are a benefit to a variety of programs.
Recognizing the importance technology plays in education, Allen was generous to fund The Joyce Butler-McKee Allen Education Computer Lab that includes laptops, educational software and furnishings for education students; Dell laptops and a charging cart, along with SmartBoards, for business students; and a SimPad PLUS used in The Center for Advanced Clinical Learning at Davis Medical Center to give nursing students a more realistic interaction in caring for simulation lab “patients.”
Allen is also responsible in part for the designation of The Caboose Café. The retired Chessie System caboose was gifted to the College and later changed hands to Elkins resident James Schoonover. When it was later given to Elkins resident Sid Gillispie, he and Allen decided it should return home. J.F. Allen Company made a special delivery to bring the caboose back to campus.
In 2015, her four children – John C. Allen Jr., Susan McKee Crimmins, Thomas Braxton McKee and Peter Kingsley McKee Jr. – created the $1 million endowed Joyce Butler McKee Allen Chair in Education that provides a professorship, as well as professional development opportunities, to enhance D&E’s teacher education program.
A native of Winchester, Virginia, and a retired educator, Allen attended Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia and received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Salem College. She worked as an educator and reading specialist in Harrison County schools.
Student-athletes and spectators benefit each time they walk through the Davis & Elkins College Allen Athletic Fields archway. Dedicated in 2012, the complex of athletic fields for baseball, soccer, lacrosse and softball at the north end of campus is named for Allen and her husband, the late John C. Allen, because of their generous gift and contributed efforts of the J.F. Allen Co. Inside The McDonnell Center, the Hilda and Robert R. Butler Lobby is named in honor of Allen’s parents.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest award given to a Davis & Elkins College alumna or alumnus who has made significant contributions to society in his or her career. The criteria for selection include career advancement and related service to others, significant honors in one’s field, and commitment to Davis & Elkins College.
Brady was admitted to D&E in 1946 after serving 14 months in the United States Navy during World War II. He graduated in 1949 with a degree in education. He began his teaching career in a semi-rural high school in northeastern Ohio and since then has taught at every level from sixth grade to higher education. He also has been a county-level director of instruction, teacher educator, consultant to publishers, states and foundations, contributor to academic journals, author of textbooks, professional books and courses of study, nationally distributed newspaper columnist, project director and visitor to schools across America and abroad.
In the mid-1960s while on the faculty of Florida State University, he became interested in what was being taught at the secondary level in America’s middle and high schools. Subsequently, Brady questioned the adequacy and acceptability of the math-science-language arts-social studies “core” curriculum. His insight has been published in academic journals, professional books, chapters in others’ books, courses of study for adolescents and their teachers, and newspaper columns nationally distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune. He says the major thrust of his work is, “There will be no significant improvement in learner and school academic performance until systems theory and thinking replace school subjects and disciplines as the primary organizer of information and general knowledge.”
Brady is the author of “What’s Worth Learning?” and “What’s Worth Teaching?”, among other works, and is an invited guest blogger for the Washington Post’s “The Answer Sheet.” He resides in Cocoa, Florida.
The Tower Award is presented to a D&E alumna or alumnus for outstanding commitment and service to the College and its alumni programs. The criteria for selection include volunteering of time, talent and/or funds in support of the numerous student and alumni programs the College offers.
As a student, Stark held leadership roles in Tau Kappa Epsilon and Interfraternity Council. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from D&E in 1976 and went on to earn a Master of Science degree in counseling with distinction from Hofstra University. He did additional graduate work in higher education administration at Drake University and the University of New Orleans and received a certificate in management from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane.
Professionally, Stark is the vice president for student affairs at Case Western Reserve University, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to this, he served for 16 years as vice president for student affairs at Coe College. Stark also held the positions of vice president for student life at Central College, associate vice president for student affairs at Tulane University and associate dean of students at Washington University in St. Louis. He has served in a variety of other student affairs positions in residence life, Greek affairs, academic advising and admissions. His background in Tau Kappa Epsilon helped him earn the Grand Prytanis Leader Award after he worked with students to reactivate their chapter.
Stark also has been a consultant for Trio training programs, as well as a consultant to colleges and universities evaluating student affairs programs, risk management, Greek affairs and the roles of college student affairs deans. He has held numerous committee positions within the University Athletic Association, NCAA, Iowa Student Personnel Association and National Academy for Leadership and Executive Effectiveness.
Contributing his expertise in higher education, Stark served D&E as a founding member of the National Alumni Council from 1985-1988 and on the Board of Trustees from 1989-1994. He was later named a trustee advisor, serving until 2005.
Outside of his profession, Stark has served on the boards of nonprofits including Cities in Schools/New Orleans, the Boys Clubs of Greater New Orleans, Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa, St. Luke’s Hospital Community Relations Committee and at the Church of Covenant. In addition, he served on the Strategic School Improvement Plan Committee for Lin Mar Community Schools and for two terms as a member of city council in Marion, Iowa.
Stark and his wife, Ann, live in Cleveland, Ohio. They have two adult children, Liz and Will.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award is presented to a young alumna or alumnus who graduated within the last 10 years and shows promise in his or her profession, including professional achievements and honors, community service/service to others, and commitment to the College.
Darling earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology and Bachelor of Science degree in accounting with a minor in finance from D&E in 2014. As a student, he was a member of Senator baseball and received the Athletic Department Award for Academic Athlete of the Year in 2014.
Professionally, Darling has risen in his career in the banking industry and as a business owner. As the vice president commercial loan officer at FCB Bank, a division of ACNB Bank, he is responsible for building commercial customer relationships primarily by providing commercial loan services to assist in the operation and growth of a customer’s business. He has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries and sectors including small business, commercial real estate, manufacturing, health care, hospitality and non-profit.
Prior to his current role, Darling worked as the commercial relationship manager at Fulton Bank in Frederick, Maryland, and as a management trainee at Fulton Financial Corp. in Ellicott City, Maryland.
As an entrepreneur, Darling is the owner of Amaysing Shade, a company that provides beach tent rentals on Pawleys Island and Litchfield Beach in South Carolina.
Darling participated in Leadership Frederick County in 2019 and is a member of the finance and audit committee for the Rotary Club of Frederick.
Homecoming and Family Weekend will take place Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 throughout campus. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.dewv.edu/alumni/events.