Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Distinguished Alumnus Award ......Nathaniel Owens, C'70

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in their vocation and who have demonstrated concern for and service to their community. Furthermore, the award seeks to recognize individuals who have shown dedication to and support of the University and whose position of stature and importance has brought favorable attention and recognition to the University..  For a list of previous winners, see below.
Nathaniel Owens is a retired judge in Alabama.  A member of the class of 1970, he is Sewanee's first black graduate.  At Sewanee, he graduated with honors as and english major.  He played varsity football - he was also Sewanee's first black varsity athlete - and has been inducted into Sewanee's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.  
After Sewanee, Judge Owens continued to be a trailblazer.  He
 entered into a summer program for Black students at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The program allocated free tuition for one year at Emory’s law school if the students were able to complete a summer’s worth of law school curriculum.  Owens excelled and entered law school in the fall of 1970.  Owens became the president of the Emory Black Bar Association.  
After receiving his law degree, Owens was drafted into the Vietnam War, where he served at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. There he would pass the Alabama Bar and soon become the first full-time African-American Assistant District Attorney for Calhoun County, Alabama and later the first African-American District Court Judge in 1979. 
Today, Nathaniel Owens is retired and happily married to his wife Lynetta Owens. The two have five children and live in Anniston, Alabama.  He serves as a mentor to countless Sewanee students.
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PREVIOUS WINNERS
The Distinguished Alumni Award

1989 The Rt. Rev. John Maury Allin, C’43
1990 Burrell O. McGee, C’56
1991 Lee “Pete” McGriff Jr., C’57
1992 Thomas S. Darnall Jr., C’57
1993 The Very Rev. David B. Collins, C’43, T’48
1994 Stephen E. Puckette, C’49
1995 William C. Weaver III, C’64
1996 R. Lee Glenn III, C’57
John P. Guerry, C’49
Louis W. Rice Jr., C’50
Jack L. Stephenson, C’49
1997 James G. Cate, C’47
1998 W.B. Rogers Beasley, C’43
1999 Harold Eustis, C’37
2000 Edwin D. Williamson, C’61
2001 J. Bransford Wallace, C’52
2002 Franklin D. Pendleton, C’61
2003 Wallace Westfeldt, C’47
2004 Jeffrey W. Runge, C’77
2005 Joel A. Smith, C’67
2006 Robert L. Brown, C’63
2007 Lee Muller, C’67
2008 Philip Arthur Wilheit, C’66
2009 David L. Johnson, C’71
2010 Becca Stevens, C’85
2011 John B. Scott, C’66
2012 Joseph Kicklighter, C’67
2013 Gregg Robertson, C’78
2014 Jerry Summers, C’63
2015 John S. Douglas, C’63
2016 Lacy Hunt, C’64
2017 Marty Boal Willis, C’82
2018 John Lowrance, C’83 and Ted Dennard, C’88
2019 Grayson Hall, C'79

 

 

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