Education: Cheek recieves Catawba’s Campus Ministry Church/College Award
Catawba College News Service
A long-serving member of the Catawba College board of trustees, who is both an alumnus and a retired United Church of Christ minister, was honored April 16 with the institution’s Campus Ministry Church/College Award.
The Rev. Dr. Richard Albright Cheek, ’47, received the award at an event held on campus in recognition of his more than six decades of service to both the church and the college.
In making the presentation, Paul Fisher, chairman of the Catawba College board of trustees, called Cheek “a valued counselor and adviser to many” who has “worked tirelessly to advance both and to champion the vital relationship” between the college and the United Church of Christ.
Born into a family with strong church ties, Cheek was active in the youth program of his church. He later attended Catawba, where he was a member of the football team that won the Tangerine Bowl. After his college graduation, he prepared for the ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary. He returned to the Southern Synod to serve pastorates in Rockwell and Thomasville and emerged as a leader.
Cheek served on the steering committee to form the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ, was the UCC representative to the National Council of Churches and served on the Board for World Ministries of the denomination. He left North Carolina for a long pastorate at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Richmond, Va., and later returned to his home state to become the Associate Conference Minister of the Southern Conference, a position he held until his retirement.
In 1963, he was honored with the Catawba Alumni Award. This was followed by other awards presented by the college, including the O.B. Michael Award for distinguished service and an honorary doctor of divinity degree.
Cheek served on the Catawba board of trustees for more than 36 years, chairing its Student Affairs Committee. He served as the co-chairman of the church division of the Catawba Challenge Campaign and chaired the committee to raise the funds and build the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on Catawba’s campus.
Cheek is married to Helen Jones Cheek and the two are parents of three adult children.
Catawba’s Campus Ministry Church/College Award was presented for the first time in 2008. Its inaugural recipients were Claude Abernethy Jr. and Wade Hampton Shuford Jr.
Fund for volunteerism
At the April 16 event, the establishment of the Professor Joyce Caddell Fund for Volunteerism was announced by senior Nathan Wrights of China Grove.
The fund was established by Caddell’s husband, Thomas, an attorney in Salisbury, in recognition of Caddell’s longstanding practice of volunteering. The fund will be used to provide program monies for the campus’ volunteer efforts, including transportation, supplies for mission building projects and supplies for mentors working with at-risk students.
Caddell, who was a faculty member in the Catawba mathematics department for more than 20 years until her retirement in 2008, has volunteered on more than a dozen mission trips, a dozen freshman retreats and is active in the local community and in the outreach of her church.
Paul Fisher Service Awards
Two individuals were recognized as recipients of the Paul Fisher Service Award, and Paul Fisher, chairman of the Catawba College board of trustees, made these presentations.
G. Ben Smith, assistant director of residence life and coordinator of wellness programs, and student Jenna Matthews of Staunton, Va., were both recognized; Smith for his work with the annual duck draw on campus which has raised funds to feed more than 500 needy families Thanksgiving dinner, and Matthews for her extensive work with children with disabilities as well as the underprivileged.
The annual Paul Fisher Service Scholarship was presented to Devin Rodgers, a sophomore from Glen Burnie, Md., and a member of the soccer team, in recognition of his extensive work with Rowan Helping Ministries and leadership of environmental concerns.
In making these award presentations, Fisher encouraged those gathered to “get off the four-lane highway” and “choose the road less travelled” ó to slow down and make a difference in someone’s life through service.
Catawba recognizes new donors
New donors making gifts over the past year to the Porter and Maria Seiwell Endowed Chair for Campus Ministry were acknowledged.