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Dr. Joseph B. Oxendine of Pinehurst, a 1952 Catawba College alumnus and the former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, received the O.B. Michael Award during Catawbas May 12 commencement.
The award has been presented annually since 1938 by the Catawba College Board of Directors of the Alumni Association to a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution to the college and/or the larger society. Originally called the Citizenship Cup, it was established by the Rev. O.B. Michael, class of 1919, in memory of his father, an alumnus of Catawba College and pioneer teacher and preacher.
A native of Pembroke, Oxendine tried out a variety of different professions, before settling on a career in higher education. He worked in the automobile factories of Detroit, Mich.; played professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Minor League System for three years; served in the U.S. Army from 1953-55; and taught and coached in the Lynchburg, Va., schools from 1955-57.
After graduating from Catawba, he earned his master of education degree and his doctorate of education from Boston University. He served as a professor at Temple University and was later named dean of its College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
In 1989 he was named the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, formerly Pembroke State University, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1999.
Oxendine has served on numerous boards, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; the Fact-Finding Team for the National Institute of Healths Office of Minority Programs; the N.C. Center for Nursing Advisory Council; the Fayetteville Area Health Education Foundation Board of Trustees; the Leadership North Carolina Board of Directors; and the Southeastern Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees.
He was honored by Catawba in 1979 with an honorary doctorate and was inducted into the Catawba Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance honored him in 1993 with the R. Tait McKenzie Award, and in 1989 with the Charles D. Henry Award for the enhancement of ethnic minority members.

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