Catawba College alumni association announces 2021 alumni awards

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 25, 2021

SALISBURY – The Catawba College Alumni Association has named the recipients of its 2021 awards.

The Alumni Award Recipients for 2021 are:

  • Distinguished Service—Tom Atkins ‘71
  • Career Achievement— Jolly Manning ‘06 
  • Young Alumni Service— Jonathon Boles ‘16
  • Young Alumni Career Development— Destiny Stone-King ‘18
  • Catawba Black Alumni Pioneer Award: Dolan Hubbard ’71 and Wilson Cherry ‘74

Atkins is receiving the Distinguished Service Award, given in recognition of extraordinary service to his community and demonstrated leadership to the College. He served as a town administrator or town manager for several townships from 1973 through his retirement in September 2020.

He was also a government consultant. Atkins is a Life Member of the International City/County Management Association; member of ICMA; life member of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association where he served as secretary, treasurer, vice president, president and immediate vice president.

He was a youth soccer and baseball coach as well as a youth baseball umpire; and Bible study teacher. Atkins currently serves as a Scotch Plains Senior Citizen Housing Corporation Trustee as the Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Personnel Committee and Capital Facility/Property Committee; and is Treasurer at the Terrill Hill Baptist Church. He and his wife, Bonnie ’72, have two sons, Gregory and Kyle, and three grandchildren.

Manning is receiving the Career Achievement Award, given for leadership or attained recognition on a national or regional level within a profession or business. Since graduating in 2006, Jolly Manning has had many impressive accomplishments. He was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters for 4 years. He has received the “Coach of Year” award 5 times in his school district. He was recognized as the “Teacher of the Year” in both 2011 and 2017. He also received recognition for being a “Distinguished Community Leader” by Mayor Combs (former Rocky Mount Mayor).

Manning also holds impressive Catawba stats for field goal percentage and blocks. He has always given back to his community through service. As a student he volunteered at Trinity Oaks. Since graduating, he regularly gives motivational speeches – he has spoken to students at Salisbury High School, Salisbury Academy, and Livingstone College, just to name a few.

Boles is receiving the Young Alumni Service Award, given to a Catawba graduate, who earned a degree within the past 10 years, in recognition of exceptional service to the college and/or community.

He is invested in the wellbeing of Catawba’s faculty, staff, and students. He has already made an impact on the campus community. Boles’ vocational calling has always been service. In 2017, he participated in his first medical mission to Honduras with Trading Ford Baptist Church and joined a second mission in 2018. He is a graduate of Leadership Rowan where he now sits on the steering committee. Boles currently is the Associate Director of the Lilly Center at Catawba College.

Stone-King is receiving the Young Alumni Career Development Award, given to a Catawba graduate who earned his/her degree within the past 10 years and has quickly developed success in a career field. Stone-King, a singer and two-instrument musician, mixes gospel, blues, jazz, and soul to create lyrics and melodies that leave her audiences inspired. She not only revived social justice on Catawba’s campus as a student, she continues to drive that home as an alum.

Over the past 4 years, Stone has most notably performed at The Fillmore in Charlotte; performed an original song for John Oates of Grammy winning duo Hall and Oates, and performed as a part of the U.S. National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Treasure dedication celebration for the renowned Nina Simone. She was also nominated for a 2019 Carolina Music Award and featured on the cover of the Salisbury Magazine March 2020 Issue. Destiny is currently an elementary music teacher, independent recording artist, and the founder of The Music House.

Hubbard and Cherry are receiving the Black Alumni Pioneer Award, recognizing black alumni who pave the way for African American students, in that they have distinguished themselves in a profession and/or local community and conveyed integrity to Catawba through their decency and bravery, for bringing honor to Catawba College and to the Catawba Black Alumni Network.

Hubbard retired from Morgan State in Baltimore after 21 years as a professor and chairman of the Department of English and Language Arts. This brought a close to his 40-plus year career of teaching at the university level. Hubbard is originally from Salisbury and was one of the first black students to integrate East Rowan High School in the 1960s, and was among only 11 African Americans in his 1967 class at Catawba. He received Catawba’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2012, and has been a member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 1994. Hubbard is married to the former Ruth Hampton of Kannapolis. They have two children, Aisha and Desmond. They are members of Baltimore’s historic Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church.

Cherry retired from the Rowan Vocational Opportunities in Salisbury after 16 years. He previously worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor where he was the recipient of the N.C. Rehabilitation Counseling Achievement Award, the Goodwill Industries Professional of the Year Award, the N.C. Governor’s Outstanding Community Service/Volunteerism Award and the Governor’s Shining Star Award.”

In January 2014, Cherry was honored as the recipient of the Rowan County Martin Luther King, Jr. Brotherhood Award and in 2014-15 received the “Jackie Award” from the Rowan County United Way. In 2021 Cherry received the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Service Award. For over 30 years, Cherry has been the voice of Livingstone College football and basketball games. He serves as a presiding elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Salisbury. Cherry lives in Concord with his wife Veronica.