Emory & Henry prepares students with the skills to succeed as well as the desire to achieve lives of significance, according to Gary Reedy, the vice president for government affairs and policy for Johnson & Johnson and the keynote speaker Thursday during a celebration of the 178th anniversary of the founding of the College.
“Emory & Henry provides the skills to succeed, but it also teaches us the importance of achieving significance,” Reedy said to a large crowd assembled in Memorial Chapel for the annual Founders Day celebration.
Reedy challenged students and former students in the audience to consider what they could do to “transform Emory & Henry just as Emory & Henry has transformed us.” Although Emory & Henry’s future is promising, he said, “it is not promised,” and the institution’s longevity will depend on change that will make the college both “valuable and relevant” to students for generations to come.
A native of Rural Retreat, Reedy is responsible for spearheading initiatives to influence and shape global health policy and advocacy for Johnson & Johnson’s biopharmaceuticals business, and for all business sectors in the Eurpoean Union, Middle East and Africa.
Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Reedy served as president of Ortho Biotech with commercial responsibilities in the United States and Canada. In this capacity, he led the organization to significant achievements in the therapeutic areas of cancer, immunology, chronic kidney disease, and acute and specialty care.
Reedy served as chair of the American Cancer Society national board of directors and is a past member of the American Cancer Society Foundation board. He also served as chair of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He served on the Emory & Henry College Board of Visitors from 2005 to 2010 before his appointment to the College’s Board of Trustees in 2010. He currently serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Board’s Advancement Committee.
A 1978 E&H graduate, Reedy was also honored during the ceremony with the Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award, which is given by the E&H Alumni Association in recognition of a graduate who has shown extraordinary commitment to others. The Association honored three other alumni and a faculty member with Distinctive Alumni Awards.
During Thursday’s ceremony, the Alumni Association also honored three other alumni and a faculty member for their service and success. Also honored were two regional community leaders – Frank Kilgore of St. Paul, Va., and Gary L. Peacock of Marion – who received Founders Day citations in recognition of their contributions to their communities.
Frank Kilgore, St. Paul, Virginia, attorney and a native of Southwest Virginia whose father and grandfather were coal miners, has been described as a visionary whose tireless efforts to diversify the coalfields economies have resulted in the creation of hundreds of new jobs and educational opportunities for the region’s students at the Appalachian School of Law and Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Buchanan County, Virginia. Mr. Kilgore was a member of the original law school steering committee and later its board of trustees. He also founded and chaired the college of pharmacy’s board. While a student at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the self-proclaimed “Friend of Coal” was recognized for his grassroots advocacy that resulted in new laws that required coal to be mined in a more environmentally responsible manner. Mr. Kilgore was recognized as Virginia Conservationist of the Year by Gov. Mills Godwin. More recently he was appointed as chair of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation board by Gov. Mark Warner, and is widely recognized as a leader in sustainable efforts to protect watersheds and family farms, boost anti-litter campaigns, develop nature trails, and promote eco-tourism. He has been instrumental in helping reintroduce elk to the region with a goal of allowing hunting once the herd is sufficiently populated. An avid collector of historical memorabilia, Mr. Kilgore also co-authored “Far Southwest Virginia: A Post Card Journey.”
Mr. Gary L. Peacock first came to Marion, Virginia, in 1968 as plant manager to start Mouldings, Incorporated. After being transferred to California and later Oregon, he returned to Marion in 1990 as senior vice president for operations at Marley (now Royal) Mouldings. After retiring in 2008, Mr. Peacock has devoted extraordinary energy to improving health care in his community and seeking out creative partnerships to advance health professions education and create new job opportunities in the area. Mr. Peacock chaired the Smyth County Community Hospital board of directors, and currently serves on the Johnston Memorial Hospital board and the Mountain States Health Alliance board. He is vice chair of the Smyth County Community Hospital Health Trust board and leads the hospital’s fundraising campaign for oncology services. In 2012, the Mountain States Foundation honored him for his strong and selfless support of the community, for his leadership, and for his working behind the scenes to get things done. He also spends time as chair of the Smyth County Community Foundation board, which has pledged $5 million toward the establishment of the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences at the former Smyth County Community Hospital in Marion. When he is not engaged in community service, Mr. Peacock enjoys creating hand crafted wooden art, some of which is on display as a unique donor recognition Giving Tree at the new Smyth County Community Hospital.
James A. Davis Faculty Award: Dr. Linda Dobkins is associate professor of economics at Emory & Henry College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, Missouri, a master’s in science from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and a master of arts and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Among her many honors are the McConnell Scholarship for Teaching Award, the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Award, and the William Carrington Finch Award for Faculty Excellence. The James A. Davis Faculty Award is presented to an E&H faculty member with a distinguished record of excellence in teaching. It is named for James A. Davis, Class of 1845, the first E&H alumnus to return to his alma mater as a faculty member.
A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year Award: Emily E. Wallace, ’04, earned a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing at Emory & Henry, and then a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned a master of arts degree in folklore from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She currently serves as the director of communications for the Center for the Study of the American South, and is the deputy editor for their academic journal, Southern Cultures. She is a chief contributor to IndyWeek and has written and illustrated for the Oxford American, GOOD, Culture, Gravy, and Our State. In 2013 she was a judge for the Book Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation. In that same year she was the illustrator for the Southern Foodways Alliance national symposium. The A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus Award is given to an alumnus/a who has made outstanding professional achievements during the first 15 years after graduation. It is named for A.L. Mitchell, Class of 1946.
Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award: Arthur B. Scott, ’07, earned his bachelor’s degree in geography at Emory & Henry, with a minor in business management. Before taking his career to Washington, D.C., the Scott County native learned the business workings of Southwest Virginia by studying the Virginia wine industry and by working with the Lenowisco Planning District Commission in Duffield, Virginia. He managed the grassroots outreach programs for the campaigns of former Congressman Rick Boucher and also Senator Tim Kaine, and he helped design and execute field programs to address the diverse geographic and demographic landscapes of Virginia. He was assistant to the chief of staff for Senator Jim Webb, handling all federal appointment processes including judicial nominations. He also coordinated most of Senator Webb’s political and civic outreach initiatives. The Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award is presented to an alumnus/a who has provided extraordinary support to the College. It is named for E&H alumnus Fred Selfe, Class of 1969.
Distinguished Achievement Award: Erick H. Long, ’91, joined the Academy of Country Music staff in 2009 and manages the logistics of both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Academy’s office in Encino, California. He oversees components of the awards show that include security, red carpet, transportation, and credentials. Erick spent more than six years coordinating special events for Universal Studios Hollywood organizing up to 300 events a year, including huge corporate events for companies like Coca Cola and Toyota. He spent more than 10 years in event production and operations with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games where he was special projects manager in charge of the look of the games. While working with Pallotta Teamworks he coordinated events for organizations like the Grammys and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. He has earned the President’s Award from the Southern California Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. The Distinguished Achievement Award is given to an individual with a record of excellence in a volunteer or professional capacity.
Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award: Gary M. Reedy, ’78, earned a bachelor of science degree in Biology from Emory & Henry. Gary is serving as the immediate past chair of the American Cancer Society National Board of Directors. He is a past member of the American Cancer Society Foundation Board of Trustees, and has served as Chair of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He previously served on the Boards of BioNJ and C-Change. Gary is a charter member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and is founding chairman of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard Task Force. The Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award is presented to an alumnus/a who has shown extraordinary commitment to others. It is named for Carl (Class of 1929) and Ruth Bourne Looney.