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2008 Eckerd College Alumni Award Winners Announced

posted on 11/17/2008

Eckerd College is proud to announce the 2008 Eckerd College Alumni Award Recipients. Presented on Saturday, November 15, during Alumni Weekend 2008, these graduates have demonstrated a clear commitment to excellence in their careers and service to their communities.

McArthur Alumni Award
Mark WhiteMark White '80
Mark, a Math major with a minor in Visual Arts, met his future wife, Jaye Nesbitt '79, while at Eckerd. As a student, he spent a semester abroad at the Santa Reparata Graphic Art Centre in Florence, Italy. He went on to receive a Master's degree in Math from Clemson University. Mark then joined the United States Army, graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1985. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Field Artillery and over the course of two decades, he served in Infantry, Artillery, Military Intelligence, and Special Operations units in more than fourteen countries, with four combat tours of over thirty months. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (three awards), the Ranger tab and the Master Parachutist (Jumpmaster) badge. In 2006, he retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. Mark continues to serve as a Senior Intelligence Analyst at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and remains active in art, music, and service especially as a member of Haymount United Methodist Church and as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 740. Mark and Jaye have two children, Adam, 17, and Leah, 15.

William H. Kadel Alumni Medal
Harry JohnsHarry Johns '90
Harry earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Eckerd through the Program for Experienced Learners and then went on to obtain his Master's degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. While earning his degrees, he spent more than 22 years in various positions with the American Cancer Society (ACS). In his final role at ACS, he served as the executive vice president for strategic initiatives and as a member of the four person executive team. He was responsible for nationwide strategy directions, including information delivery, community programs, advocacy, marketing and fundraising. Harry became the president and chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association in September 2005. Since his arrival, he has launched new initiatives to advance the cause, including the first nationwide campaign to increase understanding and awareness about Alzheimer's, a project to accelerate treatment progress by promoting participation in clinical studies and a variety of program offerings designed to support both individuals with the disease and their caregivers. He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Chicago.

Suzanne Armacost Alumni Medal
Sue CornmanSue Cornman '71
Sue graduated from Florida Presbyterian College (FPC, now Eckerd College) with a major in Religion. She went on to obtain a J.D. from the University of Denver and now operates a private law practice with her husband, Mike Littman '70. She has been instrumental in building the Eckerd Colorado Rockies Alumni Chapter, and in 2006, was appointed to the Eckerd College Alumni Board. Sue is very active in the Presbyterian Church (USA) where she is an ordained elder at Arvada Presbyterian Church. She currently serves as a member of the Presbytery of Denver's Committee on Ministry and as the Synod of the Rocky Mountains' Regional Representative to the denomination's Seminary Support Network. She is the Vice Moderator and Executive Committee member of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, the highest court of appeals in the denomination. Sue has also been an active participant in the local public school system's accountability process, developing programs for teaching Shakespeare and science laboratories. Sue and Mike have four daughters, Laura, Bethany, Christen and Patricia. Bethany is a 2006 graduate of Eckerd College.

Triton Service Award
Sandy RipbergerSandy Ripberger '68
After graduating from FPC with a major in History, Sandy received her M.A. from New York University and taught social studies in secondary schools. Her professional life evolved from teaching to marketing communications in corporate and non-profit organizations. From 1991 to 2001, she was communications director for Spence-Chapin Services in New York. Sandy has served Eckerd as co-chair of the Reunion Committee for the Class of '68, initiating, with Charlie Stripling '68, a class gift in support of the freshman course, Western Heritage in a Global Context. She was a member of the President's Commission on Alumni Relations in 2007. Her husband, Bill Ripberger '65, serves on Eckerd's Board of Trustees. Since returning to Florida, Sandy has been actively involved in conservation issues as a member of the Sierra Club in Manatee County. She currently serves as co-chair of the Community Advisory Committee of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. Special interests include kayaking, sailing and traveling, particularly to visit her four-year-old grandson in Scotland.

Triton Service Award
Charles StriplingCharles Stripling '68
Charlie was born and raised on a farm near the small town of Camilla, Georgia. He entered FPC in 1964, majored in History and was a Woodrow Wilson Designee. While at FPC he earned a fellowship to John Hopkins University to study Southern History. After one semester, he was drafted into the United States Army. After his tour of duty, he went into public education first as a teacher, then later as an administrator. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida State University and served as County School Superintendent for 11 years. He then taught Educational Leadership in the graduate program at Albany State University for 7 years until his retirement in July of 2008. Charlie now runs the family farm and has been involved in several environmental organizations and with Eckerd College. Charlie has served Eckerd College as co-chair of the Reunion Committee for the Class of '68, initiating, with Sandy Ripberger '68, a class gift in support of the freshman course, Western Heritage in a Global Context. In 2008 he received an honorary Doctorate degree from Eckerd. He is married to the girl he met in Spanish class his first week at FPC, Patsy Hackney '68. They have one son, Mitch, and two granddaughters.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Taryn FielderTaryn Fielder '99
Taryn graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Political Science and International Relations and Global Affairs. While at Eckerd, she was named 1999 Florida College Student of the Year by Florida Leader Magazine, served as a residential advisor, and served as the director of Palmetto Productions and secretary of the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS). She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002 and currently works in real estate law at Hogan & Hartson LLP in Washington, D.C. Taryn is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer's Association and was recently asked to serve on the National Host Committee for the 2009 Spring Gala. She enjoys scuba diving, sailing, international travel, cooking, theatre, and art.

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