Alumni Awards - Coastal Carolina University
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CCU Alumni Awards

Please join us in congratulating Thomas Gwyer '98 for 2020 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, and Kenneth Lewis Jr. '14 '15 for 2020 Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year.

Nominees for the alumni awards are chosen by a steering committee consisting of the college deans. Criteria for the annual awards include loyalty to CCU, a record of service and accomplishments, and demonstration of positive attributes.


Thomas Gwyer 

2020 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Kenneth Lewis Jr 2021 Young Alumnus of the Year

Kenneth Lewis Jr. 

2020 Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year


Thomas Gwyer '98

Gwyer earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from CCU in 1998. He serves his alma mater as a member of the CCU Alumni Association board of directors. Since July 2018, Gwyer has been the fire chief for the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, where he began working 28 years ago. In June, he was recognized as Fire Chief of the Year in the Southeastern Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. During his career, he has been deployed to Texas and Florida to assist with recovery efforts after hurricanes Harvey and Michael. He recently helped lead Myrtle Beach’s response to COVID-19 and worked with SCDHEC to get the fire department certified as a vaccine distribution site.

Gwyer also was instrumental in securing funding for traffic preemption throughout various intersections in Myrtle Beach. As a result, when a fire truck approaches with red lights on, the traffic light turns green. Trucks now no longer have to cross against a red light, which decreases travel times to incidents and the overall risk to responders and citizens.

Gwyer earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University in 2016.


 Kenneth Lewis Jr. '14 '15

Lewis earned two degrees from CCU, a bachelor’s in English and a Master's of Arts in Teaching in 2014 and 2015, respectively. A former academic advisor at the University and an English teacher at Myrtle Beach High School, Lewis now works full-time as a self-employed writer.

The Bishopville, S.C., native has three children’s books under contract, including a two-book deal with Candlewick Press and a second deal with HarperCollins. His stories are typically set in small-town, African American communities.

While an undergraduate at CCU, Lewis was named the English department’s Most Distinguished Major in 2014; and he was named the MAT program’s Distinguished Student in 2015. In 2012, he earned honorable mention recognition during the 13th Paul Rice Poetry Broadside Series Contest.

Past recipients

2018
 Christy Smith Everett  '08  |  Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
 Whitney Shipman Glenn '18  |  Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

2017
 D. Wyatt Henderson  '98 |  Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
 Sadara Shine '14  |  Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

2016
 Gary Gilmore  '80 |  Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
 Megan Laffin '14  |  Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

2015
  Brian Forbus '97  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 
  James Marino '13  |  Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year
2014
  Patrick Sparks '95  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 
  Brooke Donaldson '11  |  Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year
2013
  Alexander D. Klaus '05  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 
  Amy McAllister-Skinner '12  |  Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year
2012
  Olin Utterback '98  |  Business Administration
  Amber Campbell '04  |  Science
  Melanie B. Dozier '11  |  Education
  Alexandra Tamburro '10  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Dr. Steven Jachec '95  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 
  Alexandra Tamburro '10  |  Young Alumnus of the Year 
2011
  Lisa Rachels '98  |  Business Administration
  Tim Hardee '78  |  Science
  Rob Spino '00  |  Education
  Erin Donovan  |  Humanities and Fine Arts 
  Tami Springs Brooks '80  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 
  Jason Repak '07  |  Young Alumnus of the Year     
2010
  Christopher S. Huggins '90  |  Business Administration
  Robert M. Johnson '98  |  Science
  Ebbie Gore '87 '00  |  Education
  R. Walter Hill IV '00  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Delan Stevens '79  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 
  Jason Repak '07  |  Young Alumnus of the Year
2009
  Thomas Loehr ’80  |  Business Administration
  Caryn Self-Sullivan ’97  |  Science
  Melissa McCloud ’95  |  Education
  Robert Shelton ’97  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
2008
  William Marsh '86  |  Business Administration
  Sachin Gupta '91  |  Science
  Forrest Alton '99  |  Education
  Natasha Mabry Hanna '94  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Cynthia Galloway '80  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
2007
  Woody Ford '05  |  Business Administration
  Geoffrey Parsons '88  |  Science
  Sherry Johnson '96  |  Education
  Dawn Richardson  '98  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Mike Pruitt ’84  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
2006
  Mark Adkins '89  |  Business Administration
  Will Adkins '89  |  Business Administration
  Joanne Patterson '95  |  Science
  Georgia Vaught Anderson '74  |  Education
  Yasemin Kanan Saib '95  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Derek Blanton ’79  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
2005
  Mike Pruitt ’84  |  Business Administration
  Christine Shutter ’94  |  Science
  Jody Hyden ’88  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Bruce Maggi ’01  |  Education
  Timothy Meacham ’79  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
2004
  D. Wyatt Henderson ’88  |  Business Administration
  William C. “Bill” Eiser ‘82, ‘84  |  Science
  Stephanie Horner Toney ’01  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Ashley D. Godwin ’92  |  Education
  John Trueluck ’00  |  Continuing Studies
  The Honorable Alan D. Clemmons ’82  |  Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
2003
  Jay Huggins '88  |  Business Administration
  Tony D. Prince '93  |  Science
  Janice Cannan ’96  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Sandy Sarvis Brossard ‘79  |  Education
  Kenneth Charles Canturbury ‘99  |  Continuing Studies
2002
  Scott Harrelson '86  |  Business Administration
  Dr. John Bailey '84  |  Science
  Anita Williams Huggins ‘98  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Mark Roach ‘84  |  Education
  Paul Sweeney ‘00  |  Continuing Studies
2001
  Dale Zeglin '84  |  Business Administration
  Kerry Schwanz '93  |  Science
  James Guignard ’97  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Johnny Calder ’70, ’89  |  Education
  Tabby Shelton ’99  |  Continuing Studies
2000
  Larry D. Coats, Jr.  |   Business Administration
  Stuart Stevens  |  Science
  Ashley L. Bruton ’96  |  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Debbie Dewitt '80  |  Education
  Warren Gall '86  | Continuing Studies 
Other Past Recipients
 
William H. Alford ‘77
  Fran B. Gilbert ‘78 
  Ruth S. Kearns ‘68    
  Michael C. Krug ‘79 
  Clark B. Parker ‘77    
  Juli S. Powers ‘79
  William E. Stanton ‘86