MC alumni awards announced

July 6, 2011
Contact: Andrea May, Director of Outreach and Alumni Affairs
865.981.8201; andrea.may@maryvillecollege.edu

Maryville College is pleased to announce this year’s alumni award recipients and Wall of Fame inductees.

The College’s Alumni Citation will be presented to Dr. T. Bryson Struse ’61 and Dr. Melissa Walker ’85. Preston Fields ’03 will ­be presented the Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni. The three awards will be presented during the Alumni Reception and Awards ceremony ­­on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Alumni Gymnasium­, following the Homecoming football game.

The Alumni Citation is awarded to the alumnus who has rendered such service in professional, business, civic, social or religion endeavor as to benefit humankind and bring honor to the College, or who has rendered unusual service on behalf of the College.

The Kin Takahashi award is given to an alumnus who has, within 15 years of his/her graduation of Maryville College, lived a life characteristic of College legend Kin Takahashi, who, in his 36 years of living, worked tirelessly for the betterment of his alma mater, his church and his society.

A committee comprised of the vice president and dean of the College, one faculty member and three alumni met in early 2011 to review nominations and recommend winners to the College’s president and Board of Directors.

Tickets for the Alumni Reception and Awards ceremony may be reserved by contacting the Office of Alumni Affairs at 865.981.8200.

Struse, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., has had an expansive career in the field of nuclear medicine. After graduating in 1961 from Maryville College, where he majored in biology, he attended Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

From 1969 until 2000, he worked in Tucson, Ariz., as a physician director at Tucson General Hospital. He has also served at various other area hospitals as an active or courtesy staff member.

Struse is the chair of the American Osteopathic Board of Nuclear Medicine, and he has served as a member of numerous other osteopathic and nuclear medicine associations. He has also been published numerous times for his medical findings. He has twice been honored as one of the “Top Docs” in Tucson Lifestyle Magazine and in 2003 was named the Physician of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Physicians’ Advisory Board.

He currently resides in Marana, Ariz., where he is active in a local church as an Elder and adult Sunday school Bible teacher. He still practices as a physician during the day, and on weekends and evenings works as a rancher raising Missouri Fox Trotter horses, dairy cows, chickens, geese, ducks, goats and dogs.

Walker is the first faculty member at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., to hold the George Dean Johnson, Jr. Chair in History.

Walker teaches a wide variety of courses in U.S. History, including The New South, The American Revolution in the Southern Backcountry, U.S. Women’s History, African American History, and others. She regularly works with students on original research—sometimes an independent project pursued by a single student and sometimes on large projects involving an entire class.

In 2007, the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named Walker the South Carolina Professor of the Year. In recognition of her work at Converse, she received the O’Herron Award for Faculty Excellence in 2002 and the Kathryne Amelia Brown Award for outstanding teaching at Converse in 2001, as well as the Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award in 2007.

Walker also enjoys working with K-12 history teachers. In addition to teaching graduate courses for current and aspiring teachers, in 2004, she served as the master scholar for a Teaching American History grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. In this capacity, she provided public school teachers with instruction in American history.

Walker is an active scholar, and she has edited and published numerous works, including books, essays and oral histories. She has received numerous grants to fund her research, most recently a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society.

Fields, a Knoxville, Tenn., native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Maryville College in 2003. He double-majored in religion and international studies.

Fields proved to be a leader and role model for youth in his college years, during which he led youth Bible studies and worked with youth groups, in addition to working with abused children through Catholic Charities and as a Sunday school teacher in the local Juvenile Detention Center. As a student at Maryville College, Fields was recognized with the T.T. Alexander Award and the Bates Bible Award, in addition to being one of the five nominees for the Outstanding Senior Award.

After graduation, Preston began working in Washington, D.C., in the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John Kerry. His job included ghost writing several op-ed pieces for Kerry.

He soon moved back to East Tennessee and accepted his present job as director of volunteer services at Maryville College, where he is also the coordinator for the Bonner Scholars Program.

He and friend and musician Tom Weisner are frequent leaders of and speakers at retreats for Catholic and Presbyterian youth groups around the country. Fields said the pair's ministry got its name, Hiking4Jesus, from the youth of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Alcoa. In 2009, he published Hiking for Jesus, a book of short reflections on his own life experiences up to age 27 that aims to help teenagers in their search for faith, vocation and life purpose.

Five individuals have been selected for induction to the Maryville College Athletic Wall of Fame for 2011.

Dave Osborne ’80 played a year of football and excelled for four seasons on the baseball diamond from 1977-1980. Pat Moyer ‘86 was a record-setting quarterback and baseball standout for the orange and garnet from 1982-1985. Nikki Boop ‘94 was a standout volleyball and softball player from 1991-1994 for Coach Kandis Schram. Tim Lawrence ‘92 led the Scots as a point guard to the “Elite 8” in 1992 and excelled as Coach Lambert’s court general from 1989-1992. Pepe Fernandez has led the men's and women's soccer programs at Maryville College for the past 22 seasons and has amassed 522 career victories.

These individuals, along with their family and friends, will be celebrated at a Wall of Fame Brunch on Friday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. in the Alumni Gymnasium.

The Wall of Fame, originated in 1975 by the Honaker Club, was established to honor those individuals who have contributed to the development and success of the Maryville College athletic program. Today, it is an on-going project sponsored by the Maryville College Athletic Department to remind our present students of the great athletic tradition at Maryville College.

The public is welcome to attend the Wall of Fame Brunch, but a reservation is recommended. Please call the Maryville College Athletic office at 865.981.8280 for an advanced reservation.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.