The second annual Vivian Malone Awards ceremony took place on Saturday, June 10th at Sellers Auditorium in the Bryant Conference Center. The Awards, to recognize outstanding achievement, leadership and service among Black alumni, are the product of a collaboration between the Culverhouse Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The University of Alabama Black Alumni Association, and the Black Faculty and Staff Association. The Awards honor the life and legacy of Vivian Malone-Jones, the first Black graduate of the University. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Vivian Malone and James Hood courageously walking through the “Schoolhouse Doors”, in the face of great social and political opposition, personified by Alabama governor George Wallace attempting to physically block their enrollment in 1963. Malone graduated with a degree in business in 1965.
“The Malone Awards are meant to connect the past, present and future. The observance of this 60th Anniversary, along with the current rise in societal challenges, made for a particularly meaningful evening. The excellence we recognized demonstrated why it was important for Malone to persevere and take those steps, and for us to continue to take steps, to help the University, the state and country maximize the potential of all,” said Dr. James King, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Minnie Caddell Miles-Frank A. Rose Memorial Professor of Leadership at Culverhouse.
Culverhouse’s Danielle Spencer (MS, Finance, 2023) won the Outstanding Graduate Award. Read last week’s Q&A with Danielle. Other nominees were LeAnna Roberts and Dr. Ifeanyi Okpala.
The Rising Tide Award winner was Audrina Washington. Other nominees were Orlando Beavers and Dr. Creshema Murray.
Artis Brown won the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Other nominees were Dr. Denise Robertson and Stacey Hill.
The Crimson Flame Award went to Dr. Arthur Dunning, who came of age in the Black Belt of Alabama during the Jim Crow era. Among many pivotal experiences, he was part of a group of student athletes who helped to integrate Bear Bryant’s University of Alabama football team in 1967. The values instilled in him by his family and those in his close-knit community, together with life experiences through education and from living, working, and traveling abroad over more than forty years as an educator, shaped his approach to leading Albany State University, an HBCU, through its 2016 merger with all-white Darton State College. Prior to serving as president of Albany State University, Dunning served as vice chancellor for international programs and outreach for the University of Alabama System in Tuscaloosa. In 2021, Dunning published “Unreconciled: Race, History, and Higher Education in the Deep South.” The Alabama native earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Alabama.
Terry R. Woods won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Woods is is a Consultant and Principal Owner of T.R. Woods & Associates. Throughout his professional career he has served in the roles as Chief Metallurgical Engineer for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Nuclear Power Program, Vice President of Utility Services for S.L. King & Associates, and Regional Office Manager for Burns & Roe Engineering. A life Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., he has served as East Tennessee State Director and President of the Epsilon Xi Sigma Chapter Chattanooga Tn. He was also inducted into Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Gamma Pi Boule’ Chattanooga Tn. in 2004, having served in the role as Past President. He has been recognized with distinguished engineering fellowships at The University of Alabama, and has served or chaired several nonprofit boards. He earned his B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from The University of Alabama and completed the Owen Graduate School of Management “Executive Development Program” at Vanderbilt University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Tennessee.
The Corporate DEI Award went to Boeing.
Larry Lewis (Culverhouse Class of 1992) and his company PROJECTXYZ were a presenting sponsor again this year.
Visit the awards page to learn more about the nominees and winners.
All photos courtesy of Quez Shipman.