(January 28, 2010)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary Kicks Off Homecoming With Morning Call

SHREVEPORT, La.—With the ringing of the bell from the original college campus in Jackson, La., by Student Government Association President Matthew Wallace, Centenary kicked off its annual Homecoming week events today.

Homecoming photo

Click to download the complete schedule

Built around this year's theme of Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!, Homecoming began with the President's Call, an annual tradition that honors long-serving members of the staff and faculty. These awards include service awards, the Charlton Lyons Summer Research Award, the President's Excellence Award, and the Outstanding Teacher Award.

"We are so pleased of the service that each and every member of the Centenary community renders everyday on behalf of Centenary College and her students," said David Rowe, President of the College. "We are particularly proud of the sustained commitment that so many of you have exhibited to this institution over the years. You have indeed made Centenary what she is today and have indeed made all her tomorrows possible."

Interim Provost Dr. Dan Keck took over and announced the service award recipients. "I have only been here a short time, and I have been impressed with the dedication and loyalty of the faculty and staff here," he said. "It is indeed an honor to present these distinguished service awards."

Staff and faculty recognized for their years with the College included:

  • 10 years: Joy Aull, Donna Bartholomew, Carolyn Hitt, Maureen Murov, Lisa Nicoletti, Carrie Rowlett, Deborah Scarlato
  • 15 years: Arthur Henderson, Thomas Ticich
  • 20 years: Sidney Johnson, Sharon Chevalier, David Henington, Steven Shelburne, Helen Sikes, Scott Vetter, Gary Young, Golda Young
  • 25 years: Horace English Jr., Ilka Vaitkus
  • 30 years: Gale Odom
  • 35 years: Glenn Evans, David Thomas
  • 40 years: Nancy Middleton

Dr. Keck then presented the Charlton H. Lyons Summers Research Award, to Dr. Jeanne Hamming, Associate Professor of English, who plans to use the financial award to continue her research the significance of the Superhighway in 20th century American culture. "One of the hallmarks of Centenary College is it's commitment to sponsoring faculty research. The Charlton H. Lyons award is only example of this commitment."

President Rowe then had the honor of revealing two prestigious honors at the College; the President's Excellence Award for 2009 and the Outstanding Teacher Award.

The first award presented was the President's Excellence Award which honors a Centenary staff member with exemplary loyalty and service to the College. This year the award went to a staff member who has been at the College for the past 11 years. Zeke Aull, Director of Public Safety and acting Director of Facilities was recognized for his "...extraordinary loyalty to Centenary." According to the nomination comments, Chief Aull "...can be counted on to work whenever called or informed of a problem on campus and always strives to make Centenary employees his primary concern. He has done an exemplary job as director for both departments and should be recognized for his willingness to take on twice the duty."

"All our faculty deserve our praise but every year, students, staff and faculty vote for that professor with proven commitment to Centenary and to a life of scholarship," said Rowe. "This next award is special because it recognizes the outstanding teacher of the year and is presented in conjunction with the United Methodist Church's General Board of Higher Education to celebrate outstanding teachers in the 112 schools and colleges associated with the United Methodist Church."

Receiving the prestigious award was Dr. David Otto, Chair of the Religious Studies Department and the Webb Chair of International Studies. According to comments made by nominators, "...is the kind of teacher who will make you so mad in class and challenge you in every aspect of your education, but who is an amazing person who deserves respect, and truly loves his students. He is one of the most challenging professors and what separates him from other hard instructors is his passion for his students' success."

President Rowe concluded the ceremony by congratulating all the winners. "Thank you for what you do to make this institution stand out every day. But more importantly, for what you do to inspire, to challenge, to motivate and to shape our students to make this world an even better, more special, more carrying place."

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.