1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania honors ten graduates for distinguished service, achievement during Alumni Weekend

LEXINGTON, Ky.—During Transylvania’s recent Alumni Weekend celebration, alumni Debra Balles ’79, Raymond Cooper ’77, Doug and Gayle Hutcherson ’69 and Rick and Jannie Nallinger ’74 received the University’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to Transylvania, and Peggy Gordon Elliott Miller ’59, Eugene Scruggs ’59, Richard Waddell ’64 and Malcom Warford ’64 received the Distinguished Achievement Award for excellence in their profession or community service.

Debra BallesDebra Balles, Transylvania’s controller, has served on reunion committees and is a member of the Bluegrass Alumni Chapter Board, the Transylvania Women’s Club and the Tri Delta Centennial Committee. Appointed controller in 1984, Balles has served on many committees and co-chaired the Finance Committee of the Quality Enhancement Plan in 2000. She brings three decades of experience to the Financial Resources Committee of the 2009-2012 Strategic Plan.   

Raymond CooperRaymond Cooper is a former Alumni Executive Board president and volunteers with the admissions, alumni and development and career development offices. A real estate broker and developer, Cooper has been president of The Myers Y. Cooper Company in Ohio since 1987. His real estate developments include CVS stores in Cincinnati and Atlanta and shopping centers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. He serves on board of The Springer School, a private school in Cincinnati devoted to educating children with learning disabilities, and as a member of the Ohioana Library Association in Columbus.  Other civic activities include assisting with initiation of the curbside recycling program for Cincinnati residents and chairing the volunteer advisory council of The Cincinnati Art Museum.

Doug and Gayle HutchersonDoug and Gayle Hutcherson are reunion committee members, hosting class events in their home. Gayle is a member of the Transylvania Women’s Club and a former member of the Alumni Executive Board. In 1987, she became the second person in Kentucky to receive the Pearl Court Award, a national award given for outstanding service to Sigma Kappa Sorority. She received the award in recognition of 13 years of service as adviser to the Transy chapter and 11 years as president of the Bluegrass Alumnae.

Doug, a 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient, will begin a three-year term on the Alumni Executive Board. The Hutchersons also are former members of the Parents Council; daughter Anne graduated in 1997.

Rick and Jannie NallingerRick and Jannie Nallinger are long-time supporters of Transylvania who have provided invaluable assistance over the years with admissions efforts in the area. Jannie, a former member of the Transylvania Women’s Club, served on the Alumni Executive Board from 1995-98. The Nallingers also have assisted with reunion planning for the class of 1974.  Their daughter, Mills, graduated from Transy in 2004; her husband Wes Sublett is a member of the class of 1999.

Peggy Gordon MillerPeggy Gordon Elliott Miller, a leader in higher education, retired as president of South Dakota State University in 2007. Her 48-year career in education, which began as a high school English teacher, also included serving as president of the University of Akron and Chancellor of Indiana University—Northwest. Miller’s extensive list of professional and service activities include acting vice president for Academic and International Programs for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and board member of the American Council on Education. She is also founder and chairman of Innovation Campus Research Park. She earned a masters degree from Northwestern University and an Ed.D. from Indiana University. She holds honorary degrees from Transylvania, Chungnam National University and South Dakota State University.

Eugene ScruggsCharles Eugene Scruggs, University of South Florida professor emeritus, taught French, directed the Study and Exchange Program, established university-level exchanges in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America and directed lecture tours to England, Belgium, France, Germany and Belize over the course of a 32-year career at the Tampa school. In 2002, the French Prime Minister recognized his contributions and awarded him the rank of “Chevalier” in the Order of Academic Merit—the highest awarded granted in education. Scruggs also taught at Appalachian State University, Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Paris in France, where he was a visiting lecturer and Cambridge University in England, where he was a visiting mentor. He is the author of Tramping with the Legion: A Carolina Rebel’s Story, Adventures in the Age of Louis XIV and France: Traditions in Transitions. His upcoming book, View from Mount Brindley, will contain a chapter about life at Transylvania.

Richard WaddellRichard A. Waddell achieved the rank of lieutenant in the United State Navy before leaving military service in 1968 to embark on a 30-year career at Pfizer, Inc. He held various positions at the pharmaceutical giant and was serving as director of marketing services at the time of his retirement in 1998. Waddell, who lives in New Jersey, has spent his retirement serving others as leader in his church and as a volunteer at a local food bank. He also raised money to send underprivileged children to a Christian camp in New Hampshire.

Malcolm WarfordSince 1998, Malcolm L. Warford has been the director of the Lexington Seminar, a Lilly Endowment-supported national program on theological teaching and learning involving faculty, deans and presidents of 44 theological seminaries and university divinity schools. A well-known leader in theological education, Warford has served on the faculty at St. Louis University and Union Theological Seminary and as adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has been president of Eden Theological Seminary and Bangor Theological Seminary and adviser to the president and Board of Trustees at Union Seminary. He was one of the first Protestants to be granted tenure on a Roman Catholic theological faculty and the first public member of the Board of Trustees at the Maryknoll School of Theology. A minister in the United Church of Christ since 1967, Warford has been a pastor in Vermont, New York and Kentucky and has written numerous books and journal articles.