JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 21, 2014 – Union University recognized four alumni during the Homecoming chapel service Feb. 21 for their notable achievements, service and leadership.
“We gather on days like today to recognize these alumni to see what God has done in their lives and how He has used them through the years,” said University President David S. Dockery during the service. “Together we celebrate the past, the present and the future.”
Charles Fowler, a 1986 graduate, received the Distinguished Service Award. Fowler served as a Union University administrator and faculty member before he became senior pastor at Germantown Baptist Church in Germantown, Tenn.
“Charles Fowler is a most worthy recipient of this year’s alumni award at Union University,” Dockery said. “His stellar service to Union through the years and his loyalty to his alma mater have been exemplary in multiple ways.”
Kevin Ezell, a 1985 graduate, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Ezell served as a pastor for churches in Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas, and he currently is the president of the North American Mission Board.
“Kevin Ezell has been a faithful friend to Union on numerous levels,” Dockery said. “As an alum and Union dad, and as a pastor to many Union students and friends through the years, the impact and influence of Kevin Ezell has been a joy to behold.”
Will Gray, a 2002 graduate who died in 2013 from cancer, was awarded a posthumous Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Gray began his music career at Union, and his songs were licensed for companies such as Playstation and Motorola. In addition to serving as a songwriting instructor for the Contemporary Music Center at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., he also was an award-winning film director.
Bob Pavelonis, a former member of the class of 1963, received the Honorary Alumnus Award. He transferred to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, but Dockery noted that Pavelonis has remained involved with his Union class through the years. Pavelonis has served as an English teacher and coached baseball, basketball, football and golf.
In addition, about 30 members of the class of 1964 were recognized during the service for their contributions in a variety of fields and occupations.
By Beth Knoll