Centre College will recognize four graduates for their accomplishments and contributions by naming them Distinguished Alumni at its annual recognition ceremony, Oct. 27, as part of the Homecoming 2018 campus festivities. The College will also induct four alumni into Centre’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Distinguished alumna Gail Mitchell Hoyt ‘88 has made a career providing lessons in economics to students in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and around the world. As a student at Centre, Hoyt held many leadership roles, including peer counselor and career development intern. As a bright and dedicated student, she was the recipient of the Brennan Scholarship and earned Phi Beta Kappa. After Centre, she went on to graduate school and began her career at the University of Kentucky as a research assistant in economics. Hoyt has spent most of her 30-plus-year career at UK, being published in many scholarly journals and textbooks, along the way. She has also been recognized by the following groups for excellence in teaching: Great Teachers in America, the Southern Economics Association and the University of Kentucky.
Distinguished alumnus Michael Jackson ’85 has a celebrated career as an attorney, earning him headlines in local and national news. After graduating from Centre, he went on to study law at Florida State University and later was elected as the district attorney for the fourth circuit in Alabama, where he became the first African-American to serve in that role. In 2013, he also was recognized as the first African-American to be named District Attorney of the Year in the state of Alabama. Throughout his career, Jackson has prosecuted many high-profile cases, including the Alabama Church Arson Cases in Bibb County, the Alabama Artifacts Case and the case of ex-State Trooper Bernard Fowler charged with the infamous murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson during the Voting Rights March of 1965. Jackson has also been an active Centre alumnus, serving as an economics mentor, alumni board director and reunion committee member for the College. In 1997, he received the Young Alumnus Award for becoming one of the youngest judges in history for the state of Alabama (1995).
Distinguished alumnus Tony Kurlas ‘93 has had a successful career at Merrill Lynch for more than 24 years. He made his mark with the company serving in executive management for 22 of those years in some of the firm’s largest, net-worth markets. Kurlas has led and developed five markets to expand the firm’s national footprint, and in 2003, he became the company’s youngest market executive. To that end, his current market in North Florida, based in Jacksonville, is ranked among the top five in the firm. During Kurlas’ years of service, he has coached and mentored more than 100 Financial Advisors who are thriving with the company.
Celebrating his 25th reunion this fall, Kurlas remains a loyal Centre alumnus, serving on the president’s advisory council, attending golf tournaments to support the Colonels and assisting with Alumni College by recruiting his friends and classmates. Further, he has endowed the Kurlas Scholarship and led efforts to raise funds for the new press box at the College’s football stadium.
This year’s distinguished young alumna is Karen Trowbridge Savitz ’04. Graduating from Centre with a major in psychobiology, Savitz is now the president and CEO for Trowbridge & Trowbridge (T&T), a female-owned defense contractor that employs more than 300 people. The firm has been ranked in the INC 500/5000 list as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies and has also won an American Business Award for Best Support Team. Savitz service to Centre includes the establishment of a fund that provides research opportunities for women in STEM fields. In the Washington, D.C. area, she received the Washington SmartCEO Brava Award for advocacy of local philanthropic organizations.
by Centre College News
September 25, 2018