Graduates Honored at Inaugural Armstrong Awards Gala


(October 13, 2014) — Armstrong hosted its first-ever Alumni Awards Gala on Friday, October 10, during Celebrate Armstrong weekend, presenting awards to exceptional alumni. The gala attracted more than 250 alumni and included a black-tie optional dinner at the Armstrong Center.

Drew ErnstDuring the event, which benefits Armstrong scholarships, the Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to HunterMaclean attorney Drew Ernst, ‘74. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes excellence in professional, community or public service. Ernst received a B.A. in Political Science in 1974 and is a longtime partner at HunterMaclean’s Savannah office. He has practiced law for more than 30 years in the areas of environmental law, land use, commercial real estate development and industrial development. 

Robert StrozierArmstrong Professor Emeritus Robert Strozier, ’49, received the Outstanding Alumni Award, which honors service to the university. Strozier attended Armstrong in the late 1940s and returned in 1955 as a Professor of Languages and Literature. He was named Outstanding Professor of the Year many times over the years, served as department head and established a math scholarship in memory of his daughter.

The Notable Alumni Award was presented to 15 individuals, selected from a pool of 67 nominees, including:

  • Lt. Col. Doug Andrews, Sr., ’69 - General Court-Martial Judge, U.S. Army, Retired  
  • Anne M. Bennett, ’93 - Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Memorial University Medical Center  
  • Dr. Robert F. Brown, Jr., ’77, ‘78 - Founding Physician, Chatham Medical Associates  
  • Dr. Richard Bunbury, ’77 - Lecturer in Music, Boston University  
  • Jolene Byrne, ’05 - Instructor, Armstrong State University; School Board President, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  • Howard K. Cohen, ’54, ‘72 - Executive Director, Team Savannah Weightlifting  
  • Raymond Ellis, Jr., ’89 - Choral and Drama Instructor, South Effingham High School and Middle School  
  • Dr. Kenya Harrison, ’10 - Owner, KMH Educational Enterprises, LLC 
  • Dr. Barbara Hubbard, ’82 - Lecturer, Armstrong State University College of Education
  • Michael I. Kaplan, ’08 – CEO/Founder, Phase 2 Advantage   
  • Dr. M. Ann Levett, ’76 - Chief Academic Officer, Savannah-Chatham Public Schools  
  • Col. Joseph Purvis, Jr., ’76 - Director of Transportation, St. John’s County, Florida School District; U.S. Army, Retired
  • Cathy J. Sakas, ’76, ’89 – FounderGray’s Reef Sanctuary Foundation; Co-Founder, Ocean Exchange
  • Maj. Scott Scheidt, ’03 - Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton; Commander, Georgia Garrison Training Center 
  • Col. Edward I. Wexler, ’74 - U.S. Air Force & Georgia Air National Guard, Retired