2017 Alumni Award Recipients

Here are your fellow alumni and friends of Bluefield College that will be honored during Homecoming and Family Weekend 2017.

Alumnus of the Year Award

Roger Roller WebsiteRev. Roger Roller ('81)

Roger and his wife, Ester, met while at Bluefield College and were married in 1976. He is a graduate of Bluefield College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He pastored Calvary Baptist Church in Floyd, Virginia, from 1984 until 1986. From 1986 until 1993, he was the pastor of Rustburg Baptist Church in Rustburg, Virginia.

Roger and Ester formed the Roger Roller Evangelistic Association in 1993. Now in his 25th year as a full-time evangelist, Roger leads about 26 revivals each year having conducted nearly 650 revival meetings. He has preached overseas on mission trips in Hungary, Cuba, Panama, San Blas Islands, India, Brazil, Honduras, South Africa, and Ghana. Their evangelistic association has provided the funds to help build seven churches overseas in Brazil, South Africa, Honduras, and Eastern Europe. They have partnered with another ministry to build a training center in Uganda and have played a major part in building a training center in Honduras. They have an associate evangelist in Honduras who is fully supported financially by their ministry, as well as two other evangelists in Ghana who are employed by their evangelistic association.

The Roger Roller Evangelistic Association has provided grants to college and seminary students going into full-time Christian service. They have helped 52 Bluefield College students with these grants since 2003. Roger and Ester make their home in Forest, Virginia. You may learn more about their ministry at their website, www.rroller.org.

Distinguished Young Alumna Award

Erin DeHart '03Erin Johnson DeHart ('03)

A native of Bland, Virginia, DeHart came to BC in 1999 and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2003, all for the purpose initially of building a career in law enforcement. But, she would exceed those expectations, even go beyond the level of an attorney when she became a judge for Virginia’s 27th Judicial District Court in 2015.

DeHart attributes her career ascension to the training she received at Bluefield College. In addition to classroom instruction, as part of her CRJ studies at BC, she was required to complete an internship with the Bluefield (WV) Police Department, which not only exposed her to law enforcement firsthand, but also led to her first employment in the field.

DeHart graduated from the Appalachian School of Law (ASL) in 2006. While a student at ASL, she worked for a law firm in Wytheville, Virginia, and after passing the bar exam on her first attempt in 2006, she became an assistant Commonwealth’s attorney for Wythe County from 2006 to 2008. Later, she worked for the Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office before being named the Commonwealth’s attorney for Bland County in 2011, a position she held until being elected to the judgeship in 2015.

Hardy '09

Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award

Jeremy Hardy ('08)

Jeremy Hardy, a 2008 Graphic Communications major of Bluefield College and native of Chesapeake, Virginia, is this year’s recipient of the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award. Hardy is the Executive Director at Vigilant Hope, whose mission is to equip, educate, and empower the church to properly serve the homeless and impoverished communities. Founded in 2006, they provide urban outreach, relief ministry, and educational programs to the community of Wilmington, North Carolina. Hardy met his wife, Meghan Garrett Hardy, at BC and they have three beautiful children together.

Hardy works full-time in the community to help bring people to Christ. One ministry that is new and thriving is the offering of free showers in their new shower trailer. Hardy and the team at Vigilant Hope offers showers to the homeless four times a week. They feel if they can get them in to take a shower, their dignity might be restored and they might be able to go through some job training, and eventually get out of homelessness after they've received help.

Prior to his service with Vigilant Hope, Jeremy was the Director of Student Activities at Bluefield College and Director of Communications at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Bluefield, West Virginia. He also serves part-time on staff at Life Community Church as a graphic designer and is actively serving on the worship team. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Meghan, and their three daughters, Olivia, Celia, and Alayna.

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee

Kessler '86David Kessler ('85), Men's Basketball and Baseball

Kessler came to Bluefield College after two years at Ohio Valley College, where he was a varsity basketball starter. He then played both basketball and baseball while at Bluefield College. At BC, Kessler lead the team as assistant coach during the 1984-1985 basketball season when the Rams were NLCAA National Championship Runner-Ups. After BC, Kessler obtained his teacher certification at Georgia State University and went on to obtain his Master of Arts in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University – Irvine.

Professionally, Coach Kessler has continued the coaching success he started while still a student at BC. As Associate Head Coach at South Gwinnett High School, he helped lead the time to the 2004 Georgia State Championship and national wins over Oak Hill Academy, Los Angeles Mater Dei, and Arlington Country Day. He continued his high school coaching career at North Atlanta High School, Prince Avenue Christian School, Schley County High School, and most recently at Brandon Hall School, where he led the team to its first ever state tournament appearance in school history.

Finally, Coach Kessler is most recognized in Atlanta as the owner, founder, and head coach of the Atlanta Show Minor League Professional Basketball team. The Atlanta Show is a member of the 21 team US/Canada “North American Basketball League” based in Dallas, Texas. In its first season, the Show had a perfect 17-0 record and won the Eastern Division and North American Basketball League Championship. Kessler was named Coach of the Year.

Reed '10Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee

Omar Reed ('10), Men's Basketball

Omar was a four-year starter on BC’s men’s basketball team. His accolades at BC include 2006 AAC All-Freshman Team, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, 2010 AAC Player of the Year and AAC Defensive Player of the Year. Omar was a mention of the 2008-09 team that went 18-0 in AAC conference play. He was a three-time participant in the NAIA National Tournament. His career at BC consisted of a whopping 1,760 career points and 1,079 rebounds.

Professionally, Reed began his international career in England in 2010. In 2011-12, he played in the NBA Development League for the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs affiliate). Omar is a seven-year international pro basketball player who lives in Houston, Texas, but returns every summer to Tazewell, Virginia (hometown 20 minutes from Bluefield), to host numerous events for his community. He has a passion for helping the youth. He attempts to be a role model to the kids and help them understand that with hard work and dedication, they, too, can excel and conquer their desires. His wife, Jelicia, and himself are the founders of a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization titled "L.I.F.E. or Leadership In Full Effect." When Omar is not overseas, they utilize their organization to assist in multiple ways in their community in Texas, as well as in the Tazewell/Bluefield area.