College Presents 2013 Alumni Awards
Bluefield College recognized three distinguished graduates and one longtime BC professor for service and success during the school’s annual Homecoming Alumni Awards Dinner, Saturday, October 12.
October 17, 2013
Dr. David Bailey (second from right), a 2013 inductee into Bluefield College's Hall of Distinguished Graduates.
Dr. Tom Brewster (second from right), 2013 Alumnus of the Year.
Jesse Cole (second from right), 2013 Distinguished Young Alumnus.
Rev. Hugh Cole (second from right), winner of the 2013 BC Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award.
Dr. David Bailey, a 1960 Bluefield College alumnus, was inducted into the BC Hall of Distinguished Graduates. Dr. Tom Brewster, a 1991 graduate, earned the 2013Alumnus of the Year award. Jesse Cole, a 2002 grad, received the year’s Distinguished Young Alumnus honor, while retired professor and longtime pastor Rev. Hugh Cole took home the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award.
Considered the college’s highest honor for alumni, the Hall of Distinguished Graduates is reserved for former students who have achieved “outstanding accomplishments in their profession or career” and who have displayed “significant leadership in their community” and to the BC Alumni Association.
As a 2013 inductee into the Hall of Distinguished Graduates, Dr. David Bailey began his career with his alma mater as a BC professor of American history in 1966 after earning additional degrees from Carson Newman College, Union Theological Seminary, New York University and San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Later, he pastored several Baptist churches in Virginia before founding David Bailey Associates, a government relations firm that works with the Virginia General Assembly. Within DBA, he publishes a quarterly magazine, Capitol Connections, and three yearly legislative directories. In addition, he hosts a weekly television show titled “This Week in Richmond” in which he interviews state legislators and administrators.
Through his years at the Capitol, he has been appointed by governors and the General Assembly to serve on a wide variety of boards and commissions for safety, sanitation and health. In addition, he has served as chair of the Citizens Advisory Board of the Joint Rules Committee.
“He is an author and editor of a number of publications aimed at assisting Virginians to understand their government and become familiar with their elected officials,” said BC’s Mark Hipes, director of alumni relations who joined President David Olive and Vice President Ruth Blankenship in presenting the traditional alumni awards. “He has also been able to find the time and energy to greatly serve his alma mater in multiple roles. He is the chair of the BC Board of Trustees, chair of the ‘Capturing the Imagination Campaign,’ a member of the Board for the BC School of Dental Medicine, past president of the Alumni Association, and founding member of the Rams Football Booster Club.”
In addition, Dr. Bailey serves on the board of the Great Aspirations Scholarship Program and is co-founder of the Virginia Association of Professional Lobbyists. He also has held memberships in the Better Business Bureau, Virginia Society of Association Executives, and Virginias for Integrity in Government.
“In the words of Mark Twain: ‘To be good is noble, but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble,’” said Hipes. “This quote describes the lifelong work of helping others and personal and professional accomplishments of Dr. David Bailey.”
The Alumnus of the Year Award is designed to recognize alumni who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their profession or community and who have represented well the values and mission of Bluefield College. As the 2013 Alumnus of the Year, Dr. Tom Brewster has distinguished himself in secondary and higher education at both the local and state level.
After Bluefield College, he began teaching at Graham High School before earning amaster’s degree in educational leadership from Radford University and going on to become the assistant principal at Tazewell High School. A year later, he was promoted to principal of Pocahontas High School, while at the same time earning his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech.
In 2001, Dr. Brewster joined the ranks of higher education as an assistant professor of education at Concord University. While at Concord, he also served as director of institutional assessment. After CU, he returned to secondary education as deputy superintendent for Pulaski County Schools. Today, he is the superintendent of Pulaski County Schools.
At the state level, Dr. Brewster has served as a member of the Virginia Board of Education, chair of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Career EducationFoundation, and a member of the Board for Communities in the Schools of Virginia.
Outside of his work and as a volunteer for his community and alma mater, he has served as president of Historic Pocahontas Incorporated, vice president of the Southern West Virginia Road Runners Association, chair of the Tazewell County Democratic Committee, member of the Virginia Tourism Authority, and member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors.
“Dr. Brewster also serves his alma mater,” said Hipes, “donating his talent, time and recourses to Bluefield College. He is a member of the BC Board of Trustees, where he serves as chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee. He is also chair of the Board for the BC School of Dental Medicine.”
Designed for young alumni who at 40 years of age or less have already achieved greatsuccess in their profession, business or community, the Distinguished YoungAlumnus Award recognizes leadership and service and significant contributionsto the BC Alumni Association. As the 2013 recipient, Cole is the founder and chief executive officer of 1,000 Kings, an organization dedicated to building leadership skills and enhancing personal development in young men.
“He’s making a difference in so many lives,” said Hipes about the onetime BC Homecoming King and Spring Formal King. “He believes in investing in the next generation. Nothing, Jesse says, is more important than making sure our young men are equipped to not only handle life, but to have enough confidence in themselves to add value to the world.”
Toward that end, the former BC men’s basketball player, freshman mentor and resident assistant from Pontiac, Michigan, has served as a motivational speaker for the Pontiac Academy for Excellence, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Dare 2 Be Youth Summit, Holy Cross Children’s Services, and the National Association of Student Councils.
“Not only am I a product of the high standard of education that Bluefield College provided me,” said Cole, a former singer in the BC student voice ensembles Variations and Bluefield Singers, “but I actually credit BC for helping me find my purpose in the Kingdom of God.”
Cole has been featured in “BLAC,” a magazine on black life, arts and culture, and received a proclamation from the City of Pontiac for his community leadership. In addition, he was a President’s Volunteer Service Award nominee and runner-up for the Magic Johnson “What Inspires You?” award. In 2008, he published his first book, “Understanding Your Season: Removing the Frustration from Pursuing Your Destiny.”
Established in 2004, the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award is designed to recognize former students, faculty or staff who exhibit continual service and compassion in ministry. Named in honor of former BC academic dean Primitivo Delgado, who lived a life committed to Christian service and ministry, the Delgado Awardreceives more nominations than any other BC Homecoming award.
As the 2013 recipient, Rev. Hugh Cole served on faculty at Bluefield College for nearlythree decades, 1983 to 2011. During his time in the classroom at BC, he wasknown as “a mentor” and “an excellent professor” who “pushed students to achieve excellence, both inside and out of the classroom.”
“In view of his long, successful and distinguished career, it is most appropriate that we award the 2013 Delgado Christian Service Award to Rev. Cole,” said Hipes. “In fact, I cannot imagine a more worthy candidate.”
A certified public accountant and graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Rev. Cole’s service and ministry was evident not only on the BC campus, but also in the community. While teaching at Bluefield College, he served the Kingdom in the local community as a pastor for Memorial Baptist Church for 10 years and now as pastor of Edgemont Baptist Church.
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