Bluefield University honored alumni and friends for volunteerism, Christian service, and professional excellence at the annual Alumni Awards Luncheon during Homecoming and Family Weekend. On October 23, 2021, University President David Olive and Alumni Association President-Elect Sara English Rutherford welcomed an alumnus to the Distinguished Hall of Graduates and recognized the personal and career achievements of BU graduates.
Robert A. “Bob” Houck, Distinguished Hall of Graduates Inductee
Board of Trustees member and 1967 graduate Robert A. “Bob” Houck was inducted into the Distinguished Hall of Graduates, which honors alumni over age fifty for exemplary contributions to their professions, communities, states, and nation.
While at Bluefield University, Houck served as president of the Business Club and earned an associate degree in Business Administration. He later graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
After completing his bachelor’s degree, Houck taught math in Greensville County for three years. Later jobs included management trainee and assistant manager with Culpeper Co-op. He began his position as a loan officer for Warrenton Farm Credit in 1980 and was promoted to branch manager in 1982. He became Senior Vice President of Finance and Administrative Service in 1987 and retired early in 1998 when Warrenton Farm Credit merged with another farm credit association. Houck and his wife, Shirley, owned and operated a farm from 1987 until 2016.
Houck is a member of Stevensburg Baptist Church, where he has served as a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, a member of several committees, and a missionary for sixteen overseas trips. He has visited Europe, Africa, Central America, and South America to spread the gospel.
Since joining joined the Lignum Ruritan Club in 1973, Houck has served in local, district, and national offices. He served as National President in 1987, Trustee of the Ruritan National Foundation in 2003, and National Foundation President in 2007.
Additionally, Houck served on the Culpeper County School Board from 2009 until 2015.
Nicole Chicklo-Kaklis, Honorary Alumna Award Recipient
Nicole Chicklo-Kaklis serves Bluefield University as the Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Fund Giving. Though she earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Master of Business Administration degrees at Saint Francis University, Chicklo-Kaklis is plugged into the campus and local communities. For her dedication to Bluefield University’s mission, Chicklo-Kaklis was named an honorary alumna.
Chicklo-Kaklis has been employed in various offices at higher education institutions across the past 20 years, including admissions, advancement, alumni relations, and marketing & public relations. Since her husband, Dino Kaklis, became the Associate Head Coach & Defensive Coordinator for the BU Rams Football Team and she joined BU’s Office of Institutional Advancement, Chicklo-Kaklis has embraced the Bluefield community.
Chicklo-Kaklis is known for her caring demeanor. She opens her home to students for Thanksgiving and, as an adjunct professor, provides one-on-one instruction to ensure her students succeed. She teaches the kindergarten and first-grade faith formation class at Sacred Heart Catholic Church volunteers with local schools and with youth leagues and serves as president of the American Football Coaches Wives Association.
Vaughn Hastings, Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient
BU alumnus and charity event organizer Vaughn Hastings was named Volunteer of the Year. He learned the importance of giving back early from his mother, a pediatric nurse at a drug and alcohol rehab facility. Throughout his life, he has donated more than 70 gallons of whole blood and platelets, hosted fundraisers for children with cancer, and provided gift cards for foster families.
Hastings moved to Raleigh, North Carolina after graduation. There, he hosted a small Halloween party, which required a toy donation for admission. This grew into a community event for Toys for Tots.
Hastings has raised almost $60,000 in the past 15 years. He organized benefit volleyball tournaments called “Spike for a Cause” in the 2000s to assist charities or local families battling cancer. Early tournaments raised $3,500-$7,000 annually. Over $15,000 was raised for the Colon Cancer Coalition in 2009. Hastings began participating in a fundraiser in 2006, which involves shaving his head in solidarity with childhood cancer patients.
Dr. Michael R. DuVal, Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award Recipient
Journey Church founding pastor and 1975 BU graduate Dr. Michael R. DuVal received the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award. This award—named for professor Dr. Primitivo Delgado—recognizes compassionate ministry and community leadership.
After completing his associate degree at Bluefield University, DuVal earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Richmond in 1977 and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Leadership degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
DuVal has pastored Thaxton Baptist Church in Thaxton, Virginia, and First Baptist Church in Bluefield, West Virginia. He has remained the lead pastor of Journey Church in Roanoke, Virginia since it was founded in 2000. He has served as a pastoral counselor, college professor, prison chaplain, cancer hospital chaplain, and psychiatric hospital chaplain. He has coached other pastors, executives, and doctoral students and served on the university’s Board of Trustees.
Matthew Moore, Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year Award Recipient
Smithfield High School’s Athletic and Activities Director, Matthew Moore, graduated from Bluefield University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. He majored in both Communication and Exercise and Sport Science and minored in History. He received the Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year Award, which honors servant leaders under the age of forty.
During his time at Bluefield University, Moore served as vice president of the Student Government Association, president of Phi Beta Lambda, and a history tutor in the Academic Center for Excellence. He was a member of the Rams Tennis Team, and he was named to the Appalachian Athletic Conference’s Champions of Character Team twice.
Since graduating from BU, Moore has earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Longwood University. He worked at Trinity Lutheran School as the Director of Advancement and Technology, bringing about increases in fundraising and enrollment with his contributions to the school’s rebranding and marketing strategies. At Smithfield High School, he has taught dual enrollment marketing and coached track and field, cross country, and tennis. He was recognized as one of Virginia’s Outstanding DECA Advisors, and his students have competed at the state and national levels.
Now as Athletic and Activities Director, Moore oversees 26 Virginia High School League athletic and academic activities at Smithfield High School. He is one of the youngest athletic directors in Virginia, and his programs have had many successes, including three state championships for the first time in the school’s history.
Moore has received the Smithfield Community Ambassador Award twice. He has helped raise funds for local Christian outreach by serving on the planning committee for the Smithfield Hog Jog. He has also served on the Luter YMCA Advisory Board and Bluefield University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Kenneth Massey, Alumnus of the Year Award Recipient
Kenneth Massey, the developer of the Massey Ratings sports rating system, received the Alumnus of the Year Award. This award honors a BU graduate at least forty years of age with outstanding professional accomplishments and a commitment to the university’s mission.
Massey developed his Massey Ratings algorithm for his honors project at Bluefield University. It has since become a lifelong hobby and business for objectively evaluating professional, college, and high school sports teams. His quality and accurate ratings were used by the Bowl Championship Series from 1999 until 2013.
Since graduating from Bluefield University, Massey has completed a Master of Science in Mathematics degree at Virginia Tech in 1999. He has taught at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, and Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee. He is currently the Data and Business Analyst at Carson-Newman University and advises the Kappa Mu Epsilon honor society.
Massey attends Mill Springs Baptist Church with his wife and three children. There, he serves as an Awana helper, committee chairman, and Sunday School teacher.
View the entire awards ceremony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXzY4R36TVY&t=241s
2020 Alumni Award Recipients
The following award winners from the previous year were recognized virtually in 2020 and welcomed to the stage at this year’s luncheon:
- Dr. Robert S. Shackleford, Class of 1971 – Alumnus of the Year
- Ms. Sarah Elizabeth Jones, Class of 2008 – Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year
- Rev. Jared Andrew Berry, Class of 2005 – Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award
- Dr. Cynthia Bascom, Professor of Communications – Honorary Alumna