Peter accepts award
Award Recipients
Stetson Entrance

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to up to four Stetson University alumni who, through outstanding achievement in their lives and professions, have brought distinction and special recognition to Stetson University.

Click on the dates below to view award recipients and their bios.

*- Now Deceased

2022

Randall Elliott '63

Randy Elliott grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL graduating from New Smyrna Beach High School in 1959. A few other members who went to Stetson University were Russell Walker, and Frank Farmer. Because he was color-blind, Randy was rejected by West Point, but joined the ROTC program at Stetson University where he was a member of the Pershing Rifles and an Honor ROTC graduate.

After graduation, Randy was commissioned in the Army and signed up for the toughest of training including Airborne School and Ranger Training. Subsequently he was assigned as a Nuclear Weapons Officer in Germany. As a result of exemplary performance by his team, he became the team leader of the European Nuclear Weapons Inspection Team.

Wanting to join the action in Vietnam, he volunteered for the famous 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. He became a Company Commander for the 506th Infantry, typically including four platoons totaling over 120 or more elite infantry soldiers.

Randy spent 17 months in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 and experienced some of the worst fighting of the entire war in areas from the Central Highlands to Chu Chi to the defense of Saigon. He was right in the middle of the infamous "Tet Offensive" and joined other units in combined actions against the massive invasion attempt by regular North Vietnamese troops.

In one battle, Randy was wounded when a grenade exploded behind him, but was able to return after 3 days. Later, in another major clash involving hundreds of soldiers, a recoilless rifle shell grazed his helmet before hitting a tree behind him.

Randy wrote a book about his Vietnam experiences, entitled "Moonscape, Thoughts of War", Xlibris.com, 2014, about his exploits especially focused on the impact of war on our youth who are called to battle.

Following Vietnam service, Randy continued his active duty as a watch officer in the Korean Military Command Center. He became a team leader in the 902nd Military Intelligence Group. He completed his active Army service as a Middle East Conflict Specialist at the National Military Command Center.

As a civilian, Randy then became a Foreign Service Officer at the State Department assigned to Henry Kissinger's staff. At the State Department he was located in close proximity to Ambassador (to Kuwait) Edward "Skip" Gnehm.

Randy continued his Army service in the Army Reserves and had been promoted to Colonel assigned to the 352nd Civil Affairs Command where he was the operations officer.

The 352nd and the U.S. Central Command relations were based on related experiences and Randy was a leader who helped grow the close relations that developed between them. As it became apparent that Iraq would invade Kuwait, Randy took initiative to inform his State Department colleagues about the capabilities of the Civil Affairs units of the U.S. Army, most of which are found in the US Army Reserves.Following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, the Emir of Kuwait requested U.S. assistance to reconstruct the country after its liberation. Randy, as a member of the 352nd, drafted the "Terms of Reference," which defined and clarified the State Department's lead position to provide United States reconstruction assistance to Kuwait. This U.S. assistance included the Defense Department's Civil Affairs capabilities -- principally the 352nd Civil Affairs Command -- to help in the planning and execution of reconstruction activities.

The Kuwait Task Force (KTF) which Randy commanded was drawn from the 352nd and its subordinate units and consisted of personnel with civilian expertise in most of the 20 Civil Affairs functional specialties. The exception was Religious Affairs since the personnel who normally performed those duties were members of the American clergy-mostly Protestants and Catholics with a smattering of Jews, hardly an appropriate mix for a relatively conservative and fundamentalist Islamic nation. Randy planned to divide his work into four phases after first defining his organization clearly as a planning cell. Phase 1 consisted of task organization and mission orientation. Phase 2 would overlap with Phase 1, an initial estimate of the civil-military operations situation inside Kuwait and a definition of the scope of work. Phase 3 would consist of the original drafting of plans. Phase 4 would produce a detailed civil affairs annex to the US Central Command/Army Component Central Command Operations Plan.

Randy returned to active duty to command the Civil Affairs task force which was activated to assist with the planning and execution of Kuwait reconstruction, called the KTF. Using a Civil Affairs skills database, he had created, Randy identified, and then recruited, the Army Reserve senior civil sector functional experts needed by the KTF to provide military support for the reconstruction and governance of Kuwait. The KTF initially located in Washington, D.C., later moved to Saudi Arabia.

Within hours following liberation of the country, the KTF was in Kuwait providing reconstruction support and governance guidance helping to restore the government of Kuwait after the devastation done to their country by Saddam Hussein's forces. This restoration included all government departments and facilities, the country's infrastructure, and communications. For his leadership of the KTF, Randy received recognition from Gen. Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf the U.S. Central Command Commander. With 17 Colonels in his Kuwait Task Force command and the success they had from 1990 to 1991, Randy was promoted to Brigadier General and awarded the Legion of Merit. The participation of the KTF in the post-combat reconstruction of Kuwait is the subject of numerous studies and published articles, and is studied in military schools and senior military colleges.

Randy's final military service was at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict.

Randy's military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals, one with a "V" Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, six Air Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, Parachutist Badge and other medals and awards.

Randy has a bachelor's degree from Stetson University. He has a master's degree in Middle East International Relations from the University of Maryland and a Doctorate of Middle East International Relations from George Washington University. 

Cassandra Kellam Jackson '84, JD '96

Cassandra K. Jackson took office on February 28, 2018 as the City of Tallahassee’s City Attorney.  Mrs. Jackson manages an in-house legal team of 25 City employees, including 10 attorneys.  Prior to her appointment, Mrs. Jackson served as Deputy City Attorney for two years.

Mrs. Jackson received Bachelor and Juris Doctorate degrees with high honors from Stetson University.  Mrs. Jackson is a member in good standing with The Florida Bar, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  She is also an active member of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers and the Tallahassee Bar Association.

Since being admitted to The Florida Bar in 1987, Mrs. Jackson has devoted her career to working as a public servant for local and state governments. She has served as an Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of St. Petersburg, Lakeland, and Tallahassee, and Assistant County Attorney for Leon County, specializing in labor relations, personnel, and employment discrimination matters.

In 1998, Mrs. Jackson was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles as a Commissioner on the Florida Public Employee Relations Commission and was subsequently appointed as Deputy General Counsel to the Florida Department of Management Services.

In 2015, Mrs. Jackson joined a unique group of Florida attorneys when she became a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in City, County, and Local Government Law.  Members of this Board represent less than 1% of all licensed attorneys in Florida.  Among other honors, Mrs. Jackson was the 1993 recipient of the Florida Association of County Attorneys President’s Award.

When not serving the City of Tallahassee and its citizens, you may find Mrs. Jackson spending quality time with her husband, Jesse, and their three children; being an active member of her church, reading or cooking.

Mrs. Jackson is honored to lead the City Attorney’s Office in carrying out its duties with the high professional standards which she expects and which were established by her predecessors.

 

 

Past Award Recipients

  • 2021 - Shaundra Kellam Lewis '95
  • 2021 - Thomas Rebman, MEd '11
  • 2020 - Steven Alexander '85
  • 2020 - Kimberly Bonner '86
  • 2020 - Yvonne Chang, MBA '09
  • 2019 - Gino Santos '82
  • 2018 - Andrew Daire '91, MS '93
  • 2018 - Pamela Epting '86
  • 2017 - Julia Nesheiwat '97
  • 2017 - Charles A. Wolfe '85
  • 2016 - Leopoldo "Leo" Pujals '73
  • 2015 - Alethea Bonello '98
  • 2015 - Todd DuBosq '01
  • 2015 - Robert L. Moore '63
  • 2014 - Nsaa-lya Kihunrwa, MBA '03
  • 2014 - Anne Greene Solomon '63
  • 2013 - H. Frank Farmer '64
  • 2013 - Kaye Wachsmuth '66
  • 2012 - Chris K. Brigham '77
  • 2012 - Richard W. Cheston '79
  • 2012 - Shirrel Rhoades '64
  • 2011 - V. Inez Archibald, MA '85
  • 2011 - Laurette T. Koellner, MBA '80
  • 2011 - Jim Shore '77, JD '80
  • 2010 - Jane E. Eckert '70
  • 2010 - Lewis M. Kling, MBA '71
  • 2010 - Michael H. Yeargan '69
  • 2009 - William C. Gaventa, Jr. '69
  • 2009 - Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller '61
  • 2008 - F. Amos Bailey '79
  • 2008 - Shephard W. Hill '75
  • 2008 - James W. Lea '64, MA '65
  • 2007 - Emory E. "Pete" Dunn '72
  • 2007 - George C. Edwards III '69
  • 2007 - Timothy O. Olagbemiro '71
  • 2006 - Angelita S. Floyd '74
  • 2006 - Robin Marino '76
  • 2006 - David S. Marsh '75
  • 2006 - Joe Negron '83
  • 2005 - Cesar Gonzmart '41
  • 2005 - Lois Thacker Graessle '39
  • 2005 - R. Dean Hollis '82
  • 2005 - Jon D. Solomon, MBA '90
  • 2005 - Bingham L. Vick '66
  • 2004 - Bruce Berkowitz '76
  • 2004 - J. Craig Crawford '78, JD '81
  • 2004 - Amy Horton ''77
  • 2004 - Carroll E. Lewis '53
  • 2004 - William J. Schneider '66
  • 2003 -J. Barry Griswell, MBA '72
  • 2003 - Lawrence R. Johnston '72
  • 2003 - Willa Dean Lowery '48
  • 2002 - Gwendolyn Azama-Edwards '70, MA '83
  • 2002 - Jill K. Jinks '79
  • 2002 - Elizabeth Walker Mechling '67
  • 2002 - Jay E. Mechling '67
  • 2002 - James Nemec '32, LLB '36*
  • 2001 - M. Lisa Carlton '86
  • 2001 - Elizabeth Bergin Johns '62
  • 2001 - Richard W. Pearce '55, JD '55, MA '57
  • 2001 - Nancy Naylor Rue '73
  • 2000 - William Clay Henderson '77
  • 2000 - Joseph W. Landers, Jr. '64, JD '70
  • 2000 - George H. Shriver '53
  • 1999 - Diane M. Disney '63
  • 1999 - M. Jean Greenlaw '62, MA '65
  • 1999 - William T. Newsome III '74
  • 1998 - William L. Cypress '65
  • 1998 - Edward C. Furlong, Jr. '38, MA '41, Hon. '83*
  • 1998 - Mel H. Gregory '58
  • 1998 - David B. Rinker '62
  • 1998 - Leighan Roberts Rinker '65
  • 1997 - Wendy Harmer Baldwin '67
  • 1997 - Lee R. Cole '67
  • 1997 - Milton O. Jones '55
  • 1997 - George Winston '71
  • 1996 - Leroy K. New '42
  • 1996 - William J. Roberts '53, MA '57, LLB '58
  • 1995 - A. Dano Davis '68, Hon. '90
  • 1995 - Herbert E. Phillips '36
  • 1995 - Arthur P. Sullivan '62
  • 1995 - Teruo Tanaka, MA '59
  • 1994 - J. Ollie Edmunds '25*
  • 1994 - Bruce R. Jacob, JD '59
  • 1994 - Kenneth P. Kirchman '58, Hon. '80
  • 1993 - J. Kermit Coble '53
  • 1993 - William D. Jones '51*
  • 1993 - M. Lee McGraw '79
  • 1993 - Dennis C. McNamara '44, Hon. '82, Hon. '86
  • 1992 - Jean F. Dickman '50
  • 1992 - Joseph J. Master '58, MA '58, Hon. '95
  • 1992 - Carolyn Miller Parr '59, Hon. '86
  • 1992 - W. Morgan Patterson '50, Hon. 79
  • 1991 - J. Wendell Crysel '59
  • 1991 - Helen Quincy Woodard '20*
  • 1990 - Frances Rutledge Hand '49
  • 1990 - Murray Sams '49, Hon. '83
  • 1989 - Vanita M. Baldwin '48, Hon. '90
  • 1989 - George R. Borders '61
  • 1989 - Craig T. James '63, JD '67
  • 1989 - Louie L. Wilkinson '48
  • 1988 - Jon L. Mills '69, Hon. '86
  • 1988 - James C. Smith, JD '67, Hon. '86
  • 1986 - Judith M. Dixon '74
  • 1986 - E. Everette Huskey '48
  • 1985 - Thomas P. Prince '67
  • 1985 - Jack D. Woodall '58
  • 1985 - Shelly Crittendon Zwick '63
  • 1984 - Charles B. Bugg '65
  • 1984 - Chris F. Hasty '70
  • 1984 - Lana Jane Lewis-Brent '68
  • 1984 - W. Harold Parham '49
  • 1984 - E. Clay Shaw '61, JD '66, Hon. '02
  • 1983 - Richard A. Beauchamp '63
  • 1983 - Joseph B. Folds, Sr. '37*
  • 1983 - Cecil W. Holley '54
  • 1983 - Barbara Deveaux Holmes '69, MEd '72, Hon. '91
  • 1983 - Howard S. Warner '33*
  • 1982 - Mary Allgaier Dunn, MA '59
  • 1982 - Harry E. Gaylord '36*
  • 1982 - Mark C. Hollis '56, Hon. '89
  • 1982 - Mary McCollough Mauldin '61
  • 1982 - Earnest W. Murphy, Jr. '54, Hon. '94
  • 1982 - R. Grady Snowden, Sr. '29, Hon. '96*
  • 1981 - E. Ross Allen '29
  • 1981 - Jacquelyn Hogue Gentry '58
  • 1981 - David P. Houchens '59
  • 1981 - David B. Legters '31
  • 1981 - Richard D. Pope, Sr. '24
  • 1981 - William A. Watson '59
  • 1981 - Pat T. Wilson '49
  • 1981 - Patricia Maxcy Wilson '47
  • 1980 - Thomas J. Deen, Jr. '48
  • 1980 - Mary Leary 1902
  • 1980 - D. Peter Mazur '52*
  • 1980 - Ernest A. Rano '35*
  • 1979 - James R. Golden '42
  • 1979 - Ralph F. Hansen '29
  • 1979 - Joseph T. Sutton '48
  • 1978 -  Cecil C. Bailey '27, Hon. '78*
  • 1978 -  Carl M. Kuttler, Jr., JD '65
  • 1978 -  Clyde C. McCully '49
  • 1978 - W. Ret Turner '50
  • 1977 - Barbara Rowe, MA '42
  • 1977 - Etter McTeer Turner '35, MA '36, Hon. '83*
  • 1976 - Clarabel Brandon Jett '32*
  • 1976 - William C. Kaleel '56, LLB '59
  • 1976 - Jan J. Wieckowski '50, MA '51
  • 1975 - Thomas R. Horton '49, Hon. '82
  • 1974 - Fran Stewart Carlton '58
  • 1974 - Vassar B. Carlton '37, Hon. '84
  • 1974 - Cartha D. DeLoach '42, Hon. '66
  • 1974 - Harris P. Gravely '44
  • 1974 - Edward B. Henderson '27, MS '28
  • 1974 - Wm. Amory Underhill '36, Hon. '69*
  • 1973 - Priscilla Kauth Griffith, MA '63
  • 1973 - John C. Howell '49, Hon. '79
  • 1973 - Sara Staff Jernigan '35, MA '37
  • 1972 - Grady Crawford '39
  • 1972 - Morris Duane '27, Hon. '65*
  • 1972 - J. Thomas Smith '28
  • 1971 - Walter Auffenberg '51
  • 1971 - Richard T. Dillon, JD '57
  • 1971 - Raymond G. Dunne '53, MA '57*
  • 1971 - David W. Marcell '58
  • 1971 - Ronald S. Spencer '51
  • 1971 - Redden J. Thames '58
  • 1970 - Max Cleland '64, Hon. '77
  • 1970 - Elizabeth A. Kovachevich '61
  • 1969 - Robert E. Jagger '58