Wendy Libby Presents Award
Award Recipients
Stetson Entrance

Doyle E. Carlton Award

The Doyle E. Carlton Award is presented to a graduate or friend of Stetson University in recognition of devotion to Christian higher education and in appreciation for his/her extraordinary contribution to the life and development of Stetson University, the City of DeLand and the State of Florida.

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

*- Now Deceased


Janelle Watson '59 and William "Bill" Watson '59

Just a few short years after graduating from Stetson University, the Watsons embarked on their longtime dream of owning their own realty company. Founding the William A. Watson Corporation in 1965 was the beginning of Watson Realty. Combining hard work and sacrifice with the Watsons commitment to legendary service, the company grew into one of northeast Florida’s most respected real estate companies.

At Stetson, the young couple attended chapel once a week. Mr. Watson credits their Baptist Stetson education for shaping them into the servant leaders they are today: “My four years at Stetson University was a turning point in the development of my values, goals, and objectives. I am grateful to the many outstanding individuals who contributed to my growth at Stetson University”. The Watsons chose to run their family business based on solid Christian ethics and values. Once, Mr. Watson was told by a manager that “the company was getting a reputation all over town for spending money to fix problems that weren’t their fault”. Always looking to do the right thing, Mr. Watson simply replied “Isn’t that great?”.

The Watsons are well known in their Jacksonville community for their generosity. In DeLand, they have extended their philanthropic reach by naming Watson Field, the beautiful football practice field that lies along Amelia Avenue. Watson Realty Corporation and Watson Mortgage Corporation sponsored the first sales lab, the Watson Sales Lab, that is housed in the School of Business.


Priscilla "Prissy" Tunnell '66

Tunnell's ministry service began with the Southern Baptist Convention, where she worked in Vietnam as a missionary, Dean of Women and teacher at the Baptist Seminary of Vietnam, and Minister of Music for a church. Upon returning to the States, she continued working with the Southern Baptist Convention's Home Mission Board as assistant director of the Refugee Resettlement Office. Throughout her career, Tunnell has held a wide variety of church positions, including weekday education director, assistant minister of music, minister of music, minister to children and families and minister of faith development. In addition to her Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson, Tunnell holds a Master of Arts in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tunnell has served on the board of directors of Ruble International Education Initiative, as well as coached graduates of McAfee Seminary, and she received the Jack Naish Distinguished Christian Educators Leadership Award (in 2002).


Basyle "Boz" Tchividjian '90

Boz is currently a professor of law at Liberty University Law School. He was formerly an Assistant State Attorney in Florida's 7th Judicial Circuit and an adjunct faculty member at Stetson University. As Assistant State Attorney, he was Chief Prosecutor of the Sexual Crimes Division. He gained experience in cases involving child abuse and felt led to help church communities address different issues of abuse. In 2004 he cofounded GRACE, a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower the Christian community through education and training to recognize, prevent, and respond to child abuse. Boz is married to fellow Hatter Lydia Fielder Tchividjian ‘90, and they have two girls, Adalie and Hanna.


W. Theodore "Theo" Etzel and Kimberly Lafferty Etzel

W. Theodore "Theo" Etzel received a BBA in Economics and Finance from Stetson University in 1980, and Kimberly Lafferty Etzel earned a BA in Elementary Education from Stetson that same year. They married after graduation in June of that year.

Theo has been the owner, president, and CEO of Conditioned Air of Naples since 1995. Conditioned Air is a full-service HVAC company with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota, Florida. It was named the Contractor of the Year for 2010 by the ACCA and received the Uncommon Friends Foundation Business Ethics Award in 2011. In 2014, Conditioned Air was awarded Best Contractor to Work For in the South by the ACHR NEWS magazine.

Theo has had other involvements: chairman of the board of Encore National Bank; Fellowship of Christian Athletes board member; past chairman of the board of Grace Place (a faith-based nonprofit neighborhood center focused on teaching literacy, language and life skills to at-risk children and families); Ancora executive education leader; and editorial board member of the HVACR business magazine. Theo was Junior Achievement's Hall of Fame Laureate in 2011 and the Champions for Learning Education Foundation's 2013 Men of Distinction honoree.

Kim is Senior Executive Marketing Director for Youngevity/Essential Health Science/90 for Life, a position she has held since October 2011. Youngevity is a technologically advanced stable nutrition company dedicated to improving lifestyles and empowering individuals. Prior to her current position, Kim was Senior Field Development Manager for the Creative Memories scrapbooking company for seven years. She also serves as a director for the Lafferty Family Foundation, established in 1967 and based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Theo served on Stetson's alumni board from 1996-97. He attended Leadership Stetson in 2015. He attended the Naples Botanical Garden event in 2012 and sponsored an alumni event in 2013. He also was a sponsor of the Southwest Florida golf tournament. Theo and Kim have hosted Accepted Student Events in Naples. In their spare time, Theo and Kim enjoy cooking and wine tours in Europe.


Mitchell G. Reddish

Mitchell G. Reddish, professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, joined the Stetson University faculty in 1983. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Georgia and a master of divinity degree and a PhD in New Testament studies from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky. His primary academic areas of interest are the history and literature of early Judaism and early Christianity. He frequently takes students on travel courses to the Middle East, Greece, Turkey, London and Paris.

2010 - 2015

2013 - Nestor M. de Armas '73

Nestor de Armas, B.BA '73 (Accounting), of Winter Park, Fla., trustee emeritus, possesses a tremendous commitment and devotion to Christian higher education. He is one who “walks the talk” as demonstrated by his two decades of bold leadership for Stetson and his own faith journey through a life of service. His deep faith, integrity, respect for Stetson's Judeo-Christian heritage, and love for his alma mater empowered him as a highly effective president of the Alumni Association as well as chair of the Board of Trustees (2006-10). Currently, Nestor chairs the board of the Florida Hospital's SHARES program, which provides free surgical and medical services to children born with facial and physical deformities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. As one of the founding supporters of the now endowed Stetson University Bonner Scholars Program, his example of servant leadership and faith continues through the de Armas Scholars. The Stetson legacy is woven throughout his family, as wife Donna, daughters Paige and Blythe and son-in-law Doug all graduated from Stetson.

A member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and a magna cum laude graduate of Stetson, Nestor was tapped into Omicron Delta Kappa, the university's leadership honorary society. He is a retired executive from the Kirchman Corporation in Orlando, a leading banking software company and the founder and managing director of Kirchman's international business unit. Nestor is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, having completed its prestigious Owner/President Management program in 1982.

2012 - James R. Beasley '67

Dr. James R. Beasley, '67, '68 (religion and church history), of DeLand, Fla., personifies the highest values that Stetson University stands for. Currently in his fortieth year of continuous and dedicated service to Stetson University, he has served as a member of the religious studies faculty, vice president and dean of campus life, vice president for campus life and enrollment management, vice president for administration and chief operating officer and senior vice president and COO. Currently, he is a distinguished member of the faculty in the School of Business Administration in the area of business ethics. Jim played a significant role, along with Stetson University's eighth president, the late Dr. H. Douglas Lee, in leading the transformation of Stetson University into an institution recognized nationally and internationally for being the inclusive university that it is today, strongly dedicated to core values, academic excellence and lifelong development of the whole person. His commitment to "letting his life speak" is evident in both his professional and personal life.

2000 - 2009

2006 - R. Grady Snowden, Sr.* '29, Fred '52 and Patricia Snowden Lane '53 and R. Grady '57* and Barbara Snowden, Jr.

Devoted minister and father, the late R. Grady Snowden, Sr., was born in Mississippi, where he worked on his family's farm, attended an agricultural high school and taught school for two years. After he was called to the ministry, his entire family moved to Lake Helen so he could attend Stetson University. Stetson University faculty members profoundly influenced his life, helping him find churches to serve as a student, then after graduation encouraging him to go on to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he met his wife, the late Jessie Marie Lee.

In 1932, he began his long and fruitful career as a Baptist pastor, serving First Baptist Church, Hopewell, Va., then First Baptist Church of DeLand, and finally, Arlington Baptist Church in Jacksonville, where he remained until he retired in 1963. He served many interim pastorates in retirement and extended his ministry into health care by helping to establish the DeLand Convalescent Center and serving as its first administrator. Wanting to help young people as he had been helped, he also established an endowed scholarship fund at Stetson University to assist students "who reflect Christian ideals and values in their personal lifestyles and vocations." Stetson University honored him with an honorary doctor of divinity degree in May of 1996.

Daughter of Grady Snowden, Sr., Patricia Snowden Lane attended Stetson University on an academic scholarship and a special scholarship for the children of Baptist ministers. Majoring in English and Spanish, she became a teacher at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach and, later, served as longtime head librarian at DeLand High School. She also earned a master of arts degree from Stetson University. She and her husband, Fred Lane, met at Stetson University, where he was a fellow member of the Baptist Student Union and held scholarships for music and for being the son of a Baptist minister. They had their wedding reception at Chaudoin Hall.

A talented musician, Fred Lane majored in music at Stetson University and then attended Southern Seminary. He served Baptist churches in North Carolina and Kentucky for 15 years before returning to DeLand. Through his father-in-law, he entered the nursing home business, and his wife and other members of the family joined the business as it grew. The Lanes retired in 1998 and sold their five nursing homes. Neighbors to the Stetson University campus, they continue to be active with the university through the Snowden-Lane Endowed Scholarship Fund. Fred Lane also serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Business Administration and on the Family Business Center Board.

Following in his father's footsteps, Grady Snowden, Jr., majored in religion at Stetson University and went on to Southern Seminary. He served as pastor of Park Lane Baptist Church in Jacksonville before becoming chief executive officer of a Methodist retirement community, where he served for 24 years. He returned to Lake Helen in 1999 to serve Blake Memorial Baptist Church, where his father had been pastor and is now senior adult pastor of First Baptist Church of DeLand. He is a former member of the Stetson University Alumni Association Board.

A Hatter by marriage, his wife, Barbara A. Snowden, joins her husband in his pastoral work, and in supporting the family scholarship and attending Stetson University baseball and basketball games. She grew up in Patterson, Ga., and earned a degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in Athens.

2005 - Clyde E. Fant

2004 - Jefferson Paramore Rogers and Mary Grace Harris Rogers*

The Rev. Jefferson Paramore Rogers and Mary Grace Harris Rogers '98 devote their lives to the values for which Stetson University stands. Founder and director of Stetson University's Howard Thurman Program, Rev. Rogers is working to extend the legacy of Howard Thurman, a theologian who inspired leaders past and present in the American civil rights movement. The program's goal is to integrate the teachings and values of Howard Thurman into the work of universities, scholars and community leaders; and to seek solutions to social, religious and ethnic problems. Since 1996, Rogers has brought nationally and internationally known lecturers to campus to discuss critical issues of race and justice with the Stetson University family and the wider community in a series of 54 Thurman Lectures.

An early leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Jefferson Rogers worked directly with Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. A longtime pastor, in 1958 he founded The Church of the Redeemer in Washington, D.C., which he led for nearly 13 years. In 1981, he and tennis legend Arthur Ashe founded New Birth Corporation, to promote Thurman's teachings and foster a cultural renaissance in the African-American community. New Birth purchased Thurman's boyhood home in Daytona Beach, which the Rogers oversee as part of the Thurman legacy.

Devoted to the life of the mind, Jefferson Rogers holds a bachelor's degree in history from Florida A&M University; a master's degree in religious education from Howard University, where he did further graduate work in philosophy; and a graduate degree from Yale Divinity School, specializing in social ethics. In 1998, Stetson University honored him with an honorary doctorate of divinity. He has worked in religious education, journalism, teaching and the ministry. Mary Grace Rogers earned a bachelor's degree in social studies from Dillard University and a master's degree in sociology from Yale. She has served as a counselor, social worker and teacher, retiring from Florida Memorial College in Miami as an assistant professor of social science.

Both have worked at the national level in the Presbyterian Church, and she has also been involved in several historic preservation efforts, including Boston's Freedom Trail and the Frederick Douglass Home in Washington, D.C. A prolific author, he has written widely on issues involving African-Americans and the American church.

2003 - Ann Motley Hallum

Dr. Anne Motley Hallum devotes her life to the principles for which Stetson University stands, finding twin callings in education and service to others. Chairperson of Stetson University's political science department, she has taught at Stetson University for 16 years, specializing in religion and politics, environmental politics and the American presidency. In 1990, a study trip to Guatemala brought home to her the devastating effects of deforestation; and in 1992 she founded the non-profit Alliance for International Reforestation, or A.I.R., to help rebuild the Guatemalan environment.

With 10 Latin American employees, A.I.R. now works in 50 villages in Guatemala and 10 villages in Nicaragua. It has built 600 fuel-efficient stoves, conserving 600 tons of firewood a year and overseen the planting of 3 million trees - relying on donations, in-kind contributions and volunteer labor. A.I.R. has also developed an educational curriculum that reaches thousands of school children and has begun a three-year training program in sustainable farming methods.

Born and raised in Huntsville, Ala., Hallum received a bachelor's degree in urban studies from the University of Minnesota, a master's degree in public administration from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in political science from Vanderbilt University. Her publications include a book, Beyond Missionaries: Toward an Understanding of the Protestant Movement in Central America and many articles on religion and politics. Her current research involves environmental issues in Central America, an area she has visited more than 30 times over the past 13 years.

A life-long Presbyterian, she serves as an elder and Sunday school teacher at The First Presbyterian Church of DeLand. She energetically raises funds for A.I.R., which is based at Stetson University and heads its board of directors. Married to Jan Wilgers, she has two daughters, Rachel and Rebecca, all of whom frequently travel to Central America with her. Students and church members also often accompany her to work with A.I.R.'s projects. To date, A.I.R. has hosted 20 Stetson University students as volunteers through the Rinker Guatemala/Nicaragua Field Experience Scholarship.

2002 - David B. Rinker '62 and Leighan Roberts Rinker '65

Dr. David and Dr. Leighan Rinker see value in education, whether it's higher education or early childhood. With master's, education specialist and doctoral degrees, the Rinkers continue to live out their commitment to education by serving Stetson University and other educational institutions in leadership roles.

As former chairman of Stetson University's Board of Trustees, David Rinker has contributed to the university the skills and knowledge he's used to become a successful businessman. A 1962 Stetson University graduate and trustee since 1985, he is the chairman and president of the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation and director of the foreign travel studies program at Lake Worth Christian School in Lantana, Florida.

Committed to early childhood education, Leighan Rinker is the founder and executive director of Beginnings of Palm Beach County, a preschool facility affiliated with Palm Beach Atlantic College. A 1965 Stetson University alumna, she was a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors for three years. She currently serves as chair of the Furman University Board of Trustees.

Together, the Rinkers have given many tangible and intangible gifts to Stetson University over the years. Some of their family contributions include the Rinker Institute; Rinker Field; Rinker Field House at the Hollis Center; David and Leighan Rinker Scholarships for students who demonstrate a strong religious commitment and leadership in churches or other religious organizations; Rinker Guatemala/Nicaragua Field Experience offered through the Alliance for International Reforestation; Rinker Scholarship for Travel Courses in Religious Studies; and M.E. Rinker, Sr., Foundation Scholarship.

2001 - Harold K. Parson '48 and Rabel Moreman Parson '48

DeLand residents since 1974, when Harold Parson retired from a distinguished 22-year career as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Parsons have strong ties to western Volusia County.

A DeLand native who studied music as a child in Stetson University's piano department, Rabel Moremen met the young Harold Parson, a Stetson University business administration student from Miami, when both were singing in the First Baptist Church choir. World War II interrupted their education. He served as a Navy pilot and flight instructor; she became DeLand's first female postal letter carrier in a program to replace men at war. They married in 1945, and returned to Stetson University in 1946. They took turns caring for their first child so both could attend classes and she taught music and played the piano for a variety of groups.

He graduated in 1948, and they moved to Fort Pierce where he worked briefly in the business world before joining the FBI in 1952. His FBI career took them to Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Miami and Fort Pierce, and she served as a church organist and choir director wherever they lived. She also taught fifth grade in Fort Pierce, where she was selected Teacher of the Year. Rabel Parson returned to Stetson University to finish her music degree after her husband retired, and taught music at Orange City Elementary School until her own retirement in 1986.

Wanting to share her students' talents, she led them to produce elaborate musicals each year before community groups. She served for several years as one of the directors of the annual county music festival. Named Orange City's 1985 Teacher of the Year, she also won the Volusia Educators Association's Mary Karl Award for a "lifetime of distinguished service to quality education." She continues to be active in many community and church groups, often sharing her musical talents with them.

An active church layman, Harold Parson served as an elder and chaired a capital gifts campaign for First Presbyterian Church of DeLand. He also works with many western Volusia County community groups, including the chorus, Great Expectations, which sings for many charitable events. The couple has contributed year after year to a variety of Stetson University's scholarships, so that others may follow their path. He chaired Stetson University's Homecoming in 1979 and served as president of the DeLand Alumni Chapter in 1982-83. She worked with Stetson University to establish Florida's only collegiate chapter Epsilon Sigma Alpha, which leads students into community service. Both remain active in the Alumni Association and co-chaired the 45th and 50th reunions for the Class of 1948.

Their DeLand-area ranch is often the scene of alumni get-togethers, as well as fundraisers for St. Jude Children's Hospital and the American Cancer Society. Strong supporters of the Friends of the School of Music, Hatter Boosters and School of Business Administration, they are also Stetson Society members and Presidential Counselors. They have four children: the late Harold Parson Jr.; Charles Parson, a professor at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado; Linda Parson Davis, associate vice president for planned giving at Stetson University; and Nels Parson, land use coordinator for the St. John's River Water Management District.

2000 - Homer J. Hand and Frances "Dolly" Rutledge Hand '49

Stetson University is pleased to honor Dolly and Homer Hand as the 1999-2000 recipients of the Doyle E. Carlton Award, the university's most prestigious award. This award is given for recognition to Christian higher education and in appreciation for extraordinary contributions to the life and development of Stetson University, the city of DeLand and the state of Florida.

Dolly and Homer live in Belle Glade, Florida, where they own and operate Hand Enterprises, the management company for their landholdings. They both have been heavily involved in the state's community college system in the Palm Beach area and in the Belle Glade/Okeechobee area. Dolly is a 1949 graduate of Stetson University's College of Law, the only woman in her class and the youngest student ever to complete the program. She has been active at Stetson University in a variety of capacities and now serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. Homer has been equally involved at the university, both financially and as an advocate.

Civic and community leaders in Belle Glade and the West Palm Beach area, the Hands hold the conviction that one should give back to their community, in terms of both service and financial resources. This has been a driving force in the numerous projects in which they have participated. At Stetson University, the Hands endowed The Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Excellence in Faculty Research in order to recognize those faculty members who go beyond the realm of good teaching to engage in significant research in their field of expertise. They have also established the Hand Faculty Development Program to fund faculty grants for professional development projects and for course enhancement. They participate in the university's Challenge Gift Scholarship Program, providing student financial assistance to deserving students. They have also established a second endowment fund at the university for special projects, and have contributed generously to the College of Law Library and Information Center campaign. Dolly was presented Stetson University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990. In 1996, they jointly received the Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida (C.H.I.E.F.) Award from the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. In addition to their hard work and leadership at Stetson University, the Hands' long-term commitment and service to their community have resulted in numerous special distinctions through the years, at both the local and state level.

1990 - 1999

  • 1990: B. Frank Wheeler, Jr.* '43
  • 1991: Pope A. Duncan* and Margaret Flexer Duncan*
  • 1992: Mary B. McMahan and Richard A. McMahan, Hon '09
  • 1993: E. Earl Joiner '49
  • 1994: Paul E. Raymond*
  • 1995: John L. Pelham* '50 and Judy Rhodes Pelham '48
  • 1996: Charles F. Granger '55
  • 1997: O. Charles Horton '59
  • 1998: Hal S. Marchman, Jr.* '50
  • 1999: Gustave E. Johnson*

1980 - 1989

  • 1980: Robert D. Flippo*, Hon '83
  • 1981: Doyle E. Carlton, Jr.*, Hon '85
  • 1982: Hugh West*, BS '31
  • 1983: Gilbert L. Lycan*, Hon '83
  • 1984: Mark C. Hollis*, BSB '56, Hon '89
  • 1985: Mary Turner Hood*
  • 1986: David H. Harshaw*, Hon '55
  • 1988: Wm. Amory Underhill*, LLB '36, Hon '69
  • 1989: Sara Staff Jernigan*, BA '35, MA '37

1969 - 1979

  • 1969: J. Ollie Edmunds, Sr.*, BA '15
  • 1970: Earl B. Edington*, Hon. '49
  • 1972: Angus S. Barlow*
  • 1973: Walter H. Mann
  • 1974: Thomas B. Gillespie*, Hon. '81
  • 1975: Harvey H. Tanner*
  • 1976: Martha Mauney Johns
  • 1977: John E. Price*
  • 1978: Arthur N. Morris, Sr.*, Hon '74
  • 1979: Eugene M. Lynn*, '41, Hon '78