alumni-awards-KF4M7422

Accepting the Distinguished Alumni Award for Kal Kelehear were his sons,
Zach (left) and Steven 'Sparky' Kelehear, and widow Kathryn Burrell
Kelehear (’52). David Champagne (’07), center, accepted the Pacesetter
Award for Anthony Baldridge (’06) of Berkeley, Calif. Deloris Mullins (’58) of
Dacula earned
the Alumni Service Award, and Tony McCullers ('00, MAT '01),
right, of Monroe
took home the Excellence in Education Award.

Piedmont Alumni Association presents 2014 awards

The Piedmont College Alumni Association singled out four graduates for special honors during the annual Alumni Weekend held April 4–6 in Demorest.

The late O.L. "Kal" Kelehear ('52) of Dalton earned the group's Distinguished Alumni Award, while Tony McCullers ('00, MAT '01) of Monroe was honored with the Excellence in Education Award. Deloris Mullins ('58) of Dacula received the Alumni Service Award, and Anthony Baldridge ('06) of Berkeley, Calif., was selected for the Pacesetter Award.

Classmates Lyndol Cain ('53) and Grady Starnes ('53) nominated Kelehear for the posthumous award of Distinguished Alumni for his roles in education, industry, and as a pioneer in the field of work place wellness. Kelehear served in the U.S. Navy in the Phillipines during World War II before enrolling at Piedmont, where he was named class president his junior and senior years in 1951-52. He lettered on the basketball and baseball teams for four years and was inducted into the P-Club Hall of Fame in 1983. Kelehear began his career as a teacher at Morgan County High School and North Habersham High School and then joined Clarkesville Mills as personnel director. He worked for WestPoint Pepperell in Dalton and retired as personnel director at J&J Industries in Dalton in 1994.

In Dalton, Kelehear was active in a number of community organizations, including the Rotary Club, which named him a Paul Harris Fellow; and he was co-founder and a charter Trustee of the Dalton Education Foundation. In 1986, the Daily Citizen named Kelehear the Dalton-Whitfield County Man of the Year. Even after retiring, he continued to work in the then-new field of workplace wellness. In 1994 he joined the board of Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership and led the development of "Working Well," a wellness and prevention program for Whitfield and Murray counties that received national attention as a model for such programs.

"We remember Kal's days at Piedmont," Cain said. "He excelled in everything he did, both in academics and athletics. As the most mature member of the teams, his leadership inspired all of us to never give up."

As the winner of the Excellence in Education Award, Tony McCullers was cited for his work as a mathematics, business, and computer science teacher at Eastside High School in Covington and at North Oconee High School in Bogart. He currently serves as an Instructional Technology Specialist with the Oconee County Schools. In 2010, he was named Teacher of the Year at North Oconee High School. In addition to teaching, McCullers served as an assistant baseball and football coach and was named Assistant Coach of the Year by NOHS, the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Region 8AA, and by the Georgia Dugout Club.

Deloris Newberry Mullins received the Alumni Service Award in recognition of her longtime commitment to Piedmont College. As a member of the Alumni Association, she has served on  the Coach Cave Memorial Golf Tournament Committee, Alumni Weekend Committee, and as the 1950s Chairman. Deloris graduated from Piedmont with a double major in business administration and business education. She worked for the University of Georgia Business Office, Jackson County elementary and high schools, and she taught for 30 years in Gwinnett County. In 2012 she received the Gwinnett County Retired Educators Association's Outstanding Community Service Award for her work with that group's Student Scholarship Committee. She is also active with the Georgia Retired Educators Association Archive and History Committee.

The Pacesetter Award is given to young alumni who exhibit outstanding achievement early in their careers, and this year's award went to Dr. Anthony Baldridge, a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Berkeley, Calif. While at Piedmont, Baldridge earned BS degrees in chemistry and mathematics and earned a PhD in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. While at Tech, he was elected president of the Graduate Student Association and Student Government Association Senator. At the National Institutes of Health, he received the 2013 Kirschenstein National Research Service Award. His current research involves the development of chemical probes for imaging cancer cells in early stages.