Memphian Kathy Moore Cowan graduated from Rhodes in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and anthropology/sociology, and she went on to earn a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has spent more than two decades driving high-impact community investment activity and currently serves as executive director of the Memphis office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which supports community development initiatives across the country.
Cowan also has served as vice president/community development manager for Regions Bank-West TN, SW Kentucky, North AR; senior community development specialist for the Memphis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; and president/CEO of The Works, a nonprofit community development corporation serving South Memphis.
While working at The Works, Cowan trained several interns who were Rhodes students.
She has volunteered her time and service on a number of boards including Memphis Housing Authority, the Blight Authority of Memphis, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, and Mustard Seed, Inc.
Black Student Association's Distinguished Alumni Award
Established in 1998, the Black Student Association's Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes those African-American alumni whose record of outstanding personal achievement and service to others has inspired Rhodes students and brought honor to their alma mater. The BSA Distinguished Alumni Award is presented each year during Homecoming/Reunion Weekend.
Eligibility and Nominations
All alumni who were members of the BSA as students are eligible. Nominees for the BSA Distinguished Alumni Award are eligible and will be considered for the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Young Alumni Award, or the Distinguished Service Award as appropriate. Make your nomination today by filling out the online form on the front page.
BSA Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
2021 Florence M. Johnson
2020 Melanie A. Hilliard '92
2019 Dr. Sherry Turner '84
2018 Dr. Coby V. Smith ’68
2017 Dr. Sandra Waller Shelton '76
2016 Aubrey Howard '72
2015 Roblin J. Boxill '99
2014 Steven L. Becton '88
2013 Patricia Spears Jones '73
2012 Dr. Lorenzo Childress Jr. '68
2011 Dorothy Sanders Wells '82
2010 Virgil Starks, III '85 (posthumous)
2009 Julian T. Bolton ’71
2008 Vicki Gilmore Palmer '75
2007 Donald Duggan '86
2006 Charles Holt '89
2005 Ryan Mire '93
2004 Patricia Howard '70
Marcus Kimbrough '90
2003 Johnny Moore '88
2002 Julian T. Bolton '71
2001 Jerome Franklin '89
Russ Wigginton '88
2000 Herman Morris '73
1999 Anita Davis '90
1998 Joyce Broffitt '77
Development Office — 901-843-3850
Alumni Relations Office — 901-843-3845
College Events — 901-843-3596