Distinguished Alumni Award

a man with gray hair in a medical jacket and stethoscope

Stephen Threlkeld '86

Dr. Stephen C. Threlkeld ’86, who specializes in infectious diseases and internal medicine, has been in the forefront helping Memphis and the Mid-South combat the Covid-19 pandemic. He has been a leader in Rhodes’ partnership with Baptist Memorial Health Care, providing Covid-19 prevention, testing, and healthcare services to the college. Threlkeld has made himself available to the college all while caring for critically ill patients, appearing on media outlets to educate the general public on Covid-19 research and guidelines, and providing counsel to government and business leaders on the most recent protocols.

Threlkeld was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa while a student at Rhodes, and graduated magna cum laude and with honors with a B.S. in biology. His tireless efforts to keep the Rhodes community healthy and safe during Covid-19 and his overall work in the Memphis community have brought honor to the college.


Established in 1983, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alum who has brought honor to Rhodes through extraordinary achievement in their profession and community. Recipients enter the Alumni Hall of Fame, which is located outside of Hardie Auditorium in Southwestern Hall. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented at the Annual Convocation of the Rhodes College Alumni Association during Homecoming each October,

Eligibility and Nominations

All living alumni who are members of a class that graduated at least 10 years prior to the nomination date are eligible, with the exception of:

- Members of the Rhodes Board of Trustees

- Current faculty and staff

- Members of the Alumni Executive Board

- Recipients of a Rhodes honorary degree

Nominees for the BSA Distinguished Alumni Award will also be considered for the Distinguished Alumni Award. Nominations are invited from any Rhodes alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents or friends of the college. You can make your nomination today by filling out the online form on the front page.


Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

2020 Allen Reynolds '60

2019 William Van Davidson '62  

2018 Dr. Herbert Hill '67

2017 Dr. Joe McCord '66

2016  Mike Cody '58

2015  Vicki Gilmore Palmer '75

2014  Mary Frances Files Silitch '57

2013  Harry L. Swinney '61

2012  Sidonie Sansom '82

2011  Brian R. Wamboff '96

2010  Dr. William O. Coley ’50 

2009  Raymond E. Bye, Jr. ’66

          Jocelyn D. Wurzburg ’62

2008  Robert S. Edington ’50

2007  Martha Ellen Maxwell ’51

          Robert H. Crumby ’53

2006  William Cleage Threlkeld ’53

2005  Jason Turnbow Pettigrew ’96

          Louis Ruffin Pounders ’68

2004  Ray U. Tanner ’54

2003  Katherine Hinds Smythe ’53

          William Hamilton Smythe ’52

2002  Margaret Rose Gladney ’67

          Sidney Strickland ’68

2001  W. Henry Mosley ’55 

          R. Susan Wood ’70

2000  Jacquelyn Dowd Hall ’65

1999  Arthur L. Kellermann ’76

1998  Pauline Jones Hord ’29

1997  C. Stratton Hill, Jr. ’50

1996  William G. Mankin ’62

1995  Richard B. Dixon ’50

1994  James T. Robertson ’53

1993  James H. Fall, III ’65

1992  Mary Jane Smalley Roberts ’58

1991  Charles J. Ping ’51

1990  S. Shepard Tate ’39

1989  Susan Burnside Fleming ’73

1988  John B. Ricker, Jr. ’38

1987  J. Thayer “Toto” Houts ’37

          James G. Hughes ’32

1986  Ada Jane Walters ’56

          J. Russell Perry ’33

1985  Elder L. Shearon, Jr. ’42

          Margaret Boisen Nash ’50

          Jere B. Nash, Jr. ’50

1984  Judith Deavenport Mitchener ’56

          Steven J. Schmidt, Jr. ’72

          Robert K. Armstrong ’37

1983  Lewis R. Donelson ’38

          James F. Gladney, Jr. ’38