Distinguished Alumni Award

Herb Hill

2018 winner Dr. Herbert H. Hill and President Hass.

Dr. Herbert H. Hill graduated from Rhodes—then Southwestern at Memphis—in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and he went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University. He joined the Washington State University faculty in 1976 and currently is WSU’s Regents Professor in chemistry. For four decades, Hill has researched ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), which was originally developed as an analytical technique in chemical laboratories. IMS today has a wide spectrum of applications including detection of explosives, illicit drugs, chemical warfare agents, and other harmful materials. With ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IMMS), a process that analyzes both the weight and speed of chemical molecules, Hill has studied the chemical processes involved in health and aging. He is a founder of the International Ion Mobility Spectometry Society and holds patents related to IMS.


Established in 1983, the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has brought honor to Rhodes through extraordinary achievement in his or her profession and community.  Recipients enter the Alumni Hall of Fame, which is located outside of Hardie Auditorium in Southwestern Hall.  The Distinguished Alumnus/a 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 Alumnus/a Award. Nominations are invited from any Rhodes alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents or friends of the college.  Make your nomination today by filling out the online Awards Nomination Form or by sending a letter or email to the Alumni Relations Office at alumni@rhodes.edu.


Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

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