Spartanburg Methodist College hosted their annual Homecoming Alumni Weekend November 14th and 15th. The Class of 1964 celebrated their 50th reunion, as did several members from the Class of 1974, who were celebrating their 40th reunion. Each year, the Alumni Association honors and recognizes certain individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and support of Spartanburg Methodist College. This year’s recipients included:
Parker Drake Anderson, who was recognized as the 2014 Young Alumnae of the Year by Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of SMC. Anderson, class of 2010, is originally from Chesterfield, SC. According to Leah Pruitt, Director of Alumni Relations for SMC, “Parker chose to attend SMC because of a wrestling scholarship and he considers it one of the best decisions he ever made.”
After graduating from SMC, he attended USC Upstate, earning a BA in Mass Communications and worked as a photographer at a television station in Augusta, GA before coming back to the Upstate. He currently works as a new photojournalist with WYFF-TV, but recently accepted a position at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis as a sports photojournalist where he will be covering the twin cities’ four professional teams as well as the University of Minnesota. “You could say this is somewhat of a dream job where Parker will be traveling around the country with the pro teams, covering sports 24/7,” shared Keith.
The 2014 Alumnus of the Year Award went to Stephen Denton, Class of 1984. A lifelong Spartanburg resident, Denton graduated from Spartanburg High School, studied criminal justice at SMC, earning his Associates Degree, and then a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Denton was with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department for nearly two decades, serving as a narcotics and vice squad officer and homicide investigator before retiring as captain of the investigation division, where he supervised over 100 detectives. At the age of 43, Denton enrolled in the Charleston School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctor in 2010. After being admitted to the SC State Bar that same year, he ventured to the other side of the courtroom, and now represents defendants. Denton practiced law on his own for a year before joining the law firm of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., where he practices criminal law – his dream job. When not working 60-hour weeks, Denton enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and spending time with his wife, Leigh and their two daughters.
William Wilson, better known as Mookie Wilson was honored with the SMC Distinguished Service Award which is given each year to highlight the exemplary leadership that its recipient has given in advancing the mission of the institution. The award recognizes long-term loyalty demonstrated by a history of support to the College and continued interest and participation in SMC as well as community involvement. After retiring from Major League Baseball, Mookie, class of 1976, made helping and inspiring people his focus. He now serves as a minister, author, motivational speaker and mentor. Recently, he traveled to SMC to spend time with students and also delivered the keynote address at SMC’s Founders Day celebration.
Pruitt commented “SMC congratulates these award winners, and we wish each continued success in their futures. They make us proud to call them family.”