Institutional Advancement

Homecoming 2023 Honorees

Celebrating Homecoming 2023 Honorees

Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Five Barton ACC/Barton College alumni were inducted into the 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming Weekend on Friday, October 20, 2023 in Kennedy Family Theatre. This year’s inductees included Daniel Claytor ’13, L.J. Dunn ’11, Billy Godwin ’86, Melissa (Faulk) Gonzalez ’06, and Jane (Lewis) Manson ’05.

Daniel Claytor ’13 was a member of the Bulldogs’ men’s golf team who earned NCAA Division II All-American honors three times (2011-13) by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and was named the 2011 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year.  In addition, Claytor earned all-league first-team accolades three times (2011-13), won six collegiate tournaments, and competed in two NCAA D-II National Championships (2010 and 2012).

L.J. Dunn ’11 was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2006-07 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship Team and a two-time All-Conference Carolinas First-Team selection (2008-09 and 2010-11).  Dunn is the program’s all-time leader in rebounds (986) and ranks sixth in program history in total points (1,468) and blocked shots (66) in the NCAA D-II era.  Dunn also played in 124 games – second all-time – and led Barton to the conference regular season and tournament championships and subsequent berths in the playoffs in 2006-07 and 2008-09.  Dunn also guided Barton to a 93-32 record during his four seasons of competition and earned all-region accolades in 2008-09 and 2010-11.

Billy Godwin ’86 is a long-time collegiate baseball coach who currently serves as mentor at UNC Greensboro.  Godwin, who just finished his fourth season with the Spartans, had successful coaching stops at both East Carolina (2006-14) and Louisburg (2000-05).  Two springs ago, Godwin led the Spartans to the 2022 Southern Conference Championship and a berth in the playoffs.  Godwin has a 720-418 record including a 334-214 mark with the Pirates and a 266-85 ledger with the Hurricanes.  At ECU, Godwin was named the 2009 Conference USA Coach of the Year and guided the Pirates to five NCAA Regional Appearances and a Super Regional (2009).  Godwin, who was also an Amateur Area Scout for the New York Yankees, helped lead Atlantic Christian College to the league tournament championship in 1984 and served as team captain in 1986.

Melissa (Faulk) Gonzalez ’06 was a three-time All-Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference honoree (2003-05) in women’s tennis including first-team all-league accolades in 2005.  During her three years with the Bulldogs, Gonzalez helped lead the squad to a 66-21 overall mark including a 27-3 record against league foes.  In 2004, Barton won both the CVAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.  Gonzalez, a biology major, graduated in three-and-a-half years.

Jane (Lewis) Manson ‘05 was one of the most decorated women’s tennis players in Bulldogs’ history.  Manson was a four-time All-CVAC honoree (2002-05) and was named to the CVAC All-Time Women’s Tennis Team.  Manson won over 200 matches both as a singles and doubles competitor and led Barton to an 85-28 record (35-6 in conference play) and both the CVAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships in 2004.  Manson also was a four-time ITA All-Academic Team honoree and won the Kiwanis Award in 2004-05, recognized as Barton’s female athlete of the year.

Torchbearers Induction Ceremony

Barton College was honored to induct 14 Atlantic Christian College alumni into Torchbearers, the 50 Year Legacy Society, during Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, October 21, 2023 in Hardy Alumni Hall, for a total now of 90 in the Society.

Torchbearers, the 50 Year Legacy Society, is composed of alumni whose identified class has celebrated its 50th Reunion. In its second year, Torchbearers is intended to honor alumni celebrating their 50th year since their first graduation and are positioned as lifelong ambassadors for the College. Through their continued generosity and contributions, Torchbearers also support the mission of the College through philanthropic gifts and service. At the ceremony, each newly inducted member received a special lapel pin commemorating their membership into Torchbearers and were encouraged to wear their pin at various College events to symbolize their belonging Torchbearers.

2023 Inductees —

  • Robert Andrews ’73
  • Linda Purvis Bagette ’73
  • Glenn Etheridge ’73
  • Michael Green ’70
  • CJ Holiday ’70
  • Ashley Hooks ’69
  • George Owens ’66
  • Link Page ’73
  • William Sharpe ’72
  • Michael Rhodes ’73
  • Ernie Sutton ’54
  • Walter Tyler ’73
  • Becky Thompson Chapman ’73
  • William Thomas ’73

Celebration of Distinguished Alumni

The Celebration of Distinguished Alumni recognizes and honors individuals who have achieved personal and professional successes and who have demonstrated exemplary service to both Barton and their community. Among the 2023 alumni honorees on Saturday, October 21 were Audie P. Barefoot, Jr. ’72 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient; Gary D. McMahan ’69, Distinguished Alumni Award recipient; Benjamin I. Bridgers ’04, Alumni Achievement Award recipient; Jennifer M. High ’09 and ’16, Gary M. Hall Employee Service Award recipient; and Kathy D. Turner ’12 and ’18, Alumni Service Award recipient.

About the Alumni honorees — 

Audie Barefoot, second generation realtor and Triangle native, is the CEO of Fonville Morisey Barefoot, a leading new home sales and marketing firm in Raleigh, N.C. Barefoot founded Realmark Corporation in 1983, a venture that later merged with Fonville Morisey New Homes in 1989 to create Fonville Morisey Barefoot. In addition to his firm in Raleigh, Barefoot opened an office in Wilmington nearly 10 years ago where they handle community marketing from Calabash to Beaufort. Deeply rooted in the real estate industry from an early age, Barefoot was destined to follow his father’s footsteps. At just 18, he obtained his real estate license, demonstrating a deep interest in the field. He began his higher education at Louisburg College, before earning his degree in Business Administration from Atlantic Christian College in 1972. Throughout his college journey, he was an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Post-graduation, Barefoot settled in Cary, N.C., embarking on a remarkable career in real estate that has spanned over five decades. In 2017, Barefoot was inducted into the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors® Hall of Fame where he previously served as President. Over the years, Barefoot has received accolades such as Realtor® of the Year, and he has actively participated in various professional and civic organizations, including the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County, Urban Land Institute, Builder Marketing Society, Triangle United Way, Wells Fargo Bank, Cary, WakeMed Foundation Board, and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. He and his wife, Susan, are proud parents to their son Jonathan and have two grandchildren.

Gary D. McMahan is a retired insurance executive. Starting as a personal producer, he climbed the corporate ladder until he was President and CEO of a major Life Insurance Company. Retiring in 2005, he then founded Professional Advisory Resources, a consulting business specializing in acquiring insurance agencies for Banks. After 25 acquisitions, he retired again after selling P.A.R. to Towne Bank, headquartered in Virginia. While McMahan attended Atlantic Christian College from 1965-1969, he played 4 years of tennis under Tom Parham, a member of the North Carolina Hall of Fame. In addition, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon serving as President in 1968. McMahan is happily married to his wife, Patsy, and have two daughters, Ashley and Courtney, and five grandchildren.

Benjamin I. Bridgers is a distinguished alumnus of Barton College, graduating in 2004 with a major in Business Administration. Since 2013, Bridgers has served in a pivotal role at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., currently serving as Director of Golf and Operations. Notably, he has led the Pinehurst team alongside the United States Golf Association for the 2024 US Open Golf Championships, reprising a role he previously held in 2014. During his undergraduate years, Bridgers showcased exceptional talent as a member of the men’s golf team, where he excelled both on and off the course. As an all-conference player and Freshman of the Year, he made significant contributions to the team’s success, helping secure Barton’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional during his freshman season. Bridgers leadership and skill were instrumental in achieving another program milestone during his senior year—a triumphant Atlantic Region title and a journey to the NCAA Division II nationals. Beyond the greens, he was an active member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. Bridgers achievements have been recognized and celebrated, as evidenced by his induction into Barton’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. He continues to give back to his alma mater as a member of the Barton College Board of Advisors and an annual donor at the Barton Society Level.

Jennifer M. High, MSN, RN currently serves as both Dean of Students and Executive Director of Student Health Services at her alma mater. In these dual roles, she holds responsibility for overseeing Residence Life, Campus Life, and Health Services. High has played a central role in driving initiatives aimed at prioritizing the health, wellness, and safety of the Barton community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as a member of the coronavirus task force. During her undergraduate years, High was an active member of Delta Zeta Sorority and the softball team. She gained valuable clinical experience at Nash General Hospital (now UNC Health Nash), Duke University Hospital, and Mobile Anesthesia of the Carolinas after earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Barton in 2009. In 2016, High became one of the inaugural graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing Leadership (MSN) program at Barton. Returning to Barton in 2017, High served as Campus Nurse and soon advanced to the position of Director of Student Health Services, eventually earning promotion to her current executive role. In 2020, she was honored with the esteemed Spirit of Barton award, and in 2022, she received the Bulldog Club Award. In addition to her primary roles at Barton, High also serves as adjunct faculty member at the college in the School of Nursing and as a First Year Seminar Instructor. Originally from Franklinton, N.C., High now resides in Bailey, N.C. with her husband, Michael, and their two children, Gracie and Robey.

Kathy Turner, MBA, is a dual Barton College alumna with a diverse background in the corporate and educational spheres. After a successful career at Collins Aerospace in Wilson, N.C., culminating in retirement in 2020, she transitioned seamlessly to academia, now serving as an adjunct instructor in the School of Business and Innovation at Barton College. Throughout her professional journey, Turner held several leadership roles at Kidde Aerospace and Defense, United Technologies, and Collins Aerospace. Her educational path is a testament to her dedication, earning both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2012 and a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership in 2018 from Barton. Actively engaged in both professional and community organizations, Turner is a proud member of the Society of International Affairs, Phi Beta Lambda-Professional Division, and the Executive Board for the School of Business at Barton College. She was named among Outstanding Young Women in America and received several Phi Beta Lambda awards during her collegiate career. Her community service has included work with the American Heart Association, Feed the Community – Thanksgiving volunteer, Feed the Hungry volunteer at Barton College, and Barton College Day of Service volunteer. Beyond her professional and community roles, Turner’s dedication to her alma mater shines through her tenure on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, where she served as President from 2019 to 2022 and is a past 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President and Secretary of the Alumni Board. Notably, Turner was the first APP student to hold office on the Alumni Board. Originally from Smithfield, N.C., she now resides in Wilson, N.C., with her husband, Phillip, and are proud parents to four children and eight grandchildren.

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