UNCG’s Alumni Association honored 15 university graduates this fall with Alumni of Distinction Awards. Recipients are chosen for their distinguished service to the university and the community, and for excellence in their chosen profession.

The Alumni of Distinction Awards began in 1960, with an Alumnae Service Award honoring Laura Weill Cone. Since that time, the Awards program has grown to include recognition for many achievements that highlight the caliber of students attending the university.

Eight of this year’s recipients live in the Triad: Margaret Arbuckle of Greensboro; Jo Anne Safrit of Greensboro; Christy Johnson of Greensboro; Gayle Fripp of Greensboro; Sue Medley of Greensboro; Alice Sink of Kernersville; Jerry Tolley of Elon; and Judy Rosenstock Hyman of Greensboro.

The 2015 recipient of the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award is Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux Arbuckle ’74 MEd, ’82 PhD, This award recognizes lifelong service, continuous personal growth and a willingness to embrace the changing world. It also acknowledges outstanding achievement and service to one’s profession, community and university.

Dr. Arbuckle is known for her passion for education and tireless work to improve opportunities for all children, especially the disadvantaged. She has pushed not only for quality education, but also for healthcare access, early education and other efforts to improve the quality of life for children. These efforts have impacted the state as well as Guilford County.

Dr. Arbuckle served as executive director of the Guilford Education Alliance from 2005 until 2013. She has also been a board member of the Guilford Partnership for Children and Smart Start; chair of the N.C. Child Advocacy Institute; and a Guilford County commissioner.

The 2015 recipient of the Alumni Excellence Award is Dr. Margaret JoAnne Safrit ’57. This award recognizes service directly rendered to the university and/or the Alumni Association. The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to advancing UNCG’s mission of improving the community by providing outstanding education opportunities and/or assisting the Alumni Association in advancing the ties which bind alumni to the university.

Dr. Safrit attended Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, began her career at the University of Texas at Austin and then attended graduate school, receiving both her master’s and doctoral degrees (’62; ’67) specializing in Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught for 20 years at UW-Madison, publishing numerous articles in research journals and giving many professional presentations around the world. She served as editor-in-chief of Research Quarterly, and was elected a fellow and served as president of the National Academy of Kinesiology. In 1984, she was awarded the Henry-Bascom Professorship at UW-Madison. After retiring from UW-Madison, Dr. Safrit accepted a position as chair of the Department of Health and Fitness at the American University in Washington, D.C. She remained at AU for eight years, and then began her second retirement. In November 2012, Dr. Safrit received an honorary Doctorate in Education from the Shanghai University of Sport. She currently serves UNCG on the boards of the Alumni Association and the Excellence Foundation.

The 2015 recipient of the Young Alumni Award is Christine “Christy” Johnson ’03, ’05 MA. This award is presented to a UNCG alumnus/a who is 44 years of age or younger when nominated. It recognizes exceptional achievement and significant contribution to the recipient’s profession, community, society or university. The recipient exemplifies outstanding professional and personal development.

Johnson is a songwriter, performer and actress who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNCG. She is the manager and front vocalist for the rock alternative band DREAMKILLER, which has produced two albums and whose songs have been featured in seven feature films. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2013 International Music and Entertainment Awards Rock Female Vocalist of the Year; the 2012 Queen City Awards Rock Artist of the Year (female); the 2011 LA Music Awards Debut Music Video of the Year; the 2009 Music Awards Rock Band of the Year; and the 2009 Carolina Music Awards Rock Artist of the Year.

The WC Legacy Awards are given to alumni of either Woman’s College or UNCG who have made significant contributions in their lifetime that exemplify value, character and high integrity. Recipients represent the ideals and values that were characteristic of the Woman’s College era. This year, five Triad residents received Legacy Awards.

Gayle Hicks Fripp ’63, ’69 MA

Gayle Hicks Fripp was appointed as the Guilford County historian in 1993 and is an expert on the topic of local history. She has served as the assistant director, Greensboro Historical Museum (1986-2002) and the curator of education, Greensboro Historical Museum (1977-1986). Fripp has received several honors and recognition of her work including the Professional Service Award by NC Museums Council, William T. Alderson Lifetime Achievement Award by North Carolina Museum Council, History Award Medal by National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Fripp is a dedicated UNCG alumna and is a lifetime member of the UNCG Alumni Association. She served on the Alumni House Renovation Committee and the UNCG Centennial Board.

Dr. Sue Medley ’65, ’76 MEd, ’85 EdD

Dr. Sue Medley is known for her exemplary, dedicated, professional leadership throughout her career with Greensboro City/Guildford County Schools. She started her career as an English teacher at Page High School and retired as an associate superintendent. She has received numerous accolades for her service –Teacher of the Year (twice), Greensboro Terry Sanford Award, District 6NC Association of Office Professionals Administrator of the Year, NC Learning Disability Association Professional of the Year, to name a few. Dr. Medley most recently led the Class of ’65 for their 50th reunion with record attendance and class gift. Sue received more than 20 nominations from her classmates for this award.

Alice Sink ’59C, ’78, ’81 MFA

Alice Sink served as an associate professor of English at High Point University. She retired after thirty years of teaching writing courses. In 2002 she was awarded the Meredith Clark Slane Distinguished Teacher Award. Sink is the author of more than twenty books and has been published in more than 40 publications. She was one of the first board members of High Point’s City in Schools program, which reached out to high school students in need of tutoring.

Dr. Jerry Tolley ’82 EdD

Dr. Jerry Tolley serves as the mayor of Elon, N.C. He served on the first UNCG HHP Alumni Board. Dr. Tolley has been in education and politics his entire career. He coached two back-to-back NAIA National Football Championship teams at Elon in 1980 and 1981. He has published six books and has supported nonprofit educational groups for many years. Dr. Tolley has been a faithful supporter of UNCG.

Judy Rosenstock Hyman ’56, ’73 MEd

Judy Rosenstock Hyman has been a professional volunteer/advocate and fundraiser for children’s issues in education, human services and political causes. While in graduate school she served in the UNCG Continuing Education Guidance Center as a catalyst to initiate programs needed for the elderly. Hyman has also worked on the National Council of Women, Head Start Daycare, United Day Care Services, the board of the Woman’s College Alumnae Association, chair to 40th and 50th reunion planning committees for her class, B’Nai Shalom, Women’s Resource Center and past director of the Enrichment Fund, Guilford County Schools.