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NGU alumni and friend honored at Alumni Connect event

Published on Friday, October 19, 2018

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From left: Justin Pitts, Janice Alford and Bea Dillard were  honored by the NGU alumni association at a recent awards ceremony held at the fall Alumni Connect event at the Cannon Centre in Greer.

From left: Justin Pitts, Janice Alford and Bea Dillard were  honored by the NGU alumni association at a recent awards ceremony held at the fall Alumni Connect event at the Cannon Centre in Greer.



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Nathan Bramsen from North Africa, was named distinguished alumnus of the year.

Nathan Bramsen from North Africa, was named distinguished alumnus of the year.



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NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. presents Carl Dukes with the 2018 Young Alumnus of the Year Award.

NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. presents Carl Dukes with the 2018 Young Alumnus of the Year Award.

Four North Greenville University alumni and a friend of NGU were honored by the university’s alumni association at an awards ceremony Oct. 11 at the Cannon Centre in Greer.

Nathan Bramsen (’07), from North Africa, was named distinguished alumnus of the year; Justin Pitts (’07,  M.B.A. ’12), from Greer, was awarded the alumnus of the year honor; Janice Alford (’98), from Greenville, was recognized with the president’s award; Carl Dukes (’12,  M.Ed. ’14), from Little River, was honored as young alumnus of the year; and Bea Dillard, of Spartanburg, was named friend of the year.

Bramsen was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa. At the age of 16, he saw the opportunity to invest his life into the abused, neglected, and abandoned children of this world for both the sake of time and eternity. After graduating from NGU with a degree in business and broadcasting, he headed to the Middle East to begin pioneer work among this demographic of children.

He founded ROCK International in 2006 and continues to serve the organization in Niger, West Africa. Today he carries out a global speaking schedule across six continents, podcasts, and oversees international development projects. 

Brashier, campus director and director of adult and graduate admissions, has served in this capacity since October of 2015 but has ties to NGU dating back to 2003 when he began his undergraduate degree in Tigerville.

Pitts holds a bachelor’s degree in international business and a Master of Business Administration from NGU. He lives in Greer with his wife of eight years, his five-year-old daughter, and four-year-old son.  

Alford, a native of Darlington, is a certified grief and loss counselor/educator and outreach coordinator for Agape Hospice of the Upstate. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and an Associate in Fine Arts, concentrating in performing arts, from NGU. She also received her certification in grief counseling from the American Institute of Health Care Professionals.

Dukes, a motivational speaker, is a special education teacher as well as the head wrestling coach at North Myrtle Beach High School. He has worked for S.C. Department of Corrections helping identify gang members and adding criminals to the National Gang Database.

While earning his undergraduate degree at NGU, he played football all four years and received the Iron Crusader Award for the weight room in football in 2010 and 2011. Also during his time at NGU, he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach and assisted the football defensive coordinator with coaching the linebackers.

Dillard, born in Aurora, N. C., dreamed as a child and well into her adult life to teach school. That was not a possibility as four years of college was out of the question.  She chose to take graphic arts at Chowan College, and as a result, came to Spartanburg for employment with the  Herald-Journal. 

Dillard's desire to teach or at least be involved with children never changed, and when her three children entered adulthood, she opened Merryland Child Development Center in Spartanburg. Her husband Ray took early retirement from the Herald- Journal and came to work with her at Merryland. They opened a second Child Development center and formed a transportation Co. that enabled them to pick up and deliver children to their home.

When the Dillards retired, they heard about the opportunity to participate in the building of a new baseball field at NGU, and they were all in. Both believed a first quality ball field would be a significant attraction to young men for generations to come. Ray passed away Dec. 24, 2016 before the NGU ball field came to life, but because of the passion and dedication of her, the new Ray and Bea Dillard Field at Ashmore Park was born. It is the only all-turf baseball field at the high school or college level in South Carolina.

 

 

 

 

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