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Alumna or Alumnus of the Year Award

Celebrating our Alumni leaders

This award recognizes the alumna or alumnus who has contributed significantly to his or her profession, to his or her community, or to the College during the past year.

2017 Alumnus of the Year

Quentin E. Baxter '98 

Quentin E. Baxter is a native Charlestonian who comes from a family of drummers. He earned his B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from the College of Charleston in 1998, and is an adjunct professor of Jazz Percussion in the Department of Music at the College of Charleston.

Baxter is the owner, producer, composer, and recording engineer for Baxter Music Enterprises; an international performing and recording artist with René Marie, Freddy Cole, and Ranky Tanky; a founding member of Jazz Artists of Charleston; and musical director for the Charleston Jazz Initiative.

Well-known for bringing Charleston’s vibrant jazz traditions around the world, Baxter had an incredible year in 2017. He received the Eddie Ganaway Distinguished Alumni Award, named for the College’s first African-American graduate, and received his second Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Sound of Red, with vocalist/composer, René Marie. Mayor John Tecklenburg of Charleston proclaimed April 25, 2017, as “Quentin Baxter Day” in honor of his contributions to the “city, state, country and world in the arena of jazz music.” He was announced as a recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest award in the arts, recognizing outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in the Palmetto State. In September, Baxter was inducted into the Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame in Savannah, GA. He also produced and performed on the debut CD release of Ranky Tanky.

Alumna or Alumnus of the Year Award Past Recipients

1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2016
2017

George C. Rogers, Jr. '43 *
Julius Burges '35 *
Patricia Carter '37 *
Richard H. Gadsden '50 *
Louise Mosimann Smith '41 *
Robert C. Heffron, Jr. '67 *
H. Biemann Othersen, Jr. '50
Glenn F. McConnell '69
Troy Cook '57 *
Bette Smith Griffith '56 *
Linda Schwartz Lombard '64
Charles V. Boykin '37 *
Benjamin H. Cheek '46 *
Jeanne Campbell Sink '75
Helen Bradham Furnans '63
Lu Parker '90
Edgar V. McKnight '53
Cheryll Novak Woods-Flowers '81
Jody L. Stallings '92
Dave J. Schlachter '72
Margaret E. Bridges '69
Laura Jenkins Thompson '77
Mary Eileen Leonard '45 *
Paul A. Sandifer '68
Stephanie Schwabe '90
John C. Lovell, III '90
Chandra Fripp Vick '74
Jeffery E. Kinard '77
Ron J. Menchaca '98
Callie Shell '83
Lucy Garrett Beckham '70 *
Kellie N. Bentz ‘04
John E. Alessi '98
Padgett Powell '74
Cary Ann Hearst '01
Nafees Bin Zafar '98
Joni Harvey McLeod '82
Evan Linder '04
Quentin E. Baxter '98

 * Deceased