Alumna or Alumnus of the Year Award

By John Stabinger
Posted on 6 April 2020 | 12:50 pm

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.

2020 Alumni of the Year

Ranky-Tanky-Bio

Ranky Tanky

Ranky Tanky is made up of five longtime friends from Charleston, SC, who have established themselves as passionate global ambassadors for the local culture and community. Through their music, they strive to faithfully preserve the traditions originated by African Americans in the coastal South during slavery and kept alive through present day. The name of the band comes from a Gullah phrase meaning “get funky.” Their music has been described as “soulful honey to the ears” by National Public Radio. The quintet includes four College of Charleston alumni: Kevin Hamilton ’95 on bass, Quentin Baxter ’98 on drums, Clay Ross ’98 on guitar and vocals, and Quiana Parler ’01 on vocals. All were music majors at the College of Charleston. The fifth member of the quintet is Charlton Singleton on trumpet and vocals.

In January 2020, Ranky Tanky received a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Album for their sophomore release, Good Time. The album, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart, combines songs carried down through generations in the Sea Islands of the southeastern United States with the band’s original compositions in the Gullah tradition. The band has been covered by The New York Times, NPR’s Fresh Air, and The TODAY Show, and was recently the subject of a 10-page profile in Oxford American. The members of Ranky Tanky are musical ambassadors for the South Carolina Lowcountry, and have introduced new audiences to Gullah music and culture throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

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
2018
2019

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
Heidi VanDerveer ’86
Debra J. Gammons ’87

 * Deceased