Davis & Elkins College will honor three of its alumni at 6:30 p.m. Saturday during the annual Homecoming Banquet and Awards Ceremony in the Benedum Hall Dining Room.
Honorees include Elizabeth "Beth" Guye Kittle, Lifetime Achievement Award; Fred Fincken, Tower Award; and Wesley Withrow, Outstanding Young Alumnus.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented in recognition of an individual's commitment to Davis & Elkins College. Created in 2003, the honor is not presented annually. Kittle will join a distinguished group of only three other recipients.
Kittle, of Elkins, graduated magna cum laude a Bachelor of Arts in English from D&E in 1947. She earned a Master of Arts in guidance and counseling from West Virginia University in 1972.
Kittle lived in Georgia from 1954-1964 where she held various paralegal and executive secretarial positions. She returned to Elkins in 1964, and began her career at D&E. She served as the administrative assistant to President Gordon E. Hermanson for 18 years, and then for President C. Brent DeVore for one year. She was then appointed as Director of Alumni Relations, a position she held for three years. Kittle later served as director of special projects for two years and as acting vice president for development for nine months before retiring from D&E in 1988.
During her tenure as Director of Alumni Relations, Kittle initiated the formation of the National Alumni Council of which she is a lifetime member.
The Tower Award is presented to a D&E alumnus or alumna for outstanding commitment and service to the college and its alumni programs. The criteria for selection include volunteering of time, talent and/or funds in support of the numerous student and alumni programs the college offers. This year's recipient is Fincken, who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from D&E in 1962.
Fincken, who lives in Harwinton, Conn., has organized several D&E Alumni events in his home, and serves as a trustee with the Davis & Elkins College Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Association. He has co-chaired football reunions, was an active member of the D&E APART mentoring program, helped at several fairs and actively participates in the Metro New York D&E Alumni Chapter. He was a member of the National Alumni Council for 11 years, and served on the Parliamentary Committee and also as vice president and president.
Upon graduation from Davis & Elkins College, Fincken entered the U.S Navy for a six-year commitment. His business career was launched in 1964 with Pitney Bowes Inc. in the office products industry. He began as a sales trainee and advanced to regional sales manager during the course of seven corporate relocations. During the next 22 years, Fincken held the titles of eastern regional sales manager, director of business development, vice president of sales and vice president of marketing with such companies as The E.F. Hauserman Co., American Seating Co. and a Steelcase Dealership. He retired from Ascom Hasler Mailing Systems after a 10-year career. He then accepted an assignment as vice president and general manager with Rhode Island business systems and fully retired in 2003.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus award is presented to an alumnus who has graduated from Davis & Elkins College within the last 10 years and shows unusual promise in his/her profession and loyalty and commitment to the college. Criteria for selection include professional achievements and honors, community service/service to others and commitment to the college. This year's recipient is Withrow, who earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from D&E in 2004. He went on to earn his Master of Science in information systems from The Johns Hopkins University.
Withrow, of New Orleans, La., currently is the chief information officer for Bellwether Technology, a firm that provides a full suite of information technology services to businesses in the greater New Orleans area. In this role, he ensures that clients are correctly positioned to make sound business decisions in managing their information technology services.
He is an accomplished information system professional whose experience covers a broad spectrum of roles and responsibilities such as designing, implementing, securing and administering systems in complex environments. As a technical direction agent for the Department of Defense, he has experience working with teams supporting information system acquisition and deployment through requirements analysis, design, development, and testing.
Prior to working for Bellwether, Withrow worked as a systems engineer in the National Security Technology Department at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory - a University Affiliated Research Center. There he contributed on small- to medium-sized project teams to provide guidance to the Department of Defense on a diverse set of problem spaces. This included reporting to and briefing the U.S. Government, Army, Navy, Air Force, Homeland Security, Central Intelligence Agency, DARPA, IARPA.
Withrow also has worked in information technology support and as a systems administrator for Under Armour.
More information about D&E College is available at www.dewv.edu.