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Alumni receive honors at awards dinner

Last updated June 3, 2013

By Furman News

Four alumni — Frank Blackwell ’90 (back row, far right), Lillian Brock Flemming ’71 (next to Blackwell), Rodney Johnson ’03 (next to Flemming) and the late C. Dan Joyner ’59 — took home major honors at the Alumni Awards Dinner April 19.

Joyner, who died in early 2012,  received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Founder of Prudential C. Dan Joyner Co., one of the Upstate’s most successful real estate firms, he was a community and civic leader. At Furman he served as a trustee and as president of the Alumni Association, and he was known as “Furman’s Biggest Fan” because of his unwavering support for Paladin athletics. The C. Dan Joyner Family Athletic Scholarship is awarded each year, and the porch at the Shi Center for Sustainability is named for him and his wife, Katherine Poole Joyner ‘60. Joyner previously received the Alumni Service Award and was elected to the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame. His family (front row and back left) was on hand to accept the award.

Flemming earned the Gordon L. Blackwell Alumni Service Award. A former Furman trustee and a recipient of the university’s Richard Furman Baptist Heritage Award, she was one of the first African-American women to attend Furman. A longtime community leader, she has been a member of Greenville City Council since 1981 and currently serves as vice mayor pro tempore. She is a past president of the Greenville County Education Association and of the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

Johnson, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner, is founder and principal of Greenville’s Lead Academy Charter School, which opened in 2010. At Furman he captained the football team and worked with Bridges to a Brighter Future, which helps high school students who have limited financial resources reach their potential. He taught for several years in Atlanta before establishing Lead Academy. Greenville Business Magazine has named him to its list of the city’s “Best and Brightest 35 and Under.”

Blackwell received the Wayne and Rubye Reid Award, which goes to alumni who make major contributions to the career development of Furman students. As director of sales for ScanSource, Inc., in Greenville, he has hired a number of Furman graduates, provided career advice and direction to students, and recommended others for positions within the company. He is a past member of the Alumni Board and is vice president of the Paladin Club.

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