Alumni of the Year
Each year at least one outstanding person is chosen to be honored at alumni weekend and receives the "Alumni of the Year" award. This is a challenging process because there are so many Fletcher graduates who are now giving and serving around the world. Candidates may be nominated by any Fletcher Academy graduate, or faculty member (current or former).
The nominee’s life must exemplify Fletcher Academy's core values and mission to foster spiritual, mental, physical, and social development. Our graduates are known for having a spirit of service, being productive workers and caring citizens. Fletcher Alumni should have evidence of a Christ-like character that leads to a transforming influence in our world as disciples of Jesus. To be considered for this award, a candidate must meet the criteria in all of these three key areas:
- Positive contribution to society.
- Faithful representation of Christ.
- Generous support toward the continued mission of Fletcher Academy.
We recognize that complete evidence of successful personal application of one’s relationship to God is impossible to truly ascertain. In keeping with Christ’s encounter with the widow and her two mites, it will be remembered that at times one who lives a quiet and steadfast life may be the most worthy recipient of this award. When a life of self-sacrifice is given the blessing of God, the far-reaching positive results can be difficult to fully measure.
To submit a name for consideration, please contact the Development & Alumni Relations office. Nominations will be received until July 1. Final award recipients will be selected and determined by the Alumni Officers and the Development & Alumni Relations Director. The "Alumni of the Year" award is presented in early October at alumni weekend.
Fletcher Academy is proud of the outstanding accomplishments and the impact that our alumni are making for God in the workplace, in the church, in the community, and in their personal relationships. There are countless Fletcher alumni who are making a positive difference in this world. Please take the time to read just a few stories of our alumni who have been selected to receive the Alumnus of the Year award.
Please contact the Development & Alumni Relations office if you would like to nominate someone for "Alumni of the year".
Cathy graduated from Fletcher Academy in 1958. Following graduation she took a course to become an airline stewardess. Although she has enjoyed traveling throughout her life, working for an airline did not prove to be her life calling. Instead she married a handsome 19 year old man who proved much more interesting than airplanes. The newlyweds called California home for a short period of time but returned to Hendersonville, NC where they remain to this very day.
After returning to Hendersonville, the couple built and ran a residential building and development company. God blessed them with 2 small boys and our recipient managed to raise these energetic youngsters while still helping to keep the new business going.
After the boys grew up and left home our recipient obtained her North Carolina Real Estate License and started her own company. Her outgoing personality and genuine concern for people endeared her to her clients and helped create lasting friendships with many of them. She continued to work in real estate until she retired around 2009.
There are several things that stand out when we consider this individual’s life. Her love for the Lord is readily apparent to all who have contact with her. She has a good sense of humor and is seldom seen without a smile. She has remained devoted to her family which now includes not only her two sons but also a daughter-in-law and six grandchildren as well as many extended family members. Her care and concern has not been restricted to her family, however. She has freely opened her heart and home to anyone in need, including students attending Fletcher Academy. She has served her church and community in various roles and continues to serve as a deaconess, often preparing food for those in need. She loves to travel and meet new people and see new places but always returns to the home she loves here in the mountains.
Cathy has been very generous with her time and resources in support of Fletcher Academy. Our school and its precious young people have been blessed through the years because of all that she has done.
Evelyn Nicholaides decided at a very young age what she wanted to do in life. Growing up in a home with a single mother and four siblings, positioned her to get plenty of practice in the field in which she desired to work. She was attracted as a young lady to teaching. God certainly has gifted her for her chosen profession. In addition to her professional achievements she supported her teaching husband in Rwanda, Africa for six years. While there she taught 9th graders English as a 3rd Language and home schooled her children. She has taught at Captain Gilmer Christian School for over 24 years and initiated the Kindergarten/ Pre-First Program 20 years ago. Her teaching style has been hands-on through the use of felts, crafts, and observing nature. Her family has noted that she always made doing the right thing seem fun.
Though teaching has been her focus, she has generously shared her time and talents in many other areas including Pathfinders, Adventurers, Children’s Sabbath School, Vacation Bible School, passing out Quiet Bags to small children during church, and the Foster Kids Christmas Party. She was also the leader and original initiator of the International Food Fair, a fundraising event for Captain Gilmer Christian School. Between 1983 and 2011 she was heavily involved (36 times) in leadership roles for Vacation Bible School. She has served as the Cradle-roll Sabbath School Demonstrator for the Carolina Conference and has been a member of the Carolina Conference Pathfinder Council. Because of her focused involvement with children she has never had time to attend an Adult SS Class. She has a ready smile and positive outlook on life.
Evelyn Nicholaides is leaving a legacy that has impacted the lives of hundreds of our precious children. We are so grateful that she has allowed God to use her to educate for time and eternity.
At the age of 15 Bill Bass enrolled at FA as a sophomore dorm student. He was involved with many different activities while a student at Fletcher Academy. He also worked in a variety of positions including Fletcher Hospital and the Boys Dorm.
He spent many a day helping his favorite FA teacher, Richard Nielsen, to build his house. Gordon Brown and Don Mathis also helped to shape his life during his time as a student at Fletcher. The faculty at Fletcher helped to mold his life. He was inspired to use this same pattern with students in his dorm and classrooms, when a few years later the Lord asked him to return to Fletcher Academy as part of the faculty.
Before he graduated his senior year in 1982, a certain girl caught his eye. They began to date after Spring Break. They continued their relationship through college, tying the knot 4 years later and starting a family of their own. He, his wife, and their two boys are all graduates of FA.
While at Southern College, he pursued a degree in Religion, minoring in Industrial Education and PE, with plans to teach. Because Fletcher had so shaped his early life, he readily accepted the Boys Dean position at FA once he graduated from Southern in 1987. He spent 12 years molding young lives as the Dean, while also teaching several classes. In 1999, he taught 7th grade at Captain Gilmer for one year. He then moved his family to GA, where he was the principal and teacher of an elementary school in Dalton. While there, he completed his Masters in School Administration through Western Carolina University. After 3 years in GA, he was called back to Fletcher to serve as the Chaplain.
He and his family returned to NC in 2003, and his talents have been utilized in many different areas over the last 13 years. He has taught many different classes, wore the administrative hat at times, been challenged by the work coordinator position, and has always been involved with maintenance and vehicles. Students know him well for leading out in “Senior Survival”, being their “Bus Driver”, and the many mission trips that he has planned and coordinated.
Bob Hansen moved to Fletcher, NC when he was 4 1/2 years old. There he attended grade school and Fletcher Academy where he graduated in 1956. He classes were held in the little brick building beside what is now the kindergarten playground.
When he was 4 1/2 years old, he went with his mother, Gertrude Hansen, to work at the Sanitarium Kitchen. He was put to work moving oranges from crates to storage. One morning he told them he wasn't doing it any more unless they paid him so they agreed to pay him a penny per hour. He also helped plant the old apple orchard on the property where Park Ridge Hospital now stands.
He graduated from Southern Missionary College in 1962 with a major in accounting and a minor in religion. He then went to work for Knight and Davidson in Woodbury, TN. (He passed his CPA exam on the 2nd try.) About 3 years later he moved back to Fletcher with his wife and daughter and worked in an Asheville accounting firm. Later, he and Gary Pearson formed their own company Hansen & Pearson (approx. 1965). They became the largest Adventist CPA Firm in the United States. The firm became Hansen, Johnson & Assoc. in the early 80's. He worked in the same firm, through mergers with other companies, and retired in 2002. Our recipients' academic achievements include designations as CPA, CVA, and PFS.
In 2011, he had the privilege of presenting his youngest grandchild, Benjamin Alexander Brown, with his high school diploma.
Since his retirement, he has been enjoying yard work (when he has the time to do it leisurely) and helping with the great grandchildren. In earlier years, he enjoyed wood carving, but hasn't had much time for that in recent years.
Bob Hansen has served on and chaired the Board of Directors of Fletcher Academy, Inc. for many years. He has been the Chairman of the FAI Finance Committee and has served as a valued and dedicated FAI Board Member.
Dr. Milton Conley graduated from Fletcher Academy in 1976. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also received specialty training in vascular surgery from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and endovascular surgery at University of California, Los Angeles. Though he is referred to as a “vascular surgeon with world class credentials” he encourages patients to improve their health through lifestyle changes. “Quit smoking, exercise, eat healthfully, and put me out of business,” is a phrase that he uses on a daily basis.
Dr. Conley has pursued his medical training with focused intensity. Yet he has been quick to share his gratitude with those who have influenced his life in a positive way. For his 50th birthday celebration, his wife Stephanie organized a dinner party in Asheville, at The Grove Park Inn. On that day, Dr. Conley took the opportunity to honor his parents, elementary and Fletcher Academy teachers, university professors, and other mentors to whom he felt indebted for the guidance they had provided in his life. In his carefully prepared remarks at that gathering, he thanked each person present. He shared the specific ways each one had positively contributed to building his character, his spiritual development, and education, in preparation for a life of service to our Creator.
He is particularly appreciative of the Christian education at Fletcher Academy with its emphasis on “educating for eternity,” developing the spiritual, mental, physical, and social aspects of each student.
Nowhere has this gratitude been more evident than in his passionate support of Fletcher Academy and current Fletcher Academy students. His practice of “paying it forward” makes it possible for this school to continue mentoring future leaders for God’s work in the community, the church, the nation, and the world.
Fletcher Academy is honored to have alumni like Dr. Milton Conley whose life of service and generosity is impacting His world for time and eternity.
Don and Pauline were attracted to Fletcher Academy because of the work program. They came from large families and were responsible for their own finances. They took advantage of what Fletcher had to offer by working hard in the work and academic programs. Don became a Nurse Anesthetist and Pauline an Insurance Clerk and Computer Programmer. Don and Pauline met at Fletcher and in 2013 they had just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary. Don and Pauline are deeply grateful for their rewarding experience at Fletcher Academy. They have been very generous to Fletcher Academy with their time, resources and financial support. Don and Pauline have served as Alumni officers and helped with fundraising efforts. Don has also served as President of the Century One Hundred Club, and continues to serve as an FAI Board Member. Pauline has been influential in promoting alumni scholarships for academy students. Fletcher Academy is blessed to have Don and Pauline as involved and generous alumni.
Carlton and Genella Hunt’s heritage at Fletcher goes back to the spring of 1941, when Carlton arrived on campus. Carlton found his work in the hospital kitchen to be rewarding because of the presence of another student employee, Genella Lowder. That relationship would eventually result in the union of their two lives in marriage in 1947. After Pearl Harbor, Uncle Sam invited Carlton to join the armed services. Carlton’s zeal to serve his country was matched by his desire to keep the Sabbath holy, and he suffered through much hardship and an eventual court-martial as a result. However, God blessed his steadfast faithfulness, and after serving overseas, he was one of only 15% of his unit who were given citations for excellent service. The Hunts returned to Fletcher in 1950 then eventually became involved with mission service in Uganda and Kenya. In 1966, the Hunts returned to Fletcher Academy where they would work for 16 more years. Among their other varied responsibilities, Carlton was a teacher at the academy and Genella Director of Nursing. The Hunt’s dedicated service extended from Fletcher to Africa and back. Through it all, their humble, dedicated Christian influence indeed “educated many for eternity.” Truly Carlton and Genella are worthy recipients of this year’s Alumnus of the Year award.
For the first time ever, Fletcher Academy presented an Alumni of the Year Award. There are so many outstanding graduates who are giving and serving around the world that it was hard to choose. The Alumni Officers and FA Administration decided that they should give the award to two brothers who had been serving God in Paata. Congratulations to John Krum ’80 and Roger Krum ’86. Unable to attend the Alumni Weekend, the brothers were surprised at the Alumni Sabbath School Program when a conference phone call to “interview” them turned into a special recognition.
John and his family went to Paata when his girls were 3 and 5 back in October of 1994. Paata is a small State in the Islands of Chuuk, Federate States of Micronesia. Their main goals were church planting and medical work. The work was large and they needed extra helpers. In 1998, Roger and Amy decided to go and be their assistants. After only eight months, John and Teresa took on other challenges and Roger and Amy were now in charge of the mission. Roger and Amy’s top priority was connecting to the people and nurturing church growth. Amy did health education classes for the community. Next, they took on their greatest challenge of starting a school. It began as a two hour after school program back in 2003. They were trying to get a Charter to run the school full time. In 2007 the doors opened. In 2011, Roger was the Principal and the teacher.
Roger has a huge burden to do some translations of books into the Chuukese language. There is so little written in the Chuukese language. A Bible and some hymns are about all. Some of the residents in Paata have translated the books Steps to Christ and The Story of Redemption. Roger would like to help them get the books published and into the hands of the islanders. John and Teresa are currently serving God back in the states. For all the Alumni who are out there in their Mission Fields every day, prayers are being lifted up for you. Each of us has a work to do in our homes, in our churches, and in our communities. Let us keep on serving the Lord and preparing for His soon return.