J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus Award

Robert Greene '72 has spent the bulk of his career educating young students by leading adults as an administrator at the school, school system, and statewide levels.

A 1972 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan, Greene earned a master’s in education from Union College and an education specialist degree from Tennessee Technological University.

Greene began his career after TWC as a teacher and coach in Meigs County before moving to Monroe County, where he eventually became a school principal. He returned to Meigs County in 1981 to serve as director of schools, a position he held until 2007, when he was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Division of Resources and Support Services. In that capacity, he led the division responsible for areas such as local finance, facilities, budget, and human resources and oversaw the implementation of major improvements to state education funding of local school systems through BEP (Basic Education Program) 2.0.

He maintained those duties when he was promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Education for Tennessee in 2008, a position he held until taking the job of Director of Schools for the Athens City School System in 2010.
In Athens, Greene has led numerous changes, including a complete restructuring of the system and implementation of the Teacher Advancement Program, a national initiative to revitalize the teaching profession through leadership opportunities, professional development, and performance- based compensation.

Greene has served multiple years as chairman for both regional and statewide Superintendents’ Study Councils. He has also been a member of the State Board of Education Advisory Council and the Tennessee Department of Education’s advisory board for developing guidelines for the 21st Century Classroom initiative. He is also a charter member of the Tennessee Association of Administrators of Special Education.

Through both the Tennessee School Boards Association and Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents, Greene has given his time and talents to train new superintendents and school board members across the state.
In 2006, Greene was named Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.

Outstanding Young Alumna Award

Brian Kyle '03 has measured his personal success by the success of his U.S. history students at McMinn County High School. While he’s never sought recognition for that success, he’s certainly received it on a fairly regular basis.

Kyle’s numerous teaching honors have included being named the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year for the 2010-11 school year by Bi-Lo and Chattanooga’s WDEF-Channel 12 for his work in inspiring and motivating students in a positive way. In Oct. 2011, he was named a Tennessee Titans Teacher of the Week and had his name announced during the Titans-Steelers game in Nashville, while also receiving a basket of school supplies hand-delivered by Titans officials.

In November 2012, he was selected by Chattanooga’s WTVC-Channel 9 as an Educator of the Week and was a finalist for the Tennessee Lottery Educator of the Month. The following December, he was honored by Knoxville’s WIVK-107.7 FM as Teacher of the Month.

In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly honored his achievements in the classroom with an official proclamation.

Kyle’s effective teaching has been made possible through the implementation of his personal teaching philosophy of showing love and compassion to each student. He opens each class by thanking the students for their attitudes, respect, and work ethic before then having three students share something positive about three of their fellow students in class. Kyle also shares his students’ academic achievements on his Wall of Fame in the main corridor of MCHS.

A McMinn County High School alumnus himself, Kyle studied history and education at Tennessee Wesleyan, earning his degree in 2003. He is now in his tenth year as a teacher at MCHS, where he also serves as an assistant football coach and sophomore class sponsor, and works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Academic Competition Team. He is also a member of the school’s Leadership Team and chairs the Morale and Culture Committee.

An active member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church near Niota, Kyle serves as a Sunday school teacher, worship leader for Vacation Bible School, usher, choir member, and works in the church’s food bank. In addition to mission work in the United States and abroad, Kyle regularly mows lawns and performs routine maintenance for the elderly in his church. 

Robbie Ensminger Friend of Wesleyan Award

TWC supporters Dr. Durwood Dunn and Sheilah Farmer Grubb '72 were named the 2013 recipients of the Robbie Ensminger Friend of Wesleyan Award.

In his long tenure as a professor and chairman of Tennessee Wesleyan’s history department, Dunn has enlightened and enriched the lives of thousands of students who have gone on to enlighten and enrich their own communities as lawyers, judges, educators, and professionals in various fields.

An East Tennessee native, Dunn began his TWC career in 1975 after earning bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Over his 38-year career, Dunn has received the college’s Deane G. Hall and Lockmiller Teacher of the Year awards for his efforts in the classroom.

Perhaps the most highly recognized authority on Appalachian history, Dunn’s Thomas Wolfe Literary Award-winning bestseller “Cades Cove: The Life and Death of a Southern Appalachian Community 1818- 1837” is still among the most popular titles produced by the University of Tennessee Press. He has written several other works, with his most recent, a text focused on Methodist clergy during the Civil War, due to be published in October 2013.

Dunn’s numerous accolades include the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Ramsey Award for Lifetime Achievement and being the namesake of the Durwood Dunn Award, which is presented by the Society of Appalachian Historians.

Grubb, a 1972 TWC graduate, has worked to carry on the legacy of her late husband, Coach Dwain Farmer, through not only financial support of the athletic program and establishment of the Dwain Farmer Memorial Scholarship, but also hands on work as a recruiter for and organizer of the annual Dwain Farmer Memorial Golf Tournament.

A member of the TWC Alumni Board, Grubb has had two children follow her as TWC alums and has three grandchildren who have attended or are currently attending the college.

An active member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Grubb has been a longtime member of the Sanctuary Choir, Director of Vacation Bible School, and co-founder of the church’s Mothers Day Out program. She has also been active in the community through such organizations as the Alexander Keith Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Ms. Ruthie Cawood is a 1995 graduate of  TWC. She is currently employed with EdSouth in Knoxville, TN as the East Tennessee Student Outreach Counselor. In 2011-12 Ruthie was awarded the Smokey Mountain Counseling Association Outstanding Advocate of the Year. After graduation, Ruthie spent 10 years in the Admissions Department for Tennessee Wesleyan College where she served as Director for several years.

Ruthie was a member of the Lady Bulldog Basketball team from 1991-1995 where she received multiple awards. Ruthie was an Honorable Mention All-American and received the Most Valuable Offensive Player award in 1994-95. She was also awarded the Dwain Farmer Award in 1995 for Best Overall Senior female athlete at TWC. Ruthie was a member of two NAIA National Tournament teams, one of which qualified to the Sweet Sixteen.

Mr. Gene Raymer is a 1970 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College and currently resides in Kingston, TN. Gene coached basketball at Kingston High School from 1970-1997 and in 1979 took his team to the Tennessee State Tournament Semi-Final Round.

During his time at Tennessee Wesleyan, Gene enjoyed tremendous success on the basketball court where he played for Coach Dwain Farmer from 1965-1969. He was a four year starter where he averaged double figures in points each year. Gene served as a team co-captain from 1968-69, and was also a member of the 1967 National Tournament team where they advanced to the round of 8.

Mr. Doug Raymer is a 1967 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College where he majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry and Economics. Doug is now retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory but while employee there he was listed as the co-author on several scientific papers. He now enjoys spending his time hunting, fishing and gardening. Doug is an avid supporter of Tennessee Wesleyan athletics having participated in nearly all of the Athletic Golf Tournament Fundraising events for the past 20 years.

During his time on TWC’s men’s basketball team from 1963 through 1966 Doug was an impact player for the team. He had much of his success early on; having received an award for having the highest field goal percentage on the team as a freshman, as well as beating Tampa University and University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Doug started 27 games as a freshman and sophomore.

Mr. Jorge Fuchs is a 1981 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College. He is currently employed by Frontier Health where he has worked since 1985 as a coordinator of Assessment and Forensic Services. He received his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from ETSU in 1991, He is currently a licensed senior psychological examiner in Tennessee certified to conduct forensic competency to stand trial evaluations. Not only was he an excellent athlete but he received many academic awards while at TWC. Jorge received the TWC Townsend Award and the William James Award in Psychology in 1981. He received the Kiwanis Award for Highest GPA in 1979, 80, & 81.

Jorge played soccer at Tennessee Wesleyan from 1977 to 1980 and received many honors during that time. He was also a member of  first National Tournament Team in 1978. He was named First Team All-Conference in 1978, 1979 and 1980. In addition, he was a 1979 Southern All American Selection. He received First Team All-District honors in 1979 & 80. In 1978 Jorge was named the team’s Defensive MVP and in 1979 and 1980 he was named TWC Men’s Soccer Most Valuable Player.

Mr. Joe Young is a 1993 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College. He is currently an instructional coach for McMinn County Schools. Joe served as the assistant coach for the McMinn Central Lady Chargers for the past 12 years under Head Coach, Johnny Morgan (Also a TWC Hall of Famer). During that time McMinn Central won the district tournament 10 times, the regional tournament 10 times and participated in 8 state tournaments. Included in the State Tournament appearances were 2 State Runner-Up finishes and the school’s only State Championship Title in 2010-11. The overall record during Joe’s 12 seasons at McMinn Central was 354-65.

Joe was on the Tennessee Wesleyan College men’s basketball team from 1989-1993. In 1992, Joe was named to the All Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference Team. As a student at TWC Joe also received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at TWC’s Graduation in 1993.  This annual award recognizes individuals whose “nobility of character” and service to others sets them apart as examples to all. In 1996-1998 he served as the Assistant Coach of the TWC Men’s Basketball Team under Head Coach, Steve Adams and for this upcoming year will be serving as the assistant coach for TWC women’s basketball.

Joe is an avid supporter of TWC athletics, In honor of the TWC baseball team’s National Championship, he organized a basketball camp, along with TWC Hall of Famer Jason Powell, with all proceeds being donated to TWC to help offset the cost of the Championship Rings. 

2013 Award Winners
and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus Award:
Robert Greene '72

Outstanding Young Alumna Award:
Brian Kyle '03

Robbie Ensminger Friend of Wesleyan Award:
Sheilah Farmer Grubb '72 & Dr. Durwood Dunn

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
Ruthie Caywood '95, basketball
Gene Raymer '70, basketball
Doug Raymer '67, basketball
Jorge Fuchs '81, soccer
Joe Young '93, basketball

2012 Award Winners and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus Award:
Gracie Coates Keith '59

Outstanding Young Alumna Award:
Jamison Sliger '03

Robbie Ensminger Friend of Wesleyan Award:
Stan Harrison

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
David Tucker '76, coach
Donald Schaefer '79, soccer
Michael Gilbert '80, soccer
Thomas Griffin '88, baseball
David Scott '88, basketball

Award Descriptions

J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus Award

Named for one of Tennessee Wesleyan's most distinguished alumni, J. Neal Ensminger, recipients for this award are chosen from nominations and are based on the individual's achievements within his/her profession, church and community service, or service to the college. Click here to view a list of previous winners.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Recipients of this award are chosen from nominations and are based on the individual's achievements within his/her profession, church and community service, or service to the college. The nominee must be a graduate within the last 15 years. Click here to view a list of previous winners

Robbie J. Ensminger Friend of Wesleyan Award

This award was established in 1987 to recognize those who have given their time, talent, and resources to Tennessee Wesleyan College. Click here to view a list of previous winners.

Athletic Hall of Fame

The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to identify and honor, in a permanent manner, those individuals who have achieved excellence in athletics at Tennessee Wesleyan College or have contributed to the advancement of Tennessee Wesleyan athletics by their contributions of time, resources or both.

Nominations are considered using the following three categories as guidelines for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Click here to view a list of previous winners.

Outstanding Athlete
Those who have achieved excellence in athletics at Tennessee Wesleyan College and are 15 years removed from his/her playing date.

Outstanding Coach
Those who have advanced and enhanced the concept of athletics at Tennessee Wesleyan College through their talents as coaches in their respective communities. A former TWC coach must have coached at TWC for 10 years or have been out of a coaching position at TWC for a period of five years. To be considered as a nominee as a coach away from TWC, the individual nominated must have coached at least 10 years.

Outstanding Contributor
Those who have contributed to the advancement of Tennessee Wesleyan College athletics and who are classified as non-athletes or coaches, and who may or may not have matriculated at Tennessee Wesleyan College.


Submit your nominations for the 2013 Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame. All submissions must be received prior to June 21. Nominations may be made by any Tennessee Wesleyan alumnus or by any member of the Awards Committee. Nominations are required to be in writing. Please email nominations to alumni@twcnet.edu or print, download and complete the nomination form and:

Send alumni and hall of fame award nominations to:                                   

Tennessee Wesleyan College                       
Office of Alumni Relations
Attn.: Marica Merck
204 E. College Street
Athens, TN 37303

No individuals will be considered for induction unless they have been formally nominated in writing and submitted to the Alumni Relations Office.