Photo Caption: Pictured left with President Bleicken, Dr. Francis P. Rossiter, Jr., recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award. Pictured right, Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr., recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award. Group photo: Front row, from left, Murray Silver, Spencer Hoynes, Michael Cohen, Thomas Beytagh, Sara Plaspohl, Gary Lackey and Dan Snope. Back row, from left, Florence Casket, Carolyn Moye-Bigelow, Kerry Coursey, Stratton Leopold and C.S. Burke, father of honoree Jon Burke. Not pictured: Jon Burke, David Dorondo, William Scarborough III and Linda Wright.

Committed to Excellence: Armstrong Recognizes Exceptional Alumni at Awards Reception



(Oct. 8, 2013) – Armstrong Atlantic State University recognized 17 exceptional alumni at the 2013 Armstrong Alumni Awards Reception, which was held at the Student Union Ballroom on October 5.

This annual event recognizes alumni for outstanding achievements in their professions, in their communities and in service to the university. Award recipients represent different sectors of the community, government, nonprofits, the business world and various university departments.

Armstrong president Dr. Linda M. Bleicken welcomed attendees at a special reception.

“The alumni recognized this evening embody the commitment to excellence that defines Armstrong,” said Dr. Bleicken. “We’re delighted to recognize such an impressive group of alumni, who have made an indelible impact on business, education, healthcare, the judicial system and other important fields.”

The 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr., retired president and CEO of Savannah Electric and Power Co. Gignilliat earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts at Armstrong in 1953 and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives for eight consecutive terms from 1966 to1981. He enjoyed a 40-year career with Savannah Electric, served as chairman of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, president of the Armstrong Foundation Board of Trustees and chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority.

The 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Dr. Francis P. Rossiter, Jr., a retired physician who earned an Associate of Arts in Pre-Medicine from Armstrong in 1960. Rossiter served on the staffs of all three Savannah hospitals and as a pediatric consultant at Georgia Regional Hospital. He also served on the Backus Children’s Hospital Advisory Board and the Ethics Committee and was the chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee and the Department of Pediatrics. He retired from his medical practice in 2003 and currently serves on the Mercer University School of Medicine-Savannah Board of Governors, Chatham County Hospital Authority and Memorial Health University Board of Directors.

In addition, the university recognized the following individuals with 2013 Notable Alumni Awards:

Thomas J. Beytagh Jr. ‘74
President, First City Enterprises
Bachelor of Business Administration

Jon Burke ‘86
Dean of Student Development and Athletic Director, Metropolitan Community College - Blue River
B.A. in Political Science

Florence Williams Cawley ‘69, ‘74
Regional Marketing Director for ValuTeachers/LSW
Teacher, Retired
B.A. in English with Secondary Certification, M.Ed. in English

Michael Cohen ‘83, ‘87
Instructor, Savannah State University
Teacher, Retired
B.S. in Education, M.Ed. in Physical Education

Kerry Coursey ‘91
Principal of Coastal Middle School
B.S. in Education

David Dorondo ‘80
Associate Professor of History, Western Carolina University
B.A. in History

Spencer Hoynes ‘70
Assistant Commissioner, Georgia Department of Labor, Retired
Bachelor of Business Administration

Gary W. Lackey ‘76
Adjunct Professor in Fine Arts, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Principal of Sol C. Johnson High School, Retired
Bachelor of Music Education

Stratton Leopold ‘64
Film Producer
Owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream
A.A. in Liberal Arts

Carolyn Moye-Bigelow ‘93, ‘96, ‘99
RN Manager of Clinical Practice and Quality Assurance at Gentiva Health Services
A.S., B.S. and M.S. in Nursing

Sara Plaspohl, DrPH, CHES ’78, ‘89, ‘92
Assistant Professor of Health Sciences/Public Health, Armstrong Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene
B.S. in Dental Hygiene Education, Master of Health Science

William W. Scarborough III ‘75, ‘77
Associate Chief Accountant in the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting, Bachelor of Business Administration - Marketing and Management

Murray Silver ‘49
Judge, Municipal Court of Atlanta, Retired
A.A. in Liberal Arts

Dan Snope ‘03
Head of the Mathematics Department, Savannah Arts Academy
M.Ed. in Middle School Education

Linda L. Wright ‘97
Professor of Health Sciences, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Master of Physical Therapy