Major Erwin Carter '79
There is something to be said about making the best of a tough situation. And there's something more significant about making a place better than when you first found it.
That last sentence plays on a well-known phrase-leaving a place better than one finds it-but it's important to note that Erwin Carter isn't leaving Davidson. He is too important and too loved and too well cherished for Davidson to ever let him go.
Still, by the end of this year, Erwin will have ended his term as a trustee of Davidson College, the latest of several leadership positions he's held. While on the Board, he served as the chair of its Campus and Religious Life Committee and a member of its Executive Committee. Indeed, this is quite an accomplishment for a Davidson man who arrived at his alma mater's doorstep in 1975 by way of Aiken, South Carolina, one of very few African American students at the college.
Davidson then was different than Davidson now, but the point of this Alumni Service Award, and the epicenter of all that embodies Erwin Carter's life and work and devotion to this college, is that Davidson now is better because of all that Erwin has done.
His work as a board member and president of the Davidson Black Alumni Network established that organization as a significant and meaningful group, making it an integral part of campus and alumni lives today. His work as a Trustee included the establishment of The Davidson Trust, an effort made sweeter by a note Erwin included on his application to Davidson some 35 years ago: "I read that all applications would be considered for scholarships, and I am glad-very glad."
Erwin has worked hard for Davidson, remaining involved, recruiting, supporting, and mentoring. He has served as an Annual Fund class agent and a member of Davidson's Board of Visitors. He has given generously to create scholarships through the Davidson Black Alumni Network. He has made this place better than when he first found it.
And then, in perfect form, he brought his daughter, Amoura Camille, to Davidson. When she earned her diploma in 2007, she crossed a graduation platform that was full of a new realm of possibilities made true by her father.
For your selfless service to alma mater, for your diligence and hard work and vision to make Davidson better, and for your dedication to never giving up on that dream, the Davidson College Alumni Association honors you, Erwin Carter, with the Alumni Service Award.