Richard L. Voorhees '63
Richard Lesley Voorhees came to Davidson from Winston-Salem in 1959 on a football scholarship, and immediately began to establish himself as a leader among his peers. He was elected to the Freshman Council and served as YMCA Secretary. Dick co-founded the college Conservative Club, was also a member of the ROTC, a Hall Counselor, and brother of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He graduated in 1963 with a degree in French and as a member of the D-Club for his four years as letterman on the football team.
|Distinguished Alumnus Award winner Richard Voorhees '63.|
Upon graduation Dick continued to distinguish himself as a leader, and further to define his character, by accepting a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, serving his country in Korea. He returned from his military service abroad to study law receiving his law degree from the University of North Carolina in 1968, while maintaining his commitment to country as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 1969 he retired from the Army as a Captain.
For twenty years Dick enjoyed the private practice of law in Gastonia, North Carolina, serving as president of the local bar association in the early 1980s. Recognizing his lifelong dedication to community and country, and his vast experience and expertise in the law, President Reagan appointed him United States District Court Judge for the Western District of North Carolina in 1998. He has since served on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Council, the North Carolina Federal-State Judicial Council and the Court Administration and Case Management Committee of the United States Judicial Conference. In 1991, Judge Voorhees assumed the position of Chief Judge for the Western District. He has served with distinction on the federal bench for fifteen years, presiding over some of the most significant and notorious cases from Charlotte to Asheville.
In the midst of his professional career, Dick Voorhees has remained loyal to Davidson. He has served as president of the Gastonia-area Alumni Chapter, on the scholarship applicant interview committee, as an Annual Fund solicitor and a regular member of the Davidson Athletic Foundation. He has led members of his First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia bible study class to watch Davidson basketball games on campus, and proudly played in (and survived) the student-alumni football game.
Because you are a leader in the truest sense, because you hold yourself and those who come before you to the highest standards, and because of your continued dedication to alma mater, the Davidson College Alumni Association honors you, Richard Lesley Voorhees, with the Distinguished Alumni Award on the occasion of the 40th Reunion of the Class of 1963, April 4, 2003.