Carolann Connor Willingham '77
Autumn of 1973 brought a new group of freshmen to Davidson College, just as it had for the previous 136 years. While all freshmen face the uncertainties of adjusting to college life, 89 members of the Class of 1977 also confronted the challenge of making Davidson coeducational. As part of that group of pioneers, Carol Connor began her relationship with Davidson, an affiliation which has strengthened and flourished during the past twenty years, much to the benefit of alma mater and the many members of the Davidson family.
During her four years on campus, Carol represented her fellow students in the Student Government Association and helped ease the freshman experience as a Hall Counselor and later as a Freshman Advisor. She was a member of the news staff for WDAV, the Quips and Cranks staff, Captain of the Cheerleading squad, and was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Carol continues to break new ground as an alumna. In 1986, she was elected the first woman President of the National Alumni Association and served Davidson for ten years as a member of the Board of Trustees -- winning two consecutive terms as Alumni Trustee. When students at Davidson created a new all women's eating house on campus, they recognized Carol's distinction as the first alumna member of the Board of Trustees by naming their eating house "Connor House" after her. She has participated in the Davidson Alumni Admission Program, served as a Decade Chair for the Annual Fund, was a member of the Raleigh Regional Campaign Committee and was an integral force in the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Coeducation and the creation of the Alumnae Scholarship for Women. Despite her enduring devotion to Davidson, Carol has also dedicated time and energy to her career and to efforts in her community through work for the March of Dimes, Easter Seals, North Carolina Special Olympics and the Board of Directors for Raleigh's Business and Professional Women. All this while placing top priority on raising her four sons; Kirk, Ryan, Evan and Davis; with her husband Ed.
During convocation in 1976, Carol received the George L. Gladstone award which is given to a rising senior who "has exhibited high potential for service to mankind as indicated by her leadership, service to the community and academic record." Because you have fulfilled the potential recognized in you and served the members of the Davidson family with dedication and compassion, the Alumni Association presents this Alumni Service Award to you, Carolann Connor Willingham, on the occasion of your 20th reunion on this day, April 19, 1997.