Thomas Jackson Abernathy '40 Posthumously
Jack Abernathy modestly went about his business, sharing his native talents, well-honed by his Davidson experience. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, he put his unique wit and literary skill to work for The Davidsonian and as editor of the college humor magazine, Scripts and Pranks. In the early morning hours, he would still be reading when all others were long asleep. His love of great writing served him well.
He served his country heroically in World War II and responded to the call to serve in the Korean War. Returning to home and family in Richmond, he resumed his career as a creative writer for an advertising agency. He was a loving husband and devoted father.
Jack was dedicated to his churches, serving as clerk of session, elder, and Sunday school teacher. He edited the Hanover Presbytery Newsletter and served Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church uniquely by writing a church history. His perennial Christmas stories of the people among whom Jesus lived were published as a book, a copy of which is in the Davidsoniana Room of the college library.
Jack served alma mater nobly. He was president of the Richmond Alumni Association from 1978 to 1980 and served on many reunion committees. For most of his life, he co-chaired the Class of 1940’s Annual Fund effort with friend and classmate Jack Ferguson and, with Jack, wrote letters to the class which encouraged classmates to remain in touch. The 1999-2000 Annual Fund drive honored his memory with a record participation of 83.8%.
Because you worked in an unobtrusive yet professional manner, and because you were consistent in your loyalty to Davidson, sharing your wit, intellect, talents, and energy to the benefit of your classmates, the college, and its alumni for your lifetime, the Davidson College Alumni Association honors you, Thomas Jackson Abernathy, posthumously, with the Alumni Service Award on the occasion of the Class of 1940’s 60th Reunion, September 23, 2000.