Congratulations to the 2018 Award Recipients 

Distinguished Alumni Award


Distinguished Alumni Award - is given by the Alumni Association Board of Directors to honor excellence in one's profession or community service.  

Margaret Whitt

Margaret Earley Whitt ’68 taught at the University of Denver (Denver, Colorado) for 27 years, after receiving her M.A. degree from Florida State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Denver. During her tenure, she directed the First-Year English program for 17 years, and taught a variety of American literature and civil rights courses. When she retired in 2008, she was honored with professor emerita status.

She has published books on Flannery O'Connor and Gloria Naylor, edited an anthology of short stories about the civil rights movement and 16 editions of a required grammar and writing text for first-year English classes, and co-authored a composition textbook.

Margaret was the recipient of all three of the University of Denver's major teaching awards and has been, to date, the only faculty member to receive all three. She credits her time and the interaction with Pfeiffer faculty in setting the example of a successful student-teacher relationship. She is aware that Pfeiffer's Francis Essic, Griffin Campbell, Hoyt Bowen, and Gene Earnhardt were essential in demonstrating how the pursuit of the "good life" is the very cornerstone of a liberal arts education.


Outstanding Alumni Award


Outstanding Alumni Award - is given by the Alumni Association Board of Directors to honor one's significant contributions to Pfeiffer University

Larry Monaghan Larry Monaghan ’68 is a champion of Pfeiffer athletics and has worked tirelessly to increase media coverage of Falcon Sports, particularly in the Charlotte, North Carolina market. As a result of his efforts on Pfeiffer’s behalf, the University has received expanded newspaper and television exposure from The Charlotte Observer, WCNC-TV and Time Warner Cable Sports. Most recently, Larry orchestrated print and video coverage on the occasion of Coach Joe Ferebee’s 99th birthday. The resulting attention to our own baseball legend very successfully promoted the essence of what was, and continues to be, the Pfeiffer experience.

A former Pfeiffer soccer player, Larry’s support has transcended one particular sport, focusing instead on the promotion of all Pfeiffer athletics. In addition to his support of student-athletes, he has also served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors for two 4-year terms during which he was an engaged committee participant and active alumni leader.  

Larry holds a business degree from Pfeiffer and enjoyed a career in sales management for more than 40 years. A military veteran, he served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.


Presidential Merit Award


Presidential Merit Award - is given by the President of Pfeiffer University to alumni who are 35 or younger at the time of selection, who have excelled early in their careers, and who show potential for continued success.

Ashley McMichael Ashley Zeek McMichael ’12 began her career as a Teach for America corps member in St. Louis, Missouri.  After completing her two-year commitment of service, Ashley chose to continue teaching chemistry in the St. Louis Public School District, serving in a variety of leadership capacities within her school and district. Ashley is now an assistant principal at Gateway STEM High School, where she provides support, coaching and evaluation to 85 teachers, ensuring that the diverse student body of 1,100 students is receiving a quality education.   

As part of her commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math academic disciplines) and the community, Ashley serves as an executive director and STEM coordinator of the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show and STEM Expo. She has been recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and a leader in the community by earning the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Key Influencer Award (2016), the Loeb Prize for Excellence in Teaching Math and Science (2016), and the Success for All Alumni Award (2017). Ashley was also appointed by the mayor of the City of St. Louis as a director for the 60 Plaza Square Community Improvement District, located in downtown St. Louis.

At Pfeiffer, Ashley studied biology and chemistry, leading to summer internships at the National Cancer Institute and as a field research assistant in Madagascar. She was awarded the Milton Rose Research Fellows Scholarship, served as president of the University’s Honor Society, and was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society. After graduating from Pfeiffer, she earned two master’s degrees in secondary education and education administration, as well as an education specialist degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She will begin her doctoral studies this fall, with an emphasis in education leadership. 





Award winners are recognizeded for their accomplishments at Homecoming's Annual Gathering. This year's Annual Gathering is Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 10 am in Henry Pfeiffer Chapel. 

Since 1959, the Pfeiffer Alumni Association has chosen to recognize the extraordinary contributions of alumni by presenting two annual awards to deserving individuals. The Alumni Board Executive Committee is charged with bringing nominations to the Board at large, where a ballot vote is taken during the annual June meeting. Once the vote is finalized, the Alumni Board President notifies recipients and their nominators.

Submission deadline for the Homecoming 2019 awards is April 30, 2019.

**Please note: Individuals may only be nominated for one award per year. The Board reserves the right to determine which award category is most appropriate/applicable for nomination in the case of an alumnus being nominated for both Outstanding and Distinguished Awards.

Submission deadline for the Homecoming 2019 award is April 30, 2019.

  • The Presidential Merit Award is given by the President of Pfeiffer University to alumni who are 35 or younger at the time of selection, who have excelled early in their careers, and who show potential for continued success. Once the recipient is selected, the University President notifies the recipient and their nominator. Download a fillable PDF form here.


Print and mail nomination forms to Pfeiffer University-Alumni Affairs P.O. Box 960 Misenheimer, N.C. 28109 or email to