CLAS Alumni, Retired Academic Leader Receive Alumni Awards

Two College of Liberal Arts & Sciences alumni and one retired academic leader were honored on April 5 at the University Alumni Awards Celebration, which celebrated seven awardees overall.

The seven alumni, faculty and friends of the University who were honored at the 2019 Alumni Awards Luncheon, held at The Westin Charlotte, included accomplished business leaders, public servants, community leaders, educators, and philanthropists. They have been described as transformational, passionate, devoted, engaged, humble, purpose-driven and vibrant.

CLAS Alumni Anne Tompkins ’84, and Nancy Stallings ’72 were two of the three recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Tompkins, an attorney with more 20 years of experience in government and private practice, has been advocating for clients, trying more than 30 cases to verdict. She was the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina from April 2010 to March 2015, leading numerous high-profile, complex criminal and civil investigations during her tenure, including a public corruption case involving the former mayor of Charlotte and the national security case against former general and CIA Director David Petraeus. After completing a bachelor’s degree in political science at UNC Charlotte, she earned a Master of Public Administration and law degree from UNC Chapel Hill.

Tompkins and her partner, J’Nell Bryson, established the Anne M. Tompkins Endowed Scholarship for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 2017, in an effort to support first-generation college students pursuing a degree in liberal arts and sciences. They hope that this scholarship helps students achieve both personal and professional fulfillment.

Stallings is a tireless trailblazer who set about making her mark on public service after completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She was the first woman to serve in an executive position in North Carolina’s Department of Transportation and was the second female lobbyist in the state. Stallings has served on a variety of boards at the regional, state and national levels.

“She has broken the glass ceiling time and again, paving the way for generations of women to come in the arena of public service,” said Judy Lekoski, director of development in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. “Nancy Stallings is an excellent example of how a UNC Charlotte education prepares you for a successful career and future.”

Herman Thomas received the Distinguished Faculty Award. As a professor of religious studies, assistant director of the African and African American Studies program (now the Africana Studies Program) and founder of the University Transition Opportunities Program, Thomas has had an impact on the lives of hundreds of students. He is credited for creating many opportunities for minority and underrepresented students to succeed at UNC Charlotte and in their lives thereafter.

Thomas received the UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award in 2005 for his personal commitment to educational opportunity for all students. In 2018, Thomas and fellow Emeritus Professor Mary Harper were honored with the establishment of the Harper-Thomas Legacy Endowment for Study Abroad in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Awards Recognize Service To Others

The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Awards were established in 1985 to recognize those who have made important contributions to the establishment and growth of UNC Charlotte; embody the core principles of the University; and have distinguished themselves through their outstanding service to the University, their chosen field, humanity and/or society. These awards honor alumni and friends whose careers have been distinguished by significant accomplishments or through extraordinary service to alumni, faculty, students, and communities, especially the underserved.

Learn more about the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Awards and the 2019 award recipients.