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Five Graduates Receive Highest Honors Presented by ASU’s Alumni Association

June 12, 2013. BOONE–—Five Appalachian State University graduates have received the highest honors presented by the university’s Alumni Association on June 8.

They are Brandon and Erica Adcock of Charlotte, who received the Young Alumni Award; Hughlene B. Frank of Greensboro, who received the Outstanding Service Award; Maj. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr. of Fort Bragg, who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award; and Dr. Harry L. Williams of Dover, Del., who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Young Alumni Award

Brandon and Erica Adcock were honored by the Alumni Association for their exceptional service to the university and accomplishments in their career.

Brandon and Erica Adcock

The Adcocks were passionate and engaged students while at Appalachian, and as young alumni that passion has evolved to incorporate their new roles as university benefactors and volunteers.

Brandon Adcock, co-founder of Direct Digital LLC, graduated from Appalachian in 2006. Direct Digital LLC is a multi-million dollar business with offices in Charlotte and Boston. 

The Adcocks were Appalachian Student Ambassadors and William R. Holland Fellows for Business Study in Asia while students at the university. They have provided time and considerable financial support to the Center for Entrepreneurship, the Walker College of Business, Appalachian Student Ambassadors, Appalachian Athletics, The Appalachian Fund, and student scholarships. 

Brandon Adcock has served as a member of the university’s Alumni Council, and is currently on Appalachian’s Foundation Board of Directors. He chairs the Walker College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

Erica Adcock earned a bachelor’s degree in 2007 and a master’s degree in 2008. She remains involved with the women’s field hockey team at Appalachian as a summer camp volunteer and mentor. She recently left her position at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte to pursue her passion of coaching field hockey. She also works at a local non-profit, A Child’s Place.

Outstanding Service Award

Hughlene B. Frank was honored for her exceptional service to the university.

Hughlene B. Frank

A 1968 graduate of the university and a former math teacher, Frank’s service to Appalachian spans nearly four decades.  She is a founding member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council and has served on the council’s board for 21 years. She served on Appalachian’s Board of Trustees for eight years, and currently is a member on the board of directors of the Appalachian State University Foundation and the College of Health Sciences Advisory Board.

She and her husband, Bill Frank, established the College of Health Sciences’ first endowed scholarship in nursing. “Everyone wants their children to have a chance at an education,” Frank said of the endowment. “I have so many dreams for these students.”

In 2004, the couple established the lead endowment for the university’s visiting writers series, which was named the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series in her honor.

Frank also is a volunteer and donor in her home community and in Blowing Rock, where she and her husband spend their summers.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Maj. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr. is commanding general of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg. He was recognized as an Appalachian graduate who has attained extraordinary distinction and success in his career field and demonstrating exceptional and sustained leadership in his community.

Maj. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr.

Reeder was commissioned in the infantry through Appalachian’s ROTC program in 1982. A Fayetteville native, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Appalachian, a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Science degree in national security strategy from the U.S. National War College.

Early in his career, Reeder distinguished himself by earning the U.S. Army Special Forces Tab and Green Beret, an accomplishment only one in 100 soldiers achieves.

During his 31-year career in the military, Reeder has served as the aide-de-camp to the commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and the ground operations officer at the Joint Special Operations Command. Reeder served as the chief of J3 Plans and chief of J3 Training at the U.S. Southern Command and the Joint Interagency Task Force, Republic of Panama. He served as a battalion and group operations officer and group executive officer for the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He was the assistant chief of staff, G3, for the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne). Reeder also served as the executive officer to the commander, United States Special Operations Command, Tampa, Fla.

His combat tours include National Civil Defense Advisor, Republic of El Salvador in 1988 and commander Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha 786 in support of Operation Just Cause in 1989; serving with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) under Task Force Black, Republic of Panama. He commanded Special Operations Task Force 32 (2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003.

Reeder commanded the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (7th Special Forces Group) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2006 and in 2007. He also commanded the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dr. Harry L. Williams is the 10th president of Delaware State University. He also was honored for attaining extraordinary distinction and success in his career field and demonstrating exceptional and sustained leadership in his community.

Dr. Harry L. Williams

Williams earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ed.S. degrees from Appalachian. He has an Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from East Tennessee State University.

A native of Greenville, Williams is a first-generation college student, and a fierce advocate for higher education and for those hoping to pursue a college degree.

He has had a 23-year career in higher education, including appointments as vice chancellor for enrollment services at Appalachian, interim associate vice president for academic affairs and then interim senior associate vice president for academic and student affairs with the UNC General Administration, and provost and vice president of academic affairs at Delaware State University (DSU) prior to being named president in 2010 

Under his guidance, DSU’s national ranking rose from 17th to 13th in the 2013 Historically Black Colleges and Universities rankings by U.S. News & World Report; the university’s research portfolio increased considerably, attracting more than $25 million in grants and project funding; and a scholarship program was implemented to provide financial assistance to first-generation college students. He also has strengthened international and service initiatives at DSU.