CofC Logo

New Scholarship the Highlight of the Alumni Awards Gala

Posted on 9 November 2012 | 8:00 am

A surprise announcement led to a standing ovation at the 2012 Alumni Awards held Thursday night, November 8, 2012 at Memminger Auditorium. A new scholarship will be available to College of Charleston students, thanks to the generosity of the family of Jim and Carolyn Anderson. Alumni Association President Chuck Baker shared the news, and College of Charleston President P. George Benson accepted the gift on behalf of the College.

The James P. and Carolyn N. Anderson Endowed Alumni Scholarship is a tribute to the Anderson family’s emphasis on continued learning and their loyal support of the College. The $250,000 pledge was made by the Anderson’s sons: Philip Anderson ‘81 and Joseph Anderson ‘86 (this year’s recipient of the 2012 Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine). Their father, Jim Anderson graduated from the College of Charleston in 1955 and served 38 years as a distinguished professor in the Department of Mathematics. Carolyn Anderson, Class of 1970 earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College of Charleston and spent many years in the field of teaching.

The entire evening celebrated many extraordinary individuals who make significant contributions to their communities and their professions. Awards were given to those who demonstrate characteristics of leadership, progressive thinking and confidence. Despite different backgrounds, these innovators have an important thing in common—their connection to the College.


Marie M. Land, Alumni Award of Honor. Land has served on the College of Charleston Board of Trustees since 1988 and is one of the Board’s longest-serving members.  Recently she completed a term as Chair of the Board of Trustees and is the first woman to hold this position in the history of the College.  She has played a key role in nurturing the relationship between the College of Charleston and the Spoleto Board, of which she is also a member. Watch a video profile of Land.

Mel Marvin ’62, Distinguished Alumnus Award. Marvin, composer, director and educator, has had a long and successful career in both the commercial and non-profit sectors of American theatre for the last 40 years, with 30 musicals, 47 plays, two movies and two operas to his credit.  Marvin’s career began while he was a student at the College of Charleston, when he wrote his first musical, JUBALEE, with Pat Robinson, wife of Emmett Robinson, who was then director of the Footlight Players at the Dock Street Theatre. Watch a video profile of Marvin.

John E. Alessi ’98, Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2011, Alessi co-founded Whip-It Inventions, an eco-friendly products company that launched a multimillion dollar product that sold out on QVC in its first airing.  Beginning with three employees and one partner, the company has over $4 million in sales and 19 employees. While at the College of Charleston, Alessi double majored in communication and studio art. Watch a video profile of Alessi.

Adam Paul ’06, Young Alumnus of the Year Award. Paul is the owner of Catch Multimedia which produces marketing campaigns and television shows for anglers, hunters and outdoorsmen. He is also the owner of, a global, social networking website for and by fishermen.  Paul majored in studio art at the College, but he always knew he was destined to make his mark in the fishing industry. Watch a video profile of Paul.

J. West Riggs ’93, Howard F. Rudd, Jr. Business Person of the Year Award. Riggs is a managing director and head of equity capital markets for Piper Jaffray Asia, one of the most respected investment firms in the world.  While a student and business major at the College of Charleston, he was a member of the sailing team and was also president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the Inter-Fraternity Council. Watch a video profile of Riggs.

Joseph B. Anderson ’86, Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine. Anderson currently serves as the Air Force Reserve’s Command Surgeon stationed at Robins Air Force Base.  He oversees the medical care provided by 6,000 medical personnel to more than 60,000 Reservists. Anderson majored in biochemistry at the College and was a member of the swim team and Alpha Phi Omega. Watch a video profile of Anderson.

You can make your 2013 nominations online now. For more information about the College of Charleston Alumni Association visit

Office of Media Relations

Mike Robertson
Senior Director of Media Relations

Melissa Whetzel
Director of Media Relations