The Van Winkle Achievement Award

The Van Winkle Achievement Award honors a distinguished person or professional who has extraordinary accomplishments including outstanding service to Centenary College and the community at large, and who brings honor to our institution. Alumni and all others closely associated with Centenary College are eligible for nomination.

2013 honoree:

Audrey Hines Bonaparte Watts ’78

Audrey has been involved with Centenary leadership in many ways since her graduation. She is a past president of the Alumni Association Executive Board and currently serves as Alumni Trustee, giving the Board of Trustees her distinctive perspective on all things Centenary. In addition, she is a member of the College’s President’s Circle and is the driving force behind the creation of the Alumni Association Executive Board/Diane “DD” Sillcocks ’54 Scholarship Fund, which helps students in memory of the former AAEB president and President’s Circle member. She also continues to spearhead the annual silent auction during our Scholarship Gala, which raises money for the scholarship fund.

To download a list of past honorees, click here.

The Gold Dome Award

Each year at the annual Centenary College Scholarship Gala, honorees are chosen to receive the Gold Dome Award. The Award was first presented in 1999 to recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations who, through extraordinary vision and dedication, advance the mission of Centenary College and exemplify the values we hold dear.

The Gold Dome Award recipients.

2013 honorees:

Ellen Baars-Banks '93

Ellen graduated in 1993 from Centenary College with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She is a founding member and former chairperson of the Centenary President's Circle. In 2000, she was the recipient of the Van Winkle Achievement Award in acknowledgement of her accomplishments, including outstanding service to Centenary College and the community at large. Ellen is a member of Centenary's Cornelius Walsh Society, honoring those individuals who are recognized for their philanthropic leadership. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2008 and currently serves as the Chair of the Development Committee. Ellen spent 30 years in the health-care industry, retiring as the Director of Sales and Service for Aetna. Since January 2011, she proudly serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Enchanted Makeovers, a national nonprofit organization based out of Detroit. Its mission is to transform long-term-stay homeless shelters for women and children into places that inspire psychological and behavioral change. The majority of homeless shelter environments work against their programs and positive outcomes. When women and children enter a shelter that has a depressing, prison-like environment, is broken and full of items other people discarded as trash, it reflects their feelings of brokenness. It becomes nearly impossible to successfully complete programs or hope for a better future. Ellen believes that everyone is worthy of hope, dignity and respect. Through their various programs, women and children are introduced to a way of a life, a way of thinking that helps to shift their outlook about their lives and possibilities for the future.

The John and Margaret Post Foundation

John Post is the President of LAMTEC Corporation, established in 1975, originated in Ledgewood, N.J., with relocation to Denville and then Flanders, before recently relocating to Mount Bethel, Pa. LAMTEC now occupies a 260,000-square-foot facility situated on a 45-acre site. LAMTEC manufactures a wide range of vapor retarder materials for insulation, supplying fiberglass insulation manufacturers throughout the world. Peggy Post is an unheralded supporter and volunteer at Father John's Animal House, located in Lafayette Township, N.J. Father John's Animal House is a nonprofit organization supported entirely by donations, grants and fundraising events. Recognized as a "No-Kill" shelter, Father John's "primary purpose is to provide love, companionship, shelter, food, socialization and medical care for the many unwanted animals that come to us until permanent, loving homes can be found for them." In addition to helping animals, Father John's Animal House provides volunteer opportunities to support people with developmental disabilities in the SCARC (Sussex County Association for Retarded Citizens) programs. Along with celebrating Father John's 13th anniversary, some recent and upcoming fundraisers include the Forever Ray Concert on June 15 at Centenary College's David and Carol Lackland Center; and the Wine & Food Pairing event to be held on August 15 at Mattar's Bistro in Allamuchy Township. Both Peggy and John have a vested interest in Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J., as both of their children, Heather (2001) and Jon (2004), graduated from Pope John XXIII. As reported in Pope John XXIII's newsletter, Spring 2006: "Who are the Posts? ... Beginning five years ago, the John & Margaret Post Foundation gave the annual educational auction (now the Auction for Technology) incentives through their generous matching gift challenges. ... John and Peggy continue to stay involved in the school. They are Pope John's supporters in technology and instrumental in the expansion of the school. Both are members of the BLUEPRINT OF OUR LEGACY Building Committee and Peggy is a Trustee of the Pope John XXIII Endowment." In 1997, John and Peggy Post founded the John & Margaret Post Foundation. Most of the Foundation's giving is in Northwest New Jersey and the Slate Belt region of Pennsylvania. The Foundation has funded many entities, including local hospitals, schools, the Red Cross, the United Way, the Community Theater in Morristown, and many agencies for disadvantaged individuals and families, etc. The Post Foundation has contributed several million dollars back to the local community since its inception.

Orin R. Smith '91 HA

Orin R. Smith retired as chairman and chief executive officer of Engelhard Corporation on December 31, 2000. Mr. Smith began his career with Engelhard in 1977 as senior vice president, Research and New Business Development, with the former Minerals & Chemicals Division. Since that time, Mr. Smith has held key corporate and divisional management posts, including executive vice president of Engelhard Corporation and president of the Minerals & Chemicals Division. He was president and chief executive officer of the corporation from 1984 through 1994, when he was elected chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Smith was born in Newark, N.J., on August 13, 1935. He was graduated from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1957 with honors and received a master of business administration degree from Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., where he was graduated valedictorian of the class of 1964. Mr. Smith received an honorary doctorate in economics from Centenary College in 1991. In May 1994 he was conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree by Monmouth University. After several years as a United States naval officer, he joined Allied Chemical Corporation in 1959, where for 10 years he served in various management capacities in the area of sales, marketing and manufacturing. Mr. Smith moved to J.T. Baker, a division of Richardson-Merrell, Phillipsburg, N.J., in 1969 as marketing manager. He was appointed director of marketing and then director of sales and marketing for that firm. In 1972, he joined M&T Chemicals, a subsidiary of American Can Company, Greenwich, Conn., as director of sales and marketing, becoming general manager of New Business in 1974. He served as president from 1975 to 1977. Mr. Smith is a former director of Ingersoll-Rand Company, Vulcan Materials Company, Applied Bio-Systems, Celera Corporation, Minorco, the Louisiana Land and Exploration Company, Chemical Manufacturers' Association, and past director-at-large of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation. In addition, Mr. Smith is a past director of the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., the New Jersey Reinsurance Co., the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, past Trustee of Plimoth Plantation, Newark Museum, Welkind Rehabilitation Hospital, the Henry H. Kessler Foundation, Inc., and a past member of the Board of Overseers of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Boards of Trustees of the Manufacturers' Alliance (MAPI) and the Institute for Technological Advancement. He is also a past chairman of the Board of Trustees, Independent College Fund of New Jersey, an organization representing 15 independent New Jersey colleges, and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Centenary College. Mr. Smith is a recipient of the 1998 Ellis Island Medal of Honor in May 1998. In September 1993 he was honored with the Distinguished Citizens Award by the Watchung Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. He received Monmouth College's 1986 Distinguished Business Leader's Award, which recognizes distinguished contributions to the state and nation by a business or corporate leader. In 1985 he was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the alumni of Seton Hall University's School of Business. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Naval War College Foundation, Newport, R.I., and the Board of Directors of the Duxbury Bay Maritime School, Duxbury, Mass. Mr. Smith is an avid sailor and collector of historic automobiles. He is married to Dr. Stephanie M. Bennett-Smith, who is President Emerita of Centenary College. They reside in Vero Beach, Florida. Mr. Smith has two daughters, Lindsay Smith-Fox and Robin Smith, a stepson, Brendan Bennett, and four grandchildren: Caitlin and Owen Bennett and Sidney and Adelaide Fox.

To download a list of past recipients, click here.

Distinguished Alumni

Established in 1992, during Centenary College’s 125th anniversary, 125 alumni were honored; 10 additional alumni were added to the list in 2002, in conjunction with the inauguration of Centenary College President Dr. Kenneth L. Hoyt.  Five new awards were conferred at the Distinguished Alumni Brunch on Sunday, October 14, 2012, as part of the Homecoming & Alumni Weekend festivities. The purpose of this award is to recognize the personal or professional achievements of Centenary Alumni, and their service to the College or the community-at-large. The criteria used to select the recipients along with a nomination form are downloadable. Nominations will be reviewed by the selection committee, which is comprised of a representative of the Alumni Association Executive Board, the President of the College, a member of the President’s Circle and the Director of Alumni Relations.  

To download a list of the 147 Distinguished Alumni, click here.

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