More than 1,200 alumni and 2,500 total guests returned to Lee University's campus in Cleveland, Tenn., for its 53rd annual homecoming weekend. Delton Alford received the university's Distinguished Alumnus Award during the weekend's activities.
"Fifty years ago, he founded the Lee Singers and set a new standard for music at Lee, which has remained the model for us. Many generations of Lee students have been deeply influenced by his commitment to excellence and high standard of personal performance," said Paul Conn, Lee president.
Alford served as the Lee Singers conductor from 1963 to 1978. University officials said hundreds of his former student musicians returned to campus to honor Alford during this year's 50th anniversary celebration of Lee Singers.
Alford is currently director of faculty services and professor of music for the Division of Adult Learning at Lee. He was Lee's vice president for academic affairs from 1976-1980.
He has received four Dove Award nominations, published several collections of choral compositions for Benson Music, Pathway Music and SpiritSound Music and written books such as "Ministering Through Music" and "Music in the Pentecostal Church."
Alford and his wife, Myrna McSwain Alford, have three children and several grandchildren.
Andy Sinclair, managing director and head of business development for Tynedale Group Travel in Northumberland, England, was named Lee's Honorary Alumnus of the Year.
"Through his connection to Lee with the global perspectives student trips, Sinclair has helped students and faculty travel abroad by finding good deals on hotels and transportation. He works with faculty to plan trips and assists in monitoring the safety and well-being of students," Conn said.
Additionally, individual departments presented Distinguished Alumni awards to their graduates at banquets held during the weekend.
• Barry Ray, chairman of the Business Advisory Council for the Lee University Department of Business, was honored by the business department. He has worked for Life Care Centers of America since 1988, currently as president of American Lifestyles Inc., the assisted living subsidiary of Life Care.
• Susan Rogers was honored by the Department of Language and Literature. She has taught at Lee since 1989, is a former Appalachian College Association Mellon Fellow at the University of Alabama and is a member of several professional organizations.
• Bill Talley was recognized by the Helen DeVos College of Education. He was in the first class of students to earn a Tennessee Teacher's License from Lee College in 1968. He was a football and baseball coach at Cleveland High School before moving to Lubbock, Texas, where he served as academic counselor for the Texas Tech football team.