By James W. Pectol
Walters State Community College honored four individuals with its highest honor: the Distinguished Alumni Award. The awards were presented at the annual meeting of the Walters State Foundation trustees at the college’s Morristown campus.
Recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award are James “Jimmy” Dunn of Newport, Sharon Hayes of White Pine, David Helton of Morristown and Joanie Mungro-Pitts of Granite Falls, N.C.
“The Walters State Distinguished Alumni Award is given to alumni who have demonstrated outstanding service in their profession and/or community and have brought honor and distinction to Walters State,” said Dr. Wade McCamey, president of the college.
Dunn received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Civic Achievement. He is currently serving as district attorney general for the 4th Judicial District, which includes Cocke, Sevier, Grainger and Jefferson counties. After serving in the U.S. Army as a member of the 30th Military Police Battalion, Dunn attended Walters State. He is a 1976 graduate of the college’s criminal justice program. He continued his education at East Tennessee State University and the Nashville School of Law. Dunn spent 10 years in the Tennessee Highway Patrol and served as an instructor at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy in Donelson. He practiced law for three years and then joined the district attorney general office as an assistant district attorney. He is a past president of the Boys and Girls Club of Newport, the Kiwanis Club of Newport and the Cocke County Bar Association.
Hayes received the Distinguished Alumni in Community and/or Volunteer Spirit Award. She earned a business management degree from Walters State in 1979 and completed her education at Carson-Newman University.
Helton received the Distinguished Alumni in Professional Achievement Award. He earned a degree in business from Walters State in 1975 and continued his education at East Tennessee State University.
Mungro-Pitts received the Distinguished Alumni in Athletic Achievement Award. She is one of the most accomplished players to ever play at Walters State. She is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Lady Senators basketball program and was the first lady senator to be named a two-time All American.