Elon Black Alumni Network celebrates black excellence

As part of the Homecoming 2014 festivities, the Elon Black Alumni Network celebrated the accomplishments of black alumni, faculty and staff during a special celebration.


Three distinguished members of the Elon community were recognized by the Elon Black Alumni Network for demonstrated commitment to the community and Elon during an Oct. 18 event in McKinnon Hall.

Honored were:

Karen Cain-Henderson ’90
Gail Fonville Parker ’70 Distinguished Alumni Award

A pioneer businesswoman, Karen Cain-Henderson has served as the vice president of sales at Century Products LLC and currently serves as director of marketing for Weeping Willow AME Zion Church in Charlotte, N.C. As an undergraduate student at Elon, Cain-Henderson was heavily involved in the Black Cultural Society, Gospel Choir, New Student Orientation and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and joyfully returns to campus frequently to mentor students. Cain-Henderson has also served as a member of the Elon Black Alumni Network since its inception. She has a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina Central University and lives in Charlotte with husband Gary.

Teddy Blackwell ’89
Eugene Perry ’69 Distinguished Alumni Award

Teddy Blackwell is a Minor League Baseball athletic trainer who has spent his entire career working in the Cleveland Indians farm system. Starting in 1988, he spent two seasons with the Burlington (N.C.) Indians in the Appalachian League. He then moved on to the Watertown Indians for one season and the Columbus Redstixx for two campaigns. From 1994 to 2002, he was the trainer for the Kinston Indians in the Carolina League. He returned to Burlington for four seasons and spent the next two years with the Gulf Coast League Indians. As an Elon student, he was involved in the Black Cultural Society, Gospel Choir and was one of the 10 founding members of the Nu Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He serves as a mentor and tutor to students and volunteers in his community and nationwide, and lives in McLeansville, N.C., with wife Deborah and son Raymond.

Michael Williams
K. Wilhelmina Boyd Outstanding Service to Students Award

Michael Williams serves as the director of campus center operations and conferences at Elon University. Often referred to as “The Man of Moseley,” he serves daily with a welcoming smile on his face. Williams has been an influential member of the campus community for 16 years and has affected the lives of thousands of students, staff and faculty. In addition to his Moseley duties, Williams also has advised student organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha and the Gospel Choir, and serves on the Office of Leadership and Professional Development’s mentoring program, as well as the Black History Month and safety committees. Williams lives in Burlington, N.C., where he is heavily involved in St. Matthews AME Church as the Sunday school superintendent and a steward.

The program included remarks by Elon President Leo M. Lambert, as well as alumni Renita L. Webb ’04, Melissa Jordan ’04 and Cedric Pulliam ’12. Randy Williams Jr., Presidential Fellow and special assistant to the president and dean of multicultural affairs at Elon, also shared an overview of the vision for the Multicultural Center.

The purpose of the Elon Black Alumni Network is to build, maintain and sustain collaborative relationships with black alumni through social events, networking and philanthropic purposes impacting current and future Elon students.