ECU Recognizes Outstanding Alumni
(Oct. 13, 1998)
East Carolina University honored seven of its most accomplished graduates with Outstanding Alumni Awards during 1998 Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 9-10.
The honorees are Ronnie Barnes (B.S. '74), head athletic trainer for the New York Giants; J.B. Davis (B.S. '67), a furniture industry executive from Asheboro; Dr. Claude Hughes (B.S. '73), a physician and medical educator in Simi Valley, Calif.; Harold Jones (M.A. '62), professor emeritus, ECU School of Music; Mark Kemp (B.A. '83), an entertainment executive with MTV in Brooklyn, NY; Michael McShane (B.S. '66), a political consultant and public relations executive based in Alexandria, Va.; and Kevin Williamson (B.F.A. '87), a television and film producer, director and writer from Los Angeles.
Williamson, a North Carolina native, has enjoyed great success in the film and television industries in recent years, beginning with his screenplay for the blockbuster movie Scream, a thriller that some credit with reinventing the horror film. With Scream, Williamson was able to create a chilling film that was also a spoof. The combination proved to be widely popular and was followed by Williamson's adaptation of the novel I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2, for which he also served as executive producer. Williamson is working on the Warner Brothers' television series Dawson's Creek. The show, which revolves around the lives and loves of four high school students, has become a phenomenon among young viewers.
The work of Mark Kemp is also popular with young audiences. As vice president of music development at MTV, Kemp is part of a team charged with creating new music- and video-based programs. Before joining MTV, Kemp was music editor of Rolling Stone magazine. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and music critic for the Times-News of Burlington, N.C.
Michael McShane, a lobbyist with TRW Inc. in Washington, D.C., has distinguished himself as an adviser and political strategist in government circles. He serves as an adviser to the White House and has been involved in the Democratic Leadership Council, the 1996 Democratic National Convention and the 1997 Presidential Inauguration.
J.B. Davis is president and CEO of Klaussner Furniture Industries Inc. in Asheboro, one of the largest privately owned furniture makers in the nation. He is also active in the community, serving on the boards of civic and charitable organizations.
A native of eastern North Carolina, Dr. Claude Hughes holds the Women's Guild Chair in Women's Health at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he is also Director of the Center for Women's Health. He has been a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, and at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University. Dr. Hughes has published widely in scientific journals, received millions of dollars in grant awards, and is a popular lecturer around the world.
Ronnie Barnes was ECU's first graduate of the Sports Medicine program in 1974. Currently the head trainer for the New York Giants football team, Barnes has twice been voted National Professional Trainer of the Year. A native of Rocky Mount, he has also been elected to the East Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. Harold Jones, professor emeritus in the ECU School of Music, was with the department from 1961 - when he came to Greenville as a graduate assistant in percussion - until his retirement in 1996.
He was the first full-time percussion instructor in the southeastern United States and is credited with developing one of the finest comprehensive percussion programs in the nation at ECU. The ECU Outstanding Alumni Awards are presented annually at Homecoming to alumni who have excelled in their respective professions or in civic affairs. The board of directors of the ECU Alumni Association selects honorees based on nominations submitted by alumni, fa