Alumni Award Recipients
In Country Day’s long history, we have benefited from many extraordinary leaders. The Honorary Alumni Association was established in 1981, in conjunction with our school’s 40th anniversary, as a meaningful way to honor parents, trustees, faculty and staff, and friends of the school whose distinguished service and generous support have made a lasting impact. Each year since, a dinner has been held to celebrate new inductees.
This year’s event, held February 16, honored four very deserving members of the Country Day community: Leigh Moran, Jamie McLawhorn, Calvin Davis, and MC Belk Pilon ’92. Additionally, Emily Moran ’17, a talented harpist, provided pre-dinner entertainment, and Sally Sasz ’17 delivered the invocation.
During the program, Head of School Mark Reed said, “We’ve been celebrating our school’s 75-year history in lots of ways. And many, many people—students, alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty, and staff—have been sharing their memories and telling us what they value most about Country Day. No matter the connection or the decade when they were closest to the school, it seems to always come back to the people. It’s the commitment and dedication of our collective community that has made us so strong then, now, and always.”
Congratulations to these 2017 honorees:
David L. Hood Jr Award for Volunteer Service: Leigh Moran
For nearly 20 years, Leigh has served as a committed volunteer, leader, and ambassador for Country Day. A hardworking and dedicated member of the Parents’ Association, Leigh served as the organization’s president for the 2011–12 school year. She has been an Annual Fund volunteer since 2011, chaired the Annual Fund in 2012–13 with her husband, Jerry, and served as Leadership chair in 2014–15. As chair of the Collaborative Fundraising Task Force, which examined the overall donor experience at Country Day, Leigh seamlessly and successfully bridged her experiences from her various volunteer roles. Leigh joined the Board of Trustees in 2013 and has served as chair of the Advancement Committee since 2015. She also chaired the search committee for our most recent Lower School Head. She currently serves on the Executive Committee and has also served on the Marketing Subcommittee and the Finance Committee of the Board. In addition, Leigh is currently serving on the Campaign Cabinet. Leigh holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. She and her husband, Jerry, are parents to Emily ’17, Sara (The Blair School ’14), and Katie ’11.
Listen to Leigh's acceptance speech:
Honorary Alumnus for Philanthropy: Jamie McLawhorn
Listen to Jamie's acceptance speech.
Honorary Alumnus for Faculty/Staff: Calvin Davis
Since 1990, Calvin has built a tennis dynasty at Country Day. This past October, he coached the girls’ varsity team to their fourth consecutive state championship. Over his tenure, the girls’ program has won a total of 14 state championships, while the boys’ program has earned 16 state titles. As coach, mentor, and nurturer of young talent, Calvin has seen more than 80 of his players move on to play at the college level, and three have played on the professional tennis tour. Country Day is not the only organization appreciative of Calvin’s dedication and talent. He has been named Charlotte Observer Coach of the Year four times, and one of its Top-10 Coaches of All Time. In February 2016, Calvin was named Member of the Year for North Carolina by the Professional Tennis Registry. He was also named High School Coach of the Year by the USTA North Carolina in 2005. In addition to coaching both varsity teams and serving as tennis program head, Calvin founded and operates TAP Tennis (Tennis Advancement Program), a junior tennis academy held at Country Day’s Cannon Campus. Calvin has two children Calvin Davis III ’99 (Coach C.C.) and Nikki Davis-Green.
Listen to Calvin's acceptance speech.
Alumna of the Year Award: Mary Claudia Belk Pilon ’92
Mary Claudia, known as MC, has been recognized in Charlotte, the state, the region, and even the White House, as an effective and passionate leader, committed to improving the lives of others. After earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology and communications from Roanoke College, MC spent 12 years in retail management for the family business, Belk, Inc. before transitioning to the Belk Foundation, which focuses on improving early childhood education, teaching, and leadership in public schools. Today, MC serves as Board Chair of the John M. Belk Endowment, where she is highly focused on transforming post-secondary educational opportunities to meet North Carolina’s evolving workforce needs. Additionally, MC has championed children and education through her participation on the boards of the John M. Belk Scholarship Advisory Board at Davidson College, Belk Foundation, Good Friends, Greater Enrichment, College Advising Corps, Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, The Fletcher School, and Country Day, serving on the Advancement Committee. In 2014, MC represented the John M. Belk Endowment at the White House College Opportunity Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. MC has also been awarded the Roanoke College Medal and CPCC’s Distinguished Service Award. She is also a devoted advocate for advancements in research and care for pediatric nephrology. MC and her husband, Jeff ’92, have three children: Katie, 3rd grade, Jack, 4th grade, and James (Fletcher School, 7th grade).
Listen to MC's acceptance speech.