Milligan honors local alumni at awards ceremony

President Dr. Bill Greer and Dr. Jeff Moorhouse, the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

Milligan honored several alumni, from left to right: President Dr. Bill Greer; Kelli Sams Scott (BS ’01, MSOT ’03); Dennis Helsabeck, Jr.; Jeff Moorhouse (’91); Craig Emmert (’05); and Kathy Martinelli Catlett (’93).

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (Oct. 29, 2018) — Milligan’s annual “Celebrate Milligan” dinner on Friday, Oct. 26, recognized the achievements of Milligan alumni and friends during Homecoming weekend. This year’s ceremony honored several alumni making an impact in the Tri-Cities region.

Milligan’s Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Jeffrey Moorhouse, superintendent of Kingsport City Schools. Moorhouse graduated from Milligan in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education, and he was a member of the men’s basketball team.

Moorhouse has served in public education in Tennessee for nearly three decades. His previous positions include: assistant principal and athletic director of Unicoi County Schools, principal of Morristown West High School, and Director of Schools for Greeneville City Schools.

In accepting his award, Moorhouse reflected on his philosophy, “we are the average of the people we spend the most time with,” and he credited his award to various role models in his life, including several Milligan alumni.

“I had the good fortune of having key role models in my life,” acknowledged Moorhouse. “My high school basketball coach, John Dyer, inspired me to want to become a basketball coach, and he was a product of Milligan College. The superintendent who hired me for my first job as a principal, Dr. Dale Lynch, was also an alumnus of Milligan.”

The dinner honored several other awardees.

Will Little (’06) and Kelli Sams Scott (BS’01, MSOT ’03) received the Professional Excellence Award.

Little, of Johnson City, played baseball at Milligan and now serves as a professional umpire in Major League Baseball.

Scott is the owner and CEO of Mini Miracles Pediatric Therapy, PLLC, in Johnson City, specializing in therapy for children with special needs.

The Athletics Hall of Fame Award inducted Craig Emmert (’05) and Kathy Martinelli Catlett (’93).

Emmert, of Elizabethton, was a standout basketball player and still holds the Milligan record for most career free throws and the single-season record for most blocks. He is an educator with the Elizabethton City School System.

Catlett played softball for Milligan and still holds eight all-time records. She is an educator at the Multi County Juvenile Attention Center in Canton, Ohio.

Dennis Helsabeck, Jr., of Elizabethton, received the Spirit of Milligan Award, an honor given to an alum or friend of the college who has poured himself or herself into the institution.

Helsabeck, Jr., the Henry and Emerald Webb Chair Emeritus of History, came to Milligan to teach in 1981. After a hiatus of several years, he returned in 1989 and taught full-time until his retirement in 2007. Even in retirement, he is faithful in his attendance at sporting events.


MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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