MILLIGAN, TN (Nov. 14, 2022) — Milligan University’s annual “Celebrate Milligan” dinner on Friday, Oct. 28, recognized the achievements of alumni and friends during Homecoming weekend.
Milligan’s Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Roger Babik, founder of Master Provisions and an ordained minister. Babik graduated from Milligan in 1979 with a major in business administration and economics.
In 1994, Babik’s life and career drastically changed when a friend sought his assistance in supporting Ukrainians after the fall of communism. Babik responded by founding the nonprofit Master Provisions to provide for those in need.
For two years, Babik balanced starting this ministry while also working a corporate job. In 1996, Babik stepped away from a 17-year telecommunications career to follow a call to full-time ministry.
Babik has led 49 international mission trips with Master Provisions, and the nonprofit began addressing local hunger needs in 2013 and launched a transportation social enterprise in 2015. Master Provisions now serves over 68,000 people monthly, has over 200 local partnerships and supports eight international ministries.
The dinner also honored several other awardees.
Dr. Jason Derry (’96) and Suzanne Lake Nadell (’97) received the Professional Excellence Award.
Derry is the associate general counsel who oversees intellectual property at Synthego, a genome engineering platform company that enables cell and gene therapy drug development.
Nadell serves as the news director at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Since Nadell took this position in 2019, WSB-TV has ranked as the top news team in America.
The Athletics Hall of Fame Award inducted the 1998-99 women’s basketball team and staff.
The team includes Amy Allen (’01), Amy Moody Canter (’01), Glenda Blevins Conner (’99), April Dugan Cousins (’99), Kristi Estep Hyder (’99), Crystal Grindstaff (’99), April Manuel Hawkins (’00), Kayla Foster Hinton (’99), Michele Hughes Holly (’00), Becky Sells Olinger (’00) and Melissa Potter Reifert (’02). The staff at the time were head coach Rich Aubrey, assistant coaches Tammy Carter and Algie Aubrey, and managers Timothy Abe Davis and Matthew Arrants.
The 1998-99 team recorded 32 wins and four losses, making them the winningest team ever for Milligan basketball. The team’s conference record of 21-0 included a regular season championship and a tournament championship. They also advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Tournament.
The Phillips and Magness families received Milligan’s Heritage Award for their selfless dedication to Milligan. These families have actively served Milligan in a variety of capacities since the 1970s.
Jim Magness served on Milligan’s Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1982. Dr. Calvin Phillips served as an initial advisor, a trustee and as president of what is now Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University.
The Magness and Phillips families became united when their children Lee and Pat met as students at Milligan and married. Both later returned to Milligan as faculty members. Lee Magness served as a Bible professor from 1983 to 2013 and held the Vera Britton Chair or Bible. Pat Magness served nearly three decades and was named the George and Janet Arnold Chair of Humanities. Their son Ethan Magness is a graduate of Emmanuel and now serves as senior minister at First Christian Church in Johnson City. He is a member of the President’s Executive Council at Milligan. His wife, Betsy, is a Milligan and Emmanuel alumna, and their two sons, Evan and Bryant, are current students and recipients of Milligan’s prestigious Jeanes Honors Scholarship.