Mars Hill University Honors Benefactors

Stuart Jolley, MHU President Tony Floyd, and Charlie Trammell

Mars Hill University honored several key supporters of the university during its annual President’s Recognition Reception, held Thursday, September 26, 2021, at the Crest Center in Asheville.

Charlie Trammell of Memphis, Tennessee, was recognized as Philanthropist of the Year. He has been a major catalyst in Mars Hill moving forward with the “Together We Rise” campaign to build a new campus center to help elevate the student experience. Trammell also has responded to tangible opportunities and needs across the campus, providing funding for summer student work opportunities, air conditioning for Huffman Residence Hall, capital campaign marketing materials, refurbished athletics locker rooms, and seed money to begin the new acrobatics and tumbling program, among others. A university trustee and graduate of the class of 1959, Trammell is founder and president of Retirement Companies of America.

Other benefactors recognized at Thursday’s event were:

  • Philanthropic Service Award: Gerry Hutchinson of Stone Mountain, Georgia, a member of the alumni board and class of 1976. This award is presented to the volunteer whose service to Mars Hill University is both selfless and inspirational.
  • Tony Floyd and Wayne Higgins

    Board Leadership: Wayne Higgins of Weaverville, North Carolina, a university trustee and member of the class of 1975. The award recognizes a trustee whose support of the university serves as an example to others.

The university also recognized Stuart Jolley of Mars Hill as Alumnus of the Year. Jolley is in his 40th year as the public address announcer for Mars Hill athletics. He began announcing women’s basketball and volleyball games in 1982 and added football and men’s basketball before he graduated. Jolley earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Mars Hill in 1986 and a master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University in 1988. He spent his working career as a teacher and administrator in Yancey County Schools, and twice was named Teacher of the Year for Mountain Heritage High School. He is an elected member of the Town of Mars Hill’s board of aldermen. Jolley is president of Mars Hill University’s Lions Athletic Club, which has raised more than a half-million dollars in its first two years. He was elected to the university’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

Watch the video announcement