WINGATE – Wingate University rolled out the blue carpet on Friday night for 11 successful alumni. During the annual Blue Carpet Gala, five distinguished alumni were honored for their post-graduation contributions and six former student-athletes were inducted into the Wingate Sports Hall of Fame.
Audley Bell (Honored Alumni Award)
Bell received an associate degree in accounting in 1971, the same year he and his Wingate teammates won their second men’s tennis national championship. He then played the single No. 1 at Wake Forest and forged an impressive career as an accounting executive. In 2019, Bell retired as chief audit executive at the non-profit organization World Vision International, having previously served as executive at Habitat for Humanity International.
As a member of the Wingate Board of Trustees, Bell was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the University in 2016. Bell is also a member of the Wingate Sports Hall of Fame.
Jhanalyn Blount (Diversity Champion Award)
Having received his bachelor of marketing degree from Wingate in 2007, Blount is far from finished in class. He also has a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and development from UNC Greensboro, a juris doctorate from Arkansas-Little Rock and an MBA from the University of Arkansas.
As a corporate legal advisor at Kinesso, in Little Rock, Jhanalyn enjoys studying various areas of law, representing socially conscious companies and working with people from all over the world.
Joe Hunter (Honorary Alumni Award)
A former Marine and minor champion, private college and university in North Carolina, Hunter has worked with Cannon Charitable Interests for 35 years. During Hunter’s tenure, the trust has awarded more than $20 million in grants to the university.
He has served as trustee of Wingate University since 2009, moving to honorary lifetime status in 2021. He says his time on the board has helped him learn more about higher education, knowledge he has applied in his role with charitable trusts. The university awarded Hunter a Doctor of Humane Letters in May.
Allison Rickher Pullen (Alumni Excellence in Service Award)
A two-time Wingate graduate (2014, 2016 PAS), Pullen is an assistant physician at Novant Health First Charlotte Physicians in Matthews.
From his time at Wingate, Pullen learned how giving of himself can influence others. Whether it’s a financial investment or an investment of time, he has found community service to be humble and rewarding. He said Wingate’s close-knit community inspired his philanthropic activities. In addition to Wingate University, Allison is involved with the Catholic Church of St. Peter and with All Things Possible, a non-profit area that helps families with medical needs.
Will Stokes (Young Alumni Achievement Award)
A two-time Wingate graduate (2013, 2016 DPT), Stokes recently left his position as clinical director at the Greg Ott Center for Physical Therapy and Sports Performance in Mooresville to start an officer training school in the US Navy.
In addition to his extensive work with the American Physical Therapy Association and with Wingate University, Will is involved with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Mooresville-Iredell Chamber of Commerce, Sons of the American Revolution, North Carolina Special Olympics, BSA Scouts and Navy SEAL Foundation.
Member of the Sports Hall of Fame
Kyle Corcoran (men’s swim)
A 14-time All-American, Corcoran, a 2010 graduate, led Wingate to sixth in the NCAA Division II national encounters in each of its last two seasons. He led Wingate to three Bluegrass Mountain Conference titles. Currently a police officer in Seattle, Corcoran earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management.
Ashley Denton Clark (women’s golf)
A four-time All-South Atlantic Conference player, Clark led Wingate to his first NCAA tournament appearance, in 2009. In 2008, he won the SAC tournament, and he also qualified for the NCAA tournament as an individual in 2010. Clark is a Wingate player. the all-time leader in tournaments and career rounds and for a decade held the Wingate record for career stroke average (78.28). A two-time Wingate graduate (2011, 2014 MASM), Clark is an in-service sales representative at Eaton.
Stormi Gale (volleyball)
A four-time All-SAC awardee, Gale became Wingate’s first All-American volleyball player in 2009 (and backed him up with All-American status in 2010). The Bulldogs reached new heights during her tenure, going unbeaten at SAC (64-0) for four years, during which time she was named the SAC Player of the Year twice (2009, 2010) and the SAC Women’s Athlete of the Year once (2010). Gale is a two-time Wingate graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2011 and a doctorate in pharmacy in 2015.
Luke Mulholland (men’s football)
A four-time All-SAC and three-time All-American, Mulholland was the 2009 SAC Player of the Year. He continued his 10-year career in Major League Soccer with Real Salt Lake, playing 123 games. During his time at Wingate, the Bulldogs won the 2010 SAC regular season title and reached the NCAA tournament three times. During his junior season, the midfielder scored 17 goals and was named an All-American. Mulholland, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2011, is club scout with Real Salt Lake.
Bryan Safarik (Men’s Lacrosse)
An All-American who is sixth on Wingate’s all-time points list, Safarik was selected in the third round of the 2007 National Lacrosse League draft. As of the 2021 season, Safarik’s 43 goals in the 2006 season is the most in program history. He is fourth in the school’s history with 118 career goals. A finance major who graduated in 2007, Safarik, a native and resident of Vancouver, BC, is president of Castle Rock Farms and is the chief operating officer of Optimi Health.
Jayce Post-Watson (men’s hiking)
A four-time All-SAC runner, Post-Watson won back-to-back individual SAC titles, in 2007 and 2008. He was crowned all-regional three times and racked up 10 wins over the course of his career. He is an individual qualifier for the three-time NCAA national championship. Post-Watson was also named Academic All-American his senior year. A mathematics major who graduated in 2009, Post-Watson went on to earn a master’s degree in financial mathematics from the University of Connecticut and is vice president of financial management at Bank of America.