When Johnny Mathis comes to Raleigh on Feb. 26 and 27 to perform with the North Carolina Symphony, he’ll be picking up a little something extra to take home. The Pfeiffer University Alumni Board of Directors will bestow honorary alumnus status on Mathis at a private ceremony after his upcoming performances at Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh’s Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Pfeiffer University-alumnus and Raleigh-resident Thad Woodard nominated Mathis for the designation.
While he grew up in San Francisco, Mathis’s parents worked for the Pfeiffer family, for whom the university is named. Mathis planned to attend the university after the family offered to pay his tuition, until he received a scholarship to San Francisco State University. He did, however, come to Pfeiffer to perform a concert on March 9, 1966. Mathis is still very fond of Pfeiffer, says Woodard.
The award, which must be approved by a majority vote of the Board, is given to individuals who meet one or more the following criteria
- Demonstrated continued interest in, and exceptional loyalty and service to, the institution
- Embodied the ideals and advanced the mission of the institution through a life’s work in a chosen field or profession
- Attained notable success and made a significant impact in their chosen field or profession at the local, state or national level
There is no set number of individuals to which this award is given per year, nor a requirement that the award be given at set intervals of time. Additionally, to be considered for this prestigious designation, an individual must be nominated by Pfeiffer alumni. Since 1885, fewer than 50 individuals have been chosen to receive this extraordinary recognition.