NGU News

NGU To Present 2019 Alumni Awards

Posted on: March 12, 2021
By LaVerne Howell,

Tigerville, SC (October 10, 2019) The North Greenville University (NGU) Alumni Association will honor three outstanding alumni at an annual alumni brunch during Homecoming, Sat. Oct. 26, on the Tigerville Campus. The 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Dr. Dawn (Montgomery) Hooker, Class of 2002; and Curtis Johnson, Class of 1996; The Young Alum of the Year Award will be presented to Suyash Raiborde from the Class of 2012.  

Dr. Dawn (Montgomery) Hooker, Class of 2012

Dr. Dawn Hooker is the principal of East North Street Academy of Mathematics and Science with Greenville County Schools.

Hooker possesses more than 16 years of educational experience which includes teaching second, third, and seventh grades. Along with experience as an instructional coach with grades K4-5, Title One facilitator for grades K4-5, and assistant principal for grades K4-5, her administrative experience has been shaped by five years of successful leadership as an elementary assistant principal in both Pickens and Greenville counties.

In addition to being a school leader, she is also also a wife and mother. Hooker and her husband, Andrew, have three children, Kinley, Lathem, and Sophie.

Hooker says her “greatest initiative is to provide the leadership that will facilitate a school environment that meets the needs of each student. Parents, teachers, support staff, and administration all have an important role in encouraging our children to become motivated and active learners. It is my desire to provide opportunities for our students to gain the skills needed to become productive citizens in society.”

Curtis Johnson, Class of 1996

Curtis L. Johnson, a native of Greenville, is a 1985 graduate of J.L. Mann High School. After graduation, he joined the United States Air Force, where he served for four years. After his NGU graduation in 1996, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University.

Johnson has served as senior pastor of the Valley Brook Outreach Baptist Church since 1993. He is a former South Carolina state overseer for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship.

Johnson is a member of the Diversity Advisory Committees for Greenville Health System and Greenville Technical College and is the immediate past board chairman for Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources (SHARE), one of South Carolina’s leading anti-poverty community action agencies. A graduate of Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Academy, he is founder and chairman of the MLK Dream Weekend,  the community-wide celebration for Greenville in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday. The 10-year-old multi-event effort has raised more than one million dollars in scholarships for deserving students across the upstate. He is a recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Service Award for his work.

Johnson and his wife of 29 years, Charla, have two sons, Isaiah and Joshua.

 Suyash S. Raiborde, Class of 2012

Suyash S. Raiborde earned a bachelor’s degree from NGU in international business. He completed a law degree at Emory University School of Law in 2016 and is now an associate in the New York City law offices of the Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP.

Raiborde’s practice focuses on public-private partnerships, project finance, and related matters. He has experience representing public agencies, developers, and financial institutions on a wide array of infrastructure-related projects throughout the country. He also has advised newly formed and established companies on a variety of finance, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and foreign in-bound investment matters. Raiborde enjoys his practice because the projects he works on have a positive impact on communities throughout the country.

In addition to his professional activities, Raiborde is actively involved in a local church and enjoys visiting his family in Greenville.

These alumni will be honored at the Homecoming Brunch on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Hayes Ministry Center on NGU’s Tigerville Campus. During the brunch, North Greenville’s Class of 1969 will be inducted into the university’s Half-Century Club. The event will include remarks from NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. Tickets for the brunch are $15 per person and the event is open to all NGU alumni and friends. Online registration is available here.

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