Centenary College honors local couple with George D. Nelson, Sr. Lifetime Service Award
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary President David Rowe presented Dr. Juan and Mrs. Bonnie Watkins with the 2016 George D. Nelson, Sr. Award for a Lifetime of Volunteer Service to Centenary College at the annual Leadership Banquet. Named after longtime chair of the Centenary Board of Trustees, the Nelson Award recognizes those individuals who faithfully serve Centenary College as volunteer leaders.
"This year's recipients possess a number of traits in common with Mr. Nelson and previous award recipients, not least of which are bonds to Centenary which transcend them as individuals," observed President Rowe.
In addition to their both being 1957 Centenary graduates, Dr. Watkins has been a Trustee since 1973 and is a member of the Centenary College Alumni Hall of Fame, and Mrs. Watkins received the Alumni Loyalty Award in 2005. Their names are linked to Centenary College in perpetuity through the Bonnie and Juan Watkins Family Endowed Scholarship. They are also devoted supporters of the Centenary Choir and the Christian Leadership Center. Two of their five children, Will and Craig, join Juan and Bonnie as Centenary alumni.
The Watkins' volunteer and philanthropic service expands beyond the Centenary campus. Dr. Watkins has served the Shreveport-Bossier community as a member of the Rotary Club of Shreveport, Committee of 100, and board of the Biomedical Research Foundation. The Samaritan Counseling Center named Mrs. Watkins Samaritan of the Year in 2006 in recognition of her years of devoted service as a volunteer counselor and board member.
Recipients of the Nelson Award are selected from nominations presented to the Centenary College President and approved by the governance committee of the Board of Trustees. Previous recipients are Virginia Shehee, Charles Ellis Brown, Sr., John Palmer, and Austin Robertson.