Alderson Broaddus University recognized this year's alumni award winners during the annual homecoming Alumni Awards Banquet Nov. 2.
Pam (Powers) McClain '85 was presented with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their chosen career. A native of Parkersburg, WV, McClain graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1981. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Alderson Broaddus in 1985 and a Master of Fine Arts from Marietta College in 2006. While at AB, McClain was a member of "The West Virginians" and the Touring Choir.
McClain has taught for more than 27 years in the public school system and has been a contributor to music education. She has reached numerous career development milestones, achievements, and recognition.
In addition to being a financial supporter of AB, McClain brings prospective students to AB's campus multiple times a year. Presently, there are several current AB students who were led to the university because of her efforts.
McClain lives in Parkersburg with her husband, Steve. They attend Stout Memorial United Methodist Church, where Pam serves as director of music ministries. The McClains have one daughter, Meredith, a freshman at Parkersburg High School.
Dr. David M. Bess '75 received the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to AB through recruiting students, working with the university on special projects, being instrumental in assisting AB in fundraising, or making other significant contributions to Alderson Broaddus University.
A native West Virginian, Dr. Bess graduated from AB in May 1975, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. Following his graduation from AB, he served as both assistant band director and choral director at Philip Barbour High School for three and a half years, followed by service as band director at Richwood Junior and Senior High Schools for five and a half years.
Based on the success of his band program in Richwood, he was awarded a graduate assistantship by West Virginia University in June 1984, which allowed him to complete a master's degree in music education, and then pursue a Ph.D. in the same field, which he completed in December 1988. He joined the WVU music education faculty as a full-time visiting assistant professor in 1987. He has also served as chair of the Division of Music (now School of Music) at WVU from 2002 through 2007.
Dr. Bess has been an active leader in the West Virginia Music Educators Association, having served the organization as research and grants chair, president-elect, president, and past-president. He also served as co-editor of the WVMEA publication, "Notes A Tempo" for 10 years. He has been recognized three times for outstanding service to the School of Music and has received the prestigious Presidential Award from WVMEA twice.