Charlotte Couple Named Recipients of Belmont Abbey College’s 2005 Grace Award — Broadcast Leader and Child Advocate, Jim & Mary Lou Babb to be Honored

May 19, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
BELMONT, NC —- Belmont Abbey College will present its annual 2005 Grace Award to one of Charlotte’s most influential couples in the broadcast industry and arts community.

James and Mary Lou Babb will be honored in a special by-invitation-only ceremony and dinner celebrating their accomplishments on May 19, 2005 at 6:00 PM in the Abbot Walter Coggin, O.S.B. Student Commons at Belmont Abbey College.

Proceeds from the event will help provide scholarships for students in need at Belmont Abbey College.

The Grace Award, which is presented each year by the Belmont Abbey College Associates and the Board of Advisors, is given to an outstanding individual whose contributions and commitments have significantly improved the quality of life throughout the Charlotte region. Recipients serve as inspiring examples to others in the community. The award is named for Charles L. “Chuck” Grace, a longtime supporter of Belmont Abbey College and a past chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees.

Past recipients include Herman Blumenthal, Bynum and Rebecca Carter, Howard A. “Humpy” Wheeler, Jr., Felix S. Sabates, Thomas Efird, Father Mauricio W. West, Bob Gallagher, Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin, and Marshall and Jeanne Rauch.

As a children’s advocate, Mary Lou has dedicated time to making a difference in the lives of young people in her community. From Girl Scout leader to president of three different Parent Teacher Associations, as a member on the Board of Summit House to serving as a founding member of Good Friends and as president of the YWCA Board, Mary Lou has had a hand in addressing youth issues.

Acknowledging her strong leadership ability, the cultural community had called on her to work with numerous organizations including the Boards of the Symphony Guild, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Mint Museum. As the Mint’s acting director for two years and through her participation on the Board of Foundation for the Carolinas, as well as a founder of the Woman’s Impact Fund, she has created opportunities for others to see the importance of giving. Her many honors include membership in the Federal Association of the Malta, Woman of the Year in 1995, and the Spirit Award from the Mint Museum and Royal Sun Alliance in 2003.

A graduate of Belmont Abbey College, Jim Babb has had a significant impact on education. He is a former member of Belmont Abbey College’s Board of Trustees and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. Jim is currently executive vice president for Television and Cable for Bahakel Communications, where he continues to recognize and develop the talents of others in the field of broadcasting. A former president and CEO of Jefferson-Pilot Communications Company in Charlotte, Jim has been an industry pioneer serving in a number of key positions, including president of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, chairman of the Television Board, and a member of the Board of the National Association of Broadcasters.

His many honors include “Distinguished Alumni” Awards from both Belmont Abbey and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the Earle Gluck Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (1988), the Liberty Bell Award from the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and a 1997 Emmy Award for lifetime achievement.

An honor recently shared by both Jim and Mary Lou was presented by the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – the “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” – reflecting the effect of their enthusiasm, perseverance and success in building a local sense community.

The Belmont Abbey College Associates (BACA) is a group of area businesses, providing scholarship funds, advising the International Business Department and encouraging new alliances between the College and the business sector.

The Belmont Abbey College Board of Advisors is a group of area professionals and business leaders who lend their support, recommendations and advice to the College on a wide range of issues.

Ranked one of the best liberal arts colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report, Belmont Abbey College celebrates excellence and virtue steeped in its 128 year Catholic Benedictine heritage. It is home to students from over 34 states and 17 countries and welcomes everyone from any background or tradition committed to this vision of excellence and virtue. The campus consists of the College, the Monastery and the Abbey Basilica, which can be found on its sprawling 650 acres of picturesque landscape.

Just minutes from Charlotte, NC, the nation’s second largest banking center, Belmont Abbey College offers students numerous internship opportunities and career placement.

The College believes in development of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. By offering a wide array of clubs and activities including Division II athletics, theatre, publications, and study abroad, Belmont Abbey College invests in the personal growth of its students.

Founded in 1876, the College celebrates its heritage and is inspired by the Benedictine monastic tradition. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the College and Abbey Basilica greet thousands of visitors each year.