TROY—Troy University will honor three alumni and one honorary alumnus with Alumni of the Year awards at halftime of the Saturday, Nov. 13 Homecoming game against Florida International.
Nick Cervera of Troy, Danny Grant of Birmingham and Bobby Ross Phillips of Adel, Ga. will be honored with Alumni of the Year awards, while TROY instructor of finance and former Trojan Athletic Director Robert Earl Stewart will be honored as Honorary Alumnus of the Year. In addition to the presentation at halftime, the honorees will be recognized at an invitation-only dinner on Nov. 12 and an invitation-only breakfast reception in the Hawkins Hall Lobby on Nov. 13.
The awards are presented annually by the University as a part of its Homecoming celebration. Nominations are solicited, and winners are selected by the Troy University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors based on outstanding professional accomplishments, civic achievements and loyalty and service to Troy University.
“We are pleased to honor these three alumni for their contributions to their communities and their continued support of and loyal service to Troy University,” said Faith Ward, director of alumni affairs. “We are also proud this year to recognize Robert Earl Stewart as our Honorary Alumnus of the Year. Mr. Stewart’s service to TROY spans four decades in the Sorrell College of Business and his leadership proved invaluable within our athletic programs during an era of tremendous growth and great success.”
Cervera, a 1963 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics/accounting, is the managing partner of Cervera, Ralph & Reeves, LLC, a law firm he opened as a private practice in 1966. He has served as local counsel for Troy University since 1991, and taught business law, real estate law and legal environment at TROY until 1994.
Cervera has served as Special Attorney General for the State of Alabama, as judge of the Inferior Court of Pike County from 1974-1978 and currently is the presiding judge of the Municipal Court for the City of Troy, a post he has held since 1996.
Cervera established the Charlie B. Nonnenmann Student Athletic Endowment Scholarship Fund at Troy University in honor of a longtime friend and staunch TROY supporter. Cervera is a member of the University’s Planned Giving Council, a founding member of the TROY Shield Society and is active in the University’s Pike County Alumni Chapter.
Grant, a 1969 TROY graduate with a degree in business administration and marketing, is a resident of Birmingham and serves as regional manager of Technical Innovations. He founded and served as president of Daniel Communications for 22 years from 1986 to 2009.
A four-year letterman in football at TROY and a four-time all conference performer, Grant was a member of the University’s 1968 NAIA National Championship team. During the course of his football career at TROY, Grant had 215 pass receptions for 2,907 yards and 45 touchdowns. His career receptions record stood for more than 40 years before being broken earlier this year by Trojan receiver Jerrel Jerningan.
He is a member of TROY’s Letterwinners “T-Club” Alumni Chapter. A native of Ozark, Grant was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Phillips, a 1959 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, is a resident of Adel, Ga. Now retired, Phillips previously served as vice president of Adel Banking Co.
Phillips began his 35-year banking career in 1975 after a 16-year career as a teacher and coach at the high school level.
Phillips has been an active member of the Adel community, serving two terms on the Adel City Council, holding the offices of president, vice president and treasurer during his long tenure as a member of the Adel Lions Club and serving as an ordained deacon at First Baptist Church of Adel.
Phillips is a member of the Troy University Alumni Board of Directors, a Lifetime Member of the TROY Alumni Association and a Lifetime Member of the Troy University Letterman’s Club.
Stewart, this year’s Honorary Alumnus of the Year, has taught economics and finance in TROY’s Sorrell College of Business for 43 years. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees and completed additional graduate level course work at the University of Mississippi.
In addition, Stewart also served as the University’s Director of Athletics from 1974 to 1991, overseeing Trojan athletics during a sustained period of growth and success. During his tenure as athletics director, the University’s athletic teams won 10 national titles – three titles each in men’s and women’s golf, two NCAA Division II football crowns and back-to-back Division II baseball titles. Stewart was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame as a part of the 2010 class earlier this year.
Stewart serves on the board of directors of First Federal Bank, based in Tuscaloosa with offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Orange Beach and Pensacola. He and his wife, Joyce, reside in Troy.