A distinguished national journalist, an internationally recognized pioneer in engineering and a nationally accomplished golfing instructor will join WKU’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni this fall.
Thomas A. George III, Naomi J. McAfee and Nancy L. Quarcelino will be inducted during WKU’s 2015 Homecoming celebration. The 24th class of noted alumni will be inducted during a luncheon at 11 a.m. Nov. 6 at Sloan Convention Center. For information, contact the WKU Alumni Association at (270) 745-4395 or visit alumni.wku.edu.
Thomas A. George III (’82)
Thomas A. George III is a distinguished journalist who has spent more than 30 years using sports columns as his primary medium to humanize the people behind the games. A former Sports Editor at WKU’s College Heights Herald, he served as a columnist/writer for the Detroit Free Press, the New York Times, the Denver Post, AOL, NFL.com and the NFL Magazine. In 2006, he began a three-year stint with the NFL Network as the first managing editor in the network’s history. He is currently a columnist for SBNation.com.
At the Denver Post, George was the first African-American columnist in the 100-plus-year history of the newspaper. His career has spanned the globe as he has covered 26 Super Bowls, 16 NCAA Men’s Final Four Tournaments, four World Series, three NBA Finals, three U.S. Open Tennis Championships and a host of other major sports events. He has made his mark covering the NFL, and he specializes in the athlete profile, a skill he has perfected due to strong interpersonal communication ability. With vivid, precise writing, he tells stories about people, their actions, their motivations and how they influence the world.
His professional accolades include being named the National Association of Black Journalists’ Sports Writer of the Year for his 10-part series on Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair’s journey from college to professional football. He was also named 2007 Sports Columnist of the Year by the Colorado Free Press Association. A natural leader when black fraternities were emerging on campus, he was recognized by Kappa Alpha Psi for his talent and character, and he later served as the organization’s President and received a national leadership award from the fraternity.
A featured lecturer within the sports arena and on college campuses, George is currently penning a biography on the life of global boxing icon Emanuel Stewart, and he wrote and narrated a documentary on Detroit Lions Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh, which was produced from Cameroon, Africa. He also co-authored Decade of Champions by Detroit Free Press: Michigan Sports Highlights of the ’80s and Heir to the Legacy: Mike Holmgren’s Green Bay Packers.
Though he has traveled the world throughout his career, George has always maintained a connection to his home, returning to WKU for 20 summers to mentor a total of 260 aspiring journalists through the Dow Jones-WKU Minority Journalism Workshop, and to his native Paducah to encourage students at Paducah Tilghman High School to consider careers in media. He also mentors his church’s youth to intentionally prepare for life through Community Baptist Church’s 2050 A.D. program in Englewood, N.J.
Naomi J. McAfee (’56)
The first woman to graduate with a degree in Physics from WKU, Naomi McAfee distinguished herself throughout her pioneering engineering career. In those days, women engineers were rare, receiving less than 0.1 percent of the engineering degrees granted. She is an exemplary role model for women in the fields of engineering, science and management.
Early in her career, she entered the Westinghouse all-male engineering establishment, where she successfully introduced the innovative field of reliability engineering into the mainstream design process. Through her excellent technical background, work ethic and respect for people, McAfee persevered over the years to successfully change the culture of the entire Westinghouse design organization, which included more than 5,000 engineers.
As she rose through the ranks of Westinghouse, she was one of the most respected and well-liked members of the management team. She became the first woman Supervisory Engineer at Westinghouse, a groundbreaking position that opened the way for many other women engineers to follow in her footsteps. During her 38-year tenure at Westinghouse, McAfee played a lead role in a number of other progressive activities both within and outside the company. She held key positions in the initial government-industry group that played a leading role in advocating the use of computer-aided information technology into the design engineering and manufacturing process as well as the Department of Defense (DOD) logistics and support world. In this capacity, she won the praise and respect of high-level members of DOD and industry leaders.
She was appointed to the Army Science Board, where she served three consecutive two-year terms and chaired several studies that led to the Army’s adoption of recommendations related to reliability, maintainability and logistics support of Army systems. In addition, she has served as an advisor and consultant to the DOD and the Departments of the Air Force and Army. In 1982, she was appointed to serve a three-year term on the President’s Commission on the National Medal of Science.
McAfee is recognized internationally as an expert in the area of reliability engineering for complex electronic systems, and has provided consulting services to a host of international governments and industries. She has served on the Advisory Boards to the Colleges of Engineering at Princeton University, Penn State University, Clarkson University and the University of California at Davis. She has received national awards and honors from the American Society of Quality and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. An elected Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers, she also received the U.S. Army Commendation for Patriotic Civilian Service.
Nancy L. Quarcelino (’77)
An accomplished golfer and teaching professional, Nancy Quarcelino is a member of the LPGA and PGA of America. With a career that spans more than 30 years, she is regarded as one of the premier golf instructors in the country.
Over the years, Quarcelino has coached a wide range of golfers, including amateur men and women of all abilities, competitive junior golfers, collegiate golfers, LPGA and PGA club professionals, and players on the LPGA Tour and the PGA developmental tours. At the encouragement of her parents, both of whom were avid golfers, Quarcelino began playing golf at the age of 8. She played competitive golf as an amateur and played collegiately at WKU.
While working on her master’s degree at Florida State University, she began her career in golf as an Assistant Coach for the Women’s Golf Team. A few years later, she returned to WKU, where she coached her alma mater’s Women’s Golf Team and pursued a career as a golf professional. Quarcelino has served as Head Professional/General Manager at Indian Hills Country Club in Bowling Green and was also the Head Professional at Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tennessee. While at Hermitage Golf Course, she was also the host professional for the LPGA Sara Lee Classic Tournament for many years.
Quarcelino’s passion for golf turned to teaching, and in 1992 she started the Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf, which has been a successful business in the Nashville, Tennessee, area for the past 23 years. The Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf is located at King’s Creek Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer Signature golf course, in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
She is a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame, has received numerous awards from the PGA Middle Tennessee Chapter, was named LPGA National Teacher of the Year, and has been named by both Golf Digest and Golf for Women as one of the Top 50 Best Women Teachers in America. In addition, she is a member of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America. She is designated as a Class A Teaching Professional with both the PGA and the LGPA, and she was named the LPGA’s Teaching Professional of the Year in 2000.
Quarcelino has also been member of the Nike Golf Swish Elite Advisory staff and the National PGA Communications and Public Relations Committee. A contributing writer for numerous golf and sports publications, she has also been featured on ESPN television and radio, XM radio, the Golf Channel and the PGA Tour Radio Network.
Contact: Tracy Morrison, (270) 745-3606