Trevecca alumni aren’t bound together just by a shared alma mater, but rather a shared mission: to go out into the world as servant leaders and make a difference. is shared mindset is one of the reasons Homecoming is so special on the Hill. We gather together to celebrate our alma mater and recall our shared experiences, but also to refocus on how Trevecca and our graduates are striving to make the world a better place. Each year, we take a moment to honor a few alumni who have lived out that mission in noteworthy ways. Get to know this year’s Alumni Award recipients over the next few pages. 

T-Award Ministerial:

Howard Wilson

Ask Howard Wilson (’81) what’s most important to him, and the answer is simple: investing in the lives of others. Wilson who graduated from Trevecca in 1981 with a degree in accounting, first began working with Nazarene Youth International (NYI) while attending Nashville’s First Church of the Nazarene. That eventually led to a long career with NYI ministries. He currently serves as the treasurer and represents the Alabama North District on the SE Field NYI Council. Wilson and his wife, Freda, have been married for 36 years. Wilson currently serves as the pastor of Sheffield First Church of the Nazarene in Sheffield, Ala.




T-Award: Layperson

Dr. Esther Swink

Esther Swink (’69) grew up on Trevecca’s campus, attending the University’s elementary and high schools before graduating from Nashville’s Central High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education and English from Trevecca. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in library science from Peabody College and a doctorate in leadership from Vanderbilt University. Swink served in the Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) system for 30 years, working as a teacher, school librarian, administrator and president of the Metro Nashville Education Association. After retiring from MNPS in 1999, Swink returned to Trevecca, creating a master’s program in library and information sciences. She served as the director of that program for two years before becoming the director of libraries for the University. She was then named dean of Trevecca’s School of Education. Swink served in this role until 2012.

Honors & Achievements
  • Partners in Excellence Award, Opera Volunteers International, 2017
  • Leadership award, Tennessee Association of School Librarians
  • Co-wrote Navigating Leadership: Tools
  • for Leading E ective Organizations with Trevecca colleague Dr. Ruth Cox, published in 2014.