Distinguished Alumni of the Year
The 2012 Florida Gateway College Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Dr. Freda Crawford. This is a unique award in that it was awarded posthumously to Freda who passed away in 2009.
A native of Columbia County, Freda enrolled in Lake City Community College in 1967 after graduating with honors from Columbia High School. She was the first female to serve as the president of the student body, and was involved in theater, choir, music and other student organizations on campus. It was here that Freda met her husband, Gary, and the two attended the University of West Florida together. She graduated with honors with a degree in Biology in 1971.
After becoming a mother of two, Freda continued her education at the University of Florida. In 1989, and while working as a high school teacher, she graduated with honors with a Masters of Science degree.
In 2000, Freda was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable bone marrow cancer. Despite this, she began her Ph.D. work at the University of Florida. Though she underwent transplants and ongoing treatments during this time, Freda managed to complete her dissertation and received her doctorate in 2005. She served as an adjunct professor at UF until her death in 2009.
Outside of the classroom, Freda was active in her church, Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville, where her husband, Gary, has served as senior pastor for more than 30 years. She was a guest speaker at various religious conventions, boards and agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention, and in 2009 was selected as “Pastor’s Wife of the Year.”
Freda is the mother of two children – Christa and John – and grandmother to six grandchildren.
Distinguished Alumni of the Year
The 2012 Florida Gateway College Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Ken Mangum. An Alabama native, Ken graduated from the college in 1975 with an associate’s degree in Golf Course Operations.
Ken joined the staff of the Atlanta Athletic Club in 1988 and, since then, has become the director of golf courses and grounds at the club. He currently manages a staff of 75 that includes landscape technicians, turf technicians, mechanics and golf course superintendents, and supervises two 18-hole golf courses, a nine-hole par 3 course, a 25-acre practice facility and roughly 500 acres of club real estate.
Under Ken’s direction, the Atlanta Athletic Club has hosted the PGA Championship tournament twice, as well as the USGA Women’s Open and USGA Junior Amateur tournaments.
Ken said that, while at Lake City Community College, he was taught the importance of continuing his education after graduation, one of the reasons he is involved in numerous organizations today. Ken has been a member of the United States Golf Association’s Green Section Committee since 1988 and a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for more than 37 years. He has also served stints on Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation Board of Directors and University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Advisory Board.
Ken has been recognized for his work in several capacities, and has been named the Georgia Superintendent of the Year and the Georgia Turf Professional of the Year.
Without the educational foundation he received at Lake City Community College, Ken said he wouldn’t be where he is today.
Ken said that he received more than just an education at Florida Gateway College – Ken met his wife, Pam, in Lake City and the two have been married for 37 years. They are the parents of two daughters, one son, two grandsons and one granddaughter.