Maryville College alumni G. Donald Hickman and Carl P. McDonald were recognized with the College’s Alumni Citations during the Alumni Reception and Awards Ceremony held Oct. 23 on campus.
Since 1961, the Maryville College Alumni Citation has been awarded to former students who have, according to the guidelines, “rendered such service in professional, business, civic, social or religious endeavor as to benefit humankind and bring honor to the College, or who have rendered unusual service in any capacity on behalf of the College.”
Hickman, who graduated from the College in 1970 and spent 30 years in federal government service, makes his home in Knoxville today. McDonald, a 1963 alumnus, is a Maryville resident and partner with Goddard & Gamble Attorneys at Law. Both men were lauded for their professional accomplishments, as well as their service to the College and community.
Hickman was distinguished federal employee
Hickman, the first African-American graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School, came to Maryville College from Kingsport, Tenn., in 1966.
Involved in the All-College Council, the University Christian Movement, the Circle K Club and the Black Interest Group, Hickman was a campus leader. He was also a talented athlete who was an All-American football player and valuable member of the basketball and track and field teams.
He majored in sociology and following graduation, was hired by the Oak Ridge City School System as a social studies teacher, head track coach and assistant football coach. His four-year tenure at Oak Ridge was interrupted by service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
In 1978, Hickman joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and for eight years, worked as a special agent in Jackson, Miss., and Washington, D.C., investigating public corruption and governmental fraud. The FBI recognized Hickman with the Distinguished Service Award in 1981 and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Meritorious Achievement Award in 1986.
He joined the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Inspector General’s Office in 1986 and served as Manager of Nuclear Investigations and Manager of Internal Investigations before being promoted to Assistant Inspector General for Investigations in 1994. He held the position until his retirement 10 years later, with the exception of serving as Acting Inspector General from November 2002 until May 2003.
An effective leader who oversaw audits and investigations and led efforts to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse in agency programs, Hickman received two awards by the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency. In 2000, the Council recognized him its Award of Excellence; in 2004, Hickman was presented the Council’s Individual Accomplishment Award.
In retirement, Hickman has become an author. Truth Matters, a murder mystery inspired by real-life FBI cases, was published in 2008.
A longtime supporter of Maryville College, Hickman has served on boards, task forces and committees at his alma mater. As past-president of the Alumni Association, he currently is finishing up a term on the College’s Board of Directors. He is a member of the College’s President’s Circle and the Calvin Duncan Society.
He is married to Alcoa native Janet Houston Hickman, the general manager of Continental Express Airlines in Knoxville. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.
McDonald serves College, community
McDonald enrolled at Maryville College in the fall of 1959, sight unseen. A Presbyterian from Louisville, Ky., he had been told about the College by his minister, the Rev. Donald R. Hopkins, an MC alumnus from the Class of 1943.
He majored in business administration and was active in numerous student organizations: Porky & the Simple Seven pep band, the Highlander Marching Band, MC Playhouse, Kappa Phi, and the cheerleading squad.
Following graduation, McDonald enlisted as a private in the United States Army Intelligence Corps, where he would spend five years, including a one-year tour in Vietnam. After earning the rank of captain, he enrolled in law school at Florida State University, where he earned his J.D. and graduated with honors in 1970.
McDonald returned to East Tennessee in 1971 to work as an assistant United States attorney. After three years, he accepted an offer to practice with Goddard & Gamble, a Maryville law firm with strong College ties. In 1983, he was made partner. He has achieved the highest professional rating among his peers, including admission to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and has assumed leadership roles in local and state bar associations.
Civic-minded, McDonald has been a leader in the United Way, Leadership Blount County, the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and Alcoa Kiwanis. He has applied his expertise in property law to work on the Maryville Regional Planning Commission, the Blount County Planning Commission.
A graduate who gives both time and treasure to his alma mater, he is a 21-year member of the President’s Circle. He has represented the College in legal matters and served on the boards of the Blount County and national alumni associations, including one term as president. In the mid 1990s, he led the effort to secure Alumni Association representation on the College’s Board of Directors. McDonald was on the College’s presidential search committee that brought Dr. Gerald W. Gibson to the College in 1993.
A leader at New Providence Presbyterian Church and in the East Tennessee Presbytery, McDonald is passionate about strengthening the College’s ties with the Church. He helped establish the College’s Board of Church Visitors in the early 2000s and served as its first chairperson.
He is married to the former Sarah Jean Guthrie of Alabama, a retired middle school teacher. The couple has three grown children.