The Earlham College Alumni Council is pleased to announce Mat Johnson `93 and Anne Mathews-Younes `68 as the recipients of Earlham's 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award, and John Young `55 as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. The Alumni Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, September 21, 2018, during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Mat Johnson `93
Mat Johnson ’93, an award-winning American writer, is a professor at the University of Houston and a faculty member of its Creative Writing Program. He is author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop and Hunting in Harlem (which won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction), the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Right State, Incognegro and Dark Rain.
After graduating from Earlham with majors in English and African American Studies, Johnson received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship that allowed him to study the African-American diaspora in Europe and Africa while living in London. He received his M.F.A. from Columbia University and has taught at Rutgers College, Bard College, Columbia, Hope College and Temple University.
In 2007, Johnson was the first recipient of the James Baldwin Fellowship and in 2011 was the Dos Passos Prize winner. Johnson’s writing, provocative and entertaining, addresses race and social issues both in the past and present day.
Anne Mathews-Younes `68
Anne Mathews-Younes ’68 is director of the Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress and Special Programs for the Center for Mental Health Services in the Federal Department of Health and Human Services and president of the E. Stanley Jones Foundation. She completed her doctorate in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard in 1980 and has worked in state and federal mental health agencies for more than 40 years in programs designed to prevent school violence and suicide (in particular, suicide prevention on college campuses), promote mental health and prevent mental disorders, treat child trauma, and support disaster, terrorism and bioterrorism preparedness and response.
Mathews-Younes also completed a master’s degree in theological studies in 2007 and a doctoral degree in 2012 in ministry, both at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Both of her theology degree theses focused on the life, mission and theology of her late grandfather, E. Stanley Jones, with whom she traveled extensively through India and Africa after majoring in religion from Earlham.
She is currently working with Methodist Publishing House to reprint Jones’ 28 books so a new generation can engage with his writings.
Distinguished Service Award
John G. Young `55
John G. Young `55 is the retired board chairman and CEO of the Jay Garment Corporation in Portland, Ind., a company with which he was associated for 41 years. He is former chairman and CEO of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association. He and his wife Gretchen Schultze Young `57 developed a herd of beef cattle on their farm in Indiana and continue to be involved in the beef business as owners of an Angus herd located in Nebraska. Young is also a former director of Union Bank in Greensburg, Ind.
After graduating from Earlham, he spent a year in graduate study at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and completed the course work on his master’s degree at Trinity University in Texas while he was stationed with the U.S. Army in San Antonio.
His service to the College dates back to the year after he graduated from Earlham, having served as class chair for the Class of 1955 since 1956. Young served 18 years as an Earlham alumni trustee and an at-large trustee approved by Western Yearly Meeting. He was vice chair of the Board of Trustees and served a 10-year term, some of them as chair of the Earlham Foundation. He served briefly as chair of the Conner Prairie Board during Conner Prairie’s transition to independence and was the first Earlham appointee to the independent Conner Prairie Museum Board of Directors. John and Gretchen have four children: Rebecca ’81, Melissa ’82, Jennifer, and David ’92.