Campbell honors three alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards

BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – The Campbell University National Alumni Association recognized three alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards during a banquet Friday, Oct. 23.

The three honored for exemplifying qualities of outstanding leadership and service to Campbell are:

  • Shelby Duffy Benton ’85, the president of the North Carolina Bar Association;
  • Gerald Haywood Quinn ’56, retired president of Quinn Wholesale Company; and
  • David Webb Wharton ’89, president of the Northeast Tennessee Regions Bank.

Shelby Duffy Benton ’85

Benton is an attorney and the president of the North Carolina Bar Association for 2015-16. A 1985 graduate of Campbell Law School, she is the first Campbell graduate to serve as NCBA president.

She has practiced law in Wayne County, North Carolina, since 1985 and has focused on family law since 1995. Martindale Hubbell has rated her an AV Preeminent for the past 19 years; North Carolina Lawyers Weekly honored her with a Women of Justice Award in 2012; and Best Lawyers named her the Best Lawyer for the Raleigh Region in Family Law in 2013. She also has been listed among the North Carolina Super Lawyers for the past five years.

Prior to being named president of NBCA, Benton served the association in numerous leadership roles. She also has served on other numerous boards and advisory committees in her community throughout her career. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army of Wayne-Sampson and volunteers with her local Communities in Schools program.

In addition to her law degree from Campbell, Benton earned a bachelor’s in political science/criminal justice from North Carolina State University in 1982. She lives in Goldsboro with her husband, Neal O. Benton Sr. They have a blended family of five children.

Gerald Haywood Quinn ’56

Quinn is the former president of Quinn Wholesale Company, Inc., which he owned and operated with his brothers. As a leader in the grocer business, he also served as president of the North Carolina Wholesaler Association in 1986-87.

In addition, he has held many positions on boards and committees, including the Board of Trustees of the Atlantic Christian College, the Morehead Selection Committee for the John Motley Morehead Foundation, the investment committee for the N.C. 4-H Foundation, and Duplin County’s Board of Commissioners. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the N.C. Baptist Hospital from 1971 to 2009, when he was named a life member of the board.

Among the awards he has received are the North Carolina Heritage Award and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest civilian honor.

In addition to the education he received Campbell, he earned a degree from Atlantic Christian College in 1959. He and his wife, Rita, live in Kenansville. They have two children and three grandchildren.

David Webb Wharton ’89

Wharton graduated from Campbell in 1989 with a bachelor’s in trust management and a minor in financial planning. Today he is president of the Northeast Tennessee Regions Bank and oversees all operations in Northeast Tennessee.
Before joining Regions Bank, he oversaw the wealth management operations in East Tennessee and Georgia for AmSouth Bank, was managing director of wealth management at Wachovia Bank, and a trust officer with First Citizens Bank and Trust.

At Campbell, he serves on the Presidential Board of Advisors and the Business Advisory Council. He is also active in the Trust Education Foundation.

His other community involvement includes serving as a board member of United Way of Johnson City and East Tennessee State University. He is a past board member with the Johnson City Chamber and TriCities Regional Alliance. He has also served as a board member, treasurer, and executive committee member for the Knoxville Museum of Art.

He and his wife, Krista, live in Jonesborough, Tennessee. They have two sons.