RMC’s 2020 Alumni Award recipients to be recognized during 111th Candlelight Dinner

BILLINGS, Mont., December 11, 2019 – Rocky Mountain College is honored to announce the recipients of the College’s 2020 Alumni Awards. Dr. James “Doc” McDowell, Dr. Elizabeth McNamer, Michele Stewart (‘91), and Lindsey Gray (‘10) will be recognized at the 111th Candlelight Dinner, which will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. 

Rocky Mountain College offers three alumni awards, which are given to alumni and supporters of RMC for personal success and dedication to the College and its programs. The contributions made by the honorees to the Rocky Mountain College community demonstrate the selflessness, dedication, and forward focus that were central to the first Candlelight Dinner.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award - Lindsey Gray (‘10)

A 2010 graduate of Rocky Mountain College, Lindsey Gray studied aeronautical science and philosophy & religious studies. Gray was President of the Associated Students of Rocky Mountain College and was named “The Outstanding Senior in the Aviation Program.” Her passion for aviation and helping those in need led to a successful career as chief pilot for African Inland Missions (AIM) located in Nairobi, Kenya. As chief AIM pilot, Gray oversees 10-12 pilots and six aircraft while traveling to war-torn countries to provide humanitarian relief. For the past five years, Gray has aided refugees in South Sudan and Central African Republic. Gray has flown over 70 times into South Sudan and the Central African Republic at considerable risk to herself. In these missions, she has delivered relief supplies and flown refugees out of harm’s way. Gray maintains a strong relationship with the Rocky Mountain College Aviation Program through campus visits and speaking to freshmen aviation students in the AVS 100 class.

Distinguished Alumni Award - Michele Stewart (‘91)

Michele Stewart has served as a Federal Bureau of Investigation crime victim specialist for over twenty years in eastern Montana. Stewart provides services to victims of violent crimes and other offenses, including child abuse, human trafficking, and kidnapping. As part of her work, Stewart has built relationships with the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations. With expertise in victim services and a strong connection to the Crow and Northern Cheyenne, Stewart is an exceptionally effective advocate for Native American communities in Montana. In 2018, Stewart was recognized by Montana’s top law enforcement officials as an outstanding advocate of the year for her work. Stewart’s relentless dedication has assisted prosecutors with convictions and continues to provide victims with the necessary support to become successful survivors.

Spirit of Candlelight Award - Dr. James “Doc” McDowell &  Dr. Elizabeth McNamer 

Dr. Elizabeth McNamer joined Rocky Mountain College in 1990 and served as an assistant professor of religious thought. Over the course of her career, Dr. McNamer built relationships with many students and community members. She led several trips to Israel to partake in Bethsaida archaeological excavation, assisted students with special needs through the Services for Academic Success program, and welcomed international students into her home as they arrived to Rocky Mountain College. An author, Dr. McNamer has published two books, articles, and a column for the Billings Gazette. Dr. McNamer has received numerous awards including excellence in teaching awards from Eastern Montana College and Rocky Mountain College and the YWCA’s Salute to Women award. 

Dr. James “Doc” McDowell served as a professor of business for over 40 years at Rocky Mountain College. During his tenure, Dr. McDowell impacted the lives of many students, staff, and faculty. He helped students develop skills in leadership, communication, critical thinking, creative expression, and professional excellence. He was instrumental in providing invaluable internship opportunities to his students to ensure their academic and professional success. Dr. McDowell exemplifies the Spirit of Candlelight.