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2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Congratulations to Katina Gaines ('84) our 2017 Distinguished Alumnus award recipient.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes Harding Academy graduates who have enhanced the reputation of Harding Academy through their professional and community leadership, and their advancement of Harding Academy’s mission.

The recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award has provided guidance and service to Harding Academy’s Board of Directors for 13 years. Her leisure time is most happily spent with family, friends, a good book, or on long walks on the beach. This fact will come as a surprise to those who know her, because her high level of involvement in her profession, her community, and her alma mater would seem to leave no spare minute in her day.

This distinguished alumna earned her undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University as well as a law degree from the Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law at what was then Memphis State University. She is a former Law Clerk to the Judges of the Shelby County Probate Court, and has been appointed as a substitute judge in probate court on multiple occasions. An attorney with a local practice focused on estate planning, charitable giving, trust administration, probate estate administration, and wealth transfer strategies, she is also a member of numerous professional groups including: the Memphis and Tennessee Bar Associations, e.Planners Educational Alliance, WealthCounsel, the Memphis Estate Planning Council, and the Planned Giving Council of Greater Memphis. She is also a Fellow of the Esperti Peterson Institute for Wealth Strategies.

Fellow attorneys describe her as “… knowledgeable and compassionate in her representation of clients.” One of the most endearing aspects of tonight’s recipient is that ‘compassion’ is evident in every facet of her personal life, professional endeavors, and community involvement. Within her community, she sits on the boards of the Community Foundation of Memphis and the Childrens Museum of Memphis, where she also serves on their Executive Committee. She and her family are active members of Germantown Church of Christ.

A member of Harding Academy’s Class of 1984, she was involved in Beta Club, Quiz ‘Em Team, National Honor Society, Band, and the Servanettes Club; she was also an officer in both the Bible and Spanish Clubs. Her heart for Harding is huge, and her legacy continues through her daughter, a lifetime Harding student, who will graduate this May. In her 13 years at Harding, her daughter has excelled in academics, athletics, and fine arts – you have enjoyed hearing her play tonight under the direction of Colby Canterbury. Tonight’s winner and her husband of almost 26 years will be empty nesters this fall; however, they will face this new season with much confidence knowing first hand that – for two generations – the return on an investment in Harding Academy is priceless.