Dr. Delton Alford was named this year’s distinguished alumnus, the highest honor awarded by the university.
In making the award, President Paul Conn said of Alford: “Fifty years ago, he founded the Lee Singers, and set a new standard for music at Lee which has remained the model for us. His legacy will be a permanent one, and many generations of Lee students have been deeply influenced by his commitment to excellence and a high standard of personal performance.”
Alford is currently the director of faculty services and professor music for the Division of Adult Learning at Lee. In 1963, he founded the student ensemble Lee Singers, serving as its conductor from 1963 to 1978.
The well-known Lee ensemble was celebrating its 50th anniversary at this year’s homecoming, and hundreds of former student musicians returned to campus to honor Alford and other figures in the group’s history.
Conn noted Alford not only led the Lee music program for many years, but was also a leader of Lee’s overall academic program, serving for four years (1976-80) as vice president for academic affairs.
After his early service on the Lee faculty, Alford began a career as director of music for the Church of God, and holds the record of having served longer in that position than any other person, twenty-four years.
Alford received his doctorate and master’s of music education from Florida State University, after graduating from Lee with an associate’s degree and University of Chattanooga with a bachelor of music degree. He has received many honors for his work, including four DOVE nominations and recognition for distinguished service in music and the Church of God.
Alford has published several collections of choral compositions for Benson Music, Pathway Music, and SpiritSound Music. He has also authored multiple books, including Ministering Through Music, Music in the Pentecostal Church, as well as numerous articles in other published collections of writing and in Evangel magazine.
Alford and his wife Myrna McSwain Alford have three children: Susan, Candace, and Lesley, and several grandchildren.