Richard Bland College Foundation Announces Awards of Distinction Recipients
The Richard Bland College Foundation is proud to announce that three distinguished members of the Richard Bland family, Susana Hernandez-Kurtulus (Class of 1970), Johnathan R. Malbon (Class of 2011), and the William Roy Smith Family are recipients of the 2018 Awards of Distinction. Hernandez-Kurtulus was presented, posthumously, with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Malbon was presented with the Young Alumni Award, and the Smith Family was presented with the Richard Bland Award.
Susana Hernandez-Kurtulus ‘70
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon Richard Bland College alumni, recognizing leadership, outstanding professional accomplishments and distinguished service to the community. Susana Hernandez-Kurtulus is receiving the award posthumously, after succumbing to a four-year battle with cancer. Hernandez-Kurtulus earned her A.S. from Richard Bland in 1970 and her B.A. in Latin American Studies from William & Mary. She earned her M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more than 30 years, she served veterans as a medical librarian at the McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center in Richmond. She was also an active member of the Greater Richmond Association of University Women, dedicating two decades of service to the organization, which fosters the higher education of girls and women returning to the workforce.
“Susana loved being a student at Richard Bland, and cherished her time on campus,” her husband, Dr. Ibrahim Kurtulus, said. “I know she would be deeply touched to receive such a prestigious award.”
Johnathan R. Malbon ‘11
The Young Alumni Award acknowledges exceptional service to community and country. Johnathan R. Malbon is receiving the award after earning his A.S. from Richard Bland in 2011, and his B.A. in Finance from William & Mary. Malbon is currently a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he focuses on Commercial Life Science and Healthcare industry strategy for I.T. modernization projects. During his time as an RBC student, Malbon was the student representative to the Board of Visitors, president of the Council on Academic Integrity, and served on the Presidential Search Committee. Malbon was a member of the Richard Bland College Foundation Board of Directors from 2014-17.
“Richard Bland provided me with the foundation to jumpstart my career,” Malbon said. “I will forever be grateful for the attention RBC, its faculty and staff provided me.”
William Roy Smith Family
The Richard Bland Award recognizes a member of the Richard Bland family who has demonstrated exemplary service to the College. The William Roy Smith family has been an integral part of the regional business community for generations. The patriarch of the family, Robert Blackwell Smith, owned a pharmaceutical company in Petersburg and served as president of the Medical College of Virginia. His son, William Roy Smith, graduated from the Medical College of Virginia’s pharmacy school and started his own company, Physicians Products Company. He sold the company and joined A.H. Robins pharmaceutical company. Smith who was known for his community service became a distinguished legislator, serving in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1952-73. He was Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and helped spearhead legislation to establish Richard Bland College. Smith’s efforts enabled the College to become a thriving educational institution. His sons, Blackwell and Wert, and their families have continued the Smith family legacy of service to the community.
“The Smith family is deeply humbled to have received the Richard Bland Award,” said grandson Wert Smith. “Richard Bland has played an integral role in our lives and we are proud to be a part of providing both a quality and affordable education for so many. We look forward to continuing the Smith family support of the College.”
The awards were recently presented at the annual Richard Bland College Foundation Scholarship Gala.
(L-R): Richard Bland College Chief Development Officer J. Tyler Hart, Richard Bland College President Dr. Debbie L. Sydow, Virginia Lee Smith, daughter of W. Roy Smith, Ibrahim Kurtulus, husband of Susana Hernandez-Kurtulus, Richard Bland College Foundation Chairman William Talley, IV