The Distinguished Alumni Awards are conferred annually at a signature event that celebrates the achievements of each recipient. The 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner was held on Friday, April 19, in the Sutton Center on Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus. The 2024 honorees are Kendra Beard Graham (’85) and Mit Shah (’91).

View photos of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards on Flickr

Read more about the recipients

Kendra Beard Graham (’85)

Kendra Graham is known as a “rules savant” in the world of professional golf. Over 30 years, her vast knowledge of the game and her natural ability to communicate the rules to players have led to some impressive “firsts” for women. Among those groundbreaking achievements, Kendra was the first female rules official at the Masters Tournament and the first American woman to officiate the R&A Open Championship (a.k.a. The British Open). She has served as a key official in more than 50 majors – men’s and women’s – as well as notable amateur events. A member of the USGA’s Executive Committee for six years, Kendra was chair of the Rules of Golf Committee and co-chair of the Joint Rules of Golf Committee with her counterpart from the R&A. In that capacity, she became a principal decision-maker in the January 2023 revisions to the official Rules of Golf.

Mit Shah (’91)

Mit Shah, who is a trailblazer in the nation’s hospitality industry, is celebrated at Wake Forest for his generous and enthusiastic support of the basketball program. In 1993, just two years after graduation, Mit became founder and CEO of Noble Investments, an Atlanta-based real estate management company with more than $6 billion in hotel investments over 30 years. His passion for supporting the Wake Forest student experience inspired a transformational gift in 2017 to create the Shah Basketball Complex and distinguished Mit as the youngest alumnus to give at that level. He made a subsequent multi-million-dollar gift in 2023, which already is enriching the home court atmosphere. Mit is a five-term member of the Board of Trustees and chair of its investment committee.