Cuesta College announces 2014 Honored Alumni Awards

Cuesta College will honor four former students in January.

The school selected restaurateur Robert L. Holley, jazz vocalist Inga Swearingen, clothing designer Jacob Thomas-Franklin Wall and federal agent Eloyne Wilkins as recipients of its 2014 Honored Alumni Awards.

The graduates will be recognized on Friday, Jan. 17, when the faculty and staff are welcomed back to campus before the start of the spring semester the following Monday.

Holley began his food services career in 1969 as a crew member at the first McDonald’s restaurant in San Luis Obispo. Since graduating from Cuesta in 1975, he’s owned and operated two Oregon restaurants for more than 20 years.

Swearingen, a 2001 Cuesta graduate, studied music at Cal Poly before earning her master’s degree in choral conducting at Florida State University. A performer, recording artist and frequent guest on “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show, she also teaches music at her alma mater.

Wall, who has a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University, is the co-founder and chief designer of Artful Gentleman in San Francisco. In August, the 2000 Cuesta graduate orchestrated Suit Up for Equality, a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign.

Three years after graduating from Cuesta in 1972, Wilkins became the first female correctional officer in the country to work at an all-male federal correctional institute — the Federal Correctional Institute in Lompoc. She later became an import specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Production, retiring in 2010.

Established in 1989, the Honored Alumni Awards recognize the professional achievements and serve of former Cuesta students. The 2014 award ceremony will take place at 8:10 a.m. Jan. 17 at Room 5401 on Cuesta’s San Luis Obispo campus.