Scholarship Foundation recognizes AHS Outstanding Graduates for 2023

Published 1:00 pm Monday, October 2, 2023

The Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation on Friday honored Paul Armstrong, Warren Culpepper, Tami Glover McGhee, Bill Rue, and Tom Rue with its W. Robert Brown Outstanding Graduate Award in a ceremony held in City Hall.

Paul Armstrong is a former Andalusia mayor who is credited with laying important groundwork for the city’s current renaissance. He also led the effort to secure the funding for the construction of the new and modern Andalusia Elementary School. He served 10 years in the U.S. Army, including a year in Vietnam as a pilot before returning to Andalusia.

Warren Culpepper is the founder and retired CEO of Culpepper and Associates, Inc., a leading provider of compensation survey data, analytics and consulting services used to design competitive and effective compensation programs. He was valedictorian of the AHS Class of 1960, and is a graduate of the University of the South, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in math and economics.

Tami McGhee has spent her career managing software for NASA. At present, she serves as the organizational configuration management lead for the flight and ground software division at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. She provides technical support and guidance to project leads and managers in all division projects, including space launch system flight software. She also is very active in outreach programs for her church, including Habitat for Humanity. She was both class president and valedictorian for the AHS Class of 1987, and earned a B.S. in computer science from Alabama A&M University.

Thomas S. Rue is recognized as an expert in the field of maritime law. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South and a juris doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. He also served three years in the U.S. Army as a special agent for military intelligence. He currently serves as the Admiralty and Maritime Practice Group Leader for Maynard, Cooper and Gale, P.C. He served as the John W. Sims Distinguished Admiralty Practitioner in Residence at Tulane Law School in 2002, and has lectured at the University of Alabama School of Law and Cumberland School of law.

William H. (Bill) Rue Jr. spent his business career growing the company founded by his father, Fastening Solutions Inc. (FSI). He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School before spending more than three years in the Air Force Systems Command. When he returned to Alabama in 1970, he began a 50-year career with Fastening Solutions Inc., where he succeeded his father, Bill Rue Sr., as CEO and continued FSI’s rapid expansion. Today, the company has offices and customers across 11 Sunbelt states, and the leadership torch has been passed to the third generation. 

The Andalusia High School Outstanding Graduate Award was established in 2007 by the Class of 1948 Foundation, now the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation. The award is designed to honor those graduates of Andalusia High School, Woodson High School and Ralph Bunche High School whose personal lives, professional accomplishments and community service exemplify the ideals of Andalusia High School.

Nominations are accepted each year, and awards are made by members of the Outstanding Graduate Committee, currently chaired by Andalusia Mayor Earl V. Johnson (Class of 1965). For additional information, contact Michele Gerlach at 334-428-1143.