Elon, North Carolina
October 1, 2015
Casey Beathard Named Recipient of William E. Gortney
Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2015

    The Lambda-Lambda Alumni Association of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity announced today that Casey M. Beathard of Franklin, TN has been named the recipient of the William E. Gortney Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2015.  Beathard is a 1990 graduate of Elon University and the 236th initiate of the Kappa Sigma chapter at Elon. While at Elon, he was a starter on the football team as Wide Receiver and Punt Returner. During his Senior year, he was named Most Valuable Player and All SAC 8. His love of football inspired his song, the “Boys of Fall”, recorded by Kenny Chesney.

    After receiving his bachelor’s degree in business management at Elon, Beathard initially took a job in landscaping.  However, after a few months he decided to try to make it in the music business and moved to Nashville, even though he had never been there before.  After finding work at various jobs in Nashville, he was eventually signed to a songwriting contract; his first cut as a songwriter was the title track of Kenny Chesney’s 1998 album “I Will Stand,” which was released as a single that year.  

Beathard has collaborated on dozens of singles throughout his career, including six that peaked at #1 on the charts.  He has penned hits for Trace Adkins (“Hot Mama”), Gary Allan (“Right Where I Need To Be”), Rodney Atkins (“Cleaning This Gun”), Tracy Byrd (“Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo”), Kenny Chesney (“No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems”), Eric Church (“Homeboy”), Billy Currington (“I Got A Feelin”), Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus (“Ready, Set, Don’t Go”), Tracy Lawrence (“Find Out Who Your Friends Are”), Tim McGraw (“Do You Want Fries With That”), Jake Owen (“Yee Haw”), Darius Rucker (“Come Back Song”), and George Strait (“How ‘bout Them Cowgirls”).  He is a two-time recipient BMI’s Songwriter of the Year Award (2004, 2008).  

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Beathard is active in his community.  In conjunction with BMI, Casey has participated in the “Behind the Hits – Songwriters for St. Jude’s” fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, an annual event where Nashville’s top songwriters perform hits they have written for country’s top stars.

Casey and his wife, Susan, have five children: sons C.J., Tucker, Clay, and daughters Charly and Tatum.  C.J. is the starting quarterback for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, Clay is quarterback of his high school team and Tucker is a budding country-music singer recently signed to Dot Records.

The William E. Gortney Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented annually to alumni of the Lambda-Lambda chapter.  The Award recognizes brothers who bring great honor to Kappa Sigma Fraternity, whether it is through service to his community, outstanding career work, or other achievements.  Admiral Gortney currently serves as Commander, U.S. Northern Command and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).  He is the Kappa Sigma International Fraternity 2013 Man of the Year and the Elon University 2013 Alumnus of the Year.  Admiral Gortney was the 50th initiate of the Lambda-Lambda chapter.

For more information, contact the Lambda-Lambda Alumni Association at kappasigmaelon@gmail.com, visit @kappasigmaelon on Twitter, write to P.O. Box 5, Elon, NC 27244, or visit http://www.kappasigmaelon.org/.


Past Winnerrs of the William E. Gortney Award are:

  • Les Hall
  • John Hill