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FALL 2013



LEADERSHIP celebrating 100 Years of THE WORK PROGRAM

The Blackburn UPDATE is printed with soy-based ink on paper containing 30% post-consumer content.



Matriculation Ceremony


The Work Program: A Changing of the Guard


Work Program Anniversary Recap


Bothwell & Jewell Renovations


Dr. David Camp


New Faculty and Staff


All-Steinway School


Homecoming 2013 Recap


Blackburn Society Dinner


Craig Newsom: Art Residency




Mentor Relationships


Upcoming Retirements


Peter T. Oswald, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Affordable Access Award


Ann Allen, Executive Asst. to the President/ Secy. to the Board of Trustees

Fall Play: Fabulation


Institutional Advancement Staff

Carl Sandburg and Mother Hudson


McKinley House Renovations


Rev. Erica Brown: Chaplain


Alumni News


Mahan Atrium Dedication




Heinz Family Legacy


What is the Annual Fund?


Welcome Back Nate Rush


Beaver Tales


Editorial Staff Director of Marketing and Public Relations Peter T. Oswald Marketing and Public Relations Assistant Kyle Harrington ’10 Copy Writers and Photographers Megan Adamski ’14, Danielle Anderson ’16, Larra Brogdon ’14, Miranda Clark ’14, Jake Elmore ’13, Aurora Grimmett ’16, Amelia Kirby ’13, Brendan Kreckler ’17 Designer Megan Adamski ’14

President’s Cabinet John Comerford, Ph.D., President Jeffery P. Aper, Ph.D., ’78, Provost Heather Bigard, V.P. for Administration and Finance Glen Krupica, V.P. for Institutional Advancement Heidi Heinz, V.P. and Dean of Student Affairs

Mary Beasley ’71, Foundation Grant Writer Sarah Koplinski ’95, Development Officer Mary McMurray ’94, Institutional ­Advancement Coordinator Jodi Rowe ’04, Director of Annual Fund Nate Rush ’73, Senior Director of Development Officer—Major Gifts Officer Tom Turpin, Development Officer


The UPDATE is produced twice per year by Blackburn students and professional staff in the Office of Marketing and Public Relations in cooperation with the Institutional Advancement Office. Address all inquiries to: UPDATE, Office of Marketing and Public Relations, Blackburn College, 700 College Avenue, Carlinville, IL, 62626. We welcome Update Magazine Fall 2013 your suggestions, comments and//concerns.


The view from

McKinley House Dear Friends, I am so thankful to have joined your community. I am sure every college president thinks his or her institution is unique and special, but I have come to believe this is really true for Blackburn College. We are special because of our Work Program, which continues to make a college education affordable. More importantly, however, it also answers a key question about colleges—will a liberal arts education get me a job? At Blackburn, the answer is yes and we are working to link jobs to student learning so graduates can prove they have the skills and attributes employers want.

We are special because we are unashamed of serving high financialneed students. As other colleges are raising costs to over 40% of average family income, Blackburn recently announced the Affordable Access Award. The Affordable Access Award provides for Illinois students with the greatest financial need ($0 Estimated Family Contribution) and covers their tuition with the Work Program, state and federal grants, and college aid. Blackburn is now the only college in the state to cover full tuition for high-need students.

I believe not enough people know how special Blackburn is. We can serve more students, giving them a chance at an affordable liberal arts education that will get them a job. I have made enrollment growth my foremost priority as it meets our mission and expands our revenue base. You can help by referring students, giving to support scholarships, and spreading the word about this special College. Thank you for all of your help. Sincerely,

Finally, we are special because of our people—faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. Blackburn is not just a college, but a cause. We are fortunate to have so many true believers and supporters. John Comerford, Ph.D. President


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

John Comerford Ph.D. is the 16th president of Blackburn College. To reach Dr. Comerford, email

Retention at Blackburn College: Thinking About the Bigger Picture Last year I wrote about Blackburn’s success in improving Freshman retention, which was an exciting outcome to a lot of hard work over multiple years. We were challenged to see if we could maintain that kind of level two years in a row and I’m glad to say that we did. For the second year running, over 70% of students who started as first time college students in the fall came back as second year students the following fall. We are determined to continue to build on it. I hope that improved success and persistence for first year students will translate into higher graduation rates, since our primary goal is to help new students join the ranks of Blackburn alums. Retention is talked about a great deal for many reasons. When a student is admitted we make a commitment to give that student an excellent education. Strong enrollments help maintain the budget and workforce essential to college operations. High numbers of returning students tell us that those we serve value being a continuing part of our community. Students come to Blackburn for a variety of reasons and the reasons that students leave the college are even more varied. We do a lot to keep track of each student and we gather a lot of data intended to help us better understand what’s working and what’s not. One source of information that helps us is our system of program reviews. Since 2005, we’ve done 24 reviews, employing a process that involves a program doing a self-study that we share with a team that includes experienced professionals from other institutions across the region. These reviews provide important insights into what’s going well and what we need to pay attention to so that we continually improve. Pretty much every one of these reports begins with some variation on the phrase, “What you do with the resources you have is just amazing.” It’s

encouraging to know that our peers from sister institutions are impressed by our dedication and resourcefulness. It’s true that we are remarkably good at maximizing what we have available, and we pass that tenacity and problem solving skill on to our students. Sometimes, though, it gets frustrating being the “MacGyver” of colleges— solving complex problems with the materials at hand. It also illustrates why your partnership with us is so important. Our recent Homecoming reunions again reminded me of how much people care about Blackburn and the truly distinctive kind of place it is. In many cases, resources became part of the conversation, and I was struck by how often it seems that we get caught up in the idea that unless we can write six figure checks we’re not making much of a difference. Based on years of firsthand experience I know that’s just not true. Several years ago Ms. Jo Saner and Dr. Barb Mueller, both past members of our Board of Trustees, each contributed a few thousand dollars and created the Student Enrichment Fund. From then on, I started building that little fund into my operating budget. It was not a lot of money, but it was a way for me to help students participate in things they would not be able to do without a little financial boost. Over the years, I have doled out amounts typically ranging from $100 to $150 to help students in this way. This year my little fund has dwindled considerably, but I’m still trying to use it to do such things as help Math students attend a wonderful conference on Women in Mathematics, Communications students attend a Media Literacy Conference in St. Louis, and Alpha Chi (our college-wide academic honor society) members attend a national meeting of the organization. Almost every week I get additional requests of this type and I rarely see a request that does not have significant

benefit possible for the students who are asking. I’m not writing about this to persuade you to send a check for the Student Enrichment Fund. I’m trying to use this as an example of just one of the many small steps we can take to benefit students in ways they will remember all their lives. We want to do all we can to have the best professors, best staff, best facilities, and best experiences available to students. These will always be critical needs and concerns. So often, things that make very big impressions are those smaller acts that show how much we really do care about each student as an individual, as a distinctive member of our community who brings his or her own needs, hopes, and possibilities to Blackburn. It’s that linkage of the individual to the community—a link that runs both ways—that will always be at the heart of our success in helping students succeed, persist, and go on to richer and deeper lives because of their time at Blackburn College. Jeffery P. Aper Ph.D. ’78 is the Blackburn College Provost. To reach Dr. Aper, email

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


6 Ways to be a Better Alum:

Thinking About the Bigger Picture Glen Krupica, Vice President for Institutional Advancement 2. Contribute to any capital effort that the College promotes. Over the last 14 years, the College has conducted two major capital campaigns: the comprehensive Shaping a New Century Campaign from 1999 until 2003 and the Campaign for Science from 2006 until 2009. Both of these efforts reshaped the campus physically by the renovation of Hudson Hall, the building of the Physical Plant and the construction of the Mahan Science Wing, the Demuzio Campus Center and the Visual Arts Center. These efforts also resulted in significant gifts through endowed scholarships that have benefitted many students over the years. Some other very important ways to help Blackburn College may not be so obvious: I have been asked a number of times, “How can I help Blackburn College and its students?” Well, some of these answers are pretty easy and others require a little more thought. Of course, the most obvious are these two: 1. Become a regular donor to the Blackburn Annual Fund. The Annual Fund is truly the life-blood of the College. It pays for every day expenses, keeping the lights on, supplementing department and unit budgets, alleviating emergencies, and insuring that Blackburn’s campus is the safe and clean place that we all recall. Over the last four years, contributions to the Annual Fund at Blackburn have increased dramatically from the mid $300,000s to the mid $800,000s. This has gone a long way to providing for the increased costs of maintaining and upgrading the College.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

3. Help recruit students to Blackburn. You can and should recommend the Blackburn experience to prospective students and their parents. Nobody can tell the experience of attending our institution like you can. Blackburn is always looking for good students. Furthermore, many have the academic ability to attend college but not the resources to fund the expense. The recent introduction of the Affordable Access Award offers free tuition to Illinois students of the greatest financial need. 4. Assist Blackburn grads and students in finding employment opportunities and internships. The combination of a challenging liberal arts education combined with valuable and meaningful work experience gives our graduates a four-year head start relative to students from other institutions. Preparation

for life after Blackburn comes in the form of internships and experiential opportunities while students are still in school. Further, if you know of full-time employment opportunities, please reach out to Blackburn’s Office of Career Services and Experiential Learning. 5. Get the word out and be a positive force. Blackburn is one of the greatest stories in the history of American higher education. You are a part of this institution’s great and unique history. Your school still offers the only studentmanaged Work Program in the country. Blackburn isn’t as well known as it should be nationally and regionally— talk about your school and your experience often. Educate your friends and business partners about the great environment of learning and work that you are a product of. 6. Wear the colors. Between the new on-line alumni store collection of wearables and the College Bookstore, you can be all decked out in Beaver wear. Be proud of Blackburn and wear your BC gear often. You will get lots of questions about it and you can use your attire as an ice breaker in talking up your alma mater. Recently, donor and trustee Jennifer Shelby made the following comment during her address at the Blackburn Society Donor Dinner: “We are Blackburn and we ought to be damn proud of it”. I couldn’t agree with her more.

Glen Krupica is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement. To reach Glen, email

New Tradition: Matriculation Ceremony On Sunday, August 18, 2013, freshmen students gathered to process in the institution’s first Matriculation Ceremony. Designed as a symbol to mark the transition from high school to college, the Matriculation Ceremony was well received by students, faculty, and staff. Freshmen Lydia Collins detailed her experience. As students all over the country matriculate into their colleges without a second thought, the students of Blackburn College are the exception. On August 18, where many other college freshmen were given keys and simply run through a ring of activities, the freshmen at Blackburn were given a very special welcome… The sunlight filtered through the trees as my classmates and I walked single file out of Woodson Hall into a throng of people. Faculty and staff lined either side of the walkway applauding us as we passed by. Thoughts such as “why are they applauding?” or “I haven’t even done anything yet?” flew through the new students’ minds; I know, because they went through mine. Everything began to make sense as President Comerford began to speak. He explained that this was a matriculation ceremony. A ceremony for us—new students— to welcome and congratulate us for being a new part of Blackburn College. It was designed specifically to show us how special and wanted we are here at Blackburn. The Matriculation Ceremony seemed a tradition old as time. Never would I believe that we were the first class to go through the ceremony. Rob Weis, Associate Dean of Work, the creative mind behind the ceremony, designed the ceremony to have an air of tradition. His vision was to make students feel that they were part of the deep rooted community that is Blackburn, that they were important here. Sitting in the chapel that afternoon with all my fellow classmates after we had been called through the heavy double doors of Hudson, his vision couldn’t have been made more clear. Katie Ward, a student at Blackburn and an At-Large Member of Student Senate, took to the podium to give us the pledge that she wrote for the school. The fact that a student had written the school pledge made it all the more clear that students are important here.

Student Senate President Jacob Maag leads the procession carrying Blackburn College’s banner.

Katie’s pledge was based on the school branding of “Learn. Work. Earn.”. Its words focused not only on what it means to be a new student at Blackburn but what it means to be a member of the Blackburn community. Later, Katie shared with me her favorite part of the ceremony. “As I was taking the pledge along with my fellow classmates, the faculty and staff were taking it right along with us. It is great to know that the faculty and staff believe in what this school means as much as the students do. It is one of many things that set Blackburn apart,” Katie said. As I sit back and reflect on that afternoon. I recall watching as one by one my fellow classmates were called by name through the heavy double doors of Hudson Hall. I began to realize that Blackburn was more than just the school I was about to attend, but a distinct, different, and beautiful community that wanted me as a part of it. The Matriculation Ceremony may be brand new, but it will remain in my mind, and I hope the school’s program, for a long time. Written by Lydia Collins ’17 as a part of the Blackburn College Work Program.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


The Work Program A Changing of the Guard For 100 years Blackburn students have been taught the value of work. Whether it was early mornings milking the College’s dairy cows, shoveling snowy walks, or cooking dinner in a hot kitchen, it is work that spans Blackburn’s generations. It is work that allows Millennials admission to the same, dedicated community as the Greatest Generation. It is work that makes Blackburn, Blackburn. Each year the faces change as students come and go, but there is one constant, the person charged with leading this student-work experience. For 28 years, Roger Fenton worked tirelessly to maintain and improve the Work Program before his summer 2013 retirement, and the hire of former College Counselor, Rob Weis as the new Associate Dean of Work. Fenton worked in the position of Associate Dean of Work longer than most of the current Blackburn student body has been alive. For almost three decades, he stayed true to the mission of the Work Program. “I was always extremely hypersensitive to feeling that I was the guardian of the principles of the Work Program,” Fenton said. For Fenton, these principles boiled down to three: that it was to be a tool to keep cost and access affordable; that it was a way to be a student learning and development experience; and most importantly to Fenton, that it created a culture of community engagement.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

Haley Welch ’14, Academics Manager, talks with Rob Weis, new Associate Dean of Work.

“This is a community where everybody who lives here has an obligation to help with the family chores,” Fenton said. “This creates a sense of ownership, participation and belonging that is different from any other colleges in the country that aren’t Work Colleges.”

in the shadows, letting the students do, while he coached or helped as needed. The position also acts as liaison to the Work College Consortium, keeps abreast of the federal rules and regulations, and compiles measurable goals for the Work Program.

In 30 years at Blackburn, although the general Work Program mission has stayed the same, Fenton has overseen many changes in the Program. Some changes include the addition of the Community Services work department, the opening of the Program to commuter students, offering paid hours, the 10-hour weekly work minimum, and the opportunity to get work credit for internships on and off campus was also a big difference.

Fenton looks back fondly on the community, student growth and learning he has been a part of. “Blackburn creates a different culture, a different mind-set about work,” Fenton said. “Everybody works. Everybody is a part of making this thing go. I just think it creates a more democratic, a more egalitarian, a more engaged group of people. I just think that’s the most important piece.”

Fenton considered himself the “glue operationally, so we’re not continually reinventing the wheel each time we bring in a new group of people to be at the helm.” Fenton always played his role

He isn’t blind to the challenges that a student work force can bring, but sees the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Fenton has seen the Work Program become the saving grace for many Blackburn students. “I know a lot of

students were retained here and were successful and happy because of their Work Program job. If it was just doing the more academic thing, they may not have survived. But the Work Program changed their mind set, and their view point and their energy level.” Fenton hopes that the Work Program continues to grow and change. He hopes that national awareness will continue to be raised by the Work College Consortium, and that more intentional links to work, academics, and career preparation can be made. But, true to form, what he hopes most is to still find those core principles of affordable, student learning, and community engagement at its foundation. When Rob Weis entered into the Associate Dean of Work position, he knew he had big shoes to fill. But, since he arrival as College Counselor in summer 2004, Weis realized that the position was one in which he could use his skills.

understanding of how it could enhance the College.”

some of the changes I think we need to make.”

Like Fenton, Weis understands the holistic nature of the Work Program. He, too, believes the community created and the work-learning are two of the most important aspects of the Work Program experience.

The biggest change, which has been in the works for many years, is finally coming to fruition. Students will soon graduate with not only an academic transcript, but a work transcript, which will measure and quantify the student learning in the Work Program.

“We provide students with real responsibility and real-world experience,” Weis said. “Everything goes back to a student managed system. It means that there’s accountability. Students can’t say ‘I don’t know’ and have someone rescue them, they have to do it themselves.” Weis also recognizes the many challenges a work-learning model brings, including the learning curve students experience. He knows that sometimes that curve involves errors, but that it’s all a part of the learning process.

Weis and his staff also have plans to improve the Job Fair, and hold a second Job Fair in the spring to open new employment options to students. Professional development training is also being offered through the Library to help students hone or expand their skills. Like many supervisors at Blackburn, Weis is a sounding board for his student-staff. His management philosophy is to encourage student creativity and decision making. “My expectation is that if a student wants to try something they should have the opportunity. It’s my responsibility to direct them in ways that would give them the best outcome.”

Roger Fenton celebrates at his retirement party with co-workers Ann Allen, Jane (Copley) Kelsey ’77, Diana Ruyle ’88, and Barb Oakes ’69.

“I kind of worked in this direction to position myself for the role. I’ve worked to establish certain relationships with businesses in town,” Weis said. “I put myself into some places to understand how businesses in the community operate. I wanted to have a firm

This transcript means a more specific gauge of student progress. Each semester, a student’s work-learning will be measured by skills, which increase every semester, and provide quantifiable goals for students and supervisors.

In his first months on the job, Weis has spent his time learning processes and procedures with this year’s crop of student managers. “I’m mostly spending my time learning by doing,” Weis said. “Learning better the ins-and-outs of the Work Program, as I’m trying to make

Weis has a promising outlook on the improvements currently being made to the Work Program which will take it into the second century of its existence. “In the next 100 years, I think it’ll be completely different,” Weis said of the Work Program. “I think the College will look completely different. I think that we are going to have innovative opportunities that will allow the institution and our students to flourish.” Written by Kyle Harrington ’10. Contact Kyle at

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Celebrating 100 Years of Blackburn’s Work Program

Dr. Roy Graham and Dr. Greg Meyer at the Founder’s Day Convocation.

Jeremy King ’14, Shelby Smith ’14 and Tim Erton ’13 enjoy themselves at the Work Program Relay event during Student Worker Appreciation Day.

Taylor Critchfield ’15 writes a note to Dr. Hudson on his 141st Birthday.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

Carly Vunetich ’15 and Katlyn Halstead ’14 help Bryon Meyer plant a tree at McKinley House during Student Worker Appreciation Day.

Alumni chat at the Work Managers’ Breakfast during Homecoming Weekend.

Campus Maintenance workers are aided by faculty and staff members on Student Worker Appreciation Day.

Alumni and current Work Program student managers lead a panel discussion in Olin Lecture Hall.

2013 saw increased activity throughout the Blackburn campus as the institution celebrated 100 years of the Work Program. The anniversary celebration began at the 2013 Founder’s Day Convocation with an address to faculty, staff, students and friends, by Dr. George Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, as he spoke to the value of work. The anniversary events continued with a 141st birthday celebration for Dr. William Hudson, former president and creator of Blackburn’s Work Program. Other events included a student/employee panel discussion, Student Worker Appreciation Day, a service project event, a luncheon presentation, “Academic-Work Linkage: Developing Emotional and Social Intelligence” by Dr. Sam Meredith, and a Work Committee reunion at Homecoming 2013. Special thanks to the anniversary planning committee and all those who helped make the 100th Work Program Anniversary possible.

Founder’s Day Convocation speaker, Dr. George Kuh.

Administration Manager, Briana Rae ’14 and Bookstore Manager, Ashleigh Clendenny ’15 chat with alumni during a luncheon.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Improvements Made: Jewell and Bothwell Renovations

phases at 1.5 million. If Blackburn gets the opportunity, there will most likely be a Phase 3 to the project. Jewell Hall renovations initially began in summer 2012, but the process has been ongoing. Summer 2012 work began with rewiring portions of the dorm rooms, installing air conditioning units in the parlor, building a full kitchenette, replacing the parlor floor with new tiles and placing heating and air conditioning units in every dorm room.

John Comerford, Ed Young ’62, and Sam Harding tour Bothwell after renovations were completed.

Summer 2013 was an exciting time of improvements for two campus facilities: Jewell Hall and Bothwell Conservatory. Bothwell renovations began Monday, May 20 and were finished the week of August 5. In Bothwell, Renovations have been divided into two phases with immense improvements made to both buildings. Phase 1 began with hired contractors tearing out the old heating and air conditioning systems. Project Manager Mike Slightom, New Construction Supervisor, directed eight summer student workers through the renovations. Student workers were an integral part of the project, tearing out and replacing half of the ceilings and then replacing those with a new drop ceiling and grid system. “Student work was very significant to the project’s completion,” noted Slightom. The fire sprinkler suppression system was upgraded to meet regulated standards. The new system has the ability to detect and distinguish a fire more quickly. All of the existing wiring was removed


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

and new telephone cabling and data cabling installed. A large amount of the items removed from the building were purchased by other sources. The new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is an exciting upgrade for Blackburn. It is composed of eight zones, an improvement from the previous two zones. The system allows the temperature to be evenly distributed throughout the whole building and fit the heating and cooling needs of different areas. The funding for the entire renovation was provided by the Intercultural Arts Project Committee (ICAP) grant. The project also funded the purchase of new pianos for Bothwell’s stage, offices, and choir and practice rooms. Including the pianos, Phase 1 was slightly over one million dollars. Phase 2 will begin spring 2014, following Commencement. The financial installments came in two increments with the total funding available for both

This past summer, eight student workers worked daily from May 21-July 31. A new HVAC system was placed in all dorm rooms, the Resident Director’s apartment and the infirmary. Carpentry Supervisor Jorge Stewart replaced some of the dorm room windows, but will finish placing new windows in rooms this winter break. Over the past two fiscal years, the total renovation and upgrade cost was $630,000 and was fully funded by institutional money through budget funds. Sam Harding, Director of Physical Plant and Grounds Supervisor said, “The air conditioning will give students a more comfortable living environment, and that is why a large amount of money was allocated to the building.” This winter break, workers hope to finish the rewiring upgrade for all dorm rooms, replace the remainder of dorm room windows, repaint the entire building, put mini blinds in each room, and remove the old hot water heating system within the dorm rooms. By May 2014, the Jewell renovations are planned to be completed.

Written by Miranda Clark ’14 as a part of the Blackburn College Work Program

Professor David Camp, Doctor of Deception Blackburn Earns “Best” Ranking

Blackburn College’s Dr. David Camp is known around campus as one of the most interesting professors to have a conversation with. Intelligent and friendly, Camp is likely to stick in the memory of anyone he speaks with. In addition to this memorable personality, Camp literally wrote the book for Blackburn’s nationally unique Deception Management Course. “Nobody else is doing anything like this.” Camp says of the course, which is the only one of its kind. Camp boasts an interesting life. Author to three books on the subject of deception, Camp has worked in a wide variety of fields ranging from zoo keeping to military intelligence to mental health. After earning his doctorate in Deviant Behavior, Camp began his college education career in 1989, and taught at several different universities while also doing some work for the Department of Corrections. In 1997, a colleague suggested a training seminar to Camp which focused on the study of deception and detecting lies. His interest was piqued and since then has focused his research and work solely on deception, which

allowed him to develop Blackburn’s Deception Management course. His research continues, putting him among the world’s top experts in the field of deception. Camp also continues his work outside the College, consulting on various criminal cases as well as being a founding member of LEADDS (Linguistic Evidence Analysis & Deception Detection Solutions), an organization which consults on both cold and active case investigations at the request of law enforcement agencies and private citizens. Notably LEADDS has consulted on the recent case of Shane Todd, a young man whose suspicious death overseas left his family with significant doubts. Camp’s work on this case was noted on famed news program, “48 Hours”, in October 2013. For more information on Dr. David Camp and his study of deception, visit Written by Larra Brogdon ’15 as a part of the Blackburn College Work Program

Blackburn College was ranked 17th Best Baccalaureate College in the U.S. and Best in Illinois according to the 2013 Washington Monthly College Rankings. The annual rankings are produced by the national magazine as a way to draw attention to colleges and universities who are exceptional in providing valuable educational opportunities. The institutions are ranked based on factors not always used by other publications, specifically ranking them by social mobility, research and community service. According to Washington Monthly, “The college rankings are designed to embody the American higher education compact at the institutional level. Instead of lauding colleges for closing their doors to all but an elite few, we give high marks to institutions that enroll low-income students, help them graduate, and don’t charge them an arm and a leg to attend. Universities that bring in research dollars are rewarded by our standards, as are those whose undergraduates go on to earn Ph.Ds. And we recognize institutions that are committed to public service, Written Publicway Relations Worker ’14 as and a part in of the both by ina the they teach Blackburn College Work Program encouraging students to enter servicefocused careers.” Update Magazine // Fall 2013


New Faculty & Staff Ms. Suzannah Behnken Ms. Suzannah Behnken, Head Volleyball/Softball Coach: M.A.A. Athletic Administration, Concordia University, Irvine, CA; B.S. English/Mass Communications and History, Union College, Barbourville, KY. Suzannah comes from Scottsdale, AZ, where she served as Assistant to the Athletic Director/Assistant Softball Coach at Notre Dame Preparatory. She is making her home in Carlinville.

Mr. Spencer Brayton Mr. Spencer Brayton, Head Librarian: M.B.A. (concentration in Marketing), Strayer University-in progress, M.A. Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. History and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Spencer comes to Blackburn from Strayer University in Aurora where he was the solo information professional responsible for managing the campus’s Learning Resource Center, including all aspects of Library Services.

Ms. Kami Brimberry Ms. Kami Brimberry, Traveling Admissions Counselor-Freshman and Transfer: B.A. Communications, Minor American and British Literature, Blackburn College. While a student at Blackburn, Kami served as an Intern for the Transfer Admissions Office and served as front desk staff in Lumpkin Library.

Rev. Erica Brown Rev. Erica Brown, College Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor: M.A. English, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, M. Div. University of Chicago, Chicago, B.A. English, Mount Union College, Alliance, OH. Erica comes to Blackburn from Wesley College, Dover, DE, where she served as Director of Spiritual Life and Community Engagement. She is making her home in Carlinville.

Dr. John Comerford Dr. John Comerford, President: Ph.D. Higher Education Administration, University of KS, M.S. University of Central Missouri, B.A. Western Illinois University, Macomb. Most recently John served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, where he was responsible for fundraising, marketing, event management and alumni relations. While at Westminster he also served as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. John and Rachel and their three children are making McKinley House their new home.

Dr. Kevin Coogan Dr. Kevin Coogan, professor of Computer Science, Ph.D. Computer Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, M.S. Computer Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, B.S. Computer Science, minor Mathematics, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Kevin’s fields of interest are malware, security, binary analysis, concurrency and parallel programming. He most recently served as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department, Ponoma College. He and his wife, Nassim, are making their home in Carlinville.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

New Faculty & Staff Mr. Brian Eberhard Mr. Brian Eberhard, Professor of Education, Ph.D. (ABD) Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, M.A. Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, B.A. Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA. Brian comes from the University of Wyoming, where he served as an instructor in secondary education, social studies and taught courses in social studies methods I and II and residency in teaching.

Mr. Tim Gould Mr. Tim Gould, interim, Women’s Soccer Coach; M.S. Positive Coaching, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (anticipated summer of 2014), B.A. English with Secondary Certification, Blackburn College. Tim has been employed as a Social Studies and English instructor at Carlinville High School. In addition to teaching, he was the head coach for both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, where his cumulative record over 13 seasons as a head coach was 203-97-11. Tim resides in Carlinville.

Mr. Jarrod Gray Mr. Jarrod Gray, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and RD for Graham Hall; Ph.D. Transformative Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA (in progress), M.A. Psychology-Diversity Management Program, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, B.A. Anthropology, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH. Jarrod was most recently employed as a Client Advocate for the Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance in Kaneohe, Hawaii. He returns to Blackburn College after a nine-year hiatus. He previously served as Blackburn’s Housing Director and Interim Assistant Dean of Students from 2002-2004.

Mr. Brian Hermann Mr. Brian Hermann, Traveling Admissions Counselor; B.A. English, minor in Communications, Hanover College, Hanover, IN. Brian was most recently Freelance Editor, Project Manager and owner of Encompass Editorial. He and his wife, Dr. Karen Dillon, Professor of English and Communications, reside in Carlinville.

Dr. Ingrid Kammin Dr. Ingrid Kammin, Adjunct, Music Department; D.M.A. Vocal Performance and Literature, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, M.M. Vocal Performance and Literature, University of Illinois-UrbanaChampaign, B.F.A. Music Vocal Performance, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Ingrid most recently served as Music Program Coordinator and Instructor at the University of IllinoisUrbana-Champaign, as well as providing individual instruction at Mahomet-Seymour High School.

Dr. Ruth Kartchner Dr. Ruth Kartchner, Chair and Professor of Spanish; Ph.D. Bilingual Education, University of Arizona (dissertation: “Ideologies of Deafness in Hispanic America”), M.A. Spanish Linguistics, University of Arizona, B.A. Spanish, University of Arizona. Ruth most recently served as Full Professor at the University of Arizona South, Sierra Vista, AZ.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Ms. Tena Krause

Mr. Tim Morenz

Ms. Tena Krause, Professor of Physical Education, M.A. Education (concentration in Health Science and Physiology), Ball State University, Muncie, IN, M.S. Education (concentration in Physical Education), Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, B.S. Education (concentration in Physical Education), Greenville College, Greenville.

Mr. Tim Morenz, College Counselor, B.S. Psychology, M.A., Counseling Psychology, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.

Tena comes to Blackburn from Taylor University in Upland, IN, where she served as Head Basketball Coach and Associate Professor for Physical Education and Human Performance.

Dr. Christina McCurley Dr. Christina McCurley, Professor of Business, Ph.D. Management, Maharisi University of Management, M.B.A. Western Illinois University, Macomb, B.B. Western Illinois University, Macomb. Christina comes from Clarke University where she has served as an instructor in the Business Department since 2010. Prior to her time at Clarke, she served at Lincoln Land Community College’s Beardstown Extension, teaching Introduction to Business Organization.

Ms. Della Montgomery Ms. Della Montgomery, Adjunct, Education Department, M.A. Art Education, University of Illinois, Springfield, B.A. Elementary Education, University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO, B.A. Behavioral Science and Christian Education, North Central University, Minneapolis, MN. Della is currently employed as an Adjunct Professor in Pre-Service Educational Coursework at Lincoln Land Community College as an Elementary Teacher, Junior/Senior High Art, Morrisonville Community School District. Della resides in Morrisonville.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

With over 20 years of counseling experience, Tim comes to Blackburn after serving most recently as a Behavioral Health Clinician, Macoupin County Public Health Department, Maple Street Clinic. Tim and his wife, Angie Morenz, are making their home in Carlinville.

Mr. Aaron Pflug Mr. Aaron Pflug, Traveling Admissions Counselor, B.A. British/ American Literature, Blackburn College. A 2010 graduate and former Work Program General Manager, Aaron resides in Chatham, IL.

Ms. Claudia Pitchford Ms. Claudia Pitchford, Adjunct, Education Department, M.S Education in Reading, Western Illinois University, Macomb, M.S. Education Workshops, Quincy University, Quincy, B.A. Visual Arts and Elementary Certification with Middle School Art Endorsement, University of Illinois at Springfield. Claudia teaches Elementary Art, Kindergarten - Sixth Grade at Jacksonville School District 117, Jacksonville. She resides in Springfield.

Dr. Deborah Young Dr. Deborah Young, Adjunct, Business Department, Ph.D. Management and Administration, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, M.Ed. Human Services Management, Boston University, Frankfurt, Germany, U.S. Army, NCO Leadership Academy, Landstuhl, Germany, B.S. Radio and Television, minor in Theater, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Deborah is currently employed as an E-Learning Specalist and Director Series Training Specialist at KARMAK, Inc., Carlinville.

Blackburn College: All-Steinway School Blackburn College was recently named an All-Steinway School, showcasing the institution’s dedication to quality, fine arts education and performance. On July 2, Dr. Pei-I Wang, Adjunct Professor of Music, traveled to New York with Steinway representative Susan Lutz, to tour the Steinway factory in Queens and chose a brand new grand piano for the Bothwell Conservatory stage.

foot concert grand for the Bothwell stage. Two currently owned Steinway studio grands were rebuilt over the summer. “Blackburn’s investment in our instruments, and the current ongoing renovations in Bothwell will provide improved musical experiences for our students and our audiences,” said Elizabeth Zobel, Performing Arts Department Chair and Professor of Music.

In August, Steinway delivered all pianos to be housed in Blackburn’s Bothwell Conservatory, including six new Boston and Essex upright pianos for practice rooms, a classroom and an adjunct office, a 2009 Boston grand piano for the choir room, and most excitingly, a brand new Steinway Model D nine-

In May well-worn pianos in Bothwell were removed from the campus. Five uprights were given away: three to Carlinville community homes and two to music classrooms in the Northwestern School District. The remaining pianos were taken by Steinway for trade or refurbishment.

Blackburn College joined the ranks of over 150 other universities, colleges and music conservatories who place a high value on providing their students and faculty with the best quality instruments for performance, practice and teaching. The list of All-Steinway Schools includes the Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, the Yale School of Music and the University of Cincinnati– College Conservatory of Music. Locally, other All-Steinway Schools include Webster University and Millikin University. For more information on All-Steinway Schools, visit

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Homecoming 2013 During the weekend of September 27- 29, 2013, alumni, family, and friends of the College gathered on campus to celebrate Homecoming. Weekend festivities included the Second Annual Meet Me in the Tent event, class reunions both on campus and at Carlinville area restaurants, and the Blackburn’s Got Talent variety show. Homecoming also gave alumni the chance to meet and chat with President John Comerford for the first time.

Cheers! The Class of 1956 toasts at their reunion event held at Magnolia’s Restaurant in Carlinville.

The 1993 Women’s Basketball team and their coaches Jim Sexton and Pete Gordon are inducted into Blackburn’s Hall of Fame during the weekend’s Alumni Luncheon. The team was inducted for their undefeated 1993 season for which they were named SLIAC and NSCAA champions.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

During the Heritage Society Breakfast, alumni view the portraits of past presidents on display in Stuart Conference Room in Woodson Hall.

Carly Vunetich ’15 and Christina (Lambert) Taylor ’73 chat at the Work Managers’ Brunch.

Alumni sing with the Blackburn College Choir, directed by Dr. Elizabeth Zobel, during the Ecumenical Worship Service held in Clegg Chapel.

Members of the Class of 1993 reunite in the Bothwell Conservatory of Music.

Members of the Class of 1968 reunite at the Piazza Cafe.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


2013 Society Dinner

On Friday, November 1, the College’s most generous Annual Fund donors were honored at the first-ever Blackburn Society Dinner. The formal dinner event featured speeches by President John Comerford, Board of Trustees member, Jennifer Shelby, and students Amelia Kirby ’14 and Carly Vunetich ’15. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with signature cocktails such as the “Presbyterian” before continuing to a dinner catered by Blackburn Dining Service. The crowd was then addressed by Comerford and Shelby on the importance of continued contributions to the Annual Fund, which not only cover the cost of College operations, but contributes to scholarship funds which help subsidize the cost of tuition for Blackburn’s brightest students.

General Managers Katie Hazelwonder ’14, Carly Vunetich ’15 attend the cocktail hour preceding the dinner.


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Kirby and Vunetich both thanked donors, and described the opportunities they have had since coming to Blackburn, which would have been impossible without the generosity of alumni and friends of the College. Kirby has taken full of advantage of the international experiences provided, including studying abroad in Spain and traveling to Peru as a Mueller Fellow. Vunetich has stayed close to campus, but has climbed the Work Program ranks, becoming General Manager in her junior year. The Society Dinner was organized by Director of Annual Giving, Jodi Rowe. To join the Blackburn Society, donors must have an annual giving amount of $1000 or more. For more information on the Blackburn Society, contact Jodi Rowe, Director of Annual Giving.

Dr. Comerford toasts to Blackburn’s bright future.

Tom Turpin, Development Officer, chats with Robert Bierma ’50.

Craig Newsom: Residency in Finland During July of 2013, Craig Newsom, full-time Art faculty at Blackburn, completed a residency in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. Newsom has worked with fellow artist, Kara Jansson in a collaborative art practice since 2010. Their collaboration, Coalfather Industries, has a national and international record of video screenings and exhibitions. They were accepted into the residency at Arteles in rural Finland. Arteles is surrounded by vast expanses of pristine forest, which soon became the focus of their work. Wearing white hazmat suits and performing banal tasks in the forest, they contrasted the solitude of nature with the minutiae and anxieties of everyday life. In addition to video

footage of these actions, the artists also created supplementary objects. An installation of these objects and video footage took place at a historic site in Finland called Heiska during the residency. Edited video pieces from the residency have been shown in Venezuela, Netherlands, Croatia, Canada and America, notably including Crane Arts, a contemporary arts and culture venue in Philadelphia. Newsom asserts that artist residencies are imperative for artists to thrive, “I know very few artists who have the time they need to devote to their craft due to the constraints of living acceptable lives.” His work with Coalfather Industries continues with more screenings and exhibitions planned

for 2014. “Our current project is an interactive, fictitious, anonymous and completely random social networking site.” “We have created a series of users, including corporations, that can be played like actors playing characters by anyone with the password. Users’ personalities morph and evolve as they are played by different people. Privacy is nonexistent. The personal details of each fictitious user streams by unfiltered. The site is meant to question our relationship with social media and its implications in our own lives.” Visit Coalfather Industries at Written by Megan Adamski ’14 as a part of the Blackburn College Work Program.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013



Update Magazine // Fall 2013

INAUGURATION Dr. John L. Comerford Is Named Blackburn’s 16th President

On Saturday, November 2, the inauguration of President John L. Comerford ushered in a new era of leadership at Blackburn College. The first presidential inauguration held in more than two decades, the event was rife with pomp and circumstance, as College Marshal Roy Graham processed into Bothwell Auditorium wielding the College Mace, followed by Jacob Maag, Student Senate President carrying the College’s banner, and a plethora of visiting dignitaries, Blackburn Board of Trustees members, faculty and staff. With musical selections performed by the Blackburn College Choir, the attendees were also addressed by Board of Trustees Vice Chair and Transition Committee Chair, Hazel Loucks, former Alumni Board President, Angela Duffy, Provost Dr. Jeffery Aper, Board of Trustees Chair, Edward Young, and numerous others. Mrs. Rachel Rumple-Comerford read a scripture reading from John 9:1 – 11, before Board Chair Edward Young placed the ceremonial presidential collar around Comerford’s neck, installing him as 16th president of Blackburn College. Comerford’s inauguration address was a combination of looking back—at Blackburn’s accomplishments: its long-standing liberal arts tradition, its dedication to work and service, and the success of its students. He then turned the topic toward the future, cementing Blackburn’s place in the future of higher education by introducing the Affordable Access Award—a need-based monetary award given to Illinois students with the greatest financial need and continuing Blackburn’s history of affordable education for all. President Comerford ended his address by saying, “In all these unique ways, Blackburn College is not just another college… we’re a place that has something to say about the direction of our system of higher education and the future of our nation. We believe in an educated citizenry, developed in character through work, and access to all that are able and willing.” “We have been doing this quietly for 175 years, and it is a model that works. We are an active community of doers—students, faculty and staff trained to make a difference. Blackburn College is now called upon to be a light in the darkness of American higher education and a leader in our collective future.” “I am proud to play some small role in this future and humbled to have been invited to join this cause. I hope you’ll join us too.” For a complete video of the Inauguration of President John Comerford, visit Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Inauguration Blackburn College faculty members are joined in academic regalia by dignitaries from other institutions for the Inauguration Ceremony.

Dr. Comerford receives a plaque and medal of honor from his alma mater, Western Illinois University.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

Rachel Rumple-Comerford reads John 9:1 – 11.

Dr. Comerford has technical difficulties with the presidential collar after the ceremony.

Students admire the Victor Wang Art Exhibit in the Visual Arts Center Gallery.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ed Young, bestows the President’s collar upon Dr. Comerford as part of the Inauguration Ceremony.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Mentor Relationships A Valuable Part of the Blackburn Experience

Taylor Hess ’15 & Dr. Naomi Crummey Junior Taylor Hess and Dr. Naomi Crummey, English & Communications Department Chair and Professor of Communications, got acquainted through a summer class. They both quickly bonded over music and poetry. Naturally, Naomi began mentoring Taylor. During college, Naomi had a mentor that helped her to develop her creative, intellectual, and critical thinking skills. Naomi’s mentor inspired her and helped her grow as a person, playing a pivotal role in her college years. Naomi learned the skill of mentoring from her own mentor and role model. Naomi enjoys mentoring because she likes seeing people grow, change and come into an understanding of themselves and the world around them. “What I learned from Taylor is that you can be direct about things,” she said. “Her honesty, openness and curiosity taught me.” Naomi appreciates all of the feedback that Taylor gives her about everything. Throughout this relationship, Taylor has benefited equally. She values that Naomi can listen, understand, motivate, articulate and help her when she can’t find the right words. Naomi has taught Taylor that self-motivation comes from within, to own up to her own mistakes and be honest about things and keep focused on your goals even when they seem out of reach. Taylor stated, “Dr. Crummey is so insanely smart and so influential I want to be like her.” When Taylor wants to get lazy or not do her best, she tells herself, “I wouldn’t want Dr. Crummey to be disappointed in me.”


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Heidi Heinz & Angela Duffy ’95 According to the V.P. and Dean of Students, Heidi Heinz, the opportunity to mentor students helped lay a foundation of studying hard and asking questions. This allows students to think things through and enjoy their life’s passion. A good example is Angela Duffy, a 1995 graduate of Blackburn. When a freshman arrives to campus they are unsure of who they want to be, and mentoring is an essential part of the student’s growth over a four year period. Heidi noticed this particularly in her mentee, Angela Duffy. Angela worked as a Resident Assistant for one year before being promoted to Resident Director. Heidi emphasized Angela’s strong work ethic—often working 30 to 40 hours per week, and always going above and beyond in her campus work assignment. This commitment and dedication allowed Angela to grow and develop as a young person transitioning into adulthood. Heidi learned to be more of a role model for students. “I like to pass along things, little tricks of the trade, some wisdom,” she said. The wisdom imparted to Angela is still with her today, and she passes this advice on to her children. One important lesson taught was to take the time to admit mistakes as they happen and not to cover them up, allowing someone to help you in fixing them. Angela learned the importance of treating all people with respect while still having a sense of humor and being a good listener. Angela has reciprocated this life advice and knowledge to her own children whenever possible and this wisdom is something she will carry with her the rest of her life. Angela Duffy met her husband Patrick at Blackburn on the first day. They have three sons named after buildings on the Blackburn College campus, Graham, Zachary Hudson, and Hayden Anderson. Heidi describes these relationships as unable to be forced. The chemistry between two people is something that must evolve over time.

Lexi Bilbruck ’14 & Dr. Kelly Chaney Education Department Chair Dr. Kelly Chaney and senior Education major Lexi Bilbruck knew immediately that they work well together. Lexi began working in the Education Office as a general worker her sophomore year over Christmas Break and into the spring semester. One day while Lexi was working, Dr. Chaney asked her to be her Special Programs and Faculty Assistant. Lexi currently works 20 hours per week and oversees the Study Buddies and the Heart program at local Carlinville schools. As their journeys continue, both Lexi and Kelly benefit academically and personally from their relationship. The two enjoy brainstorming together. Recently, they contemplated ideas for 120 middle school students coming on campus for a day-long, Amazing Race themed event and educational program. Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Kelly noted that Lexi is very bright, creative, and energetic. “She gets what it means to be a part of a team. I consider her to be one of my co-workers. She understands what we are trying to do here.” Lexi is completely committed to the idea of her work being very important and really cares. Lexi said, “She has given me the ability to be a leader in the education office. Being here has given me the opportunity to be creative, so I feel that I have really evolved as a person. This job has really made me grow and without it, I wouldn’t be the same.” This relationship is something that Lexi hopes to never lose.

Carissa Hampton ’10, Blake Hammann ’10 & Mr. Jim Pickett ’68 Alumnus, Mr. Jim Pickett, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, developed a very strong mentoring relationship with two of his former students, Blake Hammann and Carissa Hampton. These two students became Teaching Assistants in the Chemistry Department. Jim learned how to be a better mentor from Physics and Physical Chemistry Professor Dr. Jack Campbell. Jim was motivated to obtain a Master’s degree because of Dr. Campbell’s persistence. Through his mentor, Jim learned to have an impact on all students, rather than standing back.

Carissa became a Teaching Assistant her junior year. She benefitted greatly from Jim’s advice. “He never forgets to remind me to push forward and finish what I know I can do.” He pressed upon her to not stop short even when things get difficult and discouraging; to always finish what you start. Carissa’s experience with Jim has been the most influential reason as to why she continued on to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Blake became a Teaching Assistant during his sophomore year. Blake and Jim would chat a few times a week to discuss preparation for labs, everyday life and future goals. Jim recognized his potential, so, he pushed him to further his education, leading to Blake obtaining a Master’s Degree. He is currently working on a Ph.D. The advice that stuck with him the most is to not have any regrets and to never give up. Jim would always be there to listen to Blake and to give advice no matter the subject. Jim recognized Carissa and Blake as excellent students and workers. He knew they would always go above and beyond what was required at work, trying new things together. Both Carissa and Blake helped Jim to develop an electronic grading system, suggest changes for course material, helped him create labs and many other improvements. “Blackburn is different,” Jim said. “The professors and students are close. Some students you just click with. That’s the case with these two.”


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

Kate Taylor ’11 & Ann Allen Ann Allen, Executive Assistant to the President, and Kate Taylor formed a bond through the Work Program. Kate worked as Ann’s assistant for three and a half years. “I connected with Ann in more ways than her just being my boss. We talked about personal things, talked about life and she mentored me with my classes. She was my life mentor in general,” said Kate. Either before or after every shift, Kate would talk to Ann about work tasks and things going on in her life. They both found their time together to be valuable. As the two continued working together, they discovered common interests. They enjoy watching the same films and reading similar books. Before Ann and Kate worked together, Ann never liked any country music. However, through Kate’s influence, Ann now enjoys listening to Lady Antebellum. Ann likes to help students recognize their talents and abilities. Kate believes Ann helped her realize her strengths. Ann mentioned, “Kate is very talented, very creative, a fantastic photographer, an independent worker and she isn’t afraid to try new things or tackle any task.” Ann described her work with Kate to be enjoyable. She liked working with Kate because of her positive attitude, her ability to always wear a smile, her pleasant presence and described Kate as a genuinely nice individual. Kate knows Ann helped her develop her work ethic. She taught her to put everything into her work and to consider others while working. She mentioned, “My manager aspects definitely reflected how I was manager of Administration Services during my senior year. I used what I learned from Ann while being a manager.” Ann finds mentoring to be a valuable experience, she noted, “I get as much out of it as the students do.” Ann enjoyed watching Kate grow into her own person through her years at Blackburn. They now refer to one another as a friend. Last time Kate stopped through Carlinville, she stopped by Ann’s office at the end of day to chat. The time flew and next thing they knew they had talked for two hours. Ann does not consider Kate to be her only mentee. In her 17 years with Blackburn, she still keeps in contact with over 95% of her past student workers and advisees. Although it is not required, she finds workplace mentoring to be a very rewarding part of her job. In previous years, Ann was designated mentor for at-risk freshman. She enjoys motivating students and helping them adapt to college life.


Mallory Cummings ’13 & John Malin ’81 “John has become a father figure in my life over the past few years. He’s someone I feel confident talking to all the time, whether it’s work related or not,” said Mallory Cummings, senior and Representative Assistant to John Malin, Director of Transfer Admissions. Mallory has worked in the Admissions Office for the entirety of her college experience at Blackburn and became John’s assistant in January 2010. John would like to find a way to keep Mallory on staff when she graduates this December. He believes Mallory is a model employee and enjoys working with her because she is determined to do high quality work. She really understands and makes significant contributions to the office. Mallory does everything I do,” John said. Mallory and John have developed Update Magazine // Fall 2013


a lasting relationship that they both wish to continue when Mallory graduates. Mallory would be grateful to one day mentor someone the same way that she has been mentored at Blackburn. “He draws a fine line between mentor and friend and I would like to play on that same line,” she said. Mallory described them as being opposites but balancing one another. She added, “If someone had only half the experience I have with mentoring, they would still feel fulfilled.” John considers himself a mentor to all of the students he recruits to Blackburn. He gets to know them and learns if the student and the institution are a good fit. He likes to check with his recruited students periodically to see how they are doing and liking Blackburn. John is a Blackburn alum himself. While John attended Blackburn his mentor was his faculty advisor and boss in the Athletics Department. He knew that he could seek his mentor at any time to get advice. His mentor laid the groundwork for him wanting to stay at this institution and for helping other students along the way.

Ryan Long ’14 & Jorge Stewart ’02 Common interest connected Carpentry Supervisor Jorge Stewart and senior Ryan Long. The two both enjoy fishing, working maintenance, studying biology and sports. They connected when Ryan began his Work Program position in Physical Plant. Jorge is his main supervisor and mentor. Ryan mentioned, “I know I can go to Jorge for anything.” Jorge has pressed upon Ryan to always be responsible. Ryan is most comfortable with his mentor Jorge in the Physical Plant workshop. Some days they will sit on the tool bench and talk for hours. Jorge finds mentoring to be gratifying and rewarding. He enjoys connecting with his students on and off his crew. Ryan considers his experience with Jorge as valuable. He noted, “He’s good at managing students and teaching.” Jorge believes Ryan continues to be a leader for the Carpentry Department. He is always ready to help resolve issues for the campus. “Ryan displays a strong work ethic and takes pride in his work. I enjoy mentoring Ryan because he makes it so easy.” Always willing to work hard and cooperate with others, Ryan is an example of the quality student workers we have here at Blackburn. Outside of work, Ryan and Jorge like to fish together. Jorge stated that when his mentees graduate, “I am as proud as a peacock. Once they graduate they join a club forever and that is being an alum of Blackburn College.”

All vignettes by Miranda Clark ’14 as part of the Blackburn College Work Program.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

Celebration of 50 Years of Service for Roy Graham A retirement celebration honoring Professor Roy Graham will be held on Friday evening, April 4, 2014, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Woodson Center on the Blackburn College Campus. The reception will be held from 6:30-7:00 p.m., with dinner and program beginning at 7:00 p.m. All faculty, staff, students and former students, family and friends are encouraged to attend. A memory book will be put together for presentation to Mr. Graham during the evening. Photographs, writings, or tributes should be sent to Ann Allen at or 217-854-5506. RSVPs and questions should also be sent to Ann’s attention. Business attire is suggested.

Mr. Roy Graham

A First Annual Graham Letters and Culture Symposium will be held the following day in the Auxiliary Dining Rooms in the Demuzio Campus Center. Mr. Graham began his career with Blackburn College in 1964.

Celebration of Retirements of Professors Sam Meredith, Greg Meyer and Jake Miller A joint retirement celebration honoring Professors Sam Meredith, Greg Meyer and Jake Miller will be held on Friday, May 2, 2014, from 7-9 p.m. in the Woodson Center on the Blackburn College campus. The reception, stand up dinner and program will begin at 7 p.m. All staff, faculty, students and former students, family and friends are encouraged to attend. Memory books will be put together for presentation to each professor during the evening. Photographs, writings, or tributes should be sent to Ann Allen at or 217-854-5506. RSVPs and questions should also be sent to Ann’s attention. Business casual attire is suggested. Professor Meredith began his career with Blackburn in 1979, Professor Meyer in 1981 and Professor Miller in 1989.

Drs. Meredith, Meyer and Miller

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allows free tuition to Illinois students with the greatest need. During his address, Dr. Comerford cited three ways that Blackburn College was distinctive. Noting the College’s commitment to residential undergraduate liberal arts education and its 100-year-old, one-of-akind student managed work program, he then added that Blackburn is meaningfully different and unique in providing access to higher education for all students. “We are fortunate in the United States to have the premier system of higher education in the world. 94% of American parents want their kids to go to college,” commented Comerford, “and it’s clear that college remains the top perceived path to financial security. We have much to be proud of, but we’re slipping.”

Affordable Access Award

Offering Free Tuition to Illinois’ Neediest Students The mother cried when she learned her daughter would be able to attend college. They had taken the tour, met faculty and staff and were impressed with the college. It was later in the day when they met with the Director of Admissions and had a confession—they did not have much money for college. In fact, they had a $0 Estimated Family Contribution, according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That’s when she learned that there would likely be no charge for tuition. So went the first real explanation of the Affordable Access Award. Dr. John Comerford announced the new Affordable Access Award program during his inaugural address on November 2. This major financial aid program, the first of its kind in Illinois,


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He went on to point out several facts: A generation ago, the US was #1 in college degrees held by the 25 to 34 year old population. Today, we’re 12th. 70% of high school grads go immediately on to some form of higher education. Only 25% of students that start college achieve a degree. In 1980, the average cost of attendance at a four-year college (public and private averaged) was just under $3,500… $8,700 in today’s dollars. Today, the average cost is $22,000. That’s a 250% increase in constant dollars.

Between 2001 and 2010 the cost of a university education soared from 23% of median annual earnings to 38%. In 2000, families paid an average 37% of a student’s cost of attendance. Today, just 13 years later, it is less than 27%. For students from families in the top 20% of incomes, most – 53% - will achieve a bachelor’s degree. For kids from the bottom 20% of family incomes, just 11% will get a degree. In 1980, 60% of Pell students, students from low income families, were enrolled at four-year college campuses—today it’s just 37%. Illinois is in the bottom ten states for getting Pell students to four-year campuses. 20 years ago, 40% of public college students were Pell-eligible— today it’s just 30%. “Low income students are desperate for a college degree, but are increasingly left with few choices. Our colleges have been too caught up in seeking prestige to be bothered to help these students. There is unfortunately no prestige in helping financially needy students.” “Blackburn has always been different in this regard,” Comerford said. “We have never shied from this mission. Perhaps because of the work program, there is no compunction here about serving those who cannot afford alternatives.” The Affordable Access Award allows students whose families can offer little or no financial support (as defined by an Estimated Family contribution on the FAFSA of $0) to attend Blackburn without paying tuition. They will earn some of it through the work program, receive Pell and Illinois MAP grants, and the College will take care of the rest.

September Stanton ’14 and Reggie Guyton ’14 perform in the fall production of “Fabulation”.

Fabulation Dr. Kate Roark, Professor of Theater, chose “Fabulation”, or the “Reeducation of the Undine” as this year’s fall play. “Fabulation” is a dramedy that begins with a Public Relations Firm Owner in New York who has it all together and then her life quickly plummets and she loses everything. She is pregnant and left with no place to go, other than to return home to the projects. After 14 years of not seeing her family, she decides that she must go as a last alternative. It is a tragic time for her but also a time to reinvent herself into a better and stronger person. Upon returning home, she develops good relationships with her family and meets a nice man.

The production caused much controversy within the Blackburn community due to the cast selection, which was limited to African American students only. Roark searched everywhere for a mixed raced cast but described it as nearly impossible to find. Roark mentioned, “It always starts with me looking at who I have and the need to give my majors opportunities to act.” Four senior African American students are theater majors, so the play seemed to fit the needs of her priority students. She thought Fabulation would be a unique opportunity to have an all black cast for one show. The 2014 spring musical will be “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts.

Performing Arts Schedule March 3

Blackburn Band Concert

March 22

Blackburn Choir Concert

April 10-13

Spring Musical:

“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts

May 5

Spring Fling Band and Choir Concert

Written by Miranda Clark ’14 as a part of the Blackburn College Work Program

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Carl Sandburg and Mother Hudson By Tom Emery ’93

The note from famed writer, Carl Sandburg, to Florence “Mother” Hudson, wife of longtime Blackburn President William Hudson, was discovered by Blackburn College Reference Librarian, Lynn Armstrong. It is an established fact that Carl Sandburg, the legendary Illinois author, poet, and historian, had a relationship with Blackburn College. However, a recent find in the Blackburn College library added a new dimension to that relationship. A personalized note from Sandburg to Florence Hudson, wife of longtime Blackburn President William Hudson, was found in an early edition of The War Years, the landmark 1939 fourvolume study of Abraham Lincoln’s life, in Lumpkin Library. Discovered by Reference Librarian Lynn Armstrong, the note offers a glimpse into the friendship that Sandburg apparently shared with the Hudsons.


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The typewritten note, with the salutation “Dear Mrs. Hudson,” reads: “Your note of months ago is not forgotten. Just now I am hard driven but I am hoping to sometime renew friendship with another visit, remembering the previous ones with pleasure. Yrs, Carl Sandburg” The “visits” Sandburg may have been referring to were speaking appearances at Blackburn in the early 1930s. His lecture to a capacity audience in Clegg Chapel on Dec. 12, 1932 included recitations of his poetry, as well as some guitar music. The program was based largely on the 12 books he had written to date. Admission to the event for Blackburn students was a quarter, while the general

public paid 50 cents. In promoting the appearance, The Blackburnian of Dec. 10, 1932 called the lecture “one of the highlights at Blackburn. Anyone who fails to attend is missing a rare treat.” Sandburg did not disappoint. The Blackburnian of Dec. 21, 1932 reported that “the audience swayed under the low smoothness of his voice.” The paper continued by noting that “the informality of his audience, his white hair, falling down over his forehead, contrasting with the plain dark suit brought out the uniqueness of his personality.” It was not his first appearance in Carlinville. He also lectured at Blackburn on Oct. 19, 1931, and that, too, was in front of an audience that The Blackburnian reported “crowded the

chapel to its fullest capacity.” Sandburg Lincoln historian James Randall at the opened that appearance by asking “what University of Illinois, was on the cusp of is art?” and after an extended discussion, a stellar career of his own. also offered “several definitions of poetry and explained the theory and After his time at Blackburn, Pratt origin of free verse.” He later “offered became the executive secretary of representative numbers of different the prestigious Abraham Lincoln sections of the country” on the guitar from his folk compilation American Song Bag. On Oct. 24, 1931, The Blackburnian lauded Sandburg for his “wonderful voice intonations and clever expressions” as a lecturer. “As a poet,” wrote the paper, “he offers a haunting, musical quality of interpretation (and) humble composition.” To be sure, Sandburg traveled the nation on speaking appearances and lectured at many colleges and universities, but it is clear that he had a special relationship to Blackburn. President William and Florence “Mother” Hudson “I think it speaks to the stand in front of the newly built Hudson Hall. importance of Blackburn, and how it was known throughout the state,” Association and held the coveted said Spencer Brayton, Head Librarian position of Illinois State Historian. of Lumpkin Library. “For someone Concurrent was the directorship of like Sandburg to come here, and later the Illinois State Historical Library. personalize a card to the President’s wife, Pratt also wrote several highly regarded is significant.” Lincoln volumes and contributed to the landmark nine-volume Collected His connections likely stemmed from Works of Abraham Lincoln, which his relationship with Harry Pratt, who attempted to re-print all available letters was Dean of the College and instructor of Lincoln. Over a half-century after his in history at Blackburn from 1930death, Pratt is still considered a giant in 34. Pratt, a student of the revered the field of Lincoln scholarship.

In a 1950 letter to Pratt, Sandburg reflected on their friendship by writing “we have each traveled long and winding paths in the same field since so long ago we talked those hours when I was your overnight guest at Blackburn...” “I’m just learning of the relationship between Sandburg and Pratt,” said Brayton. “It’s really interesting to see the mutual respect they had.” Based on the recently found note, it appears that Sandburg also shared a friendship with the Hudsons. Sandburg earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for The War Years, which many consider a standard in Lincoln research. The copy with Sandburg’s note to Mother Hudson was found in the stacks at Lumpkin and had been checked out many times. It will now be housed in the Blackburn archives. Brayton certainly has a deep appreciation for Sandburg’s fame. In his first year as Head Librarian, Brayton was a history major at Wisconsin Stevens-Point and worked at the Wisconsin Historical Society before coming to Blackburn. “I’ve been to Sandburg’s home in North Carolina, which is now a national historic site” said Brayton. “So finding this meant something extra to me as well. This was a really neat discovery, and one I think really means something to Blackburn.”

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


McKinley House Undergoes Much Needed Renovations McKinley House, which stands across the street from the Blackburn College campus, has been home to Blackburn’s Presidents for more than 85 years. This summer, for the first time in many years, McKinley became home to a family: President John Comerford, his wife Rachel, and their three young children. The home is abuzz as the Comerford’s settle in to Blackburn life, and they are often seen around campus interacting with students, staff, and faculty, or just enjoying all of the beauty that Blackburn has to offer. In the process of readying McKinley House for their arrival this summer, maintenance crews uncovered graffiti inside the walls— names and dates that presumably belong to some of the


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

many student workers who have put time and energy into its renovations and upkeep throughout the years. Many such student workers had a hand in readying McKinley for the arrival of the Comerford family this summer. After having been a single-person dwelling for many years during the presidency of Mim Pride, the house needed many renovations to make it a “family friendly” place for John and Rachel and their three children. The kitchen, for example was expanded and combined with what was once a formal dining room to make a more open, spacious area for the family to cook, eat, and entertain in. There was also a good deal of painting and minor maintenance done to give the house a “face-lift” and update the aesthetics.

Written by Larra Brogdon ’15 as part of the Blackburn College Work Program.

Blackburn Welcomes Chaplain, Rev. Erica Brown For over five years, the position of College Chaplain laid vacant at Blackburn College, until April 2013 when Rev. Erica Brown was hired. Brown grew up in Warren, Ohio and attended the United Methodist Church. Church was always a big part of her life growing up. Initially, Brown thought she wanted to be an English Professor, so she studied English at University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Then, she continued her education to get her Master’s Degree at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. While obtaining her Master’s Degree in English, she felt a calling to be a minister. Upon completing her Master’s Degree, she attended the University of Chicago Divinity School to become an ordained minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Erica had high hopes of becoming a minister on a college campus and felt particularly called to a college campus because of the effect chaplains had on her during her college years. The chaplains played a significant role in fostering her faith versus the local church. Brown hopes that she can influence students the same way.

Rev. Erica Brown

Before Blackburn, Brown was employed as Assistant University Chaplain at Northwestern University and Director of Spiritual Life and Community Engagement at Wesley College. Unfortunately, the position at Wesley College was eliminated due to budget cuts. After a rough period of unemployment, she was thrilled when she saw the open position at Blackburn. She applied and came for an interview. Brown mentioned, “When I interviewed on campus, I fell in love. Everyone was so genuine and that is important to me. What you see is what you get.” Brown believes the importance of the chaplaincy program is to meet people where they are and help them get to where they want to be with their faith. She wants students to have a clarification of what they believe, why they believe it and have an appreciation for other’s beliefs. Brown recognizes that college is a difficult time for everyone so she wants to help students claim their faith by giving them the tools to figure out what is right for them. She hopes the chaplaincy program gives students the ability to explore and discover various spiritual opportunities and ideas. Brown mentioned “My vision is to expose students to a variety of religious viewpoints and be open to learning.” She is very excited to have the opportunity to work her dream job at Blackburn. When asked what she thinks of Carlinville, Brown said, “It’s different, I am typically used to a larger city, but Carlinville has its charm.” Written by Miranda Clark ’14 as part of the Blackburn College Work Program.

Rev. Erica Brown speaks at the Ecumenical Worship service on Homecoming Weekend.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


Alumni News Mr. Richard Scheffel ’42 on November 7, 1944, responded to receiving a “Bulletin” in the mail from Blackburn University with a handwritten letter to Dr. Hudson, the 12th president of Blackburn; including a $2.00 gift. His first annual gift was sent from his fueling ship the USS Chikaskia in the South Pacific during WWII where Scheffel served as an Officer. The letter can still be found on file in the College Archives. Scheffel came to Blackburn from a dairy farm in Brighton, IL and worked milking cows in the college’s dairy operation. After a semester of milking and coursework he and a group of four other young men moved to Mrs. Kiplinger’s rooming house on College Avenue and found employment off campus in Carlinville. He was a outstanding student-athlete as a center for the basketball team, and intramural softball pitcher. “Speedball Scheffel” was credited for pitching a no-hitter in an intramural tournament. With a gift of $200,000 to Blackburn College Endowment this August, Scheffel established “The Richard Scheffel Scholarship Fund” benefiting students of need from Jersey & Macoupin counties. Sheffel’s gift establishes a sustainable legacy of support for students of financial need. Richard Scheffel, now 91, established The Scheffel Companies in Alton in 1954. Scheffel is community minded, serving as President of his Lion’s Club and the Illinois CPA Society. He is active in the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Godfrey. Scheffel is a great example of lifelong interest and dedication to Blackburn College. Paul Bingham ’73 and his research partner, Joanne Souza presented on TED Talks. Their presentation “Sex, Institutions and Politics: Lessons Human Evolution Has to teach Us” can be found on YouTube.

Jim Cotter ’88 has started a blog about Illini Sports on the web entitled "On Campus with The Illini Guy”. Find his blog at:

Tonya Clevenger ’01 and her husband welcomed their first baby, a little girl, on April 12.

Holly Lemons ’05, Hillsboro Circuit Clerk, Zach Holder ’07, Richland County Circuit Clerk, and Pete Duncan ’10, Macoupin County Clerk, have been elected as some of the youngest officials in the state of Illinois.


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

Chuck Bayne ’66 visited with George Malo ’66 in Franklin, TN where they posed for a photo at Papa Boudreaux's Cajun Cafe in front of a Blackburn pennant.

Sarah (Pruitt) Koplinski ’95 Returns to Blackburn College On October 28, Sarah (Pruitt) Koplinksi ’95 returned to Blackburn as Development Officer for the greater Chicagoland area. Sarah, a 1995 Political Science and Public Administration graduate of Blackburn worked at Blackburn from July 1996-October 1999 as Director of Development under Alan Adams. As a student, she worked in the alumni development office all four years. After leaving Blackburn, Sarah worked as the first Director of Development for St. Vincent Home for Children in St. Louis, a residential treatment center for abused and neglected children. She and her husband, Trent ’93, then relocated to Milwaukee where she worked for the American Cancer Society managing staff across Wisconsin. In 2007 a job transfer moved Trent and Sarah to Chicago, where they settled. Sarah continued her work with the American Cancer Society in Illinois until her recent departure and return to Blackburn in October. “I’m thrilled to be able to continue to support Blackburn in this capacity,” Sarah said. Sarah will be based in the Chicago where she, Trent and their children Sydney (13) and Jonah (7) have a home in Plainfield.

To contact Sarah, email, or visit the new Chicago alumni page at

Mahan Atrium Dedicated in Honor of Marguerite Snyder On Friday, November 1, Blackburn College officials were pleased to dedicate the Marguerite Snyder Science Atrium in the Mahan Wing of the Science complex. Ms. Snyder, an aunt of Alumnus Steve Oberman ’71, made Blackburn College a beneficiary of a portion of her estate, with approximately $900,000 being given to Blackburn following her death. A video of this special event was made to be sent to Oberman’s parents, Lola (Marguerite’s sister) and Ted Oberman who were not able to attend. Participating as speakers for the dedication were incoming College President Dr. John Comerford and outgoing President Mim Pride. Mim recalled her times spent with Marguerite over the years and especially talked about the importance Marguerite placed on educating students to prepare them to be good citizens. A plaque commemorating Marguerite’s generous contribution to Blackburn’s mission was placed in the atrium. On the plaque was one of Marguerite’s favorite quotes: “Who so neglects learning in ... youth loses the past and is dead for the future.” (Euripides).

What’s the news in your world?

Angie (Van Sickle) Warlyn ’05 would like to announce the birth of her second child, Ryan Grayson, born September 3, 2013.

Let us know about your career, achievements, awards, activities or family news you want to share with Blackburn Alumni. Please send your submissions and current contact information to Kyle Harrington, Marketing and Public Relations Assistant 700 College Ave., Carlinville IL 62626; or We reserve the right to appropriately edit and print submissions as space allows.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


In Memoriam 1929 Opal (Tipps) Dearduff 6/11/2013 1933 Dorothy (Schneider) Schlueter 9/3/2013 1936 Eileen (Welton)Macmurdo 11/19/2013 William Wallace Faris 10/31/2013 Marthann (Judy) Day 10/8/2013 1937 June (Henson) Whittington 4/29/2011 1938 Yvonne F. Yowell 5/10/2013 1939 Janet L. (Retzer) Fanska 8/2/2013 Gordon Williams 10/8/2013 Vivian (Moore) Weger 10/20/2013 1940 Genevieve (Ponte) DeStefane 8/4/2013 1942 Mavis Ball 12/31/2012 Jane (Pancoast) Olivio 4/22/2013 Ronald J. Winsor 5/9/2013 Edgar Read 8/6/2013 1943 Flora (Ernst) Brown 6/27/2013 Robert Burroughs 8/26/2013 1944 Mary M. (Heagstedt) Dittmar 3/14/2013 Rosabell (Falconer) Shanle 8/3/2013 1945 Janice (Lush) Kingsley 5/6/2013 Florence (Ritchie) Doucet 4/12/2013 1946 Evelyn (Young) Rudisill 9/26/2013 1947 Gloria (Wiersma) Krieg 6/15/2013 1948 Elaine (Anderson) Pederson 5/2013 Ervin Schuetze 3/13/2009 Margaret (Mitch) Deen 11/25/2011 John Kessinger 4/15/2013 Gayle A. Jones 3/21/2012 1949 Carlan Best 10/13/2013 1950 Kenneth Barbee 11/19/2012 1956 Arthur Collins 4/8/2013 Mary (Barger) Hoskin 5/3/2013 1958 Paul Edward Klueter 4/27/2013 1961 Joanne (Kedrok) Silva 8/11/2013


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1962 Gloria (Chapman) Graham 10/11/2013 1965 Robert L. Huber 4/23/2013 Patricia (Mehner) Kaisner 6/10/2013 Robert Lundy 8/21/2013 Thomas Abrahamsen 6/15/2012 1971 Patricia L. (Schmitz) Carpenter 2/2/2013 Virginia (Barnes) Schuette 11/2/2013 1972 Audrey (Ardick) Rottinghaus 5/29/2013 Raymond C. Auer 11/8/2013 1975 David A. Victor 1/20/2012 1978 Constance A. Watterson 12/12/2005 Esther (Noel) Reed 10/4/2013 1993 Jennifer (Ivers) Rethorn 5/11/2013 2013 Daniel Huddleston 8/22/2013

Rev. Wayne Sanford Shipley The Rev. Wayne Sanford Shipley, 83, of Carlinville, IL, died October 30, 2013, at Carlinville Area Hospital. He was born September 19, 1930, in Olney, IL, to Everett Clifton and Hannah Jane (Lambert) Shipley. Wayne married Martha Blackburn June 29, 1963, in New Orleans, LA. He is preceded in death by his parents and wife Martha in 2008. Wayne received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana Central University and studied religion at the General Theological Seminary. He was then ordained in the Episcopal Church; Deacon, June 4, 1955, and Priest December 1, 1955, both by Bishop Richard Ainslie Kirchoffer. His life’s work with the Episcopal Church is extensive; Curate at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Evansville, IN, 1955-57, Curate at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, New York, NY, 1957, served churches in Mexico 1957-60, Asst. Chaplain at Tulane University and Newcomb College, New Orleans, LA, 1960-63, Curate at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Decatur, IL, 1963-65, Chaplain at Blackburn College, Carlinville, IL, 1974-80, Vicar at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Chesterfield, IL, and Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carlinville, IL, 1966-1995. Rev. Shipley is survived by his two beloved cats, Samantha and Bonnie Blue; two sisters, Ruby Kinkade of Indiana and Kathleen Larson of Washington State; and several nieces and nephews.

The Heinz Family:

A True Blackburn Legacy Few families have been as much a part of Blackburn’s rich history as the Heinz clan of Carlinville. Spanning several generations, the Heinzes have been attending Blackburn since the 1930s when twin brothers Howard and Harold Heinz were students. Several members of the Heinz family shared their experiences and memories surrounding Blackburn College. Jan (Heinz) Best, class of 1980, spoke fondly of her years at Blackburn. She and her three siblings Greg Heinz, Tom Heinz, and Judy (Heinz) Minster all attended Blackburn College. The daughter of Harold and Mary-Ellen Heinz, both Blackburn alums, Best lived in Jewell during her time at Blackburn and made the rounds through various work departments including Admissions, Janitorial, the kitchen, and Public Relations. She graduated from Blackburn with a degree in Speech Communication and spent some time working at the College after her graduation. Best also notes that she

and two of her three siblings met their spouses while attending Blackburn, and her son is a current Blackburn student. She recalls many stories of fun with friends, and one particularly grisly winter when students had to deal with the effects of a water shortage such as using only disposable dishes and taking "GI showers." Best recalled all of her memories with a smile, and remarks "Blackburn really is a special place." Greg Heinz, class of 1972, is known at Blackburn for his noteworthy participation in the basketball program. "We really had a great team." Heinz said of his four years on the basketball team, "That's why I went to Blackburn, to play basketball." Heinz spoke of his years in the work program, spent mostly in the kitchen and on janitorial crews, "It really teaches you to respect what people do." Heinz laughed as he talked about his memories at Blackburn such as pranking friends and camping out by the athletic fields. "Blackburn is a great place," Heinz said, "You learn great

values that you can take with you out into the world." Heidi Heinz, Blackburn's current V.P. and Dean of Students, cousin to Greg Heinz and Jan Best, did not attend Blackburn as a student, but in the Heinz way ended up as an integral part of the Blackburn Community. Heinz's father and brother both attended Blackburn and she has worked at Blackburn off and on since 1978. She has worked everywhere from Admissions to the counseling offices, all over student life and came in to her current capacity as the V.P. and Dean of Students in 2013. Many of her favorite stories, however, include the students, staff, and faculty that she has been able to work with in her years here. "It has been a really fun and wild ride." Written by Larra Brogdon ’15 as part of the Blackburn College Work Program.

Update Magazine // Fall 2013


What is the Annual Fund? Annual Fund is the cornerstone of fundraising for Blackburn College. The program runs throughout our fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) and accomplishes the following: űű Develops and expands our donor base, űű Provides sustainability to Blackburn College, when you support the Annual Fund you are supporting the mission of Blackburn College, and űű Provides a foundation for major, planned and capital campaign gifts, all of which allow us to provide an excellent environment for our students to earn an affordable liberal arts education. When you give to the Annual Fund your dollars go to work immediately. Annual Fund money is used to support: űű űű űű űű űű

Student scholarships – 98% of our students receive scholarship assistance, Strengthening innovative academic endeavors for our more than 30 academic programs, Facilities improvement, Special initiatives and projects and Fund our annual expenses including administrative services.

When you support the Annual Fund you are making an investment in Blackburn and its future because you believe in what we do and our mission. To contribute to Annual Fund contact Jodi Rowe, Director of Annual Giving, or visit

Welcome Back, Nate Rush After an extended illness and rehabilitation, Nate Rush ’73 returned to Blackburn half-time in September, and after a few weeks was back to work fulltime! He is back on the road seeing alumni and friends of the College all over the country, so look for him in your area! Welcome back, Nate!


Update Magazine // Fall 2013

2012 Donor Roll Additions Class of 1965 Sandra Clements Ahola

Blackburn Society Thomas P. and Michele Heinz

Class of 1966

Susan Demakos Glintborg

Class of 1972

Michele Metivier Heinz

Beaver Tales:

Dawes Gym Celebrates 75 Years During Commencement in 1938, officials at Blackburn College dedicated the newly constructed Dawes Gymnasium. 2013 marks the 75th birthday of Dawes.

The second floor housed physical education offices for the faculty and sleeping rooms for students. The basement contained restroom facilities.

Until the opening of the building, basketball and other indoor recreations were hampered by the lack of an adequate athletic facility. As sports options increased, the need for adequate athletic space grew increasingly important. A major financial contribution by Mr. Edward L. Dawes in memory of his wife Sara Lindsey Dawes, who died during the year the building was constructed, made the building possible.

Alumnus, Robert Hart ’40, of Bloomington, IN once related to Nate Rush, Senior Development Officer at Blackburn, that he remembered helping with the construction of Dawes, even though he was not a student at the time. A native of Carlinville, Bob found work on the construction site during the summers while he was in high school.

A second major donor to the project was Mr. G. H. Jones. Dawes Gymnasium is one of several buildings on campus built by students. At the time of its construction, interior consisted of a regulation-size basketball court, a large stage at the north end of the court used for commencements, convocations and plays, and a balcony at the south end of the court used for audience seating.

de i s r he ... But t o e e what Th e tal about sports h of t life before Dawes? According to a history of Blackburn basketball written by alumnus and historian Tom Emery ’93, intercollegiate athletics at Blackburn College date back to March 29, 1882, when Blackburn played a baseball game at Illinois College. Despite the growing need for an athletic facility, a permanent gymnasium was not a part of campus plans. In the fall of 1893, a rudimentary gym facility was set up in a basement room of University Hall (also known as “Old Main”). In Oct. 1911, Blackburn basketball debuted on the second floor of Nathan Hall, a building located on the northeast corner of the Carlinville square. In 1923 practices were held in the Carlinville High School gym. After the construction of the dormitories, Butler and Stoddard, and the building of

The first basketball game to be played in the new gym took place on December 9, 1938—an evening game against rival Lincoln. The first winning game in the gym for Blackburn occurred on January 14, 1939 over Parks Air College. Since 1938, Dawes Gym has become an important part of Blackburn’s rich heritage as athletics at the college expanded.

Hudson Hall, college officials decided to join two portable classrooms that were loaned to the college following the fire that destroyed “Old Main.” The two classrooms, originally located in today’s Hudson quad, were dismantled and reconstructed as one building near the college’s barn on the north side of the campus, and made into a 57’ x 72’ building with an 18’ ceiling housing an indoor basketball court with seating for 300 spectators. In 1933 this gym was bricked to help stop the wind and other elements that would blow through the building. According to Emery, “By the end of the 1936-37 (basketball) campaign, the gym was in such bad shape that Blackburn began playing their games in the high school

gym, as the campus floor was ‘hardly fit to practice on, let alone ask visiting teams to play on.’” Finally, after 50 years, on June 27, 1937, the foundation was built and concrete poured for Blackburn’s new athletic home—Dawes Gymnasium. With the completion of the new gym, the old gym was demolished in 1939.

Written by Nate Rush ’73, Senior Development and Major Gifts Officer. To contact Nate, email


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PARENTS: If this issue of the UPDATE is addressed to a student who no longer maintains a permanent address at this residence, please notify the Alumni Office of their new address.

Blackburn College Alumni News Fall 2013

UPCOMING EVENTS 2014 Monday, January 6 • Offices Reopen from Winter Break Sunday, January 12 • All Students Arrive on Campus Monday, January 20 • Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation Tuesday, February 4 • Jonathan Kozol, Writer, Speaker Wednesday, February 12 • College & Community Luncheon, Dr. Ren Draya Friday, February 14 • Admissions Open House Monday, February 17 • Founder’s Day Convocation Tuesday, March 4 • College & Community Luncheon, Dr. Kate Roark Saturday, March 22 • Choir Concert Friday, April 4 • Roy Graham Retirement Party Saturday, April 5 • 1st Annual Graham Letters and Culture Symposium Tuesday, April 8 • College & Community Luncheon, Study Abroad Participants Thursday-Sunday, April 10-13 • Spring Musical Performance Friday, May 2 • Drs. Meredith, Meyer and Miller Retirement Party Saturday, May 3 • 3rd Annual Senior Seminar Symposium Monday, May 5 • Spring Fling Concert Friday, May 16 • Baccalaureate Saturday, May 17 • 145th Annual Commencement

Update Fall 13 Web  

Blackburn College alumni magazine featuring the 100th anniversary of the Work Program.