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The Magazine for Louisiana College Alumni & Friends

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SUMMER 2015

COLUMNS


Contents

SUMMER 2015

03

View from the Hill

16

Homecoming 2015

04

What People are Saying About Dr. Brewer

18

Distinguished Alumni Awards

06

20

Alum Nabs Top Student Honors

Coach Rushing Retires

08

2014-2015 Athletics Awards

The Bonds of Basketball

22

09

Alicia Fergerson (98) Outstanding Louisiana School Teacher

25

Smith Scholarship Profile: Connor Headrick

26

Academics and Autism: A Success Story

28

From the Alumni Director

29

Alumni Updates

31

In Memoriam

10

President Brewer to Grads

12

#And.Then.Some.Graduates

13

Miss Janice Serves Love and Compassion

14

PROFile: Dr. David Elliott

EditoriaL Staff Publisher Dr. Rick Brewer Editor Mr. Norm Miller Director of Alumni Services Ms. Kathy Hegwood Overturf

On the Cover: Student-centric is more than a marketing phrase for Dr. Brewer. Sharing fellowship with students reflects the heart of a person who cares about the hearts and minds of others. President Brewer chats with (L to R) Connor Headrick, Hillary Husband, Alex Robertson and Matthew Wheeler.

Contributing Writers Professor Al Quartemont Miranda Klein Lupita Fontenot Layout // Graphic Design Tim Roper Autumn Shirah

Correspondence: Louisiana College Attn. Columns P.O. Box 584 Pineville, LA 71359-0584 E-Mail Columns: kathy.overturf@lacollege.edu norman.miller@lacollege.edu To receive Columns magazine or to update your alumni information, send email to kathy.overturf@lacollege.edu

COLUMNS IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS OF LOUISIANA COLLEGE


VIEW FROM THE HILL

Becoming the ninth president of Louisiana College opened a new destination for me. Behind me are the familiar paths of a collegiate community and academic accomplishment, all of which are God’s blessings. Yet, I look forward with faith and anticipation to what God will accomplish next. In responding to the unanimous vote of our trustees, I also yielded to God’s call upon my life. This gives me peace about the past and assurance for the future. Another confidence builder is LC’s remarkable student body. I have met scores of our students, and in their bright eyes and engaging smiles I sense the weight of responsibility every one of us has for their preparation. We must attract, educate and graduate those who will lead tomorrow’s world, and who will serve with a disciplined mind and a dedicated heart. These broad goals are attained by the objectives I call the three Rs: Relevant, Relational and Rigorous. These concrete aspects must be accompanied by the abstracts of critical thinking, analytical reasoning and problem solving. Such are the tools for success in the 21st century. Relevant means our graduates will leave the college with marketable degrees. Relational entails personal and professional interests we already express toward our students. Rigor is the quality of strict precision, of being extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate. Anything less constitutes a sub-par educational experience. LC’s curriculum must be as challenging as the issues the world faces today, and produce alumni who can find solutions for the problems that come tomorrow. Our course is not simple nor our pathway easy. We have work to do, and LC needs more than dedicated leaders and committed students. To attain the success our Lord expects requires every church, every pastor, every parent, every alumnus, every donor, and every prospective student, as well as the capable servants who comprise our Louisiana Baptist Convention staff. These are the stakeholders we rely upon as we implement our 5-year strategic plan, LC2020. Because all truth is God’s truth, there is no room for antiintellectualism at Louisiana College, and LC2020’s guiding principles will reflect our intentional integration of faith

and learning. As we strike the appropriate balance between academic scholarship and spiritual devotion, we will see how learning shaped and formed by faith produces living shaped and formed by faith. LC takes our Lord’s Great Commission and Great Commandment seriously. We will empower students to link their professional and personal passions with God’s ultimate purpose for their lives (Col. 3:17). My challenge to our LC family is to continue praying, and stand with us purposefully. Bring your hearts and hands to help make what we have noted in this letter a continually improving reality. My commitment to you is to achieve the collegiate milestones of my past for the sake of LC’s future and her students. We cannot get there without you. Neither can we achieve our goals without God’s help. Pray that God will complete the good work he started on the Hill in Pineville back in 1906, and that he will continue to bless us for decades to come. Keep Pressing On!

Rick Brewer, PhD President Louisiana College Dr. Brewer earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policies from the University of South Carolina with cognates in Management and Higher Education Administration, and a Master’s in Business Administration and Bachelor’s of Science in History from Charleston Southern University. He attended the Snowmass Institute for Strategic Planning and completed the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Institute for Educational Management Executive Certificate program in 2008. Dr. Brewer completed Duke University’s Non-Profit Leadership Executive Certificate program in 2012.

COLUMNS Summer 2015 3


What People Are Saying About Dr. Brewer After praying for months for our new president at Louisiana College, I was very impressed with Dr. Brewer’s resume. After reading it I thought to myself: “This man is too good to be true.” He looked excellent on paper, but what about his character? Once Dr. Brewer entered the conference room and began humbly to share his vision for LC, I knew he was the man God had chosen to lead our beloved college to a brighter future. Trustee Jana DeBusk Endris, B.A. Elem. Ed., LC (97) “Rick: It is with mixed feelings that I congratulate you in your new role as president of Louisiana College because you have been an impactful part of Charleston Southern University, molding our students with Christian values. I will miss you, my friend, and hope our paths will cross again soon. I will pray for much success for you and your family. May God bless richly bless you at LC as he did at CSU.” Jerry Williams CSU Trustee Chairman Dr. Brewer is a man that understands the task, understands the times and understands the truth! He brings with him a fresh vision, vitality, and a fresh voice to build bridges for the future of Louisiana College. I am glad that he is our president. Dr. Bill Robertson Pastoral Leadership Director, LBC New leadership offers a new paragraph, a new page, a new chapter in the life of our alma mater. President Brewer offers the proven expertise and fresh vision to lead Louisiana College to brilliant luster as “the jewel of Louisiana Baptists.” Dr. Dennis Phelps, Professor of Preaching Director of Alumni Relations, NOBTS 4 COLUMNS Summer 2015

Dr. Brewer is a boon for Louisiana College. We could not have asked for a better fit; he is a seasoned, higher education administrator who relates to students, respects alumni, and can work with other constituents. Happy days are here again on the Hill. Dr. Joseph Learned Odenwald, LC (05) Assistant Dean for Student Services LSU College of Engineering I have worked with Dr. Rick Brewer for more than 25 years as a faculty member and colleague. His leadership style can be described as energetic, empowering, and empathetic. He applies both scholarly and spiritual gifts to moving individuals and organizations forward in a positive way, never losing sight of the value of each individual created in God’s image. Dr. Linda Karges-Bone Professor of Education, CSU Dr. Brewer is a Christian leader who understands how to achieve organizational success while establishing a rigorous academic environment. Keith Courville Ed.S., LC (06) Ex. Dir. Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL) Dr. Brewer is “relational, relevant and rigorous.” Have you seen his schedule? He is all the things he says Louisiana College should be. I am encouraged by his selection as president and can’t wait to see what great things are ahead for the college. Roxie F. Goynes, LC (80)  Attorney/Administrative Law Judge State Civil Service God has transformed my life under Dr. Brewer’s leadership. He took an assistant football coach with no direc-


tion and no clear future and inspired me to make an impact for Jesus. The whole trajectory of my life has changed. I no longer work to live, but I live to work so I can spread the love of Jesus. Dr. Brewer inspires you to give everything you have for Jesus and not settle for anything less. No doubt, Dr. Brewer’s ability to get you to “Think Christianly” will transform anyone’s present and future. Rev. Jonathan Davis, PhD CSU Campus Minister “Dr. Brewer: Your ‘Open Letter’ was one of the most inspiring letters I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing it. Great things are going to happen at LC through your stewardship. Your leadership, formed by your faith, your passion, and your love for the Lord, will invigorate all those around you at LC as it did here. Press on!” Maxwell Rollins Assistant Professor of Business Administration, CSU

I have watched Rick Brewer be effective in every area of college education while he has served at CSU. I know of no one more qualified to lead a Christian university than Rick Brewer. He is highly respected by the pastors and churches of South Carolina, and for many years he has been a favorite of students at CSU.  My own daughter is one of hundreds of CSU graduates who will openly talk of his influence in their lives.  Rick is a great leader and believer. The Lord has prepared him to make a difference as a college president. His election represents a great move for Louisiana College. Dr. Mike Hamlet FBC North Spartanburg, S.C. Dr. Brewer is the kind of leader who would say, “May I get you a cup of coffee,” rather than say, “Go get me a cup of coffee.” Morgan Ortego, LC (15)


COACH RUSHING RETIRES AFTER 29 YEARS by Al Quartemont At 3:30 p.m., April 30, 2015, one of the best coaching careers in Louisiana athletics’ history ended. That’s when Gene Rushing, Louisiana College’s head coach for men’s basketball since 1986, told his team he was retiring. “When he told us,” said senior Trey Ray, “it was shocking.” The shock wave reverberated across Louisiana. There is no corner of the state where one will not find someone touched by the career of Gene Rushing, especially former players, many of whom are coaches. “It was just time,” Rushing said, noting that many “have been through our program, who brought a lot of tradition and pride. We’ve graduated educators, superintendents, doctors, lawyers and dentists. I have a tremendous amount of pride in the men who played here.” “I’d just like to thank Dr. G. Earl Guinn, our former president who hired me; coach Billy Allgood, who was the athletic director and basketball coach at that time; and Dr. Bill Todd, who was the head of the P.E. Department and hired me to teach classes,” Rushing said. Rushing, 67 -- who succeeded Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Billy Allgood -- finished with a record of 335-431 in 29 seasons. He came to LC as a player in 1968, graduated in 1970, and served as Allgood’s assistant, 1974-86. “Gene Rushing has been the epitome of what Louisiana College represents,” said LC president Dr. Rick Brewer. 6 COLUMNS Summer 2015

“In keeping with our vision of preparing graduates and transforming lives, Coach Rushing has sent hundreds of young men into the professional world, and those men are now impacting others the same way he impacted them.” “Gene Rushing is an icon,” said LC athletic director Dennis Dunn. “His commitment and loyalty to Louisiana College for the past 36 years is unmatched. He leaves a legacy of compassion for young people, passion for the game he loves, and a drive to succeed that will be forever remembered by former players, colleagues and this entire community.” Rushing leaves after one of his most successful seasons: 14-10, including 10-0 at home. Six wins came on the new court at H.O. West Field House, a court Rushing helped design. While Rushing said he still has energy for coaching the game, it was the near 40 years of long practices, recruiting trips and conference games that took him away from home for as much as five days a week that helped make the decision. “My first reaction was, ‘My goodness, we are going to miss Gene Rushing on this campus,’” said long-time colleague Dr. Carolyn Spears. “He came into the office. We shed a few tears. We’ve both been here 37 years. I’m so proud of him. He’s made such a significant contribution to Louisiana College.” Spears said she was proud of Rushing’s commitment to graduating his players, and that he “always placed academics first.” Rushing said he couldn’t remember a player he recruited from high school and who stayed their full term at LC who did not graduate. “I don’t think there’s another college in the United States that can say that,” Spears said. “During my five years with Coach Rushing, my best memory was not on the basketball court, it was at graduation,” former player TJ Drew said. “As the ceremony ended, Coach and I hugged and embraced each other in relief, saying, ‘We did it.’ Coach Rushing is the epitome of how a man should carry himself.” Rushing gained a reputation for teams that played hard, and he was known for having one of the best basketball


minds in the country, especially when it came to running an offense. Basketball purists knew who he was. Rushing was inducted into the Louisiana College Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He resides in Pineville with his wife Cindy, whom he said told him he will have to find something to do to stay busy. “Who knows? I might be coaching at an elementary school next year,” Rushing said.

What others say about Coach Rushing He’s been like a father to me. We had a little talk and he told me to stay strong and get my degree. He’s inspired me to keep going. I thought about transferring my freshman year. But he inspired me to stay, and it paid off. Kevin Cottonham, LC junior guard Coach Rushing will go down as one of the greatest coaches to ever coach at this college. Just an unbelievable human being. A great basketball coach and ten times as great a person. He taught me here 35 years ago. Now, I’m able to call him my friend and a mentor. Mike Byrnes, LC head baseball coach Coach Rushing used basketball as a tool to teach us about hard work, discipline, and having a passion for everything we do. He was a father figure in our lives; and even though at times we thought he was a little over the top, today we understand that we’re successful because he always pushed us to be our best, on and off the court. Most important, he pushed us to be better people and taught us to never settle for anything less than our full potential in any phase of life. That’s the reason we as players would not trade our experience at Louisiana College under Coach Rushing for anything in the world. Casey Meador, former LC player

WILDCATS HAVE A NEW HOOPS COACH “This is an exciting time for my family and me,” said Coach Reni Mason (center), successor to Gene Rushing. “And that’s not just because of basketball, but because of the Christ-centeredness and family atmosphere on the LC campus. Those things are very important to me.”

Mason, Athletic Director Dennis Dunn (left) and Dr. Rick Brewer (right), LC’s president, representin’ the Wildcats with “Claws-Up” style.


the bonds of basketball On January 24, 2015, Louisiana College dedicated a new basketball floor. Alums, former and current players, and friends of the college celebrated the event with Coach Gene Rushing. Three former players -- Greg Baggett, Keith Breazeale and Robert Myer -- attended, and renewed friendships that began more than 30 years ago.

Greg Baggett (87)

Health and Physical Education

Greg said his time at LC is “characterized as a time of challenges and maturation. The combination of the discipline/work ethic required for basketball coupled with the stringent academic standards prepared me to be successful in both coaching and business. I was then and still am today proud to say I am an alumnus of the college and basketball program. There is really no other place like LC.” Greg coached for seven years before working for Farm Bureau, where he is agency manager for Beauregard Parish. He is in his fourth season as a CECP assistant basketball coach with the Pickering Lady Red Devils, who played for the state championship this year. He is married (27 years) to Shawn Stagg Baggett (88). They have two children and are members of FBC DeRidder.

Robert Myer (84) Marketing

“The foundation for life that I received from my Christian education at Louisiana College is priceless,” Robert said. “LC is truly a family environment, where I developed lifelong relations with fellow students, professors and administrators. Having the opportunity to experience LC as a student athlete was special and 8 COLUMNS Summer 2015

extremely rewarding.” Successful in business and politics, Robert is mayor of New Roads, La. He led impressive economic growth and improvements in infrastructure in the city. He is CEO of two regional corporations covering a five-state area, and manages more than 450 employees with Comfort Keepers -- an in-home health care business for aging citizens -- and Express Employment Professionals, an employment agency. Married to Terri Cotterman Myer, the couple has three children.

Keith Breazeale (84) Mathematics

“Thinking back over my years at LC, I remember the relationships more than anything,” Keith said. “My personal and professional life has been impacted by Coach Allgood, Coach Rushing, Dr. Simmons, Dr. Nelson and many others. They will never know what a difference they made in my life and in the lives of so many others. I would say that LC prepared me very well to be a part of a community and to impact others while moving through this life.” Keith started his career at the Credit Bureau of Alexandria. In 1996, he purchased the business. Keith is also president of the Rapides Parish School Board. He has coached basketball and baseball teams since graduation and had the joy of coaching his sons and daughter in their summer leagues. Keith is married to Sheila Cason Breazeale (82). They attend Calvary Baptist Church, Alexandria, and have three children.

Three men. Three stories. Incalculable impacts. And it all started at LC and with Wildcats basketball.


Alicia Fergerson (98) Cited as an Outstanding Louisiana School Teacher

From left, Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice Jefferson D. Hughes, III; President’s Award recipient Alicia Fergerson; LSBA President-elect Mark Cunningham; and LCLCE President Barbara Turner Windhorst;

At a Louisiana State Bar Association meeting in January, alumna Alicia Fergerson (98) received the “President’s Award” from Barbara Turner Windhorst, president of the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education. The award is given to an outstanding Louisiana elementary, middle or high school teacher who imparts knowledge and understanding of Law and Civic Education and demonstrates the use of interactive learning techniques that make a difference in student learning.

geography and yearbook publishing. She is co-sponsor of the junior class, co-sponsor of the prom committee, sponsor of the school yearbook, and responsible for the production of the school newspaper. Fergerson is also an officer of the Louisiana Council for the Social Studies. “I have worked with Alicia as an educator and in public service. She is the most dedicated professional educator that I have had the pleasure of being associated with in my 35 years in education,” said Shelton S. “Mac” Watts, educator and former mayor of Central, La.

In recognition of her commitment to law and civic education, Fergerson received a plaque and the funds to purchase law-related education materials for her classroom.

Fergerson’s cumulative honors include: James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellow for the State of Louisiana; one of 25 nationally chosen participants for the 2014 “Liberty, Responsibility, and the New Deal”; a cosponsored colloquium of the Bill of Rights Institute and Fergerson has taught school for 17 years and is the Social Liberty Fund; and is one of 25 nationally chosen participants for “Slavery and the Constitutional Republic,” a Studies Department Head at Central Private School in Central, La. She teaches American history, civics, world 2015 colloquium of Ashbrook Center and Liberty Fund. COLUMNS Summer 2015 9


PRESIDENT BREWER TO GRADS: ‘Do Hard Work ... And Then Some’ by Al Quartemont The message Dr. Rick Brewer gave at LC’s 158th commencement could not have been clearer: “Rebel against society’s low expectations,” he told the 148 graduates. “Do hard work.” In his May 16 commencement address, President Brewer not only gave the 124 undergraduates and 24 masters students a life-long charge, he may have set a tone for the future of Louisiana College itself. “The prevalent philosophy of our culture today is, ‘I am going to do what is the least that is expected of me and try to get the most payment for it,’” Brewer said.

Dr. Argile Smith accepts an award from LC’s trustee board chairman, Dr. Tommy French.

10 COLUMNS Summer 2015

“In other words, minimum effort for maximum return. Shoddiness and lack of extra effort should never take place in the mind of a Christ follower.” Brewer called on the students to live their lives under what he termed “The Rebekah Principle.” He used the example of Isaac’s future wife (Genesis 24), who not only served water for Abraham’s servants, but put in the extra effort to water the group’s camels, too. “After you’ve done what’s asked of you, you do a bit extra, you do even more,” Brewer said. “I’m here to tell you, we not only would see excellence in the market place, but the people doing the hiring would come to our churches to hire Christians. They would know we would do the job… and then some.” Those three words -- And Then Some -- Brewer said will make a difference in the graduates’ lives when they go the extra mile instead of falling prey to the current culture’s mindset of only doing what is required. He even gave each graduate two orange wrist-bands with And Then Some written on them – one for themselves and the other for an accountability partner. Brewer used his first graduation ceremony at LC to spotlight the achievements of several students. Not only were all the graduates seated on the stage of Guinn Auditorium, four of them were asked by Brewer to share their experiences at LC.


Those students included: Ashley Black, a Biblical Studies major from Denham Springs, who began studying Hebrew online while in high school but knew she needed the right mentorship to advance in her understanding. “I wanted to be able to study the Bible and the languages it was originally written in so that I could more accurately help people understand it,” Black said. “I didn’t come to LC primarily for a degree, but for an education, and that’s exactly what I got.” Connor Headrick, a history major from Monroe, who will attend Tulane Law School in the fall and wants to specialize in defending religious liberties: “This isn’t a call that ends today for us,” Headrick said. “It’s just beginning our lives’ work – our call to serve Christ and glorify Him in all we do. The Lord made it very clear that Louisiana College was going to provide the foundation that I needed in order to fulfill my calling.” Mark Klein, a Convergence Media major from Baton Rouge, who came to LC to compliment his part-time job opportunity at KALB-TV in Alexandria. “That is how the Lord led me to LC, and here is the understatement of the year, thank the Lord He did,” Klein said. “LC took a kid in high school whose relationship with Christ was almost non-existent and made that the most important thing in his life.”

Finally, Kimberly Landry, a Biology and Chemistry major from Denham Springs who will attend LSU Medical in Shreveport this fall in order to become a pediatrician. “I’ve been privileged to study topics from the chemical and biological processes that keep us alive to the laws that govern the universe,” Landry said. “In every aspect of my studies, God’s design and order have been made evident. Many times, science is used to minimize faith. Here at LC, my studies LC have been a tool to grow my faith.” “I know that Louisiana College was where God wanted me to be for the last four years. I have loved my time here, and I am honored to call this school my alma mater.” Black, Headrick and Landry all graduated summa cum laude (4.0) and Klein magna cum laude. The commencement ceremony was also an opportunity for the Louisiana College Board of Trustees and chairman Tommy French to present Dr. Argile Smith, who served as LC’s interim president until Brewer was hired, with a special commendation. “I’m a little overwhelmed,” Smith said. “I must express my gratitude to the administrative council, the staff, the students, the trustees and especially the faculty at Louisiana College. All of us working together were used by the Lord to prepare for the arrival of our fine president, Dr. Rick Brewer.”

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#And.Then.Some.graduates. Mark Klein - magna cum laude

Louisiana College remains a relevant institution in so many ways, through so many rigorous academic vocations. We have students who are guaranteed placement in med school, law school, an independently accredited business school, an incredible humanities division and so much more. But for me: nothing speaks more to the relevance offered by an LC education than the real world skills I’ve learned within the department of Convergence Media, and under the tutelage of some of the greatest professors in the world. When a graduate leaves LC -- as is the case for more than half of my classmates within our program -- they’re able to go right into the job they want, with the skill set they need so that they will never say the phrase: “I can’t do that. That’s not my job.”

Kimberly Landry - summa cum laude

The students on both sides of LC President Brewer (center) were part of a new tradition, wherein Dr. Brewer invited them each to address the commencement audience. (L to R) Kimberly Landry, Mark Klein, Connor Headrick, and Ashley Black submitted prepared remarks, and the edited verbiage below are extractions from those manuscripts. (Photo/Norm Miller)

I will be attending medical school at LSU Shreveport in the fall. With the education that I have received at LC, I feel equipped to begin this next step in my life. In addition, I have gained insight into something I see as far more valuable -- the evidence of God. I have been privileged to study topics ranging from the chemical and biological processes keeping us alive to the laws that govern the universe, and in every aspect of my studies God’s design and order have been made evident. Many times science is used to minimize faith. Personally, here at LC, my studies of science have been a tool to grow my faith. I am so grateful to have received an education that … taught me to see God’s hand throughout His creation. I have loved my time here; I am honored to call this school my alma mater.

Ashley Black - summa cum laude

I felt so loved and blessed to have this opportunity. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed all of my professors at LC, and they have all been helpful, with both school and life. And they seemed to be genuinely interested in 12 COLUMNS Summer 2015

me as a person. I didn’t come to LC so that I could hit it big once I graduated. I came to LC because I wanted to study the Bible in the languages it was originally written so that I can more accurately help people understand it. God has graciously given us a way of knowing him, and that’s through the written word. God has put a passion in me to study and teach the Bible, and I know that’s what I was put on earth to do. I didn’t come to LC primarily for a degree, but for an education, and that’s exactly what I’ve got.

Connor Headrick - summa cum laude

“This isn’t a call that ends here today for us as we walk out of here. It’s not a call that ends when we get a diploma. It’s just the beginning of our life’s work -- of our call to serve Christ and glorify him through everything we do. Not only did I get a great education here, but that was coupled with the principles of the Bible. And I want to use the skills that I have learned and developed hereat college and then in law school to be able to help defend religious liberties.” (Read more about Connor on Page 25)


Miss Janice Serves Love and Compassion

LC, she prayed faithfully for the college’s leadership, faculty and students. She said that her character was refined because she did not quit believing and praying for God’s will.

A Louisiana College freshman is often away from home and parents for the first extended period of time.

Lyons has another important job when she is not at Louisiana College. “My ministry is kids,” she said. “I lead my church youth choir and youth group.”

by Lupita Fontenot

Fortunately, there are people like Janice Lyons, who has served the college and its students in the cafeteria for more than 22 years. A daily source of encouragement to many, Lyons has impacted LC’s football team the most. “She meets most of the parents when the high school recruits come to visit,” said Vance Morris, director of football operations. “I introduce her to the players, and she tells the recruits, ‘I’ll be your mom and watch over you.’ That really strikes a chord with the parents, but especially the moms. She calls the recruits her babies.” “I tell them I’m their mom because their mom is not here,” Lyons said. “I let them know I love them.” Lyons is a hard worker, “always going the extra mile. She’s always thinking about what she can do for the students. Miss Janice has a servant’s heart,” Morris added. Trent Hall, a junior linebacker from Fair Park High School, said Lyons ensures that he and his teammates have what they need. “Miss Janice is a warm, caring spirit,” Hall said. “She’s like a mother away from home.” In her role as the football team’s mom, Lyons is accustomed to loving, serving and giving to others; so when she was on the receiving end of compassion, it was a role reversal. She went through a difficult test two years ago when her husband Donald died of brain cancer. One week later, her mother also died. Lyons said Louisiana College people supported her through the different stages of caring for her husband and seeing him lose his health, and then during the grieving process. In the midst of recent growing pains and challenges at

Lyons is a source of spiritual strength for youth at home, her church and Louisiana College. “Students know that if they need something they can come to me,” Lyons said. “They say, ‘Miss Janice just makes it happen.’” The almost permanent smile on her face confirms the words that Lyons enjoys her motherly role as homecoming mom. “Miss Janice has a smile that warms up a room,” said defensive back Dayshun Johnson. “She is a beautiful person.” “The students depend on me, and I like that,” said Lyons. “I come to work because of these kids.” “She makes the best cheese cake you’ve ever had,” Johnson said. “Miss Janice cares about all students but especially our football team.”


Dr. Elliott confers with psychology major Kelsey Jelinek prior to her presentation on global water quality (Photo/Jim Veneman)

profile: Dr. David Elliott and his life full-circle by Al Quartemont The country kid from Ville Platte, Louisiana, who loved science and developed patents for top corporations, found his ultimate calling: teaching students the same foundational lessons he learned at the same place he learned them, Louisiana College.   For Elliott, the journey that brought him home began when he was a student at Louisiana College, studying under men like Watson, McGraw, Black and Cavanaugh. As a student, the 1981 grad overcame the fear of missing a better education at a larger school by realizing the quality of education such men offered. 14 COLUMNS Summer 2015

“I’m a graduate of Louisiana College. Therefore, when I tell students that what they’re getting here is of great value, it’s because it was of great value to me,” Elliott said. “We’re training people for a global mission, and it’s not second rate. “ “Many of our students are from the deep country, and they don’t have a global perspective,” he added. “I didn’t either. But, the training I received at Louisiana College prepared me for global ministry. That’s what I have lived, and that’s what I want to continue to give to people here.”   During his nearly 20-year career – mostly in research and development for companies like Calgon and Gillette– Elliott was a scientific inventor, whose cerebral prowess produced 18 corporate patents in the United States and more, internationally.   Though a career of inventing held rewards and challenges, Elliott said he and his wife Bonnie got a sense of restlessness around 2002. Through prayer, God gave Elliott a different life direction: academia. With two sons in school and a daughter in college, the Elliotts were about to experience significant life change.    “I knew it would be to a Christian college to teach chemistry in a Christian setting,” Elliott said. “But it never dawned on me to come back to Louisiana College. My wife even told me it could be LC, and I said it couldn’t be LC.”    Elliott had two contingencies regarding employment at LC: “If I come there, it’s because I’m called to teach and work with the students,” Elliott recalled. He also said, “I find no conflict in the truth of scripture and the truth of science. And that’s how I’m going to teach.”   Soon, the alumnus returned to Pineville as professor, and has since added the titles of Coordinator for both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics. He is also the Division Chair of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.    Elliott remained true to his initial contingencies and convictions, as his primary focus is to work with students. Along with Department of Biology Coordinator Dr. Wade Warren, Elliott built a staff of science and math faculty of high-caliber. Louisiana College’s continued success in its pre-med programs, with a nearly 100-per-


cent acceptance level into medical schools, is one example of that. “Dr. Warren tells me that we have the best faculty since he’s been here, and I know who was here,” Elliott said. “We’re very grateful to God. When they said you couldn’t find Christ-centered physicists and mathematicians… He has provided a group here which is a delight to be around, and we are stronger than we’ve ever been.”   Meanwhile, Elliott’s commitment to truth – that one truth found both in scripture and in nature – remains unwavering, as well.    “I’m not a creation scientist in the philosophical aspect of it, and I’m certainly not a Darwinist or evolutionist,” he said. “I think we’ve built a straw man, where we can with our heart and mind accept Godly truth, but we can have a wing of our lives where scientific truth is a variant or parallel entity. I only see one truth. The Bible is true. Everything else is a corruption of man, or it is a dimness of man we don’t understand. I’m all for scientific inquiry because the more we learn, the more we discover the real truth of God, and that scripture is true.”   The discoveries Elliott has made of truth – that’s what he shares in the classroom. In the time he has spent at Louisiana College since his return in 2005, Elliott has shared his wisdom; but more than that, he has shared his heart in the hope that those whom he is teaching now will share the passion instilled in him some 35 years ago.    “I am energized by students,” Elliott said. “I sense that this generation is being raised up. We don’t understand them, but God does. He has made them, and I see them as having the gifts that He is going to need for a world that is changing. Some of it is hard time and persecution – they have a completely different view of forsaking all and giving up all to pursue missions. I’m honored to be a small part of their training.    “God sent me on a quarter-century journey to other places to come back here, and I now have a different perspective. I am more global-minded, and I have to pass that on to these young people. The great opportunity that we have here is to help students.”

JOIN LC’S BOARD OF VISITORS As a member of Louisiana College’s Board of Visitors, you will profoundly impact the future of deserving students. The Board of Visitors is comprised of those who believe in LC, and who will give to a scholarship fund that goes 100 percent to deserving students. Joining the BOV brings other privileges to enjoy, the most rewarding of which is realizing that your investment in LC students pays repeated dividends. You will help qualifying students realize the value of hard work as they maintain successful studious habits. And when they graduate to their chosen careers, the seeds you planted in their lives will bear fruit in others as our alumni apply skills learned through a liberal arts education founded on a Christian worldview. Though you are but one person, you can impact the world for good and for God through the Louisiana College Board of Visitors. For more info or to request a brochure, please call 318.487.7118; or, send email to mcgee@lacollege.edu.


DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS

Homecoming 2014 Honors Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame Inductees Nominees considered for the distinguished alumnus award must be a graduate of LC; a person of good character, who is respected and honored by peers and associates; one who has made significant contributions in his or her profession or vocation, and to the church and community; and one who is loyal to Louisiana College. Below are the edited (shortened) remarks of the Distinguished Alumni, who addressed those attending the awards ceremony last October. Peter ‘Tony’ Cifelli (83) I am deeply honored and extremely grateful for this award. It was Coach Billy Allgood who convinced me that Louisiana College was the place for me. I have great memories of my time as a Wildcat athlete. Thank you, Coach Allgood. I got a great education, met lifelong friends, and was prepared to tackle the real world when I graduated. You were the driving force in helping me grow up and learn the value of working hard. I learned that there’s no substitute for hard work. The academic standard at LC has always ranked high. Being a student-athlete, I had to learn how to balance the work in the classroom and on the playing field. The perception was that athletes were favored by professors, and were able to skip classes, Dr. Argile Smith (left), assists Donna Cifelli (right) to not do homework, and still receive passing grades. Not at Louisiana College. place the Distinguished Alumnus Award on her husband Peter. At times, I felt that I was held to a higher standard. My professors taught me that there were no shortcuts. I had to put in the work necessary to reach my goals. Professors were demanding, but cared about you as a person. They remained interested in your professional development long after you left the classroom. Another thing I learned was the importance of caring for others. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I was learning to balance the activities of my life. After college, I was able to balance my faith, my family and my career. This has been one key to my success. I would like to leave this message with the students. Today you are students. Tomorrow you become employees. Remember those people who contributed to your education and be grateful. You will leave here with the education you will need to succeed. The rest is up to you.

Dr. Argile Smith (left), assists Thomas Lynn Sasser (right) to place the Distinguished Alumnus Award on his wife Sandra.

18 COLUMNS Summer 2015

Sandra Sasser (67) I came to Louisiana College from a non-Christian home. But I felt like that this was where God wanted me to be. I came not really knowing whom I was and what I wanted to do with my life. But I knew that I wanted to go to Louisiana College. God provided my funds, and I got a quality education. I found myself, and great friends. It was a wonderful experience for me. I received my mission call at LC. I got my life verse (Philippians 4.13) here. I know that all things can be done through Christ. A lot of that basis came from the Christian education I received at Louisiana College. What a blessing this college has been to my family and me. I want to thank those professors who took time for me, who loved me and cared for me. Praise the Lord for the time I had here because it’s about him. It’s all glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for this honor, and thank you Louisiana College for who you are in my life.


Thomas Sasser (68) I’m very honored and humbled over this. My journey to Louisiana College began when I was called to the ministry at a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles, California. I began to search for a college, where I could be educated for the ministry. When I stepped onto this campus, I knew this was the place I was supposed to be. I didn’t know anything about it. I had done no research. But I knew this was the place. And I got an excellent education at Louisiana College. I have some wonderful memories of this place.... One day there will be the shout of the archangel. One day there will be the sound of a trumpet. One day Jesus Christ will return for his people, for his church. I encourage you if you don’t have that relationship with Jesus Christ, then you investigate Jesus. He has been my personal Lord and Savior for many, many years. That’s why we are serving on the mission field -- to tell others about Jesus Christ. Do you know Jesus? Michael T. Johnson (81) It is a tremendous honor to receive this award. It’s been a journey for me since leaving Louisiana College. There’s one thing that I learned at LC that meant the most. It’s sort of a secret that I want to share with you: God will give you opportunities. You need to be prayerful, mindful and aware when those unexpected opportunities arise so you can act on them. [Admissions] found scholarship money for a kid who didn’t deserve scholarships. That opportunity made all the difference in my life. You have to look for the opportunities that God gives you and take them. I had the privilege of being taught by giants and friends who came into my life when I became a Wildcat -- people like Mary D. Bowman, Attorney Michael Johnson, J.D., urged students to be aware Thomas Howell, Bill Simpson, Dennis Watson, and Buck Jones. This colof the opportunities God gives, and to act upon them. lege prepared me and made me a better person. It gave me tools to get into law school, to excel, to have confidence to pass the BAR exam, to get a job, to open a law practice, to get involved in many organizations, and to make a difference. So many opportunities, so many memories, so many life-changing events -- all because of an unexpected opportunity. I got a quality education, a family, and an opportunity to help others. By chance? No. God put those opportunities before me, and he will put them before you. Thank you for this honor. May God bless each and every one of you. And may God bless Louisiana College.

Hall of Fame Inductees Nominees are former LC student-athletes of outstanding achievement in connection with the varsity athletic program; LC coaches and others directly associated with varsity athletic programs, who have had distinguished careers of service; persons who have made impressive, significant and lasting contributions to LC athletics; and LC Alumni, who have made major contributions to, and who have distinguished themselves in the field of sports.

Larry Jeane

Carson McCaslin

John Muder

Alan Williams COLUMNS Summer 2015 19


Alum Nabs Top Student Honors by Al Quartemont

When it came to his writing, Will Tubbs could always deliver a punch. There was another kind of punch his opponents in the Mixed Martial Arts ring learned about, too. But in the true spirit of the Renaissance Man he has quietly strived to become, Tubbs, a 2005 Journalism graduate and LC alumus, is about to score his biggest knockout – a doctorate in Mass Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi. Tubbs is entering his final year of work in the Ph.D. program at Southern Miss and was recently honored with three significant awards. USM named Tubbs the Top Ph.D. student of 2015 and Graduate Student Teacher of the Year, awarding him the Arthur J. Kaul Scholarship, named for a long-time professor at USM.

“Dr. Kaul has a really good name in academia and is well thought of in Hattiesburg,” Tubbs said. “It’s a cool coincidence to receive an award that bears the name of an accomplished academician who played such a role in the career of my own mentor.” When Tubbs graduated from LC in 2005, he landed two jobs in the newspaper industry. First was the Leesville Leader; second, the Alexandria Town Talk. After four years in the newspaper business, Tubbs found himself back at LC as sports information director. Fulfilled in that role, Tubbs later continued his academic career by earning his master’s degree in Interactive Media through Quinnipiac University in 2012. Then Tubbs seriously considered earning his doctorate after moving into the role as LC’s assistant athletic director. There was only one college where he could think to apply: Trice’s alma mater of USM, where Tubbs enrolled in the fall of 2013. Tubbs said he applied for numerous jobs through the years, but never found an open door. As soon as he started at Southern Miss, he knew why.

“That was overwhelming and left Will Tubbs (Courtesy of Mississippi Sports Information) me speechless, really,” Tubbs said. “I’ve always struggled with getting compliments… it “If there’s something I could say to students at LC, it’s makes me uncomfortable. It’s just humbling to me that this: Open your heart to where God is taking you,” Tubbs a kid who grew up in the sugarcane fields in Erwinville said. “If you go where you’re supposed to go, it might be (Louisiana) gets something like this. It’s not the norm.” hard, but it won’t seem hard. God’s been gracious to me here. It’s amazing.” Then again, neither is Tubbs’ story. His journey toward scholastic excellence began in the spring of 2002 as Tubbs is scheduled to complete his coursework this a freshman in the LC journalism program, where he summer and recently learned that he will get to do that found a mentor in professor Mike Trice (now at Florida in London. His plan is to complete his comprehensive Southern College). Tubbs later was named editor of “The exams in the fall and finish work on his dissertation in Wildcat,” LC’s student newspaper that has become the spring or summer of 2016. Wildcats Media. 20 COLUMNS Summer 2015


With his focus on mass communication history, Tubbs is already seeing success with his scholarly work. He’s participated in numerous conferences and won several awards for his research on topics ranging from Native American newspapers to military base publications to reverse mortgage-lending commercials.

Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer with helping him to develop as both a scholar and teacher.

Tubbs said his goals after he completes his degree would include landing a faculty job at a college or university. Wherever that is, Tubbs wants to continue to pursue writing and research for publication in scholarly jourAs he did at LC, Tubbs benefited from strong mentorship nals. at Southern Miss, especially from his doctoral committee chair, Dr. David R. Davies. He also credits graduate “If my first 33 years have taught me anything, it’s let God lead you and never say never,” Tubbs said. “As (former adviser and media historian Dr. Vanessa Murphree, Dr. Christopher Campbell, Dr. Fei Xue and Dr. Cheryl LC football defensive coordinator) Buck Buchanan used Jenkins – who comprise the remainder of Tubbs’ to tell me, ‘the big time is where you’re at.’ Wherever I doctoral committee – as well as journalism professor am, I’ll work hard to shed a positive light on that place.” Maggie Williams and broadcast journalism professor

COLUMNS Summer 2015 21


FOOTBALL

All-ASC

Beau Brewer – ASC Scholar Athlete of the Year Easton Melancon – Offensive Player of the Year Brandon Porche – Offensive Lineman of the Year Ira Jewitt – Special Teams Player of the Year Devin Sylve – Freshman of the Year Adan Olivares – Outstanding Sportsmanship Team

louisiana college Academic All-Conference

FOOTBALL Academic All-Conference

Wesley Ashabranner Wade Bailey Phi Baker Beau Brewer Matt Bridges Jake Dunbar Josh Edwards Charles Firmin Richard Gillespie Trent Hall Landon Henry Jimmy Hillman Joey Jarreau Chase Mink Gregg Morris Jared Myatt Brandon Smith

Wesley Ashabranner Wade Bailey Phi Baker All-ASC Beau Brewer (1stofTeam) Beau Brewer – ASCAll-ASC Scholar Athlete the Year All-ASC Matt Bridges Dillon Rhodes AFCA All-American Easton Melancon – Offensive Player of the Year (Honorable Mention) AFCA All-American Jake Dunbar Brandon Porche Brandon Porche – Offensive Lineman of the Year Farron Jones IraIra Jewitt – 1st Team Jewitt – 1st Team Josh Ira Edwards Easton Melancon Jewitt – Special Teams Player of the Year Josh Edwards Charles Firmin Adanof Olivares Devin Sylve – Freshman the Year Grayson Pylant Richard Gillespie D3football.com Jewitt D3football.com Adan Olivares – Outstanding Ira Sportsmanship Team Trent Hall All-American Jared Myatt All-American D3football.com Landon Henry IraIra Jewitt – 1st Team Beau Brewer Jewitt – 1st Team All-Region All-ASC (1st Team) Jimmy Hillman Beau Brewer – 3rd Team ShaquilleAll-ASC Lewis Beau Brewer – 3rd Team Brandon PorchePorche – 1st Team Dillon Rhodes Joey Jarreau Brandon – 3rd Team (Honorable Mention) Brandon Porche Beau Brewer – 1st Team– 3rd Team Brandon Porche Chase Mink Farron Jones All-ASC (2nd Team) Ira Jewitt – 1st Team Easton Melancon Gregg Morris Edwards AP LadariusJosh Gardner APLittle Little Shaq Lewis – 3rd Team Adan Olivares Jared Myatt Grayson Pylant All-American Devin Sylve All-American Team C.J. Hawkins – 3rd TeamTeam Ira Smith Jewitt Brandon Ira Jewitt – 2nd Team Landon Henry Ira Jewitt – 2nd Team Jared Myatt D3football.com Beau Brewer All-Region LSWA LSWA Shaquille Lewis Brandon Porche – 1st Team All-Louisiana All-LouisianaTeam Team Beau Brewer – 1st Team Brandon Porche – 2nd Team Brandon Porche – 2nd Team All-ASC (2nd Team) Ira Jewitt – 1st Team Beau Brewer – 2nd Team Beau Brewer – 2nd Team Ladarius Gardner Shaq Lewis – 3rd Team IraIra Jewitt – 2nd Team Jewitt – 2nd Team Devin Sylve C.J. Hawkins – 3rd Team Landon Henry


2014 - 2015 athletics awards WOMEN’S SOCCER Academic All-Conference

MEN’S SOCCER

Taylor Bergeron Erin Biggs Anna Champagne Corey Clampit Mayme Covey Jayme Harmon Chelsea Lee Sarah Thompson

Academic All-Conference

All-ASC

All-ASC

Taylor Bergeron – 2nd Team Erin Biggs – 2nd Team Jayme Harmon – Honorable Mention

LSWA All-Louisiana

Erin Biggs – Honorable Mention

Travis Alexander Jason Fritz Rodrigo Neves Victor Souto Zach White

Pedro Silva – 2nd Team Rodrigo Neves – 2nd Team Matheus Fulini – 2nd Team Renato Neves – 3rd Team Boneco Bazil – 3rd Team

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY Academic All-Conference Ruth Crigler

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL All-ASC

Danisha Allison – 1st Team Neka Jones – 2nd Team Neka Jones – All-Defensive Team Kaci Willis – Honorable Mention Skylar Chenevert – Honorable Mention


MEN’S BASKETBALL All-ASC

Anthony Gaines, Jr. – ASC Player of the Year Anthony Gaines, Jr. – ASC Defensive Player of the Year Anthony Gaines, Jr. – 1st Team All-ASC Anthony Gaines, Jr. – All-Defensive Team Kevin Cottonham – 2nd Team All-ASC

D3hoops.com All-Region Anthony Gaines, Jr. – 1st Team

DIII News All-American Team Anthony Gaines, Jr.

BASEBALL Academic All-ASC Ron Anders Brand Bignar Grant Burns William Cox William Currier Tyler Dixon Taylor Falgoust Cary Myers

Lane Noakes Bo Ockman Shea Ourso Garrett Parker Logan Ray Darby Rollins Dylan Roy Austin Taylor Austin Thompson

ASC Community Service Award

Brand Bignar is the first student-athlete in ASC history to win the ASC Community Service Award.

2nd Team All-ASC Garrett Parsons Mark Riendeau Jermaine Liggins

Honorable Mention All-ASC Sully Martin Cary Myers

LSWA 2nd Team All-Louisiana Garrett Parsons 


Smith Scholarship Profile: Connor Headrick Connor Headrick -- a history major and 2015 summa cum laude graduate -- is headed to Tulane Law School this fall. A winner of Louisiana College’s (full-ride) Smith Scholarship, Connor, who was homeschooled, completed his bachelor’s degree in three years. He sat down with LCNews in an interview and talked about his experience at Louisiana College

praying about it, and the Lord just confirmed in multiple ways that I should come to Louisiana College. My parents had said they would support me in either school I would choose, buy they recommended LC because of its being a Christian school that teaches from a biblical worldview. My pastor preached a sermon that week on the importance of getting a Christian education. So, those were some of the confirmations regarding my decision. Q. Has your education at LC been relevant to you, and will it continue to be as far as your career is concerned? A. Particularly with a history degree, the education I received at Louisiana College has been very relevant for me as I continue with law school because I have learned to sharpen my writing and critical thinking skills that I will be using all throughout law school. LC’s History Department has done a wonderful job in prompting me to think through multiple angles on different issues. In the history papers I wrote, I had to be sure to have a focused, clear argument, and to present evidence to persuade why my argument was true. Those skills will be very applicable in law school.

Q. How would you describe the relationships you have built with professors? A. Relationships are one of the strongest aspects of Louisiana College. Smaller class sizes mean you can interact with your professor As an “And.Then.Some.” graduate, Connor Headrick allowed no obstacle to prevent the completion of more -- especially at the upper levels his degree program in three years. (Photo/Norm Miller) -- and outside the classroom, too. Q. With your academic record, you could have attend- So many professors expressed personal interest in my ed most any institution. Why did you choose Louisiacademic efforts. They were interested in other life deciana College? sions, as well. Multiple professors wrote letters of recomA. I had a full scholarship offer from Louisiana Tech and mendation for me. A lot of my professors said, “We are Louisiana College. It came down to choosing between praying for you. We care. We are interested.” Virtually all a smaller, liberal arts Christian school and a little bit of my professors have invested in me personally. bigger state school. A lot of my friends were headed to Tech, and that was leading me toward Tech. But I vivQ. How do you respond to that? idly remember one week where I had been thinking and A. It makes me believe that they actually cared about me. COLUMNS Summer 2015 25


That makes for a better learning environment whenever one can learn relationally as opposed to learning in a very abstract sense from somebody who doesn’t really care about whether or not you learn. Our professors actually do care if you learn the material. They will take the time to explain it. They also care whether you succeed even if it’s in some other professor’s class, or in any other area of life. They want you to succeed inside and outside the classroom. I think that’s a pretty wonderful environment in which to learn. Q. How has LC enhanced your spiritual development? A. Many of the friends I made have challenged me to grow in the Lord and to think through what I believe, and to know the Lord personally rather than just intellectually. It’s been great to have that kind of fellowship and community. For example, my roommate is one of the greatest guys ever. We prayed together consistently, for each other,

with each other. We had an informal Bible study that continued every week. We prayed for revival to break out at LC. It’s really good to have an environment like that. It fosters spiritual growth. Q. What would you say to encourage someone to enroll at LC? A. If I may be alliterative, I would say competence, camaraderie and character. Competence at LC has always been a standard, but the emphasis Dr. Brewer has brought reinforces the need for students to be prepared for life and career. Louisiana College offers that kind of preparation. The camaraderie with professors and other students is nothing short of phenomenal. And then character, that emphasis is unique from other schools. LC offers more than an academic program. The college also helps build a student’s personal integrity and moral fiber that one needs to be successful in life.

Academics and Autism: A Success Story by Miranda Klein

Trey Boyette now calls Louisiana College his alma mater, something doctors and most others believed never would happen. Jayne Smith wondered everyday what made her son overanxious and nonverbal for much of his childhood, and those around now 23-year-old Boyette when he was a child knew there was something different about him, too. The diagnosis would not come until Boyette was a teenager: autism. Smith, a single parent, had peace about what would lie ahead for Trey. She had prayed for his future and was determined not to let a disability define him.  Boyette was determined, too. Through the years, he overcame everything frombullying to a fear of escalators. So when he graduated from high school 26 COLUMNS Summer 2015

Honors graduate Trey Boyette said, “I still love LC even at this very moment,” and added that his life will not be the same away from campus. (Photo/Norm Miller)


with honors and a 4.8 GPA, it was obvious college was within reach. The family’s home in Shreveport was a short commute from other colleges. But none seemed to fit. In 2010, Boyette and Smith drove to Pineville to tour LC’s campus. “We just absolutely felt God’s presence literally from the moment we drove on the campus,” said Smith, who liked the idea of Boyette experiencing college on his own. “I just knew it was the place for Trey.” Boyette spent one semester at another college to become acclimated to college life, and in the spring of 2011, he made the transition to Pineville. Living alone was not easy for Boyette because change is tough on autistic people. Smith did what she could to help, even decorating Boyette’s dorm room to look like home. What happened over the next four years was an answer to Smith’s prayers ever since Trey’s birth. “I believe God had LC in store for Trey from the moment he took his first breath on this earth,” Smith said. Boyette felt the same way. “I felt God all over the campus,” he said, explaining why he fell in love with LC. “Even in my dorm room.” LC’s PASS program for students with learning disabilities was the first answered prayer. That’s where Boyette met JoLynn McConley, director of the PASS program. “We call her (McConley) our angel,” Smith said. “I never worried about Trey because the other mother was there.” “She always rallied around me and made sure I got the right help,” Boyette said. “She’s also a big supporter. I’m truly am blessed that I have her in my life, and that she was able to help me out to reach the point where I am today.”

direction. “It helped me realize that I had a calling to teach special ed.,” Boyette said, “and I felt led to teach third grade special ed.” Boyette took advice from some trusted professors and started pursuing an Interdisciplinary degree concentrating in education, Christian studies, and health and physical education. What doctors believed Boyette could never do, professors and friends at LC believed he could accomplish, Smith said. “They were determined he was going to make it,” Smith said. “He wouldn’t be where he is without what LC did for him.” In spring of 2015, Boyette graduated Summa Cum Laude, with honors from several clubs and plans to take the PRAXIS, a licensing exam for teachers. “Really, I never thought that day would actually come,” Boyette said of commencement day, May 16. “It was happy on one hand, and it was bittersweet on the other.” “I still love LC even at this very moment,” Boyette said, adding that his life will not be the same away from campus.  “It was a pretty bittersweet day for all of us,” Smith said. “To see your son accomplish what doctors said he never would, and then to see him graduate with honors and make it through, you couldn’t help but rejoice.” Boyette agrees with his mother, who believes, “the best thing that’s ever happened to Trey was Louisiana College.”

The social anxiety of autism was another battle Boyette fought all his life. LC became the first place he would develop friendships despite that. In fact, Boyette said LC was where he made “best friends” who accepted him as he was. “He was loved and prayed for at that school,” Smith said. “Even the housekeeper at the door loved Trey and was there supporting him.” Boyette began as a Christian studies major, but while volunteering to help other students with disabilities do homework, he discovered he wanted to go in another

The bittersweet part of leaving LC was Boyette (center) knowing that he would not see his friends very frequently. Bubba Suchanek (left) and Caleb Funderburk (right). (Photo/Norm Miller)

COLUMNS Summer 2015 27


From the Alumni Director I really can’t believe I am back at my alma mater as director of alumni services. It is Kathy Hegwood Overturf, Director of Alumni Services hard to express how I feel about this opportunity and how I feel about Louisiana College -- what a special place. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their days doing something they love? In the days ahead, I promise to do my best in representing the college and you, my friends and fellow alums. I have so enjoyed reconnecting with many of you and talking about the good ol‘ days. There are great memories and lifelong friendships that came from our time at LC. I will always treasure them. Even if we wanted to, we can’t go back and relive those times; but we can make sure that college students have the same opportunity for a tremendous Christian liberal arts education. Louisiana College needs you to be involved in several different ways. First, please pray for the college, our new president Dr. Brewer, as well as the faculty, staff and students. Second, we need your financial support. It takes money to repair and upgrade housing and other areas of the campus. We need funds for the alumni scholarship fund. I ask that 28 COLUMNS Summer 2015

you seriously consider giving to your alma mater this year. Third, please come for a campus visit. Of course, you are welcome anytime. But a great time would be during Homecoming 2015, October 1-3. We need you to be part of the TEAM. Dr. Brewer and I will be travelling to meet with alums, pastors, church staffers, and business leaders. He knows the important role alumni have, and wants to meet you, hear your concerns and discuss the future of the college. We will let you know when there’s a meeting near your alumni chapter. If there is no alumni chapter in your area, we will start one. I am truly excited to be here, and I want to encourage each of you to grow even closer to your alma mater. I love this school and want to see it not only succeed, but flourish. Please join us for the journey because the best is yet to come.

Please feel free to contact me at any time via email kathy.overturf@lacollege.edu or by phone at (318) 487-7301. I look forward to hearing from you soon and seeing you at HOMECOMING 2015.


Rev. Hugh Nelson (55) ret’d from US Post Office and Caledonia Baptist Church, El Dorado, Ark., where he lives. Sonny Steed (57) ret’d from Shadycrest Baptist, Pearland, Texas. Served Louisiana and Texas churches for 61 years. Dr. Larry Fields (65) named Pastor Emeritus, Central Baptist Church Bearden, Knoxville, Tenn., after 23 years as sr. pastor. Is interim pastor, FBC Oak Ridge, Tenn. Sandra Talley Sasser (67), Thomas Lynn Sasser (68) serving Capital City Baptist Church, Mexico City for 11.5 years. They’ve been living in Mexico for 18.5 years, the first eight as IMB missionaries in Toluca. Both are 2014 LC Distinguished Alums. J.T. Curtis (68) inducted into National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame with a 542-58-6 record during 46 years as football coach at John Curtis Christian School, River Ridge, La. Curtis has led his teams to 26 state championships in 35 appearances in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) state title game, and the school has reached the championship game for 19 consecutive years. He is second all-time winningest coach. In 2012, his team was the consensus national champion, and USA Today cited Curtis as Coach of the Year for second time. An ordained minister, Curtis preaches each week to a local congregation. Toni Furr Hamlin (69) is superintendent of schools for Evangeline Parish, Ville Platte.

30-plus years in education span across both K–12 and higher education. He began his career as a general science teacher and coach, then served in a range of positions at Texas A&M University, including director of admissions and dean of the College of Education and Human Services. Within the Texas A&M University System, Frank served as vice chancellor of academic affairs and vice chancellor of recruitment and diversity. He has been a member of numerous boards and committees, including the North American Society for Sport Management, the Commerce Independent School District, and the Developmental Education Subcommittee of the P–16 Council of the Texas Education Agency. Jeff Craddock (75) instructor of Theater and Speech, Arkansas State University, Heber Springs. He taught social studies at Pineville High School and other subjects for the ArabianAmerican Oil Company, Saudi Arabia. James Bill Fuselier (75), ret’d, and wife Brenda live in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Bill was an original member of Common Good. Stephen Phelps (75) – ret’d Assistant Special Agent-in-charge from Tenn. Bureau of Investigation; owns CID Investigative Services, LLC. David Red (76) and Carol Mayfield Red (74), Albuquerque, N.M. She is a family practice physician with the Presbyterian

ALUMNI UPDATES

R. Chip Turner (70) rec’d at the 2014 National Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America the highest national award: the Silver Buffalo Award. Only 741 have been presented since 1926 and less than 10 Louisianians are in that number. Dr. Fred Guilbert, Jr. (72) is Pastor of Worship Arts at Dallas Bay Baptist Church, Hixson, Tenn. Delinda Layne Larson (73) married to Bill Larson, lives in Las Vegas. They have 2 children: Justin, 34; and Alicia, 32. She is a singer and speaker in churches and women’s events. See www.delindalayne.com and www.funfearlessfemale.org

Don and Carla Aycock (74) Since 1999 live in Fla. after spending 25 years in Louisville, Ky. and New Orleans, La. Don earned two Masters at Southern Seminary, and Carla a Masters from Univ. of Louisville. Don earned his ThD in 1986 from NOBTS. Carla taught math and gifted education there. Don is a bi-vocational church pastor, and an adjunct professor at several colleges, teaching speech and world religions. Carla is founding principal of a public charter middle school. See www.donaycock.net. Frank B. Ashley III, Ed.D., (75), is senior vice president of Membership and Higher Education Engagement for the College Board. Frank has an integral role in advancing the College Board’s goal of college completion by working in partnership with our members to deliver rigorous instruction, meaningful assessments, and access to opportunity. Frank’s

Health Care Services, and he retired from the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. They have two daughters: Emily and her family, who live in Pineville, La.; and Sarah, who lives in Denver, Colo. Richard Ainsworth (77), wife Lee, live in Monroe, La. He is Controller for Steel Fabricators of Monroe LLC and Traditional Minister of Music, North Monroe Baptist Church. Jon Lord (78), Lisa Lord (79), Arcadia, where Jon pastors First United Methodist Church and Lisa works at Madden Financial Services. Jackie Akins Ward (79) and husband David attend FBC, Huntsville, Texas. They have 2 daughters: Scottie, a Baylor grad; Madison, Texas A&M. They are third generation owners of Ward Furniture and Flooring. Sandra R. Robinson (79), Calcasieu, La., retired from 20 years of teaching elementary school in Vernon Parish. Trudy Pitre Marsh (79) and Matt Marsh, married 25 years. Matt is Worship Pastor at University Baptist Church, Clear Lake City, Texas. Trudy is Practice Manager for Heritage Behavioral Health Consultants. Phil Fuselier (79), Leslie Jones Fuselier (82), Alexandria, La. Phil owns Slinkee Enterprises. Leslie teaches at Phoenix and is

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an LC adjunct professor of music.

where David is an agency director for Liberty National Life Insurance Co. and a bi-vocational minister of music. Carol Debbie Walley Thomas (80), husband JoJo, live in Gaines- teaches piano and violin. ville, Ga. She is principal of Chattahoochee Christian School. He is Director of Missions at Chattahoochee Baptist Associa- John Reeve (84) and wife Nancy live in Youngsville, La., where tion. John is minister of music at FBC Lafayette, La. Nancy is parttime secretary at Bienvenu Counseling. Howard N. (Jay) Palmer (80) is a Brigadier General in the Texas State Guard. He served in the Texas Army National Truman J. Cloud (84) lives in St. Maries, Idaho. Guard for 28 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel before joining the Texas State Guard as a Colonel. Lolly Griffin (85) moved back to Bunkie from Honolulu. Sammy Morrow (80), Paula White Morrow (75), married 40 years. Lived in Pineville since 2001. Paula worked at LC from 2001 to 2010. Sammy pastors Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Pollock. He completed his D.Min. from NOBTS in 2010, and is currently writing a book on spiritual formation. Their two children, Samuel Lee Morrow (04) and Amy Morrow Chandler (06) have blessed them with two granddaughters and three grandsons. Lee is married to Lindsey White Morrow, and they live in West Monroe, where Lee teaches and coaches at WMHS, and Lindsey is a nurse at Glenwood Hospital. Amy is married to Cory Chandler (09) and they live in Ball. Cory works for State Farm and Amy is a stay-at-home mom. Amy is also a former employee of LC as cheerleader coach and worked in admissions. She also taught at South Grant Elementary School.

John Ascione (85), attorney, lives in Millburn, New Jersey. His daughter, Rachel Helen Ascione, pursues a Doctor of Psychology degree at Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Tim Williams (87) earned a PhD in missiology from the school of Theology | University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Ramona Hubbard Huston (88), Elm Grove, La., is exec. sec’y to the mayor of Bossier City, La. She attends FBC Bossier. Tommy Hutchinson (95) of Kosciusko, Miss., is a GED instructor, Holmes Community College.

Leigh Anne Prewitt Fulco (96) of Leesville, La., is the librarian at Vernon Parish Middle School. She attends FBC Hornbeck. Morgan Cryar (80) and wife Melanie live in Franklin, Tenn., Clayton “Price” Brister (97) of Seiper, La., is deputy registrar where Morgan is a music producer and freelance marketing for Rapides Parish Registrar | Voter’s Office. consultant. He also is involved in real estate. Joann Davis Keneson (98) lives in Lafayette, and has been in Richard Ainsworth (81) and his wife, Lee, live in Monroe, the nursing profession since graduating from LC. LA. He is the Controller for Steel Fabricators of Monroe LLC, and also the Traditional Minister of Music at North Monroe Jason (04) and Mindy Schwartz (04) live in Germantown, Baptist Church. He has 3 sons, David and wife Miranda who Tenn. Jason is currently in his hematology/oncology felloware parents of Anna Brooke (7) and Abram Lee (4). Gene and ship at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. his wife Danielle are parents to our newest grandchild, Harper Claire. Tyler attends ULM. Joseph L. Odenwald (05) received a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Southern MissisLee Ann Ratcliff (81), Nashville, Tenn., works for Nashville sippi in May. He is currently assistant dean for student services Metro Government. She has one daughter, Gloria Thomp- at the LSU College of Engineering. son and 1 beautiful grandson Ayden Thompson born in June 2014. Cortney Joiner Young (05) lives in Shreveport and works as a Nurse Practitioner in Bossier City. Laura Byrd Cain (81) and husband Phil live in Chelsea, Ala., where she is Minister to Children/Preteens at Liberty Baptist Naomi Nordstrom (07) lives in Houston, Texas. Church. Sarah Toups Jarrell (07) lives in Anacoco, La., where she is a Joy Hilbun Mohr (81) and family moved from Michigan to birth educator/lactation consultant. She is a stay-at-home with St. Tammany Parish, La. Husband Jeff is an assistant profes- three children ages 16, 4 and 2. sor for LSU’s School of Medicine’s Rural Residency Program in Bogalusa. Joy is a stay-at-home Mom to their 14 year-old Vershal Hogan (11) lives in Vidalia with wife, nee Susannah daughter Bayli. They have three older children, David, 26; Morris, and their four children. He is the senior reporter and Jon, 22; and Ben, 19; who are college students in Michigan. business section manager for the Natchez Democrat, Natchez, Miss. Ellen Lee Dunlap (81) ret’d from Elementary Special Ed., Jan. 2014. Her family is on staff at Trinity Baptist Church, To update your alumni info, please Pineville. Husband Ronnie leads the traditional service and copy this url into your browser window: their son, Caleb, leads the contemporary service. She plays http://bit.ly/1Gmr1ni the piano for both services. Their daughter Callie is married and lives in Eunice, La. David (83) and Carol Matson Bass (83) live in Dothan, Ala.,

30 COLUMNS Summer 2015


In Memoriam

Lee S. Fogleman (34) Judge James N. Lee (43) William Clawson (45) Marjorie Duck Hicks (49) Grace Beall (49) Jerry Poston (51) Dr. Nikolai Alexandrenko (53) Martha Phillips Partridge (54) Oliver Clayton Bullard (55) Joe Broadway (55) Dr. William James Coleman (55) Dr. James E. Carter (57) Dr. Connie Douglas (61) Janet Lynn DeField Saxby (64) Stan Beeson (74) Paul Parshall (78) Kenneth Daenen, Sr. (80) Ronny Glyn Gardner (86) Ashley Ann Rickner (10) Allen Ray Spears, husband of Dr. Carolyn Spears Col. Charles J. Jeffress, Professor Emeritus Kristopher R. Beall, son of Robert and Sally Beall; grandson of Vernon and the late Grace Beall

COLUMNS Summer 2015 31


Office of Alumni Relations 1140 College Drive, Box 588 Pineville, LA 71359

ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

Update your contact info and receive a new LC lapel pin. Go to http://bit.ly/1Gmr1ni Or, send email to kathy.overturf@lacollege.edu

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