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C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e

Literary Outlaw

Writer Padgett Powell ’74 has made a career of defying convention.

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FAL L 2 0 1 1 Volume XVI, Issue 1 Editor

Mark Berry Art Director

www.cofcsports.com

Alfred Hall Managing Editor

Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editor

Jason Ryan Photography

Leslie McKellar Contributors

Kris Adams Dan Dickison Loren Bridges Germeroth ’04 Damian Joseph ’05 Mike Ledford Holly Thorpe Marcia Higgins White Online Design

Larry Stoudenmire Alumni Relations

Karen Burroughs Jones ’74 Executive Vice President for External Relations

Michael Haskins Contact us at

magazine@cofc.edu or 843.953.6462 On the Web

magazine.cofc.edu Mailing Address

ATTN: College of Charleston Magazine College of Charleston Division of Marketing and Communications Charleston, SC 29424-0001 College of Charleston Magazine is published three times a year by the Division of Marketing and Communications. With each printing, approximately 60,000 copies are mailed to keep alumni, families of currently enrolled students, legislators and friends informed about and connected to the College. Diverse views appear in these pages and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the official policies of the College.


[ table of contents ]

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22 Written in the Stars

Departments

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Around the Cistern

by Jason Ryan

Speedy Bennett was here. So were Jake Pinckney, Marjorie Peale and more. We take an inside look at Randolph Hall’s old observatory and the historic graffiti that covers its walls.

Off to See the Lizard

Life Academic 8 Making the Grade 14

by Alicia Lutz ’98

Teamwork 18

34

Point of View

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Philanthropy

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Three professors climbed aboard a bus straight out of the 1970s and headed to rural Lee County to discover the truth behind South Carolina’s most notable monster – the Lizard Man.

The Soundtrack

Class Notes

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My Space

The College has produced a wealth of talented songwriters and musicians. We asked a few of them to make the College their muse and write a song based upon some aspect of their College experience. What they produced is varied, emotional and honest.

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Rebel without a pause by mark berry

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In the world of literature, Padgett Powell ’74 is a maverick – a genre-bending writer who defies easy classification.

on the cover: Padgett Powell ’74, photo by Ben Williams


AROUND the CISTERN

A Landmark Restoration For more than 200 years, life at the College has been centered at its Cistern Yard. Here, in a sacred spot both at the heart of campus and downtown Charleston, magnificent buildings surround an incredible urban garden of live oaks and a large lawn. This is where generations of students have come to sit, paint, converse and study. This is where countless visitors have snapped pictures and thousands of graduates have skipped over a stage, donned in white dresses

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and white dinner jackets, their hands eagerly outstretched to accept hardearned degrees. This past May, more than 1,600 students and their families crowded the yard for the spring commencement ceremony. While the graduates’ achievements made the day significant enough, the audience was also able to take special delight in their surroundings. The College had just finished a nearly four-year project to restore and preserve the buildings of the

Cistern Yard – and Randolph Hall, Towell Library and Porters Lodge have never looked better. It’s perhaps most accurate to describe the painstaking work on these landmark buildings as artistry, plain and simple. Tradesmen were challenged to make repairs to the buildings while preserving the weathered patina on each façade. In areas where new stucco was applied over brick walls, workers scored the patches by hand and carefully painted the area


AROUND the CISTERN

with varying shades of lime wash to achieve a seamless blend. Each and every door, window and shutter on the buildings was removed, restored and re-installed. Additionally, each light, or pane, of glass was removed from the windows to enable wood repairs.

Repairs were also made to Randolph Hall’s slate roof, as well as to the slate roofs above Towell Library and Porters Lodge. New copper gutters and downspouts were installed on all three buildings, and deteriorated brownstone was replaced and repaired as needed.

buildings. The upkeep and maintenance of these buildings, as well as the scores not listed on the National Register but of historical significance, is one of the top priorities for the College. “The College of Charleston has 80 buildings over 100 years old and several

On Randolph Hall alone this meant the removal of more than 120 windows. Some of these windows had accumulated more than 35 layers of paint and featured sashes of 25 panes over 25 panes. Other important work on Randolph Hall included the repair and partial replacement of the building’s terracotta capitals. Shipped down from Massachusetts in the 1850s when Charleston architect Edward Brickell White designed a southern portico for Randolph Hall (known as Main Building then), the capitals are some of the earliest pieces of architectural terra cotta in the country.

All three buildings also received new tension rods, otherwise known as earthquake bolts, to provide enhanced structural support. These repairs and more were accomplished using a $3.7 million appropriation from the State. This money, in addition to resources from the College, was also used to improve the landscaping within the College’s historic campus, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. A new lawn and plantings, dramatic nighttime lighting and improved irrigation systems and walkways now complement the showcase

that are over 200 years old. They have stood the test of time through natural disasters, wars and economic turmoil,” says President P. George Benson. “These buildings truly represent the rich and interwoven histories of the College and the City of Charleston. And as the city’s largest historic preservationist, we take very seriously our obligation to preserve and protect them. “Restoring these national treasures,” President Benson adds, “ensures that they will be enjoyed by students, faculty, staff and visitors for generations to come.”

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The first time I tripped on the sidewalk bricks as a freshman. Okay, maybe “aha” wasn’t the first phrase to come to mind. – Christopher McNabb ’94

When I realized

Tom Baginski (German and Slavic studies) explaining there’s more than one way to communicate.

I could cook with a tool kit instead of cooking utensils.

That planted the seed for my profession as . a

teacher

– Steven Infinger ’04

”International Marketing” with Dr. Shainwald in 1981. He

handed the world to me and I’ve been exploring ever since.

– Vic Howie ’83

– Melissa Arcuri

I’m a 14-year Navy Veteran ... I have 7 children. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get so much as a certificate, much less a degree. Where would I find the time? Was I smart enough to sit with all these young, nubile minds and actually

LEARN? One class turned into two ... two turned into 4, one semester led to another, and with the guidance and support of advisors and CofC faculty, I realized that not only am I on my way to a B.S, I’m applying to GRADUATE

SCHOOL! Nowhere

12 women, 21 years after college, 18 years of girls’ weekends, and they are all still my best friends! AHA.

else could I have been so encouraged to reach so high.

Thank you, CofC. – Le Coopers

– Aimee Manos O’Keefe ’90

FACE-OFF We asked the more than 31,000 people who “like” the College on Facebook to tell us about an “aha” moment that happened to them at the College. Here are a few highlights. (We wish we could include them all.) Join the discussion on the College’s Facebook page and share your thoughts and memories for the next face-off question.

An “aha” moment about values in Ned Hettinger’s

environmental ethics my first spring at CofC leading to a

conservation career.

– Amy Carter ’98

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When I met my wonderful husband of 2 years on the corner of St. Philip and Calhoun and got to know him over countless meals in the caf! Oh, and discovered my love for historic preservation in Prof. Russell’s class. 2 very special “aha” moments for me in the paradise of Charleston. – Bri Horahan Jackson ’09

I graduated from The College of Knowledge in 1982. My “aha” moment enlightened me on my rainy first day of class when I waited to cross the street and was completely engulfed in a puddle of water by a passing car! Don’t stand on the sidewalk near

puddles of water on the road!

Speaking at Dr. Stiglitz’ (French) memorial, looking at many known faces from nearly 20 years ago, and seeing my

“family.”

– Gordon Wescoat ’87

– Lisa Perry Aldrich ’82

When I went home for the summer and realized I wasn’t really home.

– Autumn Oakley


AROUND the CISTERN

Campus Icon: Rick Krantz

Fresh Start Although it may be difficult for incoming students to imagine now, the College is their new home. At the sixth annual convocation ceremony, they were welcomed home by faculty and staff before they signed their names in the class ledger, formalizing their place in the College family. In preparation for the event, students read Jewel by convocation speaker and English professor Bret Lott, who has returned to the College after three years at Louisiana State University. Jewel gained national attention when Oprah Winfrey picked it in January 1999 as one of her book club selections. “Coming home to the College is a dream come true,” says Lott, who previously taught at the College from 1986 to 2004. “And speaking at the convocation underscores the fact that the College is and always has been my real home.”

His great-great-uncle was chief of the Charleston Fire Department. His grandfather served 37 years there, too. Dad was a firefighter before becoming a cop, and Chief Rick Krantz has spent 34 years of his own life in the fire service, including 26 at the College. “It’s a bloodline that is thick and deep,” says Krantz. When Krantz was hired as a fire marshal by the College in 1985, he ran a one-man shop and helped process workers’ compensation claims in addition to his life-safety duties. Now he supervises two fire marshals, oversees an awardwinning student-led EMS group, maintains a fleet of emergency vehicles and continually improves the College’s state-of-the-art fire alarm systems and medical rescue stations. He’s become an expert in how not to use a microwave, witnessing how students use the device in attempts to dry damp shoes, cook pasta without water and heat up potato chips within aluminum packaging. Krantz can chuckle about those smoky episodes now, but he emphasizes that student safety is no laughing matter. Each year he introduces himself at the College’s New Student Orientation, telling freshmen the same thing he’s said for the last quarter of a century: “It’s my job to ensure that you get a safe, valuable college education in the four years you’re here on campus.”


From the President

Charleston’s Economic Engines Although rarely recognized as such, Charleston is a college town. The College of Charleston, along with the Charleston area’s three other public colleges and universities – the Medical University of South Carolina, The Citadel and Trident Technical College – account for a total of nearly 50,000 students, faculty and staff. That’s the equivalent of a University of Georgia or a University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill.

the 1980s and former state senator and College alumnus Arthur Ravenel Jr. ’50 in the 1990s floated the idea of bringing the College and other area institutions under the umbrella of a large research university in Charleston. Although the four institutions remain separate today, we collaborate in a variety of ways. The College and The Citadel offer joint master’s degree programs in English, history, computer and information sciences, and teaching in middle grades. Trident Technical College is a major feeder school for the College.

impact on our local workforce alone would be catastrophic. Combined, the four institutions account for more than 15,000 full-time and part-time jobs. That’s roughly the same number of jobs the Lowcountry lost from the closure of the Charleston Naval Station and Shipyard in 1996 – and that was a serious economic blow by any measure. Imagine downtown Charleston without the College. Our main campus of 130 buildings is spread across 41 acres of some of the most expensive real estate in South Carolina. Eighty of our buildings are

| (L and R) Second Sunday shopping on Charleston’s King Street; opening ceremony celebration for Spoleto Festival USA | Over the years, proposals to merge two or three of the Charleston-area universities have come and gone. In the early 1820s, for instance, the College actually turned down an opportunity to create a medical school. As a result, the Medical College of South Carolina, now MUSC, was established as a separate institution in 1824. More recently, former College president Harry M. Lightsey Jr. in

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And, in turn, the College is a key supplier of applicants to MUSC’s graduate and medical programs. As many as 20 percent of the students in certain MUSC programs are graduates of the College. The College and its sister institutions are so deeply woven into the economic and social fabric of Charleston that it’s easy to take them for granted. But just imagine Charleston without them. The

over 100 years old and several are over 200 years old, making the College the largest historic preservationist in Charleston. And what would King Street be like without the enormous economic boost that our campus community provides to its shops and restaurants? Our students play an important part in what makes Charleston a world-class city. From their thousands of hours


AROUND the CISTERN

of community service and volunteer work in local schools to internships in local businesses and field research projects throughout the Lowcountry, our undergraduate and graduate students enrich our community with their intelligence, youth, diversity and energy. And our faculty don’t just teach. They help raise the quality of life in the Charleston region by working to solve coastal and environmental issues, analyzing economic and employment trends, and preserving our city’s rich history and culture. The College has always recognized the importance of its relationship with the city of Charleston. Our histories are intertwined and our futures are

Lowcountry and the opportunities they afford our students for learning and our faculty for scholarship.” An example of this synergistic relationship is the College’s contributions to the arts in Charleston. We are deeply engaged in Charleston’s arts and music culture through, among other things, our relationships with Spoleto Festival USA and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Each year, the College’s faculty, staff, students and alumni play integral roles in the operational, programming and performance aspects of the two festivals. In addition, the College’s facilities are used extensively for performances, exhibitions, rehearsals, lodging and dressing areas.

districts to improve literacy, develop new curricula and provide pathways to college for under-represented populations. And our graduates become the parents who are likely to be involved in their children’s education and involved in our schools. The economies of Charleston and the state of South Carolina also benefit from the direct and indirect spending of our universities and colleges. We are major purchasers of products and services. We buy computers, vehicles, office supplies, furniture and food. We hire accounting, legal, cleaning and catering services. We are real estate developers who build dormitories, classroom and office buildings, laboratories, libraries, museums, theaters, athletic facilities and

Our students play an important part in what makes Charleston a world-class city. From their thousands of hours of community service and volunteer work in local schools to internships in local businesses and field research projects throughout the Lowcountry, our undergraduate and graduate students enrich our community with their intelligence , youth , diversity and energy.

interdependent. The College’s Strategic Plan emphasizes our dual obligation to utilize Charleston’s assets as a living laboratory for our students and to simultaneously support and nurture those assets. Our power of place is so fundamental to our existence that we include it as one of our core values: “the history, traditions, culture and environment of Charleston and the

More generally, Charleston’s public colleges and universities draw visitors to our city from all over the world: prospective students and their families touring our campus; parents visiting their students; professionals and academics attending conferences and symposiums; alumni returning for reunions and homecomings. These visitors stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores. We bring world leaders, U.S. presidents, entertainers, CEOs and newsmakers to our campuses. The College of Charleston and The Citadel have become key campaign stumps on the road to the White House. Our colleges and universities educate and supply the teachers who form the backbone of our public K-12 school systems. We partner with our school

parking garages – all of which require building supplies and provide jobs for architects, engineers, contractors and construction workers. We also pump millions of dollars into our community by seeking out and attracting philanthropic support, federal grants and corporate and foundation grants. So the next time you find yourself in Charleston, take a good look around. Stop and appreciate the many ways in which higher education blends seamlessly into our historic city. Indeed, it can be hard to tell where our campuses end and the city begins. That’s part of the allure of Charleston – its diverse blend of historic neighborhoods, businesses and, yes, the public universities and colleges that make Charleston a college town! – President P. George Benson

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LIFE ACADEMIC Astronomical Odds

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Forget the suntan lotion, sandals and shades. When Joe Carson takes a trip to Hawaii, he packs a winter coat. Carson is an astronomer, so that could explain his apparent confusion. His mind is more often out of this world than

volcano is Hawaii’s highest point, and its summit is often blanketed with snow, hence the need for that thick jacket. The top of Mauna Kea is also covered in high-powered telescopes, including the 8.2-meter

In 2009, Carson was a leader of a team of researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Astronomy that took an image of what they’re calling a “planet-like object” more than 50 light years from Earth. Though scientists have

in it, and outer space can indeed be very, very cold. Yet there’s a method to this physics and astronomy professor’s madness, and Carson knows that – while his fellow airplane passengers are most likely bound for Oahu’s picturesque Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head State Monument – he’s hopping over to the Big Island for a visit up Mauna Kea. Standing 13,796 feet above sea level, the

Subaru optical-infrared telescope that Carson uses to take pictures of the stars and surrounding planets. Like any photographer, Carson says he appreciates the aesthetics of the mesmerizing thermal photos he and his colleagues take. But one would be foolish to dismiss his snapshots as mere pretty pictures. Indeed, when one considers the cosmic consequences of Carson’s work, the effect is mind blowing.

been discovering planets beyond our solar system for more than a decade (about 400 exoplanets have been found), it’s incredibly rare to obtain a direct image. Usually, these exoplanets are detected indirectly, such as by seeing how a nearby star dims when the exoplanet passes before it. Yet, by focusing on young planets located a healthy distance from the stars they orbit, it is possible to snap a direct

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LIFE ACADEMIC

image. Young planets retain more heat left over from their creation, making them more visible when looking through infrared filters. And the farther a planet is from its star, the better the chance it will not be obscured by the immense amount of light being produced by the star. And so it was that Carson and his colleagues were able to photograph a planet-like object orbiting the star GJ 758 – an achievement Time magazine named as one of the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2009. Carson and fellow researchers are still unable to say definitively whether the object is a planet or a brown dwarf (otherwise known as a

program, which he calls a pipeline, to process many images of the same star. Though half of the stars in the sky are thought to have planets orbiting them, finding proof of other planets beyond our solar system can be a frustrating task, akin to finding a needle in a cosmic haystack. Carson himself has looked at 150 stars and so far found only this one possible planet. This year, Carson was part of a research team that photographed the birth of a planet system. Such accomplishments, he says, help scientists determine just how rare or common life is on other planets and which planets have the

Star Search

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … a lightweight brown dwarf? Or maybe a giant planet? Well, there’s something way out there in outer space, and forgive physics and astronomy professor Joe Carson if he can only say that the tiny white dot he photographed (labeled “B” in the thermal image above) orbiting star GJ 758 is a planet-like object. It’s 50 light years away, after all. In fact, there might be two planets orbiting the star (the object labeled “C?” could be a companion planet), but more research must be done to say so definitively. Carson captured the image above in 2009. But instead of resting on his laurels, he followed up that difficult achievement by contributing to another stunning photograph taken this year – the birth of a planet system in 2011 (see below).

failed star), but their achievement was nonetheless impressive because of the very complicated game of hide-and-seek that astronomers and exoplanets play. The single image of the star and its planet, explains Carson, is actually a manipulation of more than 500 images. In order to filter the images and reveal this potential hidden planet, Carson and a colleague created a complex software

best chances of exhibiting signs of life. Above all, it helps us learn about our own solar system’s history and how we happen to be walking around this earth. For Carson, snapshots of other planets can help answer some of the most fundamental questions. “We want to understand better where we come from,” says Carson. “How exactly, did our own planet system come to be?”

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Medieval Super HIghway When Michelle Garceau hears church bells, her thoughts are transported back more than 700 years to Europe, and she thinks Internet. Yes, that’s right: Internet. “Bells were the Internet of the Middle Ages,” notes Garceau, assistant professor of history. “Think about it. They were fast – so much faster than say, television or radio in communicating to a community – and they were something prevalent in everyone’s life.” For Garceau, a medieval European historian, the bells are a fascinating and very much under-researched area of study. She stumbled upon the topic while investigating miracle cults in Spain and found that while there were regulations recorded about bells, there was little, if anything, about the bells’ various meanings. “This is very much an issue of shared cultural knowledge,” Garceau explains. “For example, when we hear sirens today – from either a police car or fire truck or ambulance – we know generally what’s going on. And we didn’t read it anywhere – we just know from experience. The same would have been the case then about the bells’ meanings, which rang throughout the day, but was not always used to simply bring people to church – perhaps it was a call to arms to defend the town, or a prayer of sorts for good crops.” To Garceau, the bells also represent a more complex understanding of medieval Spain. While church bells were a source of unity for Christians, they were also a constant reminder of a religious divide with the native Muslim and Jewish populations. “Most people, when they look at Spain in the Middle Ages, see one or two worlds,” says Garceau, explaining that one is filled with constant conflict between the three faiths and the other, blissful harmony. “I think the take away is that neither picture is true. Remember, the Muslims and Jews not only understood the bells, they sometimes even answered their call. So, in reality, these three groups are interacting all the time, sometimes violently, sometimes nonviolently, sometimes cooperatively.” And connecting them all, all the time: the bells – a 13th-century auditory | 10 | C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e information highway.


LIFE ACADEMIC

The Fall Guy Timothy Higham (now at University of When it comes to slippery surfaces, California–Riverside) – observed the we all need to get up to speed – at locomotor biomechanics of helmeted least that’s what Andrew Clark and his guinea fowl navigating slippery surfaces collaborator found in their research on at different speeds to investigate fallslipping, sliding and stability. avoiding strategies and the major causes “Counter to what some people think, of falls during these encounters. “The faster speeds help us cross slippery helmeted guinea fowl’s fall-avoidance surfaces without falling,” says Clark, strategies parallel human strategies assistant professor of biology, who – because we’re both terrestrial, bipedal along with his colleague and former and endothermic (or warm blooded), and postdoctoral adviser at Clemson we both operate within the same laws of University, assistant professor of biology Duval keeps her “pens of the world” collection displayed on her desk, providing a colorful “parade of pens. They’re too nice to hide away.”

physics. So, helmeted guinea fowl serve as insightful crash-test dummies for us.” The researchers put the birds on a six-meter runway lined with either sandpaper (a sticky, high-friction surface) or polypropylene shelving liner (a slippery, low-friction surface) and filmed their performance. What they found was that – although “some birds were clumsier than others” – the fowl did not fall if they ran faster than three meters per second. Any slower, and they’d risk hitting the ground at a limb angle of less than 70 degrees – a sure bet they’d fall backward. “The most important factor for avoiding falls is your limb angle when you hit the ground. If you’re going too slowly, your center of mass (your hips) won’t shift forward enough when the foot makes contact with the ground at a small limb angle,” explains Clark, adding that when you’re moving quickly, your weight shifts forward more easily, resulting in the knee moving past the ankle and thereby stopping the slipping. “And that’s the other determining factor: threshold slip distance, or how far you have to slip before you fall.” That distance, the researchers found, is 10 centimeters. And not just in fowl, but in humans, too. “We knew that studying the biomechanics of locomotion in helmeted guinea fowl had definite health and human safety implications – and they could be especially important for elderly individuals, who have the increased likelihood of falling when moving on slippery ground,” says Clark, noting that once the research was published in the March 24, 2011 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, the mainstream media grabbed hold of the news, and articles were published everywhere from USA Today to the U.K.’s The Telegraph. And, with applications anywhere there is a slippery surface, there’s no telling how far their research will go. “This is just scratching the surface,” says Clark, explaining that there are lots of data still waiting to be analyzed. “We don’t have the full picture yet – but I’m certain that these kinds of data sets could address significant evolutionary and ecological questions. I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.” After all, it’s hard to let this kind of momentum slip away.

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Inside the Academic Mind: Jennifer Baker Jennifer Baker, assistant professor of philosophy, is one of those teachers who will make you think – and think in ways you’re not accustomed to and perhaps on subjects you might not ever consider to have philosophical implications. We asked her to ponder a few questions for us – and, in the process, learned about procrastination, business ethics and why you might not want to be stranded on a desert island with a philosopher. Who do you think is the greatest philosopher, so far, in the 21st century? “Greatest” is a hard attribution to make. I’m not sure I’d like a philosopher who thought he or she was great. One of my favorite qualities of philosophy is how it really requires humility. We expose our ideas to such an extent that people are found to be wrong all the time. There’s no hiding from it! No one agrees in this field with one person’s view. Who you think is great, someone else thinks is crazy. This is the consequence of our really trying to spell out our views, making all the details clear. The philosopher I most benefit from is still my adviser. It was a dream to work with her, Julia Annas. I think she represents the ancient Greek ethical views better than anyone, and I find them so relevant to contemporary ethics – and contemporary ethics relevant to everything. You study procrastination. should we embrace our inner procrastinator? We should not do that! I’ve been kind of tongue in cheek when I present on procrastination, suggesting no one in the room could possibly be a procrastinator. But, of course, everyone must have some experience with procrastination. It’s not worth having more. I actually use the ancient Greek ethical theories to suggest ways around procrastination. Since it’s so similar in structure to addiction, I suggest two things (which may not seem related, yet they cover the necessary ground!). One, get a procrastinator to stop. Just like you get an addict to physically stop, no matter how, and the brain can repair itself, you get a procrastinator to stop so that the cycle – which comes with rationalization, and thrill, and despising one’s self – can stop. Two, once the procrastinator is out of the psychological grips of procrastination, get the procrastinator to think about why the work he/she’s not doing is so stressful. Because we’re not very reflective, I think we can care about the wrong things, about people’s opinions of us, and about staying in a job that doesn’t suit us – even when this interferes with our happiness. What’s your favorite book? Well, I love books that are philosophical. I love Milan Kundera. I love Bohumil Hrabal. My old pal Gary Schteyngart is a favorite. I love philosophical poets: Rilke, Seamus Heaney. I actually am crazy for our own poet, Carol Ann Davis. Though I have not read it in a while, my very favorite book may be Martha Nussbaum’s The Fragility of Goodness. It’s about ancient Greek philosophy, but she connects these with lines of poetry and a kind of awareness of life. I find it full of shockingly beautiful presentations of takes on life’s meaning.

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LIFE ACADEMIC

Why do you think philosophy is important, even critical, to study today? I think some people might have had more reason to worry in the past – when philosophy was less applied. I mean, parts still are. But now much of philosophy is excellent at working with other fields. I have begun working in experimental philosophy, where we do empirical research. Many physicians learn philosophy in order to do bioethics. My colleague Whit Schonbein blends computer programming with investigations into philosophy of mind. My department chair studies evolutionary theory alongside biologists. Doing philosophy no longer means you just analyze abstract concepts. It’s both really needed and very flexible when it comes to what you can look to with its careful methodology. You study business ethics and question the morality of the market system’s “invisible hand.” What lessons should a future business person take away from one of your classes? My angle is to convince business students that nothing should be worth more to them than their integrity. I work against mainstream business ethics in doing this. Often business ethicists will carefully analyze a situation and recommend guidelines for ethical behavior. Sure, it’s very important when they set high standards in these guidelines – and setting standards in general, I’m a big fan of. But just as often, the bar is set low. This should not be taken as a personal recommendation, an endorsement of “iffy” ethical behavior. I like to encourage students to see that no work on business ethics or the market is an argument against being as ethical as you possibly can. They don’t need permission from economists or business ethicists to be extraordinarily scrupulous. There is no argument against it. And that’s the case I try to make as we read the literature in the field. What’s your favorite food? People have things against food? I’ve got no issue with any food. I’ll take any of it. What kind of music do you listen to? I used to follow around Phish. I don’t even tell my students that – I think they’d be so embarrassed for me. I would even hang out with them backstage. I had a “brief” Kings of Leon infatuation and took my 6-year-old to their concert in Charleston. Now that I’m old, I like my friends’ bluegrass music, and, honestly, the singing my kids do. They’re all in a choir, even the 3-year-old, and I like to assign them songs to learn, so I can listen. For Mother’s Day, they sang “Lola” by the Kinks and “Come, Thy Fount of Every Blessing.” A nice mix! We don’t have TV, so they’re pretty much the entertainment around our house. Hurricane season is here. You have time to grab three things from your home as you evacuate. What are they? My daughters Arden and Tulah and my son, Wilkes. No particular order. My husband, Billy, can fend for himself. What philosopher would you NOT want to be stranded with on a desert island? Oh, probably hardly any of them. I could not have married a philosopher, either. We’re all very annoying. I’d start swimming, perhaps.

Faculty Fact

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Steve Rosenberg (music) received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts from the S.C. Arts Commission in recognition of his lifelong work educating and inspiring individuals to learn more about early music as a historical art form. • Phil Dustan (biology) earned the Ralph Brown Expedition Award from the Royal Geographical Society for his baseline study of the coral reef off the northwest coast of Bali, Indonesia. • Mark Del Mastro (Hispanic studies) was elected a correspondent member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language – the first ever from South Carolina. • Sorinel Oprisan (physics) received the Faculty Early Career Development award from the National Science Foundation. With his $500,000 research grant, Oprisan is studying computational neuroscience. • The College honored several outstanding faculty members last spring: Amy Langville (mathematics), William V. Moore Distinguished Teacher-Scholar; Consuela Francis (English), Distinguished Teaching Award; Kristin Krantzman (chemistry), Distinguished Research Award; Julia Eichelberger (English), Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Advising Award; and Bernie Powers (history), Distinguished Advising Award. • Six faculty members retired at the end of the 2010–11 academic year: Thomas Gilson (library), Annette Godow (health and human performance), Gerard Montbertrand (French), John Olbrych Jr. (theatre), Walter Pharr (computer science) and Georgia Schlau (Hispanic studies).

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MAKING the GRADE

Testing the Waters When a hydrologist and a geochemist put a trip to India together, Josh Lieberman ’11, a geology major in need of a field study course, knew he had to go. At that point, Lieberman hadn’t ventured beyond the North American continent, but he was eager to “be a part of a different culture and really get to see how people in that culture interact.” The study abroad class combined two upper-level geology courses – geology professor Tim Callahan’s Water Resources of India and environmental geochemist Vijay Vulava’s Pollution in the Developing World. After an 18-hour flight, the students traveled by train and bus into the mountains to the source of the Ganges River. They hiked in the Himalayas and traveled on the river by boat, through New Delhi to Calcutta and beyond. They learned where the water was coming from,

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where it was going and how it played a role in so many lives. “Being a geology major,” Lieberman explains, “you’ve got to get out in the field to really apply what you learn in class. It’s very difficult for me to visualize something on a blackboard, but if I can pick up a rock in the field, that’s entirely different. In India, we checked for sulfates, nitrates and phosphates in the river. We’d analyze the data and discuss why we were getting our results.” As they traveled around the country, they witnessed millions of people polluting the river. They saw how pollution entered a community and measured the chemical changes that had taken place downstream. “To the Indian people,” he observes, “the Ganges is a goddess, so it cleans itself. But science teaches us that if we want to use

this water, we need to clean it or treat it.” This contradiction between science and religious/cultural beliefs also relates to business and hospitality/tourism – Lieberman’s two other majors. “Everything now is global,” says Lieberman, who also served as senior class treasurer. “In the realm of business, you’ll be dealing with a variety of people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, and navigating difficult situations. The balance issue we saw in India, between religion and science, helped me understand how tricky business decisions can be in many contexts.” For Lieberman, the trip was also important because “we were putting our conceptual knowledge from so many other courses to work in the world beyond the classroom. That was a huge take away for me.”


Making the Grade

Miracle Serve “Sacrifice your body!” It’s a phrase almost every collegiate athlete has heard, especially volleyball players. They routinely dive across hardwood courts with arms outstretched to strike the ball, not cushion their fall. But when the last point is scored, it’s finally time for rest and recovery. Hayley Harrell, however, doesn’t follow this convention. Last December, the then-junior sacrificed her body off the court, donating bone marrow to a 6-year-old girl living abroad. She had never met the girl, didn’t know her name and didn’t even know in which country or continent she lived. All Harrell knew was that a 6-year-old girl was deathly ill, and the only chance for survival involved receiving a bone marrow transplant. Without even blinking, Harrell agreed to go under the knife, or, to be more accurate, the drill. In the middle of final exams for the fall semester and less than three weeks after finishing the season, Harrell allowed doctors to remove enough bone marrow to fill a Nalgene water bottle from the holes they drilled into her hip. While the marrow was immediately

sent abroad to doctors attending to the young girl, Harrell finished her exams. The transplant was set in motion back in the spring 2009, during Harrell’s freshman year, when she had the inside of her cheek swabbed as part of a health organization’s drive to recruit potential bone marrow donors. A nurse taking the sample told Harrell that the vast majority of people who have their cheeks swabbed are never contacted. And even if you are, the nurse continued, there’s a good chance you’d be asked to donate blood stem cells rather than bone marrow, which requires a more invasive and painful surgery. Eighteen months passed. Harrell and her teammates won the regular-season SoCon championship and were preparing to compete in the postseason as the No. 1 ranked team in the conference’s southern division. Out of the blue, Harrell was contacted and reminded about her cheek swab. We need you for more tests, donor coordinators told her. Next thing she knew, Harrell was told she was a perfect match for a 6-year-old girl. She had the chance to save the girl’s life. Harrell was floored. “She was amazed she had the chance to help someone,” says Jamie Harrell, Hayley’s

sister and a sophomore on the College’s women’s tennis team. “She has always had a willingness to help others, even if she’s had to endure some discomfort, or, in the case of donating bone marrow, a lot of discomfort.” Indeed, Hayley Harrell was bedridden for a few days after having her bone marrow removed, “though she hardly complained,” says her sister. The Harrell girls have been taught their whole lives about the importance of giving to those in need. For the past few years their family has taken trips to Honduras with their church to provide medical supplies and treatment to the poor. The Hondurans they help have nothing, says Hayley, and are eager to accept many medicines that Americans take for granted but which provide much-appreciated relief, including ibuprofen, nasal spray, eye drops, ear drops and antibiotics. Many Hondurans have told Hayley that she and the other church members are the answers to their prayers. “We are their miracle,” says Hayley. “It’s a really cool feeling to be someone’s miracle.”

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Free to Rome You don’t have to tell her that Rome wasn’t built in a day. If there’s one thing Melissa Huber ’11 has learned from studying ancient Rome and its building traditions, it’s just how long it takes to achieve something great. In her case, it took just over three years. Huber’s list of achievements was already rich, but it was last January, when the American Philological Association selected her for its top national honor – the Lionel Pearson Fellowship – that she began to see how far all of her hard work would take her. “It means great things for my career,” says Huber, who deferred her enrollment in Duke University’s Classical studies Ph.D. program until fall 2012 so that she could take advantage of the fellowship, which is funding a year of postgraduate work in the M.A. City of Rome program at the University of Reading in Berkshire, England, as well as two months of research in Rome. “The Pearson fellowship is providing a oncein-a-lifetime chance to hone my ancient language skills, study on site in Rome and make career-long connections with British scholars who research the city of Rome in particular – all before I begin my doctoral work. It will be an invaluable experience for my development as a scholar. The combined aspects of the prestige within the APA and the time I get to spend in Rome will be phenomenal for me.” This will be the Honors College graduate’s second trip to the Eternal City; the first was the summer of 2010, when she spent five weeks studying Roman monuments and topography at John Cabot University and conducting field research of Augustan Rome’s public buildings and their civic functions. “It’s thrilling to be standing there in those buildings, standing on the forum where all this ancient history was made,” recalls Huber, whose research abroad was funded by a Summer Undergraduate Research with Faculty grant and a William Aiken Fellows Summer Enrichment grant. “I would have never dreamed of doing the things that I’ve done if it weren’t for the College of Charleston. I couldn’t imagine going to another school and getting the

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kind of attention and experiences I’ve had here. I’m just so thankful for all the opportunities the College has given me – and not just abroad, but on campus, too.” Back on campus after her trip to Rome, for example, Huber had the opportunity to help Darryl Phillips, the associate professor of Classics who nominated her for the Pearson fellowship, build a database of the buildings of the Augustan period, their historical data, architectural information and public functions. “Working with the database allowed me to create graphical representations of the data and see trends that I would not have noticed otherwise,” says Huber. “It was kind of perfect for me, because – being a math major – I like to play with data.”

Huber, in fact, double-majored in mathematics and Classics – the latter of which she would’ve never dreamed she’d be interested in. She’d always wanted to be an engineer – or perhaps a medical doctor. It wasn’t until she took Phillips’ Roman history course her freshman year that she was remotely interested in Classics. “And then everything just fell into place without me noticing it happen,” she shrugs. “It was like I was meant to study ancient Rome – like there was some force out there that knew that before even I did.” There is, of course, no doubt about it now: For Melissa Huber, all roads lead to Rome.


Making the Grade

Food for Thought It was a Tuesday evening in late April when Sara Sprehn ’11 opened the letter that would make her a first at the College. She pored over its contents again and again to make sure she was reading it correctly. When she called her family that night, her mother even made her read the letter out loud to verify what it said. For the next few hours, Sprehn, an Honors College student, held the letter close to her, fearing – she laughs now – that it might magically disappear if she let go. Even if the letter had mysteriously vanished that night, its message would not have changed: Sprehn had received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Chiapas, Mexico. No small achievement for any student, but one of historic significance at the College: Sprehn is its first undergraduate to receive such an honor. The Hispanic studies major, with minors in chemistry and anthropology, will travel to southern Mexico this fall for a two-year graduate school experience to study nutrition among its indigenous population, especially as more people choose to eat packaged and convenience foods in this developing region. “Perhaps my research may inspire some people to look at their diets,” observes Sprehn, herself a food-conscious eater. “Nutrition is the foundation of health care, and I think we’ll find that food is really the solution to a lot of our society’s problems.”


| Photos by Mike Ledford |

TEAMWORK

The Long Shot Where does it come from? that poise at the end of the game, with everything on the line. As the seconds tick down, the scoreboard reminds you – and everyone else in the arena – that you’re losing. And the guy in front of you? He’s got one irritating hand waving in your face and another swiping at the ball you’re trying not to dribble off your foot. That guy will do anything to disrupt your timing and throw off your last shot just one

the SPORTSTICKER |

millimeter. Because that’s all it takes – he knows it, and you know it. One millimeter is the infinitesimal difference between losing and winning, miss or bliss. Welcome to just another night for Andrew Goudelock. Grace under pressure, according to Goudelock, cannot be the exception to the rule. It is the rule. His rule. “You have to have courage,” Goudelock admits, “playing in front of all of those people. A lot of doubt creeps in and you

don’t want to freeze up. You have to fight your brain because you have things in your head telling you that you might not be good enough. “But,” he adds, “you have to have the courage to say to yourself, ‘Whatever, bring it on.’” And there’s no doubting that Goudelock has brought it. This past season, he treated fans to an extraordinary display of shooting range and scoring prowess, launching three-point attempts barely one

Daniel Aldrich earned collegiate baseball’s Freshman Player of the Year, the SoCon Freshman of the Year and was a Freshman All-America selection. Daniel also won this year’s TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby. + Emma Racila ’09 (volleyball) is a member of the U.S. Deaf National Team. + Angelo Anastopoulo (women’s tennis) received his third SoCon Coach of the Year award. + Kristi |

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TEAMWORK

stride past the half-court line and breaking the College’s all-time scoring record, which had been held for more than 35 years by Gus Gustafson ’75. “Andrew and I never met a shot we couldn’t take,” Gustafson laughs.

But Goudelock didn’t have much time to enjoy his many accolades. Just one week after dropping 31 points against eventual NIT champion Wichita State, Goudelock won the NCAA three-point contest and, the next day, led his team in scoring in the

And Gustafson is right. Goudelock kept defenses constantly on their heels trying to defend his deep threes, his seemingly effortless mid-range jumper and the real dagger in his arsenal – the soft-touch floater in the lane. In many games, you could watch the opposing defenders turn to their coaches after giving up another Goudelock score, and the coaches would shrug back, “Just keep trying.” By the end of his senior season, Goudelock had achieved pretty much everything an individual student-athlete can: All-SoCon, SoCon Player of the Year, All-America honorable mention and SoCon Male Athlete of the Year.

NABC Reese’s College All-Star game at the Final Four in Houston. Ready for a breather? Nope, Goudelock’s tremendous season was now simply an afterthought. Things were getting busy. Since his boyhood days of playing 21 with his mother and stepfather on their backyard court, Goudelock had dreamed of playing in the NBA. But most professional scouts considered him a long shot at best. Goudelock then logged some major frequent flier miles in order to turn doubters into believers. He traveled to Portsmouth (Va.) and Chicago, showcasing his talent against other NBA hopefuls. He

also took part in individual workouts for 16 teams. Throughout the process, he heard the same thing: You’re too slow. You’re too small. You can’t play defense. You can’t play point guard. Your game will never translate to the pros. Lesser players would have crumbled under that pressure, that “expert” analysis summing up their strengths and weaknesses (with the latter far outweighing the former). But Goudelock didn’t flinch. He smiled as reporters repeated the same criticisms, over and over. “I believe in myself,” he told them time and time again, in city after city. And with each workout, the tenor of the conversation changed, from what if to where in the draft. It was as if the world had thrown him a full-court press and, as usual, he deftly maneuvered past the obstacles and sank his shot. Then came Draft Night. Forty-five names were called. Forty-five times Goudelock watched the television and turned away, the tension mounting. Perhaps that offer from the Harlem Globetrotters, which had “drafted” him two nights earlier, wasn’t sounding so bad after all. As the night progressed and he continued to wait, he Tweeted, “same old story, ppl pass on me and i gotta prove them wrong.” But, finally – a lifetime it seemed to him and his family – NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver walked up to the podium and called his name. Goudelock’s next Tweet: “Lakers!!!!” While his future in Los Angeles is still tentative, with the NBA lockout holding up next season and the general fickleness of the business for second rounders making the team, Goudelock is still confident about his prospects. In fact, he has already charmed many L.A. fans with his muchpublicized comment, “Unless something happens, unless I get some type of disease where I forget how to shoot, I’m going to shoot until the day I die.” And it’s that kind of confidence that will propel him onto one of the biggest and most celebrated stages in sports. Whatever, bring it on.

Woodall ’11 (softball) earned this year’s J. Stewart Walker Cup Award, the top student-athlete honor given by the College’s athletics department. + Alex Datko ’11 (softball) was the SoCon Pitcher of the Year. + Jackson Benvenutti ’11, Mac Mace, Alyssa Aitken and Perry Emsiek (sailing) made the ICSA All-America Team. + Christian Bailey (cross-country), a double major in international business and Spanish, is a Capital One Academic All-American. + FA L L 2 0 1 1 |

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| Photo by Mike Ledford |

Always on the Run in high school, she was fast. so fast she was named one of Alabama’s all-state cross-country runners her junior year. So fast she earned that honor again her senior year. Still, no matter how quick her pace, Dena O’Brien could not quite run a mile in less than five minutes. At the College, that albatross did not hang around her neck for long. At her first collegiate meet, she broke the five-minute mark, and she’s since run personal bests left and right during her freshman year, competing for both the cross-country and track teams. In the process, a slew of school records have fallen, including the 6k in cross-country; the mile, 3k and 5k for indoor track; and the 1,500-meter, 3k and 5k records for outdoor track. In April, while competing at the SoCon Outdoor Track and Field Championships, O’Brien continued her dominance, winning the 5,000-meter race and placing runner-up in the 1,500 meter, breaking her own newly established school record. Even by a runner’s speedy standards,

O’Brien has been off to an especially fast start at the College. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Amy Seago, head coach of both the women’s cross-country and track and field teams. Last fall, Seago worked with O’Brien to improve her pace during long-distance training runs of 10 miles. One week, says Seago, O’Brien was running each mile in 6:45. The next week, her pace improved to 6:30. And the next week it was even better at 6:15 a mile. Seago documented these results, and then regularly met with O’Brien to discuss her progress and boost her confidence. Having evidence of her improvement was important to O’Brien, and Seago urged her young runner not only to focus on the challenges ahead, but to remember victories past. Like any good runner, O’Brien is always looking a few steps ahead, but Seago wanted to make sure her freshman phenom wasn’t glossing over the meaningful ground she had

already covered, encouraging O’Brien to recognize her accomplishments. Echoing Seago is O’Brien’s father, Tim, who is a mainstay at his daughter’s athletic events. “He’s the one who reminds me how hard I worked,” says O’Brien. “‘Here’s what you have done – you need to embrace that.’” In June, O’Brien competed in the 5,000-meter race at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Regional in Bloomington, Ind. She finished 10th in her heat with a time of 16 minutes and 35.63 seconds, narrowly missing qualification for the NCAA championship, but nonetheless capping an impressive freshman year. Next season, she’ll have the regionals experience to remember as a benchmark, and plenty more school records to break, even if most of them are already her own. Seago, for one, can’t wait to see what happens. “She’s phenomenal,” says Seago. “I think the sky’s the limit.”

Trent Wiedeman was named to the 2011 Mid-Major Freshmen All-America Team. + Leigh Whittaker (women’s golf) earned an individual berth in the NCA A Tournament last spring. + The College is adding a varsity sand volleyball team to its sports program in fall 2012. + Former Cougar pitcher Graham Godfrey made his MLB debut this summer with the Oakland Athletics. + Four Cougars were taken in the MLB draft: Rob Kral (Padres), Matt Leeds ’11 (Rangers), Casey Lucchese (Cubs) and David Peterson (Astros). |

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TEAMWORK

Show stoppers

SUMMER 2010 |

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| Photo by Diana Deaver |

They came to represent. As studentathletes. As performers. As competitors. But also as ambassadors of the College’s equestrian team. And – as soon as they arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2011 IHSA National Championship last May – it was clear they were champions for their team. “It’s an honor to be able to carry my college’s name to nationals,” says senior McKenzie Armour (middle), the 2010 national champion in the Individual Novice Flat class. “We perform as individuals, but we succeed as a team.” And these three individuals were certainly a success: Armour took sixth in the Individual Intermediate Flat class and 11th in the Individual Novice Fences class, Alex Percival ’11 (right) took sixth in the Individual Walk Trot class and Kenzi Russell (left) took the national championship in the Individual Walk Trot Canter class. “It’s unbelievable. Earlier this year, I was just happy to get on the team. Then I was just thrilled to be going to nationals,” says Russell. “Kenzi’s win was definitely a highlight,” agrees Percival, who found the overall experience a little bittersweet: “This was the last thing I did as a college student, as a Cougar, so it was really special for me. We all were proud to be a part of this team, and we all walked away with our heads held high.” In other words, they did exactly what they came to do.


POINT of VIEW

[ student ]

A Taste of True Hospitality For a month last summer, 15 creative writing students made their home in the small hillside town of Spoleto, Italy, with English professors Bret Lott and Emily Rosko. There, they worked on crafting poetry, writing travel memoirs and discovering a new world. by Lauren Krouse After two weeks in Spoleto, I had become disenchanted with beautiful things – the rolling hills of green, dappled with olive trees; the waves of red poppies and suntanned, ancient towns piled below blue mountains; the high-ceilinged, dimly lit churches and bright, white-washed museums full of art; the crumbling frescoes; even the ruins. I was looking for something else. I was restless to search through the labyrinthine streets of Spoleto, as if there were something I still had yet to discover. Being a dreamy suburbanite who’d seen New York City once, had never left the eastern United States or even flown in a plane before this trip, I was waiting for something to wake me up, for something awe inspiring. Sure, I had experienced something ineffable in Saint Peter’s Basilica, some feeling I can’t encapsulate in writing. And I had been taken aback by a fat man

striped aprons. We were taught the basics and encouraged to dip our fingers in absolutely everything. “Taste! Taste!” Andrea exclaimed. Andrea’s assistant, Emiliano, scampered around us, effortlessly fixing our mistakes, whistling and singing American pop songs. “I love everybody, I love you!” he sang, which sounded straight out of the ’80s. He hardly spoke a spot of English otherwise. We plated our own dishes, brought them out to the patio and poured wine and water. We ate broiled flowers filled with smooth, blended cheeses and dipped in blended tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. We ate mini eggplant parmesan, then vegetarian lasagna, lamb and, for dessert, chocolate with cream. We drank limoncello made by Chef Andrea. Chickens, whose eggs we had used, clucked in the backyard and sprinted along the gates, their thin legs visible through the bushes. Chef Andrea passed around his iPhone with pictures of his children, a proud smile on his face. Between puffs on a cigarette, he spoke of his friend just down the road who held a night job making cheese. “Would you like to meet the man who makes my ricotta?” he asked. “Oh, of course!” Professor Lott answered. “Yes. Could we? Could we arrange that?” Andrea called his friend, then asked for us to return around 10 p.m.

The hospitality there was something that had yet to be defined – stronger and warmer than the words I had to describe the welcome of these Italians . in a purple polo singing for no one in a roadside ristorante – a portrait of pure, plain happiness. There was something to be said, too, for the experience of strangers suddenly placed in close quarters all hours of every day. Still, I didn’t feel the need to fully document this trip until Ricotta Night. Our study abroad program was unlike others. We were not placed in homes with those that spoke the language. Rather, we stayed in a gorgeous villa, isolated high on a hill just outside the city. At times, I felt we were more focused on our own writing community, on our poems and our memoirs and each other, than on fully experiencing Italian culture. The second week, we took a cooking class at Locanda Rovicciano, a restaurant located on the bottom half of Chef Andrea’s 17th-century home. We wore tall, white chef’s hats and

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That night, Chef Andrea left a packed restaurant under his wife’s care so he could drive us to the house where the ricotta was made and also serve as our translator. I expected to be brought out to a barn and watch a man, dressed in overalls perhaps, milk a moaning goat by candlelight. Instead, we were welcomed into a house. The house had a remarkable smell, a rich combination of warmth, old wooden walls, cooked meals and dried flowers. We were brought into the kitchen, a cozy room with a stove in the corner, a table in the center and a low red couch by the window. Two men and a woman – father, son and wife – stood by the kitchen counter and spoke to Chef Andrea in Italian. Andrea briefly explained the nature of our program: that we were writing students from the United States.


| Illustration by Charla Pettingill |

POINT of VIEW

We stood clustered around the stovetop, watching the son stir a huge pot of cheese and water over low heat with a stick. He explained to us that first they would collect what was considered pecorino cheese and then later scoop out what was left at the bottom, ricotta cheese. In the background, an Italian soap opera played on the television on the counter. As father and son quickly shaped cylinders of pecorino cheese out of the water and into wheels, the woman of the house cut bread into perfectly even pieces and placed them in a circle on the plate. She took week-old pecorino cheese from their refrigerator and soon added a bowl of ricotta, just scooped off the stovetop. She got out homemade fig and blackberry jam and a bowl of blackberries picked from their backyard. She piled paper plates and urged us, with her hands, to begin eating. She left the room for a moment and returned with two pitchers of homemade wine. We sat at their kitchen table and on the couch, while they leaned against the countertops. I had never liked ricotta cheese. I didn’t want to refuse food or a new experience, but in my memory, ricotta was a gritty cheese with sour cream consistency, which I picked out of my mom’s lasagna with a grimace. I tried it to be polite and tasted an understated flavor, with the consistency of soft, scrambled eggs that nearly melted down my throat. On soft bread with sweet fig jam, the flavor was illuminated. I loved ricotta cheese, I realized. This was ricotta (not rih-caught-ah, but rih-coat-ah). We students spoke amongst ourselves; only one of us, Raena, spoke some Italian. Professor Lott, equally inept in Italian, broke our walls, insisting we speak outside ourselves. Chef Andrea translated who we were, where we each came from (all from different states, we learned) and who our hosts were, what they

did every night after their day jobs were over. We talked about Spoleto and Charleston, sister cities. Lott asked if they would ever consider visiting. He had already invited Chef Andrea. Despite the language barrier, the woman spoke looking into our eyes. She laughed with us as if she understood. We ate and we ate. One student from Philly asked them if they had a phrase similar to “what can ya do?” and the woman replied, simply, “You can eat!” Food did seem the answer to all problems, all earthly and/ or metaphysical woes. She continued cutting more cheese and bread and refilling our glasses until our bellies were full and our cheeks were warm. “Is it really midnight?” Lott interrupted the conversation. “I don’t want us to wear out our welcome. I think we need to head home,” he told them. We thanked them, “Grazie, grazie mille!” We thanked them with each step toward and outside the door until we at last found our seats in the van and drove off into the night. I sat there mystified. The hospitality there was something that had yet to be defined – stronger and warmer than the words I had to describe the welcome of these Italians. There were maps made for places, there were encyclopedias for the museums and art I had admired, there were endless books on cathedrals. The people, though, were all I cared to write and learn about. A respect for the people of Spoleto emerged that night. And I would grow to cherish and remember the glimpses I got of people living as they really live in a place they call home. – Lauren Krouse is a sophomore English major.

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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] Slave to Misconception The Civil War once again commanded headlines around the world as we marked its 150th anniversary, especially here in Charleston. In order to better understand “the Recent Unpleasantness,” we asked one of our resident Civil War experts to share his thoughts on the importance of knowing the origins of the conflict and its impact today. by Bernie Powers

| Illustration by Britt Spencer |

For a variety of reasons, our small state has grown used to national attention. Famously or infamously, depending on your perspective, South Carolina’s most well-known claim to fame remains the dramatic events that occurred 150 years

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ago, when its political leaders orchestrated the state’s secession from the Union. The eventual results were the formation of the Confederate States of America, four years of civil war and a level of human carnage unmatched by all the other wars fought in American history. Beginning in the fall last year and building to a crescendo in April, South Carolina was again in the national spotlight. This time it was due to the myriad efforts, principally focused on Charleston and the Lowcountry, commemorating or celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Charleston’s abundant Civil War historic sites were awash with men dressed in blue and gray (mainly gray) uniforms and women, sometimes gaily dressed, but more often with dour looks and wrapped in mourning attire. Between April 12 and 14, at various times, cannons roared and belched smoke, muzzles flashed and the atmosphere was punctuated with a mixture of blood-curdling rebel yells and “John


POINT of VIEW

Brown’s Song.” But the salvos fired at Fort Sumter and during various reenactments were, of course, symbolic, completely lacking the lethal force of their historic counterparts. Even today, however, the Civil War is capable of generating deep emotional and even embittered debate among those who dare discuss its more controversial aspects. As a professor of history and as a member of the Fort Sumter–Fort Moultrie Trust, which helped to sponsor, coordinate and publicize various events, I had the opportunity to observe and participate in several Civil War–related activities. These were just the beginning of a series of activities that will continue for the next four years highlighting important Civil War episodes. Charleston is the perfect venue for this because it’s a place of deep memory. More than most others, this city illustrates William Faulkner’s insight about the nature of history when he observed in Requiem for a Nun, “The past is not dead, it’s not even past.” How absolutely true this is, particularly in the South. Just remember, despite the fact the country is now engaged in multiple military conflicts, in Charleston the phrase “The War” is usually reserved for the Civil War. The power of memory can be the source of controversy, though, because memory is often selective and sometimes purposely so. On Dec. 20, 2010, the Sons of Confederate Veterans organized the “Secession Ball” to celebrate and honor those responsible for South Carolina’s break from the Union. This drew an immediate rebuke and demonstration by the Charleston NAACP, which argued, among other things, that the war and secession were not events to be “celebrated.” Lively email exchanges and face-to-face discussions ensued over how the sesquicentennial ought to be recognized. Should it be “celebrated” or “commemorated” – or simply “observed”? Of course, individuals and organizations reached different conclusions. This important debate showed how problematic and emotionally fraught the language of the sesquicentennial could be, even before fundamental issues were raised. Generations of historians have debated the causes of the Civil War, but after many years, the broad agreement today has been reached among professionals in the field on the important role slavery played as a source of the conflict. However, many in the general public fail to understand this point and even reject it. In a recent Pew Foundation survey, 48 percent of Americans believed the Civil War was a conflict over states’ rights, and – among younger Americans (those under 30) – 60 percent agreed with this. Such a disparity says much about us as contemporary Americans and the way we understand the most tragic and defining episode in our history and its implications for the present. It also makes a powerful case for redoubling our efforts to promote an accurate understanding of the past. The documentary record is replete with evidence of slavery’s centrality as a major cause of the Civil War. Its architects, such as John C. Calhoun (considered the intellectual father of both the proslavery and states’ rights arguments) and Alexander Stephens, the Confederate vice president, say so unabashedly in their writings. Furthermore, even the most cursory reading of South Carolina’s 1860 Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union, a document similar to the Declaration of Independence, makes it abundantly clear. President Lincoln, who

certainly knew the nature of his foe, also identifies slavery as a powerful catalyst of war in his second inaugural address. Yet the vacuous argument for states’ rights separate and apart from the right to hold slaves continues to seduce the public, and this requires explanation. First, there are many Americans, especially in the South, who have never been properly educated on the role of slavery in the shaping of their society and America at large. Many Southern teachers have been woefully unprepared or unwilling to engage such issues. Northerners cannot be let off the hook either, because many have not cared much about this “Southern” issue. Not surprisingly, the sesquicentennial has attracted comparatively little attention in the North today. This is also why, a few years ago, when an exhibit opened in New York City devoted to slavery in that colonial city, many there were shocked to know that at one point their hometown contained more slaves than Charleston. Second, after the Confederacy’s defeat, Southern leaders’ selective memory altered the original rationale for the war. It had become awkward and embarrassing, even painful, to embrace the former rationale after an ignominious military defeat and emancipation. Thus, the new Lost Cause tradition began emphasizing Southern honor, conflicting regional civilizations and states’ rights – all to the complete exclusion of slavery. Decoupling race and slavery from the Civil War allows many today to romanticize the war and to pay homage to Southern military heroes. Just last year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell reinstituted Confederate Memorial Day in a proclamation that never even mentioned slavery. The ensuing controversy led him to reissue the proclamation acknowledging slavery as a catalyst for the war. This is only one example of how the historical record gets continually distorted. Third, many people simply refuse to acknowledge the potency of race in American history. Of course, giving slavery its due exposes what has been the Achilles’ heel of race in American history from the very beginning – and even down to the present. Ultimately, it was America’s inability to reconcile democracy and individual rights with slavery that erupted into civil war. Although emancipation was one of the war’s greatest outcomes, the freedmen’s rights were soon eroded by disfranchisement, segregation and racially inspired violence. That the Civil War ushered in an incomplete revolution was readily seen in the circumstances of the centennial of the Civil War. Fifty years ago, racial segregation was still widespread, the bloody Freedom Rides were occurring and major civil rights laws were not yet achieved. The social context of the sesquicentennial is far different – and thankfully so. The Civil War preserved this republic and through emancipation made it “more perfect.” It nevertheless took the Civil Rights movement to more fully implement and define our ideals of freedom. But this was, in the broadest sense, fulfillment of the Founding Fathers’ unique conception of America as a country perpetually in the process of inventing, reinventing and perfecting itself. The great tragedy is that it took a bloody conflict to further the process in the mid-19th century. Americans must always be mindful of this as we chart the nation’s future in light of its past, however painful that past might be. – Bernie Powers is a professor of history.

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POINT of VIEW

[ alumni ]

Organizing Hope Most of us want to save the world, but not many of us actively try to do it. Well, one alumna certainly is, and she’s found her career’s calling as an advocate for environmental policy. by Jennifer “Gigi” Kellett ’00 When I graduated from the College, I thought that I would take a couple of years off and then return to get an advanced degree in marine biology. It’s now been more than 10 years, and my role is not in a lab; instead, I discovered my voice as an advocate for environmental policy. In college, I loved being in the field. I was thrilled to wear gaiters and slog through tidal marshes studying marine geology, herpetology and ecology. Then, in a class on man and the environment with biology professor Reid Wiseman, I realized how our decisions affect the habitats I was exploring. At that time, the expansion of Charleston’s port was being discussed, and I became concerned about how paving over harbor islands and dredging the river would have serious consequences for the health of the local ecosystem. As part of the campus Alliance for Planet Earth, I organized students to attend public hearings and town hall meetings on the subject. While we generated some action and attempted to make our voices heard, we ultimately did not have the impact we’d wanted. Our work started too late and, in hindsight, was unfocused. As college students, we were significantly outnumbered and outfunded. I came out of this experience committed to do better. I wanted to make sure our state, national and international government bodies took our environment and our human rights seriously. After college, I went to work for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group, where I organized advocacy for environmental issues. Even though I didn’t even know that organizing was or could be a career when I took the position, it was my job to create a voice for people who otherwise felt they didn’t have one. So often people want to make a difference, but don’t know where to start or what to do. As an organizer, I help provide people with the skills and resources they need to make the changes they want to make. I’ve learned that it’s not apathy that keeps people from doing things; it’s a lack of being asked to take action. Early on, I found myself walking the halls of the Maryland State House talking with senators, delegates and other policymakers about coal-fired power plants’ mercury pollution in local waterways and air pollution in our communities. I brought fishermen – whose livelihoods depend on clean water – to work side by side with parents of children suffering from asthma. We

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organized town hall meetings in communities across the state, helped residents talk directly with their legislators and generated media coverage in dozens of outlets. We began talking about the critical need for more energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy sources. Together, we created widespread public support, which eventually led to the passage of two of the country’s strongest energy efficiency and renewable energy laws. These were huge victories for the environment and public health, but – shortly after the passage of the energy efficiency law – the state’s highest paid corporate lobbyist (representing a large home-improvement retail chain) secured a five-minute meeting with the governor, who vetoed the bill the next day. But we’d organized a powerful force in favor of the legislation, and we mobilized and empowered state legislators to be courageous and take a stand for people and the environment over the commercial interests of one corporation. The legislature then passed its first veto override in more than 15 years. While this was a monumental victory, I learned the hard way an ugly truth behind policymaking: the economic and political power exerted by major corporations. I had to put my skills in organizing and advocacy to use in a different way, working to hold corporations directly accountable for their actions. In 2004, I packed up and moved to Boston to work with Corporate Accountability International, where I developed a new campaign protecting the right to water. That’s when I met Sandeep Pandey, who was leading a national peoples’ movement to stop Coca-Cola and Pepsi from draining and contaminating water across India. I also traveled to Mexico and met Maria. She and other women from her small community in the mountains above Mexico City had been standing vigil for more than a year outside a water-treatment facility that was taking water from their indigenous lands and transporting it to Mexico City. The streams her family once easily accessed for their daily water needs were now behind a 12-foot-tall concrete fence with armed men standing guard at 100-yard intervals. The challenge I immediately faced was how to bring these stories here to the U.S. How do the experiences in India or Mexico relate to those of us living here? In the U.S., bottled water was booming; people were changing the way they thought about water. In fact, the bottled water industry was impacting the very place I called home (in Boston) – pumping water from rural springs in Michigan and Maine, despite the communities’ objections. Bottled water corporations were taking water from our own municipal water systems and putting it in fancy plastic bottles and selling it back to us at thousands of times the cost. As families elsewhere watched the privatization of their communities’ water and saw industries deplete and pollute local


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POINT of VIEW

reservoirs, the bottled water industry was manufacturing demand for bottled water, something that already flowed from our taps. The environmental and societal costs of bottled water are tremendous, and we simply cannot afford not to have safe, clean water for people and our ecosystems. If water is a commodity to be bought and sold to the highest bidder, it is no longer a human right nor a part of the ecological trust. Our organization’s experience is that an active and engaged public here in this country can ultimately change the course of action globally. To ensure that people and communities around the world – and not a handful of corporations – have authority to make decisions about water, people across the U.S. would need to understand these issues. So, our organization launched Think Outside the Bottle, a campaign to shift the public climate here in the U.S. Skepticism greeted me as I had my first conversations with people on the streets. I organized challenges to see if people could actually tell the difference between tap water and bottled water. Well-heeled ladies who told us they only drank bottled water were shocked to find they preferred the sample from a Boston tap. We used this opportunity to educate about the fact that bottled water comes from the same place as our tap water, but it’s just more expensive – and much less regulated. One of our first victories on the campaign was when Pepsi admitted that its bottled water brand Aquafina came from our

public water systems. Today, I now hear people tell me that the bottled water industry has simply sold us a bill of goods. After just a few short years, we’ve jump-started a critical conversation about the future of the world’s water while putting the brakes on the expansion of the bottled water market. Of course, there is still much work to be done, but the public climate is shifting and spreading globally to provide the political support necessary to ensure a world where everyone has access to clean, safe water. My focus has recently changed, and I’m now directing my organization’s international Challenging Big Tobacco campaign, which revolves around ensuring that the world’s first public health treaty, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, can meet its full lifesaving potential. I now work closely with a network of organizations and individuals from Colombia to Nigeria and from Kenya to India, mobilizing support for the treaty’s lifesaving measures. And every day, these individuals remind me why it is that I dedicated my career to organizing. The changes that I’ve helped secure, whether on energy, water or tobacco, are saving people’s lives and protecting the environment. – Gigi Kellett ’00 studied biology at the College and is now the campaign director for Corporate Accountability International’s Challenging Big Tobacco campaign.

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Written in the Stars For decades, college students have scrawled their names on the walls of the old observatory atop Randolph Hall. Little did they know that their playful vandalism would leave an indelible mark in the College’s signature history.

words: JASON RYAN

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images: Matt Scott


Little birdie, little birdie Come and sing me a song Got a short time to be here Got a long time to be gone Bill McSweeney sat on the brownstone steps of Randolph Hall, softly singing the old song. It was a gorgeous day in May, and mercifully cool, at least by Charleston’s springtime standards. Little birdies were indeed about the College, though their melodies didn’t have much time to harmonize with McSweeney’s short vocal performance. It lasted all of 10 seconds, which might qualify as a full concert for a history professor. McSweeney was contemplating the motivations of generations of College students who had scribbled their names inside the old College observatory, which sat 50 or so feet above his head, atop Randolph Hall. If you’ve never visited this observatory, you’re not alone. Heck, most people don’t even know it exists. From the ground of the Cistern Yard, it’s almost hidden from sight, and the old observatory stairway in Randolph Hall was removed decades ago. To gain entrance nowadays requires a tall stepladder, good balance and a shot of courage. Previous experience as a cat burglar or trapeze artist helps, too.

Behind every name is a story, a clue to an existence otherwise forgotten or overlooked. After a few deep breaths, one begins the journey to the old observatory by climbing that stepladder and ascending through a hatch in the ceiling of Randolph Hall’s third floor. Then it’s a vertical climb on another ladder, followed by a twisting walk through the attic on makeshift gangways. The old pine planks you step along are dark and dusty. You must watch your step, or else risk falling down between Randolph Hall’s thick ceiling joists to become encased in fiberglass insulation and perhaps forgotten forever. You must also watch your head, as low-hanging beams threaten to deliver lumps to the skull. When you leave the planks behind, you climb a small stairway into the domed observatory. It’s small and stuffy – its windows do not open. The circular room feels crowded with just a few people, like too many campers crammed into one tent. More than a century ago, people visited the observatory to see stars. Now they come to see names. There are dozens of them carved and penned onto the interior of the observatory, along with other graffiti, some of it dating to the late 19th century. Most of these marks were made by students, ostensibly to record their visit to a secluded space. Names decorate the pine wall that encircles the observatory, and they crawl up the domed tin ceiling, too. Some are carved crudely, some inscribed with a great amount of care. |

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These names were all written by hands – hands that connected to arms, which connected to torsos, heads and hearts that have since moved on elsewhere, whether other parts of the world, or even into death. No matter these destinations, their mark remains in the observatory, for once they were here, tucked up inside a tiny observatory, maybe gazing at the stars. This compulsion in humans, to make their mark, fascinated McSweeney for the week after he made a visit to the observatory. While inside, he had resisted any urge to add his own name to the wall, yet many others clearly had not. “Why is that?” he asked, after finishing his singing. What inspired students, whether in the 1890s or 1990s, to scratch out proof of their presence in that stifling, enclosed platform above the southern portico of Randolph Hall? In the mid-1800s, the College observatory was located at ground level on the College Green, or what’s otherwise known as the Cistern Yard. When College astronomers looked skyward, they often saw tree branches in place of stars. In 1872, the College was sufficiently fed up with the constant chore of tree-trimming that it persuaded the Charleston City Council to fund the construction of a new observatory atop Randolph Hall, says adjunct professor Bob Stockton, who researched the College’s observatories as part of a 2006 report on campus buildings. Two years later, in 1874,


however, the rotating dome had trouble turning. This problem persisted until a thorough overhaul in 1898, which is about the same time some of the first names started appearing on the interior of the observatory (that is, if we can trust that these inscriptions were indeed made in the year they were dated). Generally speaking, the earlier a signature was inscribed, the finer the author’s penmanship. In other words, count on cursive after the Gilded Age and chicken scratch in the Digital Age. Among the oldest, most handsomely scrawled graffiti are a number of familiar Charleston surnames, which isn’t surprising considering the College’s history as a municipal college. Speedy Bennett put his name down in one spot, for example, and Jake Pinckney, J.W. Waring (Class of 1900) and R.C. Rhett ’15 all scratched their names there in the early 20th century, too. Martin Middleton wrote his name twice, in June 1914 and January 1922, but still fell short of the record set by C.E. Devineau ’24, who scrawled his moniker three separate times: in 1922, 1923 and 1924. Another Charlestonian and one of the College’s early female students, Marjorie Peale ’36, put her name on the observatory wall, too. She died in April at age 96 after a lifetime as an English teacher and professor, outlasted by handwriting done some 75 years earlier. Behind every name is a story, a clue to an existence otherwise forgotten or overlooked. There’s the name of G.A. Byrd ’21, who supposedly owned a shoe store in Greenwood, S.C., in the early 20th century. There’s also the name of R.B. Taft ’23, who became a radiology professor at the Medical College of Charleston, but more famously invented the Radium Hound, a device used to find small (and extremely expensive) bits of radium misplaced by doctors. In a few years during the 1930s, Taft estimated he helped recover more than $100,000 of missing radium. McSweeney ventures that, in a

bid to last somewhere near as long as the half-life of radium, these men and the others scribbled their names. “Somehow,” McSweeney says, “people are searching for a way to make their own short lives longer.” It is an ancient impulse. McSweeney’s friend and campus Egyptologist Peter Piccione notes that graffiti has long been with us, whether used to memorialize, ritualize or amuse. Cave paintings and petroglyphs depict scenes of the hunt. Bored patrons carved gameboards into stone Greek and Hellenistic theaters as far back as 5,000 B.C.E. In ancient Egypt, says Piccione, pilgrims would often trace around their feet with a knife. Stepping back, they’d carve their name inside the outlines of their feet, and sometimes inscribe a small prayer, essentially begging future observers to say a prayer for them and honor their memory. “So long as you are in the minds of people and remembered, you continue to exist,” says the associate professor of history, summing up an ancient Greek idea. Piccione notes that Napoleon’s troops were responsible for a conspicuous amount of graffiti during an expedition to Egypt at the end of the 18th century, and that legions of French tourists signed their names in Egyptian temples during the 1930s and ’40s. Three years ago, Piccione began construction of his own temple of sorts – a log home on Johns Island. When the cement foundation was poured, he carved his and his wife’s initials into the wet pad beneath the front steps. In doorway thresholds he wrote prayers, hoping to ward off bad fortune, knowing that all these inscriptions would eventually be covered over, just as his carpenters knew drywall would cover their own scribblings penciled on the 2x4s framing the home’s interior walls. Yet, they also knew that at some future date they could be uncovered, whether because of

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remodeling, disrepair or disaster. Perhaps those witnesses will stop, read and wonder. Who was here? Why did they write? In some ways it is a wonder that graffiti persists. So much graffiti in the world is artless, witless and obscene. Yet still, many of us prefer its existence on highway underpasses and bathroom stalls. It is inspiring to know that another life sought to create something in these dingy and bland spots of the urban world. And if not painted over, at some point graffiti transitions from vandalism to relic, as is arguably the case for the names in the old observatory. Hundred-year-old signatures are special, but they weren’t when freshly scribbled. What is that magic number, when defacement becomes delight? For some graffiti, it is a low number, at least when it comes to certain audiences. Piccione, whose hair is now gray, can still recall a sexually explicit (and instructive) image he spied at age 15 when traveling on a city bus in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Wow,” Piccione remembers thinking. “This guy’s got real talent.” In the old College observatory, there is an absence of such prurience, though mischief is in fair supply. Fraternity members recorded their visits and left instructions on the wall for pledges. Three students carved a scroll into the observatory door in the late 1920s and wrote inside its borders: “In memoriam of headstands done on left corner of roof.” Someone named Mike Smyrski claims he “got high here once.” The accompanying picture of a joint clears up any confusion as to whether Smyrski was referencing altitude or intoxication. Some graffiti in the observatory is hard to believe. Was there really a “Big Dickie” who signed his name in 1970, or was someone being boastful and silly? Did Joshua Slocum, the first person to singlehandedly sail around the world, really stop and sign his name in 1898? Well, the wall says he did. And some graffiti, too, is apparently intentionally baffling. In 1975, freshman Peter Daniel climbed up to the observatory

“So long as you are in the minds of people and remembered, you continue to exist,” says history professor Peter Piccione, summing up an ancient Greek idea. and wrote a bit of odd wisdom: “Healthy feet lead to strong minds.” Asked 35 years later about his message, Daniel ’79, now a biology professor at Hofstra University, confesses, “In my 18-year-old mind, I thought it would be really cool to leave a note that made absolutely no sense but would be pondered by others in the years to come. Well, for what it’s worth, it looks like I succeeded, although looking back as a 52-year-old, it seems pretty stupid.” Daniel is tough on himself, but visitors scanning the observatory’s wall and ceiling for names appreciate the whimsy. McSweeney even believes that all the graffiti could be responsible for the old observatory’s preservation. Without the graffiti lending a certain charm to the structure, he says, the College may have torn it down when they built a new observatory as part of the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center in the 1970s. Instead, the old observatory still sits atop Randolph Hall. To some it may be an eyesore, infrequently noticed and representative of days gone by, much like the graffiti it contains inside. In all these things, however, there are messages still to decipher.

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(l to r) Robert Westerfelhaus (communication), Scott Poole (history) and Eric McElroy (biology)


Gathering experts from the biology, history and communication departments, we followed our team of previously unacquainted professors to Bishopville, S.C., where – over two full days of investigation – we documented their pursuit of Lee County’s legendary Lizard Man. What we would find, no one knew. But we were in for an adventure – that much we could count on. by Alicia Lutz ' 9 8 photography by Leslie

McKellar


W

Sure, it feels a bit reckless,

blindly barreling down the Interstate at unknown speeds. But with the cross–breeze from the opened windows, somehow everything seems OK, like we're impervious to harm. There's no need for AC, no need for seatbelts, no need for caution.

hen I was a kid, the Lizard Man was nothing but a T-shirt – a souvenir from one of my family’s annual month-long trips to South Carolina. I vaguely remember seeing newspaper clippings about this half-man–half-lizard that’d been spotted around the swamps not too far from my father’s hometown of Sumter. But it’s that T-shirt that stands out. It was that T-shirt that mattered to me. I was 12 years old that summer; my brother was 6. By the next summer, we’d both outgrown our Lizard Man shirts – and, when they were hauled off in the box marked “Donate,” so too was any lingering thought of the mystery lurking in the swamps of Lee County, S.C. The Lizard Man, however, refuses to be forgotten. Since the so-called Lizardmania of 1988 – when at least a dozen reported encounters with this 5- to 7-foot bipedal human-like lizard drew the attention of the national and international media – the scaly creature has continued to surface, emerging from the murky waters of the Scape Ore Swamp every so often to remind us that, whatever it is, it’s much, much more than a T-shirt. It may be more than 20 years since I last saw my Lizard Man T-shirt, but the truth behind the legendary lizard is still out there. And that’s exactly what we set out to find. It’s 6:30 a.m. the air is already getting sticky as we gather outside the campus parking garage on St. Philip Street. The heat index has been in the 110s all week, and we’re waiting for a bus without air conditioning to take us to a part of the state that has all the stifling heat and oppressive humidity of Charleston, minus the ocean breeze. But what’s an adventure without a little discomfort? Besides, there’s no turning back now: Our 1970s school bus with bright scales all along its passenger side and a whimsical painting of Neptune on the driver side is chugging toward us, making a loud, yet charming spectacle of itself. It certainly sets the stage. Between its rooftop “party platform,” its defunct gauges, its cracked windshield and its homey area rugs, the outdoor bistro furniture and squishy couches give the long-retired school bus (fondly known as the Hoobu, due to the S, C, L and S it was missing before our driver, Norman Silverman ’93, painted it so brilliantly) just the right mix of comfort and danger, of relaxation and risk. Sure, it feels a bit reckless, blindly barreling down the interstate at unknown speeds. But with the cross-breeze from the opened windows, somehow everything seems OK, like we’re impervious to harm. There’s no need for AC, no need for seatbelts, no need for caution. “Some of my colleagues think I’m crazy to be doing this trip. We know that the ability for there to be something that’s half-lizard–half-man is essentially impossible. Those are two completely different parts of the evolutionary tree. They’re not going to hybridize,” says biology professor and lizard expert Eric McElroy, over the Hoobu’s sputtering purr. Still, he adds, “I do want to see what kind of biology is being put behind this whole Lizard Man thing.” “It will be interesting to learn who believes in the Lizard Man and who doesn’t,” notes our expert in South Carolina history and on monsters in folklore, Scott Poole, a history professor and author of Monsters in America. “As a monster historian, I’m interested in what meaning the people of Lee County have prescribed to the Lizard Man, if any at all.” “Yes, and I’m really interested in the cultural and social practices associated with the Lizard Man phenomenon, too,” says communication professor Robert Westerfelhaus, the team’s expert in pop culture. “Everything from the commercial enterprises that people have developed around this particular claim to the way it’s been incorporated into how they make sense of themselves in the outside world.” And, as we veer off the interstate and onto the back roads of Lee County – passing kudzu-consumed homes, caved-in porches, boarded-up churches and densely wooded swamps – we realize we’re leaving that outside world behind. And there’s no way of knowing what we’re getting into, no way of knowing what lies ahead. Driving into Bishopville, we get the sense that everyone knows something we don’t – that there’d been a mandatory evacuation that we hadn’t heard

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about. The streets are empty, the businesses closed, the buildings abandoned – and they look like they’ve been that way for some time. “Hollywood could come here to film a 1950s period piece, and they wouldn’t have to change a thing,” Westerfelhaus says softly. “Just add people,” quips Poole. The few stragglers we do see stop dead in their tracks to stare, speechless, as the Hoobu goes by. And, when we pull into the empty lot across from the South Carolina Cotton Museum (SCCM), a small group of people clusters together to watch us through the safety of the museum’s tinted windows. “I thought they were coming from Charleston and they’d be dignified! These people look like hippies!” one of them says to Janson Cox, the curator of the SCCM – which, as the authority on all things Lizard Man and the center of cultural life for residents in and around Bishopville, will be our home base for the next two days. We hop off the Hoobu, navigate the horse droppings and leftover hay that litter the grassy lot and head toward the museum, which is housed in the city’s old train depot. Inside, we are greeted graciously by Cox, who is wearing a leather vest and spectacles, as well as local historian Dot Smith and retired Bishopville judge Bill Baskin, who now serves on the SCCM Board of Trustees. We’re led to our meeting room, which, at a glance, could be staged for any conference about any subject, with presentation materials (podium, easels, maps, chalkboards, notes, television, DVD player, CD player) up front, conference-style seating with nameplates for the audience in the middle, round tables for the speakers and onlookers around the perimeter and a refreshment table off to the side.

But the table at the back of the room gives it away, with its display of Lizard Man memorabilia: the Bishopville Lizard Man action figure from Cartoon Network’s Secret Saturdays, nine different styles of T-shirts, four different hat styles, a Lizard Man costume that was made for a local play, plaster casts of the Lizard Man’s footprints and photographs of the various cars that the Lizard Man is accused of mauling. At this point, we know we’re in for a treat. And it begins with a song:

If you want to get yourself a little thrill, take a little trip to Bishopville – as in South Carolina in the County of Lee. The Browntown Road is the place to be: the home of the Lizard Man.

“Over the next two days, we’re going to explore the mystery of the Lizard Man,” Cox tells us at the end of the song (an original by the late country singer and Bishopville native Jim Nesbitt), explaining that he and the other speakers will provide the historical records, oral traditions, cultural artifacts and geographical/environmental backdrop of the area so that the faculty members may come to their own conclusions. “We’re just going to present the facts. What you do with them is up to you.” You can’t tell the story of the Lizard Man without the character of Sheriff Liston Truesdale. “In fact,” Randy Burns, a reporter from the Sumter daily The Item, tells us, “if it weren’t for Liston Truesdale, I doubt you

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Norman Silverman ’93 tinkers with the Hoobu’s engine


would have ever heard of the Lizard Man. Not because he promoted it, but because he didn’t joke about it. He took the reports of something terrorizing his community as serious concerns and conducted an exhaustive investigation. And that’s why media paid attention.” It all started in July 1988, when Sheriff Truesdale responded to a report that a 1985 Ford LTD had been “chewed up.” When he arrived at the Browntown residence in Bishopville, Truesdale found bite marks on the fender well, the chrome trim pulled off, the wheel well torn off and the wires chewed up and left in a chaotic bundle. While the sheriff looked for clues at the scene, people began coming forward, reporting that several members of the Browntown community had encountered a 7-foot-tall creature with red eyes in recent months. “Now, when you’ve got a creature that’s 7 feet tall with red eyes scaring people, you better look into that,” says Truesdale, who started collecting names of possible witnesses. “I probably collected 10 names, and not one of them had reported it. No one came and volunteered information. I had to pull it out of them.” One of those people was George Holloman, who had stopped at the artesian well on the bank of the Scape Ore Swamp at 1 a.m. several months earlier to collect some water. When what he thought was a dead tree on the road moved and took off into the swamp, he ran home, terrified by what he described as a huge, blackish creature with red eyes. Another one of the names that Truesdale collected was that of Christopher Davis, a shy 17-year-old who was on his way home from his job at the McDonald’s in Camden, when the tire of his car blew out on Browntown Road, half way between the Elmore Butterbean Shed and the artesian well at Scape Ore Swamp. He got out to change the tire, and that’s when he saw a tall creature with rough, green skin and red eyes running toward him. He threw his tools in the car, jumped in and drove off, but not – Truesdale says – before he felt a bump on the back of his car and the creature jumped onto the roof of the car. Davis, who sped up and swerved to shake the monster off, was so frightened by the encounter that, after he got home, it took him two hours to calm down enough to tell his parents what had happened. “That’s the story that he told me – and I believe him,” Truesdale says, adding that Davis had passed a polygraph test. “I believed all they said, but I couldn’t believe what they were saying.” By this time, whispers of a tall, bipedal beast with glowing red eyes and three-clawed hands had leaked out of Browntown, and Emory Bedenbaugh, owner and general manager of Bishopville radio station WAGS-AM – who had heard the creature called the Lizard Man – saw the newsworthiness of the rumors. Bedenbaugh, who was also on the Lee County Economic Development Board, talked about it on the Friday 6 o’clock news and put it out for the Associated Press. It wasn’t until Davis’ drawing of the Lizard Man was published in The Item, however, that the story really took off. “In three days’ time, it was all over the news,” says Truesdale. “We were getting so many calls, we had to set up a separate office just to deal with the media.” And not just local media – national and international media, too. Suddenly, reporters from Good Morning America, Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Observer, Herald Examiner, Time and People Magazine all wanted to interview Truesdale, who estimates that 50,000 people descended on Bishopville that summer.

“Browntown looked like a Carolina–Clemson game. It was bumper-to-bumper traffic,” he says. “It was a mess. There were people walking around in outfits made out of chrome to try to entice the Lizard Man, because – you know – they heard he liked chrome. Other people were covering all the chrome on their cars with masking tape. I was scared that some fool would get shot.” Full-on Lizardmania had set in. Blow-up Godzilla monsters were displayed all over town. The mannequins in local clothing shops wore lizard-like masks. At least three songs were written about the Lizard Man. One Columbia radio station offered a million-dollar prize for his capture, and bets were being made every day in Las Vegas over whether or not he’d be caught. The most ubiquitous Lizard Man tokens were the T-shirts and hats that were sold everywhere – even along the interstate exits. Meanwhile, Truesdale continued the investigation, stressing to the community that if anyone “reported a sighting and it turned out to be a lie, they’d go to jail.” And still the reports kept coming in – and the evidence kept mounting: At one scene, they found trampled trees; three 40-gallon drums that had been dragged from a dump, crushed and scattered in the road; and some actual tracks that went down a nearby dirt road and into the woods. They brought in the SLED bloodhounds, which followed the tracks to a certain part of the woods, but refused to go any further. “Something in there scared them,” says Truesdale. “Whatever this thing was, it was scaring everyone who saw it.” “The people who were talking to the witnesses believed them,” agrees Randy Burns. “They were convinced. A lot of people made fun of Liston, but he wasn’t the only one who believed these people saw something.” “For six months, I really caught heck about this Lizard Man thing,” says Truesdale. “I told the media, ‘We didn’t ask for this. You did this. And if you try to make us look like Barney, you’re going to jail.’” The media attention, of course, faded away as the reported incidents died down. But, two years later, in 1990, the Lizard Man was back: first spotted by Brian and Michelle Elmore and then by the Blythers family, who was driving past the Elmore Butterbean Shed when they had to swerve to avoid the huge, dark creature that jumped into the road. “It put the fear in them,” says Truesdale, who took separate statements from each of the five Blythers. “We have to take this thing seriously. What you don’t do is what you’re going to wish you had.” The Lizard Man may not have been seen since 1990, but Sheriff Truesdale still appears regularly in a popular segment on Turner South’s Liars and Legends, as well as on a frequently aired commercial for that program. He is, after all, the second-most prominent character in the Lizard Man’s story, especially since Christopher Davis was murdered in 2009. Davis, however, had shrunk away from the media’s attention long before that. As Truesdale says, “He’d had enough.” The media, of course, may never have enough. Syfy’s Destination Truth, for example, filmed an episode in Bishopville just last year. Part of the continued interest is due to the ongoing vehicle attacks. In 2008, a minivan sustained damages eerily consistent with those of another vehicle: a chewed up fender, twisted metal, bite marks on both sides of the grill. The toxicology reports from the blood found on the vehicle showed the DNA to be canine, but

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when six dead cats, a dead cow and a dead dog were found nearby, it was enough to scare the family who reported it – and who was originally from New Jersey and had never before heard of the Lizard Man – right out of town. Then, last July, just two weeks after our visit to Bishopville, a van was attacked in Lee County – its damage identical to that in the previous cases: bite marks in the fender and metal crushed like tissue paper. “I’m skeptical” that it was the Lizard Man, the van’s owner told The Charlotte Observer. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But, like Sheriff Liston Truesdale says, “If you don’t know, you better say you don’t know.” By lunchtime, there’s already a lot to process, and you can almost see the wheels turning in the professors’ heads as we wait for our Lizard Man sandwiches at Harry and Harry Too, a roadside restaurant on the outskirts of town. It’s a lively, smoky place, with enough kitsch to keep you entertained for hours: cutouts of Superman, Tomb Raider, Elvis, Larry, Curly and Moe; toy trains and tractors; a mock mounted moose head; a tin man made of cans; a giant blowup of a Crest toothpaste tube; and, of course, replicas of the Lizard Man footprint cast. I’m reminded to ask McElroy if there are any lizards that actually walk on two legs. “Yes, a lot will run bipedal,” he says. “Some will tuck their front legs in when they run.” “Are any of them 7 feet tall? With glowing red eyes?” “No, but in Australia, there are the monitor lizards that stand about 3 to 5 feet tall on their back two legs. I would believe that if someone saw a monitor lizard, it could look something like a lizard man,” he concedes, adding that if you flash light into an alligator’s eyes, they will glow red. “But monitor lizards are all pretty much diurnal. I wouldn’t expect a monitor lizard to be out at one in the morning. And, if the monitor lizard was out, I wouldn’t expect it to go into the road and inspect a person changing their tire. That’s just not something I would equate with typical monitor behavior.”

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[l to r] Judge Bill Baskin, Westerfelhaus, Janson Cox and McElroy

Our Lizard Man sandwiches – which are not Lizard Man meat, but grilled chicken fingers, sautéed mushrooms and onions, topped with provolone – can’t satisfy our appetite for the truth behind the Lizard Man, and so Janson Cox, Judge Bill Baskin and the rest of us pile back into the Hoobu and head to Elmore’s Butterbean Shed. The butterbean shed, we’d learned earlier, is more than just the landmark closest to many of the Lizard Man encounters; Elmore’s Butterbean Shed actually takes center stage in this unfolding tale of a multilayered legend. Lucious “Brother” Elmore was a lucrative butterbean farmer, with 40-something acres of butterbeans and clients all over the state, including the Columbia restaurant chain Lizard’s Thicket. In order to keep his harvest moving quickly, he dumped the beans onto drying tables in his shed on Browntown Road, which he equipped with air-conditioning window units to further speed up the drying process. “In those days, not everybody had air conditioning, and I guess it got so hot sometimes that it went to people’s heads, because people kept stealing the units right out of Brother Elmore’s shed,” Al Holland, owner of the local feed and seed, had told us that morning. “Well, he’d just picked up three new units from the store, and people knew this. But he was determined to make sure no one stole them.” Brother Elmore claimed to be on a stakeout the night that Christopher Davis’ tire blew, and – when he heard the car stop just 100 yards down the road from the butterbean shed, he thought he’d found his culprit.

“He walks out to the road, which is lower than the yard, so he’s up high, hiding in the dog fennel,” Holland told us. “So he’s standing there, he’s looking down, when the kid turned around and screamed and took off.” The way Holland tells it, Davis’ taillights reflected in Elmore’s glasses, causing an illusion of red glowing eyes; and the scrapes and scratches on his car were from the still-attached jack. “When the story took hold, Elmore’s son decided to perpetuate the story. He made some giant feet out of wood and flip-flops and stomped all over the swamp,” Holland had said. “That’s when the sheriff fell into it, and the Elmores were so happy because no one would steal anything with all those cops patrolling.” In the face of Holland’s story, much of the legend of the Lizard Man crumbles to pieces. We’re left with a mere shell of a story. The judge directs Silverman to pull over on a patch of dead grass, and Cox points to a dilapidated pile of faded wood and shingles and tin: “There it is! Elmore’s Butterbean Shed.” It looks like any other derelict ramshackle you see in fields of South Carolina’s countryside. It’s not something you would really consider a place, not now, anyway. It’s hard to imagine a time when it was viable. It’s just a leftover heap of some abandoned life, waiting for the weather, something, to beat it down so hard that it disappears. Much like the legend of the Lizard Man. Both the shed and the legend are rundown, in shambles, caving in on themselves. They’re on the brink of extinction. As we tromp through the knee-high weeds to see what we can salvage, we notice the old sign with “Elmore’s Butterbean Shed”

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painted on it in a faded light green. It’s half-smothered by Virginia creeper, but it’s there. “We’ll have to see if we can bring that into the museum,” Cox says to the judge. There’s hope. “People swear by these aluminum sheets – they say there’s no better place to find lizards,” McElroy says, lifting a 5x5 sheet off the ground and finding no life at all. “I’ve never had any luck.” “Well, look at this!” Judge Bill Baskin says, mostly to himself, as he walks over to a fruiting pear tree. “They’re not ripe, but there’s a lot of them!” Inside the structure – rather, within its walls (the roof is mostly gone) – we find a wheelchair, old furniture and documents and a couple of sliding-top coolers: “Things Go Better with Coke.” And then we see the bags of butterbeans lying atop the drying tables. “They’ll probably still grow if you plant them,” Cox says. “They might be magic beans that grow like Jack and the Giant Beanstalk. Only the Lizard Man is at the top.” I put a handful in my pocket. Back on the road, Cox points out a curve in the road that obstructs the line of sight. “The story as Al told it to us does not hold up!” Westerfelhaus exclaims. “There’s no way he could have seen the car from here.” “Unless Christopher Davis was higher up,” Cox smiles. “So you’re casting doubt on the theory that the story was a hoax, because Brother Elmore couldn’t have hidden where we were told he’d hidden and done the things we were told he did,” says Westerfelhaus. “There’s reason to doubt the story of the hoax based on what we’ve seen here. Just being at the butterbean shed site casts some doubt on the story that casts doubt on the Lizard Man phenomenon.” And so the mystery has new life. It’s something to work with, at least. This is it: Scape Ore Swamp. This is where the Lizard Man came from. The place he called home. The place that created the monster. “In fact,” Al Holland had told us that morning, “people wouldn’t even cross the Scape Ore bridge because that’s where they said he’d get in and out of the swamp … and Elmore was just delighted, because he knew no one would be coming anywhere near his butterbean shed for a while.” That there would be no Lizard Man without the Scape Ore Swamp isn’t lost on any of us as we pull our waders and our kayaks out of the back of the Hoobu and follow Cox and Judge Baskin to the Lizard Man Pool, filling our cups at the very artesian well that George Holloman was using when the Lizard Man approached. In this very spot. If we’re going to find the Lizard Man anywhere, this is it. And so we dowse ourselves in DEET, snap on our life jackets and take the kayaks out into the black amber water. Between the soft mud and the thick overgrowth, however, we don’t get far. And yet, there’s a sense that something – something bigger than us – could somehow be living here, thriving in this dank confusion of mud and vines. We’re more at ease back on shore, where we take the footpath following the stream about 200 yards back – looking, listening –

searching for clues, artifacts, anything, along the way. No one really knows what we’re looking for. No one, of course, except McElroy, who is tromping around in the woods, his binoculars around his neck and his catch pole in hand. He’s in his element. “When I go in the woods,” he says later, “I go in the woods to look at the biology that I know should be there. There are eight species of lizards. There are 20 species of amphibians, there are snakes, there are birds, there are all sorts of stuff that factually, that biologically, is there. I don’t know why people want to reach for Bigfoot or Lizard Man when you’ve got real creatures to look for.” “It’s hard not to find a period in American history where there wasn’t an interest in things in the woods, things in the swamps, things in the oceans,” Poole says. “In fact, particularly in the settlement period, that was always a very important part of the mentality – what lies outside of the campfire, what’s just beyond the boundary of what we know about.” “The more that science explains things, the less mysterious the world becomes to many people,” Westerfelhaus adds. “I think it also plays into a primordial fear that we have of those things that are different from us in a fundamental way, but close enough to us in likeness that we recognize some aspect of ourselves.” Back at the Lizard Man Pool, McElroy puts on his gaiters and goes out into the water to catch frogs. The rest of us hang back, following him awkwardly along the bank as he crosses under the overpass. Suddenly, he flails – swinging both arms into the water and leaping onto his right leg in one swift movement. Frogs, like lizards and monsters, however, are slippery things, and McElroy comes up empty handed. “I’m a little disappointed,” he says later. “I was expecting a swamp that had some biology, some life, some diversity. At the very least I thought we’d see a lizard.” Frankly, we’re all a little disappointed – especially since we’d been told earlier that the Scape Ore Swamp was named for the sceloporus undulates, or the common Eastern fence lizard. It’s a theory the professors later dismissed as implausible – but, still. “It’s all the truth according to the teller,” Cox had told us. “When the legend becomes fact, you always tell the legend.” And, just like the vines growing on trees in the swamp, eventually the legend becomes so intertwined with the truth – so overgrown with conflicting versions – that it’s impossible to see what’s really there. All we can be sure of is that the Lizard Man is still here, thriving on whatever it can: imagination, fascination, suspicion, fear. As one Bishopville resident would tell us on her visit to the SCCM the next day, “Even though I was not one of those people who believed in the Lizard Man, I still look over into the swamp every time I pass over the bridge. Even today. There’s just this tiny little piece of doubt. I know better, but there are so many stories – it’s enough to plant a tiny seed of doubt.” Maybe we didn’t know what we were looking for. Maybe we were looking too hard. But we didn’t find the Lizard Man living in Scape Ore Swamp. Maybe these are the kinds of things you only see when you’re not expecting them, when you’re completely off guard.

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And, just like the vines

growing on trees in the swamp, eventually the legend becomes so intertwined with the truth – so overgrown with conflicting versions – that it's impossible to see

what's really there.

Like while we’re watching the Animal X episode about the Lizard Man back at the museum, and Roy Atkinson, a local farm equipment salesman whose son was in a crippling accident at a very early age, drops in unexpectedly. “I’ve talked to the Lizard Man,” Atkinson tells us, “and he said he doesn’t want to hurt anybody or anything. He doesn’t want to eat anybody. He just wants some chrome to play against his scales!” And so Atkinson ran with this idea, writing “The Lizard Man Stomp,” and creating the Washtar – which, simply put, is a washboard that’s been inserted into the body of a guitar – so that his son could play an instrument that both provides therapy and lets him participate in the music ministry Atkinson has dedicated his life to. “It’s easy for special needs kids to play, because there’s no pick to hold onto, and it’s always in tune,” Atkinson explains. “My son and I go to nursing homes and special needs homes and sing ‘The Lizard Man Stomp.’” He plays a recording of the song for us: Lizard Man, he’s got a country band, And he plays his scales all over the land. And he does the stomp in the Scape Ore Swamp. And the next thing we know, he’s gone, leaving us a little confused. “It wasn’t clear to me that he believed in the Lizard Man as a biological phenomenon, but clearly it’s something that inspired a certain sense of hope,” Westerfelhaus says. “In that way, the legend takes on this very personal meaning. It becomes his own. And it really shows you how important it is in context to the community.” “It gives me hope, actually,” Poole says “It’s the first time we’ve heard of the Lizard Man taking on a bigger significance.” Finally, we know where the Lizard Man is really living: in the people of Lee County. And so, joined by some of these very people, we cap our day at the museum with a Lizard Man toast, and – served with Bloody Lizards (strawberry daiquiris), Lizard Blood (white wine dyed green) and Lizard Man Blood (“White Lightning” dyed green, and served from a Duke’s Mayonnaise jar). It’s clear there’s good reason to keep the Lizard Man alive. When the Lizard Man first appeared in Bishopville, the tiny community of 3,500 was completely unprepared for the kind of attention it received – and its naïveté about its own capacity to endure not just the sheer number of people, but also their scrutiny and judgment, left a large segment of the population resentful. “There may have been a time when the community embraced the publicity,” Randy Burns tells us, “but now it’s in the same category as the trash dump and the jail.” What in 1988 was an economic opportunity with a fun kind of frenzy is now a source of shame among some people and annoyance among others. “I think that there was legitimate concern on their part about how they were being represented,” says Westerfelhaus. “Even in such a remote, rural area, the way you’re perceived is important to you.” And yet some people regret letting the Lizardmania slip away. “Emory Bedenbaugh really thinks we dropped the ball. He saw the Lizard Man as a way to get Bishopville on the map,” Burns says. “He thinks Lee County has missed out on a goldmine.” “The interesting thing to me is that there does seem to be a portion of the community whose interest is really commodification of the legend,” Poole notes, adding that there’s “a sense that finding ways to merchandise the Lizard Man could really be the economic redemption of Lee County – that a Lizard Man theme park, a Lizard Man gift shop, a Lizard Man statue could rescue this community.” Of course, every little bit does help – and the Lizard Man still draws people to Lee County – people like Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi, for example, and other legend trippers, like us. (I’m not sure how much of an economic impact we could have possibly made in our 30 hours in Lee County, but we certainly hit the news – with at least four newspaper articles mentioning the trip.)

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[l to r] Rev. Jim Ridenhour and Cox But the Lizard Man must find a way to coexist with the community on a consistent basis: If it doesn’t want to attract the media’s constant attention, how does Bishopville want to use this phenomenon? How can the legend fit into the cultural, economic and social life in a way that’s beneficial for all members of the community? “The Lizard Man is something very special to Lee County,” Rev. Jim Ridenhour tells us. “But the people as a community haven’t given it any kind of higher purpose that I know of.” “Ohhh, Lee Litter Lizard,” Cox calls down the hall of the museum. And, when the green lizard mascot waddles into the room, he introduces us to the character he created to help with the Lee County Cleanup, a community pride project: “This is the son of the Lizard Man. He wants you to know that the Lizard Man is tired of us trashing his swamp.” “I like that idea,” McElroy says. “Those people that know Bishopville probably know it because of the Lizard Man, so it’s great when they can use it for positive things.” Because, whether they like it or not, the Lizard Man doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Our adventure, however, is coming to a close. And, as we board the Hoobu and head back home, we reflect on our in-depth – albeit brief – introduction to the Lizard Man, Bishopville and the people of Lee County. “It was fascinating to uncover all the complications of maintaining a cultural legend,” Westerfelhaus says. “I also think some people were true believers in the Lizard Man, some people were agnostic and some people did not believe. And, while they were being very respectful, it was very clear that there’s a lot they all disagree on. They communicated that very clearly – not just in what they said and in their body language, but in what they didn’t say, too. Stories get filtered, as you know, through memory, through talk, through criticism of other people. They’re always changing.” “Southerners are revered for their ability to tell a story, and Liston Truesdale and Dot Smith and Al Holland did not disappoint,” says McElroy. “They told excellent stories. Whether or not they were true is a different matter, but they were great stories.” Poole shrugs: “The sheriff told us, ‘I’ll tell you the truth … most of the time.’” |

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The first rendering of the Lizard Man (by Christopher Davis)

As we near Charleston, it occurs to me how silly I was to think we would find the truth behind the Lizard Man – how silly to think there could possibly be one single truth to a legend that everyone experiences differently. There are too many layers of truth to pick just one, too many stories to pretend to know anything for sure. And so, all we know is what the Lizard Man means to us as individuals, how it fits into our own particular story. That’s as close as we can get to the truth. It’s no surprise that our faculty members find different truths behind the Lizard Man, despite being presented with all the same evidence. “I’m skeptical, but I am an agnostic. There’s not enough proof one way or the other, so there may be something out there,” says Westerfelhaus. “But, what was most interesting is how quickly the story spread beyond this county, how much attention it generated throughout the world – and not just attention toward this cryptozoological phenomenon, but attention toward a community that would otherwise have been ignored. I think that’s the real story here: that, absent the Lizard Man claims, people from New York, Chicago and London would not be coming to Lee County, S.C., for any particular reason. So, for me the big story was how quickly it took off and how far it went.” Poole, on the other hand, is pretty convinced a monster lives in Lee County: “It’s the same one that’s haunted the South for 300 years.” He suspects the Lizard Man’s racial implications are at the core of the legend – though, until he talks with the people of Browntown, it’s hard to know. He and Westerfelhaus hope to establish some student/faculty research there soon.

“I think right now the mystery is whether or not the Lizard Man is primarily a media-created sensation, or if indeed it is both that, plus something that draws on older folklore within the community as well as older anxieties about race and class,” he says, noting there were hints of older stories about strange things in the swamp – something, he suspects, like the Plantation Terror Tales about scary things living in the swamps that the white planter class told its slaves so they wouldn’t run away. What he knows for sure, though: “The legend of the Lizard Man is inextricably bound up with Lee County’s racial history, its class system, the way that it thinks about itself in relation to the rest of the world, the way the certain parts of the community perceive itself.” And, guess where McElroy stands: “I don’t think that there’s a Lizard Man. I don’t think that there’s some creature evolved from the dinosaurs living in our swamps. I don’t think it’s a Martian or some alien that came off the meteor. I really doubt it was a monitor lizard. It could have been a gorilla released from the circus – that’s probably highly unlikely, but possible. Probably, Brother Elmore scared the crap out of this kid, and the town took it over and turned it into profit.” But, that’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate the legend. “What I love about the Lizard Man is, by God, he brings notoriety to the lizard – something I hold dear to my heart,” he says. “All my life, I’ve loved lizards, and I think anything that educates people about these awesome little creatures is great. I think they’re the most fascinating animals. Sit and watch a lizard some time. They’re amazing” As for me, all the truths behind the Lizard Man add up to a really good story … and a brand-new T-shirt. FA L L 2 0 1 1 |

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te os 3 • “Grov • • vans ’0 e E 2 G S e il en tr 9 ’0 ee lo Ow ’0 a t Jor dan – G – r n ” ” a v e rn s” t ion l ’0 ’08 a “T m ic a B 9 ed ho • – Andrew ea “D rcle” W i “ C a R s lke • ll Dr ec e r 3 “Fu D

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An ” nstitution “ T h is I ” – dr – • R – – ac ew 02 ’ ” h a el s • “Se ns rn treet” W e o hi Ka e S f Ba v T a Ur te ro y lk G g “ s c en is” – Nick Jenkins h u • T G ’ c w 0 s L 5 il y” 3 ow • lo ’0 Kn – “C “Grove – s ’03 • Str i ia n s t ” a r ee y n L Ev o

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e aj M

soundtrack D

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el

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ick • “M.J.” F

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“Tho he y se l le Da C M K Now s y I e “ – Glo s im Da ” ria W el e T o h T D e h Kn w “ “Those D re c ow a • k • c a i y F Y a s W 7 .” s M ’0 er M.J o “ Th “ F u e l in 5 l e 0 ’ d D C i s r e cl M r k in i

ar

lo

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y

s W

re e

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” – ay Cl

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ircle” – se “Full C A n d re 8 • ho 9 w s ’ f Br os

ms ea

“T

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n college, you didn’t just listen to music, you lived it. Music was common ground at parties, on road trips and during study breaks. But it was more than that. It was your escape, your inspiration, your reminder of home, your hope for the future.

Evans ’03 • “ G r o ve

Li

dr e w

et ”

An

“F

S t re

’98 •

s ’98 • “Full C i r Ros cl e ” –

e Mine” – Clay Wer R oss ys

Music was there in your best and worst of times. Perhaps it was the salve for a broken heart. Maybe it explained the world to you in a way that made the complex, simple; the unbearable, endurable. For almost all of us, music played an important part in defining our identities. We challenged some of our talented songwriters to think back to their college days and tap into the power of their own CofC experience. What they came back with is a wideranging mix of sound and melody – anthems celebrating innocence, optimism, recklessness, longing and that once-in-a-lifetime feeling when everything seems possible, new and grand. These 11 artists – all gifted musicians and songwriters – created a stunning soundtrack to the College of Charleston experience. To listen to The Soundtrack, check out magazine.cofc.edu or simply scan the QR code.

W a l

e k


“H ow Do Ya D o ”

Majeed “M.J.” Fick, computer science student

9 to 5: Chief engineer at Truphonic Recording Studio in West Ashley Musical background: Studied audio technology and has helped record countless singles and some 20 albums for such artists as Timbaland, Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige Accompanying him on the track: Dan Rainey on guitar The story behind “How Do Ya Do”: “It’s about an experience I had walking around campus. I was late for an appointment and didn’t know where the building was, so I stopped a random person and got directions. But, rather than just getting directions and moving on with my day, I found a more profound meaning in my experience. I asked myself, Why do I only say hi to random strangers when I need something from them? What kind of message does that send out into the universe? What can I do to change this? So, it’s self-reflective. It’s me calling myself out. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not Man vs. Man. We’re all here together, and humans need to embrace each other – which I think is something that is an underlying assumption on the College campus.

“That experience was still fresh in my mind when I was asked to write this song, and it just sparked the idea. It made me wonder what ever happened to people greeting each other on the street? What ever happened to people saying, How do you do? So I wrote this song posing the question, How do you do, what ever happened to you? So, a random person just saying ‘hi’ changed the course of my songwriting and, in turn, my life.”

The sound of the song: “I make my living as an engineer and producer, so when I write music, I’m actually going out on a limb. But this song is pretty typical of the kinds of sounds I like. It’s derived from an electronica feel to the drums. However, I’m a very traditional songwriter and my vibe is more organic instruments – and I really like that train-style drumbeat – so I had to walk that line carefully so it didn’t sound too synthetic and electronic. But, really, because I work with so many different kinds of artists, I don’t have a box. There’s nothing typical for me. I’m up for anything.” Songwriting process: “I usually write from a conceptual standpoint – like in this song, I wanted to use this idea to bring out a deep emotional response. But lyrics come to me everywhere, no matter what I’m doing. I’m looking for songs in everything I do. I’m always trying to exercise that muscle. I don’t want to lose it.” On taking computer science classes at the College: “I’m somebody who has to be doing something all the time, and I’ve started to focus on electrical engineering and computer science so I can build gear and develop software and plug-ins and things. The recording industry is going to continue to change dramatically, and I don’t want to be all dried up in 20 years because I didn’t learn the technologies I need to know. I’ve got to stay relevant.”

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50

| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e


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st n” – Rachel Ka No itu utio te tit ti w Gil Ins on lo ” n 8 •“Reckless Rev ” ’0 l ’0 o e – l 9 ut av i on • l Kate Gill Gr R e h c a ” R on “H – ’09 ” – o ion T • t ay w Ma jeed “M.J “H itu o” – .”

R

Wer ys

s

s”

of

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– Andrew Wal ke r

Barna ’02 • “ Th

Da

n Owe ” –

ay Cl

ms ea

le” Circ ll

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’0

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– Majeed “M.J.”

Ka

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y Ensemble • “S en

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8 ’9

Ent

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te os • s ’03 • “Grov e S Ev a n 2 Gi en tr ’0 ll ee Ow a on t” – ” – Jor dan Grav e s” t ion l ’0 ’0 “T m ic a 8 9 ed ho • ea le” – Andrew W “D “R Circ al k se • ll Dr ec er 3 “Fu ’08 kl D • ’0

o

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ge e “G Nick Jenki ns ’ his” – nc • Gi 05 s T y” 3 ll ow • Kn “C 3 • “Grove S – o a it ns ’ 0 tre ri y Lu E va et lo of ” – en “Those D c “G • Ow ays Lin Fick Br – We .J.” ds “M re o s” d ay k M m ee

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er Kn “ “Those D • ow • ays e Fick 7 s We .J.” M “M re Th “ Fu ll Ci in 5 d rcl in s ’ 0 M is e” ee ine enk – ” aj k J An ” nstitution – M Nic “ T h is I ” – dr – • Ra – – ew ’02 ch C ” el s” na l et ” • “Se nse i e r r o t W h a K o e S re

Da

Tim il arna ’02 • ucy B lo “ Th e – L is Is Ins y” n tit n” – Rachel Ka No utio te ut tit w Gil i Ins on lo ” n 8 •“Reckless Rev ” 0 ’ ’ 09 olu el – tio av • l Kate Gill Gr R n” Rache o

D

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n o

o

e

M

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Ya

soundtrack a

n

ayl – T

h c

B

the

re e

_

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is” – Nick J “T ws Th en k ho Kno in s se ria ’ 05 ow lo ow Do Ya DO Da “H “G 9 “H • Car 0 ’ lo “C on y • l l L s it ick • ’Ch Gi lo “Tho 9 “M.J.” F y d r e e e se 0 t je a ll o Da C Ma Ka e w f o ys e Is N “Glo – D Tim ” – r W el e o ia a h

Do


“Re c kl e s s R e v o lu t ion”

Taylor Moore ’07

Home base: Greenville, S.C. Playing on the track: “It’s me on guitar and vocals, Sarah Clanton Schaffer on cello and producer Marcus Suarez of Whitestone Studios in Greenville.”  

started in Charleston, the music and the pursuit of it – that was my reckless revolution.” Goal as a musician: “To pay the rent. I’ve been doing music full time since moving back to Greenville, which is central and allows you to get to places real quick – Atlanta, Asheville, Columbia, Charlotte, Charleston, etc. I’ve been making rent for a while, so something is working. If I could make as much money as I did writing for a newspaper, then that’s good enough for me. Of course, touring the U.S. and maybe some other countries is a goal as well.”   Musical highlights: “I would say opening up for Corey Smith at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Neil Young had played there a month before we did. I also jumped on with Edwin McCain at the Newbery Opera House, and I saw where Kris Kristofferson had signed the walls. After my band opened up their show in Greenville, JJ Grey and Mofro pulled me up to jam on guitar during their encore – that’s another high point as well. I’ve played to some big crowds, headlining the Handlebar, an incredible venue in Greenville (my band plays there a few times a year). We bring in a good crowd, and those shows are what really keep you going.”

The writing process of “Reckless Revolution”: “The biggest challenge was trying to capture the entire four years – what could very well be the best years of your life. I could have done a Bob Dylanesque opus, rapping the whole time. “What I remember from college is that you’re going in and being prepped for this one experience, but you end up getting way more than you bargained for. You know you’re going to meet new people, gain new knowledge, all that – but it was a completely different experience altogether. I tried to capture those moments when you realize you’re taking part in something very special – in this little city in South Carolina. I remember wandering through the streets of Charleston, at God knows what hour, just exploring. Even then, despite your naïveté, you know full well that you can’t indulge in these long nights all of your life, so you’ve got to soak it in. That’s what the song’s all about.” The audience for this song: “I’m singing to the people who may be at college right now so that they make sure to capture that moment, and not take it for granted. It won’t last forever, even though it might seem to.”   Life as a reckless revolutionary: “The path I took – leaving Greenville and going to Charleston – it opened my eyes. I met different kids from all over the world, and then I got an opportunity to study abroad in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Now there’s a whole different ball game. Charleston led to the Caribbean, where, after graduation, I worked as a journalist for a while before deciding I wanted to do music full time. It all FA L L 2 0 1 1 |

53

|


“Th i s I nst it ut ion ”

Rachel Kate Gillon ’09

Her degree: B.A. in studio art, with a concentration in sculpture Her gig: Appearing on Charleston’s music circuit and beyond with her band, The Shaniqua Brown. Their debut album was released in August. Playing on the track: “I played the guitar, percussion, organ and vocals, but I’ve got to throw out some creds to Bill Carson ’99 for playing the saw, Diego Villena ’11 for cello and Jamey Rogers and Alan Price for producing and mixing.” Writing “This Institution”: “I knew I wanted it to be a bit more obscure than just writing straightforward words about college. I wanted it to make people think harder than that so they could wrap their minds around it the way they wish. This is the connection with the listener that I love – even though I wrote the song with the subject of college in mind, it can be interpreted by the listener in a different way. I just thought about my college experience and laid down the chord structure, then played away and wrote some lyrics. It’s funny how some songs just seem to pour out of you faster than others.” The idea behind the song: “The song did turn out kind of dark – but the meaning behind it isn’t. (Just as an aside, I had to include something about College Lodge, and that’s represented in the lyric, “Sit with me and we’ll take pride.” We took so much pride in living there!) Mostly, ‘This Institution’ is about the lost feeling students get when they get to college. You’re in this big group of young, lost souls who have just been set free. And it’s OK to feel lost. That’s what I’m trying to say in the song: It’s OK to be confused. Most everyone else is in the same boat. There’s a lot of pressure to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. How do I know if I’m going to like being an archaeologist? A psychologist? A teacher? For me, making a decision was half the

battle – I wanted to do it all! That’s one thing about going to a liberal arts college: You can do it all! “So, ‘This Institution’ is about taking all of those worries and letting them go, banding together, supporting each other, learning and growing together: so many things.” Musical highlights: “It’s hard to say. If you want to go way back, when I was 6 or 7, I was in a Sammy Kershaw music video called ‘Working Woman’s Holiday,’ so I wish you would have asked me then! The past year has been a real learning experience. It’s been really amazing growing with The Shaniqua Brown and growing as a musician myself. It’s a constant journey and it’s so exciting to know that the journey lasts forever!” Paying the rent: “I work at a recording studio in West Ashley called Collective Recording, taking care of biz. I also work a few days a week at The Early Bird Diner – only the best diner in all the land!”

|

54

| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e


n

e ge nc

n

Ur

e a

f

ok

Do

Br of

“H ow

ty

“Ci

l Kate Gill Rache on ’ 09 n” –

is

Th

s

ow

tio itu st In

k

Fic

D

Y

r

lo

ow

In

• Do py Ensemble • “G ntro lo “Se Y e E ns ri a e “City of Brok a of en 5 • K Dr s ’0 Ur ea no ms opy Ensemble ge E nt r • “ ” he Se nc – ns d t k Jen kins ’05 O e c i y an N w • o ” –

lo n Gi l

Is

Ka te

Tim e

is

Ya

th

Kn

a

s hi

w

k in

8 ’0

ri lo

“G

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a

“H

cl

Ros s

g

Ur

’08

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s

Evans ’03 • “ Gro v

e Mine” – Clay

st n” – Rachel Ka No itu utio te tit ti w Gil Ins on lo ” n 8 •“Reckless Rev ” ’0 l ’0 o e – l 9 ut av i on • l Kate Gill Gr R e h c a ” R on “H – ’09 ” – o ion T • t ay w Ma jeed “M.J “H itu o” – .”

R

Wer ys

s

s”

of

e

E

– Andrew Wal ke r

Barna ’02 • “ Th

Da

n Owe ” –

ay Cl

ms ea

le” Circ ll

t

e

nse

Ka

th

F ic k •

el

an d

ucy – L y”

Dr

” –

’05

“Fu

tution” – Rac h

– Majeed “M.J.”

y Ensemble • “S e

Do ”

nsti is I

rop

“Th

8 ’9

Ent

s

Ya Do

os

ull Circle” – An • “F dre ’9 8 w ss of Broken Dr City Ro eam • “

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s Institution” – Ra ch

D

Ya

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s

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ayl – T

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the

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_

W

is” – Nick J “T ws Th en k ho Kno in s se ria ’ 05 ow lo ow Do Ya DO Da “H “G 9 “H • Car 0 ’ lo “C on y • l l L s it ick • ’Ch Gi lo “Tho 9 “M.J.” F y d r e e e se 0 t je a ll o Da C Ma Ka e w f o ys e Is N “Glo – D Tim ” – r W el e o ia a h

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Evans ’03 • “ Gro v

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’08

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s

s ’98 • “Full Cir Ros cl

s

s” –

of

e

E

le” – Andrew W al k er

e

se

F ic k •

el

th

e Mine” – Clay Wer Ros ys s

n Owe ” –

ay Cl

ms ea

’05

Circ ll

tution” – Rac h

– Majeed “M.J.”

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an d

y Ensemble • “S en

Do ”

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Do


“C it y o f B ro k e n D re a ms”

Owen Evans ’03

Home base: Brooklyn, N.Y. Life from 9 to 5: “Currently, my duties are split between writing and recording and waiting tables in Manhattan.” Songwriting process: “I typically start with an idea like a chord progression or a melody or both, and fiddle with it until a structure takes shape. I try to couple a classical style of writing with a more improvised decision-making process to make the music and form less predictable.” The story behind the song: “I wrote ‘City of Broken Dreams’ after a two-legged trip to my hometown (Jackson, Miss.) and then Charleston. I came back with a lot of reminiscent and reflective feelings. I think the message is that certain experiences live on in memory alone; when you re-encounter a familiar place from a poignant time in your life, the resurfaced feelings can be hard to understand. Sometimes you feel estranged, even melancholic. However, it’s just proof of the fondness of the memory and the desire to relive the experience.” The recording of “City of Broken Dreams”: “I actually recorded the track in my apartment by myself. I chose to record on cassette tape to give the song a more vintage feel. This was one of those rare occasions when a song seemed to take shape somewhat effortlessly. The only challenge was the analogue recording process, which requires taking full passes of each track on the song. I think this song represents a new school of thought in my writing style, which is to simplify and focus on the basics of melody and form, drawing more on influences from the pop music of the 1950s and ’60s.” Music future: “My goal as a writer is a simple one, which is to grow with each project and avoid digression at all cost. As a musician, I would like to learn to keep better time and spend a little more time practicing my instruments!” Musical highlights: “I have had songs featured on Entourage and The Hills (‘Drunk Lover’) and, most recently, Gossip Girl (‘Wolf and I’). In 2009, my song ‘Legs and Scars’ was named Song of the Year by SceneSC.com, and currently I’m scoring a documentary about the late Mississippi author Barry Hannah, which is a huge honor for me. I have toured with some decent names, such as the Zachary Brown Band, John Mayer and Howie Day. I have also been blessed with some truly inspiring mentors, namely Jay Clifford (Charleston singer/songwriter of Jump Little Children fame) and Professor Edward Hart ’88 (music department) and Professor Paul Allen (English department).”

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“S e ns e of Ur ge n cy”

Lucy Barna ’02 Where I am running to in the song: “It’s kind of ambiguous. Even at the time I wrote it, I didn’t really know where I was running to. I’ve always been a traveler, always trying to find something better. I’m not sure where I’m going, but I still want to run. Maybe it’s back to me. Maybe it’s a geographical place or an emotional place, or maybe I’m running to or away from someone. I just need to change.” Musical influences: “They’re pretty vast. It’s funny. I’m only 30, and a lot of my influences are from way before I was born – artists my dad listened to, like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Kate Wolf. I also like Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris and new California folk, such as Jack Johnson and Meiko.” Balancing work and music: “I’m actually a manager at Trader Joe’s, which is a great job. But I work about 50 hours a week. It’s pretty difficult balancing work, family and music. The music side, it comes and goes. I’ll devote a lot of energy to booking shows and then take a break. I can always make time. Music is a good release. My kids like music so they enjoy it when I pull out the guitar while they’re playing in their sandbox. Like most musicians, I just juggle it. Most musicians have to work, especially those with kids. But they find a way – it just works out.”

Home base: Santa Fe, N.M. Recorded at: Santa Fe Brewing Company The songwriting process: “Some of my songs come out pretty quickly. It may take me only an hour to write. This song came out that way. In this song, I was trying to get in touch with my spiritual values, to remember where I am grounded. I thought back to my times at the College and the religious studies program. I remembered my readings in Buddhism with Professor Zeff Bjerken. One part of Buddhist philosophy deals with this idea of a sense of urgency. I really liked that term – ‘sense of urgency’ – and it seemed appropriate.” Behind the song: “I didn’t really have a direct message. It seems to be about the struggle between my spiritual sense and practical life. I was torn. You have to live.”

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“D e d i c ati on ”

Jordan Gravel ’08 9 to 5: “I teach music classes at Christ Our King Stella Maris in Mt. Pleasant, and also teach private piano lessons.” Behind the song: “I sat down at the piano and came up with a simplistic melody, and thought of ways to harmonize it. “I named it ‘Dedication’ because it’s dedicated to the jazz faculty at the College, who helped me immensely. Also it’s named ‘Dedication’ because of something my piano instructor Tommy Gill ’93 always told me: ‘You only get out of it what you put into it.’ “All of the faculty inspired me to be as dedicated as I could be as a musician, and they always showed that by example. Each week I’d have a piano lesson or a combo rehearsal, and afterwards, I could go hear my professors play gigs around town and sometimes they would try and play the things they told me to work on, to show what they meant. It was very humbling and inspiring. They were always trying to find new musicality in their own playing. I remember so many times where I went with my friends to hear my teachers perform, and afterwards we would go to the practice rooms and practice together.” The making of the song: “It was recorded at my apartment, with Ben Wells ’07 on bass and Stuart White ’08 on drums. Ben used his recording equipment to make it happen. I can’t thank those two musicians enough. They also performed on my original album, Inner Preservation, which was released this year. They have helped me tremendously, since we played together in school, to now making recordings together.”

Home base: Charleston, S.C. Musical beginnings: “I started playing music when I was 4 years old. My brother used to play piano, and I would watch him practice. Then one day I was in the car with my mom and she put on a tape of Little Richard playing ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider,’ and that was it for me. I started writing my own songs when I was in high school. I wrote a piano piece for the talent show, and I was so nervous about it that afterwards I ran off stage. After that, I wrote songs with my brother’s rock band, which I had been in since eighth grade, and for my own rock band, which I formed during my junior year of high school. That year, we won the battle of the bands and recorded a CD at QDivision Studios in Boston, Mass.”

Musical highlights: “Recording my debut original album, Inner Preservation, and having my brother, Andrew, play guitar on two of the tracks.”

Musical influences: “My biggest influence has always been my brother, Andrew. We have played music together since we were little kids, and he always has been pushing me to further my music. Also, all of the music teachers at the College have been huge influences on my musical life. When I first came to the College, I didn’t know how to read music or play chord changes. I only played the blues, and they really opened my eyes up to jazz.”

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“G l o r i a Kn ows This”

Nick Jenkins ’05

“So, you grow up. You graduate (hopefully!). You move on. You get a job or two. You have your friends and family. They almost know better than you would how much you’ve changed because they’ve seen it from the outside – from the perspective of someone caring for you (hoping that you’ll do well). The best that you can do is try to succeed so that you can better serve those people, not just yourself. “‘Gloria Knows This’ is dedicated to my mother, Gloria Jenkins, who lives in Walterboro, S.C.”  College musical influence: “I studied music performance with a concentration in jazz drum kit with the very wise and talented Quentin Baxter ’98.”

Home base: New York, N.Y. Musical beginnings: “I began tapping on my desk with pencils in third grade. My parents enrolled me in band in middle school, and I played snare drum for three years. My dad got me my first guitar on my 13th birthday. Around the same time, I fell in love with ’90s grunge while playing bass guitar in my church’s gospel choir. In high school, I wrote my first batch of love songs for a girlfriend. No one will ever hear those songs. My compositional chops got a little better once I entered college and learned things like key signatures.” The idea behind the song: “I feel that the track is appropriate to my college experience because it was this long, drawn-out introduction. I started to learn some things, gradually ... and then ... hello! I’m done. I’m a college graduate. “I was afraid of lots of things for most of college. It was a big deal for me to go to functions and if I didn’t have the opportunity to play music in college and meet people that way, I might not have made it through. Basically, for me, college was like a very long version of summer camp. Meaning, you apply to go to this place to become a better person or craftsman or what have you. You get in. You show up to some seminars, take some classes and make some friends. All the while, you’re changing at a rate which you’re not quite accustomed to, and the rate of change you’re experiencing you can’t really chart on a daily basis. It’s a four-year process of a random assortment of knowledge that you’re receiving in and out of the classroom. |

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| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e

Musical highlights: “In no particular order: playing many amazing performances with Asphalt Orchestra from 2009 to the present; playing at the Lincoln Center three years in a row; curating my own silent discos for more than 30 people in S.C. and N.Y.; meeting/recording with David Byrne and Annie Clark last year; sharing my Bandcamp page; working on Run Dan Run’s future studio album release; having a friend say that my music was inspirational; graduating from the College’s music program; living/working with many fine musicians in Charleston from 2005 to 2010; last year’s silent disco at Hope & Union Coffee Company. The list goes on. It has all been very grand.”


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“Thos e Days We re Mine”

Clay Ross ’98 with Brazilian percussion. It’s more stripped down and really represents my musical style boiled down to its essence – it takes the ingredients and makes its own kind of recipe with a whole different taste.” On making a career out of music: “The best part for me is traveling the world playing music. We tour over 250 days a year. It’s intense, but I love it. I’m really grateful for all the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had to perform. Traveling as a musician is so much different from being a tourist. We show up with our instruments, and all the doors just open. When we play for an audience, we see people in their most receptive state and we connect in ways beyond language. It’s a beautiful exchange that I truly believe makes the world a better place. Music makes me feel connected.”

Home base: New York, N.Y. A.K.A.: U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador His band: Matuto (“Brazilian slang for hillbilly”), which has been described as having the sound of “a Brazilian Carnaval in the Appalachian Mountains”

Career highlights so far: “Definitely the jazz ambassador tours are up there. They provided a unique opportunity to share music in places that most American musicians just don’t get to play, like Kosovo and Macedonia in the Balkans. Also, playing with Matuto in Recife, Brazil. There is no place in this world like Recife when its streets undulate with the full swing of Brazilian Carnaval. That’s a life-changing experience right there!”

Most recent distinction: Matuto was one of 35 groups out of over 750 applicants from around the world selected for the Womex World Music Expo in Copenhagen Discography: Entre Nous (2011), Matuto (2009), The Random Puller (2005) and The Mickey Baker Project (2001) On this track: Alex Venguer, engineering The message behind “Those Days Were Mine”: “The idea is pretty simple. I wanted to convey a sense of that time period when you’re figuring what to do with your life and you feel like you have all the time in the world. In college, time seemed more expansive and, since I got out, it seems to be moving faster every day. The further I get from those days, the more I realize what a gift they were. Not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy four years at a great school like the College of Charleston. So, those days were mine, they were yours, they were all of ours. They were a really special gift! “This songwriting challenge gave me an opportunity to reflect on that time in college when the whole world – your whole life – is in front of you. Charleston was the perfect place to experience that kind of beginning and freedom – and some of the places that were really dear to me in those years show up in the lyrics.” A fair representation: “This song is a little different from what I usually do, but still stylistically attuned to my musical direction: It incorporates the bluegrass influences, paired FA L L 2 0 1 1 |

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“Ful l C i rcle ”

Andrew Walker ’08 and Entropy Ensemble

Home base: Charleston, S.C. Playing on the track: “Myself on piano, Lonnie Root ’08 is the cellist, Ben Wells ’07 plays the upright bass and Stuart White ’08 is on drums. Unfortunately, Javier Orman ’05, who plays violin in Entropy Ensemble, couldn’t make it back from Los Angeles for the recording.”   Recorded at: The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, Rehearsal Hall (room 234)   Musical roots: “I didn’t start studying music until I was 20. I had this burning desire to play piano, and took a lesson from jazz pianist Tommy Gill ’93, who teaches jazz piano at the College. He started improvising during my first lesson, and I knew that’s what I wanted – needed – to do. I got really involved in music theory and composition, so I had to focus to catch up because I felt like I was late to music. I studied classical, jazz and modern, and simultaneously put together my first concert, Musical Reworkings of Radiohead, which was a tribute concert to my main inspiration for studying music, world-renowned pianist Christopher O’Riley.” Founding Entropy Ensemble: “We formed in July 2009. Entropy sums up our philosophy of art – that although things in the universe at times seem disorganized, chaotic and disconnected, there is a close connection between all things, given they originate from the same source. In our current project, we have indirectly managed to reveal the interconnectedness of different styles of music through performing original arrangements of the music of Radiohead. Our main goal is to continue creating projects that give us an opportunity to collaborate with artists outside of what we know, so that we can continue to grow and present fresh and inspiring performances.”

Musical highlights: “We worked with Christopher O’Riley, sharing a stage with him last fall. We’re currently touring our Radiohead project, which features original instrumental arrangements of various Radiohead songs. It’s been really successful with very diverse audiences. We’ve been to Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, Orlando, South Orange (N.J.). Probably the smallest and coolest show we did was in Arden (Del.) at the Guild Hall – an old barn with room for about 250 people. But it was the most moving show we’ve done.”   The story behind “Full Circle”: “Musically, I’m a mix of things, so I went into this project hoping to show what my ensemble is capable of. I wrote the piece to go through different styles and genres of music. In the writing process, I dug deep. My actual experience at the College was very rich and I was exposed to many different styles of music, which I tried to encompass in ‘Full Circle.’  “I thought about how much you’re exposed to in college and if you decide to take the wheel and are not just along for the ride. I certainly did – I took control. When you’re in college, you just have to do it – there is a lot there. The College was my testing ground, and I encourage everyone to do that – try everything out, because there is no such thing as failure. “The song is about this process, this idea that no matter where you start or what happens along the way, you always return to the underlying passion that keeps moving you forward – coming full circle.” (l to r) Stuart White ’08, Andrew Walker ’08

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and Lonnie Root ’08


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“The T i m e Is Now”

Carlo L’Chelle Dawson ’01

Day job: High school English/creative writing teacher in Rock Hill, S.C.

even from yourself – but sometimes you have to do what’s right for you. “And, for college students, the message is to take advantage of each moment you have in college. Don’t take anything for granted. Even though sometimes it gets hard, you’ll be glad you did it. When you look back, it’ll all come together. Even when it seems like you’re going off path, it’s OK, because everything ties in. It all comes together. I wouldn’t trade my time in college for anything in the world.” Keeping in character: “This song is pretty much my style. My music is all introspective and positive. It’s who I am. That was my goal: writing something that was true to my style and that would be meaningful to any college student – or person, for that matter – who hears it.” Origins of a song: “I consider myself a writer first, a singer second, and I think the lyrics and music sometimes evolve out of my poetry. But, it’s hard for me to describe where it comes from, because it’s so much a part of me – writing is just who I am. When writing a song, I go through a process of pouring out all my emotions on paper. Next, I rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. And then, I think about the arrangement and edit the lyrics. Often, I am amazed by the final product. I started writing poetry and songs at a very young age. It was how I expressed myself and talked about what I was going through and what was going on around me. I used to get bullied often (they say that people don’t like it when you’re your own person), so it was my kind of therapy. But – beyond the lyrics and the writing – all I know is my music comes from me.”

Night job: Caring for her family and performing at artist showcases and other events in the Rock Hill/Charlotte area Discography: The Book of My Revelation (2008) Helping out with “The Time Is Now”: Her husband, Christopher Dawson (co-arrangement), and Derrick Bartell (production) The message of “The Time Is Now”: “Follow your dreams. Do what you want to do. I was in my third year at the College, and I was majoring in biology. I wasn’t really happy majoring in biology, and I knew it. But it took Quentin Baxter ’98 – I call him ‘Professor B on the Stix’ in the song – to give me the confirmation. He said, ‘Are you really doing what you want to do?’ So I started asking myself that question, praying a lot, talking to my mom and just came to the decision to switch to English. So, that’s where I got that message: Follow your dreams. No matter what, follow your dreams. There are all these expectations out there – from your family, from your friends, FA L L 2 0 1 1 |

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“Gr o v e St re e t ”

Lindsay Holler ’03

By day: A freelance headhunter for restaurants across the country By night: Singing and playing guitar in Charleston clubs with her band, Lindsay Holler’s Western Polaroids, and with other musicians on an ad hoc basis Discography: Malleable (2006), Love Gone Awry (2007, Lindsay Holler and the Dirty Kids), Helltembre (2010, Lindsay Holler’s Western Polaroids) Her sound: Gritty Americana “supported by a little twang and a little late-night clarity” On the track: Dave Linaburg ’06 on lead guitar, Ben Wells ’07 on bass, Michael Hanf ’08 on percussion and vibes and Nick Jenkins ’05 on drums The story behind “Grove Street”: “It comes from when I was a student in the College’s music department. I was leaving class and saw this guy walking through the parking lot. He was tall with dreadlocks, and he had these baby blue silky athletic pants on and a Black Crows T-shirt. I was just intrigued by him – those pants! So I followed him for, I don’t know, two blocks. I was in awe of him. It wasn’t super-stalking, but still. We ended being really good friends and collaborators. And he lived on Grove Street.” The songwriting process: “It happens in all different ways. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music. And sometimes there are those magical moments when everything

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comes out at the same time. If it comes, I have to be ready to catch it before it passes. But lyrics are the most important part of the song to me. Lyrics jump out at me, and I’m always writing things down. Those things find their ways into songs down the road – so, I guess the process is always happening for me.” Transferring to the College’s music program: “Such the right decision to leave the Berklee College of Music. The thing about the College’s music department is, it’s real; it’s practical. It teaches you the things you’re going to need to know, and you get the experience of putting on shows, booking gigs – real hands-on experience. Never would I have gotten the opportunities in Boston that I got here. And I would have never had the kind of support and collaboration that the College’s program gave me. It’s a really helpful group.” The dream: “I would love nothing more than to have one single band – my own little gang to be a part of. I’d love to have that old-school, one-for-all-and-all-for-one thing going on. But you’ve got to adapt to what’s going on, and this is how it’s done right now. You play with whoever, whenever. You’ve got to hustle, and that means having multiple projects going on all the time. It’s not such a bad thing – you learn a lot of different stuff with different people. But I still long for the day when I have that one band that I can really form that bond. Because that translates: It comes through in the music and in the performance.”


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Padgett Powell ’74 is one of the most important figures in experimental fiction today. He’s a literary iconoclast par excellence, and the thread that binds his personal story is his refusal to obey convention and his unchanging attitude to challenge everything and everyone. by

Mark Berry

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Photography by

“The cops have got Padgett,” Johnny Hamm yells from a third-story window of McClenaghan High School. Within seconds, dozens of boys serving afternoon detention with Hamm for various school violations (some in there for the excessive length of their sideburns) stream down the stairwell and out the door onto the school’s front lawn, where Padgett Powell is being put into the back of one of two squad cars for his distribution of a profane student magazine. Within seconds, they surround the police car and begin shouting, “Pigs off campus! Pigs off campus!” More students and bystanders descend on the scene, joining in the chant. Pigs off campus! Pigs off campus! The intensity of the moment is palpable. And for Powell, a senior at McClenaghan, it’s also sort of exhilarating – kind of like the energy you might feel at a Cream show or the benign ferocity on display at a bonfire pep rally during football season. It’s all fun, loud and a little dangerous – in a good way. Pigs off campus! Pigs off campus! But something changes. The adrenaline rush Powell feels

Ben Williams

subsides, replaced by a growing fear, like he’s stuck in the eye of a hurricane. Surrounded by the gathering mob, he can see that his classmates are getting more worked up, angrier. The police officer in Powell’s car radios the other squad car, “Grady, you want to pick up some more?” Pigs off campus! Pigs off campus! This is turning out to be no ordinary arrest in Florence, S.C. But then again, this is no ordinary time. It’s May 1970, and the country – the entire country – seems spinning out of control. Only two weeks before, in an attempt to quell an anti-war protest, the National Guard had shot and killed four Kent State students, wounding another nine. The turbulence that defined the 1960s is spilling over in this first spring of the new decade. Pigs off campus! Pigs off campus! Powell tries to calm the storm as best he can, signaling to his friends and classmates to bring the emotional level down. Miraculously, his hand gestures seem to work, tempers appear to dampen – at least momentarily – and the officers haul Powell and a friend to the local police station for the publication of an “underground underground magazine,” as Powell describes it.

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Excerpt from Edisto

The process server told me he took the coastal highway south and the small road off to the left at a sign marked Edisto Beach. For twenty miles he drove in the dark to the steady sound of his automobile. Then he began to hit the marsh pockets. He could not see the beginning marshes but could hear them. The cruising fullness of sound made by his car noises bouncing back from the close oaks and country houses would suddenly stop; a hollow, retreating, new quiet air. He looked out and saw nothing and then house and brush and trees blasted back close and full of sound. It was like running through an old wooden house, rooms opening off a narrow hall, hollows of sound breaking the noise of your running.

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Powell had been a guest columnist for The Free Press, the school’s “official” underground student newspaper. In it, students vented their frustrations on topics both local and global. They took issue with McClenaghan High’s annual fundraising drive of selling magazine subscriptions, they criticized the ongoing conflict in Vietnam and ran Mark Twain’s poem “The War Prayer” and lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “With God on Our Side” (one of his classic protest songs from 1964). But for Powell, that wasn’t enough. “I was mad,” he remembers. “I wanted The Free Press to be more revolutionary, so I figured I would produce my own thing. I wanted to express discontent … punch holes in the status quo. And I wanted it to be salacious and angry.” Working in the basement of a local church, Powell used a borrowed mimeograph machine to print on three sheets of legal-size paper, creating his “salacious and angry” Tough Shit, a magazine of naked name, dated May 15, 1970. In it, he took to task his own “Heavenly Class of Seventy” on their class night and their choice of class gift: a trophy case, purchased with funds raised by the much-maligned magazine subscription campaign. He writes: “All in all, a good night, ending with smiling, happy faces filing out, cattlelike … with the [s]ame contentment of cows listening to the tinkle of their bells.” In general, the tone throughout the articles is confrontational and sarcastic, a protest against authority – principals, guidance counselors, teachers, “pet” students – anyone who is The Man, or in collusion with Him. And Powell’s argument, for so many teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, is timeless: Wake up, you bovines! Most likely, a school administrator phoned the police after reading TS’s incendiary contents – offended, surely, by being the butt of so many jokes. But the language – the four-letter words and use of “cosmic orgasm” – perhaps proved the tipping point. You can just imagine the teachers and office staff peering through their window blinds out at this kid selling these stapled pages for a quarter in the school’s parking lot, and some must have thought, How dare this young man write such awful things! When the police arrive, they find Powell selling TS out of the back of his Jeep. His unexpected arrest suddenly lands him in the company of some other literary giants, the likes of Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence, who had also faced their own obscenity charges. After several hours waiting on a bench inside the police station, Powell and Jot Thames (the friend who was sitting in the Jeep waiting for a ride home) are escorted, along with Thames’ mother, who had arrived at the station, before the Florence chief of police. “Mizz Thames,” Police Chief Adams says, “I can no longer address your son as a gentleman.” Powell interrupts, “Chief, before you go any further, I want to say that Jot Thames here had nothing to do with this.” Chief Adams, annoyed, turns away from Powell: “As I was saying, Mizz Thames, I can no longer address your son as a gentleman. …” The die is cast. Or, at least, so it seems. Two weeks later, Florence city prosecutor T. Kenneth Summerford summons the students involved and their parents to his chambers. Summerford, who five years later would capture national headlines with his prosecution of serial killer


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Pee Wee Gaskins, speaks to the parents on hand, an air of self-righteousness in his courtroom voice as he tells them that he’s not going to prosecute this easily winnable case since the students were “heretofore upstanding parties,” as Powell remembers. No, he isn’t going to shame these young men and women. He’s going to be generous and drop the charges. Expecting relief and appreciation on the faces of the parents, Summerford asks rhetorically, “Are there any questions?” “Yeah,” says Mr. Thames, “I want to know why I had to get off work to come down here.” “Padgett told Chief Adams that Jot had nothing to do with this,” Mrs. Thames adds, “and he ignored him.” And with that, another small riot erupts on Powell’s behalf.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Padgett?

Excerpt from Mrs . Hollingsworth ’s Men

A mule runs through Durham, on fire. No – there is something on his back, on fire. Memaw gives chase, with a broom, with which she attempts to whap out the fire on the mule. The mule keeps running. The fire appears to be fueled by paper of some sort, in a saddlebag or satchel tied on the mule. There is of course a measure of presumption in crediting Memaw with trying to put out the fire; it is difficult for the innocent witness to know that she is not just beating the mule, or hoping to, and that the mule happens to be on fire, and that that does not affect Memaw one way or another. But we have it on private authority, our own, that Memaw is attempting to save the paper, not gratuitously beating the mule, or even punitively beating the mule, Memaw is not a mule beater.

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What would you do? There he sits in your classroom. You know he’s listening, thinking, considering, analyzing, judging. Those ice-cold blue eyes staring a hole into you. God, he’s bright. Too bright, almost. But why does he challenge me on everything? How can I harness all that energy? This kid is going to be something some day. Good or bad, he’s going to be something. Most likely, these questions plagued many of Powell’s teachers as he progressed from grade to grade. Certainly, Paul Skoko ’65, an English teacher at McClenaghan High, knew the difficulties that came with teaching Padgett Powell. During Powell’s senior year of 1969–70, Skoko was still young and enthusiastic and was the kind of teacher that would go on to influence generations of Florence teenagers on the beauty of literature and language. For many students, Mr. Skoko would be that one teacher that changed their lives for the better. He made connections, and he made one with Powell. But a connection with Powell did not go without some sparks. Simply put, Powell liked to spar. He loved a good argument, a battle of wills. And like a boxer, he saw that kind of head-to-head conflict as honorable – and as necessary in the improvement of both fighters. His senior year, he brought the intellectual fight to Skoko in some unusual places. For example, like most English teachers, Skoko required his students to write monthly book reviews. You know the drill: Read a book off the assigned reading list and write about its contents, its plot twists, character development, the author’s intentions, etc. Sounds reasonable. Well, Powell disagreed. For one of these assignments, he turned in “The Psychology of the Book Review,” in which he argues that the book reviewer is a “despicable creature.” In his preface note to Skoko, Powell explains his reasoning: “So I might claim honestly that my aversion for the Book Review is based simply on the belief that someday [sic] I will write a book, possibly just one, and the book reviewers, who have properly been called shits, will shit on it; they will kill it. The man writes books; the eunuch reviews them. So, to write reviews, even in fun, is to propagate a profession that someday [sic], I am sure, will chew me up and spit me out, cussing.” Instead, Powell suggests that a book reviewer not read the work, but rather judge the piece on a “most stringent sensory evaluation,” meaning “look at its cover, design, type, page edge (smooth or serate); smell it inside and out (very important);


listen to the pages flap, drop it on both hard and soft substances; taste cover and random pages; feel the texture of the paper used; and he should even test its ESP by quietly meditating while awaiting a message from the book.” Remember, this is a 17-year-old kid writing a class assignment (or what he called his “anti-book reviews”). After 11 pages of advice and criticism, Powell ends his polemic against reviewers with this: “Knowledge is anathema: intuition is Truth, Beauty, corn, and a little scrambled eggs with ketchup. Get out and sniff a book!” Perhaps Powell’s ultimate act of academic defiance was his high school senior paper, “undone,” in which he breezily answers the question on the similarities between the heroines of Gone With the Wind and Vanity Fair, of which, he earned a C-. But Powell tacked on another essay, covering the “condition of my mind.” In it, he expresses his disdain for the common, his notion of being a loser and the idea of suicides as “poor (or lucky) souls.” For Skoko, it was too much. Powell’s essay(s) deserved a response – a heartfelt one that might also challenge Powell’s intellectual sensibilities as well as admonish him: “Padg, you can; do.” He then addressed this insatiable student who had continually questioned his reading lists, the choice of “classics” and his assignments in general: “The world is full of things to be learned, facts (important and unimportant, magnitudinous and trivial), opinions, ideas, experiences, observations, etc. The true learner learns from everything. And he revels in learning. In a book he learns and revels. In an assigned book he learns and revels. In a budding bloom he learns and revels. In a crushed leaf he learns and revels. In a dog-eared page he learns and revels. In an ink spot he learns and revels. In an outdated educational system he learns and revels. In a raised eyebrow he learns and revels. In a tear he learns and revels. In an unspoken word he learns and revels. In all – ALL – he learns and revels. And though things are not what he would have them be, he learns and revels.” But Skoko’s main point was this: “Don’t ignore the world. Don’t not become involved. But don’t limit yourself in frustration. Go beyond.” That was April, and in May, Powell was detained by the Florence Police Department in his literary efforts to go beyond.

The Reckoning Although the obscenity charges were dropped against Powell for producing TS, there was a ripple effect beyond Florence, reaching all the way to the College, where Powell expected to enroll that upcoming fall on an academic scholarship. Powell received a letter that he was to report to campus in June to explain this episode to the administration, and that his future at the College was on the line. Apparently, someone at McClenaghan High had contacted Willard Silcox ’33, the vice president of alumni affairs, about the arrest and thought Powell’s matriculation at the College a grave mistake. His parents, as could be expected, were none too pleased and told Powell that he created this mess, he would now have to face the consequences on his own. Powell, who had moved to Florida with his parents after his high school graduation, took a train from Jacksonville and then hitchhiked downtown, where he stayed overnight at the YMCA.

The next morning, he went to campus and met with four men whom he thought looked like senators: Fred Daniels, director of admissions; Dean Womble, academic dean of the College; and biology professors Harry Freeman ’43 and Norman Chamberlain. They talked, and Powell felt pretty confident: “They weren’t giggling, but there was definitely a level of snickering just underneath the surface.” When Powell asked if and when these august figures would make a decision, they told him to walk around campus and come back in 20 minutes. Powell went to the Cistern Yard and sat down on a bench. His father, wearing a suit, materialized out of nowhere, it seemed. “We probably had three or four talks in my life, and this was one of them,” Powell recalls of that conversation in front of Randolph Hall. “He told me that if I didn’t get in, it was not the end of the world. That was always his advice to me – that whatever happened, it was not the end of the world.” When Powell returned to the office, the judgment was succinct: You’re in.

Walking the Talk Once on campus, Powell took Mr. Skoko’s advice to heart: He learned and reveled. But he also rebelled, in his way. He joined a fraternity. No rebellion in that, but the Kappa Sigmas were not your typical frat-boy group. On campus, Pi Kappa Phi and ATO were the two most prominent fraternities, while the Kappa Sigmas, started in 1970, were an assortment of others – guys like Powell who thought and acted differently. That is, until the Kappa Sigmas started getting more selective with their membership. And with that, Powell quit. His attraction to the group was predicated on their acceptance of those classic outsiders. For Powell, exclusivity was a joke, and now, he found the punch line no longer funny. In the classroom, his independent streak was rewarded, even cultivated by some of the faculty. One such professor was Nan Morrison. She saw something special in his writing and his understanding of literature. “Padgett wrote this essay about a John Donne poem,” Morrison recalls. “The thesis was so ridiculous, something about how Donne’s poem anticipated Newton’s optics – but his insight into the poem … I learned something new about it. He was not afraid to come up with this way-out analysis. He would always push himself.” In Morrison’s Shakespeare class, Powell always sat in the back of the room. His answers, as classmate Harlan Greene ’74 remembers, seemed like one non sequitur followed by another. “It was hard to have normal conversations with him,” Greene laughs. “He was just drunk on the elixir of words. Padgett never called a spade a spade. He would call it something else.” Why use only five words when you can use 20 seemed to be Powell’s raison d’être. Morrison agrees, smiling: “It’s impossible for Padgett to not say something with flair.” His flair, however, could both unite and divide. As James Pritchard ’73 explains, “Padgett liked to set up situations and then step back and watch” – the equivalent of throwing a verbal hand grenade into the room and seeing how everyone responded to The Situation, as he might say.

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“What I remember most,” says Pritchard, Powell’s roommate at 41 Bennett Street, “was that he had a really great sense of humor. We would always be laughing, tears in our eyes, at the expense of our fellow students.” Like the yellow Chevy Nova that he drove, Powell just stood out. “There was an aura about him,” Anna Hohnadel ’76 says. “He didn’t do bad things. He was honest in a time when a lot of us were not prepared for that honesty. He was a character, with a capital C.” But not all appreciated his Character. Despite his editorial baggage from high school, Powell assumed the editor’s role of The Meteor, the student newspaper. President Ted Stern had a brief conversation with Powell, who was not the first choice, and Stern did not really mask his commands in his single question: “We are not going to have any problems, are we?” But in true Powell fashion, The Meteor did not follow the journalistic tradition of straightforward reportage. According to Blaise Heltai ’76, “One year, Padgett wrote the entire Meteor – he wrote every word, including the editorials, the sports, the Greeks and the news. At one point, Padgett committed a prank theft, and then wrote about it, including potential suspects.” For Donna Florio ’74, his editorial antics were not that amusing: “Some of my friends and I disliked the way he’d taken over the newspaper, coming up with a new zany name each month, the most memorable being The Fig Island Exponent. His stories usually had a decidedly non-journalistic bent – his sardonic personality came through loud and clear. (As a writer now myself, I’d likely call it ‘voice.’) But in 1973, we just didn’t get it. I went on something of an underground campaign against him, writing some letters to the editor under the pen name Mighty Ms. Padgett, of course, excoriated me in his rebuttals, but I was gratified by the knowledge that I’d put a burr under his saddle. After reading Edisto [Powell’s first novel], I felt a little bad about giving him such a hard time. It dawned on me then that he was seriously talented and that maybe I’d been too unimaginative to realize it.” So, of course, this literary all-star majored in English, right? No, even his choice of majors was a statement of defiance. In Bill Bradford’s English class, Powell butted heads, again challenging the assignments, even lampooning the literary critiques he was to write. Whereas Morrison cultivated that rebellious streak, Bradford, known for his seriousness and toughness, tried to suppress it. Powell’s paper: D, no comments, no red marks. “I was an ambitious boy,” Powell laughs now. “I didn’t want to sit in the back seat of literature. I wanted to be in the driver’s seat.” Powell’s response to the D was immediate. He marched over to Professor Gerald Gibson’s office, found out how many credit hours he needed to graduate and changed his major to chemistry.

A Literary Evolution Here’s the story: Boy loves writing. Even after boy graduates college, boy continues to write – long letters to friends, family and former professors. Boy uses letter writing to fine-tune his craft and test out ideas and episodes that he will incorporate into his first novel. After years of working odd jobs, boy gets into an M.F.A. program in Houston and boy meets a writer who will change his life. That writer is Don Barthelme, a postmodern experimental man of letters who came to the University of Houston in 1981. Upon his

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much-heralded arrival, Powell checked out some of his books from the library. “I couldn’t read them,” he admits. “I had never seen anything like this. I didn’t know what it meant.” For Powell, fiction was Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. “You know, realism,” he explains, “self-aggrandizing realism, some of it – though it was pretty much middle of the road, tenable utterance about things. It wasn’t abstract painting. “I was 30 years old,” he continues, “and it had not occurred to me that there could be some kind of writing that wasn’t realism, and the force of seeing that, of being that innocent, that stupid, kind of shook me up, and I think it made the notion of going in that direction attractive.” As Barthelme read Powell’s fiction writing, which would become his debut novel, he was impressed with Powell’s lyrical style, although he told him, “Regrettably, I found you fully formed.” “He thought he had,” Powell says. “And I thought so, too. But he had only seen Edisto, which was a realistic book with a preposterous center. The Huck Finn trick – you can make some impossible utterance and say it as a child, and we like that.” And we did like that. His precocious 12-year-old Simons Everson Manigault, raised only on classic literature by an alcoholic English professor mother on a remote barrier island, struck a chord with the reading public. A selection of Edisto appeared in The New Yorker in November 1983, and the novel was a finalist for the National Book Award the following year. Acclaim was being showered on the up-and-coming writer. Walker Percy, a stalwart of Southern fiction, said Powell’s novel was better than Catcher in the Rye. Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow considered Powell one of the best writers of his generation. He soon received the Prix de Rome of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Whiting Writer’s Award. What do you do for an encore? Well, when you’re a rebel, you throw convention aside. You burn the bridge behind you and warm your hands on the flames, stoking the fires with an imagination gone wild. “What I have written since Edisto has been a steady progression away from the realism that I was doing when Barthelme found me,” Powell says. “I progressed.”

Into the Abstract Today, Powell is the co-director of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at the University of Florida, where he has been teaching since 1984. But don’t think smoking pipe and tweed jacket with well-worn elbow patches. Instead, imagine ripped shorts, boat shoes without socks and shirts better suited for carrying fishing tackle than fountain pens. His students affectionately describe him as looking like a psychotic game warden with intense hair, intense eyes, intense everything. Powell, the father of two grown daughters, lives on the outskirts of Gainesville in a Victorian house set, as if by magic or by some Faulknerian plot twist, in the middle of dense Southern jungle with his pit bull, Schuping, and a brood of chickens. The only clue to his profession: the thousands of books, magazines and papers that line his floor-to-ceiling shelves throughout the house. His literary works, as he predicted back in high school, have left some critics mystified, even angry in tone, although all of


them praise his stylistic inventiveness, his ear for dialogue and his “wizardly prose,” as critic Robert Kelly wrote in The New York Times. “You have to give yourself over to Padgett’s work,” observes novelist Kevin Wilson, a former student of Powell’s at Florida. “If you can, it’s worthwhile. People who read his work, they are fanatical – he inspires devotion.” “He’s definitely a writer’s writer,” agrees Christopher Bachelder, another one of Powell’s M.F.A. progeny. “He pushes taboos, pushes subject matter. He’s not out to endear himself – he wants to rile things up. If the average reader is interested in the possibility of a sentence, of language getting mixed up in interesting ways, then Padgett is your writer.” His latest work, The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?, certainly pushes and riles things up. This “novel” is written completely in questions. Matt Weiland, the book’s editor at Ecco Press, compares Powell to a tightrope walker: “In the hands of a lesser writer, this book could easily fail. Worse, it could have been boring, but Padgett stays on that high wire through the whole way and it becomes natural for the reader.” The book garnered a lot of attention: glowing praise from The New York Times as well as a Sunday magazine story, rave reviews from around the country, NPR coverage and – most important – buzz about his literary daring. “The Interrogative Mood has touched people in this very direct way,” says Weiland, who also mentions that the book already has six foreign editions and was a bestseller in the U.K. “People are moved by it, and some are even trying to answer every question that the book poses.” One such person is Anna-Bet Bester, a copywriter and blogger who impulsively bought The Interrogative Mood in a small bookshop in Hermanus, a vacation town on the south coast of South Africa. Her blog is dedicated to answering Powell’s questions, such as “could you lie down and take a rest on a sidewalk?” and “how do you stand in relation to the potato?” For her, the book “made for a reading experience so intrinsically weird that it made my brain do all kinds of wonderful things; somehow the barrage of questions ended up taking stagnant ideas, mashing it together and creating something brand new.” And that is what Powell will be remembered for: creating something new, something different. His works are like jazz, rhythmic and unexpected. They also challenge us – much in the way he provoked and questioned the conventions of authority he faced from high school and beyond. Perhaps the final observation on Powell’s writing should come from Nan Morrison – the English professor who encouraged his passionate resistance to the traditional; who served, as he says, as “my literary mother” and inspired moments in Edisto; and to whom he dedicated his novel Mrs. Hollingsworth’s Men. “I want something from literature,” Morrison says. “I want something to take away with me. If I spend that much time reading something, I want to have seen something that I have never seen, feel something that I have never felt or know something that I have never known. You have that with Padgett. You definitely see something you’ve never seen before. And after reading anything by him, whether a short story or novel, even an email, you know he’s not satisfied unless he is doing something different.”

Excerpt from The Interrogative Mood

Are your emotions pure? Are your nerves adjustable? How do you stand in relation to the potato? Should it still be Constantinople? Does a nameless horse make you more nervous or less nervous than a named horse? In your view, do children smell good? If before you now, would you eat animal crackers? Could you lie down and take a rest on a sidewalk? Did you love your mother and father, and do Psalms do it for you? If you are relegated to last place in every category, are you bothered enough to struggle up? Does your doorbell ever ring? Is there sand in your craw? Could Mendeleyev place you correctly in a square on a chart of periodic identities, or would you resonate all over the board? How many push-ups can you do?

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Philanthropy The Gold Standard of Giving “We all know that higher education leads to better opportunities, and if we can help these kids get the education they need in order to go out there and make the most of their lives and of the world we live in, that makes us happy,” says Raymond, founder and CEO of

| Photo by Jerry Siegel |

They have dreams. They see possibilities. They know that – with the right opportunities – they can make a difference. They’re out to change lives, maybe even entire communities. And, together, they show a lot of promise. In fact, neither the Goldsmith scholars

| (L to R) Georgina, Isobel ’09 and Raymond Goldsmith | nor Raymond and Georgina Goldsmith themselves can see an end to the potential. All they know is that it starts at the College of Charleston. That’s precisely why the Goldsmiths – whose daughter, Isobel, graduated from the College in 2009 – seized the opportunity to create a scholarship that helps ease the financial burden of higher education for students in the College’s Bonner Leader Program, a four-year civicleadership and development curriculum for first-generation college students.

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International Sports Multimedia Limited, an entertainment software company with offices in London, Barcelona and Atlanta (which the Goldsmiths call home). “Above all else, education makes the difference.” If education is first, then community is a close second. And that’s exactly what impressed the Goldsmiths the most when their daughter was at the College. “From the perspective of what the College did for Isobel, how wonderful it was for her and what a strong feeling of community that it has – we think

everyone should have the opportunity to experience that,” says Georgina. “It has just the kind of warm, close-knit environment that nurtures students so they can explore all the possibilities that are out there for them. It gives them confidence – and I think they take away an appreciation of what it means to be part of a community.” The students in the Bonner Leader Program certainly do. In exchange for a $2,000 stipend in their financial aid package, these students commit to 300–450 hours of community service and leadership-development training each year, participate in service-based summer internships and even travel to other communities to explore particular issues and help enact change. These students don’t just learn to appreciate being part of a community; they become productive, proactive community leaders devoted to civic engagement. “These kids are giving back many times over, and I know that makes them feel good about themselves,” says Georgina. “That’s the wonderful thing about this scholarship – it’s not a handout, it’s an opportunity.” And you can bet the significance of that opportunity is not lost on the Goldsmith scholars. For sophomore Martin Gonzalez, for example, it means getting one step closer to his long-term goal of becoming a pediatrician. “It motivates me and re-motivates me every day,” says the economics major, who worked with the families of seriously ill children at the Ronald McDonald House during his first semester as a Bonner leader. “I like seeing the changes in their lives that I’m making – that’s why I’ve always wanted to work with medicine and children. So, when times get rough with my classes, I just remember how lucky I am to be able to make my dreams come true.”


PHILANTHROPY

For Brittany Counts, the dream of going to college began seeming unlikely to come true when she “realized that college tuition was almost as big as my dreams – and in my family, we don’t just dream everyday dreams. We dream dreams bigger than you can imagine,” says the sophomore, who – with the Goldsmiths’ help – made it to the College and plans to major in women’s and gender studies. After that, she wants to study educational law. “It puts a special spark in my mother’s eyes and makes me a real-life role model for my younger siblings and cousins to see my hard work pay off and me pursuing my dreams. I am a great inspiration to them.” Inspiring future generations is just what Candice Coulter ’11 hopes to do upon earning her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the College. “I believe it is very important for children to recognize the problems in their community and be active agents of change to better their surroundings,” says Coulter, who decided to become a teacher when she was working at WINGS, an educational organization that helps at-risk youth build the social and emotional skills they need to become responsible and productive citizens. “The opportunities I received through the Bonner Leader Program have bettered my entire life. I realize that I can never repay for all the opportunities that I receive, but I can always pay it forward by helping others and empowering them to help themselves.” The Bonner leaders are all committed to giving back, paying it forward to show their gratitude. And, as they point out, sometimes that’s as simple as leading by example. “When you’re out there providing others with opportunities that they may not have had otherwise, you’re also providing an example to the youth in the community,” says Counts, who tutored five sixth-grade students in academics, financial literacy and

character development at Metanoia, a community-development organization. “You may unknowingly change someone’s life and become their role model. You might be the one responsible for turning someone’s life around.” It’d be a real confidence boost, for sure. But just interacting with different community members can be empowering for the students – who definitely see personal benefits in their service work.

San Francisco last spring break to work in gardens and farms. And it hones skills: Just ask the students who work with Habitat for Humanity and Fields to Families on Service Saturdays. “I’ve gained organizational skills and communication skills that I’ll use every day in my future career,” says Gonzalez. “In this kind of work, you have to learn to be flexible, to communicate, to work as a team. It’s all about the teamwork.”

| (L to R) Candice Coulter ’11 and Martin Gonzalez, Goldsmith scholars and Bonner leaders | “My service this past year has challenged me and helped me realize that I’m capable of doing things that I never thought I would,” says Counts. “I believe that you can find out who you really are through the help you provide to others. Service provides a fulfillment that is unparalleled by any other.” It also builds character: Just ask the students who went to Ghana to work on malnutrition issues in a small orphanage for 10 days in May. It teaches trades: Just ask the students who flew to

The Goldsmiths couldn’t have said it better themselves. “That team spirit is really something they can experience in this program, and it’s something that will help them be more grounded as they move through their careers and their lives,” says Raymond. “They’ll need that team mentality wherever it is they go in life. Community is always a team effort.” Of course, so is education. And, together, they have endless potential.

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CLASS NOTES 1946 Jane Lucas Thornhill was honored

by the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina at their annual Women of Distinction event. Jane has been a licensed city tour guide since 1954 and actively involved in numerous community organizations in Charleston.

1949 Tony Meyer received an honorary

Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College at May Commencement. The degree recognized his lifelong commitment to the College as an alumnus, professor, coach, administrator and executive secretary emeritus of the College’s Alumni Association.

1955 Paul Weidner received the Alumni

Award of Achievement from the College’s School of the Arts. In addition to being a theater producer and director, Paul is the author of the novel Memoirs of a Dwarf: At the Sun King’s Court.

1957 Ray Smith retired after 41 years

of federal service and was rehired three years later as a customs adviser in Bulgaria. He then served five years as a pastor of the International Baptist Church Sofia, with members from 35 countries. Ray also published a book, Realizing God or a Form of Godliness? He now lives in North Charleston.

1962 Mel Marvin received the Alumni

Award of Achievement from the College’s School of the Arts. Mel is the resident composer and director at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University. He has composed music for many Broadway productions, such as Tony-nominated Tintypes and Yentl. Mel also received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College in 2010.

1967 Johnny Warren is the president of

the Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s board of directors. He has served as president of the Historic Charleston Foundation and the College’s Foundation Board; chairman of the corporation, banking and securities section of the S.C. Bar Association; and director of the Roper Hospital and Spoleto Festival USA boards.

1968 Jerry Lominac is a regional sales

executive with PerkinElmer Informatics. He and his wife live on Pawley’s Island, S.C. Sam Stafford was one of the recipients at this year’s Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) awards sponsored by the College’s Office of Multicultural Programs and Services. Sam, a dermatologist in Mt. Pleasant, also received an Alumni Award for Philanthropy from the College’s School of the Arts. Sam was honored as well by the College’s Division of Student Affairs for his commitment to students with the Don Belk ’00 Award (Don is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees). Nathaniel Wallace is a professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages

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at S.C. State University. Nathaniel received a Fulbright Scholarship to lecture and carry out research at the University of Bergen in Norway. He and his wife, Janet Kozachek, live in Orangeburg.

1969 Peggy Bridges has retired from her gastroenterology practice and will divide her time between Houston and the mountains of North Carolina.

1973 Otto German is the assistant

athletics director for compliance in the College’s athletics department. Otto has been working at the College for 38 years. Randy McIntosh works for Island Realty on Isle of Palms. Randy and Elizabeth Valdes were married in December 2010.

1974 Carlene Smith Brandon retired

after a 30-year career at MUSC and lives in Goose Creek, S.C.

1976 Mark Andrews is an attorney with

Andrews & Shull in Mt. Pleasant and is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Mike Mooneyham is a writer for Charleston’s The Post and Courier. Last spring, Mike was inducted as part of the inaugural class of the S.C. Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Orangeburg. He is also a member of the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and was the winner of the 2009 James C. Melby Award, professional wrestling’s top writing award.

1977 Kathryn Banks is the associate

director of the College’s Global Business Resource Center in the School of Business.

1979 Jeremy Rentschlar is a MD-88/90

captain for Delta Airlines and is based out of New York City. Eva Stratos was named the Best Earth Stewards Teacher by the South Eastern Wildlife and Environment Education Association (SEWEE). Eva is a teacher at Belle Hall Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant.

World Circuit Tour and lives in Buena Park, Calif. In his spare time, he gives tours at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum and writes surf movie reviews. Sarah Baker Patton is a special education teacher at Irmo (S.C.) High School.

1982 Al Eads is the owner and founder of

Heritage Healthcare Inc. in Greenville, S.C. Al is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Sharon Fross (M.P.A. ’87) is the dean of Chatham University’s College for Graduate Studies and the College for Continuing and Professional Studies. Sharon holds a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of South Carolina. Mariana Ramsay Hay received the Dee Norton Sustainer of the Year Award. Mariana is the owner of Croghan’s Jewel Box in Charleston.

1983 Vic Howie is a senior financial

adviser with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Vic is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. He and his wife, Sherri Montgomery Howie ’87, live in Charlotte. Brent Laing received an ExCEL Award from the College’s Multicultural Student Programs and Services office for being an “Unsung Champion” on campus. Brent is a senior instructor in the College’s theatre department. Carol Sinclair is the owner of Petal Pushers Inc., which provides indoor plants and maintenance to companies in the greater Atlanta area. Paul Steadman is a board member of the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, which provides scholarship support to Lowcountry students with physical limitations. Paul is the president of Steadman Agency, an insurance company with offices in Walterboro and Charleston.

1984 Davis Adkisson represented the

1980 Chuck Baker is the managing

College at the presidential inauguration at St. Louis University. Valerie Manatis Barnet received the Alumni Award of Philanthropy from the College’s School of the Arts. Valerie serves on the Spoleto Festival USA’s board. She and her husband, Bill, have provided funds that will support the creation of a new garden near the Sottile Theatre on campus. Jeff Twiss represented the College at the presidential inauguration at Drexel University. Jeff is a department head and professor of biology at Drexel. Pamela Williams is the vice president of administration and corporate secretary for Santee Cooper, based in Moncks Corner, S.C.

1981 David Hay is a member of the

1985 After more than 22 years of service, Margaret Collins Frierson has retired as

director of the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice’s Charleston office. Chuck is also the president-elect of the College’s Alumni Association. Ellen Smith Fender is the district math instructional facilitator for Colleton County (S.C.) schools.

College’s Foundation board of directors. David is a past president of the Alumni Association and has served on the College’s Board of Trustees. He is the president of Hay Tire Company in Charleston. Michael Parlor, who retired from the LAPD, photographs professional surfers on the

executive director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, South Carolina. Margaret is the president of the College’s Alumni Association. Kieran Wray Kramer’s novel When Harry Met Molly (St. Martin’s Press) was a finalist in the


CLASS NOTES

[ alumni profile ]

Success in Failure John tisdale ’86 pauses for a moment and looks up at the first slide of his PowerPoint presentation. With a slight smile, he turns to the audience in the College’s new science center’s auditorium and says, “Today, I’m going to show you the highlights – the experiments that worked over the last 15 years. But there were at least a hundred that didn’t. Perhaps that’s the first and most important lesson.” That lesson is about failure. Tisdale knows failure. He knows it in a way that few people do. In fact, he doesn’t shy away from it. As a scientist, he knows that failure is the surest path to discovery. “Failures, of course, are frustrating at the moment they happen,” Tisdale admits, “but they lead to your success.” And Tisdale’s success is something that has ramifications for the more than 2 million people worldwide suffering from sickle cell anemia. Over the last two years, the work of Tisdale and his team at the National Institutes of Health in Bethseda, Md., along with other researchers, has garnered considerable attention, from The New England Journal of Medicine to

NBC Nightly News. His team, of which he is the senior investigator, made a breakthrough in treating sickle cell disease through bone marrow transplants. Rather than replacing all of the bone marrow through chemotherapy and radiation – which had been the traditional treatment – Tisdale’s team found that they could insert as little as 10 percent of new bone marrow from a matched donor, and this new bone marrow would eradicate the sickle cells. With this procedure, doctors now won’t have to employ the high doses of radiation and chemotherapy to make the new bone marrow take, meaning lower costs, a lot less medical support and fewer complications. “Our patients have had a remarkable change in their lives,” Tisdale says of this new treatment. “They’re no longer being admitted to the hospital for frequent pain crises, and they’ve been able to stop chronic pain medications. They’ve been able to go back to school and work, get married and have children. Given these results, our regimen will likely have broad application to other nonmalignant diseases and can be performed at most transplant centers.”

The next hurdle for Tisdale’s team to clear: Make the procedure work for someone who has a half match – such as a parent, sibling or child – thereby greatly increasing the number of patients eligible for treatment. The seeds of this discovery began nearly four decades ago when an 8-yearold Tisdale was seriously injured in a lawn mower accident. During his extended recovery, involving many procedures over several years, he marveled at his doctors’ expertise. “I aspired to do things that I saw people doing well,” Tisdale remembers. “And I saw how well they did medicine.” But unlike many aspiring doctors, Tisdale wasn’t a straight-A student. It wasn’t until he came to the College and began studying chemistry that he gained the confidence to chase his boyhood dreams of becoming a doctor. “In chemistry, you learn a set of rules and concepts, and then you get to apply them – it’s not memorization. For me, it just clicked. I realized I could be a student. I hadn’t really taken studying too seriously before. Growing up in Charleston, I cared more about waterskiing and cars – typical teenage stuff,” Tisdale recalls. “Can I do this? That was the real question for me. After the first year, I thought I could. It was hard, but I could do it.” As a student, he worked and lived all four years at McAlister Funeral Home on Wentworth Street. Despite the macabre environment, it was the perfect place for a budding scientist to set up shop. “I had this desk that was almost as big as a room,” Tisdale says, “and my chemistry buddies would come over. We would spread out our work and do P-Chem problem sets. Obviously, it was a big, quiet facility – and it allowed us to focus.” That focus paved the way toward medical school and the fellowships that led to his career at the NIH, where he found that he had the “incessant curiosity” needed to sustain him as a researcher. “But the hard part?” notes Tisdale: “Doing the same thing every day and not making progress. Until you stop and look at the big picture, you don’t know how far you’ve come.” And looking at the slides of that presentation on treating sickle cell disease, Tisdale can smile, knowing he has come a long way. – Mark Berry

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regency historical romance category of the 2011 RITA awards, the romance publishing industry’s highest award of distinction. Scott Ward represented the College at the inauguration of Erskine College’s new president in April. Scott is a real estate developer in Pendleton, S.C. Laura Wilson is a sales representative with Goodheart-Willcox Publisher in Tampa, Fla.

1986 Mike Finch is a senior pediatrician

at Sandhills Pediatrics in Columbia. Mike and Jen Clark Finch ’87 have three children, Trey, Riley and Clark. Angela Kirby, a shareholder of Rogers Townsend & Thomas in Columbia, is highlighted in the 2011 edition of Super Lawyers for her work in estate planning and probate. Angela received a master’s degree from Clemson University and her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She is a certified public accountant as well as a former associate probate judge for Richland County.

1987Betsy Allen Fanning (M.A.T. ’95)

is the principal of First Baptist School of Charleston’s Upper School. Jen Clark Finch (see Mike Finch ’86) Wendy Earnshaw Girgan was a finalist for the 2010 South Carolina Spanish Teacher of the Year. Wendy teaches at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville. Sherri Montgomery Howie (see Vic Howie ’83) Michael MacEachern is the sports information director at SCAD in Savannah. Michael received the 2011 Clarence “Ike” Pearson Award, given to an outstanding NAIA sports information director. Howie Sohm Jr. is a member of the board of directors for Farmers & Merchants Bank of South Carolina. Howie is a vice president and auditor for Farmers & Merchants Bank.

1988 Elizabeth Colbert-Busch received

the Woman of the Year Award from Charleston Women in International Trade. Elizabeth is the director of business development for Clemson University’s Restoration Institute in North Charleston.

1989 Scott Woods is the president

and CEO of S.C. Federal Credit Union. He is the chairman of the board for Charleston Southern University.

1991 Bates Hagood is the general

manager of Ocean Surf Shop on Folly Beach. Bart Jackson is a buyer representative for Daniel Island Company’s general brokerage division. Bart is also the owner of Charleston Residential Appraisals. Toya Pound was appointed to the College’s Board of Trustees by S.C. governor Nikki Haley. Toya is a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology in Mt. Pleasant, an assistant professor at MUSC and the director of East Cooper Women’s Center. Chris Price is a board member of the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, which provides scholarship support to Lowcountry students with physical limitations. Chris is the president of PrimeSouth Real Estate in Charleston.

1992 Lisa Broome-Price represented

the College at Transylvania University’s presidential inauguration. Lisa is the director of external scholarships at the University of Kentucky and the associate director of UK’s

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Gaines Fellowship in the humanities program. Joe Meyer is the vice president of marketing strategy and client relations at MedCost Benefit Services in Winston-Salem, N.C.

1993 Kellie Holmes is the general

manager of McCrady’s Restaurant in Charleston. Kathryn Edwards Sherrod is the director of alumni and current parent relations at PorterGaud School in Charleston. Angel Brown Touwsma is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Angel and her family live in Atlanta, where Angel is the owner of Limetree Gifts.

1994areCharles ’00 and Jackie Weber co-owners of Charleston’s Artizom Ailstock Gallery. They are 2011 recipients of the Alumni Award of Philanthropy from the College’s School of the Arts. Jennifer Kay Bilbro lives in Mt. Pleasant and owns the marketing company Pink Bike Networking, which provides Facebook/Twitter management for small businesses as well as education and training in social media. She also launched the website OutToEatWithKids. com, a resource for S.C. parents for dining economically with children. Beth Middleton Burke received a 2011 distinguished alumni award from the College’s Honors College. Beth is a partner in the law firm Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman in Mt. Pleasant. Hartley Watson Cooper was elected to the Sullivan’s Island Town Council. Hartley is a sales associate with Carolina One Real Estate and is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Krissi Smith Harris is an associate director in First Baptist School of Charleston’s advancement office. Mary Quinto Johnson is a 2011 recipient of the Alumni Award of Philanthropy from the College’s School of the Arts. Mary has been a member of the School of the Arts Council since its inception. Charles and Stacy DeWitte Schaefer announce the birth of their third child, Gavin Troy, born in January. The Schaefer family lives in Archdale, N.C., where Stacy is a math and sciences teacher. Jennifer Schultz earned her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Hawaii in 2009. She is the program lead in genetics for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and is an assistant researcher at the University of Hawaii.

1995 Michelle Cooper is the president

of the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, D.C. Last year, ESSENCE magazine recognized Michelle as one of its trailblazing “black women under 40.” Michelle received her master’s from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Scott and CC Dennis Davis announce the birth of their second daughter, Celia Corinne, born in December 2010. The Davis family lives in Atlanta. Tara Williams Gerardi was elected the secretary of the Charleston Animal Society’s board of directors. Clay Grayson is an attorney and shareholder in Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd in Charleston.

Sarah Ditmore Imig is the database administrator for HayssenSandiacre in Duncan, S.C. Michael Renault is a regional vice president with TD Bank in Charleston. Michael is also a new member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Michael and Misty Thomas Walsh ’99 announce the birth of their son, Quinn, born in December 2010. The Walsh family lives in Mt. Pleasant. Stephanie Leonard Yarbrough was named by the Charleston Regional Business Journal as one of its “Forty under 40” for her work with the law firm Nexsen Pruet.

1996 Jennifer Asnip Quattlebaum is

the director of education and events for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International. Jennifer is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors.

1997 Nina Hunter Fields is an attorney

with Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman in Mt. Pleasant. Jessica Gonzales Gibadlo is the CEO of Harry Barker, a Charleston-based pet company, and is a new member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Barbara Milburn Godfrey is an account manager with WSPA-TV CBS in Spartanburg. Anthony Johnson assisted the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff during the 2011 NBA playoffs. Hume and Felice Viguerie Killian announce the birth of their son, Jax Viguerie, born in December. Felice is a jewelry designer and owner of Felice Designs, located on upper King Street in Charleston. Greg Townsley (M.S.) is a facility manager and research technician at the Utah State University Solar BioInnovations Facility in Logan.

1998 Quentin Baxter is a 2011 recipient

of the Alumni Award of Achievement from the College’s School of the Arts. Quentin is a prominent jazz percussionist who has performed around the world. Quentin is also an adjunct professor of music at the College. Brian Beckley is a college counselor at The McCallie School in Chattanooga. Christine Clay earned her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law in May. Michael Godfrey earned his Ph.D. in athletic leadership from Clemson University. Tim McManus was named by the Charleston Regional Business Journal as one of its “Forty under 40” for his work with Production Design Associates. Chris and Linsday Avery Nelson announce the birth of twin sons, Conrad and Crosby, born in March. The Nelson family lives in Athens, Ga. Chris Swetckie is the principal of Ladson (S.C.) Elementary School.

1999 Ray Borkman (see April Orvin

Borkman ’00) Kerry Brady-Stritch received the 2010 President’s Club Award from King Pharmaceuticals for her outstanding sales achievements. Les and Nancy Bradham Bright announce the birth of their son, Andrew Edward, born in June 2010. The Bright family lives on Johns Island, and Nancy is the director of communications and support services at The Citadel. Donnetta Grays received the Young Alumni Award from the College’s School of the Arts. Donnetta received her M.F.A. at the University of California Irvine and is a founder of Coyote


CLASS NOTES

[ alumni profile ]

| Photo by Jeroen Bouman |

If all the world’s a stage, then Michelle Medeiros ’88 is its stage manager. She’s worked behind the scenes in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, China and Denmark. She’s made certain that the dialogue went as planned in Copenhagen, London, Munich, Japan and Paris. And she’s ensured light was shed on her subjects and that their voices could be heard in Liberia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fortunately, she still remembers a lot from her theatre management studies – and, though the productions she’s overseen for Greenpeace are hardly theatrical, they certainly make use of her background in stage management. “I remember the first time I was directing an activity, and how much it was like putting on a show: You had to coordinate all the actors, you had to get people to hear what you’re saying, you were trying to figure out how to rehearse to get everything ready for the live audiences,” recalls the senior forest campaigner with Greenpeace International. “There’s so much going on in the background that you don’t want your audience to see or even know about. It’s the same when we’re working with the different governments. You have to make decisions immediately, to react quickly under pressure. That’s something I learned working in theater.” Medeiros’ seven-year theater career started directly after graduation, when she worked as a stage manager first for the award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and then for the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York City. “That was great, but when I asked myself, ‘What’s the difference I’m making in the world?’ I couldn’t really be proud of what I was doing. I wanted to do something more.” She was still restless eight years later. By then, she’d worked for publicaccess television, a postproduction video company and an international e-business, for which she’d established and managed offices in Munich, Paris and London. Eventually, however, she cashed in her stocks and enrolled

| Photo by Jeroen Bouman |

Staging the Right Environment

in American University’s Global Environmental Policy Program. “I didn’t even have to think about it. All of a sudden, I just kind of knew,” says Medeiros, whose parents ingrained in her a deep love for nature. While at American University, Medeiros also began working at Greenpeace USA, where she led policy work on Liberia’s conflict timber and developed a watching brief on the dispute resolution organization. “There was no looking back at that point. That was it.” Indeed, she’s been focused on forest protection issues in Africa ever since – coordinating work in Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia and the Congo – first with Friends of the Earth, then with ForestEthics and finally with Greenpeace International, where she has worked since 2008. “I spent that year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it really humbled me. It really made me realize that we’ve won the lottery of life being born in the United States,” says Medeiros. “But, they don’t let not having roads that go to their house, not having Internet or sporadic electricity sometimes get them down. That they can still fight the environmental fight: Man, that’s amazing!” Medeiros herself took the environmental fight to Copenhagen

for the United Nations Framework Convention on Change in 2009, and, in 2010, to Beijing, where she served as Greenpeace East Asia’s climate and energy campaign adviser. Since the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima in Japan last March, however, Medeiros has been at the Greenpeace International headquarters in Amsterdam, where she has been coordinating the on-site team as it collects data to be used in prompting the Japanese government to be more transparent. “We try to offer a different perspective – a more global perspective: How does the global organization leverage the situation to change its policies and its response for the best of the whole world?” she says. “The only way we’re going to move toward renewable energy technology is if we learn from these lessons.” It’s this kind of big-picture thinking that Medeiros applies to all her work. “I just want to work toward some kind of understanding that gives civil society enough space to work to protect nature,” she says. “And I want to take it to the global level.” Because, in the end, all the world is her stage. – Alicia Lutz ’98

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magazine.cofc.edu alumni.cofc.edu Rep Theatre Company in New York City. She is the author of The New Normal, a play about a College of Charleston graduate who overcomes breast cancer. Donnetta had her big screen debut in the 2008 film The Wrestler. Jodie Olofson Haynie was named the Lower School Teacher of the Year by the S.C. Independent School Association. Jodie is a kindergarten teacher at Charleston Collegiate School on Johns Island. Stephanie Rice Jones is a senior public affairs strategist at SCANA. She and her husband, Neil, have a daughter, Emery, and live in Lexington, S.C. Rachel Giotta Kalisperis is a curator for the S.C. Aquarium in Charleston, where she is involved in exhibit design and other research projects. Heather Gravelle Klaiber conducts real estate evaluation and valuation of large portfolios and complex properties for Ernst & Young in Atlanta. Mark Mattison received the designation of specialist in industrial and office real estate from the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. Aaron and Lauren Kordas Moyer own a graphic design business called Pearl Design Studios in St. Augustine, Fla. Fred and Taylor Hodge Riley announce the birth of their second child, Genevieve Ann, born in February 2010. The Riley family lives in Orangeburg, S.C. Mike Smith (see Ashley Jones Smith ’00) Misty Thomas Walsh (see Michael Walsh ’95) Ryan Werking is a chief credit officer and senior vice president with Harbor National Bank in Charleston.

2000 Charles Ailstock (see Jackie Weber

Ailstock ’94) Latarsha Grant Asby earned a master’s in counseling from Webster University in 2010 and is a graduate student in the University of South Carolina’s Master of Social Work Program. April Orvin Borkman is a program coordinator and health educator for EMPOWERR Program at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at MUSC. April and her husband, Ray ’99, live in North Charleston. Michael Chase is an account executive for CMACGM. Michael and Erica Kindl were married in May and live in Charleston. Abby Denham is the founder of Pints and Paints, an art bar in Athens, Ga. Suzanne Nebesky is an attorney with McRae & Metcalf in Tampa, Fla.

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Ashley Pinson works for Graceway Pharmaceuticals in Tampa, Fla. Jeff Schilz was appointed to the College’s Board of Trustees by S.C. governor Nikki Haley. Jeff is a business and government consultant with The Lucas Group. He previously served on Governor Mark Sanford’s senior staff as policy director and cabinet director. Mike ’99 and Ashley Jones Smith announce the birth of their daughter, Baylor Ellison, born in April. The Smith family lives in Charleston, where Ashley is the director of philanthropy for the College’s School of the Arts and Mike is the president of Healing Enhancements. Lindsay Stucker and James McDaniel were married in May and live in Charleston. Jason Surratt was named by the Charleston Regional Business Journal as one of its “Forty under 40” for his work as campus pastor with Seacoast Church. Robbie Whelan is an attorney and partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Charleston.

2001 Lindsey Cisa Barr is the manager

of substance abuse services at the College. Lindsey earned her master’s in psychology from The Citadel. Gordon Burriss is the owner of Magda Wholesale Kitchens & Baths in Mt. Pleasant. Catherine Clifton is a guidance counselor at Bishop England High School on Daniel Island. Catherine and Rotie Salley were married in November 2010 and live in Mt. Pleasant. Lindsey Cummings is a fourth-grade teacher at Pepperhill Elementary School in North Charleston. Lindsey and John Simpson III were married in March and live in Ladson. Florencia DiConcilio received the Young Alumni Award from the College’s School of the Arts. She lives in Paris, France, and is a composer for films and documentaries. Florencia was invited to the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and wrote the score for the documentary Eyes Wide Open: A Journey Through Today’s South America, which was the recipient of the Audience Award in the 2010 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece. Beau Evans is a district sales representative with Pfizer. Beau and Kathryn Kimbrell were married in March and live in Charleston. Margaret Anne Florence is a 2011 recipient of the Young Alumni Award from the College’s School of the Arts. She is a television, film and stage actress living in Hoboken, N.J.

Christi Wickliffe-Bessinger is the marketing and public relations coordinator at Creative Consultants Group, an IT firm in Conway, S.C. Michael and Kenisha Rivers Williams ’02 have two daughters and live in Summerville, S.C. Michael is the principal of Clay Hill Middle School in Dorchester School District 4. He is also a Ph.D. student in the University of South Carolina’s education program. Kenisha is a Spanish teacher at Ashley Ridge High School in Dorchester 2 and is an adjuct instructor at Trident Technical College.

2002 Kathryn Brown and Erik

Hernandez were married in 2007 and live in Charleston, where Kathryn is an event coordinator at the Old Exchange Building and a city-registered tour guide. Aubrey and Kristen Kizer Charpentier announce the birth of a daughter, Emily Ruth, born in May 2010. The Charpentier family lives in Winston-Salem, N.C. Preston Constantino is an inside sales manager for Cherry, Bekaert & Holland in Richmond, Va. Ned Goss participated in the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week in April. He runs the Ondeck Charleston Ocean Sailing Academy. Trevor and Meredith Caldwell Johnson announce the birth of their second daughter, Hadley Reynolds, born in January. Meredith is the director of educational services at Blackbaud on Daniel Island. Elizabeth Ringham is a CPA and a manager for GlaserDuncan Certified Public Accountants in Mt. Pleasant. Amanda Rose is a 2011 recipient of the Young Alumni Award from the College’s School of the Arts. Most recently, Amanda performed as Nessarose in Wicked on Broadway and in the production’s national tour. Bob Snead received the Alumni Award for Service from the College’s School of the Arts. He received his M.F.A. from Yale and is a co-founder of Redux Contemporary Art Studio in Charleston. Kenisha Rivers Williams (see Michael Williams ’01)

2003 Allison Ackerman and TJ Orr

were married in 2008 and have a son, Robert Thomas, born in November 2009. Allison is the editor of Consumer Goods Technology magazine, and TJ works for First Energy Corp. in Akron, Ohio. Brian Brady received his M.B.A. and his J.D. from Campbell University in May.


CLASS NOTES

[ alumni profile ]

Witness to History changed. Communications went down, including phone and Internet service. The Rays, like other U.S. government employees and their families, relied on embassy-issued radios to stay in touch. While Bill Ray reported for work, helping Americans evacuate through Cairo’s airport, his family stayed home, watching television and keeping close to, if not inside, the house’s safe room. By January 31, with the unrest showing no signs of abating, it was time for most of the Rays to fly home. After saying goodbye to his family, Bill returned to Cairo and began working long shifts at the U.S. Embassy. He and colleagues stood on the rooftop to watch the protest – even witnessing spurts of fighting as protesters and Mubarak supporters fired guns, threw Molotov cocktails and marauded around on horses and camels. The violence was short-lived, however, as the Egyptian military refrained from attacking protesters. Ray credits his counterparts in the Egyptian military for keeping their cool in tense circumstances. “We were quite proud of how they handled the whole thing,” he says. “They showed a lot of restraint: very professional.” As the protests continued, more and more Egyptians began calling for political change, including older Egyptians who had been slow to embrace the demands made by the youth leading the protests. Ray recalls how one Egyptian employee

at the U.S. embassy argued with his son about joining the unrest in Tahrir Square. “You’re not stopping me,” replied the son to his father’s demands to stay away from the protests. “If you don’t want anything to happen to me, well, you better come down with me.” Youth triumphed, and the father accompanied his son to the protests. In fact, many Egyptians were inspired by the actions of the country’s young adults. “The older generation will tell you they’re really proud of the kids,” he says. “They refused to cower.” On February 11, President Mubarak stepped down from office and passed control of the country to the military. Protesters rejoiced, and Ray says Cairo took on the atmosphere of a street carnival in the days afterward, with hordes of young people then assembling to clean the streets. Before, says Ray, Egyptians were demoralized. They compared the country’s wealth to smoke – something that can be seen, but not touched. Now, there’s a sense of opportunity in Egypt, and Ray – who left the country in May to rejoin his family in Sumter, S.C., and begin a drive to his next posting at Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas – is optimistic about Egypt’s future. “I’m not apprehensive,” he says. “It’s fun to see people take ownership of their country.” – Jason Ryan

| Photo by David Degner |

| AP Photo / Khalil Hamra |

Susan Ray ’91 stared in disbelief at the piece of paper in her hand. “No name. No Seat. Free,” was printed on the ticket from Turkish Airlines. Then, it was time to go. Gathering her three children, Sue turned to her husband, Lt. Col. William “Bill” Ray ’94, and said goodbye. They were leaving Egypt, but Dad was remaining behind to help staff the U.S. Embassy during a time of crisis. For the last week, massive protests had brought the country to a standstill. Egyptians, frustrated by decades of corruption and a great disparity in wealth, demanded that longtime President Hosni Mubarak resign. As crowds packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square (seen below) day after day and night after night, people the world over wondered when the protest might turn violent. The Rays had arrived in Egypt in July 2009, when the Air Force assigned Bill Ray to the Cairo embassy as an F-16 and munitions program officer within the Office of Military Cooperation. While he met with Egyptian military officers as a liaison for the Air Force and American military contractors, his family explored Cairo, with the kids even attending the same school as one of Mubarak’s grandchildren. They made friends with expats and Egyptians alike, enjoying the exotic and hospitable culture. It was on January 25 – when protesters crowded into the square and a standoff between Egyptian residents and authorities ensued – that everything

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Lauren Camp is a third-grade teacher at Nativity Catholic School on James Island. Lauren and Henry Ravenel were married in May and live in Mt. Pleasant. Luke Cooper and Jenny Bannan ’05 were married in March. Luke is the brand manager for the Charleston, Hilton Head and Savannah markets for Sweetwater Brewing Co., and Jenny is a first-grade teacher at Reeves Elementary School in Summerville. Luke, Jenny and their son, Camp, live on Johns Island. David Foley received his J.D. from Charleston School of Law and is an attorney with Taylor & Associates PA. David and Kelli Smith were married in May and live in Charleston. Seth Gadsden received the Alumni Award for Service from the College’s School of the Arts. He received his M.F.A. from Boston University and is a co-founder of Redux Contemporary Art Studio in Charleston. Kevin Lominac earned his Ph.D. in psychoneuropharmacology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Cynthia Page earned her D.V.M. from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in May. Laurel Stephens Shaler earned her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from Regent University this spring. Ryan Treat and Ann Ward ’04 were married in March. Most of the bridal party were proud Cougars as well: Meghan Chafee ’04, Bianca Jagers ’05, Janiece Caristo Moody ’04, Sarah Benson Reynolds ’04, Liz Wiemers ’04, Lauren Halloran ’06, Josh Keller ’03, Drew Holder ’05, Billy Gordon ’03, Richard Pierce ’01 and Andy Shepherd ’03. Ann is the director of development for East Cooper

David Hay ’81 Entrepreneur and Business Owner

Community Outreach, and Ryan is a publishing representative for The McGraw-Hill Companies. They live in Charleston. Sarah Whatley is an attorney at the Bacon Law Firm in Myrtle Beach. Sarah and Richard Saver were married in May and live in Surfside Beach.

2004 Bo Brown Jr. is the president

of Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers Inc. in Charleston. Tom Busby is an analyst of microbiology with Sigma-Tau PharmaSource in Indianapolis and is certified as a registrant of the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists. Jacki Dixon earned a J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in 2007 and was a clerk for the Honorable Carmen Mullen in Beaufort, S.C. After working as a prosecutor for the 9th Judicial Circuit in Berkeley County, Jacki is now an attorney with Miller Conway in Goose Creek. Will Glasscock is the director of government relations for the Association of Public Television Stations. He and his wife, Amy, live in Washington, D.C. Casey Burnett Hendricks is a data entry specialist in the College’s Registrar’s Office. Adam Paul Johnson received an ExCEL Award from the College’s Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services for being the Outstanding Student of the Year in the Graduate School. Riley Anderson Leitner started a children’s smocked clothing line called Bulldogs and Bows. Riley lives in Rock Hill, S.C. Lindsay Shay Nixon is the author of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. Her recipes have appeared

Damon Hilton ’99 Certified Public Accountant

in Vegetarian Times, in Women’s Day magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort on St. Maarten. Wendy Lynn Parlier is a self-employed artist living in Bradenton, Fla. She launched a project called Marathon Aquatica, in which she will be running a marathon on each of the seven continents to help raise money to protect the lives of manatees and dugongs. You may follow her progress at www.marathonaquatica.com. Paul Patrick is the director of budget and finance for the Ways and Means Committee of the S.C. House of Representatives. Paul and his wife, Laura Karst Patrick, live in Columbia. Miriam Stanley works for the Department of Social Services. Miriam and Thomas Forster were married in April. Sebastian Steadman is a senior organizational and strategy consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in Charleston. Ann Ward (see Ryan Treat ’03)

2005 Jenny Bannan (see Luke Cooper ’03) McLaurin Bruce is a planned giving administrator in MUSC’s Office of Development. Alex Cooper is a vice president of government relations with the TCH Group in Washington, D.C. Alex was formerly a Republican professional staffer on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Devin Eakes and Elizabeth Fulmer were married in December 2010. Devin is an officer in the College’s Lowcountry alumni chapter. Graham Ervin earned a master’s in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of

Ryan Holmes Small ’01 Community Outreach Organizer

Marshall Simmonds ’11 History and English double-major

Declare your impact. You can play an important role in completing the picture for our students with your contribution. Alumni giving to the College of Charleston Fund is essential in providing scholarships, faculty support and networking opportunities for alumni. Make a difference in what our students, faculty and alumni can achieve.

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COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON FUND

www.cofc.edu/giving 843.953.4974


CLASS NOTES

| Photos by Studio Julie |

[ alumni profile ]

Holding Down the Fort Call it a reverse oasis. At the western tip of the Florida Keys, surrounded by pristine blue waters, lies Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere. The crown jewel of Dry Tortugas National Park, the 165-year-old U.S. naval fortress – built to protect the country’s commerce interests in the Gulf of Mexico – is in a virtually unaltered state from when the Army left it in the 1870s. And historic preservationist Kelly Clark ’00 is making sure the place stays shipshape. It’s hard to describe Clark’s job with just her title: exhibits specialist. To put it simply, she’s a crucial cog in the multiyear, multi-million dollar preservation project focused on stabilizing Fort Jefferson. She oversees such monumental tasks as replacing portions of the more than 16 million aging bricks that comprise the fortress, reconstructing its massive iron Totten shutters and monitoring the 200-some shipwrecks that rest on the nearby ocean floor. “So, in a nutshell, I’m a ramrod,” she jokes, adding that – even though she is often overseeing contractors and other National Park Service preservation crews – sometimes she’s out there doing the work herself. “I wear many hats out here, including my hardhat.” An important part of Clark’s job involves preparing in-depth “records of treatment” for every bit of the stabilization work

at Dry Tortugas – from the officers’ quarters and the powder magazines to the lighthouses and the shipwrecks. She chronicles the project in great detail, using both words and photos, to help share best practices in the preservation field. “The work we are doing now is basically the culmination of about 30 years of work and a number of not-so-great prior phases,” admits Clark. “We have made some huge leaps over the past three years in how we carry out and document this work. That’s why it’s so important we document everything: It will be the blueprint for future preservation work.” Clark’s own preservation work began at 12 Bull Street, home of the College’s Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program. There, the equal parts classroom-and-city approach, full of walkabouts around Charleston to check out historic buildings, helped Clark prepare for the duality of her work. “It felt like this vague line between being in school and working as a preservationist out in the city; the professors did a really good job of getting us out there,” Clark recalls, noting that the program “met all the desires I had: to be outside, active and immersed in arts, architecture, history and a different culture.” Also, the freedom of a liberal arts and sciences curriculum allowed Clark

to explore subjects like drawing and photography – skills she still uses at Dry Tortugas, where some days her best tool is a hammer and others, a camera. One elective class in particular – history professor Bill Olejniczak’s course on the history of technology – has had a lasting effect on her, keeping her attuned to the most modern tools out there. “Even though my job is to preserve the past, I’m totally hip to modern tech,” quips Clark. Fort Jefferson itself was once considered modern – at least at the time it was built. Its structural features were on the cutting edge of military fortification architecture, and its armaments were some of the most technologically advanced systems of the day. “Unfortunately, these same features that make Fort Jefferson so unique are directly contributing to its structural failure today. So, the challenge from a preservation perspective is how to mitigate this condition,” says Clark. “I’m really proud to be a part of this and can say that I truly believe we have implemented some best practices that have really raised the bar.” Indeed, the time Clark has spent at Dry Tortugas National Park is a definite bright spot in Fort Jefferson’s history. You might even say the structure has found its own oasis in time. – Damian Joseph ’05

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Georgia and now lives in Mt. Pleasant. Jay Francella is the plant manager at Igene Biotechnology Inc. near Baltimore, Md. Nicholas Glover serves on the board of directors of the International Youth Leadership Institute and icouldbe.org. Additionally, he is a member of the Sharing Fund at the historic Riverside Church, the executive board of Behind the Book and the steering committee of Education Through Music. Nicholas lives in New York City. Linsey Haynie is the events director for the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington, D.C. Sasha Horne is a television news reporter at WNCT-TV in Greenville, N.C. Sasha earned her master’s in journalism from Georgetown in 2010. Sally Horton earned her J.D. from ITT Chicago – Kent College of Law in 2009 and is an attorney practicing disability law. Sally and Gregory Demo were married in May and live in Chicago. Taylor Kemp is an outside sales representative for ProBuild Holdings in North Charleston. Michelle Kerner coordinates events and incentive travel programs for Corporate Executive Board and is located in its Singapore office. Pauline Martschink and Christopher McDowell were married in June and live in Spartanburg. Morgan Miller is a digital account executive with The Economist in New York City. Chris Robinson is a teacher with the Chicago Public School System. Richard Rotroff and Laura Kelly were married in March and live in Atlanta. Martha Jane Walker is an account manager with Paycor in Atlanta. Andrew Woods is a senior development associate with the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore (Md.).

2006 Natalie Becknell is a vice president of the Johns Island branch of Southcoast Community Bank.

Julia Brewer works in strategic communications for Carolinas HealthCare System. Julia and Michael Tarwater were married in May and live in Charlotte. Rommel Caldas is an audit senior associate with KPMG in Greenville, S.C. Caroline Pohl Collins is a human resources director at Heartland of West Ashley in Charleston. Becky Coste is a client sales and service officer with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Charleston. John Cotton (M.S.) is a software engineer at Automated Trading Desk in Mt. Pleasant. John and Laura Lackey were married in December 2010. JoBeth Edwards is the director of advancement for Trident Academy in Mt. Pleasant. Kelly Forward is a vice president of human resources for CitiGroup. Kelly and Nicholas George were married in October 2010 and live on James Island. Biz Mitchell Fraser is an assistant concierge at the Courtyard on Meeting Street in Charleston. Daniel Gidick is a history teacher at Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant. Erica Harris is the director of communications with WINGS in North Charleston, a nonprofit helping children develop social and emotional intelligence through afterschool programs. Shalee Karrick is an assistant general manager at the Best Western King Charles Inn in Charleston. Ashley Meacher works for Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte. Jackie Flemons Richardson is a junior litigation associate with Schutjer Bogar in Charleston. Brittany Rodgers graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in May. Emery Rosansky is a membership opportunities manager for the Perks Program at UrbanDaddy. Rachel Sneed is the sales manager for the Planters Inn in Charleston.

Walter Tarcza and Kristin Campbell ’07 were married in December 2010 and live in New Orleans. Michael Wiernicki was a finalist in Charleston Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Competition in March. Michael is also the costume shop manager for the College’s theatre department.

2007 Kate Abney is the associate editor of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine. Taylor Arnett and Andrew Eagen were married in March. Christina Callison is a model and entrepreneur living on Sullivan’s Island. Christina is a new member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Kristin Campbell (see Walter Tarcza ’06) Tanisia Charles is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Tanisia is the legal recruiting and professional development coordinator for K&L Gates in Charlotte. She is also the president of the College’s Charlotte alumni chapter. Cara Coxe is a health programs manager with the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians in Denver. Teryn Schuetz Daysh was selected to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in Jersey City. Teryn earned her master’s in reading education from Nova Southeastern University and is a fourth-grade teacher at Sarasota Suncoast Academy. She and her husband, Joey, live in Bradenton, Fla. Lacey Ford is a business development manager at Concentrix in Greenville, S.C. Virginia Greene earned her doctorate in physical therapy from MUSC and works in North Charleston. Patrick Klein is the front desk manager at the Charleston Marriott (Lockwood Blvd.).

[ passages ] Emma Megginson Felder Anderson ’36

John Kanellos ’46

Stella Cockerill Barnett ’78

Eugene DeVeaux ’36

Patricia Hughes Farrow ’48

Jean Kay Sifford ’78

Marjorie Peale ’36

William Hamlin Jr. ’49

Jill Tompkins Yarnall ’94

Lawrence Walker ’37

June Crow Briesmaster ’50

Jeff Tysinger ’95

Edward Ostendorff ’38

Wilson Busick ’50

Robb Hertel ’03

Caroline Bischoff Lown ’42

Louis Condon ’50

Kiki Hannapel (student)

Ruth Malcolm Pickett ’42

Maria Wampl Velez ’50

Eric Roberg (student)

Roulain Johnson DeVeaux ’43

Katharine Cheshire Knott ’51

Robert Ivey (faculty)

Chilton Hammond Cheves Johnson ’44

Virginia Rowland ’57

Jorge Marbán (former faculty)

Caroline Smoak Legare ’45

Christopher Poole ’63

Lamont Meyers (former staff)

William Thomas ’45

William Wall ’71

Wilhelmenia Simmons (former staff)

March 3; Johns Island, S.C.

February 11; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. April 28; Charleston, S.C. March 5; Charleston, S.C. March 12; Greenville, S.C.

February 5; Charleston, S.C.

March 13; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. May 14; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

February 7; Edisto Island, S.C.

February 17; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. March 16; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

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June 2; Charleston, S.C. March 15; Charleston, S.C. April 25; Johns Creek, Ga. March 27; Crozier, Va.

November 8, 2010; Chester, S.C. February 13; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. November 10, 2010; Carolina, P.R. June 26; Danvers, Mass.

March 31; North Charleston, S.C. August 13, 2008; Wagener, S.C. April 8; Moncks Corner, S.C.

June 9; Charleston, S.C.

June 21; Los Angeles, Calif. April 20; Asheville, N.C.

October 16, 2010; Boiling Springs, S.C. May 15; Simsbury, Conn. June 30; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

September 1, 2010; Beaufort, S.C. July 15; Charleston, S.C. June 6; Charleston, S.C.

February 15; Charleston, S.C. June 16; Charleston, S.C.


CLASS NOTES

Hirona Matsuda is a 2011 recipient of the Alumni Award for Service from the College’s School of the Arts. Hirona is the manager of Artist & Craftsman Supply in Charleston and established an award that provides a studio art major with supplies for a semester. Russ O’Reilly and Joel Labuzetta competed with the California Grizzlies in the National Sailing League team racing showcase regatta in Boston Harbor. Emily Outen earned her nursing degree from USC College of Nursing and is a registered nurse in labor and delivery at the Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C. Lauren Pashke earned her master’s in arts administration from Florida State in April and is the development manager for the WinstonSalem Symphony. Justin Ross is the owner of Justin’s Cafe in Washington, D.C. Savannah Rusher and Anna Kate Lister ’10 are the co-founders of Surcee Press, a specialty publishing venture in Charleston. They have released A New Guide to Charleston. Thomas Spade is a senior accountant with Jarrard Nowell & Russell in Charleston. James Camden West is an associate attorney with John S. West LLC in Moncks Corner, S.C. James earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law. Maura Whitman works for Lifespan in Providence, R.I.

2008 Diane Bader is the food and

beverage supervisor for Ocean Place Hotel and Spa in Long Branch, N.J. Todd Burnaford is an investment adviser with Creative Financial Group of New Jersey and is working towards his certified financial planner designation. Katie Heath is the assistant director of special programs in the College’s alumni relations office. Catherine Mackey is a volunteer coordinator for the Alabama Coastal Foundation in Mobile. Phil Paradise and Mary Tyler Minus were married in June. Mary Tyler teaches French at Timberland High School in Berkeley County. Phil is a graduate of the Charleston School of Law and plans to attend American University for an LL.M. in law and government. Kathryn Pedings received the Educator of the Year Award from the Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina. Kathryn is a teacher at Charleston Charter School for Math and Science and a graduate student in the College’s math program. Jonathan Shepard works for SunTrust. Jonathan and Elizabeth Guerry were married in May and live in Mt. Pleasant. Elizabeth Stephenson is a Charleston artist whose latest creation is a reinterpretation of the traditional deck of playing cards. Hag Pack consists of 58 hand-carved miniature portraits of female American pop culture icons, such as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna, Oprah and Dolly Parton. Elizabeth is teaching printmaking at the College this fall.

2009 Courtney Arthur (M.S.) is a

research coordinator for I.M. Systems Group and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Silver Spring, Md. McKenzie Brodnick is a production assistant for MADE in New York City. Currently, she is working with actor Josh Gad of the Tonywinning production The Book of Mormon. Lisa Buckley works for the development office at

Georgetown University Law School and lives in Washington, D.C. Austin Huff is the event coordinator for U.S. Club Soccer in Charleston. Michael Jowers was deployed to Afghanistan as an American Red Cross worker in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Having spent the past months resting and training, he’s preparing again for deployment. Michael lives in Gaston, S.C., and is also a volunteer high school coach for the Mighty Panther track and field team. Michelle Mapp (M.P.A.) is the executive director of the Lowcountry Housing Trust in Charleston. Michael Mirmanesh received the College’s Admissions Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award. Michael is also the president of the College’s Philadelphia alumni chapter. Sara Perry (M.P.A.) is the operations manager for the College’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. Skylar Stetten is a marketing and events manager at Forbes magazine in New York City. Erica van Bavel owns Broad Street Bookkeeping in Charleston.

2010 Alex Bahan and Chris Farish were

married in June. Alex is a graduate student at MUSC, and Chris is a dental student at MUSC. Malia Brock is a graduate student in Regent University’s human services counseling program. Malia and Eric Ketcham were married in August 2010. Stevy Brooks Brown is a reservations and groups manager at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Sean Cappelmann is a sales representative with The General Agency Inc., which specializes in insurance for professionals. Sean lives in Mt. Pleasant. Jillian Clayton is an administrative specialist in the College’s English department. Michelle Cooper is a meeting planner for Meeting Solutions in Baltimore, Md. She plans meetings primarily for Microsoft, coordinating their national and international events for the public sector. Petra Duchonova is a graduate student pursuing a master’s in intercultural communication in international business at the University of Surrey (U.K.). Kelley Elder works in the human resources department of Sparc LLC in Charleston. Sarah Goose spent the summer of 2011 teaching English as a WorldTeach volunteer in Namibia. Alex Jackson is a graduate student in the College’s communication program as well as a part-time employee at SPAWAR and an intern at the Disability Resource Center. Alex is working on a project called Ramp It Up – with the goal to build every needed wheelchair ramp in the Charleston tri-county area by the end of 2011. Annabel Jones is the public relations and social media director for Franchise Clique, an online advertising company in Charleston. Anna Kate Lister (see Savannah Rusher ’07) Mary Maxwell interned last spring with the Friends of the Kennedy Center as part of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Gibbon Miler, Jordan Payne, Kera Jenkins and Kelsi Ward traveled to Peru to visit Machu Picchu. Bucky Parks is the owner of Boone’s Bar and Grill on King Street in Charleston. John Burns Paterson is a captain and bartender at Tom Colicchio’s CraftBar in New York City. He is also working toward becoming a sommelier.

Jared Ragland (M.S.) is using satellite tracking technology to link geography with pollutants in adult male sea turtles. His research, covered in The New York Times, reveals the potential risks posed to this threatened species by manmade chemicals. Emma Rittenbaum is a teacher at St. JamesSantee Elementary School in McClellanville. Emma was named the 2010–11 Rookie Teacher of the Year at the elementary level by the Charleston County School District. Candice Vinson is a graduate student at MUSC’s College of Dental Medicine.

2011Sean Alford is a staff member at

Cross Point Church in Clemson, S.C. Sean and Alex Twigg were married in May. Morgan Benz is a development assistant for the College’s Cougar Club. Lisa Carmikle and Ryan Krieg were married in December 2010. Sean Flatley signed with the Charleston Battery, a member of the United Soccer Leagues. Justin Fojo signed with the Orlando City Soccer Club, a member of the United Soccer Leagues. Matt Leeds was taken by the Texas Rangers in this summer’s MLB draft. Matt, the 2010 SoCon Player of the Year, garnered several All-America honors this season as well as placement on the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America First Team. Margaret Ann Ling and David Vandenberge were married in May. Annie Pease is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Azerbaijan, the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia.

What do a national tennis coach, waterkeeper and mistress of disaster have in common

?

Find out at the 2011 Alumni Awards Gala.

11.10.11 Crystal Ballroom, Charleston Marriott alumni.cofc.edu

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[ faces and places ] 3

2

1 4

5

8

6

7

There’s always something going on at the College. Here’s a sample from the las t few months. 1 E xCel Awards: Tonia Ger t y ’11, Fredricka Dillard ’11 and Sara Daise 2 E xCel Awards: Angela Cozar t (teacher education) and senior Jamar Brown 3 May Commencement: honorar y degree recipient John Zeigler Jr. 4 Graduate School commencement speaker: José Miguel Insulza, secret ar y general of the Organization of American St ates (black robe and cap) 5 George G. Spaulding Dis tinguished E xec utive Speaker Ser ies: Patr ic ia Miller, co -founder of Ver a Br adley 6 May Commencement: commencement speaker Dr. Richard Besser, chief health and medical editor for ABC News 7 Flash yoga mob at River s Green, led by yoga ins truc tor Skip Rec tor 8 A Charles ton Af f air: (bot tom to top) A lison Benson ’10, Stephanie Scot t ’10, Hannah Kaplan ’10, A lex Ingenito ’10, C aroline Woods ’09, Mar got Sheppar d ’10, Danielle King ’10, Brit t any Crowe and L auren Peterka ’10 9 Murals uncovered during the Sottile Theatre’s renovation this spring 10 Winthrop Roundt able, |

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CLASS NOTES

9

10

12

13

11

15 14

18

16

17 sp on s or e d by t he C olle ge’s Fr iend s o f t he L ibr ar y: f e a t ur e d sp e aker J e f f r e y Immel t , C EO o f G ener al Ele c t r ic 11 May Commencement: honorary degree recipient Tony Meyer ’43 and Sibby Craver Harvey ’58 12 A Charleston Af fair: Krist y Roe Ernst ’91, Mills Cobb Smith ’91, Arlene Anderson Harrington ’91, Karen Burroughs Jones ’74 (alumni relations), Allison Waite ’91, Maggie Feeney Eckard ’91, Melissa Rober t s Donovan ’91 and Karen Mitro Meyer ’91 13 A Charles ton Af fair: Seaton Brown ’09, Derek Delcore, Ben Genn ’11 and Tim Drevins 14 Homecoming: the Cougaret tes Dance Team 15 A Charles ton Af fair: Frances Bramlet t ’77 and Rus t y Wallace 16 Reading Day: President George Benson prepares break fas t for s tudent s at River s Green 17 Bonner Leader s Program end-of-year picnic: Elizabeth Burdet te, Jaz zi Goode ’11, Shanell Ransom and Eliza Blades 18 Residence Life cheer squad at Homecoming: (front row) C am Starr, Kyle Brazell, Evan Reinhold and Kevin Res tificar; (back row) Trevor Welsh, Kevin Welsh and Zac Hyde FA L L 2 0 1 1 |

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My Space

The Porch at 70 Coming Street I’ve only been away from campus a few weeks but I already miss my porch. It was the crowning glory of my historic house, which is, I’m convinced, the best place to live on campus. Half of my college experience was spent in that house and countless hours on that porch. Most people didn’t realize 70 Coming was college housing. Friends would often stare in disbelief when they spotted me on my porch, which is located across the street from the library, the Higdon Student Leadership Center and the communication department. Morning, noon and night, I could step out in my PJs or professional clothes and |

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sit in a wicker chair with my feet propped up on the railing to soak in the gorgeous view of a lush green yard, often spotted with deep-purple irises or bright-pink azaleas or – my personal favorite – the Japanese magnolia tree, with blossoms so close that I could reach out and touch them. But even when the flowers weren’t in bloom, sitting out in the sunshine or catching a breeze was nice enough for me. Between doing homework, peoplewatching and painting my toenails, I was probably on my porch almost every day of the warmer months. And I didn’t hog it all to myself. On the contrary, I shared my

porch with all of my friends – I would even get texts from my friends asking if I was up for a “porch chat” that afternoon. That porch was my favorite spot on campus and I loved it because it was oh-so Charleston. I don’t think many other colleges can offer that kind of living experience – especially on campus. I really do miss my porch and all the people I shared it with and the memories I made there. – Sarah Andrews ’11 Email us at magazine@cofc.edu with your favorite place on campus and what makes it special to you.


DID I _____ ?

... help outfit the best science center in the Southeast

... help fund the place that changed my life, and now, his ... help hire the next great professor

... help make her the first in her family to attend college

There are an infinite number of ways to answer that question. And we hope your response keeps in mind the College’s vigorous community of scholars, both student and faculty. If you would like to provide a legacy for the College of Charleston’s future, the Office of Gift Planning can suggest different and creative ways to make a gift.

www.cofc.edu/giving

843.953.1835


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID College of Charleston Charleston, SC 29424-0001

College of Charleston Magazine Fall 2011  

Within these pages, you're going to find many stories showcasing the College of Charleston's dynamic and intellectually vigorous culture.We...

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