C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e
S PR IN G 2 0 10
Designer Carol Hannah Whitfield '07 headlines a pack of trendsetters in our fashion-themed issue
Ch a r l es
S P RI NG 2 0 1 0 Volume XIV, Issue 2
...the tradition continues
Alfred Hall Managing Editor
Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editor
Jason Ryan Photography
Leslie McKellar Contributors
Alumni Association Gala honoring the class of 2010
Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Sara Davis ’05 Diana Deaver Bryce Donovan ’98 Worthy Evans ’94 Eric Frazier ’87 Loren Bridges Germeroth ’04 Abi Nicholas ’07 Alex Pellegrino ’03 Holly Thorpe Sarah Moïse Young ’98 Online Design
April 24, 2010
Larry Stoudenmire Alumni Relations
7 p.m. Cistern Yard
Karen Burroughs Jones ’74
College of Charleston
Executive Vice President for External Relations
Michael Haskins Contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org On the Web
Register online or by phone: alumni.cofc.edu | 843.953.5630
College of Charleston Magazine is published three times a year by the Division of Marketing and Communications. With each printing, approximately 55,000 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 ]
coming into fashion
Around the Cistern
Making the Grade 16
by lindsey jones ’05
After a successful run on a popular reality TV competition, fashion designer Carol Hannah Whitfield ’07 finds herself not just making styles, but in style.
Life Academic 10
Photo-essay by leslie mckellar; text by Alicia Lutz ’98
Alumni designers were challenged to create a look inspired by one of the College’s six academic schools. What they came up with for this photo-essay turns education into high fashion.
Point of View
by jason ryan
Senior Breanne Riggs, having traveled around the world as a top fashion model, is not just another pretty face.
brett the jet by mark berry
Brett Gardner ’05 may not be a part of the world of fashion, but he’s got something the jet set will never have: speed.
on the cover: Carol Hannah Whitfield ’07 photo by Jörg Meyer
| AP Photo / Mic Smith |
AROUND the CISTERN
The Spoils of Victory When Andrew Goudelock sank a tying three-point shot with just two seconds left in the Cougars’ home game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on January 4, the thrills had hardly begun. Yes, Goudelock’s shot capped a 12-1 run in the last four minutes, and yes, the College would go on to defeat the defending national champs 82-79 in overtime, but the real excitement didn’t start until a mob of students and Cougar fans stormed the court to celebrate and media outlets started spreading the news of the improbable upset. More than 400 news stories would soon be published about the victory, broadcasting the College’s name and winning reputation around the world. |
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Each time networks like ESPN or CNN International showed highlights, viewers saw the hardwood maple court painted with the College wordmark. “College of Charleston” was among the top 20 searches the next day on Google, and more than 462 people would become friends with the College on its Facebook page by the end of the week. In the two weeks following the victory, more than 600 tickets were sold for the Cougars next home game against Furman University. College athletics director Joe Hull’s phone was buzzing nonstop with calls and text messages from friends and professional acquaintances congratulating him and the school. He took the praise in stride, noting that when
the College plays big-time basketball programs, good things come its way. “Regardless of the result of the game, it was going to be a wonderful night,” says Hull. “We knew this was our opportunity to put on a good show and put our best foot forward.” Next year, the College will have even more prime-time exposure, with away games at North Carolina and Tennessee and a home game against Clemson. Of course, it wouldn’t be bad if those games turned out like the recent match against North Carolina, and the College earned itself lots more fans and media attention once again. “It was,” Hull says, “a huge bonus to win.”
AROUND the CISTERN
A Free Hour Tour There will never be anything quite like a stroll across campus – but, as of December, there’s something that comes pretty close. The College’s new campus tour app for the iPhone and iPod touch showcases its beautiful grounds, vibrant campus life and proud history in rich detail, and – as the nation’s first interactive self-guided university tour application – it provides a unique experience in and of itself. The media-rich, high-definition tours feature GPS assistance, 18 videos and nearly 60 images and, because they are narrated by current students Courteney Barnes ’10, Jamar Brown ’12, Christie Mallard ’10 and Scott Murray ’11, they offer an insider’s look at life at the College. “With this new app, people can go on student-led tours even if they can’t get to
campus,” says Jimmie Foster, the College’s director of freshman admissions, adding that the 75-minute tours, which are made up of five- to 10-minute segments, guide viewers through more than 20 campus spots – including residence halls, the library, classrooms, athletics facilities, the dining hall and the Stern Student Center. “Now, with the iPhone app, they won’t have to get on a plane to experience the College.” But the tours aren’t just for people who can’t make it to campus. They also provide visitors with an alternative to the studentled group tours, allowing them to take private walking tours at their own pace. “Whether they are on campus or not, they’ll be able to take a guided tour – and meet some of our students – any hour, any day,” says Foster. “This just provides another means for prospective students
and their families to get to know the campus and to fall in love with it.” Designed to engage and inform visitors on multiple levels, this sophisticated platform not only allows the College to communicate with potential students in the same ways they communicate with one another, but also gives “prospective students and their families intuitive, convenient tools to enrich and facilitate the college-selection process,” says Tommy Dew ’90, CEO of City Slicker, who partnered with the College to develop the app. “As a College alumnus, it is especially gratifying to provide technology that helps to differentiate my alma mater.” Although, truthfully, nothing could ever really compare. Download the free app at the Apple iTunes app store.
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AROUND the CISTERN
the Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts The School of the Arts knows what it’s like to be creative – especially with space. But last December, after years of using restrooms as darkrooms and utility closets as dressing rooms, the school opened the 70,000-square-foot Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts on the corner of Calhoun and St. Philip streets – finally giving it the creative space it needs: • First floor, space for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art: three interlinked galleries, a resource center and a media room. • Second floor, space for the music department: a rehearsal studio, a music library, faculty teaching studios and 19 practice rooms. • Third floor, space for the theatre department: two movement studios, two dance studios and a lighting studio. • Fourth floor, space for the painting program: a studio with 180-degree views, a woodworking shop and faculty studios. • Fifth floor, space for the photography program: a digital media classroom, a gang darkroom and faculty studios, offices and darkrooms. email@example.com.
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THE SCIENCE building It’s the biggest thing to hit the corner of Calhoun and Coming streets in a long time, but don’t let the giant ground sloth, the ancient saber-toothed cat, the 9-foot-tall cave bear or the prehistoric shark fool you: The College’s new science building is anything but antiquated. The state-of-the-art building features a fresh-air–only ventilation system; a greenhouse with computer-controlled water, light and heating systems; and 139 fume hoods among its 12 chemistry labs. At its center is an atrium that opens onto an expansive courtyard (taking up half the lot) and which – together with the open floor plan and glass interior walls – gives the space a bright, energetic vibe. At 117,000 square feet, the building also includes faculty offices and research labs, prep rooms, computer labs, GIS and geology labs, as well as the Lowcountry Hazards Center and the NASA space grant offices – and, of course, a natural history museum featuring the fossils of South Carolina’s indigenous creatures.
– The museum will be open to the public in April.
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AROUND the CISTERN
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[ from the president ]
The Value of Place It’s been said that a great city needs a great university, and that a great university needs a great city. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to the city of Charleston and the College of Charleston. Great universities infuse cities with youthful vitality, intellectual curiosity, cultural and racial diversity and a globally oriented mindset. Great cities, in turn, offer the employment opportunities, transportation infrastructure, neighborhoods, and quality of life that universities depend on to lure the best and brightest students, faculty and staff to their institutions. There are, at most, five or six very special places in the United States to locate a university. And they don’t include Chapel Hill or Ann Arbor or Princeton. Those are wonderful college towns, but they’re not Boston, San Francisco or Charleston!
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The College has always recognized the importance of its relationship with Charleston, but it has not fully capitalized on the unique attributes that make the Lowcountry so special: a breathtaking and ecologically diverse natural environment, a world-renowned historic district, a vibrant arts community anchored by Spoleto Festival USA, an international seaport, a dynamic hospitality and tourism industry, urban livability, and the list goes on and on. Renewing and reinvigorating the College’s connection to its surroundings is a hallmark of our new Strategic Plan, which will guide us for the next decade and beyond. At the heart of the plan are its three values: The first, “educational excellence,” is a value you are likely to see in the strategic plans of nearly all universities. Its inclusion in our plan emphasizes the
College’s unwavering commitment to prepare students for productive and enriching lives. The second value is “student-focused community.” Our faculty have developed a nurturing environment for students that sets us apart from most other universities. We intend to maintain the individualized education our students receive while also offering the expansive academic opportunities that are characteristic of a national research university. But it is the plan’s third and most unique value that will truly differentiate the College, both nationally and internationally: embracing “the history, traditions, culture and environment of Charleston and the Lowcountry.” Our unrivaled location should afford our students and faculty with education and scholarship opportunities that they can’t receive anywhere else in the world. This value, celebrating our sense of place, will serve as a prioritization mechanism to help us make decisions about which academic programs to emphasize and where to invest our resources. Existing programs that this value calls out include historic preservation, marine biology, African American studies, environmental sciences and policy, hospitality and tourism management, global logistics and transportation, the arts, arts management and urban planning. There is so much more we can do to strengthen these programs and their relationships within the Charleston community, across the state and up and down the East Coast. The new decade that is upon us will no doubt present continued economic challenges, including the further erosion of state support for public higher education. As a result, it is more important than ever that we invest our limited resources wisely and strategically. Our Strategic Plan presents a clear vision of the College’s future and a roadmap for how to get there. Guided by our 240-year history and our core values, the College will achieve a level of distinction that is truly worthy of its great city. – President P. George Benson To learn more about the Strategic Plan, go online at www.cofc.edu/strategicplan.
AROUND the CISTERN
CAMPUS ICON Frank Kinard Frank Kinard, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, arrived at the College the fall semester in 1972. His first chemistry lab on campus was in the basement of Randolph Hall, where his lab’s fume hood was simply a 6-foot window fan that exhausted on the sidewalk next to the building. For a professor who has taught several thousand students in the course of his 38 years on campus, he is still just as passionate about teaching as he was on Day 1. “Translating the advances in chemistry to make it understandable to students is a constant challenge,” Kinard says. “The technology we have in the classroom for teaching is totally different from 1972. I had the first stand-alone computer on campus in 1976. It was a PDP-8, for which we paid $4,000 for 4 KB of memory, and for another $3,500, we got 4 more KB. It was a great advancement in teaching. I recently gave a lecture to a graduate class in nuclear chemistry at Texas A&M University over the Internet, where we had live interactions with the students. Very different from the chalkand-blackboard days.” What professor or staff member do you think is a campus icon? E-mail us your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Born of Miracles Zipora “Tsipi” Wagner’s life is like A theorem of the miraculous – if this, then that – even if she doesn’t like to admit it herself. Slight, youthful and opinionated, Wagner, a Hebrew instructor in the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, steadfastly maintains, “If I don’t do things with my own 10 fingers, it will never be done. I don’t believe if I put something under my pillow, tomorrow it will be done. But I can’t explain the miracle of survival.” For example, miracle No. 1, if her father had not listened to the reports coming out of Germany, then he might never have booked passage for his family – the Goldfingers – aboard the Pencho, a refugee ferry boat bound for Palestine. “My father did see the future, unlike so many Jews who didn’t understand or didn’t want to believe,” Wagner says. “He made my family run away from Poland.”
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By all accounts, the Pencho should never have left Bratislava, Slovakia, but it did. First, the Russian skipper was dragged off with a morphine overdose, then the Romanians kept the boat from docking and then, with no fuel, the Pencho drifted down the Danube River, with Bulgarians and Romanians taking potshots at the ship to keep it from mooring. The ship eventually reached the Black Sea and Istanbul, then crossed the Aegean Sea, where its luck seemed to finally give out. A boiler blew, and the passengers, including Wagner’s parents, found themselves shipwrecked in the Greek isles. But here comes miracle No. 2. If the Pencho had not foundered in the Aegean Sea that October 1940, then every one of its 519 passengers would have been turned back at Haifa, Palestine, and returned to Nazi hands.
“Everyone on that dilapidated boat survived. The younger generation, like my brothers, helped others who couldn’t swim to get to shore. Nobody died. I don’t know how we can use the word miracle, but it was,” observes Wagner. Having lost almost all their luggage, which was minimal to begin with, the shipwrecked Ashkenazi Jews were adopted by the local Jews of Rhodes, primarily Sephardic, who brought food, blankets and supplies to them in the internment camp where the families were sent by the fascist Italians who controlled the region. It was probably the first time most of the Jews of Rhodes were able to receive firsthand information about the Holocaust, and an inkling of just how terrible the situation was getting in Europe for Jews. Fortunately, in Rhodes, none of the internees were killed or subjected to
violence. Prisoners were allowed to organize a nursery, library, school, theater and synagogue. Several couples got married at the camp and 21 children were born, one of them, little Tsipi. Sadly, the fate of the Jews of Rhodes was not as bright as their adopted refugees’; in 1942, Hitler gave the order to send all the Jews of Rhodes to Auschwitz. “We were not included, because we were not the Jewry from Rhodes,” says Wagner gravely. Instead, the Italians sent all the ship survivors to Ferramonti Di Tarsia, an internment camp near Cosenza in southern Italy. “The Italians had a concentration camp, not a death camp, and they were very nice, and thank God they were our guardians. Whenever the British bombarded the area, they would open the gates and let all the prisoners run to the mountains.” As for her birth in the concentration camp, Wagner says, “I was an accident. My parents were already in Rhodes, and my mother was being taken care of, but she was very sick in her last pregnancy. My brother raised me and changed my diapers.” In September 1943, the Fifth British Infantry Division liberated Ferramonti. “My elder brother was 18 at the time, and he immediately joined the British army, and our family got certificates to Palestine under the British mandate,” she says. “Otherwise, they did not allow Jews to come to Palestine. It was one more reason why so many Jews didn’t survive the Holocaust. All the borders were closed to them. There was nowhere to go.” Some might rightly say that their liberation was a miracle, but by now, the number of miracles is hard to tally. As a young girl growing up in Israel, Wagner never understood the importance of being a Holocaust survivor. The subject was taboo, and she never spoke about it with her parents or family, until she sat Shiva, mourning their deaths. “The truth is, I never asked,” Wagner admits. “My mother passed away first, and very shortly later, my father, and we were sitting mourning again at my place. So, I started nagging my brothers. I was hardly 28 at the time, and I remember just sitting with an open mouth unable to absorb all of this.” She recalls the story of how her family lost her in the busy port of Bari, Italy, just
as they were finally boarding the boat away from Ferramonti: “We were waiting for the loudspeaker to announce that we could embark, and my father held the papers in one hand and me in the other. He let go of my hand for a second to hand over our papers, and I left. I was 3 years old, and I wanted to see what was around. No one could find me for more than two hours.” Some of her stories are almost funny, like why she doesn’t like cabbage: “I never knew why exactly,” she says. “I don’t buy it. I don’t cook with it. I definitely don’t eat it. It turns out that I had actually never eaten anything else but cabbage and potatoes until our camp was liberated. We were on the train from Alexandria to Palestine, and a British soldier gave me a piece of chocolate. I spit it out, because it didn’t taste like cabbage, and I’d never eaten anything else.” Five years ago, Wagner and her surviving brother returned to their parents’ small town in southern Poland, where her brother could still guide the taxi driver, 60 years after he ran away as a 12-year-old boy. He located his school and their parents’ house, where the residents refused to open the door, as apparently many Germans and Poles fear eviction from former Jewish landowners. It was not an easy trip, she says, but it was a very important one for her. “Although our immediate family survived, nobody else did. Nobody,” she emphasizes. “I know it’s difficult to understand, but we lost everyone in the death camps: my uncles, aunts, godmothers, the neighbors, my grandparents. That’s why I’m really proud of the family my late husband and I created.” A mother of two sons and four grandchildren, Wagner revels in the fact that her children have cousins and aunts and uncles. “We’re so lucky,” she says. “I never had any family besides my parents and brothers.” Wagner creates more family wherever she goes, from students to friends. Her small office on the top floor of the Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center is nearly always festooned with students – sprawled out on the floor or draped across her chairs. She is devoted to her academic family, taking them out to eat
and teaching them to order in Hebrew and then dragging them to her gym workouts. She worries about them if they miss more than one class without calling. Wagner has found that interest in both Jewish studies and Hebrew have increased since 9/11 and the suicide bombings in Israel. “My students are interested in the situation in the Middle East,” she says. “All of a sudden, the world realizes that the Middle East is a factor in this chess game of global politics. When you study Arabic or Hebrew, you open a gate to understanding the Middle East.” For a woman who has lived through some of the darkest times in modern history – and who has taught, according to her, a “gazillion students” – one of the biggest miracles is that she maintains so much trust, surprise and optimism in her pupils and in mankind. “I love teaching,” she says. “After so many years, I know I can retire, but I don’t even dream of it. I have too much energy and enthusiasm for my students.” – Sarah Moïse Young ’98
M’dor L’dor In October, the Yaschik/ Arnold Jewish Studies Program celebrated its 25th year of existence at the College with a weekend full of lectures, film screenings, tours and comedy. Thanks to the generosity and pioneering spirit of Henry and Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik in 1984, as well as a matching grant from Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold, the College’s Jewish studies program has grown into a critical component of the campus, especially for the College’s approximately 800 Jewish students and the affiliated Jewish Student Union/Hillel. The October celebration also marked the seventh anniversary of the opening of the Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center, which houses the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina and a Judaica library, and also hosts many community outreach events.
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It’s a Small World After All For Narayanan Kuthirummal, it’s the small things that matter. The really, really, really small things. In the basement of the Robert Scott Small Building, Kuthirummal, an assistant professor of physics, goes to work in a world so small he must use an electron microscope to get there. In this world, objects are most easily measured in nanometers, units one billionth the size of a meter. In this world, Newtonian physics don’t really apply; this is the world of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics more suitable for describing things on the atomic and subatomic level. As a scientist with broad interests in nanoscience and technology, Kuthirummal manipulates matter with dimensions between 1 and 100 nanometers. If it’s tough for you to visualize how small a nanometer is compared to a meter, imagine the difference between a football and the earth. Because nanomaterial is so small, especially compared to modern scientific tools and instruments, nanotechnology is often described as attempting to stack Lego blocks while wearing a pair of boxing gloves.
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Despite its tiny scale, scientists predict nanotechnology will be one of the most important scientific fields in the coming decades, with applications in medicine, electronics, energy, manufacturing, robotics and more. The idea is that, by engineering exceptionally small molecular devices only a few atoms large, scientists can craft innovative solutions to current challenges. As Kuthirummal explains, it might be possible to one day inject a cancer patient with gold nanoparticles designed to attach to cancer cells. When the gold nanoparticles are heated with infrared light or a radio frequency field, they could destroy the cancerous cells they’re bonded to. Other scientists have envisioned microscopic machines repairing cryogenically frozen organs. Others imagine the computer chip being re-engineered at an incredibly smaller scale. And yet others, like sciencefiction writer Michael Crichton, speak of doomsday scenarios in which selfreplicating nanorobots slowly consume the earth’s matter in order to make more copies of themselves, converting everything into a mass of what’s
commonly referred to as “gray goo.” While all these scenarios have their skeptics and a host of practical challenges, many scientists agree nanotechnology opens up an entire new world of possibilities. “Whatever we are dreaming right now could be a technology 10 to 20 years from now,” says Kuthirummal, who is developing tiny semiconductors made of cadmium sulfide in his lab. In conjunction with researchers at Clemson University, he is trying to develop nanorods of cadmium sulfide to make a set of standardized nanowires for use in semiconductors. To the naked eye, though, these samples of cadmium sulfide rods are small mounds of yellow powder. Only when seen under the electron microscope are the rods, piled atop each other like spilled pick-up sticks, visible. But, to Kuthirummal, this is no game. For him, nanotechnology represents one of the best ways for scientists to radically change the world, no matter how far-fetched some applications may seem: “This is going to be the reality at some point.” And, let’s face it, that’s going to be a really big deal.
A Rock Star With Class The Rock Star: As lead guitarist for rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, Mark Bryan has been recording and performing for 20 years. He also has two solo albums, for which he was the songwriter, lead vocalist, guitarist and producer. The Gig: Last year, the College booked Bryan to teach ARTM 210: Introduction to Music Management, an upperlevel arts management course that explores the various aspects of the music business – from songwriting to band management, touring to music journalism. Bryan took the stage as an adjunct professor for the first time last semester, and – as the College continues to develop its music management curriculum – it’s unlikely that this semester’s encore performance will be his last.
The Set List: The class follows a realworld format, beginning with the music and taking students through the production, licensing and publishing processes before finally exploring band representation and booking and promoting shows. The Crowd: Ultimately, it’s what the audience comes away with that matters. And, with assignments like writing critical reviews of performances and creating business models for local artists, the students are getting a broad sense of what the music industry is all about. “My job is to give them the overview,” says Bryan. “It’s cool knowing that I’m making a difference – seeing it and hearing it from the students – and knowing that I’m giving them a little wisdom and perspective that they otherwise wouldn’t get.”
ids • Alex Sanders, professor of political science and former College president, presented his paper William S. Stevens (1948–2008) and “The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule” at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 21st Cooperstown Symposium on baseball and American culture last summer.
• Ed Hart ’88, composer and associate professor of music, worked with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, which performed his tango- and fado-influenced original composition “Three Latin Rivers.” • David Desplaces, assistant professor of marketing and supply chain management, received the Freedoms Foundation’s Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education. Specifically, Desplaces was honored for his international service-learning project called Technology for Africa, which
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raised money to place computers in classrooms in Cameroon. He and his students traveled there over spring break and installed the machines, provided computer instruction and held entrepreneurship seminars for hundreds of community members. • Crazyhorse, a literary journal edited by the English department’s creative writing faculty (Garrett Doherty, Carol Ann Davis, Anthony Varallo and Paul Allen), was named one of Writer’s Digest’s “12 Literary Journals Your Future Agent Is Reading.” The article polled 40 literary agents to see which journals they read with an eye for new talent. • Professor of Studio Art Cliff Peacock’s oil-on-linen portrait entitled Writer was one of the finalists in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, sponsored by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
| Photo by Loren Bridges Germeroth ’04 |
Δ George Hynd joined the College in January as the new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Hynd was the senior vice provost for education and innovation and dean and director of the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education at Arizona State University.
• Alison Piepmeier, associate professor of English and director of the College’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, released her second book, Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, which is the first book-length exploration of the girl-zine era. According to Piepmeier, “Zines are these quirky, deeply personal publications that girls and women use to reflect on their own lives as well as the larger culture. Even in an age of blogs and Facebook, people are taking the time to create these paper documents and copy and distribute them. They’re messy and charming and very revealing.”
Δ Quentin Baxter ’98, adjunct faculty in jazz percussion and world-renowned percussionist, also teamed up with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra to play various configurations of European and American classical music, symphonic and jazz.
Inside the Academic Mind: Howard Rudd Since 1984, Howard Rudd has worked tirelessly, as he often says, to “build bridges, not moats” across campus and the community in order to broaden the business teachings and scholarship at the College. As the founding dean of the School of Business and now a professor of management and entrepreneurship, Rudd certainly has done that and more. Here, he shares his thoughts on business leadership, his favorite classes and his most prized office possessions. What traits are critical for a business leader to have in the 21st century? To be a transformational leader, you need to visualize greatness, which certainly includes having passion; empower the “we”; communicate for meaning; manage one’s self; and approach people with care and recognition. What can we teach tomorrow’s business leaders about the current economic crisis so that they don’t repeat today’s mistakes? Many things, like unintended consequences of decision making; business ethics and social responsibility – what I view in our research and best practices as a combination of servant and transformational leadership; and the importance of giving back to the community and world around us while looking around the corner for both problems as well as opportunities. What is your favorite class to teach? There are so many favorites, but I would say there is a three-way tie: Leadership and Management Development, in which my volunteer team-teacher Doug Lifton and I bring in CEOs (some alums) and other alums whom the students can relate to and who bridge theory and practice; Western Europe Study Abroad, with Bill Olejniczak (history), which is a special multinational, interdisciplinary course where we visit companies that have operations and investment in South Carolina and Western Europe; and our cutting-edge entrepreneurial leadership course, which I team-teach with volunteer Bob Brinson (founder of Halcyon and previously the CEO of the U.S. division of an international company), which focuses on the transition (or the lack thereof) from an entrepreneur to the leader of an organization, whether that be business or not-for-profit. You preach the power of networking. What advice would you give a college student about how to network? Identify all of the possible channels and people you know who could be helpful. Then, get with the process and ask for their help with reasonable requests. What is your most prized possession in your office? Family pictures, especially those of my two grandsons – Hunter and Harrison. A special possession that is packed away in my office is the Order of the Palmetto, which was presented to me by Tommy Baker at the behest of the governor at graduation when I stepped down as dean in 1997. It was given to me for my efforts on behalf of economic development for the state, and I wanted to share it with my graduates. SP R I NG 2 0 1 0 |
MAKING the GRADE Melody for the Masses It’s Friday night, and people are pumped. Excited chatter rolls around the room as the restless swarm of students shifts about impatiently – they crane their necks to scan the crowd for friends, they twist in their seats to talk to neighbors, they scooch this way and that to make room for fellow fans. It’s packed – a full house – and the energy is already high. But when the lights start to dim and the curtains draw open, it goes shooting through the roof. The crowd erupts in wild applause, jumping up and shouting loudly, holding their camera phones up high to get a shot of the stars: the Chucktown Trippintones. The 17 a cappella singers lined up on the Physicians Memorial Auditorium stage may seem unlikely rock stars. They have no drummer, no bassist, no guitarist. They don’t wear outlandish costumes or put on psychedelic light shows. They don’t have headsets or cables connecting them to amplifiers or instruments – in fact, they have no instruments to connect to. But as soon as a lead vocalist breaks into Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” and the chorus chimes in with a series of
da-da-da-da-daa-das, what’s not on stage doesn’t matter nearly as much as what is: the vocal percussion keeping the beat, the chordal accompaniment blending with the melody, the vocal/air guitar solo provoking the audience’s delighted laughter and whoops of approval. There’s no question that the Trippintones have everything they need – the sense of humor, the enthusiasm and the talent – not just to put on an entertaining show, but to win a loyal following. And that’s just what they’ve been doing since fall of 2006, when six students decided to establish the College’s first student-run collegiate a cappella group, giving students a fun, rewarding outlet to perform popular music. The idea was an instant hit. “The feedback from students was great – lots of people were really encouraging and supportive – but it was hard to know if they were just paying us lip service,” says one of the group’s founding members, Robert Henderson ’09, recalling the concerns he and the other five had as they advertised the first Trippintones auditions that September.
“At that point our only goal was to get people to audition. We didn’t know if 10 people would even show up, and we had no idea if they’d be people who could blend. We had no idea what to expect.” They certainly never anticipated 56 students would try out for the 10 open spots. Apparently, people all over campus were ready to step out of their showers and take their songs to the stage. And it wasn’t long before the Chucktown Trippintones had found their voice. Since then, the Trippintones have made themselves heard at a concert they put on every semester, as well as at RiverDogs games, Relay for Life events, Cougar basketball games and at Collegesponsored events like Family Weekend and No Violence-No Victims Day. And, even though every year brings new voices to the mix, they consistently strike the right chord. “It’s funny, every single person who has come through has been like a long-lost relative. It’s like they didn’t just become a Trippintone, they’d been a Trippintone from the day they were born. And once you’re a Trippintone, you’re always a
Making the Grade
Trippintone,” says Patrick Melton ’06, a founding member who returned to the College to get his M.A.T. in performing arts. “Just like in any close-knit family, everyone does their part to make things work. So, even though each Trippintone is different, each with different talents, when they put it all together, it works. They function as a unit.” Which, of course, is the objective of a cappella harmonizing. “It’s about bringing all our voices together to create one cohesive song. You need to be able to express the song’s meaning and its complexity as a group,” says the Chucktown Trippintones’ current president, Laura Ferguson. “It’s about blending together and working together to make that happen. The challenge in any group dynamic is keeping everyone focused.” Especially when the group is made up of 16 college students, all with different issues demanding different actions at different times. After all – between the 30-page term papers, the conniving roommates and the upcoming parties – there’s already a lot vying for their attention. “You have to concentrate on more than yourself – and it’s not always easy,” admits Henderson, who majored in business administration. “You’re not just paying attention to what you’re singing. You have to concentrate on the person to the right of you, and you have to concentrate on the person to your left – and then take that and
meet in the middle to make it sound like one. It’s a lot of work – you really have to commit.” The Trippintones commit to two rehearsals a week – on Sundays for two hours and on Wednesdays for an hour and a half – and to the group retreats, including the annual SoJam Collegiate A Cappella Conference in Durham, N.C., where the Trippintones attend workshops on anything from more efficient rehearsals and vocal instrumentation techniques to arranging songs effectively and changing hard metal to barbershop style. Ultimately, the Trippintones hope to compete in the SoJam competition one day, but – until then – they see the conference as a learning experience. And a chance to hang out with friends. The Trippintones are a tight group: They watch TV together, they laugh together, they climb trees together – some of them even live together. But mostly, and most importantly, they sing together. “The best thing about being a Trippintone is the camaraderie – it’s great to get to hang around people who are as nerdy as you are about music and singing,” says Ferguson, a senior double-majoring in marine biology and Spanish. “Where else are you going to find 15 other people who get excited to sing – where you can say, ‘Hey, guys, let’s go sound like drums!’?” As one of those people who jumps at the suggestion to “sound like drums,” the Trippintones’ vocal percussionist Huey Waldon agrees that the group
provides a fun environment to do what he loves: sing. “I think having the Trippintones softens my character – it shows my fun side,” the junior music major says. “Singing just feels good. It does. And then it feels good to sing to an audience – seeing them out there getting excited.” “I have so much fun seeing them have fun,” agrees Melton. “There’s nothing better than taking a song and sending it out, into the air, and taking the audience for that ride.” And, whether it’s bouncing along to Billy Joel’s doo-wop “For the Longest Time” or laughing along with T-Pain’s tongue-in-cheek “I’m on a Boat,” the audience is clearly enjoying the ride. In fact, judging from the nearly fourminute standing ovation (complete with deafening applause) at the end of the show, it’s ready to go again. And, in the end, it’s that applause that keeps the Chucktown Trippintones coming back. “You can’t ignore how the applause makes you feel,” admits Ferguson. “We all love the process leading up to the performance, but ultimately we all do it for the glory.” Fortunately, the crowds are happy to oblige. – Alicia Lutz ’98 Check out the Chucktown Trippintones on Facebook, look them up on YouTube or follow them on their blog at www.trippintones.wordpress.com.
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How We Live The OEEA (Outdoor Education and Environmental Awareness) House at 4 Bull Street may be the College’s only residence dedicated to outdoor excursions and environmental projects, but – aside from the compost bucket, the clothesline and the unplugged appliances – it’s not all that different from any other residence hall. In fact, you might be surprised just how familiar it all seems.
When you have nine people (six females and three males) living under one roof – sharing one kitchen, one living room and just three bathrooms – handwritten reminders, announcements, rules and chore lists can be the key to diplomatic relations and peaceful coexistence.
An oversized Alpha Phi Omega duck, a cactus and a couple of plastic skulls accompany books like Handbook for Boys, Bennettsville and Marlboro County in Vintage Postcards, Handbook of Knots, Origami Animals, Organic Chemistry, Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured, How to Cook Everything, The Oxford New Russian Dictionary and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Junior Matthew Sanders (pictured here) and his roommate, sophomore Ian Kelmartin, are both Eagle Scouts, and do their best to live by the Boy Scout Oath and Law – which surely has its advantages in communal living.
Galoshes remain a wardrobe staple for students braving the flooded streets during (or after) one of Charleston’s notorious downpours.
Making the Grade
The Mason jar that once belonged to sophomore Beth Havens’ grandmother is now home to Isis (named after the Bob Dylan song), who keeps Havens company from her post next to films like Edward Scissorhands, Benny & Joon, Pulp Fiction and Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense.
Sophomore Deryn Hannapel finds a quiet moment to work on a project for her Drawing II class.
Ramen noodles, Chef Boyardee and peanut butter are still the go-to foods when students need a quick, cheap midnight snack or just a pick-me-up between classes. While studying Buddhism and globalization in India last summer, religious studies major Jamie Edmonds picked up a few souvenirs, including the yellow-and-white silk scarves, called kataks, hanging here with the tattered prayer flags that he pulled out of the Indus River.
Lofted beds create some much-needed study space for geology major Deryn Hannapel, who enjoys going to Folly Beach with Paco, her surfboard, when she’s not hunkered down at her desk.
Communal fridge or not, every room needs a place for Magnetic Poetry to express thoughts like, “An empty canvas is wasted paint” and “Never say it in black ink.”
Think Outside the Box Scores When it comes to Ryan Parker ’10, the storyline is familiar. Kid loves basketball, kid dreams of going pro, kid skips college and has hopes of putting up big stats for a championship NBA team. But there’s a twist: In Parker’s dreams, which are still playing out, he’ll never set foot on the court. Parker is a statistician, and he analyzes the most minute details of professional basketball players’ performances to try to discern competitive advantages. Forget the number of steals, rebounds, blocks and even points a player obtains each game. Much of that, he says, can be misleading. Parker is interested in the invisible, the intangible, what eludes even the most devoted basketball fans. Parker wants to know things only numbers can tell him. Parker wants to find out, for example, which combination of players produces the highest-scoring offense. He wants to know exactly where on court the opposing team’s best shooter is weakest. Parker is part of a movement in professional sports that urges the re-evaluation of traditional statistics, with analysts going beyond box scores to determine a player’s worth. For instance, Michael Lewis’ Moneyball detailed how the management of the Oakland Athletics baseball team utilized more obscure baseball statistics to field a top team of players despite paying relatively modest salaries. After graduating from high school in Hanahan, S.C., Parker wrote software for seven years. Always a basketball fan, he became more interested in the statistical side of the game after reading Dean Oliver’s Basketball on Paper, which debunks much of basketball’s conventional wisdom on performance and statistics. He enrolled at the College to study statistics and ultimately hopes to land a job consulting for one of the NBA’s 30 teams. Such a career won’t be easy to obtain, though. Basketball teams are secretive about how many statisticians they have on their payrolls, unwilling to disclose their strategies and how much of a value they place on their analyses. With that in mind, Parker has been trying to raise his profile
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as a statistician while still pursuing his degree. In November, Parker presented some of his basketball research at the threeday Cha-Cha Days applied mathematics conference at the University of Central Florida. His research, which can be seen at www.basketballgeek.com, predicted how many points the Orlando Magic will score on each possession based on the coach’s decision to play or substitute star player Dwight Howard. More recently, Parker has explored how the age of
basketball players correlates to their chances of making a three-point shot. All this research, says Parker, begins with a single question: “How do we always maximize our team’s chances of winning?” Before jumping to the NBA, Parker plans to obtain a Ph.D. in statistics. Given his passion for basketball statistics, he can rest easy that he’ll never be without research topics during his continued schooling. “For me,” he says, “this is a lot of fun.”
Making the Grade
Some academics spend their entire careers trying to find an application for their research – a way to turn philosophy into practice, theory into function. But for Bill Manaris and his student researchers, academic pursuits led directly to a practical, real-world application: an iPhone application, to be exact. The new app, Armonique Lite – which allows iPhone users to listen to personalized music playlists based on their aesthetic preferences – is an extension of Armonique, a hybrid Internet radio–music discovery platform that Manaris and his students had already built. “Armonique is what happened when we started trying to connect numbers with aesthetics,” says Manaris, professor of computer science, who received a National Science Foundation grant to develop the music search engine in 2007. He and his team created a framework that analyzes the statistical values of 6,045 songs and uses similarities in musical attributes (e.g., pitch, duration, harmonic intervals) to predict what music people will like. “The end result is similar to the popular music-discovery website Pandora, except you don’t have to tell it what you like, because it already knows.” “It gives you a different avenue to hearing what you want to hear – and it searches across genres, so it finds music
that you otherwise might not hear,” says Thomas Zalonis ’08, a master’s candidate in computer and information sciences who started working on the project in 2005. “It acts like a radio station, except that with radio, you might hear a song you like and then, right after that, a song you don’t like; you can’t always hear what you want to hear. This lets you hear one song you like after another song you like. It’s a whole different way of listening.” It was Zalonis and computer science majors Perry Spyropoulos and Brys Sepulveda who designed the user interface for Armonique Lite, and – once they’d determined what the user experience would be like – it was up to another computer science major, J.R. Armstrong, to develop the code to implement those ideas. “It’s been very challenging,” says Armstrong, a senior who was first drawn to the project in 2007. “At first, it was the research opportunity that caught my attention, and then the theory behind it kept me involved. But what’s really exciting is its potential – all the possible applications that are still out there.” As for the applications that are available now, Armonique Lite is available for free from the Apple iTunes app store, and the Web-based platform can be found at www.armonique.org.
| Photo by Jon Shearer / Wireimage.com |
CNN HERO In November, Jordan Thomas ’11 was honored during a televised event in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., as one of CNN’s Top 10 2009 Heroes. The junior from Chattanooga, Tenn., lost both his legs from the calf down in a 2005 boating accident in the Florida Keys. While recovering in a Florida hospital, he was heartbroken by the other young patients he met, many of them without the material and family comforts he enjoyed. “I just remember seeing so many kids who didn’t have parents, didn’t have health care,” he told CNN. “I just knew that the future was grim for them.” From his hospital bed, he dreamt up the Jordan Thomas Foundation, which helps children who have lost limbs. To date, the foundation has raised more than $400,000 and purchased prosthetics for three youngsters. It has also promised to aid each of them in their recovery until 18, including replacing prosthetics they outgrow. While performers like Nicole Kidman and Pierce Brosnan were in attendance at the theater in November, the true stars of the ceremony were Thomas and his fellow honorees, which included heroes who provide wheelchairs to needy Iraqi children, help homeless veterans, feed the poor, combat gangs in the Philippines and more. Ask Thomas, though, if he’s a hero, and he’ll shrug his shoulders. “I think if most people were in my situation,” he says, “they would have done the same thing if they could.” For more information, visit www.jordanthomasfoundation.org.
| (l to r) J.R. Armstrong, Thomas Zalonis ’08, Perry Spyropoulos and Bill Manaris |
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| Photos by Mike Ledford |
Deep in Thought
“I’m afraid of heights. always have been.” It’s definitely not the statement you’d expect to hear from a collegiate diver, much less one who has been competing in the sport since middle school. But truth be told, every time Susie MacGillivray climbs atop the high dive – which sits exactly three meters above the water’s unforgiving surface – she cannot entirely escape the feeling in the pit of her stomach. It’s those nervous butterflies swirling tirelessly around. “It basically takes scaring yourself out
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of your mind,” says MacGillivray, a senior on the Cougars’ swimming and diving team. “There’s a fear of losing control. It’s a thrill and scary all at the same time.” MacGillivray works her way through the apprehension by making the most out of every practice and ascending the high dive as often as she possibly can. “I try not to think, letting my body do what it needs to do,” she notes. “You have to leave your mind by the side of the pool.” Her hectic schedule includes three five-hour practice sessions each week
along with weightlifting twice a week. Before jumping in the water, she spends half an hour working on routines and utilizing a harness and trampoline, which allow her to learn the feel of particular moves without worrying about the water. Building core strength is crucial to the sport, which has taught MacGillivray plenty of valuable lessons in the pool and beyond. “Diving requires a lot of mental discipline as well as patience,” she says. “You have to go through all the steps with every dive. You can’t rush it.” The Massachusetts native fell in love with Charleston while visiting with her family. Looking to get away from the Northeast, she enrolled at the College and walked onto the diving team as a freshman. “It was a really good way to meet people,” recalls MacGillivray. “I had never moved before, and diving allowed me to branch out. The team bonding is amazing.” The unity is strong thanks in large part to MacGillivray, whose gregarious personality played a key role in bringing everyone together. “She does a great job of keeping morale up and turning an individual sport into a team sport,” notes Assistant Coach Dean Berman. “Her positive energy motivates the team, and she’s always in good spirits. She communicates well with everyone.” MacGillivray is set to graduate in May with a communication degree and plans to pursue a career in public relations and marketing. As for her time as a Cougar, she says she definitely made the right choice by coming to Charleston. “I love it,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.” – Alex Pellegrino ’03
Sailor Juan Maegli won the ICSA /Laser Performance Men’s Singlehanded Championship, and Allie Blecher finished third in the women’s championship in Corpus Christi, Texas. + The volleyball team won its sixth SoCon Championship in eight years and played Florida in the first round of the NCA A Tournament. + Four volleyball players placed on the All-SoCon team: Elyse Chubb (first), Cole Dawley (first), Sarah Havel |
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Two Hit Wonders
How would you describe your hitting style? Shifflett: I’m very fundamental. My hands do the work, and I have a big finish. I see the ball really well and adjust to different pitches. I like to use all areas of the field. Bergman: I would describe my hitting style as very unique. I think I’m just a natural hitter because during drills and batting practice, I don’t stand out and sometimes it gets ugly. Our coaches have learned this and basically laugh and ignore me when this occurs and wait to see what happens in the game. If I need to make an adjustment then, they step in and tell me what I’m doing wrong. What’s your approach each time you come up to the plate? Shifflett: I focus on hitting the ball back up the middle. Bergman: My approach is to just relax and attack the baseball. Honestly, I just think to myself, I am better than this guy. Visualizing success is huge in actual success. What’s your favorite pitch to hit? Shifflett: A pitch that I can handle for the situation I am in. My job is to score runs, so I adjust to whatever pitch is given to me. Bergman: A changeup. For some reason, I can stay back on the ball pretty well and drive it.
| Photo by Mike Ledford |
It takes an extraordinary studentathlete to capture SoCon Player of the Year honors. For the Cougars, two players showcased their amazing offensive talent last season and garnered the coveted top prize in conference baseball and softball, respectively. And what’s even better? Both are coming back their senior seasons hoping to build even further on that success. We caught up with Kristie Shifflett and Joey Bergman to get inside the mind of two of the SoCon’s most feared hitters. Pitchers, you may want to take some notes.
What’s the best part of the game for you? Shifflett: Stepping up to the plate. Also the love of the game – it’s a game within a game. It takes teamwork to win, which is definitely one of my favorite parts. I have always believed you have to hate to lose more than you love to win. Bergman: Competing. I love going to the field and playing against opponents that want to win as badly as I do. It makes it fun. Why did you pick your jersey number? Shifflett: The No. 7 denotes spiritual completeness or perfection. Also because my brother wore it when he played ball. Bergman: I didn’t actually pick No. 2. I was given it. However, a funny story: My favorite number as a kid was 14. I actually shaved 14 into the side of my head, kind
of as an initiation, and I thought that was my number forever. When I got to the College and realized I was No. 2, I shaved a mohawk and put 2 in it. My coach wasn’t too fond of it. Let’s just say the mohawk lasted a day. Do you follow any pre-game rituals? Shifflett: My sister Amber (who plays second base/utility for the Cougars) and I pray before every game. Sometimes, if I ever get in a slump, Amber will give me sour Skittles for every hit she thinks I will get that game. It keeps me thinking positively. Bergman: Baseball players are very superstitious, and I’m no exception. Before every game, I usually drink a Red Bull and eat a PayDay candy bar. I stretch the same, usually at the same time, doing the same exercises. I also spit on my gloves between every pitch when I’m at bat.
(second) and Ginny Phillips (second). + The women’s soccer team earned its ninth consecutive NSCA A’s Team Academic Award. + Forward Matt Morris earned a spot on the NSCA A’s All-South Region Third Team. + Former equestrian great Garland Hughes ’92 and the late professor Bill Moore (political science), who served as the College’s NCA A faculty athletics representative and the voice of the Cougars, were inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame this winter. S PRI N G 2 0 1 0 |
POINT of VIEW
[ student ]
Thanks to Hollywood manipulation, sharks are, for many people, the great terrors of the sea. But as one marine biology graduate student explains, sharks play a critical role in the health of our planet. by David Shiffman Whenever anyone learns what I do for a living, the second question I’m asked is “How did you get into that?” (The first question, is, of course, “Have you ever been bitten?”) The answer to the first question is no (although an accident with a hook sent me to the hospital one time), but the answer to the second is a little more complicated. Every boy goes through either a shark or a dinosaur phase – I just never grew out of mine. I hesitate to call my professional interests an obsession, but I’ve never missed a “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel and my apartment is decorated with more shark-themed art than most normal people see in a lifetime. First and foremost, though, I enjoy the real thing, and I’ve swum with more than 20 species of sharks on four continents. Though I’ve now seen well over a thousand sharks, each time I see one, I still get the same thrill as I did as when I was a little boy sitting at the shark tank at the Pittsburgh Zoo. If I called them beautiful, most people would consider me crazy, but few can argue that they aren’t some of the most graceful and powerful animals on earth.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit South Carolina’s beautiful beaches each year, and we have never once had a fatal attack in our waters. Trust me, this isn’t because no sharks are around. Sharks just aren’t a threat to humans. In fact, sharks help us a great deal. They are vitally important to the health of the ocean ecosystems that so many millions of people depend on for jobs, food and recreation. As apex predators, they help keep the food chain in balance. Losses of sharks have been blamed for the destabilization of many ocean ecosystems, resulting in the collapse of many commercially important fisheries, as well as the deterioration of coral reefs. Humans are, without a doubt, better off with sharks than we are without them. But sharks are in deep trouble. Overfishing and bycatch over the last few decades have led to mind-boggling decreases in population. Many species of sharks have suffered greater than 90-percent population declines in the last 30 years. A recent United Nations report stated that one-third of shark species are in danger of extinction within the next 50 years. These animals were ancient when the first dinosaurs walked the earth, but now we’re in danger of losing them forever – in our lifetime. My research is a small part of a worldwide effort to preserve these incredibly important animals. I study the feeding behavior and ecology of sandbar sharks, a common species in South Carolina waters. Sandbar sharks are fascinating animals capable of swimming enormous distances – in fact, we know that one swam from Virginia to Italy. The National Marine Fisheries Service
Sharks help us a great deal. ... They help keep the food chain in balance. ... But sharks are in deep trouble. Overfishing and bycatch ...
have led to mind-boggling
As a graduate student in the marine biology program, I get to live my dream of interacting with sharks – all the while, calling it a job. My research here focuses on the conservation of sandbar sharks in South Carolina waters. That’s right, I said conservation – the fact that many shark species around the world are on the verge of extinction is just one of many things that most people don’t know about these amazing animals. Most people think of sharks as nothing more than mindless killing machines. In reality, there are more than 500 species of sharks, and less than a dozen of them have ever killed a human. In an average year, 650,000 Americans die from heart disease, giving me a one-in-five chance of dying from this cause in my lifetime. Only one American a year is killed by sharks, giving me a 1-in-4 million chance of being killed by a shark in my lifetime. |
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decreases in population.
wants to protect them, but any management plan is only as good as the data it’s based on. Though many important discoveries have yet to be made, my research focuses on the sandbar shark’s diet. We can better protect them if we know what they are eating. Last summer, I joined Bryan Frazier ’00 of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources as he and his colleagues caught, measured, tagged and released sharks all along the state’s coast. Sometimes we left long before sunrise, and sometimes we were gone for days at a time. In addition to catching more than a dozen shark species, we also caught more than 200 sandbar sharks. The old way of figuring out what a shark has eaten involves killing the shark, cutting it open and seeing what’s inside. This method is direct, but since I’m interested in protecting the sharks, killing them for my research is undesirable, to say the
| Photo by Mike Ledford with the cooperation of the South Carolina Aquarium |
A Sea Change
POINT of VIEW
least. Instead, I used a state-of-the-art technology called stable isotope analysis. When a shark (or any animal, including a human) eats prey, atoms from that prey are incorporated into the predator. Some of these atoms can be traced, and by comparing the stable isotope signatures of suspected prey species to the signature of a tiny piece of shark muscle, I can tell what the sharks are eating without having to kill them. Though I’m not done yet, I hope to show that these sharks change their diets as they grow and migrate – information that will be useful to managers trying to protect them. I try to help sharks in other ways as well. I enjoy public speaking and have given talks about sharks at Duke and Yale. I also write about sharks for the marine biology and conservation blog Southern Fried Science (www.southernfriedscience.com), which has become one of the Internet’s leading science blogs, attracting more than a thousand readers a day from more than 30 countries around the world. One of my posts placed second in an Internetwide science-writing competition, which resulted in an interview on National Public Radio last fall. Another post is being converted into a shark conservation brochure, which will be distributed by environmentally friendly businesses worldwide. And I’m also
working on a book – Why Sharks Matter: The Ecological and Economic Importance of Sharks, Threats They Face, and How You Can Help. While sharks face serious threats, the situation is far from hopeless. The most important thing you can do is educate yourself, your friends and your family. As more people like you learn about the importance of sharks, politicians are motivated to help them. The week before Thanksgiving, the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and will hopefully be voted on soon by the full Senate. If this becomes law, it will be a powerful force to protect sharks. You can also help sharks in other ways. By purchasing sustainable seafood, you can help drastically reduce the number of sharks killed accidentally by fishermen as bycatch. You can also help increase the economic value of keeping sharks alive by visiting your local aquarium or going SCUBA diving. With your help, we can make sure that these animals continue to roam the oceans for another 400 million years. – David Shiffman is a graduate student in the marine biology program.
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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] The Devil I Know Satan has been a strong cultural force throughout the American experience. And for one history professor, it’s time to give the Devil his due. by W. Scott Poole
| Illustration by Britt Spencer |
The Prince of Darkness reigns supreme. Or at least a lot of Americans think so. A 2005 Gallup poll asked a cross-section of Americans whether they believed in the Devil as a “personal entity” (not a symbol or
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a metaphor for evil). Fifty-five percent said yes while another 19 percent said that such a being “probably” existed. More recently, a 2007 Harris poll found evidence of a growing belief in the Devil. In fact, more Americans believe in the literal existence of Satan than in the theory of evolution. Sixty-two percent of respondents believed Satan to be alive and well while only 42 percent said they accepted the conclusions of evolutionary biology. Belief in the Devil among evangelical Christians is especially high, as is a surpassingly sturdy belief in the existence of witches and warlocks with the same group.
POINT of VIEW
My decision to write a book about Satan and American cultural history grew in part out of my fascination with statistics such as these, as well as the larger cultural phenomenon they underscore. Why are rates of belief in Satan (and demons and demon possession) higher in America than anywhere else in modern Western culture? This general question piqued my interest as a historian of religion. As a historian of American history, I also wanted to know why, at every major turning point in the American experience – from colonial settlement to the Civil War, to the revolutionary cultural change of the 1960s and the conservative backlash of the 1980s – had Americans shown a fascination, indeed an obsession, with the work of the Devil. My early scholarship examined the role of religion and public memory in shaping the post-bellum American South, and I also tried to integrate religious experience into traditional historical topics. Deciding to write a book about the Devil had a lot to do with my own desire to try and understand the relationship between culture (especially pop culture) and American society. I wanted to know not only why so many Americans, from the colonial era on, had believed in the Devil, but also what devil they believed in and what historical forces had created him. These questions had been on my mind and on my personal reading list for some time. As a small child, I’m told (I have no memory of this) that I troubled various clergy people with questions about the nature of evil. My mom actually has a fairly strong recollection, likely born of embarrassment, of my harassing a minister with that question of questions: If there is an all-powerful God, why does he allow the Devil to operate? Good question. While I was completing a religious studies degree at Harvard in the mid-1990s, my questions became less metaphysical and more cultural, indeed historical. Why do we need a devil and why has he been so important in American history and culture? However, the immediate impetus for this project came from being contacted a few years ago by an editor from Rowman and Littlefield Press, who essentially asked if I would be willing to write a book for them, on any topic, in the field of American religion. I think being granted carte blanche to do more or less whatever came to mind gave me a bit more courage than I would have had otherwise. After all, how would I be able to explain to other scholars, in those brief and weighty moments between conference panels, that I was writing a cultural history of Satan? Would my students decide that I had become a kind of amateur theologian in my spare time? Would my colleagues in the history department decide that I had finally found the proverbial deep end and leaped into it? After all, do serious scholars write books about the Devil? Certainly they do in European history but, surprisingly, American historians and even American historians of religion have assiduously avoided the topic. This seemed surprising to me since he clearly plays a central role in the way American believers, from the Puritans to the present, talk about their personal struggles, their understanding of their own identity. Perhaps most frightening of all, he often came up when Americans, over the last 300 years, have talked about their enemies and about foreign policy. So, Satan and I began our dark collaboration.
What I discovered is that the collusion of popular religious movements and popular culture has produced an American Satan enormous in power, especially among evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics. The Devil has been used to justify the enslavement of African Americans, to condemn the first rumblings of the struggle for women’s equality, to damn the social protest movement of the 1960s. For many Americans, especially those holding the rein of social and political power, the Devil they knew had been the Devil they hated, feared and sought to suppress in their cultural enemies. The more I examined these issues, the more I discovered that this was no simple tale. The rich set of symbolisms offered by the Devil has not only informed efforts to demonize the cultural Other, it has also offered a narrative for those being marginalized to fight back. The classist and racist power structure of antebellum America may have viewed traditional African religion as witchcraft and seen slave rebellions as examples of “conjuration,” but I also heard the voices of slaves singing of their masters as “Old Mr. Satan” and telling folktales of the Devil masquerading as a slave patrol, whip in hand, hunting for souls whose freedom he could devour. I also heard the voices of blues singers moaning and militating against the classist and racist power structures of modern America with songs about a “hellhound on their trail” as they attempted to escape the American wasteland. My study also allowed me to think about how dissident voices in the American experience have used the Devil to critique our worst tendencies. Mark Twain turned to the image of Satan again and again in his short stories, using beliefs about him to critique everything from what he saw as the moral bankruptcy of American religion to the imperialistic Philippine War. Ray Bradbury, a far more socially and politically radical figure than is often recognized, has used his tales of sci-fi horror to show the Devil creeping about the environs of a supposedly safe and increasingly suburban America of the 1950s. More recent pop-culture devils can also be read as dissident versions of more traditional narratives that have structured American society. Kevin Smith’s movie Dogma certainly does this as does director Mike Mignola’s (and Guillermo Del Torro’s) Hellboy (in the latter we learn that there is, in fact, an Antichrist, and he has made the decision to be on our side). Finally, even though Satan never stars in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the television show is very interesting in the way that it borrows some of the more inhumane elements of religious narratives, especially religious narratives important to Christian conservatives, and reshapes them to deliver a more humane and compassionate message. Satan will long remain part of our national iconography. His continued story in the United States will not simply be the story of the struggle between superstition and science or reason versus pre-modern faith. Instead, it is a profoundly moral struggle in the heart of the American experience, a struggle over whether we will construct the stranger as a diabolical monster or recognize the stranger as a welcomed guest. – W. Scott Poole is an associate professor of history and author of Satan in America: The Devil We Know (Rowman & Littlefield).
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POINT of VIEW
[ alumni ]
The Hidden Talent Pool Life’s twists and turns presented one alumna with a new, bright outlook on how businesses might tap into the unrealized power of the special needs workforce. by Nadine Orsoff Vogel ’85 It’s May 1985. I feel lucky. I’m about to graduate from the College. My family is in the audience, waiting to watch me walk across the Cistern stage and receive my diploma. Even better, my fiancé, Doug, is with them. Tomorrow we’ll trade places, and I’ll watch proudly as he, my childhood sweetheart, graduates from The Citadel. In just four weeks, we’ll be married and begin our lives together. Like most graduates, we have hope, love and grandiose plans. And like most graduates – indeed, most people – we found that life did not go exactly as planned. In 1991, our first daughter, Gretchen, was born with significant special needs. Eight years later, our second daughter, Rachel, was born with different special needs. Our lives have never been the same. I’m not complaining. I’m still lucky. Though the divorce rate among special needs parents is a staggering 80 percent, I’m still married to my wonderful husband. And I’ve been lucky in my career, too. Many people with dependents with special needs – up to 30 percent – are forced to quit their jobs in order to care for their children or other family members. I didn’t have to quit. In
hard of hearing. Older workers with age-related impairments seldom identify themselves as having a disability. Others may find that medical technology, like cochlear implants or some of the amazing prosthetics now available, lessens the impact of their impairments so much that they don’t consider themselves disabled. Still others may be loath to disclose a hidden disability, fearing discrimination. And the numbers I’ve quoted don’t include the 2.9 million veterans with disabilities. A sobering statistic states that one in four veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan returns home with disabilities. Our large numbers are not the only reason to consider the special needs workforce. We can bring so much more to an organization. To begin with, we’re innovative. We have a great diversity of experience, as we daily deal with situations that “typical” people never face. Most people, when faced with a flight of stairs, don’t have to wonder how they’re getting to the top. They don’t have to wonder, when presented with a video, how they’re going to know what’s being shown or said on screen. They don’t have to coordinate the extra care that often accompanies children with special needs, nor do they have the years of experience that come from a lifetime of work. We, on the other hand, are accustomed to adapting to a variety of situations. We are often quick to troubleshoot, formulate new ideas and adopt cutting-edge solutions. This well-deserved reputation for innovation (which is backed up by research) is just the beginning of the benefits employers may realize when they hire from the special needs workforce.
Around 54 million American adults identify themselves as disabled, and another 23 million are parents (like me) who have at least one child aged 5–16 with special needs. fact, having children with special needs positively influenced my work life. It opened my eyes to the potential of what I call “the special needs workforce.” This workforce, composed of parents of children with special needs, people with disabilities and older workers with age-related impairments, is one of the most overlooked and undervalued talent pools in the world. It’s amazing, really, when you consider the numbers: Around 54 million American adults identify themselves as disabled, and another 23 million are parents (like me) who have at least one child aged 5–16 with special needs. There’s more – experts agree that there are even more people with impairments or disability-related issues who do not identify themselves as such – for example, people who have acquired a hearing loss but don’t consider themselves
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Consider these study-confirmed facts from the Department of Labor and the Office of Disability Employment Policy: • People with disabilities are more likely to stay with an employer than their non-disabled counterparts. Older workers also have reduced turnover rates. • People with disabilities consistently meet or exceed job performance and productivity expectations. • Absentee rates are lower for people with disabilities and for older workers compared with typical employees. There’s also anecdotal evidence indicating that including people with disabilities in the workplace improves morale and worker productivity. The benefits increase when you look at the statistics pertaining to marketing. A national survey reported that 92
POINT of VIEW
percent of American consumers view companies that hire people with disabilities more favorably than those that do not, and 87 percent of the public would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities. And don’t forget that by hiring the special needs workforce, you are also marketing to us. Check out these numbers: • The U.S. Census in 2005 reports that people with disabilities and their network (family and friends) represent $1 trillion in discretionary spending. • By themselves, adults with disabilities spend $200 billion, twice that of the teen market and 17 times that of the “tween” demographic. • Parents of children with special needs have the same income, assets and home-ownership levels as the general population. • The 50+ market is the most affluent age segment, and it spends more than $1 trillion on goods and services. These are just some of the benefits that the special needs workforce can bring to companies, organizations and communities. But these benefits can only be realized when the potential is recognized, and the needed support offered. Remember that statistic I quoted earlier: Up to 30 percent of parents of special needs children have to quit their jobs in order to care for their children? Support for the special needs workforce is critical. In my corporate career, I was lucky enough to work for a company that understood and supported my needs; it’s one of the reasons for my success. It’s also one of the reasons I chose to start my own company, Springboard Consulting, and the impetus behind writing Dive In: Springboard Into the Profitability, Productivity, and Potential of the Special Needs Workforce. I want people to understand the benefits of employing the special needs workforce, to learn how to support us and to recognize our abilities. I hope that educators will include this workforce in their classroom discussions, that managers will be quicker to see the potential in it and that students – the employers, managers and educators of tomorrow – will make the inclusion of this workforce a priority. In the preface to Dive In, Tig Giliam, CEO of Adecco Group North America, summarized the significance of this inclusion:
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It is important that all stakeholders, from educators to government officials to private sector employers, focus on making the recruitment, hiring and retention of people with disabilities a priority and business objective. This is not simply because it’s the right or nice thing to do. Just as with other members of diverse workforces, people with disabilities bring new approaches to innovation and productivity that drive real business improvement. It is also important to consider the benefits to an organization’s corporate social responsibility efforts that engaging this important segment of the workforce will provide. Back in 1985, I could never have imagined that I would be a member of this workforce. I couldn’t foresee the difficulties and the victories that I’ve had as mother to Gretchen and Rachel. Without them, I might have missed the potential of an enormous group of people. Instead, I have the experience and the opportunity to promote the power and potential of an untapped workforce. I still feel lucky.
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Carol Hannah W hitfield ’07 rose from relative anonymity to full-blown stardom on one of cable television’s top competition reality shows. by Lindsey
Jones ’05 photography by Jörg Meyer
o you know about Carol Hannah’s sweet tooth?” calls out fellow designer Logan Neitzel. “She likes cookies.” “Does she eat cookies while she’s making dresses?” I ask, only half joking. “Nooooo,” says Carol Hannah Whitfield ’07, who has me on her pink BlackBerry’s speakerphone while she packs up a dress in her New York City studio. I can hear rustling fabric, and I suddenly envision her – straight pins clenched in her teeth, a white dress in one hand and an Oreo in another. Yikes! “People are going to start looking for cookie crumbs in their dresses,” says Logan. Carol Hannah groans, and I know she’s probably rolling her eyes. Truth is, Carol Hannah is way too cautious to let her dresses get sullied by cookies – or by anything else, for that matter. But, even if she weren’t, there are a lot of people out there who probably wouldn’t mind finding a few crumbs in their dresses, as long as it proved the garments had been custom designed and custom made by the Carol Hannah Whitfield, a top-three finalist on the sixth season of Project Runway. Now in its seventh season, the popular reality TV show pits fashion-designer hopefuls against one another in a grueling, months-long competition for an editorial feature in Marie Claire magazine, an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Paris and $100,000 to start a clothing line.
As one of the three finalists chosen out of 16 designers (including Logan, with whom she and another contestant, Epperson, opened a studio in Manhattan last November) to show a complete collection at Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week, Carol Hannah made it through the entire sixth season of the show – making a name for herself in the world of design, not to mention in living rooms across the country. And while reality TV viewers love to hate the typically vain and over-the-top Project Runway contestants, Carol Hannah – with her goofball antics (airplaning around the workroom), Southern drawl (during one episode, supermodel host Heidi Klum blurted out, “Did you just say y’all?”) and clever but gracious wit – made that difficult for the Season 6 audience. In fact, she was the type of character viewers love to love – quirky, yet astonishingly talented.
All Sewn Up
I was in college, rooming in a downtown apartment with Rachel Whitfield ’05, when I realized that her younger sister, Carol Hannah, was going to be famous. I wasn’t the only one. Anyone who peeked inside her Rutledge Avenue apartment knew this sprightly blonde was uncommon. Where most college girls have futons and desks, Carol Hannah had an industrial sewing machine and a dress form named “Nonny.” And – instead of the trendy, mass-produced clothes that hang in most college girls’ closets – Carol Hannah’s closets were filled with custom-designed dresses she’d sewn from fabric that she chose herself. It’s no wonder people were constantly telling her she should go on Project Runway. She clearly had what it takes. (“I used to watch the show with my sister and best friend and yell at the TV because I thought I could do better,” she admits.) She may have been “just” a sales clerk making minimum wage at the Banana Republic on King Street, but we all knew she’d be famous one day.
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Of course, my roommates and I thought Carol Hannah becoming a world-renowned fashion designer was our idea. It wasn’t. It was Carol Hannah’s idea. OK, maybe not the world-renowned part. But she’d wanted to be a fashion designer ever since she started sewing dresses for her Barbie dolls at age 7. By middle school, she had moved up – making clothes for actual people – and, by high school, she’d progressed to prom dresses. Yet, when it was time for the Anderson, S.C. native to start thinking about her future – which almost certainly would involve fashion design – she opted for the traditional university experience.
It was that confidence that spurred her to enter Charleston Fashion Week’s Emerging Local Designers Competition just months after graduating. It was her talent and her vision, however, that won her a spot on the CFW runway. As one of six finalists, she created a whimsical, colorful collection of cocktail dresses, and it was met with glowing enthusiasm. Incidentally, the experience left her with everything she needed to audition for Project Runway: plenty of clothing samples, a reassured belief in herself, and an audition tape that captured her personality, her design process and her aesthetic. “In Charleston, there are a lot of things that are very flowing and very organic right next to things that are very hard and very
“I thought about going to design school for a little while, but decided against it because I didn’t want to pay so much money for a piece of paper that said that I could do what I already knew how to do,” she says. Besides, she points out, “What good is talent if you can’t make a successful business out of it?” With that in mind, she headed to the College, where she majored in business and minored in marketing and studio art. Her professors quickly saw that Carol Hannah was talented – even though she mostly kept to herself, quietly assured. “She had a lot of depth and a lot of substance, but she was sort of shy,” says Sarah Frankel, associate drawing professor, who led Carol Hannah’s independent study in fashion drawings. “As I got to know her, I got to know her sense of humor, and she developed a really, really lovely confidence.”
solid, so my pieces are all a reflection of that,” she explains in the video before it cuts to a clip of her biking on the Battery, and she concludes, “That’s it.” And, with that, she takes off.
College Chic No More
Carol Hannah stood before the judges in her self-made dress. She’d made it through the first round of auditions, and she was in her casting session, showing the judges some of her favorite pieces and calmly answering their questions. When asked if the collection was from her senior project in design school, Carol Hannah laughed: “Oh, I went to school for business!” That – along with her composure and, most importantly, her workmanship – made an impression. Three weeks later, she got the
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call. She was going to be on Project Runway. The only problem? She had to keep the news to herself. Aside from her parents, sister and one friend, no one else could know the outcome of the audition. That meant she had to lie, sometimes dozens of times a day. “I lied to almost every person I know,” she recalls. I, for one, have an e-mail exchange in my inbox from November 2008 that abruptly ended as soon as I’d asked, “What ever happened with Project Runway?” Little did I know, Carol Hannah had wrapped up pre-finale filming just a month before. Her excuse for being MIA – that she had moved to New York – was only partly true. She had moved, but she had also spent several of those missing months filming the show in Los Angeles. In fact, she hadn’t moved to New York until after the finalists were chosen – at which point she had three months to create an original collection to show at Bryant Park, New York’s fashion mecca. On top of that pressure – and the pressure of keeping her life on the QT – Carol Hannah was fretting that it was all for nothing, that the show might not even air due to a legal dispute between the show’s former network, Bravo, and its new network, Lifetime. “While making the collection, I was truly terrified that I was wasting my time,” she admits. “I felt like a giant black cloud was sitting on my shoulder, and every time I read something about it, I freaked out. I don’t know how I would have reacted if the show never aired. That would have been tough – to do something so difficult and do well and not be able to tell anyone? No thank you!” And if she did tell? If she let the secret slip to just one other person? According to her contract, she would owe Lifetime one million dollars. It was definitely an incentive to keep the secret – and it might not have been a big deal if the show had aired when it was scheduled to, shortly after it was filmed. But, even after the finalists had completed their collections and shown them at Bryant Park, the show didn’t see the light of day until almost a year later. Eventually, however, the wait was over. The legal dispute was resolved, and finally Carol Hannah could make her lifealtering announcement. “Dear everyone, Sorry I lied to you for a year. Love, Carol Hannah,” read her July 9, 2009 Facebook status, which included a link to Lifetime’s announcement of Project Runway’s Season 6 cast. The word was out: Carol Hannah Whitfield was on the show. It was an exciting time and, in the days to follow, Carol Hannah’s Facebook status updates included, “Maybe I should get a TV,” “I’m in People magazine. Weird!” and “Carol Hannah is, yes, very excited about being on Project Runway. But can we please talk about the more important fact that Harry Potter comes out in less than a week?!” The importance of the exposure she was about to get didn’t quite sink in until August 20, 2009, when 4.2 million viewers tuned in for the season premier of Project Runway. Still, footage of Carol Hannah was relatively sparse in the first few episodes: Show after show, she seemed to lurk somewhere in the background until the end of the hour, when a model in a splendidly draped gown would sashay down the runway and the camera would cut to its designer’s self-assured smile.
She may not have had formal training or a ton of experience, but Carol Hannah had what it takes: confidence. She knew she could do this. And she did.
Since the show, Carol Hannah has sold dresses faster – much faster – than she can make them. In fact, she gets so many orders through her website (www.carol-hannah.com), she recently began using a factory to keep up with the demand so that every minute of her day isn’t spent sewing. When she’s not sewing, she’s making patterns, packing and shipping, picking up fabric, updating her retailers, consulting with clients, giving interviews and doing photo shoots – and mixing it up every so often with an impromptu bout of break dancing. In her free time, she scans blogs and fashion sites to keep on top of trends and answers e-mails (“so many e-mails!”) on the subway – and somehow she finds time to train for the marathon she’s running this spring. She usually makes it to bed around 2 or 3 a.m. Which is precisely why Carol Hannah and her studio-mate Logan are such frequent patrons to Cupcake Café, a spot around the corner where they draw another hour’s sustenance from cup after cup of Americana. “We pretty much live off coffee,” says Logan, adding that Carol Hannah usually supplements her hot beverage with one of the café’s ornate, flowery cupcakes. “I don’t know if anyone knows this, but she’s this little 100-pound girl with the appetite of a 400-pound girl.” She may be a little girl, but she’s not shying away from the big world of fashion – or from the Big Apple. Although she originally moved to New York “for the fabric,” Carol Hannah has since fallen in love with the city, and plans to stick around indefinitely. “I love the diversity and the architecture and the fact that you can get the best pizza you’ve ever had in your life at 4 a.m.,” she writes on her blog, although she admits, “I had no idea what the word cold actually meant in South Carolina.” Carol Hannah is heading back down to the Palmetto State in March to judge the very competition that led to her success – the Emerging Local Designers Competition at Charleston Fashion Week, where she will also debut her new bridal line. “It made sense to me to go back to where I started, to launch this line from home,” she says. It also makes sense that, the day after the CFW runway show, she will have a trunk show at Maddison Row, the chic bridal boutique on Spring Street where she worked as a bridal consultant just two short years ago. It’s hard to believe, but very soon, her own gowns will be on display among the designers’ dresses she used to sell: Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera and Monique Lhuillier. Despite the perks of her success – the all-expenses-paid jaunts to Dubai, the encounters with Christina Aguilera and Lindsay Lohan, the trips to the Emmys – Carol Hannah has managed to stay not just grounded, but radically humble and content. “In the long run, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. As long as I can keep making my dresses, I am happy as a clam – and that’s a lot easier to do when 5 million people aren’t watching. My life is not about TV or being the center of attention – or,” she laughs, “being fabulous,” adding that, although she’s grateful for the Project Runway experience, she’s even more “grateful to know the difference between reality TV and reality.”
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ast summer we challenged six alumni – all with their own individual design aesthetics, and all with different levels of design experience – to create an original garment representing some aspect of one of the College’s six academic schools. The only rule was that they envision and craft their look based on their assigned school. The rest was up to them: They were free to find inspiration in the school’s buildings, its mission, its classes, its students – wherever – and they had full control over the development and construction of their design. What they came back with were six very different, yet equally creative designs. And, just as the schools that the designs represent together form something even greater – a comprehensive, strong, effective academic institution – collectively, these garments constitute a striking expression of the formidable talent and exceptional skill within the College of Charleston family. Photography ::
Leslie McKellar Text ::
Alicia Lutz ’98 Hair and Make-Up ::
Melissa Pope Ward of Velvet Salon Downtown Charleston Intelligent Design dress ::
Christine Burchett ’10
Shelley Smith ’09 School of Education, Health, and Human Performance
“I see fashion more as art than anything else,” says Shelley Smith, who has continued to dabble in fashion design since graduating last May with a B.A. in studio art and concentrations in painting and printmaking. “The majority of my designs are avantgarde. I like to create silhouettes that are out of the ordinary.” The extraordinary ensemble shown here is Smith’s expression of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance’s fusion of intellectual and physical health – that connection between learning and wellness, mind and body. “I took that idea of ‘mind and body’ and played with its juxtaposition. The body aspect of it was really inspiring, since I enjoy sewing sculptural forms,” says Smith, explaining that the front of the dress’s bodice is meant to represent a ribcage and the back represents a spine. “Illustrating the mind was a little more difficult,” but Smith eventually layered in waves of texture and color to represent not just the neurons, synapses and action potentials of the central nervous system, but also “the different perspectives people can have, as well as the spiritual side of things.” , model: Caroline Millard 09 location: stairwell in the Silcox Center
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Michael Wiernicki ’06 School of Humanities and Social Sciences
“Style is about what is inside you manifesting itself in the details of everyday life. It comes out of different people in different ways, and for me it’s all about clothes,” says Michael Wiernicki, who majored in theatre and is now the manager of the College’s costume shop. “When it comes to clothes, I’m equally in love with good design and good construction, so I’m all too happy to wake up five days a week and go to a job where my primary function is to make interesting clothes, and to make them as perfectly as possible.” This perfectly made, decidedly interesting ensemble is based on the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ comprehensive goal to provide the vantage point students need in order to see the big picture through all the disparity. “I represented this sentiment in my look by combining intensely contrasting patterns, colors and textures to create a sort of lucid harmony,” says Wiernicki. “The key element of this aesthetic – the mixing of textiles, patterns and prints – represents how we must allow humankind’s cumulative history to come together as one cohesive entity and inform the future we project for ourselves.” , model: Tannisha Brown 10 location: Sottile House entrance |
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Haley Spees ’09 School of the Arts
“For me, fashion is more of a philosophy than something I do,” says Haley Spees, who graduated in May with a degree in communication and a minor in theatre. Her two favorite classes were History of Fashion and Manners (“one thing I love about fashion is that there’s so much inspiration to be found in the past”) and Costume Design (“it gave me a creative outlet outside of my major”). And, although she’s not yet sure where her career will take her, one thing’s for sure: “Fashion will always play a role in my life – it’s more than the way I dress, it’s the way I look at the world.” And, while all artists look at the world in terms of inspiration, good artists find a way to take what’s out there and make it their own – and that’s exactly what Spees has managed to do in her design. “I love the idea of repurposing and reusing – I think there’s so much to be appreciated and reinvented from the past,” she says, explaining that the poncho in her ensemble was made from a lightweight throw that she didn’t have use for. “I wanted to make something a student could make or wear, so – rather than taking an abstract approach – I designed with the actual arts student in mind. I wanted to keep it real.” , model: Natasha Rorrer Akery 09 location: art studio in the Simons Center S PR I NG 2 0 1 0 |
Caroline Hincher Baker ’00 School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs
“I would describe myself as the ever-evolving explorer,” says Caroline Hincher Baker, a business administration major and Charleston designer whose post-College explorations found her graduating summa cum laude in fashion design at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology with a certificate in millinery. “I enjoy learning as much as humanly possible about my trade. I love to gather information and ideas and see where they lead me.” So far, her ideas have landed her on the Charleston Fashion Week runway for three consecutive years – last year being the runway debut of Maude Couture, her line of custom eco-couture gowns named after her grandmother, who taught her to sew as a girl. “I take pride in working with my hands the way my grandmother (and her grandmother) did. There is a great comfort in the humility of that tradition.” In a unique tribute to tradition and culture, Baker has united the universal language of love with the world’s various wedding customs in this untraditional wedding gown. “Every culture’s bridal attire is steeped in history and tradition, expressing some special custom or belief. This design celebrates these diverse elements by marrying them into one,” says Baker, explaining that the gown takes its influences from the African iro and ipele, the Korean hanbok, the Indian sari, the Hispanic mantilla and the Japanese obi and tsunokakushi – as well as respecting the traditions of China (with red, symbolizing good luck), India (with red, symbolizing fertility, wealth and purity), Ireland (with blue, symbolizing luck), England (using something old, new, borrowed and blue) and the South (via the monogrammed train). “This design reflects a potpourri of wedding traditions from around the world, illustrating the compatibility of cultural differences and the beauty of love’s assimilation through the language of fashion.” , model: Amberjade Mwekali Taylor 11 location: atrium of Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Center |
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Erin Perkins ’08
School of Sciences and Mathematics
“Think Grace Kelly going on a date with David Bowie to the Bowery Ballroom,” says Erin Perkins, further describing her style as “vintage redone and classic pieces with a rock ’n’ roll twist.” It’s a style all her own, and – when she couldn’t find the clothes to match it in the stores – it became her art as well. “I started out just making pieces for myself, but I’ve just recently started taking on projects for friends,” says the art director in the College’s Office of Advertising and Brand Management. “Like with art direction, fashion is about putting together pieces that balance and complement each other, but – instead of choosing the right font to go on a poster – you are choosing the right accessories to make an outfit work.” To make this outfit work, Perkins balanced a simple top with a skirt made up of 360 metallic studs. “The studs on the skirt reminded me of geometrical or mathematical shapes, and the coat is reminiscent of those you would see in science laboratories,” says Perkins, who earned her Master of Public Administration degree in arts management. “It was inspired by geometric shapes, punk styling and vintage dressing. It’s pretty much my style with a little math and science thrown in.” , model: Chanel Gordon 10 location: chemistry lab in the new Science Building S PR I NG 2 0 1 0 |
Rachel Gordon ’06 School of Business
“I believe that beauty comes from the inside, and my designs are an extension of that belief,” says Rachel Gordon, a communication major who has been featured at Charleston Fashion Week annually since 2007. With a line of ready-to-wear summer dresses selling at local boutiques, Gordon is grateful to be following her passion and helping other women feel beautiful in her clothes. “All my designs are created with the hope that the owner will become one with her inner goddess when she puts it on.” This gown – dubbed The Goddess Dress – is the signature dress for Gordon’s new line, One Love. “It is sophisticated, powerful, sexy, delicate, inspired and elegant – it represents the design aesthetic of the entire collection,” she says, adding that the inspiration for the dress’s long, sleek construction; soft, shimmering fabric; and subtle rosy tint came directly “from the architecture, light and colors at the Beatty Center for the School of Business. It’s a beautiful building, so it was easy to be inspired.” , model: Amanda Franklin 10 location: Beatty Center entrance |
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by j asonryan + pho to g r aphy by di a n a deav e r
For one political science major, the enigmatic and exhilarating world of fashion modeling is no mystery. Breanne Riggs ’10 is dressed in black and dancing. She’s surrounded by beautiful people, grooving in a giant perfume bottle a couple of stories above Times Square. She’s sweating in New York City’s summer heat, and having the time of her life. At some point in the frenzy, it registers with her: Most people don’t get to do things like this. So goes the life of the world’s top models. The Charleston native became a professional model three months shy of her 18th birthday, when she signed with Elite Model Management of New York. Her picture has appeared in magazines like Seventeen, Cosmo Girl and Teen Vogue. She’s lived in Paris and Milan. And as part of the job, she’s traveled to Tunisia, Barbuda, Seoul, Madrid and, of course, New York City, where she did her Times Square dance party for a promotion of Calvin Klein’s fragrance ck one. Living abroad taught her responsibility at an early age, as she managed her own bills and juggled a sometimes-hectic schedule of travel and castings. She also learned to take care of herself, and little tricks, like remembering to pack a snack in her bag for the times that photo shoots stretched on for up to 20 hours. She made friends with the competition, too, meeting girls who enjoyed each other’s successes and stayed supportive instead of becoming catty. Despite the glamorous assignments, Riggs sometimes got homesick. Her work schedule and far-flung travel commitments often conflicted with the lives of friends and family back home. As always, success came at a price. “While I love the spontaneity of modeling, there were multiple times I had to cancel plans I really looked forward to,” Riggs says. “I had only a 24-hour notice before I moved to Singapore for a month on assignment.” You get a sense from talking to Riggs that, while she’s comfortable in front of the camera, she doesn’t crave its attention. She’s not keen, either, on continually vying for jobs against other
beautiful women, especially when the outcome often seems beyond her control. “Looks-wise, I am who I am,” she says. “There’s nothing you could do to increasingly set yourself apart.” But there are some things that Riggs can control – and, after graduation, she has to decide whether or not to resume the modeling career she put on hiatus to attend the College, or to pursue a new career path, perhaps in the field of law or international relations. It’s a decision that weighs heavily on the tall, slender blonde. You can’t blame Riggs for thinking long and hard before jumping back into the fast lane of world-class modeling. Life at the College hasn’t exactly been relaxed, either: with the senior occupied with 17 credit hours of class, jobs at a restaurant and law firm, a spot on an intramural soccer team, and a place on the College’s mock trial team. They’re all commitments she takes seriously, as evinced by her performance at a recent mock murder trial in Atlanta, when she grilled a witness and startled her peers with her assertive – or some might say aggressive – questioning. “The guy was 6’8” and they said I was bashing him,” Riggs says. “You were kind of scary,” they told her. Riggs offers no apologies. Like her looks, she is who she is. That doesn’t mean, though, that she knows who she’s going to be. On one side of the scale, she notes, is the pleasure of friends and family, control of one’s career and time in Charleston on the beach or aboard boats. On the other side are the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that come with being a top model, like the recent photo shoot in which she dressed in a swimsuit and boxing gloves while wearing a 700-carat, comet-shaped Coco Chanel– designed necklace. “It’s a crazy experience to have four security guards around you for the jewelry,” Riggs says, perhaps a bit wistfully. “I kind of want the best of both worlds.”
OK, why is a professional athlete in the fashion-themed issue? A couple of reasons. One: He has a 2009 World Series ring, and among baseball players, that’s always going to be fashionable. Two: Brett Gardner ’05 represents a shift in baseball culture, a departure from the recent Steroid Era, when drug-enhanced power ruled the day. He marks baseball’s return to players defined by their athleticism, speed and grit on the field. Brett Gardner may be retro, but he’s also very much en vogue. by Mark Berry photography by Mike Ledford
Fans call him simply Brett the Jet. How else do you describe a guy who can run from home to first in 3.9 seconds and is considered the fastest player in the entire yankees organization?
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t’s not like a jet engine’s deafening roar before blistering takeoff. You might only glimpse a slight pulse in his jersey, where his heart is beating a little faster than usual. But you can’t hear the blood pumping or the fibers in his leg muscles twitching as they contract and relax. Maybe, if you really strain your ears, you might make out the slight rustle of his uniform, as he twists his torso side to side and then stretches to touch his toes. Or perhaps you might catch the slight click of his spikes as he heels small clumps of dirt onto first base. Make no mistake, there’s a lot coming together in this moment. Nerves on the pitcher’s mound and around the infield are heightened. Everyone is on edge. They know that the laws of physics and physiology are about to be put to the test. This energy build-up at first base might be quiet, but it’s just as explosive and awe inspiring as a jet tearing into the sky. When Brett Gardner breaks for second base, the eye doesn’t register the move immediately. It’s a blur. Then you remember that there used to be a person there – bent and poised for action. His hands and arms slice through the air, as if moving in video fast forward. The crowd holds its collective breath, waiting for the head-first slide, waiting for the catcher to stand and throw a bullet nearly 128 feet to second base, waiting for the sound of a gloved hand slapping canvas, waiting for the tag, waiting for the umpire to screech “safe” or “out,” waiting ... waiting.
Waiting … waiting. That’s what Gardner feels like he has been doing since he got to the College in fall 2001. Waiting for this open tryout on the baseball team. Waiting to show them all what he can do. As a freshman coming from Holly Hill, S.C. – a town about the size of a postage stamp – Gardner wasn’t recruited out of high school, which was a little surprising to him. He was always the fast one. Ever since he was a little kid, he could run circles around pretty much anyone and everyone. And he did. When he played quarterback and outside linebacker (at 5’9” and 155 pounds) on his high school’s eight-man football squad, he was the one tasked with keeping up with future AllAmerican and NFL player Gaines Adams. Sure, Gardner – a multi-sport athlete – couldn’t match up size-wise with Adams, who was 6’4”, 240 pounds at age 17, but he could keep up and wrap his arms around his legs when Adams had the ball so that the rest of the team might help in making a tackle. Gardner was confident that once the College’s coaching staff saw his ability on the baseball diamond, he would be on the team. But what he didn’t know was that open tryouts for the Cougars was not like showing up and making the team in high school. At that time, Coach John Pawlowski and Assistant Coach Scott Foxhall ’04 were establishing a dynasty at the College. They were recruiting some of the top talent around the region, and walk-ons, who they considered fill-ins, didn’t necessarily fit into their overall blueprint for gameday success. But Gardner didn’t know that and attacked the tryout with everything he had. And everything he had wasn’t initially good enough. “First off, I saw that Brett had a tool you couldn’t teach,” Foxhall recalls. “Speed – it opened your eyes when he ran the 60-yard dash around 6.6 seconds. That’s very elite speed. But his other skills were behind, like hitting and arm strength. And we already had a pretty full outfield.” So Foxhall sat down with the speedster and gave him the bad news. “I remember telling him that I thought he was a good player, but that we didn’t have room here,” he says. “I told him that I was willing to call other schools on his behalf, but Brett said he wasn’t interested. Even then, he had such character and determination. He didn’t pout, didn’t tell me I was crazy or a fool. He was respectful and just reiterated the fact that he wanted to play for the College.” Although he displayed little emotion in that conversation, Gardner was devastated by the rejection and, for the first time in his life, questioned his ability. His father, Jerry Gardner, wrote a note to the coaches asking them to reconsider. “Jerry sent a nice note – not pushy at all,” Foxhall remembers. “He just asked us to consider Brett to be a part of the team, that we wouldn’t be disappointed and that his son
The Day After Tomorrow
â€“ image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
SUMMER 2009 |
| Photo courtesy of the New York Yankees |
Hollywood couldn't have scripted it any better. In May 2009, Brett Gardner '05 was visiting NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, where he met Alyssa Esposito, a wheelchairbound teenager who was waiting on a heart transplant. She gave him a Project Sunshine bracelet, which she told him would help him hit a home run that night. Gardner smiled and accepted the bracelet, laughing to himself that she didn't know that he wasn't a power hitter, nor was he even in the starting lineup that night. However, fate cannot be denied. After starter Johnny Damon was thrown out of the game for contesting strikes, Gardner took his place in the outfield and batting order. And then it happened. Gardner laced a ball to left field, which bounced by outfielder Denard Span, and the race was on. Fourteen seconds later, Gardner slid headfirst into homeplate and became the first Yankee player to have an inside-the-park home run in the new Yankee Stadium. And later that night, Esposito, who had been waiting on a heart transplant since January, received a new heart. By the next morning, she was off the ventilator, and she was home just two weeks later. Gardner keeps the bracelet hanging in his locker, not for good luck, but as a reminder of that day and the courage and optimism of Alyssa Esposito.
would give everything he’s got if we could find a spot for him. It made us think one more time. And I’m thankful we did.” Gardner made the team and began his rapid ascent. By the end of his first season, the walk-on, to the coaching staff’s surprise, had worked his way into the starting lineup. “Brett outworked everyone,” Foxhall admits. “All of the sports clichés fit here – he was early to the field, stayed late. But it was more than that. The time that he was there, no one worked harder. He had a special drive, always went full speed. And his uniform was, without fail, dirty – practice or game. Brett was the guy doing laundry’s worst nightmare.” As the College program flourished over the next three years with SoCon championships and repeat NCAA Tournament success, so too did Gardner. He could field. He could hit. His baseball instincts sharpened. He even improved his time running the 60-yard dash to about 6.42 (“world-class speed,” Foxhall points out). In his senior year, Gardner tied for the most hits in all of college baseball and had the third-best batting average in the country. But still, the essence of his game was speed. Teammate and roommate Phil Coker ’06 remembers one play in particular. It was a bright, sunny day at Western Carolina’s Hennon Stadium. A right-handed hitter launched a ball to Coker in right field. “I didn’t see it at all,” Coker recalls. “I lost it in the sun, and Brett knew it. He had been sprinting since the ball made contact with the bat. He ran all the way from centerfield to the right field foul line and laid out and made a great diving catch – with me standing there just 20 feet from him. It was a phenomenal catch, not just for the dive but for the amount of ground he covered to make the play.” “That diving grab sums up Brett,” Foxhall agrees. “His speed, his baseball instincts, his determination were all on display in that moment. Most players would have never even tried to go after that ball.” But Gardner isn’t like most players. “Brett is a lesson to a lot of us coaches,” Foxhall adds. “We never take walk-on tryouts for granted now. We wonder, Is a Brett Gardner going to show up today?”
Fans call him simply Brett the Jet. How else would you describe a guy who can run from home to first in 3.9 seconds and is considered the fastest player in the entire Yankees organization? The name certainly fits. His quickness makes every one of his plays possible highlight material, whether it’s the impossible catch made possible by his speed, his stealing third base in a tight game or his legging out a triple when most players would have held up for a double, maybe even a single. “I know I’m here because of my legs,” Gardner says. His legs helped him get drafted in the third round by the Yankees in 2005. And those legs, complemented by his constantly improving baseball skills, made sure that he advanced steadily through the minor leagues. In the summer of 2008, Gardner received the call that he was leaving Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania coal country for the Big Apple. And soon, he was making a difference. His third big-league hit was a dramatic ninth-inning single (beating division rival the Red Sox), which he collected against Jonathan Papelbon, one of the dominant closers that year. That same season, Gardner also made history when he scored the final run in Yankee Stadium, for which he received a signed game ball from the entire team. “Not a bad souvenir,” Gardner smiles. To the fans, the Big Leagues seem like all glamour and accolades. But Gardner knows different. He has faced challenges, such as when he got sent back to the minors in 2008 before being called back up at the end of the season, or being benched after having been named the starting centerfielder in 2009, or breaking his thumb sliding into second base and missing six weeks of the season – just when he was hitting his stride and regaining his status as an everyday player. No stranger to adversity, Gardner responded the only way he knew how to: work harder, stay confident in his ability and just believe that the rest will take care of itself.
“When I go to sleep at night,” Gardner says. “I know that I did everything I can to be ready for tomorrow.” “Everything” means hours each day devoted to workouts, batting practice, fielding drills and time reviewing videos of pitchers, his swing mechanics and his footwork. “This is what you do to put yourself in a position to succeed,” Gardner says. “Baseball is a job – a really cool job, but still a job. In baseball, you can’t let yourself get too high or too low. You have to live in the present.” And Gardner certainly lives in the present. Looking back, either at success or failure, doesn’t work for him. He focuses on the Now. The Now is all that matters. For example, after the World Series, Gardner rode in the lead float in the ticker-tape parade through New York City’s Canyon of Heroes. Bits of shredded paper fell like snow as hundreds of thousands of cheering fans crammed into the streets and hung out windows to glimpse their baseball heroes. It was a wonderful moment, and Gardner captured it with his video camera. But this off-season, in the comfort of his home, has he sat back, propped his feet up and rolled back that footage to relive this iconic moment enjoyed by sports champions and returning astronauts? “Nope, too busy with the family,” Gardner says. “Sure, I will look back at it later, but I need to worry about the Now – spring training and next season start soon.”
However, Gardner does cherish one memory from last season. And although he’s a stickler for his “live in the Now” philosophy, you can forgive him this one indulgence to nostalgia. The Yankees are up 7-3 in Game Six of the World Series, and Gardner surveys the field. At the plate, Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino is facing a full count with two outs and a runner on second. “I look at one side of the infield,” Gardner recalls, “with Mark Texiera and Robinson Cano, who are two possible Hall-of-Famers. Then I look at the other side, with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, two sure Hall-of-Famers. Jorge Posada, the guy behind the plate – Hall of Famer. There’s Mariano Rivera on the mound – the best pitcher ever. And there I am, standing in centerfield behind them, about to win a World Series. That, by far, has been my best professional moment.” A weak grounder to second, a called third out and Gardner finds himself running ecstatically to the infield, hugging every pinstriped person within reach and dancing in a shifting huddle of players and coaches around the baseball diamond. For Gardner, it’s the pinnacle of a young career. But he’s not through – not even close. It’s a peak that he plans to achieve again … and again, if he can do anything about it. And, with that, Brett Gardner smiles, stretches his legs and prepares for his liftoff.
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The Preservation of Paradise It’s hard to decide which part of Dixie Plantation is most captivating. Perhaps it’s the incredible views of the Stono River. Maybe the amazing avenue of live oaks. Or the studio where artist John Henry Dick, who donated the plantation to the College in 1995, painted his highly acclaimed illustrations of birds. Dick himself called the studio his own Garden of Eden. In any case, don’t expect to reach a conclusion anytime soon. Thanks to a generous multi-year donation instituted several years ago from The Post and Courier Foundation, much more of Dixie Plantation will soon be accessible as the College begins constructing 4.2 miles of interpretive trails on the 862-acre property. That means even more of the gorgeous estate, located 17 miles south of Charleston, will be available for |
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use by the College. Already, the land’s diverse habitats and serene setting are popular with biology students and professors, art students and crosscountry runners. “This gift will enable the College to establish a nature trail at Dixie Plantation so that its natural beauty can be shared with our students, faculty and visitors,” says President George Benson. “By making this remarkable piece of land more accessible, the College will be better able to plan and explore the property’s future as an academic center for environmental sciences and sustainability.” The nature trails are part of $4.5 million in short-term improvements slated for the property. In the next year, the College will also renovate a barn for meeting space and will convert Dick’s studio
into a museum honoring the artist. In the long run, the College plans to build environmentally sensitive cabins and a conference center on the property, which can be rented to private groups. According to President Benson, this low-impact vision for Dixie Plantation is more easily made into reality when the College has partners like The Post and Courier Foundation. “The Post and Courier Foundation has long been an environmental steward and advocate for the Lowcountry’s unique and fragile coastal ecosystem,” says Benson. “The foundation’s investment at Dixie Plantation is a testament to this preservation mindset, and we hope that it will serve as a catalyst for other organizations and individuals interested in protecting, studying and showcasing this special bit of paradise.”
A Diplomatic Exchange They say you can’t go very far in life without a sheepskin. Judging from the success among the Classes of 1972 and 1973, however, any old paper will do. Which is why, when financial troubles surfaced in 1972 and 1973, the College opted to forego the sheepskin parchment traditionally used for academic diplomas and instead print the graduates’ diplomas on smaller, landscapeoriented sheets of paper signed only by the president and the secretary to the Board of Trustees (they’d included the entire faculty’s signatures in the past). And, even though the College returned to the larger, portraitoriented diplomas (with enough room for the department chairs’ signatures) in 1974, it adopted a fine parchment paper for all diplomas going forward. Still, the Classes of 1972 and 1973 are left with something a little on the skimpy side. Fortunately, only their diplomas suffered – their
education did not. And now, thanks to the anonymous donor who is offering to pay for new, high-quality diplomas – complete with faculty signatures – for these alumni, they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve. “I thought it was noteworthy that so many alumni from these two classes were visible in the College of Charleston community. They exemplify leadership, philanthropy and civic activism,” says the anonymous alum. “With appreciation in mind … I was moved to make a charitable gift to fund the replacements for these alumni.” And why not? It’s never too late to hang your sheepskin on the wall. If you graduated in 1972 or 1973 and would like to replace your diploma, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 843.953.5630 or email@example.com.
CLASS NOTES 1942 Morris Rosen celebrated his 90th birthday in October. He continues to practice law with Rosen, Rosen & Hagood in Charleston.
1949 Tony Meyer, Sibby Craver
Harvey ’58 and Charlie Harvey enjoyed a
month-long cruise up the Amazon River.
1959 Bill Kanapaux and Martha
Kelly Kanapaux ’60 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in October.
1960 Martha Kelly Kanapaux (see Bill Kanapaux ’59)
1978 Michele Shamlin is an assistant professor of education at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. Joel Smith is the managing partner in the Columbia office of Bowman and Brooke, a national law firm known for defending household-name corporations in high-exposure product-liability and commercial cases.
1980 Greg West is a development
1969 Pat Bello is a senior
1981 Lisa Bollinger Burbage is a
environmental specialist in the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Air Quality’s Air Awareness Team in Raleigh.
1971 Bobby Marlowe is a legislative affairs liaison for the College’s government affairs office.
1973 Toni Stewart Thompson
was a finalist in the volunteer category of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Influential Women in Business awards for her service as a board member of the Roper St. Francis Foundation and chairwoman of the Capital Campaign Cabinet.
Padgett Powell ’74 released
his fifth novel last fall – The Interrogative Mood. Reviewer Josh Emmons wrote in The New York Times Sunday Book Review that this work is “a fearless meditation on the sublime and the trivial, a hydra-headed reflection of life as it is experienced and of thought as it is felt.” True to Padgett’s experimental approach to storytelling and fiction, this novel is written entirely in questions.
1976 Carol Ball Browning was
inducted into the Second Wind Hall of Fame, an organization in Polk County, N.C., which recognizes retirees 60 years and older who have performed outstanding volunteer work in at least three local service organizations. Carol and her husband, Lorin, live in Landrum, S.C.
adjunct professor of architectural history at the College and a Dorchester County Master Gardener. Yvette and her husband, Randy, have a son, Micah.
1964 AlysAnne Williams Wiedeke
retired last fall as the administrative assistant for the College’s athletics office.
1977 Yvette Richardson Guy is an
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officer for the National Public Radio Foundation in Washington, D.C.
realtor with Carolina One Real Estate and is the president of the Charleston Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter. Phil Cromer (M.P.A.) is a risk and safety services manager with the S.C. Municipal Association in Columbia.
1983 Terry Singleton is an executive vice president of imaging materials with Kao Specialties Americas in High Point, N.C. He and his wife, Kim, have two sons and live in Jamestown.
1986 Mary Kessler Sparks (see Randy Sparks ’95)
1987 Debra Gammons is the acting
director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives and a distinguished visiting professor at the Charleston School of Law. Prior to joining the law school faculty, Debra served as the assistant city attorney for Greenville, S.C. Brian Rutenberg opened an exhibit of his paintings at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston.
1988 Daniel Barry was elected to
the District Three seat of the Weddington (N.C.) Town Council. Daniel is the regional vice president of nonqualified plans for the Principal Financial Group in Charlotte. Heather Lawrence is the director of business development for PPD Inc. Heather and Michael Vecchiolla were married in April and live in Mt. Pleasant. Anthony Meyer Jr. is the president of the Scott Hannon Memorial Foundation, which benefits several children’s charities. He is based in Greenville, S.C., and is responsible for expanding the foundation’s programs and opening new offices in Columbia, Charlotte and Raleigh. Jamie Mood represented the College at the inauguration of Dartmouth’s new president this fall. Jamie is a radiology technician at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in New Hampshire.
1989 Monica Martin is the director
of clubs and suites at the University of South Carolina’s Rex Enright Athletics Center.
1990 Russell Guerard (see Tara
Parnell Guerard ’99) Keith Sauls represented the College at the
investiture of Georgia State University’s new president this fall. Keith is the managing director of Crawford Investment Counsel in Atlanta and also serves on the College of Charleston Foundation Board.
1991 Missy Fowler Copeland is an
attorney and partner with Schmidt & Copeland in Columbia. Melissia Gambrell Ford is a certified paralegal with Stephen D. Baggett, Attorneys at Law in Greenwood, S.C. Todd and Katherine Bryan McMakin ’96 have two daughters, Elizabeth and Emily, and live in Tyler, Texas. Todd is an archaeologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Shelton Bruns Milner is an activities coordinator for The Citadel’s Department of Cadet Activities. She and her husband, Steve, live on Johns Island.
1992 Lisa and Ernie Blevins announce
the birth of a son, Cavanagh William, born in August. Ernie had his film, The Road to Marietta 2014: Commemorating the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, at the Dixie Film Festival in Athens, Ga. David Bourque is a science teacher at Laing Middle School in Mt. Pleasant and was awarded a grant from BP to develop energy programs for students. His project is titled “Energy Efficient Engineering.” Elizabeth Dargan Chase is a licensed real estate agent with Harbourtowne Real Estate on Daniel Island, S.C. Kirk and Annaliza Oehmig Moorhead announce the birth of a daughter, Eliza Graham, born in November. Annaliza serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. Timothy Zimmerman (M.S.) is an assistant professor of science education at Rutgers University. Timothy and Christene DeJong were married in May and live in Highland Park, N.J.
1993 Adam Brown is a podiatrist with
Carolina Foot Specialists in Charleston. Adam and his wife, Katie, have three sons. Beverly Hamby Buscemi is the state director of the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs in Columbia. Tracy Cordray is a plastic surgeon specializing in breast surgery, microsurgery and other plastic surgery procedures. Her practice is in Santa Monica, Calif. Phil and Amy Fournier Durocher announce the birth of a son, Reagan Paul, born in April. The Durocher family lives in Austin, Texas. Peggy Urbanic was elected partner at Clawson & Staubes in Charleston, where she practices with the firm’s civil litigation group.
[ alumni profile ]
An Education in Change Schools with raw sewage backed up in hallways. Schools so decrepit that teachers stuffed rags into cracks between walls and floors. Schools with library books so old, they declare that man will walk on the moon “one day.” This is what Bud Ferillo ’72 and his cameras found when making Corridor of Shame, a documentary that gave voice to the long-ignored frustrations of the school systems in rural counties along Interstate 95 in South Carolina. The film, which Ferillo produced and directed, was what came out of the Columbia-based public relations executive’s desire to help the povertystricken rural school systems, which were suing the State of South Carolina for desperately needed aid. When he offered to donate a year’s worth of his services in hopes of rallying the public behind the cause, someone suggested a documentary film might go a long way toward accomplishing that – and so the social crusader in him accepted the challenge. Ferillo went to Dillon, Marion, Allendale and Jasper counties, places left behind by factories and industrial plants. Educators argued that it left them with too little tax base to support their schools. And since South Carolina relies on local property taxes to finance public schools, the educators said it left them unable to give their children an education equal to that received by students in wealthier counties. But, as Ferillo’s 2005 film shows, what these schools are ultimately left with is utterly shameful. “It’s a national disgrace,” he says. “It must come to an end.” The film helped attract national and international attention to the situation, and news reporters now commonly use the phrase Corridor of Shame as shorthand for the region and its struggles. It showed up in news stories last year when Ty’Sheoma Bethea, a Dillon middle-schooler, caught President Obama’s attention with a letter pleading for Congress to help fix her decrepit, 19th-century school building. Ferillo, a political science major, had worked on education legislation during
his career in state government, including a stint in the 1980s as deputy lieutenant governor to Lt. Gov. Mike Daniel. But none of that prepared him for what he saw in filming the documentary. He was so saddened, and so outraged, that he has continued working on the issue, even though the courts have said schools in the corridor are meeting their constitutional obligation to provide a “minimally adequate” education. The case remains before the S.C. Supreme Court on appeal. Meanwhile, Ferillo is leading an online campaign in support of a constitutional amendment to require that every student receive a highquality education rather than a minimally adequate one. Ferillo believes if nothing is done to help the rural schools, the state will end up “an economic backwater” in the Internet age. “You have a third of our state in impoverished school districts,” he says. “There’s no way our people can go back to the rice fields, tobacco farms and textile mills of the past. We have to be a part of the knowledge-based economy.” Alex Sanders, former president of the College, met Ferillo in the 1970s when Ferillo was working on the
gubernatorial campaign of Charles “Pug” Ravenel and Sanders was running for lieutenant governor. According to Sanders, Ferillo, once an iconoclastic “hippie” college student who served in Vietnam, came back passionate about bringing change in America. “He’s been doing that ever since,” Sanders says. “His life’s work in politics and film have had a profound impact on South Carolina.” Ferillo, current chair of the S.C. Arts Commission, is now working on a second documentary, this time on the state’s failure to address the illiteracy, teen pregnancy and high incarceration rates he sees as the root causes of poverty in the Palmetto State. He hopes to put it out early next year. The working title: State of Denial. “I often say I wake up every day feeling torn by a desire to enjoy the world and a passion to change it,” he says. That, he adds with a chuckle, “makes it hard to plan the day.” – Eric Frazier ’87 To learn more about Bud Ferillo’s online campaign to amend the state’s constitution, check out www.goodbyeminimallyadequate.com.
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Michael Glasgow ’97 was one
of two winners in the 12th annual Welcome Christmas Carol Contest, sponsored by VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum. His winning carol, “Welcome the King,” premiered last December in Minneapolis, Edina and Stillwater, Minn., and was recorded by Minnesota Public Radio. Paula Edwards Wadley is a residential
sales agent in William Means Real Estate’s Mt. Pleasant office.
1994 John Simons is the corporate
managing director with Studley, a commercial real estate services firm in Houston, Texas. Max ’99 and Lee Hartnett Sparwasser announce the birth of a daughter, Catherine Kean “Cate,” born in October. Lee is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board. Kate and Zach Wagner announce the birth of a daughter, Amelia Grace, born in July. The Wagner family lives in Charlotte, N.C.
1995 Catherine Cook received her
M.B.A. from Thunderbird School of Global Management and is the vice president of marketing for Regent Education. Catherine and John Lacour were married in September and live in Bethesda, Md. Randy Sparks is the worldwide director of Solutions Marketing for Lexmark International. Randy and his wife, Mary Kessler Sparks ’86, have two children and live in Lexington, Ky. Gary White is a senior vice president and market executive for First Citizens Bank in Charleston. James Williams is the assistant dean for public services at the College’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library. Stephanie Leonard Yarbrough and Steven Eames were married in September. Stephanie is an attorney with Nexsen Pruet in Charleston and serves on the College’s Alumni Association Board.
1996 Brad Cromartie is an
independent financial adviser and inventor of the Superstick Push Pole. Brad and Deloris King were married in August and live in Mt. Pleasant. Amy Funderburk works at the Medical University of South Carolina and is a volunteer diver at the S.C. Aquarium. Amy and William Grayson were married in April and live in Charleston. Derek and Jennifer Hamilton Lee announce the birth of a daughter, Georgiana Pearle, born in October. The Lee family lives outside of Philadelphia, where Jennifer is a proposal writer. Katherine Bryan McMakin (see Todd McMakin ’91)
1997 Erin Lenahan is the national
sales manager for the Grand Del Mar in San Diego, Calif. Erin and William Holley were married in May and live in Charleston.
| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e
Kelly and Henry Leventis announce the birth of a daughter, Lucy Allen, born in October. Henry is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board. Leah Rhoad is a real estate assistant and marketing coordinator for Avocet Properties in Folly Beach. Leah and Patrick Burns were married in October.
1998 Anne Hughes Brush is a student
at the Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Heather Pieper-Olson represented the College at the inauguration of Saint John’s University’s new president in Minnesota. Heather is an annual giving associate at Saint John’s sister institution, College of Saint Benedict, in St. Joseph, Minn. Simons and Sarah Moïse Young announce the birth of a son, Benjamin Rutledge, born in December. The Young family lives in Charleston.
1999 Jennifer Dyer Buddin is the
owner of The Little Black Book for Every Busy Woman brand. She is developing and expanding the brand in print and online in Charleston and other communities across the United States. Deanna DeFoor is an appraiser for Appraisal Associates in Clemson and completed the requirements for the Member of the Appraisal Institute designation. Deanna is also the president of the Westminster Area (S.C.) Historic Preservation Society. Russell ’90 and Tara Parnell Guerard have two sons, Aiken and Myers. Tara owns Soiree by Tara Guerard, an event design business in Charleston, and she has opened a second studio in Manhattan. Katherine Cofer Hanley is the head of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Fayetteville (N.C.) Technical Community College. Nichole Hinske and Katie Clarey ’01 are co-managing members of Hinske & Clarey, an accounting firm on James Island. Lea and Amy Berger Richmond announce the birth of a daughter, Corinne Caroline “CeCe,” born in October. The Richmond family lives in Birmingham, Ala. Max Sparwasser (see Lee Hartnett Sparwasser ’94) Aimee and John Tiller announce the birth of a son, John Tiller Jr., born in August. The Tiller family lives in Mt. Pleasant. John Ward owns Charleston-based Affinity Charters and heads up motorboat tours for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. John and his wife, Meghan, have two children, Ailish and Tristan.
2000 Brett Alison is participating
in the Short Course Olympic Triathlon World Championship in September, and qualified for Team USA at the Age Group World Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary. He also completed his first Ironman competition in November. Brett is the vice president of the College’s alumni chapter in Atlanta. Matthew Bowes is the chief operating officer of the Bowes Imaging Center in Bradenton, Fla. Daniel Carson is an oral surgeon with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates in Charleston. Daniel graduated from the Medical University
of South Carolina Dental School and also completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at MUSC. Krista Coppola and Ed Patterson ’03 were married in 2007. Krista is a registered nurse at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Ed is a manager with BenefitFocus. Adam Ellwanger (M.A. ’03) and Ellie Smith ’03 were married in May 2006. Adam received his Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition in May from the University of South Carolina. During his graduate studies, Adam received the 2008 Irene D. Elliott Teaching Award and the James Dickey Award in Scholarly Writing. Today, he is an assistant professor of English at the University of Houston – Downtown. Ellie received her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in May 2007. Adam and Ellie announce the birth of a daughter, Alice, born in May. Wayne Kelley finished an orthopaedic residency at Duke. Wayne is now completing a spine fellowship in Charlotte, N.C. Melissa Kiracofe Low is the director of industry resources and legislative services for the Club Managers Association of America. She is also the vice president of the board of directors of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf. Melissa lives in Springfield, Va. Travis McIntosh is an assistant vice president and financial adviser with Scott & Stringfellow in Sumter, S.C. Benji Mixson is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and works at the JG Grill in the St. Regis – Deer Crest in Park City, Utah. Jennie Powell and Jimmy Norton were married in September and live in Atlanta.
2001 Alexis Bornhorst is a
photographer in Charleston and also owns the catering company Alexandria the Great. Katie Clarey and Nichole Hinske ’99 are co-managing members of Hinske & Clarey, an accounting firm on James Island. Stephen Clark is a teacher at Macedonia Middle School in Moncks Corner, S.C. Stephen was awarded a grant from BP to develop energy programs for students. Kellie Dickerson is an assistant vice president in BB&T’s payroll services department and works in Norfolk, Va. Develen Elvington and Sarah Ebert were married in May and live in Charleston. Develen works for American Pensions. Stacy and Jay Feinstein announce the birth of a daughter, Grayson Anne. Jay completed his M.B.A. at George Washington University. Darren Flinn and Jennie Davis were married in October and live in Charleston. Darren works for the federal government. Jennifer Pridgen Harriss lives in Edenton, N.C., where she owns Urban Village, a specialty store for paper, gifts and home products. She completed her master’s in historic preservation at Goucher College. Kari Heuer works for the S.C. State Treasurer’s Office in Columbia. Kari and David Browder were married in August. Bob and Jodi Deleo Ladue announce the birth of a son, Jeffrey Lebowski. The Ladue family lives in San Diego, Calif. John Le Masurier is a financial analyst for On-Demand Publishing. John and Diane Gandy were married in October and live in Charleston.
| Photo by Sara Davis ’05 |
[ alumni profile ]
Something New Under the Sun His business career is what you might call a little unconventional. He went from selling belts and suspenders for his brother’s manufacturing company to being the CEO of a machine-tool manufacturer. Then, he headed west to California, where he became vice president of engineering for an Internet firm before its IPO. There was the time he was a senior vice president and brand manager of a bank and president of its Internet subsidiary. He’s even been a magazine publisher. So when Bob Cart ’87 struck on the idea of exploring solar energy collection, he did a rather unconventional thing, at least for him. “I took a methodical approach. I studied the state of the technology, and put together a business plan,” says Cart, the founder and executive chairman of
GreenVolts, based in Fremont, Calif. “I’ve started several businesses, but this was the first one where I actually did the business plan first.” Cart’s vision began in 2004, while sailing from San Francisco to New Zealand. Upon hearing that his wife was pregnant, he turned around, realizing it was time to get back into the real world and focus on his long-term career. “After doing a lot of thinking, it was clear that renewable energy was really the biggest opportunity of all time,” says Cart, who majored in marine biology. “We had solar panels on the boat we were on. They produced a lot of energy, but they were expensive and they took up a lot of space.” With that in mind, Cart plunged into researching ways to make solar collection units much smaller than those on the
boat, and to make them as cheap as fossil fuel energy is. “I was looking for the kinds of technology that were not science experiments, but what was close at hand,” Cart explains. “I knew that with mirrors and lenses you could magnify the sunlight, and if you could do that, you could harvest the intensity of the sun and concentrate it.” The result of Cart’s efforts is a new solar power plant with a two-axis, suntracking platform for concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system using highefficiency solar cells originally designed for use in space. With the highest energyconversion efficiency and the highest energy-output per acre in the industry, as well as easy installation and low maintenance, GreenVolts started to turn heads, including those at the California Clean Tech Open in 2006, where it was granted $100,000 in cash and services to get GreenVolts up and running. GreenVolts now has about 70 employees and has raised about $45 million in venture capital. As a leader in renewable energy, it has even partnered with Pacific Gas & Electric to sell the energy from a power plant that will be one of the largest of its type in the world. “We’re working on that project right now,” Cart says. “It’s in the provingground stages. We’re probably a year away of having something that we can sell to utilities on a large scale.” GreenVolts is also looking at how to make the power grid itself more efficient for its technology, so that in the end, consumers would pay no more for electricity from the sun than they would from coal or natural gas. “To deliver solar energy economically, we’ll need to build large power plants, but also site them close to where people live to reduce transmission costs and losses. Also, it’s likely that you’ll see a national grid where, for example, the sunny Southwest delivers solar, the Midwest and the Northeast deliver wind, and it’s shared across the country,” says Cart. “There’s a lot of work going on in Washington to put together this improved national grid.” And thanks to Cart, GreenVolts will be there in the lead, enjoying its rightful place in the sun. – Worthy Evans ’94
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Joe Palma ’02 trained under chef
Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin in New York City and is now the executive chef of Ripert’s new restaurant in Washington, D.C. – the West End Bistro. Joe was featured on NBC’s Today Show, making some of his favorite dishes from the restaurant. Hilary Glazman Rieck is a sales agent at
Elaine Brabham and Associates in Charleston.
Dylan Wright is the manager of the Missoula
Children’s Theatre, the world’s largest touring children’s theater. Dylan and his wife have two daughters and live in a log cabin in Missoula, Mont.
2002 Rhett Box and Rachele Melfi
’04 were married in August and live in Charleston. Rhett works for the Department of Natural Resources, and Rachele is a first-grade teacher at Lambs Elementary School. Nicole Champagne is an English teacher at Newark Academy in Livingston, N.J. Nicole earned her master’s in English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College and is pursuing a Ph.D. in humanities from Drew University. Ned Goss is the owner of the Ocean Sailing Academy at the Charleston Harbor Marina in Mt. Pleasant. Shawn Holland is an account executive for YRCW in Columbia. Shawn and Emily Ballenger were married in September. Amy Kisabeth is a graduate student in the University of South Carolina’s epidemiology program. Amy and Benjamin Triana were married in July and live in Columbia. Ben Newton (M.S.) is a certified public accountant with Legare Bailey & Hinske LLC in Mt. Pleasant. Jenny Doerflinger Sain is a sales representative managing The Retreat at Johns Island and Oak Terrace Preserve, a Crescent Homes community.
2003 Bridget Bettelli is a development
coordinator for the College’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. Bridget and Kevin Price were married in August.
Charles Brown is an English and humanities
teacher at the Children’s Storefront School in Harlem. Charles and Elizabeth Pilkington were married in October. Luke and Jenny Bannan Cooper ’05 announce the birth of a son, Camp, born in May. Luke is a sales representative with Pearlstine Distributors, and Jenny is a kindergarten teacher at Reeves Elementary School in Summerville. The Cooper family lives on Johns Island. Briar Courtney and Isaac Betancourt-Sabillon were married in September. Karen Daly-Halloran (M.A.T.) is a sixthgrade history teacher at the Military Magnet Academy in North Charleston. In 2008, she was nominated for her school’s teacher of the year award. James and Anna Bryndza Dossett live in Austin, Texas, where Anna is the director of Eurasian programs for Ux Consulting and James is a division safety and training coordinator for Bartlett Tree Experts. Scott Falls and Ashley Long were married in May. Scott is an attorney with Dan M. David & Associates, and Ashley is an attorney with the Social Security Administration in Charleston. Both are graduates of Charleston School of Law, and Ashley also received her master’s in public administration from the College. Sarah Permenter Hays and Abigail West ’06 launched YuDu, a concierge and errandrunning service for businesses and busy people in Charleston. Paige Lindler is a graduate student at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. Andrew Oliver is a teacher at Timberland High School in St. Stephen, S.C., and was awarded a grant from BP to develop energy programs for students. His project is titled “Reaching for the Sun PLUS.” Ed Patterson (see Krista Coppola ’00) Lucas Reasoner is a page designer and copy editor for The Post and Courier. Lucas and Elizabeth Page Moody were married in October and live in Charleston. Tia Smalls is the general manager of Red Roof Inn in Florence, S.C. Ellie Smith (see Adam Ellwanger ’00)
2004 Nelson Bobo (M.S. ’08) is a data management analyst for the College’s Office of Institutional Research.
Facebook (not JUSt Face Paint) Help us reach
20,000 fans on the College’s Facebook page.
There will be contests and weekly giveaways of T-shirts, signed memorabilia and tickets to spring events on campus – all leading up to the big prize on April 30, when a fan will win a weekend getaway to Charleston.
Become a Facebook fan today and stay connected to your Cougar family. www.facebook.com/CollegeofCharleston
| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e
Bo Brown is the vice president of
administration at Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers. He is also part owner and has served on the company’s board of directors for the past five years. Mandy Carruth and Kent Black were married in February 2007 and live in Indialantic, Fla. Chad and Jamie Cobb Cornwell (M.A.T.) announce the birth of a daughter, Madeline Claire, born in April. The Cornwell family lives in Bardstown, Ky. Stephen and Lindsay Whittington Creech announce the birth of a daughter, Caroline, born in August. The Creech family lives in Columbia. Bryan Davis is a senior report analyst for Avectra, an association management software company, and lives in Washington, D.C. Paul DuRant and Meredith Moring were married in August. Paul is a Realtor with Russell & Jeffcoat in Columbia. Jessica Graham is a crime analyst with the Raleigh (N.C.) Police Department. Jessica and Brandon Scully were married in May. Mary Henderson and Harrison Wright ’05 were married in May and live in Mt. Pleasant. Haley Hobbs works in the real estate department of Hull Storey Gibson Companies. Haley and Chad Blackston were married in October and live in North Augusta, S.C. Terence Hoffman earned his J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. He is an attorney with Wigger Law Firm in North Charleston. Terence and his wife, Tammy, have two children. Meike McDonald (M.Ed. ’05) is a teacher at Septima Clark Academy on James Island, where she was named teacher of the year. Meike also received National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adult Mathematics. Rachele Melfi (see Rhett Box ’02) Rebecca Muckelvaney works for the law firm of Anastopoulo & Clore in Charleston. Rebecca and Matthew Sanders were married in September. Lauren Silcott and Michael Doherty were married in August and live in Tulsa, Okla. Amanda Swenson works for Edison Electric Institute in their political affairs division, specifically in fundraising and member relations. Amanda lives in Arlington, Va. Heidi Windemueller is an assistant controller for Hire Quest in Charleston.
[ dream job ]
It’s pretty safe to say that Eric Hansel ’98 is the uncle every little boy dreams of. Cool. Laid back. Works for a toy company. The only thing missing is the cape. Which just so happens to be on the action figure sitting on the shelf behind him. Every day Hansel goes into work for Upper Deck in San Diego, Calif., and gets paid to play with toys. Yes, you read that right. A grown man who gets paid in actual U.S. dollars to play with, develop and package sports collectibles and toys. Think about that for a minute: Most 34-year-old men caught playing with action figures at their desks at work would be fired – possibly even asked to seek psychological counseling. Hansel gets a raise if he does it right. For more than seven years, he has worked for Upper Deck – a company best known for its baseball cards – most recently serving as product manager of sports collectibles. During a typical day Hansel will work with graphic artists, sculptors, designers and, of course – the most important ingredient of all – kids, to come up with toys and collectibles coveted by the masses. How Hansel landed such a sweet job is a mystery to him. “It wasn’t like I was sitting around in college thinking I was going to go to San Diego and work in the toy industry,” he says. “But here I am.” How he got “here,” involved spontaneously packing all his things up in a U-Haul and driving to California with a friend. Once there, he got a job in logistics, handling transportation for, among other companies, Upper Deck. One thing led to another and when he saw a job opening, he applied for it and got it. “It just sort of happened,” he says. “I never thought I’d be an elf.” As a boy, however, the writing might have been on the wall, as he had dozens of Transformers and G.I. Joe action figures. The difference between him and other kids being, Hansel never fully outgrew his love for them. But let’s be clear, it’s not like he sleeps with his toys at night – he actually has a wife and new baby daughter. In fact, he’s about as normal as a guy who works in the toy industry can be.
| Photo by Joe Regan |
The Real Toy Story
“I might be surrounded by a bunch of action figures in my office, but it’s not like they talk to each other,” he says with a laugh, before adding, “that often.” Hansel attributes his outgoing nature and social graces to his upbringing, a time that saw him traveling all around the country with family when vacationing away from his hometown of Charleston. During college, he studied abroad in Spain for a semester, something he also says broadened his horizons. “I like to think of myself as an outgoing introvert,” the English major says. “I’m not afraid to talk to people I don’t know, to try new things and go to new places.” All of which are qualities that led him to Upper Deck, where his job has allowed
him to meet sporting legends like Gordie Howe, Tony Hawk and LeBron James, just to name a few. “It’s a cool environment,” he says. “Once every month or so we’ll get a familiar face around here.” When he’s not in the office, he’s usually traveling to big events like Comic-Con, the NBA All-Star game, even flying overseas to visit with other toymakers to see what he can learn from them so that his company can make the best toys on the market. “It’s not all fun and games though,” he explains. “It’s not like we’re playing with toys all day. That just happens when new shipments come in.” – Bryce Donovan ’98
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Jenny Peterson is an editor and reporter
[ attention, all alumni ] The College of Charleston Alumni Association will vote on proposed bylaw changes at the Alumni Association’s Annual Meeting on April 24, 2010. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the College’s Physicians Memorial Auditorium. All alumni are invited to attend. The proposed changes may be viewed online at alumni.cofc.edu. To have a copy of the proposed changes mailed to you, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 843.953.5630.
2005 Parks Batten and Jessica
McGrail ’06 were married in March and live
in Charleston. Parks is a sales representative for Jacobus Energy, and Jessica works for ATI, a U.S. Navy defense contractor. Virginia Bell is a law clerk in Fairfax, Va. Virginia and Eric Flynn were married in October. Jenny Bannan Cooper (see Luke Cooper ’03) Tara Fanjoy is a Realtor with Daniel Ravenel/ Sotheby’s International Real Estate of Charleston and the S.C. agent for Diana Warner New York. Tara and Patrick Wooten were married in February. Stephanie Fletcher and her family live in Homer, Alaska, where Stephanie works at Hoffman & Hoffman CPAs. Nicholas Glover is a senior associate in the Business Development Group of the Reputation Institute in New York City. Nicholas also serves on the College’s Alumni Association Board. Jesse Golland is a graduate student focusing on sustainable economic development at Denver University’s Korbel School of International Studies. Crystal Hemingway (see Dedrick Harvin ’06) Larry Long is the director of sales with Metromedia Software, a company that develops rapid-response solutions for hotels. Brandt Nigro is a national-certified school psychologist at New Fairfield Middle School in Danbury, Ct., and is Brookfield High School girls’ swimming coach.
for the Summerville Journal Scene. Jenny won both first- and second-place awards for feature writing for S.C. weekly newspapers, given by the S.C. Press Association in 2008. Michael Tecosky and Melissa Henslee ’06 were married in October. Michael is employed with Community First Bank, and Melissa is a registered nurse with Roper Hospital in Charleston. Melissa Wideman is the executive director of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. She represented the College at the inauguration of Otterbein College’s new president this fall. Harrison Wright (see Mary Henderson ’04)
2006 Amelia Beatty and Michael
Clark were married in June 2008 and live in Charleston. Chris Boehner is a corporate trainer with ClarkMorgan in Beijing, China. Caroline Cahill is a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Rachel Harris Davidson announces the birth of a daughter, Zoe Anastasia, born in June. Ben Ellenburg is a graduate student focusing on early childhood education in the College’s M.A.T. program. Tucker Ervin works for Private Bank of J.P. Morgan. Tucker and Ann E. Rice were married in May and live in New York City. Christine File is a graduate student in The Citadel’s ASPIRE III administrative graduate program. Dedrick Harvin is a fifth-grade ELA teacher at Chester Park School of the Arts in Rock Hill, S.C. Dedrick and Crystal Hemingway ’05 were married in July 2007. Melissa Henslee (see Michael Tecosky ’05) Jillian Irizarry is an IT specialist for IBM in New York City. She also volunteers with NYCares, a nonprofit charity events group, and Rotaract, a group of young professionals who work in partnership with United Nations– sponsored events. Amanda Johnson is a third-year law student at the Campbell University Norman A. Wiggins School of Law, where she is a chief articles editor of the Campbell Law Review, a teaching scholar and a member of the National Moot Court Team. Following graduation, Amanda
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will clerk for the Honorable John Jolly Jr. at the N.C. Business Court. Anne Knudsen is the group sales manager for the Bimini Bay Resort in the Bahamas. Katharine Lowe is an account coordinator with The Reynolds Group, a boutique public relations firm in Atlanta. Amy McClary is a third-year law student at the Stetson University College of Law. Amy and Patrick McGucken were married in May and live in Tampa, Fla. Jessica McGrail (see Parks Batten ’05) Biz Mitchell and David Fraser were married in September. Joseph Morton is an investment banking associate with Hovde in Austin, Texas. Chris O’Neal (M.S.) is a certified public accountant with Moody CPAs and Advisors in Charleston. Julie Proell earned her master’s in ecology from Kent State University. Julie is a plant and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ohio Ecological Services Office. Carla Shorts earned a master’s in clinical community counseling from Johns Hopkins University in May. Carla is a therapist for the State of South Carolina and lives in Seneca. Beau Stubbs and Alex Brown ’07 were married in June 2008 and live in Manning, S.C. Alex is a teacher and coach, and Beau is a student in nursing school. Abigail West (M.Ed.) and Sarah Permenter Hays ’03 launched YuDu, a concierge and errand-running service for businesses and busy people in Charleston. Katherine Wyatt is a project coordinator for the Warrick Dunn Foundation in Tampa, Fla.
2007 Candace Bailey is the
membership/social director of The Club at Dunes West in Mt. Pleasant, and also coordinates the marketing for Dunes West’s Athletic and Golf Club. Alex Brown (see Beau Stubbs ’06) Russell Douglas works for Gilt Groupe and lives in New York City. Biz Ford works in the sales department of Atlantic Tent in Charleston. Kate Frederick spent a year following graduation working on yachts in the Caribbean. She returned to Charleston and opened Speedy
[ alumni profile ]
She sprints toward the end zone. She digs her cleats into the pitch and propels past one, two, three defenders and even one of her own teammates – men twice her size but plainly not twice her speed. Or maybe she’s just got twice the heart. “It’s hanging! Will she catch up to it?” The skepticism in the announcer’s voice is obvious but warranted. After all, Foster appears to be the smallest player on Team USA. But in the world of competitive ultimate frisbee, bigger is not always better. Cate Foster ’06 is compact, quick and agile. She’s sleek but strong. Aerodynamic, you might say. And she can lay out like no other ultimate player you’ve ever seen, man or woman. “Laying out is when you throw your body into the air to try to catch the disc before it hits the ground,” explains Foster with so much excitement she’s practically yelling. “My favorite thing to do is lay out!” That much is clear. She’s got a tattoo on her arm of a stick figure in full lay-out position. She’s also got a wing on each of her ankles – symbolic of her unearthly speed – and the word “soccer” in Japanese on her back. Before preaching the ultimate gospel of ultimate frisbee on the College’s campus, where she and Alison Goins ’07 started the women’s team, the Hobos, in 2004, Foster was a devout disciple of a different sport. Shin guards and soccer balls were staples in her sports bag from the time she was a little girl until her freshman year at N.C. State, where she was a member of the women’s soccer team. After one semester, though, Foster transferred to the College, and with that came a total conversion. Foster was introduced to ultimate frisbee by one of her teachers during her junior year in high school and then picked it back up her sophomore year at the College. Now she plays club level for the Raleigh Durham/Chapel Hill team, Backhoe, and coaches a high school team in Sanford, N.C., where she teaches geometry to 10th graders. “Teaching is really easy for frisbee life,” says Foster. “It gives me free weekends and summers off so I can train for my season. It’s partially why I’m still a teacher,
| Photo by Charles Harris |
The Ultimate Winner
because teaching is the toughest thing I’ve ever done. Nothing – no amount of training or injury or match – compares to trying to get 28 kids in a classroom to shut up and learn geometry.” For Foster, ultimate is the best of all sports worlds: the speed and smarts of soccer, the intensity and strength of football, the quickness and precision of basketball. But she also loves the laid-back attitude and the Spirit of the Game™ that is all its own. That’s right, “Spirit of the Game,” a trademarked slogan that, according to the Ultimate Players Association, is what “sets ultimate apart from other team sports. ... Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.” In other words, there are no referees. Not even at the World Games. “When I was little, I wanted to play soccer in the Olympics on the women’s national team,” recalls Foster. “Once I quit soccer, I still wanted to do something like that in my career.” So she did. Foster competed against 80 other ultimate players from around the
United States to win a spot on the Team USA roster for the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. “It was amazing! As soon as I flew over there, I was treated like a professional athlete,” says Foster, remembering the free hotel rooms, sideline massages and 6,000 fans watching her play. “That’s as professional as ultimate frisbee is ever going to get.” Six teams competed at the World Games: USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Japan and China Taipei. Team USA – with Cate Foster, No. 17, proudly representing her country, her state, her club team and her alma mater – won it all. “We got a big honkin’ medal. This huge, gold-plated thing. Not that cheap thing you order for your soccer team that wins some tournament. This is a legit medal,” explains Foster. “Plus, we got bragging rights for the next four years.” And, oh yeah, that catch those announcers were so skeptical about during the Team USA vs. Canada match at the Seattle Potlatch tournament a few weeks prior to Team USA’s departure to Taiwan … Foster made it, of course. And Team USA won, of course. – Abi Nicholas ’07
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Suds Laundry Service, which caters to those living on yachts docked in Charleston as well as to students at the College. Drew Healey is pursuing a certificate in music therapy at Shenandoah University. Dan McCurry is the frontman of the band Run Dan Run. Dan launched a project on YouTube called “Cover Me Monday,” where he posts videos of himself performing covers every Monday for a year. Stacy Patrick is an employment coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Tuscon, Ariz. Stacy develops job-readiness programs and assists with individual job searches for this refugee resettlement agency. Kristin Robinson is working toward her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from the Savannah Yoga Center in Savannah, Ga. Lee Roueche is a graduate student in Appalachian State University’s public history program. Russell Smith and Kristin McCall are married and live on Johns Island. David Stasiukaitis is the vice president of Low Country Case & Millwork, a commercial cabinetry and architectural millwork manufacturer in Charleston. Gary Vetter is the assistant general manager at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Mt. Pleasant/ Isle of Palms. AnneTrabue Watson is the assistant director of Martin Gallery, is the marketing director of PURE Theatre and makes hair accessories, which are sold at Viola & Clyde in Charleston.
2008 Tina Christophillis is a
freelance painter in Charleston and has studio space at the Redux Contemporary Art Center. Sarah Cummings is a human resources associate with DZ Bank in New York City. Sarah
and Jason Agar were married in April and live on Staten Island. Amber DePriest is a preschool teacher in Goldsboro, N.C. Amber and Nic Dryden were married in June. Pamela Froese launched Adore Artistry in Washington, D.C., where she is the sole owner and makeup artist. Pamela is also a second-year law student. Angela Hanyak is a story department intern with Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles. She is also in the process of developing a pilot and a novel. Jermaine Johnson was taken by the Reno Bighorns in the sixth round of the 2009 NBA Development League Draft. Lindsay Lott is an independent sales representative for Avon. Lindsay and Michael Clever were married in April and live in Ladson, S.C. Brooke Metts is a third-grade teacher in Berkeley County, S.C. Brooke and Brent Melcher were married in October and live in Hanahan. Allisyn Miller is a graduate student at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, studying interior architecture. Otis Pickett (M.A.) is a Ph.D. student in the University of Mississippi’s history program. Otis represented the College at the investiture of Mississippi State University’s new president this fall. Kala Septor is the communications coordinator in the College’s computer science department. Amanda Taylor is the director of La Isla Language School on Hilton Head Island and is also a writer/translator for La Isla Magazine. Maria Wersinger is a case analyst and ecclesiastical notary at the Tribunal of the Diocese of Charleston. Maria and Richard Ortiz were married in September.
2009 Seaton Brown is an admissions
representative in the College’s admissions office. Toan Dao is a chauffeur with the Charleston Black Cab Company. Morgan Furr is an assistant director in the College’s Office of Residence Life and Housing. Kurt Goldstein is the coordinator for information services in the College’s Office of Residence Life and Housing. Aubrey Hattam is a treasury specialist with the finance department of First Comp, an insurance company in Omaha, Neb. Holly Johnson is the housekeeping supervisor at the Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms. Wes Knight is a defender for the Vancouver Whitecaps and was a finalist for the United Soccer League’s Rookie of the Year Award. Gabby Lobascio is the executive assistant to the event manager and music producer at Joe’s Bar in Chicago, Ill. Erin Miller works for the Emory Group, a promotional marketing materials company in Spartanburg. Clayton Moser is a graduate student in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s composition program. Clayton also won the third prize in the conservatory’s inaugural SUMI-E competition, a 24-hour composition contest. David Rosansky works for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Cape Coast, Ghana. Megan Scott is a rehab specialist with Palmetto HealthCare in Columbia. Jeanmarie Tankersley is a law student at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Check out College of Charleston Magazine’s website at www.cofc.edu/magazine.
[ passages ] Solomon Breibart ’36
Myrtle Craver Bradham Riggs ’48
James Robinson ’81
Harriet Witte King ’38
Helen Lucas Weston ’48
Colleen duFort Evans ’84
Joseph Stokes ’38
Victor Burrell Jr. ’49
Karen Joseph ’85
Betty Anne Moisson Chancellor ’39
Vivian Barker Rice ’49
Kermit “Chip” Williams Jr. ’85
James York Jr. ’39
Mary Wood Wardlaw ’54
Barbara McConnell Kennedy ’87
Eclecte Tsiropoulos Alexander ’40
James Tobias ’55
Kathy Prevatte Kirby ’91
Katharine McDonald Jeter ’43
Lynda Rowland Steger ’63
Carolyn Keller ’92
Jewell Bee Thompson ’43
Hershel Oberman ’64
Wesley Smith ’94
Aline Burton High ’44
Frank “Butch” Ruddy ’76
Robert Cushing ’04
Harold Priluker ’45
Barbara Carney Schwab ’76
John “Jay” Ford (student)
George Croffead ’46
Joseph Raymond Jr. ’78
Elizabeth Johnson (student)
Marion Cotten ’48
Sherry Calhoun Lynn ’79
Michael Finefrock (faculty)
October 31; Charleston, S.C. September 3; Atlanta, Ga. October 12; Atlanta, Ga. November 10; Denver, Colo.
December 13; Richmond, Va. December 20; Atlanta, Ga. January 30; Sumter, S.C.
September 14; Charleston, S.C. September 23; Jacksonville, Fla. December 1; Sullivan’s Island, S.C. January 6; Johns Island, S.C. September 29; Waynesboro, Ga.
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January 30; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. January 24; Charleston, S.C.
December 20; Charleston, S.C. December 21; Colorado Springs, Colo. September 17; Columbia, S.C. January 23; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. January 15; Goose Creek, S.C.
December 21; Charleston, S.C. September 2; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. January 28; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. September 6; Irmo, S.C.
January 5; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
November 25; West Columbia, S.C. January 8; Folly Beach, S.C.
October 24; Charleston, S.C. September 20; Summerville, S.C. August 22; Charleston, S.C. August 24; Gaffney, S.C.
September 5; Ladson, S.C. December 18; Greenville, S.C. December 21; Richmond, Va. March 17, 2009; Charleston, S.C. October 12; Newberry, S.C.
December 8; Charleston, S.C.
Celebrating with Honors This fall, the College of Charleston Alumni Association recognized five individuals who have brought great honor to the College community through their careers and many achievements. • The Alumni Award of Honor went to Distinguished Professor of Political Science Bill Moore, who passed away last spring. Over the course of his 37-year career at the College, Professor Moore inspired countless students with his passion for athletics, his exceptional scholarship and his remarkable classroom leadership.
• Arlinda Locklear ’73 received the Distinguished Alumna Award. An expert legal mind in federal Indian law, Locklear was the first Native American woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court (of course, she won). • Callie Shell ’83 earned Alumna of the Year Award for her work as a photojournalist. Over the last two years, Shell has received international acclaim for her stunning images that captured behind-thescenes moments of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and first days in office.
• Margaret Anne Florence Siachos ’01 was named Young Alumna of the Year. Siachos, who has appeared in commercials, television, film and Broadway productions, completed two movies in 2008. • Jonathan Cook ’88 accepted the Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine. A national leader in dermatologic surgery, Dr. Cook is a professor of dermatology and director of dermatologic surgery at Duke University.
| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
| 1. Hope Morris Florence ’70, Margaret Anne Florence Siachos ’01 and Terry Florence 2. Liz Tiller Gourdin ’80, Callie Shell ’83, Frannie Baker Reese ’89 and Jenks McDowell Bailey ’83 3. Keith Sauls ’90, Sue Sommer-Kresse, Jonathan Cook ’88 and John Kresse 4. Nan Morrison and Arlinda Locklear ’73 5. The family of Distinguished Political Science Professor Bill Moore (1944–2009) received the Alumni Award of Honor on his behalf |
S PRI N G 2 0 1 0 |
112–114 Wentworth Street – Jonas Beard House One of my favorite spots on campus was the political science building. I loved the graceful and stately appearance of this older and well-worn building. But what really made it special to me were the people who worked within its walls. The professors and staff took the time to get to know me and always made me feel welcomed as I passed through its doors. Teresa Pregnall Moore ’49, the administrative assistant at the time, treated me as if I were one of her own, and even fed me her home-cooked meals
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and desserts. Teresa was very supportive of me, willing to listen and help me solve the problems of a college student. The professors and staff were always very easy to approach and were always willing to assist with any problem. I knew I could count on a lively and entertaining debate with Professor David Mann, jokes from the late Professor Bill Moore or great conversations with Professors Jos, Cabot, Parson or Friedman. Both the professors and the staff always encouraged me to succeed and challenged me to think outside my comfort zone.
They did an excellent job of creating a family atmosphere and always made me feel at home – providing me with the support I needed while I was away from my family and friends in Central, S.C. This building became my home away from home. I will always hold fond memories of my life at the College of Charleston. – Cherie Teat Barton ’90 E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your favorite place on campus and what makes it so special to you.
A Gift (And A Giver) thAt Keep on GivinG RICH HADDAD ’75 believes in the power of a College of Charleston education. So much so, that he and his wife, Shannon Withrock Haddad ’78, who are consistent supporters of the College, made a planned gift that will help ensure the vitality and accessiblity of their alma mater for future generations of students. HIS moSt memoRAble ClASS expeRIenCe: “Sociology professor Robert Tournier’s lectures were at another level from anyone I had ever heard. He was a commanding presence, and his class on the development of social theory made you really think. “For his final exam, which I will always remember, Professor Tournier put a portion of one of Hamlet’s monologues on the blackboard – ‘What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god!’ He then passed out several blue books and a single sheet of paper with one question: ‘This statement, although it proceeds it by a number of years, is an articulate statement of the genesis of sociology. How so?’ I made a C+ – one of the highest grades in the class.” WHy He GIveS: “The College gave me a chance, both athletically and academically. Someone provided funds for me and also my wife to go to college. If our support can help with another person’s education, then it’s our honor to pay it back and help our school.” To learn more about planned giving, different types of planned gifts and ways you can support other College initiatives, check out www.cofc.edu/giving.
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Within these pages, you're going to find many stories showcasing the College of Charleston's dynamic and intellectually vigorous culture.We...