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

Fighting Chance




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i e t de ro n t sp B ec en ti so ve n

Tyler Kluttz ’06 (a.k.a. WWE’s Brad Maddox) is wrestling his way into the spotlight.

c o l l e g e o f c h a r l e s t o n a l u m n i a s s o c i at i o n


Spring 2014 Volume XVIII, Issue 2 Editor

Mark Berry Art Director

Alfred Hall Managing Editor

Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editor

Jason Ryan Photography

Leslie McKellar Contributors

a c aw e e k e n d . c o f c . e d u m ay 3 - 4 , 2 0 1 4

# c h a r l e sto n a f fa i r

c i s t e r n ya r d


Michael Adeyanju Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Diana Deaver Ron Menchaca ’98 Karen Ann Myers Genevieve Peterson ’05 Nathan Ross (son of Craig Ross ’99) Holly Thorpe Bridget Herman Venatta ’08 Online Design

Charlie Stinchfield Alumni Relations

Karen Burroughs Jones ’74 Executive Vice President for External Relations

Michael Haskins Contact us at

magazine@cofc.edu or 843.953.6462 On the Web

magazine.cofc.edu Follow us on Twitter

@CofCMagazine Mailing Address

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

[ table of contents ]








68 Evolution of an artist



Around the Cistern

by jason ryan

To most of us, art and science are as far apart on the academic spectrum as two topics can get. Through his amazing watercolors of natural life, Dan Davis ’85 bridges these two worlds seamlessly and beautifully.

Head of the Class by Alicia Lutz ’98


As the second highest–rated college teacher in the country, Hispanic studies instructor Devon Wray Hanahan ’87 has made a lot of connections – with her students, their grasp on the Spanish language and, of course, her alma mater.

Life Academic 14 Making the Grade 22 Teamwork 26 Point of View




Class Notes My Space

Into the Ring: The Improbable, Not-Fast-Enough,



But Utterly Magnificent Rise of a Wrestling Star

by Mark Berry


Tyler Kluttz ’06 didn’t want to lead a normal life. He hungered to do something different – something that would spark his imagination and push him to new limits. He found that something different in a 20-by-20–foot wrestling ring.


on the cover: Tyler Kluttz ’06 photo by Jason Myers


The Idea Man A R etrospective his guidance, the College successfully navigated the financial uncertainty brought on by the Great Recession as well as the tumult of conference realignment that affected nearly every athletics program in the nation. But perhaps President Benson’s greatest achievement was his ability to see possibility. And he certainly saw it in every corner of campus and beyond. President Benson brought considerable optimism, vision and zeal for what the College could be, what it should be.

From strategic plans to redefining how the College’s programs interact with the greater community, President Benson understood that the College needs to play a central role in Charleston’s latest emergence on the world stage. It’s an idea of thought leadership that everyone in the College community buys into, one that will truly move the needle in making the College a nationally recognized institution. And it’s a simple, yet far-reaching idea that defines the Benson legacy.

| Portraits by Diana Deaver |

An important chapter in the College’s history is coming to a close as President P. George Benson officially steps down this summer. What he has accomplished during his seven years of leadership is extraordinary and wide ranging. In his many speeches and conversations, President Benson often used the term trajectory, with his right hand flattened and moving upward, to drive home his point about the College’s prospects and rising importance on the national higher education scene. Under



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The Idea Man A R etrospective

The Benson Years: An Overview When President P. George Benson steps down at the end of this academic year, he will have amassed many visible and lasting achievements that have helped to raise the quality and national reputation of the College of Charleston. During Benson’s presidency, from 2007 to 2014, the College significantly elevated its national profile, achieved five consecutive years of record fundraising, increased scholarships and financial aid and moved from the Southern Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association. The College expanded its academic portfolio with the establishment of more than 30 new or revised degree and certificate programs. For example, the College launched a long sought-after M.B.A. program in 2010.



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During the Benson years, the College graduated nearly 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students, increased student applications by 28 percent and continued to rise in national higher education rankings for quality and affordability. Benson also pushed for the development of the College’s first-ever diversity strategic plan and for substantial new investment in creating a more diverse campus community. And while such high-profile accomplishments establish a solid legacy for the outgoing president, future generations of students, faculty, staff and alumni also will benefit from many of the less-visible accomplishments of George Benson.

Foundation for the Future For every major gift Benson helped secure for the College, he was working behind the scenes to green-light critical infrastructure improvements, such as campuswide technology upgrades, structural renovations of centuries-old buildings and security and safety enhancements. For every new academic program and community partnership that was developed and celebrated under his watch, Benson was also working to elevate the overall professionalism of the College. He streamlined administrative units and reporting lines, he insisted on hiring the best people, he pushed for new policies and procedures to help protect the College and its assets and he worked to ensure that the university complied with myriad local, state and federal regulations and met the strict requirements of its academic accreditation. Despite a decline in state appropriations to the College, Benson consistently advocated for increases in faculty and staff salaries to reward top performers and to address disparities between the College and its peer institutions. Efforts to improve university infrastructure and administration usually don’t make headlines. But, as Benson will tell you, they are essential to building a strong foundation upon which the modern College of Charleston can grow and thrive. “No other university in the U.S. can match the College’s potential for greatness,” Benson says. “My goal for the past seven years has been to unlock as much of that potential as I could and to enhance the academic and administrative foundations of the College so even more potential could be realized in the years ahead.” The stable footing on which the College now stands was achieved in spite of the national economic downturn that began early in Benson’s presidency. While guiding the College through the Great Recession and repeated state budget cuts that reduced the institution’s state appropriation by nearly half, Benson made private giving to the College a top priority. Under his leadership, the College rebuilt its fundraising operation, expanded its donor base and increased private gifts to record levels. The result has been awards of significantly more institutional aid to deserving and high-achieving students from South Carolina and around the country. Benson has worked closely with


many friends and benefactors of the College to create increased access to the College and expand the opportunities available to students. Prior to Benson’s arrival, the College did not have any full academic scholarships. Today, through the establishment of the Colonial Scholarship, the College now offers 10 such awards with which to attract top high school students from South Carolina. As part of Benson’s emphasis on establishing a campus culture of philanthropy, the College’s Comprehensive Campaign has thrived. Started in October 2009 and set to launch publicly in the fall, the campaign is already the most successful in the College’s history.

Charleston focused Another hallmark of Benson’s presidency has been his focus on strengthening ties between the College and the people, organizations and communities of Charleston and the Lowcountry. He has advocated for the local economic and cultural assets that make Charleston unique, such as its port, its arts community and its importance in African American history. He invested in the development and growth of academic programs aligned with those assets to help distinguish the College from other universities around the world. As a former business school dean and economic forecaster, Benson often spoke candidly in speeches and writings about the vitally important role of the business community in the success and future of both the College and the Charleston community as a whole. He served on numerous local and regional committees aimed at improving Charleston’s economy and quality of life. He advocated for local public schools and worked to strengthen the College’s partnerships with area school districts. Benson also sought to deepen the relationship between Charleston’s thriving arts community and the College, including the expansion and strengthening of the school’s longtime partnership with Spoleto Festival USA. Benson’s belief in the interdependent relationship between the College and the city of Charleston is so strong that he made sure it was articulated and called out as a core value in the College’s Strategic Plan. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is pleased that Benson intends to remain as a member of the College’s faculty after concluding his presidency. “Thereby, he will continue to enrich the educational experiences of the students as well as be a valuable and contributing member of the Charleston community,” Riley notes. The campus itself looks different today than it did when Benson arrived. He has overseen the completion, construction or enhancement of several campus facilities. Major on-campus capital projects completed during his tenure include TD Arena, Cato Center for the Arts, the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building and the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, the construction of a new admissions office at Craig Hall, and the renovation of Randolph Hall, Towell Library, Porters

At a Glance: P. George Benson 21st president of the College of Charleston February 1, 2007, to June 30, 2014 Hometown: Lewisburg, Pa. Family: Jane Benson (wife) and children Jeff, Laura and Alison ’10 Education: B.S. in Mathematics, Bucknell University; graduate work in operations research at New York University; Ph.D. in Decision Sciences with minors in statistics and economics, University of Florida Career: Dean, University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business (1998–2007); Dean, Rutgers University’s Rutgers Business School (1993–1998); Professor of Decision Sciences, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management (1977–1993) External: Board Chair, Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; Board Member, AGCO Corporation, Crawford and Company, Primerica Inc. and NBSC What’s next: Following his term as president, Benson will teach in the College’s School of Business as a professor of decision sciences and will continue to be involved with College fundraising.

The Idea Man A R etrospective







5 1 C h r i s t in N e w m a n ’13, C a r o l in e N e w m a n ’12, P r e s i d e n t B e n s o n a n d J a n e B e n s o n a t A C h a r l e s t o n A f f a ir 2 C e l e b r a t in g t h e C o l l e g e a n d volleyball team’s first C A A championship 3 Flipping pancakes with Evie Nadel for student s during final exams 4 President Benson with Head Coach Nat asha Adair (women’s basketball) 5 President Benson with longtime Cof C suppor ter s Anit a Zucker and Tommy Baker

Lodge, the Cistern Yard and many other historic buildings. In September 2013, Benson presided over the grand opening of the College’s new 19,000-square–foot George Street Fitness Center. In addition, several building and renovation projects are being planned or are underway as Benson winds down his presidency. They include the opening of a new store and welcome center on King Street (under the Sottile Theatre marquee), the renovation of the Hollings Science Center, the construction of a new building for the Grice Marine Laboratory at Fort Johnson, and construction of a new building in North Charleston to house the College’s North Campus and the Lowcountry Graduate Center. Another capital project that has been near and dear to Benson’s heart is Dixie Plantation, a 900-acre parcel of pristine riverfront, pine forests and marshland along the Stono River. Benson has overseen numerous building and infrastructure enhancements with the goal of establishing Dixie as an education and research hub for environmental sciences and sustainability.



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Lasting Legacy Far from easing through the final months of his presidency, Benson has been deeply involved in advancing a proposal that could dramatically reshape the future of the College. The idea, which has been a hot topic since Benson first floated it in the fall of 2012, is to merge or greatly increase collaboration between the College and the Medical University of South Carolina to establish a true research university in Charleston. In some of his earliest public speeches as president, Benson pointed to the absence of a research university in Charleston as an impediment to the region’s economic growth. Back then, however, he stopped short of calling for the creation of one, citing the economic downturn, the political climate and other factors. The arrival of Boeing changed all of that. Virtually overnight, Boeing demonstrated that Charleston has the potential to compete alongside some of the biggest and most successful cities in the country – cities that have strong research universities.



9 10


6 President Benson in Alumni Hall 7 Stephen Colbert receiving a “Bachelor of Masters” from President Benson 8 President Benson in t h e r e n o v a t e d b a r n a t D i x i e P l a n t a t i o n 9 P r e s i d e n t B e n s o n i n t h e s t u d e n t s e c t i o n d u r i n g h o m e c o m i n g 2 0 1 1 10 P r e s i d e n t B e n s o n w i t h U . S . P r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e B a r a c k O b a m a 11 P r e s i d e n t B e n s o n i n h i s o f f i c e , i n f r o n t o f a f r a m e d p h o t o o f g o l f i n g l e g e n d B e n H o g a n

Inspired by Boeing’s growth in the Lowcountry, Benson began publicly describing Charleston’s rapidly transforming economy as “New Charleston.” He argued that for New Charleston to be able to compete with regions and cities like Raleigh-Durham; Austin, Texas; Boston; and Silicon Valley, Charleston needs its own research university and that the College should be a major player in its development. Benson has previously stated that such a university would complement – not duplicate – the work of USC and Clemson. In fact, Benson would prefer the new research university to offer only a handful of doctoral and master’s degree programs in targeted areas that would benefit Charleston, the Lowcountry and South Carolina. In dozens of speeches over the past year and a half, Benson has described several possible options for developing a research university: The state could designate the College of Charleston a research university, it could merge the College and MUSC or it could allow the two universities to work toward significantly greater collaboration.

Before he left MUSC to take a position with the University of Texas System, former president Dr. Ray Greenberg joined with Benson to advocate for more collaboration or a merger. Other leaders and organizations, including Mayor Riley and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, have become proponents and helped galvanize support in Charleston’s business community. A joint College of Charleston/MUSC committee has been studying the idea, and legislation for the merger was introduced in January. Benson has made no bones about his desire to see a fullblown merger happen. But he has also cautioned that a marriage of two universities with different missions and different cultures would be an extraordinarily complex undertaking and that it could take many years for all the pieces to come together. If a merger or increased collaboration should come about, there will be many people deserving of credit for having paved the way. One name at the top of that list would be President P. George Benson.

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The Idea Man A R etrospective

Reflections on a Presidency “George Benson is a man of honor and I am a finer person and president because of knowing him. George and I have shared a mutual passion – economic development. He understands that to attract talent and investment we must have the right educational mix. He is concerned not only with the quality of a College of Charleston education, but also with the opportunities that are available for students before and after they graduate.” – Mary Thornley, President Trident Technical College “During Dr. Benson’s tenure, the already strong

relationship between the College and the Medical University became even closer | (l to r) U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, S.C. Governor Nikki Haley, President Benson and Henry McMaster |

“George Benson has been a

committed advocate for the College of Charleston, and I congratulate him on his tenure as president. I have enjoyed working with him in our effort to continue

and a process was put in place to formalize further collaborations. George was particularly focused on what we could do together to promote the economic

development of Charleston and the region. It was a privilege and pleasure to work with him on these issues.”

– Dr. Ray Greenberg Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, The University of Texas System, and former MUSC President

strengthening and improving the public higher education system in South Carolina

and wish him the best in all his future endeavors.” – S.C. Governor Nikki Haley

The Benson Years: A Timeline

May 2008: Awarded honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from The Citadel November 2008: Opening of TD Arena

October 2007: Inauguration, held in Sottile Theatre

February 2007: Officially takes office as the College’s 21st president


November 2008: Appoints Strategic Planning Committee to oversee development of a 10-year strategic plan

October 2007: Launch of the Cougar Alert Emergency Notification System to notify students, faculty, staff and parents within minutes of a campus emergency



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“It’s been my honor and privilege to know George Benson. He has led the College of Charleston with distinction and offered his knowledge and vision as we have worked together with business and community leaders to build a bright future for the Lowcountry.” – Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret.) President, The Citadel “President Benson’s departure from the College of Charleston is a loss for the faculty and students as well as one for the Lowcountry. George and Jane Benson

have worked tirelessly to promote the interest and reputation of the College. I will miss this dynamic couple both personally and

professionally and wish them only the best in their future.” – Jim Newsome President and CEO, S.C. State Ports Authority “President Benson’s tenure has been strategic on many fronts. Most important, he has engaged the alumni, resulting in fundraising that is at an all-time high. He has also developed a master plan


continue upward under his tenure.” – Charleston Mayor Joe Riley “I’ve enjoyed working with George Benson. I’m saddened this will be his last year, but I am heartened by all the good accomplished at the College during George’s tenure as president.” – Anita Zucker CEO, The InterTech Group Inc.

March 2010: Launch of the REACH Program to enable students with mild intellectual disabilities to pursue a college education

January 2010: Opening of Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts

OCTOBER 2009: Board of Trustees approves Strategic Plan

“Dr. Benson has provided extraordinary leadership and great energy to the College of Charleston, which has seen its growth in quality,

educational capacity and national esteem

that allows for a vision for the school for years to come. I’m delighted that he will remain on as faculty once he steps down, and we will have the benefit of his experience for years to come.” – Charles P. “Buddy” Darby III Chair, College’s School of Business Board of Governors

September 2009: Launch of the Cougar Shuttle, providing students with complimentary transportation during evening hours

| Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and President Benson |

May 2010: Launch of the School of Business’ M.B.A. Program June 2010: Holds first meeting of the President’s Community Advisory Board


April 2010: Dedication of the new School of Sciences and Mathematics Building on Calhoun and Coming streets

June 2010: Establishes the President’s Commission on Diversity, Access, Equity and Inclusion August 2010: Parade Magazine names the College to its “College A-List” as one of the top seven small state schools in the country S PRI N G 2 0 1 4 |



The Idea Man A R etrospective

In His Words Throughout his presidency, President P. George Benson has spoken out on a variety of topics. In addition to his strong advocacy for the College of Charleston, Benson has consistently drawn attention to the opportunities and challenges facing all of public higher education in South Carolina. Here are a few highlights from his speeches and writings over the years.


challenge – yours and mine – is to discover or create the series of gateways that will both draw the world to Charleston and take

the College of Charleston to the world.”

Inaugural Address October 5, 2007

“Making higher education a top priority will only happen when our political leaders recognize two truths: First, higher education is the one lever they control that is capable of boosting economic and social indicators virtually across the board. And, second, if we don’t make this commitment soon, we risk falling so far behind that we’ll never catch up to our neighboring states.”

“As people and businesses flow toward Charleston,

Charleston is becoming much more than a port and a beach and a carriage ride. The economy is beginning to diversify

and develop a cluster of talented professionals. We are attracting and building knowledge-based organizations that engage in higher-level business activities – software development, systems

design, financial engineering, biosciences research …”

Commencement Address, Graduate College of The Citadel May 4, 2008

The Benson Years: A Timeline

Keynote Speech, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Conference March 26, 2009

“Before moving to Charleston, I did my due diligence. I looked at Charleston quite closely from afar, and I sensed the virtually limitless economic,

cultural and educational potential of the Lowcountry, particularly in the context

of the Southern Cross. Then I moved here, and I began to look past the veneer. I began to see, as many newcomers do, that the state’s valuable assets,

such as the port and the state’s public higher education system, are seriously underappreciated.”

Keynote Speech, Propeller Club of Charleston January 14, 2010

October 2011: Awarded Milliken Medal of Quality from the S.C. Quality Forum April 2012: Board of Trustees adopts Diversity Strategic Plan

Spring 2011: Completion of extensive restoration of Randolph Hall, the Cistern Yard and Towell Library

April 2011: Appears in episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to award scholarships to a deserving military family


August 2011: Establishes Staff Advisory Committee to the President



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January 2012: Board of Trustees approves new Campus Master Plan

January 2012: Welcomes Stephen Colbert to the Cistern Yard as part of Colbert’s run for the presidency of the “United States of South Carolina”



“We are in an industry with serious revenue shortages that is also facing an ever-rising mountain of state and federal regulations and increasing pressure to meet statemandated performance and accountability measures. Yet, our institutions are part of a highly

competitive higher education marketplace in which we must maintain the quality of our academic programs, vie for top faculty and staff, modernize our learning and student life facilities and keep pace with technology.” Address to the Treasury Institute

for Higher Education, Treasury Symposium January 30, 2012

“Most South Carolinians don’t realize that the College of Charleston is the largest historic preservationist in Charleston, and

we bear this burden for the good of the entire state. Our presence in the Historic District complicates everything we do, by adding to our costs and constraining our ability to grow.” Op-Ed, The Post and Courier August 13, 2010

Fall 2012: Cofounded (with Charleston businessman Phil Noble) Envision South Carolina, an innovative multimedia project aimed at identifying ideas and strategies that can help South Carolina achieve world-class status

November 2012: Board of Trustees accepts invitation to join Colonial Athletic Association

“South Carolina must be a state where any prospective employer can find an educated workforce, highly skilled faculty experts, a system that can quickly train and retrain workers to meet the needs of the marketplace and an intellectual climate that generates and embraces new ideas and new technology. All of this is fostered

or delivered by our universities. All of this supports economic growth.” Presentation to S.C. Commission on Higher Education August 9, 2012

August 2013: Announces that the College raised $15.4 million in Fiscal Year 2012-13, marking the fifth consecutive year of recordbreaking fundraising


August 2013: Unveiling of new logo for CofC athletics

October 2013: Grand opening of the George Street Fitness Center

November 2013: First major College event held at Dixie Plantation following completion of major facility and infrastructure improvements

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The Idea Man A R etrospective

His College Experience: Q & A University, which would include the College, MUSC and the Charleston School of Law. A research university would produce talent, create economic development opportunities and help Charleston to compete with the likes of Austin, Texas; the Research Triangle; Boston; Northern Virginia; and Silicon Valley. What is your favorite part of being President? Envisioning the future and working with the faculty and the staff to get us there. What are the biggest challenges facing the College? There are several. We need more land. We are landlocked in the historic district with no room to grow or improve our facilities. Another is convincing the state to let the College set its own tuition level. Tuition is currently capped by the state. A third is adding a few doctoral and master’s programs to support the rapidly transforming Charleston economy. What book has had the most influence on your style of leadership? Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. It’s about how to build an organization to last. The material in that book on strategic planning had the most influence on our Strategic Plan and previous strategic plans that I have developed at Rutgers and the University of Georgia.

What will you miss most about being President? I’ll miss the people that I work with and the day-to-day excitement of the job. Leading a diverse, complex, sophisticated organization like the College is a challenge, but it is fun, and I’ll miss it. What aspect of the student experience at the College is most important to you? The student-focused culture that the faculty have developed over the years sets the College apart from nearly all other mid-sized and large universities. What is your favorite location on campus? I have a great view of the Cistern Yard from my office in Randolph Hall. But in terms of interacting with students, faculty and staff, I enjoy the patio of Addlestone Library overlooking Rivers Green. What alumni achievement has most impressed you? Arlinda Locklear, Class of 1973, becoming the first Native American woman to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. Where would you like to see the College in 20 years? We are now moving toward becoming what we are calling an emerging research university. My hope is that in 20 years, the College will be part of a research university called Charleston



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Why has Dixie Plantation been so important to you? Dixie is important because of the opportunity that it represents for our students and our faculty. We are turning it into a sustainability and environmental sciences campus that will be used by students from any and all disciplines. It will give us a historic downtown campus and a plantation campus, just 17 miles away on the Intracoastal Waterway – the Stono River. We’ll have the best of two different worlds – the best of a natural environment and the best of an urban environment. If money were no object, what new building or facility for the College would top your wish list? Three buildings and more land: 1. A learning center that would be built on the parking lot of Addlestone Library. This is already called for in our Campus Master Plan. The building will be set up for distance education and for classes to work in teams. It will be a facility devoted to the knowledge economy as symbolized by the Internet and new media and all the educational opportunities that they represent. 2. A conference center at Dixie Planation. 3. A residence hall at Dixie Plantation. 4. 10–80 acres on or near Charleston’s peninsula for expansion of our facilities. What was your most memorable moment as President? Beating UNC, the defending NCAA champions in men’s basketball, in TD Arena on January 4, 2010. I also love spring commencement


in the Cistern Yard. It is one of the most beautiful and unique commencement ceremonies in the country. I thoroughly enjoy how we parade out to rock ’n’ roll music during the recessional. You often talk about the interdependent relationship between the College and the City of Charleston. How essential is the success of one to the other? The College is Charleston and Charleston is the College. The city would be a shadow of itself without the energy and economic impact of the College, its students, parents, faculty and staff. On the other hand, the history, traditions, culture, environment and beauty of Charleston are what attract so many of our students, faculty and staff to the College. Few colleges and college towns are as interdependent as the College of Charleston and Charleston. What is the biggest difference between College students today and when you first became a professor in 1977? Students’ postgraduation goals have changed dramatically. When I was in college and when I started teaching at the University of Minnesota, students typically set their sights on getting the best job they could, no matter where it was located. Today, students are more in touch with quality-of-life issues. They pick a region that suits their desired lifestyle and look for the best jobs in that region. Our students want more controlled, less stressful lives than their Baby-Boomer parents.

| President Benson with Brittany Graham ’11 and Antonio Fielder ’11 | What student achievement has impressed you the most? It’s hard to pick only one because we have some of the best and brightest students in the country attending the College. Some of our students have discovered a planet and others have conducted research to save the coral reefs. We also have remarkable student-athletes who excel inside and outside the classroom. I am so proud of all our student achievements. They bring distinction to the College and help to elevate our national profile. What was your toughest decision as President? Without question, it was the decision to step down this summer. I’ve worked day and night for over seven years to nurture and care for this very special college. It’s very difficult to step aside and let someone else lead the institution you love.

Love at First Sight Under President Benson, the College made long overdue improvements at Dixie Plantation that will lead to increased use of the property by faculty and students for teaching and research. Bequeathed to the College in 1995 by the late ornithologist and wildlife artist John Henry Dick, the property encompasses nearly 900 acres along the Stono River, 17 miles south of Charleston. Dixie’s ecosystems include long-leaf pine forests, wetlands, savannahs, tidal marshes, as well as brackish, saltwater and freshwater ponds. Prior to Benson’s arrival at the College, the property was undervalued and underutilized, and its sale had even been considered. Recognizing the benefits of having a nearby plantation campus where faculty and students from a variety of disciplines could learn, create and relax, Benson laid out a vision for Dixie Plantation as an environmental sciences campus and conference center. Over the past few years, the College and the College of Charleston Foundation have invested nearly $8 million in institutional and private funds to build a 4.3-mile interpretative nature trail, restore more than 150 acres of long-leaf pine forest, construct two field research stations and rebuild and expand an old barn (pictured above) for use as event space for meetings, retreats and classes. Future plans for Dixie Plantation or adjacent property include single-story student housing as well as a conference center that would be used for revenue-generating executive education and other continuing education programs.


Work of Art when you’ve got names like pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns and Shepard Fairey coming to your birthday celebration, you’re kind of a big deal. You’re so big, in fact, that you’ll need an entire year just to fit everything in: the concerts and parties thrown in your honor, the exhibitions and performances brought to you from around the world, the media coverage offered in your support. Expect no less for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, which turns the Big 3-0 this year.



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“Yes, it’s kind of a big deal,” confirms director Mark Sloan with a smile. “That’s why we’re bringing in all the heavy-hitting exhibits and the familiar names this year. I want to infuse every platform. We’re going for world domination!” It certainly seems to be headed that way. Originally just a space in the Simons Center for the Arts featuring predominantly faculty-collection shows, the Halsey became a professional gallery in 1992. Since Sloan arrived as the director and curator in 1994, it has

been reconceived as a Kunsthalle (a noncollecting contemporary art facility) – thus the name change to Institute in 2005 – and has gained a reputation around the world for its unique structure, interdisciplinary focus and experimental philosophy. “We swim against the current: That’s what we do,” says Sloan, noting, too, that the institute originates all of its own programs, which is unusual for a university-based contemporary art program. “We are entrepreneurial, and we do take risks. I believe in the power


of experimentation and taking chances – otherwise there’s no growth.” And there has certainly been growth. With six full-time staff members and 10 professional (but volunteer) tour guides, the Halsey now hosts five to seven exhibits a year, provides extensive educational programming and has a strong international component. “The programming at the Halsey is like a living organism – we bring in adventurous artists from all over the world and provide them with unique opportunities for engaging with diverse audiences. We’re always bringing in artists, writers, curators, critics and performers that have different connections, building on the idea of Charleston as a historic port city – a cultural nexus,” says Sloan, noting that the Halsey enjoys a larger reputation in the international community than it does locally, probably because of its experimental focus. “We specialize in presenting the work of the oddly overlooked: these emerging artists who have not had much recognition. But this year I wanted to draw in some more people from Charleston, so I decided to seduce them with great work by big-name artists.” Two of those artists are coming together in one exhibit, The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns, May 22– July 5. While of two different generations and two different artistic styles, both Fairey and Johns are internationally known native sons of South Carolina – and both use recurrent themes in their work. In Johns’ series of 16 iconic prints spanning from 1982 to 2012, for example, there are recurrent motifs of the cosmos, face/vase optical illusions, cross-hatches, flags, gestures from American sign language and fragments of other artists’ works. The 84-year-old Johns, who grew up in Allendale, Columbia and Sumter, is best known for his painting “Flag” (which sold for $29 million in 2010) and is one of the most successful artists alive. Fairey, a native of Charleston, is the street artist behind Andre the Giant Has a Posse and soared to international notoriety with his Obama “Hope” poster. Fairey is creating all new work for his first major exhibit in his hometown, to include paintings, screen prints and large-scale public murals in downtown Charleston.

With recurring themes of sunbursts and propaganda imagery, his collection is called “Power and Glory,” and he says it’s a “celebration and critique of Americana with an emphasis on gas stations, gas and oil logos and iconography.” “The theme is oil and power and the dual meaning of power,” says Sloan. “It shows how oil drives us and in turn drives the global economy. We live in a world that is literally run by oil.” Another big name coming to the Halsey is, of course, Picasso – whose 1962 collaboration with photographer André Villers will be on display in the fall. In this series of photograms, called “Diurnes,” Picasso superimposed and applied paper cut-outs of figures to create mythical images over the black-and-white landscapes that Villers captured. The other component of this exhibit is the work of Indonesian shadow-puppet artist Jamaadi, who makes puppets with a grass analogous to sweetgrass. Jamaadi and local shadow puppeteer Geoffrey Cormier – whom Sloan sent to Indonesia last year to meet Jamaadi – will also be performing around town, including at the Halsey’s “Moonshadow” event this fall. “I think Picasso would have loved being included in the same exhibition as shadow puppets,” says Sloan. “What I like is making connections between seemingly disparate realms. I think that can allow an audience to experience something in a novel way.” The Halsey’s birthday celebrations kicked off on January 31 with that same concept in mind: Two dissimilar artists, Jody Zellen with Above the Fold and Bob Trotman with Business as Usual, came together in one exhibit, connected by the idea of the insidious nature of corporate greed and media saturation. Other celebrations have included parties and the Groundhog Day Benefit Concert at the Charleston Music Hall, where some of Charleston’s most prominent musicians came together to benefit the Halsey Institute. “The Halsey often collaborates with musicians, actors, filmmakers, architects, designers and others to create its unique multidisciplinary offerings,” says the event’s musical director, Bill Carson ’99. “The participating musicians all want to shine the spotlight on the Halsey Institute in gratitude for their dynamic and inspirational role in this community.”

| Mark Sloan, director and senior curator of the Halsey Institute | “I think there is a general renaissance in Charleston that has happened before my eyes in the 20 years I’ve been here. Charleston itself has become a cultural destination, not merely a historic one,” says Sloan, who received special recognition for the Halsey’s contributions to art in South Carolina when, in 2012, the institute received the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Award (also known as the Governor’s Award). “The Halsey may have been something of a catalyst, but I think the movement has just grown alongside us as we’ve grown.” Regardless of Sloan’s modesty in the matter, there’s no question of this: These days, the Halsey is kind of a big deal.

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Heroes Among Us



He didn’t want to leave Charleston. He knew he had to write something (publish or perish, as they say), but he had a young family to take care of and he really just wanted to stay close to home. Besides – it may be a long way from his ancestral and academic roots in Ireland – but it’d be much easier to focus in Charleston.

John England, a champion of Catholic emancipation who in 1820 arrived in Charleston and, appalled by the institution of slavery, devoted himself to human rights and civil liberties. This quiet hero’s story led Kelly to Henry Laurens, the second president of the Continental Congress (and one of the main proponents of establishing a college

justify slavery got weaker and weaker,” says Kelly, who argues against the notion that the institution only ended because of the Civil War. “Up until the 1830s, the forces of history were on the side of emancipation. Slavery would have withered on the vine in the United States if not for the hard work of a few very greedy and backhanded Charlestonians. A few men perpetuated slavery long after it would have died off naturally.” Kelly points to founding fathers Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Rutledge* and Pierce Butler for manipulating circumstances to get slavery written into the Constitution, and to John C. Calhoun, for developing and proselytizing the “positive good theory” in the 1830s, completely reversing the South’s prevailing anti-slavery attitude. “I know I’m poking at some sacred views here, but John C. Calhoun is the biggest villain in the book,” says Kelly. “In 1820, everyone agreed that slavery was evil. By the 1860 Secession Convention, not one delegate believed that it was. We lost a whole generation that was infused with this notion. It’s the great tragedy of the South.” Indeed, the ideology that the elite families of Charleston had forged controlled the South for decades and resulted in the Union’s two-year siege on Charleston. Kelly writes:

Joe Kelly never thought, however, he’d also focus on Charleston. Now, nearly 15 years (and, don’t worry, several articles) later, the English professor has published America’s Longest Siege: Charleston, Slavery, and the Slow March Toward Civil War (2013, Overlook Press), a historical narrative about Charleston’s role in the evolution of slavery. “Everyone asks me how a James Joyce/ Irish literature expert whose trade is literary criticism ends up writing a historical narrative about American history,” he laughs. “I just backed into it.” It all started in 2000 with an entry he wrote for the Encyclopedia of the Irish in America about the Irish population in Charleston. That’s when he became fascinated with the story of Bishop

in Charleston), who protested slavery in the Revolutionary era despite having made fortunes in the slave trade. “I just became interested in the moral stories of the people who dissented against slavery, people of conscience in the South,” says Kelly, who found many heroes among the sins of slavery – and, of course, many villains, as well. “My book is first and foremost about people, those who invented and promoted the ‘positive good theory’ of slavery, those who opposed it and those who wanted to oppose it but failed.” The majority, perhaps, fell under the latter. “It was generally accepted that slavery was unethical – and, as attitudes changed with every generation, the ability to

The history of Charleston is tragic. It follows the classic formula laid down by the Greeks more than two thousand years ago. … Once it had been the jewel of the Southern Seaboard … but its devotion to slavery sealed its sentence, and the Union’s siege of Charleston and all the Civil War’s dead, North and South, white and black, were playing out this tragic flaw.

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It’s a tragedy that’s relieved only by the heroes in its story – the very characters who compelled Kelly to write his book. Even if it did hit a little close to home. *Editor’s Note: Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and John Rutledge were founders and trustees of the College.


Stout Chemistry The idea, not surprisingly, came from a student. “Why don’t you teach a chemistry class about beer?” the student asked chemistry professor Jason Overby. After giving it some thought, Overby conceded it was a good suggestion. And so the Science of Brewing – Chemistry 183 – was born. This fall, Overby offered the course for the third time. Predictably enough, enrollment reached maximum capacity very quickly, with students eager to apply lessons from previous chemistry courses to their favorite adult beverage. To Overby’s satisfaction, by the end of the semester many students had developed an interest in home brewing. One student even became an intern at Charleston’s Holy City Brewing (cofounded by Sean Nemitz ’09 and Chris Brown ’05). No matter his expertise as a chemist, Overby says there are some things about beermaking that cannot be taught. “For all of the science that is present, there is still a very strong component of brewing being an art form,” says Overby. “Brewing is truly one part science and one part art.”

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Digging Charleston Don’t get him started. But if you do ask Jim Newhard what makes Charleston so special for archaeological students, be prepared for a long laundry list of answers: Charleston is the site of some of the earliest European colonization of the New World. It enjoys the influence of the Caribbean. Its slave trade figures within the African Diaspora. It’s home to wellpreserved examples of the plantation system. It has historical sites associated with the Revolutionary War. The Civil War started in Charleston. Not to mention its role in Reconstruction. And then there’s the fact that, within a two-hour drive, you can find evidence of some of the earliest human settlers in North America. And, of course, there are the marine archaeology opportunities available in local waterways and the Atlantic Ocean. He could go on.



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With so many local opportunities to learn about and examine what remains from the past, it only makes sense for the College to offer its students the chance to major in archaeology. “We’re in Charleston, for God’s sake. This is the most amazing archaeological environment on the continent,” says Newhard, associate professor of Classics, adding that – beyond having proximity to a wealth of local historic sites – the College has a diverse faculty with expertise and research interests that extend far beyond the Lowcountry. “It’s not just the uniqueness of where we sit: The faculty has a worldwide reach to themselves.” And so, it was a no-brainer when, in 2006, the College began offering its students a minor in archaeology, making it the only South Carolina school to do so.

And now it’s the only state institution to offer an archeology major, too – and it’s graduating its first class of archaeology majors this spring. Among the inaugural class is senior Jeremy Miller, whose studies at the College led him to the Roman military camp ruins in modern-day Romania. Working with Alvaro Ibarra, assistant professor of art history, Miller has studied aerial and satellite imagery of the ruins of five camps in the Olt River Valley of Transylvania and in January helped present their findings to the Archaeological Institute of America. Miller’s analysis – which was aided by his six years of experience as a U.S. Army squad leader of combat infantry in Afghanistan – included an assessment of the military effectiveness of each camp. Closer to home, Miller worked last summer in Aiken County, S.C., where


| Jessie Rabun |

| Jeremy Miller | he and fellow archaeology enthusiast Nate Fulmer ’12 excavated a 1950s concrete bomb shelter, allegedly built by a nuclear engineer who’d been employed at the Savannah River Site. Their film of this work, Helter Shelter: A Backyard Time Capsule in the Shadow of the Bomb Plant, can be seen on YouTube. After graduation, Miller plans to pursue a master’s degree, likely specializing in landscape or warfare archaeology. Senior archaeology major Jessie Rabun plans to continue her education, too, though she counts on using her archaeological training to inform an advanced degree in Classics. Rabun, a triple-major who is also majoring in history and Classics, spent some of her time as an undergraduate volunteering at the College’s Dixie Plantation, where she helped look for the foundations of a slave settlement. She took her digs

abroad the summer after her sophomore year, venturing to Greece, where she worked on an outdoor shrine at a Mycenaean site in Pylos in the Peloponnesian region. Among other artifacts, Rabun and her crew found remnants of pottery, drinking cups, figurines and the bones of animals thought to have been used as sacrifices. Despite the varied locales and diversity of artifacts found in them, Rabun says that all archaeological digs have at least two things in common: First, you’re going to learn a lot of things very quickly; second, you will form close, long-lasting bonds with your colleagues and fellow students. Waking up to start work together at 6 a.m., six days a week, will do that to you. “It’s a really great journey,” Rabun says of her experiences in archaeology. Rabun and Miller are among 28 archaeology majors slated to graduate this

spring. Each of them, says Newhard, will have a leg up on his or her competition from other institutions, being better prepared for advanced study or immediate careers in archaeology– whether with the government, a consultancy or the field of cultural resource management. What’s exciting, too, is that this crop of archaeology majors is just the beginning, and that from now on students at the College can fully capitalize on the archaeological opportunities available in their own backyard. “We are morally bound by our place to have an outstanding program in archaeology,” says Newhard. “You can’t put a shovel in this place without kicking stuff up.” And – considering the impressive inaugural class of archaeology majors – the College has kicked up something pretty great. Eureka!

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Inside the Academic Mind: Ryan Milner Having joined the faculty only two years ago, Ryan Milner is fast becoming one of the students’ favorite communication professors. We caught Professor Milner in a free moment and asked him to share his interest in new social media tools, the future of communication and his love of video games. How did you get into the study of communication? I joke with my intro media studies class that it started when I was 2 years old and my mom sat me down in front of Ghostbusters. I was entranced. I wouldn’t move. From then on, I was always intrigued by stories. So, combine a lifelong love of story with a lifelong interest in how people engage with each other, and you have a scholar who looks at the crazy cacophony that is participatory media. Now I get to see how people share Ghostbusters gifs on Tumblr, not just watch the movie at home. What’s the most exciting new thing in your field? Particularly when you study what I study – the newest new media trends – everything can seem exciting and different. Whether we’re being utopian or dystopian, we can chase what’s changed. Is Facebook destroying our relationships? Is Google making us stupid? Is Twitter helping the youth free Egypt and Ukraine? I’d say the “holy grail” – for me at least – is nuance. Looking for the social shifts that come with new social tools, but doing so in a way that ties into bigger, older, broader social practices, ones that will persist across new tools. This means work that ties the old to the new, and is still relevant when the new becomes old. What’s the most interesting thing in your office? My wrinkled old Monty Python and the Holy Grail poster, which I bought at one of those campus poster sales when I was a freshman in college. That poster and me – we have seen a lot. Play the futurist here. How do you see the Internet transforming the way people communicate? The funny thing is that so much of the field I’m in is about troubling that notion of “transformation.” It can be easy to make assumptions that new technology equals new communication. You want to explore what’s new, for sure, but always with an eye for what persists across what’s new. The social practices that persist across different eras and modes of communication. In the early 20th century, some thought telephones would destroy domestic life because homemakers would spend all their time talking to friends instead of doing chores and taking care of kids. In the 1980s, there were panics about home dubbing from audiotapes and how it would kill the music industry. In the 19th century, people thought the telegraph would end war because foreign leaders would be able to talk issues out in real time. So you can see why I’m hesitant to make any predictions about sweeping changes. We still have war, the music industry is consistently adapting to technological changes and shifts in domestic life have been about more than phones. Whatever “transformations” occur because of the Internet – and I’m encouraged by the potential



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for public participation and interpersonal communication across great distance – will be enmeshed in a lot of very familiar communicative practices. Any technological shifts will be enmeshed in very broad social shifts as well. You’re a gamer. You even wrote your thesis on the video game Fallout. What was your favorite video game growing up? I remember getting my Nintendo 64 and playing way too much Wave Race 64, a game about Jet Ski racers that was just breathtaking for its time. Then I stumbled my way through Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the same console and, even as a middle schooler, realized the medium could be art, could express an epic story. But I really, really cut my teeth on the original Fallout roleplaying games in the late ’90s. I remember so vividly the first time my friend dropped the disc into his PC drive, and the hours I spent wandering the post-apocalyptic wastes after I got a copy of my own. They were funny, gritty, and allowed you as a player to make decisions about what happened in the world. Your choices meant whole different dialogue, twists, different endings. I hadn’t engaged stories like that, and I fell in love. Video games have established their commercial viability and are on the verge of acceptance as a mass medium like film, music or TV. I think more attention to artistry develops next. You’ve incorporated memes into your academic research. Why are MEMES worth studying? Went right for the heart, eh? They’re not exactly blood cells or even presidential addresses, sure. They’re jokes of varying taste and aesthetic quality people share on reddit or Twitter. They’re remixed diversions, yeah. But they’re crafted by that buzzing cultural cacophony that is the mediated public sphere. They’re cultural artifacts, and everyday culture is worth understanding. Wrapped up in these jokes of varying taste and quality are clues about how we use humor to make public arguments, how we connect with friends at great distance, how we represent and misrepresent different identities. I’ve seen people collectively use these little jokes they’ve made and shared to draw attention to protests, to set the agenda during a presidential debate, to act like sexist jerks and to critique people who act like sexist jerks. In short, Internet memes are worth studying because they’re a visual “lingua franca” for all kinds of worthy discussions in mediated spheres. What’s your favorite book and movie of all time? The book’s East of Eden by John Steinbeck. The movie’s The Big Lebowski by the Coen brothers. I’m not sure if that seems like a disconnect. I mean, a multigeneration American epic vs. a nonsensical cult comedy largely about bowling. But I see a lot of similarities. They’re both set in California and use that archetype pretty heavily. They both convey a lot of philosophy in their portrayals of “salt of the earth” characters whose lives spiral into bigger and bigger problems. They both are about people in over their heads, who are doing their best in a world they don’t understand, a world changing all around and sometimes without them. And that’s why you need to take media studies with me.

Faculty Fact


John White ’99 (M.A.) is the College’s new dean of libraries. For the past 12 years, White has worked at the College – first as an archivist, then as head of digital scholarship and services and later as associate dean for special collections and digital initiatives. The author of a number of works on Southern history and politics, he has also served as director of the College’s Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World. • Based on their research in exergames (video games that are also a form of exercise), health and human performance professors Mike Flynn and Susan Flynn received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase interest in STEM education and to combat childhood obesity. • Sarah Owens (Hispanic studies) co-authored and co-edited Women of the Iberian Atlantic, which received the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women’s 2012 Best Collaborative Project Award, announced last fall. • The Poetry Society of America named Gary Jackson (English) a New American Poet based on his debut book of poems, Missing You, Metropolis, which juxtaposes comic books with reality and innocence with anger and depression. • Last fall, the Department of Theatre and Dance produced As It Is in Heaven, a play written by Beth Lincks (theatre) under the pen name Arlene Hutton. This is Lincks’ second work to be performed at the College.

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| [l to r] Brian Porterfield and Will Farrior, first graduates of the REACH Program |

All Within Reach Will Farrior was working the night shift at the Air Force base, scrubbing floors and dusting. His father had recently passed away unexpectedly, and Farrior, unable to focus, had stopped taking classes at Trident Technical College. Then Farrior traded the graveyard shift at the Air Force base for one at Walmart, stocking frozen food and dairy products. More relatives passed away. Farrior tried to take the late nights and personal losses in stride the best he could, but his grieving and personal accomplishment were hampered by the learning disability that has affected Farrior his entire life: Asperger syndrome. Still, he tried to see a silver lining. |


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“God was teaching me a lesson,” Farrior says. “Understand life. Get a dose of reality. Understand how other people live and other people learn.” After graduating high school in 2004, Brian Porterfield moved between jobs, too, working at hair salons, movie theaters, fast food restaurants and retail stores. In these workplaces, just like in high school, Porterfield struggled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He could not adequately process the information he encountered each day. “I’m scattered,” say Porterfield, describing his disability. “I’m focused on everything but not that one thing.” Then each man received a phone call

that changed his life. It was the College of Charleston ringing, informing Farrior and Porterfield they had been accepted into the inaugural class of the REACH Program, which teaches academic and life skills to students with mild intellectual disabilities. Upon hearing this news, Farrior screamed. Then he ran next door to his grandmother’s house and told her the news: He was college bound. The two cried tears of joy. Porterfield was just as happy. In the fall of 2010, he and Farrior were among six students to enroll at the College and pursue a certificate through the REACH, or Realizing Educational and Career Hopes, Program. Four years later, Farrior and

Making the Grade

Porterfield are REACH’s first graduates. When they receive their certificates this May, they will do so as men transformed, ready to tackle the world with a confidence and understanding they had previously been lacking. As they venture off campus, too, the absence of their energy and enthusiasm will be felt. Few people in the College’s 244-year history have been more grateful to learn and live here. Intellectual disabilities complicate nearly every aspect of adult life. Communication, in particular, is challenging, and can affect a disabled person’s ability to be independent and achieve goals. According to the College Transition Connection, which works with REACH and similar programs at other South Carolina universities to find meaningful work for disabled students, 92 percent of adults with intellectual disabilities are unemployed. The REACH Program empowers its students by adapting the typical college experience to their individual needs. For four years REACH students attend regular classes, live on campus, join clubs and find internships. They also benefit from mentoring and tutoring, life skills instruction and monitoring from the REACH staff, led by director Edie Vardsveen Cusack ’90. Students’ living arrangements, academic goals and evaluation are customized according to their abilities. For Porterfield, schoolwork had always been difficult. He struggled with shyness as a kid and young adult, too. But at the College, he learned how to better express himself. In particular, he and Farrior found that Professor Deb McGee’s communication courses helped them blossom socially and engage in meaningful dialogues. “That was my problem, I was quick to talk and not to listen,” says Porterfield, who is from North Charleston. “I changed tremendously. I am now an advocate for myself and others. I’m kind of stronger mentally and physically.” Outside of class, Porterfield has been active in the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity on campus as well as the student gospel choir. Upon graduation, he hopes to find work at a hotel. He also looks forward to traveling, having his own place and learning how to drive.

“Just being a human being,” Porterfield says of his aim in life. “The best human I am.” Farrior, too, is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi. He was an RA, or resident advisor, interned with an afterschool leadership program at Metanoia, helped organize local Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations, worked in the athletics department and participated as a leader in the College’s New Student Orientation. In February, Farrior testified before a U.S. Senate committee about the importance of adapting education models to include students with intellectual disabilities. It might seem overwhelming, but Farrior says that he, Porterfield and their other REACH classmates have been determined to blend right in on campus and exploit every chance to broaden their worlds. “We were a force to be reckoned with,” Farrior says of their arrival to the College. “We were not going to lay down like a puppy and get pushed around. We were going to hold our own.” When Farrior graduates, he wants to mentor students, hoping to reciprocate the help he has received throughout his education. Beyond communication professor McGee, he credits psychology professor Cynthia May for helping him better manage life with Asperger’s. “They tag-teamed and helped me change my mind,” says Farrior, who was born in New York and raised in Ravenel, S.C. “It’s truly a blessing to say I know myself.” McGee recalls Farrior taking one of her classes, Interpersonal Communication. The young man always had something to say. Sometimes, he had too much to say. McGee worked with Farrior to become more concise and selective in his comments, as well as to better comprehend social cues and messages from others. To her delight, Farrior demonstrated marked improvement as he continued enrolling in McGee’s courses. Along the way, she witnessed an enthusiasm in her student that she found contagious. “From Day One, Will just grabbed hold of every opportunity he could find on campus,” says McGee, who has a son with Asperger syndrome. “He’s been the most

| Edie Vardsveen Cusack ’90, director of the REACH Program | enthusiastic student, bar none, I’ve had in 10 years at the College.” And Porterfield, whom she’s also taught, is less extroverted, but “the sweetest guy. He would do anything for you.” As Farrior and Porterfield wrap up their College careers, they don’t seem too anxious about the future. They are mindful of the many changes that will come their way toward the end of school, but they are optimistic about what might be in store for them as well. They are self-assured, and such confidence has been created thanks to the support of their families and the College community. “I’ve learned to see things and understand things in multiple ways,” says Farrior. “That’s the best thing about the College of Charleston. What you learn you can really apply to your life.” Soon enough, Farrior and Porterfield will be looking dapper in white, summer jackets as they cross the Cistern stage on Mother’s Day weekend to receive their certificate from the College. After many years struggling to adapt to their disabilities, Farrior and Porterfield have been empowered by the REACH Program, and are ready to conquer the future. “I couldn’t be prouder,” says McGee. “I’m going to cry so much at graduation. These kids have been given the chance to be independent. I think that is the biggest gift the REACH Program has given them.” To learn more about the College’s REACH Program, visit reach.cofc.edu.

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Strong Body, Strong Mind You don’t have to look around campus long to find space dedicated to stretching students’ minds, exercising their intellect and keeping their brains healthy and fit. And, with the opening of the George Street Fitness Center last fall, there’s now plenty of space for strengthening their bodies, too. Occupying 19,000 square feet of the first floor of the Campus Center Apartments, located between the Sottile Theatre and the Simons Center for the Arts, the new fitness center is the largest on-campus workout space in the College’s history. It houses 45 cardio machines, including treadmills, bikes and elliptical steppers; 28 weight machines; 12 resistance machines; eight power racks and four bench-press benches; more than 10,000 pounds of weight plates; dumbbells from 5 to 100 pounds, a group exercise deck and a space for small-group fitness classes like Zumba and power yoga. “The high-energy classes and the stateof-the-art machines, combined with the free weights, make it a one-stop shop for fitness,” says Bucky Buchanan ’08, fitness coordinator for Campus Recreation Services, noting that – unlike the College’s previous fitness centers – it also has men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers. “There are no excuses now! The George Street Fitness Center has everything our students need to be active, get fit and still make it to class on time.” And, of course, that makes them healthier, stronger and more agile than ever – both in body and in mind.



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| Photos by John D. Smoak III |

Making the Grade


| Photo by Mike Ledford |

Great Match

As soon as she stepped off the plane, Charleston felt like a good fit. Relaxing airport music soothed the German’s ears. When Laura Fuenfstueck stepped outside, warm sunshine and the sight of palmetto trees greeted her. This, thought the freshman, feels like holiday. It’s a strange holiday, though, when six months pass and you’ve only made it to the beach once. But you can’t blame Fuenfstueck for staying away from the


sand and water – she’s a golfer. Beyond an aversion to these hazards, Fuenfstueck has just not had time for sunbathing and swimming. She’s been too busy making a splash on the links. The native of Frankfurt was twice named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Golfer of the Week during the fall portion of the 2013–14 golf season, when she was recognized for being the top finisher in the CSU Wendy’s Invitational and for

placing second in both the JU Classic and Palmetto Intercollegiate tournaments. So far the College has been an excellent match for the German star, and she enjoys being able to practice at a variety of Lowcountry courses, including Briar’s Creek, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Yeamans Hall Club and the Links at Stono Ferry, where the Cougar golf program has its clubhouse and training facility. That kind of variety in practice courses is key to the success that she and her teammates expect this spring season. “I’m really excited because the team is really good this year,” says Fuenfstueck, who also gives credit to the support of her parents, coaches and the College’s sports medicine staff. “Hard work pays off. One of our goals is to go to nationals.” Such a goal is ambitious, but not out of reach for the Cougars, who had their best fall showing ever and were ranked 30th in the country midway through the season. Certainly the team stands a better chance of reaching nationals should Fuenfstueck keep playing so well. And women’s golf coach Jamie Futrell has no doubt that will happen. “Laura is the best player I have coached in my 18 years at the College. She is also one of the most positive, team-oriented players that I have ever been around,” says Futrell. “When you combine her golf talent and attitude together, you have a star. She definitely has the ability to make the LPGA tour if she decides that is what she would like to do in the future.” For now, however, Fuenfstueck considers it a stroke of luck just to be playing at the College of Charleston. It might not be holiday, exactly, but it’s certainly a great match!

The College inducted Siri Mittet ’97 (women’s tennis), Tyler Moore ’95 (sailing) and Sedric Webber ’99 (men’s basketball) into its Athletic Hall of Fame. + The volleyball team stormed into the CA A, claiming its first conference title and many top individual honors: Darcy Dorton (CA A Player of the Year and AVCA All-America Honorable Mention), Kallie McKown (CA A Setter of the Year) and Jason Kepner (CA A Coach of the Year). |


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Full of energy, of novelty, possibility and excitement, the streets of downtown Charleston are invigorating for most students. There’s always something going on, always somewhere new to explore, always someone to stop and talk to. No question about it: Downtown is where it’s at. Unless you’re Mackenzie Johnston. For this junior distance runner – who last fall was twice named the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week – the trail is the place to be. At least when it comes to running, this is where he finds his excitement and sense of possibility. And it’s easy to see why. In September, Johnston broke the College’s 8K record at the Furman Cross Country Classic by 40 seconds; in October, he earned the Cougars a fifth-place team finish at the Mountaineer Open in Boone, N.C.; and, in November, he beat the 10K school record by 50 seconds at the NCAA Regionals in Charlottesville, Va. “Mackenzie is a student of the sport,” says Jason Bryan, assistant cross country and track coach. “He is always looking for ways to get better – either in running or in the classroom. Look for him to have several school records by the time he is done at the College.” And, while Johnston definitely hopes to break some more records, the fact is, the business administration major says, “I just like being out there.” On the trail, that is.. SUMMER 2010 |



| Photo by Mike Ledford |

Trail Blazer


[ student ]

Swimming Lessons In the world of higher education, we tend to describe college in broad generalities. We overuse words like discovery, life-changing , dynamic and great. But is it? We wanted to find out, so we asked one student closing in on graduation to share her experience at the College. And we found that there just might be something to those old clichés. by Victoria hamilton

when i came to the college, i felt like i was jumping head first into a 12-foot-deep swimming pool. I had no idea what to expect, but I was as ready for my introduction as I could be: I had all the items on the dorm list checked off, all my books ordered and a new college wardrobe to match. Still, I knew when I got here, none of this would matter, as it only matters what you have inside yourself that will make you succeed in college and in life. It’s like swimming: You can have the best swimsuit and goggles, but that won’t help you swim on your own. Besides, I knew firsthand how you can have all the proper tools to master something, but still have to work hard to get it. This has been me my whole life because I was born with mild cerebral palsy. When I was 3 years old, I was diagnosed with it because I wasn’t hitting all my milestones, such as rolling over or talking. My cerebral palsy affects my fine motor skills mostly in my throat and my hands. That means I write like a 5-year-old and it takes a bit of patience to understand me. But once you do, you’ll get an earful! I have never been quiet or shy. I’ve always been a people person and I’m most happy when I’m with my friends. Since I’m an only child, and since I have CP, I have always been nurtured. I am blessed with an extraordinary mother, who has given me everything I needed to be the best I can be – from private lessons to the best tutors and so much love in between. I have to thank her for every accomplishment, because without her, I would be nothing. So, I’ve always been given all the best tools to help me succeed. And that includes wonderful educators who’ve pushed me to my limit – but not so far that it scared me off. That is why I wanted to challenge myself by going somewhere a little out of my comfort zone. And, the College of Charleston was definitely that – not only was it five hours away from home, but I only knew one family in Charleston. It was a big jump.



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I’m glad I jumped, though, because, in four years, I have managed to swim. I’ve made my own way – and waves – the whole time. Sure, I had some hiccups along the way – everyone does. There’s always something – like the dreaded freshman roommate drama – that seems to get in the way. But I have learned from every one of my mistakes, and that’s allowed me to make myself a better person. So I’m actually forever grateful for those hiccups. I’ve been able to better myself, too, because of all the amazing people – friends and professors alike – whom I’ve met in the four years I’ve been at the College. I’ve felt like all of my professors have truly cared and wanted me to succeed. They’ve all challenged me in the best ways possible, and that has made me a better person. They’ve made me more well-rounded and


me into my right niche: It wasn’t with the sorority – it was my Kelly House Kids! I found my right niche in my college major, too. I loved psychology growing up. In fact, people would refer to me as their therapist – even when I was just 10 years old! I would sit with them, listen to their life issues and give them advice. So I knew psychology was the right fit for me. When I came to the College and took all the general education classes, I questioned myself, thinking maybe I wanted to pursue a history degree or something else. I circled back to psychology, however, when my SNAP (Students Needing Access Parity) adviser, Judith Steele – who had been working with me, coaching me, since Day One – suggested that if I thought psychology was my fit, I should stick with it. I knew to trust her because she’s been so wonderful to me, helping me with every pitfall and every low test score, and giving me the right advice all along the way. I credit most of my success at the College to the people of SNAP Services and the Center for Disability Services; they are all wonderful! In the end, coming here was the best decision I’ve made in life so far, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. Right now, though, I’m just happy that I took the plunge and that I’m swimming in the deep end at the College. – Victoria Hamilton is a senior psychology major.

| Illustration by Timothy Banks |

have equipped me for the real world. I truly believe that, at the College, the faculty provides knowledge about life. They know that there’s more to education than facts and theories: A wellrounded education doesn’t come from a textbook. In fact, sometimes it comes from your friends – and my friends have certainly allowed me to come into my own. My friends here are all so different, but they all are friends with one another. I really appreciate that, because in high school my friends were all from different groups, so I never felt I had one perfect niche. Sure, I felt included – I was on my school’s equestrian team all four years, and thus had a group to share goals and build memories with. I wanted that same sense of inclusion and belonging in college, too. I got it when I joined a sorority my freshman year – at least at first. That first year, it was all I hoped the sorority experience would be: It was my home away from home, and I felt welcomed and included. Eventually, though, everyone drifted off to their separate cliques, and I was on my own again. I felt like I was back in high school, not knowing where to go from there. I ended up going to the Kelly House residence hall, where I was paired up with a random roommate, Cara Fisher. The moment we met, she gave me a huge hug and invited me to meet all her friends. The rest was history, and all of “her” best friends are now also my best friends, even today. Cara really is the one who led

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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] Changing Our Tune Parenthood is fraught with impossible situations, heart-wrenching moments that test even the toughest among us. And while these situations may change everything we think we know, the new normal can be exactly what we need in order to see the world in a different, and perhaps better, light. by Alison Piepmeier My daughter, maybelle, has five floppy girl dolls, all hand-me-downs from an older girl Maybelle loves. One of the dolls – who was Maybelle’s initial favorite – she named Lela. The rest are “the girls.” Lela and the girls. Like a music group. And, in fact, that’s sort of how they function: In the mornings, we play music, and she sits on the floor with Lela and the girls, and they all dance and dance, bouncing and flopping their arms. When the music becomes especially inspiring, Maybelle herself has to dance, and I’m part of this morning routine: She comes and grabs my hand, and we clear off the living room floor. Then we fling our bodies around – sort of like Lela and the girls – to

distinctive appearance (and if that means wearing a Wonder Woman outfit to school, so be it). I was far more concerned with teaching her to express her own sense of the world than with teaching her to follow the rules and be compliant. And Maybelle is the kind of person I hoped she’d be: happy, loving, curious and delighted to explore the things around her. She has her own opinions, which she’s learning to communicate: She’ll tell me “No more ‘Mickey.’ Shosheph!” when she’s ready for the three millionth playing of the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She always tries a sip of my coffee and pronounces it, “Hot coffee! Yummy!” This is an ideal morning. It’s the sort of joy and playfulness and connection that I hoped my child and I would have together. When I learned that Maybelle had Down syndrome, shortly after her birth, I had the momentary terror – familiar to almost all parents of children with Down syndrome – that this kind of happy life would not be possible. That this dream had been destroyed. That my daughter was broken. Right now I’m in the midst of writing a book called The Good Mother: Confronting Impossible Choices and Changing the Game. We’re in an interesting moment in our culture. If pregnant women learn that the fetus they’re carrying has Down syndrome – the

When I learned that Maybelle had Down syndrome, shortly after her birth, I had the momentary terror – familiar to almost all parents of children with Down syndrome – that this kind of happy life would not be possible. That this dream had been destroyed. That my daughter was broken. “Mickey” or “Groove Is in the Heart.” I’m trying to teach Maybelle to move her hips, but, being 5, she doesn’t yet really have hips. So she bends her knees, jumps, claps her hands, and I keep dancing with her until I work up a sweat. This is what I’d hoped for in parenting: We are thoroughly enjoying each other. I’m getting to live a sort of motherhood that feels comfortable to me – and to her, too. I knew from the outset that there were some expectations for “appropriate” motherhood that I’d be ignoring: I wasn’t that concerned about teaching Maybelle to be a “good girl,” which is a category that distorts people. I was eager for her to be a bit of a troublemaker, particularly the kind who sees injustice and challenges it. I didn’t care about beauty and was happy for her to have her own



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prenatal condition most often tested for – 60–90 percent of these women terminate the pregnancy. Now that noninvasive prenatal tests are being marketed, I suspect we’ll see more and more women have this early, safe testing, and more and more women terminate their pregnancies. I’m a huge supporter of reproductive rights. I don’t by any means want to suggest that women who terminate their pregnancies are making the “wrong” choice. Reproductive decision-making is entirely personal and shouldn’t be done by anyone but the pregnant woman. So I’m not saying that women shouldn’t have abortions. What I’m saying is that our understanding of Down syndrome and intellectual disability in general is really skewed. We don’t know

| Illustration by Angela Dominguez |


what Down syndrome is like – we see it as a “defect,” a “disease,” something that should be eradicated rather than something that enriches the world. Because our understanding of intellectual disability is skewed, pregnant women find that they’re faced with a set of incredibly difficult choices: to get testing or not, to terminate or not. How do you make this choice? On what basis? Do you decide that people who don’t fit our cultural expectations shouldn’t be allowed to be born? Do you decide to bring a child into a world where he or she will suffer? Being forced to make a decision when there are no good options: In political theory, this is called Hobson’s choice. In chess, it’s called Zugzwang. In Star Trek, it’s called Kobayashi Maru. This idea seems to be at the crux of many of the conversations I’ve had with parents and potential parents. You must make a decision (if you’re pregnant, you don’t just get to pass on your turn), and you can see quite clearly that there are no good options available. What do you do? I find I’m drawn to the Star Trek story of James T. Kirk, who is the only person ever to have “won” in the Kobayashi Maru. He recognized it was rigged: Everyone was supposed to lose. But Kirk

doesn’t believe in no-win situations. So he undermined the game. This is essentially what one group of parents has done: They recognize the desperate, unfair situation. They recognize that they might be bringing a person they already love into a hostile world. And they decide that they will change the world. Ultimately what I want us to consider is changing the game, working to understand disability as a form of human diversity. This means creating communities – individual and international – that welcome people with disabilities like Down syndrome. We need practical support – occupational therapy, inclusive schools, college programs like the REACH Program at the College of Charleston. And more important, we need to change the way we understand the world: We need to recognize that human value isn’t based on IQs, contributions to the tax base or the ability to fit into existing systems. Let’s consider that our existing systems are broken. Maybelle doesn’t need to meet certain standards to be a viable human being. She is valuable just exactly as she is. She is helping me to begin to imagine and create a different kind of world. – Alison Piepmeier is an associate professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

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[ alumni ]

| Illustration by Dave D’Incau Jr. |


Encouraging Words At the College, we tout the close bonds our faculty and students forge together during their time of shared learning. For one alumna, that relationship gave her the confidence to pursue a lifelong dream and turn it into a career. by Jac Chebatoris ’94 You could sense his arrival before he would even appear. Suddenly, there he was: an excited look in his eye, his books and binders under his arm and the tails of his seersucker suit rippling like sails on a mast as he made his flurry of an entrance. The room seemed not big enough to contain the gale



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force. With a swoop of his hand, pushing his large glasses back up on his nose, Professor Franklin Ashley would commence. The room was special, of course. “Of course” meaning that if you know 66 George Street in Charleston, you know that it’s the location of Randolph Hall, that Ionic-columned beauty of a building – and one of the oldest college buildings in the country that is still in use today. We, Professor Ashley’s class, were given special permission to hold class in Alumni Hall, which was built in 1828–9 and still gives you pause when you visit, even after more than a few years away – making you stop like the tourists that you used to curse in the August heat, rushing to class and trying to avoid tripping on the brick sidewalks. In that classroom in Randolph Hall, next to a chalkboard that had been rolled in, Ashley sat – no, he never really sat, but moved in cadence with his thoughts: his anecdotes, narratives and bon


mots keeping time as he walked a few paces before turning on a heel and then walking back before stopping dramatically, like a player in summer stock. You recognize now, post-college, that it was an effective way of holding the attention of the class. It held mine, I know. I hung on the words of his stories recounting interviews for TV Guide with celebrities such as Faye Dunaway. He had seen things. Been places. And wrote about them. This was a magazine writing class, and the first one held at the College. Ashley was in his element, and our assignment, to be finished in time before graduation, was to send in a professional pitch letter and piece to any magazine we chose. Someone in class selected Dog Fancy. Others played it safe and picked smaller, local publications. I loved music, something I had in common with Ashley, an accomplished jazz piano player who played around town, and – I now realize – was probably coming off a late night himself sometimes, much like many of his students, no doubt. It didn’t occur to me not to shoot high for this – that’s the gift of naiveté and the same gift that came in handy as I upped the stakes a few years later. For my assignment, I decided to send mine to what at the time was the coolest, hippest music magazine out there besides Rolling Stone – SPIN magazine in New York City. There was a local musician who played the usual spots in Charleston (the Music Farm, Cumberland’s, T-Bonz), and he just seemed to have whatever it is that you think will make a person famous. I’d drag my friends and roommates, Pam and Carolyn, along with me (I still owe you, Pam, for the night that full bottle of Bud Light fell on your head from the railing above us!). But instead of now just enjoying the show, I was there in “reporter mode,” even if I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. (Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous perfectly nails the notion of that so overused query: “So, what are your influences?”) The piece I wrote on Edwin McCain (whose brand of coffeehouse-style folk-rock soon earned him a record deal with Atlantic Records) ended up being 11 pages long. After I submitted it, I couldn’t have been more proud to get the handwritten rejection letter from Bob Guccione Jr., the editor of SPIN, who wrote, “I read your piece. It’s very well written, though too long for publication. … keep writing, it’s hard but you’re talented.” The Dog Fancy girl never even got so much as a courtesy note back. And here was my reply from SPIN! I loved it. I loved writing the piece. Professor Ashley spurred that enthusiasm in all of us. “You’ve got to be perspicacious!” he would bellow, his eyes, darting to one side then holding his gaze for maximum effect, while the word hung in the air. We’d wait for the next sentence to fall while he would nod, stammer, laugh – all of it his punctuation in the delivery of a good line. Perspicacious is still one of my favorite words. I’ve written it on cocktail napkins for strangers, and even on paper towels in the absence of paper. It means “astutely aware.” To be a good writer, you should get in touch with that aspect of observation. It was soon after I had written my McCain profile that Professor Ashley pulled me aside. “OK, OK,” he started. “So ....” I waited, knowing the beat that we were both waiting in between his thoughts was about to crescendo to something good. Or so I hoped. “What we’re talking about here … [long pause] is you playing pro ball, OK?”

I knew immediately what he meant. Though the passages I wrote about my singing “The Tide Is High” in front of my thirdgrade class in my diary and the poems I crafted for Christmas cards while I was growing up were pretty good and praised by my parents and my brother – I mean, c’mon: I wasn’t going to be a writer. I mean, that’s for other people. People like Franklin Ashley. But now the seed was planted. A few years later, I moved to New York City without a job or really any good idea of what I was to do there, just the knowledge that I wanted to go there (that naiveté again). I landed a temp job at Newsweek magazine. I started in the Letters Department, sorting the letters to the editor and mailing out responses. Vibuhti Patel, who was a contributing editor for Newsweek International and distinguished by her sari and her warm nature and constant smiling face (a scarce commodity, it can be true, in Manhattan), told me about a job I should apply for as the secretary to the editor of the Arts and Entertainment Department. That editor was Sarah Petit, an Ivy League graduate who had sent more than one writer in her department out of her office in tears. I applied and got the job. Usually the way into a place like Newsweek was through Yale (or more like Harvard or Brown), an internship (after you attend Yale or Harvard) or straightup nepotism. I had none of those things going for me. I was a graduate of a small, liberal arts school in South Carolina – who did I think I was anyway? But there was always that reminder that stayed etched in my wiring, into my very cellular makeup: It was Professor Ashley’s acknowledgment that I could do it. I was on par. I was going to play pro ball. In 2003, my boss, who was only 36 years old, got sick and passed away from lymphoma. I had my first published piece while she was in the hospital. I was promoted to a researcher, reporting for other writers for their pieces, and then began reporting on my own stories. Then I wrote smaller pieces on my favorite artists like The Killers and Ryan Adams, and those then gave way to my first full pages on maybe not my favorites (ha!) like the Jonas Brothers. In 2008, the magazine world’s implosion began, and I left Newsweek and returned home to South Carolina after nearly a decade in New York. This past October, my boyfriend suggested that we should find Professor Ashley on our next trip to Charleston. I called the School of the Arts for his email address, and soon, there he was – sitting in front of me at a booth in Saffron Café on East Bay Street. His glasses might be smaller now, but his presence and energy, not any less so. He was holding a book from a reading he had gone to the night before. It was The Good Girls Revolt – a book about Newsweek by Lynn Povich, who was one of the first female editors there in the 1960s. In that meeting, Professor Ashley did as he always had done, educating me on how to further be an engaged, thoughtful and, yes, perspicacious writer. If one day the tables turn and I’m ever asked, “What are your influences?” my professor, Franklin Ashley, will be at the top of the list. – Based in Greenville, S.C., Jac Chebatoris ’94 is a yoga instructor, senior editor for Town magazine and a freelance writer who has contributed stories to the Los Angeles Times as well as Tempus, a magazine published by Tempus charter jets, for which she’s interviewed Grammy Award winners, PGA golfers, top chefs and more.

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A sk

D an D avis ’85 whom he respects , and he ’ s more likely to say C harles D arwin than C laude M onet or V incent V an G ogh . F or a lifetime , D avis ’ artistic ambitions have been rooted in nature . W hether viewing a tropical jungle , a snake ’ s skeleton or a rare bird , D avis sees beauty worthy of reproduction . artist

by Jason Ryan Photography by Sean Davis

All his adult life, Dan Davis ’85 could not contain his artistic ambitions. No matter the setting, he wanted to draw and paint. When working for a Charleston florist, he drew flowers. When studying for a college biology class, he sketched animal skeletons. At The Charleston Museum, he illustrated fossils. As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Honduran jungle, he painted birds. Wherever he was, Davis’ artistic impulses were an itch that had to be scratched. Today Davis is an artist in Guatemala City, Guatemala, within a few hours’ drive of several nature reserves that reliably provide him inspiration. He works primarily in watercolors, almost always painting birds and their surrounding foliage. But putting paintbrush to paper is only half the task. Davis personally photographs each of his subjects before painting them, spending countless hours in mangrove swamps, lowland jungles or cloud forests before snapping the perfect photo. He’s

a fearless adventurer, traveling through territory populated with thick vegetation, dangerous animals and, at times, even more dangerous humans. This work requires him to be a patient stalker, sitting in place for hours, waiting and waiting for the arrival of his quarry. A career in art, however, was never the plan. Davis initially tried to be more practical, deciding to pursue another of his passions: science. At the College, he earned biology and geology degrees before leaving to pursue a master’s in paleontology at the University of Texas. His graduate studies sputtered, though, when Davis began fearing he would not find work as a paleontologist. He transferred to Louisiana State University before quitting school. Though he regretted stopping his studies, he couldn’t imagine himself writing research papers for a living. He was also becoming dissatisfied with academia, and was unable to ignore his restlessness. “I began to find myself in the art section of the library,” says Davis, “when I was really supposed to be studying sedimentary petrology.”

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(opposite page) “Resplendent Quetzal: Lost in the Profusion” (2010)



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And so Davis left school and joined the Peace Corps in 1989, with hopes of traveling to Africa. Instead, he was sent to the remote Mosquito Coast of Honduras. Though not at the top of Davis’ list, Honduras proved a good fit. He had stopped drawing and painting in graduate school, but found the desire, and necessary time, to resume his art while living in the jungle. Davis ventured alone into the jungle so often with his camera that some locals suspected him of being an undercover agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Mosquito Coast is notorious for harboring drug traffickers, and it was plausible the American was surveilling the area to find hidden airstrips in the jungle. In reality, Davis was looking for nothing more than egrets and herons. Paddling on a canoe through the jungle one day, he marveled at the things he saw, including mangrove crabs, colorful trogans and a playful otter. He took pictures of the wildlife that he wished to paint. In between the shutter snaps, Davis had an epiphany. If I could do that as a living, he thought, that would be the best way to stay in biology and do my art.

SUMMER 2013 |



(left to right) “Social Flycatcher: Pacaya Vista” (2004) “Horned Guan: Endangered Species” (2007) “Emerald Toucanet” (2011) “Grey-Necked Wood Rail” (2000)



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In the Face of Danger Bold ideas, however, aren’t always executed overnight. It took Davis a few years to concentrate fully on his art. He taught science in Baltimore, then Beaufort, S.C., before moving back to Central America, accepting a job teaching at a private school in Guatemala. At the same time, he started painting in earnest. And though teaching consumed precious time, the biology lessons he taught, which included evolution, meshed nicely with the subject matter in his art. Beyond being stunned by the beauty of nature, Davis is fascinated with the science on display when he photographs wildlife. Observing a bird in the wild, without distraction, he better appreciates the creature’s evolution and how it has uniquely adapted to its environment. “Sometimes I think you can almost grasp the big picture. All the history in it, and there it is in front of you,” says Davis. “You realize how little things are, but also how grand things are.” Such moments do not arrive easily. When leaving for a trip to a nature refuge, Davis rises early in order to avoid both the traffic in Guatemala City, as well as the criminals, whom he hopes stay sleeping. Roadside robberies are common in Guatemala, and criminals also lurk along popular hiking trails, waiting in ambush. In some areas of the country, drug violence has made it unsafe to visit. Davis lists some birds he would like to photograph in the Petén region of Guatemala, such as the keel-billed toucan and collared aracari, before mentioning a drugrelated massacre that took place there in 2011, when 27 people were murdered by paramilitaries at a ranch, with most of the victims beheaded.

Still Davis travels into the wild, taking as many precautions as he can. He chooses less-traveled paths and, when possible, hikes with locals he trusts. Sometimes he seeks permission from ranch owners to wander their property, reasoning that the private land may be safer than public refuges. Davis also knows that no matter how careful he is, some crime is more or less unavoidable. The single time he has been robbed was within Guatemala City on a Sunday afternoon, when two armed women took his groceries. Despite the risks, the rewards are too great for Davis to forgo his excursions. When in the wild, he has these Eureka-type moments, as his brain applies his ample biological knowledge to what appears before his eyes. And, while stimulating, it’s also relaxing. “Things start to congeal,” says Davis. “Your outside worries about jobs and stuff start to disappear.” Later, when he begins to paint at his studio, there is satisfaction and utility in having captured images of his subjects himself. His visual memory is refreshed, and he can vividly recall being in the wild with that animal. “I don’t think I get the same thing looking at somebody else’s photograph,” he admits.

Continuing the Legacy Being a wildlife artist is painstaking work. Imagine the chore of painting fur, feathers and scales. Imagine illustrating overlapping leaves, twigs and berries, again and again. Skinny-leaved bromeliads, Spanish moss, lichens and ferns can take Davis a particularly long time. To complicate things, Davis must not only make his paintings look good, they must be accurate. Rarely does a single photograph adequately capture the picture he desires to paint. A bird may be out of place, turned the wrong way, or obscured by foliage. To remedy this, he often gathers inspiration from a variety of images to create a single scene, mixing flora and fauna in a way that suits his vision. For all the advantages this approach offers, there is a danger of inconsistency, of painting, for example, a summer scene that mistakenly features treefruit that grows only in the winter. Davis is so well versed in natural and biological science that he does not fall easily into such traps. Much of this scientific training occurred at the College, where Davis first found ways to integrate his talents and passions for art and science. He began making S PRI N G 2 0 1 4 |



(left to right) anatomy drawings from Dan Davis´ sketchbooks “Rose-Throated Becards” (2007)



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sketches for many of his science courses, drawing the skeletal and muscular systems of the sharks, snakes and cats he dissected in lab. Consequently, he’d ace his anatomy exams, making some pre-med students envious. The science faculty at the College was extremely supportive of his artistic talents, with one professor encouraging Davis to seek a career as a biological illustrator. Away from campus, Davis worked for a florist, where he also sketched the flowers he delivered and arranged. He prepared fossils at The Charleston Museum, working alongside natural history curator Albert Sanders. The position with The Charleston Museum, which was housed at the College from 1852 to 1915, was appropriate for Davis, the budding artist and future science teacher. Since the museum’s founding in 1773, The Charleston Museum has established professional relationships with a number of men who were both excellent illustrators and scientists. These men were pioneers, documenting the exotic wildlife of North America for the first time, either by writing about and illustrating their finds, or by collecting specimens they’d send to The Charleston Museum or to scientists in Europe. As Sanders details with co-author William Anderson Jr. in their book Natural History Investigations in South Carolina: From Colonial Times to the Present, John Lawson was the first person to comprehensively document the wildlife of South Carolina. The explorer left Charleston in late 1700, packed tight in a canoe with four Native Americans and six fellow Englishmen, heading west up the Santee and Wateree rivers into what is today North Carolina,

before turning back east to the Pamlico River, near the Outer Banks. Along the way Lawson documented more than 300 plants and animals, including bison, rattlesnakes, opossums and assorted fish, producing descriptions and drawings of these finds in A New Voyage to Carolina, published in 1709. But just like Davis’ forays into the wilds of Guatemala, Lawson’s trips were fraught with peril. In 1711, while traveling the Neuse River in North Carolina, Tuscarora Indians killed Lawson, ending his exploration of the newly colonized continent. Other men soon picked up the mantle. Thanks to a number of patrons, the English naturalist and artist Mark Catesby worked in Charleston from 1722 to 1725, ultimately producing the acclaimed two-volume Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas Islands, which featured richly detailed folios of native wildlife. In the 1770s, American naturalist William Bartram left Charleston to explore the Southern backcountry, eventually publishing Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida. Then, in the early 19th century, S.C. Governor John Drayton produced illustrations of fossils and watercolors of plants in A View

of South Carolina and Carolinian Florist, respectively. A few years later, in 1809, Scotsman Alexander Wilson, known as the father of American ornithology, visited South Carolina to sketch coastal birds that were included in his groundbreaking American Ornithology. Perhaps the most famous natural artist known in North America, John James Audubon first came to Charleston in 1831. He befriended the Rev. John Bachman, who lived on Rutledge Avenue and was the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Bachman, who taught natural history at the College and boldly wrote an essay in 1850 championing the then-controversial idea that men of different races belonged to the same human species, gave Audubon winter lodging in his home for much of the 1830s and 1840s, aiding the artist as he produced his highly regarded illustrations. In 1840 the friends began collaborating on The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, a book on mammals published in three volumes from 1846 to 1854, with Bachman’s text accompanying Audubon’s art. During this same time, Audubon was aided by illustrator Maria Martin, who was Bachman’s sisterin-law, and later the widowed reverend’s wife. Martin painted S PRI N G 2 0 1 4 |



background foliage and insects for Audubon, as well as produced drawings of wildlife that were completely her own. At about the same time, prominent scientists were conducting their own investigations of the Lowcountry’s natural environment, employing artists to illustrate their finds. This includes John Holbrook, who produced North American Herpetology and Ichthyology of South Carolina, and Louis Agassiz, a Swiss scientist and Harvard professor whose investigations extended beyond animals and plants to humans. Agassiz discounted Darwin’s theories of evolution and insisted, contrary to College professor Bachman, that different races of men were separate species. Accordingly, part of Agassiz’ research in South Carolina included the study of slaves. With the development of photography in the 19th century, it soon became unnecessary to illustrate the flora and fauna being described in scientific works. Illustrations of the natural environment generally fell back into the realm of artistry alone.

inspiration for Davis’ painting. The writer Aldous Huxley once compared Lake Atitlán to Italy’s Lake Como, but with the “additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.” Unfortunately, since Huxley visited in the 1930s, Lake Atitlán has developed severe bacteria problems, making its waters toxic. The lake and surrounding countryside are also polluted with trash and untreated sewage. Nonetheless, Lake Atitlán contains incredible wildlife. Davis, who settled beside an avocado plantation, spent his time there photographing the area’s aquatic birds. He also reveled in the quaint, unhurried lifestyle afforded by his remote and relatively undeveloped location. Davis’ retreat to Lake Atitlán proved to be a productive and therapeutic journey. The hiatus could not last forever. A year later, Davis returned to Guatemala City with thousands of new photographs, ready to resume a new schedule split evenly between academic work and art. Nowadays, Davis tutors Guatemalan athletes online

“I hope that through my paintings people will be more keen on observing and appreciating these products of millions of years of natural Selection.”

In Charleston, Edward Von Siebold Dingle and John Henry Dick illustrated much local wildlife in the 20th century. Dingle’s and Dick’s paintings and drawings, as well as original or early editions of many of the works described previously, can be found in Special Collections at the College’s Addlestone Library.

The Decision As an undergraduate at the College, Davis knew the rich local legacy of naturalist artistry. In 1985, through his job at The Charleston Museum, he even helped prepare the museum for its major exhibit of the works of Audubon. Since then, in stopand-start fashion, Davis has attempted to establish himself as an artist of equal capabilities. But, like many artists, Davis had trouble finding the time to indulge his passion. For many years, he considered the science lessons he taught to make a living as complementary to his painting. In time, though, he came to regard his teaching career as a distraction to his artwork. Maybe teaching is no longer helping, Davis began thinking to himself. Maybe it’s hurting. That thought echoed advice he had heard years earlier from former studio art professor Michael Tyzack: “He advised me that taking art courses wouldn’t help me too much, and that I just needed to paint as much as possible. He also said not to take on a career, as it would take too much energy away from my art.” In August 2012, Davis resigned his teaching position in Guatemala City and moved with his wife, Margie, to a house on Lake Atitlán, a few hours’ drive west of the capital. Praised as one of the most unique natural settings in the world, the exceptionally clear, 50-square-mile lake promised to provide

in the morning and then paints in the afternoon. He is also contemplating illustrating a children’s book on evolution featuring Central American birds. Davis sometimes thinks about moving back to the United States. He misses his family, misses his roots. In the United States, too, he could worry less about safety and not have to live behind razor wire and iron bars, which is the norm for residents of Guatemala City. He grimly compares his excursions into Guatemala’s wild areas to a game of Russian roulette. Of course, to leave Guatemala is to leave behind the quetzals and motmots, the horned guans and red-legged honeycreepers. But, wherever he might land, Davis finds inspiration through biology. As a child, he found it exploring the woods of rural Maryland. As a young adult, he found it in Charleston, within floral arrangements and science labs. As a man, he found it in Central America. The lesson, one supposes, is that Mother Nature can play muse anywhere, so long as one takes the time to study the plants and animals that cover this earth. “Since I was young, I have always had a fascination with the natural world,” Davis says. “My pockets were always full of rocks or some prized feather.” At this point, Davis has produced many more paintings than research papers. Yet, for all the art, the scientist in him will not die. When looking at wildlife, Davis knows there is much more than meets the eye: “Although I paint because I truly enjoy it, I hope that through my paintings people will be more keen on observing and appreciating these products of millions of years of natural selection. The organisms, with their resulting adaptations and behaviors, are what inspire me to photograph and paint.”

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Natural Wonders A number of prominent natural artists and scientists have visited Charleston and the Lowcountry to research works on North American wildlife. Among the men and women who have made visual contributions to our understanding of the natural world:

Mark Catesby visited Charleston for three years while preparing the two-volume Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas Islands. His accomplishments included the discovery of mammoth teeth along the Stono River. (illustration of magnolia blossom, c. 1722) John Lawson explored the Carolina colony through its interior rivers, documenting more than 300 species of plants and animals in A New Voyage to Carolina. Indians killed Lawson while he explored the Neuse River in North Carolina. (drawings of Carolina wildlife, c. 1709)

Philadelphia-born William Bartram embarked on a four-year journey of the South that included travels through Indian territory. Afterward he published Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida. (sketch of great soft-shelled tortoise, c. 1791)

Alexander Wilson produced the first comprehensive account of North American birds in American Ornithology. He traveled the S.C. coast on horseback, stopping to sketch birds and sell subscriptions to his work. (illustration of Carolina parakeet and other birds, c. 1809)

First the sister-in-law, then wife, to widower John Bachman, Maria Martin painted butterflies and background foliage for John James Audubon as well as her own images of wildlife. (painting of Papilio philemon, c. 1840s) [Courtesy of The Charleston Museum, Charleston, S.C.]

John James Audubon wintered frequently in Charleston, staying at the home of John Bachman, who was both a reverend and College of Charleston professor. Together the men produced a study on mammals: The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. (painting of Carolina parakeet, c. 1830s)

John Henry Dick was a traveler and prolific artist who spent much of his life at his 860acre Dixie Plantation on the Stono River. Dick died in 1995, bequeathing the plantation to the College. Pictured here is a photograph he took of Bachman’s warbler, named after the Rev. John Bachman, former College professor and Audubon collaborator. (image, c. 1950s)

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We all have that favorite professor. That one we really related to, really connected with. That one who made calculus click or Rembrandt relevant. Who, most important, made us passionate about learning. At the College of charleston, we have Hispanic studies instructor Devon Wray Hanahan ’87, a standout not just on campus, but nationwide. For her students – who’ve collectively made her the second highest-rated college instructor in the country – she will always be that one.






t makes its way down Liberty Street, slowing down as it turns onto King, where the Friday afternoon foot traffic is in full force. It’s a chatty little swarm, with 14 voices all hoping to be heard by the connecting force at its center: Devon Wray Hanahan ’87. Hanahan is oblivious to the attention she’s getting – to the 14 pairs of eyes watching her, the 14 pairs of ears hanging onto her every word. She’s much more interested in the girls themselves. She hasn’t seen these students since last semester, when she took them to see Santa at the Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island before having them over for dinner and a movie. She wants to know all about their holiday breaks, what they did for fun, what kind of dorm-life drama they’re having these days. “What happened to your terrible roommate?” she asks one of the girls as they file into the line at Starbucks. The girl gushes a little bit under Hanahan’s attention: She remembered something about me! As she relays the latest in the “terrible roommate” saga, the other girls eye her, impatiently waiting their turn. They needn’t wait long: If there’s one thing that Hanahan has mastered, it’s the art of inclusion, of connecting everyone to the conversation, bringing everyone into the fold. She relates to each one of the students individually, turning her entire body to give them her full attention, connecting to them on a personal level. But she isn’t just being a good conversationalist – she is genuinely interested in what these students say. “I’ve got a Caramel Flan Latte for Devon,” the Starbucks barista announces with affected showmanship. “And here’s a Double Chocolatey Chip Frappucino for Devon. … This is a Cappuccino for Devon. … And I have a Café Americano for Devon.” The barista isn’t halfway through calling out all the orders before an older woman in a tailored red blazer and a stately gold necklace finally asks: “Are you really all named Devon?” The group giggles. “No,” says the students’ former First-Year Experience teacher. “I’m Devon. And these are all my children.” Hanahan is at once the It girl, the teacher, the mother, the advocate, the friend. She’s also a Cougar through and through, having grown up on campus while her mom taught in the School of Education, then attending the College from 1983 to 1987 before joining the Hispanic studies faculty in 1995. Since then, she has (almost) never missed a men’s basketball game – making her a favorite among the players, coaches and fans alike. But it’s her students who did the voting, her students who tallied up all the sweet treats she’s brought them, all the dinners she’s hosted for them, all the lessons she’s taught them, all the creativity she’s mustered for them, all the appreciation for language she’s bestowed on them, all the extra attention, time – and, yes, love – she’s given them. It all adds up. In fact, when you put it all together, you end up with something pretty special: the second highest-rated instructor in the country on RateMyProfessors.com. It’s the second time Hanahan has been ranked at No. 2 on the mtvU website, which allows students to evaluate their professors according to various criteria, including clarity and helpfulness, as well as to make comments. Suffice it to say, Hanahan’s comments are all over the top. All 99 of them read something like this:



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The best teacher on the PLANET! She is amazing. She cares and is understanding. She isn’t easy – she is just a really good teacher. This makes the tests “easy” because she has taught the material so well. She invited her students to her house for hot chocolate and stuff. She is the bomb! Yep. Her students adore her. “When I saw the RateMyProfessors news,” says Hanahan’s former student Christen Chaconas ’12, “I sent her a text message and said, ‘You’re No. 1 in my book!’” And, since the 2012–13 rating, Hanahan’s overall score of 5.0 has indeed beat out her No. 1 opponent. Not that she puts too much stock in any of it. “There’s no way to tell who the best teacher is in the country. It’s just a popularity contest,” she says, adding that she much more appreciated being named one of “The Best 300 Professors” by The Princeton Review, which took its numbers from the website RateMyProfessors.com. “I am not in teaching to be popular. I want to share my love of the language with as many kids as possible and give them the confidence that they can use what they learn outside of the classroom one day. I just happen to have a lot of fun while I’m doing that!” And, she’s quick to point out, she has a fun subject to teach. “You know, come on: I lucked out! If I were teaching microbiology, I couldn’t blather on about the things I do,” she laughs. “The great thing about teaching a language is, we’re basically just spending time together and talking. Where else can you talk about your lives and get to know each other in class? “It’s just hanging out in another language,” continues Hanahan. “I think it’s the only subject where life is your palette for the classroom. It’s a forum in which we get to know each other, make real connections.”

She cares so much about all her students and will do anything to help you out. I have to say, one of the most impressive moments was the first day of class – she memorized 28 kids’ names within the first 15 minutes. It’s her first class, and Sarah Hotham ’11 sits at the back of the room. A naturally quiet person, she doesn’t know anyone at the College, and no one knows her – not even her name. By the end of the 50-minute class, however, all that has changed: The entire class knows who she is, that she’s from Charlotte, has just transferred from a school over 500 miles away and that her favorite book is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. And Devon Hanahan, for one, will never forget any of it. “She took that information from Day One and remembered things that were pertinent to each individual student,” says Hotham, recalling that, years later, Hanahan was cleaning up around her house and found a copy of Rand’s For the New Intellectual, which – remembering her love for Atlas Shrugged – she passed along to Hotham. “Amazing that she remembered that.” “I just try to connect something with each one of them personally,” says Hanahan of her ability to remember her students’ names after one day and their favorite books after three years. “I really, genuinely enjoy meeting students and learning

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about them. I feel a real connection with all of them. I care for each and every one of them.” And there it is: She cares. And not in a general, detached way. Not in an academics-only way. Not in a life-ceases-to-existoutside-the-classroom way. Because it doesn’t, and she knows that. Students are always more than students. “My attitude is, they’re all somebody’s child,” she says. “If my kid’s off at college, I would want them to have someone to call. It’s like I have 80 children all the time.” “She cares about each one of her students and wants them all to do well. And she’s really proud of their accomplishments,” says Chaconas, who calls Hanahan her “at-school mom. She came and supported me at my science and mathematics presentation, and even invited the class to come, too. She was like that with everyone!” Indeed, this is the woman who has her students over for dinner or to do their laundry, who brings them to her parents’ home on Bohicket Creek for Thanksgiving dinner, who invites them to everything from the movies to the Thriller Dance Party at Marion Square, who takes them to counseling or the clinic when they need it, who attends their concerts, plays and sports events. And it doesn’t really let up once they graduate: They’re part of her family now. That means picking them up at the airport, visiting them in Brooklyn, attending their weddings. “She’s just very interested in everyone’s lives,” says Hotham. “I have no idea how she is able to keep up with so many people!” “I think that’s just a part of who I am. It’s hard to explain,” Hanahan says. “I think I have a great capacity to love people.” A bit about Hanahan’s childhood: The youngest of seven children, Hanahan grew up listening to, watching, learning from and caring for a pretty substantial team. She had a natural curiosity for what people – especially her older siblings – were up to, what she could learn from them. She learned the rules of football from her oldest brother, Rob. She picked up the piano from her middle sister, Kieran (Wray Kramer ’85). She learned how to sail by watching the family work together on its 45-foot yawl. But it was, perhaps, her eldest sister, Megan, who taught her the most. Born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, Megan was severely brain damaged and handicapped. She had to be fed and changed all her life – chores that Hanahan and her siblings shared. Megan was always there – a silent presence in the family. “That was normal to me,” Hanahan says. “I thought every family had a Megan.” Back then, Megan didn’t seem to offer more than the occasional laugh or smile. But, in hindsight, what she actually gave the family is much more than that. “She kept us grounded, and her life taught us a lot about love, loving unconditionally,” says Hanahan. “Having Megan maybe gave me – and, my mother, for sure – a great capacity to love.” “Megan made a profound impression on her siblings,” agrees Hanahan’s mother, retired secondary education professor Rosanne Wray. “I think that’s why they’re such great people. They’re all compassionate, they’re all caring. Megan was a big influence on them growing up.” Megan’s three sisters (who were the youngest of the brood) and three brothers – along with their live-in British nanny, Jean – made

up a regular Brady Bunch sitcom, something that was not lost on the Wrays. Because of the size of the family, Hanahan and her siblings were taught to raise their hands before speaking at the dinner table: Everyone deserved to be heard. Everyone had something important to say – you just had to listen. And, with this system in place, everyone knew what he or she was saying was being heard, and felt valued as members of the family. This was also a lesson in the value of roles. Everyone needed to belong. To have something to work toward: You do your part, I’ll do mine. Like her ability to take interest in many different people, to pay attention to the individuals in a big group, Hanahan’s understanding of working together – doing your part, according to your role in the family – is something that has carried over from her childhood to her classroom. “I always tell my students, if they put in their effort, I’ll put in mine,” she says. “I’ll meet you half way. But I can’t do it alone.” And, as long as they know their role – as long as they feel like they’re a part of something – students typically respond with enthusiasm. “When a student walks into your classroom, you give him the role of belonging. And, when they have a sense of belonging – and I think Devon’s students do – they will work for you. Because they know they’re valued,” says Wray, who was a high school teacher for 15 years before coming to the College in 1978 – and who, like Hanahan, had an open-door policy and often brought her students home for dinner, too. “I used to try to cultivate, even in college, a sense of we-ness – just like you create in a family. I’ve never really talked to Devon about that, but I think her classes have that same sense. So that, when they do come into your room, they feel like they belong, they feel comfortable, at home.” It certainly worked for Hotham – even on that first day of class, when she knew no one at all at the College. “She made me comfortable and I really opened up. She became not only my teacher, but a friend and a mother to me. And through my relationship with her, I met so many people,” says Hotham. “She always saw something in me that I think I didn’t see in myself. And, through her, I developed an even deeper passion for learning.”

She is the definition of a TEACHER. … I was SO LUCKY to get into her class. ... She makes everything crystal clear. She treats students as people, we laugh in her class, she does fun activities to help us, and you ACTUALLY learn in her class! I was so scared about Spanish, but she makes it so much fun! The faded and deflated tennis ball shoots across the Maybank Hall classroom, landing in the hesitant hands of a student in the third row. “Ah, Charlie! What was the last thing you did before class?” Hanahan asks in clear, unhurried Spanish. “Did you talk to a friend?” Charlie falters a little before answering that he finished his homework and ate lunch before coming into class.

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“And what did you have for lunch?” “A sandwich of …,” Charlie answers, trailing off. “Did it have ham?” Hanahan asks. “Or maybe turkey? Gobble, gobble. Like at Thanksgiving? Turkey makes us so tired!” “Yes, turkey,” Charlie says in Spanish, and he throws the ball to another student and asks her what she did last weekend. The game goes on like this – with students asking one another questions, and their teacher coaxing them, enticing their answers out of them, but still letting them figure out what it is they want to say. She plays off their answers in such a way that they feel good about how they’ve answered, even when it’s not spot on. “Remember, each word doesn’t need to be perfect,” she repeats often in her bright, melodic Spanish. “As long as you communicate your idea!” It’s the most important message she can get across. “I always remind them that, linguistically, they’re toddlers. You’re not going to be talking like an adult in Spanish. You’re going to be talking like a 2-year-old, and that’s OK. That seems to relax them a little bit,” says Hanahan, who gave a talk, “How to Lower the Fear Factor,” at the 2012 Southern Conference on Language Teaching. “I believe that fear is the biggest issue when it comes to language. I say, ‘Hey, you have nothing to lose.’ I try to encourage them to just start speaking before it’s correct.” “She teaches you that you just have to get your point across, not say it perfectly. She says if she gets the point, that is perfect enough,” says Hanahan’s former student Stephen Gorman, a junior mathematics major. “You are supposed to be speaking like you’re learning the language, not like a native. Once you realize that, the barrier that stops you from speaking goes away. I’m serious: It just went away. Suddenly, I was not freezing up anymore.”



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With that goal of perfection – that barrier – out of the way, students can really open up and have fun with the language. That’s why Hanahan tries to get students to let loose and just enjoy using Spanish with classroom activities like fashion shows, Jeopardy! games and sing-alongs to, oh, who knows … a Christina Aguilera song, perhaps. “I play music almost every class, but I like to make every day different. Sometimes I’ll do something crazy, like I’ll wear a costume or something to spice things up,” says Hanahan. “I think it’s important that students realize that learning and the classroom are not pods that are separated from real life. They’re just a part of the flow of real life. Learning is just something we do as part of life, so I try to have my classroom feel like that: just something interesting to do today.” “You got the feeling that if you’re not in class, you’re missing out. You didn’t want to miss out on all the fun,” says Gorman. “And besides, the way I thought about her classes was that I was lucky to be in them, lucky to have some time in her classroom, so you don’t just skip out on that time that’s given to you!” Those fortunate enough to get into Hanahan’s classes – which usually fill up faster than you can say “override” – definitely have their fair share of (educational) entertainment. Even without the costumes, games and pop songs, the material seems fun because, well, Hanahan is fun. Even when her jokes are lost on her students, her silly sense of humor always has a way of transcending the language barrier. “Oooh! Mágico!” she might exclaim when the projector casts an image onto the screen. Or, looking at an illustration in the textbook, she might wonder out loud, “Why do seals always have to be pictured with a ball? No sé. I’m sure there are other things they like to do!”

Or, when the class is reviewing a story about Luis, who is traveling all over Latin America, she might muse, “Oh, Luis! I wish I could be friends with him!” “I’m sort of the class clown,” laughs Hanahan. “I am always myself in the classroom. I think the students appreciate that.” Of course they do. But, ask any of her students, current or past, and they’ll all tell you that what they really appreciate – what they really admire and wish they saw in more teachers – is Hanahan’s veritable talent for breaking things down into digestible, easily understood rules. “She has that way of explaining something complicated and making it seem easy,” says Chaconas, who had tried to learn the subjunctive mood in previous classes before she took Spanish 201 from Hanahan. “It made so much more sense when she taught it to me. She just has a knack for making things logical.” “You know, it’s funny: My oldest brother, Rob, can explain anything in simple steps. He can take very complex things – things like the Bernoulli theory of flight – and make them simple. And I think I can do that, too. At least that’s what kids have said to me,” says Hanahan. “For me, the key is breaking concepts down into simple steps. I always say, ‘Here are your default rules – the simple rules you need when you’re panicked and speaking. And now I’m going to expand on them a little bit.’” Hanahan takes her cues from her days as a student at the College – namely from emerita professor of mathematics Susan Prazak, who was able to break calculus down into what seemed like simple arithmetic. “She would always say, ‘People, you’re going to be able to do this. This is easy, this is no problem.’ And we always believed her. And I always try to say that, too,” says Hanahan. “She’s also the reason I give candy out during exams. She’d say, ‘If you

have candy, it can’t be that bad,’ and that’s something that I’ve always remembered.” She’s also always remembered how much she hated being kept after class when she had another class or a job to get to. And how much she hated waiting too long to get her papers and exams back. “Those are the two things I really try hard not to do. I try to identify with myself as a student and what was important to me then,” she says, noting that that does not make her a pushover. “If they arrive late, I’ll make them stay after the same number of minutes they were late. I’ll take their cell phones from them. I’ll hand them back their assignments if it’s not neatly done. I have high standards for them.” Speaking of high standards: Hanahan’s mom, who trained countless student teachers in her day, knows a thing or two about teaching. And – after taking two of her courses – thankfully, she thinks just as highly of Hanahan as her students do. “I’m a hard critic when it comes to teachers, but Devon really is an excellent, excellent teacher,” says Wray. “When I was at the College, you could almost tell the first week: Some of the students just have a quality about them that reaches out in the classroom. They’re born with it. Great teachers are born – and I think Devon is one of those great teachers.” Lauren Laird ’13 couldn’t agree more: “The first day of class she greeted us with a warm welcome and I realized Spanish would be different from then on! Not only did Professor Hanahan make Spanish more approachable for me, she totally changed my outlook on the language. She will leave a mark on me forever.” Hanahan is able to connect her students to the Spanish language in ways that they have never done before. She empowers them. Gives them confidence. Makes them comfortable. And not

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just with language, but with themselves in their surroundings. “She’s the reason I feel connected to the College. She made it comfortable for me, like home,” agrees Chaconas. “The College is home because of her.”

Amazing. College of Charleston’s greatest treasure. She’s up. She’s down. She’s on the edge of her seat. Back on her feet. She throws her hands up in disbelief at a foul call. She prays at free throws. She dances – albeit mutedly, and maybe a little off beat – when the band plays. She claps in time when the announcer rallies the crowd. She calls out to the players by name, shouting her support. She boos. She chants. She whoops and she hollers. And she jumps. Hanahan jumps. A lot. So much so that she’s come to be known as the Jumping Lady in TD Arena. She’s a good fan – a staple on the sidelines of the men’s basketball games. She’s engaged. She’s supportive. She even bakes cookies for the players. That may be why she was named the Cougar Club Faculty/Staff Fan of the Year a few years back. More likely, though, it’s because she’s only missed one home game in 10 years. She and her family have been right here, cheering the wins and lamenting the losses, in the front-row floor seats every single game. This is their spot. This is their scene. These are their people. “I’m here for those kids out there playing – I’m genuinely proud of them. But I’m also here for school spirit – I think that’s important. Feeling that sense of connection. Life is all about



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connections. You know? No man’s an island and all that. And I just feel very connected to the whole when I’m here,” Hanahan says. “You get to know the same people. You look behind you, you look over there, and you may not know everyone’s name, but you’re just part of this community, and it’s fun. It gives you a sense of belonging, of community.” This Cougars basketball community only strengthens Hanahan’s already-formidable connection to the College. She was 12 years old when her mother joined the College faculty, and coming to campus meant one of three things: Her family was going to a basketball game in the old Silcox gym, she and her sisters had to wait for their mom to get off work and take them home, or the electricity was out at their home. Life was an adventure at their home on Johns Island. And sometimes that meant the power would go out. And, when it did, it meant they didn’t have water, either. So, rather than bathing in the creek, Wray would take her kids into her office on the corner of College and Green ways and let them wash up in her private bathroom. “How I got that office, I don’t know,” laughs Wray. “I just lucked into it, I guess.” Most of Hanahan’s visits to Wray’s office did not involve bathing, however. She and her siblings went to school at Bishop England, then located where the College’s Addlestone Library is now, and would simply walk over to their mom’s office after school to wait for Wray to finish up for the day. If they weren’t reading or doing their homework, they would go out and explore. “It was nice having the College of Charleston as my playground,” says Hanahan, recalling the days of running around campus, playing on the Cistern and roaming the strange, vast buildings.

“We spent a lot of time scraping up money to get French fries at the Hungry Lion – which is now Jack’s. We just acted like kids on the loose, I guess.” Perhaps the Wray girls’ familiarity with the campus had something to do with the fact that all three chose to attend the College when the time came. The decision – at least for Hanahan, who’d also attended the South Carolina Governor’s School on the College’s campus the previous summer – was a no-brainer. “I had this full Presidential Scholarship to this wonderful school that I already loved and felt a part of. I couldn’t wait,” she says, adding: “It did feel different to be here as a student – I felt like I owned the city. I was very independent.” She had to be: She was putting herself through school, with just the help of her Presidential Scholarship and a $1,000 National Merit Scholarship. Enrolled in the Honors College, Hanahan kept afloat (and busy) by working 15 hours a week as a student secretary in the Department of Education and five nights a week at San Miguel’s Mexican restaurant in the Market. “I honestly don’t know when I slept or studied,” Hanahan says. “I can still remember standing in the waitress station at San Miguel’s, and I’d have my book here, and I’d open it up and I’d put the order in for drinks, and I’d work on my calculus problem, and then I’d take the tray and I’d go to deliver the drinks, and I’d come back and I’d work on the next calculus problem. I just did whatever I had to do.” As long as it didn’t interfere with the basketball games. “We all went to the games back then! The whole student body. You just didn’t miss a basketball game. That was, like, our whole center of social life,” Hanahan recalls, noting that the then–newly built John Kresse Arena made for an experience so much better than the games she’d attended in the Silcox gym as a kid. “I just remember it being hot as hell in there, and feeling very removed, because we’d be up there, looking down. The Kresse Arena is where I finally really got into the game. It was so much fun! It was just a huge surge of spirit.” As a busy student, she rarely saw her mother, who actually spent one of Hanahan’s college years on sabbatical, sailing in the Caribbean and working on her (still-unfinished) book, How to Really Teach High School. Before she embarked, however, both Hanahan and her older sister Kieran enrolled in their mother’s adolescent psychology course. “I was a practitioner, not just a theorist, and I always drew on my own personal experiences as a mother of seven with adolescents. So, when I found out they were in my class, I thought, Uh-oh! I’ll have to watch what I say!” chuckles Wray. “But they both did very well. There were two As in that class, and, mortifyingly, they were Devon and Kieran. I went to the department chair, but I had all the evidence. They just did very well in their classes!” All three girls – Hanahan, Kieran and Kristin Wray Wilda ’82 – made her proud. And, at each of their commencement ceremonies, when she saw them wearing the white dress she’d made – passed down from sister to sister – as they walked across the Cistern to receive a diploma, Wray couldn’t be happier to be the one presenting it. “That was very special for all of us, I think,” says Wray, who retired in 1988 and remains connected to the College through its newly established Retired Faculty and Staff Council. Hanahan, for her part, walked straight off the commencement

stage and into a Spanish teaching position at James Island High School. Seven years later, however, she just couldn’t stay away from the College any longer, and returned to campus as a member of the Hispanic studies faculty. “It’s kind of weird to have seen the College from so many perspectives: as a child coming to wait at my mom’s office for a ride, as a student, as an instructor, as a potential parent (my oldest might be here next year),” says Hanahan. “At this point, the College has been so much a part of my life – I’m so connected to it – that it’s hard to imagine life without it.” That’s even more true when you stop to consider how much the College, its students and its alumni are integrated into Hanahan’s family. Her students have not just visited her home for the past 15 years, they’ve become legitimate parts of her family’s lives – especially in those of her sons, Will and Thomas, ages 18 and 16. In fact, Will is going to spend three weeks this summer in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., living with and interning for two alumni who used to babysit him and his brother. “My boys’ lives, I think, have been immeasurably impacted. It’s been absolutely wonderful for them to have all these dozens and dozens of big brothers and sisters,” says Hanahan. “And my husband has made it easy for me to open my home to the students, because he loves them, too.” Besides, even though her husband attended the University of Virginia, he has some serious College of Charleston ties himself: Two of his ancestors, Charles Pinckney and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, were founders. “We really have a lot of ties here!” Hanahan marvels, adding that, as much a part of her life the College has been – and as much time as she has spent on its campus – its beauty still blows her away every day. “I guess that means I’m in the right place – the place I belong.”

Walking back to campus from Starbucks, Hanahan and the First-Year Experience students can’t make it more than two storefronts without running into someone Hanahan knows – someone who wants to say hello, give a hug, share some news. Hanahan stops and catches up, sidewalk-style, before rejoining the group and taking a few more steps before there’s another person she knows and loves. It’s like a constant parade of friends – or perhaps a widely spaced receiving line. But, if it’s anything out of the ordinary for Hanahan, she doesn’t seem to notice. “You’re so popular! Everyone wants to stop and talk to you!” one of the students observes. “No, it’s just that I’ve been here forever,” Hanahan laughs dismissively. “No,” the 14 voices contend all at once, “it’s because you’re popular!” You don’t get voted the country’s No. 2 professor without being popular. But you also don’t get that popular among students without good reason. And Hanahan gives her students good reason: She can connect. That’s what makes her a fantastic friend, teacher, mentor and mother figure. And that’s what makes her one popular lady on campus.

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Into the Ring

The Improbable, Not-Fast-Enough, But Utterly Magnificent Rise of a Wrestling Star

To join the pantheon of American heroes and villains that populate the WWE, Tyler Kluttz ’06 has scraped and clawed his way to the top through an adrenalineinfused, soul-rattling, backbreaking test of mind, body and spirit. It’s not been a journey for the faint of heart. Story by Mark Berry Pictures by Jason Myers

sshhh. Everybody, be quiet. It’s about to start. As the commercial fades, the Kluttz family gathers before the television. The bell rings three quick times and the TV camera pans over a sold-out crowd for the WWE Monday Night Raw event in Columbus, Ohio. With a ringmaster intonation in his melodic baritone, the announcer calls out, “Ladies and gentleman, the following contest has been scheduled for one fall, and if Brad Maddox wins, he will be awarded a one-million-dollar WWE contract.” The word million, like a green balloon, hangs in the air a moment. Around the family room, everyone looks back and forth, giddy with emotion. This is really happening! Tyler’s first big match! their excited glances scream. Right before their eyes, a new page of the family scrapbook is coming to life. It’s like witnessing a birth, a baby’s first steps, a graduation and a wedding, all wrapped up in one, because this moment is happening not only in the presence of the family, but in front of millions of people around the world, right now. Tyler Kluttz ’06 (a.k.a. Brad Maddox) appears on the screen, and the arena erupts in boos. The Kluttz family laughs quietly to themselves. They don’t blame the crowd for disliking this cocky upstart who is preening in front of the camera. He’s a cheater, an opportunist and, perhaps his worst crime, he’s a pretty boy. But this guy, full of conceit and unmerited swagger, is nothing like our Tyler. No, they don’t know the real Tyler – the smart, sweet, creative soul who is the apple of our family’s eye. They only see this ridiculous character he’s playing: this laughable, arrogant Brad Maddox. Coming out before gigantic flashing video panels, this small figure in black and silver tights wears a gray leather jacket, more Members Only than Hell’s Angels, with “Brad Maddox” emblazoned in rhinestones on the back. He jumps up and down a few times and swings his arms out as if flying – a slightly stiff, almost child-like Superman imitation. To the crowd and onlookers watching on television, Maddox doesn’t inspire much fear or really any sense of toughness. Rather, there is something about his smug smile – a smile that you want to wipe off with a sledgehammer.

If you’re not a fan of the WWE, you’re probably dismissing Kluttz’ dream of professional wrestling. … Naturally, this isn’t Shakespeare in the park or a Broadway drama thrilling monocled culture critics. But if you’re a lover of live performance, you may be missing something here. Like the Taj Mahal or Versailles, the WWE is so gauche that it’s grand. Wow, his family thinks, he’s good at this. They really do hate him. Tyler’s father, Banks Kluttz, can’t help but shake his head in awe and disbelief. He had not believed in his son’s dream when he first learned of it. Tyler, you’re a college graduate, for crying out loud. What could you possibly be thinking? the father wanted to yell at his son. But he swallowed his disappointment and didn’t try to stop Tyler going on this fool’s errand. The boy, bless his heart, just has to learn some lessons on his own. Yet now, after years of struggle and determination, that boy was teaching his old man a thing or two about dreams and reality – and the father couldn’t be more proud. As the Kluttz family and every wrestling fan in the world knows, during these elaborate introductions, music accompanies each wrestler’s entrance, usually a raucous theme song to get the crowd pumped up and on their feet. But as Maddox makes his way down the runway, only the sound of an ambulance’s melancholy wail competes with the crowd’s jeers and taunts. And then the camera pulls back from Maddox’s surprised face to reveal an emergency vehicle backing its way alongside him toward the ring. Well, that’s a little dramatic, chuckles Banks to himself, looking around the family room decorated in streamers of black, white and red (WWE colors). He can’t help but smile at the rapt faces of his son’s aunts, uncles and cousins holding Brad Maddox signs they had made just for tonight. This is certainly a moment to remember, a moment to celebrate. In the week leading up to this million-dollar match, Banks had scoured the Internet for insight into the WWE storylines



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| Photos courtesy of the WWE |

and perused several online forums. Based on some of the fans’ speculations, he believes that his son has a real chance at winning. It’s a classic David versus Goliath confrontation, and as a former missionary, Banks knows which side he’s betting on. Then the camera flashes to Maddox’s opponent, Ryback, a hulking figure who would give even Goliath pause. Ryback’s gargantuan, seemingly comic book–drawn size is the least of Maddox’s problems. If cartoon steam could blow out of Ryback’s nostrils and ears, it would. There’s an unmistakable rage behind those eyes and a monstrous bent to his hoarse voice as he growls, “Feed … me … more.” His anger is understandable. Maddox, working as a referee just a couple of weeks before, had cost Ryback his championship title by delivering a low blow and then later fastcounting him to defeat. What becomes clear very quickly, to even the casual observer, is that this is not really a contest to win a sevenfigure contract. No, it’s a grudge match. The family, shifting a little nervously in their seats now, watches Maddox trying to escape. They can sense his fear – because they feel it, too. When Maddox is finally caught, it’s a one-way fight. No, fight is not the right word. This is violence – pure and simple. The entire Kluttz family stares at the screen in silence and in shock, some with their hands covering their eyes, at times, peeking through fingers to see if their Tyler – their son, grandson, nephew, brother – can muster any kind of counterattack. Or some sort of defense. No, that’s not going to happen. Maddox is tossed around the ring like an offending toy to a demon child on a tantrum from hell. He absorbs power slams, power bombs and meathook clotheslines. He endures the indignity of being dragged by his hair and then carted around the ring on the shoulders of a laughing, maniacal Ryback. Maddox is pinned after a relentless 5 minutes and 39 seconds. The ringside commentators laugh about Maddox’s chances in the WWE and revel (a little too much, in the Kluttz family’s opinion) in the “massacre” of this brazen young man who got his comeuppance. But it’s not over. As the paramedics strap a dazed Maddox onto the stretcher, Ryback’s anger has not subsided. He seethes. He rages. Ryback jumps to the floor, scaring away the emergency team, and flips Maddox headfirst from the stretcher. For the next two minutes – two excruciatingly long minutes – Ryback brutalizes the nearly defenseless figure. And although many fans in the arena cheer on this degradation with “feed me more” chants, others sense that this beating has gone too far – even for their tastes. Maddox the goat has become Maddox the sacrificial lamb before this monster. By the time Maddox is thrown into the back of the ambulance by the stampeding Ryback, the phones at the Kluttz gathering are ringing and buzzing nonstop. Family members from across the country are calling to check on Tyler. Is he all right? they all want to know. Is he? his father worries. How could he possibly take that kind of punishment and be OK? Too many minutes pass before they hear from an aunt who is at the event in Columbus. Of course, she hadn’t seen the two opponents immediately backstage shake hands and



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congratulate each other on a great performance. When the aunt finally catches up with him, she reports that Tyler looks a little winded, perhaps red and swollen in a few places, but, seeing that mischievous smile again – a smile that infuriates as much as it charms – she knows he is just fine. Welcome to the WWE.

The Awakening of a Dream We’ve all been there. Stuck behind a desk, staring blankly into a computer screen, feeling our slouched figure getting fatter by the second as the walls of our tiny cubicle close in on us. And we probably daydream enough billable hours to make ourselves a Fortune 500 company a thousand times over. Tyler Kluttz felt that way. But it took him all of three weeks to determine that the corporate treadmill he was on wasn’t going to take him anywhere he wanted to go. Kluttz, who earned a degree in business administration, had landed a job with the Charlotte Checkers, a minor league hockey affiliate, selling season-ticket packages. For a recent college graduate, it was a good professional foot in the door, especially for someone like Kluttz, who wanted to get into sports marketing. But three weeks in and without even one sale next to his name, Kluttz knew that this wasn’t meant to be. During a lunch break, he left the sales office and meandered a few blocks through downtown Charlotte. Standing there along tree-lined South Tryon Street, he made a vow to himself: I will not lead a boring life. Then, he pulled out his phone and keyed in a 502 area code number. The voice on the other end of the line turned out to be Nightmare Danny Davis, the owner of Ohio Valley Wrestling and dream maker for many aspiring wrestlers. Kluttz asked a few questions, got a few answers and decided then and there to go for it. This may seem like a decision made in a moment of reckless youth. A classic millennial misstep of impatience and demanding the prize before the work is done. But Kluttz had been thinking about this for some time. Wrestling had always had a strange pull on him. Why waste another second? Like many fans, Kluttz fell in love with professional wrestling as a boy. He loved the action, the intricate moves and the largerthan-life characters. He would pull off the mattress to his bed, creating an impromptu ring on the floor, and put little sister Caroline Kluttz ’10 into the Scorpion Death Lock until she tapped out three times. Or, he and his buddies would hold matches in their basements, trying out various submission holds and donning different wrestling personalities. Throughout middle school, wrestling was a part of the everyday conversation, but by high school, other interests, as might be expected, took over their imaginations. In his junior year at the College, Kluttz rediscovered his passion for wrestling. At first, it was just a guilty pleasure, a Monday-night distraction from studying. It certainly beat CSI: Miami or some popular reality show everyone else was watching. Soon, however, he found himself truly admiring the production and presentation of wrestling, appreciating the incredible displays of athleticism and crazy storylines of betrayal, rivalry and redemption that hooked you from week to week. More than anything, it just looked really, really fun.

Now, if you’re not a fan of the WWE, you’re probably dismissing Kluttz’ dream of professional wrestling as somewhat frivolous, just like his father initially did. Naturally, this isn’t Shakespeare in the park or a Broadway drama thrilling monocled culture critics. But if you’re a lover of live performance, you may be missing something here. Like the Taj Mahal or Versailles, the WWE is so gauche that it’s grand. And people love it. A lot of people. Its appeal around the globe is massive, reaching an estimated 650 million

in more than 150 countries and in 30 languages. It touches every demographic, every socioeconomic class, even boasting that a third of its viewership is female. But that’s just marketing-speak from a publicly traded company sitting on the New York Stock Exchange. Don’t take their word for it. Go to an event and you’ll understand its popularity. As the arena gates open, you’ll shuffle along, chest to back, shoulder to shoulder, in a seemingly endless stream of men, women and children, all laughing, smiling and yelling intermittently,

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“Whoooo.” You’ll see suits and ties mingling with faded Hulk Hogan T-shirts and ripped jeans in the merchandise lines. You’ll observe middle-aged men and school-aged boys with championship belts slung over their shoulders. And almost everyone seems to be carrying a poster-board sign in brilliant colors of neon pink, yellow and green. When the show finally begins, with the arena jammed to the rafters, you’ll feel like you’re at a rock concert, gladiator competition, daredevil act and local theater performance all neatly packaged into one pyrotechnic, eardrum-splitting, throat-rattling spectacle. As Kluttz succinctly puts it, “It’s just awesome.” Mike Mooneyham ’76 agrees. As a sportswriter with the longest running wrestling column in the country and the co-author of a New York Times bestseller on wrestling (Sex, Lies and Headlocks), he understands the allure of professional wrestling and admires it for what it is: a unique genre of entertainment. “Yeah, it’s a soap opera on steroids,” laughs Mooneyham, who is also a longtime sports editor with The Post & Courier in Charleston. “But when Vince McMahon took over the business in the mid ’80s, he transformed it. It’s hard to compare wrestling today to what it was back then, say in the ’60s and ’70s. The WWE is a sports entertainment juggernaut now. You’re talking about a company that garners incredibly high ratings and sellout arenas all over the world, from Charleston to China. And, remember, it just launched its own network in February, so we’re talking about something of Disney-like proportions.” In that light, Kluttz’ dream is actually pretty audacious. “It’s harder to get a spot now in the WWE than to get one on a NBA team,” Mooneyham believes. “That’s a pretty small opening. The WWE is very selective. They only bring up the top guys. If you make it, it’s tremendous.” And that’s what Kluttz intended to do.

| Photo courtesy of the WWE |

Long Way to the Top If you’re an aspiring actor, you go to Hollywood. For would-be wrestlers, it’s Louisville, Ky. At least, that was ground zero for making it to the WWE in fall 2007. Kluttz packed up his few belongings and his new bride and drove seven hours west from Charlotte to the Derby City. To pay the bills, he found a job waiting tables at Amerigo, an ItalianAmerican restaurant, and then signed up immediately for the beginners’ program with Ohio Valley Wrestling, where they taught ring technique and ring psychology and served as the premier developmental program for the WWE. His first instructor was Joey Mercury (or Joey Matthews), a wrestling star who believed in an old-school approach to the business: mainly, conditioning. Kluttz and the others soon realized that this class was no joke. Mercury was serious in weeding out those who didn’t have the talent or drive to make it. They learned some basic moves, like arm drags and running the ropes, but on any given day during these two-hour sessions, they would do a thousand squats, perform slow jumping jacks that made their calves feel as if they were wading through fire and do enough push-ups to make them want to throw up and pass out. On top of that, they also did human wheelbarrows in the parking lot, ran wind sprints and, the worst, endured the invisible chair drill –

holding that simple, yet excruciatingly painful position for minutes at a time. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to go home after one of these sessions and never return. “Not Tyler,” Mercury remembers. “He wasn’t there, like some other guys, to play wrestler. The training I put him through was hellacious. I had to see if he could take it.” He could, and Kluttz moved on to Rip Rogers’ intermediate classes, an even more intense experience, where the focus was on technique and storytelling. “This class was pretty intimidating,” Kluttz says. “But it was really important in teaching me how storytelling is the centerpiece of the wrestling experience. We learned how to really sell a move in the ring. And also the reality of the profession and how tough it is to make it.” “You got a 99.9999 percent chance of failure,” observes Rogers, a veteran wrestler and a harsh judge of today’s wrestling product in the WWE. “I have no clue what they are looking for. The wrestling up there is not real. It’s not about the best wrestler anymore. To make it today, you have to be a wrestler’s kid, a physical freak, an ex-NFL player, a reality show star.” Of course, Kluttz was none of those things, but, even against those stiff odds, he never got discouraged, never thought about giving up. Sure, there were some low moments, but they weren’t driven by self-doubt. Rather, they were driven by impatience: “I was ready for my turn.” But his turn would take some time. Like other OVW wrestlers who had risen to the WWE – such as John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista and CM Punk – Kluttz dutifully began working his way up, first competing on the local circuit and crafting his wrestling persona. He started off as a villain, or heel in wrestling parlance, named Brent “Beef” Wellington, a member of a fake fraternity – Theta Lambda Psi. This four-man team was made up of stereotypical jocks with the prerequisite bad attitude to match. Kluttz carried a paddle and wore a pink collared shirt and khaki shorts. In some matches, he would peel off one pink collared shirt only to reveal an identical one underneath. Kluttz loved the crowd’s reaction to his character, the heat he generated from the screaming audience: “As a heel, you can do whatever you want. You get to do and say all the things that in real life, society won’t let you. The more disliked you are, the better job you’re doing.” Later, as Kluttz developed the Wellington character, he ditched the khakis for traditional tights. To save money (he was still waiting tables), Kluttz decided to make his own. He purchased a sewing machine and a pattern for Spandex tights, becoming Kluttz, the part-time seamstress. “I thought it couldn’t be that hard,” he laughs now, “but sewing is the most frustrating thing in the world. I figured with spandex, there is room for error. I made every mistake twice. And although I haven’t made a ton of gear, I’ve made all of the gear I’ve worn.” In wrestling, clothes only partially make the man. Physical attributes aside, the X factor for any wrestler is his ability to communicate. Yes, words matter in wrestling. Cutting a promo (when a wrestler gives his self-absorbed, booming monologue) sets the tone for a match and frames the character of a wrestler. This is where Kluttz found that he really excelled. “The day I started taking promos seriously,” Kluttz admits, “is the day I started getting decent at them.”

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The general advice was to practice them in front of a mirror. But Kluttz found that he couldn’t truly put himself in the moment staring at his own likeness. Instead, he purchased a small video camera, placed it on a shelf at eye level and cut loose. “Now, I could really go back and study what I was doing,” he says. “I could better critique my delivery, my facial expressions and dissect what was weak, what was strong. I started to do improv on camera as well, taking a word and making a whole story around that one word. By practicing and cutting these promos on video, I found that you can actually get better at it – at communicating your character.” Conveying those words and crafting that personality in a promo would prove to be the spark that ignited Kluttz’ career.

Breaking In For a year and a half, Kluttz worked his way up through the OVW, perfecting the smug character of Beef Wellington and evoking the disdain of crowds at Davis Arena, the converted armory where OVW held its school and televised matches. During that time, however, the WWE severed its ties with OVW, effectually ending the Louisville company’s role as a developmental league. Still, Kluttz did not despair. He knew he had the stuff to make it. The new epicenter was in Tampa, so Kluttz paid $2,000 for a four-day class, which was really a glorified tryout. There, Kluttz hoped to catch the eye of someone, anyone from the WWE, who might offer him a contract. While that didn’t happen, it did put him on the radar to serve as an extra whenever WWE’s Raw or Smackdown shows came near Louisville.



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“When you got that call to be an extra,” Kluttz explains, “it’s a chance – at least, sometimes – for them to check you out before a show. When the ring was ready, I would jump up there, just hoping a producer or talent scout would happen to be around and see me, and, just maybe, say, ‘Let’s see a match with these guys.’” When not in the ring, Kluttz would walk around the arena and try to find anyone who might listen to him cut a promo. It was nerve-wracking and, honestly, humiliating to beg people to take note of you. “At my fourth event as an extra, I finally got someone to stop and listen to me cut a promo,” Kluttz recalls. “This guy told me that it was outstanding – one of the top three he had ever heard from guys trying out. He told me that he would go to bat for me.” Later that day, Kluttz was hunting for John Laurinaitis, the head of WWE’s talent relations, just trying to get five minutes of his time. He had been put off several times already, but he didn’t give up. Suddenly, Laurinaitis turned and said, “Yes, I’ve been told you cut this really good promo. Let’s hear it.” Kluttz, standing in a tiny room in the bowels of the arena, was at arms length from the man who could ink him to a developmental contract, effectively making him a professional wrestler. “I was a little nervous,” Kluttz says. “I don’t even remember what I said. He listened, just staring at me, and then he was pretty hard on me, telling me some generalities, like ‘start big’ and ‘get their attention, take them on some ups and downs and finish at a high point.’ They actually signed another guy from the OVW that day. Not me.” Just another bump in the road, Kluttz thought. Don’t give up yet. Six months later, Kluttz, who had already won the OVW Television Championship and the OVW Heavyweight Championship, had a voicemail from the WWE talent office. When Kluttz called Laurinaitis back, he couldn’t believe what he heard: “I was thinking about that promo you cut the last time you were here. We want to sign you to a developmental deal and send you to Tampa.”

Slow Burn Two more years. TWO MORE YEARS!!! Kluttz’ impatience is hard to miss. He didn’t expect to stay in the minor leagues too long. In his head, this was going to be a rocket ride to the top. After moving to Tampa in July 2010, he joined Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE’s new developmental territory (which was later moved to Orlando and rebranded NXT in 2012). It was a new beginning in many ways, so he ditched the Beef Wellington moniker. “I always liked the name Maddux, maybe because of Greg Maddux with the Atlanta Braves,” Kluttz says, “but I guess I didn’t like the u in his name. As for Brad, that came from one of the ring announcer girls who told me that I looked like a Brad, like Brad Pitt. There are worse people to be compared to.” But not everything in Florida was new: He reunited with his first mentor, Joey Mercury. “When I saw him again,” Mercury says, “I was blown away by his talent as a performer without physicality. He’s very skilled in

acting and improvisation. He irritates you and makes you want to strangle him, which is an enviable quality in our line of work.” There was a lot to envy. Kluttz continued to shine in the ring as well, being named the first recipient of the John Cena Scholarship (which goes to the best wrestler of the month), winning the FCW 15 Championship and claiming the Florida Tag Team Championship. In August 2012, Kluttz, as Brad Maddox, made the WWE roster. It had been two long years with Florida Championship Wrestling, but he had finally reached the promised land, or so he thought. His storyline pitted him as a rogue referee looking to make a name for himself any way he could. Two months later, Maddox blindsided Ryback in a championship match, costing him his title. The next week on Monday Night Raw (which was the secondmost watched show on television that night, behind Monday Night Football), Maddox appeared before a crowd in Birmingham, England, to explain his actions. His promo – a sympathetic, yet infuriating portrait of a hopeful wrestler – answers the question: Why not me? “Because I am 6 feet tall, because I weigh 207 pounds, because I am not a freak, or a giant or a monster, or maybe because I don’t have a Mohawk, or I don’t wear a mask, or maybe because I can’t flip three times in the air and land on my feet. But even when WWE officials told me that I would never, never, never, never make it to the main roster of the WWE, my dream didn’t die. It got stronger. I want to be somebody. I don’t care how many people tell me that I am nobody. … Well, I’m somebody now. I’m famous now. People know my name everywhere.” A week later, the Kluttz family and the rest of the world watched Ryback’s sadistic whipping of Maddox. And then squash match followed squash match – with WWE superstars Brodus Clay, the Great Khali and Sheamus each taking their turns embarrassing the outmatched Maddox. Over the next months, Maddox was basically dismissed as a wrestler, and his storyline took him to the “company” side of things, where he now serves as the general manager of Monday Night Raw and is involved, Iago-like, in the machinations of the intrigue-filled WWE. But that means less camera time and not doing what he loves: showcasing his outrageous personality in the ring. “The hardest part of the job is waiting for that storyline,” Kluttz admits. “I’m standing ready for another match. I know I’m close.” Mercury sympathizes. He knows, all too well, that TV time is a precious commodity to the WWE, and TV time is what everyone there craves and works for, tirelessly and endlessly. “But I do believe,” Mercury notes, “that the more time that passes, the closer we are getting to Brad Maddox’s breakout performance. His best years are still ahead.” WWE analyst Justin LaBar, writing for The Bleacher Report, also sees a future for Kluttz’ character: “He stands out because he maximizes his on-screen time. Every time I see him, I either laugh in ridiculousness or I laugh at the physical beating he gets. I never want to turn the channel and I do find myself during every WWE program wondering, What will Brad Maddox do tonight?” That’s the real million-dollar question. What will Brad Maddox do tonight? For Kluttz, not yet satisfied with where he is, the answer can’t come soon enough.

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| Harlan Greene ’74 in Addlestone Library’s Special Collections |

Gift of Honor They came to America as refugees from World War II, unable to speak English and with hardly anything to their name. At least Sam and Regina Greene had their lives. Many of their family members who had remained in Warsaw were killed during the Holocaust. Starting over in Charleston in 1948, the couple began a family and a successful small business, with Sam Greene eventually opening a handful of furniture stores on King Street and Rivers Avenue.



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Regina Greene died in 1990 and Sam Greene passed away last year. Wanting to memorialize lost family and friends as well as honor their adopted home of Charleston, the Greenes made a $500,000 gift to the College. Half the gift will pay for programming and processing of the Addlestone Library’s Jewish Heritage Collection, and half will support the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, with a special emphasis on programming and material related to the Holocaust.

One of the Greenes’ sons, Harlan, is head of Special Collections at the Addlestone Library. According to him, his parents had a two-pronged desire for their gift: to remember what occurred in years past and to react positively in the years ahead. “It really was looking forward and looking backward,” says Harlan Greene ’74. “Paying respect to the past and also ensuring a better future, where the Holocaust won’t happen again.”


Confidence Boosters

| Lindner Scholarship recipient Bethany Carlson | Lindner Scholarship to lift some of the financial weight of school. She never expected she’d actually get it. “It completely blew my mind that there were people out in the world who had never met me, but yet felt like I was deserving of this award. It finally felt like the hard work was paying off,” says Carlson, who – after spending a summer interning at the Charleston Music Hall – managed to take 18 hours and bump up her GPA last semester. She is currently interning at OtherBrother Entertainment, where she helps with social media and marketing. “It felt as if I had a group of

| Photo courtesy of the Lindners |

When you have confidence, it shows. It’s written all over you. You communicate it through your attitude, your words, your actions. And – with gifts totaling more than $1 million to the College since 2008 – Frances and Craig Lindner communicated their confidence in the College, its faculty and its students loud and clear. “We have confidence in every aspect of the College, from the students to President Benson’s office,” says Craig Lindner, explaining why the couple designated the largest portion of their gift as unrestricted funds for the Parents’ Fund and the College of Charleston Fund – allowing the College to use the money where it sees fit. “We are certain that, at each and every level, our gift will be wisely utilized producing the best return on our investment.” The Lindners’ confidence in the College stems from the experience their daughter, Christine Lindner ’12, had as a communication major – and it’s for this reason that they have also created the Lindner Communication Scholarships. “We were extremely impressed with Christine’s experiences and the outstanding curriculum at the College, and hoped to extend the opportunity to attend the College to other deserving students,” says Frances Lindner. The Lindner Scholarship program grants one scholarship to a student in each year of study in the Department of Communication. It is available to a first-year student with a stated interest in communication and with a strong promise for a successful career in the field, to a second-year student majoring in communication, to a third-year communication major with a qualifying GPA and a record of success in his/her academic and professional life and to a fourth-year communication major who demonstrates significant engagement in communication-related activities at the College or in the community. Somebody, for example, like Bethany Carlson, who returned to her academic career at the College in 2012 as an independent student with no outside support. It was tough. But Carlson was determined, and she applied for the

| Frances and Craig Lindner |

people cheering me on, and I did not want to disappoint any of them. They became my motivation.” And that’s exactly what the Lindners hope they can provide for all of the Lindner Scholars. “We want these young people to always pursue their dreams,” says Craig Lindner. “Never, never, never give up! There will, no doubt, be challenges and obstacles along the way, but determination, perseverance and focus will bring their dream to reality.” Helping to do this is the Lindner Internship Award, which this summer will be given for the first time to a student who has a communications-industry internship in Washington, D.C., New York or Chicago – cities that provide little or no pay for internships but high potential for networking. “It is an excellent opportunity for students to further their college experience and acquaint themselves with the business world, apply their education and present themselves to the employer as a potential recruit,” says Craig Lindner. “We hope to be able to continue to support these internships for worthy scholars for years to come.” And that, of course, is the ultimate way to communicate confidence in the College and its students alike.

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CLASS NOTES 1951 Florence Wilson Brady received

the first Teacher of the Year Award from the North Carolina Association for Children with Learning Disabilities in 1984. She retired in 1987 and now lives in Alabama. Florence volunteers with the Foley Literacy Council and teaches adults with reading problems.

1955 Paul Weidner is a docent with the

Museum for African Art in New York City, conducts a primary-school program allied to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and works with ACT NOW, a political action committtee. For 12 years, he was the producing director of the Hartford (Conn.) Stage Company and his novel, Memoirs of a Dwarf at the Sun King’s Court, was published in 2004. Paul earned his M.F.A. from Yale University.

1958 Yvonne duFort Evans was honored with the dedication of the Yvonne duFort Evans Ashley Riverwalk on Lockwood Drive in Charleston. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley presided over the ceremony and thanked Yvonne for her countless contributions to the City of Charleston.

1967 Jerry Baldwin is the administrator of the Charleston Port and Seafarer’s Society.

1968 JoAnn Mims Hartley is a teacher

resource specialist for the Polk County (Fla.) School Board.

1969 Mary Louise Beshere and her

husband, Richard Powell, are enjoying retirement in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Pete Pillow has retired from the public information office at the S.C. Department of Education. Pete is a reading mentor with thirdgrade elementary students.

1971 Diane Kaczor retired as a research programmer at University of North Carolina, having worked there from 1992 to 2011. Diane earned her master’s in philosophy from UNC in 1979.

1974 Jane Thornhill Schachte is a Realtor

with the Schachte Company. She is also a registered tour guide for the City of Charleston.

1975 John Tiencken was appointed by

S.C. Governor Nikki Haley to serve on the Daniel Island Annexation Commission. John is an attorney with Tiencken Law Firm on Daniel Island.

1976 Joy Bowen Steverson is a Realtor

with the Prudential real estate office of C. Dan Joyner Co. in Greenville, S.C. Charles Wright is a dentist and owner of Waccamaw Dental Care, Laser Dentistry & Implants on Pawleys Island, S.C. Charles earned his doctorate from the Medical University of South Carolina’s dental school and is also a graduate of MUSC’s College of Pharmacy.



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1977 Ray Easterlin is the director of

Appalachian State University’s career center. Louester Smalls Robinson received the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from Trident Technical College. Lou is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and is dean of Trident Technical College’s Palmer Campus. Joyce Matthews Runion has spent the last two years caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. While a difficult journey, she feels blessed to be able to care for her.

1978 Vernelle Aria Elan Edwards

released her debut album in November. You can check out her video for “Smile” on YouTube. Chris Hansen works in fleet management for Amerizon Global Positioning Systems/ Networkfleet in Raleigh.

1980 Sheila Henkel McGuire works in

the administrative area for senior care in San Jose, Calif. Carolyn Burroughs Muller is a senior vice president of claims for Auto-Owners Insurance Company in Lansing, Mich.

1981 Leigh Walter Cellucci is an

associate professor in East Carolina University’s College of Allied Health Sciences. She was elected to a three-year term on the Association of University Programs in Health Administration Board of Directors. John Hane is a partner in the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. John practices in their Washington, D.C., office and specializes in the business and technology of media distribution and satellite communications. He earned his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Michael Parlor is a surfing coach and mentor to students in Buena Park, Calif. Some of his students have gone on to compete as professional surfers in events such as the U.S. Open of Surfing.

1982 Mark Hunter is a professor of education at Tennessee State University in Nashville.

1983 Gary Thomas celebrated his

20th anniversary as CEO/medical director of S.C. Cancer Specialists on Hilton Head Island. Gary was elected president-elect of the S.C. Oncology Society.

1984 Linda Cogswell Grandy is the

development director with the Greenville (S.C.) Symphony Orchestra. Jeff Twiss is the SmartState Chair in Childhood Neurotherapeutics and a professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina.

1985 Mary Dellucci was profiled in

Charleston’s Skirt! magazine. She is a Reiki master and tarot card reader and a member of the Charleston Area Tarot Society. Karen King Havenstein (see Mark Havenstein ’88)

David Pstrak, a senior project manager at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., spoke at the Southern States Energy Board Joint Meeting of the Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee and the Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group conducted in Charleston in December. David spoke about the NRC’s current activities related to spent nuclear fuel packaging, storage and transportation. He also completed his second year of playing sousaphone with the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band. Next season, look for him standing on the 50-yard line during the halftime shows! Sheri Richardson Stahl is vice president of the Island Funeral Home and Crematory on Hilton Head Island. She is also first vice president of the Cremation Association of North America Board of Directors, Funeral Service Foundation. Bill and Kymberli Smith Zobel live in Mt. Pleasant. Bill is the CFO for Banks Constuction Company and is a CPA and certified construction financial professional. Kymberli received her master’s in education from The Citadel and is a teacher with the Charleston County School District.

1986 Sonya Houston is a senior producer with CNN in Atlanta.

1987 John Samonds is the associate

dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi.

1988 Mark and Karen King Havenstein own Lowcountry Geologic in Charleston.

’85 Their company is one of the top sources for fossils for sale on the Internet. While they specialize in fossil shark teeth from all over the world, they also provide many other types of fossils as well. Karen Driver Stokes is a processing archivist with the S.C. Historical Society in Charleston. In March 2013 Karen was awarded the Tandy R. Willis Award for Most Promising Writer at the Upcountry Literary Festival at USC Union. Mark Vetzel is the director of sales for PropertyBoss Solutions in Greenville, S.C.

1989 Jandi Brown Withrow was named

teacher of the year for the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science. Before going into teaching, Jandi worked in the Charleston Police Department’s forensic laboratory. She earned her M.Ed. from The Citadel and has been teaching for 14 years.

1990 Kevin Craig is a tenure-track

professor with Baruch College, CUNY in New York City. He won the graduate student research award from Clemson’s College of Business and Behavioral Studies. Tricia Reynolds Jetton is the president of the Charity League of Charlotte.

1991 Tamara Goldbogen is the

chairwoman of the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.


[ alumni profile ]

Ethically Speaking Following her graduation from the College, Myers earned a law degree at the University of South Carolina School of Law and then embarked on a career in real estate law that took her to Richmond and then New York City. The work and experience were great, but she found herself working very, very hard – and she began to get lonely, missing her family far away in her hometown of Ravenel, S.C. In 2001, she struck a compromise and moved to Washington, D.C., roughly halfway between New York and Ravenel. Around the nation’s capital, she found more work in real estate, eventually managing General Dynamics’ 56-millionsquare-foot real estate portfolio, which included everything from overseeing warehouses and office space to

negotiating airport leases and selling surplus assets like mines and golf courses. Rather than consider the variety overwhelming, Myers embraced the challenge of learning new skills. “It was just more exposure, adding another level of depth to my experience,” she says. These days, though, despite the promotion she earned last year, her work is not all that occupies her time. Myers and her husband, Anthony, have a 4-year-old son, Anthony Jr. And Myers loves being able to attend concerts or go to the theater. “I have finally found the balance I was looking for,” says Myers. She just had to cover a lot of real estate before getting there. – Jason Ryan

| Photo by Mike Morgan |

before you close on a house or sign that unbelievably lengthy lease agreement, you might want to give La Guardia Smith Myers ’93 a call. If nothing else, the woman knows real estate. She knows property and land acquisition, she knows zoning, she knows title work and is a whiz at lease review. Myers has more or less done it all as a real estate attorney, and, with all that experience under her belt, she’s now tackling some new challenges, serving as the chief ethics officer for defense contractor and aerospace behemoth General Dynamics. If you thought a job in the field of ethics is a nice break from all the legalities of real estate, think again. As chief ethics officer of a Fortune 500 company that counts the U.S. government as its top client, Myers must be an expert in compliance issues and knowing exactly how complex rules and laws, from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to Federal Acquisition Regulation, affect General Dynamics’ employees and operations. That’s a lot of nitty-gritty, but Myers says her job really comes down to a simple mission: to make sure General Dynamics conducts its business in a fair and professional manner. In other words, she’s there to help her colleagues steer clear of scandal and poor decision-making. She cites accounting and bribery scandals that have afflicted other large American corporations as examples of what she hopes to help General Dynamics avoid. “Nobody,” says Myers, “wants to be on the front page of The Wall Street Journal for anything questioning their integrity.” Her position as chief ethics officer has allowed Myers to return to her academic roots, applying lessons she learned two decades ago as a philosophy major reading Aristotle, Kant and other great minds. What fascinated her about philosophy was how it taught students “the ability to think, analyze and use logic. “Looking at issues from various perspectives has been most useful to me,” observes Myers, adding that, in her current position, it isn’t always obvious what the most ethical action might be, which makes her philosophy training even more valuable.

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1992 Karen Gallagher is the day program director for the Colleton County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.

1993 Eric and Lee McConnell Cox ’96

announce the birth of a son, Jacob Russell, born in December. Eric is president of Atlantic Coast Advisory Group of Charleston. The Cox family lives in Mt. Pleasant. Catherine Hedgepath Dingle is a partner/ shareholder with the law firm Thompson & Henry, P.A. in Conway, S.C. Danielle Staudenmayer Madole is the owner of 37th & Cast, a handmade jewelry line. She also cofounded talent recruitment firm The Want Club with her husband, Dan, in Chicago.

1994 Kerry Durham Bynum is a high

school counselor at Whitwell (Tenn.) High School. She works with seniors transitioning to college and hopes some of her students will go to the College. Shirley Rogers Hinson was appointed by S.C. Governor Nikki Haley to serve on the Daniel Island Annexation Commission. Shirley is director of government relations at the College. Cherisse Jones-Branch (M.A. ’97) has written Crossing the Line: Women’s Interracial Activism in South Carolina During and After World War II, which was published in February. Cherisse is an associate professor of history at Arkansas State University, where she teaches courses focusing on U.S. women’s civil rights and African American history. Deborah Helms Reynolds serves as director of communication at MUSC’s College of Medicine. This coming spring will mark the official launch of her new all-natual insect repellent, NO-MO-SKEE-TO. It’s currently available online and will be in stores soon. Deborah has three children: Livy, Julius and Edgar.

1995 Michael and Devon Hall Brown

announce the birth of twins, Mitch and Anna, born in September. The Brown family lives in North Charleston. Cyndi Hall (M.Ed. ’13) is the director of the College’s Lowcountry Hall of Science. Bob Redding is the owner and event specialist at Plan Ahead Events in Charleston. Carrie Herrington Toal is a senior human resources business partner at Target Corporation. She and her family live in Plymouth, Minn. Larry Walker is a division sergeant within the S.C. Department of Public Safety. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Irmo, S.C.

1996 Jeannie Chapman, an associate

professor of biology, is the division chair of natural sciences and engineering at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg. Lee McConnell Cox (see Eric Cox ’93) Edmund Major is an agent with FlyWay Real Estate in Charleston. Stacey Robinson Tunstill is the executive director of People Against Rape in Charleston. Stacey earned her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law and is married to Jeremy Tunstill ’99.

1997 Brent and Jessica Gonzales Gibadlo

announce the birth of their second son, Charles Hamilton, born in September. Jessica taught a class in the College’s School of Business this past semester and serves on the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Brent



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is the director of real estate development for MeadWestvaco. Ray Tanner is the brigade retention NCO with the S.C. National Guard.

1998 Johnathon Clark is the CEO of

Clark Consulting, an advertising, marketing, public relations and event-management firm in Greenville, S.C. Kathryn White Kellet is the director of sales for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic for Arcadia Publishing in Mt. Pleasant.

1999 Ted and Laurie Beltz Holscher

announce the birth of their third child, Anna Schill, born in July 2012. The Holscher family lives in Charleston, where Laurie is a mortgage originator for First Federal and Ted is a stay-athome father. Ali O’Brien is pursuing a master certificate in software testing and ISTQB certification, which relates to her work on software quality assurance with IFC International in Charleston. Matt Scarafile (see Jackie Hause Scarafile ’05) Heather Laperouse Speizman was profiled in The Post and Courier as a “mompreneur,” a mother who has started a business from her home. Heather began Wine and Design as well as Art Buzz Kids five years ago and now has more than 30 studios coast to coast. Jeremy Tunstill (see Stacey Robinson Tunstill ’96) Amy Zeigler (M.P.A. ’06) is the vice president of development for Crisis Ministries in Charleston.

2000 Philip and Jennifer Laws Davies

announce the birth of a son, Luke Henry, born in November. The Davies family lives in Austin, Texas. Sarah Holdrieth Dove is a Realtor in Carolina One Real Estate’s Summerville office. Adam Ellwanger is an assistant professor of English with the University of HoustonDowntown and the graduate director for the M.A. degree in rhetoric and composition. Glenn Fallucca and Amber Stegelin ’01 were married in May 2009. Glenn is a department manager at Westinghouse Nuclear in Columbia, and Amber serves as the director of assessment in university housing at the University of South Carolina. Lisa Morgan and William Freeman were married in October and live on Johns Island. Lisa is a graduate student in MUSC’s nursing program and is a cardiac nurse manager at MUSC. Chris Sanders is a solution architect for Schneider Electric. Chris earned a master’s of forest resources and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Megan, have built a home in downtown Charleston and announce the birth of their daughter, Marley Louise, born in December. Allison Seaman Welker is a public safety telecommunicator in the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office in Freehold, N.J.

2001 Dorrell Addison is a hospice

chaplain and bereavement coordinator in Morrisville, N.C. Fritz Brown is the chief financial officer at CAB Business Development Center in Charleston. He earned his M.B.A. from Webster University in 2009. Amber Stegelin (see Glenn Fallucca ’00) Katie Zimmerman (M.S. ’04) is the director of the S.C. Coastal Conservation League’s Air, Water

and Public Health Program. Katie was named to the board of directors for the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, a bicycle advocacy organization.

2002 Lucy Barna formed an all-female

Appalachian/country/bluegrass band called Hot Honey, which took three first-place awards in the Santa Fe, N.M., music community. She also opened her own metalsmith jewelry business, Votive Designs. Lucy is the mother of 6-year-old twin boys, Sage and Sequoia. Kip Deaton is the director of sales for Call Experts in Charleston. Staci Dillard is the vice president of education for the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, S.C. Staci was one of Greenville Magazine’s Best and Brightest Under 35 and a YMCA Dream Catcher. Wes Martino and Martha Locklear were married in October in Charleston. Wes earned his M.B.A. from Elon University and is a sales representative for IBM in Chicago. Michele and Chris Mattox announce the birth of their second son, Graham, born in August. The Mattox family lives in Charlotte. Paige Burns Mattson, who lives in Norfolk, Va., has launched her second business, Sprout Bottle – a handcrafted, reclaimed beer-bottle garden kit with organic soil, fertilizer and seeds. Ashley and David Santos announce the birth of their daughter, Vivian Claire, born in July. David is an attorney with McNair Law Firm in Charleston. Mindy Valone is a senior account executive with CM Communications in Boston. Mindy Wood and Matthew Manziano were married in November. Mindy works for the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.

2003 Jeffrey Bogdan is an attorney

focusing on civil litigation with Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms in Charleston. Jeffrey graduated cum laude from the Charleston School of Law. Lynn Caldwell is a teacher effectiveness specialist at the Office of Teacher Effectiveness for the Charleston County School District. Lynn, who was profiled in Skirt! magazine, trains new teachers and has 40 men and women under his wing. Karl Chandler is the director of major gifts at the University of California School of Law in Los Angeles. Reid Colvin and Eleanor Thrailkill were married in February 2013 and live in Greenville, S.C., where Reid is a corporate accounting manager with KEMET Electronics Corporation. Tim Covey was named supervisor of the year by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast and was presented with the Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Tim earned his M.B.A. in 2009 from the University of Florida and is the financial management cost-accounting director for the U.S. Navy in Jacksonville, Fla. Ryan Earnest is a sales associate with Keystone Commercial Realty in Myrtle Beach. Owen Evans (known to many as Owen Beverly) is on a world tour with Oh Land, a band from Denmark. Last October, Oh Land (with Owen on guitar) performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Crown Prince Couple’s Award (Denmark’s music awards). Laura Goldfarb (M.S.) is an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson in Charleston, W.V. Kyle Huckabee is an account executive with the South Carolina Stingrays in North Charleston. Jessica Jones and Kiah Stone ’05 were married in October. Jessica is a student services


[ alumni profile ]

One Thing Leads to Another he had no way of knowing that breaking his arm as an 8-year-old would determine the course of his career. All Andy Steinhauser ’02 knew was that, even though the fracture had healed, his parents didn’t want him playing soccer or baseball that summer – and he wanted to join some kind of team. “Swimming seemed good, less impactful. So I joined the swim team, and it stuck,” says Steinhauser, who later served as the captain of the College’s swimming and diving team. “In life, there are just some things that you back into and that just stick with you. You never know where those things will take you.” Indeed, one could say that it was swimming that took Steinhauser all over the world: Along with his degree in communication, his experience coaching three Charleston-area swim teams qualified him for a job with the Kids Club on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship. “I had no idea what I was doing, but I did one session, and then I did another, and then another,” says Steinhauser, who had been working for the Kids Club for two years when his manager suggested he consider moving up to assistant cruise director. “That had never crossed my mind. But that pushed me, and, from that moment on, I set my sights on becoming the assistant cruise director.” And a few months later, that’s what he became. “It was crazy – I was so young and it was a big job,” he says. “But you either sink or swim, so I swam!” He swam so well in fact that, three years later, Norwegian Cruise Line offered him a cruise director position, putting him in charge of six managers, 85 staff members and all the daily plans, programming and communications – not to mention the budget, compliance standards and overall guest experience. His favorite part was working with the broadcast department, making video content for the at-sea television programs. “It was all like TV on the ground – there was a ton of variety in what we could do,” says Steinhauser, explaining that one day they might film a travel show in Rome or Florence, the next they might interview

the captain and the next they’d do live programming with call-ins. “What was great: Every kind of TV hosting I wanted to do, I could. And that’s when I realized it was my true passion.” It wasn’t until one of the members of the Blue Man Group – which performs on the Norwegian Epic – approached Steinhauser, however, that he felt particularly encouraged. “What are you doing? I’ve seen you. You’re good at what you do. Is this where you want to be?” the Blue Man asked Steinhauser, who explained that he’d thought about going to Los Angeles, but he’d hated it when he’d taken a test drive out there on his last break. “It takes two years to like L.A.!” the Blue Man responded. “You need to go there and give it a real chance. You’re really talented.” “That was pivotal,” he recalls. “Just like that manager who’d suggested I go for assistant cruise director: It was the out-ofnowhere voice I needed to hear. And that was that. As soon as my contract ended, I headed back to L.A. with a whim, a prayer and a dollar in my pocket. And I thought, ‘Here I am! Discover me!’ And crickets.” That was in March 2012 – and, fortunately, Steinhauser had saved up a cushion to live on while he looked for work, because it took about a year of odd jobs in hotels and bars before he was really able to find his footing, taking projects as host of festivals and game shows and as a spokesperson/product presenter for brands such as Chevrolet. Now hosting his own online radio show, The Story with Andy Steinhauser, which airs every week on LA Talk Radio and features his interviews with a variety of people in the entertainment industry, Steinhauser is making more and more connections all the time – and hopes to continue building his network, his reputation, his reach and his brand. “I’ve built a career all on my own – it’s all self-made – and I’ll keep making my own way,” he says, adding that the value of his college studies isn’t lost on him. “Even if I didn’t realize it at the time – my degree really gave me the foundation I needed. It’s crazy, because every single job I’ve had has really hinged on my communication

skills. I’ve made a career out of talking! I owe a big thank-you to Professor Vince Benigni’s public speaking class for getting me started. I had no idea how important it would be in my career.” Kind of like that broken arm when he was 8: “It’s amazing how it all adds up in the end.” – Alicia Lutz ’98 S PRI N G 2 0 1 4 |



coordinator in the College’s Center for International Education. She earned her M.Ed. with a concentration in student affairs and college counseling from The Citadel. Jay Laughlin (see Jenni Prueitt Laughlin ’04) Susan Worrell is the senior editor of Charlie Magazine in Charleston.

2004 Jack and Alissa Lewis Ferguson

announce the birth of their son, Jack McKewen Ferguson Jr., born in July. The Ferguson family lives in Charleston. Era Gramling and Jonathan Zeigler were married in December and live in St. Matthews, S.C. Rose Beth Grossman is an attorney with Rosen Law Firm in Charleston. Her practice focuses on civil litigation and family law. Rose Beth earned her master’s in history from Vanderbilt University and her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Hunter and Anne Bumgardner Hopkins announce the birth of their son, Harrison Reddick, born in October 2012. The Hopkins family lives in Atlanta. Ripp Kardon is the campus relations manager at ARAMARK in Phildelphia. Tim Kline and Bryn Margaret Burkard ’05 were married in October. Jay ’03 and Jenni Prueitt Laughlin live in Bellevue, Wash. Jenni is working at the University of Washington, where she is leading a multiyear initiative to modernize business and system processes related to content management across the entire university. Jay is a stay-at-home father for their daughter, Zoey, and has started his own hat-making business called Hats by Jay. Corinne Price Mole is a graduate student in MUSC’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing Program. Katie Kastner Taoussi is living in Abu Dhabi with her husband and daughter and teaching English at a local all-girls high school. Katie completed English for Life’s TESOL course in Charleston while pursuing her M.A.T. from The Citadel.

2005 David Astley (M.S.) is a vice

president and controller at Southcoast Community Bank in Mt. Pleasant. Bryn Margaret Burkard (see Tim Kline ’04) Michelle Kerner is a knowledge and communications coordinator in McKinsey and Company’s Asia Operations Practice in Hong Kong. Thomas Knight (M.S.) is a software engineer with Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Eric and Kelsey Powell Marom ’06 announce the birth of a son, Oren James, born in November 2012. The Marom family lives in Columbia. Leigh Page is the executive director at CSS Fundraising in Washington, D.C. Stacey Rickard is a contracting officer for the U.S. National Park Service in Atlanta. She was deployed in December 2012 to the Gateway National Recreation Area on Staten Island to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Jackie Hause Scarafile is a real estate agent in Carolina One Real Estate’s Mt. Pleasant office. Jackie and Matt Scarafile ’99 have two daughters: Charlotte Grace and Mattie Claire. Kiah Stone (see Jessica Jones ’03) Beth Sturm is president of Momma’s Jewels in Greenville, S.C. Lew Wadsworth is a nuclear measurements expert for the MOX project in Aiken, S.C. Lew and Ivy Glick were married in May. Jonathan Weeks earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in December. Brynn White was ordained in the United Church |


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

of Christ. She earned her master’s of divinity in 2011 from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She and her partner, Leah, reside in Charlotte.

2006 Sarah Brandis (M.P.A. ’09) earned

her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in December. Laura Wiczulis Burch (M.S. ’07) is a senior internal auditor at Legg Mason in Baltimore. She and her husband, Flynn, were married in 2012. Meg Burruss graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law and is a member of the Virginia State Bar. She is a staff attorney focusing on election law for the Virginia General Assembly. Piper Reiff Byzet is an attorney in the employment law and litigation practice groups in the Charleston office of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart. Piper earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law. Sarah Withrow Dantzler is a Realtor with Carolina One Real Estate in Goose Creek, S.C. She and her husband, Tradd, have one son, Nicholas. Justin Davis earned his doctorate in pharmacy from MUSC in May. Justin is a licensed pharmacist with Walgreens in Charleston. Zack DeSario lives in San Francisco and is a user-experience designer at General Assembly, which is building the first graphical user interface for working with big data files. Paul Gellici is an account manager for Stryker Medical and lives in Newport, R.I. Paul earned his M.B.A. from Bay Path College. Sarah Gilden and Joseph Brady were married in September and live in Charleston. John Hartman, after working for the College for seven years, is following his lifelong dream of relocating to San Diego. Amanda and Robert Hodges announce the birth of their son, Jack Riley, born in May. The Hodges family lives in Charleston, where Robert is the controller for PeopLease, based in Mt. Pleasant. Michael Langon is head of equities for BNY Mellon Capital Markets EMEA Limited in London. Kelsey Powell Marom (see Eric Marom ’05) John and Anne Knudsen Mikesic announce the birth of their daughter, Ella, born in August. Based in Chicago, Anne is the business development manager with Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Andrew Muller is the managing partner at Mappus Insurance Agency in Charleston. Specializing in personal-line insurance, Andrew also earned his Certified Insurance Counselor designation, the highest distinction for property- and casualty-insurance agents. Amanda Pearce Roper is in her third year of residency in psychiatry and was accepted into MUSC’s drug and alcohol research track. Christina Shockley is a mathematics teacher at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md. Margaret White is the morning show co-host on 98.1 WKDD in Cleveland, Ohio, for Clear Channel Communications.

2007wereJordan Burnett and Elizabeth married in November and will live Gissell in Charleston after their contract with Indian Health Service in Gallop, N.M., is completed. Jordan earned his doctorate in physical therapy from MUSC in 2010, and Elizabeth is a registered nurse. Mary Cleveland lives in Boston and is the national operations program manager for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in three

cities: Boston, Charlotte and Washington, D.C. Mary and Jimmy Wieneck were married in September. Gerrad and Alyssa Rothstein Kesselman announce the birth of twin boys, Matthew Ethan and Justin Scott, born in September. Alyssa is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Woodstock, Ga. Christina Callison Kubinska is the founder of The Pres+On Foundation, a nonprofit organization offering assistance to those facing depression and mental illness. She is also the owner of QUILL Correspondence, a handcrafted correspondence line in Charleston. Christina serves on the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Jason Messervy is a graduate student in the School of Osteopathic Medicine at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Jason and Laura Mogan were married in August. Katie O’Neil is the manager of events and experiential marketing with Circles in Boston. Phillip Schwartz is a newly ordained rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he earned a master’s in Hebrew letters and a master’s in educational administration with a specialization in Jewish education. He is an assistant rabbi for Temple Israel in Westport, Conn. Morgan Shephard and James Flake III were married in October and live in Goose Creek, S.C. Robert and Lisa Hergatt Sizelove announce the birth of their son, Charles Adam Rutledge, born in June. The Sizelove family is stationed at March Air Force Base in Southern California. Lisa is doing coursework in soil biology in order to assist in running the family farm when her husband retires. Natasha Taylor is a store manager at Best Buy Mobile Specialty Store in Charleston. Wells Trompeter is an attorney with the law firm Neal & Harwell in Nashville. Wells received her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she was Order of the Coif. Wells volunteers as a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor.

2008 Brandy Alexander, who was profiled

in The Post and Courier as a “mompreneur,” started Sassy Shortcake Boutique, a women’s clothing store on King Street. Jordan Leigh Brown earned her Master of Public Health and master’s in social work from the University of South Carolina in May. She is a licensed master social worker and is a community social worker for the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice in Darlington and Kershaw counties. She lives in Columbia. Brad Chapman is the national account manager at ConAgra Foods in Charlotte. Sarah Gatling is a copywriter with the advertising agency Leo Burnett in Chicago, and her clients include Allstate and Hallmark. Sarah is the vice president of the College’s Chicago alumni chapter. Angela Hanyak is an executive account manager at PEC360 in Charleston. Mary Lee Hutson earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in December. She is busy studying for the bar exam and works with Harrison & Inglese in Charleston. Lauren Johnson is a business continuity analyst with the World Bank in Washington, D.C. She earned a master’s in international relations from St. Johns University. Colin McNair is an antique decoy and fine art specialist at Copley Fine Arts Auctions in Boston. Lauren Neal is the senior manager for client services at Concierge Live in Greensboro, Ga.


| Photo by Lindsay Thomas |

[ alumni profile ]

In Good Company It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but there was something about being in ballet class that attracted Michael Ann Mullikin ’04 right from the start. “I thought I hated it, but – somehow – I always insisted on going back,” Mullikin remembers. “And, at the end of every year, I’d always say, ‘Yes, I’ll do it again.’ I always stuck with it.” It was that persistence and dedication – requirements of any successful ballerina – that blossomed into a lifelong passion for dance. By the time the Maryland native reached high school, she was in the ballet studio six days a week. “I loved the physicality of it,” she says. “I loved challenging my body.” After high school, Mullikin mulled over the idea of “running away to New York to dance,” but, at the behest of her parents, she visited the College of Charleston, one of the few schools on the East Coast offering programs in both dance and arts management. That distinctive feature was enticing to her, but it was a meeting with Robert Ivey, the College’s renowned dance professor, that solidified her decision to apply. “He was so full of life and so welcoming. I could tell he would be a great mentor,” Mullikin recalls of the late educator and artistic director who also founded a ballet company in his name. “Robert Ivey is the primary reason I ended up at CofC. He had a big influence on my life.” Throughout her years at the College, Mullikin danced with the Robert Ivey

Ballet Company, performing at the Sottile Theatre and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. She also interned with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, where she learned the ins and outs of arts management. “We took a lot of business classes with a focus on nonprofits and artistic endeavors,” Mullikin says. “We discussed building audiences, exposure, education and outreach.” In the fall of 2004, after graduating with an arts management major and dance minor, Mullikin was an administrative intern at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. What started off as a three-month internship turned into eight years of employment, with Mullikin rising to manager of dance programming and general manager of the Kennedy Center’s dance company, Suzanne Farrell Ballet. “I was starstruck seeing companies that I read about in dance magazines perform,” she says. “I’d peek in on the dancers working on a final piece, and it was like watching Picasso paint.” The transition from dancing to behindthe-scenes management was natural for Mullikin, who had experience both on and off the stage. She kept up with trends in the business – soliciting performance opportunities, coordinating travel logistics and managing operating budgets. “I loved solving those puzzles,” she says. “It let me be really creative and analytical.” After eight years in D.C., Mullikin saw an opening for company manager at

Pacific Northwest Ballet, which – with 46 full-time dancers – is one of the country’s largest ballet companies. Mullikin joined the Seattle-based company in July 2012, serving as liaison between the company’s artistic director and executive director to help produce 12 weeks of ballet presentations each year, additional touring shows and more than 30 performances of The Nutcracker. “I absolutely love it,” she says. “At the end of the day, I get to sit in on performances and know that, somewhere along the line, I helped to create that moment on stage.” On any given day, Mullikin may find herself talking to presenters, negotiating tours, poring over contracts for licensing choreography, working with set designers or securing visas for foreign artists. No matter what her role, her passion for the art form is obvious. “I love the expression of the music,” she observes. “I enjoy seeing how someone has chosen to interpret and convey the music to the audience.” She’s also grateful for the opportunity to continue to work in the field. “The career of a dancer is very short,” says Mullikin, “and I’m lucky I found a career that I can sustain. It’s almost like I want to say, ‘Pinch me.’” After all, lasting love is what everyone is looking for – even if it doesn’t happen at first sight. – Genevieve Peterson ’05

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[ alumni profile ]

Stirring Up a Hornet’s Nest Facebook page dedicated to bringing the Hornets, and the passionate following they’d inspired, back to Charlotte. He called the page “We Beelieve,” riffing on a slogan the Hornets used back in their glory days, and he managed it on the side, as a hobby. But, in December 2010, when the Hornets were sold back to the NBA, Morgan sensed an opportunity and decided to up the ante. He started with a Change.org petition, which eventually got more than 11,000 signatures. And, suddenly, his Facebook following was skyrocketing. Today, his page has more than 26,000 likes.

teamed up with another local site devoted to reinstating the Hornets, Bringbackthebuzz.com. Together, the two groups mobilized fans, pushing them to let their voices be heard and encouraging them to wear vintage Hornets gear to games. In January 2013, some 2,000 Beelievers – decked out in teal and purple and chanting their support for the Hornets – sat together in one section of the stadium as part of the “Swarm Time Warner” rally that Morgan helped organize. The media took note. Suddenly major news outlets like ESPN and The New York Times were covering

| Photo courtesy of Myers McKenzie |

as a kid, he loved the charlotte Hornets. John Morgan ’04 and his father – a season-ticket holder throughout the original franchise’s 14-season run (1988– 2002) – rarely missed a tip-off. And they had great seats, kitty-corner to the visitor’s bench, close to the action. “I saw the sweat on greats like Michael Jordan,” Morgan remembers, “and saw all the best moments of the Hornets history right there with my dad.” For much of that era, the Hornets were a winning team. But, for Morgan and other locals, they were much more than that. Indeed, Hornets fandom was about more than basketball; it was about rallying around something that belonged to them. The Hornets helped foster a sense of civic pride in the burgeoning metropolis that was Charlotte. (The city’s population has almost doubled over the last two decades.) Morgan remained a fan when he moved to Charleston to study art at the College, and drove home frequently to join his dad in their usual seats in the old Charlotte Coliseum. After a while, though, something started to feel different. And, eventually, in 2002, the Hornets moved to New Orleans. Morgan recalls the exodus as sad and dramatic. “Everything about it was out of the people’s control,” he says. “The city never turned their back on the Hornets.” But Charlotte wasn’t without an NBA team for long: Two years later, the Charlotte Bobcats was established as an NBA expansion team. It was around that same time that Morgan landed a job as an art teacher in the area. He tried to be gung-ho about the Bobcats, hoping to recapture some of the magic he’d felt growing up as a Hornets fan. But that magic eluded him, and he suspected he wasn’t alone. The city’s reaction to the Bobcats seemed tepid at best. Take, for example, a crucial game in 2010: “We were making a push for a playoff spot, but the arena was half-full, and those who were there were tapping away on their phones,” Morgan recalls. It was after that game that Morgan decided to do something. He created a

| John Morgan ’04, seen here with host Alex Trebek, appeared on Jeopardy! in January 2013, finishing in second place. | Morgan, you should know, is somewhat of a Renaissance man: Last year alone, he appeared on Jeopardy! and designed a sculpture that’s now on display in the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Washington, D.C. He also cuts a dramatic figure: He has long hair, chiseled features and often wears a white tuxedo with a Hornets T-shirt to Bobcats games. That’s worked to his advantage, helping him become a prominent fixture at the Time Warner Arena. And, to further increase the We Beelieve movement’s visibility, Morgan

the We Beelieve movement – and quoting Morgan in their pieces. It wasn’t long before Michael Jordan, majority owner and chairman of the Bobcats, announced that the team would rebrand as the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–2015 season. Morgan, now a season-ticket holder himself, couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming season, when father and son will once again sit side by side, cheering on the Charlotte Hornets. “It’s all come full circle,” he smiles. – Bridget Herman Venatta ’08

S PRI N G 2 0 1 4 |



Brady Quirk-Garvan and Angela Rogers were married in October, and it was a College affair. Groomsmen included Andrew DeCamp, Daniel Smith, Samuel Spence and Elliotte Quinn, and two bridesmaids were Allison Jessup Anderson and Jordan Edwards ’11. Jon Taie is the director and founding member of a new theater company, Porpentine Players, in Somerville, Mass. Jared Williams is an attorney in the Lawton Law Firm in Charleston. Jared earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in 2012.

2009 Michael and Jillian Manna Barton

were married in May and live in Charleston. Jillian earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in May and is an attorney at the Fenno Law Firm. Frank Brazil earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in August and lives in Nashville. Lisa Buckley is the associate director of class programs and reunion campaigns for Georgetown University. Lizzy Cezayirli and Timmon Drumm were married in May. Lizzy, who earned her M.B.A. with a focus in agricultural economics at Texas A&M University, is a senior business analyst in the category management project office for Sysco in Houston. Timmon is a geologist for Apache Corporation. Meghan Dalton is an attorney with the law firm Gordon & Rees in Chicago. Jamie Heitmann Derrickson is a Realtor in AgentOwned Realty’s Mt. Pleasant office. She and her husband, Bryan, were married in

May 2010 and live in Mt. Pleasant with their two daughters. Geoffrey ’10 and Allison Stoll Fender announce the birth of their daughter, Eleanor Rose, born in June. Jessica Fuller is an account executive with Clear Channel Media in Greenville, S.C. Ashley Herod is the marketing and business development coordinator at Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville. Molly Hurst earned her doctorate from MUSC’s College of Pharmacy in May. She is a pharmacy practice resident at the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville. She plans to pursue a career in clinical pharmacy upon completion of her residency in June 2014. Caroline Kinnett is a senior tax associate with Grant Thornton in Columbia. Valarie Kobrovsky and William Bulsiewicz were married in November and live in Chapel Hill, N.C. Valarie was Miss South Carolina United States 2011 and is a professional model represented by Directions USA, Caroline Gleason Miami and the Campbell Agency Dallas. Josh Langdon is an attorney at Scott E. Knox Attorney at Law in Cincinnati, practicing in the areas of estate planning, domestic relations and LGBT issues. Michael Mirmanesh represented the College at the inauguration of Temple University’s president in October. Michael is a medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine and is president of the College’s Philadelphia alumni chapter.

Micah Murray is a firefighter for the City of Charleston. Micah and Mary Horlbeck were married in October. Alexandra Robinson and J. Scott Pierson were married in September and live in Southern California. Brendan Shields is an associate with the commercial real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle in Boston. Haley Spees and Thomas Mathewes ’10 were married in November and live in Charleston, where Haley is a personal stylist with RTW on King Street and Thomas is an associate broker with the commercial real estate firm Roadstead Real Estate Advisors. Jeanmarie Tankersley is an attorney with McAngus Goudelock & Courie in Greenville, S.C. Stephanie Wadsten completed the didactic program in dietetics last fall at New York University, where she is studying clinical nutrition to become a registered dietitian. Whitney Wilder is a graduate student at the Charleston School of Law.

2010 Dana Arnold is a business

development specialist with BMI in Nashville. She recently finished working on a national tour with Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry. Taylor and Britney Williamson Bundrick announce the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Evelyn, born in October. The Bundrick family lives in Columbia. Geoffrey Fender (see Allison Stoll Fender ’09) Brittany Hyland is a content writer for Borrowed & Blue in Charleston.

[ passages ] George Thompson ’35

James Howell Jr. ’50

Shanna McDowell ’99

Sara Zucker Rittenberg ’39

Barbara Sughrue Kaufman ’51

Richard Martin ’01

Jervey Royall ’39

Richard Simmons ’61

R. Jacob Zeman ’01

Harriette Strickland Hardman ’40

Randy Clark ’73

James Brown ’05

Mary Dowling Pinckney ’41

Frances Fili McSwain ’73

Thurston Massey ’12

W. Harvey Brockinton ’42

Edward Smith Jr. ’73

W. Alex Apps (student)

Mary Cele Smith Faires ’43

Bonnie Thompson Fargnoli ’77

Gary Asleson (former faculty)

Ernest Hopke ’43

Eugene Foxworth III ’77

Guy Beatty (honorary degree)

Joanna Jenkins ’43

James O’Quinn Jr. ’79

Thomas Brewer (former staff)

Louis Rubin Jr. ’44

June Walpole Dickerson ’81

Thomas Chorlton (faculty)

Hulda Wohltmann ’44

Jeanne Laferriere Sheppard ’86

G. Moffett Cochran (past Foundation Board)

Emily McDuffie Ferrara ’45

Gary Reid ’87

Flossie Shine Frost (former staff)

Frances Schachte Wilson ’45

Sharon Payne Kaple ’91

Ada Austin Johnson (former faculty)

Frances Heinsohn Lyons ’48

Melodie Jamison ’93

Charles Mains Jr. (former staff)

William Burton ’50

Andrea Kramer Stringer ’96

Merton Simpson (honorary degree)

January 3; Winnabow, N.C. December 17; Charleston, S.C.

September 28; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. September 25; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. December 31; Charleston, S.C.

November 20; Charleston, S.C. November 27; El Paso, Texas

December 10; Williamsburg, Va. October 22; Charleston, S.C. November 16; Pittsboro, N.C. January 11; Isle of Palms, S.C. December 9; Charleston, S.C.

September 7; Charleston, S.C.

December 24; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. October 15; Charleston, S.C.



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December 10; Charleston, S.C. October 8; San Rafael, Calif. May 27; Fayetteville, N.C. November 11; Charleston, S.C. June 9; Shelby, N.C.

November 10; Summerville, S.C. November 15; Walterboro, S.C.

December 15; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. November 1; North Charleston, S.C. November 15; Charleston, S.C.

November 6; Cottageville, S.C. August 5; Charleston, S.C.

December 22; Summerville, S.C. May 9; Walterboro, S.C.

October 23, 2012; Guyton, Ga.

October 29; Aynor, S.C. December 3; Lawrenceville, Ga. November 9; Columbia, S.C. November 24; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. October 21; Holly Hill, S.C. October 3; Charleston, S.C. December 23; Charleston, S.C. October 4; McLean, Va.

November 16; Goose Creek, S.C. January 5; Charleston, S.C.

November 18; New Canaan, Conn. January 13; Charleston, S.C. January 5; Charleston, S.C.

November 28; Charleston, S.C. March 9, 2013; New York, N.Y.


Relive one of the best days of your life! Check out the video of your graduation ceremony for the years 1985, 1986, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2010 and more >>>>>>>>>>>> alumni.cofc.edu/gradvideos Thomas Mathewes (see Haley Spees ’09) Abby Mertz is the special events and catering director at the Country Club of Charleston. Lane Nelson is a reporting analyst with the enterprise business intelligence department at MUSC. Austin Ruedrich earned her doctorate of physical therapy from Emory University in May. She is a physical therapist at OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital in Columbus. Shauna Russell earned her master’s in counseling psychology from Louisiana State University. She is a case manager for Volunteers of America in their Veterans Transitional Living Program in Shreveport. Rebecca Shirer, a licensed CPA, is a tax accountant with Baldwin & Associates in Charleston. Jessica Bishop Smoak is a staff accountant at Moody CPAs & Advisors in Charleston. Jason Torres, a residence hall director at the College, is spreading his passion for entrepreneurship all over the city of Charleston and around the country through his legal services company. Jason has also taken to the stage as a speaker on entrepreneurship. Kelsi Ward is a program specialist in the Cultural Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

2011 Andrea Burtt is an athletic trainer

at the Moore Center for Orthopedics and works with River Bluff High School. She and her daughter, Addison, live in Lexington, S.C. Kate DeWitt (M.P.A. ’13) is the program coordinator for the College’s Master of Public Administration Program. Jacklyn Eby and Ryan Ferguson were married in October. Cougars in the bridal party included Melissa Huber (maid of honor), bridesmaids Rachael Cechak, Molly Coates McCall ’10, Shannon Farrelly (academic advising at the College) and Sheri Ferguson ’86 (mother of the groom). Stephanie Eldridge studied immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and will be a graduate student in the accelerated M.A.T. in biology program at The Citadel next fall. Kolby Epley earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in December. Kolby was a fouryear letterman in baseball while at the College. Taylor Erwin is a global bio-med trade show coordinator with Chart BioMedical and lives in Canton, Ga. Lauren Frances Moore Evans’ sculpture exhibition WHOLEISM: parts & holes at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C., incorporated a wide range of material, such as hog intestines, animal hair, fake fingernails and used chewing gum. The Washington Post reviewer writes, “It’s repellent stuff, to be sure, but also oddly – perhaps morbidly – compelling.” Lindsey Fisher (M.S.) is a senior associate in the audit group with Dixon Hughes Goodman in Charleston.

Sara Jensen is a graduate student in MUSC’s occupational therapy program. Chloe Kingery is a graduate student in Loyola University’s clinical mental health counseling program in New Orleans. Kim McDonough is a research and development chemist for Sawgrass Technologies in Charleston. Nicole Metcalf is a distribution analyst for Bimbo Bakeries USA in Riviera Beach, Fla. Wesley Newbury is making a bicycle trek across America after an extended stay in Peru volunteering with the indigenous people of the Andes. Ryan Robertson is an associate with Accord Financial in Greenville, S.C. Thomas and Crystal MacLean Smith announce the birth of their son, Aden Thomas, born in November. The Smith family lives in Charleston. Kelly Sobanski is the marketing manager for Momma’s Jewels in Greenville, S.C. Don Squires is a development associate for the College’s Cougar Club. Cricket Wise and Trey Barnett were married in November. CofC soccer teammates Hannah Gmerek ’12, Ally Truitt ’12, Megan Hilbert ’13, Lia Potts Stichweh, Haley Hutchens ’13 and Jacquelyn Swanner ’12 (CofC Dance team) were bridesmaids. Cricket and Trey live in Bryson City, N.C., where she is the manager of Wildwater Ltd. Kadie Zahnd is a media buyer with Infinity Marketing in Greenville, S.C.

2012 Alyssa Aitken is the corporate sales

specialist for Leading Hotels of the World at their headquarters in New York City. Rob Briggs is a multimedia assistant in the College’s athletics department. Kelley Dillon is an assistant coach with the College’s softball team. Alicia Evans is the public relations and operations coordinator with the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affiairs. Emily Gallo is an executive assistant at TKO Artist Management in Nashville. Amy Green (M.S.) is a CPA at Elliott Davis in Charleston. Amy and Perry Buckner were married in December. Justin Hendrix works for Livada Orphan Care in Targu Mures, Romania. Esteban Hoyos is the associate Vietnam production manager with Land ’n Sea in Greer, S.C. Anthony Jamison is a business development associate with Palmetto Climate in Charleston. Curtis Little is a commercial sales and leasing associate with Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer in Charleston. Elizabeth Myers is an assistant buyer for men’s tailored clothing and sportswear with Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Megan Reese is an application analyst at Benefitfocus on Daniel Island, S.C. Matt Sherrier, a former CofC swim team standout, is a volunteer assistant swim coach at the College. Caroline Smith and Stephen Caldwell were

married in November. Caroline works for the Charleston County School District. Stefanie Smith is the development coordinator for the American Heart Association in Boston. Ashley Stillwell is the vice president and director of marketing for Beverly Adams Holdings Inc. in Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas. Christina Trombino is an assistant buyer for Macy’s Herald Square in New York City.

2013 April Adams is a public relations

and marketing manager with Jericho Advisors in Charleston. Lilly Andorsky is the lead front desk agent at the Embassy Suites in Chevy Chase, Md. Kyle Apat is the associate director of multimedia for the College’s athletics department. Jeff Aschieris is a development associate for the College’s Cougar Club. Jeff was a member of the College’s sailing team. Rachel Beneroff is the social media coordinator for BANa Bottling Company in Charleston. Blake Bush is an associate planner and event manager with Pure Luxe Bride in Charleston. Katherine Holton is a reporting analyst with Total Beverage Solution, an alcoholic beverage importer and supplier based in Mt. Pleasant. Steven King is a Ph.D. student in the University of Vermont’s physiological psychology program. Sara McCart (M.P.A.) is the grants administrator for the College’s Office of Research and Grants Administration. Hannah Murray is the assistant web developer for Time Inc. in New York City. Kayce Nelson works in SIB Development & Consulting’s client setup group in Charleston. Monica Pearson is an executive assistant with Franchise Clique in Mt. Pleasant. Georgia Richardson is the account coordinator with Precision Meetings & Events in Washington, D.C. This March, she’s helping CofC students to become student staff members at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference. Sarah Somes, former captain of the sailing team, is one of 32 fellows to participate in Challege Detroit, an urban revitalization program focused on attracting and retaining talent in Detroit in an effort to spur revitalization. Stephanie Thomas is an administrative specialist with the College’s Student Health Services. Katie Thomason is a land conservation intern with the Coastal Conservation League in Charleston. Amber Venters and Robert Parnell were married in September. Rachael Warne (M.A.T.) is a research assistant in the College’s teacher education department. Hannah Wathen is the program and administrative assistant with the Sophia Institute in Charleston. Abigail Weimer is a research assistant at MUSC.

Check out College of Charleston Magazine’s website at magazine.cofc.edu or follow the magazine on Twitter at @CofCMagazine.

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[ faces and places ]


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A lot goes on at the College. Here are a few highlight s: 1 Winter commencement: Nigel Redden, general direc tor of Spoleto Fes tival USA (honorar y degree recipient) 2 Winter commencement: Anit a Zucker, CEO of The InterTech Group (commencement speaker) 3 Alumni Awards Gala: former S.C. Governor and former MUSC president Jim Edwards ’50 (Pre-Medical Societ y ’s Out s t anding Ser vice Award in Medicine) 4 Alumni Awards Gala: President Benson, Chuck Baker ’80, Scot t Cracraf t ’83 (Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Per son of the Year Award), Howard Rudd and Alan Shao (dean, School of Business) 5 Alumni Awards Gala: Stephanie Felder ’04 ( Young Alumna Award) 6 Cougar Trail celebration (a collaboration bet ween the Depar tment of Athletic s, the O f fice of Alumni Relations, the Division of Ins titutional Advancement, the O f fice of Admissions and the Division of Academic Af fair s) before the men’s basketball game at Hof s tra Univer sit y (Hemps tead, N.Y.) 7 Alumni Awards Gala: Gus Gus t af son ’75 (Alumni Award of Honor) and Patricia Sullivan Gus t af son ’72 |


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8 Addles tone Author s’ Series (a program of the College’s Friends of the Librar y): Sebas tian Junger and Colonel Brian Mennes 9 Alumni Awards Gala: Padgett Powell ’74 (Alumnus of the Year Award) 10 in!Genius presenter: Quentin Bax ter ’98 (music) 11 Mace Brown Museum of Natural History (located on the second floor of the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building): Mace Brown 12 Alumni Awards Gala: George Rabb ’51 (Dis tinguished Alumnus Award), Rachel Wads wor th and Millie Rabb Thrush ’58 13 in!Genius presenter: Elizabeth Burdet te (sociology major) 14 in!Genius presenter: Ham Morrison ’98 15 in!Genius presenters: Syl Foster (geology/political science double major) and Cyndi Hall ’95 (M.Ed. ’13) (geology and environmental geosciences) 16 in!Genius presenter: Will Jamieson (computer science major) 17 in!Genius presenter: Alison Piepmeier (women’s and gender studies) 18 Emeritus College holiday par t y: Herb Silverman (mathematic s) and Jo Anne Kellum Marcell ’88 19 Emeritus College holiday par t y: Jef f Foster (French, Francophone and Italian studies) and Dave Maves (music)

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My Space

N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center The schoolyard at the N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center, near our fraternity row on Wentworth Street, is my special haven on campus. I have spent so many happy and memorable times there over the years, chatting with coworkers and playing with children. The schoolyard itself has evolved so much since I first spent time there as an undergrad in 1986. Then it was all sand, with a few pieces of playground equipment and one lonely mulberry tree. Now, it’s adorned with beautiful birch trees, oaks and maples (the mulberry tree is still there, too!) – and so many more



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things to explore, like a sound garden, an archaeological dig site and a rain barrel– watering system. It’s also the first schoolyard that the Arbor Day Foundation and the Dimensions Education Research Foundation has certified as a Nature Explore Classroom in the state and one of only about 100 in the nation. There are plenty of shady places to escape the sun when it’s sweltering, and places to warm up when it’s cold. The main beauty of our playground, though, is that it’s a place to escape the hectic classroom and workplace. It’s a place of fun and relaxation where adults and children alike can be loud, active and

enjoy the outdoors. As I know and have seen firsthand, folks are rarely in a bad mood for long on a playground. Though the landscape and play equipment at ECDC have changed so much over time, the laughter and joyful noise of children playing still remain unchanged. The playground will continue to be my haven, creating many more fond memories for years to come. – Phyllis Nickas Gates ’88 (M.A.T. ’90) Gates is a master teacher at the N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center and began her teaching career there in 1992.

You don’t have to name your child after the Cougars mascot to make the College a part of your family legacy. There are many ways, especially through estate planning, to ensure the success of future generations. Because, as we know, it’s through a College of Charleston education that you truly make a name for yourself.



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Profile for College of Charleston

College of Charleston Magazine Spring 2014  

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

College of Charleston Magazine Spring 2014  

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