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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

Living Color S P R ING 2 01 5

Lulie Martin Wallace ’09 paints the perfect picture of where a liberal arts education can take you.

Spring 2015 Volume XIX, Issue 2 Editor

Mark Berry Art Director

Alfred Hall Managing Editor

Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editors

Ron Menchaca ’98 Jason Ryan Photography

Leslie McKellar Contributors

We Make Tradition Look Good. A Charleston Affair is a homecoming in its truest sense: a return to a place that shaped you, inspired you and launched you into the world. Join us for this amazing tradition and enjoy a night in an unforgettable setting where you can let your inner star shine. Learn more at acaweekend.cofc.edu.

Hannah Ashe ’12 Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Diana Deaver Keller James Jennifer Lorenz Marlene Navor Jennifer Romano Holly Thorpe Godwin Uwah Online Design

Charlie Stinchfield Alumni Relations

Karen Burroughs Jones ’74


Contact us at

magazine@cofc.edu or 843.953.6462 On the Web


Saturday, May 9 (for alumni only) Sunday, May 10 (open to alumni & graduating seniors) 7:00 – 10:00 p.M. (both nights) attire: Think glitz and glamour: Make the Cistern Yard your personal red carpet.

presented by the college of charleston alumni association

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@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.

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Welcome to the Club



Around the Cistern

Photo-essay by Leslie mckellar

Cheese lovers, belly dancers, film aficionados: They all need leadership. And, at the College, the student presidents presiding over the 220+ clubs and organizations on campus are just as diverse as their interests. This photo-essay introduces just a few.

A Force on the inside by mark berry


Student-athletes at the College are a special collection of men and women most notable for their tenacity, passion and backbone. Perhaps no better representative of the Cougars’ never-give-up, never-give-in spirit is senior Adjehi Baru of the men’s basketball team.

Carving a legacy by Jason Ryan


Life Academic 8 Making the Grade 16 Teamwork 20 Point of View




Class Notes My Space




They grew up on the Chesapeake, sons of a widely admired woodworker. Now brothers Ian ’03 and Colin McNair ’08 are blazing their own trails in the world of duck decoys and fine American folk art.

All over the place by Alicia lutz ’98


Lulie Martin Wallace ’09 sees art everywhere she looks. And, to her, that means opportunity. With her work popping up on everything from bedding to lunchboxes, this entrepreneurial painter is proving that art can go just about anywhere.

on the cover: Lulie Martin Wallace ’09 photo by Diana Deaver


Figure of Speech Carefully arranged on an end table just below a window in the office of President Glenn McConnell ’69, a small gold medal about the size of a penny glistens in the late afternoon sun. McConnell picks up the medal. It is attached to one end of a pocketwatch chain that belonged to McConnell’s grandfather. Both objects hold special meaning to him. One is a reminder of family. The other, a symbol of the liberal arts and sciences education he received at the College. |


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The medal was awarded to McConnell during his senior year for winning the Robert Worth Bingham Oratorical Contest. An annual tradition dating to 1907, the speech competition identified the best student rhetorician as decided by a panel of College faculty. The 14-karat gold medal bears the College seal on its face. The back is inscribed with the name of the award, the year and the winner’s name. McConnell has kept the medal close all these years. It was sometimes tucked

away in his pocket when he served in the South Carolina Senate. When he moved into Randolph Hall last summer, he picked out a special spot to display it. “It’s such a beautiful medal,” he says, rubbing his thumb over its smooth surface. “I just didn’t want it sitting in some drawer.” You can admire the medal from its perch on the end table and look out the window across the Cistern Yard to Porters Lodge, where McConnell delivered his winning speech.


But there would be no more winners after 1969. McConnell is believed to be the last recipient of the Bingham medal. Now, some 108 years after it was first awarded at the College and 46 years after the tradition faded into history, the Bingham medal – or something like it – could be coming back.

my deep satisfaction, the name of your father a household term in this old city,” Randolph wrote. Bingham wrote back that the award had been very important to his father and that continuing it would be a fitting

There had been other two-time winners, but no one had ever taken home three Bingham medals. In 1951, Sturcken set out to be the first when he delivered to the judges a passionate condemnation of racial

“A Household Term” Winning the Bingham medal was a big deal. The Charleston newspaper announced the competition in advance and printed the results and sometimes the text of the winning speech. The medal winner represented the College in a statewide oratory contest and was invited to deliver the speech to a campus audience. The recipient also got to hear his name announced at commencement and see it listed in the event program. The award’s namesake gave the medal an air of prestige. Robert Worth Bingham was a well-known judge, politician and publisher of The Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, Ky. It’s unclear exactly how the award program came to be, but the archive materials in the College’s Special Collections offer a clue: Bingham was a close friend of Harrison Randolph, president of the College from 1897 to 1945. Bingham and Randolph had been fraternity brothers in Alpha Tau Omega at the University of Virginia in the early 1890s. College archives include correspondence from the 1910s through the 1930s in which the two men address each other warmly, discuss their families and make plans to get together. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Bingham as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. But even as Bingham’s public profile and professional obligations grew, he continued to support the award program. After Bingham died in 1937, Randolph reached out to Bingham’s son, Barry Bingham Sr., who had succeeded his father as publisher of the Louisville newspaper. Randolph wrote Bingham to ask if the family still wished to continue giving the oratory award at the College in light of the patriarch’s passing. “At the College of Charleston, ‘Bingham’ contest has become synonymous with ‘oratorical’ contest and it has made, to

“At the College of Charleston, ‘Bingham’ contest has become synonymous with ‘oratorical’ contest and it has made, to my deep satisfaction, the name of your father

a household term in this old city.”

– President Harrison Randolph, in a letter written to the Bingham family

memorial to him. And so, as the College grew in the ensuing years, many students continued to aspire to win the Bingham medal. The rules for the speech competition, which was open only to male students, went largely unchanged over time. A 1947 letter in the College archives spells out the contest’s three basic rules: The speech must be original, must not exceed 10 minutes in length and must not include more than 250 words of quoted material.

A Courageous Speech One student who knew the contest rules well was Francis William Sturcken ’51. He had won the award in 1948 and 1950.

segregation titled “The Liquid South.” In it, Sturcken, a Charleston native, challenged the College’s segregation policies and those of other educational institutions of the era. Given Charleston’s racial climate in 1951, the speech was controversial. Sturcken was named the winner of the Bingham award that year, but the reaction on campus and locally was more muted than it had been after his two previous wins, according to Sturcken’s personal papers, which he donated to the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture in 2001. Sturcken went on to earn a master’s in speech and theater from Catholic University and serve in the U.S. Army.

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He later earned a doctorate in speech, theater and television and taught at UCLA and Southwest Minnesota State University. While Sturcken’s 1951 speech received scant attention locally, it still caught the eye of Julius Waties Waring ’00, a prominent federal judge in Charleston involved in several early civil rights legal cases. Impressed by Sturcken’s convictions and his courage to take on the controversial topic, Waring mailed copies of the speech to friends and colleagues around the country. The speech was soon reprinted in major national newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune. Sturcken received letters of praise from strangers as far away as California. Another admirer of the speech was Benjamin Elijah Mays, a South Carolina native and president of Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1940 to 1967. Mays wrote a column about Sturcken’s speech, praising the College student for speaking out. Mays hailed the fact that the speech had been recognized for an award, which he took to be a sign of progress on race relations in the South. Karen Chandler, director of the College’s arts management program, was director of the Avery Research Center in 2001 when Sturcken donated his personal papers, including a typed manuscript of his 1951 speech. She remembers her surprise when Sturcken showed up at the Avery Research Center while visiting campus for his 50th class reunion. He told her the story of what had transpired 50 years earlier. “I was so interested in his speech and how courageous he was,” Chandler says. “The historical weight of what he had written and what he had done and the reaction from these civil rights leaders was just amazing.” Sturcken’s donation had only two stipulations, Chandler recalls: “He really wanted Avery to have these papers, and he didn’t want a lot of fanfare.” Sturcken died in 2006.

The Last Bingham Medal The Bingham award program continued uninterrupted until 1958. That year, the medal was minted and mailed to the College. But it was never awarded, as the Bingham contest apparently did not take place that year.



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| Francis Sturcken ’51, winner of the Bingham Oratorical Award in 1948, 1950 and 1951 and an early spokesman for desegregation, as seen in his speech “The Liquid South” | The 1958 medal now lies unadorned in a small brown paper box in Special Collections. On the back of the medal, below the words “Won By,” no name is engraved. College commencement programs from 1958 through 1966 include no mention of a Bingham award winner. Then, in 1967, the Bingham medal made a brief comeback. Alexander Peter Lamis ’68 was the winner that year. He won again in 1968. As a senior in 1969, McConnell served as student government president, a role that required him to give speeches. He was comfortable in front of audiences, and there were signs even then that he possessed the gift of persuasion that would one day serve him well in politics. But the Bingham contest was no cakewalk. McConnell fretted over it. “I was headed to law school, so speaking was an area where I knew I needed to polish my skills,” McConnell remembers. “I worked very hard on that speech and practiced it over and over.”

His speech’s topic was the Brezhnev Doctrine, a 1968 Soviet Union foreign policy that affirmed the Soviet Union’s right to intervene in other Communist countries to uphold socialism. He explained how the doctrine conflicted with the more traditional definition of sovereignty – the right of a nation to govern its population, territory and system without outside interference. “It gave me an opportunity to take what I had learned in political science and European history and apply it to a controversy of that time,” McConnell says, adding that it meant a lot to him to receive an award with such a distinguished history at the College. But that history ended. And now, nearly a half a century later, McConnell is considering ways to revive the lost tradition. “It should come back,” he says. After all, the liberal arts and sciences education that the award symbolized remains as valuable and relevant as ever. – Ron Menchaca ’98


New buildings go up, faculty members retire, generations of students come and go, but some things never change: the charm and enchantment of the Cistern Yard, the striking stateliness of Randolph Hall and, of course, the College’s curious knack for throwing a good party. A Charleston Affair – the College’s annual gala celebrating seniors and alumni – combines these three old stalwarts for a grand way to welcome the graduating class to the College’s Alumni Association. A tradition dating back to 1900, the celebration now draws some 7,000 guests to the Cistern Yard for a night of fun, food, spirits and dancing with Randolph Hall as their dramatic backdrop. Although the event – with its elegant décor and festive lights – is a far cry from its early days of sit-down dinners with only a handful of alumni and faculty, all of them men, the alumni reception has always been a highly anticipated event. At least as long as Tony Meyer ’49 has been around. “It was something you looked forward to as a big deal, because it was really the first time you could party with the faculty,” he says, noting that, in his day, only two things were served at the alumni reception: Manhattans and martinis. “The alumni reception became famous for the drinks they served. They had these big bowls, and they would put a block of ice of 10 lbs. or so in the bowl and just pour the Manhattan in there, so it was almost pure whiskey you were drinking. And there was no AC, it was hot, and those Manhattans and martinis were the coldest things you could find.” Of course, when the alumni reception was finally held in an air-conditioned venue – the Charleston Rifle Club – for the first time in 1966, the popularity of cold drinks didn’t change. The reception did evolve, however, moving to various venues and taking on different atmospheres according to the times. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the alumni reception found its permanent home in the Cistern Yard. Still, it had somehow lost its draw, and the number of guests was getting smaller and smaller.

| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |

Life of the Party

And, when only 300 people attended the reception in 2005, it was clear something had to be done. The College had lost its knack. Enter A Charleston Affair. With its new and fresh energy, the revved-up party drew thousands of people to the Cistern Yard its first year and is so big

today that it had to be extended over two nights. Now quite the, ahem, affair, the celebration has become the most anticipated event on campus, prompting the hunt for the perfect dress and the assessment of last year’s suit. As Meyer says, “It’s come a long way, baby!”

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| Photo by Matthew Scott |




Other than, possibly, farmers, Mike Larsen might be the only person in Charleston who cheers when it rains. That may be putting it too strongly, but Larsen does admit he tends to get “less depressed” than the average person during wet weather. That’s because, for Larsen, precipitation means progress, and that makes him happy. “It may be raining,” the physics professor says, “but I’m getting data.” Larsen says this while standing in a field at the College’s Dixie Plantation, located about 17 miles southwest of Charleston on the Stono River. Surrounding him are nearly two dozen pole-mounted instruments that monitor rainfall using infrared light. Also in the field is a 2D video disdrometer – a device that takes up to 55,000 pictures per second of falling raindrops. With these instruments, Larsen is able to measure and take pictures of millions of raindrops, determining each drop’s size, shape and speed. Computers in a nearby cottage record all this information. In 2009, scientists discovered a new and confounding fact about small raindrops: They can travel at speeds thought impossibly high. Many small raindrops, it was observed, exceeded their terminal velocity, or the speed at which air resistance offsets a falling raindrop’s acceleration due to the pull of gravity. Struggling to find an answer for this, some scientists hypothesized that large raindrops collided with the edges of the scientific instruments being used to monitor rain. Upon impact, the large raindrop shattered into smaller ones, some of which initially retained a speed close to that of the larger raindrop. Larsen and his team of undergraduate researchers investigated this particular phenomenon on their own, confirming



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| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |

Right as Rain

that smaller raindrops do indeed often fall faster than expected. But in an interesting twist, Larsen discovered that small raindrops could travel at such speeds even without colliding into an instrument and shattering. Essentially, he discovered that small raindrops can achieve super-terminal speeds on

their own, though it is still not yet clear as to how they do that naturally. Larsen has his theories, however, and they revolve around how raindrops combine or fall apart during a midair collision: “We think we have the tools to find out for sure. It’s just going to take some digging.”


But Larsen, whose research was highlighted in Science Magazine last August, wants to do even more than confirm and figure out raindrops’ superterminal speeds. Larsen also wants his research to better explain rainfall at the hyperlocal level. Modern weather radar, he explains, has its limits, especially the farther you are from the radar dish. According to radar information, you might be told that it’s raining uniformly in downtown Charleston. But human experience tells us that while it may be drizzling in the Cistern Yard, a heavier rain may be falling just a block away. By measuring rainfall across a football field–sized area at Dixie Plantation, Larsen hopes to better understand the dynamics of rainfall in a defined space and time. Larsen has investigated local rainfall before, but his prior experimentation was decidedly less high-tech. At his previous teaching position in Nebraska, Larsen placed a number of buckets atop a roof and let them collect rain. When he revisited the buckets some time later, he observed water levels that varied as much as 25 percent. When Larsen arrived at the College in 2010, he decided to take the experiment to the next level, installing his many precipitation monitors. The result, he says, is Dixie Plantation being able to lay claim to “the densest set of rain disdrometers in the world.” “We are really focusing on how much rain can vary in one radar pixel,” says Larsen.

Joining Larsen in this pursuit are a loyal band of physics students, including senior Robert Lemasters and juniors Kate O’Dell and Joshua Teves. These three thought they were signing up for rain research, but then found themselves at Dixie in brutally hot and sunny July weather digging holes, hauling and pouring cement and installing poles on which to affix instruments. “It was gnarly,” says Lemasters, “but it was really fun to see it happen.” Less fun were the black widow spiders they occasionally discovered making nests around the instruments. So far, however, no spider bite has been recorded at Dixie, just a lot of raindrops. Despite toiling in fields in the summertime, dangerous insects and damp working conditions, the physics majors have nothing but praise for their professor. All three students commend Larsen for not only doing impressive research, but for also being an enthusiastic and passionate teacher. It is not unusual, they say, for Larsen to start sputtering in class and rolling his head wildly as he talks. “He gets so damn excited,” says Lemasters, comparing Larsen to a kid on Christmas morning. O’Dell adds, “He wants you to love what he’s teaching. I don’t know how he gets all this stuff done.” The students also agree on one other thing: There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to rain. “My understanding before was that it falls out of the sky and ruins things,” says

Teves. “My understanding now is that it’s really complicated.”

A few things everyone should know about raindrops • Raindrops are approximately spherical, not teardrop shaped. • Raindrops fall at an average speed of about 5 mph, which is equivalent to a person jogging. Top speed is about 20 mph. • Raindrops vary in size from a drizzle drop, which measures a half-millimeter or less in diameter, to a jumbo drop, which can be as wide as 5.6 millimeters before becoming unstable.

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| Photo by Reese Moore |

Organized Chaos

“Legacy just means old,” assistant Professor of Computer Science James Bowring ’00 says in his sunlit office overlooking the Charleston Harbor in the College’s new space at Harbor Walk. It’s the office he was packing to move into when he stumbled upon a September 1965 article in Computers and Automation magazine featuring a piece of code that he’d written as a kid. The magazine focused on a tic-tac-toe program Bowring developed using a teletype connected to a remote computer. But when Bowring discusses legacy, he’s talking about data. Specifically, information and findings discovered about marine limestone and cave deposits that Bowring, several of his undergraduate students and researchers at collaborating universities will use in his lab (funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation) as they work to standardize data processing. Standardization will help to archive, combine and compare existing data that was acquired and interpreted using varying methods. “There are many, many researchers using different techniques who have no way to compare their results on a robust scale,” Bowring explains. “This is a problem we’re trying to solve.” He and his collaborators within the College of Charleston, the University of |


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Kansas, the University of Hawaii and the University of Florida are using geological data collected over more than two decades to create a universally accessible database for scientists, scientific journal readers and the public alike. Of the four universities participating on Bowring’s team for the grant, titled “Collaborative Research: Cyberinfrastructure for Interpreting and Archiving U-series Geochronologic Data,” as part of the NSF’s Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program, the College has the only computer scientists. The other schools have geologists, who use their mathematics skills on this project as much as their earth sciences knowledge. The $580,000 grant was awarded in October – with other researchers who were funded as part of DIBBs, bringing the total award amount to $31 million. For Bowring, the concept of cyber infrastructure as building blocks is a familiar one. He spent 25 years between high school and college as a general contractor, at times owning or part owning construction companies in Charleston. His first, James and Sun Inc., specialized in exploiting solar energy in the 1980s and 1990s. His second, Palmetto Craftsmen Inc., is still around under the operation of Bowring’s former

business partner, to whom he sold his share when he decided to pursue his bachelor’s degree. Bowring graduated from the College with degrees in both computer information systems and historic preservation and community planning, further entwining the fields of construction and computer science. “Construction and software engineering are two sides of the same coin,” Bowring says. “They use the same terminology – we build in both and we use patterns in both. I imagine a physical world and a virtual world. In each, you have to be able to orchestrate parts over time to produce a result.” Bowring went on to get his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006 before returning to teach at the College. He let his construction licenses expire, focusing entirely on computer science: “I’m in academia now, and loving it.” Over the years, Bowring has taught everything from entry-level courses such as Computer Fluency to graduate-level classes such as Foundations of Software Engineering and Software Testing and Maintenance, all the while continuing to integrate his virtual world with the physical one – his lab has been building cyber infrastructure since 2006. The collaborative DIBBs grant was “the next logical step,” Bowring notes. “This project is helping to break down the silos in science. We talk continuously, and we’re collaboratively developing these tools.” Bowring’s lab at the College is called the Cyber Infrastructure Research and Development Lab for the Earth Sciences (CIRDLES.org). He currently has eight undergraduate students assisting him. “I’m super interested in ensuring that the students have a great research experience – that they get published, learn how to present and to work as part of a team,” Bowring says. As Bowring’s undergraduate students work alongside him in CIRDLES, building software that will process and archive data representing the legacies of other scientists, they are becoming parts of his legacy as well – parts that will each produce unique results in both the physical and virtual worlds.


| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |

Picture of Health On the heels of two major scientific discoveries in recent years – the discovery of previously unidentified planets outside our solar system – astronomy professor Joe Carson’s latest project is a little closer to home. Carson is part of a research team that has developed a low-cost diagnostic imaging tool that could help save the lives of cancer patients in Africa. Imaging technologies are vital in identifying and monitoring tumors caused by a type of cancer known as Kaposi’s sarcoma, which – typically associated with the AIDS infection – is the most common type of cancer among men and the second most common among women in Mozambique. However, traditional imaging tools such as MRIs and 3D ultrasounds can cost upward of $3,000 per diagnosis. In an effort to reduce that cost and

make imaging more accessible, Carson and researchers from the University of California, San Diego, have devised an alternative imaging method using a standard digital camera, software they wrote themselves and a specially designed adaptor. Using the small, battery-powered camera, which costs about $200, health care workers in Mozambique can take photographs of suspected tumors and digitally transmit the 3D images over a lowbandwidth mobile phone to other parts of the world for further analysis and diagnosis. The estimated cost per diagnosis using this imaging method: 75 cents. Carson’s project recently received the 2014 InnoVision Technology Application Award for its innovation and technological excellence, but – let’s be honest – the real accomplishment here is bringing imaging technology prices back down to earth.



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Coming to light Put any other artist in an exhibit with Pablo Picasso, and you’ve put them in the shadow of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Indonesian artist Jumaadi, however, is not to be overshadowed. Paired with Picasso’s collection of photogravure images in the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s fall 2014 exhibit, Jumaadi’s paintings, drawings and shadow puppets commanded attention and consideration. Jumaadi’s collection, forgive me not to miss you not, produced during his two-month residency with the Halsey, included shadow puppet theater – one of the principal means for Indonesians to share their stories from generation to generation – as well as multimedia images combining fragments of stories, memories and experiences to evoke a sense of longing and otherworldliness. For Picasso’s part, Diurnes – a 1962 collaboration with photographer André Villers – consists of a box containing 30 black-and-white photograms in which Picasso superimposed and applied paper cut-outs of figures to recreate his mythical imagery over the landscapes that Villers captured. The result is a playful interplay of backgrounds and figures that both complement and contradict one another at the same time. “I think Picasso would have loved being in the same exhibition as shadow puppets,” says Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Institute. “Picasso and Jumaadi together bridge seemingly disparate realms.” And that bridge allows both artists to shine.

Inside the Academic Mind: Gary Jackson Since coming to the College in 2013, Gary Jackson, assistant professor of English, has been opening students’ minds to the possibilities of rhyme and meter to express the complexities of the human experience. We spent a few moments with Jackson, who’s been recognized as a “New American Poet” by the Poetry Society of America, to learn more about his love of verse and his passion for comic books. How did the midwest shape your writer’s voice? Topeka, Kan., is home, and home is always going to influence you, as cliché as that is. I’d like to think my voice is relatively consistent: The way I talk bleeds into the way I write. There are poems out there that sound like the way I’d talk to my mom, or better yet – sound like the way she’d talk to me (I’d get bored pretty fast if I were only limited to one voice), but that chorus originates from the way I was raised, the folks who taught me how to write and how to speak. That’s Kansas. I’ve been saying y’all long before I moved here. Why should we study poetry? It’s funny to me, but I’m pretty sure students encounter poetry/poets constantly while they’re in primary school. I did. And most of my peers did as well. Teachers introduce students to Homer, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Whitman, Wordsworth, Brooks, Frost, and then something happens: We stop exposing ourselves to poets. Most of us continue to read and experience short stories, novels, comics and plays, but poetry becomes this bastard of literature: this thing we read up until our senior year of high school, and for some reason we never think to revisit for pleasure, to ever read a poem published after 1945. And then students crack open a book of poems by Natalie Diaz, Terrance Hayes, Matthew Dickman, Matthea Harvey or whomever, and they’re like, Whoa. This is poetry, too? You can write poems about this? I never knew. Poems may be a certain kind of creature, but they can be stories, too, just a different kind of story. And who doesn’t love good stories? When did you write your first poem? I’m not sure. Once I found a limerick I wrote when I was in fourth grade. It had a drawing with it and everything. Actually, maybe it was flash fiction. I’m not sure. That piece was about a made-up creature called the Electromagnatron or something like that. Even back then, I was into fantasy. I hope I still have that thing somewhere. What poet most influenced you as a teenager? Langston Hughes and Sylvia Plath were the first poets I really read in high school. And they were the first two poets I was really trying to pay attention to how they wrote. But I was a teenager, so most of that went out the window as soon as I got out of class and got down to the business of being a stupid teenager doing wonderfully stupid things. How do you actually write your poems? Almost always on a computer. Also in my head. My memory isn’t the



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greatest, so that may not be the best method, but if a few pieces slip away, so be it. It’s worth the exercise. do you listen to music while writing poetry? I do, actually. I think it’s great to have more voices competing for attention when I write. It helps me focus. I even play the television sometimes. Once, I tried to get my students to set up a playlist and let it play while they composed a new poem. You mean, with lyrics and singing and stuff? Yes! And they looked at me as if I had lost my mind. The next class, they all confessed they couldn’t do it because it was way too distracting, thus confirming their belief that I had lost my mind. I still think they’re missing out. What is your most prized possession in your office? I could say my old comic collection, because they’re collecting dust in the closet of my home office. It’s a bit of a pain to get to them, but every once in a while, I’ll crack them open for old time’s sake. With which comic book hero do you most identify? Once upon a time, I would have said Spider-Man because he was always portrayed as this type of everyman loser: the guy who was trying to pay the rent though it’s past due, pass his final exam and have a decent social life – and everything would have worked out perfectly if it wasn’t for the Sandman and Doc Ock always blowing through town. Though when you go back and read old Spidey issues, you realize he never really had it that bad. There’s this great panel or two, back when Peter Parker was still kind of flirting with two women, and these two guys notice. One says something along the lines of “That Peter Parker ain’t special!” And the other says, “Yeah! Take away his good looks and his sharp brain, and he’s got nothing!” I’m sure I’m misquoting the entire conversation, but that was the effect, and I thought to myself, This is the guy who’s supposed to be a born loser? The X-Men, as a whole, work better for me, since they’re constantly othered. I can relate to that, which is kind of the point behind the X-Men. Anytime someone remarks on wanting to touch Storm’s hair or Nightcrawler’s fur to know how it feels, or if it’s real, I have flashbacks to specific moments in my own life. What would your superpower be? Multiple Man, no question. I won’t get into how his powers work. But aside from having to create kinetic energy to make a duplicate of myself, I would take his power set in a second. What has it been like transitioning from the Midwest to the South? Well, that transition would have been a bit more manageable, but I spent nine years in Albuquerque, N.M., between places (along with a one-year stint in Anyang, South Korea, which has the most comparable summers to Charleston that I’ve ever experienced), which has completely messed up my climate comfort. Dry to wet, high to low, desert to lush, mountains to ocean – and none of that is to mean one climate is better or worse than the other, but, man, I could not have moved from a more different place.

Faculty Fact • Teacher education professor Julie Dingle Swanson ’76 (M.Ed. ’80) received a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program to train teachers to identify and develop gifted and talented students in several Title I schools in Charleston County.


| Julie Swanson ’76 |

• Dinesh Sarvate (mathematics) received a Fulbright to lecture and conduct research this spring on curriculum development, teacher training and discrete mathematics at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda. • As director of NASA’s South Carolina EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program, Cassandra Runyon (geology) was part of a scientific team that received a $750,000 grant from NASA to investigate new methods of transferring fluids in microgravity. She serves as the principal investigator and oversees management and administration of the research project. This past fall, Runyon also attended the launch of the Orion spacecraft at Cape Canaveral, Fla. It was the first launch of a spacecraft with the capacity to send humans outside of low earth orbit since Apollo 17 landed on the moon in 1972. • The American Chemical Society honored the College’s faculty for their 2013 Education Day program with its ChemLuminary Award. In February 2013, more than 2,000 students (fourth through eighth grades) from across the tri-county area attended the Education Day Program, with faculty conducting hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiments in TD Arena. Education Day is a cross-campus collaboration between the School of Sciences and Mathematics, the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance and the Department of Athletics.

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| Photos by Reese Moore |


Mother of Intention We all have our priorities in life – some abstract hierarchy of what matters most, what always comes first. For Jessica Lawless ’14, there is no question: Her son will always rank No. 1. But if her son is her first priority, then the job keeping the roof over his head has to be right up there, too. And the kind of job security, health benefits and opportunities she’d need to continue to support herself and her son – well, that meant a bachelor’s degree. That’s a lot of priority. Lawless didn’t know how she could pull it off. When the new single mom graduated from Trident Technical College with an associate of arts degree in fall 2012, she didn’t think she’d be able to attain a |


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bachelor’s degree and keep her job at Red Wing Shoes in North Charleston. That’s when she learned that the College was developing a specialized continuing education program that was designed for people like her – nontraditional students who already have credits or associate degrees, for example, and who need the flexibility of online and night classes. The program itself wouldn’t take off until August 2013, but she decided to go ahead and get a head start in the spring. “I had to take some filler courses to maintain full-time status while I waited for the program’s approval and the seminar courses to be developed and then offered,” says Lawless, who last fall was

the first to graduate from the College’s Bachelor of Professional Studies program. It wasn’t always easy balancing being a single mom, an employee and a student. Finding classes that fit into her work schedule was sometimes a challenge, and she tried to take as many online and night classes as possible. “It has been challenging, but the flexibility of scheduling and the staff’s willingness to help make even the most difficult loads more manageable,” says Lawless. “I was lucky enough to have teachers who were understanding of my situation because of open lines of communication and familiarity with the struggles that come with being an adult student.

Making the Grade

“I’m also blessed with a good-natured and easygoing child, so his disposition definitely helped,” she continues. “But my love of caffeine may be the key factor that helped me find the time to get it all done – especially late at night once I put my son to sleep and got the housework done so I could do assignments.” Whatever it took: She got it done. And she’s hoping that the degree will translate into a secure job with health benefits – perhaps in logistics, contracts or human resources for SPAWAR or some other government entity. “I concentrated in organizational leadership and management, and that allows me to be useful to a broader category of job offerings,” says Lawless. “This program will push you to succeed with all the tools you need – you just need to take them.” And – as difficult as it was to make school a priority when, as she says, “having a job and just being a mom are my actual priorities” – she never felt like she was compromising what matters most in life. “This program allowed me to complete my bachelor’s degree while still being a first-rate employee and mom.” And, for Lawless, being a mom always comes first.

Education, To be continued You can’t stop education. It isn’t bound by age, time or place. And neither is the College. And, with its new School of Professional Studies, the College of Charleston is more committed to lifelong learning than ever before. Established to expand access to high-quality continuing education for adult and nontraditional students, the School of Professional Studies offers undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as continuing education classes and professional certification programs. “The School of Professional Studies is poised to support the educational goals of adults who are currently in the workforce, adults who are transitioning back to the workforce and adults who are seeking to upgrade their knowledge and skills or make a change in career,” says Godfrey Gibbison, dean of the new school, which is located in a new facility in North Charleston. And, for those who have already earned college-level credits or an associate degree from a technical college,

the school has designed a degree-completion program. The Bachelor in Professional Studies degree blends a strong introduction to the liberal arts and applied learning opportunities. It now offers two concentrations – health care information technology and management and leadership – but will soon offer a hotel and conference services management concentration, as well. The School of Professional Studies is committed to responding to the changing needs of the business community – adding workforce training and creating new degree programs as needed. That adaptability is key. “The best way that an educational institution can participate in the economic development of the region is to help in the creation of a highly educated, adaptable, dynamic labor force,” Gibbison says, adding: “A dynamic and adaptable labor force should be able to take advantage of the jobs that are available today – but, more important, it should be able to seamlessly transition to, or even be the creator of, the jobs of tomorrow.”

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| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |

Business on the Fly

It’s every entrepreneur’s dream: an opportunity to pitch his/her wares on a national stage. And what better venue to market your startup than the White House? How about the Oval Office and an audience with its chief occupant – POTUS? When freshman business major Jesse Horine found himself standing next to President Barack Obama, the fly-fishing entrepreneur from Fort Mill, S.C., delivered his best elevator pitch before presenting the leader of the free world with a special stars-and-stripes–themed fly. Organized as part of National Entrepreneurs’ Day last November, the visit was not the first time Horine has been recognized for his plan to create an online retail store for fly-fishing gear and apparel. A month before the White House trip, Horine’s business plan took second place at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s National Challenge in California’s Silicon Valley. He qualified for the national competition after placing second in the YEScarolina State Business Plan Competition, held at the College of Charleston in June 2014. Horine decided to start his own business after taking an entrepreneurship |


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To watch Jesse Horine tie

a fly is to watch an artist practicing his craft.

course at Fort Mill High School. He describes the business, SouthernFly, as a “lifestyle brand that sells convenience and a complete experience for outdoor enthusiasts and fly fishermen.” He designs, makes and tests the flies himself. “It’s very challenging. That’s why I like it,” he says. “I would like to teach more people how to do it. Longer term, one of my goals is to expand the market.” He credits an uncle for getting him interested in fishing and his girlfriend’s father for teaching him about fly fishing. As he learned more, Horine realized he had a knack for tying the flies, and, when he came to the College, he brought all the raw materials – furs, fibers, lead eyes, hooks and threads – he uses to make his flies and set up his workshop in his room in Craig Residence Hall. To watch Horine tie a fly is to watch an artist practicing his craft. His tools are simple – a bobbin, tiny scissors, glue and

clear nail polish. His work area is sparse, consisting of his desk and a small vise to hold the steel hooks that form the bodies of the flies. The creative magic is in the precision movements of his hands and fingers – a blur of winding, snipping, smoothing. He enjoys conceiving and designing different lures for various types of fish and water and customizing flies for gifts – like the patriotic version he gave to President Obama. The possible combinations of colors and materials are limitless. Each one is unique. But the ultimate test is whether they perform on the water, he says. “I test all of my products. Sometimes I have a perfect fly in my head, but, unfortunately, it just won’t catch fish.” As for the business plan Horine drew up in his head – well, that’s a different story. He threw it out there, and it hooked a lot of people. And that’s no fish tale.

Making the Grade

| Photo by Nancy Santos |

opening act Some playwrights wait a lifetime (or longer) to see their work performed. After graduating with a theatre degree this past May, Edward Precht ’14 waited just four months to see his play Bread and Circus go live. In November, the College’s Theatre and Dance Department presented his play, which was the winner of the David L. Shelton Student Playwriting Project at last year’s Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. As icing on the cake, the cast for Precht’s play included a number of fellow Cougars, including a few of the playwright’s close friends. The result, he says, was exceedingly satisfying. “Living with these actors, learning with them, growing with them – I think that’s an opportunity rarely given to playwrights, and especially so with a cast so fun and talented,” says Precht. “The newcomers even impressed me much more quickly than I expected. I would trust each and every one of these people with my life, which, in a way, I’m doing.” In April, another of Precht’s plays, Table for Two, will be performed at the Take Ten Festival in New York City, where Precht lives. Meanwhile, he’s hard at work writing another two plays while he leaves the rest of his professional life unscripted. “I think there’s a sense of adventure in not knowing what’s next. It allows me to focus on the present rather than worrying about the future,” says the 22-year-old, who shares an apartment in Harlem with fellow Cougar alums Nick Heitmann ’14 and Anthony Massarotto ’13. “I’m starting to find a few like-minded individuals seeking to make theater less terrible – so hopefully a few good things should happen soon,” Precht says. “Until then, I’m not sure. Keep writing. Hope for the best. The usual.”

TEAMWORK Nearly 10 years after losing her childhood home in one of the costliest and deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history, Clerc Cooper can look back on the terrifying ordeal and see a silver lining. It’s a time she remembers well for reasons beside the hurricane. A middle schooler, she’d been sailing competitively in her hometown of New Orleans for most of her life. But by the summer of 2005, her passion for the sport was waning. She wasn’t competing well. Things were off. And she needed a break. Before she could decide what to do next, however, her world was turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina. When the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the system of levees designed to protect New Orleans from floodwaters failed catastrophically. Among the first of the floodwalls to give way to the rushing tide was the 17th Street Canal Levee – along which sat the Cooper family’s newly renovated home. The house was flooded and ransacked by looters and later bulldozed to make way for the rebuilding of a new levee. When the mandatory evacuation order had come, the family scrambled to grab whatever possessions they could. They thought they would have more time to fortify their home, and so they had spent the day before the evacuation working to secure trophies and other valuables at the nearby yacht club where Cooper was a junior sailor. The yacht club – the center of Cooper’s sailing universe – was destroyed. The upper portions of the building that didn’t flood caught fire and burned to the waterline. During the period of soul-searching and reflection that began for so many


Stefano Peschiera was crowned the national champion at the ICSA Men’s Singlehanded Nationals. + The offshore sailing team took first at the ICSA Keelboat Nationals. + Seven volleyball players earned All-CAA honors: Andi Zbojniewicz (Defensive Player of the Year and second team), Sloane White (first team), Cara Howley (second team), Melissa Morello (third team), Mackenzie Cooler and Krissy Mummey (all-rookie) and Catey |


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| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |

Second Wind


after the hurricane, Cooper began to understand that “home” is both a place and an ideal. Her family had lost the house they lived in and most of their possessions. But Cooper had another home, and that was on the water, sailing, competing. She was most at peace when pushing her body and mind to conquer opponents and nature. “When I was younger, I did it because that’s mostly what my family did. We were sailors,” she says. “But as I got older, I was really attracted to the competition.” And it’s safe to say that Cooper thrives on competition. By the time she was in high school, she had not only returned to sailing, but she was a top honors student, captain of her swim team and a varsity softball player.

At the College, Cooper rose quickly through the ranks, sailing in two-person, or double-handed, boats known as 420s and FJs. She made an immediate impact as a freshman in 2011–12, skippering her boat to impressive finishes in major competitions. Last spring, as a junior, Cooper was named an All American Honorable Mention. She was also named to the AllAcademic sailing team for her academic success and 3.9 GPA. This year, she is the A-Division skipper and the College’s top women’s sailor. She loves that sailing relies on brawn and brains: “It’s almost like a chess game.” Cooper plays out moves in her head, weighs the pros and cons. But there’s scant time for strategic contemplation

in sailing. It’s instinctual and rapid-fire. Quick actions win races. With sailors competing in both fall and spring seasons, Cooper travels regularly to competitions. Between the rigors of sailing, the demands of the Honors College, a part-time job as a legal assistant and her Delta Gamma sorority duties, she has very little free time. Her idea of rest is squeezing in a quick run to the Battery or baking cookies for friends. “You won’t find me watching Netflix very often,” says the double major in history and African American studies with a minor in sociology, who is also a member of the Honors College’s William Aiken Fellows Society. Cooper is as driven in the classroom as she is on the water. And she’s deeply curious about the past and thrives on challenges. As part of a recent internship with the Jubilee Project, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of desegregation in Charleston, Cooper was tasked with tracking down plaintiffs from a 1963 landmark court case that led to the desegregation of public schools in Charleston. She managed to locate nearly a dozen African American plaintiffs whose important contributions to civil rights had been largely lost to history. Today, their oral histories are preserved in a project archive. The interviews also formed the basis of a book chapter about desegregation in Charleston that Cooper co-authored with teacher education professor Jon Hale. She’s even presented a research paper at an academic conference. As she looks ahead to graduation this spring, Cooper is making plans for a summer of travel before pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer. She’s applied to several top-tier law schools. Most are near the water. Until then, she has unfinished business at the College: her goal of becoming an All American in sailing. It would be a storybook ending to her sailing career – a career that was almost washed away by a hurricane and that perhaps flourished because of it.

Warren (all-academic). + Seven soccer players received All-CAA awards: (women’s) Sarah Cardamone ’14 (third team), Mary Kate Bowers (all-rookie) and Taylor Avery (all-academic); (men’s) Nico Rittmeyer and Troy Peterson (third team), Leland Archer (all-rookie) and Erik Clark (all-academic). + Several cross-country athletes were also recognized: Christian Ruppe and Cara Butcher (all-academic) and Mackenzie Johnston (All-CA A), who was also named CA A Fall Sports Scholar Athlete. S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |




[ student ]

Self-made The Greeks told the story of Narcissus, the proud hunter who fell in love with his own reflection. They understood our very human tendency for self-obsession, that our favorite subject was usually the one staring back at us in the mirror. And with today’s technology – smartphones and social media – our never-ending fascination with ourselves is but a mere arm’s length away. by Nancy Cooper It’s hard to avoid the selfie these days. They’re everywhere you look: on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the news. And, last October, I brought the selfie to the Graduate School’s first 3-Minute Thesis Competition. It was a chance for students to sum up months of work and research into brief presentations – essentially elevator speeches explaining their work and why anyone should be interested. In the midst of mini-presentations on marine biology and historical literature reviews, I probably prompted a few eye rolls and chuckles when my topic appeared on the projector screen: “The Self-Portrait in the Age of the Selfie.” I had one PowerPoint slide and three minutes to explain. The selfie of Beyonce and Jay-Z with the Mona Lisa seemed like the perfect choice for a visual (if you haven’t seen this photograph, please stop reading now and Google it immediately), but – for copyright reasons – I opted to create a few fictional Instagram photos, Photoshopped images of what Jan Van Eyck and Frida Kahlo might have posted to caption and share their own self-portraits back in the day. As the clock counted down my three minutes, I shared some of the most captivating facts I could about the history of the self-portrait, and explained how self-portraiture remains relevant through our culture’s obsession with selfies. For instance, in 2013, Oxford Dictionaries named selfie the word of the year. According to Google, more than 93 million selfies are taken every day. While the selfie trend may be somewhat new, thanks to modern technology and social media, individuals have been creating portraits of themselves for centuries, dating back to 1300 BC, when a slave of Pharaoh Akhenaten carved himself in stone. From the first formal self-portrait by Van Eyck in 1433 to more recently created works by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Kahlo, self-portraits have been continually created for thousands of years. With this short art history lesson in mind,



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self-portraiture becomes somewhat interesting and relatable to our selfie-obsessed culture. These days, the obsession starts early. Take, for example, the second graders I taught art to last summer, who begged me to take selfies with them every week. Interestingly, however, when the day came for the students to draw self-portraits, most of them just stared at their blank papers or dramatically rolled around on the floor. The same thing happened when I asked adult friends to draw self-portraits: Shock and horror ensued. I can’t honestly say I haven’t felt the same unease toward creating my own self-portrait. As an undergraduate student, I faced the dreaded self-portrait assignment at the end of my Drawing II course. Unable to make my eyes match one another at the end of an all-nighter in the studio, I took a little (too much) artistic freedom and added an eye patch to one eye. I then drew a fabulous pirate ship scene in the background to justify this decision. All this to say that, even for an artist, the task of drawing one’s self can be daunting. Take a look at my social media presence, however, and more than a few selfies can be found, I’m sure. So in the age of the selfie, why are we so shy to create our selfportraits? Do we lack the skills to recreate ourselves on a page? Maybe, but who even cares? Self-portraits create a unique opportunity for us to express ourselves, our hopes, our fears and our innermost thoughts – things that often can’t be easily captured in a photograph. Details like the colors we use, the size and speed of our markmaking and the expressions on our faces say a lot about who we are and how we feel about ourselves. Regardless of skill, our selfportraits can be incredibly powerful and revealing. This is where the Charleston Self-Portrait Project comes in. By facilitating portrait-making events throughout the city and encouraging members of the entire community to create self-portraits, we’re trying to see how Charlestonians view themselves and choose to express themselves. The resulting collection of self-portraits will create a portrait of Charleston, illustrating both who we are as individuals and as a community. And hopefully we’ll also learn why individuals are often hesitant to create and share their self-portraits from the process. Already some of the project’s most hesitant participants have created the most intriguing and powerful self-portraits. Portrait-making events have been held all year at local organizations, businesses and public spaces, with an intentional effort to reach diverse groups within the Charleston community. Sponsored in part by the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant – a subgranting program of the National Endowment for the Arts, S.C. Arts Commission and Coastal Community Foundation of

| Illustration by Jay Fletcher |


South Carolina – the project is free for all participants. With event hosts such as Redux Contemporary Art Center, the Charleston Area Senior Center, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and the City of Charleston’s Parks and Recreation Department, we have attracted a vibrant, varied crowd of participants. Our partnership with Be a Mentor has also helped this project reach schoolchildren, as those volunteers bring the project to their mentoring opportunities at local schools. With the feedback I’ve received thus far, I’m excited to see where the project will lead. While the Charleston Self-Portrait Project isn’t your typical graduate research project, it’s the perfect combination of

arts management and public administration, and has already provided me with a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities. And perhaps it will provide some credence to the selfies that have taken over our social media and our culture – because, let’s face it, selfies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. – Nancy Cooper is a graduate student in the College’s Master of Public Administration Program. For details, event calendar and portrait gallery, visit charlestonselfportraitproject.com, or follow the project on Facebook and Instagram (@chs_selfportrait).

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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] Today’s Charleston owes much to several pioneers in historic preservation who fought tirelessly to ensure that the city’s unique setting would not be altered by changing architectural trends and development. The battleground, then as is now, was all of the peninsula, and our campus played a key role in one of these skirmishes. by Robert stockton It has become legendary. They were two well-dressed and well-groomed Charleston ladies, hardly the stereotypical “little old ladies in tennis shoes.” In February 1971, they performed the perhaps unlikely stunt of physically preventing a bulldozer from wrecking a historic house on the College’s campus. I can claim partial credit for the legendary event. At the time, I was a reporter for The News and Courier, as The Post and Courier was then known (and dubbed by Charleston wags as “The Newsless Courier”). It actually was a respected newspaper with perhaps more influence than it has today, or maybe that was just our hubris. I was assigned to cover education, historic preservation and culture. The College fit all those categories, and I frequently was on the campus. The College, since 1968, had been led by President Ted Stern. His appointment had been very political, as several of the College’s presidential choices have been. He also was one of the College’s most dynamic and effective presidents. His administrative ability, ebullient personality and deft diplomacy made him one of our most well-regarded presidents.

and Calhoun streets, facing the College Mall, was chosen, but the site was occupied by four historic buildings. They included a brick house at 14 College Street, built circa 1845, and the brick kitchen and carriage house of the Gov. William Aiken Tenement at 10 Green Street, built circa 1839. The small two-story masonry house known as 6 Green Street was of particular concern. The little house was listed as “notable” in the architectural survey This Is Charleston, published in 1944. The house also had a romantic mystique about it. Despite its appeal, no one had bothered to document its history. It was called West Indian style, although there was nothing peculiarly Caribbean about its architecture. It was known as the Wagener House because that family had lived there for many years, although they had arrived from Hanover decades after the house was built. The house had Adamesque interior woodwork and was presumed to have been built circa 1817, the year in which the College divided most of its lands into building lots and sold them to pay off a burdensome debt. Alpha Tau Omega fraternity had occupied the house for a while, and for some 25 years it had been used for faculty offices. The Wagener House already had a checkered past. In 1966, its original site on Green Street had been in the way of the new College Mall (now called Cougar Mall). Alumna Frances Ravenel Smythe Edmunds ’39, the formidable director of Historic Charleston Foundation, informed the College that the foundation opposed its demolition and persuaded the College to move it to the west side of the mall. The house lost its original foundations and historical context. In 1971, the College intended to move the Wagener House again, to a lot on Coming Street. A house mover gave an estimate of $30,000 and could not guarantee the survival of the house through a second move. Stern decided it was more practical to demolish it. He consulted Edmunds, who agreed reluctantly,

Stern ... decided it would be unwise to battle the determined and socially prominent ladies. ... He knew “when to fold ’em,” as the Kenny Rogers song goes. Stern’s many challenges included the transformation of a small, insular private college into a major state institution, with a mandate to keep the College in its historic downtown location. For a rapidly growing student body, the College needed to expand its physical presence. Especially, a bigger and better library building was needed. A site at the northwest corner of College



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reasoning that “the healthy existence of the College is most important to the community.” No information about the proposed demolition of the Wagener House was released to the media. I discovered by chance – passing through the campus on my way to work the afternoon of Thursday, February 11 – that preparations were being made and

| Illustration by Tim Banks |

The Wagener House Incident


demolition would begin the next day. I raced to the newspaper, where I began trying to reach Stern, who was at a meeting out of town. When he returned my call later that evening, he explained how the decision to demolish had been made. In the meantime, I consulted the list of Stern’s appointees to his President’s Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation. I telephoned two committee members, Jane Lucas Thornhill ’46, president of the Preservation Society of Charleston, and Elizabeth Jenkins Young ’39, a trustee of Historic Charleston Foundation. I called them for their comments. Neither had been informed of the demolition, and both were upset. After talking with me, Thornhill called Young, and they decided to confront the issue on the following morning. Early Friday morning, they rushed to the College. Thornhill went to Randolph Hall, hoping to talk with Stern, not realizing he was out of town. Young went to the Wagener House, where she put her foot in front of the bulldozer and threatened to lie down in front of it. She was soon joined at the site by Thornhill. Ernest B. Sweatman of National Wrecking Company, a Charleston man, knew exactly who he was dealing with. After talking with them, he agreed to hold off until noon on the following Monday. Thornhill and Young also talked with J. Floyd Tyler, the College’s vice president for business affairs, who relayed their concern to Stern. Part of the legend insists that I was there and witnessed the foot in front of the bulldozer. Untrue. The ladies had not informed me of their plan (which certainly would have drawn me to the site), and I did not hear about it until later.

Stern, after returning to town, decided it would be unwise to battle the determined and socially prominent ladies, which might result in negative public relations. He knew “when to fold ’em,” as the Kenny Rogers song goes. Stern agreed to move the Wagener House to the site of 8 Green Street, the Aiken Tenement’s twin, which was demolished. Unfortunately, his order came after Sweatman’s noon deadline, and parts of the interior had been removed and sold. But the house was otherwise intact, and it survived the move. The Wagener House incident was one of several instances in which I, as an assertive young reporter, was at cross purposes with Stern. A former Navy captain, he was unused to having decisions questioned. One evening he called me at the newspaper and said, “Bob, you are no longer welcome on the College campus.” Astounded and alarmed, I said, “Could you hold on for a moment?” I gently put the phone on my desk, went over to City Editor Evan Bussey and said, “Buzz, Ted Stern is on the phone and says I am no longer welcome on the College campus.” Buzz picked up my phone and said, “Robert Stockton is the reporter assigned to cover the College of Charleston and he will continue to do so.” That was that. Again, Stern knew “when to fold ’em.” But I resolved to be more diplomatic. Ted Stern and I developed a friendly relationship that lasted until he died in 2013, mourned by many, including me. Liz Young also has passed away. Jane Thornhill is as intrepid as ever. – Robert Stockton is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of History. S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |




[ alumni ]

First Lady At the College, we pride ourselves on the pivotal and long-lasting relationships formed between our professors and students. As you’ll see in the experience of this alumnus, our faculty members are dedicated to opening doors of opportunity, not only in their respective subject matters, but also in life. by Zac viscidi ’10 First steps, first tries, first days, first calls … first dates: Let’s face it, firsts can be a little intimidating. They can mark the beginning of something huge, something life-changing, but they can also mark defeat, failure, the end of a dream. At first, my dream job was to be a chicken nugget – that dream died when I realized the inherent occupational hazards of the job. Shortly after, I fell in love with teaching. I didn’t teach my G.I. Joes to stand in line or recite the alphabet or anything like that, but I did pretend to carry a calculator everywhere I went: 10-digit by 10-digit multiplication? I knew it! Easy! Correcting people on their math, pointing out the error of their ways, redirecting, yelling and even doling out punishments, I did all the things a young child naively thinks a teacher does. The quirk rapidly devolved into a nuisance, but my parents never let on. They encouraged my dream and, when the time came, shipped me 800 miles south from Wellesley, Mass., to the College. When I met Fran Welch, dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, things went much better. It was my first semester at the College. I had signed up for a dual-credit class that combined public speaking and my first-year seminar, Public Education in the 21st Century, with Dean Welch and Paula Egelson (then director of the school’s Center for Partnerships to Improve Education) tag-teaching the course. Now, the first time you walk into a room full of college women is nerve-racking enough for most freshman guys. Having to speak in front of the class – and being graded on how eloquent your oration is – isn’t extraordinarily relaxing, either. But, the first time I heard Dean Welch speak to the class, I was put at ease. Everything, from her friendly tone to her wide knowledge of the subject matter, made it clear that she was going to be a great influence. That semester – as the class navigated the reading lists, lectures, midnight library visits, presentations, debates and speeches – I developed both friendships and rivalries with the



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other students. Despite the different positions we took on our subject matter, we managed to create a community built on shared passion – all because we had Dean Welch as our center point of strong views and positivity. During my junior year, when I was working as a first-year experience peer facilitator (PF), I realized the full extent of Dean Welch’s impact on the future of public education. I’d been nominated to teach freshmen – alongside another PF and Dean Welch – in the same First-Year Seminar I’d taken two short years earlier. The other PF and I routinely questioned the best methods to teach the class. However, with the dean’s help, we were able to run a challenging, yet rewarding class. Just as she’d done in my class, Dean Welch fostered open communication, reflection and drive – working with us to create engaging experiences for the students and initiating academic reflection and analysis of their anecdotal experiences with the education system. We encouraged and helped them believe in their ability to make lasting changes in educational policy. That classroom was the first step for many aspiring teachers, and it started with Dean Welch. The next year, in fall 2009, Dean Welch asked me to help facilitate new beginnings for another group of students. Once again, working with the College’s Center for Excellence in Peer Education, we took 12 excited freshmen to Washington, D.C., to learn about educational advocacy and service learning. In addition to touring the Capitol and the Smithsonians – Washington’s must-sees – we followed the dean’s demanding itinerary of meeting with premier educational researchers. This included a sit-down with Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. Taking cues from those around them, the students navigated the meetings, and – demonstrating a strong desire to influence the field of education – they demanded answers to some tough questions. It was the dean’s influence that encouraged them not to shrink away in the face of adversity; she had introduced them to a mentality of persistence and devotion that would serve everyone well in their future years. She had fostered yet another community of involved students. Once again, the dean had helped students in those pivotal firsts. Getting hired after graduating is a daunting task. Having moved back home to Massachusetts, I was unemployed, broke and two days from insanity. I wanted to make it back to the Holy City, but – without a job – that didn’t seem to be the best decision for me. After a series of failed interviews, I was disheartened and ready to take a retail job at any place that would have me. But before that, I decided to contact Dean Welch. The dean helped me make connections through the College’s alumni system, and, eventually, I met Anthony Dixon ’00.


Dean Welch has a gift for getting the firsts in life right. Time and time again, she sets the gears in motion.

She has a knack for cultivating relationships, building

bridges and making things come together. That introduction led me to a middle school teaching position within the Charleston County School District: my first job as a college graduate. Dean Welch and the College had placed me on the precipice – that moment of change in an organization. At the time, Anthony, a first-year principal, had plans to turn around Sanders-Clyde Creative Arts, a failing school in downtown Charleston. That was four years ago. Since then, Anthony, the staff and I have worked within Charleston’s Eastside community to enact a number of positive changes. The school has experienced excellent growth, and has gone from an “at-risk” rating to a “good” rating. It now has an algebra program, and has even sent its first students to Charleston County’s premier and nationally ranked high school, Academic Magnet. The journey is not over, and it is a continued struggle, but I consistently rely on the College and the connections I made in my years there to aid myself and my students. I am especially thankful that – through a series of successive, small moments – I have remained in contact with Dean Welch. Today, the time requirements of full-time teaching are a vacuum, so I am always grateful and fortunate to be called for an event or given an opportunity to strengthen the bond with my alma mater. Whether I am attending basketball games, alumni socials, fundraising galas or A Charleston Affairs, the dean’s face is always one of the first I seek out. Dean Welch has a gift for getting the firsts in life right. Time and time again, she sets the gears in motion. She has a knack for cultivating relationships, building bridges and making things come together. And – ever since I first met her – she’s been making things come together for me as a teacher. – Zac Viscidi ’10 is an English language arts teacher at Sanders-Clyde Creative Arts School in Charleston.

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e m o c l e W to the

b u l C ay to - ess o h p a

llar e K c eM l i s e by L


ashionistas, comic book lovers, humanists. Gardeners, ice hockey players,

clean eaters. Swing dancers, fishermen and skydivers. Vegans, table-top gamers and Toastmasters. They all fit in at the College of Charleston. With more than 220 student clubs and organizations – and 30 new ones proposed this year – the College has something for everyone. And, when you’ve got all this variety, you’ve also got a whole lot of leaders: the ones who have the passion and skill not just to be members of their clubs, but to step up and be presidents. These are the students you’ll meet on the following pages – the presidents of clubs that represent the diversity and inclusivity that is the College. Welcome to the club.

Classics Club : Kathleen Tuttle, President “Last fall we hosted we read from



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Homer-a-thon -

Homer’s Odyssey

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the Cistern.”

Film Club: Catherine Payne, President

“We usually screen late at night after a long day

discussions can get really silly, really fast.”

of classes, so the

Paintball Club: Taylor Gates, President

“During our meets, we have lunch, joke around,

gear up, then play five hours of nonstop paintball. When the day is over, you still have that 360-degree

heightened sense of your surroundings.”

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| Photographed at Williams-Sonoma, King St. |

Culinary Club: Salim Hajjar, President

a natural bridge between the College of Charleston and the town’s foodIE movement.” “The Culinary Club is



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| Makeup by Erika Syphrett |

Anime Club: Jordynne Von Ins, President

break the stereotypes many people have about anime and introduce them to the wonderful, creative people who make up the anime world and the

“I hope we continue to

truly inspiring work they have produced.�

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Billiards Club: Terry Pang, President

“I started playing in the Stern Game Room and found out there wasn’t a club, which surprised me because there

I took on the challenge of starting one.”

were a lot of players in the room. So,

Chuck De Raas Club: Monica Patel, President “I love knowing there are people on campus who

traditional Indian dance as much as I do. We have become a family.”

appreciate this



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A Force on the Inside For the past four seasons, senior co-captain Adjehi Baru has been a mainstay for the Cougars. In probably the toughest season in the program’s history, Baru reminds us what it means to never give up, to never stop fighting. And, in his relentless play and his unwavering will to compete, the star recruit from the Ivory Coast will be forever remembered – and celebrated – for his example in the maroon and white.

by Mark Berry photos by James Quantz

“Everybody’s got a treasure inside them. Everybody in this room has got something special about them.” – Coach Earl Grant



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t’s sanctuary quiet. All seem frozen, deep in concentration, locked in an internal conversation best not disturbed. Perhaps over there, someone’s leg nervously jiggles or maybe someone else shifts his weight a little, but all is done without sound. For the most part, it’s a tableau of gangly statues adorned in white jerseys, broad-shouldered figures crammed into four rows of folding chairs in front of a white board in the middle of the men’s basketball locker room. From behind, they might remind you of fighter pilots waiting for a war-room briefing. A battle, an aerial dogfight of sorts, is only a few minutes away. The seconds on the digital clock, hanging at eye level to their left, soundlessly tick backwards. The coaches, in an adjacent room, are making the final adjustments to the game plan against Delaware, last season’s Colonial Athletic Association champions. For now, it’s just the players. The silence is temporary. It always is. Sounds begin to seep in, finding whatever seams and cracks there are between TD Arena’s locker room and the stands above. A familiar bass line, separated from its melody, thumps on the arena’s PA system, but, in here, it is only a distant heartbeat. It’s comforting in a way, something akin to the warm security of the womb. But that feeling vanishes with the short blasts of the pep band’s trumpets and the crash of cymbals, acting like faraway flashes of lightning in the mind’s eye. Now, there is a soft shushing sound in the back of the room. Shh, shh, shh. It’s impossible not to feel its rhythm. To feel the circular motion of Adjehi Baru as he pedals on a lone stationary bike. Shh, shh, shh. It might even be soothing, like the sound of an early-morning rain, except that the clock is counting down, a flashing reminder of the work at hand. Then the coaches enter. The sibilance is replaced by staccato clapping, the coaches yelling, “Here we go, here we go.” Suddenly, a pent-up energy is released in the room. All the players are clapping, nodding, smiling: The statues’ faces come to life. Everyone’s that is, but Baru’s, a white Powerade towel draped on his head like a warrior’s hood. He is pedaling, pedaling, pedaling. His face seems carved in obsidian: expressionless, yet full of emotion. First-year head coach Earl Grant stands before the white board and runs through the game plan, 10 tactics to end the Cougars’ current seven-game losing streak. It’s rapid-fire instruction: “limit the transition,” “no refusal,” “bother the passer,” “emergency switch,” “flood the paint,” “deny, wall up and stay down,” “four Texas,” “shot fake,” “stick backs,” “inside out, no doubt.” Grant then takes a deep breath and looks across the room. “I told you about the treasure,” he says. “Everybody’s got a treasure inside them. Everybody in this room has got something special about them. It might be to take a charge or get to a loose ball. Yours might be to have the most assists. Yours might be offensive rebounds. Yours might be to block a couple of shots. Yours might be to protect the rim. At the end of this game, we got to be sure that we can tell what your treasure was. Whatever it is, you do the best you can do with it, and we’re going to find a way to win. Let’s go, baby! Let’s go, baby!” The players rise, some hop, some clap, some high-five one another. Baru leaves last. Slow. Silent. Focused. The locker room is quiet for 20 basketball minutes. Then the door swings open and the players file back in. The Cougars are down by four points at the half. One or two players go to the adjoining bathroom. Some, soaked in sweat, slouch into their chairs and drain entire water bottles. Baru again mounts the stationary bike and stays in motion: an attempt to keep his surgically repaired right knee from tightening up. “Good job, team,” says Baru, his voice a deep bass with a soft French lilt. “We got to do this as a group. We got to talk to each other. Communicate.” Heads nod in agreement. His voice seems to linger in the air, as if hovering near the four inspirational words etched on the white signs hanging above their lockers: Character, Passing, Trust and Toughness. Then, it’s quiet again, except for the shh, shh, shh sounds of Baru’s bike. “We go all out tonight, guys,” says Baru, the intensity rising in his words. “All out. All out.”

SUMMER 2013 |



Come and Take Them

(l to r) senior co-captains Anthony Stitt, Adjehi Baru and Pat Branin

What is a champion? Basically, we would all agree that a champion is a winner. In basketball, it’s the last team standing, the players and coaches hoisting a trophy above their heads in a shower of confetti, pointing a single index finger in the air and ascending a step stool to cut down the strings from the rim. For most, that is the picture of success. And the College knows that version, has lived that version. Over the years, the Cougars have won a national championship, secured titles in numerous conferences, toppled giants in remarkable upsets and had their name called on Selection Sunday during March Madness. But none of those things happened this year. In fact, that kind of success has been eluding the College for more than a decade. Sure, there have been great games, moments on the periphery of a breakthrough, but the extraordinary and sustained success under legendary head coach John Kresse has not been duplicated since his retirement in 2002. If anything, this will go down as yet another year of disappointment, another season where the Cougars didn’t live up to their potential and failed to stay relevant in the national basketball conversation. In the category of wins and losses, this will be remembered as one of the worst – if not the worst – season in the College’s history. That negative view, of course, would be a mistake. The team’s effort, game after game, in this seemingly lost season is nothing less than heroic. Like no other team in the nation, these Cougars kept fighting in the face of incredible adversity: four coaches in four years, a switch to a more

prestigious and more competitive basketball conference, a summer of discontent played out in the national media and the tragic and unexpected death of former teammate Chad Cooke over the winter break. Even Job would be sympathetic to these Cougars. Perhaps a little history lesson might put things in perspective. Ancient history, that is. The Battle of Thermopylae, for example, was a victory for the Persian empire: a military footnote in history when, yet again, a superior force crushed a much smaller one. But, in time, the Spartans’ valiant last stand proved a turning point for Greece – a defeat that inspired and unified the country. In many ways, the 300 Spartans who fought so desperately in that loss have a lot in common with the 15 men who make up the Cougars this season. Like those outnumbered soldiers, these student-athletes never gave up, even when things might have looked hopeless. They struggled on, doing everything they could – all the little things in practice, the in-depth film study, the extra individual workouts. In so many games this season, victory just slipped out of their grasp, with most losses by just a maddening few points or even a single possession. Rarely, if ever, did you see these Cougars hang their heads. If anything, each loss pushed them to fight harder. But some falls – no matter the effort, no matter the will to change it – those falls cannot be stopped. In that respect, we need to change our calculus in measuring this team. Statistics pass cold-blooded judgment on a game that demands so much of the heart. And in that light, we may view these players, led by senior co-captain Adjehi Baru, for what they really are: champions of spirit.

Strong Inside How tough can you be when adversity, like a heavyweight boxer, keeps knocking you down? Adjehi Baru knows something of struggle. Not much has been easy for him. Each step on his path to right here, right now has been rocky, uphill, strewn with figurative thorn and bramble. His difficult journey began as a child growing up in the Ivory Coast. His earliest memories, however, are pleasant: a young boy devoted to his parents, each night stealing into their bed and the comfort of their warm embrace. His father, a celebrated deputy mayor of Tabou, was later a delegate in the national government’s legislature in Abidjan, where Adjehi grew up. But like all politicians, he had enemies. When Adjehi was 6 years old, his father passed away during exploratory surgery of his kidneys, which his family believes was the result of poisoning. Baru remembers as a child being constantly warned by his mother to eat nothing that was not prepared by her hands. Each time he would return home from a friend’s house, she would pepper him with questions on whether he ate anything there. As might be expected, after his father’s apparent assassination, Baru became dependent on his mother. Over the next few years, he retreated into himself, lacked discipline and had problems at school. His mother decided to send him to a family friend, who was the captain of a military base in Daoukro, about three hours from the city. “I was a mama’s boy,” Baru observes. “She moved me to change me. I went to school there, and the place was good. It made me tougher. You learn a lot when you are away from the people that you love the most.”

After a few years at this high-walled fortification, Baru returned to civilian life in Abidjan. But soon, all hell broke loose across the country as rebels clashed with pro-government forces. It was a chaotic and dangerous time. Fighting was particularly intense in Abidjan, but for a boy like Baru, war’s ravages weren’t always so terrifying. “In the mornings, my friends and I would go walking around,” he recalls of those days marked by machine gun fire, mortar blasts and curfews. “We just looked at it. We didn’t see any shooting, but everything was broken; people were stealing. Yes, you had to be really careful on where you were going. I knew people who went down the wrong street at the wrong time. A couple of those guys, you just knew that something was going to happen to them at the end.” But war did not define his world. Hardly. The great change maker in Baru’s life was basketball, which he started playing seriously at age 13. While he’d had a basketball court in his Hibiscus neighborhood compound and had played with friends, soccer was the main sport, basketball a distant second. But as he got older, the game took hold of him. “I loved every part of it,” Baru says, his eyes lighting up. “I especially love defense: stopping the other team from scoring, frustrating them. I love getting in their heads.” In just a few years, he would get into the heads of a lot of people. His natural talent and size were obvious to scouts, and the International Basketball Federation coordinated his placement at a school in Miami, where the 16-year-old could fine-tune his game and improve his educational standing as well. If Charles Dickens had been a West African, he might have penned this story of Baru’s journey to America. The high school in which Baru enrolled, with two fellow Ivory Coast athletes, turned out to be a sham, a cross between Bleak House and Oliver Twist. Ostensibly running a private school for poor children, the Fagin-like principal (who was also the basketball coach) was taking advantage of an apparent loophole in Florida education funding and was using those state resources to build a high school powerhouse of international talent. Baru lived in a house in Opalocka with the other foreign players without any adult supervision (which was against state law), and his “school” was a converted homeless shelter that was more gymnasium than classroom. “I knew this wasn’t normal,” Baru recalls. “I just had a feeling. But I did not want to complain. Then, one day, a person with the team picked us up at the house and said we needed to do some ‘fundraising.’ We went to the street with a bucket. I didn’t do it. The second time, someone came to me with the bucket and said, ‘if you are not going to do it, then you are not going to have something to eat.” Baru again refused to beg for his food, and soon after, left the school, moving to the D.C. area, a hotbed of basketball talent, under the direction of his uncle, who lives in France. But one bad situation was only replaced by another. Imagine this: a teenager who barely speaks the language in a foreign country trying to navigate a complicated landscape of education and athletics, where everyone seems to be playing an angle. Baru lived with a foster family in Washington, D.C., and again struggled to find his footing due to the language barrier. However, Amateur Athletic Union basketball coaches had no problem finding a place for him on their teams.

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Fortunately, fate soon provided a ray of hope. Pat Branin, who competed against Baru in the AAU circuit and saw him frequently at basketball camps, formed a friendship. They talked sports and music, and Branin learned of Baru’s tough situation. Branin’s family, with the help of Baru’s uncle, worked out an arrangement that allowed Baru to live with them and attend school with Pat in Richmond, Va. And the story here turns magical, almost begging for Hollywood to make it: Baru helps Branin lead their high school team to two very successful seasons. Baru becomes the top basketball prospect in Virginia and the third highest–rated big man by ESPN College Basketball Ranking. Schools such as Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Tech actively recruit him (even Kentucky comes calling), but Baru drops in unexpectedly at the College and falls in love with a city that reminds him of his African home. The college sports world gushes over such storylines, and they should: They are rare. “The city and the College grabbed me,” Baru admits. “It was just perfect.” Upon his commitment to the College, the expectations for Baru were mammoth. He was the highest-ranked recruit ever in the College’s basketball history. Fans talked endlessly of how he would carry on the momentum of Andrew Goudelock, the College’s all-time leading scorer who had just been drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cougars were finally going to return the College to glory.

“I wish I could clone him. I wish all students could be as dedicated as he is. ... He never gives up. He works and works until he masters something.” – Marcia Snyder ’93



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May the Best Man Win We like players who win. We like dynasties. We also like underdogs … who win. Plain and simple, we like winners. A lot. But what happens when our players don’t win? How should this team go down in the history books? When they haven’t hung banners from the rafters and we’re not filling out “CofC” on our brackets in March? Easy: You remember their effort. And for this current Cougars team, you remember their relentless play. You remember that someone like Baru, despite nagging knee injuries, rarely sat out a practice, always giving you everything he had. You marvel at the fact that he was able to bring down more than 900 rebounds (the third most in the school’s Division I history) and score more than 1,000 points in four different offensive schemes, especially considering that every team game-planned against his offense first. And you remember Baru for providing so many moments of basketball elation. The ear-splitting smack of the ball against his hands. His 7.5-foot wingspan that sent shots careening out of bounds. His uncanny interior passing. His ability to take a charge in crucial moments of the game. His signature, two-dribble, fade-away jumper in the paint. His monster dunks. And, of course, his gigantic smile, on and off the court. “I wish I could clone him,” says Marcia Snyder ’93, assistant dean of student learning and accreditation for the School of Business and Baru’s advisor as an international business major. “I wish all students could be as dedicated as he is. He does struggle, but he never gives up. He works and works until he masters something.” “He is a special kid,” finance professor Mark Pyles agrees. “He was always there. If the team had gotten in at 6 o’clock that morning, he was still in class by 10. He never made excuses. He never got behind.” Amir Abdul-Rahim, who was an assistant coach at the College during Baru’s sophomore and junior years, applauds Baru the student-athlete, emphasizing the word student: “This game teaches work ethic, discipline and structure. Adjehi understands that those lessons will make you successful in life. He understands the importance of never being late for class or practice. I wish you could make a statistic for that.” But they don’t. And that’s a pity. What we have in a player like Baru is a champion redefined. A figure whose contributions to the College are a poetic mix of pain, persistence and passion. This is the true portrait of a champion: It’s someone who’s tough, both mentally and physically; someone who may fail, but gets right back up, again and again; someone who puts team above self; someone who, in Coach Grant’s words, discovers his “treasure” and uses it; someone who gives maximum effort no matter the score, no matter the record. Someone who has gone all out … all out. Someone like Adjehi Baru. A true winner, in every sense of the word.

s b J o A y n n e Ryan t t I R W

Carving Legacy A

P ho s m Tog a r a p hs y At l y W il li b G e So few of us today actually make anything with our hands. Our daily efforts culminate in the creation of memos, reports and spreadsheets. But not so for Ian ’03 and Colin McNair ’08, whose craftsmanship renders practical works of art.

Again and again, Ian McNair ’03 draws a sharp tool across a block of cedar, peeling back layers of grain. Minutes ago, the cedar resembled a chunky football. Now it’s a duck. McNair’s carving looks effortless, easy, as if the cedar gives no more resistance than would a bar of soap. It is not effortless and easy. When an amateur attempts to pare down the cedar with McNair’s spokeshave, the blade jumps and bumps erratically across the wood, nicking and gouging what had previously resembled a duck. The amateur adjusts the angle of attack, but this results in even deeper gouges. In the next attempt, the tool skips across the surface with all the grace of a rusty razor blade being dragged across a cinder block. It’s some comfort that McNair carves wood for a living. Also comforting is the fact that he and his brother, Colin ’08, have benefited from a lifetime of tutelage from their father, Mark McNair, a preeminent American woodworker. Simply put, the McNair boys have enjoyed a lifetime of learning from the best. The McNairs carve decoys. They typically carve duck decoys, but other wildfowl as well. Once upon a time, wooden duck decoys were critical equipment for American hunters. Placed in water, the decoys lured live ducks flying overhead, fooling the animals into believing a safe habitat awaited them below.



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Hunters still use decoys, though today’s decoys are usually mass-produced and made of plastic. Wooden, handmade decoys have gone the way of the dodo bird, at least for all but the most eccentric sportsmen. If you encounter a wooden decoy nowadays, chances are you’re standing before a mantel, not wading in a pond. Wooden duck decoys have become objets d’art, valued much more for their beauty and craftsmanship than for any ability to attract live specimens. This evolution matters little to the McNairs, who carve decoys that can perform in any environment. Their birds always look pretty gosh darn good, whether being eyed by man or mallard.

In the Sticks No matter how you map it, it’s a hike to reach the McNair homestead. The family’s old house overlooks a creek on the bay side of Virginia’s remote Eastern Shore. The Shore is a narrow peninsula that divides the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. To reach it from the south, one must cross a 17-mile-long bridge that connects the tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore with Virginia Beach and the nearby port city of Norfolk. It’s not until you’ve started across that seemingly unending trestled roadway and left behind the sprawl, the beach hotels and the area’s many military bases that you truly feel yourself

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pulling away to somewhere different, somewhere spared. With the Hampton Roads metro area in your rearview mirror, you glide over the wide mouth of the Chesapeake, entranced by the staggered streetlights that loom for miles in front of you along the bridge. You pass them one at a time, first on the right, then on the left, then back on the right, and so on. The alternating streetlights, the seams on the bridge that thump regularly beneath rolling tires, the long line of hundreds, if not thousands, of piles that spring from the water to support the bridge – all contribute to form a rhythm, part auditory and part visual. The rhythm draws you out of your roadtripping daydreams and demands you pay attention. You understand the bridge is taking you away. You are being transported. You are being delivered somewhere else. It’s not just a bridge, but the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. In two places the bridge slopes down beneath the water for a mile at a time, the submerged automobile tunnels allowing for ships to pass above. When the bridge-tunnel opened in 1964, it was celebrated as an engineering marvel. Today it remains an impressive oddity, and serves as your last distraction before entering Virginia’s Eastern Shore. From there on it is farmland, uncrowded highway, a few small, depressed towns and not much else. It’s pretty, but also empty. Good luck finding a decent place to get a drink. “We’re a lot like Cape Cod,” says Colin McNair, “but what we don’t have is money or popularity.” That’s not a complaint. Cash and crowds might spoil the Shore, and the McNairs are sensitive to affronts to the Chesapeake. They like it quiet here. They like it pristine. Mark and Martha McNair have lived in their home in Craddockville, Va., since the early 1980s. They raised their daughter Delana and two boys here, with Martha homeschooling the kids in the family’s dining room. Each morning began with a Bible reading. Then came lessons. Then freedom. The McNair children enjoyed free rein of the homestead, playing in and across gardens, fields, forests and creeks. For the McNair kids, and the boys especially, it was a natural playground complete with their own small, private island. Boating, fishing and hunting filled their days, the natural landscape making an indelible impression on their young minds. This watery and wooded paradise was theirs to enjoy, and mostly theirs alone. Paying a visit to their childhood home in November, Ian and Colin McNair took advantage of warm weather to cruise the Chesapeake on the family motorboat. The brothers were pleased by what they saw. They rejoiced at the resurgence of underwater grasses in the bay’s shallow creeks, knowing the aquatic vegetation helps filter the water and provides habitat.

They delighted in spying a peregrine falcon, and squinted their eyes to make out other birds flying in the distance. The McNair men, both father and sons, observe birds a great deal. And when the McNairs are not watching birds, chances are birds are being discussed, or replicated.

the Real Duck Dynasty In the age of the iPhone and all things digital, it is a privilege to make a living by using one’s hands. A hard-earned privilege, no doubt, but a privilege nonetheless. That all three McNair men have established careers through duck decoys is a testament to their talent and tenacity. Mark McNair first started carving as a young man in the 1970s. The son of a Connecticut carpenter and a former student at the Rhode Island School of Design, McNair had become passionate about folk art. In particular, classic duck decoys and other bird sculptures fascinated him. Through much study and handling, he discerned similarities between these carvings and more ancient forms, such as Cycladic figurines made thousands of years ago in the Greek isles. To McNair, the designs of decoys seemed timeless. Many early decoys were crudely constructed. Yet trial and error revealed that the more realistic decoys looked, the better they typically performed. In the early 1800s, artisans in the United States began making wooden decoys that were finely carved and painted –¬ more or less the closest representations of live ducks that combinations of wood, glue and paint would allow. A new American folk art tradition had unwittingly been born, as carvers were unaware of the significance and value some of their decoys would eventually come to possess. These early American decoys were first and foremost hunting aids. By the late 19th century, duck decoys began to be mass-produced. During the mid-20th century, plastic versions began to be manufactured, too. Though not as attractive as their wooden counterparts, plastic duck decoys are cheaper, durable and lightweight, making them a practical choice for most hunters. Accordingly, handmade wooden decoys have mostly become pieces of art relegated to a lucrative collectors’ market. It’s this market that enables the McNairs’ professional ambitions. Mark McNair is renowned among decoy makers and collectors. Few, if any, living decoy carvers are listed more regularly in auction catalogs, says Burton E. Moore III, owner of The Audubon Gallery in Charleston. McNair’s carvings are in such demand that he rarely takes commissions for his work and instead carves according to his whims. His decoys and other carvings regularly sell for thousands of dollars apiece. At one auction in 2009, for

In the age of the iPhone

and all things digital, it is a privilege to make a living by using one’s hands. A hard-earned privilege, no doubt, but a privilege nonetheless.

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carving stopped when wrestling season began. During summer example, a rig of five golden plovers made by McNair sold for more breaks in college, Colin would work exhausting days as a mate on than $37,000, and two McNair swans now on display at Vermont’s a fishing boat in May and June, then return to the woodshop in Shelburne Museum were purchased for more than $27,000. July for two months of carving before the fall semester began. “Even old, antique decoy collectors who swear off all living Colin graduated from the College with a biology degree artists have a couple of Mark’s just because they’re so good,” and was inclined to begin a career devoted to the says Moore. study and rehabilitation of oyster beds. But Since 2007, The Audubon Gallery has the youngest McNair received another hosted a one-man, annual winter show of offer too good to pass up – the chance McNair’s work. Normally, says Moore, to work for an auction house devoted more than half of McNair’s decoys are to American sporting art. Since 2008, purchased before the show even opens Colin has been the decoy specialist for and the birds are put on display. In Copley Fine Art Auctions of Boston. February, the King Street gallery updated Decoys are big business for Copley and tradition and hosted a father-and-son other auction houses. In 2007, at the peak show, proud to present carvings by both of the market, two decoys made by master Mark McNair and his older son, Ian. carver A. Elmer Crowell were sold for Moore reports that Ian’s carvings sell more than $1 million a piece by Copley’s nearly as quickly as his father’s. parent company. These were exceptional To hear Moore tell it, the McNair sales, yet antique decoys still command brothers are naturals at decoy carving, prices that might seem inexplicable given obviously endowed with their father’s the deteriorated condition and occasional talent. Yet despite this inheritance, clumsiness of the carvings. they were not always so certain they’d Colin sympathizes with such follow in their father’s footsteps. After confusion, understanding that the graduating from the College with a uninitiated might look at the wares degree in history and a minor in studio – Ian McNair ’03 he carts around in the back of a art, Ian indulged his wanderlust and minivan and remark simply, “It’s a traveled the world for a decade. He moved beat-up old duck.” to New Zealand for seven months, working He politely begs to differ. Every decoy, he on organic farms and volunteering at a national argues, tells a story of a particular time, place and park. He taught English in Korea, spent summers in carver, should one know how to decipher the duck. Alaska, wintered in the U.S. Virgin Islands and worked as a tour “The whole thing is a signature,” says Colin. “The hand of the guide leading foreign tourists on cross-country road trips in the maker who made it doesn’t lie.” United States. For most of these adventures, Ian was joined by his wife, Rebecca Gibson McNair ’03. The globetrotter usually made room in his luggage for some tools, allowing him to continue refining his carving skills no Picture Perfect matter where he laid down his head. Then, when Ian returned Inspiration is never far from the McNair family woodshop. home on breaks from his travels, he would more diligently Just a stone’s throw from the house, the woodshop fills a quaint, devote himself to the carving hobby he had practiced growing barnlike building. From one workbench, one can gaze out a up. He had improved considerably since first making a window at the geese roaming the garden. From another, one carving of a perch at age 10, and had since sold a number of looks through a thin stand of cedar trees to spy the family dock decoys and other carvings to collectors. But he noticed lately and creek. that each time he resumed carving, it took longer for him to The shop is loaded with wooden stock to explore and touch. return to peak performance. Ian then reached a conclusion: There’s Northern and Atlantic white cedar from the East Coast, If he wanted to become a decoy carver on par with his father, Alaskan yellow cedar that Ian obtained on his travels to the he had to devote nearly every day to that pursuit. Forsaking 49th state and big blocks of gorgeous, soft cork from Portugal. his previous travel habits, Ian and his wife bought a home Classical music plays softly from a speaker. Complementing in Charlottesville, Va., in 2014 and began a more rooted the clinking pianos and whinnying violins is a different type of existence. Rebecca became a schoolteacher, and Ian a music, one made by the friction of metal blade meeting cedar. professional carver. “The sound of a chisel against wood – it’s like a little instrument,” “I realized through all my travels how important carving was to says Mark. “That’s why we use hand tools. It sounds good.” me,” says Ian. “I really feel I had been given a special gift.” To round out the sensory perfection, one just has to inhale. Colin had also carved since childhood, selling one of his first Like all woodshops, the McNair woodshop has a pleasant scent. pieces to a handwriting teacher at age 6. Just as it was for Ian, Mostly it’s lingering sawdust one smells and the aroma of Colin’s affinity for carving was often a pastime squeezed in around cedar, but also faint traces of oils, paints and varnishes that other activities. As a boy, Colin would carve with his brother until have been applied over the years to hundreds of carved pieces. It the tide rose high enough for them to go fishing. In high school, is intoxicating.

“I realized

through all my travels how important carving was to me. I really feel I had been given a special gift.”



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Decoy heads and bodies abound in the workshop, scattered among the tools and small cans of paint and oil. Occasionally, some of these decoy parts are picked up by one of the McNairs and refined, the decoys’ lines delicately reshaped. Some heads and bodies, however, look to have sat untouched for years in the woodshop, stuffed into far corners and other out-of-reach places. Their creators had become bored or disappointed by them, judging them not worth the trouble of salvaging. Though they look perfectly good to the amateur, the McNairs’ exacting eyes know different. Their eyes demand perfection. Tools fill the shop, too, of course, many of them sharp. A few, like a vise and the bandsaw (one of the few power tools), are stationary. But most are loose, lying across workbenches, stuffed upright into cups and containers, hanging from walls and atop shelves. When Ian opens a wide drawer in a tool chest, two or three dozen chisels are revealed. They all seem to look the same, though Ian’s practiced hands know that each one behaves slightly differently. The same goes with the McNairs’ hatchets. Picking one up, Ian explains it is meant for a left-handed woodworker. Only when one examines the hatchet very, very closely can it be discerned that the blade is indeed slightly beveled to one side, favoring someone who strikes down with his or her left hand. Ian slowly draws the hatchet across his forearm, shaving it free of hair. A sharp blade, he explains, is a safe blade. Such wisdom might seem counterintuitive, but a craftsman risks less injury when his tools perform efficiently, and as expected. Paraphrasing a quote often attributed, correctly or not, to Abraham Lincoln, Ian says that if he were given six hours to chop down a tree, he’d spend the first four hours sharpening his axe. Ian uses the hatchet to roughly chop the body of a duck from a shoebox-sized block of cedar. Assorted varieties of cedar are a favorite medium for decoy – Colin makers, as the wood is durable, light and easily detailed. Most decoys are assembled by joining a carved head to a carved body, though, after sanding and painting, it appears the decoy is made from a single piece of wood. Sometimes a piece of oak, or possibly bone, is used to make the bird’s beak. The decoy’s body is often cut in half horizontally and then hollowed, to lessen its weight. Holding the decoy body firmly, Ian pushes the cedar through the revolving bandsaw blade for a smooth, straight cut down the middle. Then, he drills into the interior of each half using a wide Forstner bit, hollowing out each side of the decoy’s body in rough fashion, with plans to clean this up later with hand tools. Ian suggests that 90 percent of a decoy’s cutting and carving is accomplished in a mere 10 percent of the time he ultimately spends on a piece. By this he means that he can chop and carve

away large amounts of wood through heavy, broad strokes and sawcuts, transforming a rectangular block into the rough shape of a bird in relatively quick fashion. Then, as the power tools are put away, the painstaking carving work begins. Ian will progress through a set of carving tools, each one allowing for a greater level of detailing. First comes the drawknife, then the spokeshave, then a rasp or chisel, and, finally, sandpaper. With the carving finished, the decoy can be painted – another delicate and time-consuming task. With good reason does Mark McNair say, “We don’t wear watches around here.” Perfection takes as long as it takes.

Close to home Perfection is not limited to the woodshop. On a mild November morning, Ian McNair takes hold of the tiller attached to an outboard engine and begins steering through the waters around his parents’ house. He and his brother have taken a quick cruise around the nearby creeks of the Chesapeake, hoping to snag a few fish on the end of a fishing line, though they enjoy no such luck. Then they tie off at the dock of a nearby crab-picking house to pick up some fresh crabmeat for dinner. Mindful of a receding tide and the shallow waters around the family dock, they next speed home, Ian keeping a steady eye on channel markers staked throughout the creek. The water seems expansive, with plenty of room to maneuver, but the McNair men know different. Though wide, the water is very shallow, and time is running out to get the boat back home. One wrong move and the propellor might catch on the soft mud of the creek bed that is increasingly being exposed by the ebbing tide. Concentrating intently on the few hundred yards of water that separate boat and dock, Ian navigates a serpentine path back home, tracing the narrow creek channel that is hidden underwater but McNair ’08 imprinted on his mind. He proceeds at nearly full speed, never lessening the throttle for fear of the boat losing its plane and becoming bogged down. With each curve through the water, Ian gets the boat closer to home. Finally, Ian glides in beside the dock, with just inches, or perhaps a foot or so, of water beneath the boat. Then the McNair brothers, acting as if their arrival was never in doubt, casually tie off the boat and unload their gear. With the tide out, there seems only one thing left to do that day. The boys skip off to the workshop, and are eventually joined by their father. Someone flips on the stereo, filling the room with classical music. Then comes a chorus of saws, rasps and chisels assaulting wood, as well as the scent of fresh cedar. Side by side the McNair men work, together carving a legacy.

“The whole thing is a signature.

the hand of the maker who made it doesn’t lie.”



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For more on the McNair family’s work, visit mcnairart.com.

Some art belongs in museums. Some is best hung in galleries. Some art, though, isn’t so limited. Some art can go just about anywhere. And, with her bright color palette, her penchant for pattern and her eye for opportunity, Lulie Martin Wallace ’09 can go anywhere she wants.

Alicia Lutz ’98 photography by Diana Deaver




Kelly Thorn Campbell

StYlIst: Rossana Russo

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ulie Martin Wallace ’09 doesn’t look like an artist. At least not the way artists have been painted for us in our culture: disheveled, a little “out there,” reluctant to play by society’s rules. The artist we usually imagine is unconventional, eccentric, maybe a little bit of a rebel. The put-together, down-to-earth Georgia girl in front of us, however, is polished, aware of her audience and glad to please that clientele. She laughs freely, is easy to talk to and looks like she might be more at home at a garden party than an art studio. The bright colors and feminine florals lining the walls in her studio on Charleston’s St. Philip Street, however, burst that impression. At once, the paintings show her comfortable artistic talent and her light, playful aesthetic. You can see that she is at home here, that she belongs here in the studio, creating works that will brighten up any room in any home. You can see, too, why the studio can’t contain her – why her art has a wide market, why she can’t be boxed in or pinned down. It’s also clear why, so early in her career, Wallace is already all over the place: on the pages of Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living; on bags, lunchboxes, fabrics, calendars, bedding; in Urban Outfitters showrooms and Anthropologie catalogs; in closets, powder rooms, guestrooms and garden sheds across the country. No, Lulie Martin Wallace is no starving artist. Instead, she has managed to transform her art into a business that can take her just about anywhere.

A Self-Portrait “Friendly, joyful, bright, quick, thoughtful, eclectic and not afraid of the dark.” Beaming, Wallace looks up from her iPhone, where she keeps the list of words that describe her personal aesthetic. “That’s it! That’s me!” It’s exactly what you see in her art, too. “My art reflects who I am – I’m bright, talkative, easygoing, and my art is an extension of my personality. So when I describe it, I’m just describing part of myself,” says Wallace. “I tend to create bright, joyful work, because that’s how I see the world. It’s eclectic, because that’s how I am, too: kind of all over the place, not locked into one thing.” When Wallace came to the College of Charleston from Columbus, Ga., where she’d spent her childhood doing arts and crafts (making stationery from cut-up construction paper, for example), she thought she wanted to go into either social work or graphic design. Not quite ready to commit to either field, however, Wallace opted to delay that decision until it was time to apply to graduate school. For now, she decided, she would major in studio art and minor in Spanish. She wanted to leave things open. “I’ve always said I wanted six lives to do six different things with my life,” Wallace laughs. “The main things I wanted to do were design and counseling. I like psychiatry, I like people, I like how the mind works. But I’d also love to be involved in the restaurant world. I’d love to have a bed and breakfast. And I’d love something that involves interesting travel, but not too much travel!” Wallace explored her interests in both social work and travel when, the summer after her junior year in college, she interned at an international adoption agency in Spain. As much as she enjoyed it, however, she stuck with her studio art major when she returned to campus. “All my teachers at the College were incredibly helpful and inspiring. They wanted us to do our best, and that made you want to work harder,” says Wallace, noting that studio art

“I tend to create bright, joyful work, because that’s how I see the world. It’s eclectic, because that’s how I am, too: kind of all over the place, not locked into one thing.”



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professor Cliff Peacock left a particularly lasting impression on her and her artwork. “He was very influential in my color palette. Still now, there are colors I use that, every time I put them on the canvas, I’m like, ‘Cliff Peacock!’ “My professors were my favorite thing about the College,” Wallace continues. “I think the encouragement they gave me was the most important thing to my career. They really think you can do it.” Wallace, however, still needed further convincing. “I wasn’t really confident in my painting until the second semester of my senior year,” she says. “When I started painting something that I would put up on my own wall, that’s when I got excited about it.” Once she was creating something that belonged not just in a studio, but in a home – that’s when Wallace discovered confidence in her own personal aesthetic. And, when friends said that they, too, wanted to hang her paintings in their homes, her confidence bloomed. Just by being true to herself and what she was attracted to, she’d found her artistic voice. “My inspiration comes from all over the place – from all the things I’m attracted to: other artists, other brands. I create the kind of things that I want to have – the kind of things that I, myself, am obsessed with,” says Wallace, adding that she sees herself in everything she does. “What inspires you is what inspires your art, so there’s some side of you in everything you create. If you’re an artist, everything you make is a self-portrait.” It’s easy to see Wallace in her fresh, happy, vibrant paintings. There’s a sense of freedom, of exploration. You can almost feel the fun she’s having with color, shape and composition in her signature floral still-life paintings. It was with her paintings of flowers that Wallace really came into her own. The stylized blossoms contrasted by unexpected stripes and abstract geometrics are all hers. She’d created her very own aesthetic, her very own brand. And she ran with it. She began painting bridal bouquets on commission, and – to expand her floral repertoire and get further inspiration – she struck up relationships with florists producing innovative arrangements. “Most of them are out of Brooklyn – and they’re all consistent with my aesthetic. The type of person who is going to like my painting is going to be the same type of person who is as obsessed with their flowers as I am,” says Wallace. And if bold bouquets are Wallace’s obsession, color combinations are her passion. “My first love is color. I love bright and fun colors. I love to see how colors work together, bounce off of each other – it is so fun,” she gushes, adding: “I feel like my color palette is definitely recognizable throughout everything I do – it’s a big part of my brand.” The Lulie Wallace brand is certainly distinctive: A work by Lulie Wallace is unmistakably by Lulie Wallace. “My brand is something that I’m very careful about. I have to rein it in sometimes, because I tend to be all over the place,” says Wallace. “Ultimately, my brand represents the type of people who purchase my artwork, people like me.” In other words: approachable, happy, bright people who enjoy a little color in their lives.

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The Business of Art Rare is the artist who manages to translate creative sensibility into business savvy, to turn talent into profit, transform hobby into career. But Wallace chose to give it a shot. She started with what she knew: herself. And she went where she would go to buy art: online. “Marketing my art through social art outlets made more sense to me than going through galleries,” says Wallace. “First, I don’t think my flowers are the best fit for the walls of a traditional gallery; they’re meant to be in people’s homes to enjoy. Second, most local galleries have souvenir art – things that appeal to people visiting Charleston, walking down the street, stopping into the gallery. The person who is going to be interested in your art has to happen to be in that gallery and in the market to buy. My buyer is limitless because anyone has access to a computer.” Still – even though she knew in her gut that, online, she was everywhere she needed to be – when a coffee shop approached her about displaying some of her work, the added exposure was tempting. “Lulie, when have you ever been in a coffee shop and said, ‘I’m going to buy that $400 painting?’ It’s devaluing to what you do,” warned a more experienced artist at Redux Contemporary Art Center, where Wallace had just begun renting out a studio space. “That was one big thing for me: recognizing what avenues promote your art well, and what avenues devalue it,” Wallace says, adding that Redux – a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by Bob Snead ’02 – has been influential in her growth both as an artist and as a business owner. “It’s a great environment to learn how to promote yourself,” she says, naming Sally Benedict ’07, for one, as being a great help to her. “A couple of people really took me under their wings and said, ‘If you want your art perceived in a certain way, you should head into this direction, and avoid going in this direction.’ “The route I’ve gone – growing my business through social media rather than the traditional way of being represented by a gallery first – I think has given me an advantage,” Wallace continues. It certainly didn’t hurt: Within just a year of being promoted on social media, her art caught the attention of some of the heavyweight design blogs – most notably Grace Bonney’s highly influential Design*Sponge. “Back then, the main form of important press you could get as an artist was being featured on a blog,” says Wallace. “And if you wanted to be paid attention to, you had to be on the right blogs.” Wallace ended up all over all the right blogs – and popular national retailers took note: Urban Outfitters offering to sell two of her original paintings as large-scale wall posters and Anthropologie offering to buy a selection of her original works to use in its House & Home department. Since then, Wallace has been featured in a number of national magazines, including Flower, Matchbook, Coastal Living and Cottage Living, and her art has appeared in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens. Her works have also been featured on Anthropologie’s Mistral soap collection packaging, Witherbee bedding collection, as well as on seed packages, calendars, framed prints and more. “It’s very awesome – such an encouragement to keep going. Really and truly, it raises the ceiling. It’s like, ‘OK, if this is where you want to stay, then there’s a lot more work to be done,’” says Wallace, who continues to collaborate with Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, as well as One Kings Lane and Serena & Lily. “It kind of puts a little fire under your belt that says, ‘Hey, what’s next?’ It just makes you want to keep working in that kind of realm. It really opened up my eyes to this whole other side of the business. It made me

“What inspires you is what inspires your art, so there’s some side of you in everything you create. If you’re an artist, everything you make is a self-portrait.”



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think, ‘OK, where else can we put art?’” The answer, it turns out, is pretty much all over the place.

There’s a Pattern Here There is no limit to what art can be, where it can go or what it can do. It’s not relegated to a spot on the wall or behind a frame on the table. It can function as more than just a pretty picture – more than just something to be admired. So, when Wallace saw her art come down off the walls and transform into entirely different products – pillows, bedding, scarves and bags – she knew the possibilities were endless. “It’s super exciting when my art comes off the canvas and takes on a totally different art form. I absolutely love seeing my artwork

transform like that,” says Wallace, who keeps a close eye on a number of different interior brands she’s interested in working with – keeping up with what represents their brand best, what trends they’re attracted to and what other artists’ works they are using. “A lot of other artists they collaborate with are doing pattern-based designs. They just take your art and turn it into patterns – and patterns can go anywhere.” Thus, Wallace’s newest obsession. “I love making patterns. It gives you the opportunity to turn your art into something completely different,” she says, explaining the process of surface design, in which she first paints little motifs, most of them floral, and then scans them to combine them in various arrangements, creating patterns. “You can look at it in S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |



all different directions. There are limitless possibilities to combining them. There are 100 different things to do with just a little something.” In addition to pitching her patterns to other brands, Wallace has been making her own products: stationery, bags, scarves, lunchboxes and textiles. “The more I explore pattern design and the more I dig through the portfolio for licensing opportunities, the more I want to get my own fabrics out there – see whose hands I can get into. I just think fabrics are just a very super-fun way of putting my patterns out there myself. It’s easy to source and it’s easy to promote,” says Wallace, who has learned a lot not just about sourcing over the past year or so, but also about production and licensing. “It’s such an interesting learning opportunity, to dive into something totally different.” Although she’s currently dedicating a big chunk of her time to creating her own fabrics, Wallace relies on her painting sales to carry the business – which often means working on 15 paintings at a time. “I’d like to be able to focus a little better and not be so all over the place. Pattern design really lets me slow down and focus on one thing, because each motif is its own entity,” she says. “I love the idea of the textile and fabric design taking off. Then my patterns could cover just about anything – upholstery, clothing, you name it. That would be huge.” It seems the likely trajectory – after all, there’s a definite pattern of transformation and growth in Wallace’s career. In the six years since she graduated from the College – she’s gone from finding her artistic voice to making a name for herself in the design world, to designing, sourcing and producing her own products. “I started small, and my business slowly grew, so I feel like I’ve learned a lot within the past six years,” says Wallace, who now has a part-time assistant to help with administrative tasks as well as some of the graphic design that goes into pattern making. “I feel like my business sense has really just developed over time, on an as-needed basis. It wasn’t something that came naturally to me, but, little by little, I’ve just grown my business sense.” Even in those first few months in her studio at Redux – where she now serves on the board of directors – she could have never imagined where she’d be today. The career she’s built for herself has been completely unexpected every step of the way. “When I was in college, I never even knew the job I have now existed,” says Wallace, who is proud to have two CofC arts management students interning with her every semester. “I just know that I appreciated encouragement when I was in school, and I just feel like it’s a neat and important thing to do for other people. I really appreciate my interns’ help – it’s instrumental in what I do. A lot of what they do is help me pack up and ship out my products. But I want to be sure they’re getting a lot out of it, too, so I make sure to ask them about their goals and how I can help them. It means a lot to me to bring other people in and share my experience and encourage them, too.” And – as the very portrait of a successful artist-turned-businesswoman – Wallace has the perfect pattern to study. She proves that artists can’t always be pigeonholed: They belong wherever their craft takes them. “The thing that makes me excited about what I do is how it’s evolved. I’m learning something all the time. I think people stay interested, too, because it’s kind of like, ‘Well, what’s she doing now?’” says Wallace. “Because I have no idea what I’ll be doing in three years. I don’t know where what I’m doing now will take me.” All we can be sure of: There are no limits to where she can go.

“It just makes you want to keep working in that kind of realm. It really opened up my eyes to this whole other side of the business. It made me think, OK, where else can we put art? ”



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Philanthropy Revolutionary Hero

Half the world over, Harry Huge (pronounced Huge-ee) is a hero. That’s what they call him in the hills of West Virginia, where the high-powered lawyer fought to protect coal miners and their families from abusive union leadership and polluting coal companies. A hero is how he is regarded in South Carolina, where he once helped expose



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extreme poverty plaguing several rural counties and later helped lead a cancer center. And a hero is how they know him in Estonia, where Huge provided critical assistance to that country’s independence movement and break from the Soviet Union during the Singing Revolution. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Huge has helped injured Vietnamese-American

orphans who survived a plane crash, prosecuted terrorists, represented survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and more. If that wasn’t enough, Harry Huge and his wife, Reba, are significant benefactors to the College of Charleston, too. Among the gifts of the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation are scholarships that benefit students of the Honors College and those interested in studying abroad in Estonia. Additionally, Reba Huge, a College of Charleston Foundation board member, has long been involved with the School of the Arts, establishing a music scholarship in 2012. Zach Sturman is a sophomore from South Florida who knows firsthand the advantages of these gifts. An Honors College student and William Aiken Fellow, Sturman was also selected to be one of four inaugural Huge Scholars at the College. Beyond receiving full scholarships to attend the College, Huge Scholars are also provided with specialized mentoring and the means to engage in summer study-abroad trips. This past summer, Sturman traveled to Cuba, where he was pleasantly surprised to discover a population friendly to Americans and already well versed in American culture, despite the decadeslong trade embargo America put in place against Cuba. This summer, Sturman will enjoy a much different international locale. The intrepid Sturman is heading to Estonia’s capital of Tallinn, where he will work as a U.S. Department of State intern in the U.S. Embassy. And to his delight, Sturman’s May arrival will coincide with a visit to Estonia by leaders of the Huge Foundation, who have organized meetings between Estonian political leaders as well as academic representatives from the College of Charleston, Harry Huge’s alma mater of Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Tartu (Estonia). Sturman,

| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |


| philanthropists Reba and Harry Huge (seated) with President Glenn McConnell ’69 (standing, center) and the 2014–15 Huge Scholars | who is majoring in political science and Spanish, is confident such meetings will contribute to a meaningful summer in Estonia as he works on political and economic policy issues at the embassy. The Huge Foundation, meanwhile, believes such interaction between Americans and Estonians will foster even greater collaboration between the two countries and enhanced student exchange programs. Though the Huges grew up nearly 5,000 miles away from Estonia in Nebraska, the Baltic state has secured a very special place in their hearts. In the 1970s, Harry Huge’s high-profile legal work in West Virginia caught the attention of President Jimmy Carter, who named Huge to a presidential advisory committee on American nuclear policy. There, Huge worked closely with committee chairman Tom Watson Jr., the former head of IBM. When Watson next became ambassador to the Soviet Union, he urged Huge to travel to Tallinn and meet with a number of Estonians who were itching to break

away from Soviet control. Huge did so, came away impressed and began representing the Estonians’ interests in Washington. Happily for Huge’s clients, Estonia gained its independence in 1991. Fifteen years later, Huge was recognized for his contributions to the country’s independence movement when Estonia awarded him the prestigious Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana at the presidential palace in Tallinn. “They wanted to preserve their own culture and language, restore their own state and determine their own future,” Huge says of Estonia’s independence. “I had a first-row seat to how you start and create your own country.” With his namesake foundation supporting exchange programs, Huge says, colleges in the United States and Estonia are grooming future leaders who will have benefited from significant international experience and exposure. Everyone, in short, comes out a winner. “They have a lot to teach us, and we have a lot to teach them,” he says.

Sturman, it seems, is just as grateful to the Huges as the people of Estonia. He credits the Huge Scholar and William Aiken Fellow Society programs for facilitating one-of-a-kind research and mentoring opportunities. Additionally, says Sturman, these programs have a good track record of placing students into competitive jobs, internships and graduate schools. “It’s better than advertised,” he says of the College’s top academic scholarships and associated support staff. “These people mean business.” Recalling a meeting at the Huges’ home in Charleston, Sturman said he was bowled over by the couple’s kindness. “They said, ‘You’re part of our family. Let us know what we can do for you,’” says Sturman, sharing sentiments that have been expressed about the Huges the world over. “The Huges,” he says, “are some of the most selfless and generous people I’ve ever met in my whole life.” They are, in other words, heroes.

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A Work of Nurture Eight-year-old Laura Funk Zucker ’06 (M.A.T.) turned around to see her parents, but the door to the hallway where they’d just kissed her goodbye was closed. She looked around in a panic. Who are these people? Why aren’t they talking to me? Where is my doctor? Why is this stranger holding a mask to my face? Tearing the mask away, she burst into tears. No one comforted her. “I just remember it being a very terrifying and lonely situation. I was so scared,” recalls Zucker, who – born with a cleft lip and palate – underwent many surgeries as a child (her 20th surgery was just last summer). “That fear and that feeling of being all alone really stuck with me, and, growing up, I wanted to make sure other children didn’t have to go through that. I wanted them to be aware of what was coming up next, prepare them for the next step so they wouldn’t have to feel that fear I felt.” That’s what led Zucker to major in childhood psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia and, subsequently, to look into becoming a child life specialist. Providing emotional support, therapeutic intervention and practical education in a variety of health care settings, child life specialists are advocates and resources for children and their families going through stressful medical situations. Had a child life specialist been on site for the surgery Zucker had at age 8, she would have been walked through the process, prepared for what was going to be happening and introduced to the nurses and technicians. She would have been comforted. It was what Zucker had always wanted to do. Unfortunately, the College didn’t have a child life program when Zucker and her husband moved to Charleston in 2005. The closest line of study would be the M.A.T. in early childhood education – and so she worked with faculty to move electives around and make her coursework resemble child life coursework as closely as possible. Then, upon earning her M.A.T. in early childhood education, Zucker planned to intern with the Medical University of South Carolina’s child life program. That plan, however, |


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was thwarted by the birth of her children and then again by the death of her father. “I thought maybe it wasn’t working out for a reason, so I decided to rethink it,” says Zucker. “I decided instead to be an advocate for child life and help other people be child life specialists.” She decided to start the first – and only – child life master’s degree program in the state. “It’s a growing field, and the Child Life Council says that, by 2020, all child life specialists will be required to have master’s degrees. It just seemed like the perfect thing to do,” says Zucker, who pitched the idea to cohorts from the College and MUSC. “I explained to everyone that we had a huge opportunity to get ahead of the game here.” Everyone agreed. “Nobody was questioning how much this was needed,” says Zucker. “It was passed easily and quickly, which proves that everyone understands how

important it is and that this was the right direction to go.” The College’s Master of Science in Child Life Program was thus established in 2014, offering coursework at the College and practicum experience at MUSC. Trained to support infants, children and adolescents, graduates are prepared to pass the Child Life Council’s Professional Certification Examination and go on to practice in hospitals, clinics and other medical settings. “I’m so proud of the College for taking this opportunity. And I love being in the background while the program takes on a life of its own,” says Zucker, who serves on the program’s board and regularly visits students to tell them her story. “I give them the personal aspect, which affirms for them that what they’re doing will make a difference in a child’s life.” And that, to Zucker, is a comfort in and of itself.


Seeing the Future When you’ve traveled around the world and seen the things Amy Brown has seen – grinding poverty in war-torn Armenia, orphans in Central Africa whose parents died of AIDS, villagers in Cambodia who measure wealth by pots of rice – you gain some perspective on the challenges faced by troubled youth and their families back home in South Carolina. You realize that, no matter how tough of a hand some of these kids have been dealt, there are children in less-developed nations who have virtually nothing – not even hope for the future. When Brown, an aspiring social worker, looks into the eyes of a child in Charleston who has committed a nonviolent crime, she doesn’t see a statistic in a never-ending cycle of incarceration and recidivism. She sees a person who made a mistake and who, by showing genuine remorse, can turn his or her life around. Unlike children in some parts of the world, these kids have options. They have hope. Brown entered the College as a nontraditional student in 2012 and plans to graduate this spring. A double major in sociology and religious studies, she

recently completed an internship with the Juvenile Arbitration Program in the Charleston County Solicitor’s Office. The diversion program works to keep children who have committed nonviolent offenses out of the adult criminal justice system. Because of her internship, Brown also received the inaugural Haddad Internship Award, established by Richard ’75 and Shannon Withrock Haddad ’78. The award is given to a sociology major who has worked with troubled youth in previous volunteer experiences, activities or research and has an interest in pursuing a career to help troubled youth. Rich Haddad, who majored in sociology, was inspired to establish this award from his own experience as a college student when he studied in a South Carolina juvenile detention center. Brown was destined to work in the American criminal justice system. It just took a while for it all to work out. She started out studying criminal justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before getting hired as a police officer cadet with the CharlotteMecklenburg Police Department. At the age of 21, she was eight weeks into her training at the academy when she

learned she was pregnant. She stayed on with the department as a civilian employee for two years before taking an administrative job in the shipping industry, which eventually brought her to Charleston and to the College. Along the way – through church mission trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Armenia (where she helped build a day-care facility, which became an orphanage when no one came back for their kids) and a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam through a study-abroad program at the College – she’s gained valuable insights about the challenges that some children face. Even the youthful offenders she has worked with through the arbitration program in Charleston have stories that will break your heart. Their opportunities in life have been limited, their views of the world narrowed to their own neighborhood streets. But Brown sees in these children something that she didn’t see in the children of the developing countries she visited. Something they may not even see in themselves yet. She sees a future. And she will do her part to help them see it, too. S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |



CLASS NOTES 1962 Johnny Jordan has retired as the

CEO of the Medical Society of South Carolina, which is the majority owner of Roper St. Francis Healthcare System. Richard Porcher has cowritten The Market Preparation of Carolina Rice: An Illustrated History of Innovations in the Lowcountry Rice Kingdom.

1968 Vic Rawl was elected vice chairman of Charleston County Council.

1972 Ruth Holmes Whitehead was

appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia for her contributions as a scholar and author to the documentation and preservation of Nova Scotia’s culture and history. For the last 40 years, she has been a staff ethnologist and assistant curator at the Nova Scotia Museum. Ruth was also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University.

1974 Carl Stamps is a sales

representative for William M. Bird Corporation in Columbia. This past year, Carl received the President’s Award (the company’s highest employee honor) for his contributions to strengthen William M. Bird’s position of leadership in the flooring industry.

1976 Michael Covington is the managing director of the Speedwell Group, a Columbiabased government relations firm specializing in construction, transportation and the environment. Nancy Heath Stasinis is celebrating 25 years of owning a real estate company, ERA Kings Bay Realty in Georgia. For the last 10 years, she also served as an elected city official.

1978 Deborah Deas is the interim

dean of MUSC’s College of Medicine. She is the senior associate dean for medical education and a professor of psychiatry and behavorial sciences. Lisa Alexander Gadsden (see Frank Gadsden ’80)

Three Cougars were inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in February: Daniel Dukes ’81, a former student-athlete, men’s golf coach and senior vice president for governmental affairs; Anita Condon van de Erve ’70, who played basketball for the Cougars and is a former executive director of the Cougar Club; and John Kresse, namesake of the basketball court in TD Arena and former men’s basketball coach who led the College to an NAIA national championship and four NCAA tournament appearances. |


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1979 Greg Padgett, who holds the Alumni Association’s seat on the College’s Board of Trustees, was re-elected as chair this fall. Greg is the CFO of Fennell Holdings in Charleston.

1980 Frank Gadsden was re-elected

secretary of the College’s Board of Trustees this fall. Frank is a senior vice president and chief information officer for Clover Community Bank in Clover, S.C. He and his wife, Lisa Alexander Gadsden ’78, have two sons who also graduated from the College. Don Johnson is chair of MUSC’s Board of Trustees. Don is a spine surgeon and the founder of the Southeastern Spine Institute in Mt. Pleasant. David Saussy, a research scientist with GlaxoSmithKline, was appointed to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board of Education.

1981 Angie Bell and Col. Arthur “Reedy”

Hopkins III (ret.) were married in September 2013. Angie is a vice president of commercial lending/real estate in banking for Harbor National Bank. She and Reedy live in Meggett and own and operate a liquor store and laundry in Hollywood, S.C. Lorraine Sullivan Meyer is the director of finance and operations for Reliable Caregivers, a leading Bay Area in-home care agency for adults and aging seniors. Cindy Ogier Nye is a real estate agent for Elaine Brabham and Associates in Charleston.

1982 Martin Lynch is a vice president

and mortgage consultant with BNC Bank in downtown Charleston.

1983 Scott Cracraft finished first in the

Vintage Drivers Club of America’s season finale in Savannah in December. Scott races with a ’60s-era Ford Mustang and won the Production division race. Vic Howie gave a TEDx talk at Wake Forest University in February 2014. As founder and past chairman of the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, Vic discussed the early startup years of creating the center.

1984 Lee Mikell was re-elected vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. Lee is the special projects manager and assistant to the president of South Carolina Electric & Gas. He lives in Columbia with his wife, Emily, and their three children.

1986 Margaret Taylor Glassman is the

executive director of the law firm Sojourner, Caughman & Thomas in Columbia. Andy Rawl specializes in sales for IPS Packaging in Greenville, S.C.

1987 Michele Gaetan Miller is a

residential Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene Realtors in Spring, Texas.

1988 Lorie Maring is an attorney with

Fisher & Phillips’ employee benefits practice group in Atlanta.

1991 Bert Baucom (M.Ed.) is an

independent education management professional in Washington, D.C. Cindy Pittman Santa Ana is a board-certified health coach with Unlock Better Health in Northern Virginia. Cindy has been featured in the magazines Woman’s World, Women’s Health and Fitness.

1992 Caroline Thompson DeLongchamps was honored as a 2014 Health Care Hero by the Charleston Regional Business Journal for her work as a patient and family navigator with Roper St. Francis. Caroline works with families who have children in the intensive care unit.

1993 Alex Dambach is the division chief

of land services for the City of Alexandria, Va. Sibita Harvey Proctor is a Realtor with Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant.

1994 Paul Day is the events and

communication manager for the University of California, San Francisco’s Office of Diversity and Outreach. Xan Grayson is a client relationship manager with Aman Resorts in Jackson, Wyo. Cherisse Jones-Branch (M.A. ’97) received the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award for Crossing the Line by the Association of Black Women Historians. In it, she chronicles black and white women who were accustomed to a segregated society in South Carolina, but who worked both individually and collectively to change their state’s unequal racial status quo. Cherisse is an associate professor of history at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. Jodie Thomas is a vice president at Rubenstein Public Relations in New York City. Jodie develops and executes publicity campaigns for the firm’s entertainment division.

1995 Benjamin Goldstein is a

shareholder with the law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy in San Francisco. He represents plaintiffs injured by exposure to asbestos, benzene and other toxic substances. Ben received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Jason Permenter and his wife, Anna PascouetPaz, announce the birth of twin girls, Luz Angelina and Inez Joyce, born in November. The Permenter family lives in New York City, where Jason works with Big Spaceship, a graphic design company. He has advanced degrees in graphic design and geology as well as volcanology and remote sensing.

1996 Tonya Janicke was named teacher

of the year for a second time at her elementary school and first runner-up for the Rock Hill School District Three. Tonya was also recognized for a nine-week project she conducted with her fourth-graders and two master quilters to create hand-sewn runaway-slave quilt replicas. She presented the project at the S.C. Social Studies Conference in October.


[ alumni profile ]

She didn’t think they’d go for it. The concept was too out there, too abstract, too risky. Perhaps the short film that Megan Gural Oepen ’00 had pitched would be a better fit for some hip, edgy startup. But the client for this job was Chick-fil-A, a stalwart of American business known for its traditional values, customer service and Southern roots. Oepen, president and senior director of creative at Payne Advertising in Atlanta, told company officials that their vision for a spot featuring executives discussing the restaurant’s humble beginnings and corporate culture might bore the younger audience they hoped to attract, and she urged them to consider a more novel approach, using technology and computer animation. The idea had come to her while listening to Chick-fil-A employees explain how the company’s brand identity had “unfolded” over many years. That word – unfolded – flitted around in her mind. She imagined pieces of paper folding and unfolding. Sort of like origami. What about an origami world? A paper world … a paper city. A Paper City. That’s it! Her gut told her it would work, but she knew getting the client’s approval was a long shot. But … still. Over her 15-year career as a creative director and live-action director, Oepen has developed a reputation for challenging clients to take risks and be bold in the way they tell their stories. She does it by asking why. Why does it need to be that way? Why can’t we look at it from another perspective? Why not focus on telling a story and trust that the audience will get the message? Oepen believes in the power of words and storytelling to elicit strong responses and stir powerful emotions. From her first producing job at Live 5 News in Charleston while studying communication at the College, to Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, where she produced and directed documentaries and brand and image campaigns for Turner Sports, to graduate work at Boston University – finding the story, that nugget of gold, has been her mission.

| Photo by Lindsey Miller ’10 |

As the Story Unfolds

“People who are good storytellers are good storytellers regardless of the content,” she says. “It’s a matter of finding the nugget – and that could be within a horrible story like 9/11 or that could be within an interesting feature story in NASCAR or a cool commercial campaign for the NBA.” Her approach has served her well. She’s rubbed shoulders with celebrities and pro athletes, won Emmy Awards and traveled to shooting locations around the world. Of course, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Competing in a male-dominated industry, having her ideas shot down, placating difficult clients: Those are everyday challenges. “You are putting your heart on the table a little bit because you are being very vulnerable with these ideas,” she says. Oepen certainly laid it out there when she pitched “Paper City” to Chick-fil-A. Maybe she was just really on that day. Maybe the story she could see gleaming in the undeveloped concept had shined through. Whatever it was, the decision-makers at Chick-fil-A gave her the green light. And, after months of painstaking creative

work – scripts, storyboards, casting, digital animation, sound engineering, even an original musical score – she produced a mini masterpiece, a tightly woven animation sequence that blends seamlessly into live action. It’s fun, heartwarming, innovative and not at all what one expects from a promotional corporate video. The mandatories are all there – the company’s ubiquitous cow, quotes from its founder, old photos of the original restaurant – but they are effectively subtle. Chick-fil-A loved it. And so did the judges at the Cannes Corporate Film and TV Awards, honoring “Paper City” with a Silver Dolphin Award. She was the only female director to win an award at the festival and headed the only production team from the United States to be honored. The dolphin statuette is proudly displayed on Oepen’s mantel. And, when people ask about it, she’s happy to tell the story. – Ron Menchaca ’98 Watch Megan Gural Oepen’s “Paper City” at meganoepen.com.

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Sam Stafford III ’68

Robert Ball Jr. ’66

Cary Ann Hearst ’01

Alumni Award of Honor

Pre-Medical Society’s outstanding Service award in medicine

Alumna of the year award

Starry night Members of the CofC community gathered at Charleston Place Hotel in November to honor six accomplished alumni at the annual Alumni Awards Gala. The broad range of professional backgrounds and talents of the award recipients highlights the adaptability and universality of an education rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. Sam Stafford III ’68 (Alumni Award of Honor) is a Mt. Pleasant dermatologist, a current member of the College’s Foundation Board, a former member of the Board of Trustees and a former president and current member of the Alumni Association Board. Robert Ball Jr. ’66 (Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine), a physician specializing in infectious diseases, is a former medical director for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and an adjunct faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina and the College. Dr. Ball diagnosed and reported the first case of AIDS in South Carolina.



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Cary Ann Hearst ’01 (Alumna of the Year Award) and her husband, Michael Trent, form the musical duo Shovels & Rope. They won song of the year and emerging artist of the year at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards as well as performed on Conan and Austin City Limits in 2014. Brett Gardner ’05 (Young Alumnus Award), a former standout for the Cougars, has played seven seasons as an outfielder with the New York Yankees and was a member of the team that won the World Series in 2009. Mariana Ramsay Hay ’82 (Distinguished Alumna Award) is the owner of Croghan’s Jewel Box, a King Street shop her family has owned for more than 100 years. Hay is also a tireless advocate for local businesses and community groups. Paul Steadman ’83 (Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Person of the Year Award) is president and CEO of The Steadman Agency, an independent insurance firm, and a member of the School of Business Board of Governors.

CLASS NOTES [ alumni awards gala ]

Mariana Ramsay Hay ’82

Paul Steadman ’83

Young Alumnus Award

Distinguished Alumna Award

Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Person of the Year Award

| Event photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 | • | Photo of Brett Gardner ’05 by Dottie Rizzo |

Brett Gardner ’05

| top left (clockwise): Brett ’05 and Jessica Clendenin Gardner ’05; Dil Patel ’11 and Sam Stafford ’68; Cary Ann Hearst ’01 and Michael Trent; and Paul Steadman ’83 (foreground) |

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Nafees Bin Zafar ’98 knows that

one is good, but two is even better. Zafar, the director of research and development for Oriental DreamWorks in Shanghai, China, received his second Academy Award for his work in visual effects. In 2008, he was honored for his pioneering work in digital fluid effects. This year, he was recognized for his destruction effects in films such as Tron: Legacy, X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Croods.

1997 Billy Bohanna was named 2014

National Sales Representative of the Year by Music & Sound Retailer Magazine for the wholesale music products industry. This is the third time in five years that he’s won the award, and he’s the only person in the award’s 29-year history to win it multiple times. Kelly Obernuefemann (M.A.) is a professor of history at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill. She is also the coordinator of the history/political science/ geography program.

1999 Les and Nancy Bradham Bright

announce the birth of their daughter, Emily Elizabeth, born in October. The Bright family lives on Johns Island. Matt Lynch was the vice president of fan experience at the College Football Hall of Fame, when it opened in downtown Atlanta in late August. He is now the head of guest service for Wembley Stadium in London, England. Mike Smith does strategic planning for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in Rochester, N.Y. Stephen Stokes is the executive director of Sustainable Midlands in Columbia. Elliott Summey was elected the chair of the Charleston County Council. He is a senior vice president with Weber USA and also owns the Jackson Development Group. He is the chairman of the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority and the Charleston Area Transportation Study at the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments.

2000 Justin Clark is opening a Chick-fil-A

in Moncks Corner, S.C., this spring. Justin, who worked for Chick-fil-A in California, earned the company’s Symbol of Success and Champions Club Awards for 2014. Justin Craig is a project professional supporting environmental projects and business development in the North Charleston office of SCS Engineers.

Matt Czuchry ’99, who plays Cary

Agos on CBS’s The Good Wife, is a must-see on TV these days. According to The Daily Beast, Czuchry is the show’s “secret weapon” this season and “nailing every scene” on one of the most popular and critically acclaimed series on television.



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Corinne Hipp and Michael Cole Erdman were married in November. Corinne is the owner of The Corinne Company, a graphic design and marketing firm in Charleston. Keefe and Clair Thrailkill Ray announce the birth of their daughter, Quinn McCurry, born in August. The Ray family lives in Greenville, S.C. Lindsay Windham is a co-owner of Distil Union in Charleston.

2001 Becca Ansert and Eric Ehemann

were married in San Diego in October and live in Los Angeles. Chris and Marijana Radic Boone (M.P.A. ’03) announce the birth of their second child, Ella Parker, born in December. Marijana is the College’s director of advancement services. Meader and Jennifer Pridgen Harriss announce the birth of their second son, William Lee Harriss II, born in June. Meader was elected a district court judge of the First Judicial District of North Carolina. Jennifer continues her revitalization work with Destination Downtown Edenton Inc. Meredith Dewell Kolaski is a real estate agent with Century 21 Properties Plus in Mt. Pleasant. Melissa Pluta Parker (M.A. ’03) is a senior account director for E. Boineau & Co. in Charleston. Melissa earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina. Seth Steitler provides outside sales for Vessel Medical in Charleston. Elizabeth Williams is a research manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington, D.C. Last fall, she competed (and won) on Jeopardy!, finishing with a two-day total of $14,800.

2002 Katie and Jake Banks announce the

birth of a daughter, Alaina Kathryn “Lainey,” born in October. The Banks family lives in Madison, Miss., where Jake practices law. Kyle Comen is the owner of Bohicket Creek Bait and Tackle at Bohicket Marina on Seabrook Island, S.C. Michael Eckard is a shareholder with Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart in the law firm’s Charleston office. Zach Evans earned his dental and doctoral degrees from MUSC and works for Carolina Periodontics in Charleston. Zach and his wife, Jennifer, have a 3-year-old daughter, Lana. Jonathan Miller has written his fourth book in The Adventures of Sammy the Wonder Dachshund series: A History of Wonder Dachshunds. Heather Richie was awarded the inaugural Sewanee School of Letters Rivendell Writers’ Colony residency. Ricky Rimmerstedt, who was Mr. CofC in 2002, is the general manager for Casa Barranca Winery in Ojai, Calif. He has helped build the company into a nationally known brand as a certified organic winery and has made guest appearances on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker and VH1’s Candidly Nicole as a “wine guy.” Ryan Velasco is the deputy associate director for natural resource response and recovery for the Executive Office of the President, Council on Environmental Quality in Washington, D.C.

2003 Brad Banias, associate attorney

at Barnwell Whaley, is chair of the Federal Litigation Section of the Carolinas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Brad is also an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law. Eric Davis (M.P.A. ’08) is the parks and recreation director for Dorchester County, S.C.

Ashley Vaughan Dennig is the director of land acquisition and entitlements at Lennar Homes’ coastal Carolinas division. Nelson Long is a sales representative with Prince Global Sports in Atlanta. Clayton and Megan McGraw Mozingo announce the birth of their second child, James Hudson, born in December. The Mozingo family lives in Charleston. Alex Pellegrino Rogers is the studio manager and an instructor at Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston. She is also a graduate student in the communication program at the University of Charleston, S.C. Ryan and Ann Ward Treat ’04 announce the birth of their daughter, Ellison “Ellie” Aurelia, born in October. Ryan is a publishing representative with McGraw-Hill, and Ann is the College’s assistant director of parent giving programs. Julie Zimerle is an executive assistant at The Cassina Group in Charleston.

2004 Matthew Brockbank is a sales

associate at Keller Williams Real Estate in Charleston. Cara and Brandon Cochran announce the birth of their daughter, Vivian Sanders, born in September. Brandon is an associate director of development for Clemson University. He received his M.B.A. from Charleston Southern University in 2010. Colleen Daniel (M.S.), who is a licensed CPA with more than 10 years of experience in auditing and government accounting, works for McCay, Kiddy & Associates in Charleston. Sean Kenny is a senior accountant in Moore Beauston & Woodham’s Charleston office. Tim and Bryn Margaret Burkard Kline ’05 announce the birth of their son, Timothy Daly Kline Jr., born in August. The Kline family lives in the Washington, D.C., area. Dave Trausneck is the assistant manager for social media with Sinclair Broadcasting Group, based in Hunt Valley, Md. Dave is responsible for social media accounts of approximately 70 news stations and about 100 non-news TV stations nationwide. Ann Ward Treat (see Ryan Treat ’03) Jeffrey and Meghan Byrnes Weinreich announce the birth of their son, Jameson, born in May. The Weinreich family lives in Charleston.

2005 Parks and Jessica McGrail Batten

announce the birth of a son, Wynn, born in April. Parks sells medical devices with Bard Peripheral Vascular in Georgia. Sara Davis is the owner of Sara Davis Photography in New York City. Elizabeth and Devin Eakes announce the birth of their son, Charles “Charlie” Devin Eakes III, born in October. The Eakes family lives in Greenville, S.C. John Francella is a scientist with Sovereign Environmental Group in Baltimore. Jonathan Holland is an English teacher at Sedgefield Middle School in the Berkeley County (S.C.) School District. Bryn Margaret Burkard Kline (see Tim Kline ’04) Matt and Jennifer Barbarino Reagin announce the birth of their son, Lincoln Henry, born in July. The Reagin family lives in Charlotte.

2006 Monty Biggs earned his master’s

in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art & Design. He is a park ranger for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. Alex Bohun-Chudyniv (M.B.A. ’13) lives in South Jordan, Utah, where he is a sales analyst with OOCL, an international shipping line. Caitlin Kibbey is an assistant professor at the


mcarchivist Forgive Jessica Farrell ’08 if her work makes her hungry. As a corporate archivist for McDonald’s, Farrell spends her days sorting through all sorts of documents, television commercials and historical artifacts related to the Golden Arches, helping catalog the paraphernalia in climatecontrolled storage and answer questions from colleagues. Questions like: How much lettuce was placed on the first Big Mac hamburger? What year did the diameter of a McDonald’s drinking straw increase? What was the price of chicken nuggets when they first debuted in the United Kingdom? Farrell, a French major who got her start in archives by working at the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture as well as Special Collections within the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library, takes pride in being able to find answers to most of the questions that come her way. Working outside Chicago in a former Hamburger University building, Farrell is constantly amused and intrigued by the history of the world’s largest fast-food chain, which opened its first franchise in 1955 and today operates in 120 countries. Digging into the corporation’s vast archives, Farrell has discovered treasures that include Ronald McDonald tennis shoes, McDonald’sthemed video games, a McDonald’s Japan stationery set, correspondence between McDonald’s executives, and every Happy Meal toy ever created in the USA. Each item, Farrell notes, is treated as a museum object and handled with extreme care. Indeed, Farrell even gives tours of two McDonald’s museums near her office, including the first McDonald’s Corporation restaurant and a general history exhibit featuring a replica of the office used by Ray A. Kroc, the founder and first CEO of McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, she supports internal and media reference services and manages intellectual property and preservation strategies for the Golden Archives’ growing collection of digitized and “born” digital records. Whatever her workday brings, she’s lovin’ it. “I never considered working for a business until I saw this job, just because most archives exist in an academic setting,” says Farrell, who also earned her master’s in library and information science at the University of South Carolina in 2011. “However, after I started working here, it blew away all my misconceptions of what working for a big corporation would be like, and so far it’s been an amazing – and fun! – experience.” – Jason Ryan FA L L 2 0 1 4 |



University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine and an attending physician in its Department of Emergency Medicine. Joe Mester is a graduate student in the University of Pennsylvania’s historic preservation program. Griffin Morrow is an assistant vice president at CresCom Bank in Charleston. Kathryn Evans Reynolds is an association and regime manager with John Poston & Co. in Charleston. She and her husband, Chris, live in West Ashley with their furry children, Tucker and Raleigh. Neal and Emily Shalosky Shelley announce the birth of their daughter, Annie Vee, born in October. The Shelley family lives in Washington, D.C. Bette Walker earned a photography degree from Boston University and is a freelance photographer in Charleston. Bette and Richard Bohler were married in June.

2007 Kate Abney is a field editor with

Insight Magazine at Parlore in Atlanta. Parlore is an app made for designers. Lee Aldrich is the craft brand representative for R.A. Jeffreys in Raleigh. Skylar Curtis Bader opened a solo law practice in New York City, providing legal services to startups, new businesses and nonprofits. Taylor Beacham is the chef for ZZs Clam Bar in New York City. He also assisted Torrisi Italian Specialties in obtaining a Michelin star. Sophia Camp and Alex McCracken were married in September and live in Washington, D.C. Alissa Collins and Chris Lietzow ’09 were married in April. Alissa is an attorney with Stuckey Law Firm, and Chris is an attorney with the Charleston Solicitor’s Office. Both graduated from the Charleston School of Law. Katie Frederick is a Realtor with Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. Hunt Galloway is a spine implant territory manager for Globus Medical in Georgia. Last year, he received the Rep of the Year Award and was part of Globus’ Lions Club for those in the top 5 percent of sales. Amanda Stevenson Grover is an executive assistant for the Aflac Group in Columbia. Amanda Kilbane and Neal Cook were married in November. Amanda is a teacher at Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School, and Neal is the guest services manager at the Elliot House Inn and the owner/operator of Historic Family Tours in Charleston. Denny and Christina Callison Kubinski announce the birth of their son, Dorn Preston, born in October. The Kubinski family lives on Sullivan’s Island. Christina is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. April Owens is a software analyst with Blackbaud in Charleston. She and Jonathan Alkis were married in May 2013. Megan Parkerson is the head coach for the girls’ volleyball team at Porter-Gaud in Charleston. She coached the team to their fifth consecutive state volleyball title. Hunter Stunzi is the president and co-founder of SnapCap, a Charleston-based company that provides business loans up to $200,000 to existing businesses, usually within 48 hours. Travis and Lisa Zobel announce the birth of their first child, Camden Lee, born in September.

2008 Madison Bush (see Charles

Calloway ’09) Melissa Krueger Camacho earned her M.A.T. from Converse College in July 2013 and teaches



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

eighth-grade social studies in Greenville County. She and her husband, Chris, announce the birth of their first child, Parker Alan, born in February. Molly Cole is the senior brand marketing manager at 2U in Baltimore. Mary Crawford and Glynn Guerry were married in November. Mary is the convention services and wedding market coordinator for the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Katie Davis graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry and is an optometrist at Draisin Vision in Charleston. Jessica Dennis is a leasing agent and property manager with Bennett Holdings in Charleston. Susan Kamenar is a digital strategist for Guy Oseary, a music manager, entrepreneur and tech investor in Los Angeles. Before that, she worked for Sony Music in New York City and Artists Agency in Los Angeles. Katka Lapelosa is a travel writer, managing editor and social media director for Matador Network, an online journalism site. The job allows her to travel the globe, but work from home (or wherever in the world she happens to be). Kella Player and Weldon Hanna were married in April. Kella earned her master’s in biotechnology with a concentration in biotechnology enterprise from Johns Hopkins University. Julia Ridley (M.S.) is a senior accountant with Moore Beauston & Woodham’s audit and assurance practice in Charleston. Abbie Riley is the marketing and recruitment coordinator for the International Education Management Group in San Diego. Korey Vasconcellos is a special education teacher on Edwards Air Force Base in California. Korey and Jared Renshaw were married in November.

2009 Lindsay Tart Calabrese is a dealer

services representative and commercial lines producer at Gundermann & Gundermann Insurance in New York. Charles Calloway and Madison Bush ’08 were married in October and live in Raleigh. Courtney Cochran is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, C. Dan Joyner Realtors in Greer, S.C. Courtney and Jeff Thompson were married in September 2009. Gillian Ellis and her father started a wedding photography business in Charleston called Ellis Photo Studio. She also has a wedding blog that is becoming one of the top wedding blogs in the Southeast. Jared Esselman is the director of state government affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, based in Maryland. Alexandra Hafner Fortune is the research and student services coordinator for the University of Charleston, S.C. She and her husband, Andrew Fortune ’11, live on Johns Island. Patrick and Elizabeth Gravels Hanlon ’11 announce the birth of their son, Patrick Russell Hanlon Jr., born in April. Kyle Hilliard is an associate editor for Game Informer magazine, the biggest video game magazine in the world. Katherine Jahnke and Kyle Jones ’11 were married in September and live in Tallahassee, Fla. Chris Lietzow (see Alissa Collins ’07) Monet McCarus is a senior business development executive with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Robert Saglio is the assistant director of community sailing at Mystic Seaport Museum and lives in Westerly, R.I. Amanda Singleton completed an accelerated bachelor’s in nursing from MUSC. Amanda and

Daniel Beach were married in September and live in Clover, S.C. Erin Smith is the director of soccer operations for the Carolina Rapids in North Carolina. Corley Thomas earned his M.B.A. from University of Georgia in September and lives in Atlanta. Erika Trent is a quality engineer for Span America Medical Systems. Erika and Robert Ramsbottom were married in October and live in Mauldin, S.C. Andrea Lever Upchurch is the executive pastry chef for Hospitality Management Group Inc., which includes Magnolias, Blossom and Cypress restaurants in Charleston. Whitney Wilder is a judicial law clerk at the Baltimore County Circuit Court. She graduated from Charleston School of Law in 2014 and has been accepted to the Maryland Bar. Sean ’10 and Kara Hudacko Wittorf announce the birth of their son, Brooks Alexander, born in November. The Wittorf family lives in Atlanta.

2010 Jennifer Arnold is the director of

sales and marketing for the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston/Mt. Pleasant. Courtney Brink is the foundation event coordinator for The LPGA Foundation and LPGA-USGA Girls Golf in Daytona Beach, Fla. Emily Carrig is the senior administrative assistant with the College’s Office of the President. Gordy Casasco is a senior expert services specialist at Oracle in Washington, D.C. Zakiya Mickle Esper is the founder and CEO of Sowing Seeds, a nonprofit that mentors troubled teens in the Midlands of South Carolina. Madeline Grawey is a leasing and marketing expert with Zocalo Community Development in Denver. Kallie Gritton is an attorney with the Law Office of Bruce H. Phillips in Brentwood, Tenn. She earned her J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Rachel Horn is a leasing and marketing assistant for Blake Real Estate, a commercial real estate company in Washington, D.C. Michael Kohn signed a deal with the Atlanta Braves after pitching four seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hannah Kozak earned her master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University and is a physician assistant (internal medicine) in Tamarac, Fla. John Lumpkin is employed by The Cook and Boardman Group in Charleston. John and Christine Johnston were married in October. Kate McGrath is a Ph.D. student at The George Washington University-Columbian College of Arts & Sciences in Washington, D.C. Kyle Osborne is an agent with AgentOwned Realty in Mt. Pleasant. Jason Parker designed and built The Post and Courier’s new Web presence. Emily Robinson Rojas is a business immigration attorney at Ogletree Deakins in Raleigh. She earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina in May. Brittany Ross earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in May and is an anti–money laundering investigator at TD Bank in Columbia. Katie Samples is the marketing and events coordinator at Johnson & Johnson Insurance in Charleston. Meredith Trevino is a math intervention teacher and is in her second year with the Denver Math Fellows at Morey Middle School. Erin Wendel and her husband, Lt. Alexander Player, are stationed at Pearl Harbor. Erin


[ alumni profile ]

Strike a Match She is here for the men. She makes that unmistakably clear. She goes straight in and makes her move without hesitation. And her approach works: She’s already scored numbers from five eligible bachelors – all of them unabashedly intrigued by what she has to offer. She’s straightforward, unapologetic and confident. And she’s starting to get a reputation. “I’ve been to so many of these things, people have started approaching me,” says Robyn Swider ’10. “They’ll come up to me and say, ‘Hey, aren’t you that matchmaker?’ and I say, ‘I am!’ It’s a great conversation starter.” Yep, Swider is that matchmaker – specifically, the one who last spring launched the New York branch of the L.A.–based dating service Three Day Rule. Looking for a New York matchmaker to help establish its brand on the East Coast, the company posted an ad on LinkedIn. “My friend sent it to me and said, half kidding, ‘Look! You really can be a matchmaker!’” recalls Swider, who has long had a penchant for matching friends up with one another. “I never dreamed I’d turn my love for matchmaking into a career!” It was, well, the perfect match for the communication major, who immediately started reaching out to various groups

and attending networking events to spread the word about Three Day Rule. “You have to be a self-starter. You have to be willing to go out there and make things happen,” says Swider, who has helped hire three other New York–based matchmakers since she started with Three Day Rule. “You have to be able to go after what you want – in my case, matches for my clients.” So, two or three nights a week, Swider attends networking events (e.g., gallery openings, charity functions, professional events, alumni receptions) to search for matches for the 30 or so clients she has at any given time. Paying $5,000 for six months of matchmaking services, Swider’s clients are generally successful men and women in their late 20s to early 40s who have never been married and don’t have kids. “Most of my clients have just been focused on their careers,” says Swider. “They’re busy. They have no time to go on bad dates, so they just want to make sure there’s a chance at a long-term relationship before they waste their time.” And Swider wastes no time: In the initial interview with her clients, she asks some general questions (about hobbies, their family, etc.) before going more in-depth about what they’re looking for in

a partner. Getting to know the clients – and the difference between what they say they are looking for and what they’re actually looking for – is crucial in the matchmaking business. “You have to be able to read people and read between the lines of what they say – and they have to want to open up to you. They have to trust you. They need to feel like you really know them and that you are listening to them and understanding them,” says Swider. While the goal is always to find longterm love for her clients, Swider points out that that’s not always what they need when they come to her. “Even if they don’t find the love of their life through us, it’s still such a valuable experience because you learn so much. You might have been thinking you wanted one thing out of a partner, but find out that that’s not what is really going to work for you,” she says. “It also gives people a confidence boost – it shows them the qualities that they have that are attractive to other people. That kind of confidence gives them a different vibe when they go out and meet people down the road.” After all, it’s that kind of confidence that gets you what you want. Swider is willing to stake her reputation on it. – Alicia Lutz ’98 S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |



In Memoriam: James B. Edwards ’50 The College lost one of its brightest stars when former S.C. Governor Jim Edwards ’50 passed away on December 26, 2014. After serving with the U.S. Maritime Service in World War II, Edwards completed his degree in chemistry at the College, going on to a career in oral surgery in Charleston. Edwards entered politics in the 1960s and won the state’s governorship in 1974, becoming the first Republican governor in South Carolina since Reconstruction. Edwards would later serve as secretary of energy for President Ronald Reagan’s administration and then president of the Medical University of South Carolina for 17 years. Edwards received numerous honors from the College, including the Founders’ Medal, the Alumni Award of Honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine.

[ passages ] LeRoy Pinkerson Jr. ’36

Marian Gerard Draine ’54

David Litchfield ’84

Lois Myers Jervey ’38

George Hamrick Jr. ’54

Faye Bold Hughes ’85

Jane McCrady Yates ’40

Leon Keller Jr. ’55

Joan Schroeder Keller ’86 (former faculty)

Verna Youmans Evans ’42

Barbara Acklin Lindenmuth ’56

Andrew Grimes ’92

Mary McDonald MacLean ’42

Marshall Shearer ’56

April Thomas Miller ’94

Charlotte Small Bavier ’43

William Kanapaux Jr. ’59

Kathleen Hill Ritchie ’95

Elizabeth Siemers Moorer ’43

Stella Megna ’59

Mary Grace Kaplan Felch ’96

Helen Bruggemann Achorn ’46

Katherine Liddy Baldwin ’60

Carol Haltiwanger Hyer ’98

Lola Leary Jones McKenzie ’47

Perry Feldman ’61

June 24; Winchester, Va.

October 27; Hanahan, S.C.

Nathalie Gray Wilson ’47

Eugene Fischer ’63

Frank Boyd III ’01

Beverly Koester Johnson ’48

Charles Hunt ’73

Thomas Dion ’02

Grace Mason Quillian ’48

Betty Murphy Marshall ’74

Kaitlin Cooper Barham ’06

John Hawkins ’49

Randy Beach ’75

Edwin Swan ’06

Rosina Marie Kennerty Seignious ’49

Nancy Shea Sirigos ’76

Logan Dodds ’12

Lois McKeithen Wright ’49

Kathleen Greves Harris ’77

Nichlas Keszler (student)

Bernard Puckhaber ’50

Matthew O’Malley ’77

Chadwick Cooke (student)

Glenn Gaumer ’51

Elizabeth Middleton Briggs Parker ’78

Robert Anderson (former faculty)

Dorothy Sams Gervais ’51

Carol Murdaugh Smunk ’78

Harry Feller (former staff)

Kathryn Kahrs Matthew ’51

Laurent Britton ’79

May Ella Goodwin Gregory (former staff)

Walton Morris ’51

Thomas Carroll ’80

Allen Harrell (former staff)

Kenneth Pooser ’51

Sarah Folendore Radcliffe ’82

Reuben Greenberg (honorary degree recipient)

Charlotte Roempke Westendorff ’53

Mark Sorensen ’82

September 26; Decatur, Ga. January 12; Orangeburg, S.C. October 8; Charleston, S.C.

November 19; Orangeburg, S.C. October 4; Columbia, S.C.

November 23; Charleston, S.C. November 13; Columbia, S.C. January 2; White Hall, Ark.

October 8; Summerville, S.C.

October 27; Lakewood, Wash. December 11; Charleston, S.C. October 16; Charleston, S.C. January 7; Hanahan, S.C. September 29; Charleston, S.C. December 3; Charleston, S.C.

December 26; Charleston, S.C. July 26, 2008; Lake Jackson, Texas November 17; Johns Island, S.C. October 28; Charleston, S.C. April 28, 2013; Niles, Ohio December 14; Tulsa, Okla. December 23; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.



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October 10; Charleston, S.C.

December 11; Charleston, S.C. October 16; Winston-Salem, N.C. October 10; Johns Island, S.C. November 26; Dexter, Mich. November 3; Charleston, S.C.

September 8; Charleston, S.C. December 30; Charleston, S.C.

October 24; James Island, S.C. October 24; Oviedo, Fla. December 11; Charleston, S.C. January 19; Charleston, S.C. October 21; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. September 25; Sullivan’s Island, S.C. October 5, 2002; Statesville, N.C. October 12; Charleston, S.C.

September 8; Beaufort, S.C.

September 9; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. September 29; Aiken, S.C. January 3; Manning, S.C.

August 10; Summerville, S.C.

January 5; North Charleston, S.C. September 26; St. Joseph, Mo. November 4; Summerville, S.C.

September 23; North Charleston, S.C. June 8, 2012; Summerville, S.C. December 21; Hickory, N.C.

October 26; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. January 1; Summerville, S.C.

George McCrackin II ’98

August 30; Columbia, S.C. July 4, 2012; North Charleston, S.C. October 5; Charlotte, N.C.

September 5; Washington, D.C. January 7; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. December 7; Southampton, N.Y. December 23; Bolingbrook, Ill. October 31; Charleston, S.C.

November 16; Charleston, S.C.

December 14; North Charleston, S.C. January 12; Charleston, S.C.

September 24; Charleston, S.C.


volunteers with multiple nonprofits, and the couple ran the Honolulu Marathon in December. Lee Wheelwright is a front office administrator with Intrawest in Denver. Sean Wittorf (see Kara Hudacko Wittorf ’09)

2011 Kuleigh Beckett Baker is a cashier

in the College’s Treasurer’s Office. Kevin Beringer is the director of leasing and property management with Ziff Properties in Mt. Pleasant. Robert Blank is the co-founder, prototype development engineer and chief compliance officer at Mountain Drones in Denver. Andrew Brennan is a business development specialist with McGuireWoods in Washington, D.C. Amanada Devore and David Ballard were married in October. Jacie Dick is an REO coordinator at Newman Realty in Chicago. Kristen Dixon is an agent in Carolina One Real Estate’s Mt. Pleasant office. Andrew Fortune (see Alexandra Hafner Fortune ’09) Elizabeth Gravels Hanlon (see Patrick Hanlon ’09) Laine Hester is the project manager for a boutique branding agency called Stitch Design Co. in Charleston. Cristy Jamison is a communications specialist with Touchpoint Communications in Charleston. Kyle Jones (see Katherine Jahnke ’09) Gabriella Korba is the event manager with Marriott International’s Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. Ethan Lingsweiler is a technical services coordinator at Arbon Equipment Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisc. Jan Gambardella Morris is the traffic manager for On Ideas, an advertising firm in Jacksonville, Fla. Caroline O’Hagan and Bradley Lazear were married in May 2013. Molly O’Quinn and Brian Flowers were married in November. Molly works at MUSC, where she earned her master’s in health administration. Meagan Orton is a graduate assistant for Academic Leadership Programs at The Citadel. Meagan Roach earned her J.D. from William and Mary School of Law in 2014. She is an associate at BrigliaHundley in Vienna, Va. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation and corporate and real estate transactions. Ryan Schmidt is a J.D./M.A. student in American University’s Washington College of Law. Shannon Smith is the benefits administrator at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. Trish Lowe Smith (M.S.) is a curator of historic architectural resources at Drayton Hall in Charleston.

2012 Audrey Abshire is a sales associate

for strategic accounts in the D.C. area with Cvent, an event-management software company. Dave Blumenfeld is the senior marketing manager at Tablelist in Boston. Carter Boardman is the public relations coordinator at Stuart Weitzman Holdings and lives in New York City. Allison Boynton is a sales associate at Coldwell Banker in Boston. Sierra Butler earned a Rotary Global Scholarship from the Rotary Club of Daniel Island. She is studying adult education at the University of Ghana and hopes later to work for a nonprofit to provide educational resources for people in rural areas of developing countries. Aylett Clesi is a geologist for Environmental Resources Management, an environmental

consulting firm in New Orleans. She’s worked on projects for Shell in Louisiana and on a remediation project near Memphis that involved soil contaminated with arsenic. Catherine Clifton is an event coordinator with the international event firm Linder Global in Washington, D.C. Bryan Delgado is a project engineer with MDA Construction Services in Columbia. Elliot Dickerson is a grants assistant with CAF America in Alexandria, Va. Jade Dilley and Chris Geary were married in April 2013 and live in Columbia. Chris Dion is an associate with Belk | Lucy, a commercial real estate firm in Mt. Pleasant. Catherine Hendricks is an event producer with Hamby Catering and Events in Charleston. Catherine and Bernard Bastian IV were married in November. Grace Hummel is a program assistant with the Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC. Courtney James is an integration support specialist at Benefitfocus in Charleston. Kelsey Johanson is an accounts receivable and payroll specialist at Glasspro in Charleston. Vicki Johnson is the group sales manager for Global Spectrum’s Augusta Entertainment Complex in Augusta, Ga. She has worked with shows such as Ringling Bros. Circus, the Harlem Globetrotters, Cheech & Chong, Sesame Street Live and Zac Brown Band. Maggie Jordan is the program coordinator for the College’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Daniel Kovacs is a technical representative for PING’s South Carolina territory. Halley Black Manett is an associate development manager with Charleston’s Twin Rivers Capital. Allyson Townsend McGuiness is an RN in the College’s health services office. She earned her nursing degree from MUSC in 2014. Megan Reese is a team lead with Benefitfocus in Charleston. Emilie Rossett is a dental student in MUSC’s James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine.

2013 Edward Andrew (M.B.A.) is an agent

with Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. Lindsay Flight is an assistant designer at Reger Designs in New York City. Dara Freedman is an associate buyer with Meeting & Incentives Worldwide and works remotely from Chicago. Sallie Funderburk is a marketing assistant with Trio Solutions in Mt. Pleasant. Marita Hansen is an account representative with CEB in Chicago. Sam Lagod is a Realtor with Carolina One Real Estate’s Mt. Pleasant office. Kathryn Matrangola is an associate at Domicile Real Estate Brokerage in Charleston. Alyssa Maute (M.A.) works for Vestige Communications in Charleston. Alyssa and Emmett Smith were married in November. Matt Mazzarell is a data scientist for Teradata in New Orleans. He’s worked with AT&T to determine the cause of outages and helped GE to figure out how much radiation patients are receiving from MRI scans. Morgan Mikolajczyk is a law student at Charlotte School of Law. Morgan and Isaac Insley were married in June. Morgan’s two younger sisters are current CofC students. Charlotte Pultz is the store manager at Genealogy Boutique & Formals in Charleston. Allison Ross-Spang is the customer service manager with Charleston’s Spoleto Festival USA. Sarah Scudder is a petty officer third class with the U.S. Coast Guard. Henry Sherrill is a business development representative at Magnetic in New York City.

Lauren Frances Evans Moore ’11

received the highest honor in the nation for a young sculptor: the 2014 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, given by the International Sculpture Center. Her work was then on exhibit this past fall and winter at the ISC headquarters in Hamilton, N.J. Moore earned her M.F.A. from the University of Maryland last May.

Katherine Shidler is the food and beverage manager for the Courtyard Charleston Historic District Hotel. Liza Wood earned a Rotary Global Scholarship from the Rotary Club of Charleston. She is studying agricultural and environmental science at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and hopes to work in international and/or domestic agricultural policy and community development through food systems. Elliott Wright is a property manager with RentCharleston. Morgan Zipperly is in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She is a medical student and hopes to graduate with a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree after eight years of study.

2014 Kim Bruyette is a sales associate in

the D.C. area with Cvent, an event-management software company. Elizabeth Cardell is a communications coordinator for the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and is working with Carl Blackstone ’93, the chamber president. Sarah Carver is the social media manager at Social Market Exchange in Greenville, S.C. Samantha Duncan is the lead assistant coordinator for A Southern Ceremony, a Charleston wedding planning company. Mariah Fleming is the booking coordinator for the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. Beth Gniewek (M.A.) is a development coordinator for the College of Charleston libraries. Reid Heimkreiter is a digital media specialist with Empower MediaMarketing in Cincinnati. Brennan Joseph is an intern with Singerman Real Estate in Chicago. Danya Kiernan is in the teacher’s assistant program in Grenoble, France, teaching elementary school students. Matt Manoogian is an associate with CBRE and lives in New York City. Katelyn Ragaglia is a project administrator with LS3P Associates, an architectural firm in Charleston. Katie Rahn works in business development for North Star Destination Management in Nashville, Tenn. Chris Weekley is a software analyst at Integration Point, a Charlotte-based company that provides cloud-based global trade and supply chain management solutions.

Check out College of Charleston Magazine’s website at magazine.cofc.edu.

S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |



[ faces and places ]

3 2


5 4

6 7


There’s always something going on at the College of Charles ton. Here’s a sample from the las t few months: 1 December Commencement: President Glenn McConnell ’69 and commencement speaker and honorar y degree recipient James McL awhorn Jr., who is president and CEO of the Columbia Urban League 2 December Commencement: President McConnell, then-current S.C. Lieutenant Governor Yancey McGill (honorar y degree recipient) and Joe Thompson ’74 (Board of Trus tees) 3 Cougar Ac tivities Board’s Beard and Mus tache Contes t: Travis Varner 4 Cas t from theatre and dance depar tment ’s produc tion of Assassins 5 BOUNDLESS launch event for s tudent s in the Addles tone Librar y 6 Alumni Awards Gala: Head Coach Monte Lee ’00 (baseball), Joey Foxhall ’99 and Lee Cur tis ’05 7 Recognition of ser vice for longtime board member Dan Ravenel ’72 at the Januar y Board of Trus tees meeting: President McConnell, Ravenel (president, Alumni A ssociation) and Greg |


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10 9


11 12


15 16 17

Padget t ’79 (chair, Board of Trus tees) 8 Alumni Awards Gala: Dean Trisha Folds-Bennet t (Honors College), Steve Swanson ’89 ( BOUNDLESS campaign co-chair), Demetria Noiset te Clemons ’75 (Board of Trus tees) and James Hodge ’89 9 Winter wonderland pre-finals event in the Cistern Yard and George Street (sponsored by Cougar Activities Board) 10 Student Government A ssociation 11 Grammy Award–winning producer 9th Wonder (Patrick Denard Douthit) 12 Jean Chat zk y, author and financial editor for NBC’s Today 13 Painting of Randolph Hall by Jim Gensmer ’78 (donated to the College by Kur t ’84 and Melody Booker Taylor ’87) 14 Mark Br yan (ar ts management) and Jonathan Gray ’95 per forming in the Stern Center Garden 15 David Finkel, author of The Good Soldiers, last summer’s selec tion for The College Reads! program 16 President McConnell with the Charleston 40 in the Admissions Center 17 M.B.A. students in Rio de Janeiro, led by Jim Kindley (direc tor, M.B.A. program) S PRI N G 2 0 1 5 |



My Space

Jack’s Cafe, 41 George Street A bacon cheeseburger plate. Lettuce, tomato, grilled onions. French fries. Sweet tea. It’s an order I’ve been placing since 2005, when I was a freshman. Last year, I met Holly Denman ’76 while recruiting in Portland, Ore. We talked about many things, but the first question she asked, “Is the Hungry Lion still there?” “Yes, ma’am,” I told her, “but today, we call it Jack’s Cafe.” Jack Sewell started flipping burgers at 41 George Street just over 40 years ago, and, on October 31, Jack turned on the grill for the last time. Eating at Jack’s is as much a tradition on campus as our graduates who don



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

their white each May. Ask students or alumni their order and they can recite it from memory. It’s a diner that fed the College’s masses, and all by the hands of one man. On early mornings you could find students squeezing in last-minute studying between bites of breakfast. For lunch, everyone knew it was the cheapest good meal in town, the perfect amount of grease to cure what ails you. And it was never made for profit; these meals were crafted out of love for the job and the people he served. After all these years, retirement is welldeserved for one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known.

Years ago, Jack was given a small plaque thanking him for his years of service to our collegiate family. So again, Jack, on behalf of the entire College of Charleston community, thank you for the many years of gastronomic pleasure. – M. Seaton Brown ’09 Brown is a senior admissions counselor for the College and novice coach for the College’s crew team.

Editor’s Note: Jack’s Cafe has reopened in the same location under new ownership.

At the College, our students believe that service is an important part of the academic experience. Case in point: Clay Dustin, double major in mathematics and data science in the Honors College, who established Project Playground, a volunteer program connecting CofC students with local schoolchildren. By being a part of BOUNDLESS, you’ll help us support the next generation of community activists – like Clay – and prove that giving back can be serious fun.

boundless.cofc.edu #boundlesscofc

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Profile for College of Charleston

College of Charleston Magazine Spring 2015  

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 2015  

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