Beyond the Gates The Magazine of Rhodes College
A wide-ranging community engagement program is a fundamental part of the Rhodes College experience.
Charting a Course
Navigating a pandemic is just one challenge that higher education institutions face.
Rhodes 2020 Alumni Awards
The three annual alumni awards recipients have been announced.
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The Rhodes Vision
Rhodes College aspires to graduate students with a lifelong passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concerns into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world.
We will achieve our aspiration through four strategic imperatives: Student Access To attract and retain a talented, diverse student body and engage these students in a challenging, inclusive, and culturally broadening college experience. Student Learning To ensure our faculty and staff have the talent, the time, and the resources to inspire and involve our students in meaningful study, research, and service. Student Engagement To enhance student opportunities for learning in Memphis. Student Inspiration To provide a residential place of learning that inspires integrity and high achievement through its beauty, its emphasis on values, its Presbyterian history, and its heritage as a leader in the liberal arts and sciences. Adopted by the Rhodes Board of Trustees January 17, 2003
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4 — Letter from the President 6 — Under the Oaks 34 — Class Notes 64 — In Memoriam
J. Dylan Sandifer ’12
J. Carey Thompson
Charles W. Kenny
VICE PRESIDENT OF ENROLLMENT & COMMUNICATIONS
Jenna Goodloe Wade
VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT
CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Tracy Vezina Patterson ’84, ’P22
DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS
Martha Shepard ’66 EDITOR EMERITA
ALUMNI OFFICE 1-800-264-LYNX ADMISSION OFFICE 1-800-844-LYNX Please send address changes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhodes magazine is published by Creative Content by CMI, a subsidiary of Contemporary Media, Inc. Anna Traverse Fogle CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Bryan Rollins ART DIRECTOR
Samuel X. Cicci ’15 ASSOCIATE EDITOR
CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER
Matthew Harris ’20 STAFF WRITER
©2020 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any of the materials contained herein is forbidden without the expressed written consent of Rhodes College.
Justin Fox Burks PHOTOGRAPHER
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Beyond the Gates A wide-ranging community engagement program is a fundamental part of the Rhodes College experience. By Michael Finger
Charting a Course Navigating a pandemic is just one challenge that higher education institutions face. By Samuel X. Cicci, ’15
Rhodes 2020 Alumni Awards The three annual alumni award recipients have been announced.
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Letter from the President Dear Friends,
Rhodes is a diverse community and what draws us together is not uniformity of thought, collective experience, or a rigid set of principles. We are bound instead by our shared commitment to the Rhodes mission: “To graduate students with a lifelong passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world.” The hallmarks of a Rhodes education — the Search course, outstanding teaching, high academic standards, our beautiful campus, our Honor Code, student-centered campus life and leadership development, our nationally recognized service to Memphis — are ways we bring that mission to life. We faced an incredible challenge this year: how to translate our experience, and relationship-driven, face-to-face model of learning into a socially distanced and safe experience for everyone in our community? This has not been easy, but everyone — on campus and off — has risen to the challenge. Faculty spent their summer learning how to build intellectual communities over Zoom, our student life teams brought a “can-do” mindset to providing social and emotional support, and every operational unit faced new demands with courage and creativity. We have learned a lot about what makes Rhodes unique, and
we will be able to put this new knowledge to good use as we return to our campus and plan for the future. Even as Rhodes rose to this moment of public health crisis, our community also responded to current political events and social movements with a spirit of engagement, respect, and the leadership and action to which our mission statement aspires. With Rhodes in the national spotlight, I received letters from alumni all over the country. I was moved by the wide range of viewpoints and the thoughtful, respectful way that alumni galvanized to meet extraordinary circumstances. My heart has been broken many times this year as I’ve had to make difficult decisions and support our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. All of us faced losses due to Covid-19. All of us have made sacrifices. My prayer is that Rhodes emerges from this year stronger and with an even deeper sense of mission and vision for the future. Your support and engagement is critical. Thank you for all the ways you keep Rhodes vibrant and strong — from generation to generation. Best,
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Under the Oaks
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Amy Coney Barrett ’94 Confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court Rhodes College alumna Amy Coney Barrett ’94 will serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.
President Donald Trump nominated Barrett on September 26, 2020, to be an Associate Justice. After the nomination was considered by the Judiciary Committee and reported to the United States Senate, the Senate confirmed the nomination on October 26, 2020. After taking the oath of office, Barrett is the 115th justice and the second Rhodes graduate to serve on the Supreme Court. Abe Fortas of the Rhodes College Class of 1930 became an Associate Justice in 1965. “Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation puts Rhodes College in the front ranks when it comes to having undergraduate alumni on the U.S. Supreme Court,” says Dr. Timothy Huebner, associate provost and
President Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administers the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after Barrett was confirmed by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
the Irma O. Sternberg Professor of History, Dr. Timothy Huebner. “During the last 60 years, since the Kennedy administration, Rhodes has had two of its alumni end up on the highest court in the land. Only Stanford (with four), Harvard, and Princeton (both with three) have had more undergraduate alumni serve as justices during this time.” Rhodes has a long history of connections to the Supreme Court. Alumni have clerked for justices and currently serve as federal judges, and Rhodes has hosted
both the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer on campus. Rhodes alumna Allison Bruff ’14 is a 2020-2021 Supreme Court Fellow. “At Rhodes College, we set our graduates on a path to professional success at the highest levels. Being confirmed to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is part of that legacy,” says Rhodes College President Marjorie Hass. In the Rhodes tradition of active civic discourse and engagement, alumni expressed both opposition and favor of Barrett’s nomination, and in a recent letter to students and alumni, President Hass said, “Rhodes is an institution devoted to excellence in the liberal arts and sciences; we are fundamentally committed to inclusion, belonging, and respect for all persons.” Dr. Jennifer Brady, Rhodes professor emerita of English, reflected, “Amy Coney was a stellar student and an award-winning English major during her impressive undergraduate career at Rhodes.” Barrett graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in English and was selected by fellow students to be inducted into the Rhodes Student Hall of Fame. In addition, Barrett was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, participated in Model United Nations, served as a resident advisor, and was elected to serve on the Honor Council. While a student, Barrett was recognized for her academic accomplishments, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Kappa Delta, Mortar Board, and the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. She also received awards for “Most Outstanding English Major” and “Most Outstanding Senior Thesis.” After graduating from Rhodes, Barrett attended law school at the University of Notre Dame and graduated summa cum laude and the number one student in her class in 1997. She clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and then for Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Following her clerkship for Justice Scalia, Barrett joined the Washington, DC, law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin. In 2002, she joined the faculty at Notre Dame Law School, where she was named a professor of law in 2010. Barrett was confirmed as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in October 2017.
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Rhodes Names Bassard Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs After a competitive national search, Rhodes College president Dr. Marjorie Hass appointed Dr. Katherine Clay Bassard as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Her term began on July 1st.
“Dr. Bassard’s leadership experience and accomplishments show her passion for the power of a holistic education that centers every student,” says Hass. “This serves Rhodes well as she enhances the teacher-scholar model that lies at the heart of the college.” Bassard previously served as interim senior associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, following two years as senior vice provost for faculty affairs. “I feel a deep alignment between Rhodes College’s mission as a residential liberal arts college serving a talented and diverse student body and my own values as a teacher, scholar, and administrator,” says Bassard. “As a first-generation college student, the liberal arts education I received at Wake Forest University instilled a deep love of learning and of academic rigor which became the foundation for my journey as a teacher, scholar and academic leader. I am excited to find a similar commitment to liberal arts education at Rhodes.” Her experience has already served the college well as co-chair for the Planning and Priorities Task Force. The task force reviewed the college’s strategic plan in light of recent changes and presented rec-
ommendations regarding institutional priorities and budget guidelines to lead the college toward a stronger future. Bassard will continue to implement these recommendations and other priorities in the strategic plan alongside Dr. Sherry Turner, vice president of strategic initiatives, supporting diversity and inclusion efforts, faculty development, leadership, and curriculum development. Bassard also works with Dr. Meghan Harte Weyant, the newly appointed vice president for student life, and the faculty to provide the best possible holistic learning experience for Rhodes students. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Bassard serves as professor of English and Africana studies. After earning a B.A. from Wake Forest University, an M.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate from Rutgers University, Bassard began her academic career at the University of California - Berkeley in 1992 and most recently served as chair and professor of English at VCU. Throughout her career, Bassard has studied African American literature and culture. Her dissertation focused on early Black women preachers and religious writers, which served as the framework for her first book, Spiritual Interrogations. She has published two additional books: Transforming Scriptures, the first monograph study of Black women writers’ engagements with the Protestant English canon of the Bible, and recently the first edition of the autobiographical writings of Peter Randolph, a Virginia ex-slave. “Dr. Bassard brings a wealth of experience with her to Rhodes. Her ability to advance and promote the teacher-scholar model, so dear to Rhodes, will strategically position us to produce the next generation of world leaders who are capable of translating their liberal arts education into meaningful service, constructive social advancement, and transformative scientific developments to society,” says Dr. Shana Stoddard, search committee member and assistant professor of chemistry.
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Rhodes Names Weyant Vice President for Student Life
Following a national search, Dr. Meghan Harte Weyant joined the college’s senior leadership team as vice president for student life. With an original start date of July 1st, Weyant assumed her role in late spring to provide additional support during the COVID-19 emergency.
Rhodes Named Best Liberal Arts College, No. 2 Best College Overall in Tennessee by Niche Rhodes College landed top spots on Niche’s 2021 College Rankings. With overall high grades for academics, professors, diversity, and value, Rhodes ranked No. 1 for Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Tennessee and No. 2 for Best Colleges in Tennessee. It came in No. 1 for Best Colleges in Memphis. Nationally, Rhodes ranked No. 47 among the best liberal arts colleges and No. 50 among the best small colleges. Niche also ranked best colleges by major, with Rhodes standing out for business, political science, biology, psychology, education, and history. Rhodes College Named a Best College by The Princeton Review, Ranks 11th for Community Engagement Rhodes College ranks 11th for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” and is recommended as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduates to earn their college degree in The Princeton Review’s newest edition of The Best 386 Colleges. “We salute Rhodes College for its outstanding academics and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 386 Colleges. More than 80 percent of Rhodes students are engaged doing meaningful work in the community. See “Beyond the Gates” on page TK.
Under the Oaks
“Dr. Weyant has been instrumental in our success navigating the college through the public health crisis and delivering on the meaningful student experience that is a hallmark of a Rhodes education,” says President Marjorie Hass. Her leadership and innovative approach building systems of support for students has been crucial during this time. Since her arrival, Weyant has played a key role in the organizing and implementation of the college’s health and safety plan as leader of the Health and Safety Committee. Engaging a guiding coalition of student leaders as well as faculty and staff, Weyant has led the efforts to apply the recommendation of our partner, Baptist Memorial Health Care, and launch a campaign to educate the community around best practices and expectations. Weyant has also focused the beginning of her tenure at Rhodes on increasing opportunities for student connection and community building, made even more important by the limitations of remote
learning. She has worked with staff and students to create virtual activities focused on connection and wellness, launched a weekly student newsletter, Lynx Life, and launched her own Instagram account, @ rhodes_mhw, where she shares important information and updates for current students. “I’m thrilled to be part of a community that uplifts the critical importance of learning, compassion, and leadership in both our communities and world,” says Weyant. “The opportunity to work with our outstanding students, faculty, and staff to bring to bring to life our health and safety plan and strengthen our sense of community even while separated has been deeply rewarding, and I am grateful to work with the student life team and the Rhodes community.” “Dr. Weyant illustrates her ability to lead with compassion in everything she does,” says Jacob Fontaine, search committee member and vice president of Rhodes Student Government. “Her unique student-centered approach to innovation in student life seamlessly aligns with both Rhodes’s current and future institutional goals.” Weyant was previously assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Central Florida, where her dissertation and research focused on the impact of social inequalities on education and achievement.
National Acclaim for Rhodes College
Rhodes Among Top Schools in Fiske Guide to Colleges 2021 Rhodes College is featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2021, which includes profiles of more than 300 of the “best and most interesting” colleges in the country. Rhodes also is recognized for strong programs in economics, English, international studies, history, chemistry, business, biology, and psychology. Edited by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, the annual Fiske Guide to Colleges delivers an insider’s look at what it’s really like to be a student at schools in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland.
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From Trivia to Traditions, New Podcast Explores the Little-Known Stories of the College
“Have you ever wondered who your dorm was named for? Why there’s a water fountain dedicated to a dog named Cujo? We are here to help,” says Kenan Padgett, interlibrary loan/information services librarian, in the introduction of “Lynx to the Past.”
The new podcast, produced by Rhodes College’s Information Services staff, uses the college’s digital and physical archives to tell stories about the campus’ history, mysteries, and legends. Padgett and archivist Bill Short ’71, circulation supervisor Caitlin Gewin ’16, and history student Lillian Brimberry ’21 have rummaged through old documents and images to present a carefully researched and fun podcast. “One day during winter break, I was listening to a podcast made by the State Archives of North Carolina and thought, Wow! We have so many stories to tell about Rhodes. We have to do this!” says Padgett. She consulted with instructional technologist Corey Phillips on how to get started and also enlisted the help of Gewin. “Caitlin is always up for a challenge. She taught herself how to use the Audacity audio software and has edited all the podcast’s scripts and audio recordings.” The first two episodes of Lynx to the Past focus on the origins of the Whiteball competition, the Rhodes Seal embedded in the floor of Southwestern Hall, and the bronze lynx statue in front of the Rhodes Tower. “Before looking into the history of the seal, I had never looked closely at its design and never knew the story behind it. All I knew was to never cross the seal, or else I would not
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graduate,” says Brimberry, referring to the traditional Rhodes legend about the seal. “Now, I will be able to fully appreciate the seal and what it represents.” The theme music for the podcast is an arrangement based on the “Lynx March.” “Here’s a fun fact,” says Padgett. “‘The Lynx March’ is often attributed to Professor Charles Mosby ’51, but according to a document we discovered in the archives, it was actually composed by Jimmy Cobb ’50 in Mosby’s dorm room!” Brimberry, who is a Rhodes student associate in the interlibrary loan office and whose concentration is public history, received academic credit for working on the podcast all summer. “I spent most of my days researching, writing, and recording for it, and each day I learned something
new about the history of Rhodes,” she says. “I have thoroughly enjoyed this unique approach of looking at history. It has not only benefited my academic career, but also my personal development. I am grateful for Kenan and Caitlin for giving me this opportunity and helping me along the way.” Padgett says her hope for the podcast is that it inspires listeners to look around campus and see all the little details that make Rhodes so special. “I have researched almost every house I have every lived in and traced the stories of the people who have lived there,” she says. “Rhodes has been my second home for almost 20 years, and I am becoming just as obsessed with its history. I think we are all a little homesick for campus right now, and this makes it feel a little bit closer.” Those who would like to share their stories for future episodes of “Lynx to the Past” can email email@example.com.
The Rhodes College Lynx have a new look. The college has unveiled a reimagined set of logos representing the Lynx athletic brand. The primary logo shows the Lynx with the iconic “M Bridge” to illustrate the key partnerships and deep relationship between Rhodes and its home city. “I can’t wait to see our student athletes in action with their new uniforms,” says Matt Dean, director of athletics. “I’ve been at Rhodes for 30 years; this is a pivotal moment for the Lynx. Our commitment to the new brand shows the importance of intercollegiate athletics here at Rhodes. The new athletics brand guide is the result of a year-long project. Student athletes and coaches participated in on-campus focus groups. It was in these groups that student athletes shared the idea to include a nod to Memphis in the logo. In a national survey of prospective college students, the final designs received high marks. “Our strategic plan calls for increased visibility and support for our Division III athletics program,” says President Marjorie Hass. “Our research showed that a more distinctive Lynx brand would better represent the strength and spirit of our athletic program. We have 23 NCAA sponsored sports, but we compete as one Rhodes. The college’s new athletic brand guide gives our coaches a variety of uniform and apparel options to use for their teams. In addition to the main Lynx logo, there is a new version of the Lynx Head as well as a secondary logo — a shield bearing the distinctive Rhodes R. The new designs will be phased into use over time. The new logo has been painted on the court in Mallory Gym, since the floor was due to be refinished this summer. However, the turf on Crain Field and other locations won’t be updated until they are due for upgrades. Team uniforms will be updated on their current schedule, but all practice gear will carry the new brand. The Rhodes College Bookstore has updated its website (rhodeslynxgear/merchorders) with new apparel options.
Under the Oaks
“ I think we are all a little homesick for campus right now, and this makes it feel a little bit closer.”
Rhodes Unveils New Look for Lynx Athletics
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Rhodes College Joins Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance
Rhodes College has joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, a group of 51 national liberal arts colleges committed to addressing systemic racism and the unique challenges pertaining to racial diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. Alliance membership provides a range of resources that will assist the college in achieving its strategic goals of fostering a culture of belonging and ensuring a transformational student experience.
Dr. Sherry Turner '84
The Alliance is organized by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center. Beginning in January 2021, the center will host a dozen virtual convenings on different aspects of racial equity. Rhodes faculty and staff members will have the opportunity to participate in the events. Members of the president’s senior leadership team and cabinet will be among the first to join the convenings. The learning sessions, each on a different topic, will be delivered by highly respected leaders of national higher education associations, scholars with expertise in race relations, chief diversity officers, other experienced administrators, and specialists from the center. Participants will have an opportunity to learn from equity dilemmas and racial crises that have occurred at other liberal arts colleges to gain equity leadership tools. Dr. Sherry Turner ’84, vice president of strategic initiatives and chief diversity officer, will be the college’s primary liaison with the Alliance. “Rhodes has been taking important steps in promoting a more just, inclusive, and equitable campus community,” says Turner. “One of the most frequent recommendations we receive is for capacity building among faculty,
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staff, and administrators. Our participation in the Alliance will provide tools and resources for our leaders to deepen their understanding of racial dynamics and to be catalysts for transformation. Our participation will also inform how we engage the difficult but critical questions of race, how we understand our campus climate, and how we use institutional data to measure our progress and hold ourselves accountable.” As a member of the Alliance, Rhodes will also have access to an online repository of resources and tools, including those that facilitate recruiting racially and ethnically diverse talent.
“We could not ask for a better partner to help us expand the program to more cities,” says Deborah Bial, Posse president and founder. “Creating opportunities for students from all backgrounds to excel is critical. We share Rhode’s commitment to diversity and look forward to working with President Hass and her team to ensure the program’s success.” “This new partnership will help us achieve our strategic goal of building a more inclusive and principled campus community,” says President Marjorie Hass. “I am grateful for Dr. Turner’s leadership and support as we build our institutional capacity to make meaningful change.” President Hass will meet quarterly with the presidents from the other 50 Alliance member colleges to share strategies, seek advice, and identify ways to leverage the Alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.
Rhodes College has formed a new partnership with The Posse Foundation to offer full-tuition leadership scholarships to diverse cohorts of students from Memphis and cities around the United States. Many of the cohort members will be the first in their families to attend college and typically attend high schools that are often overlooked in tradition student recruitment. The partnership with Rhodes will be the first time The Posse Foundation has recruited a cohort composed of students from multiple cities. Remote learning prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for this innovative partnership. Up to two members of each Rhodes cohort could hail from Memphis. “We are very excited to partner with The Posse Foundation to recruit these cohorts of talented and motivated students to Rhodes,” says President Marjorie Hass. “Posse’s team-based model equips students with the skills to thrive in the classroom and lead on campus. This is an important step in achieving our strategic goals and supporting inclusive excellence.” The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits, and trains high school students with extraordinary leadership potential. The Posse Scholars will receive full-tuition scholarships from Rhodes. Prospective students may be nominated for the Posse opportunity by public high schools and community centers, and other organizations that serve high school students. J. Carey Thompson, vice president for enrollment and communications and dean of admission, is thrilled with the new partnership. “The Posse Foundation will help us identify outstanding young people who will be excellent leaders and strong students who we might not otherwise find on our own,” says Thompson. “Posse helps ensure student success with a 32-week pre-collegiate orientation that prepares students to take advantage of the opportunities that a residential college provide. The Posse cohort also trains with a Rhodes faculty mentor who works with each student over the course of their first two years.” Rhodes will award full-tuition scholarships to 10 students each year of the partnership. The Posse Foundation will identify a field of 20 highly qualified students from around the United States for the Rhodes Admission Office to consider. Rhodes joins more than 60 Posse partner colleges and universities the United States. The foundation has deep roots in Tennessee; Vanderbilt University was the first school to partner with Posse. Since it was founded in 1989, approximately 10,000 students have been awarded more than $1.5 billion in Posse Scholarships. Participating students graduate at rates above 90 percent.
Under the Oaks
“I am grateful for Dr. Turner’s leadership and support as we build our institutional capacity to make meaningful change.”
Rhodes College announces first-of-its kind partnership with the Posse Foundation
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National Science Foundation Presents Two Grants to Rhodes College. New Supercomputing Center Thanks to a two-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $389,662, Rhodes will soon have a new supercomputing center.
Dr. Brian Larkins
Dr. D. Brian Larkins, associate professor of computer science, is principal investigator, and José Rodriguez, chief information officer, is co-principal investigator for the project, which is titled “CC* Compute: A High-Performance Computing Cluster To Accelerate Research, Education, And Training At Rhodes College.”
Motor and Perception Research A second National Science Foundation grant of $269,970 to Rhodes College will allow researchers to study brain activity involved in body movement using 3D technology.
Dr. Betsy Sanders
Dr. Dan Blustein
Dr. Katherine White
The NSF Major Research Instrumentation Award will allow Rhodes to acquire a state-of-the-art motion capture system that will be used collaboratively across programs and departments such as psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and others. Dr. Dan Blustein, assistant professor of psychology, is principal investigator, Dr. Betsy Sanders, associate professor of computer science, and Dr. Katherine
The competitive award will be used to build a supercomputing cluster — inter-connected computers and servers — that will serve as the cornerstone of a campus-wide research computing center. The new computing resource will greatly advance opportunities for students to engage in computation-based scientific research alongside faculty in a wide range of disciplines, including computer science, biology, mathematics, chemistry, and economics. “A computing resource of this scale is rare among liberal arts institutions,” explains Larkins. “This will allow faculty and students to conduct research at a dramatically larger scale. Instead of running a single experiment for hours on a desktop computer, for example, researchers will now be able to run thousands of experiments concurrently.” Larkins and Rodriguez have been working with academic affairs and physical plant staff to build out a dedicated space for the system in Briggs Hall. “We aim to have the system procured and installed by the end of the year,” says Larkins. “This will be one large computing rack with about 50 server machines con-
White, professor of psychology, are co-principal investigators for the project, which is titled “MRI: Acquisition of a Movement Tracking System to Explore Embodiment and Cognition.” “This equipment is going to put Rhodes College on the map as a serious contributor in the movement science research space,” says Blustein. “We are really excited about the diversity of projects we have planned, and about getting students from all over the college involved.” Motion capture technology can record the movements of dancers and athletes wearing trackers and provide data to improve performance or even prevent injuries. In entertainment, the technology has been used to create characters in animation and gaming programs. Neuroscientists use it to study how brain activity drives the movement of joints and muscles. Blustein studies how people learn, plan, and control movements, with a focus on what happens to the nervous system following disruptions such as limb amputation or stroke. His research drives the development of new robot technologies, neurorehabilitation techniques, and advanced prosthetic systems.
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“With the new system, we will be able to precisely track body movements, even finger and facial movement,” he says, “while at the same time measuring brain activity, giving insight into cognitive processes and attentional demands.” The equipment can support numerous independent student projects and class projects in neuroscience, psychology, and computer science courses. “Students will gain valuable research experience using cutting-edge technology, helping prepare them for graduate school or a variety of careers including in rehabilitation, sports medicine, computer animation, and software development,” says Blustein. “The research proposed in this grant highlights Rhodes as an institution that deeply values how undergraduate research contributes to science.”
When Rhodes College switched to remote teaching and learning in March, Dr. Shana Stoddard, assistant professor of chemistry, wanted to continue creating meaningful labs for her first-year Foundations of Chemistry course. Instead of showing videos, she decided to charge her students with designing and testing possible therapies for coronavirus. Many of her lab students enjoyed the lab work so much that they continued as part of Stoddard’s Molecular Immunotherapies Research (MIR) lab.
PHOTOGRAPH BY HOUSTON COFIELD
Stoddard (above) and the lab students found an antiviral compound that may be able to shorten the length of illness for patients with Covid-19. They also discovered how to design the drugs to interact with the coronavirus protein better to facilitate better drug design. The students’ work was published in the journal Viruses on August 26, 2020. “The research work here is significant because we have defined the structural features that will make a better Covid-19 antiviral drug compound and then used those features to design several novel Covid-19 antiviral compounds which we are now pursuing for testing,” says Stoddard. “The remarkable team of students who really took hold of this opportunity, during the remote phase of the Spring 2020 semester, have really produced seminal contributions to the field of science. This accomplishment demonstrates the ability of Rhodes College to not only push students to creative and academic excellence but to equip them to become the next generation transformational leaders in society.” Many of the 14 student co-authors were first-years at the time of the project. “The project was a great way to learn how even the simpler concepts that we learn in Foundations of Chemistry can have a real-world impact on the research of tomorrow. This opportunity allowed me to find my true passion for therapeutics and research medicine,” says student researcher Ben Oelkers ’23. Their story was covered by the Daily Memphian. In addition to Serena Stoddard with the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and Felissa “Emma” Wallace from Walnut Hills High School, the Rhodes student co-authors were: Benjamin Oelkers ’23, Kennedi Fitts ’21, Kellen Whalum ’21, Kaylah Whalum ’21, Alexander Hemphil ’23, Jithin Manikonda ’23, Linda Martinez ’23, Elizabeth Riley ’22, Caroline Roof ’21, Nowreen Sarwar ’23, Doni Thomas ’20, and Emily Ulmer ’22.
Under the Oaks
nected together with a specialized network.” Rhodes is a research-intensive liberal arts college, and the supercomputing cluster will also function as a platform for classroom experiences; support class activities in computer science, biology, and mathematics; enable researchers to prepare their experiments to run on national compute resources; and contribute unused computing resources to the Open Science Grid, a national, distributed computing partnership. “This award from NSF demonstrates that it views research at Rhodes as impactful and on the cutting-edge,” says Larkins. “This system will anchor our new campus-wide research computing center and will provide new research opportunities and experiences for our students that many institutions are not equipped for.”
Dr. Shana Stoddard and Lab Students Discover Antiviral That Could Aid in COVID-19 Treatment
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Rhodes Welcomes New 2020 Faculty
Rhodes College welcomes 10 new faculty to its distinguished roster for the 2020-2021academic year in the areas of anthropology and sociology, biology, history, modern languages and literatures, political science, psychology, and religious studies.
“This outstanding cohort of teachers and scholars will bring a variety of engaging course offerings to our curriculum,” says Dr. Katherine Bassard, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Excellence in scholarship as well as the mentorship relationship between professors and students is at the heart of a Rhodes education, and I know that those who have joined us share these values.”
Sarah Ifft Decker, History Dr. Sarah Ifft Decker joins the Department of History as assistant professor. Ifft Decker received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2017 and taught Jewish History, Women in the Bible, and Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Religious Movements at Indiana University as a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer. She serves on the Program Committee for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America and has presented at conferences across the world.
Joshua A. Goodman, Psychology Dr. Joshua Goodman joins the Department of Psychology as assistant professor. Goodman received a Ph.D. in 2018 from the University of California and served as a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Bates College. His publications about the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community have been featured across the country, and he has presented his research — from the psychological behaviors of individuals with schizophrenia to recruiting parents of sexual minority youth — in Chicago, Denver, Portland, and Rio de Janeiro.
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Hadi Khoshneviss, Anthropology and Sociology Dr. Hadi Khoshneviss joins the Department of Anthropology and Sociology as assistant professor of sociology. Khoshneviss received a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 2019 taught at Kenyon College for one year as a visiting assistant professor. His research areas are whiteness studies, immigration, social movements, and decolonial theories, and his papers and essays have appeared in Ethnicities, Postcolonial Studies, and Mobilities. Brent Morgan, Psychology Dr. Brent Morgan joins the Department of Psychology full-time as visiting assistant professor. Morgan received a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis in 2014, serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis since 2015 and Rhodes College since 2019, teaching both graduate and undergraduate level courses. Morgan is a cognitive scientist researching bidirectional adaptability in human-computer interaction, with primary interest in artificial intelligence in education, specifically intelligent tutoring systems (ITS).
Justin Rose, Political Science Dr. Justin Rose was appointed dean for faculty recruitment, retention, and diversity effective in July and also serves as associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science. Prior to joining Rhodes, he served as an associate professor of political science and co-director of the Africana Studies program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Most recently, he was a fellow in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Harvard Kennedy School. As a member ofAcademic Affairs, Rose’s primary responsibility is to help recruit and retain a first-rate and diverse faculty.
Raissa A. von Doetinchem de Rande, Religious Studies Dr. Raissa A. von Doetinchem de Rande joined the Department of Religious Studies as assistant professor. Von Doetinchem de Rande received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2020 and taught at Princeton as an assistant in instruction to classes pertaining to Christian Ethics and the Qur’an. In 2019, she organized a public lecture and graduate seminar, “Sharia at the University,” and her publications have been well-received at conferences across the country. Earl Wright II, Anthropology & Sociology Dr. Earl Wright II joins the Department of Anthropology and Sociology as professor of sociology. Wright received a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska and has served on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Texas Southern University (as Chairperson of the Department of Sociology), Fisk University, and the University of Central Florida. His primary research and teaching interests are on the contributions of Blacks to American sociology and the sociology of hip-hop. In 2016, the Southern Sociological Society presented him with the Charles S. Johnson Award for excellence in research on race and the south.
Yinyin Xue, Modern Languages and Literatures Dr. Yinyin Xue joins the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures as assistant professor of Chinese studies. Xue received a Ph.D. in Chinese Literature and Culture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 and was a visiting assistant professor of Chinese at Kenyon College. Her specialization is twentieth-century Chinese literature and media culture. Xue will teach a wide variety of courses in Chinese language, literature, media, and film.
Under the Oaks
Sydney Moyo, Biology Dr. Sydney Moyo joins the Department of Biology as an assistant professor. Moyo received a Ph.D. from Rhodes University (South Africa) in 2016 and was a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University (LSU) and a postdoctoral fellow at Albany Museum (South Africa). Moyo uses invertebrates, biochemical techniques, and mathematical models to reveal the connections between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and how those connections are shaped by humans.
Qian Shen, Biology Dr. Qian Shen joins the Department of Biology as assistant professor. Shen grew up in Zhejiang, China, and received his bachelor’s degree from China Agricultural University. He received a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2019 and was an instructor at Ohio Wesleyan University and a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University before joining Rhodes. He studies the deadly fungal pathogen Histoplasma that causes life-threatening infections to immunocompromised people and has presented his work at national and international conferences.
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Beyond the Gates
A wide-ranging community engagement program is a fundamental part of the Rhodes College experience.
By Michael Finger
Demi Shamsi-Basha ’22 poses in front of Crosstown Concourse, where she volunteered on the front lines of Church Health’s drive-through Covid-19 testing site during the summer.
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Community engagement at Rhodes takes many forms: academic internships, fellowships, student research, community service, and volunteer work. The college recently formed a committee, co-chaired by Kerri Campbell, director of community relations, and Dr. Natalie Person, dean for curricular development, to oversee the various activities and prepare a report on their progress — especially critical now, as Rhodes and the world at large battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Campbell learned the value of community service during her days as a student here. “One of my fondest college memories was the time that I spent with a women’s studies course that had a service-learning component,” she says. “I worked in a domestic violence shelter, and I really enjoyed the volunteer work that I did there.” The Community Engagement Ad Hoc Committee includes seven other members, representing a broad spectrum of the Rhodes community: • Dr. David Sick, professor of Greek and Roman Studies, and director of the Clarence Day Scholars • Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, professor of psychology and chair of Urban Studies • Dr. Darrell Ray, director of special projects • Jessica Kelso, director of health professions advising • Sandi George Tracy P’19, director of career services
Dr. John Bass • Tiffany Ford ‘95, director of the Bonner Center for Service • Dr. Charles Hughes, associate professor of history, and director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center “We needed to think how we would continue with our level of service and visibility in the Memphis community in a way that was both safe and responsive to the community’s needs,” says Campbell. “We both assessed what we had been doing prior to the pandemic, and what change, if any, was needed. The basic question was: How can we continue delivering this service?” Some situations rendered that impossible. Rhodes students who had internships and fellowships in hospitals and other medical settings were, in many cases, unable to continue them — at least for the foreseeable future. The risk from Covid-19 was too great, and the facilities themselves often needed to devote all their attention and resources to fighting the pandemic. The popular St. Jude Summer Plus Fellowship program was halted, because the work required students to be in laboratory settings on the hospital campus — something deemed too risky. That program normally accommodates some 25 students, but for the moment, St. Jude can’t determine when it will resume. Another setback was Rhodes’ involvement with the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis. Before the work there was suspended because of the increasing risk of Covid19, however, City Grant Fellows and other volunteers helped staff the clinic’s tele-health services, organized and staffed a Covid-19 testing site, and provided follow-up information on the test results. “In each of these areas, Rhodes students were critical in both the planning and implementation,” says Dr. Peter Hossler, assistant professor of urban studies. “Emma Taylor ’20 deserves special recognition because she took over as the
Beyond the Gates
At the Memphis Zoo, Gabrielle White ‘23 is studying the elephants for a special research project on their behavior and conservation. Across town, Mildred Vazquez 21 has been interviewing neighbors for a history of the Highland Heights community. And in a former residence near Audubon Park, Dr. John Bass and young musicians are working with blues legend Bobby Rush to record an all-new version of “America the Beautiful.” The common ingredient of these and hundreds of other projects taking place every semester across Memphis and the Mid-South? The people are students and faculty members of Rhodes College, involved in the school’s wide-ranging community engagement program. Their efforts have been so successful, in fact, that the Princeton Review recently ranked Rhodes 11th in the nation for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service.” “Providing a transformative liberal arts and sciences education and opportunities for community engagement is at the heart of our college’s mission,” says President Marjorie Hass. “Rhodes’ relationship with Memphis is both a benefit to the students who discover issues and ideas they are passionate about and to the organizations in Memphis in which they invest their time and energy. It is this marriage of the rigorous exploration of academic ideas and hands-on work in the community that empowers our graduates to pursue meaningful change on whatever professional path they choose.”
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Sydney Jones ’21 stands outside the D’Army Bailey Courthouse near the statue representing Justice. Jones worked for Memphis Area Legal Services’ Restoration of Rights program as part of Rhodes’ summer service fellowship.
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If we have a student who wants a ‘beyond the gates’ service activity, we will usually find ways to make that happen, even if it’s getting them plugged into a virtual opportunity.
In many situations, however, the engagement continued, as the students and their community partners adapted. “I’d say our involvement with academic internship and fellowships is down by about one-third, but in many situations we were able to continue,” says Campbell, thanks to Zoom and other new technology. “If we have a student who wants a ‘beyond the gates’ service activity, we will usually find ways to make that happen, even if it’s getting them plugged into a virtual opportunity.” For example, the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, an eight-week summer program, accepted 22 students for a variety of research and creative projects — described in the Community Engagement Report as “an intimate intellectual odyssey” — by allowing them to conduct their work virtually. Those projects included the history of the Highland Heights community mentioned earlier, while also covering such topics as “The Vollentine-Evergreen Greenline: Dividing or Connecting Communities,” “Reversing the Possessive Investment in Whiteness: Memphis Activists and Organizers on Entering the Racial Justice Movement,” “Historical Analysis of The Farm Intentional Community,” and others. According to Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, students in the Applied Neighborhood Equity class have continued their
work in Memphis’ historic Orange Mound community. “They started by learning the history of the neighborhood from residents who guest-lectured in the class,” says Thomas, “and working with Britney Thornton, executive director of JUICE Orange Mound, to develop a revitalization plan. The project means gathering neighborhood data, community insight, and learning the national best practices for equitable neighborhood revitalization.” Other students are involved with Thomas’ Community Psychology course and working with the BRIDGES Change organization. The goal is to “create more supportive and inclusive classrooms and end the school-to-prison pipeline,” says Thomas, noting “they are also investigating how to best allocate mental-health funding with the Memphis community.” The Mike Curb Institute, where Dr. John Bass is producing a new version of “America the Beautiful,” has adapted to the “new normal.” Named a “Top Music Business School” by Billboard, the Institute has continued its work in the community with a new record label, podcasts, a zine, and a growing social media platform. A new online series called the “Curb Quarantine” enables some 20 students each semester “to engage in community-facing creative endeavors by streaming their creations.” Many academic courses with an element of community engagement have continued despite the pandemic. Student teaching at local schools, for example, has continued, by working with teachers to provide online instruction. Three biology students — Gabrielle White ‘23, Khanh Ton ‘23, and Meredith Hatfield ‘23 — are still engaged in their long-time study of elephants since the work can be done while maintaining social distancing from the general public. This fall, other Rhodes College fellowships were completed off-site, thanks to remote learning capabilities, including research in the fields of chemistry, physics, religious studies, anthropology, history, and political science.
Beyond the Gates
de facto clinical director for two weeks when I had to leave the country due to a death in the family, and other students took on important leadership roles.” Also affected have been the community service projects conducted by the Clarence Day Scholars, which the program stipulates “must be completed in Memphis.” Dr. David Sick, program director, helped juniors and seniors devise assignments that could be conducted remotely, but for the time being, first- and second-year students have been asked to delay their Day projectuntil the Covid-19 situation has improved.
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Kerri Campbell, Director of Community Relations
For many Memphians, the academic internship program may be the most visible example of community engagement activities at Rhodes College. Each year, during the spring and fall semesters, some 150 students participate in an academic internship with more than 100 organizations in the Memphis area, including hospitals, law firms, businesses, government and non-profit agencies, and museums. In return for course credit, they get an inside look at the career they are considering, gain valuable experience, and develop networking opportunities that will be invaluable when they enter the job market. “Academic internships are woven into the fabric of the curriculum at Rhodes College,” says Sandi George Tracy, director of career services. “Through the academic internship program, students are able to see how academic principles are realized in an applied environment.”
“Our favorite new word that we have been using is ‘nimble’ and that can be a benefit of a college like Rhodes.”
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“Our favorite new word that we have been using is ‘nimble’ and that can be a benefit of acollege like Rhodes,” says Campbell. “You can pull together a small group of decision-makers and adapt very quickly.” A good example of that is the Rhodes Response series, presented virtually. “Covid-19 really hit Memphis hard in mid-March, and by May we had started our first series on the pandemic,” says Campbell. These online seminars have addressed key issues affecting America, with topics devoted to “The Science of Covid-19,” “Black Communities and Law Enforcement,” and “Looking to the Past: How Did We Get Here?” with many others scheduled for 2021 and beyond. “When we talk about community engagement, of course, we are usually talking about our students,” says Campbell, “but these events allowed us to share our intellectual resources — of both students and faculty — in a quick and responsive way. We didn’t have to scramble to put anything together; we had within our own com-
Sandi George Tracy P’19, Director of Career Services munity the people who could lend their expertise to these topics.” Emerging technology also allows Rhodes to reach far beyond the traditional limits of community involvement. “With such events as our Constitution Day lectures, Alumni and Friends Book Club, Visiting Writers Series, and others, we can now reach a global and more diverse audience,” says Campbell. In the past, it was mainly Memphians who gathered on the Rhodes campus to attend these events. Now, they are available to a national audience.
Beyond the Gates
As a career services handout explains: “Through the Rhodes Internship Program, the world becomes your classroom. Theories and formulas take on new meaning as they are applied in business, government, and nonprofit environments.” By the time they graduate, some 70 percent of Rhodes students have taken part in some form of internship within the community. This year, however, has presented special challenges. Tracy explains that the internship program is down about 40 percent because of Covid-19. Some business partners have reduced their staff or, with their employees working from home, didn’t feel they could offer a meaningful in-person experience for the students. “Internships look a lot different this fall, but there have also been some positive outcomes,” says Tracy. “For example, we are examining and re-imagining the possibilities of virtual internships in the future. Prior to the pandemic, the mainstream thought was that students should be physically at the internship site. This new way of working has given us pause and helped us to think about leveraging new opportunities for students outside of Memphis.”
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the report from the Community Engagement Committee emphasizes that “Rhodes will offer and support meaningful community engagement opportunities for students, while providing impactful service to our community partners during a pandemic.” What’s more, the college “will maximize our location in Memphis as a strategic advantage for Rhodes and an important contributor to the Rhodes Edge, and build and maintain relationships that expand our mission cooperative with interested nonprofits, schools, community partners, businesses, and local government.” Campbell sums it up this way: “We will look at what we’re doing, how we are doing it, how we can do better, and how we can continue to provide our students with a world-class education that has community service at its core.”
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Charting a Course
Navigating a pandemic is just one challenge that higher education institutions face.
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By Samuel X. Cicci ’15
Photography by Ethan Van Drimmelen
Charting a Course
Students living in Memphis were able to study in the library and use the athletic facilities as part of a Covid-19 fall facilities pilot program.
Drive down University early next year, and the gates leading into Rhodes College will be open, welcoming back a number of enrollees for the spring semester. The familiar sight of students milling about is a testament to the enormous effort the college has put into navigating 2020, with the administration having to juggle plans for both the present day and the long-term. It’s a gross understatement that the COVID-19 pandemic has made operations increasingly difficult for both public and private universities across the country, but dealing with that fallout is just one of many challenges an institution like Rhodes faces. With the country in turmoil due to the coronavirus, are colleges and universities braced to weather the storm? That was the big question posed by Dr. Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at the New York University Stern School of Business. This summer, Galloway put together a data worksheet to gauge the vulnerability of 441 universities included in the U.S. News and World Report’s Top National College Rankings. While the study has not been peer-reviewed and isn’t perfect, Galloway’s spreadsheet aggregates numerous factors to gauge a college’s outlook defined through four categories: Thrive, Survive, Struggle, and Perish. The biggest variables that Galloway takes into account are value and vulnerability to COVID-19. Each college’s value is determined by credential (undergrad admission rate, the number of times a college is searched for online, and the institution’s ranking), experience (millions of student responses gathered from Niche.com), and education (a return on investment, and the money that colleges spend on teaching per full-time student). Vulnerability to COVID-19, meanwhile, is gauged through a school’s endowment and number of national and international applicants. But according to Galloway’s model, Rhodes College is well-poised for the hurdles tossed up by 2020. A high-quality value, coupled with an excellent endowment and other positive factors, earns the school a “Thrive” rating. Due to the challenges of running a higher education institution, the study unfortunately makes for grim reading for some other colleges and universities, estimating that 10 to 20 percent of schools could permanently shut down within the year if students were unable to attend in person. “College is an expensive operation with a relatively inflexible cost structure,” Galloway wrote in his “U.S.S. University” blog post after publishing his data. “The bulk of colleges have become tuition-dependent. If students don’t return in the fall, many colleges will have to take drastic action that could have serious long-term impacts on their ability to fulfill their missions.”
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Jack Lippe '22
After all, the cost of running a school continues to we haven’t done that, over the next few years, it will grow, and that means a need to increase tuition. The be time to invest in, and we’re prepared to do all of College Board’s “Trends in College 2019” report details those things.” an increase of 3 to 5 percent every year over the last The college’s financial health owes itself to the few decades. And with costs rising ever higher, schools institution’s continued pursuit of high standards and without a recognizable name or identity may struggle to excellence. Rhodes has no plan to compromise on attract students back at such high tuition costs. Gallo- the very metrics that caught Galloway’s eye as a thrivway has such institutions marked for Struggle or Perish. ing institute. Rhodes, however, has found itself in a better posi- “What I want to reflect back to our community is tion than most, having for years carefully managed its that we have to focus on excellence,” says Hass. “And finances and always looking one step ahead. But while even if that means we face some challenges, we’re not Rhodes remained in relatively good financial health going to waver from our sense of the importance of compared to its peers, securing the college’s future bringing in students who are prepared to do Rhodesfinancially was still of major importance. President level work, and offering a top-notch, liberal arts educaMarjorie Hass formed a Planning and Priorities Task tion.” Force to assess the impact the pandemic would have. But first, Rhodes had to recalibrate. “We knew that “We started this process in March, and had several we would have reduced revenue this year,” says Hass. values set before us: health and safety, excellence in edu- “We managed to do some temporary one-year cuts to cation, and support for our faculty and staff,” says Hass. programs and projects. Some of them are very natural, “We had to use this as an opportunity to strengthen the such as cutting travel. Others are projects that we could college in the short-term and long-term.” defer for a year or two.” Faculty and staff have taken a What we’re now in the midst of doing,” she contin- temporary reduction in benefits, while the senior team, ues, “is asking whether every dollar we spend is being including Hass, took modest salary cuts. put to its highest and best purpose? We’re in the middle With Rhodes looking at a loss of almost $20 of that campus-wide process now. And I do think it million this year, the college had to get creative to help will mean that there are some wonderful things we’ve bridge that gap. The fundraising team asked donors to done in the past that, we have to say, they’re no longer consider leadership gifts and three-year Annual Fund financially sustainable. And there’ll be other things that commitments to help maintain long-term stability.
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“Everything the Rhodes community does now will help us preserve the college’s strength over the long haul.”
Bobby Parson, Manager - Special Services
what our faculty can offer in regards to retain its full staff without making any teaching, scholarship, and research. And layoffs, something that other colleges those are two other factors that puts and universities have struggled with as Rhodes in a better position than most.” finances dipped. Even with these advantages, the pandemic still means trekking into uncharted territory. With Rhodes piloting just a very small number of students Normally, bringing students back is on campus during the latter part of the a joyous occasion; it still is, but 2020 Fall semester, the dorms have remained has made the process trickier. Rhodes empty. But that didn’t mean that those is taking a safer approach, welcoming buildings were completely shut down. just more than 800 students as full-time They still accrued expenses, such as on-campus residents, as opposed to the maintenance and utilities, but without usual ballpark enrollment of 1,400. And it will all be done under a carefully conany revenue evening it out. Years of carefully balancing the structed health and safety protocol. budget and monitoring spending meant “In large part, we’ll provide sinthat Rhodes was still in a healthy posi- gle-occupancy rooms,” says Thompson. tion when COVID-19 first started “We’ll have some doubles for upperclassaffecting the country, but the school men who choose to live in a double, wasn’t bulletproof; it’s no surprise that but our first-year students will be in the school’s endowment took a dip, as single-occupancy rooms. In all, it will most investment portfolios did when the put us at about half-capacity in terms of pandemic hit. However, it still exceeds residential space.” $300 million. Cash reserves, along with Alongside reopening the dorms, philanthropy from donors, have put maintaining enrollment is key to Rhodes into a position to continue func- Rhodes’ future. The school currently tioning normally in many capacities. accommodates more than 2,000 stuThat safety net, if you will, meant that, dents, but according to Thompson, the up until this point,the school was able to pandemic hasn’t dampened interest in
Charting a Course
Over the summer, the school also conducted a feasibility study and developed ways to recognize those who committed large outright gifts to fill the gap. Some include naming spaces on campus or matching the donation with unrestricted endowment dollars. In essence, they were looking for something that would permanently recognize those who were able to contribute during a difficult time. So far, Rhodes has raised $5 million towards a $20 million goal, with 99 percent of those contributions coming from alumni. Beyond the financial health, many factors contribute to Rhodes’ success despite the pandemic. “I think the fact that Rhodes is in a major city is a huge advantage,” says Carey Thompson, vice president of enrollment and communications, and dean of admission. “The opportunities that students see in cities are compelling in terms of leadership, service, and opportunities that opportunities for internships and the like. Some rural colleges might find it difficult if they’re not near a major metro area. “We also hit a nice sweet spot with our approach to teaching,” Thomson continues. “And I mean that in terms of
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Anna Johnson '23
Mike Herbers, Master Plumbe
Chloe Christion ’22
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Going back to the NYU professor’s study, Rhodes succeeds through his criteria by extending a wide net for prospective students. And the school’s good name brand equity makes it easier to attract outof-state students, as well as create a healthy group of international applicants. All of that feeds into Rhodes improving its core missions through the recently implemented ten-year strategic plan, and even taking the pandemic into account, Hass believes it’s still the best course to follow. “Our strategic plan was grounded in extensive research,” she says, “and we are still preparing to move forward with it.” The Planning and Priorities Task Force was asked to review the plan, and while there might be a few changes ahead, its main
focuses remain the same. “For example, we’re going to move forward full speed ahead with building a new residence hall and moving to a three-year residency,” explains Hass. “We think that’s great for students. It’s great for building a culture of belonging and it’s helpful for our financial strength. “We’re going to see a faster move towards the interdisciplinarity that our plan called for,” she continues, “as smaller departments align themselves with each other to be more efficient in their management. “We will see quicker movement towards inclusive excellence projects. At Rhodes, the population ahead is more diverse and focused on finding a place where the on-campus student life experience is welcoming and is supportive. So this was really what that committee was doing: prioritizing what was in our strategic plan and asking, ‘where do we start?’ And they really came back and reaffirmed the basic core tenets of the plan, and reaffirmed certainly the commitment to academic excellence.” And that forward-thinking strategy is what makes colleges like Rhodes successful. Galloway wrote that “creative solutions can be found. Explore all options, instead of being in denial. Denial is more expensive than facing reality.” That ethos was encapsulated earlier this year by President Hass, who gained national attention after making an early decision to pursue remote learning for the fall semester, at a time when many college leaders were unable to pull the trigger either way. When research and projections indicated it would be too risky for the school to reopen, Hass quickly charted the school’s path forward and embraced virtual teaching technology for the school. It was a tough decision, to be sure, but an early and creative one that gave the college its platform to thrive. “Everything the Rhodes community does now will help us preserve the college’s strength over the long haul,” says Hass. “Rhodes has been here for almost 175 years, and we’re going to be here for another 175 years, and another 175 beyond that. It’s the college’s responsibility to think not just about this immediate moment, but building the future.”
Charting a Course
Rhodes. “Applications are up,” he says. It’s always good to be up rather than down, so we’re pleased that we have the response we’ve seen thus far.” Since it’s still early in the admissions cycle, the college plans to stick to a normal schedule when it comes to accepting the freshman for the fall of 2021 ( freshman who will make up the class of 2025). “We’ll make offers of admission on our normal schedule, and we’ll certainly be working closely with families of students who have been admitted to encourage them to come to Rhodes,” says Thompson. “They’ll have until May 1st next spring to make those decisions, but so far, so good. However, it’s hard to know what exactly will happen because we don’t have anything to compare this against.” While numbers are up now, Thompson doesn’t take them for granted. As a private college, Rhodes is entirely self-financed, making tuition payments even more critical to the college’s current model. But the pandemic put a preplanned change in tuition on hold. Rhodes had intended to introduce a slight tuition increase earlier this year to help cover the cost of a health and safety plan for students. But with the fall semester deemed too risky for students to be on campus, the school pivoted to a 9 percent tuition reduction for the semester, dropping the price to 2017’s rates.
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Rhodes Announces 2020 Alumni Awards
Chloe HakimMoore ’16 The Young Alumni Award is presented to a young alumnus or alumna who has not yet reached their tenth reunion year and who has brought honor to Rhodes through extraordinary achievement in their profession and community.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Chloe Hakim-Moore ’16 has devoted her electric career to uplifting the goodness and tapping into the potential of Memphis. In February 2020, she delivered a TEDx Talk that outlined how her time in college shaped her commitment to wellness, and how that commitment is the foundation for her life’s efforts. For her work thus far, HakimMoore was named to the Forbes “Top 30 under 30” list in Education, the Memphis Flyer’s “20 under 30,” and the Urban Elite Professionals’ “Top 40 under 40.” She was also awarded the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Young Cultural Innovators’ fellowship to expand peace and well-being globally. Hakim-Moore is an internationally acclaimed social designer, artist, and humanitarian. She designed and leads NEXT Memphis, a $32 million initiative
of Porter-Leath to equitably increase access to high-quality early childhood education for all families in Shelby County Her past projects include: • Leading the operations of First 8 Memphis to serve all children and families with high-quality early childhood education programming • Partnering with the National Institutes of Health to serve persons with disabilities in Trinidad and Tobago • Supporting refugees and immigrants through designing citizenship attainment and food entrepreneurship opportunities.
for the Tennessee Association for Children’s Early Education. In addition, due to her leadership in the nonprofit space, a local philanthropy approached Hakim-Moore to lead the Covid-19 disaster relief for childcare in Shelby County. Had it not been for the incredible instruction and consistent care from faculty mentors, she would not be working in the lanes of systems change and social movements which are her calling. The guidance from Rhodes College, and specifically the Anthropology and Sociology Department, equipped HakimMoore with a compassionate lens and well-versed skill set to catalyze meaningful change and inspire hope in the city she loves dearly.
In the community, HakimMoore volunteers as the board chair for Apple Seeds, Inc., a maternal mental health nonprofit, and serves as the public policy co-chair
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The three annual alumni awards, traditionally presented at Alumni Convocation during Homecoming/Reunion Weekend, were announced November 6th. Chloe Hakim-Moore ’16 is the recipient of the 2020 Young Alumni Award, Melanie A. Hillard ’92 has been selected as the 2020 Black Student Association Distinguished Alumni Award, and Allen Reynolds ’60 is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Melanie A. Hillard ’92
A graduate of the historic Little Rock Central High School, Melanie A. Hillard ’92 received her B.A. in Business Administration from Rhodes College and obtained her M.B.A. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In May 2015, Hillard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by Shorter College, North Little Rock, AR. She has been employed by Eli Lilly & Company since 2003. As a top performer, she was promoted to executive sales representative in the Diabetes Specialty Division, and currently serves in the Connected Care & Insulins business unit. She has received many awards, including MVP, Market Leader, and Partnership awards. While at Rhodes, Hillard was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and became a charter member of Omicron Chi Chapter (Rhodes College, Memphis) where she later served as president. She transferred into Beta Pi Omega Chapter in Little Rock, AR, after graduation and has
served the sorority in many capacities and all levels, including chapter president from 2015 to 2018. She was awarded the Outstanding President’s Award during the 85th South Central Regional Conference. During her tenure, the chapter’s membership grew and won numerous regional and international awards for its service and mentoring programs. Hillard was recently appointed by the South Central Regional Director to serve as the Arkansas Cluster Coordinator for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, South Central Region. She was also appointed by the current International President, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, to serve on the International Investigations Committee as a regional investigator. She is deeply committed to the betterment of her community. She serves on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Zoological Foundation, the Ivy Foundation of Little Rock, and the Rhodes College Alumni Execu-
tive Board. She also served as the 2018 Event Chair for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Hillard is an active member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 12th Episcopal District, and serves Union AME Church, Little Rock, AR, faithfully on the steward board as a pastor’s steward and the Hattie Davis Missionary Society as the first vice president. She also works on the conference level as the Arkansas Conference Scholarship commissioner. Hillard has been married 25+ years to her best friend, Jessie C. Hillard, and they have been blessed with two amazing sons, Allen and Elliott, who are kind, intelligent, and God-loving young men. Hillard has a true heart for service and believes that “service is simply love made visible.” Above all, she says she tries to live by the scripture found in Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
2020 Alumni Awards
Established in 1998, the Black Student Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes African-American alumni whose record of outstanding personal achievement and service to others has inspired Rhodes students and brought honor to their alma mater.
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2020 Alumni Awards
Allen Reynolds ’60 The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has brought honor to Rhodes College through extraordinary achievement in his or her profession and community.
If you’ve ever caught yourself dancing impulsively to the contagious beat of “Five O’Clock World” or consoled your broken heart by listening to Waylon Jennings sing “Dreaming My Dreams With You,” or have adopted Crystal Gayle’s “Ready for the Times to Get Better” as your 2020 anthem, you have Allen Reynolds ’60 to thank.
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became an independent producer. One of his first clients was Crystal Gayle and together, they would record ten albums. Five of those albums went gold, selling 500,000 or more albums, and two went platinum, selling more than 1,000,000 albums. Seventeen singles from the albums reached No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart, including Crystal Gayle’s career-defining crossover, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” In addition to Crystal Gayle, Reynolds also produced five albums for Kathy Mattea, who went on to twice win the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year Award and a Grammy as Country Female Vocalist of the Year. But Reynolds’ most successful client was Garth Brooks. He produced all of Brooks’ country albums, which together have sold more copies than those of any other artist in country music history. Nine of the albums were certified diamond, meaning each album sold more than 10 million copies. While Reynolds has achieved great commercial success as a producer, he has also written a number of country music classics. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chet Atkins, Brenda Lee, Don Williams, Waylon Jennings, Kathy Mattea, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, Allison Kraus, and the Cowboy Junkies, just to name a few. Through his songwriting, Reynolds has captured heartache and loss, loneliness and longing, disappointment and regret, joy and happiness, love and hope. Most importantly, his songs have touched our humanity. His remarkable talent was recognized in 2000 when he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2016 when he was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. Reynolds’ music has touched millions of people around the world, broadening the appeal and influence of country music. His award-winning songs and ground-breaking work as a producer have helped shape the course of country music for more than three decades. And he has done all of this with incredible humility and a commitment to maintaining the highest standards. In addition to his impact on country music, Reynolds has also impacted the lives of generations of Rhodes students who have benefited tremendously from his generous support and have, themselves, gone on to contribute to their professions and communities.
2020 Alumni Awards
Before becoming a world-renowned music producer and esteemed member of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, Reynolds was a campus leader at Rhodes College. A native Memphian, he joined the Rhodes College community after graduating from Central High School just a few miles from our campus. He was elected president of his freshman and sophomore classes, and student council president his senior year. He was a brother of Sigma Nu Fraternity, elected social activities commissioner, named Omicron Delta Kappa Outstanding Sophomore, took the title of “Mr. Talent” his senior year, and was honored by his peers by being named to the prestigious Student Hall of Fame. In addition to all of his on-campus activities, the English major was also pursuing his dream of music and sharing his talents with the greater Memphis community. In 1957, he recorded the single “Dream Boy” with Memphis State student Dickey Lee and several of his Southewestern (now Rhodes) fraternity brothers, including David Glenn ’60 and former Rhodes trustee, the late J.L Jerden ’59. The group was known as Dickey Lee and The Collegiates. The song received airtime from Memphis deejay Dewey Phillips, the first to play Elvis Presley’s record on the radio. Phillips was so impressed with the group, he encouraged Sam Phillips (no relation) to record them at famed Sun Studios. While working at Sun, Reynolds met songwriter and producer Coyboy Jack Clement. Eventually Reynolds and Dickey Lee followed Clement to Beaumont, TX, to work in his studio. There Reynolds co-wrote Lee’s Top 20 pop hit “I Saw Linda Yesterday” as well as “Don’t Wanna Think About Paula.” In addition to working in Jack’s studio, Reynolds also worked part-time managing the nightclub at the King Edward Hotel, where he performed twice a week. After a few years of working part-time jobs to supplement his music career, Reynolds returned to Memphis and joined First National Bank, where he was a banker by day and songwriter on nights and weekends. It was during this period that he wrote “Five O’Clock World,” a pop song The Vogues took to No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1966. Reynolds, who found himself drawn more and more to country music, finally decided to leave banking in 1970 and move to Nashville to pursue his music dreams full-time. He joined one of Jack Clement’s studios and wrote, produced, and managed the JMI record label that Jack had established. When JMI Records folded in 1975, Reynolds purchased Clement’s studio Jack’s Tracks on Music Row and
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Christy Weir Krueger ’85, Rossville, TN Rhodes College Alumni Association President
To update your contact information, learn more about ways you can connect with the college and your classmates, or to volunteer to serve as your Class Reporter, visit us online at rhodes.edu/alumni or e-mail Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1956 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’56 reporter, please contact email@example.com.
time friend and religion colleague Bible in a high school released-time Milton Scarborough. Eric noted, program; college at Texas Woman’s “Milton played at Ole Miss just University; management-develafter I played at Southwestern. We opment training with consulting were volunteer coaches of the men’s firms: TDFSystems, Management tennis team together for 11 years, 21, and at Kaiser-Permanente Texas; and I coached for four additional and human relations coaching. She In response to our request that years (all of this between 1967 and helped develop and implement alumni share 20 words of encour- 1981). Our plaque stated that we four innovative new programs. agement to the Class of 2020, John coached three teams with the most After retiring in 2013, she lived for R. McKinney shared the follow- wins in school history, including six years in an independent senior ing: “If old geezers like us from the 20 wins and the conference cham- living facility in Carrollton, TX, class of 1956 can make it in this pionship in 1974 and 16 wins in but then decided to move back to pandemic, you have no problems! both 1971 and 1972. We coached Denton, TX, to be nearer two of her In any event, a higher power loves four of the top 10 seasons with the sons and their families; a third son you and you will be OK!” most wins and the highest winning lives in Houston. percentage. Our overall record as a 1957 pair was 135-97.” “Now I am looking forward to reconnecting with four grandchilR EPORT ER In recent years Eric has written a dren and four great-grandchildren Mary Frances Files Silitch monthly column on the opinion as well!” she said. “Another firstname.lastname@example.org page of Danville, K Y’s Advo- ing has been reconnecting with a cate-Messenger. good friend from Rhodes, Jean At Centre College’s homecomMcLean Tunnell ’55. She has been ing last fall, Eric Mount was Peg Carter reports that her working most helpful in my resettling in inducted into the Centre Athletics career has totally been in the edu- Denton. We have been wondrously Hall of Fame along with his long- cation field. She taught third grade; connected through the years while
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being very closely supportive of each other since the deaths of our spouses when we all lived in Denton in the 1980s. They each died unexpectedly of heart attacks — Jim Carter ’56 in 1980 and Bob Goodson ’54 in 1981. Another common element in our relationship is that both our daughters are named Karen and both are living successfully with MS. These 60+ year friendships are irreplaceable.” Charlene Jayroe Allen says she and husband Jim canceled two summer vacations because of Covid-19, but they are looking forward to a trip in November to Inlet Beach, Florida, with a family group. They are enjoying their great-grandchildren James, 2-1/2, and baby Rosie, children of Maggie Donoghue Zambetti ’14 and Dr. Ben Zambetti. Jane C. Williamson reports that Nancy Clements Mays died January 23, 2020, in Gainesville, GA. She was buried beside her husband John Mays ’56 in Jonesboro, AR. Jane said, “Nancy, Beth Etter Thomas, and I stayed in touch to the end. We met at many class reunions and visited for several days after. Sorry my news is sad.” Your class reporter was recently interviewed for a podcast. Here’s the link to the podcast on YouTube: youtu.be/ Rf4PSFYZ1ak. The photo shows me in the left seat of the Goodyear Blimp! Suzanne McCarroll Warner reports, “These are extraordinary times. The world will never be the same, and my life recently has moved on at rapid pace — and in ways no one would have expected. I am in good health and am grateful for many blessings. I believe there is a way through it all, working together. The season of my priesthood in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Kentucky since ordination in 2010 has been rich. In December, 2019, I retired from St Peter’s, Louisville. I sorely miss the regular worship, joy, and fellowship with this congregation, where 70 percent are survivors from Burma. Last year I
bought a condo here in Louisville and 1958 did major ‘downsizing.’ In January, I moved from the house that my family R E P O R T E R had called home since 1962. Then in Lorraine Rayburn Abernathy March, Covid-19 disrupted life for us LAbernathy04@comcast.net all. Then the second pandemic revealing racial injustice became explosive, The college suggested we survey our challenging our country as individuals, respective classes for ideas on how to personally, and as a nation systemically. survive the Covid-19 pandemic. During There are not and must not be easy this time of self-isolation, it’s easy to answers, but ones that make changes fall into the stupor of sameness, where that will make a difference for the long every day pretty much resembles the one term. It is no longer either/or options before. [Remember when kids’ underfor healing, but a collaborative both/ wear came with the day of the week and. I live in Louisville, where Breonna printed on them? Where are those things Taylor lived and died. Pray for renewed when we could use them?] During this life in my hometown and our country. trying time, it’s great to have computers One response for me to what breaks and smart phones, anything to broaden around me is to extend the lifelong our horizons. I find I’m grateful for learning that stems from my experi- live-streaming done by churches, colence at Southwestern/Rhodes. I try to leges, and commercial networks. I also enlarge on and re-examine what has appreciate “senior hour,” the designated been taught in many high schools and time for older shoppers to go to the colleges about history and the defining grocery, Zoom chats with friends and influences in the life of this country. I family which keep us current with those try to listen, learn, and act accordingly, we love, and thoughtful younger neighto follow the great commandment and bors who offer to shop for us. core principles I found at Southwestern. In my freshman year, we were required Mary Jane Smalley Roberts writes to take ‘Man in the Light of History and from Charleston, SC, that she started Religion.’ The course met at 8 am, six a book club several years ago when she days a week (groan), but it helped form and husband, Paul, moved to a retireus for the world. Permit me to rephrase ment community there. She writes, here the words of the Episcopal Book “Guess what we are reading next month of Common Prayer. In humility we to begin our fall season — The Great acknowledge that God created us with Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Panmemory, reason, and skills and made us demic in History.” She said that though rulers of creation. We betrayed God’s they miss the symphony and theaters trust and turned against one another. and “wonderful Charleston restaurants,” We are called to change and use schol- they are staying sane reading and enjoyarship and grace to make a better world ing having “the world in our living room” for all of humanity. Southwestern gave via television. Her retirement commuus a good start. We know and have the nity tests for Covid-19 every two weeks Way — Love God and neighbor as self. and is very careful about the health of Peace and blessings to all.” their residents. Connie White Stettbacher helped out in the Covid-19 pandemic. When the Houston Astros were fabricating life-size cutouts for the stadium to place in seats to ensure social distancing, Connie lent her image for one!
In Tucson, Jane Barr Stump has been busy. She said, “Last year, 2019, was ‘the best of years,’ involving wonderful community program development and events. But 2020 was becoming ‘the worst of years,’ so redemption was needed! I wrote my 11th book titled Toby, the Royal Dog of Madagascar. It is an
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adventure-filled tale of a little white dog who discovers his royal identity by learning of the escapades of his great-great-great-great-grandmother as she became the Royal Dog. It is filled with pirates, lemurs, French ladies, a king chosen by God, predator hawks, protector dogs, and spirits set in the forests of Madagascar. It has been great fun and it has redeemed the year … somewhat!”
on Zoom. They have been taking part in a 10-session study and discussion program called “Sacred Ground,” involving reading and discussing books, articles, and videos exploring the roots and history of racism in the U.S. A demanding study, “particularly poignant is the history of both mistreatment of Indigenous Indian populations and the long-term effect of slavery on African Americans.”
In October, Henry and Nancy Crais will be moving to Memphis (The Village at Germantown) after four years in a retirement complex in Nashville. Their daughter, Margaret, has moved to northern Mississippi, and son, Stewart ’94, lives in Memphis. The pandemic curtailed their hopes of finishing up their continent travels with the seventh being Australia. The highlight was Antarctica. They’re hoping to see more Rhodes friends when they move.
From Memphis, Mike Cody writes that he is getting exercise by jogging and walking. He is also still working at his law firm, as well as teaching a course at Rhodes. Not bad for a new great-grandfather.
Speaking of Memphis alums, we understand that folks in Memphis are ready to designate John Dunlap our class “communicator-in-chief.” He constantly reaches out to be in touch with classmates — inspiring us all as he lives with his loss of sight in such a positive and courageous way. He and wife, Marcia, are an extraordinary team. We also hear that Sally Stockley Johnson of Little Rock, AR, has published a second book, a novel: The Land of the Living. We may recognize some of the familiar places in it, chiefly Southwestern! John Gay writes from Rockport, TX, that the pandemic has had little effect on daily activities. He and wife, Ginger, divide their time between the bay near their home and their place in the Hill Country near Wimberley, three hours away, where he, along with his three-legged rescue dog, “continues war against unwanted plants and shrubs, while feeding and enjoying abundant wildlife.” Practicing social distancing, they enjoy their circle of close friends. John has “discovered” Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his ethics, “a tall order for a former chemistry major! A much easier read is Amy Jill Levine’s recent study on the Sermon on the Mount, which hopefully will be the basis for a small group study I want to lead.” Sheltering in place (on Cape Cod, not a bad place to shelter!) are Paul and Bunny Thompson. A retired Episcopal minister, Paul says they gather with fellow parishioners via Zoom on Sundays, fill their pantry and refrigerator with food supplies via order and pick-up during the week, and enjoy their regular Thursday morning parish worship and study gathering
Dickie Jones and his wife, Joan, went into “hibernation” for three months in San Diego, but in July he began doing limited real estate appraisals for the V.A. again — with masks, gloves, shoe covers, and social distancing. Their granddaughter was married in August in Fort Mill, SC, so the Joneses flew for the wedding festivities and stayed 10 days. He noted that “the San Diego airport felt abandoned while the Charlotte airport was going full blast.” Nancy Carter Burnidge in Elgin, IL, says that she is doing just about what all of us are, going perhaps a bit nuts with our schedules and daily routines turned upside down. She wishes us all well and hopes we are safe and healthy. In Richmond, KY, Tom Reed, encouraged by his son, began self-isolating most of the time, as well as paying close attention to masks, face shields, and hand-washing. He paid close attention to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily bulletins and ordered his book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons, “which may be the best analysis of how governments at all levels can effectively use scientific knowledge and methods.” Tom begins his days with stretches and mini-sit-ups. He also uses a DeskyCycle, a set of pedals that can be used while seated, for a minimum of 35 minutes. He “keeps up human contact by text, phone, emails, and once a week, with appropriate distancing, meets with Margaret Crabb, who is helping my work on a paper to present next November at the American Society of Criminology.” The paper is on President Trump’s election, impeachment, acquittal, and post-acquittal behavior. Tom passes along a list of helpful books on the Trump presidency, which I’m sure he would make available to you if you’re interested. Stay well and keep in touch!
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1959 R EPORT ER Sara Jean Jackson Sjj10223@gmail.com
trip to Blackberry Farm, a rural masterpiece resort in TN (this being my third visit!). Plan to drive not fly there. Pray for a spring break from this virus! Take care all!”
1960 60th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER Mary Crouch Rawson email@example.com
Lynda Lipscomb Wexler writes they are glad to have a screened porch for outside visits. “Still play bridge with neighbors! Sad not to see family who live far away but do have a daughter who lives close. Having remote weekly church services.”
Carolyn Shettlesworth McClurkan writes: “I am staying home reading books, doing jigsaws during this horrible pandemic. No trips to Puerto Vallarta! An unsuccessful cruise to see the northern lights. I have just moved to Seattle to be closer to children and grandchildren. Hope everyone is surviving!” Becky Davis Knack writes: “Doing reading, puzzles, taking long walks and lots of staying quietly at home. We did take a long planned trip to Montana and rented four cottages at Flathead Lake for our family. A wonderful time in Glacier National Park! All stayed well. Wally and I live in a large condo building in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, and are fortunate to have a large terrace for outdoor entertaining. We support local arts organizations on our outdoor deck by hosting small musicals, theater productions and ballet performances. A real blessing during this time!” Mary Crouch Rawson writes: “I am taking caution during the pandemic but do see friends weekly, have been to church in person with preregistration of 50 people or see it live-streamed via Facebook, and have attended outdoor services for 20. I have presented for a study group on Zoom. I live on a beautiful lake which is a great place to isolate! I have a big screened porch for good outside visits. Do have my family visit regularly. Have planned a spring
Robert (Bob) Mansf ield writes: “Finally fully retired from Oral Roberts Graduate School of Theology. Celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary August 28 but subdued due to Covid-19. Thankful to be healthy and safe!” John Hettinger says “hello” to all. Nothing significant to report. Gary Don Wright wrote in late March that he and wife, Micheline, were visiting her sister in Panama and were wondering if they would be cleared because of the virus to travel home, which is near Paris, France, by April 1.
This photo was taken in August 2019 when Carol Ann Quade Smalley and Bryan Smalley ’56 visited Beverly Finch Ballard ’60 and Clay Ballard in Davis, CA. “We had a memorable visit with Bevo and Clay and they showed us their favorite restaurants, museums and outdoor recreation areas. We had brunch in the charming, bustling town of Winter, CA, where this photo was taken. Sadly, Clay died March 28, 2020, so that makes this visit even more important to us.”
1961 60th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’61 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 1962 R EPORT ER Diane McCullough Clark firstname.lastname@example.org Most members of the class of ’62 have turned 80 this year, and I invited them to share the details of their birthday celebrations. Of course, Covid-19 played havoc with many people’s plans after mid-March, but these intrepid folks came up with some wonderfully creative alternatives. Ran Pickell of Decatur, AL, reports that his 80 th birthday, celebrated in February, was a grand affair with daughter Elizabeth and spouse coming from San Francisco, and son Randolph with spouse and grandson coming from Birmingham. In addition, in-laws from Nashville, neighbors, previous workmates, and church friends all gathered to see the Cook Museum and then proceeded to the Cross-Eyed Owl, the local brewery and taproom. A good time was had by all.
Mary Ann Stewart Somerville celebrated her 80th birthday with a socially
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distanced party on her front lawn in Asheville, NC. She received a Zoom call which included scattered family members from London, England, to Austin, TX, and many other locations. Diane McCullough Clark had intended to celebrate her October 80th birthday by hosting a jazz concert at her Traverse City, MI, church, performed by her colleague and jazz piano teacher David Chown. The church choir was going to provide refreshments, and a freewill offering was to be taken to support the church’s 42nd annual Messiah Sing-Along scheduled for December. Thanks to Covid-19, the concert will be performed virtually, listeners will provide their own food at home, and all will be invited to make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. In June, Diane attended the virtual convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, where she was proud to see two former students, Dr. Victoria Holland ’92 as a presenter and Dr. Carole Choate Blankenship ’85 of the Rhodes faculty, installed as president of the organization. After a 50-year career including positions in trust and financial planning, estate settlement, portfolio management for endowments/charitable trusts/mutual funds, and serving as a chief investment officer, John Portwood retired in 2017. He still does a bit of consulting for Hancock-Whitney Investments, where one of his old cohorts is now CIO, and he plans to remain involved as long as they keep renewing his contract. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children and three grandchildren, and they enjoy traveling to different places in the world as often as possible. For the past three years, Gwen Bell Riley has enjoyed leading a weekly discussion group at the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, AL. Members of the class are all in their 70s and 80s, quite active in the church and local community, and they function as a strong support group for one another. The class discussions cover a wide range of topics, such as theology, politics, and life experiences from a progressive point of view. In semi-retirement as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of West Tennessee, Noble Walker had a big celebration of his 50 years of ordination last year with a big surprise in the naming of the new parish hall at Holy Cross Church in Olive Branch, MS, in his honor. He is currently planning to mentor a Centerpoint class for his churches in Southhaven and Olive Branch. He mentored these classes for 15 years in the parishes he served, and also in the Federal Prison
Camp as chaplain in Millington, TN. The class is a study and application of the main principles of Carl Jung, geared specifically for the laity. Brenda Brittan Adams is teaching an aerobic dancing class for older women four days a week in Memphis, and she finds it really fun. She has two great-grandchildren whom she gets to see quite often, and she babysits whenever she is needed. Since retiring almost 20 years ago from teaching and office work at the Sumter campus of the University of South Carolina, Peggy Welsh Curlovic has been very involved in church and community activities, serving as ruling elder four times in her church, as well as singing in the choir and leading Bible studies. Recently she has enjoyed volunteering in a first-grade classroom at a local school, working with students on their reading skills. Best times, however, are those she and Don spend with their son’s family in Sumter and their daughter’s family near Tampa, FL. In February of 2020, Marilyn Stewart Daniel joined a PCUSA study travel program to Tijuana, Mexico, to see the migrant shelters for those the U.S. requires to stay in Mexico while their immigration cases proceed here. It was, indeed, the poor helping the poorest — another world, which she now cannot forget. Mary Sue Simpson Morgan and her husband Pat, both educators, are enjoying retirement in the Blue Ridge Mountains, living in an old house, which they have occupied for 46 years. Franklin McCallie writes: “On a Sunday afternoon in April, 1961, (the second year of the Civil Rights sit-ins), classmate Bill Davidson led 70 interested Rhodes College students to LeMoyne College (now LeMoyne-Owen), for a three-hour dialogue with 30 LeMoyne students. The two rules for the dialogue, as explained by Davidson and the Lemoyne student leader, were: “Be Honest, Be Courteous.” The 100 students broke into ten groups of 10 each (three black, seven white) and within the first 30 minutes of discussion, my life as a racist white Chattanoogan took a completely new trajectory. For a view of the eventual results of that single meeting, please see these two videos: CBS Evening News, Talking Face-to-Face about Race, Across the Dinner Table, and WTCI: Greater Chattanooga, We Will Be Changed.”
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1963 R EPORT ER Dan Gilchrist email@example.com Doug and Blair Gilmer Meek s shared exciting news: “We are delighted to tell you t h at ou r g r a nd d a u g ht e r, Ella Meeks, is a freshman at Rhodes this year. She g radu ated with honors in May from Bexley High School near Columbus, OH, and has been enthusiastic about Rhodes since her first visit last year. We were so moved and joyful over her choice of Rhodes above other options and believe it is an excellent fit for her. I am attaching a picture that her mother posted on her first day of class. Though she is “distance learning” at home, the picture took me back to 1959 and my first day on campus. (I wish I could have been as comfortable in the sultry late summer air of Memphis as she looks in shorts and barefoot.) We agree with Rhodes’s decision not to open campus, and we are grateful to know the administration put the students’ health ahead of other concerns. She is so pleased with her schedule and is especially looking forward to her class in International Studies. She reports that the virtual meetings with professors and upper-class students are helpful and fun. Thank you, Rhodes. We are looking forward to visiting Ella on campus in the not too distant future.” Bette Stephens Green reports that she and husband, Bill, went to Prague, where she worked on completing her “bucket list.” They f loated down the Vitava, known as the Czech National River. This completed a dream brought on by an adult education course in music appreciation which highlighted The Moldau, a symphony about the Vitava. (Reporter’s note: I had been in Prague for a while
numerous years ago, so I called Bette to talk with her about her visit there. She and I had a great phone conversation about her entire experience.) Martha Weatherford writes that she is “quietly retired” close to her daughter’s family, including grandchildren and a great-grandchild, and visits with her son and his wife and 3-year-old twins when she can. Jerry Manley confesses that he “wanted more money than his mother would give him when he was a child to buy TOPPS baseball trading cards.” So, to feed his addiction, he became a caddie at the Memphis Country Club. Now, he has returned to golf as a player, approximately four times a week near his home in Northern Virginia. His wife, Bobbi is also a golfer. (Reporter’s note: I bet she can beat him!). Joe Pack Arnold is now working parttime with Pine Grove Addiction Services. He also continues leading some worship services, visiting “grands” and even conducted his daughter’s wedding (in Bend, OR), on Zoom. That completed his list of officiating in the weddings of all of his five children. (Reporter’s note: That beats my list of two.) Joe Pack takes part of his time to assist the Red Cross Disaster Action team and he also takes time to “touch base” with classmates like Tom Lowry, Bill McKay, Bill Arnold, and Jean Pierre Potel. He mentions that he likes having Rhodes grad Christopher Crotwell ’95 as the pastor of the church he attends. Maribeth Frazer and husband, John Frazer ’61, are still in Warren, AR. John is still chairman of the board of Warren Bank and Trust Company. Their son, Thomas, manages Frazer Funeral Home. Maribeth, “after retiring from Frazer Consultants, Interior Design,” opened her own art studio and gallery and now serves on the Arkansas Art Center’s board of directors.
Mike France still works with H & R Block, having an extended season due to pandemic Covid-19. This was his 29th year and he plans to continue for at least five more. His plans for a vacation in Hawaii were canceled because of the mandatory two-week quarantine (in a hotel), so he is staying at home in San Diego. Jim Warden and his wife have lived in the mountains of Southwest Virginia since 1991, where they taught at Emory and Henry College. He retired in 2014. Since then he has been a member of the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club, a master naturalist, and a volunteer at Meadowview Chestnut Research Farm. He is still a faculty member of the College of Older Adults, teaching astronomy and physics, building musical instruments and learning to use Zoom. A short while back, he and his wife had an interesting trip to Rome with an Italian art class. They have recently been in touch with Charlie Robertson ’65 and Joyce Moore ’65. Ross McCluny (B.A., physics) continued his education (M.S., physics, UT Knoxville, ’66, Ph.D., physics, ’73). Since then, he has done various research projects, such as holographic interferometry, optical oceanography, and solar system optical design. He has also had various publications relevant to those projects. In retirement, he has made presentations involving environment, energy and climate change. Ross now lives in Boulder, CO, where he met up with and renewed friendship with Larry Kinney ’62. Ross gave Larry my email address. He and I have had some interesting correspondence since then. According to Larry, his best friend is Wyncia, his wife of 24 years. Bill Arnold and his wife, Margaret Anne Fohl, both retired Presbyterian ministers, live in Northern Virginia. They are still involved in service projects, such as the local health clinic and CASA (court appointed advocates for children). Bill says that their aches and pains must be due to aging! (Reporter’s note: Imagine that!).
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Jack Cherry (previously known as John Cherry) is in Kaye McKnight Beavers and husband, Charlie Beavers, his second, uneventful year of retirement (Reporter’s “live in a condo association where neighbors have tried note: I am anxiously awaiting my second retirement). to figure out a way to maintain a social distance, yet get Jack also says that he has successfully avoided the pan- together.” So, they have “driveway cocktail parties on Friday nights and bring their own chairs and their own demic and he hopes that all of us have done the same. drinks — no food.” (Reporter’s note: Some people just Francis Davis says that he has been on the Rhodes have a knack for putting together a party!) A short time campus only twice since graduation. His most recent ago “one of the neighbors brought guests” and one of visit was for our 55th reunion, when he enjoyed meeting the “guests” was Pete Cornish ’62. They had “a good with classmates and learning about their lives and visit and caught up on news about old Southwestern accomplishments since graduation. (Reporter’s note: friends.” Kaye reminds us that she graduated from the Our classmates, including Francis, have a long list of University of Arkansas after marrying Charlie Beavers. very impressive exploits and accomplishments). Francis Thus she “has an allegiance to both schools.” says that “the campus is impressive” and that includes its beauty and its list of facilities available to the stu- Bill Johns (retired four years ago) and wife, Barbara, dents. He adds that he recently had phone visits with are proud to have three children, 11 grandchildren and Dan Gilchrist (me) and with Tom Lowry. Always four great-grandchildren. They love them all dearly. good to “catch up.” After leaving Rhodes, Francis continued his education and joined the faculty at the Phil Green’s education (after Rhodes) continued with University of Florida, teaching cell biology and doing a Ph.D. (physics) at LSU. He then joined the faculty research into the molecular biology of cell development. at Texas A&M. He and his wife, Barbara HollingHe retired 12 years ago. Since retirement he and his sworth, raised their two daughters in Texas. He took a wife, Rosemary, have spent time visiting family and sabbatical in ’86 (working with Sandia Labs) and then friends, traveling in the USA, Canada, and Europe, moved to Albuquerque, where he met his current wife, doing volunteer work and church activities, reading, Judy. He worked with NASA and Columbia Univerand gardening. Francis adds that he also enjoys fishing. sity and worked internationally, traveling to Russia, Norway and England. While working with Sandia, he His final comment: “Retirement has been great!” continued some A&M work with MACRO, involving Aubrey Smith, on the other hand, has had a bit of universities in both the US and Europe and requiring difficulty recently. While playing “3-on-3” basketball trips into Italy. In 2004 Phil retired from Sandia. Since with his grandchildren, he fell and hurt his knee, his retirement, he and Judy have enjoyed grandchildren elbow, his arm, and his face. He also thought he had and have escorted them on trips to Europe and various cracked a rib. No more basketball — only “horse” from other cultures. Judy retired from her career in music now on. Then the pandemic came in full-force. Aubrey education and now has her own jazz ensemble, “Jazz reports that, due to Covid-19, he had to shut down his to Go.” Phil has a jazz group, too, “Jazz Breeze.” He Golf and Games Family Park on March 12. Near the is also busy making ceramics (raku-fired wall clocks). end of April, he re-opened the park and things seemed They enjoyed the 50-year Rhodes Class of ’63 reunion to return to normal until some minors, left there by in 2013 and hope to make at least one more. their parents, got out of control in the go-karts section, causing closure there, and then closure of the entire Irwin From and PAWS, his devoted cat, have been park once more. Aubrey reports that the entire park was “sheltering” from Covid-19. He reports that he was sad cleared “with the wonderful help of the police depart- (as we all were) when he learned that Chris Drago ment.” Again, things seem to have returned to normal. died. Since graduation Irwin has been on campus only once. Back in the ’60s he taught school in York, SC. A John Rice and wife, Maxine Mitchel Rice ’66, have few years ago, he visited with Ernest Maples. The two been living in an 1850 farmhouse on Cape Cod for the of them visited the Corvette factory together. Irwin past 20+ years on Old Main Street in South Yarmouth. wishes all classmates well. John retired from the Episcopal priesthood in Virginia in January of ’01 and continues to volunteer with the Good to hear from Stephen Albert McMillan, who VNA, Harbor for Healing, and serves churches in the served in the past as president of the Alabama Associarea and on St. Barth’s Island and NYC. John plays ation of Realtors. Steve gave up his real estate business tennis 3-5 days a week, joins wife, Mackie, on dog- years ago and (ultimately) became one of the longest walks and tends to his front-yard Victory garden and serving members in Alabama history of the Alabama 50+ day lily collection. He reminds us that he is “proud House of Representatives (40 years). He also has the distinction of being the longest serving member of of the extraordinary education that Rhodes afforded.”
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Our deepest sympathies are extended to the current Alabama House membership. 1964 Hazel Taylor, whose husband Curtis died Steve and his wife, Gayle Payne McMillan, on March 14. Hazel shared that she is originally of Foley, AL, (where her grandfa- R E P O R T E R living in New Orleans and has two really ther was the first mayor of the city back in Mary Lou Quinn McMillin great sons who have “been there” for her to 1903) have three children — two sons and firstname.lastname@example.org assist her with her journey through grief one daughter. Their daughter, Adrienne McMillan Burns ’88, also a Rhodes grad- As I concluded my last Class Notes written and the many details that often arise along uate, died of cancer. Steve and Gayle have on March 6th, I noted that the coronavirus the way. Like so many of us, she is missing six grandchildren. The oldest, Wiley Burns, was wreaking havoc across the globe (with her church and the opportunity to worship is enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy. no clue of how devastating it would be in together in person. Both of Wiley’s parents, Adrienne and this country, that the political climate was Steven Burns ’90, graduated from Rhodes. “heating up” and that the “summer could We also extend our deep sympathy to the prove to be filled with anxiety.”) Who family of Dr. Caroline Gage Sanford, Jean Pierre Potel reminds us that he is could imagine how prophetic that last who died of cancer on July 25. Her obitunow 80 years old. He and his wife, Nicole statement would be! We have all found our- ary shares the following: “While practicing (both now retired), enjoy their five chil- selves in unprecedented times! With that clinical psychology in the Memphis area, dren and six grandchildren — all in good in mind, I quote once again from Charlie on a lark, she bought herself a guitar for health. They have turned their family busi- Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and her 40th birthday. From that day forward ness, Cotton Byproducts Trading, over to the Horse: “‘I’ve learned how to be in the she dedicated herself to the enjoyment and their children. They faithfully remain in present.’ ‘How?’ asked the boy. ‘I find a spreading of Old Time and Bluegrass music. The world is a much noisier and better place touch with fellow Rhodes students Bill quiet spot, shut my eyes and breathe.’” for her. Her daughter wrote, “Mom got the and Frances Potts ’65, Scott and Judy Gregory, and Howard ’64 and Tricia We can celebrate with Marilyn Meyers her hell out of Dodge. Her garden was bloomWhyte Edington ’64, seeing them occa- “tale of survival.” Marilyn wrote of being ing outside and she thought — screw all sionally in both France and the U.S. These hospitalized with a case of hyponatremia this coughing, I want to sing. What a fierce, times of contact “have always been great brought on by a too rapid loss of salt from independent woman full of firecrackers moments.” A few years ago, he heard the bloodstream caused by a clash in med- and glass glitter.” from Dr. Maria Leitner Felberbauer of ications. She recovered from that only to Vienna, Austria. He wants us to know come home with Covid-19! Fortunately, Anne Clark Harris writes that she is that his address is as follows: 6 quai de she had a very mild case and was able “staying home most of the time but playing Seine, 27310 Caumont, France. His email to self-isolate and recover at home. She mahjong and meeting friends for lunch address: email@example.com. He would reports that she has now completely recov- once a week! Also playing a little bridge as love to hear from any/all of us. ered and commends the Washington, DC, it works out! May have to start dialysis soon Department of Health for their excellent but we’ll see when!” Now I (Dan Gilchrist, aka the ’63 Class job of finding her and tracking her contacts, Reporter) have to add a few comments: My etc. The moral of the story is that a case of From Bill Wilson we hear, “Covid-19 has time at Southwestern (now Rhodes) was Covid-19 is not necessarily the end of the wrecked most of my volunteer gigs, so for extremely valuable to me for numerous road ... but do try to avoid it as you can’t the last six months no time on the Visitor reasons: be sure you will get the mild case Marilyn Services Desk or as a docent at Shelby Farms 1. One reason, of course, is the education was lucky enough to have. She added: “I Park, no recording of books for broadcast that was provided there. That value has have no foreign trips or travel planned. on the library’s radio station, WYPL (89.3 been trumpeted in various ways in the As you know, given our failure to better FM), and no answering the phone for NPR emails that I have received for this edition control our Covid pandemic, many coun- and PBS pledge drives. The Institutional and past ones. tries, including France where I was going in Review Board of the University of Tennes2. Another reason was/is the friendships October, are either not admitting Ameri- see Health Science Center does continue to (with both students and professors) that cans or are requiring you to self-quarantine meet by Zoom, which actually works I experienced while I was there. Many of for two weeks following arrival; and my pretty well. And I will sit down via Zoom those have lasted to this very day. There is beloved Washington National Cathedral, with the archivist of the university’s library no way to place a quantifiable value on true where I have passed many happy hours as to give an oral history of the Boling Center friendship. a tour guide, remains closed to the public for Developmental Disabilities, where I 3. These two things made my time at for touring and also for services ... until was on the faculty and an administrator for Southwestern at Memphis one of the most the DC pandemic guidelines loosen and almost 40 years, before the building itself valuable and enjoyable times in my life. the Bishop declares that the Cathedral and is demolished to make way for student and Would someone please ask Bill Davidson other Episcopal churches in the diocese can resident housing. I watched it go up more than 50 years ago and will watch it come again open.” ’62 for his definition of “a rounder”?
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down, probably later this year. Covid-19 has also kept me from meeting my new granddaughter in Lawrence, KS — I will not take a chance on being the unwitting carrier of a potentially deadly disease. We’ll meet when this is over and try to make up for lost time.”
Toth just graduated this year from Montana State with a degree in criminology and works for the Sheriff’s Department in Missoula, MT. Andrew is a Sophomore in Edina, MN, and a real golfer with a 1 handicap (that 1 is not a typo). When all this craziness is in the past, I would love to see everyone.”
Jim Bullock reports, “Ervin (Haas ’66) and I have been following the rules of the pandemic. We have Gail Hoover Parrish writes of family fun … a visit not traveled except to see our doctors and food. We from their son, Mike, and his wife, Laura, who drove have learned how to Zoom, and we do a lot of that. up from St. Simon’s and the celebration of their grandWe Zoom our Sunday School in which we have been daughter Katherine’s 18th birthday … all with proper reading Saving God from Religion by Robin Meyers. We social distancing. Katherine completed her birthday Zoom our book group with whom we are reading Patri- celebration with a skydiving adventure as she jumped ots of Two Nations by Spenser Critchley. These meet out of the airplane at 14,000 feet … connected to an every Sunday. I also Zoom my Rotary meeting, and my “expert,” of course. Grandma Gail was still trying to Presbytery and Presbytery committees. Through Face- find the nerve to watch the video of this experience! book or phone, I regularly call my mentees at our group home, SAYS, as well as my older mentees in Arkansas From Hayden Kaden we hear: “Bonnie and I had and in Jacksonville and my fifth-grade mentee. We planned to leave Mexico toward the end of March have worked in our church to enable Food-4-Kids. At and had purchased plane tickets. Then the lockdowns the end of last year we were sending backpacks of food started in the U.S., Canada, and then Mexico. In a to over 225 kids in South Woods Elementary School. stroke of brilliance, we weighed staying in our house We now send boxes of food home to take care of the in Mexico where it was 80 degrees and sunny or taking kids who are on the free breakfast and lunch program, a chance of going through Seattle, then a hotbed of and have no food on the weekends. This project is basi- Covid-19, and heading home to Alaska where it was cally done by our church alone. We also have started a cold and rainy. Fresh fruits, vegetables, sunshine, and Ready to Work program that enables folks who have a free liquor deliveries won. We finally made it back to record have a job. We have seven children and families Gustavus on June 3rd. Once home we were placed on that we support in various places of the USA. We have lockdown in our home there for a two-week quaranhelped them through the economic crises in various tine. After quarantining we discovered that no one ways. They all have jobs but have stresses on occasion. in our small town was socializing, having dinner, or We have been helping a nephew who has come out of libations with each other. Oh, did I mention that southrehab and gotten a place to live and a job in St. Augus- east Alaska had no summer? It was rainy or overcast tine. We have cabin fever but you can see we have a and unseasonably cold all of June and July. Never even lot to do. We wish you all good health as we continue took our boat out of its garage, much less put it in the water. I know that we, like most of you, will be quite through the pandemic.” happy to see 2020 receding in the rearview mirror.” Fun to “catch up” with Doyle Cloud as he writes, “Pat and I are doing well while totally quarantined in our Charles Jernigan shared, “Peggy and I, like so many home in Palm City, FL. Both of us love to cook so others, have eschewed our usual summer travel and are we spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. Pat had hunkered down at our home in Loveland, CO, followa double lung transplant 22 years ago and is immu- ing Voltaire’s advice to tend our own garden (literally). nocompromised, so we have to be even more careful We have had temperatures as high as 101 in the last than most. In order to get out of the house and take a few days, but tonight (9/7) we are supposed to get a trip or two, we recently purchased a 25-foot Airstream snow storm (!) with 6 or 7 inches on the ground by which will allow us to travel while avoiding exposure to tomorrow night. It is supposed to reach a high of 36 Covid-19. If any of you have room for an Airstream in tomorrow and a low of 27 tomorrow night. We have your driveway, let me know and we may just show up! been busy covering the tomato plants. “I have just finDaughter Cathy is the director of nursing at the Uni- ished reading a fascinating new book by Grif Stockley versity of Montana and Carrie is an actuary for Express (‘65) which includes a chapter on his Southwestern days Scripts in Minneapolis, MN. Two granddaughters: (1962-65). Grif, who comes from Marianna, AR, was a Addie last year was a cheerleader at the University of friend who was one of the roommates in a house shared Michigan and Kali is a junior in high school in Kalis- by four of us students a few blocks from campus. He pell, MT, becoming fluent in Japanese. Two grandsons: has had a remarkable career as the author of scholarly
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work on the history of race in his home state (Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919, Ruled by Race: Black/ White Relations in Arkansas from Slavery to the Present among others) as well as a series of six popular lawyer/courtroom novels (the Gideon Page series) which he wrote in the 1990s. The new book, his swan song, is a memoir entitled Hypogrif in Bubbaville: A Memoir of Race, Class and Ego. Besides being a historian and novelist of note, his main career was as a lead attorney (and for a while the administrative head) of Legal Services in Little Rock. The memoir details his life-long interest and his struggle in dealing with the racial history of his native Arkansas Delta and the South in general. Part autobiography and part social history, it goes back through his ancestors to the days of Reconstruction and forward almost to the present, but concentrates on the turbulent times of the civil rights movement when we were all students in the 1960s. I found the book sad and hopeful at the same time, and surprisingly, a page turner. Grif recounts his own awakening to the injustices imposed on Black people in the South and particularly the Delta and his life-long quest to do something about it through the law. As an administrator at Legal Services, he once interviewed Hillary Clinton, who was applying for a job, and he saw several important cases through to the Arkansas Supreme Court. He often references his friend Lee Brown, who is also from Marianna, and others whom he knew at Southwestern. This book is not for those who think of the South as a fuzzy warm kind of antebellum Tara because it is filled with Grif’s brutal honesty, which includes his amusing views of why Southwestern at Memphis became Rhodes College, but I am sure he is right about that too. One person who was not right was Grif ’s freshman advisor at Southwestern, History Professor John Hemphill, who suggested that Grif change majors from international relations because (he said), “Mr. Stockley, you can’t write.” Boy, was he wrong. Grif Stockley must be one of Southwestern’s most distinguished graduates from those years. His book tells you why.”
From Tommy Lappage, “What a year this has been. Thuy and I have remained healthy so far but bored, of course. We have been cautious and tried to avoid situations that could expose us to infection. We are fortunate to live in a quiet neighborhood with a large lot which allows time outside with the plants and wildlife (lots of deer). The two cruises we had planned for this year were canceled of course. We look forward to 2021 and hope things are more normal so we can visit friends, restaurants, and travel again.” Elaine Jenkins writes, “We have enjoyed our summer here on Mt. Desert Island. Don has renovated a bedroom in our house, built a ramp/deck at our rental cottage and kept the yards and flower beds in good shape both places. We enjoyed a week’s visit from our RI family in early August with three of their four grandchildren and one girlfriend. Despite Covid-19, we have had eight weeks of rentals which has kept us busy since we are the cleaning team! I continue my massive project of organizing our photographs, scrapbooking, making cards, and corresponding with friends. Last week I had successful parathyroid surgery, and in about a month we hope to head to Florida for the winter.” Dossett Foster says, “During the Covid19 confinement, our days have been brightened just by watching God’s blessings occur in our yard. We had three families of wrens in Linda’s hanging ferns, one robin’s nest in a short crepe myrtle tree, a mockingbird family in one of our foster hollies and two bluebird nests in little homes built by our grandson several years ago. We love our birds.”
Highlands, she stopped in Brevard for several days to visit with her cousin, Terry Ashley. Soaking up the mountain air is always a treat and time spent with family and friends provided needed solace. Friends, be safe! Wash your hands, Wear a mask, keep your distance … be SAFE! 1965 55th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER Mary McQueen Porter firstname.lastname@example.org 1966 55th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER Sammy Ann Primm Marshall email@example.com This pandemic has caused us to change many things in our lives so I asked classmates to let us know how they have been spending some of their time these past few months. Isabell Van Merlin was happy to go back to work after 18 weeks of being at home. She says that during that time she participated in more poetry readings but had to cancel a couple of planned trips.
John Fears sends good wishes to everyone and writes that he and Joanna are “cruising through our 54th year of marMary Lou Quinn McMillin finally riage.” They spend time reading, watching found the courage to venture out and movies, exercising, and playing with their enjoyed a lovely visit in Highlands, NC, cats. He adds, “Our dutiful daughter in the home of Sid and Bummie Crowell lives less than a mile away, and that’s a Nurkin ’66 for several days. Nancy blessing.” He suggests making use of your Bullard Ladner ’65 drove up from Green- library. “If you don’t have a public library ville, SC, for lunch one day and that was card, get one. Then check to see if your fun! In route, to Highlands, Mary Lou local library has either the ‘Hoopla’ or the stopped in Montreat for a delicious lunch ‘Kanopy’ streaming sites. They are both and delightful visit with Jim ’68 and full of current TV series (such as BBC), Peggy Early Williamson ’68. Leaving movies, documentaries, etc., and are
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worth taking advantage of. There may be other streaming sites that libraries have, but those are the only two that I have experience with.”
graduated from Rhodes, so he’ll be third-generation. He’s a baseball player, and hopefully we can come see him and Lynx play.”
Susan Cheairs is like many who have found more time for gardening while the Tipton County Library was closed for six weeks.
From Canon Thomas Hall: “Remember when milestones were kids taking steps alone, potty training, using a spoon, etc. Uh oh, senior steps can mirror those. When all this Covid-19 madness began, we had beach plans for September, but have canceled. The money we saved on travel has been spent on books, books, and more books. Support your local bookseller! On the personal side, Husband (Clay) and I are talking more, dancing more, and appreciating each other more. What I miss most is hugging grandchildren. Another thing I am grateful for: this technology which can keep us together. Love to all my classmates.”
Richard Jennings has been watching British mysteries and Shakespeare. Bob Wild writes, “Charlie Bagley, Vern McCarty, and I lost a dear and wonderful friend with the death of Buddy Doyle from ALS. Buddy was an extremely intelligent and very well-read man with a fascination with fishing and the study of both the Bible and the cosmos. He was the wisest man that I have known with a down-home touch to his wisdom coupled with a great sense of humor. We all loved him and miss him dearly.” Bob was recently in touch with Jenn Utley, Mike Utley’s widow, who returned the Bible that Bob had used for the Man course. Jenn told Bob an interesting story about it. “Mike actually met Elvis at Pat’s Pizza parlor late one night. I understand that there was an organ in the shop and Mike was playing for fun when Elvis came in. That apparently led to a number of sessions where Mike played and Elvis sang spirituals, of which ‘Peace in the Valley’ was his favorite. Very unconfirmed reports are that Elvis used my Bible and read everything I had underlined. Jenn thinks Elvis may have also underlined a few nuggets just for my edification.” I imagine many others have learned how to Zoom and are streaming movies and catching up on reading and gardening just as I have been doing. I join these classmates in wishing everyone well as we look forward to a time when we can meet again. 1967 R EPORT ER Sam Highsmith firstname.lastname@example.org Jeanne Hope Buckner writes: “So glad you are keeping your sense of humor in the midst of this pandemic and political chaos. Some days are harder than others. We are hunkered down in Maine where cases are low, the air is clean, and the waters are blue. It could be worse.”
Dianne Rickoll Short writes: “Richard and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last June. We went to Paris, which was wonderful, then toured northern France and I got to see Monet’s Garden in Giverny. Then in July we had a big family event with all three of our kids and their families at a beautiful mountain home in Asheville. Even some friends made it. Pre-Covid days! Last December, when my brother Wayne Rickoll ’69 was here, we got together with Steve Cole ’68 and his wife, Beverly. We had a great time visiting and sharing so many memories. Wayne has retired from teaching at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, and moved back to New Orleans for his retirement years. He is now a visiting professor of biology at Loyola, because he loves teaching. Since March life has been a lot slower. I stay busy with my garden, and Master Gardener activities, which are mostly outside, and then some Zoom meetings. I have three grandchildren here, and one in Portland, OR. We do lots of Zoom family get-togethers between Louisiana, North Carolina, Georgia, and Oregon, but it’s not the same. Hoping for better days ahead, in many ways!” From Sam Highsmith: “On Sunday, September 6, 2020, the children of Linda and Chip Hatzenbuehler hosted a ZOOM gathering to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of their parents. Among those in attendance were Rhodes alumni Charlie Killinger ’64, Ray Bye ’66, Willie Eddington, Dan ’71 and Robin Hatzenbuehler ’71, and yours truly. A good time was enjoyed by all.” Cheers! Please stay in touch.
From Mike Whitaker: “Sam, excited that my grandson, Whit Overstreet ’24, is beginning Rhodes this fall. My daughter, Aubrey Whitaker Overstreet ’95,
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1968 R EPORT ER Drue Thom White email@example.com Suzanne Troth Donaldson writes, “I have been working as a census enumerator since August 9th. I have many stories to tell, some very good, some sweet moments, and a few scary ones. I have met some very nice and helpful people. Last week I was sent out of my area to the Gatlinburg area where they were needing help. I went out to a mountain road to find 10 places. They were all gone as a result of the fire on 11/28/2016. It was amazing to see the beginning part of a driveway, maybe a blackened mailbox, and then nothing but kudzu. I can’t imagine the terror for people who were visitors trying to drive out of the blaze on unfamiliar roads. It was hard not to get lost when the weather was clear and I was using GPS. I have enjoyed most of my time doing this and hope everyone has completed their census by now. If not, and an enumerator comes to your door, please be nice and helpful. I can tell you it is appreciated.” From Judi Adams Larson: “Things are going well here in Nashville (considering). John and I are keeping busy working puzzles, reading lots of books, and walking around the block and on the greenway! Phone calls and Zoom meetings are interesting as well. And believe it or not, a trip to the mailbox can be a highlight of the day! Drive-by visits are fun (especially by the daughter’s house) when we stand by the car and wave and call to the family on the porch! It’s fun, too, when the grandkids drive by here and wave and ‘carry on’! Stay safe, everyone!” The Memphis Business Journal has published a guest column written by Mackie Gober titled “An Open Letter to Owners of a Family Business.” To read, go to the SEACAP Financial website (seacapfinancial.com) and click
‘Latest News.’ Thanks for keeping us connected. Be safe.” Bruce Cook shared a list of happenings that occurred while we were students. What else do you remember?: 1964 Day students enrolled without regard to race. First football game on new Fargason field. SAM won 28 to 7 against Centre. Students demonstrate for racial integration in Memphis Presbyterian churches. February 27 — President Emeritus Charles Edward Diehl dies. Board of Directors establishes sabbatical leave program for faculty. Mortar Board installed. 1965 Dr. Peyton N. Rhodes retires. Dr. John David Alexander ’53 becomes president. May 19 — Halliburton Tower hit by lightning for first time. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Hyde give $125,000 to build a women’s gym. Kappa Delta All Sing tapes air on 53 radio stations. Burrow Library gets first photocopier, a Xerox 914. Mastodon unearthed in excavation for Frazier Jelke. 1966 May 2 — The Thomas W. Briggs Student Center dedicated. Includes the language center, bookstore, lounge, and office space for student groups. 1967 Men win 1966-67 CAC Overall Champions title (Southwestern News, June 1967, p. 5). First Briggs Student Center Film Festival. Library of Congress system adopted for the library. An IBM 1620 is the first computer given to the college. 1968 Pass/fail allowed. Saturday classes dropped. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King killed and students sent home on spring break. May 2 — Alfred C. Glassell Hall dedicated.
October 19 — Dedication of Frazier Jelke Science Center, Kennedy Chemistry Hall, Buckman Library. Library stays open to midnight for first time. Wearing a coat and tie for dinner rule abolished. We graduated, thank God. Johnny Jackson wants us to know, “I do have a bed-and-breakfast operating across from the Galloway Mansion in Memphis, if any Rhodes alums need a place here. Under VRBO and ABnB. It is the Galloway Mansion Garden Cottage. That’s all my news. Thanks for being there!” Travel last year for Ginger and Luther Nussbaum was intense. Finishing the year with a Christmas trip with his grandson to the Mekong River and then finishing New Zealand with Ginger at the end of January allowed them to barely get home ahead of the coronavirus. “We had barely a month to hug our family before we designed creative solutions to create a bubble for us. First, we hosted people in our garage that we decorated with fabric, paintings from the house, and a new epoxy floor. As the weather changed we moved to distancing on the front and back decks with friends and families in very small groups after having Zoom cocktails with people we hadn’t seen in years. Strangely, our social calendar has never been so busy. Finally, the core project for me to keep busy has been writing a book about a niece that I’ve wanted to write for three years, ever since we discovered her.” Congratulations to Bubba Clark (left) for his hole-in-one! He aced the 125yard No. 11 hole using an 8-iron at Orgill Park
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1969 R EPORT ER Kathie Maddux Larkin firstname.lastname@example.org 1970 50th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 Reporter: If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’70 reporter, please contact email@example.com. 1971 50th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER Betha Hubbard Gill firstname.lastname@example.org 1972 R EPORT ER Robin McCain email@example.com An American Ballet Story: The young Joffrey Ballet company splits into two pieces over a power struggle for artistic control and the Harkness Ballet bursts onto the burgeoning global dance scene. Bold, brash, and controversial, the Harkness revolutionizes the way dance is taught and performed forever. And then it disappears. Producers Robin McCain and Leslie Streit have been investigating the story of the Harkness Ballet since 2010. They have just completed their first rough cut of the film and are on track for completion in 2021. anamericanballetstory.com/ 1973 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’73 reporter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 1974 R EPORT ER Wendlandt Hasselle email@example.com
The Class of ’74 celebrated its 45th reunion last November. This reporter attended parts of it with brother Bob Hasselle ’64 and visited with Arnold Weiner, Jim Drummond, Allison Jones ’75, and Larry Anderson at the all-class cocktail party. She went as Bob’s escort to the President’s brunch, which was very nice! Ward Archer has done a great job of organizing Protect Our Aquifer to improve Memphis water and prevent further contamination. He is a founder (2016) and president. Fighting to keep Memphis’ drinking water safe, much progress has been made in raising public awareness about this serious problem. Ward served on Gov. Haslan’s TN H2O initiative. Great benefit concerts have been held. For further information on ways to help, check out ProtectOurAquifer.org. Pat Carr wrote of Rick Bostock being honored as “Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology” at UC Davis in 2019, specializing in biochemistry, molecular biology of plant microbe interactions, and diseases of orchard crops. Jim O’Donnell is managing member of First Capital Group of Texas and senior advisor to Dalfort Capital (both in Dallas, TX), and is wrapping up what will be his last private equity fund. He has two kids — Jillian, 31, a GYN-oncologist at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Jake, 29, a U.S. Army Ranger who now works for Dalfort Portfolio in Chattanooga. Jim lives in Plano, TX with girlfriend Laura, Australian shepherd Patches, and “two crazy gray cats.” Larry Anderson says (of Covid-19) he is “enjoying embracing my solitude during relative isolation while continuing his work as a painting conservator.” Parkesy Casselbury now goes by Parkes or Vera, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has lived in Hobe Sound, FL, for many years and enjoys visiting her daughter, son, and grandchildren in Illinois and Tennessee when Covid-19 is not a travel factor. In 2019, she visited retired professor and mentor Carl Walters ’56 and his family in Ecuador and really enjoyed that trip. Wendlandt Hasselle knew very few classmates, so reaching out to unknowns is a bit weird — it being years with no class news, someone needed to do this. She resides with husband of 35 years Judge Bard Selden, “founder of The Hollywood (Cafe) and uncle to the fried dill pickle,” at Hollywood Plantation, MS, along with four horses, Napoleon the cat, and threefourths mastiff Xilitla. Here’s her college story: “Old
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friends Anna Olswanger ’75, Bill Lynds ’75, and I transferred respectively from Newcomb and DU in 1/72. After a semester rooming with Anna in the dorm, I moved home and was only on campus for classes. That fall I was signed up to spend junior year abroad at University of Mysore in South India. Mrs. Gandhi canceled all student visas the day before departure (the last telegram I ever received) due to the Paki war, so it was back to Southwestern. Sid Selvidge ’65 was my adviser — great guy, voice of an angel, but not much help with advice! When Comet Kohoutek came, he took off for New Mexico and wasn’t seen again for two weeks or so. Students would have to call the anthro department every morning to see if class would be held! Spring of ’73, I did a quarter at Univ. de las Americas in Cholula, Mexico — a life changer, beginning a love affair with Latin America. Classes were only four days a week, so long weekends were spent on the ‘dreaded Mexican buses’ exploring much of the country. That summer, Bill Lynds, two Venezuelan friends, and I traveled through much of western South America; a lot of hitchhiking was involved. Such an adventure at age 20! We returned to Miami with $13 left over, but I could finally converse in Spanish! To save money, I spent fall semester of our senior year at Memphis State, returning to Southwestern winter of ’74. That final mini-semester I did two independent studies with Sid and Prof. McClain. Marty Collier (also a student), cousin Judson Williford ’78, and I took off in an old Dodge Dart on a camping trip thru Mexico and Guatemala. The car was wrecked thrice and broken into at least as much, losing 11 sombreros, two good cameras, and a movie camera. We still had a blast, and Marty f lew home from Guatemala, delivering my research papers in religion and anthropology to my professors. We must have taken a typewriter, as I recall feeling like Hemingway typing away in some crummy old $1 hotel in Guatemala City! I graduated in absentia (totally not allowed then), thanks to
cousin Dean Anne Marie Caskey Williford ’52 granting me a pardon. My Mom went to the service anyway. The amazing thing to me was that all the credits from various schools all transferred to graduate in four years without summer school. Majored in anthro/ sociology, minored in art, and used all in jobs later. Oh, the coolest thing some of us did while taking classes with Dr. Wolfe was finding and looking up all the local blues singers that were still alive then, interviewing, recording, and photographing them. Who’d have thought the blues would become so mainstream? Okay, y’all, write in your news and memories for the next edition! The 2020 theme could be “What we did during the virus pandemic” — and I pray that most of us survive it. 1975 45th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER Anna Olswanger email@example.com Vincent Astor co-produced the documentary The Resurrection of Madam Laura, which aired on Memphis public television this past summer and subsequently on all public television stations in Tennessee (Memphis, Jackson, Martin, Nashville, Cookeville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga). The documentary featured the 87-key carousel organ known as “Madam Laura,” which Vincent owns. The program included photos of many of the locations where the organ has played since 1914 and footage of Vincent and previous owners, as well as footage of the organ’s restoration. This past summer also marked the end of the rebuild of the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, where Vincent and other organists, including David Ramsey ’61, in his day, played. Along with Madam Laura, the Wurlitzer
Theatre Organ was completely rebuilt to its original glory, with a few practical improvements. Classmates will recall that Vincent was the organist at the Orpheum (then, the Malco) during our Southwestern days. Libby Drewry Dorris and Larry Dorris recently sold their home in Nashville to downsize into a condo. Libby, who majored in modern foreign languages at Southwestern, has retired from teaching French, but continues to tutor. Larry, who majored in economics, plans to retire next summer from Studio Bank, which he founded in 2016 with several colleagues, ending his 40-year banking career. At that point they will move to their farm in Virginia to be close to their three children and five grandchildren. Pamplin Poultry, started by their son and his wife on three adjacent acres, sells pasture-raised birds, chicken sausage, and eggs to local markets and restaurants from Charlottesville to Richmond. Libby and Larry expect to be extra hands, expanding their resumes and taking on a side hustle! The two started dating at the end of their junior year and regret that they won’t be able to relive the happy memories of their time at Southwestern/Rhodes at homecoming during this 45th reunion year, but hope to be paired with the class of ’76 next year for a safe 45th /46th reunion. Libby has reunited annually for 26 years with a group of Rhodes friends, including classmates Theresa Cloys Carl, Cissy Quortrop Hilbert, Cynthia Bishop Pass, and Rosamond Goldman Quay, along with Mary Lampton Puckett ’74 and Susie Webb Ries ’76. This girl’s trip, like the class reunion, will not happen in 2020, but in spite of this brief interruption, Libby and Larry say that the college connections remain strong for both of them, a testament to the bonds they formed during those years. Neil Johnston says that in the 44 years since graduation, he and his wife Ashley have faced many life-changing forks in the road, and have taken a few, including the birth of their daughter Katie (school
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teacher, business woman, and mother of their first two granddaughters, Bailey and Cameron Neil) and their son Neil Jr., a lawyer married to a lawyer (Abbey), who are the parents of Neil and Ashley’s third grandchild Neil III. (As Neil says, “Now there are three!”) Neil grows oysters for reef restoration through the Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program by suspending cages of shells and spat (once oyster larvae permanently attach to a surface, they are known as spat) on his Mullet Point pier. He produces 8,000 to 12,000 oysters a season between May and November when his “babies” are released on a secret reef in Mobile Bay. He has tried to name them all, but says “they all look alike.” Through the vision of Will Yandell ’77, who invested in and is renovating the Merchants National Bank in Mobile, Neil’s law firm Hand Arendall now has new offices in an old building. Neil says that the “Savage” life (“Savage” was, and still is for some, Neil’s nickname at Southwestern) leading up to and through graduation was exciting and fun and would have been plenty, but life after Southwestern has been full of adventures too, many of which he could never have anticipated. As part of his environmental law practice, he is able to teach, learn, and evolve the law. He says he has drifted into the “drone zone” of small UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) law, especially to address the most asked question: “Can I shoot that drone?” When he’s not growing oysters, turkey hunting in the Tombigbee River Swamp with his son, or catching bream on a cane pole and crickets with his granddaughters, Neil is busy with other projects, such as curing and painting wild hog heads under the trademark “No! This Is Not a Mirror!”
Allison Jones has retired after a rewarding, late-inlife career as a social worker in Memphis. She says the last 10 years of her work life were the best when she worked for Church Health, a large non-profit primary care clinic primarily serving the working uninsured in Shelby County. She found it a great work environment and loved working directly with the patients, helping them problem-solve and access resources, and walking alongside them through challenging times. Before entering graduate school in social work at the University of Tennessee - Memphis at age 53, Allison had a career in communications, using her writing and event-planning skills at venues that dovetailed with her interests, including the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Memphis College of Art, a private art gallery, a publishing company, and an art consultant who worked with local corporate art collections. Her career interests began changing as she got more involved at her church, which resulted in her serving for five years as director of Christian Education at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Memphis. That
stint whet her appetite for a more service-oriented life, and prompted her transition to social work. Allison is also happy to report that in 2013 she married Jim Drummond ’74. She and Jim knew each other in college but didn’t date. Andy Branham ’75, who lives in Memphis and is a mutual friend, set them up. Allison says it’s great in a second marriage to have your college (and friends) in common. Jim is now a semi-retired fed, who telecommutes from Memphis as an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency. Allison and Jim have four children between them who live all over the country. The first grandchild between them was born to Allison’s daughter Mary Greer Simonton ’12 and her husband this past summer, and Allison is in heaven in her new role as a grand mom. Norman Nicolson says that although he can’t compete with the news of his crazy lifelong friend Neil Johnston, he’s sending along the following: Since graduation in 1975, Norman has worked continually in the field of investments and portfolio management in Mobile. Married to True McGowin for 38 years, he and True have three children: Norman, married and a surgery resident at Yale New Haven Hospital; Alexander, a custom furniture builder in Mobile; and True, a coordinator for the non-profit First Book in Washington, DC. Norman and his wife True also have two grandchildren and they have stayed connected to them during the pandemic by reading to them via the internet. They have a house in Butler County, AL, where they spend weekends and holidays with True’s large family. Norman has served on several boards in Mobile, including St. Luke’s Episcopal School and the Alabama High School of Mathematics and Science. Norman is also a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile and enjoys Mardi Gras (which, he notes, started in Mobile). He reads widely in World War II history, cooks for his family, and has discovered that working from home is a good primer for retirement. He says that some of his happiest days were at Southwestern and that he frankly thinks he majored in SAE, his fraternity, but managed to earn a degree in economics. While experiencing some of the past crises in our economy and markets, he admits to having consulted his Money and Banking textbook from Dr. Hon’s class of the same name. Anna Olswanger hosted a Zoom “Bellingrath” reunion in June with classmates Jeanne Cook, Emily Ruffin, Marty West White, Miriam Hudson-Courtney, Peg Falls-Corbitt, Debra Polsky, ’76, Betsy Hammet ’74, and Mamie Hart-Paul ’74. At one time, the women had all lived on the same floor in Bellingrath Hall. During their reunion they talked about what they had been doing for the last 45 years and where they
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are now: Anna Olswanger is a literary agent and author in the metro NYC area; Jeanne Cook is a physician who has her own medical practice, Harmony Functional Medicine, in Austin; Emily Ruffin designs jewelry and owns Emily Benoist Ruffin Design in Taos; Marty West White does public relations for Ketchikan Medical Center; Miriam Hudson-Courtney is a graphic artist and retired communications manager for VIC Technology Venture Development in Fayetteville; Peg Falls-Corbitt is a philosophy professor at Hendrix College; Debra Polsky is the executive director at Dallas Jewish Historical Society; Betsy Hammet is retired from the United States Forest Service and lives in Sagle, ID; and Mamie Hart-Paul is a retired architect and lives in Raleigh, NC. The women were intrigued during the reunion to discover who needed glasses to see her computer screen, who had dogs wandering around in the background, who had cats, and who could still play a musical instrument (Betsy Hammet, who performed “The Wild Mountain Thyme” on her autoharp as the session ended). They agreed to meet again over Zoom in the fall. Blair Shamel enjoys Southern California life in San Diego. So far, he has been fortunate to avoid the devastating wildfires plaguing other parts of the state. He works as a consultant to companies in the prostate cancer management business and serves on the board of directors of Nanospectra Biosciences in Houston, TX. The company is developing a nano-medicine-based device for treatment of prostate cancer. In a related activity, he helps friends and colleagues manage the many difficult decisions they face when newly diagnosed with the all-too-common disease. This summer Blair and his wife, Cindy, celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary and then traveled to England for their son Andy’s wedding — fully masked on the plane for 12 hours, then quarantined/tested for two weeks before the wedding. They hope to return to the UK in the spring
to see Andy being conferred his D.Phil. in theology from Oxford. They are fortunate to have their older son Louis and their two-year-old grandson Luke living about three blocks away from their new house in San Diego. After fully recovering from his recent second total knee replacement, Blair plans to get back to mountain hiking, vegetable gardening, photography, playing with his grandson, and fixing up their new house. In spite of the inconveniences of the Covid-19 pandemic, he says, “Life is Good!” Marty West White says she has a charmed life in Alaska. She served 15 years on the Ketchikan City Council and has had jobs she loved, including managing a community radio station and coordinating vocational education programs at the local campus. She now does public relations for the town’s medical center. Married, with three children, four grandsons and her first granddaughter due in October, she lives on a hill, still in Ketchikan, with a view of Deer Mountain to go with her morning cup of coffee. With the luxury of reflection, Marty says her appreciation of her liberal arts education at Southwestern has grown. The skill of critical thinking and the value in considering multiple opinions have been essential not only in her careers, but in her life. She says she is especially grateful for the two classes in Black History she took her junior year. At that point, she had only lived in the South and had a narrow education that included an eighth-grade history teacher telling the class that the Klan had gotten a bad rap. The Black History classes at Southwestern and the interaction with the other students changed her perspective, not only on race, but also on interpreting events beyond her and let her show them around town. 1976 45th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021
R EPORT ER S Julie Allen Berger firstname.lastname@example.org Georgia Atkins email@example.com Georgia McGehee Atkins, Los Angeles County, CA: “Hello, classmates! It’s fun assisting our class reporter. I love connecting with classmates, wanting to look at everyone in a new light with new impressions, not necessarily who I ‘thought’ people were in the 1970s. I’m living in California, having landed here with my former husband in 1998. I bought a Spanish-style 1925 house one year ago and am so thankful to have this house during the pandemic. I have two children. My daughter lives in Paris with her French husband. My son has a disability; he loves to swim and does triathlons with a guide. California offers a lot of resources for people with disabilities. My son is able to live in his own home with support during normal times. I enjoy swimming outdoors yearround and spending time with my artist boyfriend who is exactly my same age. I would love it if classmates would find me at Georgia M Atkins on Facebook. John Brejot, Manor, TX: “After a career in radio (blame WLYX!), on-air and eventually sales and management, I found my calling seven years ago. I work as a director of development for the University of Texas at Austin. My focus is estate and gift planning for alumni of the Moody College of Communication. Learning to work from home for the foreseeable future. My children are both UT grads, married and one grandchild with another on the way. Sallie B. Clark, Gypsum, CO: “We are thankful to be in Gypsum where social distancing is the way of life. I retired December of 2019 and who knew what was to come. We had many travel plans cancelled but still have been in Wyoming at the horse camp several times. I have also been Zooming with a group from college on a weekly basis: Jeanette Sims, Arden McElroy, Debbie Williams,
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Mary Ann Bradley Sutherland and Cindy Leonard Montgomery. We have probably been in closer touch than before Covid-19. My husband, Bob, and I have rented an RV to do a road trip in October to North Carolina to visit my mom, who is 93. Though we had plans to visit for her birthday in April, that, of course, did not happen. We figure this is the safest way to see her.”
Suzie Johnston, Franklin, TN: “I am on my second career. I retired as director of the Poynter Legislative Law Library of the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2011 and returned to Virginia Theological Seminary for a refresher course in theology. (I went to seminary in the 1970s when women were not so easily navigating the system). Ordained in 2013, I serve as a member of the Episcopal clergy. Currently I’m at Church of the Resurrection in Franklin in social ministries: drug rehab, homelessness, food pantry, etc. I love this work!” Carol Ellis Morgan, Decatur, GA: “I will be teaching online this fall, thank goodness. I am currently in Boston adoring my 3-month old grandson, James. I am discovering the joys of road trips!”
Celebrating their 65th birthdays together in San Miguel de Allende, from bottom left: Cindy Leonard Montgomery, Arden McElroy Ritter, Mary Ann Bradley Sutherland; from top left: Debbie Williams, Jeanette Sims, Sallie Clark. Dan Hougland, Louisville, KY: “Who would have thought that seventh-grade New Math, high school typing I almost flunked, and the first programming course at Rhodes would be the real world tools of a career? I became a respected computer programmer, analyst and systems designer, either self-taught or through on-the-job training. It has all been banking or insurance document processing from cradle to grave: design, create, distribute, capture, archive, destroy. Currently a team architect and multiple system administrator, I’ll retire in a few years. After 40 years, I reconnected with my high school flame and we should be married soon, pending Covid19. Science Fiction, catamaran racing, motorcycles, black belt instructor, and a little photography round out the picture.”
Penn Joe, Cordova TN: “I attended UT medical school, Class of ’80, and just retired from active practice after 40 years in Memphis. Despite Covid-19, I have been able to have limited and guarded travel to four national parks with my sons and play at some unproductive fly fishing. My daughter and son-inlaw just blessed us with our first grandson in Denver, which has been awesome. Humbled and still learning.”
Jenny Smoot Nevels, Memphis: As executive director for the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, Jenny has continued to work from her office during the Covid-19 pandemic. Baptist has been on the front lines of providing care to Covid-19 patients, heavily engaged in providing daily updates from infectious disease specialist, Dr. Stephen Threlkeld ’86. A major achievement of the Foundation has been raising and distributing over $1.3 million to Baptist colleagues impacted by the virus. Jenny and her husband, John, have been keeping a low profile at home doing yardwork, reading and watching movies. Marian McCain Olson, Chapel Hill, NC: “We’re in good health (Jeff Olson ’75), and so are our sons in Boston, although one of them found himself among the 6 million who became unemployed in the first week of the shutdown. He’s in good spirits, though, and has good support with friends who share his apartment. We are busy in grandparent mode, with newborn grandson Wallace and his sister Lowell, just turning two.” Andrea Simpson, Richmond, VA: Andrea is a political science professor at the University of Richmond. She passes along the sad news that fellow town student Sheila Peace ’78 died last year — “one of the most talented actors/dancers/singers I have known.” Andrea remains in contact with Sheila’s daughter. Paige Tench, Macon, GA: “I’ve just retired from practicing (mostly) hospital consultation psychiatry. It’s perfectly lovely now to just read and work in my garden. Look forward to hearing from everyone. Steve Williford, Holland, MI: “It has been my first summer away from my usual ‘tourist traffic massage
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chair practice’ because of this Covid-19 mess. Something I’m not used to.” Julie Allen Berger, St. Louis: “After three fulfilling decades as an oncology/ palliative care chaplain at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, I now serve a retirement community in the same suburb where my ministry began in 1981 (Kirkwood, MO). Like most clergy, I have had to up my game in tech worship skills while distancing. At the same time my family and I are trying to get the balance right, of not too much reliance on screens. We and our neighbors have rediscovered the joys of front porches. Keep your news coming!” firstname.lastname@example.org 1977 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’77 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 1978 R EPORT ER Mary Lee Soop email@example.com Jim Porter lives in the Sonoran Desert at the edge of the Coronado National Forrest in Tucson AZ. He and his wife, Nancy, of 37 years, enjoy hiking in the neighboring Sabino Canyon. Jim is a manager at Raytheon Technologies and an avid woodworker. He had hoped to attend this year’s Homecoming and catch-up and renew friendships with classmates and see the campus changes. Ruthann Ray reports that she and her husband, Re, are living in South Carolina, having moved here six years ago. “Aside from the occasional evacuation for hurricane threats, we love it here. We live on a small sea island near Hilton Head although a world away in lifestyle. With only 300 homes on 3,000 acres we are socially distant every day. I do miss the gym, restaurants, and travel, but otherwise life today is similar to life in February. We
have worked from a home office for the last six years, so nothing has changed in that respect. I am semi-retired, serve on a couple of nonprofit boards, and read a lot. We were scheduled to take a trip to Normandy this fall with my siblings and their spouses, but that has been canceled. I hope we can reschedule next year, although with three families involved it was a major feat to get our calendars aligned. Praying for a vaccine that is effective!” 1979 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’79 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 1980 40th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’80 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. Jill Johnson Piper spent the last year writing 40 freelance articles for Memphis publications, one for every year since reporting to her first newspaper job in September of 1980. Married to Fred Piper, also ’80, they recently observed 34 years in practice at Piper Orthodontics, where he’s been making Memphians better looking since 1986. Son Kenneth Piper ’17 graduated from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in May and completed the bar exam in October. He is a clerk for the Shelby County Criminal Justices. 1981 40th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021
R EPORT ER Sherri Godi Madden firstname.lastname@example.org Holt and Marcia Andrews completed (pre-COVID) a three-month sabbatical from First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, SC, where they have served as pastoral musicians for the past 28 years. “It really was the event of a lifetime,” says Holt. “Our travels took us to 15 cities in the U.S., Europe, and Africa and gave us many musical and cultural experiences, including Christmas Eve at Westminster Abbey in London and this unexpected camel ride in Morocco.”
Pictured above: Holt Andrews, Marcia Andrews, and their son Rafe. Donna O. Perdue enjoyed the preCovid San Diego gathering of Rhodes alumni and parents, with guest appearances by President Hass and Rhodes staff. “We reminisced about Rhodes and swapped tips for enjoying life in San Diego,” she reports. Jay Haynes reports: “I am practicing medicine and serve as senior medical director of Innovation and Integration for Acclaim Physician Group with JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, TX. I also serve as associate professor of family medicine with the New TCU/ UNTHSC Medical School in Fort Worth. Bonny, my wife, is an attorney in Denton, TX. Our four grown children have spread out pursuing their careers and college education and working in Dallas, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Kathy Keil Brown weighs in with: “My husband, Jay, and I are still enjoy-
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ing raising alpacas in Pennsylvania. We also have two llamas, two pigs, and five chickens that keep us busy. Best of all — we are expecting our first grandchild in April!”
are becoming part of this English-speaking and emerging resort community, hoping to one day spend more time there and do what we can to educate and support micro-economic efforts in the community either through University of Arkansas Global Economics Department or Placencia Rotary — or both! We named our cottage, The Salty Hawg. Fellow Rhodes alums Virginia Marr Yeatman and Lou Henslee Bell have been to Salty Hawg. And no, I will not send photos of us in our swimsuits! Ha ha!”
Neville Carson communicates: “Wife Julie and I are happy to report that our son, Nicholas, graduated from Lakeside High this year and is attending the University of West Georgia, majoring in business. We’re celebrating with a school band/chorus trip to Hawaii in April. (Not sure if that trip happened due to COVID!) Nick leads the second flutes in the band. After 25 years with BellSouth/AT&T/Cricket Wireless, I’ve retired from that company and am thrilled to be starting my next chapter as a lead content developer for risk management firm Assurant.”
Charles Gurney shares: “I live atop a hill in Knoxville and I am currently editing the next edition of the State Department Human Rights Report. Love the commute but restless for travel. I give credit to Southwestern for my career and my early retirement.”
Karen Levy proudly shares that “my daughter Sophie had a baby boy born on January 13.” Welcome to the world of being a grandmother, Karen! Nothing beats being a grandmother!
Carole Freeburg adds: “One of my sons graduated from the University of Tennessee Medical School in May without the typical fanfare! He has started his surgery residency at Indiana University in Indianapolis.”
Paul Ward says: “We took a short vacation trip to Austin in late January/early February before Covid-19 came on strong. We enjoyed several nice meals there and toured the UT campus and LBJ Presidential Library. Gerald Ford’s presidential library is here in Ann Arbor (he’s a UM alum) but I haven’t visited it yet. We visited the Clinton Presidential Library many times when we lived in Little Rock. Health issues have ruled us this year. We are mutants! The wife and I both have the BRCA2 genetic mutation. Males with this mutation have higher risks for melanoma and prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancers. Females with this mutation have much higher risks for ovarian and breast cancer, and slightly higher risk for pancreatic cancer and melanoma. The wife had a prophylactic oophorectomy (removing ovaries and fallopian tubes) in March right before elective procedures were halted, and a bilateral mastectomy July 14 (renamed “Breastille Day”). After a six-week convalescence, she returned to work. The good news is that after these surgeries, the risk for these cancers falls below that of the general population. If any readers have family members with these cancers, consider getting testing for genetic mutations. Continuing the health theme, our dog got glaucoma and irritation and had his eyes removed. We now call him “The Blind Boy of Ann Arbor,” a play on the gospel group “The Blind Boys of Alabama.” Our only Covid-era travel was to East Lansing to see Michigan State University veterinary ophthalmologists.”
Leslie Hubbert shares: “My latest ‘hobby’ during the pandemic has been teaching third-grade online. This is definitely the most bizarre episode of my 20-year teaching career. On the bright side, I have had 100 percent attendance for the first two weeks of school this year. We will be raising a generation of very computer-savvy kids who have a very distorted sense of ‘personal space.’ My other latest hobby is being a grandma for the first time: our oldest daughter gave birth to a beautiful son, Joaquin Lee Moore, at our house on May 2. For now, we are all sheltering in place at our house; no loneliness or boredom here! I hope by the time little Joaquin goes to preschool, ‘distance learning’ will be a distant memory. We are keeping the fires, the smoke, and the heat wave at barely an arm’s length away, but we are all healthy. Here’s to better times ahead!”
Bryn Bagwell relates: “My husband and I bought a cute little seaside bungalow in Placencia, Belize. We
Allison Fentress reports: “Bob and I are both working from home and that’s going fine. We’ve adapted to the new routine. We’re looking at this as a trial run for retirement, with us both being home all day. In my spare time I’m cleaning out closets, sorting through family photos. Covid-19 has certainly changed ‘doing life’ in our country.” I do have a very positive occurrence that happened during these trying times, though. I had reconnected with a friend I knew over 35 years ago in South Florida and we were married in Savannah last June! It was a most perfect ceremony at one of Savannah’s historic inns with only four guests who were provided wedding masks made by one of my students! I have relocated
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to Tallahassee, FL, where my husband works. I am still teaching Latin and Greek, but all online this year. I am incredibly happy to be the wife of the sweetest man on earth! 1982 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’82 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 1983 R EPORT ER Ted de Villafranca email@example.com 1984 R EPORT ER Linda Odom firstname.lastname@example.org By chance, Class of ’84 classmates Dave and Elizabeth Martin Neithamer of Midland, MI, and Deb Efird and her husband, Pete, of Denver found themselves in Breckenridge, CO, at the same time while on vacation. It was wonderful catching up and enjoying each other’s company!
1985 35th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER Robin Newcomb Friend email@example.com Frank Baker will begin participation in Education for Ministry (EfM), sponsored by The University of the
South in Sewanee, TN, this fall. EfM is a unique four-year distance-learning certificate program in theological education based upon small-group study and practice. Since its founding in 1975, this international program has assisted more than 100,000 participants in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service. EfM helps the faithful encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together. In the first year of EfM, participants will study the Old Testament of the Christian Bible; in year two participants will study the New Testament; in year three participants will study Christian history; and in year four participants will study theology. Affiliated with the Episcopal Church (USA), Frank very much looks forward to his studies and to learning a lot.Richard (Dick) Banks: “During the early stages of the pandemic, I took up making mistakes in public. The medium was radio, which it had been for me back when I worked at my high school radio station (WKRP was my favorite radio show) and then at Rhodes’ WLYX. This past February, though, my local NPR-affiliate, Birmingham’s WBHM, had a spot open to work the board during weeknight broadcasts of a news show focused on the coronavirus. Even though I hadn’t done much radio in several decades, I somehow talked my way into the gig and commenced to stumbling all over the air, learning again to read news, how to operate a slew of computer programs that feed the show and my newscasts, and even to turn on my mic BEFORE speaking (or more importantly to turn it OFF before I inevitably start talking to myself after being on-air). Once, when sanitizing the control room after my shift, I even took the station off-air (I clicked the mouse that was connected to one of them aforementioned computer programs). If there was a mistake to be made, I managed to make it. The
show ended in May (or maybe it was June, everything just runs together these days), but the station has brought me back a few times to host other shows, and I love it. Supporting journalistic endeavors is as critical as ever these days, and I feel fortunate to be involved, while staving off old age a little longer by learning new stuff. I’m so appreciative of station management for teaching me the ropes, and as a result, I’m a little smoother these days (and still idolizing Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap). Peace and love, y’all! Take care!” Brad Broadaway: “Other than handling a mundane small-town law practice, I have accomplished very little over the past year. However, after serving in the Arkansas State House of Representatives for four years, my wife, ‘Scary’ Mary Broadaway, was elected on March 3 to serve as Circuit Court Judge for the six counties of Northeast Arkansas. I don’t know whether I now have to be a ‘good boy,’ or if I have a ‘get out of jail free card.’ Trying to come up with a title for myself. ‘First Dude’ doesn’t really fit. Thinking about ‘Charge D’Affairs.’ Open to suggestions from my Lynx brethren.” Ellen Hopkins Flottman: “I am still working as the district defender of the Central Appellate office of the Missouri State Public Defender. We are working at home right now, and have been since March. I had my two youngest grown children home for five months, but they have moved out now. My youngest, my daughter, is a junior at Southeast Missouri State, studying musical theatre. My three boys are out of college and working, two in Kansas City and one in Cape Girardeau.” Christy Weir Krueger: “What an interesting time this has been! When Bill Townsend ’84 passed the gavel to me, I had no idea how different things would be at Rhodes College. I had the pleasure of toasting the Class of 2020 virtually, hosting a virtual Alumni
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Board meeting and boasting about how proud I am of the hard decisions that have been made by President Hass and the college leadership! On a personal note, I get to spend most days with my grandson. He has become the star of many virtual meetings! Boy … I forgot how fast they grow! On the business front, we are still granting wishes! The types of wishes have changed. Disney is on hold so we are becoming experts at playhouses, swimming pools, and yes …“she sheds”! In September I will be celebrating 13 years at Make-A-Wish and looking forward to many years to come. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! I am looking forward to the day when we can all get together to celebrate our reunion — the first graduating class of Rhodes College! Roll Lynx Roll!” Susan Bahner Lancaster: “For me, the pandemic coincided with three ankle surgeries this year. I now have a brand-new titanium ankle! I took the last school year off, but I’m back this year teaching at The Episcopal School of Knoxville. Our youngest is a senior at L & N STEM Academy in Knoxville. We’ve been doing lots of socially distanced college tours. Frank Jones has organized some Zoom happy hours for Rhodes alums, and it’s been great to have some mini-reunions, even virtually.” Andrea Wilkerson returned to Memphis in September 2019 to take the position as pharmacy director at Saint Francis Hospital Memphis. “I had worked there previously for 23 years. Took a five-year hiatus to the beautiful state of New Mexico. But due to an unexpected opening was drawn back to this fair city and to people I adore. 2020 has proven to be challenging in unprecedented ways. However, my 55+ 4.0 tennis team did win the local championship. But due to the coronavirus, we opted not to travel for the state championship. Just trying to stay hydrated and cool during this humid summer!” 1986 35th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1-3, 2021 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’86 reporter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1987 R EPORT ER Mimi Swords Fondren email@example.com From Susan Hook Patterson: “When the world shut down in March, my Rhodes friends were some of the first people I turned to for connection and mutual consolation. I am so grateful to have meaningful relationships that stand the test of (gulp) 33+ years!” This is so, so true. Stay safe and well! 1988 R EPORT ER Brooke Glover Emery firstname.lastname@example.org Steven Becton was recently named chief equity and inclusion officer for Facing History and Ourselves. Glenn Tillery reports that he began his 25th year as an anesthesiologist at The Surgery Center of Huntsville in August 2020. Though the facility did shut down for many weeks due to Covid-19, it is currently back to full speed. His oldest son, Austin, got married three years ago and has made him a grandfather. His middle son, Christopher, got married this summer. He and his bride, Hannah, were married at a brand-new wedding facility in Alberville, AL, that was designed and built by Karen, his wife of 29 years (as of September 28, 2020). The venue is called Burns Bluff and has been featured along with his wife on the DIY Network show Barnwood Builders.” Valerie Gray Jordan sold their house during Covid-19 and moved across town to the “coolest small town in America,” Lititz, to be closer to her mother (who has some dementia) and to their daughter’s private all-girls school, Linden Hall School for Girls. Downsizing has been a healthy challenge. After a brief pseudo-retirement while her teens needed more attention, Valerie has spent the last couple years doing relief work as a small animal veterinarian. There is great demand in the Lancaster area so, except for a brief lull in the spring at the Covid-19 onset, she has been busier than ever. The break was good for her and she now enjoys her work more than ever. So Covid-19 time for Valerie? Packing, moving, unpacking, working, reading, walking, yard work, listening to podcasts (loves to hear Rick Warren and Stephen Furtick sermons), cuddling her dogs, and stressing over teenagers. She most missed being
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at church, being with friends in person — though those are more normal now despite masks. 1989 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’89 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 1990 30th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’90 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 1991 30th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Tracy Courage email@example.com Helen Moses is living in Raleigh, NC, where she works as a voice and messaging coach. Her business is Speak Up Communications, and she has written a new book, Voice Unleashed: Speaking Up with Faith and Courage, set for release September 22, 2020. In it, she shares her journey of finding her voice and shares some of her most vulnerable experiences in the hopes of instilling a path for others to find their voice, own their value, and make the impact they were meant to make in the world. helenmoses. com/voiceunleashed/. Kim Medland, who lives in Washington, DC, recently joined Aptive Resources, a women/veteran-owned consulting firm, as a senior associate focused on delivering strategic communications advice to government clients. Kim reports that D.C. is quieter than usual. To stay connected,
she and seven other Rhodes Class of ’91 Claiborne Ferguson was elected to friends (Mary Margaret Adams Brewer, the executive committee of the TenAmanda Illges Van Cleve, Leigh nessee Association of Criminal Defense McWright McGinty, Angela Holland Lawyers (TACDL) and will be president Mills, Danette Joslyn-Gaul, Leesa for the association’s 50th anniversary in Miles, and Lane Whitney Dunyak) two years. The TACDL represents over have weekly Zoom happy hours, which 1,000 attorneys in Tennessee. In his add a bright spot to their week. Kim spare time, he and his wife are overseealso recently joined with the Rhodes ing renovations to their new home, the DC Chapter team that won the FitLynx Blackwell House in Bartlett, TN. Did Challenge. “I look forward to traveling I mention that it’s a certified haunted some day and seeing people again once house!?! the pandemic is contained,” she says. Melanie A. Elliott Hillard was Tracy Courage lives in Little Rock appointed Arkansas Cluster Coordiand celebrated her one-year anniversary nator by the South Central Regional working as director of communications Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Incorporated. She has been named to Service, part of the University of Arkan- the R hodes College Alumni Assosas System Division of Agriculture. ciation Executive Board, as well as the Arkansas Repertory Theater Board 1992 of Directors. R EPORT ER Jennifer Jenkins recently passed the Sara Hawks Marecki 25-year mark with Hewlett-Packard firstname.lastname@example.org (HP). She works in marketing. She recently remodeled/updated a home on The Class of ’92 has managed to keep 10 acres complete with typical Oregon busy during the pandemic. Douglas fir trees in Oregon wine country and is hosting AirBnB/VRBO Kaleigh Donnelly and her husband, in the daylight basement. It has its own Rich Bullington ’91, watched the entire kitchen, living area, etc. It has been fun filmography of Jean Claude Van Damme and successful so far despite Covidthis summer. It was a whole job. Kaleigh 19. The air is currently very smoky from also wrote and assembled her school’s the fires — bless all these firefighters virtual learning plan, which was approved working hard. with no revisions required by the state. She’s sure she was channeling the fight- Kelly Leach wrapped up four years ing spirit of the Belgian as she wrote page working as COO and SVP at the after page of attendance policies. photobook self-publishing company Blurb. She and her husband are in the Laura Landers Duke teaches in a school process of relocating from San Francisco that has created outdoor classrooms for to the Catalonia region of Spain and everyone. (They were featured on the Kelly is taking the “gap year” she never national news!) She is teaching music had. outside and will be glad to see fall temperatures. She is re-learning hand bells Sara Hawks Marecki has converted to play with her students and also at her her sewing machine from a dust-gathchurch where she is Choir Director. ering, pant-hemming appliance, to a mask-making machine. To date, she has Chris Emanuel recently took a break stitched and donated almost 200 masks from dodging sneezes from his pediatric to friends, family, co-workers, teachers, patients and spent a week hiking Great and other essential workers in the comSmoky Mountains National Park. munity.
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Carolyn Sharp is trying to breathe through the smoke choking Seattle from the hoax fires plaguing the West, while continuing to try to keep couples from breaking up on video, working to dismantle white supremacy in her profession, and simultaneously raising four kids and teetering on the brink of insanity. Yay 2020! Heather Spurlock has been growing herbs and making batches of salsa verde and salsa roja. Kevin Thompson was named executive director of the Memphis Pink Palace Family of Museums in January 2020. Kelly Pledger Weeks is allowing her teenage boys to play way more video games than she ever would have imagined six months ago. She’s learning technology to imitate in-person class while her whole family learns from home simultaneously. “Screens are our life.” They try to spend as many weekends at the lake or outside as she can talk the boys into. “I miss people and hugs and parties!” Anisa Cottrell Willis is associate rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport, KY. She also serves on her local school board which means she is engaged in trying to figure out how to open both of them safely. Fun times! 1993 R EPORT ER Wendy Mullins email@example.com 1994 R EPORT ER Judy Brown firstname.lastname@example.org 1995 25th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1 – 3, 2021 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’95 reporter, please contact email@example.com.
1996 25th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Jennifer Larson firstname.lastname@example.org 1997 R EPORT ER Laurea Glusman McAllister email@example.com Tilghman McFadden relocated from Memphis to the greater Seattle area in September of 2018. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had the nerve to do.” Tilghman and her family settled on Bainbridge Island, a quaint bedroom community about a 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. “We feel like we have the best of both worlds. We have a world-class city close by, yet we live on this quiet, forested and beautiful oasis in Puget Sound.” Tilghman reports that she makes it to Olympic National Park, “as often as is possible, particularly given we’re only two hours away. We are so grateful to have this epic national park in our backyard.” Tilghman and her husband are both financial advisors in the Seattle area. “We moved here for the professional opportunities, plain and simple. We’ve found that and much more. But the South will always be home!” In a feat of resilience, Neal Lakdawala, had the same soup for lunch and dinner for five consecutive days when left home alone by his family. He has 46 followers on Strava and once created a segment around a hotel in India (Lake Palace Loop) so he could become King of the Mountain. He enjoys speaking like a frat bro with his daughter, until she inevitably punches him in the genitals. John Weeden has joined the operations team at First Horizon Advisors since our last reunion, and has been working remotely since March. His wife, Lyle, has also been remote for ALSAC/St. Jude since that time as well. Their son, Cullen, is now in fourth grade and is doing great! Shaila Mehra writes, “This summer we moved from the plains of Stillwater, OK, to the mountains of Blacksburg, VA. “I’m the assistant dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Liberal Arts
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and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. My husband, Andrew Wadoski, is a faculty member in the English department at VT. Naya (9) studies rocks and flowers on our walks in the woods, and Ishaani (6) has befriended every dog in the neighborhood. I send best wishes to everyone in the class of 1997 and especially to anyone who may be dealing with significant loss due to the pandemic”
Environmental and Litigation group. In Mark and Mandy Booker still live in his spare time, he enjoys working on Boston, MA, with their four kids. In home improvement projects and spend- March, just before the pandemic hit the ing time outdoors. He looks forward to U.S., Mark became the senior minister reconnecting with everyone at our next of Park Street Church which is located on the Boston Common. reunion.
Mitchell Klink has been leading Maggie McDonald serves as vice presgallery talks of the biennial at the ident of legacy gifts at United Way Bermuda National Gallery, where of Central Alabama. In her role, she he has joined the board. The island’s manages the largest Tocqueville Legacy Alexa Bradley Hulsey writes, “We’re slower pace, low-density, mid-Atlan- Circle in the nation, with more than 110 coping pretty well, considering. I had tic isolation, and established norms of members who have committed more to close my clinics for two months but, remote work eased the transition into than $250,000 to United Way’s endowthankfully, we’re back open now. My our current altered reality. Open ocean ment through their estate plans. business, Encircle Acupuncture, is cele- swimming, an active outdoor lifebrating 10 years of providing affordable style, and lush natural beauty has helped 1999 acupuncture in Nashville, and I was with the stress. He invites everyone to R EPORT ER named one of Nashville Business Journal’s come visit! Leigh Powell Mayfield 2020 Women of Influence, in the TrailAfter finishing his Ed.D. at Vander- firstname.lastname@example.org blazer category. So that’s pretty cool!” bilt, Tom Suchman is now an assistant Brendan Minihan is starting his fourth principal at Houston High School in 2000 year as head of the Middle School at Memphis, where he has taught English 20th Reunion The Tatnall School, in Wilmington, DE, for 20 years. Homecoming/Reunion Weekend where his three children, Aidan ’23, Ewan ’24, and Clare ’27, study. His wife, Thomas “Tef ” French was recently October 1–3, 2021 Margaret Ann Taylor Minihan ’98, promoted to vice president of sales works as tech director at The Indepen- for the US Employer Services division R E P O R T E R dence School. They say they are both still of HotSchedules-FOURTH. After Nicki North Baxley running, although less than they did for merging FOURTH and HotSched- email@example.com ules last year, the company became Coach Shankman back in the day. the largest hospitality-focused software Emily Jones wrote that her family and services company in the world. He “made a conscious decision to continue 1998 and his wife Saskia celebrated their 12th our lives as Pre-Covid.” She spent the R EPORT ER wedding anniversary in June and their summer traveling and her kids went to Susan Meredith Meyers daughter Doutzen’s first birthday in July. summer camp. She wishes everyone well. firstname.lastname@example.org He is looking forward to his annual trip Shadenn Zarur reports she has a to Atlanta in the fall, where he’ll spend company that sells medical devices, William Buchheit published a book the weekend with fellow alumni Tom “since Covid-19 all of our surgeries this year titled The South Carolina State Ramsey ’95, Pete Noll ’96, Dan Pel- stopped and are slowly coming back Hospital: Stories from Bull Street. It was legram ’97, Frank Pinkerton ’96, and now.” She had to let go of all her sales printed by The History Press in Charles- Ed Parker ’96. force except one. On the good side, she ton and is available in softback, e-book, was forced to look elsewhere and decided and audible on Amazon, as well as in Chip Schramm was elected to the to help her dad, who manufactures a book stores throughout South Carolina. regional executive board for the Young natural disinfectant (Biocitrox), with his Presidents Organization (YPO) for Instagram. She also took some self-imVic Suane is married to Joy, and they 2019-2021 for the Southeastern US and provement courses and realized that she have two children (future Rhodes stu- Caribbean region. He was also asked wants to become a health coach and is dents, no doubt) — Jordyn, 10, and to serve as the education chair for the enrolled in a program for this. Jacob, 7. The family lives in Baton Rouge, State of Alabama by the YPO Southern LA, where Vic is a partner at Kean 7 Chapter for 2020-2021. Sheila Jacobson Purcell writes, “I’ve Miller LLP. He is chair of the law firm’s been working on the Covid ICU at Diversity Council and practices in the Methodist in downtown Memphis. It’s
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been surreal and tremendously satisfying. We have really enjoyed the time at home with our three kids (ages 5, 7, and 9) and our new puppy, Charlie. In July, we decided we would not put the kids back in school and I’ve been homeschooling them since then. We are itching to take our newfound freedom on the road as soon as it’s safe to travel again!” Nicki North Baxley moved to Iowa for her husband’s job at the beginning of the year. Covid-19 definitely changed her plans to open a business. “Currently, the kids are virtual schooling and I am creating an online presence for my handmade cards (@nickiheartscards) in hopes of corporate sponsorship.” 2001 20th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Katy Minten Gray email@example.com 2002 R EPORT ER Shannon Cian firstname.lastname@example.org 2003 R EPORT ER Scott Holmes email@example.com Greetings from the Class of 2003. After a brief hiatus, we are back in Class Notes where I am sure we have all been dearly missed. Lt. Col. Margie (Hall) Molloy, USAF, is currently stationed at Ramstein AB, Germany, and will move to San Antonio, TX, in the summer of 2021 to take command of the 802d Force Support Squadron. Laura Marks O’Brien celebrated getting a haircut for the first time since January along with her and Scott O’Brien’s 14th anniversary in June. The O’Briens are living in Arlington, VA, where they’ve lived since graduation. Their daughter Julianne turned 3.5 this summer and is recently back in preschool to the sheer relief and joy of her parents.
Samantha Scott is currently the director of a foster care agency in Northern Kentucky. She has seen firsthand the effects Covid-19 has had on families and children. During all this she has also helped start a substance abuse program at a local jail, celebrated six years sober, and is studying to take the Kentucky bar exam! Lenox McClendon Warren lives in Memphis with her husband and two children. She is the director of development for Hope House, a local nonprofit serving the HIV community. Hope House partners with Rhodes every year to bring in volunteers and provide music class to preschool children, so she has gotten to stay connected with Rhodes! Raina Burditt just published a book called Scratch Programming for Beginners: A Kid’s Guide to Coding Fundamentals. She is also the technology instructor at Memphis University School. This fall she has been especially busy supporting teachers as they tackle “concurrent teaching.” In order to keep the population density down, half of the students are on campus while the other half tune in from home online. Sarah May Wilmsmeyer and her husband, Josh ’02, along with Avery (9) and Colin (4), are figuring out virtual school and work while tackling gardening with native plants. In the last three years they have added over 60 native plant species to their yard and as a result have observed many more birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife and been honored with a Silver Certification for wildlife habitat value through the St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bring Conservation Home program. The work has also been something positive to help navigate the stress of the pandemic. Rebecca Held Knoche and her husband welcomed their second child, Benjamin John Knoche, on February 26, just before Covid-19 hit! Ben joins big sister Hannah (4). Despite pandemic maternity leave being quite different than anticipated, everyone is doing great! They live in southern Maryland, and Rebecca works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Cyanne Demchak finally put some roots down by buying a house in East Nashville a few years ago after moving to other cities every few years. She just celebrated her 11th anniversary at Cigna, and is currently chief innovation officer for Cigna Medical Group. She’s usually on planes back and forth to Phoenix 2-3 times a month, but has gotten pretty comfortable with her short walk to her home office during Covid-19. She has gone through a few Covid phases including most of the basics — baking (bread, cake, cookies, biscuits), too many Peloton classes, puzzles, ordering take-out
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from her favorite spots around the city — and recently rediscovered the lost art of home bartending, and actual books rather than reading on a device after deciding she needed to save her local bookshop by buying books every week, starting the week after the March 3rd tornado. Since leaving Denver in 2015, Amanda Womack Haley has been writing books and restoring her house in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, David, and basset hound, Copper. Her second book, Mary Magdalene Never Wore Blue Eye Shadow: How to Trust the Bible when Truth and Tradition Collide, was released by Harvest House Publishers in October 2019. She is preparing for the February 2021 launch of The Red-Haired Archaeologist Digs Israel, the first book in a series that explores a nation’s ancient and modern cultures and how they intersect with Scripture. Team “Old Lynx But Not Cougars” placed 3rd in the Virtual LynxFit challenge organized by Rhodes Alumni. Led by Miriam Dillard Stroud, the team also included Allison Grabias Pera, Gelsey Bennett, and Jane Wells. Brett Ramsey married Marybeth Dowd on November 2, 2019, in Nashville where they also live. There were several Rhodes alums in attendance from the Class of ’03: James Roach, David Goudie, Grace Williams, Jessica Hoback Engebretsen, and Whitney Brett Engstrom and Brett’s cousin Walker McWherter ’14. They’re happy to have gotten married before the Covid-19 madness and wish everyone else the best! Lauren Blalock Sefton is going on her 18th year of working with the Rhodes Admission Office and watching our new Lynx adjust to a virtual college experience. She and her husband, Eric ’02, have spent their time in quarantine chasing their 4-year-old. Caroline Dale Simpson, daughter of Will Dale ’70 and Nancy Dale ’72, and her husband, Chris Simpson, had
James Simpson on January 15, 2020. He is an incredibly sweet and friendly baby and joins big brother Tyler Simpson, born September 14, 2016. They live in Bethesda, MD, and always enjoy seeing D.C. area visitors.
of living, great weather, easy to drive to DC, etc., etc., etc. So now here we are!”
Peter and Alyson White Igoe chime in that when the pandemic hit New Orleans, they were returning from a three-week cruise in the Baltic Sea, visiting Estonia, Michelle Stillman Toussaint recently Latvia, and Lithuania. Given the virus, graduated from the Montessori Institute however, they were forced to quarantine in San Diego with a Montessori Primary on-board for three weeks. But it wasn’t teaching degree for 3- to 6-year-olds. She all bad; the cruise operator, Norwegian, is now a lead teacher at her local Mon- provided beluga caviar and champagne tessori school in Sun Valley, ID, and is without any upcharges and Peter and loving every minute of it! Alyson learned to play bridge from a Russian Grand Master who was also on Yvonne Godfrey ’03 was recently board. Eventually they became brave named a partner at her law firm, Harris enough to bid for Slam and are comfortLowry Manton, LLP, and was selected able bidding Two Clubs … bold ! as an On the Rise attorney for the Daily Report’s 2020 Georgia Legal Awards. Palmer Snodgrass has also had a rough quarantine — actually, quite the oppoAnd at last I guess I have to submit site. He writes, “Having to quarantine something too. I, Scott Holmes, live in Hawaii wasn’t the worst, being forced in Tuscaloosa with my wife Dr. Lauren to stay in our house on base that overFay Holmes ’05. I work as an associate looked the Pacific Ocean. Pure torture. city attorney for the City of Tuscaloosa Sadly our hardship tour in paradise where I practice in the wild world of came to an end and we were forced back municipal law and have been assigned to Coastal Carolina. I’m now the Headas the operations section chief of the quarters Squadron Commanding Officer City of Tuscaloosa Incident Command for Marine Aircraft Group 29 and still for Covid-19 since March. We have flying Hueys.” Also, congrats to Palmer two children, Franklin (7) and Vera (22 for his growing family! months). For fun, I drink whiskey, grill, and run a silly parenting blog on my Matt Hoffberg has some good news own and recently started a cooking blog too — he and his fiancée, Maggie, have (holmescooks.com) with my wife. set a new date for the wedding (September 2021) in Puerto Vallarta. The 2004 happy couple also purchased and moved into their new house back in May. They moved in with a new pup, Cream Cheese, R EPORT ER S C. Kyle Russ who is a spoiled rotten Chowdoodle! firstname.lastname@example.org Stacy Sidle Matt and Dorothy Crimi Laymon, along with their two daughters, Eleanor email@example.com and Chiquita, are making the most Daniel Head and family write that “we of 2020. Matt recently secured a legal loved living in Washington, DC, with victory against the estate of John Wayne the kids but even pre-pandemic it was Gacey on behalf of the Wisconsin growing difficult — we ultimately left Clown Town Association for decades because we just had to move; our condo of business interruption and lost wages. didn’t have a yard nor patio and our Dorothy opened a boutique mask store neighborhood was suffering.” But, DC’s in Fairhope, AL, catering specifically loss is North Carolina’s gain! Daniel has to women who recently had, let’s say, family and friends in the Triangle area, some work done. Daughter Eleanor was “there’s great public schools and low cost crowned the number one Jai Alai player
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in Alabama for her age and continues nightly coaching sessions via Zoom with her Manila-based instructor. And baby Chiquita cannot wait for 2021 so she can visit the Panamanian banana plantation after which she is named. If you have ever walked into a church and wondered what the symbols mean and why a style of architecture was chosen, Emily Sottile is happy to fill you in. As the director of the Sacred Space Studio at EverGreene Architectural Arts (Brooklyn), Emily has been restoring and designing churches across the country, and will be talking about how to read liturgical art and architecture in several episodes of the upcoming documentary series The Chair, about Cathedrals in America. Richard Pearson writes that he’s been doing well. “When not trying to juggle parenting and work, I, along with a group of actors and scholars, have been making my way through the complete works of Shakespeare via Zoom. I’m occasionally joined by Sara Davis ’03. It’s actually the most acting I’ve done in a decade and an absolute delight!” Nice work — getting back to your roots! Lastly from yours truly, C. Kyle and family actually got in some travel during this pandemic. We made it down to Cashiers, NC, for a couple of weeks in June and to the beautiful island of Nantucket in August. We did a lot of swimming, walking, and reading (what else is there to do these days?!), and recently finished Keith Richards’ Life autobiography, which is a stark reminder of just how my life is. ;) Hope you’re all well c/o 2004. Please continue to weigh in: firstname.lastname@example.org 2005 15th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER S Brandon Couillard email@example.com Molly Fitzpatrick firstname.lastname@example.org Molly Chapman Wheeler and Logan Wheeler are moving to Bogotá, Colombia, this September for the next State Department assignment following a year in Savannah, GA, where Logan completed a master’s in sequential art at the Savannah College of Art and
Design and Molly taught in a public charter Montessori school, both long-time dreams for a pair who rarely get time in the U.S. to pursue such ventures. Their two children continue to roll with the changes like pros! As one of the few Ph.D.-trained genetic counselors and health disparities scientists in the world, Dr. Altovise Ewing has an unwavering commitment to eliminating health disparities. In June, Altovise joined the Roche Genentech team as a Global Health Equity Strategy-Senior Science Leader. Recently, she made history as the first Black woman elected to serve as a director-at-large on the National Society of Genetics Counselors’ Board of Directors. Jodi Brannen is living in Seguin, TX, with her husband and two kids, Liam (4) and Wendy (2). She is still practicing OB/GYN and loving it. In fact, she’s loving it so much that she’s opening her very own practice where she’s excited to continue to serve the women of her area and to do so on her own terms. This has been an interesting, yet productive year for Jane Anne Miller. She and her business partner reorganized their business and have launched Tailored Lifestyles Brands, which holds their three companies (Tailored Etiquette, Rush Readiness, and Tailored Concierges) that provide licensing opportunities across the United States. Nothing quite tries your entrepreneurial spirit than launching a new company during a global pandemic. Jackie Ruick McCrary graduated with a master’s in counseling in May 2020. The ceremony itself was cancelled due to Covid-19, so her husband and sons threw her a “socially distant graduation” with neighbors, family, and friends (all 6 feet apart, of course, with lots of hand sanitizer). Following graduation, she joined a private practice in St. Louis, where she sees a variety of clients, but specializes in women’s issues and couples counseling. Joanna Young Ridgway and her husband, Eric, both finance professionals, are excited to share the following: “Dallas, TX, September 30, 2020 — On the last day of the third quarter 2020, the Ridgway Family (‘Eric & Joanna’ or ‘brand-new parents’) completed the acquisition of Thea Marie Ridgway (‘Thea’ or ‘perfect
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baby girl’). Thea arrived at 6 lb. 12 oz. and 19 inches. Integration is expected to take some time, though incremental costs are mitigated by the generous support of friends and family. Management admits a lack of prior experience integrating an asset of this type, though Eric and Joanna have committed to the board of directors that they, ‘totally got this.’ Leadership will shift as Thea has named herself CEO, CFO, COO, and chairwoman of the board and will also have an outsized share of voting rights. Operational costs will increase, but these costs are offset by immediate and substa ntia l synergies, mostly snuggle-related. Joanna Ridgway, former CEO of the Ridgway family, said of the acquisition, ‘We couldn’t be happier to welcome Thea to the Ridgway Family. Who doesn’t love 3 a.m. meetings to discuss toxic asset dispositions?’ Eric and Joanna will happily never be the same.” 2006 15th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Caroline King Willson Caroline.king.Willson@gmail.com 2007 R EPORT ER Mollie Briskman Montelaro email@example.com 2008 R EPORT ER Madoline Markham firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Towle and his wife, Jennifer, bought a home in Kittery, ME, and they say to come visit! Their plague project is performing fantasy-based, improv comedy shows with Dorks in Dungeons. If you want to stay connected and share a laugh, you can check out the show at twitch.tv/dorksindungeonsonline.
Rachel and Lipscomb Davis welcomed William Lipscomb Davis V on March 31, 2020. “Little ‘Lip’ hasn’t met many people because of Covid-19, but we hope to take him to Memphis sometime soon,” Rachel writes. Evan Williams and his wife, Jackie, welcomed their second child, Charlotte Jayne, into the world on January 30, just under the Covid-19 deadline. She joins 2-year-old Henry Robert (yes, Hank Williams) as well.
’08 and Brian Lainoff ’11 served in the wedding party. Andrew and Sarah had their first daughter, Evelyn Grace Holt, on June 9, 2020. Andrew works as a pulmonary/critical care physician at Mid-South Pulmonary Specialists in Memphis. Carrie and Dougal Cameron welcomed baby number four, Helen Esther Cameron, on February 24, 2020. She has been such a joy for her parents, big sister, and two big brothers in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Leslie Rouse James and husband, Fielding, welcomed Marilyn Melou James on May 27, 2020. While they couldn’t have any visitors at the hospital due to Covid19, they were thrilled to bring Marilyn home to introduce her to her big brother, Hudson (3 years old)!
Stephanie Aughinbaugh graduated in August 2020 with her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M. Throughout her graduate work, she was reminded many times how well she was taught to write at Rhodes. Stephanie Rob Kneip writes that it took a pan- and her husband, Chris, are continuing demic to have a few major life events to work from home for the foreseeable take place all at once. He and his family future, Chris for Texas Instruments and moved from NYC to San Diego in April Stephanie for Uplift Education. They to open a West Coast office for his firm. make their home in Dallas, TX. They also welcomed their second son, Greyson, in late July. “Starting to get Elizabeth Hartman married Derek a bit more normalized at this point but Donovan at the beginning of the panlots of changes,” he writes. “If anyone demic on March 28, 2020, in a field happens to be in the La Jolla area, would of bluebonnets with just their parents definitely be great to see folks.” and officiant. She wore her great-grandHaynes Kleimeyer Halbrooks and her husband, Andy, welcomed their second son, Nash Walker Halbrooks, in early September 2020. 2009 R EPORT ER Kelsey Griffith email@example.com Andrew Holt married Sarah Phipps on September 15, 2018. Griffin Morrisson
mother’s vintage lace wedding dress from 1910. They had to postpone their original wedding plans, but are looking forward to celebrating with all of their guests in 2021. Meghan McCollough and Leah Stein ’10 were in the wedding party. Elizabeth is starting her ninth year as an elementary art teacher at Decker Elementary in Austin, TX. Teaching art virtually has been a new challenge! Leslie Bailey Calicutt gave birth to her second child and first son, Russell Bailey Calicutt, Jr., on March 7, 2020. She was
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actually at the hospital when her city’s first case of Covid-19 was announced. The family is enjoying the extra time at home together during this season of life. Lauren Rodriguez Brill was named the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year in San Diego, CA. A celebration was held over Zoom in May. She will start her seventh year teaching first grade online at the end of August. Jane Metters LaBarbara and husband, Kirk, have welcomed new family members! Twins Abigail and Jasper LaBarbara were born in mid-April 2020. They are enjoying life at home with the dogs and chattering at Jane while she works from home. Jasmine Medley Gipson sends a shoutout to team Thick Thighs, Thin Patience (including Caralee Barrett, Alanna Topps, Andrea Bell) during the Virtual LynxFit challenge! Jasmine said she “LOVED getting to work out with y’all and catch up! Y’all are badasses!” Jasmine also tied the knot with a special young man on Saturday, September 5, 2020! She married Maurice Gipson in her hometown of Little Rock, AR, with their closest family and friends. The happy couple lives in Columbia, MO, where Jasmine is recruiting young people for national service through City Year and her husband (Jasmine: “gah, I love saying that”) is the vice chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Mizzou. Jasmine is “ever missing Rhodes and my Lynx fam! #RollLynx” Alexandra Carter has been spending all her time during the pandemic quite isolated in her art studio in Los Angeles, making work for a solo exhibition which will open late September through early November 2020 at a new gallery in downtown Los Angeles, Luna Anais Gallery. Turns out the pandemic has been pretty conducive to more productivity in the studio, so there’s somewhat of a silver lining for her! Maria Cowley Quinn is the proud mother of Antoinette Cowley Quinn, born on October 11, 2019. Maria included a picture of her adorable child, taken when she was 5 months old. Elizabeth and Peter Zanca ’10 welcomed Anne “Annie” Waller Zanca on September 9, 2020. Henry, 3, is very excited to be a big brother!
2010 10th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Alexandra Nobel Murry firstname.lastname@example.org 2011 10th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Grace Weil email@example.com 2012 R EPORT ER Kelly Parry firstname.lastname@example.org 2013 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’13 reporter, please contact email@example.com. 2014 R EPORT ER Matt Washnock firstname.lastname@example.org 2015 5th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER Caroline Ponseti email@example.com Will and Kate Morrison Murphy welcomed their new son, Matthew Garnett, on September 2, 2020.
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2016 5th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend October 1–3, 2021 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’16 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu. 2017 R EPORT ER Mason Brown firstname.lastname@example.org 2018 R EPORT ER If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’18 reporter, please contact alumni@ rhodes.edu.
2019 R EPORT ER Junior Walters email@example.com
Jane Eskildsen has used her time in quarantine raising a growing family of house plants as she inches closer to finishing her master’s dissertation at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Walker Lee is scribing for a doctor before heading to medical school, while also beginning classes to get his pilot’s license.
Benton Parker has perfected recipes for three types of French bread, going on four.
Robert Stodola started law school at the University of Arkansas Little Rock Madison Trusevich finally conquered her lifelong fear of heights and went skydiving for her birthday. Jeanne Wilkinson went viral on TikTok not once, but twice.
Junior Walters spends most of his time cycling, a new passion, on “lunch breaks” while working from home. John Mark Stodola learned to cut his own hair, and now also cuts Jonathan Clarke’s hair for him, his fellow classmate and roommate in Los Angeles.
Lucas Bradford won $750 watching the Kentucky Derby from his apartment in Greenville, SC.
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IN MEMORIAM ’36, P’69 Gladys Jane Caughlin Campbell of Memphis, TN, March 8, 2020. Born in New Orleans, LA, on February 19, 1916, “Janey” called Memphis her home for most of her life. She was a graduate of Lausanne School and attended Rhodes College, where she was a member of Chi Omega Fraternity and Pi Honorary Sorority. She was happily married to the late Robert (Bob) Lee Campbell, Jr. ’34, for 56 years. The two were married at Calvary Episcopal Church, where she was a lifelong member. She received a Service Cross for her 70 years of dedication to the Calvary Altar Guild from 1930 to 2000, including time as the directress. She was also a volunteer at the Waffle Shop and member of the St. Margaret’s Guild. She and her husband, Bob, were also founding members of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX. Mrs. Campbell belonged to several service organizations, including the Junior League of Memphis, Tuesday Study Club, and Carnival Memphis RaMet, Osiris, and Memphis Societies. In her later years, she enjoyed acting as a member of the Trezevant Manor Quality of Life Care Board, as well as serving as the director of the Altar Guild of
St. Edward’s Chapel. Friends would often ask what her secret was to such longevity, and her answers were always the same: the love of family, finding gratitude in all things, and choosing happiness no matter the circumstances. Those closest to her would also add Cheetos, Hershey bars, and Jack Daniels to that list. She was an inspiration to all who knew her — known for her smile, quick wit, and strength. She leaves a daughter, Jane Campbell Gober ’69 (Mackie ’68), a son, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, all of Memphis. The family would like to extend a special thank you to her wonderful team of caregivers, who loved her like their own. ’41, P’73 Ruth Lee Pouncey of Memphis, TN, April 30, 2020. Ruth was born December 7, 1919, at the Norwegian-American Hospital in Chicago, IL, daughter to Joe and Helene Lee, second- and first-generation Norwegians. At two years of age, she and her mother traveled to Norway to visit her Norwegian family. In 1927, her father was transferred to Sears Crosstown (Memphis) and the family relocated to Memphis. Ruth attended Vollentine Elementary and Snowden
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Schools before graduating from Central H.S. in 1938. She graduated from Rhodes College) in 1941 where she majored in English and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. Upon graduation she began teaching at Vollentine. She met Baxter Pouncey ’41, at Rhodes and they were married August 19, 1944, in the Chapel at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. Ruth and Baxter moved to Hughes, AR, and later to Crawfordsville where Baxter was principal/coach and later superintendent of schools. She taught elementary school until they started a family. In the mid-’60s she received her degree in counseling from Memphis State University (now U of M) and served as the high school guidance counselor and later principal of the elementary school. Upon Baxter’s retirement in 1980 they moved to Memphis. Both Ruth and Baxter were active participants at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. She served on the Altar Guild, taught Sunday school, became president of the Episcopal Church Women, and volunteered at the Episcopal Bookshop. Ruth shared her parents’ Norwegian traditions, from food to music. She loved art, reading, and gardening. The family took a trip annually to Wisconsin and Michigan where her parents had roots. The trip finale would be a visit to Chicago including the Institute of Art and lunch at Marshall Fields. Her favorite takeaway was a box of Frango Mints. It was important to her that her sons got a good education, and a strong Christian foundation. The family is grateful for the love and care given to Ruth by the staff at Allen Morgan and other facilities of Trezevant Manor for the last 10 years. She was preceded in death by her husband George Baxter Pouncey ’41 and infant son Baxter Lee Pouncey, and is survived by her sons George Andrew Pouncey’73 (Kate) and Jon Lee Pouncey, two grandsons, four nieces and nephews. ’41 Louise Jennings Gagstetter of Vero Beach, FL, May 17, 2020. She was born in Greenwood, MS, and was raised in Memphis, TN. Louise was a graduate of Rhodes College, earning a B.S. degree in psychology. Louise was preceded in death by her husband, Albert Craig Gagstetter. Louise and Craig moved to Vero Beach in 1982. Louise was a P.E.O. member and served many years with the Indian River Hospital Auxiliary. Together they raised three sons in Birmingham, MI: Albert Craig Gagstetter, Jr., Ninety Six, SC; Allen Arthur Gagstetter, Manistee, MI; and Gary Glen Gagstetter, Vero Beach. One of the joys of living to be 100 years old is the enjoyment of your grandchildren; Louise was proud to have five grandchildren. She is also survived by four great grandchildren. Louise had two sisters, Dixie Collins and Marjorie Wunderlich ’39, both of Memphis, TN. ’43 Jane Pete Osborne of Charleston, SC, August 9, 2020. Jane passed away peacefully in her daughter’s home, following a 10-day hospital stay at Roper St. Francis after contracting Covid-19. Prior to this she had happily lived at Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community for 14 years. Jane was born in Memphis, TN, on January 10, 1922, to
Russell Fitch Peete and Louise Gift Edmondson Peete. She graduated from Central High School in 1939 and went on to graduate from Rhodes College in 1943 with a major in chemistry. She was a proud member of Chi Omega Fraternity for more than 80 years. Soon after graduation she married Captain James Libby Fling, a naval aviator in the United States Marine Corps, who was killed in the Pacific on February 14, 1945. She and Jim spent many nights dancing on the rooftop of the Peabody Hotel. After working in Atlanta, New York City, and San Francisco, she eventually returned to Memphis where she met and married a former college classmate, Wilson Irving Osborne, Jr. ’42 on December 27, 1958. Jane had many interests and hobbies, one of which was traveling. She worked at the Mid-South Travel Agency for almost 30 years helping friends plan trips all over the world. She was a lifelong member of Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, where she was fond of her Sewing Circle. She also volunteered with the LeBonheur Club. Jane’s most treasured times were with her children and grandchildren and she enjoyed visiting them around the country. In order to be closer to her family, she eventually moved in 2006 to Charleston, SC, where she made many new friends and grew to love her new home in the Low Country. She is survived by two daughters and four grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband and her brother. ’44, GP’04 Agnes (Aggie) Ming Turley of Memphis, TN, May 17, 2020. Born on June 30, 1922, in Memphis, Aggie is preceded in death by her mother, Doris Shepherd, and stepfather, Jacob Cox Stedman, whom she called Pop, as well as her husband of 62 years, Dr. Hubert K. Turley ’40, and grandson, Turley M. Muller ’04. As many friends of Aggie’s children have said, “Mrs. Turley treated everyone like family. She was a mother to us all.” Aggie inf luenced the lives of many with her strong faith in God. She was unconditionally loving, kind, and generous to her family, friends, and the Memphis community. Aggie was as an active member of Second Presbyterian Church, the Junior League, the Little Garden Club, Les Passees, Le Bonheur, and an avid supporter of her high school alma mater, The Hutchison School, and Rhodes College. As a longtime volunteer and board member of the American Red Cross, she served her country in need during World War II at the Red Cross Soup Kitchen alongside her husband who served in the Army Medical Corps. Many things brought her joy like traveling, playing golf and bridge, painting, and gardening in her rose garden, but she was happiest spending time with her family and friends on the lake at Pickwick or in her home away from home in Baypoint, FL. Our “Granny” leaves behind four children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She was a wonderful woman who was loved, is missed, and will always be cherished in the hearts and minds of everyone whose lives she touched.
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’45 Imogene Williamson Kinney of Charlotte, NC, August 10, 2020. She was the beloved wife of the late William Lee Kinney Jr. for 68 years. A daughter of the late Mildred Wise Williamson and Francis Brodnax Williamson of Mason, TN, she was preceded in death by a sister, Evelyn Keeton; three brothers, Francis, Lewis, and John Williamson; a daughter, Marion Kinney Blankenship; and a grandson, Maurice VanHecke. Imogene graduated from Rhodes College and served as president of Kappa Delta Sorority. After graduation, she moved to Washington, DC, and made maps for the war effort. She met Bill there and they married in 1947 at her home place, Point-No-Point. They lived in Winston-Salem and Wilmington before settling in Charlotte in 1955. An active member of Covenant Presbyterian Church (Couples Class, Circle, president of the Women of the Church, Meals on Wheels), Imogene was a member of the DAR for 71 years and served in many capacities including regent (Liberty Hall Chapter). She was active with her garden, bridge, book, and dance clubs. She played tennis until age 90 (Mountainbrook). She and Bill were dedicated to their family and enjoyed hosting holiday dinners and beach vacations for the entire clan. Imogene is survived by three children, 11 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. ’45 Frances Alford McDonald of Memphis, TN, July 13, 2020. She was born to Dr. William Grady Alford and Theo Green Alford on March 14, 1923, in Memphis. In 1941, Frances was voted Most Popular by her Central High senior classmates. Her outgoing, cheerful nature endured throughout her life. Frances attended Rhodes College, then transferred to The University of Colorado. In 1945, when Crawford McDonald finished his duty as an Air Force bomber pilot in the South Pacific, he traveled directly to Colorado and asked for Frances’s hand in marriage. They married in 1947 and eventually settled back in Memphis. There they raised three sons, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister and nieces, nephews, and cousins she held dear. Frances enjoyed being involved in the activities and celebrations of her family and friends, who all benefited from her attention and support. She was active in the Grandview Garden Club in Memphis, the Le Bonheur Club, and in her later years was an enthusiastic participant in activities offered at Trezevant Manor, where she resided for the past eight years. At Trezevant, Frances received a recent Activity Participation Reward, and her active retirement pace is a testament to the care and thoughtful planning provided by Trezevant staff. Frances treasured her many friends at Trezevant.
’49 Louise Buxton Keeler of Memphis, TN, March 21, 2020. Louise was born in Memphis to John and Bettie Clay Buxton. She lived the first few years in Arkansas, then her family relocated to Dyersburg, TN. She contracted polio as a teenager and attributed her recovery to the novel techniques of Sister Elizabeth Kenny. Louise attended Lake Forrest University, Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), and graduated from Memphis State University. She worked as a lab technician both at City of Memphis Hospital and at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. She was married to George Henry Keeler for 48 years, and they raised three sons, Clay, Rob, and Will. Louise was a Memphis tour guide and driver for the Red Cross. She was a tireless volunteer for the National Ornamental Metal Museum. She was a lifelong member of St. John’s United Methodist Church. Louise loved flower arranging, swimming, working in her yard, and walking her dogs. She enjoyed traveling, especially to the Ozarks, the Florida Panhandle, and Norway. Louise is survived by her brothers, her sister, Mary Frances Cotham ’62, her three sons, and three grandsons. ’50 Dr. Charles R. Smith of New Orleans, LA, March 18, 2020. Dr. Smith is survived by children Rodney Wilson Smith, MD, Helen Smith Guidry (Jim), and stepson, Robert Wardlaw Orr, Jr. (Cathy). He is also survived by seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by only three months by his beloved wife of 57 years, Helen Carol Heyer Smith ’51, and a stepson Carl Robert Orr (Elise). Born in Ruleville, MS, on August 4, 1927, Charles was the son of the late Charles Leroy and Elsie Vernice Wilson Smith, descendants of early settlors of the Mississippi Delta. He attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), the University of Mississippi, and Tulane School of Medicine. Charles interned at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and received post-graduate training in child and adult psychiatry at the Medical College of Virginia and Silver Hill Foundation in New Canaan, Connecticut. He then returned to Tulane for additional training in child psychiatry while on a teaching and research fellowship. Charles served on the faculties of both Tulane and LSU Medical Schools. He was an active staff member of Touro Infirmary for 40 years and on the staff of Coliseum Medical Center, where he served as president of the medical staff and as director of the drug abuse program. He was also on the medical staffs of Southern Baptist Hospital, Elmwood Medical Center, and DePaul Hospital. As a founder of the Burdon-Smith Clinic, a psychiatric practice in New Orleans, he served as president of that group as well as for New Orleans Psychiatric Associates, the successor entity to the Burdon-Smith Clinic. Charles
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was a member of the Orleans Parish Medical Society and the Louisiana State Medical Association and was a life member of the American Psychiatric Association. He served as a past vice-president of the Southern Psychiatric Association and on the boards of the New Orleans Committee on Drugs and Alcoholism, Grace House, and the Louisiana Mental Health Association. Charles continued his private practice of psychiatry until 2007, later serving as a consultant to the North Carolina State Mental Health program in Gastonia, NC. The American Psychiatric Association honored him for more than 50 years of medical practice. He was a veteran of World War II in the United States Navy Reserve as a Private First Class from 1945 to 1947. He served as a board member of the New Orleans Opera Association and on the visiting committee to the Loyola School of Music. He had a lifelong appreciation of music and art, having studied at the Academy of Fine Art. Charles was a member of the Sons of Colonial Wars, St. George Society, Sons of the American Revolution, St. Lazarus Society, and Huguenot Society. He was an active volunteer at the New Orleans World War II museum and a member of the New Orleans Country Club and various carnival organizations. He was a lifelong member of Trinity Episcopal Church, having served in many capacities including that of Lay Eucharistic minister. Charles had an irrepressible zest for living. He had a large circle of family and friends and enjoyed all of the social activities New Orleans has to offer. He celebrated many birthdays and special occasions at his beloved Galatoire’s! He treasured time with family, traveled extensively and loved the opera. He especially enjoyed trips to his family home in Perdido Key, FL, with friends and loved ones. Charles was very close to all his children and grandchildren, and they will dearly miss his presence in their lives. ’50 Rev. Dr. Paul Currie of Caruthersville, MO, May 2, 2020. Paul was born in Jackson, TN, on Christmas Day in 1928. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1946 and from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) with a B.A. degree with distinction in economics. At Southwestern, he was captain of the tennis team, a member of ODK honorary leadership fraternity, grand master of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, president of the Senior Class, and was selected to the Hall of Fame. During his college years, Paul served in the Marine Corps reserves and following graduation he served in the Army as a rifleman in the infantry with seven months of combat in Korea. On being discharged from the Army, he entered Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and graduated with a master of divinity degree in 1956. In February of 1956, Paul accepted a call to be the minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Jonesville, LA. He called June 16, 1956, the “best day of my life” for that is the date of his marriage to Dorothy McIntosh of Memphis, TN. In March of 1958, he became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Caruthersville and served this church for 39 years until his retirement in April of 1997. At his retirement, the Caruthersville City Council
designated April 6, 1997 as “Dr. Paul Currie Sunday” in Caruthersville and named part of 7th Street “Dr. Paul Currie Avenue.” He received the doctor of ministry degree from McCormick Seminary in Chicago in 1980 and was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Rhodes College in 1982. Paul was president of the Caruthersville Ministerial Association seven times and served on the Caruthersville Park and Recreation Board, the Caruthersville Housing Authority Board, the Sheltered Workshop Board, and the Reynolds Park Board. He helped organize the first Alcoholic Anonymous group in Pemiscot County and assisted securing public housing for the city of Caruthersville. Paul had the honor of opening the United States Senate with prayer on September 22, 1983. Dr. Currie was an avid fan and supporter of the Caruthersville High School athletics and rarely missed a Tiger football game in the past half century. He promoted tennis in Caruthersville by helping to secure tennis courts, giving free tennis lessons, holding tournaments, and supporting the high school teams. Above all else, he was a devoted family man, a faithful friend, and a dedicated pastor. He was preceded in death by his parents and by three brothers. He is survived by his beloved wife, Dorothy, his two sons, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild. ’50, P’85, GP’21 Robert S. Edington of Mobile, AL, July 26, 2020. Robert was born in Mobile to Judge David Henry Edington and Cornelia Owen Edington on November 18, 1929. He married Patricia Gentry on June 2, 1962. He is a graduate of UMS, Rhodes College, and the University of Alabama Law School. He practiced law in Mobile for over 60 years. Robert is survived by his wife Patricia, son Sherard ’85, P’21(Courtney Hollins), daughter Virginia, and granddaughter Courtney ’21. Robert joined the U.S. Navy in 1951 and served as a decorated Air Intelligence Officer for a fighter squadron in the Korean War before retiring from the Reserves with the rank of commander. He was a member of the board of directors of the Mobile Council of the Navy League as well as state president and a national director of the Navy League of the United States. For 60 years, Robert coordinated the U.S. Navy ships that docked in Mobile at Mardi Gras. In 2012, Robert was named the Mobile Area Veteran of the Year. As an attorney, he was a member of the Mobile and Alabama Bar Associations and served as director of the Mobile Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program. Robert served for eight years in the Alabama House of Representatives and then four years as a state senator representing Mobile County. As a legislator, he helped create the USS Alabama Battleship Commission which brought the USS Alabama to Mobile in the 1960s. He was a long-time member of the Commission and served two terms as chair. As a legislator, Robert was instrumental in the creation of the University of South Alabama, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, as well as the development of Bishop State Community College. He played a lead role in establishing the
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Alabama Historical Commission, and in recognition of his efforts, the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC, presented Robert their national award. In 2008, Robert was named Mobilian of the Year by the Mobile Civitan Club for his 50 years of service to the city. He is a charter member of Mobile United and a faithful member of Mobile’s Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs as well as the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. Robert chaired the CSS Alabama Association, an organization responsible for underwater archeological expeditions at the wreck site of the CSS Alabama off the coast of France. Robert also loaned his expertise appearing on the History Channel’s documentary Raise the Alabama. He was Mobile’s Consul to Guatemala for 20 years and in this capacity he organized Mobile’s first trade mission to Central America. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Achievement Award. He served on the National Advisory Board for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Robert was an elder at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church, a long-time Sunday School teacher, and chaired the board of the Montreat Association. In 2008, Robert was named Rhodes College’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year. The Edington Family has a wonderful legacy at Rhodes. In addition to son Sherard ’85 and granddaughter Courtney ’21, other family alumni include his brothers, William Edington ’32; Rev. David Edington ’34, P’64, P’67, P’72; Andrew Edington ’34; sister Laura Edington Wakefield ’54; and nieces and nephews Rev. Howard Edington ’64, Patricia Whyte Edington ’64, William H. Edington ’67, Rev. Vernon Edington ’72, and Rita Edington Odom ’64. ’50 Dr. James R. Mulroy of Memphis, TN, May 22, 2020. Jim was born on July 12, 1925, in Brookville, IN, but lived most of his formative years in Lawrenceburg, IN, until joining the Army during World War II. While growing up in Indiana, Jim was active in his community, delivering daily newspapers, playing first flute and piccolo in his high school band, and serving every year for four years as his high school class president. In 1943, he entered the United States Army and in time was stationed in Memphis, TN, where he met and married his wife of 71 years, Ruth Imogene Tidwell ’52. After being discharged, he matriculated to Rhodes College and received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. While attending Rhodes, James began serving the Methodist Church as a student pastor. Upon graduating, James enrolled at Vanderbilt University, earning a master of divinity degree. Later in life, he returned to Vanderbilt and earned a doctor of ministry degree. During his life, James served many churches throughout the Memphis Conference. He
served on the Conference Council and was the district superintendent of the Lexington District. After retirement, he continued to work in local churches in the Memphis area for another ten years. His most prized accomplishment was being given the Denman Award in Evangelism while in retirement ministry at Christ United Methodist Church. James was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, his parents, and his older brother. He is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, including James R. Mulroy II ’71, and many great-nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. As a family, we will miss our father, our uncle, our Papa. We were all blessed to have him as a part of our life. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” ’51 Betty Owen Long of New Albany, MS, May 3, 2020. She was born August 29, 1929, to Samuel Erst Long, Sr. and Lavonia Owen Long in Ripley, MS. She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and Belhaven College in Jackson, MS. In 1952, Betty also served as Miss Hospitality for Ripley, MS. After working at Tippah Wholesale in Ripley, she moved to Algoma, MS, where she helped run Longview Farm. Later, she returned to Ripley, where she was a member of First Presbyterian Church. Her family includes four nephews, one niece, great nieces and nephews, and 24 great-great nieces and nephews. ’51 Anne S. Caldwell of Memphis, TN, July 4, 2020. Anne grew up in Louisville, KY, the daughter of the Reverend Dr. and Mrs. Frank H. Caldwell. She leaves a sister, Patricia Caldwell McKnight ’49, a brother, Dr. John B. H. Caldwell, and numerous nieces and nephews. She received her bachelor of arts from Rhodes College and her M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, NC, in 1973. Anne had an enjoyable 30+ year career in higher education beginning as the assistant to the dean of women at Rhodes from 1955 to 1959 and as dean of women at the college from 1959 to 1968. During the summers of 1963 and 1964, she served as Dean of Women at the Instituto Tecnologico in Monterey, Mexico, at a summer school for American students. In 1968, she moved to Charlotte, NC and was the director of alumnae at Queens College until 1972 when she moved to Danville, KY, and worked as the administrative assistant to the president and as a staff associate from 1973 to 1982. From 1982 until her retirement in 1991, she served as director of Planned Giving at the Louisville Theological Seminary. She was active in the Presbyterian Church as a choir member and deacon, the United Nations Association of Danville, National Identification Program (for women in higher education), and the Center College Community Choir.
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’52 Joan Poston Barton of Memphis, TN, April 6, 2020. She was a resident of Trezevant Episcopal Home. She was born October 27, 1930, in Memphis, TN, to the late John Hamill Poston and Gladys Burgie Poston. She was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, John, and her son James. She graduated from St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, VA, attended Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA, and graduated from Rhodes College. Jo and her husband Jack, both avid readers, loved to travel and spend time with their friends. Jo was a lifelong member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and more recently attended St. Edward’s Chapel at Trezevant. She was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Memphis and a past member of the Memphis Country Club. She volunteered for civic and charitable organizations throughout her life including Chi Omega Alumnae, Memphis Pink Palace Museum, and Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. Jo leaves two sons, four grandchildren, and a great-grandson and a second great-grandson on the way. She was known by all for her sharp intelligence and dry wit. Throughout her life, she acted according to a strong moral code, valuing integrity, loyalty and love above all else. She will be profoundly missed. ’51 Marion Neudecker Millsaps of Kenosha, WI, August 1, 2020. Marion was born Dececember 21, 1929, to Lola and Joe Neudecker, in Memphis, TN. After graduating from Central High School in Memphis, Marion earned a double major in Bible and philosophy from Rhodes College. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Christian education from Emory University in Atlanta in 1952. It was during her graduate studies at Emory that she met her husband, John Howard Millsaps, Jr. They were married in Memphis on October 15, 1953. They spent the early years of their married life in Mississippi, where John, an ordained minister in the Methodist Church, served as pastor to a number of churches. During her time in Mississippi, Marion became certified as a math teacher and began her career as a public-school teacher. Through their strong convictions grounded in their Methodist faith, Marion and John took a stand against the segregation and racism prevalent in Mississippi. Their commitment to basic human rights forced them to leave Mississippi. Moving to Missouri in 1967, they continued their respective careers. Marion obtained her master’s in education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and taught mathematics in K-12 schools in Missouri for many years. She served as a mentor and role model, encouraging her students to excel in math and aspire to be “life-long learners.” Marion and John retired in 1992 to Washington, MO. In retirement, Marion remained active in the Methodist Church, as well as pursuing her love of quilting. In 2007, they moved to Kenosha, WI, to be closer to family and their grandchildren. Marion was known for her love of reading and books, fine cooking, travel, interest in the arts, and long membership in the P.E.O. women’s organization. She was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 2014 and is survived by her sons, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
’52 Ruth Faquin Torri of Hendersonville, TN, June 7, 2020. Ruth was born January 12, 1930, the daughter of Arthur Charles Faquin and Annie Mae Moore Faquin. Ruth graduated from Rhodes College, where she studied English. Ruth grew up in Memphis, TN. She took pride in her father’s profession as a tailor and inherited a love of education and reading from her mother, a native of Clarksville, TN. Before marriage, Ruth was a journalist at The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis. In 1953, she married Albert Louis Torri. She always said with a laugh that he had to ask her twice before she said yes. Ruth made friends and community wherever she lived, whether in Jackson, MI; Louisville, KY; Schenectady, NY; or Hendersonville, TN, where she resided the last 48 years of her life. She was an active and much-loved mother and grandmother bringing music and magic to their lives. She used her creativity to build imaginary worlds for them, through fairy kingdoms, secret gardens, and extensively crafted birthday parties. She was a dedicated artist, a painter, a gift passed to her daughters. She loved cooking and theatre. Ruth was active in Theatre by the Lake of Hendersonville, TN, and was involved with the local Arts Council. Ruth was a stroke survivor, who faced every day of the ten years since her stroke with courage, patience, and kindness to all. Before moving to the Hearth at Hendersonville, a residential home, she was passionate about gardening at their lakeside home and was an active member of St. Joseph of Arimathea Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. Ruth is survived by Albert Torri, her husband of 66 years, her sister, three daughters, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. ’54 Millicent “Millye” Bunn McAtee of Lexington, KY, April 26, 2020. Millye died peacefully in the familiar surroundings in their home, having “experienced the joys of this earthly life, fought the good fight, and endured to the end.” She was born on February 6, 1933, to the late Neal and Velma Bunn in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Millye graduated from the Jonesboro High School in 1950 where she was a cheerleader. She attended Rhodes College, graduating in 1954 with a B.A. in economics. Millye and William G. McAtee ’56 (Bill) were married on June 6, 1956. They lived in Louisville, KY, when Bill was in seminary, then in Mississippi in the early 1960s where Bill served two pastorates and where they began their family. After five years in Richmond, VA, Bill served on a board of the Presbyterian Church. They put down roots in Lexington, KY, in 1971 where he was on staff of the Presbytery of Transylvania until retirement in 1997. Before and after Millye became a mother and homemaker, she worked at various times in legal firms as a secretary and office manager. She also was involved as a trainer in human relations and group process workshops and laboratories in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to her husband, survivors include two sons, including William (Amy ’86) Neal McAtee ’85 of Memphis, TN, and three grandchildren.
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’55 Kenneth G. Gibbons of Georgetown, TX, April 19, 2020. Kenneth was born October 4, 1933, in Memphis TN to the late John Malcolm and Willie Mae Gibbons. He is survived by his three children, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, as well as three brothers and many nieces and nephews. Kenneth spent his younger years in Smackover, AR, working on the family farm. He was a graduate of Smackover High School in Arkansas. Kenneth started his formal education at Rhodes College, attending 1951-1952 in the pre-med program and then joined the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman and surgical technician. After his four years of service in the Navy, he resumed his education atRhodes. Kenneth then pursued and obtained a B.A. in economics and government through the University of Arkansas. In 1959 Kenneth married Helen McDonald and resided in Memphis continuing his education at Memphis State University. In 1962 he and wife Helen moved to Austin, TX, where they were blessed with three children, Alice K., Richard, and Beth. He began his teaching career at McCallum and later Reagan High School in Austin where he taught for 21 years. During this period, he attended Southwest Texas State in San Marcos, TX, earning a master’s in biology and chemistry. After teaching, he continued his career with Primerica Financial Services as a senior regional manager. Kenneth was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Georgetown, TX, since 1975 where he served as an elder and high school youth director. Kenneth loved the outdoors. In high school, as a Scout, he took a canoe trip from upper Minnesota south through the lakes. During his college years, he spent five summers working for the forestry department in Idaho. Kenneth took a seven-week 9,000-mile camping trip with his family across Canada enjoying hiking, fishing, and the outdoors. Many memorable summers were spent in Colorado at a family cabin. He will be missed by many. ’56 Dr. Ada Jane Walters of Memphis, TN, August 19, 2020. Jane knew she wanted to be a teacher from the age of 7 and spent over 50 years in education. She had a passion for children, teachers, public education, and the arts and dedicated her life to their service, becoming nationally recognized for her efforts. She began her career in 1956 as a math and music teacher at Messick High School in Memphis, TN. After a sojourn at the Board of Education, she was tapped in 1974 to serve as principal of Craigmont Junior High School. In 1979, she became principal of both the junior and senior high Schools, becoming only the second woman principal of a high school in the
Memphis City Schools. During Jane’s distinguished tenure at Craigmont, the school established the first optional program for International Studies and was chosen by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. Jane left Craigmont in 1994 to become the 21st Commissioner of Education of the State of Tennessee — the first woman to assume that office in state history — in Governor Don Sundquist’s administration. She served in that capacity until 1999 when she retired for the first time. However, she was called back into service to lead the non-profit PIPE (Partners in Public Education). She retired (again) from PIPE in 2003 but didn’t stay retired for long, when she was approached to serve as the founding principal of the Grizzlies Academy. She agreed only if the school served students who were two grades behind. In 2009 she retired for the last time. She was a graduate of Central High School; Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) with a bachelor of music and bachelor of arts degrees; the University of Memphis with a master’s in counseling; and obtained her doctorate in school administration from Duke University. As a patron of the arts, she was a supporter and/or a board member of Opera Memphis, the Memphis Symphony, amd the Memphis Youth Symphony, among many others. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the first Horatio Alger Association National Educator Award, Memphis Education Association Principal of the Year, University of Memphis Educator of the Year, Rhodes College Honorary Doctor of Humanities. She was one of the first inductees into the Memphis City Schools Education Hall of Fame. Quoting from the Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution 403 that honored Jane upon her retirement as commissioner of education: “Even though there were times during her tenure as Commissioner of Education that she wondered if, “Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.” (The Aenid, Book I, Line 203), she continued to march through Tennessee, stamping out ignorance and spreading culture while fighting for the children and teachers of Tennessee’s public education system. … Her straightforward and honest answers are always based upon the perspective of the children, and not on politics … she was loved and respected by those whose lives she has touched.” She is survived by her brother and great nieces and nephews. ’56, GP’14, GP’19 Dr. James E. Turner D.D.S. of Memphis, TN, Friday June 5, 2020. Jim was born July 23, 1934, to Alice and Ernest G. Turner and graduated from Messick High School, Rhodes College, and the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. In 1960 he entered the U.S. Air Force and served for three years. He then joined the faculty at the UT College
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of Dentistry as a fellow in Oral Pathology and later became professor and chairman of the Department of Biologic and Diagnostic Sciences. He received many honors during this time including excellence in teaching, outstanding faculty awards, and the Memphis Dental Society’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. In 1998 he was appointed professor emeritus in the Department of Biologic and Diagnostic Sciences. In June of 1960 he married Kay Wooten of Covington, TN, and shared 60 beautiful years together. They had three wonderful children, Jill Levesque P’14, P’19, John, and Mary, and six perfect grandchildren, Lauren ’14, Claire Levesque ’19, Daniel and Lily Turner, and Drew and Sophia Burke, all of whom were everything to him. He is also survived by his wife and his sister. He enjoyed several hobbies during his younger years and into retirement. His favorite was his vegetable garden in Munford and he also loved golf and later in retirement took art lessons and painted many pictures. ’56 Elizabeth “Betsy” Bell Smith of Bella Vista, AR, July 5, 2020. Betsy was born August 25, 1934, in Blytheville, Arkansas to James and Margaret Bell. Betsy was a public school teacher. She was a resident of Bella Vista since 1990. She was a member of PEO and the Presbyterian Church of Bella Vista. Betsy served on the Village House Board and volunteered with the Washington Regional Hospice and the Bella Vista Public Library. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Smith. Betsy is survived by her sons and four grandchildren. ’57 Nancy Clements Mays of Blairsville, GA, January 23, 2020. Nancy was born on January 18, 1936, in Jonesboro, AR, to the late William Wiley and late Marjorie Martin Clements. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, John Elder Mays ’56. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. ’57, P’81, P’84, P’90 Mary Lewis Myatt Butler Casey of Memphis, TN, June 3, 2020. Mary Lewis was loved by husbands Jerry Butler and Norman Casey, and by her children Mary Lane (Casey) Campbell ’81, Devereaux (Susan) Butler ’84, and Graham (Florentina) Butler ’90. She departs from her beloved six grandchildren, dear sister, as well as the remaining members of her “lunch bunch” and countless others who loved and admired her. Born in Huntsville, AL, in 1935 to Lewis and Mary Sanford Myatt, Mary Lewis called Birmingham home until 1951 when the family moved to Memphis. There she attended East High School and met the love of her life and first husband, Jerry Butler. Mary Lewis graduated from Rhodes College in 1957, married Jerry, and after living in Alexandria, Philadelphia, and Glencoe, IL, she settled with her family in Memphis. She loved Emmanuel Methodist Church, which she attended for over 40 years and served in leadership positions. Mary Lewis was a proud member of CAR, DAR, Chi Omega Sorority, and
other local civic organizations. She loved and fought for children. With grace, integrity, and a quiet determination that only “a proper Southern lady” could meld together, Mary Lewis became a national award-wining director of the Child Development Center Baptist Memorial Hospital, the director of Calvary Place Child Care Center at Calvary Episcopal Church, and served-at appointment of Gov. Med McWherter on a statewide taskforce for early education reform. Mom, thank you for unwavering support, ballgames, meals, Band-aids, table manners, ad-hoc lessons in grammar, raisin muffins, and brown bag lunches (love notes included.) Thank you for showing us how to live by treating every human being equally and with sincere and loving decency. You made your mark and the world is a better place having had you in it. Well done and go rest. ’57 Annette Wright Martin of Nacogdoches, TX, June 4, 2020. Annette was born in Shreveport, LA, on September 22, 1935, to proud parents, Fred H. and Bonnie Marie (Russ) Wright. She was a devout Methodist her whole life and served as a Sunday School teacher and loved music as a member of both the choir and the hand bell choir. She graduated Byrd High School in 1953 and Rhodes College. Annette met her future husband at a USO dance on Barksdale AFB where Edward “Eddie” J. Martin Sr. swept her off her feet. After marriage in 1955, Annette and Eddie would later become award-winning polka and square dancers in the Shreveport area. Annette and Eddie were the proud parents of six children. Her fondest memories were of the times when all her family gathered for meals and spending time with each other. She owned two restaurants and was responsible for hiring, bookkeeping, typing up the menus, as well as working as a waitress and cashier. She later moved into retail sales. She was a diligent worker and very well regarded wherever she worked. Annette was inducted by her grandmother into the P.E.O. philanthropic and educational organization dedicated to the education of women around the globe through scholarships, grants, and loans. She achieved “Golden Girl” status after passing 50 years as a member. She was a charter member of the Luf kin Chapter IM and loved and cherished her time in this wonderful organization. In the early 2000s, Annette founded an online chat group called “Christians Caring and Sharing” where she counseled others for many years on grief and loss of loved ones based on her own experiences. She was recognized and had an article written about her in the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. She was later inducted into the Biltmore Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals edition for 2011. Annette made a positive impact on a great number of people around the United States and across the globe. She is survived by her brother, daughters, sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
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’58 Jack Thomas Cunningham of Milan, TN, July 26, 2020. Jack was born August 3, 1936, to Pearl Belew Cunningham and William Bryant Cunningham. He graduated from Milan High School, Rhodes College, and the UT College of Pharmacy. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. Upon graduation he returned to Milan to practice with his father at Flippin Drug Company. His pharmacy career spanned 55 years and he considered his employees and customers to be extended family and valued friends. Jack had a big heart. He loved his Lord, and his church, Milan Cumberland Presbyterian, serving faithfully as elder, deacon, choir member, and Sunday School teacher. He loved Milan and worked tirelessly to make it a better place to live, serving as an alderman on the city board for 38 years, and on the Chamber of Commerce, Hospital Board, Library Board, and Industrial Development Board. He was also a member of the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama. Jack loved his family. They were his greatest joy. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carolyn Nelson Cunningham, three children, and seven grandchildren.
’58 Dr. Louis H. Zbinden, Jr of San Antonio, TX, September 11, 2020. Louis was born February 11, 1936, in Chattanooga, TN. Louis met Katherine Shoaf (Kip) during their time at Rhodes College, but they did not date until after graduation when they met again at a friend’s wedding. While in the hospital due to a knee surgery, he proposed and they married in 1959. They celebrated 61 years of marriage on August 14th of this year. Growing up in Chattanooga, Louis attended McCallie School. He graduated from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. Louis began his pastoral career at the oldest Presbyterian church in Virginia, Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church, in Fort Defiance, and was serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir, NC, when he was called to San Antonio. He served as senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church from 1971 until 2004. Because of his boldness, imagination and faithfulness to God’s call, with the help of his congregation and other religious and civic leaders, many in San Antonio and beyond have experienced new hope and opportunity. Louis was instrumental in the founding of Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM), San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries (SAMM), the Samaritan Counseling Center, the Christian Dental Clinic at Haven for Hope, and Bexar County Detention Ministries. He served as a member of multiple community leadership boards, including Haven for Hope, Mission Road Ministries, Morningside Ministries, San Antonio Medical Foundation, San Antonio Community of Churches, and the Children’s Bereave-
ment Center, among others. He also served on the board of directors at Jefferson Bank, Trinity University, Austin College, Rhodes College, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health, and Mo-Ranch Presbyterian Conference Center. Louis was named Outstanding Man of the Year, Exchange Club Golden Deeds, 1983; honored with the National Council of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award, 1986; Jefferson Award, Express-News, American Institute for Public Service, 2000; and Peacemaker Award, San Antonio Bar Foundation, 2001. In 2002, he was honored by the naming of the Louis H. and Katherine S. Zbinden Chair of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership at Austin Theological Seminary. Louis led multiple preaching missions and retreats locally as well as internationally. Under his leadership, members of First Presbyterian Church served in Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Guatemala, Costa Rica, India, and the Rio Grande Valley. Louis and Kip enjoyed six annual spring semesters of teaching at Justo Mwale Seminary in Lusaka, Zambia, from 2005 through 2010. Truly, as God’s servant, Louis has been an outstanding leader in our world. We are joyful in the knowledge that he is walking with his Savior and hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Louis is preceded in death by his parents, brother, and an infant sister. He is survived by his wife Kip ’58, four children, and seven grandchildren. ’59, P’87, P’90, GP’20 Walker L. Wellford III of Memphis, TN, June 5, 2020. Walker was born April 23, 1936, to Minnie Bernard Lundy Wellford and Walker Lewis Wellford, Jr. He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Diane McMillan Wellford ’59. He leaves behind two children, Lauren Wellford Deming ’87 and Walker L. Wellford IV ’90, five grandsons including Jonathan Deming ’20, and many, many Wellfords. Walker was a graduate of East High School and Rhodes College, where he was a four-year letterman on the tennis team and president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. After graduation, he worked at Memphis Bank and Trust for 20 years. In 1979 he started at MassMutual and was named Rookie of the Year followed in 1980 with Man of the Year honors. He qualified repeatedly for the Leaders Club and the Million Dollar Round Table and he served the industry as president of NAIFA and the CLU chapter. In 2014 NAIFA honored him as Man of the Year. At his retirement party in February 2020, he said he kept going because his friends became his clients and his clients became his friends. For 40 years he was proud of helping people make sound financial decisions to take care of themselves and their families. Walker grew into Christian faith at Idlewild Presbyterian
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Church and remained an active member of the congregation throughout his life, where he served as a deacon, elder, trustee, and Sunday School teacher. He chaired diverse committees including personnel, recreation, endowment, building, and stewardship. Additionally, he was chosen by the presbytery to serve as a delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He and Diane loved being advisors to the youth group in the 1960s and taking their children again and again to NaCoMe for Idlewild’s Family Camp. Walker volunteered in several Memphis charities, serving as chairman of the Memphis chapter of the American Red Cross and chairman of the board of the World Cataract Foundation. He served as president of the Kiwanis Club of Memphis and was honored as Kiwanian of the Year in 2004. He briefly served our nation in the Air Force National Guard during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tennis was a constant throughout Walker’s life; he played several times a week from his early teens until just months before his death. His family recognizes the importance of the friendships he made and the value he put on those relationships. The behavior he displayed on the court carried over into his business and personal life: Show up on time. Play hard. Play fair. Be a good sport. And don’t drop shot the oldest guy on the court. He liked fast-pitch softball when he was younger and golf as he grew older. He coached his son’s t-ball, baseball, and basketball teams and spent hours cheering on the sidelines in later years. He extended his softball career for several years in order to enjoy playing alongside his son. He was a season ticket holder of the Memphis Grizzlies and often traveled to St. Louis with family and church friends for Cardinal baseball games. ’61 Diane Lowe Fowlkes of Atlanta, GA, August 28, 2020. Brenda Diane Lowe was born on October 30, 1939. She was the daughter of Brenda Bisplinghoff Lowe and Erskine Havis Lowe, Jr., and was raised in Memphis, TN. Diane received her B.A. in French language and literature from Rhodes College in Memphis, her M.A. in political science from Georgia State University, and her Ph.D. in political science from Emory University. The recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, Fowlkes attended the Open University in the United Kingdom 1985-1986. She served as a professor at Georgia State University for over 25 years, where she was a leader in women’s advocacy working to develop the Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State University. Diane’s book, White Political Women: Paths from Privilege to Empowerment, received prominent recognition for books on women and politics. In addition to producing many papers, publications, and presentations, she also participated in various professional associations. In 1998, the year she retired from Georgia State, Diane was appointed professor emerita, and during the spring commencement of that year, she was honored with the University’s Exceptional Service Award. In 1973 Diane was married to Lawrence Everman Noble, who was also a professor of political science. Besides sharing their academic
interests, Diane and Larry enjoyed horses and horse racing, so much so that they owned part interest in the racehorse, Never Wavering, whose name became their dedication call to stand for justice and other causes worth serving. During their marriage, Diane and Larry lived in Atlanta, St. George Island, and Ocala, FL. Diane was predeceased by her husband of 32 years, parents, and her sisters Linda Lowe and Sally Mart. She is survived by her sister Jan Bishop, her aunt Martha Alvis, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins including the Rev. Dr. Joel Alvis of Atlanta, and stepchildren Anne Gentry, Kakie Grace, and George Noble. ’61 Mack S. Prichard of Nashville, TN, April 28, 2020. For more than 50 years, Mack served our state as an effective thinker, teacher, advocate, and actor for modern conservation in Tennessee. Mack began his career with the Tennessee Department of Conservation when he was just 16 years old, as a seasonal naturalist at Shelby Forest State Park near Memphis. In addition to developing a profound knowledge of natural and cultural history, he had a gift for connecting with the public and instilling his appreciation for nature in everyone he touched. Over the last half of the 20th century, few people were as instrumental in promoting conservation, state parks, and natural areas in Tennessee. Indeed, Mack was actively involved in the founding of more than one-half of the state parks in Tennessee’s system. Mack was also Tennessee’s first state archaeologist when he established the state’s new Division of Archaeology in 1971. From there, he moved to the department’s Conservation Education section where he became Tennessee’s first state naturalist. Mack’s work outside formal government was also prodigious. He was one of three founding members of the Tennessee Trails Association in 1968 and was actively involved in the creation of at least 30 conservation associations statewide. His beloved and respected voice inspired a range of constructive work and results to advance natural resource preservation and more effective resource management across the state. Mack served Tennessee for more than 50 years under eight governors: Clement, Ellington, Dunn, Blanton, Alexander, McWherter, Sundquist, and Bredesen. In May 2006, the General Assembly commended Mack’s half-century as “The Conservation Conscience” of Tennessee and conferred upon him the title Tennessee State Park Naturalist Emeritus through Senate Joint Resolution 1007 (5/17/2006). As Mack worked to carve out state parks and conserve our beautiful Tennessee, he made many friends along the way that were inspired by his dedication. Mack was a natural leader and a friend to all. He made everyone feel special. Mack shared his love of the natural world across Tennessee traveling over one million miles. At each stop, he shared mesmerizing slides he had taken peppered with quotes from environmentalists and philosophers that engaged countless Tennesseans. Mack always found the most beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, or paths into the woods and invited others to tag along and share the natural world with him.
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Co-worker and friend Richard Hilten writes: “Mack has achieved so many things in his colorful life, not the least of which has been the inspiration of countless beginning and professional conservationists. He set the standard very high for all of us, and each one has done his/her part to do the right things for the right reasons, following his lead like so many happy children behind the Pied Piper!” Mack will be deeply missed by family and friends. The only comfort is that he is no longer tethered to his broken body and is now soaring with the eagles. Mack is survived by his beloved ex-wife Tanya Prichard; his loving sister, Gerry Prichard Kaller ’54; his nieces, Anita Kaller (Steve) MacEachron ’78, Lisa Luck, Janet Kaller (Jon) Geerlings ’82 and nephew, Jeff (Sofia) Kaller; and his many grand nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his niece Elizabeth Kaller ’84. ’62 Mary Worth Burton Robertson of Columbia, SC, February 12, 2020. Born in Talladega, AL, Mary was the daughter of the late Mildred Hardin Burton and George Robert Burton, Jr. she received her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Alabama and M.S. degree in statistics from the University of Georgia. Mary worked 27 years at Midlands Technical College as an instructor and then as an administrator. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Austin F. Robertson, Jr. Mary is survived by her children, granddaughter, her brother, and his family.
’63 Linda Trickett Blythe of Charlotte, NC, April 27, 2020. Her husband of nearly 54 years and their son were by her side. Linda was born April 4, 1941, in Charleston, WV, to the late Arden and Dorothy DeTurk Trickett. At age 6, the family moved to Huntington, West Virginia. There she was active in the Girl Scouts and interested in art and design for high school activities. Upon graduation from high school, Linda enrolled at West Virginia University but then transferred to Rhodes College. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority while majoring in fine arts. Upon graduation in 1963, she moved to Charlotte, NC, to become an art teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. After moving to Charlotte, Linda met her future husband, Robert Brevard Blythe (Bob), at a meeting of the Mecklenburg County Young Democrats. They were subsequently married on June 24, 1966, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, by Dr. Harry Bryan, an associate minister, who had been her pastor in Huntington. She continued teaching with the school system for a period after that. Following her absence from teaching while raising a family, she found her true calling of preschool teaching, first at
Myers Park Baptist Church and finally at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Her artistic approach in these classes created a sense of wonder and excitement for her young students. Linda’s interests were many and varied. She enjoyed travel to Mexico, Europe, and China, but she also looked forward to the many summers and fall weeks at Sunset Beach, North Carolina, with her family. She also participated in several local political campaigns, which she much enjoyed. Linda was a faithful member of Covenant Presbyterian Church and enjoyed participating in various groups and activities, especially when she was able to use her artistic talents. She also served as a Girl Scout leader when her daughter was involved in scouting. Linda loved to read and belonged to two book clubs (one of which actually read books). Most of all, Linda enjoyed collecting. Her collections were varied, but her principal interest in collecting was Southern folk art and North Carolina pottery. Linda was a member of the North Carolina Folk Art Society. Above all, she was a caring wife and mother fully engaged in her children’s school life and other activities. Her life evidenced her concern for others, such as participating in “Room in the Inn” at her church, and the desire for equality for all. She is survived by her husband, her son and his family, and her twin sister and her family. ’64 Dr. Caroline Gage Sanford of Berkeley, CA, July 25, 2020. Born in Memphis, TN, in 1942 to George B. Gage, Sr. and Carol D. Gage, Caroline graduated from Rhodes College. She married Dr. David M. Sanford. Determined to make her own path in the world after having two children, she went on to earn her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Memphis. While practicing clinical psychology in the Memphis area, on a lark, she bought herself a guitar for her 40th birthday. From that day forward she dedicated herself to the enjoyment and spreading of old time and bluegrass music. The world is a much noisier and better place for her. Her daughter wrote, “Mom got the hell out of Dodge. Her garden was blooming outside and she thought — screw all this coughing, I want to sing. What a fierce, independent woman full of firecrackers and glass glitter.” She is survived by her two children and three granddaughters. ’66 Jeanne Fraser Chancellor of Memphis, TN, March 23, 2020. Born in St. Louis to the late Minette and Bill Fraser, Jeanne spent her early years in Missouri before moving to her childhood home in Memphis in 1958 with her three siblings. She was always bringing home animals she would find in the neighborhood. One day she and a friend arrived with a huge turtle that suddenly rose up on its legs and raced across the
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den. It was a snapping turtle! Her love of animals would span her entire life. Jeanne was a member of the Hutchison School Class of 1962. An accomplished athlete in high school, she played volleyball, basketball, and held the state record for the long jump. She went on to attend Rhodes College, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Memphis. Jeanne’s first rescue was several puppies she found abandoned at Poplar Plaza when she was in college. She found homes for all but one, Wiggles. Jeanne was a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. A wise, kind, compassionate, creative, witty, and independent woman, she was never afraid to stand up for what she believed in. She raised her four children on Barfield Road and was recognized by the kids in the neighborhood by her beautiful long hair. No one knows how she kept up with her kids and their mischief, but she always loved sharing stories about those times with her grandchildren. Jeanne always loved the holidays, especially Christmas, gathering family, neighbors, friends, and friends of friends. She acted as a second Santa to all of her children and grandchildren no matter their age (even if they were over 50). When Jeanne was not with her family, she devoted her time to the Memphis Animal Shelter. She was passionate about instituting a city-wide spay and neuter program and seeing a no-kill shelter one day, finding homes for animals in the shelter, and delivering dog and cat food to the elderly in need. She was a co-founder of the Friends of the Memphis Animal Shelter and served on the Memphis Animal Services Advisory Board. Her dedication to the animals of Memphis stretched through her final days as she helped the shelter reduce its numbers as the city recently closed. Jeanne’s relentless service to the shelter, her family, and her friends are what made her so special and loved. She nurtured and guided her four children, doted on her six grandchildren, shared her wit and joy for life with her siblings, and with her four nieces and nephews. Jeanne is also survived by her children’s father, as well as her loving companion, John, and his children and grandchildren. ’66 Nancy Toy Warrion of Mt. Juliet, TN, July 27, 2020. Nancy graduated from Rhodes College with a bachelor’s degree and later graduated from Trevecca Nazarene with a master’s degree in secondary education. She was a classical music enthusiast and began giving music lessons in her home. Although she had a lucrative business that she ran from her home, Nancy was always drawn to the education of children. She tutored children in her home until 1985 when she opened Nashville Academy in a rented church building. She loved hiking in the mountains and enjoying nature. She is survived by her husband, mother, children, and grandchildren. ’67 Thomas E. “Tom” Bartlett, of Fairbanks, AK, March 3, 2020. Tom was the son of the late Bernis and Anna Mae Bartlett, of Memphis, TN. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded
in death by his beloved son Micah. Tom was a much-loved accounting professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who inspired his students not only to graduate but to start their own firms. Many an English major shared that his accounting class was their favorite university course. In 1992 while on sabbatical in Australia he taught Australian accounting and there, too, he was quickly a favorite instructor even though he himself had never taken an Australian accounting course. More than that, he was an enthusiastic sports buff, an avid reader, and a composer of songs for his children and grandchildren. He loved to play all kinds of games as well as spend time in his garden. Time with Tom was inevitably a wonderful experience because he would create games that everyone would enjoy. It was always fun to be with Papa, as his grandchildren called him. Tom graduated from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) where he had received a track scholarship and went on to get his MBA from Emory University in 1974. With a longstanding yen to see Alaska, he took a leave of absence from his position at Arthur Andersen in Atlanta and accepted a visiting professorship position at UAF. The Alaskan lifestyle took, and for the next 24 years he immersed himself in his courses at the university as well as continuing education classes for the Alaska Society of CPAs. Retirement did not last long as he was recruited by former students to join the firm of Walsh Kelliher & Sharp, where he worked until last month. ’67 Samuel Knox Phillips of Memphis, TN, April 13, 2020. A lifelong devotee of Memphis music, Knox Phillips was the oldest son of legendary music producer Sam Phillips. Born in Memphis in 1945 to parents Sam and Becky, joined by their dedication as colleagues in radio, Knox’s association with Memphis music seemed predestined. “He was a tireless ambassador for Memphis and Memphis music,” Jerry Phillips said of his older brother. “He was the keeper of the flame of Sam Phillips, the Phillips family, and our independent spirit. He just was on a mission to promote Memphis music and make sure that nobody forgot about where it started — at least the part that our father played in it.” As Sam Phillips opened Memphis Recording Service in 1950, Knox was raised in the living room of rock-and-roll, as his father and his collaborators left an imprint on the world’s collective conscience. As an adult, he would continue that legacy, both by championing his family’s place in music and creating his own. Through engineering and production for acts such as Randy & The Radiants, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, The Yardbirds, the late-John Prine, and Willie Nelson, Knox garnered respect for his in-studio prowess. However, his benevolence and leadership left an impression on many other musicians, patrons, and industry professionals, who remember him as a man whose spirit looms larger than the music he helped create. As a trustee with the Nashville chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Knox was instrumental in establishing a Memphis chapter in 1973. In
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that role, those who worked closely with him recall his knack for including all sides of Memphis music. “Here I am, this young, little girl who writes about metal and hard rock, and I’m thinking, ‘This guy is old school. I’m not even at his level or his universe.’ But he was so interested in the scene, and why I was so passionate,” said Stax Music Academy director Pat Mitchell-Worley, who began her career as a music advocate with NARAS. “When he had a conversation with people, he was deeply interested in what you were doing and why you were doing it. That’s why I think so many people were impacted by his life.” Jon Hornyak, senior director of the Memphis chapter of the Recording Academy, said Knox’s mentorship didn’t begin or end with music. Knox, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, was among the first people to call Hornyak with advice about his own battle with the disease. “He was one of those people who always put others before himself, even with the health issues he was battling for the last 25 years,” Hornyak said. “He was there if you needed him, for whatever that might be. He was just a great resource for everyone.” “Knox was out there all the time with extra amounts of energy with everything that he took on,” Jerry Phillips said. “The charge he led for Memphis, and whatever else that he took on, he did it with style and grace. He did it right.” Knox is survived by his wife, his brother, and nieces.
in Ed, and he began investing as a child. Whatever money he earned and wanted to invest, his father would match. Thus, a keen knowledge of and interest in the stock market led to a career change which spanned 38 years in financial services, first as a limited investment partner at J.C. Bradford then at Prime South Investments for a short time. Finally, he was co-owner and senior partner in the office of Raymond James Financial Services. Ed was highly regarded in the business by both colleagues and clients. His honesty and integrity earned him high marks and the trust of his investors. His legacy lives on in the many highly regarded financial advisors who were hired by Ed and were fortunate to benefit from his knowledge of investment and high ethical standards. Many credit him with their first successful steps in business. Quoting from a letter Ed received shortly before his death, “You are one of a kind, and I am blessed to have worked with such an intelligent and caring man. You taught me about the importance of a relentless burning desire to take care of those that depend on us and to put honesty and integrity above all else.” Ed was a member of many organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hilldale Civitan Club, Rotary Club, and the Clarksville Civil War Round Table. He was also a member of the Historical Societies of Montgomery, Houston, and Stewart Counties, as well as an Austin Peay State University Foundation board member. Ed was preceded in death by his parents and infant son. Ed is survived by his daughter, grandchildren, brother, sister, and numerous nieces and nephews.
’67 Edward Rice Sneed, Jr. of Clarksville, TN, August 10, 2020. Ed was born September 11, 1945, in Lewisburg, TN, to Margaret Evans Sneed who was staying with her parents while Ed’s father, Edward Rice Sneed, Sr. served in the Army during World War II. The family ’68 James K. Levie of Madison, AL, July 19, 2020. moved to Clarksville at the end of the war, and Ed has Jim was born on November 2, 1946, in Atlanta, GA, been a resident of the city he loved ever since. He was to Avis Nash Levie and James Kellum Levie, Jr. He is educated in Clarksville Montgomery County Schools. survived by his wife of 38 years, Kathleen Levie, their Ed was a talented athlete and a fierce competitor in sons, and grandchildren. Jim served honorably as a 2nd baseball and football. He played both offensive and Lieutenant in the infantry in Vietnam in 1969-1970, defensive positions on the Clarksville High School receiving the Purple Heart. He remained in the U.S. football team and earned the nickname “Ed Speed.” Ed Army Reserves following his active service, attaining attended college for two years at Rhodes College. He the rank of captain. After his return from Vietnam, he finished his college career at Austin Peay State Univer- worked for several local businesses, notably Southerland sity where he was a member of the baseball team. Ed Photo and UAH before entering the emerging computer earned his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor technology field, first for Remtech and later for Dynetin economics, followed by a master’s degree plus 45 ics. Jim studied at UAH, Athens College, and Rhodes credit hours. After graduation, Ed began a nine-year College, but was primarily self-educated. He had the teaching career at Clarksville High School where he remarkable ability to enter, self-taught, almost any field taught world and American history. While there, he of endeavor that caught his interest: audio electronics, also coached football, baseball, and golf. The CHS golf graphic arts, cabinetry, wood turning, precision metalteam went on to earn the state championship in 1974. working, and even color photography in the days of wet Ed also taught civics and Economics at Fort Campbell chemistry. He could quickly reach a professional level and current political problems as an adjunct profes- and produce beautiful work. At one time he did protosor in the Political Science Department at APSU. Ed’s typing for vision-testing apparatus, and made color-acfather had instilled a knowledge of the stock market curate wiring keys for telephone assembly. However,
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the subject which held his interest throughout his adult life was that of performance automobiles. This began with a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle which he customized for slalom racing on shopping center parking lots in the days when stores were closed on Sundays and lasted through his prized BMWs later in life as an active member of NASA (National Auto Sports Association). ’68 Lois Estes Ruleman of Memphis, TN, May 31, 2020. Lois was born on February 17, 1946, to Lois Ward and Harry Wilson Estes. She grew up in the McLean/Snowden neighborhood and was educated at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, The Hutchison School and Rhodes College before receiving her degree at the University of Mississippi. She married the love of her life, Dr. Chester Allan Ruleman, Jr., in 1969 and taught in the Memphis City Schools and The Hutchison School, while he was in medical training. The Rulemans were blessed with two children, Elise Estes and Chester Allan III (Cal). Lois devoted her life to maintaining a loving home for her family. She was involved in community life through Les Passees, the Junior League of Memphis, the Woman’s Exchange, the Belle Meade and Junior League Garden Clubs, the Church Health Center, and served on the board of TennGreen Land Conservancy. She was active at her former church, Idlewild Presbyterian and at her present church home, Christ Methodist. Lois was blessed with boundless energy and creativity, which she used in service to others. Her trust in Christ’s faithfulness allowed her to face life’s challenges with optimism, resourcefulness, and hope. Lois loved people. She was never driven by the clock but made time for family, friends, or a passerby. She thrived on bringing others joy via a timely visit, a letter, a meal or a well-played birthday serenade on her mandolin or violin. Lois’s creative hands were regularly working on knitting, needlepoint, pottery or whimsical yard art projects that enhanced her home or became treasured gifts for friends. Her enjoyment of others and her love of nature were reflected in her many creative parties. Whether at a gathering to celebrate the blossoming of her specimen bottle-brush buckeye or a barbecue to view the harvest moon, all of her guests felt relaxed and appreciated. She had a heart for the city and treasured her more than 30 years of volunteer work at the Church Health Center. While working there she made it her purpose to encourage her “kids,” those young volunteers who aspired to attend medical school. She also loved tutoring at Idlewild Elementary, convincing the students that they could be mathematicians. She was devoted to Christ Methodist and to the Lamplighters’ Sunday School class. Born with natural athleticism, Lois loved being outside in God’s creation. Whether it was waterskiing with guests at Pickwick Lake, biking with friends on little-traveled byways, or snow skiing with her precious grandchildren, Harry, Kaia and Caleb, Lois was adept and relished every adventure. She was an accomplished tennis player, fly fisherwoman, and an excellent shot. Lois found great delight in working in her
beautiful garden and loved passing along plants and her vast horticultural knowledge to her friends. Her legacy of compassion for others, creative fun, and love of nature is an inspiration to those she leaves behind. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother and is survived by her husband of more than 50 years, two children, and three grandchildren. ’68 Karen Cunningham of Atlanta, GA, May 7, 2020. Karen was born in Oxford, MS, January 14, 1946, the only child of Nellie and Phil Cunningham. After her father obtained his law degree, her family moved to Louisville, MS, later moving to Jackson, MS. In Jackson, Karen attended Watkins Elementary, Bailey Junior High, and Murrah High School, graduating in 1964. Karen attended Rhodes College and Florida State University, where she majored in mathematics and minored in chemistry and French. She graduated with honors in 1968 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She was also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. Most of her adult life was spent in Atlanta, where she worked for several major corporations, such as Southern Company Services, Inc. and Coca-Cola, performing actuarial valuations for corporate pension plans. Karen loved beautiful music, artwork, and old movies. She also had a special love for all animals. She was preceded in death by her parents and step-father. She is survived by numerous cousins. ’72 Marion Majors Crenshaw of Memphis, TN, July 31, 2020. Marion was born December 12, 1951, in Memphis to Marion Mathews Majors and Leland Matthew Majors. As a newborn she moved with her parents to Anchorage, AK, where her father served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. After her family returned to Memphis, she attended Lausanne School for Girls. Harboring a devotion to language and education, she received a B.A. from Rhodes College and an M.A. from Memphis State University in English. She went on to teach English, French, and Bible studies at The Hutchison School, Grace St. Luke’s, and Dallas County Community College. Marion gave back to her community by spending many years volunteering for the Le Bonheur Club, the Junior League of Memphis, and Christian Brothers High School. She was also a member of Chi Omega Sorority, and later worked for their headquarters in Memphis. Marion had a passion for ballet, adored cooking for her family, was an avid orchid grower, and created the most beautiful family holiday traditions. Marion also had a strong faith in Our Lord and believed in the power of prayer. She was a loving mother, always encouraging her children to cherish one another. An often-repeated quote was, “Love each other, because you’re all each other has.” A few weeks before she passed, she traveled to Austin, TX, to meet her first grandchild, a personal milestone that will be forever treasured. Marion is survived by her husband of 47 years, Dr. Andrew H. Crenshaw, Jr., her children, and grandchildren.
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’72 Dr. Edwin Wood White of Eureka Springs, AR, July 3, 2020. Ed was born in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania on February 16, 1950. He was the son of Jim and Cynthia White. His father was a wildcat oil man, and his mother was a championship bridge player and an officer in the Great Books Society. The family moved to Corpus Christi, TX, during Edwin;s youth and finally found their home in New Orleans, LA. Ed attended Rhodes College, where he was the editor of the school newspaper. He worked diligently on civil rights matters; he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King and integrated his school’s social functions. This caused much hatred towards him and a cross was burned in the yard of the theater where he was starring in the play Tea House of the August Moon. Staying in character, Ed made funny remarks about the situations, calming the jittery audience and earned a standing ovation. He took his medical training at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, LA, and did his residency at Charity Hospital. He did further residence work at the University of Arkansas. For 35 years, Ed had a practice of neuropsychiatry in Fayetteville, AR. He saw thousands of patients, many of whom credited him with saving their lives. After semi-retiring from his practice, he continued to see patients at his home on Beaver Lake. Ed was one of the pioneering students in bringing the Tantric Buddhist tradition to Northwest Arkansas. He was a Buddhist practitioner for over 50 years. He was a personal physician to His Holiness Sakya Trichen and studied with His Holiness for many years. Ed is survived by his wife, Ann Carter, his two siblings, one son, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. ’74 George Houston Craddock of Lenoir, NC, May 15, 2020. George was born January 17, 1952, in Memphis, TN, to the late George Houston Craddock Sr. and Margie Faye Webb Craddock. He was preceded in death by both parents. Houston spent many formative years in the Panama Canal Zone before moving back to Memphis with his family and graduating from White Station High School. He received a B.A. in English from Rhodes College in 1973. After college Houston returned to his beloved Canal Zone to work on large-scale construction projects with his father George. Houston was a lifelong golfer and enjoyed scuba diving and surfing while living in Panama. He eventually returned to Memphis where he was facilities manager of Nonconnah Corporate Center for many years. Houston spent his final years in North Carolina where he was a beloved member of Yokefellow Ministry, working first with their food pantry and later at LEO, Caldwell County’s first full-service emergency shelter. In later years Houston was never
happier than when he could be of service to others in his community. Houston leaves his step-mother and four sisters, including Daisy Craddock ’71. He will be greatly missed by both family and friends. ’78 Sheila Peace of Memphis, TN, age 62, died November 17, 2018. ’84, P’20, P’22 Mary Rebecca Davis of Conway, AR, May 30, 2020. Although it was cholangiocarcinoma that took her life, Rebecca did not lose the battle. She faced her cancer with bravery, grace, and faith. Always full of hope that something positive would come from her journey, she showed peace to those whom she loved and to all those who loved her. She was kind, loving, a hard worker, dedicated to family and friends, loyal, courageous, gracious, stubborn, thoughtful, fun, and so much more as she has touched so many lives. Rebecca was born in Little Rock, AR, on December 30, 1961, daughter of Milford Herschel Davis, Jr. and Mary Padgett Crockett Davis. She grew up in Little Rock, affectionately known as “Becky,” graduating from Central High School in 1980. Rebecca attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, where she earned her bachelor of arts in business in 1984. She was active in Delta Delta Delta Sorority, served as panhellenic vice president, student government treasurer, student representative to the Board of Trustees, and was active with many other school organizations. She dearly loved attending Rhodes, as have other members of her family, including her two sons, Samuel ’20 and Thomas ’22. After graduation, Rebecca moved to Nashville, TN, to start her career with Prudential/PruCare, working in several different roles from marketing to provider relations. It was in Nashville where she met and married Tim Cloyd, who was her husband from 1992 until 2009. They moved to Arkansas in 1994, living first in Little Rock and later in Conway. After taking years off to raise a family, Rebecca re-entered the work force again with the United Methodist Church, first in the Central District office, and then the Arkansas Conference office. She continued to work until her last hospitalization, grateful for the positive work environment and support she received from her coworkers. Rebecca was involved in so many ways that supported her sons, her greatest joys in her life. Serving as P.T.O. president, Sunday School teacher, and volunteer for many projects, she also loved cheering her boys on as they played football. She was an active member of P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization committed to helping women pursue higher education, where she developed many strong friendships with her chapter sisters. Supportive in her family’s activities, she was
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also the gracious hostess to countless Hendrix College events while her husband Tim served as college president. Rebecca loved to travel and was always open to new adventures. Her favorite trips included taking her boys to NYC to bring in the New Year in Times Square, and to California to visit Sea World, Legoland, Disneyland, and CA Adventure Park all in one trip. She also enjoyed visiting her sister and brother-in-law when they lived in Germany, procuring a piece of the Berlin Wall, and to Sedona, AZ, where she said her closeted free-spirit hippieness felt at home. She traveled all over North America and Europe. Rebecca made it to 35 states and hoped to make it to all 50. She had a love for the mountains and relaxed often at her sister’s house in western North Carolina. She also had a special love for the ocean, where she would spend time each summer since childhood with extended family at Atlantic Beach, NC. It was there where she felt most at peace. Rebecca had a deep faith, and her life reflected that. A lifelong Methodist, she grew up at Little Rock First United Methodist Church where she was active in the children’s and youth ministry. She was a member of West End United Methodist Church in Nashville where she participated in mission trips to Jamaica and Honduras and chaired the Young Adult ministry, growing it into a large and active group focused on spiritual development, service, and mission. After moving to Conway, she joined Conway First United Methodist Church where she co-chaired a Companions in Christ group, helped establish DivorceCare, and made deep spiritual friendships with her Soul Sisters group. Rebecca is survived by her sons Samuel Davis Cloyd ’20 and Cullen Thomas Cloyd ’22; mother Mary Crockett Davis P’81, P’84, GP’20, GP’22; sister Rev. Margaret Davis Freeman ’81, P’19, and husband, Dr. James R. Freeman, Jr. P’19; brother; nieces Laura Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Freeman ’19, and Chloe Hultman; and nephews. She is also survived by Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd P’20, P’22 of Springfield, MO, other beloved relatives, and countless friends. ’13 Dorothy Megan Hays Barzizza of Arlington, VA, August 2, 2020. Born March 1, 1990, in Memphis, Tennessee, Megan graduated from Rhodes College where she was Phi Beta Kappa. Most recently, Megan was completing a Patient Advocacy Master’s Degree program at American University in Washington, DC. Her desire was to be a voice for compromised patients, helping them reach individualized goals in a setting of mercy, justice, and grace. A woman of outstanding character, artistic talent, energy, and unconditional acceptance of all others, she was available to those around her, endlessly spreading encouragement and joy. Megan leaves her parents, Thomas Michael Barzizza and Dorothy (Muffet) Morris Hays, her brother Thomas Michael Barzizza, Jr., her sister Sophie Wright Hays-Barzizza, and her faithful dog Gwendolyn.
’18 Jenny Kathryn Wilson of Memphis, TN, September 3, 2020. Jenny, born June 23, 1996, departed this world too soon. She leaves her parents, Amy and Don Wilson, brother Caleb Wilson and his wife Megan, grandmother Judy Wilson, aunt Nancy Alford and husband James, cousin Greg Wallace and wife Michelle, uncle Anthony Wilson and wife Tabethia, aunt Michelle Baker and cousins Megan Baker and Corey Hampton, as well as many other dearly loved family members. She also leaves dear friends from White Station High School, Rhodes College, and the Memphis Zoo, as well as colleagues and friends in the Memphis theatre community. At 24, Jenny had already achieved many of her dreams. She had a blast performing musical theatre at White Station High School, then moved on to McCoy Theatre productions at Rhodes College, where she studied theatre, music and film. Jenny was featured in musicals at Rhodes including: Heathers; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, for which she received a College Division Ostrander nomination for Leading Actress in a Musical; and the title role in Violet, garnering her the 2018 college division Ostrander Award for Leading Actress in a Musical. Jenny’s performance at Theatre Memphis, again in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, was recognized with a 2019 Ostrander leading actress nomination. A memorable review from Jenny’s college years reads, “Jenny Wilson — are you even acting? Is that just you?” Emotion, intellect, and energy were combined seamlessly in the roles she inhabited. In addition to her love of theatre, Jenny was passionate about protecting and caring for “non-human” animals, both her own pets and the animals she had the privilege of caring for at the Memphis Zoo. At the zoo, Jenny worked most closely with Ash the gray fox, Grizz (short for Grizzabella) the Virginia opossum, Ross the Virginia -opossum, Aggie & Rey the Nigerian dwarf goats, Poppy the Binturong, Jacques and Gus Gus the rats, Milli the giant African millipede, and Sergeant Pepper the Rhode Island red rooster. Because of Jenny’s work, many animals are able to thrive and serve as animal ambassadors, teaching us to better understand and protect all creatures. Because of Jenny’s abiding concern for animals and desire to make a difference in a world changing too fast for many of them, she was pursuing a master’s degree in anthrozoology from Canisius College, where she had recently begun her second year of study. We have lost our beautiful daughter, sister, friend and colleague. The world is a darker place without the light of her talent, humor and kindness. Jenny touched so many lives, whether performing onstage or just quietly lending her presence, sometimes without saying anything at all, but now and then catching you complete off-guard with her spot-on “Where did that come from?!” observations and insights. A gentle and thoughtful soul who cared for all creatures, even the most humble mouse or insect, Jenny taught others to love more deeply by her example. There is no better way any of us could hope to have lived.
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THANKS TO YOU
Empowers Thank you for your continued support of Rhodes. Because of you, our students will go on to become exceptional life-long learners and change-makers. Help Rhodes stand strong in these challenging times with a gift to the Rhodes Annual Fund today.
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