Rhodes Magazine - Spring 2020

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The Magazine of Rhodes College

Ahead of the


Rhodes alumni in the medical field do their part to lessen the impact of the coronavirus. PLUS

Overcoming Adversity The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest in a series of hurdles that Rhodes College has encountered — and overcome. Remote Learning at Rhodes Students and faculty adapt to a new form of teaching in the midst of a global pandemic.

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

DEPARTMENTS 4 — Letter from the President 6 — Under the Oaks 34 — Commencement 2020 38 — Class Notes 58 — In Memoriam

Spring 2020

Marjorie Hass

J. Dylan Sandifer ’12






ALUMNI OFFICE 1-800-264-LYNX ADMISSION OFFICE 1-800-844-LYNX Please send address changes to: alumni@rhodes.edu

Rhodes magazine is published by Creative Content by CMI, a subsidiary of Contemporary Media, Inc.


Anna Traverse Fogle

Bryan Rollins

Tracy Vezina Patterson ’84, ’P22



Jeffrey Goldberg

Samuel X. Cicci ’15




Martha Shephard ’66

Michael Finger

Matthew Harris ’20



Frank Murtaugh

Justin Fox Burks




©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.


INFORMATION 901-843-3000



Overcoming Adversity The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest in a series of hurdles that Rhodes College has encountered — and overcome — in its long and distinguished history. By Michael Finger


Ahead of the Curve Rhodes alumni in the medical field do their part to lessen the impact of the coronavirus. By Samuel X. Cicci, ’15


Remote Learning at Rhodes Students and faculty adapt to a new form of teaching in the midst of a global pandemic. By Matthew Harris ’20



Letter from the President A pair of house finches have built their nest at the top of a light fixture that hangs from the covering over our back patio. Every day, we see the pair of them flittering about, fixing their nest, carrying food back and forth. Lately, the female seems to be settling in. Perhaps she is sitting on eggs and we will have new finch life chirping at us before long. As I see her there, I remember my own waiting for each of my children. I think too of the ways this unexpected time of quarantine has brought growth along with loss. Having time to notice the day-byday behavior of the birds in my backyard is only one of the quarantine’s effects on my life. I miss the lively buzz of the campus and the hectic travel schedule that brings me into regular contact with alumni and friends of Rhodes. I miss the casual hugs and handshakes that are such an unconscious part of our communal life together. I am thoughtful about the risks and the worries undertaken by our first responders and those essential workers who leave home every day to see that the rest of us are safely fed and clothed and healed. In this issue you will find stories of the way our Rhodes community responded to the onset of this pandemic. From the creative restructuring of classes and the resilience of our students to the

courage of our alumni in health professions, you will be moved to see Rhodes people putting our values into practice. At Rhodes, our mission is to “graduate students with a life-long 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 demands of a global pandemic put the importance of this mission into even higher relief. I am grateful to all of you who have stepped forward to support the college and our students. The economic toll of this crisis is significant. We have increased need-based financial aid; we have tightened our belts without sacrificing academic quality; and we have maintained the strength of our faculty and staff, even as we have all made some financial sacrifices. Rhodes’ future is in the hands of all of us who love her. That gives me both hope and confidence. May you be healthy and happy. And may you too find the blessings of growth and inspiration.

Marjorie Hass President


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Music Industry Publication Billboard Names Rhodes College One of the Top Music Business Programs in Nation The programs were not ranked. Rhodes was listed among 28 other college and universities nationwide.

“Billboard chose programs that are primarily campus-based, offering a broader, deeper education. … It’s worth noting that among the highest-achieving young executives in the music business, as profiled in Billboard’s 2019 “40 Under 40” feature, nearly 40% said they were graduates of a liberal arts program,” Billboard says. Rhodes is praised for the Mike Curb Institute for Music’s hands-on curriculum, the relationship between Rhodes and Memphis musicians and recording studios, and the liberal arts foundation given to all students interested in music. “Studying music at Rhodes is unique because it is built on the college’s vision of education and engagement through the liberal arts. Co-curricular programs like the Mike Curb Institute for Music work in tandem with the academic program to create broad student learning opportunities. Students come to Curb from diverse majors and backgrounds and bring that knowledge to our team,” says John Bass, director of the Mike Curb Institute for Music. “Engagement in the city of Memphis is key, as it allows students to learn from and network with top professionals and creatives. Most importantly,

our primary focus is on access and building community. It is an incredible honor to be recognized by Billboard, and I think it is a validation of the model we have created at Rhodes and the continued value of the liberal arts.” “By being a student musician at Rhodes, you get to create your own unique experience. It’s the best program for artists who truly thrive in freeform, experimental environments. The curriculum gives you a lot of liberty to be your own artist and get creative with whatever art you want to produce,” says Raneem Imam ’20. “From my first year, I saw the potential Rhodes has for being an incubator for creative artists wanting to push the bounds of art, taking it to new and different places no one has ever been before.” The article continued: “The music business curriculum at the Curb Institute is centered around a core question: How is it different studying this topic in Memphis? After all, this river city is where the explosive mix of country and R&B at Sun Studios in 1954 gave birth to rock ’n’ roll.” Billboard cites courses at Rhodes such as music and community in Memphis, music urbanism and audio


engineering: history, theory and practice. They also note that students are able to see Memphis music history firsthand in session rooms, including Royal Studios and Ardent Studios. From the Audubon Sessions, Respect Fest, and lectures from both scholars of music and local musicians, Rhodes has set itself apart through creative ways for the community to participate in and engage with the arts. The Curb Institute also works to promote new music and rising artists from the Memphis region, as well as hosting established artists from Memphis and across the country. Rhodes also hosts a number of experiential programs for students interested in music such as trips to meet music industry leaders in New York and fellowships in marketing, community engagement, audio/video production, and writing. These interdisciplinary programs and experiences make it possible for students of any major to participate in creative activity and prepare for possible careers in the music industry. “The recognition from Billboard magazine marks our place in the community of Memphis with its many opportunities available to our students. In the Department of Music, we support students, majors and non-majors, in their individual, self-designed projects. From music coursework to local internships in studios, archives, and nonprofits, Rhodes students have many unique options,” says Professor Carole Blankenship, the Elizabeth G. Daughdrill Chair in the Fine Arts. Rhodes also boasts several prominent alumni in the music business, including Allen Reynolds ’60, music entrepreneur Marcie Allen Van Mol ’96, recording studio owner-founder Niko Lyras ’78, songwriter and record label owner Sid Selvidge ’65, professional guitarist Elliot Ives ’00, record producer and musician Ben Tanner ’05, and composer Erick Devore ’10. “This is such an honor for Rhodes, and I am glad that Billboard has recognized the outstanding opportunities at the intersection of music and business we provide,” says President Marjorie Hass. “We are committed to graduating careerready students. Memphis’ vibrant music scene and creative energy is part of what makes this city so special, and I am glad that Rhodes students can both benefit from and contribute to it.”


Rhodes Offers New Course Dedicated to the Science of Climate Change Warming oceans. Wildfires. Shifting weather patterns. Rhodes College is offering a new course dedicated to one of the most challenging global issues — climate change. The liberal arts environment of Rhodes is uniquely suited for important conversations about this subject, since it cuts across many disciplines. Although several Rhodes courses address aspects of climate change in their curricula, the current course is the first course focused solely on the science of climate change. The spring 2020 course is a collaboration between Dr. David Rupke (Department of Physics) and Dr. Sarah Boyle (Department of Biology, Chair of Environmental Studies and Sciences). The professors designed the course titled “The Science of Climate Change” for biology, environmental science, environmental studies, and physics majors and minors. However, the course also will include biomathematics, chemistry, neuroscience, and computer science students who have interests in climate change. “Several years ago, I started teaching a unit on planetary climates in my astronomy course for non-science majors. I thought students should learn about the cause of Earth’s climate change, and this might be the only point in their Rhodes education where they would be exposed to it,” says Rupke. “I later learned from Richie Trenthem, who is a Rhodes graduate and is now director of academic technologies for the college, that already in the early 1990s physics professor Bob MacQueen was teaching about global warming. It is more important than ever that our students learn about what is likely to be one of the major storylines of the twenty-first century.” Professors Boyle and Rupke realized that an in-depth course on the science of climate change would allow students to grapple with the breadth of scientific concepts and data involved. The goal of the course is for students to gain an understanding of the physics of climate change and knowledge of its ongoing and future biological impacts. Students will study various Earth systems (atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere), understand how climate impacts and is impacted by biological systems, and use GIS and remote sensing to conduct spatial analyses of climate-related data sets. “This course will give students a strong background in the science of climate change, as well as hands-on experiences analyzing climate data, thereby preparing students for future research, internship, and job opportunities,” says Boyle. “Putting together this course with David Rupke has been an incredible experience, and I am looking forward to working with the students.”

Rhodes Senior Maleelo Shamambo ’20 Wins Prestigious Watson Fellowship Maleelo Shamambo, a neuroscience major and French minor at Rhodes College, is one of only 47 graduating college seniors nationwide to receive the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which provides a $36,000 grant for one year of independent study and travel outside the United States.

tation of Africans and people of African descent in science, as well as how communities with colonial histories, like mine in Zambia, can encourage more people to get involved in modern scientific research without feeling alienated from their own traditional knowledge systems.” Shamambo has worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a St. Jude Summer Plus Fellow under the direction of Dr. Jian Zuo and Dr. David Solecki, investigating molecular mechanisms of hearing loss and neuron migration as they relate to childhood cancer. “It is a pleasure and an honor to see Maleelo’s exceptional accomplishments recognized by the Watson Foundation. Her passion for global health is inspiring, and she is an example of our students ready to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. We are incredibly proud of her and look forward to the impact she will make in the future,” says Rhodes President Marjorie Hass. In 2017, Shamambo was presented with the Award for Excellence in FirstYear Biology at Rhodes, and in 2019, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, America’s oldest collegiate honor society. “I am so blessed to have found a home away from home within the Rhodes community, from friends all the way up to the faculty that have been with me along this journey. When

I think of the Rhodes professors who have had a profound impact on my college career, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m grateful that each year I have been incredibly lucky to have the support and encouragement of so many outstanding faculty, including my advisor Dr. David Kabelik, Dr. Shira Malkin, and the amazing Rhodes Watson committee that had faith in me and my project.” Also on campus, Shamambo has worked as a resident assistant for Residence Life Office and as a biology tutor and supplemental instruction leader for Academic and Learning Resources. Outside of campus, she has volunteered for the Refugee Empowerment Program, Best Buddies International, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. Shamambo, who is from Lusaka in Zambia, hopes to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience. “Throughout my career, I would ultimately love to be involved in more aspects of neuroscience research, education, and mentorship for underrepresented groups in academia, providing the same enthusiasm and desire to explore that I developed growing up and during my undergraduate studies,” she says. “I hope to come out of this fellowship a more globally-oriented scholar and scientist.”

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Members of the 52nd Class of Thomas J. Watson Fellows have proposed a broad range of projects to explore, from rare diseases to criminal justice to female filmmakers to nuclear energy. The program is designed to produce a year of personal insight, perspective, and confidence. Watson Fellows decide where to go and when to change course. They do not have to affiliate with an academic institution or hold formal employment. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, international travel this year may be limited to certain areas. In some cases, awardees may be given the options to delay the start or defer their journeys. Shamambo’s project is titled “Pills and Potions: Indigenous Knowledge in Modern Medicine,” with proposed destinations of France, Morocco, Senegal, and Martinique. She seeks to explore how different communities integrate traditional knowledge systems into modern science and medicine while charting the traditional and scientific value of indigenous medicinal plant specimens. “This project is close to my heart, because representation and inclusion are among some of the biggest challenges for the science community that sometimes go unaddressed,” says Shamambo. “I hope to go on an exploration of what it means to be an African woman in STEM. I’m interested in the represen-


100-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Shares His Poignant Story with Rhodes Audience By Meg Jerit ’20


Members of the Rhodes community and local residents gathered in the Bryan Campus Life Center February 25, 2020, to hear 100-year-old Sam Weinreich share poignant moments of one of the most horrific times in history. He and his 95-year-old wife, Frieda, are the oldest Holocaust survivors living in Memphis. Rhodes chaplain Rev. Beatrix Weil led the dialogue with Weinreich and opened the event by welcoming the packed audience, saying, “History matters. Stories matter. Community matters. And I’m grateful to you for engaging this history, this story, this community.” The Holocaust, which was the systematic murdering of six million Jews by the Nazis, occurred between 1941 and 1945 during World War II. “You are looking at a piece of history, because there are not too many people around anymore who can tell you exactly what happened,” said Weinreich. Weinreich grew up comfortably in Łódź, Poland, but when Germany invaded Poland in 1939 he and his family were forced to relocate into a ghetto on the outskirts of the city. “We lost so many people in the ghetto,” he recalled. “I saw people hold food in their mouth; they didn’t want to swallow it because they didn’t have it no more if they swallowed.” When the Germans issued a decree for young, able-bodied people to report as laborers, Weinreich went to the designated train. There, he and other Jews from the Łódź Ghetto were tricked with bread and honey into getting into cattle cars, and in a few days, they arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. There they were greeted by Josef Mengele, the infamous physician known as the “Angel of Death,” who conducted a selection process. “Josef Mengele decided who shall live, who shall die,” said Weinreich. “These people who went to the left did not see next daylight anymore.” After a week, Weinreich was sent to the Dachau concentration camp to work as slave labor. He described

carrying sacks of cement to help build an underground aircraft hangar. Those who tried to wear the sacks underneath their clothes for warmth would be whipped. Weinreich was emotional describing his punishment for finding a discarded potato and hiding it in his pant leg. When it was discovered, an officer knocked him down and kicked him in the face, knocking out seven of his teeth. When typhus hit the concentration camp, Weinreich was able to survive the fever because doctors would give him extra bread and soup if he sang for them. Toward the end of the war, as the Germans began liquidating the camps, Weinreich found an opportunity to escape when the cattle car he was in was bombed. He and a fellow prisoner fled into the forest, but the other man wanted to give up and die. Said Weinreich, “I coached him. I told him, you survived all of these atrocities? Now you’re going to give up? Get up! Try to do what I’m doing!” Thanks to Weinreich’s experience as a boy scout, they came out on the other side, where they ran into an American soldier. Weinreich met his wife, who had also survived Auschwitz, in a displaced persons camp 73 years ago. She attended the February 25 event. The event concluded with a question-and-answer session from audience members, and Weinreich kept the packed room laughing with his good humor and smiles, as well as his performance of the Yiddish song he sang when he was in Dachau. Weinreich’s advice for persevering: “Do not give up. Hope tomorrow will be better than yesterday. Be positive, all the time.”

Jacob Fontaine Applies Lessons Learned in London to Aid Memphians Experiencing Homelessness By Samuel Brown ’21

(Originally published December 19, 2019)

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Jacob Fontaine ’21 knew he had a passion for Memphis before he even attended his first class at Rhodes. Fontaine, an economics and international studies bridge major from Flower Mound, TX, serves as editor-in-chief for The Bridge, a nonprofit street newspaper founded and run by Rhodes students that seeks to provide a self-generated income for its vendors: Memphians experiencing homelessness. They sell the paper on the street, keeping the full profit from each sale.

“I first heard about The Bridge on my campus visit to Rhodes when I was a prospective student,” says Fontaine. “It was something that I immediately got very excited about and hoped to become a part of when I came to Memphis. As my dad and I traveled around the city, we met a lot of vendors and got to hear about the real impact that the paper was making.” Once at Rhodes, Fontaine began as a staff writer on The Bridge and was promoted to section editor by the end of his first year, and then editor-inchief by the spring of his sophomore year. Now, after spending a summer in England at the London School of Economics and working with vendors of London’s street newspaper, The Big Issue, Fontaine has ideas to make The Bridge even more meaningful to vendors and Memphis. Fontaine first heard about the London School of Economics while doing research in the Study Abroad Office, and, with the help of Dr. Erin Hillis, the director of international programs, Fontaine was able to apply. Professor Marshall Gramm, in the economics department, was also very helpful in ensuring the credits he gained abroad would transfer back to Rhodes. While there, he juggled taking courses with assisting The Big Issue’s vendors. “I originally reached out to the opinion editor of The Big Issue just to begin a relationship between The Bridge and an international street paper organization. The opinion editor was excited to hear from me — he was looking for stories about people experiencing homelessness from around the world, so one of our vendors got the opportunity to be published in a newspaper with a readership of thousands.” Fontaine says that his time in London helped him to see the overlaps between economics and questions about poverty. “Homelessness, in general, can be analyzed using economic principles, and I think that these principles can be used as tools to gauge homelessness in upcoming years,” he says. “There are several new movements in economics that really focus on maximizing welfare versus just financial gain.” This year, Fontaine is working to incorporate what he learned from The Big Issue into The Bridge. “Their style of storytelling really resonated with me,” he says. “Another thing that I liked was the design, and the way that their organization is structured. I did a lot of restructuring when I came in as editor. I created a lot of new editing positions, a managing editor, and a copy editor, and really focused more on training our writers. We’ve brought in Dr. Kelly Weeks of the business department to work with us on our business model to help us continue to maintain our core values as we expand, while strengthening our relationships with vendors and the Memphis community.” Fontaine credits Rhodes with providing a network of dedicated volunteers who feel passionately about spurring growth and change in their community. “It’s really challenging to produce an entire publication on a volunteer basis. I think it is unique to be surrounded by such a large number of people who dedicate such a great amount of time to The Bridge every month. It is really illustrative of Rhodes students in general, who are consistently trying to find a way to get involved, in meaningful ways.” Fontaine hopes to use his economic principles to drive human change in the future. After graduating, he seeks to further his work within the community using the lessons he learned while in London. “Examining case studies of countries in a comparative way helped me understand the impact fiscal policy can have on alleviating, or causing, domestic poverty,” he says. “The next generation will need to approach global and domestic inequalities with a human-centered approach to economic policy. I hope I can be a part of that policy-making.”


Rhodes Disperses CARES Funding R hodes received approximately $603,000 as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to directly support students who have demonstrated need and are facing significant financial challenges because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Rhodes has designed this disbursement from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, to prioritize students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensure that funds are distributed as widely as possible. Each recipient must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the Financial Aid Office and must have received financial aid for the spring 2020 semester. Rhodes will disperse funds to each eligible student automatically with no application required. In total, 586 students will receive automatic distributions. The remaining CARES funds are available for students who have had additional unexpected expenses or incurred hardship because of COVID-19. Students may submit a request for these emergency financial aid funds by completing the form located here. Students who receive the automatic distributions are eligible to apply for additional emergency financial aid funds. In addition to the CARES Act funding, Rhodes has also established an Emergency Assistance Fund to assist those who have experienced a change in financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Scott Wicker ’22 and Professor William Eckenhoff Conduct Innovative Research on Alternative Fuel Rhodes sophomore Scott Wicker ’22 and chemistry professor Dr. William Eckenhoff have been investigating artificial photosynthesis in the production of hydrogen gas, which is a promising alternative fuel that could replace gasoline. Wicker, from Zachary, LA, will pursue a major in chemistry and a minor in mathematics at Rhodes. “Working in Dr. Eckenhoff’s lab allows me to cultivate and practice key skills I need to be successful in graduate school and possibly my career,” says Wicker. “Being able to have such a head start is a phenomenal benefit.” Hydrogen does not occur in its pure form in large quantities, but is available in compounds such as water and alcohols; the challenge is finding efficient methods of extracting it. Wicker and Eckenhoff are concentrating on hydrogen production via artificial photosynthesis, a process that mimics the natural way plants use sunlight to divide water molecules. Wicker spent eight weeks working with Eckenhoff to optimize several new hydrogen production procedures, specifically focusing on cobalt and nickel complexes. “Scott made fantastic progress on the project this past summer,” says Eckenhoff. “He is off to a great start with his

Rhodes Among Nation’s 75 Best Value Colleges for 2020

(Originally published December 18, 2019)

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career at Rhodes College.” Wicker also attended the prestigious MIT ACCESS program in September, held on the Cambridge, MA, campus. The weekend-long program offered participants an overview of graduate education in chemistry and chemical engineering. In addition, Wicker is interested in the pre-engineering certificate offered by Rhodes, available to chemistry and physics majors. “Basically, these certificates require courses beyond a student’s major requirements to set them up for graduate school admission and success,” explains Eckenhoff. “This is a new program designed to encourage students to come to Rhodes for both a liberal arts education and excellent preparation for engineering graduate school,” says Eckenhoff.

Rhodes College ranks 52nd in the Princeton Review’s annual guide ranking the nation’s “Best Value Colleges.” The education services company profiles 75 schools in its Best Value Colleges, 2020 Edition, which evaluates factors including stellar academics, financial aid, and strong career prospects for graduates. “The value of our education lies in The Rhodes Edge. We are committed to graduating students who are intellectually ready to attack the world’s most pressing problems, leadership ready to contribute to their community, and career and graduate school ready to succeed in tomorrow’s economy,” President Marjorie Hass says. Rhodes alumni consistently report long-term benefits, life-long employability, and career advancement as a result of their education. The Rhodes experience combines the best of the classroom and opportunities through internships, service, research in Memphis and far beyond, which also gives Rhodes students an advantage in applying to graduate and professional programs. “Rhodes students have the advantage of a rigorous academic experience with world-class scholars dedicated to their intellectual growth. They do this on a beautiful residential campus, among other students from all over the country and the world, on a campus in the heart one of America’s most interesting cities,” says J. Carey Thompson, vice president of enrollment & communications. In the Rhodes profile provided in the Best Value Colleges, 2020 Edition, editors note: Students who put in the work can expect to succeed, saying, “Most people here work hard and see it academically pay off.” The school’s “very dedicated professors really care about their students and make an effort to get to know us and help us succeed.” One student proudly explains that “Rhodes offers a close, personalized environment where teachers and faculty are not just willing, but enthusiastic to help you find your unique path to achievement.” According to the Princeton Review, the list is based on “a combination of institutional and student survey data, including academic rigor, affordability, and career outcomes for graduates, among others.” Rhodes also is profiled in the Princeton Review’s college guide, The Best 385 Colleges.


Rhodes College Is a Top Ten Producer of Students Awarded Prestigious Fulbright Grant


From Amsterdam to Brazil to Senegal to Vietnam, Rhodes College students have incredible international opportunities to study, work, and become global citizens. Now the college has earned a number seven spot on the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ list of baccalaureate institutions producing the most 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. Students. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s highly prestigious international educational exchange program, and participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for English teaching assistantships, as well as for individually designed study/research projects. Eleven candidates from Rhodes won Fulbright grants to serve as English Teaching Assistants for the 2019-2020 academic year. The college also was designated a top producing institution for Fulbright U.S.

Students for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. “I think Rhodes students have done well because they have excellent leadership opportunities both at the college and beyond, which shows host countries that our candidates are mature, dedicated individuals,” says Dr. Robert Saxe, director of postgraduate fellowships. “Our students have an edge working closely with staff and faculty, working important jobs on campus, doing significant research across the disciplines, and encouraging work in Memphis and abroad.” “The incredible dedication of our faculty is a hallmark of the Rhodes experience,” adds Dr. Milton Moreland, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Robert Saxe is a scholar and teacher who has given unceasingly of his time and expertise to help students receive amazing national and international fellowship opportunities. This honor from the Fulbright Foundation is a testament both to the incredible students at Rhodes and to Dr. Saxe’s dedication to them as a mentor and advisor.” In addition to providing one-on-one advising, Saxe teaches a postgraduate scholarship workshop every spring. “In the class, the students learn the ins and outs of applying, how to craft an application, and also what an interview might look like,” he says. “Also, Erin Hillis’ Teaching English as a Foreign Language class has helped several students get certified in teaching English, and Amy Moen in Career Services has conducted mock interviews, which is a great help to candidates.” Paul Burdette, who graduated from Rhodes in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in German and English, is one of the individuals who has benefited from the

Two Rhodes Students Participate in Harvard Conference Fostering Future Public Policy Leaders Isabel Lopez ’23 and Becca Folkes-Lallo ’22 are among a few select students nationwide who participated in Harvard University’s 20th annual Public Policy Leadership Conference February 6-9, 2020. Presented by the university’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the conference was designed to inspire talented and driven first- and second-year undergraduate students to pursue public policy careers and become future leaders. This year’s attendees represented colleges and universities such as Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Spelman, just to name a few. “We attended an opportunities fair with information about different fellowships and master’s degree programs, as well as panels with the Harvard Kennedy School faculty, students, and admissions counselors,” says Lopez, a first-year student from Conroe, TX. “We even got the chance to attend the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards and a college activism panel put on by the National Campaigns Conference. From the former, we got to be inspired by accomplished leaders, and from the latter, we learned strategies to continue effecting positive change in our communities. … My favorite part of the conference was meeting a group of committed young leaders from across the country. After three days of much learning, I left with new friendships that I know will last me for years to come.” The application process for the Public Policy Leadership Conference is competitive, and Lopez adds that Rhodes faculty were helpful in providing feedback for her personal statement. Applicants also must demonstrate commitment to public service through activism, student leadership, or civic participation. Lopez served as president of the Model United Nations at high school. Folkes-Lallo, who is an educational studies and urban studies major from Memphis, has been a youth organizer for BRIDGES, which unites and inspires diverse young people to become confident and courageous leaders.

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support of Rhodes faculty and staff. He won a Fulbright U.S. Student Award for the 2016-2017 academic year, and worked as an English Teaching Assistant in Auerbach, Germany, where he taught English, U.S. politics, and American history. Currently, Burdette is a protocol assistant for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “Upon completion of my Fulbright assignment in Auerbach, I worked for a year at the non-governmental organization Global Bridges in Berlin, which drew many of its employees from a pool of Fulbright recipients,” says Burdette. “Through this experience, I was able to broaden my knowledge in the field of foreign policy, which eventually led me to my current position at the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which happens to have been chaired by Senator William Fulbright himself back in the 1960s and 1970s. I have learned so much about the legislative branch’s role in the formation of United States foreign policy, while also furthering my knowledge of American politics. I have a lot to be thankful for, not only for the Fulbright scholarship, but especially for all the professors, coaches, and friends at Rhodes that supported me the entire way and continue to do so to this day.” As a 2017-2018 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia, Rhodes alumna Meaghan Waff ’17 ran English-speaking workshops for students to improve their oral skills in addition to teaching in the classroom. “The part about my Fulbright experience that most resonates with me is the fact that I was on the ground for the first democratic transition of power between political parties since Malaysia gained independence from the United Kingdom. Seeing how students were involved by putting up flags, how party politics played a role in conversations, and overall how the election occurred regardless of the obstacles, will never cease to amaze me,” says Waff. “The teaching assistantship has influenced my current work in a number of ways. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law, and my experience in Malaysia consistently serves as something that compels me to research and study the region more.” The process of applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student award is rigorous, yet provides the opportunity for self-reflection that helps candidates in their future endeavors. “Even those who do not win awards have consistently reported back to me after graduation that their experience in applying helped them a great deal in figuring out their specific career goals,” says Saxe. Currently, 22 Rhodes students are competing for Fulbright U.S. Student awards for 2020-2021.


Overcoming Adversity The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest in a series of hurdles that Rhodes College has encountered — and overcome — in its long and distinguished history.

By Michael Finger


On the morning of March 11, 2020, Rhodes College students scanning their emails and texts came across a message from President Marjorie Hass that would profoundly change their lives. Headed simply, “A Message from the President,” Hass announced that she and faculty leaders “have been meeting for weeks and monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public health developments to determine the best path forward.” The novel coronavirus had swept across Asia and Europe, and by February patients were being diagnosed in the United States. Even more ominously, COVID-19 had made its appearance in Memphis. “With careful consideration and after intensive research and discussion,” Hass wrote, “we have made the difficult decision to move to remote learning for the remainder of the semester.” The college would not actually close, she explained, but all classes would take place by teleconference, all residents would vacate the dorms, and all on-campus events were canceled. This was in accord with Mayor Jim Strickland’s “Safer at Home” order that “social distancing” was the only way to slow, or even stop, the pandemic. As Hass explained, “The close quarters in which we live, learn, eat, and work would make it difficult for us to ensure the health and safety of our campus during an outbreak.” This move had a dramatic impact on the Class of 2020. Rhodes seniors realized their days at Rhodes — sharing classes, eating in the Rat, living in the dorms, just strolling across the campus — had effectively come to an end. “I don’t think I realized that when I stepped off campus for spring break it would be the last time that I would see some of my friends,” wrote Matthew Harris ’20, in an essay published in the April issue of Memphis

magazine. “Over the past few days, I have said too many premature goodbyes and shed too many tears.” In its long history, Rhodes College has encountered its share of adversity. Certainly few events have had such a far-reaching impact as the current health crisis, but in his 1998 book Rhodes 150: A Sesquicentennial Yearbook, author Bennett Wood acknowledged that the history of the school is “the extraordinary story of a college that has struggled, suffered, endured, and prevailed.” And those battles go back to the very beginning, to a little college founded in Clarksville, Tennessee. The granite and limestone buildings that adorn the Rhodes College campus seem as if they have stood there for ages. And indeed, in 2025, the school will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the heart of Memphis. But the institution had its beginnings as far back as 1848, when the Clarksville and Montgomery County Masons, members of the national fraternal order, established the Masonic University of Tennessee, with promises of support from other lodges throughout the state. The group raised some $15,000 and laid the foundation for the first college buildings. Soon after the school opened in 1850, however, “the other Tennessee Masonic orders decided to form colleges in their own towns,” wrote Wood, “so the Masonic lodges of

Montgomery County were now the sole financial backer.” This obviously demanded less ambitious plans. The college originally conceived to represent the entire state was renamed Montgomery Masonic College and opened with just 46 students and seven faculty members. Sensing that the college would fail, the school’s first president, William M. Stewart, approached his church for financial support. The Presbyterian Synod of Nashville responded by purchasing the buildings and grounds, forging the link with the Presbyterian Church that Rhodes maintains to this day. To express their gratitude, the college board renamed the school Stewart College. More troubles, however, were just a few years away. When the Civil War began in 1861, most of the students and faculty departed to join the military, many of them never to return. The tiny college managed to survive, though existing letters reveal it had no resources to pay the few elderly faculty members who had stayed behind. What’s more, when Clarksville was taken by Union forces in 1862, troops used the main college building, known as “The Castle,” for headquarters. Their conduct, wrote the college president later, “was characterized by the grossest vandalism,” along with the outright theft of valuable geological specimens, “and a choice portion of the books belonging to the Washington Irving Society.”



At war’s end, Stewart College filed for compensation, and Wood reported that the federal government finally reimbursed the school $25,000 for damages — in 1904. Every decade, it seems, brought new troubles. With the war behind them, college administrators began to rebuild and expand. Attendance rose to more than a hundred students, and Wood noted that under the stewardship of a new president, the Rev. J.B. Shearer, “the President Marjorie Hass informs the college’s emergency operations group curriculum was revised to offer about the decision to move to remote learning. more electives, high standards of scholarship were promoted, and the great and noble ends for which she was given in the securing of great teachers at the world of letters and thought.” any cost became an even higher priority.” Twenty years later, those “large expectations” But then death came to Clarksville, as it did to remained unfilled. The school continued to struggle so many other Southern cities, carried on the wings to survive. Historical accounts are vague about the of mosquitos. The yellow fever epidemics of 1872 and impact two key events occurring at the same time — especially 1878 were devastating. Clarksville, being World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic — had on on high ground and somewhat distanced from the the college, though they were disastrous for families swampy breeding grounds of the disease-carrying across the United States. It’s possible that the enrollinsects, didn’t suffer the deprivation of Memphis, ment was so small (barely 80 students) that no one was which lost half its population. The city and college, greatly affected. however, lost students and faculty, as well as financial In 1920, however, SPU suffered a great loss. A support when many businesses were shuttered and defective heating duct set The Castle ablaze, almost hotels turned away travelers. destroying the main building, which also housed the Clarksville somehow managed to survive, as did Little Theater and one of the fraternities. Luckily, no the college. Wood even noted that “the financial difone was injured, and most of the building was saved, ficulties of the 1870s had begun to ease somewhat,” but water damage from the fire department destroyed which allowed an expansion of grounds and buildings, the theater, along with its sets and costumes. supported by additional support from the Presbyterian It’s somewhat surprising that school officials Synods of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, bothered to rebuild, because by this time they had and Texas. So successful was this campaign that just begun to blame their ongoing financial struggles on one year after the 1878 yellow fever epidemic, when so the location, tucked away in a small town in northwest many other colleges (and entire cities) were dormant, Tennessee. The board mulled a move to Atlanta, or the school took a new name. In 1879, it became to “a large city where it might more easily attract the Southwestern Presbyterian University. “Although it attention of wealthier donors.” would never be completely free of financial worries,” Although records show that his proposal was met wrote Wood, “the school now entered upon an era of with “great consternation by the citizens of Clarksrelative strength and stability.” ville,” when Dr. M.E. Melvin, a member of the SPU The 1899 yearbook of SPU certainly portrayed Board, offered to raise the astonishing sum of $1 a rosy future: “With gratitude for the past and hope million if the school relocated to Memphis, how could for the future, the University, yet young in years, yet anyone refuse? Even the new president, Dr. Charles struggling with narrow means, but with large expecE. Diehl, “was convinced that the school’s salvation tation and confidence of success, and with solidarity demanded it be moved.” as to all that she has acquired and accomplished in the In 1925, then, Southwestern Presbyterian Univerpast, has her face to the front, and is advancing each sity began classes on a brand-new campus, still under year more and more toward an assured realization of

Army cadets on the campus, 1943

Southwestern, following the same pattern that had distinguished its history, survived the Great Depression, which closed other, less financially stable schools across the country. And again, following that same pattern, it soon confronted yet another challenge: World War II. The December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war. That conflict didn’t close the college, but it drastically affected it. Many students, and some faculty members, didn’t wait for the school year to end before they enlisted in the military. In response, Southwestern quickly adopted an accelerated curriculum so seniors could receive their diplomas before the school year ended. From 1941 until the end of the war in 1945, various publications devoted their pages to students involved in the war effort. The November 1942 issue of the monthly Southwestern News noted 22 new enlistments that month alone, bringing the total alumni in the Armed Forces to 344. As a point of pride, the newspaper pointed out that 43 percent of those men and women were officers in the Army or Navy. Another issue printed the names, photos, and hometowns of 33 junior and seniors currently serving as officers in the U.S. Navy or the Army Air Corps. The Southwestern News also noted interesting changes to various departments brought about by the war. The number of students in all classes had declined, as one might

Overcoming Adversity

construction, in Memphis. The old buildings left behind at Clarksville eventually became home to Austin Peay State University. Meanwhile, some 200 miles to the southwest, officials of the new college had toured other campuses across America before settling on the design (Gothic Revival) and chief architect (Henry Hibbs of Nashville) for the campus they were building on a former dairy farm on North Parkway. Only a handful of yearbooks carried the name Southwestern Presbyterian University. After the decision to relocate the school to Memphis, there came an immediate push to rename it “Memphis College.” Other options were considered, in keeping with its Memphis heritage — Chisca College, Gayoso College, and even Al-La-Mis-Ten College, reflecting the Presbyterian Synods supporting the school, according to Wood. “When the dust settled and the move was complete,” he wrote, “the letterhead of the college read simply, Southwestern, the College of the Mississippi Valley.” It later became known, even more simply, as Southwestern at Memphis. But unfortunate circumstances seemed to follow the college wherever it went. It had barely settled in Memphis when the Great Depression took place, shuttering businesses across the land. Here, it closed almost a third of the city’s major industries; hardest hit were manufacturing plants such as Firestone Tire & Rubber and Ford Motor Company. However, with its diverse economy, and as the agricultural trading capital of the region, even as banks failed the city itself managed to endure.


Mallory Gymnasium construction


expect, from the 1941-42 to the 1942-43 school years. History majors, for example, dropped from 256 to 203 in one year, speech majors plummeted from 71 to 25, and Greek from 59 to 39. Other classes, meanwhile, increased: Biology majors jumped from 68 to 101, and math majors increased from 218 to 285. By the end of 1942, Southwestern began to offer special “defense classes for the direct and immediate benefit of men who will enter the military service.” These included general courses in military history, war issues, and politics, along with such specialized courses as “Mathematics of Artillery Fire,” “Propaganda Warfare,” “Aircraft Identification,” and “Italian for Intelligence Services” With so many men off to war, Southwestern saw a drastic change in the student population. The school’s 1943 enrollment was small — barely 365 students — and now most of them were women. “There are 260 women students on the campus,” according to the Southwestern News, “more than ever before in the history of the college.” By comparison, when the college first moved to Memphis, it had only 107 women students, compared to 299 men. Enrollment plummeted as the war progressed. The Class of 1944 counted only 43 graduates, and just eight of them were men. The following year, out of 32 graduates, only one of them was a man. In the 1945 Southwestern Lynx yearbook, President Charles E. Diehl expressed the feeling on the campus. “This terrible World War has worked havoc with the graduating classes of colleges which enroll men students,” he wrote. “What with the volunteering, the drafting of the 18-year-olds, and the accelerated program, it is impossible to maintain a semblance of

the measured stride of the accustomed four-year pilgrimage.” With so few able-bodied men now attending school, most major sports came to a halt. Football was completely suspended during the war, a tremendous loss considering that Southwestern’s gridiron squad was considered a powerhouse, battling such teams as Ole Miss, Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Clemson. During the war years, instead of traditional students, the Army brought other men to Southwestern, establishing a “streamlined, smooth-running college program for aviation cadets,” according to the Southwestern News, “to prepare men for service in the U.S. Army Air Corps Flying Training Command.” Some 250 cadets trained on the campus, housed in Robb and Calvin dormitories and the now-empty fraternity houses. The Southwestern News conveyed the military atmosphere here: “The campus is enlivened with barking sergeants, multiple ranks of singing cadets, and late afternoon parades that attracted long lines of cars on the Parkway.” Another issue observed that “a certain military formality prevails. College professors have learned to return a salute, and also the strangeness of being addressed as ‘Sir’ each time a question is raised.” The same newspaper regularly kept readers informed of the school’s contributions to the war. A full-page section headed “Southwesterners Play Leading Roles in Major War Fronts of the World” carried these inspiring stories: “Colonel George Jones Leads Attack on Island,” “Colonel Franklin Kimbrough Plans New Phillippine Army,” and “Lt. John Pond Wins Double Citation.”

President Peyton Rhodes

With victory, life at Southwestern slowly returned to normal. Attendance increased as men returned to civilian life; in fact 1947 saw the largest enrollment in the history of the college. So many students showed up that trailers were parked by the athletic fields as temporary housing. In the years that followed, thanks to the confident, capable leadership of presidents such as Drs. Peyton Rhodes, James Daughdrill, and William Troutt, the college finally moved away from uncertain times. Rhodes College — the name adopted in 1984 — took its rightful place on national rankings of American’s leading liberal arts institutions. But it still faced unexpected obstacles. On the morning of February 11, 1994, students emerged from their dorms to encounter a winter wonderland. Every building on campus was encased in a half-inch of ice — the worst ice storm that had hit Memphis since 1950. It was beautiful — and dangerous. The weight of all that ice snapped limbs off trees and even brought down some of the majestic oaks that shaded the

Rhodes campus. When the trees crashed onto neighborhood power lines, the school plunged into darkness. Rhodes went without power for three days. The students who stayed on campus were shuffled into three older dorms — Townsend, Trezevant, and Voorhies — that still had heat and some light powered by portble generators. The rest of the campus was dark. But in those days, there were few cell phones and no teleconferences, so “remote learning” was impossible. The students and faculty waited out the disaster for 68 hours, until power was finally restored. Afterwards, an accounting showed more than $20,000 in damage to buildings, and several cars crushed by falling limbs. Almost two-thirds of the college’s majestic canopy of trees suffered damage or toppled completely, and five students were injured by falls on the ice. All in all, though, considering that many Memphis residents went without power for two weeks and more, Rhodes once again averted a potential disaster.

Overcoming Adversity

Sometimes, though, the news was bad. The March 1943 issue devoted a black-bordered “In Memoriam” box to Major William Neely Mallory, recipient of the Legion of Merit, who died in a plane crash in Italy on February 19, 1943.” After two years overseas, Mallory was on his way home to Memphis, “where he was universally loved and honored, and where he would once again take his place of leadership in this city.” The Mallory Memorial Gymnasium on the Rhodes College campus, erected in 1954, remembers the Major’s ultimate sacrifice. He wasn’t alone. As the war finally drew to a close, the July 1945 Southwestern News profiled 31 former students who had given their lives for their country. Among the soldiers was a woman, Sara Crowe Ransom, who had served as a Red Cross nurse in Italy.

Rhodes campus during the February 1994 ice storm

If history has demonstrated anything, it is that Rhodes College has the capacity to endure. Time and again, it has faced — and overcome — adversity. The Class of 2020 may always hold the distinction of graduating from Rhodes without taking part in a traditional commencement ceremony. They are entering a new world, where “social distancing” may be the new normal for society. But Rhodes has a long tradition of preparing its students for whatever they encounter. “This is an unprecedented decision for the college,” wrote President Marjorie Hass in her March 11th message. “This is a difficult situation for everyone. We will rely on the spirit of resilience and shared concern that defines us as members of this community at Rhodes College.”


Ahead of the Curve

Rhodes alumni in the medical field do their part to lessen the impact of the coronavirus.

By Samuel X. Cicci ’15 It’s no exaggeration to say that the arrival of the coronavirus on American shores flipped life as we knew it upside down. The pandemic has had an effect on everything, from personal interactions, to functioning workplaces, and to college campuses. But while many businesses have scrambled to adjust, medical professionals continue to soldier on and provide the best possible care for their charges. The following Rhodes College alumni, across all spectrums of the healthcare industry, are working hard to ensure we can safely transition to a post-COVID-19 world.

Dr. Stephen Threlkeld ’86 — Threlkeld Infectious Disease Dr. Stephen Threlkeld probably knew more about Rhodes College (or Southwestern, when he arrived) heading into undergrad than most other students; most of the extended Threlkeld clan had attended the school (including Stephen’s older brother, Michael), making him one of many family legacy members to study there. The biology track, with heavy influences from Professor Terry Hill, convinced Threlkeld that he would follow his father and grandfather into the medical profession. “My brother and I both learned a lot from Hill,” he says, “and he was actually my honors advisor who set me up to work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for half of my academic load senior year with Dr. Robert Webster in the influenza group.” That early exposure to the study of infectious disease influenced Threlkeld’s chosen profession immensely, with his path eventually leading him into practice at Threlkeld Infectious Disease. “I’m in private practice with my older brother and another physician, Dr. Imad Omer,” he says. “I spend most of my time at Baptist, where I work as the infectious disease consultant for the cardiac transplant team and the ECMO [extra corporeal membrane oxygenation] team.” With infectious diseases at the forefront of his resumé, Threlkeld was poised to make an impact on efforts against COVID-19 in Memphis. With Shelby County able to get a

Chris Moore ’11 — Veterans Health Administration Even before Chris Moore graduated from Rhodes College, he had already started looking into the reasons for largescale health disparities. “I followed a self-designed interdisciplinary major combining biology and anthropology,” he says. “I always had a broad interest in global health work, but I realized pretty early in undergrad that structural and historical forces did as much to explain health disparities as biological forces.” His passion for addressing communal healthcare issues manifested in his role as co-president of GlobeMed, alongside countless volunteer hours spent at the Women’s Center (now the Peer Advocacy Center). Having finished his education versed both in the biological and societal determinants of health, Moore is now based in California helping coordinate the COVID-19 response for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Moore is currently nearing the end of a two-year Presidential Management Fellowship, which has been around since the Carter Administration. The selective program is


designed to prepare recent graduates for technocratic positions across the executive branch. In his role, Moore specifically works at the regional level with the Veterans Integrated Service Network. “We cover the Sierra Pacific Network, which includes the northern half of California, all of Nevada, and the Pacific Islands.” It’s a large area to cover when a pandemic hits, but Moore and his colleagues have been on the ball when it comes to coordinating the most efficient response to COVID-19. “I rotate between offices and support our director and deputy director on various special projects. In particular, I’ve worked on chairing our infection control and prevention work group, and led the reorganization of our clinical services into integrated clinical communities.” With his constituents’ age popula-

Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, an infectious disease specialist, checks on a patient admitted to a Memphis hospital.


serious look at the pandemic’s effects in places like New York City, Threlkeld says that gave him and other hospital systems enough warning to set up proper protocols. “We were able to be very proactive with some of the social distancing and preparing hospitals for a larger number of patients. That made a tremendous difference here, and we were able to adopt those things as a community well ahead of the curve.” He lauds Baptist’s response to the pandemic, in which the hospital created a top-down transition plan to make the environment safer for both patients and medical staff. One such change was converting rooms to negative pressure rooms with the proper air flow, so as to not put anybody outside at risk of contamination. But the biggest change to come out of COVID-19, according to Threlkeld, is an increased frequency of telemedicine. While he and Baptist had already been proponents of the concept, it has been a much safer alternative with people nervous about venturing outside. “It’s been thrust to the very forefront of a lot of people’s practices in medicine,” he says. “People are not excited about going to a doctor’s office, or anywhere else that they don’t need to. So being able to tap in to telemedicine resources and talk to people at home, and even to do partial examinations, has been quite popular with patients.” But even with all the right precautions in place, Threlkeld doesn’t overlook the psychological impact of the coronavirus. There’s always fear surrounding a new pandemic, but the most difficult part of treatment has been tending to patients in isolation. “These people are dealing with a very frightening illness, and they’re having to deal with it all by themselves,” he

says. “Family can’t visit, and that’s a really brutal thing.” He explains that Baptist staff has gone above and beyond to try and connect with patients. If they can help lessen the loneliness even a little bit, it makes the effort worth it. With the world changed by the coronavirus, Threlkeld thinks back on another pandemic he dealt with early on in his career. “When I finished medical school and started my training, it was really at the advent of the AIDS epidemic,” he reflects. “It weighed quite heavily on us over time and people didn’t understand it very well, like what we’re seeing now. But we quickly gained knowledge about AIDS, and we’re gaining knowledge about this infection, too.”

tion skewing older, Moore and the VHA viders had to be trained and fitted with took the threat of coronavirus seriously the proper equipment, while Moore’s in its early stages. “We’re lucky that since team had to ensure that every veteran we are the nation’s only state-run hospi- under its care had a device that could tal system and aren’t profit-driven,” he be utilized for telehealth purposes. With explains, “we can put our entire focus more checkups being conducted via techon providing the best care possible for nology, each hospital required upgraded our veterans.” Moore started monitor- servers to handle the increased traffic. ing the virus in January, while the VHA Other services needed to be redesigned, activated its Incident Command in Feb- as well. Like many other institutions, ruary. “I’ve been serving as the situation the VHA also worked to set up driveunit lead since then, which is a fancy way through pharmacies and testing sites. of saying I have to monitor the epidemiBeyond juggling multiple aspects ological data that’s coming in from all of the pandemic, Moore and the VHA the agencies working on this, as well as must prepare for the future. Moving monitoring local and state actions.” forward, Moore explains that issues like One of the biggest tasks for Moore supply chain shortages hospital design has been implementing a larger tele- will need to be acknowledged. health presence for the VHA. Since the “Our hospitals weren’t originally start of the outbreak, that capacity has created with social distancing in mind,” grown by about 800 percent. It was a he says. “We’re looking to see how we massive undertaking by the VHA. Pro- can build physical barriers between sec-


retarial staff and patients, and how we can change our waiting rooms to make sure everyone is always six feet apart.” With a lack of personal protective equipment affecting many medical institutions across the country, the VHA brought production in-house and began 3-D printing face shields and swabs. While implementing these changes at seven hospitals

and 50+ outpatients clinics seems like a tall order, it hasn’t fazed Moore. “We need to come up with innovative solutions to complicated problems,” he says. “That means facilitating the conversations, making sure we’re spreading the best practices between facilities and our network, and connecting people who need to be in the same room.”

Jessica Zweifel Maselli ’17 — UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital


When Jessica Maselli’s best friend died at the age of 11, the experience became a catalyst for her passion to save others. “As I mourned his passing,” recollects Maselli, “the reality of his death led me to question how to honor his memory. His death awoke in me a calling to help others navigate illness and a passion for medicine.” Her foray into medicine began at Rhodes, where she pursued a B.S. in neuroscience. Alongside her studies, she added a 2014 NCAA Trophy as a member of the Women’s Golf Team for good measure. But on the academic side, she remembers Dr. David Kabelik’s neuroendocrinology class as a high point. “It was both highly challenging and incredibly fascinating,” Maselli says. “Learning about the body in preparation for a career in healthcare became more than falling in love with its intricacies; it was an understanding and empathy for those who suffered.” Now, her resolve is tested every day in UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital’s intensive care unit. After becoming engaged to David Maselli (’17) during her senior year, the couple relocated to Denver, where she quickly signed on as a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) in the neurosurgical ICU at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. “When the pandemic first began ramping up in Denver, the COVID-19 patients were isolated to one unit,” says Maselli. “At its peak, we had three separate COVID-19 ICUs and several COVID-19 floor units. My unit had to be prepared for even more patients by converting our 24 ICU rooms into a 48-bed unit.” Maselli’s team sees professionals from a variety of fields (cardiothoracic, surgical trauma, pulmonary, infectious disease, and others) all collaborating to get every patient affected by the coronavirus back in good health. The biggest challenge so far has been navigating the pandemic with still many unknowns regarding COVID-19. While the experience has been scary, Maselli and her colleagues are firmly focused on everyone’s safety. The hospital has had to deny visitation rights to families to prevent the spread of the virus, while Maselli has to wear a respirator for the major-

ity of her 12-hour shifts and replace her PPE between each patient visit. “During emergent situations like code blues and patient-attempted extubations, this donning time period becomes a major obstacle to providing care,” she says, “but it’s so important to protect ourselves even when our natural instinct is to disregard our safety to help our patients.” When asked about her next steps in the medical world, Maselli first reaffirms her commitment to helping those who need it in the Denver area. That is, after all, why she got into medicine in the first place. Once the pandemic is past, however, she plans to get her master’s in physician assistant studies. “I look forward to putting my knowledge from Rhodes and my experience from my time in the Neuro and COVID ICUs towards providing quality care for all I come in contact with.”

Meera Pranav ’13 — United States Agency for International Development

“Our All-of-America response is important,” says Pranav, “because diseases don’t respect national borders. Strengthening health systems overseas helps protect American lives here at home.” Beyond funding, Pranav and the USAID provide technical assistance, training, capacity building, health systems strengthening, and treatment. Aid comes in the form of water, sanitation, and hygiene support, food security, community engagement and risk communication, logistics support, global and regional coordination, and livelihood strengthening. Pranav stresses that it’s crucial for the organization to take a comprehensive approach to the pandemic. “We are working with international organizations, NGOs, and other organizations responding on the ground to combat the dangerous pathogen,” she says. “This includes working with frontline workers to slow the spread, care for the affected, and equip local communities with the tools needed to fight COVID- 19.” And while the USAID’s work is critical, Pranav has a personal stake to keep going. “During my freshmen year at Rhodes, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis,” she explains. “It was difficult to manage the disease while trying to balance the rigorous coursework and a social life in college. At times, I didn’t think I would be able to travel or have the international career that I wanted. “I tell that story to highlight that contrary to what I thought at that time, I actually do have the career that I want. It’s been quite the struggle to find control strategies for my disease but ten years later, I see that the encouragement that I received throughout my tenure at Rhodes, and the advice I have received from family, friends, and mentors have allowed me to find a sweet spot for my career and health.”

Ahead of the Curve

It took Meera Pranav no time at all to discover her calling. After finishing undergrad, she jumped straight into what would be one of the first difficult tasks of her career. A move to India for an NGO in Udaipur, Rajasthan, saw her responsible for developing and completing an impact assessment of a village’s women’s empowerment training program. “Despite feeling like I had been thrown into the deep end,” she says, “ it was one of the best experiences I could have ever had before really starting my career.” The time abroad solidified her passion for work in the international development space, and upon returning to Washington, D.C., she joined USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). While she may not have specifically fine-tuned her career path at the time, Pranav sparked an interest in international affairs after taking Professor Andrew Michta’s “International Politics since 1945” class her freshman year. Meanwhile, Professor Stephen Ceccoli pushed her to pursue international study opportunities. “The courses I took at Rhodes pulled me towards foreign affairs, diplomacy, and geopolitical work,” says Pranav, “but in India, I saw how much work there was to help the international community around me.” Her role with the USAID lets her do exactly that. OFDA, specifically, helps communities afflicted by conflict or natural disasters; every year, the office responds to an average of 65 disasters in more than 50 countries. In her initial two years, Pranav served on the South Sudan Response Management Team and the West Africa Ebola Response Management Team. She took a break to pursue her master’s from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, with a concentration in Health in Humanitarian Crises. Her return to the OFDA placed her in the Humanitarian Policy and Global Engagement Division, where she spent time with the Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Response Management Team and was deployed to the Bahamas as a member of the Hurricane Dorian Disaster Assistance Response Team. When not working on a response team, Pranav’s role “is to manage and monitor a strategic portfolio of these global policy, innovation, and research-oriented programs to a range of NGOs and Public International Organizations. I also conduct site visits abroad and monitor the progress of programming. Right now, Pranav’s attention is centered on the Humanitarian COVID-19 Response Team. “My work focuses on coordination with the humanitarian community both within and outside the U.S. government. The position requires a thorough understanding of the international assistance environment, operations, related policies, regulation, and inter-relationships among the U.S. government, donor, and other international organizations.” Her agency works alongside the State Department, the CDC, Department of Defense, and others to coordinate an “All-of-America” response: support health systems, humanitarian assistance, and economic, security, and stabilization efforts with $2.4 billion in emergency funding allocated by congress.


Dr. Ross Hilliard ’07 — Brown University Working in Providence, Rhode Island, Dr. Ross Hilliard knew that he and his colleagues at Brown University had to act quickly to make sure they were prepared before the coronavirus moved up the coastline. And when a student returned to Providence from a trip to Italy and tested positive, Hilliard and the university hit the ground running. “We had a case that came back at the very end of February. We were worried that we might scale up at the same rate that we’ve seen in New York. With Rhode Island host to one of the first cases of coronavirus in America, it was time to kick his plan into high gear.” Hilliard wears many hats in Providence. As Brown University’s Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residencies, the Lifespan hospital system’s Director of Medical Informatics, and medical director of the health system’s Community Health Institute, Hilliard had a lot of ground to cover when it came to creating a comprehensive approach to slowing the spread of the coronavirus. “Whenever a problem arose, teams would gather and discuss, ‘What do we need to get done and when do we need to get it done by?’ Our residents have been enormously flexible and have helped identify points of weakness, or things they were concerned about.” Hilliard believes that Rhode Island took the right precautions when the pandemic first started. And following guidance on how to decrease the risk of infection for hospital staff in turn allowed medical employees to have more stability when dealing with an unknown contagion. “With COVID-19 patients, particularly in the ICU, it’s really difficult and challenging,” says Hilliard. “Both staff and patients can’t have visitors, so there’s less communication with family. But some data we had from other institutions said that having people cycle in and out of the hospital on a weekly basis decreased infection risks. And that was one of our biggest focuses: prevent as many of our residents as possible from being infected. Luckily, the few who did only had mild symptoms.” Like so many other institutions, setting up all the necessary facilities for telehealth capabilities was of paramount importance. “The informatics side of my job had to scale up really quickly. Both the faculty practice and the Lifespan system — which operates four hospitals and sees three quarters of a million outpatient visits a year around different offices — had to turn around and basically stand up telemedicine capabilities in a weekend.”


Since March, Hilliard counts 700 patients that have been treated at the hospitals with COVID-19, and as of mid-May, had 200 patients still in the hospital. Throughout everything, he stresses the importance of teamwork. Anything that a medical professional saw that could help the workflow, both electronically and physically, was done. Perhaps the biggest impact in Providence was the collaboration that led to a 600-bed alternative site hospital. “A lot of the work that needed to be done was completed on nights and weekends,” says Hilliard. “Back in March, we basically put together and built out all of the beds and thought through the nomenclature. And that was all done over the course of one weekend.” Even as hospital staff worked hard to treat patients coming through, Hilliard kept thinking of potential patients who might not be able to visit the hospital. Despite increasing testing, he acknowledges that some communities in Providence that might not be able to access testing clinics. “We had to take a look at the disparity in terms of populations that have been affected by coronavirus,” says Hilliard. “We unfortunately saw that our LatinX community has been disproportionately affected, and that has many causes. But one of the things that we’ve working on fixing through our community health institute is that right now, most of the testing involves driving somewhere. And that’s difficult to do if you don’t have a car.” Hilliard recently oversaw the rollout of a mobile testing unit, via the Community Health Institute, to reach patients who can’t come of their own accord. That also means concerned patients don’t have to violate social distancing rules, and potentially expose others, by hopping on a bus to reach a testing center. “As we work to expand testing and continue our tracing and management of this whole pandemic, we have to make sure we’re looking out for the folks who’ve been left behind by all the stuff we’ve been able to do so

far.” On top of everything else, Hilliard plans to get behind the wheel of the mobile testing unit a few times a week. It’s a daunting workload, to be sure, but Hilliard points to a hectic schedule in undergrad as the perfect preparation for his busy career in medicine. “I can honestly trace this back to the variety of things that I had opportunities to do, from volunteering, to research at St. Jude, to classwork.” Professors

Dr. Gary Lindquester (biology) and Darlene Loprete (chemistry) motivated him to be ready for the medical school gauntlet, and those lessons have stuck with Hilliard since then. As for how he keeps track of the rest of the responsibilities that come across his desk? “Well, my schedule is always busy,” he says, “and I have a phenomenal administrative assistant.”

Dr. Brittany Solar ’07 — Pediatrics2000 Dr. Alan Jaslow, while she credits Dr. Steven McKenzie with teaching her “how to read the Bible.” After Memphis, she attended medical school at University of Texas in Houston, where she participated in the Medical Humanities Program. “It served as a constant reminder of why we go into medicine in the first place,” she says. “Without empathy, cultural, competency and humility, we are limited as physicians.” Those traits have been necessary during the upheaval in New York. Solar’s clinic has constantly been adapting since the COVID-19 threat emerged. Initially, it was swamped with nervous parents. Then, the waiting rooms were suddenly empty due to fear of leaving the house. Pediatrics2000 adopted telemedicine for most sick visits, and has been alternating physicians in the office to reduce the risk of exposure. But Solar points to psychological side effects as the most devastating aspect of the pandemic among the pediatric population: anxiety, depression, fear, somatic complaints, and grief. “At this point in New York City,” she explains, “very few people have not been directly affected by this pandemic. During the peak, we were seeing 800 deaths per day, each one someone’s parent, grandparent, cousin, or sibling. Many of our patients are cramped into multifamily households, and these families are especially hard hit. And you have four-year-olds talking about ‘the virus,’ which is very sad.” While children have statistically been less likely to suffer due to the virus, Solar and other pediatricians

have a unique problem to deal with. “One thing that we’ve been seeing over the last couple of week is an entity called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome,” she says. Associated with COVID-19, the syndrome is a delayed effect in children that have been exposed in the past. It manifests in seemingly healthy kids, who suddenly get fevers and develop multi-organ failure. “Though rare, there has been a spike in these cases in New York City, and as pediatricians in the community we are constantly on guard. This has changed the way that I approach a child with fevers, at least for the time being.” Solar hopes that everyone will continue to take the pandemic seriously. “Our fear in New York is that people who have not seen the devastation we have will become complacent too soon,” she says. “It is much different when you are seeing it in the news than when you are saying goodbye to a family member on an iPad. I’m not sure if New York will ever be the same. But hopefully the lessons we will take from all this will hinge on resilience, community, respect for science and neighbor, faith, and commitment to moving forward.”

Ahead of the Curve

Working at “ground zero” in New York City, Dr. Brittany Solar marvels at how much the city has changed in the last few months. “It’s a different world,” she says. “Everything is closed, you have to wait in line for hours for groceries, and lots of essentials are sold out.” The subway, which she takes to work, is empty even during rush hour. But while things are uncertain, her neighborhood, at least, is doing its best to appreciate those fighting COVID-19. “Every night at 7pm,” she says, “we all hang out our windows and rooftops and bang pans and clap and shout in appreciation for the essential workers that are keeping the city alive and running, despite the risks.” As a pediatrician for Pediatrics2000, Solar is well aware of those risks. Her clinic serves Washington Heights as well as the South Bronx. The clinics see more than 20,000 patient visits a year; most who come are on Medicaid, and are able to get a sameday appointment if needed. “I’ve been with the practice for five years, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the families in the neighborhood and see the children grow up before my eyes,” says Solar. “Pediatrics is about teaching and building relationships, and promoting health in a culturally competent way.” Solar’s service-oriented outlook is what drew her to Rhodes for her undergraduate degree. She combined pre-med studies with an internship at St. Jude, hundreds of volunteer hours at the Hope House, and two sporting commitments (basketball and field hockey). She still keeps in touch with mentor


Remote Learning at Rhodes Students and faculty adapt to a new form of teaching in the midst of a global pandemic.

By Matthew Harris ’20


In her lab, Dr. Dana Horgen, assistant professor of chemistry at Rhodes College, began running through the procedures for her students. For today’s experiment, they would be examining the levels of caffeine and benzoic acid in popular sodas, then using the results to find unknown samples. On a list in front of her, Horgen wrote down the goals for the class, as well as the needed equipment for the upcoming lab. Then she turned to face an empty classroom and began her lecture for her Chemistry 240 class. Horgen was in the midst of recording a session for her students as part of the remote learning process that has swept the globe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhodes was quick to transition to remote classes as a way of protecting students and staff from exposure to the novel coronavirus. On March 23rd, classes were transitioned online in an attempt to return to some sort of normalcy. Dr. Dana Horgen There were 75 international students on campus this spring. The majority of those students chose to remain on campus when classes her normal three-hour lab down into 15- to 20-minute went remote. About 20 of those students went home videos designed to simulate students actually being in to complete the semester. The staff of the college’s the lab with her. In the videos, Horgen did her best to Buckman Center for International Education were replicate the experience and talk through her proceable to work with each student based on their circumdures so that students would understand the process. stances. She also recorded pre- and post-lab lectures for her When Rhodes chose to move to remote learning classes, which were meant to give students a chance to Horgen, like many other Rhodes professors, was torn expand on what they were learning in class. on the matter. As a frequent follower of the news and “I was never really nervous about making the with a background in organic synthesis and analysis, videos, but I struggled a bit at first. There was defishe knew the danger that the virus posed. Despite this, nitely a learning curve I wasn’t expecting,” Horgen says. she felt uneasy at first about teaching chemistry online. “As time went on, though, I gradually improved, and Before the campus lockdown, Horgen’s students had recording the labs became a lot faster. It helped that completed four out of their six labs for the semester. I enjoyed the process which made it feel a lot more Horgen felt that she had a duty to give her students the natural.” same experience as their peers in previous years. During “normal” lab times students were told to “Three other professors and I came up with the watch the videos and Horgen would remain on standby idea to record classes for our students,” she says. “I in a remote classroom where students could come didn’t want students looking on the internet for obscure in and out at their leisure to ask questions. She also videos of experiments that I knew I could produce for maintained normal office hours for students who were them myself. I just tried to approach the situation with unable to meet with her during class time. Despite her an analytical mindset.” effort, Horgen was aware of the limitations of her work. A week before classes were set to resume, Horgen “It’s not the same,” says Horgen. “I wish that they purchased a stand for her iPad and set about recording could be in the lab working with me because I think it’s her labs. She traveled to Kennedy Hall and condensed



Dr. Victor Coonin

I found myself calling on students more and tried to replicate the classroom feel. I didn’t want it to feel like an hourlong performance for my students. I wanted them to be engaged and thinking about what they were looking at.

conducted live classes in which students were active participants and steered the direction of the class. He took attendance and reached out to students who weren’t able to make it to class. His decision to stick with live classes was based on a want for his students to have a healthy schedule that they could rely on. “I found that it was really important to have students wake up and log in on time for class because it gave them a routine and a sense of normalcy with all the chaos that was rampant at the time,” he says. “Surprisingly, attendance was actually higher than before remote learning and I think that’s because for some students the class was an escape.” At his office desk in Clough Hall, Coonin would make sure that he was logged into the virtual classroom about five to ten minutes early so that students had the opportunity to talk about anything on their minds, whether it was class-related or not. For him, as well as his students, it was a relaxing way to begin the day. “There were almost always a few students who got there early every day and we would talk about life,” he says. “It was nice to move away from the professor-student dynamic and have meaningful reflections about the situation that we were all stuck in.” Though Zoom, the remote learning program used by Rhodes, gives professors the option to record classes Coonin ultimately chose not to record a majority of his lectures. “I wanted students to not feel pressured during their presentations and to know it was okay to mess up. I didn’t want them worrying that something they said would wind up on the internet somewhere,” Coonin explains. “More importantly I think if we want intellectual engagement from

Remote Learning

important to experience chemistry hands-on, but we wanted to give the students the best experience that they could have during the lockdown. All students have been affected by the coronavirus, but I think that Rhodes students will still be as prepared as a student who graduated in previous years.” Though professors such as Horgen were able to quickly adapt to the technological challenges of online learning, others admit they struggled at first. When the topic of remote learning was proposed, Dr. Victor Coonin, professor of art and art history, was forced to quickly modify his lectures on the history of Italian Renaissance art into a format that would fit with remote learning. At first, this was a challenge. “When this all began, we simply had to adapt to a new reality,” he says. “I had not done any kind of remote teaching before, so it was all new to me. I usually teach in my classroom with the art we are discussing projected onto the whiteboard behind me, with the class in front of me. In our remote learning program, I was staring at a PowerPoint while I lectured so at first it was very awkward.” As the semester progressed, however, Coonin found himself changing the way he taught. His goals shifted towards adding in more “active” elements to the class. He called on students more and implored them to share their opinions on the art they were studying. “The concept of my lectures didn’t change, but the way I conducted them did,” Coonin says. “I found myself calling on students more and tried to replicate the classroom feel. I didn’t want it to feel like an hourlong performance for my students. I wanted them to be engaged and thinking about what they were looking at.” Unlike Horgen, who pre-recorded her lectures, Coonin


Julia Bergquist ’20

students, we have to give student protections to speak their minds. To truly learn how the past affects the future, students need to be challenged and they need to be given space to grow.” Alvaro Siu ’22 had little time to adjust to online classes. Before making the journey to Rhodes from his native Peru, Siu had taken online classes to brush up on his English before coming to campus. Despite this, the online classes had done little to prepare him for remote learning at Rhodes. “There was a lot more pressure when there are grades involved,” Siu says. “There’s a big difference between taking a class that determines whether or not you get into grad school and taking a class to practice a language for fun.” When the shift to remote classes was announced Siu was at home visiting his family in Lima,


Peru. This left him in a dire situation. He could return to Memphis, but this would mean attempting to book a flight during an emerging global pandemic. He also knew that once he left, there was little chance that he could come back to Peru easily. The alternative was he could remain at home with his family but that would mean leaving all his belongings back in Memphis. “At the time it was a challenging decision. International students could not be out of the country for more than six months. So, I was scared to travel but I didn’t know if I would be able to get back to school in six months. I didn’t know how bad it was going to be.” Ultimately, Siu decided to stay back in Peru with his family, making his laptop the only connection that he had back to Rhodes.

says. “All I had to do for that class was read the textbook and then take tests. My remote Rhodes classes were an entirely new ball game.” Though she struggled at first, Bergquist found her footing through the help of her professors and peers. Outside of the classroom students, faculty, and staff organized spreadsheets offering home-cooked meals and possible living situations for those unable to immediately go home. Students reached out to each other over social media, organizing virtual meetups and meetings to bring a sense of community to one and other. “The transition to remote learning after spring break was difficult, but I am so thankful for all of my professors,” she says. “My classmates and I all were going through a chaotic transition. But I think this is where the Rhodes community really shined. It was amazing to see so many students cared for.” The experience with remote learning has left a lasting impact on the faculty at Rhodes College. The COVID–19 pandemic will drastically change the way in which classes are taught going forward. For many professors, the ability to integrate technology into the classroom expands the options that they have for teaching. “We now have a critical mass of professors and students that have knowledge of how to use remote learning resources, and I see great opportunities with it in the future,” says Coonin. “We don’t have to cancel classes anymore because a teacher is at a conference or sick. It gives us a lot more flexibility.” Horgen says that while she hopes to be teaching in the lab in the fall, the remote learning process allowed her to reflect on ways in which she could streamline her classes. “I can see myself recording the pre- and postlab assignments and giving my students more hands-on time in the lab,” she says. “The ability to be able to teach remotely is useful, but I can’t wait to have my students doing real chemistry again.” For the Class of 2020, the end of the semester is bittersweet. “I think the hardest part of this transition was the mental toll this has taken on the students,” Bergquist reflects. “It was extremely hard to walk by the gates of Rhodes to see them locked up. Rhodes is a home to many and it’s hard to be disconnected from the on-campus community. Thankfully, Rhodes is still very much alive and active online.”

Remote Learning

By computer, Siu began reaching out and it was around this time that Siu began to work with Professor Horgen. Upon returning to Peru, Siu had reached out to other professors looking for a way to retain his on-campus employment while abroad. Upon hearing his story Horgen sought him out and offered him a position as a technical assistant. While Horgen recorded her lectures, Siu would edit and upload the videos for her students. His work gave him a perspective of the struggles that both sides faced with remote learning. “When I first began editing the videos, I had no idea what I was doing,” recalls Siu. “I just knew that I had to adapt. I realized pretty quickly that it was difficult for everyone. Professors were struggling just as much as students were. A lot of them had been teaching the same way for 20 years and had just two weeks to change their curriculum.” The new way of attending class remotely was something that came as a surprise to Siu since it did not reflect the high-engagement classroom setting that Siu had grown accustomed to. “The biggest change for me at first was the class dynamic,” he says. “At first, I think that people were really passive and didn’t ask many questions because everything was so unreal. As we all got used to the situation, however, speaking up and talking in class became a lot more normal. There was now a different motivation to get up to go to class. I wanted to hang on to relationships with other students.” Julia Bergquist ’20 shared similar sentiments about her own experiences with remote learning. The prospect of a campus lockdown had been looming in her mind weeks before the formal announcement from Rhodes President Marjorie Hass. As a member of Professor Coonin’s art history class, with its focus on Europe, she had heard about COVID-19 before many of her peers. “Dr. Coonin’s class is where I first heard about COVID-19 and the possibility of remote learning. Well before spring break, Coonin discussed what a national pandemic meant with our class because we were studying Italian culture while the pandemic arose in Italy” Like Siu, Bergquist had minimal experience with remote learning before Rhodes transitioned to online classes. Although she had taken an online course in high school, she was not prepared for Rhodes remote learning. “The online course that I previously took was completely isolated with no class interaction,” she




Rhodes College conferred 484 degrees on the members of the Class of 2020. The college’s traditional commencement ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19. Graduates and family members gathered all over the world for a virtual celebration streamed on the Rhodes.edu website on May 16th. Each graduate received a gift box delivered by FedEx. The box brought Rhodes traditions to the graduates’ front door. They got a poster of the college seal to walk across, a champagne flute for the annual alumni toast, and a print of Halliburton Tower. The college plans to hold an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so.






Class Notes

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 alumni@rhodes.edu.

Bryan Coker ’95 Named President of Maryville College

In February 2020, Dr. Bryan Coker, a 1995 graduate of Rhodes College, was named the new president of Maryville College in Maryville, TN. Coker, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rhodes, also holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. A native of North Carolina, he previously served as vice president and dean of students at Goucher College, in Baltimore, MD. Before that, he was the dean of students at Jacksonville University (FL), and director of student judicial affairs at UT-Knoxville. “A college president is ultimately the guardian of a sacred trust, serving as the steward of all that has come before, and all that is still yet to come,” Coker said. “I will be the President, but I will not be the Presidency. … we are going to accomplish great things in the coming years, but we will accomplish none of it in isolation — we will move forward boldly as a community, united and staying fundamentally true to our liberal arts identity and our mission, to ‘Do good on the largest possible scale.’ “My job is to ensure that this college — this institution which has stood as noble, grand, and true for over 200 years — continues to stand and thrive for many generations to come.” Since 2017, Coker has also served as an affiliate faculty member at Morgan State University, a historically black university in Baltimore. He is a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has served on the accreditation team for three other colleges. Coker is married to Rhodes classmate, Sara Barnette Coker ’95.


If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’55 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. Jimmy Aydelotte and the Rev. Susan Denne were married on April 3, 2016, in Asheville, NC. The couple lives in Black Mountain, NC. Between the two of them, they have five children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Kenneth Holditch continues to work two Tennessee Williams Festivals (New Orleans, LA, and Clarksdale, MS) and his most recent essay, on John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces, “Ignatius Reilly As the Knight of Faith,” has been published in a collection of articles on the novel entitled Theology and Geometry, published by Lexington Books. Kenneth shared Williams’ Rhodes connection: “The playwright as a teenager visited often with his grandparents, who were friends of Dr. Peyton N. Rhodes, president of Southwestern at Memphis. Dr. Rhodes permitted him to use the college library and it was there that Williams first encountered the stories and plays of Anton Chekhov, a major influence on the playwright’s work.” In the summer of 2019, Henry Mosley MD, MPH received special recognition in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health magazine. Now a professor emeritus at the Bloomberg School, the article chronicles Henry’s impressive career as a “serial innovator” and a pioneer in public health whose work helped launch the field of disaster epidemiology, revolutionized public health research, and helped demonstrate that societies could be transformed by focusing on family planning combined with maternal and child health. The entire article can be found online at https://magazine.jhsph.edu/2019/ public-health-pioneer-henry-mosley-family-planning-disasters-and-educating-next-generations. In 2001, Rhodes recognized Henry’s achievements with its Distinguished Alumnus Award. Jean McLean Goodson Tunnell reports, “I’m pushing 87 and grateful to be! Although I deal with some physical limitations, I am independent and creatively involved. I have lived in my passive solar geodesic dome roughly forty years. … It has seen me through much joy, plenty of drama, and the death of two great husbands: Bob Goodson ’54 in 1981 and Dawson Tunnell in 2018. My large extended family and my inclusive Presbyterian church family both keep me busy! I can’t travel to alumni gatherings, but last July I designed a program to benefit the Alzheimer’s support group that meets in my church. The program was called “A Gathering for Velveteen Rabbits.” I sang parodies and read readings, accompanied by my favorite jazz


pianist, and we made fun of our aging processes. We raised over $1,700.” 1957

good to hear. She still travels, mostly to see her children and grandchildren. She traveled to Yosemite with her daughter and family last summer. She wishes us a lovely spring.


Mary Frances Files Silitch silitch@gmail.com Connie White Stettbacher and her daughter, Laura S. Van Ness ’83, recently visited Clarksville and Paris, Tennessee, researching family history, including that of Laura Byers White ’27, Connie’s mother, and L. Newton Byers, Class of 1897, her grandfather. They visited cousins they were meeting for the very first time, and explored two Episcopal churches and six cemeteries! 1958 R EPORT ER

Lorraine Rayburn Abernathy LAbernathy04@comcast.net The year 2019 was a rugged year for our class when we lost nine classmates. It is heartening to hear from old friends that they are indeed “alive and kicking” and doing the best they can at this time in our lives. Martha Sigler Guthrie, in Metairie, LA, wrote during 2020’s Mardi Gras celebrations, where she’d enjoyed parties, parades, and other festivities. Really enjoying traveling, Martha signed up for another trip this summer. “This time I’ll get to go to Amsterdam and see the Rijksmuseum, which I’ve always wanted to see.” Martha is an artist, remember. “I’ll go to Ghent to see the Ghent altarpiece. Also on the agenda is Switzerland and some of Germany I haven’t visited before. At 83, I’m sure to be the oldest person there … especially since I’ll be traveling alone. But as I have mentioned before, it is very easy to make new friends on these river cruises. This will be another three-week trip.” Laissez les bon temps rouler, Martha! Always active, Mike Cody writes from Memphis that he is again teaching a class in the Rhodes Political Science Department, as he has done for the last number of years. It struck him that at 84 he is undoubtedly older than both Drs. Lowry and Amacker when they taught us — and even when they retired. Mike is still lawyering daily and helps advise the Rhodes track and cross-country teams. From Elgin, IL, we hear from Nancy Carter Burnidge, that she’s “doing O.K.”, and that’s always


Beth LeMaster Simpson in Memphis writes that she seems to spend a good deal of time visiting ailing friends or going to funerals and memorial services. She passed along an anecdote from her late husband, David: When people asked him what he did after he retired, David would say, “I don’t know but it takes all day.” That sounds like David, doesn’t it? We also heard from Robert Neil Templeton in Virginia Beach, VA, that he’s alive and kicking. It’s always good to hear that from classmates as well as from Temp and wife, Karen. Dickie and Joan Jones in San Diego, CA, were off again cruising to Hawaii in the fall. They enjoy travel, and cruises are an easy two-hour drive from their house to the Los Angeles cruise terminal. They spent Thanksgiving with their daughter and her family in Fort Mill, SC. Dickie says, “I now call myself semi-retired and have cut back to an average of two VA appraisals a week. Keeps me alert and I enjoy getting around the county and keeping up with the local real estate market.” Like Nancy Burnidge, I find that most of my travels lately have been to see children. My late husband, Jack, and I have three daughters: in Charlotte, NC, Jacksonville, FL, and Hoboken, NJ. We get together or visit one another as often as we can. The Hoboken daughter and I spend Christmas in Jacksonville, stopping in Charlotte along the way. We all go to Pawleys Island, SC, to the beach in the summer — as we have done for over 50 years. I find that life here in Richmond, VA, can be busy and rewarding—as long as I stay involved. From John Gay comes a story of busyness. John came to Rhodes a year after we did but managed to graduate with our class of ’58. He is a retired pediatric cardiologist in Rockport, TX, and he has been a convincing Santa Claus for 42 years! The tale begins in 1956 when the German professor at Rhodes asked him to be Santa to neighborhood kids he was tutoring, but John had to speak German to them. He said, “The German speaking was tenuous, but playing Santa went well.” Years passed, he became a pediatric cardiologist in Des Moines, IA, and in l975 he was asked to be Santa to kids who had heart disease, most all of them his patients. “Soon that

Santa became a success, appearing multiple times during the Christmas season. Santa went to hospitals, churches, schools, homes and other places not only for children with heart problems, but also for children grieving over the loss of loved ones, and for the usual photo ops, etc. This Santa has made thousands of kids and their families happy for a short time. What a great privilege and such great memories! “I found that the Santa personality differed with the population of kids being seen. The Santa to the grieving kids was a ‘... Santa loves you so much’ — a big hugging Santa, while to others it was ‘… and do you know what Rudolph likes to eat? Snickers bars! If you leave a Snickers out for him, it’ll be gone the next morning!’ 1959 R EPORT ER

Sara Jean Jackson Sjj10223@gmail.com Much appreciation to Richard Park for submitting this report on our 60th class reunion. Thank you, Richard! At our 60th class reunion dinner on November 16, we made up for being somewhat low in attendance by being high in enthusiasm. Nevertheless, we were saddened knowing that two classmates had died just within the two weeks prior to our reunion — Ed Stock and Diane McMillan Wellford. We paused at our dinner to remember all the members of our class who are now deceased.

As a group we acknowledged the complexity of finding our way around campus due to the presence of structures erected since our Southwestern days. But, as in the days long ago, we marveled at the beauty of the campus. Moreover, we affirmed our thankfulness for having had the opportunity to attend such a great institution, for the preparation for life we received, and for the life-long friendships we made. Classmates in attendance: Larry Lacy, Bob Welsh, Thirza Mobley Sloan, Betsy Sloan Barrett, Princess Hughes Van Hooser, Bill Hackleman, Sandra Andrews Robertson and Richard Park.

I enjoy bridge with neighbors. I travel mainly to see family. Three of Lew’s children live near. Mine are in Germantown and Spokane across the country. I recently had my fifth great-grandbaby! Now I have three boys and two girls. This makes me really old! If classmates are traveling in East TN and need a stop-over we would love to play hosts, with upstairs twin beds and a bath. God bless all! Love and gentle hugs.”


Ken Barker wrote in to report on experiences that have him reminiscing about his days in Memphis: “I recently attended a local theatre production, Cookin’ at the Cookery: The Music & Times of Alberta Hunter, which takes place in Memphis and partly on Beale Street. The play brought back happy memories of Memphis past. I had wandered up and down Beale Street routinely during the several years I had music lessons downtown on Saturday. One of the performing band members was from Memphis and another from Holly Springs. If my memory is not faulty, I vaguely remember a group of us playing as a made-up “pep” band at one of the Southwestern football games. We have had a very mild winter in Buffalo and the early spring flowers (snow drops) are almost up. Memphis and Fisher Garden on campus are beautiful in the spring and that is one of the things I miss about Memphis.”

60th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

Mary Crouch Rawson marycrawson@hotmail.com Thomas N. Moody writes: “Thanks for the opportunity to keep up. I attended Southwestern only two years, but it was an amazing opportunity ... one on which I reflected many times. As a music major, I learned much through Dr. Steuterman and Dr. Tuthill. I have served as organist of the Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, KY, since 1965. Just helped the church celebrate its 200th birthday. I taught English and history in Franklin, KY, schools. I am very interested in preservation; I have restored and am residing in my great grandfather’s house (circa 1850). My best regards to friends made in those 1960s days.” Lynda Lipscomb Wexler writes: “My big news is having a ruptured appendix October 1 at 81! That is supposed to be a young person’s surgery! Thankful no infection and not much pain. I have been blessed. Lew and


If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’61 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.

Judy St. John Grisso writes that she is hoping to hear more news from the classes around the 1961 cohort and appreciates that the college makes an effort to include Class Notes from her fellow Golden Lynx. So, keep sending those updates! If you don’t have a class reporter or can’t get in touch with


yours, send your news to Director of Golden Lynx Programming Nicki Soulé ’93 at soulen@rhodes.edu. 1962 R EPORT ER

Diane McCullough Clark granddiva@charter.net Diane McCullough Clark has stepped up to serve as reporter for the class of 1962! By now, most of you have heard from Diane and have sent her updates, so be looking for your updates (and those of your classmates) in future issues. In the meantime, here is Diane’s update: “After 40 years without piano lessons, I am now in my third year of jazz piano study with my colleague David Chown at Northwestern Michigan College (where I teach voice). A female colleague and I have formed a jazz duo called “Vive le Jazz!” and we play and sing jazz all around Traverse City and the northern Michigan area.” Richard Dew MD and his wife Jean lost their home in the Gatlinburg wildfires, escaping with only their dog and the clothes they were wearing. Richard is still practicing as the volunteer medical director of a clinic for the uninsured in Sevierville, TN. He has also published three books: Rachel’s Cry, a Journey Through Grief a book of poetry; The Other Side of Silence, a novel; and Medicine with a Human Touch, a book of bedside manner for doctors in training (available only on Kindle). Bob Barret moved from North Carolina to Idaho in September 2019, where he is slowly putting aside his identity as a psychologist and even more slowly creating an identity as a writer.

tigenerational bell choir at her church. About a year ago, when she became a widow, she embarked on a fairly strenuous daily exercise and walking regimen. However, she doesn’t allow that to get in the way of the fun stuff like quilting, bridge, lunch with the ladies, book group, volunteer work, and more! About four years ago Martha Ann Gooch Hogrefe accepted the position as Mississippi State Representative on the board of Mission Haven, a 501(c)(3) organization located in Decatur, GA. Owned and operated by Presbyterian Women in six Southeastern states, Mission Haven provides housing and hospitality to PCUSA missionaries who are in the States on furlough. The organization has no paid staff, yet for more than 65 years has met the needs of their mission partners who are here temporarily. Martha Ann has had the pleasure of speaking at several different churches in Mississippi who are interested in learning more about this outreach, allowing her to meet many inspiring and dedicated people who have a deep love of serving others. On their small Texas ranch south of Ft. Worth, Dave McAdoo and his wife, Lynn, raise goats and cattle and rescue dogs and cats that frequently turn up at their doorstep. He plants and harvests hay for the animals, and she raises show-quality miniature dairy goats that win lots of ribbons and trophies. Dave occasionally uses his engineering background to fabricate something to make this life easier on old folks, and Lynn has started writing a book about the history of the Nigerian Dwarf goats in the USA. 1963 R EPORT ER

Dan Gilchrist dangil4@bellsouth.net Great to hear from so many of our classmates! Jerry Manley and wife, Bobbi, recently enjoyed a “celebration of life” with Jerry’s little sister, Candy. Look for her in the very middle of the centerfold in our ’63 LYNX annual. Jerry and Bobbi still live in Gainesville, VA, near Bull Run National Park. Jerry (a wise man) spends most of his time now doing what Bobbi tells him to do.

Dick Diamond and his wife Karen just celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary and welcomed their first great-grandchild (a girl). They live in Port St. Lucie, FL, and are ballroom dancers and gym rats. Sarah Richards High recently joined a new, mul-


Joe Duncan plans to retire from his law practice in June so that he and his wife, Lee ’73, can spend more time with grandchildren. They still sponsor the Rhodes women’s golf team, have them over for meals, and attend all local matches and some out-of-town ones. We’re pleased to report that both are still in great health.

John Bryan and Tamara are still active with the Kensington Group for Refugee Settlement (John as chairman) helping refugee families settle into new lives in Canada. Robert (Bob) Morris has recently published a couple of books: The Faith of a Seeker and Doctors Always on Call (his autobiography). The books are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Mike France is still working for H&R Block (29 years). He enjoys visiting with family members and celebrated his service in the U.S. Navy in October at a reunion for the USS Firedrake. Mike is still enjoying the weather in Southern California. John Frist and Jillian have just been on their 17th international motorcycle trip and leave soon for Japan. John(ny) reminded me that we were roommates in the Founder’s Hall at the McCallie School (military) — great memories! Then, there is Brown Crosby — Dr. Brown Crosby. After leaving Rhodes he went to “Ole Miss,” Alabama Med School, NYC Cornell Med School (surgery), Mayo Clinic for specialization in hand surgery, then to Asheville, NC, for practice in hand surgery. Brown, now retired, spends his time building boats, traveling extensively and riding his favorite motorcycle. Then there is Dr. Roy Wrather, DDS, who lives in Covington, TN. He and Brenda (his wife of 40 years) have four daughters, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Roy is still active in his dental practice in Covington. Jack Cherry (I still can’t get used to hearing him called “Jack”) has retired from his law practice and is enjoying retirement. He and Ted Bailey and Bill Butler still get together a couple

Class of 1963 of times each year. (Comment: great practice!) Aubrey Smith is enjoying his senior years with his wife, Brenda, his “absolute soulmate.” They have four children and four grandchildren. He still owns his own businesses — a real estate brokerage firm and a “Golf and Games Family Park.” He and Brenda are constantly involved in extensive travel, golfing, sailing, skiing, diving, and simply relaxing at their (San Carlos) condo in Gulf Shores, AL. David Watts retired from his law practice at the end of 2001 and joined the development staff at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. He and his wife, Janet, moved to Petaluma, CA, in 2009 to be near children. He retired, once again, in 2009 and has enjoyed reading, walking his dog, and being a grandfather since then. Charlie McCrary retired from his pediatric dentistry practice 10 years ago and turned to involvement in charitable outreach projects. In November, 2018, Charlie had a serious injury, damaging his cervical spine, and remained in a quadriplegic state for two-and-a-half months. He has now nearly completely recovered, he drives again, and credits his wife, Janie, with being “the best nurse in the Mid-South.” Tom Lowry sent in this heartfelt note: “Wisdom lived: It’s always

Johnny Frist ’63 says, “I hope you are well and thriving through this ‘Old Age Thing’ that has appeared in our lives! Jillian and I are on our 17th international motorcycle trip leaving soon for Japan. The picture enclosed is from Croatia in November.”

something. All know to expect the unexpected journey. Yet the surprise. An aging adventure. Mine. October 7, 1992, an uncelebrated seminal date in our family’s collective memory. First in my life serious health difficulty. The overnight medical misadventure appeared altering confirmed hospital virgin status with a potent first dose of wake-up to such a medical experience that thrust me into the bewildering, completely helpless hospital inmate role. My profession confirmed its delusional nature. I advise you, not a shred of sanity can recommend it. I have no memory of my first childhood steps. However, clear recall of those first and second adult steps, so sobering, the experience will survive until my last. “In but seconds, that fateful fall evening marked by solemn health difficulty efficiently deleted my hardearned professional career along with taking with it, simply taking long walks, jogging, certainly racquetball, and skiing out as well. Acutely aware things could easily be otherwise. With no complaint, we are thankful, even celebrate at discovering memory remaining fairly intact, preserved including both the positive and the oops. I’d love to attribute recent cognitive slippage to stroke, but can’t, for I know the more ominous truth. The looming assured prospect of even older age. An MRI confirmed shrinking brain. Wait, that’s me! I’m


thankful I still have the ability to speak and read and indulge and that my insatiable appetite for learning remains intact (for which, seemingly, the www was created). Retirement includes indulging my passion and doing what I’m able and find enjoyable. Even attempting some one-handed, half-witted, hobby writing. Last May found me with wife Carol, sitting in a drizzly Fisher Garden for oldest grandson Sam Qinn’s ’19 graduation ceremony. It was worth every drop. Thus, he joined me, son, Tom ’93, niece, Sarah Margaret Bridwell Decker ’04, and her husband, John Decker ’04, as proud Rhodes alumni. Perhaps someday other members of our family will rise to the opportunity of sitting in Fisher garden, drizzling or not.” Now, last: I retired several years ago from the pastorate after 23 years here in Carthage, MS, as senior pastor of the Carthage Presbyterian Church (PCA). My wife of 56 years, Carolyn (Bickerstaff), and I still live here in Carthage and still operate our real estate businesses. We have three children and five grandchildren. Unlike Johnny Frist and Brown Crosby, I no longer “ride.” I have sold my motorcycle, my motorhome, my boats, my airplanes and some of my sports cars. Carolyn and I have had extensive foreign and domestic travels but that, too, has come to a close. Now we spend most of our time enjoying our home, our dog, and our cats and, occasionally, going for a week or so in one of our condos in Orange Beach, AL. We would take great pleasure in seeing any of you who would visit us here in Carthage, Mississippi. 1964 R EPORT ER

Mary Lou Quinn McMillin maryloumc1@comcast.net


As summertime stretches out before us, I hope you will find moments to “kick back” and enjoy the long, lazy evenings with fireflies flittering and cicadas humming and friends gathered around … or, perhaps just a refreshing drink and the Rhodes magazine with news of your classmates. Some 20-25 of us had a wonderful time in November as we gathered to celebrate our 55th Reunion at Rhodes. We missed many of you who have made Reunions a “habit” and would have loved seeing others as well. We were, however, a lively group! Following are notes collected as we lingered over dinner on Saturday night: Kathy James writes that she is a long-time volunteer

at Memphis Botanic Garden. She works in the Herb Garden and is the vice president of the Memphis Herb Society. Kathy had fun developing a presentation on Bible Plants for the Evergreen Garden Club this fall (2019). “The reunion of 2019 has been great and hoping for a great 60th!” Bob West reported, “I was married to a wonderful lady on June 15, 2019. My new wife, Cindy, came with me to our 55th Reunion.” David and Elizabeth Saunders Cooper shared that they enjoy singing with the Rhodes Master Singers Chorale and are looking forward to Carnegie Hall on Memorial Day Weekend. I must add that they hosted the group on Friday night for a delicious barbecue dinner. It was fun and relaxing to be in their home. We are grateful for their hospitality. From Ed and Gail Hoover Parrish: “We celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary with classmates at the 55th reunion! No cake, no candles, but lots of fun! Special thanks to Elizabeth and David Cooper for hosting Friday’s party and all who helped plan a fun 55th reunion weekend. That my husband Ed now knows more of my Southwestern friends than he does his Georgia Tech classmates speaks to the hospitality of our class!” Recently Gail added, “I wish that Ed and I had several volumes of exciting (or boring) experiences to sift through for class news, but that is not the case. We are happy enough staying close to home most of the time, enjoying family and friends and responsibilities at church. Currently, we are waiting to dry out from the deluge of thunderstorms and constant heavy rains. No damage to our home, at least that we’ve found yet.” Emily Holloway Walker simply added, “Great reunion — look forward to the next one!” Tom and Eleanor Lawrence Geiger report: “We are off to Tucson where we will spend five months enjoying sunny weather for hiking and playing tennis. Tom recently hiked the Grand Canyon, rim to rim for the third time.” Ann Clark Harris commented that she and Emily Holloway Walker have been in the Rhodes class for 55 years, but they also had two years at Mary Baldwin University (in Staunton, VA) and five years in school together prior to that, so they have been together for 62 years! On that note, Margaret (Rowe) Fancher and Ann Adams and I (Mary Lou) were in school together from at least the 2nd grade

through our years at Rhodes. Add that to the 55 years and none of us wants to count! It makes for rich and lasting friendships and we still get together as often as possible — most recently in September 2019! Marilyn Myers was at the 55th reunion as well and writes, “Just back from a two-week small ship trip down the east coast of Italy. Was fortunate to visit Venice before the November 2019 flooding … poor Venice!” One anonymous participant wrote, “The lady serving us said that we seemed to be a really close group. I had to agree.” Another anonymous comment may have come from Cyril Hollingsworth with an expression of gratitude for those who planned the reunion and an echo of the “good time … the special time” experienced together.

bringing ministries, artists, drama groups, and jazz groups, into the church to inhabit every room and provide money and people to invigorate the church. I have a daughterin-law who has become the senior pastor of Atlantic Beach Community Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach. She is of Jamaican descent, one of the few women of color senior pastors of an 800 predominantly white PCUSA church. Ervin has helped in bringing “Ready to Work” to our town. This is a group who work getting people who have a record (not violence or sex) a job that can turn life around for them. I continue mentoring and helping support homeless youth 18-24. We have a new shelter for them. Outside of that we went to Todi and the boot of Italy. I am recovering from an infected foot and heart catheterization, but they haven’t got in my way.”

Kathy James sent a recent update: “It has been a busy time since our 55th reunion. I continue to tutor at Idlewild Elementary and serve as a Friend of the Mental Health Court (a joint ministry of Idlewild Presbyterian and Calvary Episcopal). In addition to the Memphis Botanic Garden, I volunteer at Elmwood Cemetery as a “cradle gardener.” I walked the St. Jude Marathon again. I enjoy photography so much that I am now taking Photography II at the University of Memphis. Some of my friends in the Evergreen Garden Club and I drove to Oxford to see the Christmas decorations and enjoyed lunch with Margaret Rowe Fancher, whom we hope to host as a speaker during the coming year.”

Scott Hallford writes, “Life continues at a pleasant, sedentary pace here in Jacksonville. Interruptions, like Christmas or summer vacations, are mostly of the welcome kind when kids and grandkids bring smiles and laughs. Walks and golf are the extent of exercise. We took the families to Havana and the Bahamas last year. Five or six days on board, and no one got sick. Havana was a fascinating glimpse of a past era. Too bad it is now off-limits. There’s usually an annual golf trip with former government buddies. Last year was France, Spain before that. This year, Pinehurst. We see Judy Emery Howell ’65 every now and then. Otherwise, Dana and I are seemingly in good health (knock on wood) and occasionally discuss whether to downsize (nah, too much trouble, says I).”

From Jim Bullock we hear, “This year has brought us many new things in life’s adventure. Our oldest son and his wife are doing well as co-pastors of Central Presbyterian Church in Mobile, redeveloping the church by

From Ann Clark Harris: “It was great fun being with all of you who came to the reunion! The ‘bacon lovers’ loved the Sunday at the University Club as per usual! Emily Holloway Walker and I are now

getting ready for our 60th high school reunion! Very similar plans, just a different crew! Spent Turkey-day in Denver at son Clay’s with a foot of snow on the ground!” Challace (McMillin) and I also thoroughly enjoyed the 55th Reunion and the “fun time had by all.” Prior to that, in October we enjoyed a delightful visit with Jim ’62 and Mary Lou Carwile Finley in Jim’s hometown of Adams, TN (just north of Nashville). Jim and Mary Lou missed our reunion because they were traveling in South America at that time. Seems they had quite the adventure! In September, Challace and I were in Memphis and on the Rhodes campus where he enjoyed a fun reunion with the “Lynx of Yesteryear” — a group of guys who played football together there and gather periodically to re-connect and “swap tales.” [Editor’s note: I am sad to report that several days after submitting the class notes, Challace passed away. His obituary can be found in the “In Memoriam” section, p. 63.] Over Thanksgiving-weekend, Marilyn Myers treated my brother, John Quinn Jr. ’58, our cousin, and I to a wonderful and very personal tour of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Marilyn serves as a docent there and is quite knowledgeable about the many “nooks and crannies” of the Cathedral. Because of all the flooding reported in and around Jackson, MS, I recently “checked-in” with Mary Mansell Pope to find her doing well and “staying dry” at that point! At this writing the coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe and the political climate is promising to “heat up” even more as the 2020 Campaign swings into full gear! So, summer could prove to be filled with anxiety. With that in mind, I offer you my “new favorite book” — The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse


by Charlie Mackesy © 2019. Among the many quotes that I love from this delightful and profound book are:

Portsmouth, NH, and is enjoying the dual Spanish/ English job.

“What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked the boy. “Help,” said the horse. “Asking for help isn’t giving up. It’s refusing to give up.”


“What do we do when our hearts hurt?” asked the boy. “We wrap them with friendship, shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again.”

David Blankenship writes: “I have had some good news and bad news this past year. In the fall of 2018 I had a heart attack from which I have almost completely recovered. In the spring of 2019, I completely retired from my law practice after 48 years. That’s bad news and good news in that order. I wish you and everyone in our class well and a happy holidays.”

And … “Always remember you matter, you’re important, and you are loved, and you bring to this world things no one else can.” 1965 55th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

Mary McQueen Porter 2harps1dog@gmail.com 1966 R EPORT ER

Sammy Ann Primm Marshall sammyannmarshall@gmail.com As I am writing during this time of crisis in the world I think of classmates and professors who mean and have meant much to me and others. Rhodes has provided times when we could meet and renew friendships. This magazine is another way we can try to keep up with each other. It is great to reconnect with friends and to hear good news. Classmates often respond and stay interested in fellow classmates but don’t send in news for the magazine. I want to encourage you to keep the news coming and I hope all continue to stay healthy.


Isabell VanMerlin continues to stay busy and has recently finished the rewrite of Body Speak, a book she wrote 20 years ago when she lived in Tucson. It went live on Amazon in February. She is working at the National Passport Center in

1967 Sam Highsmith arpenguy@me.com

From Larry Churchill: “My brother John Churchill died on Nov. 16, 2019, after a brief illness. He was a ’71 graduate of Rhodes. Elected into the Rhodes Athletic Hall of Fame, John was captain of the football team and a star in the discus throw. He was also a Rhodes Scholar and studied at New College, Oxford. A long-time Dean at Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas, the last years of his career he served as secretary (CEO) of Phi Beta Kappa. John and I both studied philosophy at Rhodes and talked often about what a great education we received there. I retired from Vanderbilt in 2017, but have continued to write and teach. My book, Ethics for Everyone: A Skills-Based Approach, will be published in January 2020 by Oxford University Press. Sande ’68 and I divide our time between Nashville, TN, and Blowing Rock, NC.” From Tommy Barton: “The update on me is that in 2018 I published a book on transforming business organizational culture, titled Please Lie to Me, and is available on Amazon or from my website: act. biz. Also, I just moved into a custom house I had built this year in Bend, OR. I would love to have as houseguests anyone from our Class of ’67 if in Bend, anytime of the year. I live on the edge of a million acres of BLM, Forest Service, and Wildness Areas in Central Oregon. Beginning 2020, my consulting business name will change from Barton White Associates, Inc. to PLTM, LLC. My hobby remains extensive hiking and canyoneering.” Jeanne Hope Buckner wrote: “After a week in Sorrento, Italy, to celebrate Bob’s aging reluctantly into his 76th year, we are now back in Alabama for the winter. We escaped the horrendous weather that hit the Northeast over Thanksgiving and headed to Fairhope, AL, for some winter warmth and flowers.”

Mike Whitaker sent this: “I stay close with Jim Durham and Jody Walker, just a few miles away. Jody shocked us all by being or becoming a gifted artist. Also, he has become a national authority on Japanese maples. We keep up with Barry Boggs, two doctorates, now in NHC Franklin, TN, recovering from a stroke. Jim and I have nominated Barry for Rhodes Sports Hall of Fame. He was the most gifted athlete in our class and scored enough points by himself to win dual track meets — hurdler, jumper, and sprinter. If others can add anything, please go through the Rhodes website and add your commendations. Barry truly earned this honor. Thanks.” 1968 R EPORT ER

Drue Thom White drueboo@aol.com Gail Jennings writes: “I just got back from a 30-day cruise that started in Cape Town, South Africa and was supposed to go to Singapore. Unfortunately, a little over halfway through the cruise, we had to turn back rather than go to Asia. We did not want to end up like the Sky Princess. I was disappointed not to be able to make the stops in Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. Those are the stops I was looking forward to the most. But better to be safe than sorry. I had the opportunity to visit some new places such as Réunion Island, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka. Visiting those places makes you appreciate home a lot more. It is good to be back home and sleeping in my own bed but Oceania treated us very well.” From Jane Bishop: “Still in Vermont, now working part-time (office support) in an excellent opioid treatment center. Walk to work and live within blocks of my son and his children. I miss Memphis and value my Rhodes life-long leaning educa-

tion. Still learning! Young friend and former Memphis neighbor Nicki Soule ’93 has been so good at keeping in touch. As have you. Love, Janey.” Priscilla Ennis and her partner, Frank Perez, have been enjoying a two-week safari in South Africa. “The animals and weather and African foliage and terrain are amazing.”

David Lehmann writes: “We missed our annual mini-reunion in 2019, but we are back on track for the Coles, Hubbards, Lehmanns, and Stewarts in September 2020. We will gather to reminisce and assess at Beth and Jim’s home in Emerald Isle, NC. The Lehmann/May family continues to enjoy the perks of retirement. We will travel to our favorite Greek island — Hydra — for the month of May. In September/October we will revisit Florence and Rome for a month. Visits to Greece and Italy are a tradition Bill Hubbard and I started the summer of ’67. My sister Tamma Lehmann Havercamp ’64 will reunite with our Lehmann family in Munich in July.” David shared the above photo from a recent mini class reunion in Richmond. From left to right: Bill Hubbard, Beverly and Steve Cole, Beth McKenzie Stewart ’69 (with Robbie) and Jim Stewart, and David Lehmann.

C. Lee Giles, the David Reese Professor at the College of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University, received the Neural Networks Pioneer Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers last summer. Lee received the honor in recognition of his early work in neural networks with the creation of CiteSeerX, an academic search engine focused primarily on literature in computer and information science. Bruce Cook writes: “I took an online course at Stanford University taught by Professor Anne Firth Murray on Love As A Force For Social Justice. I really enjoyed the course. The course left me with a question: ‘If God is love and we love God and others and creation do we existentially glimpse and experience the essence of the love, which is the essence of God?’ If so, love should be our normative ethic in all decision-making.” Louis Pounders, FAIA, has been selected to serve as a juror in the Architizer A+Awards international architecture design awards program that celebrates the year’s best buildings and spaces. The A+Awards are bigger than just the architectural community. Entries are judged by more than 400 luminaries from fields as diverse as fashion, publishing, product design, real estate development, and tech. The A+Awards were created to remind the world how important architecture is.



Kathie Maddux Larkin rhodes4495@gmail.com 1970 50th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020

has spent most of his adult life in east Tennessee, Bill has a longtime association with Rhodes. His father, Harold Lyons, was a professor of chemistry at the college from 1958 to 1989, and his brothers Mike Lyons ’66 and Chris Lyons ’73 and his children Matt Lyons ’00 and Laura (Lyons) Greenwood ’95 all attended Rhodes. 1971 R EPORT ER

Betha Hubbard Gill bethagill@hotmail.com


If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’70 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.



Marty Frick wrote in with an update of what has been happening since she left the college following her sophomore year. She earned her BA in sociology from the University of Florida and moved to New York City for a year as a social worker. From there, she moved to Boulder, CO, to work as a housemother for children who had been abused. Marty later earned a graduate degree in education from the University of Colorado and spent the next 25 years working for the Boulder Housing Authority, mostly overseeing property management and construction. She then spent 15 years as a librarian in the small rural community of Westcliffe in the Sangre de Christo Mountains of Colorado. She moved back to Boulder following the death of her husband of 38 years. Marty regrets that she is not going to be able to attend the reunion in November, and writes, “Southwestern/Rhodes laid perfect groundwork for me. Best wishes to all of my classmates.”

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’72 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.

Bill Lyons stepped down in April from his role as senior advisor to Mayor Indya Kinannon at the City of Knoxville. He had previously served Mayors Bill Haslam, Daniel Brown, and Madeline Rogero in a number of roles including deputy to the mayor, senior director of policy and communications, and senior director of economic development. As board chair of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation he had primary responsibility for the redevelopment of Market Square and later for the policies leading to the rejuvenation of downtown Knoxville. Bill directed Mayor Haslam’s campaign for mayor in 2003. Prior to his 16+ years at the City, Dr. Lyons was a longtime professor of political science at the University of Tennessee where he also headed the Social Science Research Center. Bill presently serves on the Tennessee Historical Commission. While he

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’74 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.


Margaret Lawson Headrick margaretheadrick@comcast.net Patricia Spears Jones writes: “I am serving as the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University and work with graduate and selected undergraduate students. Louis D. Rubin Jr. founded Hollins’ renowned creative writing program. This is a prestigious appointment and believe me, I am grateful to not be in New York City right now. My most recent publication was a poem in The New Yorker.” 1974 R EPORT ER

1975 45th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

Anna Olswanger annaolswanger@gmail.com Vincent Astor is co-producing the WKNO documentary, The Resurrection of Madam Laura. Madam Laura was the name given to a carousel organ built around 1892 in Europe. The organ came to America in 1912 and played on a carousel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until the mid-1950s. She was first restored

in the 1960s by Paul Eakins of Sikeston, Missouri, for his museum collection. Eakins named the organ, a mechanical carousel organ that plays from cardboard music like the famous street organs in Amsterdam, after his wife Laura. After many adventures, including one appearance at the MidSouth Fair in 1969, Madam Laura fell into disrepair. Vincent had always loved hearing the organ on recordings and in 2017, was able to buy her. She is being finished at Piano World Enterprises in Alton, IL, and will return to Memphis for the premiere of the WKNO documentary. Howard Garfinkel has lived for over 30 years in Swarthmore, PA (a college town in the suburbs of Philadelphia), with his wife Judy Politzer, a nurse midwife. They have three children and three granddaughters, who live one mile away. The founder and owner of Best Stoneworks in Wilmington, DE, Howard hopes to be able to retire soon. He intends to record as many family stories as he can and volunteer as a speaker on Holocaust subjects. He feels privileged to have married into a family of refugees — from a political party, the National Socialist German Workers Party. His mother-in-law was raised in Berlin, Germany. His father-in-law was from what is today Slovakia. Before the war, both attempted to immigrate to the USA and after spending 10 years in South America, were allowed into this country. Through time spent with his in-laws, Howard has come to better appreciate the refugee status of his own grandparents, who fled Russia shortly after the adoptive parents of his 15-year-old Bubbie (grandmother) had been murdered in the pogroms of 1905. His Bubbie was the oldest of five and got all of her adopted siblings to the USA. One of the things that Howard remembers most about life at Southwestern was that many of our classmates seemed to have and know extended family. Many had local histories that went back generations.

That is something Howard never had. He hopes everyone will cherish their family histories and that they will appreciate chance encounters with distant cousins. ”AND,” Howard adds, “please don’t forget that somewhere not so very long ago, all of our families were refugees from something.” Jamie Bibee Lloyd is living in Black Mountain, NC. She says it’s lovely to be in those mountains, although she and her husband Neal are also on the road a lot caring for Jamie’s mother in Texas, spending time at Neal’s home in Wisconsin, and visiting their grown children. Jamie and Neal moved to Black Mountain from Covington, VA, where Jamie had served First Presbyterian Church and where she retired from the ministry. Jamie wanted to be in the ministry as a Southwestern student, and when she entered seminary in 1976, women students made up only about 20-25 percent of the student body. Installed, full-time positions were not easy to come by. She says that persistence, competence, courage, creativity, faithfulness, the work of the Spirit, and the ticking of the clock have pulled women along the road. She credits her professors at Southwestern with teaching her to think critically about scripture (Milton Brown and Dick Batey), showing her a sense of the broad outline of history and the church’s role in it (Fred Neal), helping her to think in theological categories (Michael McLean), affording her opportunities for field work (Fran Pultz), revealing the complexity and mystery of humans (Lew Queener and Dr. Battle), helping her discover deeply the strength, beauty, terror, and ambiguity of existence in written words (Dick Wood ’48 and Jack Ferris), and exulting with her in the universal language of choral music (Tony Garner ’65). Jamie and Neal are looking forward to a trip to northern Spain and southern France as part of a National Geographic expedition

focused on Paleolithic cave art. They will travel ahead of time to Spain and celebrate Holy Week and Easter in Santiago de Compostela, the medieval pilgrimage site. Merry Noel Miller recently retired from the faculty at East Tennessee State University, where she served as chair of the Department of Psychiatry for more than ten years. Merry went to UT Center for Health Sciences in Memphis after Southwestern and met her first husband, Barney Miller, in the lab there where they both did research on endorphins. Merry did her residency at Duke, spent seven years in the outer, semi-rural suburbs of Chicago, then moved to Johnson City 25 years ago. She and Barney had two children, who followed in their footsteps: Their son is a biochemist and their daughter is a psychiatrist. Barney died unexpectedly ten years ago. A year later Merry contacted her first boyfriend from high school and they arranged to meet after being apart for forty years. Merry and Gene Thune have now been married for five years. After stepping down as chair of psychiatry, Merry published a book, Finding Your Emotional Balance: A Guide for Women. She shared in the introduction that her personal experiences with depression and grief helped her understand and help her patients as well as teach medical students and residents about emotional problems. She says she will always be grateful to the friends, faculty, and administration of Southwestern for the support and inspiration she received there. She was able to work her way through Southwestern with jobs and scholarships, and has maintained lifelong friendships from her college days. Anna Olswanger lives in the metro New York City area, and is an author in addition to being a literary agent. She has just sold her first graphic novel to West Margin Press. Tentatively titled The Visit, the novel is a close look at one episode in the “Let


my people go” movement of the 1960s to free the Soviet Jews. Anna based the book on an event in the life of the late Rabbi Rafael Grossman, who was her rabbi at Baron Hirsch Synagogue in Memphis. Rabbi Grossman traveled to the Soviet Union in 1965 to visit Jewish victims of government-sponsored anti-Semitism. The illustrator is Yevgenia Nayberg, who was herself born into a Soviet Jewish family, and now lives in Brooklyn. The Visit will be published in 2022. Jewel Grafton Wilburn lives in Memphis. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and served as the sorority’s first graduate advisor at Rhodes College when the Omicron Chi chapter was chartered there in 1990. Alpha Kappa Alpha was the first African-American sorority on campus, so it meant everything to Jewel to have a sorority for African-American women at the college she graduated from. As the graduate advisor, she helped guide the college women in reaching their goals, preparing for the future, and learning more about the sorority and community service. Jewel says she is still friends with some of the women she built relationships with as the graduate advisor. Jewel is also a charter member of the River City Chapter of Links Incorporated, an organization of African-American women built on friendship, volunteerism, and community service. Jewel retired from FedEx at the end of 2019 after 29 years as manager of human resources and airline information technology. She is a three-time recipient of the Five Star Award at FedEx and the recipient of several Technology Hall of Fame awards. Prior to joining FedEx, she worked as an information iechnology manager at Holiday Inn for 14 years. An avid traveler, she and her husband, Eric Wilburn, look forward to traveling more, now that she has retired. 1976 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’76 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.


Mary Lee Soop msoop23@gmail.com

U.S. Library of Congress Mary Crawford ’78 (above left) and Alice Smith ’79 (above right) joined Anne (Herbers) Farris Rosen ’78 (middle) at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on February 5, 2020, to hear Anne speak about Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist, which she co-authored with her late father, John Herbers. 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 November 6-8, 2020



If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’77 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.

Sherri Godi Madden rhodesalum81@gmail.com 1982 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’82 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.



If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’83 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. 1984 R EPORT ER

Linda Odom linda.odom@klgates.com

A big Class of 1984 shout out to Bill Townsend for hosting our reunion!! And thanks to everyone on the Reunion Committee! We know who you were because you were partying the hardest! In my opinion this was the best reunion yet! It’s always so cool that The Generics headline for all of the classes, but belong to us! They kept us dancing all night. Thanks to the Generics! Can’t wait ‘til 2024!! Aldervan Daly caught the spirit of the reunion: “The reunion was wonderful! We are all indebted to Bill Townsend for his amazing hospitality. It was also great to spend time with so many people. We don’t all see each other but every five years but our conversation are always like we just saw each other. That is a testament to our enduring friendships. As for news, I am now the executive vice president for institutional advancement for Rising Ground, a 189 year-old child welfare and human services organization.” Karen Thompson Manroe writes: “I had a blast at the reunion — getting to see Linda Odom, Beth Boellner, Christy Weir ’85, and Perry Dement ’83 especially! Bill Townsend’s house was a spectacular setting. Many memories — many of which I’d forgotten (perhaps better left that way? :)) My news is Matt and I are enjoying our very empty nest and having as much fun in and out of Austin as our bodies will allow. I think we just attended

our 13th Austin City Limits Music Festival, and started a new NOLA Jazz Fest tradition. We see our daughters a lot: One is a sophomore at UT Austin and one a senior at Ole Miss. They are following in our insane footsteps and both going into the advertising and marketing business. We tried to warn them, but to no avail. Matt and I can work from anywhere, so we are traveling a lot, often with one of his clients — helping educate the world about the situation with wild mustangs in our country (we have two of our own).” Charlotte Lindeman provided us with these thoughts about our classmate Richard in response to the reunion invite. (Thanks so much Charlotte.) “As you probably know, my husband and your classmate, Richard Lindeman, passed away on March 4, 2019, after a very lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis. I hope that some of his fellow classmates and football/basketball/baseball teammates are able to come to this reunion. Richard loved his college experience there at Rhodes and cherished the memories made with his friends, many of whom attended his Celebration of Life service. He was also so honored to be inducted into the Rhodes College Athletic Hall of Fame back in October of 2014. With Richard being disabled to the point of not being able to travel to Memphis, Coach Mike Clary ’77 came to our home to present the award/certificate to him in person — a special moment indeed! I hope all goes well with the reunion, and please give my best to all of Richard’s friends who are able to attend the celebration!” Charlotte — I’m sure I speak for all of us in saying that Richard was and will always be sorely missed. John Shanley writes: “I rarely send in items but this year has been a bit special. My daughter, Aoife, graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in May. She graduated with a

BM with Honors in Vocal and Classical Performance and a minor in Russian. She is now looking for a conservatory in Europe to work on her master’s. She has narrowed it down to Brussels, The Hague, and London all of which have strong opera programs. My eldest son, Donagh, is in that “in between” period, not sure what he wants to do just yet. He is working and looking at options. Ennis, my youngest, is graduating high school in May. He is looking at aerospace engineering as a future. Sorry to say that knocks Rhodes out of the running for colleges. It is looking like he will end up at New Mexico State University. We visited this past fall and it has an outstanding program. Well, that is life in my household. I wish everyone in the ’84 Lynx family well.” From Amy Doville: “It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Little Rock two years after living in Memphis so long. I love my job as director of clinical operations for the IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network. But my sweet Memphis family keeps me grounded through the Memphis Queens Supper Club. Members include Cathy Cotham Harris, Tracy Vezina Patterson, Cathy Reese, Jennifer Frost Ramos-Stark, Robin Newcomb Friend ’85, and Leslie McCormick Darr ’87, as well as other sweet friends.” Emily Wolfe Leigh reports: “Our news is pretty much the same — my husband Jack retired from the automobile business in 2016. We still live in Tuscaloosa, AL, as do our children, Niccolo (29) and Alexandra (32). My parents moved to Tuscaloosa last year from New Orleans after my dad retired from practicing law at age 82. I am playing tennis 3-4 times a week and am still learning how to cook.” Linda Odom has added “drummer with two steady gigs” to her resume. In addition to playing drums for First Pres’ Praise Team band the last five


years, her band Llama Drama has nailed down dates for the rest of the year at Durty Nelly’s in Charlottesville. Yes — you could pick this bar up and plunk it right down in Midtown and it would fit right in. You can find the Llamas on Facebook at Llama Drama Band! 1985 35th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

Robin Newcomb Friend robnfriend@gmail.com 1986 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’86 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. 1987 R EPORT ER

Mimi Swords Fondren mimifondren@outlook.com Nancy DiPaolo writes: “Since I’m one of the first to hit double nickles this year, Marianne Blackwell and I cruised the Caribbean in January to celebrate. Here we are on Grand Cayman visiting a place where they work to save sea turtles.” 1988 R EPORT ER

Brooke Glover Emery brookegemery@gmail.com 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 November 6-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’90 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. In the summer of 2019, Trish Crist left her job as CEO of Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television to provide executive support for the director of the Frist Art Museum. She looks forward to future Rhodes events in the galleries and to her 30th reunion among her dearest dears this fall. 1991 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’91 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. Sherry Hawkins has been promoted to corporate vice president, Strategic Finance, effective November 16, 2019, and chief financial officer of FedEx Services, effective January 1, 2020. In this newly expanded position, Sherry will oversee strategic financial planning and analysis activities for FedEx Corporation and FedEx Services, and will partner with executive leadership on decisions related to capital, investments, expenses, and resource allocation. Sherry joined FedEx in 2007 and quickly rose through the ranks of the Strategic Finance organization. In her most recent role as staff vice president, Strategic Finance, Sherry directs strategic financial planning for FedEx Corporation, conducts competitive analysis and board of directors communications, and oversees analysis for enterprise projects. During her time in this role, she has been instrumental in several initiatives focused on profit growth, streamlining and improving financial systems, financial forecasting, and driving consistency through the Financial Planning and Analysis Global Assessment. She is a two-time recipient of the Five Star Award. Prior to joining FedEx Corporation, Sherry held positions at Bank of America, FleetBoston Financial, and BankBoston. She is a graduate of Rhodes College and the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Pat Morgan has published a new book, We Hardly Knew Them, How Homeless Mentally Ill People Became Collateral Damage. “Given the number of homeless,

mentally ill people in the US who are two to three times more likely to have the coronavirus and die from it, it’s especially relevant,” she says. “While I write about the homeless people I’ve personally tried to help over the years, I also write about why it is so difficult, even impossible, to secure the help they really need, e.g. inpatient treatment — and how we can help ensure that they get it. Available now on Amazon.com.” 1992 R EPORT ER

Sara Hawks Marecki saramarecki@sbcglobal.net 1993 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’93 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. 1994 R EPORT ER

Judy Brown judy.brown@borax.com 1995 25th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’95 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. Dr. Gretchen LaSalle has a new book out on the market: Let’s Talk Vaccines: A Clinician’s Guide to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Saving Lives, published by Wolters Kluwer Presss 1996 R EPORT ER

Jennifer Larson larson_jennifer@yahoo.com

spending time arranging the marriage of Archie and his kindergarten classmate Brennan Williams. Brennan is the daughter of former Rhodes Quarterback, Pat Williams ’00.

Ned Crystal and his wife, Denise Conroy, packed up and left Atlanta for a 6.5-acre farm built in 1794 in New Hampshire that they’ve named Three Goldens Farm. “I will be focused on custom wood working and raising chickens,” says Ned (pictured above). Abbie Sanders and her family recently departed from Switzerland and came home to the United States. They’re now settled in the Bay Area, where they’re close to other opportunities for skiing. After 22 years with ServiceMaster and Terminix, Rob Downey has started a new chapter of his career by joining TruGreen on October 21. Rob will co-manage the TruGreen real estate portfolio across the country and Canada. Rob is looking forward to this new opportunity and will also find time to work on solidifying the internship program between TruGreen and Rhodes. 1997 R EPORT ER

Laurea Glusman McAllister laureag@gmail.com Carrie Archie Russell recently accepted an appointment by the Dean for the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University to serve as the assistant dean of undergraduate education. In addition to directing the pre-law program and teaching courses in Constitutional Law, Carrie serves as a liaison between the students and the administration. Carrie and her sixyear-old son, Archie, live in Nashville,

Jason Woods now directs two centers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: one focused on pulmonary imaging research, and one focused on respiratory care for infants born prematurely. He says, “Rhodes taught me the power of effective academic collaboration. This year I’m hosting a radiologist from Bordeaux on research sabbatical, and our French conversations remind me of Friday lunches out with Professor Vest in 1996.”

“October 2019 marked our 4th annual beach reunion trip. Above: Alison Santillo Woodrow, Angie Gorr, Catherine Carter Cleary, Jessica McLaughlin Lierzer, Amy LaFuria Snedaker, Emily Wiggins Little, Jennifer Price Sober, Julie Below, and Kristen Miller Behan enjoying a long weekend getaway to Anna Maria Island, FL.” 1998 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’98 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. 1999 R EPORT ER

Leigh Powell Mayfield powla99@gmail.com


2000 20th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

Nicki North Baxley nickinp@gmail.com

Catalan, and English and tutors students in undergraduate, M.S., and Ph.D. programs. He was also recently appointed co-chair to the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) Inspire, Develop, Empower, and Advance (IDEA) Committee (http:// www.grss-ieee.org/community/idea/). Follow his international research adventures and support for improving diversity and inclusion in science @doctorxkefauver.

Clare Juden Lopez and her husband, Nivardo, welcomed their first child, Nathaniel Tomás. The couple is over the moon about their son’s December arrival.

Santiago, Chile.”

Shadenn Zarur Guzman reports: Although there has been no one “big event” for us, this pic (left) is from a family trip last year. Just life as usual in


Josh Klein writes: “I’ve been a teacher and head soccer coach at DeSmet Jesuit High School (St. Louis, MO) for 16 years and this past fall the soccer team won the Missouri Class 4 state championship. I was also fortunate to be named the 2019 Missouri High School Soccer Coach of the Year. I’m living in Dardenne Prairie, MO, with my wife, Liz, daughter, Shelby (8), and son, Sully (4). I’m on the far right in the team photo (above).


Katy Minten Gray mkminten@hotmail.com Emily (Bays) Nayar lives in Edmond, OK, with her husband and two daughters. She works 48-hour shifts in a rural emergency room as a physician assistant while Roger practices immigration law and helps raise Freya, a USAG gymnast, and Rosabel, an avid swimmer. Dr. Susan Cridland-Hughes was recently tenured and promoted at Clemson University. She is now an associate professor of Secondary English Education in the College of Education. She has also learned how to use caustic chemicals to make homemade soap.


Shawn Kefauver was recently promoted to professor lector (similar to a tenure-track assistant professor in the USA) in plant physiology at the University of Barcelona, Spain, starting with the 2019-2020 academic calendar year, where he lectures in Spanish,


Shannon Cian shannoncian@gmail.com 2003 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’03 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. 2004 R EPORT ER S

C. Kyle Russ ckyleruss@yahoo.com Stacy Sidle stacy.sidle@gmail.com Hello, Class of 2004! I’m currently writing from a panicked Washington, DC. where the coronavirus is virtually shutting down the city. Hopefully by the time you read this, the scare will be a distant

memory … Also, my apologies for missing so many of you at our 15 year reunion, but exciting news — we had a little lady born, Cecelia Elise, in January 2019, and she wasn’t quite right for travelling yet sooo, next time! But enough about me and more about what’s up with you: On the very happy baby front, Ashley Kutz Kelley writes that she and her husband, Matt, welcomed a son, Benjamin Wesley, on October 11, 2019. Matt and Dorothy Crimi Laymon had their second daughter, Chiquita, in May. They named her after Dorothy’s paternal grandmother, the last remaining banana heiress in North America. Dorothy has also started “Plus Plus For Gus Gus,” a business dedicated to environmentally friendly and pain-free mouse traps. The company springs into action this summer! Also with newborn news, Stacy Sidle and her husband, Alex, had a son, Malcolm, in December. “Being pregnant delayed things a bit, but I am on track to finish my Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland,” she writes. Dang, didn’t know we have a rocket scientist in our class! Elisa Duval Davis has some big news too. She and her husband, Jonathan, welcomed their fourth child, daughter Bryn, on August 12, 2019. She joins her older siblings, Ian (9), Clare (7) and Cate (3). “We are still busy operating our title company in Lafayette, LA, and expanded our business into Baton Rouge in 2019 when we bought a title company there. We are working and chasing kids and very happy doing both,” she writes. I’m tired just reading this ;) Also on the list of impressive accomplishments, Amber Shaw earned tenure and was promoted to associate professor of English at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, in May 2019. Additionally in academia, Michael

Lamb is the executive director of the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University, where he is helping to build a new program that equips students to become leaders of character. He is also pursuing related teaching and research and recently edited a volume entitled Everyday Ethics: Moral Theology and the Practices of Ordinary Life. Lloyd and Leah Coffman Paul moved out West, relocating to Flagstaff, AZ, in mid-2018. Leah is working for a local anesthesia practice as a nurse anesthetist, and Lloyd is still running his architecture firm, StudioLP4. “Last March, we (along with Quinton) welcomed the arrival of our second son, Thomas. Life in the mountains of Northern Arizon is going great,” he writes. Way out West, Lori Beth and her husband, Paul, took a trip to Hawaii after recovering from a bout of thyroid cancer, which thankfully, is all in the clear now. Down South, Peter Igoe recently came in third place in New Orleans’ po-boy eating contest, consuming nine-and-a-half shrimp+oysters po-boys in three minutes. The winner consumed 11. And we’re talking 12-inch French bread po-boys. Delicious and disgusting, all at the same time. Well done, Peter. And in Washington, DC, Daniel Head writes that his world is wonderfully full of dirty diapers, sole-proprietorship ups and downs, and twin giggles. So all four of the Ds — Daniel, Darek, Darwin, Darby — are doing great! And last, many thanks to Emily Hoermann McMurray for sending in this great picture (above right) of the DDD gang from last year’s 15-year reunion. Looks like a blast and not one of you has aged a bit!

Moving forward, please send me (ckyleruss@yahoo.com) and Stacy Sidle (stacy.sidle@gmail.com) your updates. Out and over, -ckyle 2005 15th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER S

Brandon Couillard brandon.couillard@gmail.com Molly Fitzpatrick mhfitz11@hotmail.com Nicole Lazo Tugg, her husband, Mike, and big sister, Sofía, welcomed Lucas James on March 5th. “Lucas looks forward to meeting his fairy godmother, Nicki Soulé ’93, and all of his mom’s Rhodes friends and former colleagues very soon!” 2006 R EPORT ER

Caroline King Willson Caroline.king.Willson@gmail.com 2007 R EPORT ER

Mollie Briskman Montelaro mollie.montelaro@gmail.com Abby Walsh-Booth and Randall Booth of Memphis, TN, welcomed a son, Charles Abbot Booth, on October 6, 2019. 2008 R EPORT ER

Madoline Markham madolinemarkham@gmail.com


There are lots of babies in this round of updates! Jordan Hoffman writes that she is still working as an assistant district attorney in Nashville but has new news too. “My boyfriend, Gary Shannon, a police detective that I met when we worked on a homicide together (how romantic) proposed on Valentine’s Day, and we are planning a December wedding in Nashville.” Last May, Alex McCulloch and his wife, Magen, welcomed a baby girl, Gwen Katherine, via adoption and couldn’t be happier! Professionally, Alex left Krone NA, Inc. after 11 years, and accepted a position as CFO of Sunshine Corp. and HSL Holdings.

Carrie Menist Grunkemeyer, her husband, Parker, and their son, Will, welcomed a daughter, Virginia Lofton Grunkemeyer, on July 22, 2019, in London. Sarah Brooks reports that she is working at Capital One as a supplier manager in her hometown of Richmond, VA. “If anyone ever finds themselves in town, say hey!” she writes. She’s also starting her own interior decorating business, Sarah Dawson Designs. Justin and Kristen DeLuca Sealand welcomed their fifth child and their second daughter, born in May 2019. They are enjoying navigating life with five kids ages six and under living in Central Kentucky. Jessica and Ford Porter welcomed Lillian Elizabeth Porter into the world on March 2. Jessica thinks she looks like a Tar Heel, but Peyton ’09 and Kate Parker Bell ’09 were among the first to call and confirmed she’ll be a lifelong Lynx!

Albernie Ferguson-Agbetunsin celebrated her nuptials with Temidayo “Temi” Agbetunsin on May 18, 2019, in an Afro-Caribbean style wedding in Stone Mountain, GA. Albernie was recently promoted to vice president of human resources for a private company in north Georgia after serving two years as their director of human resources. Kathleen Fox married Arsenis Hadjiagapiou in a ceremony in Chicago on August 31, 2019. Fellow Rhodes classmates and AOII alumnae, Catherine Lawson and Whitney Duval, served as bridesmaids; Rachel Trout Hill ’10 and Kelsey Dean Griffith were also in attendance. The couple currently resides in downtown Chicago. Claire White Weaver and husband, Thomas, welcomed the birth of their son, Miles Joseph Weaver, on December 23, 2019. He weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20-3/4 inches long. He is an absolute joy! 2010


10th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020

Kelsey Griffith kelsey.dean.griffith@gmail.com



Jenny Gernon Keller is now working in regional sales at VEGA Americas and living in Denver, CO, with her husband, Andrew. Jenna Hurt Gorden graduated in December 2019 with her master’s in occupational therapy from San Jose State University.


Mack Zalin started work as librarian for Modern Languages and Literatures & Comparative Thought at Johns Hopkins University in January 2020.

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’10 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. Emily Jenkins reports: “I moved to Spain in 2013 and got married to my husband Marcos on October 6, 2017. I also earned a Ph.D. in history the same year and will be

publishing a book based on the artist Antoni Tàpies in 2021. My husband and I had our first son, Lucas, in January 2019. He is doing fantastic, loves to climb things and make all the animal sounds. We live in Madrid, but I hope to be able to bring the family to Rhodes someday to visit.” 2011 R EPORT ER

Grace Weil gracem.weil@gmail.com 2012


If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’17 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.

Rhodes community members in the San Diego area welcomed President Marjorie Hass on February 18, 2020, at Farmer & the Seahorse. Pictured from left to right: Rob Neff ’94, Grant Page ’09, Julie Carter ’09, and Amy Olson ’08.


Kelly Parry kparry1211@gmail.com Jaime Marie Hopkins and Joseph Parkes Armistead Brandon were married on October 19, 2019. Ceremony and reception were held at the River Hall in Downtown Memphis. Bridesmaids in attendance included Claire Gellrich and Lauren Howell Anderson. The happy couple honeymooned in France and Italy, and will make their home in East Memphis, TN. 2013 R EPORT ER

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’13 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. 2014 R EPORT ER

Matt Washnock washnockm@gmail.com 2015 5th Reunion Homecoming/Reunion Weekend November 5-8, 2020 R EPORT ER

Caroline Ponseti caroline.ponseti@gmail.com


If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’16 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu. Carly Jonakin has been named a member of the 2019 Class of Ignatian Law Scholar Awardees, the highest honor for new law students attending Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. “The Ignatian Law Scholar Award recognizes particularly promising members of the entering law school class, whose record reflect the Jesuit values of commitment to academic excellence and service to others. Law Scholars receive a renewable full Dean’s Scholarship and participate in special programming to help with the transition to law school and practice.”

Jill Fredenburg writes: “For the past seven months, I’ve been working on a book. It has been such an amazing process. It is the hardest and probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. But after this long journey, New Degree Press, my book publisher, has approved my manuscript for publication. I’ll be launching my book in July 2020! I’m absolutely glowing. The book is a collection of narratives about Queer Identity. I wrote it because, while there are so many wonderful guides to LGBTQ+ language and identity in general, I hadn’t seen a compilation of stories from queer folks.” 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

If you are interested in serving as the Class of ’19 reporter, please contact alumni@rhodes.edu.

From Erik Adamcheck: “I graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in May with my Master of Divinity. And, as of a week ago today, I have a new position as director of campus ministry at Waldorf University in Forest City, IA! The school is actually a lot like Rhodes in that they are small, liberal arts-focused, and have a freshman curriculum very similar to the Life program.”


In Memoriam


’37 Shirley Wynne Westerfield of Merigold, MS, December 21, 2019. Shirley was born January 15, 1916, in Merigold to Dr. Andrew Monroe Wynne and Olyve O’Brien Wynne. On June 28, 1944, she married Dr. James A. Westerfield in Merigold. She went to elementary and high school in Merigold, then went on to attend Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) and graduated from Delta State University with a degree in education. Shirley was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and continued as an active alumna. She worked for many years helping her father and husband’s medical clinic in Merigold. Shirley loved spending time with her husband and children at Merigold Hunting Club and in later years her grandchildren. She was an active member of Merigold Methodist Church and enjoyed the fellowship of the many activities of the church. Shirley lived her whole life in Merigold and was revered as a pillar of the community as she was the oldest living resident in Merigold. Shirley was very involved with her grandsons Jon and Jack Westerfield. She enjoyed her visits and calls from her nieces Mary and Libby from Texas. She is survived by her grandsons and great granddaughter. ’42 Betty Jeanne Claffey Hoyt of Memphis, TN, March 3, 2020, five months short of her one hundredth birthday. She graduated from The Hutchison School, and attended Fairmont College in Washington, D.C., and Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). Under her maiden name, Betty Jeanne Claffey, she was a columnist and reporter for The Commercial Appeal. During World War II, she was also aviation editor, and was “Penny Jr.,” the social editor. Betty Jeanne was the wife of Frederick Phillip Jacobs, Jr. of Grider Plantation, Grider, AR, where they lived for many years before she moved back to Memphis as a widow. She later married Henry K. Hoyt of Leachville, AR, and Memphis. An authority and lecturer on antique glass, she had been a docent at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. She was past president of the Woman’s Exchange and a member of the Memphis Glass Collectors Club, Les Passees, and The Church of The Holy Communion. She is survived by her two daughters, one grandson, and two great-granddaughters. ’44 Margret Cansler Riley of Houston, TX, January 20, 2020. The daughter of James Willis and Mary Cansler, she was born on July 30, 1922, and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. Margaret attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), where she pledged the Kappa Delta Sorority. She met the love of her life, James Riley, when he came to pastor Eudora Baptist Church where she was a member. They married August 20, 1942, and moved in 1944 to Texas, first to Caddo Mills, then Wills Point and Paris. In 1956 they settled in Houston when James became pastor of Second Baptist Church and later a professor at Houston Baptist University. Margaret was active in church activities throughout her life

and was always an active participant in the school activities of her children; she volunteered at Memorial Hospital for twenty years. She loved gardening and flowers, spending many happy hours on her patio and atrium. Margaret loved learning and was a voracious reader, enjoying biographies, historical works, and travel books most of all, and was wellknown throughout Houston for her excellent book reviews. Margaret was a privileged member and a past-president of The Ladies’ Reading Club of Houston (chartered in 1902), a past-president and member of The American Museum Society of Houston Baptist University, a member of The Guild of HBU, a member of the Houston Chapter of Kappa Delta Alumnae, and a former active member of the Chautauqua Study Club, as well as a former Docent and Keepsake at the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Margret was an avid traveler who loved to experience new cultures and meet new people. She worked as a travel agent, assembling and leading groups throughout Europe and the British Isles as well as to Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Jordan, Brazil, India, Hong Kong, Mainland China, India, Thailand, Panama, Hawaii, and Canada. Margret also took James and a variety of friends on cruises through the Caribbean, to Alaska, up the Mississippi River, and down the Snake River. She even spent two semesters studying Mandarin at Rice University! She is survived by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. ’46 June Marrow Schaeffer of Alexandria, VA, January 12, 2020. Alongside her career Foreign Service Officer husband, Eugene M. Schaeffer ’49, June spent close to twenty years in Foreign Service postings to Burma, India, England, Japan, Nigeria and Ghana, residing in Alexandria, VA, upon the family’s stateside return. Born in Memphis, TN, June 1, 1925, June was forced to leave college early and forfeit her scholarship to Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) in order to help her family. Despite this setback, she was hired by McKinsey & Company in New York City in the early 1950s based on her outstanding test results, at a time when the company had fewer than 100 employees and was only recruiting college graduates. Like her late husband, she retained a life-long fondness of New York City. In the mid-nineteen seventies, she worked as a realtor serving the Northern Virginia area. She was a longtime active member of the UMW at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, VA, as well as a dedicated and recognized volunteer with the League of Women Voters, Fairfax County-Democratic Party of Virginia, and the Association of Foreign Service Women. A much beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, June was quick to recognize the achievements of women and supported their advancement. She valued education, endorsed compassionate politics, and when health limited her civic engagement, she supported more charities than her children can name. She was also an avid reader, wonderful hostess, sports enthusiast, keen bridge player, and crossword puzzler, as well as an extensive


world traveler, having visited over 50 cities abroad. While grateful for her exposure to so many different cultures in Asia, Europe, and Africa, she never forgot where she came from and was deeply loyal to her parents, siblings, and extended family in Memphis and the South, as well as to her husband, children, and grandchildren. Those who cared for her in her later years described her as consistently kind and appreciative. She is survived by her son, two daughters, brother, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. ’46 John B. Maize, Jr. of Germantown, TN, February 28, 2020. Born on March 24, 1924, in Memphis, TN, he was the son of John Boyd Maize, Sr. and Zena Shaffer Maize. His family moved to Germantown in June of 1935 where he has lived since. After completing a semester at Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) in August of 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Aviation cadet/pilot program to become an Army Air Corps B-25 pilot in the South Pacific. He was also detached to serve aboard the submarine USS Charr, second War Patrol, as liaison for improving submarine rescue of airplane crews downed at sea. Having cultivated a long-distance romance while in the service through many letters to and from his love at home, Martha Nell Warren, he returned to Germantown after discharge and they were married in 1947. Now working with his father at his downtown Memphis insurance agency, they were blessed with twin girls in 1950 and moved into a new home built on his family’s property where he lived until December of 2019. With the sudden death of his father in 1951, he took over the family business, J.B. Maize Insurance, at 26 years old. Always enjoying downtown Memphis locations, he retired from his S. Court Square location in the early 2000s. He has been active in Germantown Presbyterian Church since moving to Germantown and has served in almost every capacity in the church, from president of the Presbytery Youth Organization in high school, to elder, to keeping the nursery, one of his favorite roles. He served as an alderman for the City of Germantown from 1969 until 1980, a time of major population growth and change for the city. He is survived by his daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, including Meredith Cain Douglas ’02, and great grandchildren. ’48 Katherine Stevenson Nebb of Encinitas, CA, October 9, 2019. ’49 Margaret Loaring-Clark Jones of Kennett Square, PA, February 29, 2020. Born March 21,


1928, in Memphis, TN, she graduated from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). She obtained her graduate degree in Library Science from East Tennessee State University. She is survived by her husband, Bill Jones ’48, and was a partner in his work as an Episcopal priest and bishop. They served in New Haven, CT; Pulaski, TN (Church of the Messiah); Nashville, TN (Christ Church); LaGrange, GA (St. Mark’s); Mountain Brook, AL (St. Luke’s); Johnson City, TN (St. John’s); St Louis, MO (Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Missouri); and Rainham, England (St. Margaret’s). In addition to her commitment to the Episcopal Church and its mission, Maggie contributed greatly to every community in which she lived. She was a librarian at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis; the Program and Education Director of the United Nations Association in St. Louis; the Missouri Diocesan Companion Coordinator with the Nigerian Dioceses of Kano, Kaduna, Jos, and Abuja; and she served on numerous boards through the years. The Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the Bach Society of St. Louis, the Johnson City Tree and Appearance Board, and the Woods and Meadows Committee at Kendal were just a few organizations where she dedicated her skills. She was an expert at needlework and her love of the outdoors was reflected in her time spent hiking the Appalachian Trail, obtaining her Master Gardener certification, and serving as chair of Arbor Day committees, among other things. Her gardens are still enjoyed by many! Although Maggie’s own mother, Margaret Lee Austin Loaring Clark, died when Maggie was two years old, Maggie found her central vocation in being a devoted wife and a nurturing and caring mother. She and Bill loved to travel and hike, and they enjoyed music and plays together since they first met at Southwestern. Together they raised four daughters, graduates of Sewanee, Brown, Kenyon, and Ohio Wesleyan. In addition to Bill, her husband of 70 years, Maggie is survived by her sister, four daughters, and six grandchildren. ’49 Jane Stewart Swanton of Memphis, TN, February 1, 2020. Born to the late Leyton “Jack” and Elizabeth “Nadine” Stewart, Jane grew up in South Memphis and graduated from Whitehaven High School in 1945. She then attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) and later became an administrative assistant for Prudential. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority and Capleville United Methodist Church. Along with her parents, Jane was also preceded in death by her husband, George R. Swanton and brother, Charlie Stewart. She is survived by her two daughters and

three grandchildren. ’50 Curtis M. Weston of Casper, WY, January 17, 2020. He was born July 4, 1927 in Bourbon, Mississippi, to Clarence and Katherine (Boschert) Weston. He attended Arcola School where he graduated in 1945. He entered the Navy and served in World War II. After his service in the Navy, he attended and graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson, MS. He subsequently attended and graduated from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), completing his studies in chemistry in 1950. His business life initially took him to Memphis, TN, where he worked in sales with the Arthur Fulmer Companies. He eventually moved with work to Colorado Springs, CO, where he lived for a number of years. In 1978, he purchased Decker Auto Glass from one of his customers and moved to Casper, WY. He took Decker Auto Glass from one small shop to four shops and a wholesale glass warehouse with distribution in Wyoming and Western Nebraska. Curt never had children but considered his employees family. A very kind and considerate employer, he was named Wyoming Small Business Person of the Year by the SBA. He owned Decker Auto Glass until 2008 when he sold it and continued to live in Casper in retirement. Curt remained close to his extended family, and for many years, annually returned to his family’s Bourbon home in the Mississippi Delta for Christmas and summer visits. He was a wise, kind, and generous man, with a wide array of friends he gathered along his life’s journey. His generosity was reflected in him hosting 35 Weston family members for a family reunion at his expense in 1999 to share the beauty of his adopted home state of Wyoming. Locally in Casper, Curt was an active member in Kiwanis and Elks. He is survived by his sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, eight nieces and nephews across the US, and many great grandnieces and grandnephews. ’51 Dr. Robert J. Atcheson of Ft. Worth, TX, January 19, 2020. Bob was born February 21, 1929, in Memphis, TN, the son of Howard M. and Ouida J. Atcheson. After attending Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), he graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1954. He practiced radiology with Radiology Associates, formerly the Bond Group, until his retirement in 1992. Bob held memberships in the Tarrant County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, the Radiological Society of North America, and the American Medical Association. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth for 57 years, having served as both deacon and elder. In his retirement, he enjoyed building and flying model airplanes and could also be found regularly frequenting the ranch of his good friend, Dr. Dwain McDonald, in Thurber, TX, one of his “favorite places to be.” Bob is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Martha Ann Atcheson, sons, and grandsons. ’51 Helen Carol Heyer Smith of New Orleans, LA, December 22, 2019. Carol was the beloved wife of Charles Rodney

Smith, M.D. ’50, for fifty-seven years. She grew up in Memphis, TN, where she graduated from The Hutchison School. She was presented as a debutante at the Cotton Club in Memphis. Carol attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) and later received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. She completed post-graduate work at Memphis State University and at the New Orleans Academy of Art. She was an active member of the Orleans Club, Le Petit Salon, Stuart Clan, Audubon Garden Club, and Audubon Investment Club. Carol had a lifelong love of art and flower arranging that she openly shared with family and friends and provided special encouragement to her grandchildren. She was an accomplished artist and studied the Japanese art of floral arranging, earning a master designation from the Ikebana school. She served as an assistant director of the Iychio Board and arranged flowers for Trinity Episcopal Church, the Orleans Club, Longue Vue House and Gardens, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. She was also a member of the New Orleans Art Association and the Louisiana Watercolor Society. Her artwork was shown in numerous exhibits including Poydras Home and Lambeth House and she donated original works to the WYES Art Auction. Carol was very close to each of her children and grandchildren and played a very active role in their lives. She had a flair for gourmet cooking and entertaining and, above all, loved holiday gatherings with family and food! She was a kind and gracious lady who will be dearly missed for the genuine friendship and compassion she offered freely to all who knew her. Only a few weeks ago, Carol celebrated her 90th birthday in grand style with a large dinner party for her entire family and offering comments and special memories to each of her grandchildren. Carol was an active parishioner of Trinity Episcopal Church all of her adult life. She is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren. ’52 John Alexander Austin of Memphis, TN, February 10, 2020. He lived a long, productive, and happy life. John graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, PA. He later joined the Marine Corps, which along with being an Eagle Scout, helped form his work ethic and character. He excelled in many sports in his lifetime: soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, handball, racquet ball, golf and fishing. He had many hobbies as well, which he pursued with a passion. John graduated from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), where he was captain of the basketball and tennis teams, president of his fraternity, and later served on its Board of Trustees. An entrepreneur in the lumber industry and with an eye for business, he opened his hardwood lumber sales office and later developed his successful furniture dimension factory, Mid-South Woodcraft Company in West Helena, AR, which he sold in 1984. He then moved into a personal investment career. He was still trading options at his death at 92 years old. John always loved nature and the outdoors. He was an avid duck and turkey hunter. He was a member of


the Memphis Country Club and his longtime pleasure was playing golf with the Saturday Morning Dogs. A large part of his and wife Susan’s lives were their Labrador retrievers, which besides being pets, they ran in field trials. He had a field trial champion, I Love Luke. He also judged field trials all over the country. John was an expert fly fisherman (Susan was close) and was known for the wooly buggers he tied. John’s goal was to catch every fish on a fly that swam, and he probably succeeded. Another goal was to see the USA, exploring its history and incredible beauty. They visited every state but North Dakota and gained a stronger feel for our great country. John found comfort and devotion in St. James Anglican Church and was active there. Foremost was his love for his family. He was married to Susan Fulmer Austin ’55 for 61 yrs. He leaves two daughters, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. ’53 Betty Jo Carter Dodson of Alamo, TN, December 24, 2019. Betty Jo was born in 1931 to the late Joe Henry Carter and Clara Rooks Carter of Alamo, TN. She graduated from Alamo High School and received her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). She also received her master’s degree at 45+ from the University of Memphis. She taught in the Memphis City Schools, retiring in 1986. She was married to the late Dr. John Adams Doyle of Memphis, TN, who preceded her in death in 1975. She then married John Whitney Dodson, formerly of Youngstown, OH, in Memphis in 1981. He preceded her in death in 2012. Betty Jo leaves two daughters, one granddaughter, and one sister. She also leaves five stepdaughters and nine step-grandchildren. ’53 Dr. Robert “Bob” Crumby of Nashville, TN, December 24, 2019. He was born in Memphis, TN, and is survived by his wife of 61 years, Judith DeVore Crumby; three children; six grandchildren; and a host of special nieces and nephews and their families. Dr. Crumby was a Presbyterian minister who served churches in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee for 36 years with 23 years of service to Donelson Presbyterian Church in Nashville. He was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Associate Director of the Center for Clinical and Research Ethics at Vanderbilt School of Medicine and was a consultant in clinical ethics for several Nashville area hospitals. Bob will be remembered for his outgoing personality, his love of people, and his unending enthusiasm in serving his church and the community of Nashville. ’55 Jane Louise Pyron of Pensacola, FL, February 8, 2020. Jane was born in New Orleans, LA, January 2,


1932, to Ira W. Pyron, Sr. and Louise Wilkison Pyron. At age 11, her family moved to Memphis, where she attended The Hutchison School. From there, she attended Stephens College where she received her A.A. degree and Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), where she received a B.A. in history and English. She was an educator, having taught in Memphis, and then teaching overseas in Labrador and Germany through the Department of Defense. With a love of books, her favorite job was working as an assistant to the librarian at Mid-South Bible College in Memphis. Jane loved to travel and lived for a time in Okinawa, Japan; New Bern, NC; and Anacortes, WA. Other loves included sailing and horseback riding. Jane is survived by her sister-in-law and friends. ’57 Dr. George A. Morris III of Clearwater, FL, December 31, 2019 after a short battle with leukemia. A graduate of Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), George went on to earn his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in 1960. After completing his surgical internship at Charity Hospital of Louisiana in 1961, he served as a LCDR Flight Surgeon for the United States Navy from 1962 to 1965. Upon completion of service he entered the orthopedic surgery residency program at Bowman Gray North Carolina Baptist Hospital Medical School in Winston Salem, NC. His love of the water brought him to Clearwater where he started his private orthopedic surgical practice in 1968, growing the practice into what is now today Orthopedic Specialties of Tampa Bay. George joined the staff of Morton Plant Hospital in 1965, serving in many different capacities and on numerous committees until his retirement in 2016. Perhaps his greatest achievement, and certainly the nearest and dearest to his heart, is the program established in his name, the Dr. George Morris Earn as You Learn Nursing Education Program. This program was established to attract and retain the highest quality nursing team and provides participants the opportunity and support to attend nursing school, while gaining clinical experience by working part-time at a Morton Plant Mease Hospital. A lover of all things outdoors, his life motto was “if you’re not living on the edge, you’re not living!” George truly loved the practice of medicine and devoted his life to taking care of his patients. A true and loyal friend, he will be sorely missed. George is survived by his wife, Dee Dee Noel Morris, daughter, grandson, twin grand-daughters, one brother, niece, and nephew. ’60 Finis Dixon Carrell of Charlottesville, VA, December 27, 2019. Finis was predeceased by his loving wife, Charlotte Peterson Carrell ’60, in

August 2016 and is survived by his three daughters and five grandchildren. Finis was one of five children born to Homer Evott Carrell and Erna McKnelly Carrell. He is survived by his brother William Carrell ’58 (Mary Alice ’59) of Anderson, IN, and predeceased by his sisters Sue Dallas ’52, Nancy Whitley ’53, and brother. When Finis was growing up in Memphis, TN, he and his brother William raised and sold chickens to supplement the family’s income. He attended Shelby County public schools and graduated from Whitehaven High School in 1956. He and Charlotte married on October 5, 1957. In May 1960, he received a B.A. in business administration from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the track team, and basketball team. He spent five years in the Naval Air Force as an F4 Phantom fighter jet and helicopter pilot, was stationed at Pensacola, FL, Key West, FL, and Norfolk, VA, and achieved the rank of lieutenant commander. In 1965, he continued serving in the Reserves and entered employment with State Farm Insurance Companies in Memphis, then in Charlottesville, VA, from 1970 until 1998. He enjoyed retired life for over twenty years — golfing with dear friends at Farmington, creating fine furniture in his workshop, and traveling abroad. He most recently enjoyed a Rhine River cruise in 2018 with his daughters and grandkids. He never missed a grandchild’s play, recital, or graduation. He took great pride in his home in Bentivar where neighbors often found him riding his John Deere. He was ordained as an elder at Meadows Presbyterian Church in January 1974 where he also served over the years as Youth Group Leader and Trustee. He served as past president of the Charlottesville Personnel Association. Finis always said, “Lord, please help me be the person my dog (Charley) thinks I am.” ’62 Sandra B. Clayton of Memphis, TN, February 7, 2020. Sandra was born in Memphis, TN, on November 19, 1940. She graduated from Central High School in Memphis and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Music and Education degree from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). She began her career in teaching at Memphis City Schools. Her love and devotion for children was the beginning of the unconditional love she would soon give her own children, Addison and Lucia. She put her teaching career on hold after moving to Franklin, TN, to give her children the most spectacular childhood. She obtained a degree in Interior Design (O’More School of Interior Architecture and Design) and ventured into the horse breeding business. What unforgettable memories and a true love of horses she gave Lucia and Addison. Sandra relocated back to Memphis to care for her parents and went on to obtain a master’s in music from the University of Memphis. She was an avid classical pianist, another passionate devotion of hers. She would later retire from Memphis City Schools where her love of teaching began. She is survived by her daughter and grandson.

’64 Dr. Challace Joe McMillin of Harrisonburg, VA, March 8, 2020. He was born in Gilt Edge, TN, on March 18, 1942, to the late Albert Sidney and Clara Hill McMillin. Surviving are his wife of 53 years, Mary Lou Quinn McMillin ’64; daughter, Lisa Wooley and husband, Mike of Nashville, Tennessee; son, Sid McMillin of Pray, MT; two grandchildren, Christopher Wooley and Rachael Wooley. Challace, the first head coach in the history of James Madison University football, launched the JMU football program from the ground up in 1972, led the Dukes for 13 years (1972-84), and was inducted into the JMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2007, Challace was inducted into the Rhodes College Athletic Hall of Fame. Following his tenure as head coach, he continued to serve the department as a sport psychologist and was a JMU professor. He remained a regular visitor to campus, JMU athletics, and the football team until the time of his passing. ’66 Rev. Willard Nelson “Buddy” Doyle of Greeneville, TN, Monday, March 9, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Frances Griswold Doyle ’66, two daughters, four grandchildren, three nieces, and special friends: Dr. Robert Wild ’66, Vern McCarty ’66, and Charles Bagley ’66. He had a passion to give pastoral care and teaching of the Bible. He was a Presbyterian minister from 1969 to 2018, and was a Parrish Associate at First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, FL, until 2018. ’70 William Roy Patterson of Memphis, TN, December 6, 2019. The son of Roy and Kate Patterson leaves behind his loving wife, two children, and his two sisters. Bill, a lifelong Memphian, graduated from Rhodes College. ’72 John Sigman Vickery of Tunica, MS, February 14, 2020. John was born in Memphis, January 22, 1950, to Mary Sidney Vickery and John H. Vickery, who preceded him in death. He graduated from Bartlett High School where he was an outstanding leader and athlete. He attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) where he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and graduated from Memphis State with a degree in business administration. He leaves his sister and brother-in-law, special cousins, and dear friends. Known for his kindness and generosity, John made friends wherever he went and was loved by many and will be missed by all. ’73 John M. Munden of Memphis, TN, January 22, 2020, after a prolonged illness. Born September 5, 1950, in Spain, he entered the United States in 1951 and moved with his family to Memphis in 1964, later moving to Germantown. John attended Germantown High School, Christian Brothers High School, and Rhodes College. He worked in the restaurant business for many years in both Memphis and Santa Barbara, CA, where he resided for several years. He also spent time working on a river barge, seeing the


sights along the Mississippi River. He leaves behind his sister, Nena. Family and friends would like to extend a special thanks to the staff of the Midtown Center for Health and Rehab for their thoughtful care during his final days. An avid reader and lively conversationalist, he was always ready to discuss and debate a wide range of topics. He will be sorely missed by those whose lives he touched. His friends are encouraged to have a delicious meal and raise a toast to honor him. ’04 Turley McFadden Muller of Memphis, TN, January 16, 2020. He graduated from Kimball Union Academy, one of the ten oldest prep schools in the country, located in Meriden, NH. He received a business degree at Rhodes College, where he was president of his fraternity, Sigma Nu. He received his master’s degree in accounting from Christian Brothers University. He was, at one time, the #1 Amateur Apple Analyst, and was published in numerous financial articles. Turley was also recognized by CNBC for his expertise in Apple Earnings. He was a former accountant for the Memphis Leadership Foundation, and also was a mortgage trading analyst at Union Planters Mortgage. Turley enjoyed skiing at Deer Valley and fishing at Pickwick. He was a kind and thoughtful friend, and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He leaves his parents, Dee and Ralph Muller, his brothers, Ralph Muller, Jr. (Christy) and Louis Muller, two nieces, Meggy and Aggie Muller, his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Hubert K. Turley ’44 (Aggie), and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was predeceased by his grandparents, Dr. Hubert K. Turley ’40, and Brick and Martha Muller ’33. ’20 Paul Douglas Trapeni III of Franklin, TN, December 21, 2019. Paul was born on March 26, 1998, in Murfreesboro, TN, to Vickie Hendrix Trapeni and Dr. Paul Douglas Trapeni, Jr. He was a gift from God and an answer to eight years of steady prayer. Paul attended Battle Ground Academy from kindergarten through twelfth grade. He served on the Student Council, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was selected to participate in Youth Leadership Franklin. He was also a competitive athlete at BGA. He played football, basketball, and tennis, but he was best known for his wisecracks and contagious grin. Paul was a captain of the football team his senior year and a recipient of the John Maher Scholar Athlete Award. More importantly, off the field and in the locker room, he was a humble leader and a loyal friend. After high school, Paul attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Paul was a beloved member of the Class of 2020. He was an integral part of student life at Rhodes and a selfless volunteer in the Memphis community. He served as a


Summer Service Fellow and helped many find legal aid. Paul was majoring in Political Science and had plans to attend law school in the fall. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Paul was empathetic almost to a fault from the very beginning. At the ripe old age of almost three, when Paul’s little brother was born, Paul looked up at his mother in the elevated hospital bed and asked, “Mom, how are you doing way up there?” He showed us how to care for other people. At Rhodes, Paul met his first and only love, Annie. He believed that love is never wasted, and it was that selfless compassion that drove every action and every word. He showed us how to love. Paul was also human, and he showed us how to learn from our mistakes. He would probably say he was never the best at anything in particular, but what is apparent now more than ever is that he made the best of his twenty-one years on this earth. Paul showed us what it means to be truly good. The circumstances surrounding his tragic passing are a testament to his character. Paul’s sacrifice is also proof that in this world, darkness does not drive out light. In fact, Paul’s light has never been brighter. His light of love will forever guide us and comfort us. Paul is survived by his heartbroken parents, his little brother Carter Michael Trapeni, his older sister and second mom, Caroline Trapeni Mitchell, and her husband Herbert Lee Mitchell IV. He is also survived by his grandfather, JB Hendrix. The Trapeni family thanks the Beathard family, the Franklin community, BGA, and Rhodes College for the outpouring of love and support.

“Rhodes was more than just a classroom education. It has fostered friendships that have lasted five decades.” – Rebecca (Becky) Wynn Weiler ’69 Rebecca (Becky) Wynn Weiler ’69 loved the challenges presented in the classroom during her four years at Rhodes. In addition to academics, the social life and Delta Delta Delta sorority also prepared her for a 37-year career as an American Airlines flight attendant. In 1984, Rebecca married American Airlines pilot Rick Weiler. Throughout the years, Rebecca has supported Rhodes through service on her class reunion planning committees and on the Rhodes Alumni Executive Board. Rebecca and Rick have consistently provided annual support to the college through membership in the Red & Black Society. Recently, during their estate planning, they decided to make a substantial financial commitment to the future of Rhodes. Their first step was the donation of Rebecca’s interest in the family farm to the college in the form of a Charitable Remainder Unitrust. Rebecca and Rick want to be part of Rhodes College’s continuing growth both now and in future years.


2000 2000North NorthParkway Parkway Memphis, Memphis,TN TN38112 38112

HOMECOMING/ REUNION WEEKEND NOVEMBER 5-8, 2020 Come home home to Rhodes this fall. We’ve missed Come missed you! you!

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