Page 1

Fall Fal l l 2008 2 0 08 08

Volume Volume oll um e 11, 1 1 Number N umber b 1

Magazine Staff EDITOR :: Mike Thornhill ’88, Director of Communications ASSOCIATE EDITOR :: Teresa Buckner, Media Relations Coordinator CONTRIBUTORS :: Marshall Angle Brian Danforth ’06 Ophelia DeGroot ’58 Donna Kull


From These Stones: The Mars Hill College Magazine is published regularly by the Office of Communications. It is distributed, without charge, to alumni, donors, and friends of the college. Notices of changes of address and class notes should be addressed to the Alumni Office, Mars Hill College, P.O. Box 370, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Phone 828.689.1102. Fax 828.689.1292. E-mail Letters to the editor and all other correspondence regarding the magazine should be addressed to the Office of Communications, Mars Hill College, P.O. Box 6765, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Phone 828.689.1298. Fax 828.689.1105. E-mail Postmaster: Send address changes to the Alumni Office, Mars Hill College, P.O. Box 6665, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

In This Issue Safety First 4

Fall 2008 Volume 11, Number 1

MHC implements emergency contact system


New Science Center Opens


Regional Focus


Baptist Heritage


Around Campus


Advancing the Cause


Class Notes


Thank You for Your Support


Get Connected

Ferguson facility is a prime example of “greening” of Mars Hill

Howell helps Lunsford Festival stay true to its roots; cloggers bring home more national titles; Regional Studies scholarship endowed; and more

Doris Bentley honored for contributions to the college

Student research funded; Serbian athlete spins his wheels

Alumni of the Year & significant donors honored; alumni get together; leading by example; class of 1950 comes through

More alumni awards and other information about your schoolmates

Making history by phone

Find us online

From These Stones – Fall 2008


Safety First One of the most exciting technological innovations MHC implemented as the new academic year began is one we hope will very seldom be used. Mars Hill College, like colleges and universities across the nation, is implementing an emergency notification system which will notify all students and staff on the system contact list simultaneously if an urgent situation develops on campus. According to Dean of Student Life Craig Goforth, the first line of notification will be in the form of brief text and e-mail messages designed to help students and staff avoid an area of campus that is chaotic, or even dangerous. Messages could go out to all numbers and e-mail addresses on the college’s contact list in as little as 60 seconds after college officials discover that an urgent situation exists. At its most mundane, the system could be used to warn students that the campus has shut down due to a power outage or a water line break. But the primary reason the system is in place is to notify the campus about a crisis which could be life-threatening. The upgrades to Mars Hill’s security program are part of a movement to improve security on campuses across the nation, in the wake of a number of college tragedies in recent years. “Mars Hill College is a very safe place,” said Goforth. “Especially as compared to larger college campuses, our statistics for violent incidents are very minimal, but things which are beyond anyone’s control do happen.” In truly dangerous circumstances, Goforth anticipates that the notification messages would either encourage students to stay where they are and take cover or to follow pre-arranged evacuation paths. Mars Hill is implementing the new system so that students have every advantage to ensure their safety, particularly in the event of a true crisis, Goforth said. “And then we’re going to pray that we never need to use it for that,” he said. All students have been asked to supply contact numbers, including a cell number if possible. Goforth fears that some students will be reluctant or careless about giving the college their contact numbers. He emphasizes that the emergency notification portion of the security program will be ineffective for students who have not supplied their contact information. For that reason, he urges all parents to be sure that their students have registered for the system. He stresses that any contact numbers students or parents give to be used for the notification system will not be used for any other purpose other than critical campus-wide notifications. “We will not misuse the information you give us. If you give us your cell phone number, we cannot sell it or give it away, and we will not be sending you messages about things like your late fees.” Goforth said. “Students can choose not to participate in this program, but they will in effect be giving up a safeguard which, in an extreme situation, could save their lives.” The simultaneous call equipment is produced by a company called Contact Now, which supplies equipment for emergency notification systems across the country. But notification by phone or e-mail is only one piece of the total picture, according to Goforth. “If students are in class, they may have their cell phones turned off, so our emergency notification system will take a multi-pronged approach,” Goforth said. Emergency notification will also come to students via air drill sirens which are being installed. The sirens can emit at least three different “code” signals. The college will have drills to help students recognize the difference in the code sirens and what they mean. In addition to these steps, Mars Hill continues to take proactive measures aimed at prevention of dangerous conditions. For a number of years, Mars Hill’s security program has included call boxes on every building, swipe cards to enter dorms and a 24-hour security presence on campus. Making sure the campus is well-lit is an ongoing task. To that end, facilities staff at Mars Hill have been asking the returning students to help them find the “dark spots,” on campus, and installing extra lighting in those locations. “It’s very hard to just walk around campus and recognize every place that needs a light,” Goforth said. “But the students are the ones who are out and about, and they realize when an area makes them uncomfortable because of improper lighting.” Another point of impact, Goforth said, is making sure college professors and staff can recognize the signs of a student who is under emotional stress. “Most of the tragic incidents that have unfolded in this country involved an individual who was having emotional or mental difficulties. College can be a time of tremendous fun and growth, but it can also be a lot of stress, and that can exacerbate any existing problems.”


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

New Science Center Opens With Green Environmental System by Teresa Buckner

One of the most innovative aspects of the newest building at Mars Hill College hides deep underground, and will never be seen. Almost 300 feet below the surface, 96 closed loops of water gurgle upward to flow into the ducts of the Ferguson Math and Science Center, then through the building and down again in an endless cycle. This continuous circulation of the same water may seem at first like an exercise in futility. In reality, it is part of a cutting-edge method of heating and cooling called geothermal engineering. Depending on latitude, the temperature underground remains stable year-round at around 52 to 56 degrees. A geothermal system sends water in endless loops underground, then through the heating and cooling system of the building. The system uses the stable temperature underground to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the building. That in turn means less negative impact on the environment from the use of fossil fuels, with the added bonus of saving money over the long-term. “It’s really just a fancy heat pump,” said Mars Hill College Director of Facilities Management Bill Lovins. “In the summer, when it’s 80 degrees outside, instead of using 80 degree air to transfer heat, our system is using 52 degree water, and when it is 30 degrees outside we are still using the 52 degree water. This constant supply of 52 degree water makes this system much more efficient than a conventional one.” The geothermal heating and cooling system in Ferguson Math and Science Center is one of the more groundbreaking steps taken at Mars Hill College recently to move toward more environmentally-friendly materials and practices. But according to Dr. Dan Lunsford, president of the college, it is only one of several ways in which the college has tackled the issue of moving toward a “greener” campus. “We have done a number of things on campus over the past year or two designed to use energy more efficiently, to decrease our overall energy consumption, to reduce waste, and to reduce our effect on the green spaces on campus. And we have done this while increasing the square footage of space devoted to education,” Lunsford said.

WHAT IS LEED? Day Hall, the next building planned for construction at Mars Hill College, will seek LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. But what does LEED certification mean? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a set of building standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council with the goal of increasing environmental responsibility in construction practices. LEED promotes design and construction practices that reduce the negative impact of buildings on their occupants and on the environment. LEED is a voluntary program, but it represents a movement that is gaining momentum nationwide. As of May, 2008, there were 13,468 construction projects which were registered with the USGBC as seeking LEED certification in the U.S.* LEED is also a comprehensive program, covering everything about a building’s construction and maintenance. The building features considered during the LEED certification process are too numerous to recount here, but they include: the energy-efficiency of the heating and cooling system; the percentage of building materials made from recycled matter; the percentage of building materials made from local materials (which require less gas for transport); landscaping practices that reduce runoff and require little chemical fertilizer, (such as the use of native plants); the use of passive or active solar energy and; the installation of water-saving plumbing fixtures. LEED certification even considers practices and devices that affect the quality of the air inside the building, such as no-smoking policies and air filters. Construction professionals who have been trained in LEED processes and standards can be designated as “LEED Accredited.” John Legerton, the architect of the Day Building will bring his expertise as a “LEED Accredited Professional,” to lead Mars Hill College through the certification process. Although the LEED standards are uniform nationwide through the USGBC, a particular building can attain LEED certification by concentrating on particular standards more than others. As a result, the process is largely local, and begins with a LEED committee composed of local interested parties who determine the goals for each particular building project. In the coming months, Mars Hill College will appoint a LEED committee to set goals for environmentally-friendly construction for Day Hall. Stay tuned as the college begins a new and exciting journey toward a greener future! * from the USGBC Web site

From These Stones – Fall 2008


Mountain Musician Roger Howell Helps Keep the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of Appalachia Festival

True to Its Roots by Teresa Buckner

It was the fall of 1967 when a teenage Roger Howell snuck a tape recorder into Moore Auditorium on the campus of Mars Hill College. “I paid for my ticket, of course, but we weren’t supposed to bring in recorders,” he said. Forty-one years later, as Mars Hill College geared up for this the 2008 Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival, Howell sat in the workshop where he repairs and reconstructs the instruments of traditional mountain music, and reflected on his memories of that first festival. He pointed to a picture of a dark-haired man on the wall. “Tommy Hunter came out on stage, and played the first tune of the first festival concert, and I still have it on tape.” Hunter was followed by musician after musician, names who have become legend to the devotees of traditional mountain music: Mack Snoderly and the Hornpipers, Virgil Sturgil, Betty Smith, George Fisher and George Pegram. “And then the fellow that raised the hair on the back of my head was Red Parham,” Howell said. He slowly wags his head as he remembers. “It was just so good.” That evening in 1967, Howell was a young and fledgling musician, who had learned the rudiments of banjo and guitar and had felt a pull toward the traditional mountain tunes he had learned from his neighbors and friends on Banjo Branch in Mars Hill. Howell stood, mesmerized, and held up his small microphone – and he was hooked. “Up until then, I wanted to play traditional music, but I guess you could say the Lunsford Festival gave me something to shoot for. I said, ‘This is where I want to be.’” And shoot for it, he did. In the forty-plus years since that first Lunsford Festival, Roger Howell has had the opportunity to play with some of the best traditional musicians in the business. He has played in well-known local bands like Turkey Branch Junction, the Bailey Mountain Boys, the Carroll Best String Band, and later, the Bailey Mountain Ramblers, and has performed festivals everywhere from the Museum of Appalachia in Tennessee to Berea College in Kentucky. “I’ve hung out with some awful good people,” Howell said.


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

But he feels a special connection to the Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival, named in honor of the musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Cofounded by Lunsford and Mars Hill pharmacist Ed Howard, the Lunsford Festival is now the second oldest folk festival in western North Carolina. Howell, a resident of Mars Hill, was instrumental in helping plan this year’s Festival. His experiences playing with numerous traditional musicians, and his memories of the initial Lunsford festivals helped organizers at Mars Hill College with their goal of planning a festival in keeping with feel and spirit of the early festivals planned by Lunsford himself. The festival was a place to hear and see the performances of traditional mountain music, dancing and storytelling. But it was also a place to learn. That’s why this year’s theme for the festival was “Passing It On.” And that’s also why this year’s festival was a day-long event, rather than primarily an evening concert. “People played all day long under every tree and bush,” Howell said of the early festivals. It made for an atmosphere where the essence of regional history, of mountain culture and of the music itself was passed from generation to generation. “It’s a shame to let something like that fade away,” Howell said. But although the schedule may have changed, one thing that has remained constant through the years of the Lunsford Festival is a commitment to the presentation of mountain music and mountain culture with genuineness and respect. And that is the tradition that keeps performers like Howell true to the Lunsford Festival. “After that first Lunsford Festival, I got to learning a little about Mr. Bascom. I learned that, through this festival, he was trying to show this music as something pretty special,” Howell said. “A lot of people scorned it, but he saw how special it was. And that was something he wanted to share.” The authenticity of the music at the Lunsford Festival is a subject that is near and dear to Howell’s heart. To the untrained ear, many styles of music may seem like “traditional mountain music,” but according Howell, the true traditional music played in the mountains is older even than bluegrass. “The old regional music played in these mountains came directly from the Scotch, Irish and English tunes that the first settlers brought over from those countries,” he said. “Bluegrass was a popularized version of the older music that didn’t come about, really, until around the 1940s.” And while many styles of music, including bluegrass, were among the music played at the festival, the older traditional music is the style that sets Lunsford apart from other festivals, according to Howell. More photos from the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival and the Madison County Heritage Festival on page 9.

Mars Hill College was awarded a $500,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) in 2007 in support of the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies’ Southern Appalachian Archives. This prestigious grant, and the maximum possible offered by NEH, came to the college only after a rigorous process of review and competition and is a high honor for our institution. Most importantly though, this award emphasizes the national importance of Mars Hill College’s unusually rich collection of photographs, artifacts, ballads and musical recordings, scrapbooks, community records, oral histories, and literally hundreds of original documents and items that provide a rare window into mountain culture in the past two centuries. This collection now has a national and even an international reputation – known to the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Intuition and Columbia University. Stewardship of these treasures is expensive , requiring both financial and human resources. The very survival of these materials depends on secure, climate-controlled storage. Professional staff, with the training and tools to catalog and provide broad access to these archival holdings is essential , not only to preserve, but also to share these virtually hidden treasures with the world. This NEH Challenge Grant is providing $500,000 over five years in federal dollars to help permanently fund a $2 million endowment for the Ramsey Center, establish a preservation and programming fund, fund a professional archivist, and provide three years of bridging funds so work can begin. The challenge however, is that in order to receive this award the college must raise $1.5 million in matching funds over five years. Fundraising is on track to date, but the next three years will be absolutely critical for meeting the final goals of this matching challenge. The college is currently seeking to raise a minimum of $330,000 in this grant fiscal year. For more information on this matching challenge, or to make a donation to the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies Southern Appalachian Archives please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 828-689-1277 or 828689-1194 or e-mail

From These Stones – Fall 2008


Lucky 16 by Teresa Buckner

They’ve done it again! The Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Mars Hill College’s championship precision clogging team, won two national titles at the America’s Clogging Hall of Fame National Clogging Championships in Maggie Valley, NC, October 23-25. The team as a whole won national titles for Overall Traditional Precision Team, and Overall Contemporary Team. The two awards were the 15th and 16th national titles for the team. In addition to team awards, a number of Mars Hill’s cloggers won individual awards. Sophomore Blake Sanders was inducted into the All-American Team, a distinction based on the dancer’s leadership, clogging skills, enthusiasm and team spirit. Sanders also won a national overall Show Duet Title with senior Miranda Hucks. Freshman Tyler Mercereau won two titles: Overall Male Soloist, and the Melvin Salone title, which grants him the opportunity to dance at the Grand Ole Opry next summer. The Bailey Mountain Cloggers are: Danielle Plimpton, Director; Char’Lee Stoehr, Assistant Director; Miranda Hucks; Kim Perry; Nena Bryant; Sable Adams; Whitney Norwood; Jessi Young; Kathryn Buice; Blake Sanders; Dustin Presley; Katie McCannon; Amanda Armstrong; Ava Lyne Lewis; Allison Curtis; Adam Wheeler; Laura Hoyle; Megan Weaver; Kirsten Young; Holly McCormick; Tyler Mercereau; Brandy Reece; Michael Holcombe; Lee Revis; Kaleigh Balken; Kaley Kite; Emily Fox; Emily Ayescue; and Joseph Quattlebaum (pictured, left, kicking up his heels at the Madison County Heritage Festival on October 4).

Catch Them In Action The Bailey Mountain Cloggers Spring Concert is scheduled for April 3–5, 2009, in Moore Auditorium. This year’s show is titled “Our Story.” Show times are 7:30 p.m. on April 3 and 4, and 2:30 p.m. on April 5. Admission is $10. The cloggers have also been invited back to the World Folk Festival for 2009, and plan to travel to Spain for the festival April 14–18.


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

Some of the sights from this year’s Madison County Heritage Festival and Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival.

Mars Hill College has been awarded a grant extension from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) for the college’s Rural Life Museum exhibition project. The extension will provide $25,000 in grant funds to help the college create new exhibits at the college’s Rural Life Museum, which is currently undergoing renovation. Dr. Karen Paar, Archivist and Director of the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies is the project director who will oversee creation of the exhibits. According to Paar, the funding will be used to provide historically accurate and secure exhibits for two key collections that are currently housed in the Southern Appalachian Archives. The Gertrude M. Ruskin Collection of Native American artifacts dates from 3000 B.C. through the early 20th century and includes a rich assortment of items from the Cherokee and other peoples of the Southern Appalachian region. The James G.K. McClure Farmers Federation Collection contains more than 3,000 photographs of western North Carolina agricultural life from 1919 to 1959. According to Paar, the exhibits provided by this grant will enhance and build on the efforts to preserve and share the holdings of the Southern Appalachian Archives that are currently the focus of preservation and programming efforts for a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant. Under the NEH grant, Mars Hill College is currently raising money for a permanent endowment to fund the archivist position and ongoing preservation of its archival collections. “Both the Ruskin Collection and the McClure Collection figure prominently in programming for the first two years of the Challenge Grant, and corresponding exhibits at the Rural Life Museum will provide another avenue for sharing the rich treasures of the Southern Appalachian Archives in the possession of the college,” Paar said. According to Donna Kull, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Mars Hill College, the services of a museum consultant will be used for exhibit design work, under the supervision of professional staff from the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies. Kull said, “The grant funds from the BRNHA will allow us to hire a museum exhibit consultant to take the information gleaned during the NEH Challenge Grant programming year and interpret it in a museum setting. We will also use grant funds to purchase suitable exhibit cases for these artifacts, many of which are extremely valuable, and to construct a museum exhibit that places these artifacts in context using reproductions of photographs and recordings from our collection.” Exhibits should be completed and ready for public display by May 2009. “We are grateful to the administration and staff of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area for this opportunity to exhibit our research, develop programs and share materials from our Southern Appalachian Archives with the broader public,” Kull said.

From These Stones – Fall 2008


Regional Studies Scholarship Endowed Mars Hill College has received a half-million-dollar gift to endow scholarships for students studying the Southern Appalachian region. James Montgomery, a former professor of Spanish and retired university librarian from Austin, Texas, made the $500,000 contribution which will fund two scholarships annually for students actively engaged in Mars Hill’s Regional Studies Program. Mr. Montgomery graduated from Guilford College and pursued graduate studies in Spanish at the University of North Carolina, UCLA, the University of Havana, the University of Puerto Rico, and the University of Mexico. His passion for “Don Quixote” led him to a 21-year preparation of a new translation of the novel, entitled “The Adventures and Misadventures of Don Quixote: an up-to-date translation for today’s readers.” An old-time music aficionado and collector, he became interested in Mars Hill College in part because the college houses the Bascom Lamar Lunsford collection of manuscripts, recordings, and instruments, and annually hosts the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of the Appalachians Festival. By geography and commitment, Mars Hill College is a Southern Appalachian educational institution. For more than 150 years it has served the people of the South and the Southern Blue Ridge. As one expression of its commitment, the Regional Studies Program is designed to foster an understanding of the history, culture, and environment of the region. Mars Hill College is uniquely situated to explore regionalism as the interdisciplinary study of place. This program offers a regional studies minor for students interested in learning the skills necessary for the holistic study of a given place. The minor includes courses in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Resources that support this program are coordinated through the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies located in Renfro Library on the Mars Hill College campus. The Ramsey Center supports the regional studies focus of the Mars Hill College curriculum, houses archival resources for teaching and scholarship, and offers a venue in which faculty, students, and community members come together for a range of regionally oriented programs and events. The extensive holdings of the Appalachian Archive—photographs, documents, sound recordings, and artifacts—document aspects of mountain life and culture of interest to scholars here and abroad.


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

JAMES H. MONTGOMERY REGIONAL STUDIES ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP This endowed scholarship fund has been established to motivate Mars Hill College students to broaden their understanding of and appreciation for the history, culture, and environment of the Southern Blue Ridge mountains region. James H. Montgomery of Austin, Texas, a native of North Carolina, has established this scholarship through a major gift. Selection Procedure—The Financial Aid Committee, upon the recommendation of the Regional Studies Scholarship Selection Committee, will make the selection. Scholarship amounts will vary annually, depending upon the number of applicants and their qualifications. All students selected will be required to participate in service opportunities that will enhance the region and/ or Mars Hill College regional collections. Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be: 1. classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior. 2. pursuing a Regional Studies minor and have demonstrated excellence in Regional Studies coursework. 3. maintaining a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Maintenance Requirements: To continue to receive the scholarship, students must submit the following for yearly review by the Regional Studies Scholarship Selection Committee: 1. Transcript, showing evidence of successful progression towards the regional studies minor and continued strong academic standing (maintaining the required minimum 3.0 G.P.A.) 2. Evidence of significant service contributions to the Ramsey Center or another regional institution. For more information about the Regional Studies scholarship, contact Dr. Joanna T. Pierce, Regional Studies Coordinator, at

Kayla McCurry, a Mars Hill College junior from Burnsville, NC, created the mural which served as the backdrop for the Evening Concert of the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival, held Saturday evening, October 4. McCurry, a Bonner Scholar, is majoring in Philosophy/Religion and Studio Art, and minoring in women’s studies. The mural depicts a scene near Wolf Laurel at sunset. Kayla said she chose a sunset scene because when Lunsford planned concerts of traditional mountain music, he always said the music would start “along about sundown.” Kayla painted the mural to fulfill part of the community service requirement of the Bonner Scholars program.

Doris Bentley Receives Baptist Heritage Award Doris Bentley received the 2008 North Carolina Baptist Heritage Award from Mars Hill College during an April 8th ceremony in Greensboro. The event is co-sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, North Carolina Baptist Foundation, and the Council on Christian Higher Education. The North Carolina Baptist Heritage Award recognizes individuals and couples who represent exemplary giving and service to organizations associated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Doris Bentley’s association with Mars Hill College dates back to her college days. Following completion of a secretarial degree at a business college, Doris enrolled as a music major at Mars Hill and graduated in 1956. Upon completion of her studies at Mars Hill, she married Fred Bentley, who, in 1966, would succeed Dr. Hoyt Blackwell as President of the college. Thus, ten years after her graduation, Doris Bentley returned to the college as First Lady. That year would mark the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the Bentleys and Mars Hill College. Doris Bentley has served Mars Hill College and the Mars Hill community throughout the years, both in her own right, and as devoted helper and partner to Fred Bentley throughout his 30 years as president of the college, and his highly effective ministry through Habitat for Humanity. From 1972 through 1995, she was an assistant in the college development office. In 1996 she was named MHC Alumna of the Year. She has also served as president of the Madison County League of Women Voters, president of the Pisgah Girl Scout Council, and president of the Volunteers of Blue Ridge HealthCare in Morganton. She is active in church life, having served as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Morganton, and as a deacon and chair of the board of deacons at Mars Hill Baptist Church.

From These Stones – Fall 2008


Encouraging Student Research Seven Mars Hill College students have been selected to receive grant funding for proposals they have written as part of the college’s Research Scholars Program. Of the seven projects selected, three received funding from the Wachovia Foundation for research proposals which emphasized community involvement and positive community impact. The federally-funded Research Scholars program at Mars Hill College coordinates a grant writing competition for student proposals which emphasize research or creative projects. Earlier this year, the Wachovia Foundation contributed $10,000 to that program, and specifically earmarked the money for projects which involved community-based applied research. Money from the Wachovia Foundation will also be used to support state, regional, and national conference travel for Research Scholars to share their work with broader audiences. According to Mars Hill College Title III Director Marshall Angle, who coordinates the Research Scholars Program, the funds from Wachovia were a significant boost for the program. “The Research Scholars Program we are developing at Mars Hill College offers the best in cutting edge learning for today’s college students,” Angle said. “Mars Hill took a giant step forward in growing this program when we received funding from the Wachovia Foundation. We are especially grateful to the Foundation for supporting our vision for improving student learning and look forward to sharing our students’ accomplishments with the good people who believe in the value of this program.” “The Wachovia Foundation is proud to partner with Mars Hill College to support this innovative program, which gives students the opportunity to tackle important community issues and work towards finding creative solutions,” said Robby Russell, Wachovia’s Community Market President. “The slump in our economy means the needs in our communities are even greater right now, so we need programs like this that encourage students to take a leadership role in improving the quality of life for so many in our community.” Following are the three student research grants funded by the Wachovia Foundation:

 Brandon Johnson, Junior, English and Regional Studies. Brandon’s community-based project explores the culture of Southern Appalachia, looking in particular at the rich musical heritage of the region. Brandon seeks to preserve and share Appalachian music traditions by educating communities. Ultimately, Brandon will contribute to community betterment by performing his expanding repertoire, augmented with background and thematic information he learns from his research.  Rebecca “Reb!” Knight, Senior, Zoology. Reb!’s research will be used in developing Cherokee County’s Farmland Preservation Trust plan. In particular, Reb! will create maps, using GIS (geographic information system) software to document current farmland in the county. She will also be traveling to Cherokee County, taking digital photographs to help determine the farmland that is most critical for preservation for both ecological and economic reasons.  Ashley Koontz, Senior, Education. In her project, Ashley will be investigating the Response to Intervention (RTI) special education program that has been implemented in Rutherford County Schools. This community-based grant looks at the efficacy of the Rutherford model for the purpose of adapting RTI for Madison County Schools. Essentially, RTI first helps schools do a better job of identifying children with special needs; then, this research-based program helps schools do a better job of providing services. The four projects that were funded by the college’s Research Scholars Program are:  Kristina Donahue, Sophomore, Fashion and Interior Merchandising. Kristina will coordinate consumer marketing research in conjunction with the Mars Hill College Bookstore. She will use her research findings to develop a marketing plan for carrying a line of clothing merchandise called the Jedidiah USA HOPE Collection in the bookstore. The HOPE Collection donates a substantial portion of its revenues to world humanitarian causes.  Kevin Hertlein, Senior, Music Education/ Performance. With his research, Kevin will investigate religious influences on the music of Gustav Mahler. He will examine biographical sources in addition to selected Mahler scores, looking to better understand the power of music and how it offers insight into human nature.  Barbara Hugl, Junior, International Studies. As part of her study abroad experience in the spring of 2009, Barbara will be researching the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In addition to interviewing the Austrian Ambassador in Beirut, Barbara plans to speak with both Israelis and Palestinians in Lebanon, exploring the sentiments of those living in this region of the world and the conflict’s global impact.  Heather Wright, Senior, English. Heather’s research takes a critical look at the literary works of Jane Austen, but an even more critical look at how 21st century readers have misconstrued Austen’s books. Heather maintains that we often miss the wit and sarcasm the author levied in her reactions to a Regency England that has been idealized by 21st century audiences. In the spring, the college will host a second round of competition, looking to fund as many as five additional community-based applied research grants.

(kneeling) Reb! Knight, (l-r, seated) Kevin Hertlein, Kristina Donahue, Heather Wright, Brandon Johnson, Barbara Hugl, (l-r, standing) Title III Coordinator Marshall Angle, Faculty Advisor Smithson Mills, Wachovia 12President RobbyFrom These Stones The MarsFaculty Hill College Community Russell, MHC President Dan– Lunsford, AdvisorMagazine James Sparrow, Ashley Koontz.

Serbian Cycling Champion To Head MHC Cycling Team by Teresa Buckner

Nikola Milanovic can tell you the very day he became a cyclist. On February 1, 2000, Nikola celebrated his 11th birthday with his family in his hometown of Belgrade, Serbia. On that day, his parents responded to his pleas for membership in a local cycling club as a birthday gift. The fascinating part of the story, however, is not Nikola’s memory of the gift. It is what followed. Prior to that day, Nikola had ridden with his friends around the streets of Belgrade. But that day he got serious. “I immediately started practicing, and one year later, I was national champion,” he said. The title of Serbian junior national champion is one that, in fact, Nikola has had to get used to, having achieved the title six times in his 18 years. Now, as a freshman at Mars Hill College, Nikola is hoping to continue his growth as an athlete and make his mark on American cycling, while obtaining an education. “Coming to Mars Hill, it is a very good chance to combine education and athletics, to get the best of both,” Nikola said.

the college has something to offer that other colleges may not: location. According to Hugh Moran, who came to the college as cycling coach this summer, the Mars Hill area has a prime training location for cycling athletes. Its hilly terrain and beautiful scenery make cycling a sport that is experiencing explosive growth in western North Carolina. Moran is thrilled to have Nikola on the first cycling team he will coach at the college. “What it means to Mars Hill to have Nikola on this team is potentially huge,” he said. “Mars Hill has a very small program right now, but we have so many advantages. We have a supportive administration and faculty; we are situated in an area where there are great training routes, and now to have someone of Nikola’s caliber means that we could put Mars Hill on the map in the southeast in the sport of cycling,” he said. Significantly, the financial aid Nikola is slotted to receive this year includes the first cycling scholarship in the college’s history, to be funded by Mars Hill alumnus and cycling enthusiast Donald Dixon. “Mars Hill College very much affected my life,” said Dixon, who graduated in 1974. He credits a positive start in his education to the path that eventually led to an MBA and a career as a successful small business owner. He decided to give the cycling scholarship as a result of reaching a point in his life where he felt it was time to give back.

Nikola Milanovic (l) and Donald Dixon (r) after riding in the Tour de Leaves cycling event this fall. Officials at Mars Hill, including new cycling “I am very proud of the fact that I can do something for Mars coach Hugh Moran, are more than happy to provide a place for Hill College, and that, at the same time, I can help someone Nikola to grow. And, they see Nikola’s presence as a harbinwho is a good athlete and a good person,” he said. ger of good things to come for Mars Hill’s small, but growing, cycling program. In addition to helping his alma mater and a specific young man, Dixon hopes to contribute to the growth of cycling in western Nikola found Mars Hill through the US Cycling Federation. “It North Carolina. The benefits of cycling are both physical and was really hard to find information about collegiate cycling,” environmental, according to Dixon. A regular participant in he said. But finding a cycling team with which to continue to cycling races and tours, Dixon readily admits to having become build his skills was the “main idea,” in his mind as he sought a cycling addict. out college opportunities. While searching, Nikola came to know Grant Gosch, who founded Mars Hill’s cycling team. Gosch’s persuasion, and financial aid from Mars Hill sealed the deal. Nikola came to the U.S. for the first time this fall when he began his freshman year. With Nikola’s record as a repeated Serbian junior national champion, it may seem somewhat surprising that he chose a small western North Carolina college with a fledgling cycling team. But, although Mars Hill’s cycling team is relatively new,

“It’s a very green and athletic way to absorb nature,” he said. Dixon recalls his experience touring Europe on a bike to explain the pleasure he associates with cycling. “There’s just no comparison between seeing a place through cycling versus riding in a car, or even hiking. You just see so much more territory,” he said. “I can’t really explain it,” he said. “It’s just an extremely exciting way to see the world.”

From These Stones – Fall 2008


2008 Alumni of the Year Ilda Hall Littell received her AA degree from Mars Hill in 1951, completed her bachelor’s degree at Baylor University, received master’s degrees at the University of Florida and Emory University, and earned her Ph.D. from Auburn University. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher, moved on to the high school level for nearly a decade (and also taught English on a public television station), and then spent 20 years at St. Petersburg College in Florida. For most of that time she was a professor of composition, literature, and journalism; but from 1978 to 1983 she served the institution as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Retirement has been far from sedentary. She was a volunteer tax counselor for 23 years, has been a pastoral care volunteer since 1992, is an elder at First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg, and has been active in support of the library and other programs at Eckerd College. Max Burgin followed his graduation from Mars Hill in 1954 with completion of his bachelor’s degree at Wake Forest University and advanced degrees from Southwestern Seminary, Long Island University, and New York Theological Seminary. In 30 years of service as a chaplain in the U.S. Army he obtained the rank of colonel and was highly decorated, receiving two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, five Meritorious Service Medals, and six Army Commendation Medals, among other honors. He has been pastor of Lattimore Baptist Church for the past 12 years and served a four-month mission service in India in 2000. He and his wife, Mickie, have two children; daughter Kellie Mayfield is a 1986 MHC graduate. Max and Mickie own and operate Burgin Farms in Ellenboro, North Carolina, a 1200-acre cow/calf operation which was recognized as Conservation Farm of the Year in 2006 by the local district. Max has served on the Ministerial Board of Advisors at Gardner-Webb University and at MHC on the Board of Advisors and Board of Trustees.

(l-r) Dr. Dan Lunsford, Max Burgin, Miriam Shillingsburg, Ilda Littell, Doug Buchanan, National Alumni Board President Ned Barrett Miriam J. Shillingsburg completed her B.A. degree in English with a minor in Dramatic Arts at Mars Hill College in 1964, and went on to earn the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English at the University of South Carolina. In 1994 she completed a Bachelor of General Studies degree at Mississippi State University. After a brief appointment at Limestone College, she taught composition and literature at Mississippi State University for 17 years, became the first administrative intern in the Office of Academic Affairs at MSU in 1987, and was named Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1988. Dr. Shillingsburg went to Lamar University as Professor of English and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996. Upon stepping aside as dean in 1999, Dr. Shillingsburg served as Director of the ExCET program to coordinate curriculum realignment. In 2000 Dr. Shillingsburg became Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Indiana University South Bend. She resigned from the deanship and returned to faculty in July 2004, later serving as Interim Dean of the School of Education. She retired from IUSB in August 2008. Dr. Shillingsburg has lived in England and Australia; besides visiting in Belize, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand, she has made several trips to Europe and Great Britain. She is married to Peter L. Shillingsburg. The couple has five children and seven grandchildren. After receiving his associate’s degree from Asheville–Buncombe Technical Institute, Doug Buchanan began his career with Schneider Electric in 1969 at its Asheville manufacturing facility as product engineer. Doug is one of many success stories from MHC’s Continuing Education Program (now Adult ACCESS), through which he received his bachelor’s degree in 1988. From 1988-1997, he held various quality, manufacturing and operations management positions at Schneider’s Columbia, South Carolina, Raleigh and Asheville, North Carolina locations. In July 2003, Doug relocated to the company’s Palatine, Illinois, headquarters and assumed the position of Vice President, Quality. In this role he leads Schneider’s continuous improvement efforts by implementing best practice, quality management initiatives to increase customer satisfaction, grow revenue and decrease costs for the company’s North American Operating Division.


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

Significant Donors Recognized by Teresa Buckner

The “Magic of Mars Hill” was the theme for the annual President’s Recognition Dinner for significant donors to Mars Hill College, October 3 at Lioncrest Restaurant on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. The purpose of the dinner was to honor donors who had distinguished themselves as friends of the college through their annual and historical support. According to President Dan Lunsford, “the magic of Mars Hill College,” happens because donors like those in attendance give generously of themselves to the college. “These friends and supporters of Mars Hill College make an incredible difference in advancing the institution and enhancing the programs for the students, faculty and staff of today and tomorrow.” Although the contributions of all donors were honored at the dinner, special awards were presented in various categories: Named as the Philanthropist of the Year was James Montgomery, of Austin, Texas. This award, which is presented to the donor whose generosity of resources exceeds that of all others, went to Montgomery for his establishment of the James H. Montgomery Regional Studies Endowed Scholarship. The purpose of the scholarship is to motivate Mars Hill College students to broaden their understanding and appreciation of the history, culture, and environment of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Though not an alumnus of Mars Hill, Montgomery established the scholarship when he realized that the collections of the musician and folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford, were housed in the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at the college. The Philanthropic Impact Award went to trustee J.C. Ponder, of Greer, SC, who donated his family homestead site to the college. The gift created momentum which led to the construction of the Ferguson Math & Science Center, which now rests on the Ponder family home site just behind Wall Science Building. The award is designed to recognize the donor whose gift made the biggest impact on Mars Hill during the past year. Dr. Noel Kinnamon of Mars Hill received the Faculty/Staff Heritage Appreciation Award. This award is presented annually to a current or retired member of the college faculty or staff whose gifts of time and talent contribute to “the magic of Mars Hill College”. Kinnamon has responded to a multitude of fundraising opportunities since he became a member of the faculty in 1966. In the past year, he was the driving force in the creation of the Betty Hughes Endowed Scholarship, named in honor of his former teaching colleague. Alumna Gretchen DeGroot Green of Simpsonville, SC, received the Philanthropic Service Award. This award is presented to a volunteer who has raised a significant amount for the college. Green is a 1996 graduate of MHC who worked hard to help raise enough funds to have a scholarship started in honor of her mother, another Mars Hill alum, Ophelia “Fifi” DeGroot. Trustee Bonnie Adams of Charlotte, NC, was the recipient of the Board Leadership Award. This award is presented to a trustee whose support of Mars Hill College serves as an example to others. In the past year alone, Adams personally supported the annual fund, publications fund, endowed scholarships, the Founders Memorial, and the Fitness Center. Furthermore, as the Chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee, she challenged and motivated her Board colleagues to follow her lead. The Foundation/Corporation Award was presented to the Charles and Irene Nanney Foundation, which is based in Raleigh, NC. Established in 1961, the Foundation, whose long-time president D. Powell Nanney, graduated from Mars Hill in 1937, has been a committed supporter of the college for many years. With its latest commitment to the renovation of the Wall Science Building, the Nanney Foundation has donated a total of $700,000 to Mars Hill College. The award was accepted by David Nanney. A new award this year, the Loyalty Award, was presented to trustee JoAnne Alexander, Statesville, NC. This award recognizes a donor who has financially supported the College for the most consecutive years. Alexander has faithfully contributed to Mars Hill College for 27 years in a row.

From These Stones – Fall 2008


The summer of 2008 brought several opportunities for MHC alumni to get together. The class of 1958 had a nice turnout for its 50th reunion in May. That was followed up by a couple of events targeting alumni in western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. We got together to enjoy an evening of baseball in June, watching the Asheville Tourists minor league team play host to the Greenville Drive. Then to kick off the football season in August, we held an alumni tailgate event at the Lions’ opening game at Furman. Keep an eye on your mail and e-mail for news of more upcoming opportunities to get together with other Mars Hill College alumni in your area.


From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

Alumni Mentoring: Connecting Students with the World Beyond College by Amanda Proffitt ’05

Part of Mars Hill College’s mission is to help students understand the relationships between their education and the world of work; to graduate students who are committed to responsible citizenship in the community, the region, and the world. With this mission in mind, the National Alumni Board has developed an exciting program aimed at connecting students with the world beyond college by first connecting them with alumni mentors. The Alumni Mentoring Program serves three general purposes: 1.

alumni mentors encourage students who are adjusting to college life;


alumni mentors help students think about the relevance of their liberal arts education to life outside the classroom; and


alumni mentors teach students how to establish networking relationships.

Practically speaking, alumni mentors share correspondence with their mentees at least four times per semester, via letter, Holiday/ Birthday greetings, and e-mail. Mentors also try to make at least one phone call per semester. When possible, mentors visit their mentees at least one time in an academic year. Students reciprocate by answering/ initiating letters and e-mail. In recruiting students, the college targeted incoming freshmen from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida with various academic backgrounds and interests. In July, 74 students received invitations to participate in the Alumni Mentoring program. Early in the new academic year, students will be matched with their alumni mentors. Currently, several members of the National Alumni Board have agreed to participate: Reverend Jim Alexander ’66, Scott Conner ’64, Tammie Lewis French ’79, Mickey Hoyle ’65, Cheryl Buchanan Pappas ’70, and Clarence Stirewalt ’45. If you have any questions about the Alumni Mentoring Program, or would like to become an Alumni Mentor, contact Amanda Proffitt at or 828689-1358.

Alumni Class Challenge – Spring ’08 Earlier this year during our Spring Phonathon season, student callers issued a challenge to our alumni to see who had the best class participation. The challenge was not to see how much money could be raised, but was a push to increase overall participation to the Annual Fund. I am proud to announce that the Class of 1950 stepped up to the challenge and had the best overall participation! Twenty-five members of the class of ’50 made donations to the Annual Fund. The participants from this class donated $3,325 between January 1 and May 31, 2008. In a close second place with 24 participants, was the Class of 1956. In third place was the Class of 1969 with 23 participants. I want to send personal thanks to everyone who participated in the Alumni Class Challenge. A special thank you to my student callers who called thousands of alumni in the spring. I would encourage alumni of other classes to take the challenge again this year and donate to the Annual Fund. Participation is a vital key to our success. -Brian K. Danforth ’06, Director of Annual Giving Class of 1950 Alumni Class Challenge Participants: Rev. Irvin W. Adcock Mrs. Mary J. Caldwell Mrs. Barbara M. Cloaninger Mr. Joseph B. Cox Dr. and Mrs. Donald G. Crawford DDS Mrs. Nancy L. Daughtery Mrs. Bonnie A. Davenport Dr. T. E. Evans Jr. Rev. and Mrs. Edgar E. Ferrell Jr. Mrs. Helen M. Flannagan Dr. and Mrs. James R. Helvey, Jr. Mr. Richard J. Herrmann Mrs. Jean Jackson

Mrs. Lois N. Johnson Mr. and Mrs. James L. Johnson Mr. William G. Lawrence Jr. Rev. and Mrs. Garvin C. Martin Mrs. Marjorie D. Martin Dr. William H. Newman Mr. John G. Peck Jr. Mrs. Ann S. Poplin Rev. William C. Ray Mrs. Saralyn F. Severs Mr. Gene B. Stewart and Mrs. Mildred H. Stewart Mrs. Jean S. Stockton

More about the Annual Fund on page 23

From These Stones – Fall 2008


CLASS notes 1940s Class of 1948 Ray Hodge has published Hodgepodge, a collection of the columns he has written for the Smithfield Herald in Smithfield, NC.

Class of 1949 Dale Hooper has published his autobiography. The Way It Was...As I Recall It Now is a memoir covering Dale’s childhood, college and seminary years, two pastorates in North Carolina, 33 years with the Foreign Mission Board (27 of them in the field, in Kenya), and retirement.

Class of 1956 The North Carolina Association of Educators has honored Vernon Culpepper as one of three namesakes of a new award honoring NCAE staff members who have made a lasting contribution to the organization. Vernon is also the first recipient of the award, the Vernon Culpepper/Bernard Allen/Mary Nesbitt Award. The Orangeburg County (SC) Chamber of Commerce presented its Spirit Award to Bernice Williams Tribble, director of the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association.

Class of 1957

1950s Class of 1950 Ila Graham Stallings was selected as the Annie High Award winner for 2007-08 by the Granite Falls (NC) Business and Professional Women’s Club. It’s the second time she’s received the award, which is given in recognition of continued service, dedication and loyalty to the club. Ernest Stines has been elected an alderman for the town of Canton, NC.

Class of 1952 Bob Townes, chairman emeritus of Piedmont Travel Inc., has announced the merger of his company with Carlson Wagonlit Travel Management Company, the largest travel management company in the world.

Class of 1955 Tom and Dian Jones celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2007. They met at MHC and currently live in Easley, SC.


Rev. Tom Bodkin has been named to the board of trustees of the North Carolina Baptist Foundation. Carolyn Tolbert Jordan bicycled across France during a recent trip.

Class of 1958 Dr. Eleanor Boyd Wright received the 16th annual Razor Walker Award at UNC Wilmington, recognizing her many efforts through the years “walking the razor’s edge” in service to children and youth with disabilities in North Carolina.

Class of 1959 Barbara and Clinton Flowers retired this summer. The pair led the music program at Brevard (NC) First United Methodist Church for nearly eight years; Clinton directed the Transylvania Choral Society for the past three years; and together, they have directed nine vocal and handbell choirs in Brevard. Ruth Winchester Ware presented a paper titled “Thomas Wolfe’s Flu Story: The Death

From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

of Ben” at the 2008 Thomas Wolfe Society Meeting in St. Louis, MO. Her previously published paper “The Death of Grover: Journey through Grief to Resolution” was published in Short Story Criticism: Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers, Volume 113.

1960s Class of 1962 Marty Etchison Babcock received the Marita Houlihan Award for distinguished contributions to the field of international education. The award is given by the Association of International Educators. Marty was the director of programs for the Center for International Understanding at the University of North Carolina before her retirement last year.

Class of 1965 Nancy Morgan Wilcox is the author of the book Fifty-Three Days of Silence: A Journal of God’s Grace and Mercy. The book is a compilation of e-mails she wrote to family, friends, and prayer warriors of her church during a serious health crisis for her husband.

Class of 1967 Glenn E. Ragsdale has retired from Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company in Columbia, SC, after more than 39 years of service. After a couple of years at Mars Hill, Glenn went on to finish his BS in mathematics at the University of South Carolina. He worked in various departments at Colonial but spent most of his time in the computer systems area where he was assistant vice president of systems for over 20 years. Glenn became an avid runner when he turned 40. He qualified for the Boston Marathon twice during the last five years and ran the 2008 Boston Marathon.

Phyllis Corbett Roberts retired after 33 years of teaching music in the public schools of North Carolina.

Class of 1968 Charan Lee was recently inducted into the South Carolina Adult Education Hall of Fame. Charan is the adult education director fo Anderson District 1 and 2 schools and is credited as the driving force behind the development of the SC GED Academy, a success story for adult educators in South Carolina.

Class of 1969 Richard “Tommy” Vann has been appointed assistant dean for preaching and pastoral studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Theology. Vann has been a pastor, college professor and administrator, and military chaplain since 1971, retiring from the U.S. Army with the rank of colonel in 2004. He has served as associaton professor of pastoral ministry at Southwestern since 2004, and was acting assistant dean for a year before his permanent appointment. He and his wife, the former Marta Lucile Atwell of Rancho Cordova, CA, have six children and live in Fort Worth, TX. Franklin County (NC) High School named its new modern band facility in honor of J. Carlton Wilkes, the school’s band director since 1980. Under his direction, the band has won three Festa-val Championships, performed in eight states in competition, and appeared on a regular basis in locla concerts, parades, and civic events.

1970s Class of 1971 The world premiere of Dan

CLASS notes Locklair’s latest solo organ work, St. John’s Suite (Four Chorale Preludes for organ), happened in May in Charlotte, NC. The piece was commissioned by St. John’s Baptist Church for the dedicatory recital of its new Letourneau pipe organ.

Class of 1973 Debra Ferguson DeBruhl has been named administrator of the Fourth Judicial Division, putting her in charge of probation and parole operations for 25 counties in western North Carolina. Julie Cox Hook teaches advanced vocabulary in her new children’s book Meticulous Maddy. It’s the first in a series of books that teach children big vocabulary words

in an effort to get them to use such words at a younger age.

Class of 1974 Rosalind Pendergraff Jenrette has retired after teaching for 32 years, about 20 of them as a Spanish and ESL teacher in Johnston County (NC) Schools. Que Tucker has been awarded a citation from the National Federation of State High School Associations for her work overseeing the NC High School Athletic Association’s 21-sport program.

Class of 1975 John Nicholson retired earlier this year after 31 years with the Hendersonville (NC) Police Department, including his last assignment as interim police

Class of 1978


Class of 1977 Steven R. Chicurel’s second book, Music Theory for Musical Theatre, has been published by Scarecrow Press. Along with co-author John Bell, Dr. Chicurel explores how musical theatre composers use basic principles of music theory to illumninate characters and tell stories, helping students understand the form, structure, and dramatic power of musical theatre repertoire. Chicurel continues to serve as a professor of musical theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He spent the summer on a lecture/masterclass/workshop tour of Australia.

Rev. Tommy Robertson was honored by Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Creedmoor, NC, as “pastor emeritus.” He was pastor of Pleasant Grove for 21 years, from 1978 to 1999, and is currently serving as interim pastor of Tally-Ho Baptist Church in Stem, NC.

Class of 1979 Doris Ballew Deyton was honored as the 2007-08 Yancey County (NC) Principal of the Year. She has been the principal at South Toe Elementary School since January 2006. Ravonda Monley John has written Please Pass the Salt, an inspirational book based on Matthew 5:13, and written as a tribute to her late mother-

Education Alumni of the Year Amy Chapman Flynn is a graduate of Mars Hill College’s CEP Program (now known as Adult ACCESS), receiving her degree in Elementary Education in 1992. Amy worked at Mars Hill before pursuing her degree and later at A.C. Reynolds Middle School in Buncombe County before taking a position teaching sixth grade East Yancey Middle School in Burnsville. Her career at East Yancey has been a successful one, as she’s been named the school’s Teacher of the Year two of the past three years, and was the county’s Teacher of the Year for 2007-08. Her colleagues describe her teaching style as one that expertly blends a strong command of content and effective student management along with the natural ability to provide a comfortable and effective atmosphere for learning. Her principal echoed that sentiment in recognizing her achievements, saying, “She makes the transition to middle school comfortable for students. There is always an activity going on in the classroom that indicates how students are enjoying what they are learning.” Amy and her husband Ricky have two sons (both currently serving in the military) and attend Locust Grove Baptist Church. Joan Wood Castelloe received her bachelor’s degree from Mars Hill in 1976 before pursuing her master’s at the University of Tennessee and later receiving her licensure and specialist certifications at Western Carolina University. Currently working as Instructional Support/ Mentor for Buncombe County Schools, Joan was previously principal at North Buncombe Elementary School, among other education positions she’s held. She’s a member of Mars Hill College’s Teacher Education Council and held leadership positions with county and state education professional organizations, serving as president of the Buncombe County Principals and Assistant Principals Association and as president of the North Carolina Association for the Advancement of Health Education. She and husband Ken have two daughters and are active in their community and at Mars Hill Baptist Church, where Joan is church treasurer and has held positions on the boards of finance, trustees, and Christian education.

(Pictured, L–R: MHC President Dan Lunsford, Joan Castelloe, Amy Flynn, Chair of the Division of Education Tom Destino)

From These Stones – Fall 2008


CLASS notes in-law’s commitment to Christ. John is associate minister at Jones Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Laurinburg, NC, and also works for Pilkington.

Leadership from Oakland City University. He is assistant superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of North Posey County Schools in Poseyville, IN.

Carolyn Holtkamp Moser has been appointed to the North Carolina Council on Sickle Cell Syndrome. She is the health director at the Madison County Health Department, former president of the North Carolina Public Health Association, and a member of the Western North Carolina Public Health Associaton.

Class of 1986 Robin Gentry Satterwhite has been recognized as a 2008 Excellence in Teaching award winner at Rowan Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury, NC, where she is an instructor of history and humanities.

Class of 1987

1980s Class of 1980 Robert Wiseman is the new pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Mooresville, NC.

Andrea Kaye Roos married Mark Vance McNair in April. She is employed at Western Carolina University. The couple lives in Cullowhee.


Class of 1981

Class of 1990

Michael Cody, an associate professor in the English department at East Tennessee State University, has been named director of the University Honors and Midway Scholars Programs in ETSU’s Honors College.

Rudina “Rudi” Ligon has been appointed finance officer for the Rutherford County (NC) School System.

Dr. Glenn Jonas has written the book The Baptist River: Essays on Many Tributaries of a Diverse Tradition. Dr. Jonas is chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy and Howard Professor of Religion at Campbell University.

Class of 1982 Catherine McCluskey was voted Best Teacher by readers of the Eastern Wake News. She is a chemistry teacher at East Wake High School in Wendell, NC.

Class of 1985 Todd E. Camp has earned his Ed.D. in Educational


Class of 1991 Thane Allan Martini married Sandi Melissa Lowman in May. He is a property claims adjustor for Adair, Horne & Associates in Mt. Pleasant, Sc. The couple lives in Charleston.

Class of 1992 Rachel Simmons Desmaris is now Vice President of Information Services at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC. Kerry Heafner, a biology instructor at Limestone College, and three of his students discovered three new species of quillworts (plants closely related to ferns) in Alabama and North Carolina. Matt Rhea is the new admi-

From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

istrator at Bethel Christian Academy in Canton, NC. Gina Stewart Waters and husband, David, welcomed a baby last November. David Wayne Waters II just celebrated his first birthday. The Waters family lives in Gastonia, NC.

Class of 1993 Heather Parker-Foster and her husband, Matt Foster, announce the birth of their son, Rome Lee Foster, on February 14, 2008. They live in Little Rock, AR.

Class of 1994 Sandra Payne Fambrough has joined the staff of Goose Creek State Park in North Carolina as a state park ranger. Lynne Edwards Wheaton and husband, Jim, announce the birth of their second child, Caroline Elizabeth, in November 2006.

Class of 1997 Tamara Crain received her master’s degree in business administration from Western Carolina University in May 2007. She works at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Jim Fucci and his wife, Jill, announce the birth of their daughter, Riley Joanne, in May 2007. They live in Little Ferry, NJ.

Class of 1999 Lanese Belschner Boteilho and her husband, Mike, welcomed their first child, Ashlee Madisyn, in November 2007. Lanese is teaching seond grade and lives in Concord, NC. Ryan Matthew Habich and Amanda Pressley Habich announce the birth of Mallory Michele Habich in June 2008, and Matthew Ryan Habich in November 2006. Matthew and Mallory are the great-grandchildren of Anne Huggins Pressley ’36 and the grandchildren of Michael Huggins Pressley ’65. Ryan and Amanda live near Raleigh, NC. Amanda works as a Certified Public Accountant and Ryan is the head football coach at Fuquay-Varina High School.

2000s Class of 2000 Jaime Binde married Kenneth Charles McKee in October 2007. Jamie is the online editor for the Asheville Citizen-Times. The couple lives in Asheville. Kathleen James Cook married Paul Myer Lichstein in May 2007. The couple lives in Hoboken, NJ. Melanie Mintz married Chris Walk in March 2008.

Patrick Nelson is now the principal of Shuford Elementary School in the Newton-Conover (NC) City Schools system.

Tessa Shelton Sellers has been appointed an assistant district attorney with the 30th Prosecutorial District in North Carolina.

Class of 1998

Class of 2001

Mitzi Fulbright married Derek Triplett in October 2007. She is employed by Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute as a TRIO/ ETS specialist.

Travis Brown has accepted a position as an engineering project coordinator with Bombardier Learjet. He’s working at the Wichita, KS, facility on a project to develop the next generation Learjet.

CLASS notes Beth Honeycutt and Brian Graves ’96 have a new baby, Jonathan, born in July 2008. Amy Smialowicz married Todd Fowler. Amy is employed by CarePartners Health Services in Asheville.

Class of 2002 Jennifer Nicole Hoots married Joshua Clifton Robbins ’03 in July 2007. She works at PML Patology in Asheville; he works with Asheville Savings Bank and the U.S. Army.

Class of 2003 Kelley Chandler has graduated East Tennessee State University with a master’s degree in clinical social work. Rocky John Oakes married Jessica Grey Lane in July 2007. He expects to graduate in 2009 from the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The couple lives in Cary. Joshua Timothy Perry married Corie Elizabeth Buckner in May 2008. He is employed by Highlands Mountain Properties in Lake Lure as a project manager. The couple lives in Forest City, NC.

Benjamin Thomas Rhodarmer married Vanessa Lea Hedden in June 2008. He teaches math and coaches football and basketball at Reynolds High School. The couple lives in Fletcher, NC. Patti Turbyfill was awarded the Clinical Support Professional Award at a recent meeting of the N.C. Associaton of Community Bases ICF/MR and CAP Services Providers. She works with Mountain Area Residential Facilities in Asheville. Jessica Weeks is currently working as a medical volunteer in Honduras before beginning her traditional medical residency. She’s working with Shoulder to Shoulder, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to serving the rural poor.

Class of 2004 Chris and Talia Alley have two boyd: Bryce Caden (age 2) and Kael Brennen (born in May 2008). Talia is a stay at home wife and mother. Chris graduated from ETSU Quillen College of Medicine in May. The family now lives in Raleigh, where Chris is a pathology resident at Duke University Hospital.

Melody Marguerite Bailiff married John Carroll Reed ’03 in September 2007. She is a senior auditor at First Citizens Bank; he is a member services offcer at State Employees Credit Union. The couple lives in Fuquay-Varina, NC. Trinity William Phillips married Lindsey Shannon Groff in March 2007. He completed Navy Officer Candidate School and was serving as a supply officer on the USS Kidd. The couple lives in San Diego.

Class of 2005 Gaelyn Ann Byrnes married Jeffery Karl Jenkins ’04 in June 2007. She is a children’s assistant at Westside Library in Spartanburg, SC. He is an educator at Riverside Middle School in Greer. The couple lives in Simpsonville. Army Sgt. Wesley Martin has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson. Alicia Michelle Owens married Benjamin Harlan Rice in June 2007. They live in Weaverville, NC.

Class of 2006 Army Sgt. Jack Blankenship has graduated from basic com-

bat training at Fort Jackson.

Class of 2007 April Baker married Erik Buchanan in July 2007. She is employed by Yancey County Schools. The couple lives in Burnsville, NC. Tara Carver has joined Bancroft Associates in Washington, DC, as an executive legal assistant. Maranda Dellinger and Justin Clark Atkins were married in June 2007. Bekah Ludlow and Blake Hart were married in August 2008. They each worked as missionaries in Ecuador after graduation. Bekah now works for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta. Blake is continuing his studies at McAfee Theological Seminary. Char’Lee Pickens married Jon Stoehr ’06 in July 2008. Char’Lee is assistant director of MHC’s Bailey Mountain Cloggers and is pursuing her master’s degree in biology at Western Carolina University. Jon is assistant cross country and track coach at MHC and is pursuing his master’s degree in entrepreneurship, also at WCU.

Transition in VP Office “If I can serve in the vice presidential role with half of the class and integrity and authenticity that Alex did, we’ll be in good shape,” said new Vice President of Institutional Advancement Bud Christman, as he considered his new role. Christman succeeded Alex Miller ’75 in leading the fundraising arm of the college on July 1. Miller resigned his position with Mars Hill College to accept a new job as vice president for university advancement at North Greenville University. According to President Dan Lunsford, the institutional advancement program at Mars Hill College has grown and has broadened its position under Miller’s leadership. “I appreciate very much Alex’s significant contributions to Mars Hill College during his tenure and I wish him the very best in his new role at North Greenville University,” he said. Miller said he is proud of the accomplishments of the advancement office in the past five years. “I came here with the idea of leaving a legacy, and with the idea of giving something back to my alma mater,” he said. Despite his pride in Mars Hill’s successful fundraising efforts during his tenure, Miller said the ultimate credit for this success cannot go to him. “What has happened here has been the Lord’s blessing on this place,” he said. “And it’s been a very meaningful period of my life.” Lunsford credits Miller’s loyalty to Mars Hill College for much of his success at the college. But he also said he feels sure that the advancement office will continue to be in capable hands. “Bud Christman has very strong relationship skills with donors and friends of Mars Hill College, a great sense of humor and considerable strength as a team leader,” Dr. Lunsford said. “He has made an impact on institutional advancement at Mars Hill already through his contributions as director of planned giving, and I know he will guide us to many accomplishments in the future.” “We get to be the dream weavers,” said Christman, speaking of the advancement office. “We have the best job on campus. We are charged with helping the college see its dreams, and with finding alumni and donors who can provide the resources to make those dreams come true.” From These Stones – Fall 2008


CLASS notes In Memoriam

Since our last publication we have received word of the passing of the following members of the Mars Hill College family.

1920s Phyllis Brown Embler Nanney ’23 Estelle Eller Benfield ’26 Robert Crutchfield ’28 Louise Griffin Shearin ’28

1930s Patty Moore Bradford ’30 B. Tilson Fleetwood ’30 Thomas Milton Hamby ’31 Archie Thomas “A.T.” Usher ’31 Thomas Estes Moore ’32 Janet Limer Peek ’32 Ruth Keller Craig ’33 Zelma Price Liverman ’33 John Oscar Corbett ’34 John Max Freeman ’34 Louise Parker Lewis ’34 Dorothy Tutt Sinclair ’34 Eleanor Martin Bradley ’35 Mary Grubbs Carter ’35 Philip Link ’35 Margaret Stinson Tocce ’35 D’Arcy W. Bradsher ’36 Martha Wescott Hawley ’36 James Charles Hearn ’36 Ethel Hill Starnes ’36 Nancy Culp McCall ’37 Eleanor Cashwell Laws ’38 David Shelton ’38 Wylene Smith ’38 Howard C. Charles ’39 James Griggs ’39 Flora Staton Pollock ’39 James Spangler ’39

1940s Evelyn Davis Bradley ’40 Lonnie Coates ’40 Edwin Finch ’40 Martha Grayson Hipps ’40 Ann Cochran Kolb ’40 Herschel Doyle Ponder ’40 Mildren Johnson Eakins ’41 Mary Frances “Frankie” Davis Ellison ’41 Gladys McKinney Hollifield ’41


Carolyn Mills Johnson ’41 Matthew O. Summerlin ’41 Edward Utley Austin ’42 Fred Ellison ’42 Wingate Spivey ’42 Ethel Kornegay Trotter ’42 John Foster West ’42 Vessie Chapman Belk ’43 Edward Clark ’43 Frederick Newton Day ’43 George Thomas Gaines ’43 Clifton Moore ’43 James Louis Price ’43 Doris Utley Slayton ’43 Joseph “Jake” Walker ’43 Florence Gordon Chandler ’44 Ethel Ray Cox ’44 Mary Jean Mills Howard ’44 Isabelle Noblitt Purut ’44 George Taylor ’44 Alice Frye Thomas ’44 Alma Elium Digh ’45 David Kimberly ’45 Juanita Bailey Wallace ’45 Ruby Gandy Carter ’46 Margaret Gray Gouge ’46 Kathleen Avery Hughes ’46 Rosa Lee Garrison Richardson ’46 Irene McKenzie Sumner ’46 Wilma Gibbs Wyatt ’46 Robert Bunch ’47 Betty Poston Cox Cassady ’47 Ray Cohn ’47 Roy Morehead ’47 Kathleen King Proffitt ’47 Lela Hinson Travis ’47 Laura Blankenship ’48 Glenn Ray Flack ’48 Katharine Younts High ’48 William Horton ’48 Betty Hart Lindsay ’48 John Saunders ’48 Arthur Wilson ’48 Donald Conklin Young ’48 Beulah Durham Brown ’49 Zeola Hollar Buckner ’49 Harry Paul Clause ’49 Anne Lloyd Dwyer ’49 Herbert Bennett Gray ’49 Margie Fox Furlong ’49 Allan Jarrett ’49 Edwin McDonald ’49

From These Stones – The Mars Hill College Magazine

Julius Mahon ’49 Herbert “Murray” Parker ’49 Earl Porter ’49 Hubert Rogers ’49 Rufus Henegar Shelton ’49 Robert N. Solomon ’49 Curtis Melvin Thompson ’49


Frances Reynolds Mullaney ’62 Robert Brewington ’63 Mary Latta Bradley ’64 George Sage Horner ’64 Lola Wilde ’65 Linda Barbour Turner ’66 Tony Morris Yates ’66 William “Lavern” Wells ’67

Frank N. Bowers ’50 Philip Wayne Cooke ’50 Robert Link ’50 William Holmes Lloyd ’50 Joseph Walter McGuire ’50 David Rufus “D.R.” Smithson ’50 Perry Edward Thompson ’50 Guy Codgill Wiggins ’50 Donald Frank Hill ’51 Homer Marshall Myers ’51 Henry George thomas ’51 Susie Kathleen Wallin ’51 Henry Robert McCauley ’52 James Niedermayer ’52 Louellyn Landers Smith ’52 Dorothy Owen Stowe ’52 James K. Ward ’52 AnnWright Bobo ’53 Pattie Holcombe ’53 Mary Jeanne Brown Roberts ’53 Carolyn Clement Barfield ’54 James Carroll Clevenger ’55 Joe Harold Duff ’55 Robert Carroll Hensley ’55 Roy Allen Jolley ’55 Shirley Boyd Page ’55 Sue Bishop Morris ’56 Edward Carl Anderson ’57 Lowell Bachman ’58 Nick Foster ’58 Edward Adam Morton ’58 Jack Wallace Noland ’58 Charles Ownbey ’58 Shirley Garrison Morrow ’59



Ava Carter (retired from finance department)

Sarah Harbort Belger ’60 Ernest “Jack” Kronimus ’60 Wayne Roberts ’60 Wayne Teague ’60 Allen Franklin Cantrell ’61 Jimmy Lee Lowery ’61 Richard Stancil ’61

Polly Briggs Lewis ’70 David Collins Melton ’72 Sheryl Fowler Banks ’73 Vienna Mitchell Hunter ’73 Ricky Gerald Jenkins ’73 Howard Phillips ’73 Marilyn Reid Farrell ’74 Richard Benjamin Cole ’75 Tim Haden ’75 Eileen Flynn Rowe ’75 Allen Dawkins ’76 Doug Jordan ’77 Harvey Rasar ’77 Geraldine Robinson Peyton ’78

1980s Patricia Byers Wallace ’81 Michael Evans ’82 Barbara Singleton ’82 Robert Bruce McCanless ’83 Susan Davis Stewart ’85 Mary Raper Wynes ’86 Janice Jordan Gregory ’87

1990s Jason Wray Thomas ’92

2000s Timothy Shawn Smith ’00 Kristine Decker Gregory ’03

Faculty/Staff/Friends (who were not also MHC alumni)

2008 Phonathon Makes History With $93,107 in pledges, the 2008 Phonathon set a new milestone in obtaining financial support for Mars Hill College, having raised more money for the college’s Annual Fund than any phonathon in recent history. The Mars Hill College Phonathon is a yearly intensive fund-raising effort for which students make calls to potential donors over a period of eight weeks in the fall. Funds generated by Phonathon go to the college’s Annual Fund, which is used primarily for scholarships, with a small portion going to operating expenses for the college. This year’s pledge total of $93,107 exceeded last year’s total by almost $20,000, though the actual numbers of donors had decreased. This year’s total was given by 1,218 donors. In 2007, 1,246 donors gave $73,473. The total amount pledged was $92,224 in 2006, $90,784 in 2005, $80,751 in 2004 and $72,095 in 2003. Director of Annual Giving Brian K. Danforth, who coordinates the phonathon, said he applauds donors for their commitment to Mars Hill College, even in a time of economic uncertainty. He also credits students’ hard work and persistence with the increased success of this year’s effort. “Unfortunately, just when the donors need to keep their money the most, we need them to give it the most,” Danforth said. “With the economic problems our country has experienced this year, I thought giving to the college would suffer, but that is not what happened. We really appreciate our alumni base for having stood firm with its loyalty.” And donors were not the only ones whose commitment came through for the Annual Fund this year, Danforth said. “The student callers who worked on phonathon this year really showed a lot of hard work, persistence and commitment,” Danforth said. “They were also very competitive with each other, and they used that competitive edge in a good way to benefit the college.” Now in his second year of directing the phonathon, Danforth said he is trying to help students feel good about their work and to realize the importance of the Annual Fund to the college. “Mars Hill College is a private college, so we depend on the Annual Fund to provide many of the things that we do for students,” he said. Recognition and training are two of the keys that helped students have the personal tools to reach their phonathon goals, Danforth said. He organized a training session before the phonathon began, and another training midway through, at which student supervisors helped student callers identify their weaknesses as solicitors. Excellent student supervisors were also crucial to the success of the effort, Danforth said. Student supervisors were: Krystal Wise (Head Supervisor); Malena Montgomery, Jamie Kuehl, Rondon Bacchus and Mallory Hassler. Three students received awards for having obtained the most donations during phonathon. Those students were: Megan Percy, Mason Huffman and Paola Aybar. Other outstanding student callers received “superlative” awards. Winning the “Rookie of the Year” award was Joshua Sides; “Most Competitive” was Catherine Strunks; Anna Thrift won the “Gimme the Money” Award (for most credit card donations); Shamonica Smith got the “Hot Finger” award (for most attempts); and Malaree Wallace got the “Most Improved” award. Other student callers were: Amy Miller, Malaree Wallace, Robbie Swann, Yerbol Bolat, Ariel Sheppard, Miley White, Kristina Donahue, Tyler Clarke, James Johnson, Ciara Felder, Shannon McLaughlin, Anna Thrift, Bradley McAllister, Arlene Pettway, Shamira Alford, Garett Patton, Sammi Jo Bryant, Ernest Sobers, Lindsey Collins, Abby Martin, Jamal Wiggins.

From These Stones – Fall 2008


Reconnect with classmates online Have you checked out the brand new online community, Alumnet, sponsored by the Alumni office? Here are just a few of the things you can do in Alumnet, which you access at 

Find other MHC graduates and old classmates

See what’s happening on the Hill by printing out the news & events calendar

Add photos of you and your family on vacation

Look for jobs or post new jobs available at your place of employment

Many other features

To use the community, you must be registered. In order to register, please e-mail so that we can set a username & password for you. We’ll send you an e-mail confirmation with a temporary password that you can change once you are logged in. Enjoy! What else does MHC have online? Surf on over to any of these sites: – MHC Web site - Alumni Web site - Annual Fund Web site - Alumni Facebook - Young alumni – Alumnet – MHC Bookstore - Bailey Mountain Cloggers - MHC Athletics

Mars Hill College PO Box 370 Mars Hill, NC 28754

From These Stones - Fall 2008  

Mars Hill College alumni magazine

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