olumns THE MAGAZINE OF MARTIN METHODIST COLLEGE
East Campus scores big The RedHawks ushered in a new era of baseball and softball this spring as they hosted opponents in one of the most beautiful settings anywhere. ALSO IN THIS ISSUE . . .
• The Common Reader program is an uncommon success • Former students offer musical memories as Albert Hughes retires • Charlie Pope: the definition of a servant leader
Volume 11, Number 2
In this issue Another historic graduation
Another record class of graduates received degrees when the 178 members of the Class of 2013 took their enthusiasm indoors on a rainy Saturday morning in May. Among the many people who will long remember this occasion is science instructor Ralph Johnson, who received this year’s Fred E. Ford Exemplary Teaching Award.
An uncommon success
The inaugural Common Reader initiative of the First-Year Experience program selected Dead Man Walking for incoming freshmen to read prior to arriving in August. They then took part in a yearlong series of events examining the challenging topic of the death penalty, including a visit from the book’s author, Sister Helen Prejean.
Musical memories of ‘Doc’
As Dr. Albert Hughes ends a 26-year tenure as professor of music and director of the Martin Methodist College Concert Choir, several of his former students remember just what a huge impact the man they call “Doc” had on their lives.
East Campus scores big 17
It had been a long time coming, but when the RedHawk baseball and softball teams finally took to their fields at the East Campus athletic complex, the results were two-fold: a combined 46-18 won-loss record at home and one of the most picturesque settings imaginable for a college sporting event.
Definition of a servant leader
For more than half of his life, basketball had defined Charlie Pope, including 20 years as a successful coach. But the 1995 alumnus of Martin Methodist changed his way of life in the fall of 2011 when he moved with his wife and two young daughters to Arrowhead Ranch in Bedford County, Tenn., to work with teenage boys who need discipline, guidance, structure and unconditional love.
Also in these pages . . .
President’s Message Alumni Notes Postscript
2 28 36
On the cover . . . Photographer Guy Schafer captured this unique perspective as RedHawk freshman pitcher Blake Beavers zeroes in on his catcher’s target during practice on the new East Campus field.
Remembering MMC’s ‘patron saint‘
e too rarely give credit to the literally hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, energy and resources to help Martin Methodist advance.
Dear friends, Throughout this issue of The Columns you will see clear evidence that Martin Methodist College is succeeding in extraordinary ways: from stunning new facilities on the East Campus to inventive academic enhancements like our Common Reader; and from impressive faculty achievements to the ultimate attainment of graduating our largest class in the college’s 143-year history. This kind of progress doesn’t just materialize; it takes a corps of committed people working hard toward a pinpointed plan. Certainly the most obvious and integral people for the success of a teaching institution like Martin Methodist are the members of our skilled and dedicated faculty, and our supportive and diligent staff is not far behind. But we too rarely give credit to the literally hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, energy and resources to help Martin Methodist advance. The 40 members of our Board of Trustees, for instance, invest long and demanding hours in this institution, providing an unparalleled level of leadership and good counsel, not to speak of their financial investments. The Alumni Council offers its unique perspective and an unmatched level of enthusiasm and encouragement for our work. And I could go on to the many advisory groups that assist specific programs, along with the less formal leaders and advisors who step forward on particular projects. Perhaps most important are the individual alumni and friends who provide a college-age neighbor with information about Martin Methodist and the many church members who say a good word about the college to a neighbor in their pew. Martin Methodist College lost a consummate volunteer on May 26, 2013. Grace G. Grissom served as a member of the Board of Trustees for 40 years, including service as its chair from 1977 to 1984. During that time she saw the college through a tumultuous period and then helped to lead the visionary quest to attain the four-year baccalaureate status. And her support and encouragement never waned – she attended her last board meeting within just a few months of her death. Grace Grissom was also a generous benefactor with three campus facilities and an endowed scholarship that bear the Grissom name. Martin Methodist College has had no greater friend than Grace G. Grissom. In 2001 we recognized Grace Grissom’s extraordinary service to Martin Methodist by awarding her the college’s very first honorary degree. During that ceremony, Michael W. Barton, as chairman of the Board of Trustees, referred to Grace Grissom as this college’s Patron Saint. As we give thanks for Grace Grissom’s remarkable life, we also celebrate the marvelous impact that volunteers are having all over this campus. Our progress is a clear reflection of your love and devotion for this institution as together we seek to realize the unique potential of Martin Methodist College.
We want to hear from you As is often the case, this issue’s letter comes from the editor, instead of to him . . .
Editor Grant Vosburgh
Director of Communications
Managing Editor Dr. Kayla Wiggins Professor of English
Contributors Edna Luna ’06
Director of Alumni Affairs
Director of Sports Communications
Guy Schafer Photographer
MMC Executive Council Dr. Ted Brown President
Dr. James Murrell
Vice President for Academic Affairs
W. David Jones
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Robby Shelton ’85
Vice President for Campus Life and Enrollment Management
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Director of Athletics
Dr. Ed Trimmer
Executive Director of The Cal Turner, Jr. Center for Church Leadership
Dr. Dennis Haskins
Vice President for Planning and Effectiveness
Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Operations
Dr. Daniel McMasters
President of the Faculty Senate
kay, good readers – (be forewarned, anytime a columnist begins with “dear readers,” you can be assured that the writer is buttering you up, and what is about to follow is a gentle request . . . if not a blatant, out-and-out groveling) – I am here to ask a favor. (See, I told you.) When you turn to this page, entitled “To the Editor,” the ideal sight to see is a series of letters from friends and alumni of Martin Methodist College who have read something in the previous issue of The Columns and have an observation or opinion to share. And it has, indeed, happened in past issues. But not always. When we don’t have a letter to the editor, then you get to read a letter from the editor, and while I thoroughly enjoy writing them, I firmly believe you would prefer to hear from your fellow readers. So here comes my request. Write us a letter. Yes, there is a blue box on this page that already contains that message, but I wish to prime the pump a bit. This is an amazing time in the history of Martin Methodist. After a remarkable decade of growth during the Martin 2010 era that resulted with enrollment doubling and reaching 1,000 students (and doing so a year earlier than projected), we now are embarking on an equally ambitious strategic plan, Martin 2020, which was detailed in our issue of The Columns that was published last fall. Write us at: This is a time of academic progress, ranging from new Letters, The Columns c/o Grant Vosburgh programs – such as nursing, criminal justice, music, dramatic arts, Martin Methodist College mathematics and entrepreneurship – to travel abroad opportunities, 433 W. Madison St. honors research grants, and new initiatives such as the Common Pulaski, TN 38478 Reader program that is featured in this issue. Or e-mail us at: This is a time of unprecedented expansion, such as the continued firstname.lastname@example.org Please include a mailing address and development of the 44-acre East Campus athletic complex and the a daytime phone number creation of an on-campus health clinic, both of which are lifted up in this issue, as well as further renovation and construction on our 16acre main campus. This is a time for increased United Methodist engagement, as our Cal Turner, Jr. Center for Church Leadership continues to offer new resources to local congregations, the Tennessee Conference and the denomination as a whole. This is a time for unparalleled student achievement, be it soaring voices in the choral program, heart-wrenching emotion on the theatrical stage, a record-setting performance on the athletic courts and fields of play, or the stunning presentation of high-level student research. This is a time for faculty and staff excellence, not only the newcomers that bring amazing levels of new expertise to our campus, but the longtime, legendary individuals whose careers are coming to an end, such as music professor Albert Hughes, to whom tributes from former students can be found in this issue. All of that leads to this . . . it’s a time for our alumni and friends to let us know what you think. Read all about it, as the newsboys at the city intersections used to cry in hawking their daily paper . . . and then write or e-mail your insights to us for the next issue. After all, it’s what dear readers do.
Grant Vosburgh Director of Communications
NEWS FROM THE CAMPUS GREEN
PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL
The Class of 2013 receives diplomas from President Ted Brown as Chairman of the Board Byron Trauger and Vice President for Academic Affairs James Murrell stand ready for a handshake of congratulations. Heavy rains throughout the previous night forced the event indoors to the Curry Christian Life Center.
Rain can’t dampen enthusiasm of largest graduating class yet
record number of 178 graduates earned degrees during Martin M e t h o d i s t C o l l e g e ’s 1 4 2 n d Commencement for the Class of 2013 on Saturday, May 4. Forced indoors because of rainy weather, the graduation ceremony was nonetheless festive as family and friends filling the Curry Christian Life Center cheered the achievements of the largest class in Martin Methodist history. It was a fitting conclusion for the Class of 2013, most of whom were freshmen in the fall of 2009
when the college passed another milestone by reaching a total enrollment of 1,000 students. The college bestowed 96 Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees, 50 Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degrees, 30 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degrees and 14 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees. There were also three individuals receiving Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees. A number of the class members received a degree in more than one major, and several earned two separate degrees.
Along with the degrees presented to the graduates, Brown presented three significant individual honors as part of the ceremony. The President’s Award, given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average, was actually presented to two students who graduated with identical perfect 4.0 academic records. Daphne G. Alsup of Pulaski, who earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and management, and Michael Patrick O’Hagan of South Pittsburg, Tenn., receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, shared that honor.
The 2013 Fred E. Ford Exemplary Teaching Award, given to a member of the faculty for outstanding contributions both in and outside of the classroom, was presented to Ralph Johnson, an instructor in biology who first began teaching at the college in the 1960s and then returned to the faculty in 2000. He has bachelor of science and master of arts degrees from Middle Tennessee State University with additional study at Cornell. The commencement festivities began on the afternoon of Friday, May 3, with the sixth annual Pinning Ceremony for the Division of Nursing. Fifteen of the students earning the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree participated in the ceremony, in which members of the nursing faculty awarded each new graduate with a lapel pin unique to the Martin Methodist nursing program. The baccalaureate service followed later in the afternoon at First United Methodist Church of Pulaski, with the Rev. Harriet Bryan, pastor of Salem UMC in Clarksville, Tenn., delivering the sermon. A native of Pulaski who grew up in Pulaski First UMC, she is the daughter of Harry and Jean Bryan of Pulaski, both of whom graduated from Martin Methodist in 1959.
PHOTOS BY JOHN RUSSELL
Sharing the President's Award for the highest grade point average in the Class of 2013 were Daphne G. Alsup of Pulaski and Michael Patrick O'Hagan of South Pittsburg, Tenn.
The Rev. Harriet Bryan, a native of Pulaski and the daughter of two Martin Methodist graduates, delivers the baccalaureate sermon. PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL
Johnson named Ford Exemplary Teacher
PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL
Longtime science instructor Ralph Johnson receives the Fred E. Ford Exemplary Teaching Award as Chairman of the Board Byron Trauger offers congratulations.
s an adjunct faculty member, Ralph Johnson wasn’t planning on going to graduation on Saturday, May 4, until the academic dean asked that he attend. “I should’ve suspected something was up,” he later said after being recognized during the commencement ceremony as the recipient of the 2013 Fred E. Ford Exemplary Teaching Award. He first taught at the college during the summers of 1964 and 1965, while a member of the science faculty at Smyrna (Tenn.) High School. He became a fulltime instructor at Martin Methodist from 1966-75 and then returned in the fall of 2000, teaching a variety of courses in biology. These days, with the nursing program expanding, most of his time is spent in the Human Anatomy and Physiology classroom. Johnson explains his philosophy of teaching in what students and colleagues have come to know as his signature plain-spoken, good-humored style. “I tell my students, ‘I don’t work for the president, and I don’t work for the academic dean. I work for you, and if you’re receptive to the topic of human anatomy and physiology, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader. If not, I’ll be your worst nightmare.’ And most of them catch on quickly and do a good job.”
Lee, Wossum-Fisher receive promotions
PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL
The faculty applauds during commencement exercises with the news that Board of Trustees has approved history professor Bill Rutherford (above) and music professor Albert Hughes (pictured below with President Ted Brown) as faculty emeriti.
Emeriti faculty Hughes, Rutherford honored by trustees
PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER
wo longtime professors at Martin Methodist College have become the first faculty members to be awarded the title of emeritus status by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Albert Hughes, professor of music, and William E. Rutherford, professor of history, were honored with the emeritus designation by the Board of Trustees at its recent spring meeting, and President Ted Brown made the announcement during the college’s 142nd Commencement on Saturday, May 4, in the Curry Christian Life Center. Both men will be stepping away from their full-time faculty positions. Hughes is retiring after 26 years as professor of music and director of the Martin Methodist Concert Choir, while Rutherford, a professor of history who has worked at the college for 42 years, has indicated that he will move to semi-retirement status, choosing to teach on a part-time basis. The Board of Trustees formally established Martin Methodist’s first-ever policy eight years ago for awarding emeritus status. Along with his music classes, Hughes also team-taught a class in film for many years. He is a past chair of the Division of Humanities. During his time at Martin Methodist, Rutherford has also served in administrative posts, including as director of admissions and in public relations. The vast majority of his time, however, has been as a member of the history faculty and chair of the Division of Social Sciences.
wo members of the Martin Methodist College faculty have been promoted to full professor status following the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Kerbe Lee has been promoted from associate professor to professor of education. He holds the bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from Harding College and the doctor of education degree from the University of Tulsa. Dr. Kerbe Lee He joined the Martin Methodist faculty in 2001 after a long career as a teacher and administrator in secondary education. He coordinates the secondary education program in the Division of Education. Dr. Doris Wossum-Fisher has been promoted from associate professor to professor of psychology. She holds the bachelor of arts degree from McMurry College, the master of arts degree from West Texas State University and the doctor of philosophy Dr. Doris degree from Texas Wossum-Fisher Tech University. Prior to coming to Martin Methodist in 2000 as director of counseling and an assistant professor of psychology, she served for 12 years in the department of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Smithsonian exhibit draws rave reviews
artin Methodist College’s Barton Art Gallery hosted its first-ever Smithsonian Exhibition during the spring semester, with “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas.” The “IndiVisible” exhibition is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian, National Museum of African American History
and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). According to the exhibit’s website: “Within the fabric of American identity is woven a story that has long been invisible – the lives and experiences of people who share African American and Native American ancestry. African and Native peoples came together in the Americas. Over centuries,
African Americans and Native Americans created shared histories, communities, families, and ways of life. Prejudice, laws, and twists of history have often divided them from others, yet African-Native American people were united in the struggle against slavery and dispossession, and then for selfdetermination and freedom. For AfricanNative Americans, their double heritage is
truly indivisible.” The exhibit began with a lecture on Feb. 8 by Jeffery Hobbs, drawing on his experiences as an African-Native American in today’s culture. Of Cherokee and African descent, he attended Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in history and Native American studies. While enrolled at MTSU, he served as president of the Native
Longtime trustee joins staff Jones now leads advancement as Gregory named dean of students
longtime trustee of Martin the core of my love for the school. In Methodist College with addition, its affiliation with the United 135 years in the banking Methodist Church and its focus on industry has been named the new church leadership has also contributed vice president for institutional to my strong belief in and connection to advancement. the school’s vision. W. David Jones, who had been “My 15-year affiliation with Martin an executive with SunTrust Bank Methodist College has allowed me the since 1985, began his work at Martin opportunity to see the great progress Methodist on Feb. 11. In his role, the college has made,” he said. “As Jones will oversee the college’s MMC approaches the beginning stages five-member advancement staff of its Martin 2020 plan, I see the great whose efforts include fundraising, opportunity the college has before it.” PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER prospect development, stewardship, Jones went on to say that his David Jones (center), seen here talking with MMC alumnus and alumni relations, communications and trustee Doran Johnson and his wife, Amanda, is the new vice various positions with SunTrust have advancement services. allowed him to work with a number president for institutional advancement. Dr. Jack Gregory (below) was appointed in August to the new position of dean of students. “This is a superb appointment of not-for-profit organizations and for Martin Methodist College’s future.” institutions. said President Ted Brown. “David Jones already has a “I have always had a passion for that work, and this long history of affiliation with Martin Methodist people, seemed like the perfect time and opportunity,” he said. from faculty, staff, students and trustees to alumni and “In addition, I have a tremendous amount of respect for United Methodist church members. And he brings wellthe leadership that Dr. Ted Brown has provided, along honed management skills and special expertise that will with the significant contributions of the faculty and staff.” easily transfer to the fundraising task. While we will lose The position of vice president for advancement his considerable talents on the Board of Trustees, we see became vacant just prior to the fall semester when Dr. an enormous gain as we begin the roll-out of our Martin Jack Gregory, who had held that post for 12 years, was 2020 plan.” named to fill the newly recreated position of dean of Jones is a 1978 graduate of the University of students. Gregory came to Martin Methodist in 2000 from Tennessee and completed the Graduate School of Banking Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., where he had PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL at Louisiana State University in 1992, the SunTrust considerable experience in both areas of advancement and Management School in Atlanta in 2004, and the Scarlett Executive student services. Program in Nashville in 2010. He joined the Martin Methodist College “Jack Gregory has always been such a nurturing presence on campus Board of Trustees while serving as president and chief executive officer of with our students,” Brown said, “despite the fact that his advancement the SunTrust office in Pulaski from 1994 to 2001, and he has continued assignment was largely off campus. As we considered the establishment serving in that role while holding subsequent SunTrust positions in of the dean of students position to serve our growing student body, it was Florence, Ala., and in Nashville. so natural to ask ‘Dr. G,’ as he is known to students, to take that on. In “I joined the Board of Trustees in 1997, and even though I moved just a few months in the new role he has made a significant impact with away from Pulaski, I had developed an affinity for Martin Methodist students. Dr. Jack Gregory has served the college with distinction for and its mission,” Jones said. “Martin Methodist College’s dedication 12 years as our senior advancement officer, and we look forward to his to recruiting and serving first-generation college students has been at continued service in this important new role.”
American Student Association. He lectures widely on Cherokee culture. The exhibit was on display in the Barton Gallery, located on the second floor of the Gault Center.
Stofel tabbed to fill digital marketing post
bbie L. Stofel has joined the administrative staff at Martin Methodist College in the newly created position of director of digital marketing and webmaster. Stofel, who spent the past two years as marketing coordinator for Advocate Capital, Inc., a Nashville strategic finance company serving law firms, will be responsible Abbie Stofel for developing and overseeing the execution of a strategic marketing plan that includes website redesign, search engine marketing and social media initiatives. “As Martin Methodist continues to grow, it is imperative we look for innovative ways to communicate with potential and current students, faculty, staff and other constituents,” said David Stephens, vice president for finance and administration. “We are excited to have someone of Abbie’s expertise join the MMC family. She has made an immediate impact in how we do business as an educational institution, and we look forward to her continued success in representing Martin Methodist’s image in the digital arena,” he said. Stofel is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in mass communication/public relations with a minor in marketing. Prior to her position at Advocate Capital, she served public relations internships at Journal Communications in Franklin, Tenn., June S. Anderson Women’s Foundation at Middle Tennessee State in Murfeesboro, Tenn., and Oakland’s Historic House Museum, also in Murfreesboro.
Three years in four MMC again named to President’s Honor Roll for service and outreach
artin Methodist College has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Only 690 of an approximate 4,000-plus higher education institutions in the United States earned the President’s Honor Roll designation for this year. It marks the third time in four years that Martin Methodist College has been named to the President’s Honor Roll. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. “Martin Methodist has a long history of community service and service-learning, so this award is important recognition of long-standing values. We are absolutely committed to service-learning as a way of preparing our graduates to be compassionate leaders for a world in need,” said Dr. Ted Brown, president of Martin Methodist College. “We’re honored to receive this prestigious award, but let’s be clear that this one was earned by our students themselves. It is their energy and commitment that makes it all happen.” The program that really fuels the Martin Methodist students’ efforts is Martin Serves, the college’s service initiative that sends students, faculty and staff across town, across the county, and across the region in an effort to help those in need. Brandi Belcher, director of Martin Serves whose own servant leadership was nurtured during her years as a student at Martin Methodist, provides a stunning profile of the students’ efforts for the previous year, the value of which is calculated to nearly half a million dollars: • Total number of student volunteers: 1,041 • Total number of community volunteers: 585 • Total number of clients served: 3,330 • Total hours of community service: 5,212 • Total number of Service-Learning courses: 32 • Total number of students involved in Service-Learning: 599 • Total hours of Service-Learning: 17,266 • Total hours of all service efforts: 22,478 • Total value of service completed: $455,185 “We are so honored to have received this award for the third time,” Belcher said. “This honor really shows that our campus has a true commitment to not only serving the community, but to providing a hands-on educational experience that allows our students to use their passions, talents, and creativity for innovative opportunities that truly meet the needs of both Pulaski and the surrounding communities.”
High school seniors Lydia Wossum-Fisher and Austin Toy were selected as the 2013 Barton Scholars.
Top scholars picked for Barton honor
he two newest Barton Scholars will enroll at Martin Methodist College next fall with strong connections to the school already in place. Lydia Wossum-Fisher of Pulaski and Austin Toy of Lyles, Tenn., have been selected to receive the full-cost Michael W. and Barbara B. Barton Scholarship, worth more than $100,000 over four years, awarded each spring to a pair of high school seniors. Fifty-three students visited Martin Methodist College on Saturday, Feb. 9, to compete for the Barton Scholarship. Lydia Wossum-Fisher is a graduate of Giles County High School, where she was seventh in a class of 168 students. She is the daughter of Dr. Doris Wossum-Fisher, a member of the MMC psychology faculty, and Dr. Eli Fisher, an adjunct instructor in religion. Besides her parents’ connection to Martin Methodist, she has been active in a number of drama productions at the college. She has also been involved in the Leo Club, Beta Club, Scholastic Bowl team, French Club and Book Club. She has taken ballet and jazz dance and she been a part of the Young Artist Company of the Nashville Children’s Theatre. She hopes to major in drama or psychology. Austin Toy is a graduate of East Hickman High School, where he ranked fourth in a class of 150 students. He is the son of LuAnn and Randy Toy, and his sister, Cofie, is a 2013 MMC graduate after receiving the Barton Scholarship as a high school senior in 2009. At East Hickman, he was involved in the golf and tennis teams, Beta Club, theater and student council, and was senior class president. He hopes to major in English.
PHOTOS BY GUY SCHAFER
Dr. Joseph White of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum talks to students about the many Nazi camps and ghettos in a morning lecture in Gault Center recital hall. Below, faculty member Bernice Davidson talks with Holocaust survivor Arthur Pais.
An evening to remember Holocaust survivor, researcher captivate Martin Hall audience
he last in a three-year educational between Martin Methodist College and the partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Holocaust Museum and also strengthened the Memorial Museum brought a large Martin college’s connection to the Tennessee Holocaust Hall audience face-to-face with the horrors of the Commission, which has brought survivors, like Nazi labor camps. Mr. Pais, to the campus to personalize historical Arthur Pais, a Holocaust survivor who lives data presented by Dr. White.” in Knoxville, Tenn., talked about life as a teenager White, who also gave a morning lecture in the Dachau concentration camp and the Kovno in the Gault Center, is one of the foremost ghetto as part of “An Evening of Remembrance,” authorities on the topic. held on April 16. “He knows more about the Holocaust His compelling story followed a presentation than most of us know about anything,” said by Dr. Joseph White, a researcher at the USHMM Dr. Brant Harwell, who helped coordinate the in Washington, D.C., who was making his third event. “I admire people like Dr. White who have visit to Martin Methodist. that dogged persistance to stick to a subject In 2009, history professor Bill Rutherford year after year, making himself a veritable contacted the national museum for resources for encyclopedia of information so that we never a lecture he was planning to give. The USHMM forget.” did even better, agreeing to send White to campus as part of a three-year educational program the museum offers. “As part of its outreach program, the museum funds professional researchers who speak across the country on topics related to the Holocaust,” Rutherford said. President Ted Brown (left) and Dr. Brant Harwell (right) visit “This unexpected opportunity with Holocaust speakers (from left) Dr. Joseph White, Arthur established an enlightening Pais and Danielle Kahane-Kaminsky of the Tennessee Holocaust three-year relationship Commission in Nashville.
President’s Medallion Nedra Trebing reflects on service to seven presidents
ne of the most dedicated members of the Martin Methodist College family has received one of the institution’s highest honors. Nedra Johnson Trebing, a 1961 graduate of the college and an employee for 33 years, was presented the President’s Medallion during the annual Benefactor’s Luncheon on Oct. 18, 2012. Making the presentation was Dr. Ted Brown, one of seven presidents for whom Trebing served as administrative assistant. “I am only one of example of Nedra Trebing’s miraculous work,” said Brown, who credited her with getting him off on the right foot and pointing him in the right direction when he came into the office in 1998. “Nedra was good at her work of breaking in a new president – after all, she had done it six times before. She graduated in 1961 and then came to work at the college. She served in a variety of roles in the business PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER office, the registrar’s office, but is most widely known as the trainer and Dr. Ted Brown was one of seven Martin Methodist presidents for whom guide for no less than seven presidents in the role of assistant to the Nedra Trebing served as administrative assistant during her time at MMC. president. I speak from first-hand experience as the seventh in Nedra’s long list of protégés. And I am claiming today to be the proudest among stints as interim president while the college was conducting presidential them.” searches. Trebing – who comes from a strong Martin Methodist family, including It was an environment that Trebing treasured immensely. her brother, Doran, a 1970 graduate and a member of the Board of “Being in the president’s office daily, while the president was on the Trustees, and her granddaughter, Kyndall Kirby Baltimore, currently a road connecting with our constituency, I had the pleasure in his absence of student at the college – said the honor was more than she could have ever becoming the president’s liaison, especially with our Martin trustees and the imagined. Tennessee Conference pastors and laypersons,” she said. “I became closely “In all my years working in the president’s office and being on the linked with our United Methodist churches and allied with our benefactors. lookout for recipients of Martin’s most prestigious award, never did I “The most important thing I can say,” she told the audience,” is I love dream of receiving the President’s Medallion myself,” she said. “I am Martin Methodist College, and I love the people affiliated with Martin.” honored. Thank you.” And, in paying tribute to her, Brown made it abundantly clear that the She came to work at the college in 1969 and spent the first year in feeling is more than mutual. the academic dean’s office before moving into the office of President W.C. “There is so much more I could say about the influence that Nedra Westenberger. She would go on to work with Presidents Harry Wagner, Trebing has had on the people in her life – look around her family, her Tom Gray, Bill Starnes, Tommy Yow, George Miller and Ted Brown. Dr. Fred friends, her church, her community, but especially her college and you will Ford, longtime academic dean and professor of music, also served two find hundreds who have been touched by this special person.”
Ken Yamada traveled the world for Methodist education
ne 11th annual International Studies after 45 years of service in United Methodist Convocation on Oct. 23, 2012, higher education. included the presentation of one of In July of 2011, the Ken Yamada the college’s highest honors when Dr. Ken Distinguished Leadership Award, also known Yamada received the President’s Medallion. as the Flame of Excellence, was created at a And this particular MMC president meeting of the National Association of Schools couldn’t have been happier considering Ted and Colleges of the United Methodist Church Brown first met Yamada in the late 1970s at (NASCUMC) and the International Association the United Methodist General Board of Higher of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities Education in Nashville. (IAMSCU). “Over the years, Ken Yamada has During his tenure, he traveled an estimated PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER been a mentor and a great friend, so this 5 million miles and circled the world 191 Dr. Ken Yamada (center) visits with MMC President presentation is truly personal for me and an times on behalf of the church. Ted Brown (left) and Dr. Roger Ireson, professor of opportunity for which I give thanks to God,” “Kenjiro Yamada, international leader, philosophy and religion and special advisor to the Brown said. educator, faithful son of the church, you have president. Yamada retired as special assistant to the crafted a legacy of achievement and service to the General Secretary for Global Education and New Initiatives on Oct. 31, 2011, worldwide Methodist movement that will stand the test of time,” Brown said.
Christian Academy, where she was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, volleyball, and mentoring younger students. They join 26 previous recipients over the past 13 years, including six currently enrolled at Martin Methodist College.
High school seniors Stephanie Black and Webb Booth were selected as the 2013 Alford Scholars.
Black, Booth named 2013 Alford Scholars
wo new Alford Church Leader Scholars have been selected following a daylong competition conducted among 53 top high school seniors who visited campus on Saturday, Feb. 23, where they interviewed with a selection committee, wrote an essay, toured facilities and heard presentations from students and faculty about the college. William (Webb) Booth III and Stephanie Black were named recipients of the full-cost scholarships presented to two church leaders from United Methodist congregations. The scholarships were established in 2001 and are named in memory of the Rev. Ben Alford, a 1956 alumnus of the college who became a beloved pastor of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church and a longtime administrator at his alma mater. His son, David, a 1985 alumnus, is a member of the Martin Methodist dramatic arts faculty and is a cast member on the ABC-TV drama, “Nashville.” The Alford scholarship provides room, board and tuition for four years, a package worth more than $100,000. Booth is a member of St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Tenn., attended Rossview High School, has been an Ovation Youth Award winner in theater and is currently the lead singer for the Marked Worship Band and Remix Worship Band. He has been on the design team for the Tennessee Conference youth event, Warmth in Winter, and has coordinated worship at Empower, a leadership development camp. Black is a member of Hillsboro United Methodist Church in Leipers Fork, Tenn., where she serves as president of the Hillsboro youth group and is on the pastor-parish relations committee. She attended Franklin
Hooper, Hayes tabbed Homecoming royalty
business management major from Airdrie, Scotland.
New faculty complete first academic year
ive new faces and one very familiar one joined the full-time faculty at Martin Methodist College for the 2012-13 academic year.
pair of seniors, Chase Hayes and Dr. Joyce Crider Anderson Professor of nursing and Caitlin Hopper, were crowned chair of the Division of Nursing 2013 Homecoming King and Queen during the RedHawks’ basketball Joyce Anderson holds the bachelor doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 2. of arts degree from Case Western Reserve Hayes, son of Terry Hayes and Tina University, the master of arts degree Scott, is a member of the RedHawk bowling from Eastern Michigan University, the team, and Hopper, daughter of Drew and Marcia Hopper, is a member of the Thomas Martin Society, the Martin Methodist Concert Choir and the Residential Life staff, serving as head resident of Criswell Hall. Fourteen other students were also in the Homecoming court: Freshmen Class: Courtney Grooms, a mathematics major from Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; Alicia Silva of Columbia, Tenn., whose major is undecided; Brad Ellis, a criminal justice major from Decatur, Ala.; and Justin Love, a business major from Arlington, Tenn. Sophomore Class: Kara PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER Abrams, an elementary education Caitlin Hopper and Chase Hayes were crowned 2013 major from South New Berlin, Homecoming Queen and King on Feb. 2. N.Y.; Christin Martin, a behavioral sciences/human services major from bachelor of science in nursing degree from Savannah, Tenn.; Zach Moffatt, a preAndrews University, and the doctor of nurse seminary major from Kingston Springs, practitioner degree from Rush University. She Tenn.; and Landon Dixon, a psychology comes to Martin Methodist from Sojourner major from Gatlinburg, Tenn. Douglass College in Baltimore, Md. She has Junior Class: Carissa Pilkinton, a also taught at Tennessee State University, criminal justice major from Lawrenceburg, Howard University, Western Michigan Tenn.; Alesha Buie, a behavioral science University, the University of Michigan at Flint, major from Collinwood, Tenn.; Brett and at Rush University. Helton, a criminal justice and psychology While she was new to Martin Methodist major from Pulaski; and A.J. McCroskey, a College this academic year, she was not new to business major from Lawrenceburg. the community, having lived in the Giles County Senior Class: Miranda Tucker, an community of Prospect with her husband, elementary education major from Estill Vincent, for the previous eight years as she Springs, Tenn.; and Martin Campbell, a has commuted to her various higher education
assignments. Her particular area of expertise is in the field of nurse-managed clinics, having established such health care programs in Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
and at both the Nashville and Tennessee Shakespeare Festivals.
Dr. Chris Mattingly Assistant professor of mathematics
Louise Hawkins holds the bachelor of arts degree in sociology, the bachelor of science in nursing and the master of science in nursing degrees from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She also holds the teaching certificate in nursing from UAH. She is a family nurse practitioner, has over
Chris Mattingly holds the bachelor of business administration degree in finance, the bachelor of arts degree in mathematical economics, and the bachelor of science, master of arts, and Ph.D degrees in
Louise Hawkins Instructor of nursing
Kim Goldinger Instructor of nursing
Kim Goldinger holds the bachelor of science in nursing and master of science in nursing degrees from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the master of science in nursing degree from the Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Goldinger has more than 30 years of professional nursing experience, most recently as a practitioner in the Ardmore Family Medical Center.
Pat Ford Instructor of business
PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL
The six new full-time faculty for the 2012-13 academic year were (from left): Kim Goldinger, nursing; Louise Hawkins, nursing; David Wilkerson, dramatic arts; Dr. Chris Mattingly, mathematics; Pat Ford, business; and Dr. Joyce Anderson, nursing.
mathematics from the University of Kentucky. He has taught several mathematics classes at UK, and as part of his doctoral work participated in a project called the Algebra Cubed Project, working with math teachers in a rural school system in Kentucky to help them develop conceptually based lesson plans and to help the students gain a deeper understanding of algebra. David Wilkerson Assistant professor of dramatic arts and program coordinator of the Dramatic Arts program
David Wilkerson holds the bachelor of fine arts degree from Baylor University, and the master of fine arts in acting from Ohio University. He has 18 years of professional acting and directing experience and 10 years experience in teaching stage combat at such places as the Nashville Repertory Theatre, Vanderbilt University, the Nashville Opera,
24 years of professional nursing experience, and is currently enrolled in the University of Alabama joint Doctorate of Nursing Practice program.
Pat Ford has been a constant presence at Martin Methodist College since earning his degree in 1996, first as an admissions counselor, later as director of sports information, and for the past seven years as director of the Martin Annual Fund in the collegeâ€™s advancement office. He holds the master of business administration degree from Bethel University. In addition to teaching on a full-time basis, he will be working to establish a Students in Free Enterprise chapter on the Martin Methodist campus and a summer entrepreneurship camp. Ford, who currently serves as mayor of Pulaski, will also be adding internship and co-operative employment opportunities for students majoring in business administration.
Helton elected TISL attorney general
artin Methodist College made its name well known at the Tennessee Intercollegiate Student Legislature in November 2011 by capturing top honors in the Appellate Moot Court Collegiate Challenge. A year later, Martin Methodistâ€™s name was again on everyoneâ€™s lips when student Brett Helton was selected over 16 other candidates as state attorney general for 2012-13. Helton, a rising senior from Pulaski, conducts TISL-related business throughout the year, and then, at the 2013 convention in November, he will oversee the legal activities. Brett Helton in the state capitol
A healthy sign of MMC’s progress
ith the snip of a ceremonial ribbon, the nursing program at Martin Methodist College – and the school as a whole – took a major step forward on April 2 with the official opening of the Martin Methodist Clinic, a brand new health care facility on campus. “It’s a very exciting day,” said MMC President Ted Brown. “To think that we’d have a clinic here on campus is an astonishing fact. To everyone in the nursing department, thank you for getting this done . . . and not just done, but done right. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to be served, and, for our nursing students, it’s a great opportunity to serve as well. This is simply a great day for the college.” The Martin Methodist Clinic is located at 625 West Madison Street, beside the student apartments. Candace Johnson, assistant professor of nursing, is serving as director of the clinic, while Kim Goldinger, instructor of nursing, is the resident nurse practitioner. Another instructor in the nursing program, Louise Hawkins, will also serve as a resident nurse practitioner. Audra Hughes, administrative assistant for nursing, is the receptionist. For now, the clinic is open to students, faculty, staff and their families, with hours on Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The plan is to expand to full-time service, open to the community, on July 1. Cost for an office visit is $40, with additional charges for any tests that are conducted. As faculty, staff, nursing students and friends of the college toured the clinic following the ribbon-cutting, Dr. Joyce Anderson watched the proceedings with a quiet smile on her face. It was her vision to open such an on-campus facility. “I just put the idea out there,” said Anderson, who joined the faculty in August to lead the nursing program. “The (nursing) faculty took over; this is the result of their hard work.” And, she said, the beneficiary of what she calls “compassionate
The ribbon-cutting (above) on April 2 officially opened the campus health clinic, following a dedication of prayer by college chaplain Laura Kirkpatrick McMasters (below). At left, Kim Goldinger checks the blood pressure of one of her first patients. PHOTOS BY GUY SCHAFER
care” is not only the campus family, but all of Giles County. “This is the beginning of an introduction of the nursing program into the community,” she said. “Besides seeing community patients here beginning in July, we’ve established satellite programs at two churches in Giles County to provide screenings and teach basic fitness and wellness issues such as diet, exercise and addressing diabetes. The nursing students have really stepped up to the plate and are doing some really phenomenal things.” Eventually, she said, parish nurses will spend three hours a week in these churches. “God is moving through this,” she said quietly, that slight smile crossing her face again. “He is opening doors, and His hands are on this school.”
An uncommon First-Year success As part of the First-Year Experience program, all incoming freshmen got a summer reading assignment and then spent the academic year examining the complicated topic at the center of the story. The inaugural year of this Common Reader initiative proved to be a big success. By KAYLA WIGGINS
he 2012-2013 academic year marked the advent of a Common Reader program as a part of FYE 101, the First-Year Experience class required of all first-year students. Common Reader programs are designed to bring a group of students or even an entire campus together to discuss a single book over a period of time. The process of selecting the first common reader for MMC began in the 2011-2012 academic year. A committee was established that represented interested parties from all sections of the campus, including staff members and faculty from many divisions. The theme of compassion was chosen for the first reader, and requests went out to the campus community for suggestions of books that represented the theme. Dozens of suggestions were made, and the work of narrowing the choices began. Committee members read and re-read books. The titles were narrowed and narrowed again. Finally the selection was down to just a few and sample chapters were disseminated to the various members of the committee. At last, the final choice was made. Dead Man Walking was tagged as the first common reader for the new program. Dead Man Walking is Sister Helen Prejean’s personal narrative of her involvement with death row inmates. The book is also an exposé of the death penalty
The book chosen for the inaugural Common Reader experience was the Pulitzer Prize-nominated bestseller, Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean.
in America, exposing the injustices and inequities of the criminal justice system. The text explores difficult questions regarding victims and victimizers, Christian charity and forgiveness, poverty and ignorance, and, of course, life and death. First-year students were required to read the book before the beginning of the fall term. Meanwhile, the Common Reader Committee began planning the campus programs designed to respond to the issues raised by the book. These events included a student discussion forum, a documentary film, a visit and two lectures from Sister Helen, a readers’ theatre presentation of Dead Man Walking, and a panel discussion with professionals and individuals impacted by the death penalty. The Common Reader Program is one of the initiatives that grew out of the Quality Enhancement Program initiated several years ago to improve the first-year experience. According to Dr. Doris Wossum-Fisher, chairperson of the QEP Over-
sight Committee and a member of the FYE faculty, the Common Reader Program is a result of a review by the Oversight Committee of best practices for freshman-year programming. “One of the things we wanted to do,” she says, “was to establish a sense of community, a community of learners. And one of the ways that you can do that is to have a common reader, one that everyone reads together that leads to thinking and talking and learning together, and building a sense of community.” Wossum-Fisher says that the goal of the program is to choose socially relevant themes such as the theme of compassion. She notes that Dead Man Walking required students to be able to put themselves into the shoes of another person, to do perspective-taking, a “very big component of compassion, and I particularly liked this book because Sister Prejean gave us such a beautiful, rich model of doing that, understanding the perspective of another person even when you are appalled at what
they might have done.” Wossum-Fisher sees far-reaching implications for the lives of students as a result of this program. “I see the common reader as something that not only helps our students be better thinkers and communicators, but, I hope, also better people when they leave Martin, and I think that when we choose topics that are relevant beyond our walls, we help them to become better people, more moral people.” She does not deny that the topic of capital punishment was controversial. “Controversy can sometimes be uncomfortable,” she says. “Books about the death penalty tend to polarize people. I hope that we were able to maybe move past that and be able to understand the feelings of someone who doesn’t agree with us. I think that is something we may have struggled with, both students and faculty.” She says that the last event in the
series, the panel discussion, however, took participants past the pros and cons and into the consideration of implications and alternatives. “I think it was successful in being able to see how the death penalty affects individuals in our society in terms of race and education and income,” she says. Wossum-Fisher believes that students took the project seriously, reading and responding even before the school year began. Her own students told her that there was so much they didn’t know before they read the book. Her FYE class completed a project that focused on social issues related to the death penalty, and one student described the experience as an “eye-opener.” “The year-long program is a wonderful idea because the questions and processing go on and on beyond the initial reading,” she explains. “It keeps the issues in front of them. We need time to process and to
stew and to think about things.” The Common Reader Committee has chosen the topic of sustainability for the 2013-2014 academic year. Wossum-Fisher sees the two topics as related. The death penalty, she notes, deals with living in harmony with other people, while sustainability deals with living in harmony with nature. She sees sustainability as less controversial but thinks that it will hit students in a different place. “For most of our students, the death penalty was something out there happening to someone else, but sustainability is a personal issue that makes individuals question what they can do about it. It can be so overwhelming, but the book we have chosen allows the students to see that even the smallest step is a step in the right direction,” she says. While the Common Reader Program was established by the QEP Committee initially as a part of the first-year program,
‘This is about who we are as a society’
he didn’t set out to write a best-selling Pulitzer Prize-nominated book about inmates on death row. She didn’t plan on becoming an activist in an effort to abolish the death penalty. She didn’t even plan on becoming a spiritual advisor to men sentenced to die for horrific acts of violence. No, Sister Helen Prejean and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille had pledged, in 1980, to be the voice for the poor in their Louisiana parish. Two years later, a request for her to write a letter to condemned murderer Elmo Patrick Sonnier would change her life . . . and that of many whose lives she has touched in the 30 years since. “I didn’t even know the state of Louisiana was going to kill him,” she told an audience at Martin Methodist College on Nov. 13, explaining that her innocence about the issue of capital punishment would soon be abruptly challenged in the days and months to follow. She was on campus because her book, Dead Man Walking, had been selected as the year-long Common Reader topic. “There had been all kinds of books on the death penalty,” she said. “Most were scholarly books by attorneys on the legal system.” While she dealt at length with the legal system, the heart of Dead Man Walking, she decided, would be the human element. “You’ve got to stand in the presence of suffering,” she said. “Then you get to toe the fine line of what it means to kill a human being. I had to bring people there.” And she is quick to point out that one action – or inaction – that she forever regrets is not immediately reaching out to the families of the two young people Sonnier was found guilty of murdering. “It was a huge mistake,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do about the victims’ families, so, for too long, I stayed away from them.” That was one valuable lesson learned. Another, for her, was the realization of the statement that capital punishment really makes to us as
PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER
Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, visited the campus in November to speak on her experiences as a spiritual advisor to convicted murderer Patrick Sonnier and other death row inmates.
thinking, feeling human beings. “I remember thinking, ‘to express how much we despise his act, we imitate it,’” she said. “We all struggle with the death penalty. This issue is about us . . . who we are as a society . . . if we are equally outraged about the death of every person.” Her own verdict on that issue? “We’re good people as a society.” – GRANT VOSBURGH
The final event of the year-long Common Reader examination of Dead Man Walking and capital punishment was "An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in Tennessee," a panel discussion (above, from left) moderated by Grant Vosburgh, the college's director of communications, and featuring Sherry Holley, victim assistance coordinator with the 22nd District Attorney's office, the Rev. Stacy Rector, executive director of the Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Circuit Judge Jim Hamilton. At left, Rector visits with (from left) students Trevor Gentry, Autumn Dennis and Zach Moffat and Brandi Belcher, director of Martin Serves and the college's service-learning program. PHOTOS BY GUY SCHAFER
the hope, according to Wossum-Fisher, is that eventually all students will be reading a book selected for a given academic year, along with staff and faculty, and the program will continue to engage the larger community of Pulaski and Giles County. She says that a campuswide endeavor is a “best practice” that colleges and universities are employing not only to build a sense of community, but to establish a sense of academic expectations for student learning. Greta Henglein, director of the FirstYear Experience Program and an instructor of FYE, has experience with a campuswide common reader program. Such a program had been in place at her previous institution for more than 25 years, and the common reader for the campus was incorporated into every class taught at the institution. She notes that the program was one of the things that made that campus special and, she said, “certainly added to the intellectual life of the campus and the life of the mind.” Henglein, who was hired to direct the First-Year Program as a result of the QEP, says that she was excited when she saw that a common reader program was part of the Martin Quality Enhancement Plan. She is also excited by the topics that have been selected and considered by the Common Reader Committee – compassion, sustainability, and poverty – because she says these topics deal with what she thinks the
liberal arts are all about, “our very nature as human beings.” “What we are doing really relates to us as human beings and how we interconnect with each other, and I can’t imagine, especially on a small, church-related campus, in a small community, that anything could be more important than these types of topics,” she says. Henglein’s background is in student affairs, which is all about personal development and helping students discover who they are and who they want to become. The Common Reader Program, she says, speaks to that element of development and consequently is exciting and engaging for students. She does think that the topic of the death penalty was so powerful and the emotional response so strong that the theme of compassion may have gotten lost in the controversy. Nonetheless, Henglein believes that Dead Man Walking was a good choice for the first book in the program. She credits the memoir-style of the book with engaging the students and notes that Sister Helen certainly addressed the theme of compassion, as did the other special programs. Like Wossum-Fisher, Henglein thinks that the topic of sustainability may be a bit easier for students, but she believes that each group of students will bond over their own book, year by year. She also hopes that the topic of sustainability, which is
already addressed in some classrooms on campus, may result in the book being utilized in classes beyond the first-year experience, and that students at all levels may be reading and discussing the book. “I’m excited to see what the potential will be,” she says. The Common Reader program will continue to be required as a part of the First-Year Experience, Henglein says, but she hopes that it will be “embraced by other faculty and the student body as a whole as a positive thing for the campus, and something that is one of our proudest elements.” Like Wossum-Fisher, she hopes that the common reader events will draw community members in and will create excitement on the campus, helping us to define “who we are and how we are connected as human beings.” She says we will never run out of issues or themes or topics that can be addressed, and hopes that eventually everyone on campus will want to get involved. “I would love for people to feel left out if they don’t know what we are talking about,” she says. “Anything that is book related, that gets people talking and sharing, adds to the campus. “I think that particularly sustainability is going to resonate because it is something that we can all do something about. We all bear the consequences. We all bear the responsibility. Live, learn, and pass it on.”
Musical memories of ‘Doc’ Albert Hughes directed the MMC Concert Choir for 26 years, which included several years performing at Opryland's Christmas gala.
The retirement of Albert Hughes brings an outpouring of tributes from students whose lives he forever changed
By GRANT VOSBURGH few times in a person’s life, somebody comes along who makes such an impact that it’s almost beyond measure. More than a few Martin Methodist alumni have been reflecting on one such person since the announcement this spring that Dr. Albert Hughes – “Doc,” as he is affectionately known – is retiring after leading the music program for 26 years. “Doc was the entire reason I continued to particate in music,” said Alex Abernathy, a 2010 graduate and currently the director of music and business manager at First Baptist Church of Pulaski. “I had decided when I graduated from high school that I was done with music in a performance setting. I had given my life to band in middle school and high school, and it was time to relax.” Then he learned that the music professor at Martin Methodist, where he was planning to enroll that fall, had set up an audition for him. “I reluctantly went because I had no desire Albert Hughes to sing. I had never sung a day in my life, let alone sing in a collegiate performing choir. But Doc made me feel at ease and then promptly told me that he couldn’t believe I had never sung before. From then on I had made a friend who would make a lasting impact on my life forever.” Those types of stories have been told for the last quarter of a century. “Doc was very influential in my career path, which includes church music and the performing arts,” said Will Sevier, a 2002 graduate who works as an actor and vocalist in the Nashville area as well as worship leader with Hermitage United Methodist Church in Smyrna, Tenn. “I’ll never forget how supportive he was of my talents, and how he never tried to put me in a box. He wanted to further develop my skills to make me the best musician I could be.” Brandi Belcher, a 2008 graduate who now works as director of Martin Serves at her alma mater, especially appreciates the eclectic genres of music that Hughes’ classes featured. “Doc helped me gain a true appreciation for the history and development of music. I will never forget sitting in his Music of Western Civilization class and listening to ‘Piano Man’ as well as Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons,’” she said.
One Martin Methodist alumnus who knows Albert Hughes as well as anyone is Harry Robinson, who served as “artist-in-residence” from 1994-98 as he pursued his church music degree after more than 25 years as a professional musician. He not only took a full load of classes, but he also assisted with the choir and taught guitar lessons. He became close friends with Albert and his wife, Charlotte, who served for years as choir accompanist. Now, as director of music and arts at Bethlehem UMC in Franklin, Tenn., Robinson truly appreciates how his friend prepared him for this career. “His church music repertoire really is remarkable,” Robinson said. “He gives you a kickstart in your career because he covers all the basics and styles. You go into your career with your first 10 years’ worth of music choices.” Often, however, the true impact of one person’s life on another is not realized until that second individual begins to impact others. Brian Marcoulier and Nikki Hicks met while students at Martin Methodist and members of the choral program. Today, as husband and wife, they have Mark Hagewood, a former student of reflected on that time with the news of Albert Hughes and a colleague on Albert Hughes’ retirement. the music faculty for the past five “Doc greatly believes in the powyears, will assume leadership of the er of rituals,” said Brian Marcoulier, Martin Methodist College Concert who is pastor of Charlotte-Fagan UMC Choir this fall. He offers his personal in Clarksville, Tenn. “Rituals shaped reflections on his mentor in this issue's not only our music repertoire, but Postscript, which appears on page 36. also deeply shaped our traditions as a choir. One such ritual I fondly remember was the annual reading of ‘Freddy the Leaf’ in the fall and ‘A Christmas Memory’ near Christmas. Doc was always moved to tears as he shared these powerful stories. Each year, as my wife, Nikki, and I continue this tradition in our family, we give thanks for Doc and Charlotte and the love they shared with us as well as the MMC community.”
Picturesque sporting venue is a big hit for the RedHawks PHOTOS BY GUY SCHAFER
es, it had been a long time coming, but in the spring of 2013, the RedHawk baseball and softball programs finally had a home of their own. And what a home it is. The 44-acre East Campus property, purchased by the college some 15 years ago and the site of the varsity soccer facility since 2000, took a huge next step in its development as a comprehensive athletic complex with the $2.5 million baseball and softball project. Included in this phase of development is also an all-sports indoor practice facility for baseball, softball, soccer and golf that will be in full use later this summer. Future phases call for courts for RedHawk tennis, walking trails and a signature plaza that will contain the three pieces of World Trade Center debris that Martin Methodist College received following the 9/11 tragedy. This spring, however, all attention focused on the home field advantage that this beautiful venue brought to the two sports playing there: the RedHawk baseball team was 31-9 at home, including the championship of the TranSouth/Gulf Coast Group tournament, which was played on the East Campus, while the RedHawk softball team was 15-9 at home . . . for a total East Campus won-loss record of 46-18. Home sweet home, indeed. The hill overlooking the two playing fields makes for a great place to watch all the action (left). The playing surface for baseball and softball (right) is second to none among NAIA venues. Both fields also have lights for a breathtaking setting at night (below).
Senior Chae Ellis is congratulated after a home run that cleared the leftfield fence at the RedHawk softball field.
Grand finale performances earn TranSouth All Sports Trophy
President Ted Brown hopes to see Martin Methodist's victory in the final TranSouth Conference All Sports competition carry over to the RedHawks' new affliliation in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
fter posting its most successful athletic seasons in school history, Martin Methodist proved it was the top athletic program in the TranSouth Athletic Conference as it claimed the league’s final All Sports Trophy. The RedHawks finished with 35.0 points total to claim the school’s first ever All-Sports title. Bethel (Tenn.) University accumulated a total of 34.5 points to finish runner-up. “We have long dreamed of winning the TranSouth Athletic Conference All Sports Trophy,” Martin Methodist President Dr. Ted Brown said. “This has been a highly competitive group of institutions, and our coaches and student-athletes have had to work incredibly hard to reach this level of success. But to achieve this victory in the closing year of the TranSouth Conference is truly bittersweet. We will miss our association with our TranSouth Athletic Conference colleagues, but look forward to continuing this winning tradition in the Southern States Athletic Conference next fall.” Martin Methodist claimed or shared a total of four conference championships during the 2012-13 athletic year, winning titles in men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s basketball and women’s tennis.
PHOTO BY GRANT VOSBURGH
The RedHawks competed in 11 of the league’s 13 sports and finished no worse than third place in any season. The RedHawks finished with at least a share of second place or better in 10 of those 11 sports. Martin Methodist also claimed two TranSouth Tournament championships, taking titles in women’s soccer and baseball. Three teams qualified for their respective NAIA National Tournaments, with women’s soccer making its ninth consecutive appearance in the national tournament and men’s basketball playing in its third consecutive national tournament and eighth overall. Baseball won its first-ever TranSouth title and earned the program’s first trip to the national tournament. “We are very proud to be acknowledged for the 2013 award, in a season where we produced five conference Players of the Year and four conference championship teams,” said RedHawks Athletic Director Jeff Bain.
RedHawks capture team, individual honors for 2012-13 Here’s a team-by-team wrap-up for 2012-13:
Under second-year head coach Tyson John, the Martin Methodist women’s soccer team continued its decade of dominance in the TranSouth Athletic Conference. Finishing 15-4 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the league, the RedHawks clinched their ninth consecutive regular-season and conference tournament titles. The RedHawks defeated then-No.20 Rocky Mountain College in the TranSouth/ Frontier Unaffiliated Group final to clinch an automatic berth into the NAIA National Tournament, but they suffered a shocking upset in the first round, falling 1-0 to Cumberland University. Despite the loss, the RedHawks finished the year ranked 13th in the nation. John picked up his second straight TranSouth Coach of the Year award, and se-
Martin Methodist Head Coach Rose Magers-Powell entered her 16th season coaching the RedHawk volleyball team with one of her youngest teams ever, with a roster that featured 20 underclassmen (17 being freshmen) and just one senior. Despite their youthfulness, the RedHawks battled hard in virtually every game, finishing with a 10-23 overall record and a 2-4 record in the TranSouth Athletic Conference. They also finished just one game shy of the TranSouth Conference Tournament championship game. Ya Zhao, Sophia Paes and Flavia Costa were named to the TranSouth All-Conference Team. Costa was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year.
nior forward Mor Efraim was named Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. Fabiola Sanchez was named Freshman of the Year. The TranSouth champions placed 10 players on the All-TranSouth team: Efaim, Heather Holley, Daniel Sofer, Yalu Borbolla, Sofia Smati, Sanchez, Shir Levo, Gabriella Macis, Maria Gamboa and Meagan Storie. Efraim, Sofer and Sanchez also earned NAIA Women’s Soccer All-America honors. Finally, Holley and Jennifer Loewen were named NAIA Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athletes.
Men’s Soccer With Gerry Cleary in his second year as head coach of the men’s soccer program, the RedHawks finished the season with an
impressive 11-6 overall record, a 5-1 record in the TranSouth Athletic Conference and the program’s first regular-season conference title since 2008. MMC also cracked the Top 25 of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Poll for the first time since 2010. After winning the conference title, the RedHawks finished the season with a tough loss to Rocky Mountain College in the TranSouth/Frontier Unaffiliated Group final, played in Salt Lake City, Utah. Individually, forward Jonathan Cabale Jonathan Cabale was named TranSouth Player of the Year, midfielder Juan Madrigal was Freshman of the Year, and Cleary was named Coach of the Year. Goalkeeper Stephen Lunney, defender Daniel Dunleavy, midfielder Amaury Barritault and Cabale all earned sports on the TranSouth/Frontier AllGroup team. Barritault was also named to the NAIA All-America squad in his first season in a RedHawk uniform, while Lunney became the first Capital One Academic All-American in school history. Women’s Basketball
In the third year under direction of head coach Jamy Bechler, the RedHawks achieved their most successful postseason run in school history, claiming runner-up finishes in both the TranSouth regular-season standings and the TranSouth Conference Tournament. The RedHawks finished 16-16 overall, but nearly shocked nationally top-ranked Freed-Hardeman in the conference title game, trimming a 20-point halftime deficit to just two points with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Several RedHawks achieved individual accolades during the 2012-13 season, with senior guard Jessy Christopher earning NAIA All-America Honorable Mention status and first team All-TranSouth. Fellow seniors Becca Smithson and Keri O’Neal earned Honorable Mention All-TranSouth honors, and freshman guard Nina Mills was named
to the All-Freshman squad. Smithson set the school’s single-game three-point record when she buried seven in a 73-55 win over Fisk on Jan. 28 and then did it again with seven more three-pointers in an 80-62 win over Blue Mountain in the TranSouth Conference Tournament semifinals on March 1. Christopher, Smithson and junior wing Bobbi Dodson were also named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
D.J. Adcock notched his first-ever medalist trophy, posting a 76-74–150 to fend off some of the best NCAA Division II competition in the Southeast by one stroke. The RedHawks wrapped up their season with a fifth-place finish at the TranSouth/Gulf Coast Group Tournament at Canebrake Golf Club in late April. Senior golfer Will Walker was recognized as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete. Women’s Golf
Led by first-year head coach Scott Combs, the RedHawks claimed their third straight TranSouth regular-season title, their third straight 20-win season and their third straight appearance in the NAIA National Tournament’s Round of 16. After starting the year slowly, the RedHawks finished as one of the hottest teams in the NAIA, winning their final 12 regular-season games and 13 of their last 15. Senior forward Jeremy Rodgers finished the year as one of the nation’s most prolific rebounding and scoring threats and was named TranSouth Conference Player of the Year, earning a spot on the NAIA second-team All-America squad. Rodgers was also named NAIA National Player of the Week in January, the first time ever that a RedHawk basketball player had achieved such accolades. Junior guard Josh Jeremy Rodgers Watson joined Rodgers on the All-America squad, earning Honorable Mention status. Men’s Golf
The RedHawk men’s golf team followed up on its successes during their fall schedule with a strong spring season in 2013. The fall was highlighted by a victory at the RedHawk Invitational, held at Lawrenceburg Golf Club in late October. In the spring, the RedHawks had a third-place finish at the North Georgia Spring Invitational in mid-March. Junior
After a slow start, the women’s golf program finished 2013 with one of the most successful seasons in school history. The RedHawks claimed back-to-back runner-up finishes in the TranSouth Conference Tournament and the TranSouth/ Gulf Coast Group Tournament in late April. Their 345 opening round during the conference tournament marked the lowest round in school history, while the two-day 680 marked the best two-day total ever. Senior Teri-Beth Thompson stormed her way up the leaderboards in her final two tournament, finishing with a 164 in the conference tournament and a program-record 161 and runner-up finish in the group tournament, falling one stroke short of qualifying for the NAIA National Tournament. She was also recognized as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete. Men’s Tennis
The RedHawk men’s tennis team improved as the season went along and fell just short of the program’s second-ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament. Head coach Melinda Sevier’s team won its first match at the Unaffiliated Conference Tournament in Branson, Mo., before dropping a heartbreaking match to Graceland (Iowa) University in the tournament semifinals. The RedHawks finished the year with a 7-8 overall record. Women’s Tennis
The RedHawk women’s tennis team finished with an overall record of 7-7 and nearly advanced to the program’s first-ever
NAIA National Tournament. In the Unaffiliated Conference Tournament, Coach Melinda Sevier’s MMC team opened with a 5-0 victory over conference rival Bethel (Tenn.) University before dropping a heartbreaking tiebreak point in a 4-5 loss to Graceland (Iowa) University in the tournament semifinals. Senior Rachel Wolfe was named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
with a 38-19 record – just four wins shy of the most wins in school history set in 2000. Hosting the program’s first-ever conference tournament, the RedHawks won six games in four days, including a pair of dramatic victories on Championship Day over rival Bethel (Tenn.) University, to claim the program’s first-ever conference championship and the program’s first-ever berth to the NAIA National Tournament. In Daytona Beach, Fla., the RedHawks dropped a pair Softball of games to talented squads Ave Maria (Fla.) With a roster that featured four seniors University and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College. and just two juniors, the youthful RedHawks The RedHawks said goodbye to seven struggled to find consistency early, playing seniors in 2013, including First-Team NAIA .500 ball through their first 38 games of the All-American and TranSouth Player of the season. As the schedule turned into conYear Matt Thomas, who finished the regular ference play, season as the however, the NAIA’s batting RedHawks bechampion, postgan to find their ed a .450 averrhythm, winage and finished ning seven of the postseason their final eight with the nation’s regular-season second-best avcontests. erage (.440). In postThomas became season play, the the first MMC RedHawk wom- 2012-13 RedHawk baseball team player to earn en dropped a All-America honheartbreaking 2-1 loss to eventual tournaors since pitcher John Ogiltree in 2000. ment champion Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) Pitcher Josh Brown, shortstop Charles University in the loser’s bracket final to finish Hill and centerfielder Rob Holley earned the year with a 28-22 overall record in head honors for their defensive prowess, being coach Brandie Paul’s 13th season. named to the TranSouth Gold Glove Team. RedHawk senior catcher Veronika Finally, junior utility man Zach Bailey, Fukunishi was honored as the program’s sophomore first baseman Evan Fergerson, first-ever First-Team NAIA All-American. sophomore second baseman Jerry Jeter, Fukunishi was also named the TranSouth sophomore third baseman Justin LumpAthletic Conference’s Player of the Year. kins, senior first baseman Jake Ray and seFellow seniors Chae Ellis and Katlin White nior reliever Dillon Sands joined Holley and earned TranSouth All-Conference honors Flanagan on the league’s Scholar-Athlete along with sophomore Alley Benefield and list. Holley also was named to the Capital freshman Courtney Grooms. Megan AnOne Academic All-District Team. derson, Jessica Ayers, Andrea Davilia and Caroline Ezell were honored as TranSouth Scholar-Athletes. Baseball
The RedHawk baseball team had its most successful NAIA season in school history, a year that saw a number of firsts. Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Kelly Bratton, the RedHawks finished
2012-13 RedHawk cheer squad
Under the direction of head coach Norm Titus, the RedHawks bowling teams began their sixth season at the Orange and Black Classic in Dayton, Ohio. In women’s action, the RedHawks finished 17th out of 21 teams while the men’s squad posted a fifth-place finish out of 26 competing squads. The RedHawk men closed out 2012 on an extremely high note, picking up the program’s first-ever “Baker 300” at the Team Match Games in Fairview Heights, Ill. Essentially a perfect game of bowling, but with the entire team contributing, the Baker 300 is considered, by many, as the toughest Derek Phillips achievement in the sport. They also earned a spot in the NAIA-BCA Top 10 Poll, before closing the season as the no. 13 seed in the NAIA Bowling Invitational in Indianapolis, Ind., where they beat their first three opponents before suffering losses to Webber International (Fla.) University and Marian (Ind.) University, two of the 16 national tournament qualifiers. RedHawk sophomore Derek Phillips continued his season as he qualified for the USBC Intercollegiate National Championships in Lincoln, Neb. Cheerleading
At the NAIA Cheer and Dance Competition East Regional in Campbellsville, Ky., the RedHawks cheer squad won the NAIA East Region large co-ed cheer division, posting the top score for the day. In addition to the team competition, Chris Alexander, Josh Guins, and Yuta Kajisa all made their tryouts for All-American status. With the win, the RedHawks advanced to the third-annual NAIA Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla., April 11-15, where the RedHawks finished with a respectable eighth-place finish in the Cheer Division II division, knocking off two NCAA Division II foes in the process. The RedHawks also finished second place in the NAIA large co-ed division.
Role models Champions of Character awards highlight values
s part of the school’s continued commitment to the NAIA’s Champions of Character initiative, Martin Methodist honored two students and one team during the 10th Annual Champions of Character convocation held during the fall semester. Christopher The women's basketball team Held in a near-capacity Martin Hall auditorium, more than 300plus student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff members assembled school history in 2011-12, guiding the RedHawks to a 19-13 record. to celebrate the 2012 Champions of Character award winners. Christopher, who also earned her degree in May 2013, also received Fabio Souza, a four-year member of the men’s soccer program the NAIA’s Emil S. Liston Award, the NAIA’s most prestigious award for and current graduate assistant, was chosen as the 2012 Male Athlete excellence on the court and in the classroom. of the Year for his commitment and dedication to the Champions of The entire women’s basketball squad received special recogniCharacter initiative. After an injury cut short his promising senior seation as the school’s 2012 Team of the Year. Boasting a 3.0-plus team son, Souza continued to remain a vocal leader of the team while also grade point average, the squad combined accomplishments in the serving as a model student in the classroom. He graduated in May 2013. classroom with one of the most successful seasons in school history Jessy Christopher, guard on the women’s basketball squad, was on the hardwood. chosen as the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year for her remarkable The NAIA Champions of Character program promotes five core achievements both on and off the court. As the team’s premier point character values that are crucial to the development of our youth: inguard, Christopher helped the RedHawks match their best season in tegrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
Coach’s story motivates RedHawks to champion adoption By Wade Neely
sually, five days is more than enough to prepare for a big game, a paper that is due, or a special anniversary or holiday. But how about having only five days’ notice that you will be a firsttime dad? That was exactly the scenario Martin Methodist women’s basketball coach Jamy Bechler encountered in the fall of 2009 as he and his wife, Tabitha, received the call from Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency based in Nashville, Tenn., that they would have the opportunity to become parents. “We had gone through the whole interview and background process that the agency puts couples through,” Bechler said. “It normally lasts about a year, so we were just waiting for a birth mother to like our profile and pick us. I had heard of crazy adoption stories of people having a day’s notice and having to come back from vacation.” As fate would have it, however, that was not the case for Jamy and Tabitha. “Tabitha assured me that we wouldn’t be one of those crazy stories,” Bechler said. “She was right. We had a whole five days’ notice.” In addition to all of the logistical preparations for the baby’s arrival, Bechler also had to shuffle plans in the middle of the season as head coach at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. “When we got the call, I did a quick calculation and realized that we had a game on the day the baby was due and we had a conference game two days later,” he said. “Luckily, I had a good assistant and we ended up winning those games. We also had nothing ready at home for a baby. Our Silverdale Baptist Church family was awesome in helping us at the last minute. They gave us so many things and provided help in preparing the baby’s room.” On Nov. 16, 2009, Jamy and Tabitha welcomed Jaylen into their lives. They
had the great fortune of being on hand for the delivery. They spent that night and the next day with Jaylen at the hospital before being cleared to take him home. Former RedHawks player and assistant coach Cori Jones, then a player at Bryan, was the first of Bechler’s players to hold little Jaylen. “When we met with the birth mother prior to birth, PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER she mentioned that she choose Kyra Knight and her RedHawk us in part because she had teammates wore "Superman was just seen ‘The Blind Side’ and Adopted" T-shirts as their warm-ups thought it’d be a great thing for during the month of November. her little boy to be adopted by us and be around sports and athletes all the time,” said Bechler. Jaylen celebrated his third birthday last November surrounded by all of his big sisters on the RedHawks basketball team. Players, coaches and parents all sang “Happy Birthday” as Jaylen blew out the candle on top of his birthday cupcake. Appropriately, November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and the RedHawk women’s basketball team raised awareness by wearing lime green “Superman was Adopted” shirts during pre-game warmups. The team sold those shirts and corresponding bracelets to raise money for Bethany Christian Services.
RedHawks head south
With the dissolution of the TranSouth Athletic Conference, Martin Methodist gets set to play in the highly competitive 18-team Southern States Athletic Conference.
By Wade Neely ence only after an exhaustive review of our options by a campus selection team,” Brown said. “We concluded that the SSAC is among the finest NAIA conferences and is the best match for us in terms of
ventually, all good things must come to an end. Luckily for Martin Methodist, a new and perhaps brighter beginning is right around the corner. After spending the last 16 years as a charter member of the TranSouth Athletic Conference, the Martin Methodist College Athletic Department will undergo a change in the 2013-14 academic year. After careful consideration, the college applied for and received approval on Nov. 15, 2012, as the newest member of the Southern States Athletic Conference. The move signifies that the RedHawks will make their first-ever conference realignment move as a four-year institution. Martin Methodist, which announced its intention to apply for membership in the SSAC at a press conference held at the East Campus in early October, was approved unanimously by the league’s Council of Presidents and Council of Athletic Directors during a November meeting. Fellow TranSouth members Bethel University of McKenzie, Tenn., and Blue Mountain (Miss.) College were also accepted into the league. Due to the dissolution of the TranSouth at the end of this academic year, all three schools will be eligible to begin SSAC competition beginning in the fall of 2013. “It is indeed a pleasure to welcome these three fine institutions into the Southern States Athletic Conference of the NAIA,” Dr. Mark Foley, president of the Board of SSAC Presidents, said in a statement. “That which has been a premier athletic conference in the nation is made even stronger as we continue to focus upon the development of character, scholarship, and performance in our student athletes.” Southern States Commissioner Mike Hall also expressed excitement about the addition of Martin Methodist to the SSAC. “The SSAC is very excited to have Martin Methodist join our conference,” he said. “They have a strong leadership foundation with President Dr. Ted Brown and Athletic Director Jeff Bain. Both are very respected at a national level within the NAIA and will be great additions to our Council of Presidents and athletic directors group. “The Martin Methodist athletic department has a strong compliment of sport sponsorships, with 11 sports that will compete for SSAC championships next season,” Hall added. “They have also enjoyed a high level of success with their women’s soccer and men’s basketball coming off of nationally ranked campaigns a year ago.” Martin Methodist, which currently offers 15 sports, will compete in 11 of the league’s 15 sports. In non-championship sports, Martin Methodist will add another competitive cheerleading squad to the conference as well as the league’s first varsity bowling program. “We made application to the Southern States Athletic Confer-
Auburn University at Montgomery (Ala.) Belhaven University (Jackson, Miss.) Brenau University (Gainesville, Ga.) Brewton-Parker College (Mt. Vernon, Ga.) College of Coastal Georgia (Brunswick, Ga.) Emmanuel College (Franklin Springs, Ga.) Faulkner University (Montgomery, Ala.) Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Loyola University New Orleans (La.) Southern Polytechnic State University (Marietta, Ga.) Southern Wesleyan University (Central, SC) Spring Hill College (Mobile, Ala.) Truett-McConnell College (Cleveland, Ga.) University of Mobile (Mobile, Ala.) William Carey University (Hattiesburg, Miss.) New members in 2013-14
Blue Mountain College (Miss.) Bethel University (McKenzie, Tenn.) Martin Methodist College (Pulaski, Tenn.) competition, geography, and the future trajectory of Martin Methodist College. We are honored to be accepted into membership and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the SSAC.” Bain agreed. “We are very excited about this move as we look forward to the opportunities and challenges as we grow,” Bain said. “The Southern States Athletic Conference reminds me the most of our TranSouth Athletic Conference in its heyday. It is a conference where you have to bring your best effort every day if you expect to be successful. In addition, they have a strong administrative network, as well as coaches, capped off with a tremendously strong academic reputation.”
A new chapter dawns
in the life of a servant leader
Martin Methodist alumnus Charlie Pope’s life revolved around coaching, but the values instilled in him by his alma mater have led him to a higher calling.
BY GRANT VOSBURGH or all the conversations that pass between husband and wife on a daily basis, it’s rare that spouses can agree on the exact words that were exchanged in a discussion from 18 months earlier. But ask Charlie Pope what his response was when wife Cindy suggested in the fall of 2011 that they move out of their house with their two young daughters and become house parents at Arrowhead Ranch, a new 180-acre residential camp for adolescent boys in need of hope and direction, and he doesn’t hesitate. “I looked at her and said, ‘You’re crazy.’” And, an hour later in a separate interview, when Cindy is asked what her husband said when she made that suggestion, the reply comes as quick and sure, as if an echo has blown through the room. “He just looked at me and said, ‘You’re crazy.’” Maybe because it was such a bold proposition – a young married couple, both public school educators, crafting the idyllic family life with two precious daughters, moving out of their own house and into a new residence where three or four teenage boys would be living with them as extended family – that each of them recalls the conversation so vividly . . . and the words so exactly.
Charlie Pope (left), a 1995 Martin Methodist College graduate, stepped away from a successful career as a high school basketball coach to move with his family to Arrowhead Ranch, a Christian-based residential facility for boys begun by Jeff Sweeney in 2008. PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER
And maybe it was because those words were not the end of that discussion. Instead, they were just the beginning.
s young Charlie Pope made his way through Community High School in Unionville, Tenn., in Bedford County, he had his plan all laid out. He would graduate in the spring of 1990 and then head east to Durham, N.C., to enroll at Duke University. Ah, but even the best-laid plans . . . Instead, he constantly heard the words of two of his high school mentors who encouraged him to consider their alma mater, Martin Methodist College. Community High principal Ed Gray, Class
of ’63, and social sciences teacher and basketball coach Johnny Jones, Class of ’85, insisted that the small church-related campus would be a great fit for Pope, a small-town boy with serious academic interests and a deep and constant faith. So he drove his truck to Pulaski and enrolled in what was then still a two-year college but was in the ambitious process of transitioning to a baccalaureate institution. As it turned out, Pope would be in that first four-year graduating class in 1995, and the experience would change his life forever. “I can remember being scared and confused and unsure of myself,” he said about arriving on campus for the first time. “But one of the first important things to happen was when I was assigned to (coach and physical education instructor) Royce
Hughes for my work study. She became my second mama; ‘Mama H,’ we called her. Some days I would do my homework in her office. Some days I would work for her. Some days I would scrub the sides of that indoor pool. Some days we would just talk about life.” Years later, he would recognize that she made the most important investment one person can make in another. She invested her time in Charlie Pope. And she is not the only one; he has a rather lengthy list of people at Martin Methodist College who invested their time in him. It’s a theme that would make a tremendous impact on the life of Charlie Pope . . . and on countless young people who have been lucky enough to have him enter their lives in the 10-plus years since he left the campus.
ons, for heaven’s sake. How much more perfect could it get? So imagine the shock when he announced in August of 2011 that he was stepping away from the game of basketball so he and his family could move to Arrowhead Ranch and become house parents and administrative staff members for this new facility in nearby Normandy, Tenn. No doubt those words, “you’re crazy,” echoed through more than one conversation.
f it’s true that every person’s life has a soundtrack, Charlie Pope’s might have been a bit different than most, because the soundtrack for most of his life wouldn’t necessarily be a signature song. Oh, there was definitely a beat, an unmistakable beat; but instead of coming from a drum set or a bass guitar, it just happened to be the rhythmic dribbling of a basketball. Throughout his high school, college and early adult life, four priorities reigned supreme: faith, family, education and basketball, not always in that order. For Pope, as for other aspiring young coaches, basketball often consumed his waking hours – first as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Martin Methodist under Joe Hardin and then Chuck Benson, later as assistant women’s coach at Cumberland University, and, beginning in 2002, as head boys’ coach at Cascade High School in Wartrace, Tenn. In eight years there, he had only one losing season, making the regional tournament every year, winning the district twice, finishing runner-up twice and advancing to the regional semifinals twice. Since his days as a player at Community High School, Charlie Pope had set his sights on being a successful coach, and he was accomplishing that dream at Cascade – where the team’s name is the Champi-
harlie Pope has long believed that direction and commitment can come from prayer. In the fall of 2011, he found out that Jeff Sweeney can do a pretty convincing job of that as well. Sweeney, a native of Murfreesboro, had, with his father, Preston, established the largest building firm in Tennessee. Even
with his thriving Memphis-based business, however, Jeff found early on that financial success did not fill all of his needs; he longed to work with young people and give back, and he did plenty of it. Basically, it was terribly important to him that he invest time in the lives of others. But it was just not enough. So when his two sons graduated from high school, Jeff Sweeney and his father sold their company and, in 2008, purchased 182 acres along the majestic Duck River in Bedford County. The next year, Jeff began constructing a working boys’ ranch, and in eight months the property had a director’s house, two residential homes, equestrian center, corral, maintenance shop, and a multi-purpose facility containing offices, a kitchen and a meeting hall. There were also three stocked fishing ponds and a five-acre lake for swimming and canoeing.
hen Cindy Pope first came in contact with some of the Arrowhead boys at Cascade High School and then learned more about the mission of this unique facility, it looked to her a lot like the way she and her husband, Charlie, were already raising their own daughters, Addison and Emma. 25
As executive director of Arrowhead Ranch, Jeff Sweeney could not wait to begin changing lives in a major way. “As the single parent of two boys, I saw the need for structure in their lives, so we saw the ranch as a place where 15 to 20 boys could live, coming as early as 10 years old and staying all the way through high school, if it works out that way,” he said. “We assembled a great group of house parents. Ironically, I thought that would be the hardest part of all this, but we’ve got people who are really committed, and Cindy and Charlie certainly fit that profile.” With structured schedules and work details, the boys also must abide by simple rules and the accountability and consequences that come with not living up to those standards. “I tell them, ‘Maybe your parents have given up on you, but we haven’t,’” Sweeney said, “but I also tell them we expect everyone to respect others and behave appropriately. We have a three-strike rule and we make it clear that I’m not going to disrupt our life at the ranch because one person cannot live up to the rules that we set here.” The role of house parent, he explained, is to be a dedicated Christian committed to providing each boy with unconditional love, structure, discipline and overall direction. When Cindy Pope first came in contact with some of the Arrowhead boys in her role as a member of the faculty at Cascade High and then learned more about the mission of this unique facility, it looked to her a lot like the way she and her husband were already raising their daughters, Addison and Emma. And after the initial response of “you’re crazy,”
Charlie Pope met Jeff Sweeney . . . and he saw it, too. “We felt a calling,” Pope said. “We loved the ideal. We loved the mission. We could sense that God was calling us here to the ranch. But I knew it would mean me giving up coaching. For 20 years, all I’d ever done was coach basketball, and I didn’t think I was ready to shut it down. After 20 years, it was a little scary. “But it reminded me of that drive in my pickup truck to Martin Methodist in August of 1990. I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into then; it was a little scary then, too. In fact, there’s a lot about Arrowhead Ranch that reminds me of Martin Methodist College. You invest your time in people. That’s what everyone at Martin has done for countless students through the years, and that’s what we try to do at the ranch – invest time in these guys so they can see people care about them. “Most of these kids are from a poor home life or no home life. There’s a reason they’re here, and they need to build some
Arrowhead is a working ranch, where the boys learn skills and have chores and responsibilities for the facility’s day-today operation. PHOTOS BY GUY SCHAFER
meaningful relationships,” Pope said. “I’ve always been a big relationship person, and the relationship factor was one of the things that drew Cindy and me to the ranch.” As he looked out at a sunset-tinged landscape of pasture and river, he smiled. “I love coaching,” he said. “And I’m still a coach, it’s just a different arena now. I still have the opportunity to help young boys make changes and see what they can become. “You know, I remember John Seigenthaler speaking at our commencement at Martin Methodist in the spring of 1995. He said, ‘Change the world. Start with your
Pope honored by his alma mater
‘When you give up your own way of life to help others and fill a need, that is a servant leader’
here are three ways to describe Charlie Pope, says his college best friend, Pat Ford. And when Ford, now the mayor of Pulaski and a member of the Martin Methodist College faculty, had the opportunity to introduce Pope as the 2013 recipient of their alma mater’s Servant Leadership Award, that’s exactly how he did it. “There is Charlie Pope, the man,” Ford told the audience. “There’s Charlie Pope, the friend. And there’s Charlie Pope, the servant leader.” The two men have known each other since Ford enrolled as a freshman at Martin Methodist in 1991. Pope was a sophomore and, according to the newbie, “took it upon himself to take me under his wing and show me the ropes of good ol’ Martin.” In the 22 years since, their friendship has grown, and Ford has watched the significant turns that Pope’s life has taken. That’s why, he told the May 3 crowd at Martin Methodist College’s Jubilee dinner – part of the annual commencement weekend events – it is absolutely appropriate that their alma mater honor Pope with the Servant Leadership Award, presented to an MMC alumnus who has demonstrated the college’s values in serving others day in and day out. “Charlie has a heart for people. He has a passion for helping others,” Ford said. Among the efforts that Ford pointed to were the establishment of a scholarship in memory of Pope’s mother that has provided $7,000 to graduating high school seniors over the past seven years and the creation of a Coaches vs. Cancer initiative at Cascade High that raised more than $6,000 in three years for the Jimmy V Foundation. The list could go on, Ford said, but the best example of Charlie Pope’s life of servant leadership is his commitment to Arrowhead Ranch. “Charlie felt a calling,” Ford said. “He saw a need and quickly made plans to turn his family’s life upside down – on purpose – all in an effort to help others. You see, Arrowhead Ranch is a place that allows ‘house parents’ to live on the ranch and literally become the parents to young men that need supervision, guidance and direction in their lives. Dare I say, Charlie Pope shocked the world when he made the announcement that he was stepping down as head basketball coach at Cascade – a job that he loved, a sport that was his life – all in an effort to fill a need. “Over the past 18 months, Charlie and his wife, Cindy, have provided those needs for a dozen or so young men. They are currently serving, for all practical purposes, as parents for four young men. When you give up your
community, and the ripples will carry it on out beyond where you are.’ The majority of people who attended Martin are called to change the world they live in. Maybe it’s
Charlie Pope received the 2013 Servant Leadership Award at the annual Jubilee dinner on May 3. At left, he visits with fellow 1995 alumnus Pat Ford and President Ted Brown. Below, he shares the moment with wife Cindy and daughters Addison (left) and Emma. PHOTOS BY JOHN RUSSELL
own way of life – something that you’ve worked for all your life – just to help others and fill a need . . . that,” Ford said, “is the true meaning of a servant leader.” After graduating from Martin Methodist, Pope earned a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Middle Tennessee State University. He worked at Martin Methodist as an admissions counselor, assistant men’s basketball coach and head golf coach. He also served at Cumberland University as assistant women’s basketball coach before joining the faculty at Cascade High School, where he became head boys’ basketball coach. He and Cindy and their daughters, Addison and Emma, attend Fairlane Church of Christ in Shelbyville. – GRANT VOSBURGH
not at a global level, but it’s certainly in the community where they live. That’s a lesson I learned at Martin, and it’s one of the most important values I could have received.”
Just ask the boys at Arrowhead Ranch. That, they’ll tell you, isn’t crazy. In fact, the way Charlie Pope practices it day by day, it’s life-saving.
Jerry W. Burlison ‘70
Volunteer alumni leaders help make college’s future so bright! To convince students upon graduation to stay in contact; to lift up the devotion of alumni; to locate, reconnect and engage more alumni; to host annual events such as class reunions, Homecoming, and Hall of Distinction and Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies; to host regional gatherings; to lead the Alumni Council; and to serve alumni . . . Those items are a fairly large part of the job description for Martin Methodist College’s director of alumni relations. And yet, as challenging as it sounds, it’s really more of a reward. At least it is when you’re dealing with the Martin Methodist alumni and friends. Edna Luna ’06 We’re all family. The stories you hear all seem to contain similar lines, such as “If it hadn’t been for Martin, I wouldn’t be where I am today” or “I would have never gone to college if it hadn’t been for Martin.” Sound familiar? Today, the warm and caring nature of the college continues, and it’s my belief that it’s that attribute – along with the great vision of our president and Board of Trustees – that has played a significant role in the growth of this institution. And it will only get better as Martin alumni take on more of a volunteer lead – enlisting fellow alumni to reconnect, engaging friends to take an interest and encouraging prospective students to apply for admission. These alumni leaders are passionate about the future development of their college and its students, and they are involved in making that future a reality. Challenging? No way, not with the passion of the Martin Methodist College family. Rewarding? You bet it is! Best wishes,
Edna Luna, Class of 2006 Director of Alumni Relations
Dedication of loyal alumnus results in induction into MMC Hall of Distinction
ne of Martin Methodist C o l l e g e ’s most dedicated alumni is the newest member of the school’s Hall of Distinction. Jerry W. Burlison of Centerville, Tenn., a 1970 graduate of Martin Methodist, was inducted as part of Commencement activities during the annual Jubilee dinner on Friday night, May 3, at Curry Christian Life Center. He becomes the 42nd member of Hall of Distinction, which was established in 1980 by the Alumni Council. After receiving an associate of arts PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL degree at what was Jerry Burlison (left) receives the Hall of Distinction award then two-year Martin from classmate and best friend Mark Durm of Athens, Ala. College, he went on to earn his bachelor of science degree and master of education degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He spent more than 30 years as a teacher, coach and administrator in Hickman County public schools, including eight years as superintendent of the Hickman County School System. Through the years, he has remained loyal to Martin Methodist College, including serving as president of the Alumni Council on two occasions, including 2011-13, during which time he also served on the Board of Trustees. He even served on staff as director of alumni affairs from 2005-07 following his retirement from public education. In introducing Burlison for induction to the Jubilee dinner audience, classmate Mark Durm remembered the moment he met the man who would become his best friend. “We were both freshmen in the fall of 1968, and it was the first year of the new college cafeteria. I asked Jerry if he would like to join us in a game of touch football after dinner,” said Durm, now a psychology professor at Athens State University in Athens, Ala. “That was the start of a friendship that has lasted 45
Dexter Allan Dickey ‘85 Melissa (Missy) Bottoms Harper ‘98 Women’s basketball team of 1981-82
Basketball claims center stage at Sports Hall of Fame ceremony
asketball literally took center stage on Feb. 2 when Martin Methodist College inducted its 51st, 52nd and 53rd members into its Sports Hall of Fame. Dr. Dexter Allan Dickey from the Class of 1985, Melissa “Missy” Bottoms Harper from the Class of 1998 and the women’s basketball team of 1981-82 stepped onto the Curry Christian Life Center court to be introduced to the crowd as part of Homecoming festivities. Dickey, an all-state high school player from Florida, followed new coach Neil Keene from his home state to Martin, where he became captain and Most Valuable Player his second year. As a shooting guard, he averaged 25 points per game and was named All-Conference, All-Western and All-Region. He also played on the tennis team. He went on to play on the U.S. Navy basketball team and later earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctorate in public administration from Florida State University. He now lives in Baltimore, Md., where he works for the
Dr. Dexter Dickey (above) and Missy Bottoms Harper (right) were joined by members of their families during the induction ceremony, held during a luncheon on Feb. 2 in Colonial Hall.
years. We were best man in each other’s wedding.” Durm noted all the honors that Burlison has received throughout the years, including Outstanding Young Man of Hickman County, a lifetime achievement award from Hickman County, the Middle Tennessee Superintendent of the Year, and Boss of the Year in Hickman County. “And, always, Jerry has been dedicated to Martin Methodist College,” Durm said. “I remember when he was alumni director I came up to Pulaski and served as his driver a few times as he traveled
PHOTOS BY GUY SCHAFER
Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 2 was the 1981-82 women's basketball team. Pictured (from left) are: Coach George Ogilvie, Ann Sherrill, Angie Shelton Datuin, Angie Buttrum, Mattie Harney Bledsoe and Vernice Powell. Joining them are David Jones, vice president for institutional advancement, and President Ted Brown.
Center for Medicare Services, a federal agency, and teaches political science and public administration courses at several community colleges in the area. “Going to Martin was really good for me,” he said. “Because it was in a small town, there was a real community feeling. I liked the camaraderie you developed with all the students, not just your teammates.” Missy Bottoms Harper didn’t have as far to travel when she enrolled at Martin Methodist in the fall of 1994 as a graduate of Giles County High School. She was named to the Freshman All-America team and became the second female player to score 1,000 points during her career at MMC. Harper went on to earn a second degree in physical education at Athens State University and is currently a teacher and girls’ basketball coach at Giles County High. “It was an opportunity to stay close to my family while still playing basketball and getting a college education here at home,” she said of her choice to enroll at the local campus. “Martin was in the process of going from a two-year to a four-year program and switching to NAIA when I got here, so it was a fun experience. We played NAIA teams that were more experienced than we were, but we were able to get a few upsets and have some success. I really enjoyed it.” The third inductee, the 1981-82 women’s basketball team, posted a sparkling 22-3 record, winning the conference title and being ranked first in the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association and fifth in the nation among junior colleges. Among the team’s experiences was a trip to New Zealand to play nine games before heading back to Pulaski. Leading Coach George Ogilvie’s team was the late Dottie Kelso, who was individually inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. Other members of the honored team were: Mattie Harney Bledsoe of Elkton, Tenn.; Sharon Braden of Pulaski; Angie Buttrum of Nashville; Mary Crenshaw Thomison of Lewisburg, Tenn.; Angie Shelton Datuin of Rogersville, Ala.; Cozietta Evans of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Regina McGill of Palm Harbor, Fla.; Teresa Milton Officer of Sparta, Tenn.; Vernice Powell of Elizabethton, Tenn.; Carol Ann Sherrill of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Mae Francis White of Alamo, Tenn.; and the late Jennifer Warren Terry of Fort Hood, Texas. Managers were Lynn Smith, Mary Susan Moore and Margaret Nelson.
to visit alumni, because he had to check directions on his map . . . that was before we had GPS. I remember one particular trip where he had told me to take this left, then this right, then this left, and eventually we were on a dirt road and not a house on either side of us. I asked him, ‘Jerry, where are we going?’ He looked at me and said, ‘There is a woman who lives at the end of this road who went to the college in the 1940s, and I just want to let her know that Martin Methodist College hasn’t forgotten about her.’ “That’s the kind of person Jerry Burlison is.” – GRANT VOSBURGH3
MMC Alumni Council for 2013-14 year The following individuals will be guiding the activities of a busy Martin Methodist College Alumni Council during the upcoming academic year. President Samuel Holden ’74, Nashville, Tenn. Secretary Reba Seals ’68, Fayetteville, Tenn. Treasurer Darlene Baxter ‘66, Columbia, Tenn. David Patrick Blackburn ‘88, Clifton, Tenn. Brenda Ogilvie Brown ‘71, Chapel Hill, Tenn. Jerry W. Burlison ‘70, Centerville, Tenn. J. Brad Butler ‘05, Pulaski, Tenn. Jerry W. Campbell ‘69, Murfreesboro, Tenn. Margaret Campbell ‘91, Pulaski, Tenn. L. Overton Campbell ‘75, Franklin, Tenn. Siron “Si” Culp ‘68, Clifton, Tenn. Mark W. Durm ‘70, Athens, Ala. Gailand Osburn Grinder ‘68, Waynesboro, Tenn. Royce Springer Hughes ‘60, Pulaski, Tenn. Joy Lewter ‘65, Chapel Hill, Tenn. Debbie Denson Lloyd ‘71, Antioch, Tenn. James Marion Malone, Jr. ‘67, Fayetteville, Tenn. Nancy Allen Pruitt ‘70, Lewisburg, Tenn. Monica D. Tucker ‘02, Flintville, Tenn. The Rev. Thomas E. Vann ‘59, Centerville, Tenn. Carol Hamlett Wade ‘06, Lynnville, Tenn. Terry M. Whitt ‘69, Ardmore, Tenn. Doug Williamson ‘67, Columbia, Tenn. R. Taylor Parks ‘14, White House, Tenn., SGA PRESIDENT
Class Notes Have you changed jobs or received a promotion? Moved to a new city or even just a different street? Gotten married or had a baby? The Columns welcomes the news of the Martin Methodist College alumni. You can write, call, or e-mail . . . just let us know, so we can let your classmates know! Address: Alumni Office, Martin Methodist College, 433 W. Madison St., Pulaski, TN 38478 Phone: 931-363-9824 or 1-800-467-1273, ext. 3824.
Willadene Graves, in good health at 83 years of age, has traveled to all 50 states and to
15 countries. She retired in 1992, and her husband, Don, retired three years later. They have one daughter, Suzanne, who lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Charles McNeel, and 9-year-old daughter Haley. Both Suzanne and Charles are architects.
A memoir by Helen Greenway Underwood entitled More Than The Eye Can See, is expected to be off the presses later this summer. The memoir covers the two years she spent as roommate and reader for Thelma J. Felker, who, blind from birth, was Martin’s first blind student. She and her college roommate, who still lives in Pulaski, visited in October 2009 when Helen came to Martin Methodist College for a book signing of her novel, Under Cedar Shades. She lives in Charlottesville, Va. Helen Underwood
The Rev. Doak Maddox Mansfield is a retired Unitarian Univeralist minister
living in Laurel, Miss. He is the author of three books, An Irreverant Guide to Spirituality, Jones of Old Lincoln and The Mockingbird’s Ballad, all available on Amazon.com.
Rex Kendal Wallace will be entering into his third season as head
coach of the men’s basketball program at LaGrange College in Georgia. In his first season, Kendal was named Great South Athletic Conference Coach of the Year as he guided the Panthers to their first conference regular-season championship and runner-up in the GSAC tournament, posting a 12-15 record. LaGrange was 12-12 during the 2012-13 season, including a 5-9 mark in the school’s first year as a member of the USA South Conference. Kendal, a native of Nashville, played his first two collegiate years at Martin and then went on to play and graduate from Maryville (Tenn.) College, where he served for five years as an assistant coach.
James L. Wilson of Nashville, Tenn., has been named the new
boys’ basketball coach at Franklin High School. Jamie, who came back to Martin Methodist as an assistant men’s coach for five years after
Virginia Gooch Birdsong ‘47
She’s been helping others since she was a little girl
early a year after receiving Martin Methodist College’s second annual Servant Leader Award, presented each May to an alumnus or alumna whose life has embodied a Christ-like commitment to serving others, 1947 graduate Virginia “Happy” Gooch Birdsong is still saying she’s isn’t worthy of the honor. “I felt so humbled and warm when I was told I would be presented the award,” she says. “I just don’t see myself getting any award. I just do the things I do so that maybe it will brighten someone’s life and make them smile. That’s my reward.” Dr. Ed Trimmer, executive director of the Cal Turner, Jr. Center for Church Leadership, kindly begs to differ. Just a look at all she has done and continues to do and it’s quite obvious why he presented her with the honor at the 2012 Jubilee dinner. She stays constantly on the go, whether it’s her involvement with Madison Ministries, in the north Nashville community where she lives, Special Olympics, or Girl Scouts, where she became a volunteer leader after retiring in 2000 after 34 years as an executive for the Middle Tennessee Council of Girls Scouts. Through the years, she has also been involved with the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Madison Sertoma, Save the Duck River Committee, Save the Elk River Committee, Nashville Night Out Against Crime, Madison Hillbilly Day Committee, and the Ring-Around-the-School litter program as part of Nashville’s Metro Beautification.
Among her honors, all of which – like her alma mater’s Servant Leader Award – she claims she didn’t deserve, is the 2000 Lady Bird Johnson Award from the America Beautiful organization. Like it not, Happy Birdsong, that’s the resumé of a worthy servant leader. At the moment, she’s seated on a park bench bePHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL side one of the many ponds in Centennial Park in Nashville. It’s a cold March afternoon, hat desire to help others and she’s bundled up with a has never left me. It’s in winter coat and blanket, but she takes it all in stride. After my head. It’s in my heart.’ all, this Tennessee farm girl has — Happy Birdsong always loved the outdoors . . . regardless of the season. A single sentence in the Summer 2001 issue favorite phrase was ‘Plant an extra row,’ beof The Columns magazine sums it up nicely. cause he knew he would be providing vegeta “Growing up in White County, Tenn., young bles and fruits to those around us who didn’t Happy Gooch learned about the environment have as much to eat.” from her parents, embracing concepts of ‘recy She pauses to watch the ducks paddle along cling,’ ‘reseeding,’ ‘composting,’ and ‘environthe cold waters of the Centennial Park pond. mentalism’ long before the words ever came into “That desire to help others has never left fashion,” it reads. me,” she says. “It’s in my head. It’s in my heart. “I grew up loving Mother Nature and the In 1927 (the year she was born), I guess I out-of-doors,” she says. “My mother and father crawled out there and started taking care of instilled in me an appreciation of nature and how that little weed, helping the chickens, protecting we should take care of it.” the trees. Being on a farm has its advantages.” Her parents also emphasized reaching out to One of the ongoing projects she does is to others in need. bring inner city youth out to farms and settings “Mama and Daddy were always helping like Centennial Park. our neighbors,” she recalls. “My daddy’s “I want to help them to appreciate the outof-doors,” she says. And her visit back to campus in May 2012 to receive her award helped her appreciate the incredible progress that her alma mater has made over the recent decade. “There were so many happy memories coming back to me, and it was wonderful to see old friends,” she says. “Granted, it has changed. It’s larger and more beautiful. The school is serving more people, especially interPHOTOS BY GRANT VOSBURGH nationally, which is a special interest of mine. Among the many tributes that have come Happy “Sixty-five years had passed (since her Birdsong's way over the years is this sweetgum tree graduation), but it still feels like home.” planted in her honor near the Parthenon in Nashville's Centennial Park.
– GRANT VOSBURGH
getting his biology degree at the University of North Alabama, has spent the last 12 seasons as boys’ basketball coach at Harpeth Hight School. During that time, he posted a 214-152 record, winning four district titles and playing in the district championship game seven times. “Professionally, this is just a great opportunity,” Jamie said. “Williamson County is such a great educational school district, and Franklin High School is an exceptional school, both academically and in athletics.”
Cameron Clark and Paige Stewart Clark of Hendersonville, Tenn., are the
parents of a son, Charlie, born on Nov. 26, 2012.
Robert Frank Smith ‘55
Martin Hall of Famer throws out a perfect first pitch
he Martin Methodist RedHawks loosened up their arms along the third base line as teammates paired up in casual games of catch. One veteran player, however, was throwing with particular purpose. The Rev. Frank Smith, a 1955 alumnus and a member of the Martin Methodist Sports Hall of Fame, would be tossing out the first pitch on this bright Saturday morning game against TranSouth foe Mid-Continent University. But it would not be a frivolous throw; he planned on grooving it in as he did when he was playing for his alma mater nearly 60 years earlier. As he walked out to the mound with his battery mate, RedHawk catcher Nick Flanagan, he leaned in and asked, “Can you catch a slider?” Flanagan smiled broadly. “You throw it, and I’ll catch it,” he replied. Okay, it was a basic fastball . . . but it PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER was a perfect strike, and as he made his way Frank Smith, who was inducted into the Martin Methodist Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 after a stellar back off the playing field, each RedHawk baseball career in 1953-55, made his first visit to the new East Campus field to throw out the first pitch baseball player lined up to shake the hand on Saturday, March 30. me, ‘You can play every position on the field,’ so I was in the starting lineup of a Hall of Famer. every day, sometimes at second base, sometimes at shortstop, sometimes in Starting shortstop Zach Bailey of Pulaski, whose glove Smith had borcenterfield, sometimes in leftfield, and I batted leadoff.” rowed for the ceremonial first pitch, grinned as it was handed back to him. He thoroughly enjoyed the college game of the 1950s. “You made that glove look a lot better than when I wear it,” he said. “I do remember enjoying it,” he said. “Baseball wasn’t as big an emphasis Truth be told, Frank Smith made any glove look awfully good when he then, but it was a character-builder. I liked the team experience, the fact that you was one of the late Coach Kermit Smith’s most versatile players. Following weren’t the only player on the team. You learned to pull for your teammates, and a standout athletic career at Central High School in Savannah, Tenn., Smith they pulled for you. I developed some close friendships during those two years.” came to Pulaski in the fall of 1953 and played two seasons at the then-junior He went on to earn his baccalaureate degree at Lambuth University in college, spending time at shortstop, second base and in the outfield. He was Jackson, Tenn., and his master of theology degree from Candler School of a gifted defensive player who hit for power and average. Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. He became a pastor in the United “In independent ball I had played shortstop and pitched, and I was a Methodist Church, serving congregations throughout middle Tennessee. He pretty good hitter,” Smith recalled. “When I came to Martin, the competition is now retired and resides in Columbia, Tenn. – GRANT VOSBURGH was at a higher level. The team got some injuries, and Coach Smith told
Ben David Alford ‘85
MMC faculty member honored for contribution to arts and culture The following story is provided by the website, ArtsNash, with additional information from the Office of Communications of Martin Methodist College.
n Wednesday evenings, you might know him as Bucky Dawes, manager of the fictional country music star Rayna James on the ABC drama, “Nashville.” In Nicole Kidman’s psychological thriller, “Stoker,” he’s the minister dressed in black with a white collar. If you’ve been around Nashville over the years, you’ve known him as co-founder and artistic director of Mockingbird Public Theatre and then Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director before being named the Rep’s first Artist-in-Residence. But most people in Clarksville know him as the Julliard-trained actor David Alford, a Martin Methodist College and Austin Peay State University graduate who has never forgotten his alma maters. Alford, who joined the faculty at Martin Methodist as assistant PHOTO BY GUY SCHAFER director of speech and drama in David Alford, a 1985 graduate who went on to earn the fall of 2011, regularly returns his bachelor's degree at Austin Peay State University, to the APSU campus to drum up was honored March 17 by that school's Acuff Circle of support for the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence for advancing the role of arts and culture. Excellence or to sing during the university’s annual Percussion Ensemble holiday concerts. But e regularly returns to the on Sunday, March 17, he visited the Customs House Museum and APSU campus to drum up Cultural Center to receive a spesupport for the Roy Acuff cial thank you from the community. Alford was the recipient of Chair of Excellence. this year’s George Mabry Award, presented during the Acuff Circle of Excellence’s annual Ovation Awards Ceremony in the museum’s auditorium. The Acuff Circle of Excellence is a patron society devoted to advancing the role of arts and culture in the lives of Austin Peay State University students and the citizens of Montgomery County and surrounding region. The Circle seeks to maintain an association of individuals interested in strengthening and advancing the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. The George Mabry Award, instituted three years ago by the center, is presented to a living Tennessee individual who has made a significant impact on arts and culture in Montgomery County through philanthropy, leadership or direct involvement or a Tennessee individual who has advanced arts and culture through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Montgomery County.
A chance to meet the new advancement VP David Jones, who joined the Martin Methodist senior administration in February, has been introducing himself to plenty of alumni and friends of the college during his first several months.
Among the alumni gathering during a visit to Knoxville were (from left) Joe Jackson '63, Ginger Martin Jackson '63, Ann Troutt, the Rev. L.C. Troutt '54, Ben Biddy '12, alumni director Edna Luna '06, Dr. Ed Harmon '65, Pat Shivers, Dr. Alex Shivers '54 and David Jones.
A stop in Cookeville, Tenn., resulted in a gathering of (from left) former trustee Hill Carlen, Jones, Luna, and current trustees Bob Luna and Bob Gallaher.
Dr. Dalton Drennan '50 visited with Luna and Jones during a luncheon in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
For all the saints who from their labors rest
Deaths Lucy Will Case ‘40 of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., died Feb. 6, 2013. Mildred Beasley Wheeler ‘40 of Pulaski died Jan. 29, 2013. Noah Brown Breece ‘41 of Centerville, Tenn., died Feb. 4, 2013. Eugene Roden ‘41 of Covington, Tenn., died Aug. 5, 2012. Christine Broadway Thornton ‘42 of Cross Roads, Ala., died March 11, 2013. Mary Lee Kimbrough Harris ‘43 of Gainesville, Ga., died Dec. 21, 2012. William Eugene Moore ‘44 of Hermitage, Tenn., died Dec. 31, 2012. Louise Craig ‘ 45 of Pulaski died Nov. 29, 2012. Jesse P. Colvin ‘48 of Pulaski died Oct. 31, 2012. George H. McFarland ‘48 of Nashville, Tenn., died March 22, 2013. John W. McFarland ‘48 of Green Castle, Ind., died Jan. 28, 2013. Joan Harwell Watson ‘49 of Fayetteville, Tenn., died Dec. 6, 2012. Delmas Melvin Grammar, Jr. ‘50 of Madison, Tenn., died Jan. 8, 2013. The Rev. Fred C. Harper ‘51 of White House, Tenn., died Sept. 1, 2012. William Allen Watson, Jr. ‘54 of Pulaski died Dec. 6, 2012. Gayle L. Neely ‘55 of Goodlettsville, Tenn., died Feb. 7, 2013. Daniel Fletcher Martin, Jr. ‘57 of Pulaski died Dec. 8, 2012. Louella Malone Tate ‘59 of Pulaski died Feb. 6, 2013. Mary Allen Hill Farley ‘61 of Lewisburg, Tenn., died Sept. 6, 2012. Larry D. Watson ‘62 of Pulaski died Nov. 3, 2012. Anita Harvell Belew ‘63 of Loretto, Tenn., died Jan. 8, 2013. Sandra Hargrove Marks ‘63 of Pulaski died Jan. 21, 2013. Sara Margaret “Peggy” Williams Speich ‘64 of Crossville, Tenn., died March 29, 2013. Stephen Lane Rogers ‘67 of Louisville, Tenn., died Feb. 13, 2013. Jerri Coffman Newman ‘68 of Huntsville, Ala., died Feb. 27, 2013. John F. “Buck” Manthey ‘69 of Knoxville, Tenn., died Dec. 9, 2012. Alton E. Russell ‘71 of Mason, W. Va., died Jan. 21, 2013. Gordie Louise Stone Sherrill ‘74 of Petersburg, Tenn., died March 10, 2013. Ronald W. Rose ‘78 of Pulaski died April 1, 2013. Doris Ann Bramlett ‘82 of Nashville, Tenn., died May 1, 2013. James Cleveland Ingram ‘82 of Pulaski, died Jan. 6, 2013. Beatrice Johnson “Beechie” McElroy ‘87 of Pulaski, died March 29, 2013.
‘Patron saint’ Grace Grissom transformed MMC
race Grissom, a generous benefactor, former chair of the Board of Trustees and first honorary degree recipient in Martin Methodist College history, died Sunday, May 26, at her Nashville home following a short illness. She was 94 years old. She was the co-founder of Mrs. Grissom’s Salads Inc. in Nashville, from which she retired in 2005 after serving as president for 50 years. The daughter of a Methodist minister, she gave much of her time, FILE PHOTO talents and treasures to Martin Methodist College, Grace Grissom made history in 2001 when she became the first recipient of an serving as a member of the Board of Trustees from honorary degree at Martin Methodist College. Assisting President Ted Brown (left) in the ceremony were the late Dr. Bill Starnes, president during Mrs. 1973 until her death, having been named a trustee emerita. She served as board chair from 1977-84 and Grissom's tenure as chair of the Board of Trustees, and the late Dr. Fred Ford (right), vice president for academic affairs. was one of three honorary chairpersons of the Bold Step Forward Campaign, which raised more than $11 Grissom’s tenure as board chair, assisted President Ted Brown in million between 1995-98. conferring the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. She and her late husband, Herbert, were generous benefactors “This woman of good will, great vision and grand humor has to Martin Methodist College through the years, first with the been more than just a valued trustee chairperson or generous construction in 1975 of the Grissom Gazebo in honor of daughters benefactor,” then-Chairman of the Board Michael Barton said Herberta and Sylvia, then, in 1984 with the Grace Grissom as he introduced the honorary degree candidate to the 2001 Natatorium as part of the Curry Christian Life Center, and then, with commencement audience. “Over the past three decades, she has their lead gift in the reconstruction of Colonial Hall, which was been nothing short of a patron saint whose enthusiasm remains dedicated as Herbert and Grace Grissom Colonial Hall. infectious, whose leadership continues to provide wise counsel, and Mrs. Grissom received the Martin Methodist President’s Medallion whose financial stewardship has been transformational.” in 1986, the first year it was awarded, and she had been honored by Mrs. Grissom was preceded in death by her first husband, Giles County and the City of Pulaski two years earlier when Nov. 1, Herbert, and their two daughters, Herberta Grissom and Sylvia 1984, was proclaimed as Grace Grissom Day to honor her service. Funger. Survivors include her husband, Frank Evans, sister Gladys She made history, however, during the 2001 commencement Tallant, son-in-law Kenneth Funger, a current member of the when she was presented the first honorary degree – with the college MMC Board of Trustees, and other relatives. She was a member of only having been awarding baccalaureate degrees since 1995. The Brentwood United Methodist Church. late Bill Starnes, who served as president from 1974-85 during Mrs.
Psychology adjunct taught many students
D Dr. James Cooper was a longtime adjunct psychology professor at Martin Methodist.
r. James Francis Cooper died Aug. 23, 2012, at his home in Pulaski at the age of 81. He served for more than 15 years as an adjunct professor of psychology at MMC. He earned degrees at Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, Columbia University and Union University. His career spanned from 1956-71 as a clinical social worker at Gailor Psychiatric Hospital and as chief clinical
social worker at Memphis Mental Health Center. He later served as director of the Maury County Mental Health Center in Columbia, Tenn., and the Giles County Mental Health Center in Pulaski. He also had a private practice in Individual Psychotherapy and marriage and family counseling in Pulaski and Nashville. He began as an adjunct professor at Martin Methodist in the mid-1990s.
‘Doc’ Hughes has changed countless lives
ver the past 17 years, I have had the opportunity to be his student, mentee, accompanist and colleague, and much of who I am – as a musician, educator, director and person – is a result of that friendship.
Mark Hagewood Class of 2000 Mark Hagewood is a 2000 honor graduate of Martin Methodist College who has, for the past five years, served on the faculty as an instructor of music and associate director of the choral program. He is program coordinator of the music department and, with the retirement of Dr. Albert Hughes, is now director of the concert choir. He earned his master of music degree from Belmont University and is planning to pursue a doctorate in choral conducting.
n February of this year, Dr. Albert “Doc” Hughes, professor of music and director of the concert choir, announced his retirement from Martin Methodist College, effective at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. It is hard to imagine the music department and Martin without his larger-than-life presence. In the fall of 1987, Dr. Hughes joined the faculty of Martin Methodist College; over the course of his career here, he taught numerous music classes, served as chair of the Humanities Division and volunteered for countless committees. But perhaps his most visible contribution to the life of the college was through his service as director of the concert choir. By my estimation, he conducted more than 250 concerts and Sunday morning outings with this group in churches throughout Middle Tennessee, as well as locations such as Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York City, London, Berlin and Dublin. In recognition of Dr. Hughes’ extraordinary dedication to the college, the Board of Trustees of Martin Methodist voted unanimously on Friday, April 19, to honor him with the title of Professor of Music Emeritus, with all the rights and privileges pertaining to that status. As I reflect on my new appointment as director of the concert choir, I can’t help but think about all the ways my journey has been influenced by Dr. Hughes. As a graduating high school senior, I debated where I would attend college. I can confidently say that it was Doc who finally won me over to Martin. His welcoming and friendly personality and encouragement to follow my true passion for music made the decision clear. Over the past 17 years, I have had the opportunity to be his student, mentee, accompanist and colleague, and much of who I am – as a musician, educator, director and person – is a result of that friendship. Yet my story is simply one of hundreds of students whose lives have been changed because of Doc. His influence at Martin Methodist College cannot be overstated. The growth of the concert choir, the addition of music faculty, the move of the music department into the Gault Fine Arts Center, and the creation of the music major are all due to the seeds he planted and nurtured during his tenure here. I’m also confident that he will tell you that his success has been a direct result of the selfless, loving support of his wife, Charlotte. For years, she has volunteered as the accompanist for the choir, asking nothing in return. Her heart overflows with love for the choir, and this love can be heard through every note she plays. As Doc begins his retirement, we know we are not saying goodbye. We fully expect to continue to see Doc and Charlotte at concerts and campus events, and the ripples of their influence will be felt here for generations to come.
Mark your calendars
The Martin Methodist College Alumni Association will host two fundraising events this fall . . . the popular RedHawk Golf Classic (set for Thursday, Sept. 26) and a first-ever event associated with our newest intercollegiate sport, the RedHawk Shooting Team (no date set as of yet). Watch for more details on both of these great events!
Have fun ... while you support your college!
Special thanks to our corporate sponsors of the golf tournament: • Frito Lay • Mrs. Grissom’s Salads • First Farmers Bank
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Commencing with congratulations
PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSELL
Members of the faculty form a corridor and eagerly offer handshakes and hugs to the just-graduated Class of 2013 following the May 4 commencement exercises in the Curry Christian Life Center. Rain sent the festivities indoors this year, but it did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance. The story appears on page 4.