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President’s Message Dear Montevallo family, In November, university administration initiated the process by which we will develop our next five-year strategic plan. We began the public phase by hosting four town hall meetings in Wills Hall. These meetings were well attended by a wide variety of students, faculty, staff, alumni, local business and community partners, as well as others who care for our university. When participants were asked what they felt was most crucial to our future success as an institution, they most frequently cited the necessity to stay true to our values and traditions as a liberal arts university. Specifically, attendees felt that our longstanding family atmosphere, student relationships with faculty, staff and coaches and small class sizes were among our greatest strengths moving into the future. Indeed, these strengths will help us to endure. In the coming months, there will be other opportunities for all members of the family to provide valuable input into our strategic plan. We welcome your ideas, support, advocacy and wise counsel. While so many other institutions of higher learning are struggling to form an identity and vision that will enable them to survive in rapidly changing times, we know who we are. Our beloved Montevallo is flourishing—fast becoming a national model for quality and access in higher education. Applications for admission are up 38 percent from this time in 2010. Indexes that measure public awareness indicate that we are no longer a “hidden jewel” but, indeed, a “jewel” worth the attention we are garnering for excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, artistic performance, community service and athletic competition. Our community of learners is not without challenges. The town hall meetings reflected the need for continued facilities improvement, additional scholarship assistance for the students we serve and increased revenue to overcome state funding cuts. Of course, we identified other very significant challenges as well. But Montevallo enjoys financial solidity, rich traditions and a steep trajectory related to academic reputation and teaching efficacy that will carry us boldly forward. I met with a new parent and successful businessman a couple of weeks ago. He said (I’m paraphrasing), “John, Montevallo is really becoming that model everyone is looking for—a private college experience that is accessible from a cost standpoint, as a public university ... you guys are going to be known as the next William and Mary.” I thanked him. Such a comparison with William and Mary, one of the great “Ivy” caliber public universities in the country, would make anyone who loves Montevallo proud. But as I drove back to campus, I thought of our devoted faculty and staff, our enterprising students (many of whom work to help pay for college) and again, our cherished traditions. I wondered if this comparison wasn’t quite fair—to William and Mary, I mean.

MONTEVALLO TODAY Vol. CIII, No. 1 Winter 2014 Montevallo Today (ISSN 1052-3634) is published three times a year by the University of Montevallo, Alumni Affairs/University Relations, Reynolds Hall, Highland St., Montevallo, AL 35115. Periodicals postage paid at Montevallo, AL, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER, send address changes to Montevallo Today, Station 6215, P.O. Box 6000, Montevallo, AL 35115. To contact the Alumni Affairs office, please call 205-665-6215. Text, photographs and graphic images included in this publication may not be reproduced without written permission from the editor. The University of Montevallo does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or in the provision of services.

Montevallo Today

University of Montevallo alumni magazine EDITOR

Tiffany Roskamp-Bunt ’00

Associate Editor & CLASS NOTES EDITOR Marsha Littleton

COPY EditorS

Diane Kennedy-Jackson Heather Buckner ’14

Alumni Editor

Tracy Payne-Rockco ’94, M.Ed. ’98


Matt Orton, Justin Barron ’12, Andrea Echols ’12, Brittany Headley ’14, Kiera Hood ’15, Wendy Johnson ’17, Tracy Payne-Rockco ’94, M.Ed. ’98, Ashlynn Postell ’13


Justin Barron ’12, Tiffany Roskamp-Bunt ’00, Hannah Stein ’14

Editorial Assistant Brenda Aldridge


Courtney Bennett ’11, Heather Buckner ’14, Hollie Cost, Tonya Fleming ’13, Wesley Hallman, Gary Johnson, Cathlena Martin, Jim Methvin ’73, Scott Meyer, DeWayne Peevy ’96, Cynthia Tidwell ’94, Kevin Thornthwaite M.Ed. ’05

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION UMNAA President—Jim Methvin ’73 President-Elect—Michael Malone ’69 Past President/Parliamentarian Kit Waters ’78 Alumni Council Representative Mary Lou Williams ’69 Admissions Representative Greg Embry ’96 Faculty Representative Carolyn Miller-Kirby SGA President Rachael Swokowski ’14 UMNAA Vice Presidents Barbara Bonfield ’58, Sandi Falkenhagen ’68, Wadia B. Josof ’79, Toni Leo ’80, Jalete Nelms ’90, Laurl Self ’94, Keith Shoemaker ’98 Members at Large Jeffery J. Adams ’85, Matthew Arnold ’93, Glenda L. Bland ’89, Barbara J. Bradford ’56, Lewis Brooks ’88, Vera S. Cox ’56, Claudia Sue Harrell ’73, Andy Meginniss ’68, Megan E. Randolph ’06, J. Corey Stewart ’03, David W. Thomas ’97, Chris Willis ’07, Warwick M. Woodall ’82 Ex-Officio John W. Stewart III, Patrick McDonald ’01, Tracy Payne-Rockco ’94, M.Ed. ’98

In this issue 4 Founders’ Day

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Julia Erwin, senior class president, is robed by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Suzanne Ozment at the Founders’ Day convocation in October. The convocation also included an address by Michael E. Stephens ’73, tapping of new members of ODK as well as faculty and staff awards. The day concluded with the 16th annual Life Raft Debate.

14 Griffin Hood

Griffin Hood ’06 talks about his favorite memories of Montevallo as well as his career in theatre as an actor and writer. He is pictured here (at left) on the set of “The Baytown Outlaws” with (from left) Barry Battles, director and co-writer; Mitchell Phillips, producer; and Brad Roller, an actor in the film.

20 Olympics Day page 14

In partnership with UM’s athletics department, the UMNAA transformed the traditional Olympics Day event, previously held in August, to Coming Home Weekend: Friends of Athletics & Alumni Golf Tournament and Alumni Olympics Day, held in October. The changes were well received, as reflected in the smiles of (from left) Mike Malone ’69, Toni Leo ’80 and Trish Hughes.

Departments page 20

4 Campus News 11 Guest Essay 12 Athletics

14 Montevallo Profile 16 Class Notes 20 Alumni Activities

On the cover Operation Wood-Stoke, the most-recent firing of UM’s anagama kiln, drew a number of distinguished guest ceramicists to take part in experiments with new techniques in the craft. Hosted by UM Professor of Art Scott Meyer, the event included not only the firing of a large number of ceramic works of art but also a panel discussion, held at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, among some of the guest artists. Pictured at the kiln are, from left, Jane Shellenbarger, Scott Meyer, Rick Hirsch, Ken Baskin and Tony Wright. See page 6 for more on Wood-Stoke. PHOTOS: MATT ORTON

|Campus News|

|Montevallo celebrates 117 years| The University celebrated Founders’ Day on Oct. 11, commemorating 117 years of service to its alumni and to education in the State of Alabama. The day began with a convocation in Palmer Hall featuring a message by entrepreneur and UM alumnus Michael E. Stephens, awards presentations to several members of the University faculty, staff and alumni, and the traditional investiture of the senior class and the tapping of new members of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. Stephens, a philanthropist and a leader in the field of healthcare and physical rehabilitation, graduated from UM in 1973. He founded the Lakeshore Foundation in the mid-1980s, focusing on athletic rehabilitation, and when another of his corporations, ReLife, merged with HealthSouth in 1994, he turned his attention to community service. In 1997, in recognition of his service and generosity toward the University, UM renamed its business school the Michael E. Stephens College of Business. Stephens spoke to the theme of Founders’ Day, “Dedication to Our Past, Commitment to Our Future,” recalling how the University transformed him and the course of his life. He encouraged the Montevallo family to commit to support the school as the early residents of the town did when the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School was founded. Calling UM “an institution of substance,” he called on alumni, faculty, staff and students to contribute not only funding but also ideas, time and service. Professor of clarinet and saxophone Lori Ardovino was honored as the 2013 University Scholar. This award recognizes significant contributions to scholarship and creative endeavor. Ardovino, an active performer, clinician and composer, received the 2013-2014 Alabama State Council for the Arts


Montevallo Today

Michael E. Stephens ’73, philanthropist and namesake of UM’s College of Business, addresses the audience at Founders’ Day, Oct. 11. He recognized Montevallo as “an institution of substance,” calling on students, faculty, staff and alumni to contribute not only funding but also ideas, time and service.

Artist Fellowship and has served as composer-in-residence with Escape to Create in Seaside, Fla. Michael Sterner, professor of mathematics, was the recipient of the Faculty Service Award. Since joining the UM faculty in 1997, Sterner has redesigned the University’s mathematics curriculum, elevating the reputation of the math major throughout the Southeast. Active in a number of projects in the community, one of his most-significant achievements is the development, with Professor Michael Patton, of the James Wylie Shepherd Observatory near the UM campus. Associate Professor of Business Harold Hamilton received the inaugural Faculty Advisement Award. This award is presented to a full-time faculty or staff member who has demonstrated excellence in academic advising. While he currently serves as the faculty athletics representative and chair of the intercollegiate athletics committee, he

is most recognized for his rapport with students. He says that effective advising is less about guiding students in building course schedules than in helping them create rich college experiences that prepare them for fulfilling careers and satisfying lives after graduation. Ivan Smith, an adjunct instructor of mathematics since 1994, was the recipient of the first-ever Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award, given to a part-time instructor who has taught at UM for at least six semesters, has demonstrated effective teaching and interacted with a significant number of students. By structuring his courses as learning laboratories in which students receive individual attention, he creates a supportive environment that helps build students’ confidence as it builds their proficiency in math. Prior to his service at UM, Smith had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army and the Alabama Army National Guard, enlisting as a

Founders’ Day award recipients include, from left, Michael Sterner, Faculty Service Award; Jeremy Ward, Staff Service Award; Karen Kelly, Alumna Loyalty Award; Robert Barone, Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award; Lori Ardovino, University Scholar; and Harry Hamilton, Faculty Advisement Award. (Not pictured: Ivan Smith, Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award)

private and retiring 42 years later as a much-decorated major general. Karen Kelly, who graduated from UM in 1980, received the 2013 Alumna Loyalty Award. A highly respected professional in the field of compensation and benefits, she is currently employed by U.S. Pipe and Foundry in Birmingham. Kelly has been a class representative to the UM National Alumni Association Board since 1985 and served on the board from 1998-2012. She served as president of the UMNAA board from 2008-2010 and currently holds a seat on the UM Foundation board. The recipient of the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award was Robert Barone, professor of history. A member of UM’s faculty since 1989, Barone has taught history freshman honors courses since 1996 and has served as the faculty adviser for UM’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honorary organization, since 1994. His teaching style is enthusiastic and engaging, and his students appreciate his willingness to answer questions and discuss subject matter outside the classroom. Jeremy Ward, a 2005 graduate of UM and associate director of development, was the recipient of the Staff Service Award. Ward, a member of the

UM staff in the division of university with the 16th Annual Life Raft Debate, advancement since 2008, has overseen a lively argument by a panel of UM substantial increases in the rates of givfaculty members vying for the last seat ing on the part of all UM constituents on a mythical life raft after a purported and the doubling of the amount given global cataclysm has wiped out all other to the University’s annual fund. Under human population. Each panel memhis leadership, the faculty and staff givber tries to convince the audience, who ing rate increased to 80 percent, one of selects the winner by a vote, why his or the highest institutional giving rates in her discipline should be the one to be the nation. He has also served twice as preserved in the new civilization, while interim director of alumni affairs while the others are left to drown. The oar of performing his regular job duties. victory was awarded to Assistant ProfesA reception for seniors and their sor of Mathematics Scott Varagona. families was held immediately following The win made Mathematics the first the convocation. Following that recepthree-time winner in the history of tion, Michael E. Stephens signed copies UM’s Life Raft Debate. of the book, Sports Rehabilitation and the Human Spirit: How the Landmark Program at the Lakeshore Foundation Rebuilds Bodies and Restores Lives, for which he wrote the epilogue, and the UM Theatre Department held a matinee performance of “The Thugs.” The Founders’ UMNAA president Jim Methvin presents Karen Kelly with Day celebration conthe Alumna Loyalty Award at the awards banquet held the evening prior to the Founders’ Day convocation. cluded in the evening


Photo by Ashlyn Postell ’13

|Lighting it up and stoking it: Wood-Stoke 2013|

When the University’s anagama kiln (affectionately called “Fat Bastard”) was fired in early November in an event labeled “Operation Wood-Stoke,” Scott Meyer, professor of art at UM and designer and master of the anagama, brought together a group of all-star ceramicists from across the nation to fire their works and observe and assist in a number of experiments with the finishing process. One of the “headliners” was Richard Hirsch, the subject of a biography written by Meyer, titled With Fire: Richard Hirsch, A Life Between Chance and Design. Hirsch is a professor of ceramic art at the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York and has an international reputation as both an artist and an educator based, in part, on his work in American raku pottery. The goal of the experiments was to discover what could be gained by a melding of raku and anagama firing techniques. While anagama kilns, in use for about 3,000 years, use high temperatures (2,400° F) to make wares more durable, raku kilns, first implemented


Montevallo Today

approximately 500 years ago, use lower temperatures (1,800°2,000° F) so that the surface of the product can be manipulated. In these experiments, pieces were pulled from the anagama at high temperatures and cooled in a chemical bath, giving an appearance of high-fired raku, an effect unseen before. Over the years, a strong bond has grown between Meyer, the UM art department and the School for American Crafts at RIT. As a result, a number of artists with ties to RIT, as well as several current students of the school, were in Montevallo for this event. Among those artists was Jane Shellenbarger, assistant professor of ceramic art at RIT, whose work has appeared in several galleries around the country, some residing in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution. Melissa Moody, a two-year resident artist at UM, is an alumna of RIT and had several pieces of her work, fired in the anagama kiln, on display in Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo. John Shae of Oregon, also an RIT alumnus and a student of Hirsch, was a resident artist at UM in 2011. He participated in an anagama firing in 2012 and flew in from Oregon for this event. Kenneth Baskin, associate professor of art at McNeese State University in Louisiana, also came in for the firing on his way to Chicago, where he has

a one-man exhibition of his work. He has been featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly and in national venues such as the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA). His work is found in numerous public and private collections. Meyer’s strong sense of collaboration has led him to bring together not only this assemblage of distinguished artists but also a group of ceramicists who crew each firing of “Fat Bastard.” This group, referred to by Meyer as “da band,” includes Scott Bennett, co-owner of Red Dot Gallery in Homewood; Susie Bowman, owner of The Kiln Gallery in Fairhope; Chris Greenman, professor of art at Alabama State University; and Roger Anthony “Tony” Wright, associate professor of art at the University of South Alabama. Meyer’s students also played a critical role in stoking the kiln to keep the temperature at just the right level. In conjunction with Wood-Stoke, a panel discussion, “Heat + Alchemy = Transformation,” including Meyer and several of the guest artists, was held at Sloss Furnaces. The panelists each discussed the evolution of their artistic work over the span of their careers. Meyer and Hirsch participated in a similar panel at Sloss Furnaces more than 20 years ago.   The outcome of this firing of UM’s anagama kiln, in addition to producing a great deal of extraordinary ceramic artwork created by students, faculty and friends of the University, was to increase the scope of the craft. In Meyer’s words, “We believe we just invented a completely new aesthetic by melding traditions of 500 and 3,000 years.” “Operation Wood-Stoke” was not only an artistic success but also a witness to the spirit of collaboration among Meyer and the artists who participated, the University and the UM family. One more benefit of “Unconventional Wisdom.”

Photo by Ashlyn Postell ’13

Photo by Ashlyn Postell ’13


1. Professor Scott Meyer toasts Operation WoodStoke; 2. Kelly Collins, an advanced UM ceramics student, stirs the coals in the anagama kiln; 3. Guest artist Richard Hirsch treats a sample item pulled from the kiln; 4. Joe Columbia, a graduate student from the School for American Crafts at RIT, smokes a sample ceramic piece; 5. Meyer and Hirsch display a ceramic piece treated with their innovative firing technique; 6. Artwork is unloaded from the anagama; 7. Artist in residence Melissa Moody holds a large jar pulled from the kiln; 8. Members of the all-star panel discuss their careers in ceramics (left to right: Meyer, Hirsch, Ken Baskin, Tony Wright and Jane Shellenbarger); 9. An array of ceramic items fired at Wood-Stoke.



Photo by Wendy Johnson ’17



Photo by Wendy Johnson ’17

Photo by Wendy Johnson ’17


9 Photo by Wendy Johnson ’17



|Undergrad Research|

|Honors Program hosts Montevallo Trivia Trot|

Savell represents at national conference After completing a 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, UM senior chemistry major Katherine Savell was chosen to represent the program at the recent Council on Undergraduate Research Conference in Arlington, Va. The conference, which included workshops to prepare students for graduate studies, consisted of one student or team from each REU site from around the country. In addition to the experience of sharing her research with students and faculty attending the conference, Savell also had the opportunity to do some sightseeing in Arlington as well as Washington, D.C., while on the trip.


Montevallo Today

UM Honors Program seniors show off a display promoting Montevallo Trivia Trot, a scavenger hunt for obscure information about the University.

Seniors in UM’s Honors Program recently hosted a new event engaging students, faculty and staff in a campuswide scavenger hunt. Montevallo Trivia Trot sent participants on a trail to various academic buildings following clues referencing those buildings. At each location, contestants answered a trivia question related to the discipline taught in that building before being given another location clue. For example, music questions were asked in Davis Hall, and health and kinesiology questions were asked in Myrick Hall. Senior Honors Program student Ashley Knowles reflected, “I couldn’t think of a more appropriate event to be hosted by a bunch of Honors kids who, generally speaking, know plenty of ‘useless’ facts. I say ‘useless’ because most of the trivia information that fills our brains is not useful for everyday life. That doesn’t change our desire to continue filling our heads with this knowledge. So having an opportunity to spread that knowledge with others and possibly pass it along as well was a great

opportunity for us.” Even though hosted by the Honors Program and supported with funding from a QEP IL1UMinate grant, the event was open to everyone at the University. “The Trivia Trot really was an event for all kinds of students. Some ‘trotters’ went through the stations with their friends as a group, while others participated individually. Some were extremely competitive, but others were just in it for fun,” said senior Honors Program student Hannah Gentry. More than 40 students, faculty and staff were involved in the event. “The participants enjoyed the combination of brain and brawn, and we promoted information literacy across a variety of subjects that are central to this University,” said Susan Sabia, current president of the student-run Montevallo Honors organization. The Montevallo community also benefitted from the event. Donations were received for Shelby Emergency Assistance, a local organization helping people move from crisis to self-sufficiency.

(from left) Cathlena Martin, director of UM’s Honors Program, Benton Tyler, associate professor of mathematics, and Scott Varagona, assistant professor of mathematics, check references for Montevallo Trivia Trot.

Through the Students’ Institute, 4th through 12th graders in Montevallo city schools participated in public deliberation in order to gain insight and practice in preparation for hosting two public community forums in the spring.

|OSLACE serves community| The Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement (OSLACE) kicked off another year of giving back to the Montevallo community through several special projects. Falcon Scholars in Action, 25 exceptional upperclassmen, continued to serve at local non-profit agencies, demonstrating leadership by creating and completing unique projects, such as marketing campaigns, classes and events. Among partners of Falcon Scholars in Action are Shelby Emergency Assistance, Boys & Girls Club, SafeHouse and Family Connection. OSLACE has partnered with the

David Mathews Center for Civic Life to organize the Students’ Institute, a program through which 4th-12th graders in Montevallo city schools learn about civic engagement and then put it into practice by brainstorming ways to make Montevallo a better place to live. Last year’s program was extremely successful and led to the formation of the Montevallo Junior City Council. The MJCC continues to meet weekly in hopes of continuing to improve Montevallo as a community by organizing fundraisers to benefit the arts, athletics and academics in their schools. In the spring, these students will organize a public

forum on a community issue they will “name and frame.” The goal is to have students apply everything they learn from programs like these to continue to better their communities throughout the remainder of their lives. The Service Learning staff also supported the formation of a new student group based on volunteering. The HERO Club, which stands for Helping Everyone Reach Out, was formed to strengthen the relationship between the University of Montevallo student body and the larger community. Its purpose is to become a centralized location for information about local volunteer opportunities.

|University’s Standard and Poor’s rating rises| Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services has recently upgraded the long-term rating for the University of Montevallo from “A-” to “A” and notes the outlook as stable. The upgraded rating comes at a time when state funding for public higher education has declined for a half decade and, so, is not only impressive but also becomes doubly important in the University’s ability to utilize financial resources that will help meet the needs of its students—both present and future. The ratings reflect S & P’s view when considering strong financial resources for the rating category, a moderate maximum annual debt service burden, good revenue

diversity and a history of not only avoiding the use of reserves but also, in most cases, increasing them. The report also cited increased demand and enrollment as a positive factor in its rating decision, noting that, as the only public liberal arts university in Alabama, Montevallo serves a niche market, with potential students exhibiting a degree of self-selection in their decision to apply. Freshman applications have increased by 22 percent during the last four years, and S & P noted that they consider tuition for a full-time, instate student ($9,330 for the 2013-2014 academic year) very affordable.

“In a time of economic challenge, when many colleges and universities are being downgraded, we are pleased to have received the upgrade,” stated DeAnna Smith, vice president for business affairs at UM. “I’m privileged to work with a campus community who are excellent stewards of University resources and have embraced our financial health goals. To be able to continue to offer the high-quality education for which Montevallo is known, while enduring the sharp reductions in state funding, and still be recognized for our financial health is gratifying.”


|Campus News|

|Graduate alumni acknowledge UM opportunities| Whether looking for a promotion, a career change or simply a job, possessing a master’s degree can determine whether or not that search is successful. Director of Graduate Admissions and Records Kevin Thornthwaite M.Ed. ’05, believes unique academic opportunities and a small school atmosphere make the University of Montevallo the place to find a graduate experience like no other—at a value among the best in the state. Montevallo has offered engaging programs to educators, counselors, speech-language pathologists, scholars in the humanities and professional leaders for more than half a century. The intimate, seminar-like setting for many graduate-level classes is conducive to productive peer-to-peer learning. “Once I began working in my field, I quickly realized how well prepared I was,” said Montevallo Elementary School teacher Tonya Littlejohn. Many of the assignments, projects and field experiences are developed according to the anticipated work setting of the student.

Monica Ratchford ’08, MBA ’12, a relationships manager at Regions, commends UM for the high caliber of its professors.


Montevallo Today

Jeff Atkins M.Ed. ’05, Ed.S. ’09, principal at Thompson Middle School, praises Montevallo’s graduate program in education.

“Montevallo’s curriculum presents the latest trend in what’s happening in the field of education. Their classes are data driven on what works as best practice,” said Jeff Atkins ’06, M.A. ’08, principal at Thompson Middle School, who received his M.Ed. from UM in 2005 and his Ed.S. in 2009. Small class sizes foster stronger, more productive relationships between fellow students and professors. Shelby County High School counselor Maegan Vick M.Ed. ’08 explained, “At UM, a student can find his or her place and establish a sense of belonging without feeling overwhelmed or lost in the crowd.” “Even after graduating, I know that I can count on the support of my former professors,” agreed Logan Wheeler, lecturer of English studies and director of the Writing Center at Georgia Regents University. According to UM National Alumni Association President Jim Methvin ’73, graduate students at UM bring academic maturity and leadership to campus and encourage undergraduates to take their

education to the next step—these qualities, whether found in the classroom or out, contribute to the overall success of the graduate program. “Just mentioning UM as the college of your choice for post-baccalaureate education is a great way to foster an awareness of the University with friends, neighbors and business associates,” he said. “Your support may very well be the main driving influence for the next generation of UM graduate students.” Montevallo’s graduate programs are: master of arts in English; master of business administration; master of science in speech-language pathology and masters of education in counseling, elementary education, P-12 education, secondary education, instructional leadership and collaborative education. The University also offers educational specialist degrees in instructional leadership, teacher leadership and instructional technology (coming in fall 2014). For more information on graduate studies programs, contact 205.665.6350 or

|Guest Essay|

|The path from Montevallo to Kentucky| BY DEwayne Peevy ’96

I graduated from the University of Montevallo in 1996 with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting. The first 35 years of my life were spent in the Birmingham metro area, but my career path began on the Montevallo campus. My first love, baseball, led me to Montevallo and was my main reason for choosing UM over Alabama or Auburn. Even though I had academic scholarship offers at all three schools, I was still undecided about my major but chose accounting at Montevallo because of my love of numbers. Little did I know how important that decision would be later in my life. Once I arrived on campus, I had three very important educational experiences that molded my career. As a baseball player my freshman year under hall-of-famer Bob Riesener, I learned what it would take to grow up and be a man. My father passed away at age 60 when I was 30 years old but was never a major part of my upbringing. I was a momma’s boy, and Coach Riesener was the man I looked up to as a young adult for guidance and a path to follow. I’ve never been around anyone so organized, and he showed me how every day could be planned and structured. Even if I didn’t agree with every decision Coach Riesener made, his open process encouraged me to think on my own, and it was easy to visualize my future in a leadership role like his. Now I see why he’s had so many former players become coaches. I redshirted my first season at Montevallo due to complications from asthma, but I got everything I needed from my freshman year. I gained lifelong friends, a new career path (other than Major League Baseball) and a mentor. I decided in the fall of my sophomore year to end my college baseball career, and it broke my heart. In that

moment, I never would have imagined that trying to fill the void left by baseball would take me where I am today. That season, I volunteered to help work in the press box at baseball games while I was still in school to stay connected to the program and athletics. That led to a job as a student worker in sports information during my junior year where I became the primary media contact for the baseball team. Keep in mind that I’m still majoring in accounting, and my journalistic experience was limited to reading the sports page every day. You are never told when you play sports that the sports information staff is there before you arrive and after you leave. Traveling with the team on the road; working days, nights and weekends; and keeping up with mounting schoolwork was a challenge. That was when I decided I no longer wanted to be a certified public accountant but wanted to at least explore a career in sports information. I found my second love: collegiate athletics. As I stated before, I graduated with an accounting degree despite my change in career goals, but after graduation I couldn’t find employment in the business world. After many failed opportunities in business and finance, I was successful in my first job interview in the sports information field. The Gulf South Conference office in Mountain Brook, Ala., was part of the NCAA’s Division II, which Montevallo had recently joined, and without my knowledge, Coach Riesener had told Commissioner Nathan Salant about me. I met Commissioner Salant in the press box at a Montevallo baseball game not knowing who he was, but his first impression of me was enough to earn me an interview for their new assistant information director position. I worked for the GSC office for one year before I had the opportunity to come back home to Montevallo as the


director of sports information at the age of 24. The late Cynthia Shackelford was my employer in the UM Public Relations office and, despite my age, took a chance on me running my own department. Cynthia, Coach Riesener— who had, by then, become athletics director—and David Aiken, then vice president for university advancement, were the three who made it possible. The experience I gained in that position allowed me to grow as a person and a professional. Those three years solidified the bond I still have with my alma mater. UM took a chance on me, and I will never forget it. In the summer of 2000, I was offered a position in media relations at the Southeastern Conference office in Birmingham. I had made a full swing all the way back to Birmingham before leaving for Kentucky eight years later. I now know, without a doubt, that my Montevallo experience is the reason I’m at Kentucky now as the Deputy Director of Athletics. Just last month, I had the privilege of returning the favor and hosting my alma mater for a men’s basketball game, and I’ve never been so proud to be a Falcon. Thank you!

|Sports Update|

Photo by University of Kentucky/Chet White

Falcons impress national audience in exhibition at top-ranked Kentucky Troran Brown

Junior Troran Brown finished just one point shy of his career high as he led the Falcons with 30 points in a 95-72 loss on the road at top-ranked Kentucky in front of the largest crowd in school history at historic Rupp Arena in an exhibition game Nov. 4. Brown finished 12 of 34 from the floor and 5 of 7 from the charity stripe. The game was televised nationally by Fox Sports Network affiliates. “I thought we came out and played very hard considering the depth we had,” said Montevallo men’s basketball coach Danny Young. “We don’t have a lot of depth and (Kentucky) has such great depth and length inside. They are so well coached, but I thought our guys came out and played as hard as we could and did a pretty good job.” Young was pleased with the Falcons’ performance against the Wildcats in front of an announced crowd of 20,039. The game featured Kentucky fresh-


Montevallo Today

man James Young scoring a basket for the Falcons with an incredible no-look, behind-the-back toss in an attempt to save the ball from going out of bounds. The toss was featured by more than a dozen national media outlets and has been seen by nearly four million people on YouTube. Juniors Ed’Lexus Collier and Shykeem Jackson added 11 points each, and Jackson, who finished 4 of 8 from the floor and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Junior Da-Juan Cooper added nine points and five rebounds. The Falcons impressed Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari in the exhibition game. “Montevallo, they came out—greatest thing was there were some juniors and seniors, and the kids balled,” Calipari said. “They weren’t afraid. They were physical. They were not backing down.” The Falcons opened the game

with a 9-2 run against the Wildcats, who entered the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press college basketball poll. Cooper scored a pair of early baskets to spark the Falcons in the first three minutes. Kentucky responded with a 14-0 run and eventually extended its lead to as many as 14 points down the stretch in the first half, but the Falcons trimmed the deficit to 46-35 at halftime following a 6-3 run to end the half. Brown led the Falcons with 14 points in the opening half. Montevallo cut the margin to 46-38 following a 3-pointer by Jackson in the opening minute of the second half. The Wildcats extended their lead to 65-46 before the Falcons went on a 10-2 run to trim the deficit to 11 points following a 3-pointer by Brown with 9:36 remaining in the game. Kentucky closed with a 28-16 run to end the game.

|Men’s soccer claims third PBC title in four years| For the past four years, the University of Montevallo men’s soccer team has made it to the final game of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. On Nov. 10, they were able to bring home their third championship in those four years with a 2-0 win over Francis Marion. The Falcons, the No. 7 seed in the tournament, led 1-0 at halftime, holding a 10-6 advantage in shots and a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. Leading

scorer and First Team All-Conference selection Ricky Davey scored his eighth goal of the year, and Jeffrey Hessenberger got the assist on a corner kick. In the second half, the Falcons continued to dominate the match against the Patriots, who entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed. Bruno Mbamala was able to put the ball in the back of the net, and Hessenberger again got the assist, one of four he recorded

during the conference tournament. All goals in the semi-finals and finals were assisted by the standout freshman. Hessenberger, Gary O’Neill and Nick Saboe were named to the All-Tournament team, while Davey was named the tournament MVP. Appropriately, standout goalkeeper Brendan Ledgeway recorded a shutout in the match. The Falcons wrapped up the season with an 11-8 record.

|’66 Men’s tennis team inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame| The UM Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed the first full team received into the illustrious group of former studentathletes, coaches and administrators following the induction of the 1966 men’s tennis team during a ceremony Oct. 19 at the Robert M. McChesney Student Activity Center. Members of the 1966 men’s tennis team included team captain Jim Taylor, Donnie Andrews, James Peavy, Ed Kridakorn, Bill Toms, Paul Kellogg, Ronnie Lewis, H.C. Watters, Joe Barrick, Mike Malone and Sid McLaughlin. The 1966 men’s tennis team at the University of Montevallo, then known as Alabama College, achieved the first

undefeated season in the history of the school’s athletics department. Floyd Anderson, the team’s first head coach when men’s tennis made its debut in 1959 as the third intercollegiate sport at Alabama College, led the Falcons to a perfect 21-0 record on their way to claiming the Alabama Collegiate Conference’s regular season and tournament championships in his final season at the helm. The team made history April 8, 1966, when it defeated Auburn University 5-4, becoming the first Alabama Collegiate Conference school to ever beat a Southeastern Conference team.


Griffin Hood ’06 uses colored Post-itŽ notes to layout different acts when writing screenplays. 14

Montevallo Today

griffin hood

Your home: Helena, Ala.

|Montevallo Profile|

Your hometown: Calera, Ala. Tell us about your family: Wife Stephanie, two sons—Mayson 7 and Lincoln 5 months. Two bulldogs, Maverick and Bronco. Stephanie and I met in the summer of 2010. I was working in Gulf Shores for the summer. The relationship was supposed to be nothing more than a summer fling. Two years later we were happily married. Excited to see where we go from here. What is your profession? Writer/Actor What is the last book you read, and who is the author? Low Town, Daniel Polansky What awards/honors have you received? My best friend and work partner, Barry Battles, and I first created a short film several years ago. We won multiple awards at festivals across the country, and that served as a catalyst for us to continue our quest to shoot a feature film. What is your secret for success? Hard work. Don’t wait around for something to happen. If you want it, go out and get it. It may sound cliché, but it’s true. I’ve lived it. Everything we’ve ever accomplished came from our not accepting defeat and continuing to drive forward. What is the best advice you have received? To always be creating. After we made “The Baytown Outlaws” we went against everything we stood for and waited on Hollywood to provide our next job. That’s the biggest mistake. My writing and producing partner, Barry Battles, and I have always created our own content. It keeps up sharp. When you think you’ve made it, you get complacent. Always keep the hunger. Even if you have job prospects, just keep doing what you do. You can never have enough content to work from. Do you have a favorite motto? If so, what is it? Get out there and live. Have life experiences. You can draw off of them. If they’re not in a writing format, you can always use them for conversation pieces. In business, you don’t want to be the person that doesn’t have anything to contribute to a conversation. What’s new? Barry has moved to L.A. to continue trying to get meetings as a director. We have a shared idea that we are shopping in hopes of getting another project set up. It’s a tough marketplace right now. My wife and I welcomed our first baby boy into the world back in July, so we’ve stayed in Alabama until another job comes up that could pull us back to L.A. Please tell us about your educational foundation: Graduated in 2006 from Montevallo with a B.A. in theatre and a minor in business. How did Montevallo affect your career path? It helped to get me plugged in to a world I never knew existed. Contacts are extremely important in the film industry and any field of business, really. Dr. Callaghan also stressed a high level of professionalism. He had a vast knowledge of experiences to draw from, and he was able to share those. He would also bring in guest professors to speak to the parts of the business he may not have been so familiar with. What are your favorite Montevallo memories? Being involved with the production of “The Normal Heart.” That’s a project I will always be proud to have been a part of. BUT MOSTLY, Jason Styres took me under his wing. I kind of stuck out like a sore thumb in the theatre department. Coming from an athletic background in high school, I didn’t have the base theatre background that most of the students in the department had. He eventually became my Purple Dad. So I know that’s not a specific memory, but I would say just getting to know Styres and hanging out with him during and after college would be some of my favorite memories.

Photo illustration by Brittany Headley ’14

Follow Griffin on Twitter: @griffhood


|Class Notes| 1938 Josephine P. Hurd writes that she has relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas, in order to be near her two daughters. She had resided in Houston for 50 years.

1956 Barbara Bradford of Fairhope recently received the Marilyn Gossman Professionalism Award, given by the Alabama Physical Therapy Association. The award, named for a pioneer in physical therapy education and practice in Alabama, is the highest presented to a member of the APTA.

is their never-ending goal in this tongue-in-cheek story.”

1975 Mark Brandon, a professor of law at Vanderbilt University, has had a book, titled States of Union: Family and Change in the American Constitutional Order, published by University Press of Kansas. The book analyzes the place of families in American culture and law from the nation’s founding to today.

1968 Suzanne Durham has retired after more than 30 years as executive director and CEO of the YWCA in Birmingham. She will stay involved as a consultant on special projects.

1969 Mary Lou Williams M.A. ’72, former executive director of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce, was honored as a “Hometown Hero” at Montevallo’s Fourth Annual Mayor’s Hometown Heroes’ Breakfast at the American Village. She was recognized for helping to increase tourism and business in the area.

1972 Gene Garza, retired UM professor, and Alton Young ’72, M.A. ’75, announced the publication of their book, Justice for Rupert. Gene writes that, “Saving the world, starting with colleges throughout the south,

Mark Brandon

1976 Thomas Jacoby is a security officer with Security Engineers Inc. in Birmingham.

1980 Tammy Richardson M.Ed. ’84 has coached more than 1,300 wins in her career as a high school volleyball coach, which includes two state championships and 14 Elite Eight appearances. She currently coaches at St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile.


John Mark Willis M.Ed. ’99, his wife, Amber Mullins Willis ’99, M.Ed. ’09, and their twins, Rand and Molly, appeared on Family Game Night on the HUB Network recently. The family competed in an oversized version of the Yahtzee© board game. executive director of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce. His previous work was in advertising and event promotion.

1988 Tracey Morant Adams recently joined Renasant Bank as a senior vice president and small business and community development director. She had previously served as executive director of economic development for the City of Birmingham.

Steve Gilbert has been named

year as interim executive director of More Light Presbyterians, a national nonprofit that works for justice for LGBTQ people in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in civil society.

1994 Kimberly Williams-Pettway, a social work instructor at the University of South Alabama, has been named chairwoman of the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service’s board of commissioners. She has been a member of the board since 2010.


Gene Garza and Alton Young

Glenda Bumpus has been named Tuscaloosa city attorney, the first woman to hold that position. She had worked in the office of the city attorney since 2001 and received several promotions leading up to this appointment. Glenda also serves as president of the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys.

Patrick Evans Patrick Evans has been named associate director of admissions for the school of music at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. He has returned to academia after a


Montevallo Today

Silvia Morales and her husband, Ramiro Martinez, reside in Nicaragua where Silvia is the alumni coordinator at the American Nicaraguan School. They are parents to twin daughters who were born in 2012.

Westry honored for journalistic work




Dwight Swindle M.Ed., Ed.S. ’07 has retired from the Army Reserves after serving for 25 years. He continues his almost 20-year career in education, serving as vice principal at Verbena High School.

William Jones is enrolled in graduate school at Boston University studying higher education administration.

Kira Thomas of Calera has accepted the position of assistant to the vice presidents for business affairs and enrollment management at the University.

1998 Douglas McRay Daniels of Medford, Mass., is chair of the arts department at Gann Academy in Waltham, Mass., music director for the Bentley University Chamber Orchestra, associate conductor of the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra and founder and artistic director of 3rd Sundays at 3 Chamber Music Series. He recently conducted the opening concert of the season for the Fall River Symphony Orchestra.

2000 Susan Shoemaker was the featured artist at the recent Moss Rock Arts Festival in Hoover. Her favorite subject matter is animals, and, while she continues to work on a series of drawings, she also accepts commissions for drawings of animals and humans.


Amanda McGinnis Mercer M.Ed. ’07, M.Ed. ’11 has been appointed assistant principal at Rudd Middle School in Jefferson County. She had previously taught art and family consumer science at Leeds Middle School. She also is pursuing the educational specialist degree at UM.

2008 Matthew Robinson has accepted the position of senior program director at the downtown branch of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham. He also leads the Youth Development advisory board for the Birmingham association. He has served the Y for 10 years, most recently as director of aquatics and childcare at the Vestavia Hills location.

2013 Sarah Dunn was the featured artist at the Talladega art gallery, LMo&Co., recently. Her work included a series of large-format color digital photographs as well as a group of prints that are photo etchings from copper plates. Marvin Fitzgerald has signed a one-year contract with Hebei Springs, a professional basketball organization in the Hebei Province of China. Marvin started all 30 games for UM’s men’s basketball team last season, helping the Falcons reach the NCAA Division II tournament during the 2012-2013 season.

Weddings 2011

Sara-Margaret Coker Cates and husband Chip reside in Tuscaloosa where Sara-Margaret recently received the M.A. in health studies from the University of Alabama and became a certified health education specialist. She works as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at UA and also holds a position with the Office of University Advancement. Matt Walker has accepted the position of coordinator of planning and development/grant writer with Community Service Programs of West Alabama in Tuscaloosa. CSP is a community action agency administering programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income and vulnerable populations. Matt and his wife, Elizabeth DeWeese Walker ’02, reside in Helena.

Susan Howard M.Ed. ’12 and Justin Finch ’06 were married June 22 in the chapel at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo. The service was co-officiated by The Rev. Brandt Montgomery ’07. Maria Wilson Hanvy ’05, M.Ed. ’10 served as pianist and organized a choir including several UM alumni. The wedding party included maid of honor Mandy McMahon ’09, matron of honor Alicia McDonald Smith ’06, bridesmaid Alia Richards ’12 and ushers Justin Averette ’06 and Justin Banks ’05. After a honeymoon cruise to Mexico, the Finches returned to their home in Calera. Susan teaches English at Chelsea Middle School, and Justin teaches music at Brookville and West Jefferson elementary schools.


Tiffany Westry ’09, a reporter for CBS 42 TV in Birmingham, began her career there as an intern while completing her degree in mass communication at UM. After graduation, she joined the team as an assignment editor and in 2011, became a multimedia journalist, covering some of the biggest news and events throughout central Alabama. Westry recently received the Alabama Associated Press Media Editors Award for Best Reporter of 2012, based on a compilation of her work from that year.

She said that the project she has enjoyed most was working as an associate producer for the station’s documentary “Deadly Deception,” investigating cancer-causing toxins found in soil and air around North Birmingham homes and schools. She also contributes to the station’s consumer franchise “It’s Your Money.”

|Class Notes| Sarah Wade and Harrison Perkins

Deaths 1930 Mary Agnes Chandler Gatlin, 106, of Coldwater in Covington Co., formerly of Huntsville, died Sept. 28. She retired as director of the Alabama State Public Health Laboratory in Huntsville in 1973 after 43 years of service. She was preceded in death by her three sisters, Rubye Chandler Gantt ’31, Mayme Chandler Colvin ’33 and Vivian Chandler Garlington ’35. She is survived by her niece, Rebecca Chandler Gantt ’59.

2012 Sarah Wade and Harrison Perkins ’10 were married June 2, 2012, at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. Members of the wedding party included Sarah’s Alpha Gamma Delta sisters Lyndsi Matthews ’13, Haley Rayburn Wallace ’13 and Haley Evans ’13, as well as Isaac McDow ’10, Richie Lisenby ’11 and Chris Pinto ’13. The Perkins reside in Escondido, Calif., where Sarah works as a first grade teacher’s aide and Harrison is pursuing his master of divinity degree at Westminster Seminary.

Births 2006

ter, Avery Vaughn, Aug. 26. Marki is employed with Regions.



Mary Jim Robinson Thomas, 100, of Boynton Beach, Fla., died Nov. 7. She was a retired teacher.


Davis Walker Dolbare Hailey Davis Dolbare and her husband, Robert W. Dolbare M.Ed. ’11, Ed.S. ’13, celebrated the birth of their first child, Davis Walker Dolbare, June 7. The Dolbares reside in Calera. Robert teaches 10th grade U.S. history at his alma mater, Dallas County High School, in Plantersville.

2012 Crissily Posey B.J. Freeze Posey and her husband, Shannon, are pleased to announce the birth of daughter Crissily Tate Posey on Aug. 7. Crissily was welcomed into the Posey home in Montevallo by big brother Cody and sister Cheyenne. B.J. was recently promoted to the position of buyer at the University of Montevallo.

Micah Martin Wade M.Ed. and husband Jeff welcomed the birth of their third daughter, Nikki Karis Wade, March 20. Nikki was welcomed to the family home in Sylvan Springs by big sisters Haley and Samantha.


Montevallo Today

1937 Aileen Holley Perkins Borough, 96, of South Bend, Ind., died Nov. 29. She served as president of Citizens Homes Co., a family-owned business, and was active in her community. Mildred Smith Bruner, 98, of Madison, Fla., died Nov. 11. She was a retired educator and school administrator with more than 45 years of service.


Vera Nabers Harris, 92, of Alexander City, died Sept. 8. She was a retired teacher with 31 years of service.

1943 Margaret Stephens Anderson, 91, of Montgomery, formerly of Prattville, died Nov. 5. She was a retired church librarian.

1944 Mable Wing McCoy, 91, of Jasper, died Oct. 28. She was a homemaker. Julia Kiber Ward Rotenberry, 90, of Montevallo, died Oct. 14. She had served as a librarian at UM for 29 years, retiring in 1983, and also had served on UM’s alumni board.

1946 Mary Earle Eidson Bryant of Panama City, Fla., died Sept. 17. She had worked as a research chemist at Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, a librarian at Auburn University and head librarian of Thomas College in Thomasville, Ga.

1947 Lucy Hutchison Strickland, 88, of Enterprise, died Sept. 8.

1950 Rachel Trione Fancher, 85, of Vestavia Hills, died Oct. 14. She was a teacher. Alice Creel Kirkland, 85, of Hendersonville, N.C., died Oct. 15. She had worked as a teacher’s aide, an assistant school librarian and a mental health worker.


Mary Elizabeth Bedford Mattill, 88, of the Flatwoods community near Gordo, died Aug. 31. She was a retired librarian from Berry College in Rome, Ga.

Fay Prater Lawhon, 93, of Vestavia Hills, died Nov. 5. She was a retired music teacher.

1941 Nikki Karis Wade


Juanita Morgan Sommerville, 97, of Asheville, N.C., died Nov. 6. She had served on the national staff of the Girl Scouts of America.

Mildred Clotfelter Doggett, 94, of Birmingham, died Oct. 27.

2009 Marki Heape Williams and husband Jamie Williams of Hoover welcomed the birth of their daugh-

Virginia Ray Coker, 93, of Athens, Ga., died Sept. 16. Prior to her retirement in 1980, she had served as secretary at the NASCAR Talladega Superspeedway.

She was a retired teacher and school administrator.

Frances Ward Drysdale M.Ed. ’59, 92, of Birmingham, died Nov. 8.

1954 Fay Pearson of Marbury died Nov. 18. She retired after a 35-year career in public education in Alabama.





Carrie Elliott Steincamp of Huntsville died.

Christine Jones Knight M.A., of Bessemer, died Oct. 3. She was a teacher in the Bessemer school system for 33 years and had been serving on the Bessemer Board of Education since 2002.

Sue Lambert Edge M.Ed. ’98, 72, of Vestavia Hills, died Oct. 1. After teaching English and Spanish at Thorsby High School for 20 years, she retired and came to UM to work temporarily for the Upward Bound program. She also taught adult literacy classes.

To Pam Lucas, administrative assistant in UM’s Department of Theatre, and Paula Lowery, university cashier, on the death of their mother, Carleen Guthrie, Sept. 29. Also surviving are her granddaughters, Adrian Lucas Gray ’10 and Julynn Bradshaw ’11, as well as her grandson, Ethan Staab, who is a student at UM.

1965 Rose Marie Hallett, 70, of Mobile, died Aug. 22. She had been employed with First National Bank of Mobile and the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System.

1968 Leon Marion Moore Jr., of Montgomery, died April 8. He was a coowner of Insurance and Bonds, Inc.

1971 Daphane Graham Morgan M.Ed., 91, of Birmingham, died Nov. 9. She was a teacher and school administrator, retiring in 1984 after serving for 10 years as principal of Shades Mountain Elementary School. Jerry Michael Pittman, 64, of Wake Forest, N.C., died Oct. 28. He was a doctor and founder of Tremont Medical Center in North Raleigh, N.C.

Michael Anthony Mullis, 62, of Woodstock, Ga., died June 11. He had served as director of disbursement services with the Cobb County school district for 32 years prior to his retirement in 2011. Hazel Dees Salter M.Ed., 89, of Selma, died Nov. 7. She was a math teacher for a number of years prior to her retirement in 1988.

1973 Clarence Noel Northcutt M.Ed., 75, of Hueytown, died Sept. 13. He was a teacher and coach for 29 years.

1978 William R. “Randy” Sides, 70, of Birmingham, died Sept. 14. He was retired from BellSouth with 27 years of service.

1986 Tracy Wheeler Jones M.Ed. ’93, of Pelham, died Oct. 14. She was a teacher with nine years of service.

2012 Savannah Lee Smith, 23, of Hoover, died Nov. 30. She was pursuing her master’s degree in elementary education at UM.

2013 Deanna Renae Kee, 25, of Jasper, died Nov. 30 as the result of a traffic accident.

To the family of Cynthia Acosta Gravlee, associate professor of English emerita, who died Nov. 13. She taught at UM from 1984 to 2006 and was active in the American Association of University Women and a number of other organizations. To the family of John “Jack” Hamilton, professor emeritus of political science at UM, who died Oct. 23. He taught from 1971 until his retirement in 2005. To Linda B. Honeycutt, office manager emeritus in the Counseling and Career Center at UM, on the death of her husband, James Wesley “J.W.” Honeycutt, Oct. 9. Linda served UM from 1989 until her retirement in 2008.

|Shoemaker becomes Ironman| Keith Shoemaker ’98 recently completed the Ironman Louisville triathlon, swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles. Participants are expected to complete the challenge in 17 hours. Training for the Ironman is a yearlong commitment requiring hours of training in all weather conditions. Balancing Ironman training with work, family and social activities requires meticulous planning. Every hour of an Ironman’s day is dedicated to ensuring proper training, nutrition and rest requirements are met. Shoemaker lined up with 2,800 other athletes for the starting cannon. He said, “The spectator support at an Ironman race is like any other profes-

sional sporting event with one exception: our crowd is there for the entire race. My wife, Michelle Little Shoemaker ’98, was there along with the rest of my support crew. Spectating at an Ironman takes preparation and endurance; it is a long day for everyone.” He continued, “After almost 14 hours of swimming, biking and running, the finish line was in sight. Crowds three deep lined the finishers’ chute, and the cheers were deafening. Party music was blasting, and every emotion possible came to the surface. A year’s worth of planning, strategizing and dreaming came down to that single moment, the moment in which the finish line was crossed and the announcer


proclaimed, ‘Keith Shoemaker – You. Are. An. IRONMAN!’” Shoemaker, an avid runner, competes regularly in triathlons. He remains active in the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association, serving as vice president for alumni clubs. He also is a member of the National Executive Council for Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity. He credits the UM family with a share of his success. “I do not think that my dream of becoming an Ironman would have happened without the support of my Montevallo family and the foundation I built during my years at Montevallo. Thanks to all who have followed my journey. I know I will have UM with me in Florida when I do it all over again next November.”

|Alumni Activities|

Olympics Day and

UM Athletics

Team up

Olympics Day has been a 46-yearstrong alumni tradition, but in recent years, attendance had been waning. The Special Events Committee of the Alumni Association welcomed a proposal from the athletics department to partner for a full weekend of events in October—a change from the traditional first Saturday in August. The transformation became Coming Home Weekend: Friends of Athletics & Alumni Golf Tournament and Alumni Olympics Day. Mike Malone ’69, president-elect of the UMNAA, said, “Olympics Day was the ‘brain child’ of Laura Francis Mathison, former alumni director, and her husband, Kermit, who served UM as director of admissions and records. It was their vision that Olympics Day would serve as another reason to bring alumni back to campus, especially former athletes. In my opinion, moving the date to the fall (in partnership with the athletics department) gave new life to the several events and is very much in keeping with the Mathisons’ original vision.” This year’s golf tournament took place on Friday, Oct. 18, with more than 60 golfers playing on a near-perfect fall day. Paul Doran ’68, one of the coordinators of the event, expressed his thoughts on the change: “Any day near the 2nd or 3rd weekend in October is great for a golf tournament. It is certainly much better than the hot, sweltering early August days.” Participants included many alumni who have been a part of the event since its beginning, a number of new friends and supporters and many of the members of the 1966 tennis team, who were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday. In addition to the players and guests, many student athletes came out to assist the golfers and add to the excitement of the day. A portion of the Thomas Dillard competes in the Hope Bryant Smith Memorial 5K Run at the 2013 Olympics Day.


Montevallo Today

funds raised in the tournament will benefit those student athletes. To round out the day, golfers and friends enjoyed an awards dinner at University Lake. Two new pavilions made this the perfect setting for the evening’s festivities. Sherry Ford M.Ed. ’94 and her husband, Doug, who have participated in the golf tournament for five years, agreed. “What a great way to cap off a fun day of golf! The new facilities at the lake were perfect for a lovely fall dinner and awards ceremony,” Sherry said. Olympics Day kicked off Saturday morning with the Hope Bryant Smith Memorial 5K Run and Family Fun Run. The Alumni Junior Board of Directors took over the coordination of the event this year—another new collaboration. Proceeds from the run benefit an endowed scholarship at UM in memory of Hope Bryant Smith ’71, an avid runner, tri-athlete and volunteer for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Smith died of breast cancer in 2003. Other events offered throughout the day included racquetball, disc golf, corn hole toss and tennis, which allowed participants to play with the UM Falcons tennis team. Sandi Falkenhagen ’68, chair of the Special Events Committee, added, “Saturday’s rain may have put a damper on attendance but not on the spirit of collaboration among many campus and community groups. I especially enjoyed the casual chats with alums who had never before attended Olympics Day, every one of whom offered, ‘I’ll be back.’” University President John W. Stewart III said, “This year’s Olympics Day was a huge success. The weekend provided a model of collaboration among many of the constituencies who love the UM family. It was genuinely gratifying to see the Advancement/Alumni Office, Alumni Board, Junior Board and Athletics Department come together to make a rich tradition even more meaningful and enjoyable.”



1. Andy Meginniss ’68 putts as Paul Doran ’68 looks on; 2. Winners in various divisions of the Hope Bryant Smith Memorial 5K Run and Family Fun Run; 3. Nick Kopp ’02 and Patrick McDonald ’01 compete in the corn hole toss; 4. A lively game of racquetball; 5. Otey Crisman ’73 lines up a golf shot as son Tyson gives advice; 6. Tennis competitors, including members of the 1966 UM tennis team; 7. Audrey Crawford and daughter Allie Beth enjoy the Hope Bryant Smith 5K.







|Alumni Activities|


Young alumni – and young at heart – gathered at the new Regions Field in Birmingham in August to cheer on the Birmingham Barons. A sizable crowd, including four former SGA presidents, enjoyed the food, fun and fellowship.


The UMNAA sponsored a luncheon for emeriti and retired faculty and staff in September in Anna Irvin Dining Hall. It was a time for reminiscing, looking through old photos and enjoying the fellowship. Among those attending were (left to right) Sharon Mitchell, Freda Shivers ’85, Eleanor Davis and Theresa Pritchett ’83.


Each year, at the beginning of the fall semester, UM alumni and UMNAA board members join faculty, staff, townspeople and friends of the University in welcoming freshmen to their new “home away from home.” Unloading vehicles, carrying suitcases and other items, serving lemonade and water and generally making new students and their parents feel comfortable on campus is the order of the day. These efforts are always appreciated and are another way of assimilating freshmen into the Montevallo family. On hand to help this year were (left to right) Mike Malone ’69, Sandi Falkenhagen ’68 and Jordan Hutchison ’10.


Montevallo Today

1896 SOCIETY LUNCHEON A luncheon was held in August at The Club in Birmingham to honor the members of UM’s 1896 Society. These alumni, who have included the UM foundation in their estate plans, were recognized by UM President John W. Stewart for their commitment to the success of the University. Pictured from left (front row) Libby Queen ’59, UM trustee; Madelyn Parsons ’68; Robert Chapman ’63; Martha Fulton Wells ’55; Mary Louise Dabbs ’56; and Jeannette Brewster ’54. (Back row) President Stewart; David Wheeler ’72, UM trustee; Rod Hildreth ’62; Barbara Bonfield ’58; and Dave Palmer ’66. YOUNG ALUMNI FALL SOCIAL

The Alumni Junior Board sponsored a gathering at the Fox and Hound restaurant in Birmingham in November. The social was an opportunity for young alums like Justin Adderholt ’08 and Brandt Montgomery ’06 to enjoy catching up on friends’ activities prior to the holidays.


Excitement was in the air as alumni gathered prior to the UMKentucky men’s basketball game, played Nov. 4 in Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Coach Danny Young and members of the athletics staff stopped by the event, then everyone went over to the arena to watch the Falcons play a competitive game against the top-tier Wildcats.


|Alumni Activities| What was your favorite aspect of Montevallo? Friendships made, my PIKE brothers and College Night. College Night is so unique for theatre students. Putting on a show in one month, writing, set designing, composing, choreographing, acting, producing, and directing an original piece of work? It is exhausting but so very rewarding. I know the teachers hate their students being wrecked for that month, but they always get over it. GV!

How did Montevallo affect your career choice? Montevallo was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I had the best teacher (Ben Middaugh), the best friends, who supported me, and a wonderful education. It pointed me in the right direction.

Words of wisdom you would offer students: Follow your passion. Don’t worry about being practical and being prepared in case of failure. Aim for success and for your passion first, then all else will follow.

Rebecca Luker ’84 Broadway actor

Brad Holland ’03

STOMP performer, NYC cast, with STOMP company for 12 years

Words of wisdom you would offer students: Don’t be afraid to dream big, and don’t get discouraged by what people may say. Every moment on campus is valuable life experience towards your goals. I have no regrets on the choices I’ve made, and I can’t wait to see where I’ ll be in the future!

Naomi Armand ’10

International actor, working in Tokyo, Japan

Words of wisdom you would offer students: Take advantage of every learning opportunity you have while in the safe, nurturing environment of college. Even when you think, “I’ll never use this once I graduate,” rest assured that you will. There is no way to predict what you will be doing in two, five or 10 years, so you may as well soak in as much experience and knowledge as you can while you have the chance. Be careful of burning bridges —you never know when you’ll run into someone down the road who has the power to help you out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and never underestimate the power of good manners and a smile.

Logan Reid ’11

Actor/casting assistant, appeared in “The Last Exorcism”

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Words of wisdom you would offer students: Show up. Show up to auditions. Show up to job interviews. Show up to your friends’ performances. One of my early NYC mentors put it this way, “Show up for your life.” If you are working a crappy day job, show up for it and kick its ass. You’ll be surprised how many life lessons you can learn from working in a restaurant in NYC. Also, support your fellow alums at all cost!

Carl Conway Maguire ’08

Actor/video editor/creative director


Montevallo Today

Photo by Sa

m K han

For more info about these actors, visit after Jan. 15.

|Professional Spotlight: Acting| Alumni in the acting field share a few words

How did Montevallo affect your career choice? My time and training at Montevallo gave me the tools and the confidence to forge a professional career. I was able to do a lot of things in the theatre department in addition to acting. I directed, wrote plays, built sets and even learned how to make a hat from scratch! That vast working knowledge gave me a solid and fertile foundation to begin my professional journey.

Cameron Watson ’83

Actor/writer/filmmaker/director, recently appeared on “Scandal” and “NCIS”

Words of wisdom you would offer students: My best advice is to create your own opportunities. If you want to get more film experience or play a certain type of role, write a short film. Find someone to help you shoot it. Find a space and produce a play. Don’t wait for someone else to hand you that opportunity you want. By all means, go out and audition for roles, but there are so many avenues for young artists to promote their own work now. Also, find talented friends and collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. It always makes your work better.

Megan Stein ’08

Actor/producer/writer/director, recently starred in “Perfect Timing,” which won the Love Fest film festival in 2013

How did Montevallo affect your career choice? Without UM, I would not be where I am today. UM opened my eyes to theatre and, with having a smaller student body, it allowed me to be seen for my talents and not lost in a huge student body where you are just a number going to class. Building the personal relationships I made and still have with my professors was key, and I still use them as references, bounce ideas off of them and consider them good friends to this day.

E.J. “Evan” Wilson ’09

Stage manager, Cirque du Soleil

What was your favorite aspect of Montevallo? I truly feel the University of Montevallo is one of the best places anyone could have the privilege of attending for a college education. Its size is a definite positive attribute. To be able to get the personal attention I received daily from all my professors and staff was unbeatable. I could come to anyone anytime with any questions. They were there to help and guide with anything I needed, and they truly cared and had a genuine enthusiasm for their jobs. I think the number one best aspect specifically for a theatre major is that the department is small enough to actually get roles in the shows. At a larger university, some majors never even get the chance to be in a show! That opportunity is priceless.

Alexis Fuller ’02


How did Montevallo affect your career choice? I have a photography degree that came from an extensive and unconventional education in both the University classroom with Graffeo and Stephens as well as the photo lab darkroom through the generous mentoring of Matt Orton. Both experiences were an education in themselves. I’m convinced I may have been a rare case, or it feels that way anyhow, to have had such a one-on-one education in the workplace where I learned about the technical side of shooting and making a great picture. I will always be grateful for the professors and faculty who bent over backwards for their students and took us under their gracious wings, because more than they loved their job, they loved being artists. You could feel they truly cared about us. It wasn’t that I ate, slept and breathed photography, even though finals felt like it sometimes, but, instead, I learned through all the other required art classes that I can dare to be great at many creative things and enjoy being an artist to the fullest. The people around me fanned that flame. Eventually some opportunities came along, and I started doing work on the other side of the camera.

Rachel Hendrix ’08

Actor/photographer, starred in “October Baby,” and “Old Henry” If you would like to nominate someone for the Alumni Profile (located on page 14) or the Professional Spotlight, please email us at The next spotlight will feature alumni in the military.


|Killion leaves lasting impact| From his corporate duties to his civic activities, Wayne Worden Killion was a man who liked to make an immediate impact. Killion, who died March 31, was a generous and loyal supporter of the University. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Christine Cooper Killion, two sons, five grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and one sister. In 1998, the Killions established the Christine and Wayne Killion Student Progress Scholarship, which has supported 135 University of Montevallo students since its inception. The youngest of eight children, Wayne Killion moved with his family from Iowa to Foley, Ala., in 1934. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a line officer on the USS Ozark. Through the GI bill, he attended Tulane University and later

Christine and Wayne Killion (center) with scholarship recipients.


Montevallo Today

graduated from Samford University. He began his business career as a public accountant before moving into private accounting in 1949 in an entry-level position with Birmingham’s Shook & Fletcher Supply Co., which specialized in mining equipment. In 1964, Killion began working for Shook & Fletcher Insulation Co. as its vice president of finance. In 1967, he and five partners bought the company. Over the years, he served as vice president of finance, president, and finally as chairman of the board before his retirement in 2002. Killion strongly believed in the power of education, having been the only member of his family to graduate from college. He established scholarships at several Birmingham-area universities, including UM. The Killions’ relationship with the University began when he met UM alumnus, Frank “Butch”

Christine and Wayne Worden Killion

Ellis Jr. ’62. It was Ellis who connected the Killions to the University and the scholarship needs on campus. “Wayne Killion was a highly successful, generous businessman who just happened to love

the University of Montevallo and appreciated all UM had done for his family,” Ellis says. “He came to me during a recess of a difficult proceeding. Instead of being upset with some difficult personal circumstances, he thanked me for my service to the University of Montevallo and asked for my advice and help in setting up a scholarship to support UM. A most inspiring man! He wanted others to have a chance at the same success which his hard work and dedication had presented to him and to his family.” The Christine and Wayne Killion Student Progress Scholarship was established for applicants who had been provisionally accepted but had to demonstrate the ability to perform college-level work and who did not qualify for merit financial aid. As long as the students maintained a B average, they received a full tuition scholarship the entire time they were enrolled at UM. Killion especially enjoyed personally meeting with the students who were recipients of the scholarships he

funded. One of those students was Sedrick Smith ’11, now a graduate student at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, who remembers the impact the Killion Scholarship had on his college career. “The Killion Scholarship was indeed a financial blessing to me at UM. I was able to focus more on

Sedrick Smith ’11, a Killion Scholarship recipient, receives congratulations from President Stewart at commencement.

my studies and pursue greater academic pursuits, such as a minor in music studies, that I may have not been able to afford otherwise,” Smith said. “Meeting the Killions in person was indeed an

|Junior Board of Directors| Meet the secretary: Lindsey Sherrill ’07 What was your favorite aspect of Montevallo as a student and your favorite aspect now? The size and close knit nature of Montevallo was and is my favorite part. As a student, I loved how easy it was to get involved and find leadership opportunities. It has been so exciting as an alumna to find the same opportunities and kinship still available. The first time I saw the campus, it felt like home. Now, 11 years later, I still get that same feeling of being at home when I see those iron gates. Montevallo is a magical place. What role do you see the Junior Board playing in the University community? Our main focus is on networking and retaining a relationship with the University postgraduation. Many recent alumni feel that because they haven’t established careers yet, they can’t give back to the University. That just isn’t true! By getting those people involved, we build a legacy of service and care for the future of the institution we all love. What are your goals for the Junior Board? Right now, we are just a few thousand dollars away from endowing a Young Alumni Scholarship, so my short-term goals are to meet and exceed those needs this year. I’d also like to see us continue to find new ways to involve recent grads and to work in collaboration with the UMNAA and local alumni chapters. What would you like the alumni to know about the Junior Board? No matter what your age, please join our events! We have a great range of alumni from different years and career fields. It’s a fantastic way to network and meet Montevallo people you may never otherwise have met. Also, we always have a great time!

honor and an inspiration—to witness a family with such passionate hearts for an institution they believe in.” With the growing number of students who require some sort of financial assistance, Killion was particularly proud that his donations could be put to immediate use to make a direct impact on students’ lives such as Smith’s. Through his generosity, Killion helped numerous young people graduate from college who would not otherwise have had that opportunity. The University is grateful for the generosity of the Killions and for their annual scholarship. The gift was transformational for their scholarship recipients and has inspired numerous others in their philanthropy. Alumni and donors can continue the legacy of Killion’s generosity by making a gift of an annual scholarship to have an immediate impact on the lives of our students. Please contact Foundation Executive Director Brenda Knight at 205-6656220 for additional information.

Friday, February 7 2 – 4 p.m..................................Class of 1964 Registration................................................................................................Ramsay Hall 4:30 p.m. .................................Class of 1964 Reception.................................................................................................Reynolds Hall 6 p.m........................................Class of 1964 Dinner......................................................................................................... Ramsay 106 6 p.m. ......................................UMNAA Alumni Awards Dinner (by invitation)............................................Anna Irvin Dining Hall 7 p.m......................................College Night Productions.............................................................................. Palmer Auditorium Saturday, February 8 8 – 11 a.m. ...............................Alumni Coffee & Registration .......................................................................................Reynolds Hall 8 – 11 a.m. ...............................Montevallo Charm Bracelet Sales ..................................................................................Reynolds Hall 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ......................UM Bookstore Open (20% discount for alumni)...............................................................Main Street 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ......................Library Open House to view yearbooks and College Night material...........................Carmichael Library Noon........................................Homecoming Awards & Recognition Luncheon.............................................Anna Irvin Dining Hall 2 p.m........................................Purple & Gold Basketball Game.......................................................................................Myrick Hall 2 – 4 p.m..................................1944 Class Reunion and Photo.............................................................................. Ramsay Lobby 121 2 – 4 p.m..................................1954 Class Reunion and Photo..................................................................................Main Hall Lobby 2 – 4 p.m..................................1964 Class Reunion and Photo.................................................................................Main Hall Lobby 2 – 4 p.m..................................Alabama College Society Meeting & Coffee...................................................................Reynolds Hall 3:30 – 5 p.m.............................Minority Alumni Reception............................................................................ Stewart Student Retreat 4 – 5:30 p.m. ...........................2004 Class Reunion and Photo...................... James R. Wilkinson Student Life Center (Farmer Hall) 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. .....................1974 Class Reunion and Photo.......................................................................................... King House 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. ......................1984 Class Reunion and Photo............................. Farmer Hall, Multi-Media Room (SUB 2nd Floor) 5 – 6:30 p.m............................1994 Class Reunion and Photo......................................................................................Reynolds Hall 5 – 6:30 p.m............................Young Alumni Event............................................................................................... Main Street Tavern 7 p.m......................................College Night Productions.............................................................................. Palmer Auditorium

Homecoming Reservation Form Purple and Gold Productions: Thursday, Feb. 6 Friday, Feb. 7 Saturday, Feb. 8

______ tickets @ $10 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______

Class of ’44 or ’54 Class of ’64 Class of ’74 Class of ’84 Class of ’94 Class of ’04 Young Alumni Event Minority Reception

______ attendees ______ class ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $15 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $10 each = ______ ______ tickets @ $10 each = ______

Homecoming Luncheon (Sat.) Class Photo Class of ’64 Medallions

______ tickets @ $20 each = ______ ______ @ $10 each = ______ ______ @ $10 each = ______


Other: Total:


Class Year

Enclosed is a separate check for: ___Unrestricted gift


Class Gift for Department *Tickets for Friday or Saturday productions may be ordered only by ALUMNI who have made a minimum $25 contribution to the University since October 1, 2013. Those individuals may order two tickets for either Friday or Saturday, but may not order tickets for both nights. Tickets will be mailed two weeks prior to the event or are available for pick-up from Advancement and Alumni Affairs in Reynolds Hall.

Return forms to:

University of Montevallo • Station 6215 • Montevallo, AL 35115

Make checks payable to: University of Montevallo

__ Please mail my tickets __ I will pick up my tickets I prefer: ___ GOLD tickets ___ PURPLE tickets ___ No preference

For FULL HOMECOMING Schedule, please visit:

Montevallo Today, Winter 2014  
Montevallo Today, Winter 2014  

University of Montevallo magazine for alumni and friends.