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Spring 2018

ALUMNI MAGAZINE

A CALLING

and a Call Back from the Lone Star State From Peter Pan to Puck to the Elephant Man, Jay Sullivan ’99 has made a career out of bringing life to beloved characters.

SPOTLIGHT

ALUMNI FEATURE

ALUMNI FEATURE

WILDCAT ROLL CALL

BGA in Pop Culture

Lilly Hiatt ’02

Mac Gayden ’58

Sara Kubicki ’94

THE ARTS

PAVING HER OWN WAY

EVERLASTING LOVE

THE REAL DEAL


28

AVERAGE ACT SCORE

OF BGA CLASS OF 2017

Graduates

(29 for those who began their BGA career in Lower School)

97

%

NATIONAL AP EXAM PASS RATE

$123k

AVERAGE AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIPS

OFFERED TO BGA CLASS OF 2017

Graduates

Learn more about our exceptional outcomes and apply online at BATTLEGROUNDACADEMY.ORG/EDUCATION-ELEVATED

REGISTER NOW AT BGACAMPS.COM


Around Campus TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN

Just before classes started in August, students and faculty, including Makaylah Batten ’27, gathered at the Stewart Campbell Track and Soccer Complex to watch the solar eclipse. BGA‘s campus was near the path of total darkness.

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FROM THE

Head of School “Remember, this is the first time these words have ever been spoken.” The final reminder of my high school director before we went on stage has stuck with me as an educator. Of course, the words of that particular play had been spoken thousands of times before, including in our own rehearsals – but not in that moment, on that night. That reminder speaks to a sense of prepared authenticity at the heart of the educational experience. At Battle Ground Academy we constantly prepare students for the situations we know they will encounter, even if they are completely new to our students. The BGA Fine Arts Program inspires talented actors, painters, singers, and leaders to go beyond their perceived limits. Students in our fine arts classes are stretched to think critically about other works of art, to learn the history of the art and artists they study, and to apply that knowledge and thoughtfulness to their own creative endeavors. Every BGA student is involved in the fine arts, with classes and extracurricular activities starting in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade. The fine arts program is a key component of the BGA education and experience. As education trends continue to move toward a student-centered demonstration of learning and skill, fine arts – particularly the performing arts – will serve as a model for the BGA experience. The collaboration, the preparation, the audience, the creativity that all get poured into a performance – these elements are the same ones we want our students experiencing across the curriculum and throughout their time at BGA. A third-grade publishing party, a middle school robotics competition, and an entrepreneurial leadership pitch session to a local business all have these same elements. In this issue of Echo, we celebrate the performing arts and some of those who have had successful careers in the field. In addition to those successes, however, I hope you will see a roadmap to the future of education at BGA – an education grounded in true scholarship and excellence, one that expects the highest character from its students, and one that empowers them to move into an everchanging world with confidence and grace.

Will Kesler Head of School

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The Spring 2018 edition of Echo is published by the Battle Ground Academy Office of Advancement for alumni, parents, grandparents, students, and friends. HEAD OF SCHOOL William F. Kesler CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES Tyler R. Berry IV ‘87 PRESIDENT, ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Deana Hood ‘89 DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT Tom Evans DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS Kristin Napier DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Rebecca Warren CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Leah Handelsman PHOTOGRAPHERS Tim Jones Scott Suchman Adam Sain


CONTENTS AROUND THE QUAD 10 12 Academics 16 Arts 18 Athletics 20 Character and Service

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SPOTLIGHT: BGA in Pop Culture 22 ALUMNI FEATURES 26 26 A CALLING AND A CALL BACK TO THE LONE STAR STATE Jay Sullivan ’99

32 PAVING HER OWN WAY Lilly Hiatt ’02

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34 EVERLASTING LOVE Mac Gayden ’58

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WILDCAT ROLL CALL 38 39 Hall of Fame 43 Class Notes 44 THE REAL DEAL

Sara Schultenover Kubicki ’94

46 In Memoriam

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FINAL NOTES 48

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Web of

MURDER

The Upper School Theatre Department performed the suspenseful "Web of Murder" just before Halloween. The murder mystery, set in a brooding Victorian mansion high on a remote bluff, centers on a rich and eccentric widow who calls together her potential heirs for an advance reading of her will. With her fortune at stake, the potential heirs begin to take the sinister steps necessary to protect their interests. Throughout the year, students of all ages participate in a variety of theatre productions at BGA. Ranging from joyful Lower School holiday performances to dramatic Upper School plays, students have the opportunity to express themselves on stage, support one another backstage, and participate in fulfilling BGA experiences.

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ARTS in the COMMUNITY

Pictured left to right: Skyler Fox ’18, Liam Jenkins ’18, Henry Dambach ’18, Maddy Ambrose ’18, Ray Goodson ’19, Christina Conrady ’19, Madison Knight ’18, Bennett Kesler ’19, and Reed Locke ’19

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HOMECOMING

Pictured left to right: Debow Casey ’57, Chas Morton ’89, and Tiger Grimes ’53

BGA celebrated Homecoming 2017 with scores of visiting alumni, a blowout football game, and plenty of weekend festivities.

On Thursday night, senior athletes were recognized at the annual bonfire pep rally. The celebrations continued on Friday with a Blue and Gold Luncheon for alumni who graduated in 1967 or earlier, and the Wildcats came out strong that evening against Whites Creek High School, claiming a 44-6 win. On Saturday morning, six distinguished alumni and a former faculty member were honored in the Hall of Fame ceremony for their contributions to BGA and their impact in their community. Read more about the 2017 Hall of Fame honorees on pages 35-36.

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HOMECOMING WEEKEND

Matthew Bowman ’29 during a game of cornhole at the alumni homecoming tailgate party

Lindsey Sauder ’18 and her father, Pat Sauder

Pictured left to right: Natalie Aaron ’08, Julianne Isaacs Cantey ’08, Jan Morrissey, Sarah Morrissey, Syd Bailey ’08, Mary Hannah Winstead ’12, Kacie Lape Steadman ’09, Candis Boyte Grunwald ’09, Molly Boyte ’11, Bridget Winstead ’09, Lilly Morrissey, Maggie Barlow ’11, Jordan Saharski ’11, Fred Brown ’09, and Steve Lape

Pictured left to right: Nathaniel Mason ’30, Noah Park ’30, Cole Simpson ’30, and Morgan Herndon ’30

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HOMECOMING WEEKEND

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AROUND

The Quad SCHOOL NEWS & U PD ATE S

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Academics

ALYNE Q. MASSEY SCHOLARSHIP

OUTSTANDING NEW STUDENTS Clarke Coco ‘21 and Georgia Link ‘21 received the 2017 Alyne Q. Massey Honors Scholarship for Academic Excellence. This prestigious scholarship is awarded to ninth-graders who are new to BGA. Coco and Link enrolled at BGA this fall. The Alyne Q. Massey Honors Scholarship was established in 2015 by L.H. (Bill) Armistead III ‘69, a member of BGA’s Board of Trustees, in memory of his mother. The scholarships provide partial tuition for high achieving students with strong grades and Independent School Entrance Exam scores.

We are delighted to welcome the newest Massey Scholars to Battle Ground Academy. It is the intent of this scholarship to help attract the strongest students in the area to BGA. With the addition of Clarke and Georgia, we have certainly done just that. Based on their achievements thus far and their great character

and attitude, they will thrive in our environment, one dedicated to academic excellence and personal integrity. Congratulations to both of them and their families!

BGA seniors Matthew Ligon, Jack Jewell, Conner Mitchell, and Kel Hawkins greet incoming kindergarten students with high-fives during the all-school convocation to start the 2017-2018 school year.

- Will Kesler, Head of School

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INTRODUCING

PATRICK SNEAD BGA’S NEW HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL In January, Patrick Snead was appointed Head of the Middle School, effective for the 2018-19 academic year. Snead joins BGA after serving the past 12 years at Athens Academy in Athens, Ga., most recently as middle school dean of students.

BGA Q&A WHY BGA?

My answer, quite simply, is rooted in the school's mission and how it relates to my own personal philosophy on education. I have always been a firm believer that the emphasis and value of an independent school education is rooted in the journey of learning, rather than merely achieving end results. Thus I was immediately drawn to BGA's committed efforts to ignite and nurture intellectual curiosity in each student. Additionally, the importance the school places on developing character strikes a deep personal chord with me. ‌ It is refreshing to see a school place the development of good citizens and people on par with producing academic scholars. BGA's emphasis on cultivating well-rounded graduates who will go out into the world and make a positive difference makes me want to come to school each day driven to play my part in making a positive difference in the lives of students placed in my care.

WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT THE SCHOOL?

In small communities like BGA, people make all of the difference. The students with whom I had the pleasure of meeting were positive, energetic, and loved their school. Parents were

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AROUND the QUAD

equally passionate and excited to partner in creating the best possible environment for their children to learn, grow, and thrive. Additionally, BGA's faculty comprises seasoned, dedicated professionals who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of their students, and the administrative team is open and transparent. … In short, the BGA community just felt right to my wife, Sheila, and me. We left our campus visit knowing BGA is a great place for our family to join.

Pictured left to right: Dawson Gray ’02, Cameron Clark ’18, Jack Lewis ’18, Max Dambach ’18, Henry Dambach ’18, and Leah Handelsman

QUIZ BOWL TEAM DOMINATES

For the second consecutive year, the Battle Ground Academy Quiz Bowl Team is the reigning state Quiz Bowl champion. The team has averaged more than 515 points per round and racked up more than 6,100 points in the past two years. In fact, BGA’s Quiz Bowl team has won all but one of its tournaments this year and has defeated several nationally recognized college teams from the universities of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Jack Lewis ’18 also received All-State honors for the fourth consecutive year.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?

Sheila and I have two children, Will and Palmer Grace. Will is in seventh grade and loves cross country, wrestling and track. He also plays the violin and ukulele and is dabbling with the guitar. Palmer Grace is in sixth grade and plays basketball and soccer. She loves to read and plays the violin in the school orchestra.

WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT JOINING BGA?

BGA values tradition yet also seeks out ways to be innovative and enhance the overall experience of each student. The opportunity to build upon the legacy established by the previous generations of Wildcats is a challenge which I will enjoy tremendously … and it is a great honor to be entrusted with this responsibility …

WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?

I graduated from the University of the South and received my master's in Victorian studies from Keele University in Staffordshire, England. I also have an international teachers certificate from the University of Cambridge External Examinations, a photography certificate from the University of Georgia, and studied at the University of Saint Andrews.

Top left to right: Marie Stengel ’20, Natalie Watson ’19, Alex Wasson ’20, Paige LaRock ’21, Julia Craven ’20, Katelyn Helberg ’20, Ben Boger ’21, and Nate LaRock ’19 Bottom left to right: Clare Francis Kennedy ’18, William Xie ’18, Brooke Gorman ’21, and Emma McCaleb ’18

SPEECH TEAM SHINES IN SOUTHEAST BGA’s Speech Team continued its strong tradition by bringing home trophies from tournaments in Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Four members of the team — Clare Frances Kennedy ‘18, Nathan Kruse ‘18, Emma McCaleb ‘18, and William Xie ‘18 — have qualified for the national speech and debate tournament. Echo AL U M NI M AGAZI NE

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Arts MIDDLE SCHOOL PRESENTS

THE SKOKIE DETECTIVE CHARTER SCHOOL This fall, BGA’s Middle School students became detectives-in-training during their performance of “The Skokie Detective Charter School.” In addition to two evening performances, the Middle School Theatre Department also presented the play for students from local elementary schools, including the BGA Lower School, Oakview Elementary, and Franklin Elementary. Mary Clare Jones ’22 and Hays Craig ’24 ( front) act out the scene while Isabella Besco ’25, Avery Cloud ’24, Emma Tropea ’22, and Walker Kesler ’24 (all seated) watch.

UNDER THE BRIGHT LIGHTS Anna Baker ‘20 was a finalist for Best Younger Actress (under age 25) in the 2017 Broadway World Nashville Awards. Baker was nominated for her role as Joanne in the Act Too production of “Rent.”

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ROCKIN’ AROUND THE (FRANKLIN) CHRISTMAS TREE

BGA SCARECROW BRINGS SPIRIT TO CHEEKWOOD

The Middle School Band was one of 90 floats in the “Rockin’ Christmas” parade this year, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. The students, including Garrett Horner ‘22 on the keyboard and Preston Pickens ‘22 on the saxophone, played "Feliz Navidad" on the unusually warm December day to the delight of thousands who lined the streets of downtown Franklin.

Lower School students collaborated on a scarecrow for Cheekwood’s 2017 annual Harvest festival. With the exception of his straw hat, the scarecrow was created from head-to-toe with recycled plastic bags, BGA uniforms, and spirit T-shirts. The students cut T-shirts to create the scarecrow's patches, hair, and hay; glued the scarecrow together; and added “stitches” to the patches with puffy paint. The scarecrow, named Art, was displayed at Cheekwood’s Harvest along with scarecrows created by various groups from the Franklin and Nashville communities.


AROUND the QUAD

TOTALLY

DREAMY FALL CHORAL CONCERT

Pictured: Madison Knight ’18

MARY CAMPBELL EASEL

With classic songs about love and breakup such as, "Do You Love Me?" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?,” the fall Choral Concert reminded the audience of all the joys and sorrows of being a “Teenager in Love."

AWARD WINNER

Charlotte Regul ’19 received the 2017 1st Quarter Mary Campbell Easel Award for her piece, “Lightning Bug.” Regul’s assignment was to combine two objects, and she was selected for the award for her imagination in the concept and sophistication in her depiction.

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Athletics

SET. SPIKE. SCORE! VOLLEYBALL WINS DISTRICT I TITLE

The Wildcats earned the top spot in the district for the second year in a row. Holland Mooney ‘18 was awarded the Tournament MVP, and Maggie McConnell ‘18, Taylor Tigue ‘19, Avery Tidwell ‘19, and Olivia Tutt ‘19 were recognized in the alltournament or all-district teams.

WRESTLING COACH ENTERS NATIONAL HALL OF FAME

BGA head wrestling coach Robert Jemison was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Tennessee Chapter, this fall. He was honored with the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award for his countless hours spent growing the sport.

Jemison has coached wrestling for 28 years, the last eight of which have been at BGA. He will be permanently recognized at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Okla. 18

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WILDCATS WINNING Fall athletics continued BGA's tradition of excellence. Middle School Girls Soccer HVAC AA Finalists Middle School Volleyball HVAC AA Finalists

FOOTBALL ADVANCES TO STATE SEMIFINAL GAME Middle School Cross Country Two top 10 finishers in the HVAC Championship Middle School Tennis HVAC Semifinals

BGA secured the district title for the fourth year in a row, and advanced to the semifinal game in the state tournament before falling to Lausanne. The Wildcats went 11-2 for the season, and 15 players were recognized with All-Team Region honors: Chico Bennett ‘19 Kel Hawkins ‘18 Garnett Hollis ‘20 Jack Jewell ‘18 Robbie Kirkpatrick ’18 Scholar Athlete Award

Middle School Wrestling Second Place HVAC Championship Varsity Cross Country Boys placed 7th overall

Varsity Golf Team District Runner-Up Top row left to right: Lauren Eskind ’19, Anne Shearer ’18, Taylor Tigue ’19, Gracie Bailey ’19, Ashley Summarell ’21, Holland Mooney ’18, and Hana Robertson ’20 Bottom row left to right: Avery Tidwell ’19, Maggie McConnell ’18, Kristin Hulsey ’19, Anna McCloskey ’18, and Olivia Tutt ’19.

Varsity Girls Soccer State Qualifiers Regional All Tournament Team: Anna Quinn French ’19, Anna Kerr ’18, and Alyssa White ’22

Drew Martin ‘18, Offensive MVP

Eli Mayberry ‘19 Conner Mitchell ‘18 Russ Nicoll ‘19 Tiy Reed ‘19

Ollie Reese ‘18 Antonio Stevens ‘20 Briston Bennett ‘20 Evan Gaunt ‘19 Matthew Ligon ‘18

BGA WELCOMES NEW COACHES

Cindy Bullock joins BGA’s athletic department as varsity tennis coach from Brentwood Academy, and Dr. William Head was named head track and field coach. Dr. Head has previously served as an assistant track and field coach at BGA.

Cindy and William are great leaders, strong role models, and terrific coaches. They each embody our athletics mission to instill the values of hard work, enthusiasm, accountability, resilience, and teamwork, through our athletic programs.

- Fred Eaves, BGA’s Athletic Director

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Character and Service

A TRADITION OF GIVING In one of BGA’s most treasured traditions, students have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on our local community through a day of service. This fall, Upper and Middle School students volunteered at more than 40 local organizations including animal shelters, Graceworks, Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, Belvedere Commons, Nashville Rescue Mission, Hard Bargain Association, Preston Taylor Ministries, and Safe Harbor Equine. Anna Pile ’24 helped clean up the Giving Garden at Franklin First United Methodist Church during the Middle School Day of Service.

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LOWER SCHOOL STUDENTS ADOPT SENIOR CITIZENS

INSTITUTION OF EMPHASIS

HARD BARGAIN ASSOCIATION BGA’s student council selected Hard Bargain Association (HBA) as the school’s Institution of Emphasis for community service this year. HBA is a nonprofit grassroots organization that works to preserve the historic African American neighborhood, Hard Bargain, which was founded over 130 years ago in downtown Franklin. The mission of HBA is to impact lives and preserve the Hard Bargain neighborhood by rehabbing existing homes, building quality affordable housing, and enriching the lives of those in the local community.

In December, Lower School students completed extra chores and saved their spare change in order to purchase holiday gifts for their adopted senior citizens at the Reddick Senior Residence in Franklin. The students raised more than $2,000 and then took a shopping trip to purchase every item on the seniors' wishlists. When the gifts were delivered, it's hard to say whether the seniors or the students had bigger smiles.

Each year, our students choose an Institution of Emphasis in the Franklin area, and we are so proud to partner with the Hard Bargain Association this year. A partnership between BGA – Franklin’s oldest and most prestigious educational institution – and Hard Bargain Association – an organization dedicated to revitalizing a historic area of downtown Franklin – makes perfect

sense. It is an opportunity for our students to serve the community in which they live and to see the fruits of their service firsthand.

- Will Kesler, Head of School

Giving Garden at Franklin First United Methodist Church

Preston Taylor Ministries

BGA DONATES PROCEEDS FROM ECS TRIPLE HEADER TO HURRICANE RELIEF BGA raised more than $3,000 for the American Red Cross during a special night of sports versus Evangelical Christian School. All proceeds from the triple-header of volleyball, soccer, and football games on Friday, Sept. 22, were donated to victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Tennessee Baptist Children's Home

Hard Bargain Association

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POP e BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY

r u t l u C

TAYLOR JOURNIGAN

’13

During her time on the University of Louisville’s Ladybirds dance team, Journigan starred on Lifetime’s “So Sharp,” a reality show chronicling the team’s journey to the national championship. Production for the show ran from January to April, and a normal weekday for this nursing major began with a wake-up call at 6:30 a.m., followed by classes and clinical hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., a quick workout, a meeting with “So Sharp” producers, filming personal interviews, and practicing with the team (while filming, of course) from 8 p.m. until 11 or 11:30 p.m. “My experience at BGA helped boost my confidence and helped me come out of my shell,” Journigan said. “I was constantly encouraged to do amazing things and never give up.” While at UL, Journigan and the Ladybirds won five national championships. And, as impressive, Journigan remained on the UL School of Nursing’s dean’s list throughout her tenure and recently accepted admission to Belmont University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. “In three years, I will be Dr. Taylor Dianna Journigan, which is very exciting,” she said. You can watch season one of “So Sharp” on demand through Xfinity or online at mylifetime.com.

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SPOTLIGHT: The Arts

ROD DANIEL

’60

By almost any measure, Rod Daniel ’60 had hit the big-time – a Hollywood director whose films netted tens of millions of dollars in the 1980s. But the Nashville native and BGA alumnus saw his job as just that: a job. “I had a responsibility to my children long before I had a responsibility to the [expletive] movies,” he colorfully told the Chicago Trubune in 2011. “I hold no illusions. I wouldn’t buy a ticket to any of my movies.” Born in 1942, Daniel received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University after graduating from BGA, then fought in Vietnam before returning to the U.S. to work in advertising. Then he moved to Los Angeles and began directing commercials. Commercials became TV sitcom episodes for series like “Newhart” and “WKRP in Cincinnati,” and success on the small screen led to success on the big one. As he told it, he was selected to direct Michael J. Fox in “Teen Wolf” because he was the only potential director to correctly intuit that the movie was not merely a werewolf story but one about a father and son.

The 1985 film cost less than $2 million to shoot, and pulled in more than $80 million in ticket sales. He went on to direct critically panned but financially successful comedies such as “K-9,” “The Super” and “Like Father Like Son,” then helming “Beethoven the 2nd,” his last theatrical release, in 1993. He directed the TV sequel “Home Alone 4” and returned to sitcom directing, shooting episodes of “Caroline in the City” and “Everybody Loves Raymond,” among others, before retiring in 2003. Despite earning millions for the Hollywood studios with his movies, Daniel remained selfdeprecating and humble. “I don’t rank with the greats,” he said in 2011. “I made these movies because I could, and because they paid me a great deal of money. ... I had to make a living.” Upon Daniel’s death from Parkinson’s disease in April 2016, Michael J. Fox tweeted, “RIP Rod Daniel, friend, Teen Wolf director and fellow PDer. Love to his family.” Daniel was inducted into BGA’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2013.

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JAY WILKISON

’96

A Jewish slave master returning home from the Civil War. An HIV-positive songwriter seeking one last hit. The son of a murderous district attorney. An abusive spouse shot to death by his ex-wife. On stage and on screen, Jay Wilkison ’96 has been all of these and more. “When I was first meeting with agents, I always used Kevin Kline as an example (of a successful career)," Wilkison said, referring to the Oscar- and Tony-winning actor who has also been nominated for two Emmys. “He just goes in and out of every genre, and he does it so easily. That’s still the goal.” Like Kline, Wilkison is building a multifaceted career – starring in “Rent” on Broadway, playing recurring roles on such TV shows as “Younger” and “Nashville,” and dipping his toe into films like “Perfect Stranger” and “Rabbit Hole.” Wilkison grew up in Franklin and began attending BGA in seventh grade. In high school, he’d run straight from the football field and trade his cleats for a costume to practice spring musical. Like many BGA students interested in the fine arts, speech and debate sponsor Sandra Davis played a key role in cultivating Wilkison’s interest in acting, he said. “She was such a wonderful person, and a great asset for any child,” he said. “I definitely loved doing it. It was a big part of my life.”

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After graduating from BGA, Wilkison briefly attended Western Kentucky University, but decided to get closer to the action of New York City by attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Early during his time in New York, Wilkison was waiting for a friend in the lobby of a building where casting auditions for a play were taking place. The casting director, noticing his interest, offered to let Wilkison give it a shot. He didn’t get the part, but he got confirmation he was in the right place. “It was terrifying,” Wilkison recalled, “but fun.” Before long, he was landing smaller roles, first in a nonspeaking spot on “All My Children,” then as Riley Colson, the tormented son of a prosecutor who kept murdering his enemies, on the soap opera “One Life to Live.” Then, in 2004, a friend in the casting office for the hit rock opera ”Rent,” asked Wilkison if he planned to audition for the national tour. He auditioned, then promptly forgot about it until he was called back. Again. And again. And again. In all, Wilkison returned nine times to audition and reaudition for the play.


SPOTLIGHT: The Arts

“Live theater is very hard to beat,” he said. “You get to build something through a long process. You get to show it to people eight times a week. “Rent” and “The Whipping Man” were two experiences I’ll never forget in my life.”

“‘Rent’ was notorious for this,” he said. “They loved to see people a lot. ... Like any job, you show up and do your best work all the time. Some things are going to land, and some things are not.” The process dragged on so long that Wilkison had just accepted another acting gig when he got off a flight to Tennessee with a voice mail telling him he’d received the role in ”Rent.” “I was feeling good about myself that day,” he said. As a result, Wilkison spent much of the next three years performing a variety of characters in the show, first on tour then on Broadway, including the co-lead role of Roger Davis, the singer-songwriter eager to get one last song before his inevitable death of AIDS. He was part of the cast that closed the show in 2008. After a small role in the 2010 Nicole Kidman film ”Rabbit Hole,” Wilkison was cast in the emotional three-person drama ”The Whipping Man,” which premiered in New York and went on to a series of successful regional runs across the country. In the play, set days after the end of the Civil War, a wounded Jewish soldier-slaver returns to his ruined home to find a pair of his former slaves protecting it. The three awkwardly negotiate their new relationships as they prepare to celebrate Passover. ”The New York Times” called Wilkison’s portrayal a “sensitively drawn rendering of a man both traumatized by war and unready to face up to the altered world he finds himself living in.”

Taking a break from acting to help care for his young family – he married his wife, Jade, in 2006, and the couple has two children – in Nashville, Wilkison snagged a role closer to home in 2014 when he was cast in seven episodes of the primetime soap opera “Nashville,” playing an abusive exhusband who ultimately gets his comeuppance at the hands of his ex-wife. Although the characters he’s embodied have tended to be tortured souls, Wilkison is anything but, said lifelong friend and fellow BGA alumnus Brian Perkinson ’96. “He’s a very grounded person who never really loved the celebrity for the sake of celebrity,” he said. “There’s nothing more humbling than being a husband and father. ... He’s an extremely dedicated husband, and he’s a tremendous friend.” In January 2018, Wilkison made an appearance in the hit NBC show “The Blacklist.” Although commuting between Nashville and New York, sometimes spending up to three weeks filming before returning, he doesn’t see himself stopping anytime soon. “I married the greatest person on the planet, who is extremely supportive. It would not be possible if it weren’t for her,” he said. “It’s something I extremely enjoy. It’s a heck of a lot of fun, and I’m pretty good at it. If anyone’s fortunate to enjoy what they do, have fun doing it, and do good work, that’s the right call.”

In many ways, Wilkison said, that play emblemizes what he most loves about the stage.

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ALUMNI FEATURES

A

CALLING AND CALL BACK from the Lone Star State Jay Sullivan ‘99 falls in love with the stage on a school trip to Texas only to return 15 years later as an accomplished professional actor. By Paul A. Anthony

Jay Sullivan in the Alley Theatre’s The Elephant Man. Photo by Jann Whaley

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J

Jay Sullivan ’99, found his calling as a sophomore at BGA during a school trip to Dallas.

Sitting in the audience of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning “Angels in America,” he watched as Prior, the main character, navigated the challenges of being diagnosed with AIDS during the 1980s epidemic in the United States.

After the performance, an older woman hugged the actors, tearfully describing how they had affected her.

“It was incredibly moving,” Sullivan recalled. “That was when I learned that acting and theater were not about getting approval and accolades. ... Theater should take us further into ourselves” – to reveal truths about human nature, society, the world. And when actors invest in their craft, the result is a reward well beyond the applause of the audience. “I walked out of the room knowing I wanted to be an actor,” he said. An actor Sullivan has become – rising to the heights of the theater scene in two of the nation’s largest cities, starring alongside Tony- and Oscar-winning actors, and earning accolades for his portrayals of roles as diverse as Peter Pan, the Elephant Man, and Dracula. Perhaps none of it would have happened if BGA freshman Jay Sullivan hadn’t gone exploring.

Top: Jay Sullivan in Alley Theatre’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Photo by Lynn Lane Right: James Black and Jay Sullivan in the Alley Theatre’s “All My Sons.” Photo by Craig H. Hartley Opposite Page: Sullivan was featured in a "We Were Soldiers" article in Houston City Book, an upscale culture and lifestyle magazine, leading up to the Alley Theatre's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

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ALUMNI FEATURES

WHO’S ON FIRST?

Sullivan was born in Richmond, Va., and moved to Franklin when his father was transferred to Nashville in 1990. In seventh grade, he began attending BGA.

From the beginning, the atmosphere was intimidating, he said. “All of the kids were really smart and interested in all kinds of things,” he said. “The bar was set high by the students. ... I remember being struck by how many different clubs and teams and extracurriculars there were at BGA. It was more like a college environment, it seemed to me, than any school I had attended before.” Sullivan had never acted in a play, but after classes during the first week of freshman year, he explored the campus, eventually wandering through the Middle School basement, where he heard voices and laughter coming from down the hall. Peeking into a classroom, he saw two upperclassmen performing Abbott and Costello’s famed “Who’s on First?” sketch. His laughter interrupted the session. As he apologized and turned to go, the students and their teacher – speech and debate sponsor Sandra Davis – invited him in. “That afternoon,” Sullivan said, Davis brought him to a shelf full of excerpts of famous speeches and plays, “to pick what to perform in speech class.” He was in speech and debate tournaments before the end of the year, and received a speaking role in the spring musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.” “I was on the path at that point,” he said. The next year, Sullivan was in Dallas, and the path became clearer: first college, then New York City, with a side trip to London.

SHAKESPEARE AND THE BFG

Sullivan graduated from BGA in 1999 and earned admission to Florida State University’s auditionentry Bachelor of Fine Arts acting track, which included four years of intensive partnership with seven other student-actors and a semester studying theater in London’s West End. The acting track bred familiarity, both among the actors themselves and with every aspect of putting on a show, Sullivan said. The eight of them would critique each other’s performances and, if they weren’t performing in a classmate’s show, would help behind the scenes with everything from lighting

and sets to costumes and makeup. While in London, Sullivan was wowed by Mark Rylance – the Globe Theatre’s artistic director who in subsequent years would win two Tony Awards, an Oscar for his role in “Bridge of Spies,” and star as the title character in the film adaptation of “The BFG.” Rylance, playing in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline,” would alter his performance every night, Sullivan said – providing new interpretations of the work on a daily basis. Sullivan returned over and over again. “He became my icon of what an actor could be and what an actor could do,” Sullivan said. Upon graduation from FSU in 2003, Sullivan moved to New York, armed with a sole contact. As it turned out, the contact was a good one, securing him an agent and a series of off-Broadway gigs before landing a more significant understudy role. Soon after, Sullivan won a small role in “Romeo and Juliet” for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, spending two months in Little Rock and a third touring Arkansas and East Texas. “I worked anywhere I could to pay the rent,” he said. Sometimes that meant performing in a show; others, it meant teaching SAT prep courses to 11and 12-year-olds in Chinatown or catering. Sullivan said he felt lucky to perform in one or two shows per year. By 2008, however, he was building momentum. A handful of TV spots – including getting beaten up by Ice T for “Law and Order: SVU” – provided enough money to devote more time to auditioning, which in turn opened up additional opportunities that eventually led theaters to offer him parts without auditions. “I’ve made myself extremely easy to work with,” Sullivan said, “and that’s been helpful for my career.” Starting in 2009, Sullivan began performing

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BACKSTAGE

TRANSFORMATIONS

annually with the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas – one of a handful of permanent fulltime regional theater companies in the country, and one of the highest-regarded. After a performance of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” in 2010, Sullivan was offered a one-year trial as a full-time member of the company. It was the rarest of offers in the world of theater: a full-time job, with the opportunity for an actor to devote all of his time and energy to a series of performances over the course of a year. Sullivan likens it to receiving tenure as a university professor.

Behind every great actor is a talented costume and makeup design team who works tirelessly to create stunning physical transformations that draw an audience into the character, making him or her more believable. More real. More relatable.

“At the time, I still had bucket-list goals I hadn’t fulfilled yet in New York,” he said.

That’s where artists like Annie Kennedy ‘14, a senior production design major at Savannah College of Art and Design come in.

Choosing the chaos of New York over the certainty of Houston was a risk, but it paid off in 2011, when Sullivan was asked to do what he described as “the audition of a lifetime.”

He turned it down.

BUCKET LIST

Kennedy, who will graduate in the spring, is a character and creature designer in the FX and entertainment world. As a student, she’s worked on multiple graduate thesis films and as the co-FX makeup designer for SCAD’s “SCADurday Night Live,” a sketch comedy and music show that allows the live audience a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make television. Kennedy also completed an internship with Von Grimm Productions at Nashville Nightmare, “building prosthetics and assisting around the shop.” When Kennedy graduates in May, she plans to move to Los Angeles. “I’ve been scouting a few FX and creature design studios, so we’ll see where the future takes me,” said Kennedy. “Eventually, the dream is to work for Weta Workshop (best known for their award-wining work on “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, and most recently “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Blade Runner 2049”) in New Zealand, working as a character designer and prosthetic builder.” One thing Kennedy knows for sure: BGA prepared her for her future.

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In the decade since Sullivan had seen him at the Globe, Mark Rylance had become one of the London stage’s biggest stars. In 1994, he had won the Olivier Award for Best Actor, and in 2010, he won it again for his starring role as Johnny “Rooster” Brown in “Jerusalem,” which played to rave reviews in 2009-10 and was to open on Broadway in 2011, with Rylance reprising his role.

“I give a lot of credit to the BGA Fine Arts Department for my success at SCAD. I had a family in the arts building, people who loved and nurtured my passions and encouraged me to attend SCAD. All of my teachers, Ms. Parker, Ms. Lea-Mord, and Ms. Logan, all saw something in me I sometimes couldn’t see in myself. My peers and I had a camaraderie that couldn’t be matched, and we all encouraged each other with love and respect,” said Kennedy. “I learned how to work on a team through the BGA Arts Department, which has wholeheartedly prepared me for my career in the entertainment industry.”

Sullivan leapt at the chance to join Rylance on stage, no matter how briefly – and won a minor, non-speaking role in which his character helps beat up Rylance’s, as well as being an understudy to co-star John Gallagher Jr., tabbed to play the character Lee. Gallagher, however, was cast on the TV show “Newsroom” midway through the play’s run. Initially asked to fill in for two weeks, Sullivan finished the show – playing opposite Rylance, who won a Tony in the role, for two months. “Playing scenes with him was the most exciting thing I have ever experienced,” Sullivan said, “but it was also the most calm and safe I’ve ever felt on stage because he is the best scene partner you could ever have – so inspired that it is inspiring.” The bucket list now checked off, Sullivan returned for another run at the Alley, and asked whether the offer to join the company still stood. It did, and Sullivan hasn’t looked back – working full-time since 2012 with a theater company


ALUMNI FEATURES

Jay Sullivan in Alley Theatre’s “Dracula.” Photo by Mike McCormick

serving the nation’s fourth-largest city. The difference between the hectic commercialism of the New York theater industry and the local focus of the Alley has been stark, Sullivan said. “There are very few people so fortunate,” he said. “You’re deepening your craft, deepening your relationship to the community. As far as theater goes, it’s one of the most privileged positions you can be in. ... Regional theater is in a real way in service to the community you’re performing in.” In that sense, the Alley is closer than ever to the impulse Sullivan first felt as a BGA student that day in Dallas when two actors explored the depths of love, fear, illness and death.

and the community responded to it. ... I think my right shoulder is still a little lower than my left.”

“If you invest yourself locally, you can have a broader impact,” Sullivan said. “This company and everyone who works at our theater has the same philosophy about it.”

Sullivan brings the kind of versatility to the stage that allows him to move from Elephant Man to Peter Pan to Shakespeare, Waite said – all while possessing the boyish looks and blue eyes of a leading man.

And Sullivan has indeed made an impact, said Todd Waite, who has acted for the Alley for more than 15 years. “It says something about him that when he didn’t even need to be in a company,” fresh off his success on Broadway, that Sullivan chose to work with a community theater, Waite said. “Young people want fame – certainly, he’s famous here in Houston – but Jay can commit to a company like this despite his looks and his talent because he loves the art.” In his first role as a full-time member of the Alley, Sullivan played the Elephant Man – but with “no prosthetics, no mask, no makeup.” The task was to use his voice and body “to create an empathetic picture of this man’s life,” Sullivan said. “It was really deeply felt,

“He has that versatility,” Waite said. “A lot of actors like that don’t need to be versatile. Jay’s not like that at all. If you’re not versatile, you just can’t be in a theater like this.”

HARVEY

played temporary host to the troupe, and donors stepped in to fund repairs. “The larger theater community – the opera, the symphony – all of these companies were sharing resources with each other ... to help people get theaters up and running again,” Sullivan said. “People in Houston are incredible and were looking out for each other in a way I hadn’t seen before.” The response was another example of a lesson Sullivan remembers learning as a BGA student – that when you invest in something, you get out what you put in. The Alley had invested in the Houston community, and the city paid it back.

The need to be versatile, and the connection of a theater to its community, was highlighted when Hurricane Harvey struck In the same way, Sullivan said, he works hard Houston over the summer. Buffalo Bayou, at acting so that he can reap the rewards of which cuts through downtown, overflowed that investment. its banks, inundating the Alley with five feet of water, submerging its basement-level “I figured out pretty quickly that I was going to black-box theater and knocking out power get out what I was willing to put into my work,” he said. “That has stuck with me until now.” for two weeks. In a testament to the city’s love of its theater, only one scheduled production was canceled. The University of Houston

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PAVING HER

own

WAY Singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt ’02 finds her voice of self-expression in her latest album “Trinity Lane.” By Paul A. Anthony

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ALUMNI FEATURES

Lilly Hiatt pretty much always knew she’d be a musician. So when she went to college, she majored in psychology.

“I’ve always been very passionate for music,” she said. “I don’t think I knew the direction I would go down.”

“I didn’t take one music class,” said Hiatt ’02, a Nashville singer-songwriter whose three albums have won her increasingly rave reviews and increasingly popular tours. “I never felt like I could learn about music in a classroom. ... I knew I could be a musician, but I’ve always been interested in the inner workings of people and their minds.”

She started her first band while attending the University of Denver; it combined blues and soul, and included a mix of covers and original songs. After graduation, the band moved to Nashville, broke up amicably, and Hiatt went on to front several others, releasing “Let Down” in 2012 and “Royal Blue” in 2015 before forming her current band for “Trinity Lane.”

Perhaps the self-awareness that comes with studying how the mind works has helped propel Hiatt to the success she’s seen. NPR described her album “Trinity Lane,” released in August, as displaying her “willingness to portray herself in moments of anger or neediness that others might deem unseemly,” but which is in fact “courageous and affecting.” Hiatt’s sound combines elements of the grunge with which she grew up and the country twang of her hometown.

“Really in the last year, I’ve been busier than ever,” she said. “It’s always scary because you don’t make a lot of money for a really long time. ... I’ve had plenty of moments of doubt. They come all the time.”

But successful or not, Hiatt said she would still make music – “it’s become a part of who I am; I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t” – and that’s in part because of the lessons she learned at BGA.

Born in Nashville, Hiatt entered Harpeth Academy in sixth grade, before BGA bought it and turned it into the Lower School. She “BGA gave me a really good education,” she said. learned how to sing in Chorus, participated in “It instilled in me a really good work ethic. It the Artist Guild, and listened to classic rock, instilled this discipline – you have to work at this if you want to succeed at it. That was a really grunge and soul. good lesson.” Catch Lilly live at the 2018 Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin this fall. Visit pilgrimagefestival.com for schedule and ticket information.

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LOVE Everlasting Mac Gayden’s 50-Year Affair With Music By Paul A. Anthony

In the 50 years since its initial release, “Everlasting Love” has been a hit somewhere in the world 13 times, appearing in the Billboard Hot 100 at least once in every decade since the That’s essentially what happened in 1966, 1960s – the only song with such a distinction. Artists ranging from U2 to Gloria Estefan when Gayden was taking a break have sung it, but its most enduring from performing with his band at American incarnation was the Vanderbilt University. He heard disco-inflected version sung by a voice singing several houses Carl Carlton in 1974; it ranks down, and he thought, “What 54th on BMI’s top songs of the a great voice! I can write hit 20th century. songs with this guy.”

When Mac Gayden ’58 starts hearing voices, he isn’t worried. It just means he might have found the next big hit.

So he did. Not that it was easy. First, he had to convince the singer, Robert Knight, t0 write with him – “He looked at me like, ‘Get out of my face.’” – then he had to convince the radio stations to play it. The song was called “Everlasting Love.” It had a catchy hook, a good beat, and a counter-melody dropped in from a piece of music Gayden had started playing on his grandmother’s piano when he was 5 years old.

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“I actually love every one of them,” Gayden said. The success of the song is the highlight of an impressive music career that has seen Gayden move from session guitarist to solo artist to producer, all the while writing songs for himself and others. Growing up in Nashville, music was a part of Gayden’s life from the beginning – Hank Williams Sr. lived down the street and would sometimes pick up young Mac and his friends


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ALUMNI FEATURES

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Gayden with J.J. Cale (who penned Eric Clapton's hits "After Midnight" and "Cocaine") and Audie Ashworth (producer and publisher, who is credited with discovering Don Schlitz and Ronnie Dunn).

Open up your eyes, then you'll realize here I stand With my everlasting love. Need you by my side, girl you'll be my bride. You'll never be denied everlasting love.

from school. His father was a doctor who treated many of the area’s biggest names in music. By the time he was attending BGA, Gayden was into blues and the new genre taking the country by storm – rock and roll. Not everyone appreciated it, however.

“Coach put me on the bench for five games for playing rock and roll,” said Gayden, who would play dances and parties after school with The Silvertones, which he says was BGA’s first ever rock band. “All the kids around were playing gut-bucket blues. We played some rock and roll and some blues.”

After graduating from BGA, Gayden went to Vanderbilt to get a degree in education and become a teacher. On the side, he began picking up gigs as a session player – a musician who appears on an album but isn’t part of an

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ALUMNI FEATURES

Gayden with musicians Clifford Curry ( for whom Gayden wrote "Shot a Hole in My Soul) and the legendary Robert Knight (the voice for whom he wrote "Everlasting Love").

established band. Eventually, he realized he was making more money than an entry-level teacher and dropped out of college to play full-time. Session players in the 1960s needed versatility and flexibility; Gayden would record up to 30 songs daily, getting paid about $15 per song. “It taught me how to do all kinds of music, and do it quickly, professionally and precisely,” he said.

With royalties from the song providing a steady income, Gayden began shifting away from session recording and becoming a solo artist, eventually releasing three albums beginning in 1971. As a writer and musician, Gayden remained in high demand; however, the industry and its drug culture were taking their toll. He withdrew from that scene and got clean. The result, he said, were lost opportunities with major bands, who wanted his guitar work and songwriting prowess but didn’t trust that he could handle the rigors of touring without the assistance of cocaine, which was omnipresent as a stimulant for overworked bands on the road and in the studio.

Of course, although much has changed in the music industry, one thing is the same: It keeps you humble, Gayden said. “There’s so much music out there now, and everyone’s trying to get their foot in the door,” he said. “It’s not like it used to be, where you could pick out a market for an artist. ... The rejection and disappointment in the music business can be incredible at times. I just never let it get me down.”

His ability to play rock and R&B attracted attention from country artists who wanted a different sound on their albums. Meanwhile, He also attributes his success to his time at on the weekends he played in a band of R&B BGA, which challenged him and helped him musicians that toured throughout the South. learn how to work with others. And that’s how he ended up at Vanderbilt, playing at a frat house down the street from “There’s a lot of peer pressure,” he said, “but the opportunity [to use] comes from needing “BGA was a tremendous influence on me,” Robert Knight. to stay awake. ... I withdrew from the drug he said. “When I went to college, I was so After recording and producing “Everlasting culture, and that cut me off from a lot of far ahead of the other students, I’d do their people who could have helped me in my homework because they couldn’t do it. BGA Love,” Gayden thought it might be a hit. made it so easy.” career, but I don’t have any regrets.” “The drummer and I looked at each other,” he said. “You try not to be like, ‘This is going to As time passed, Gayden moved into He tells younger artists that “songwriting be a hit,’ because that’s the kiss of death. We producing – seeking out the next Mac is a retirement plan.” He should know: “Everlasting Love” continues to earn him just looked at each other and said, ‘This is Gayden to record. royalty income, 50 years after he first heard interesting. This is different. It might have Despite five decades in the music industry Robert Knight’s voice. a chance.’” and having written arguably one of It nearly didn’t survive initial contact American music’s most popular songs, He’s still listening for voices. Recently, while with radio. After lackluster airplay for six Gayden remains down to earth, those who at a celebration dinner for his grandson’s graduation from Penn State University, months, the record label was ready to dump know him say. Gayden heard one from the back of the it. Desperate, Gayden paid a Chattanooga deejay $20 to push it into rotation. The He has embraced transcendental meditation, restaurant. record caught on, and once the label saw it even writing a book about it called “Missing gaining airplay in the summer of 1967, began String Theory: A Musician’s Uncommon “Who is that?” he asked his grandson, who promoting it on the East Coast, where college Spiritual Journey,” and the practice has replied that she was Olivia Jones, the best students brought it back to their campuses enriched his songwriting, said longtime singer in the area. friend Jean Flippen. with them that fall. Gayden is producing her debut album. In Europe, sales were even better, and “He’s a very deep person, which is probably between the continents, the song has been why he’s such a prolific writer,” she said. “We remade every few years – usually becoming go occasionally out to lunch, and it’s just Mac. He’s not pretentious at all. He’s just a friend.” a hit – ever since.

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WILDCAT Roll Call ALUMNI NEWS

Commander Kelechi Ndukwe ’97 spoke at a Middle and Upper School Assembly this fall and presented Student Council President Katie Baier ’18 with a naval challenge coin for leadership and character. Baier has been accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy.

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WILDCAT ROLL CALL

HALL OF FAME

Back row, left to right: Kunu Kaushal '02, Britt Knox '57, Will Kesler, Debow Casey '57 Front row, left to right: Dr. Christie Baxter (widow of John Wyatt '64); Julia Wyatt (daughter of John Wyatt '64), Susie Hall Pratt '89, Glenda Marshall Not pictured: Anna-Gene Chalfant O'Neal '84

BEING INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME IS ONE OF THE GREATEST HONORS AT BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY, AS IT RECOGNIZES ALUMNI AND FACULTY MEMBERS WHO HAVE MADE AN IMPACT ON THEIR COMMUNITIES WHILE AT BGA AND AFTER GRADUATION.

This year’s group of inductees represent the best pieces of the BGA experience – excellence in one’s endeavors, great relationships with others and a high level of character and selfless leadership. We

are honored to induct such a distinguished collection of alumni and look forward to celebrating publicly their many achievements.

- Will Kesler, Head of School

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BRITT KNOX Class of 1957

After graduating from BGA, Knox enrolled at The Citadel, where he played football and earned his degree in civil engineering. He then served six years of active duty in the Army, including 18 months as a platoon leader in the 117th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam. He flew more than 1,500 combat missions and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and 35 Air Medals. Knox is married to Faye Northcutt Knox and has four children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

ANNA-GENE CHALFANT O’NEAL Class of 1984

O’Neal attended Vanderbilt School of Nursing after graduating from BGA, earning her bachelor's and master's degrees. She began her career as a nurse in the Vanderbilt Emergency

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Department, where she was selected as Vanderbilt Staff Nurse of the Year in 1989 before going on to serve as vice president of Essent Healthcare and senior vice president of Cogent Healthcare. She now is the president and CEO of Alive Hospice in Nashville. She and her husband, Scott, have two children, Ayla and Bates.

JOHN WYATT Class of 1964

Wyatt received his bachelor's degree from MIT after graduating from BGA. He then went on to earn an M.S. degree from Princeton and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He spent much of his career researching and developing retinal implants and co-founded the Boston Retinal Implant Project and Bionic Eye Technologies with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s director of neuro-ophthalmology, Dr. Joseph Rizzo. Wyatt died Feb. 3, 2016, and is survived by his wife, Christie Baxter; daughter, Julia Wyatt; and stepson, Andrew Cook.

GLENDA MARSHALL Marshall began working in the Business Office at BGA in 1983 at the original campus and eventually moved into the role of human resources manager for the Business Office. She was a model employee during the years she served the school. Glenda was always available to help in any way she could and truly left her mark on the school in her years at BGA. Marshall currently works for High Hopes Development Center, which serves children from birth to kindergarten. She lives in Franklin with her husband, Jerry Marshall. Their late son, Scott Marshall, graduated from BGA in 1986.

DEBOW CASEY Class of 1957

Casey played basketball, tennis and golf in his years at BGA. He was captain of the basketball team his senior year and led the team to a district championship. That season he was named to the All Mid State, All District, and All


WILDCAT ROLL CALL

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BGA NAMES

THREE NEW TRUSTEES John Harlin ’75, Mike Keith ’86, and Shawne Sills have been named to Battle Ground Academy’s Board of Trustees. Greg Herman ‘84 concluded his term on the board.

Britt Knox ’57 receives a kiss from his wife, Faye, after being inducted into the BGA Alumni Hall of Fame.

District Tournament teams and eventually was voted as BGA’s Player of the Decade for the 1950s. After graduation, Casey attended the University of Tennessee, where he played on the freshman basketball team. Casey lives in Nashville with his partner, Jean Rue Flippen. He has five children, Debow ’82, Bronson, Compton ’84, Christian ’90, and Laurine, three of whom also attended BGA. Casey also has nine grandchildren.

SUSIE HALL PRATT Class of 1989

Pratt played soccer, basketball, track, and softball while at BGA. She earned many accolades on the soccer field and currently holds the Wildcat record for most career goals with 98. She was named captain and MVP of the soccer team senior year and Most Athletic by her graduating class. Pratt also was named to the All State, All Mid State, and All Region soccer teams, as well as to the All County basketball team, before graduating and accepting a soccer scholarship to Lees-McRae College. Outside of BGA, Pratt played for the much-acclaimed Lady Express team from 1977-88. She is married to Kenneth Pratt, and they have three children: Ashley, Taylor, and Gavin.

Distinguished YOUNG ALUMNUS KUNU KAUSHAL Class of 2002

Kaushal was honored for his success as founder, partner, and CEO at Senior Solutions Home Care. He lives in Franklin with his wife, Jill, and their three daughters, Amiya, Eila, and Lily.

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John, Mike, and Shawne were each asked to join the Board of Trustees as they bring their own unique perspective, set of experiences, and connection with the academy to the table, which will serve us well as we continue to nurture student curiosity, intellect, and character. The Board of Trustees serves a vital role in developing the long-term vision for BGA.

- Tyler R. Berry, IV ’87, Chairman of the Board Harlin, a 1975 BGA graduate, has been involved in BGA with the alumni association, as co-president of the Parents‘ Council, and as a parent of BGA graduates Graham ’01 and John Jr. ’04. He has worked for more than 30 years with Reed Manufacturing and has served on the boards of both regional and national associations in the commercial textile industry. Harlin is a Franklin native. His father, the late Tom Harlin ’43, served on the BGA Board of Trustees for 21 years. Keith, a 1986 graduate, just completed his 20th season of play-by-play duties as “The Voice of the Titans.” Prior to this role, he held positions with the Vol Radio Network, WIVK Radio, and WBIR-TV in Knoxville. Keith’s call of the “Music City Miracle” in 2000 has been named one of the 10 best radio calls in American sports history by ESPN. In addition to his work with the Titans, he hosts multiple Titans Radio shows as well as the Titans All Access television show. Keith also emcees all official Titans events and speaks to civic, school, and business groups throughout the region. He lives in Franklin with his wife, Michelle, and is the parent of two BGA graduates, Abby ’13 and Matthew ’17. Sills is originally from Baltimore, where she worked in neurosurgery administration at The Johns Hopkins Hospital for 16 years. After moving to Franklin in 2009, she has volunteered with the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, the Franklin Baseball Club, GraceWorks, and Cross Point Community Church. At BGA, Sills has served as team parent for the baseball and golf teams, on the Parent Association board and has co-chaired the Wildcat Club for the past two years. She is married to Dr. Allen Sills, chief medical officer for the National Football League, and they have four children, including BGA senior Tyler ’18.


WILDCAT ROLL CALL

CLASS NOTES 1960s 1960

Bill Cherry, a longtime coach, teacher, and athletic director at McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn., was honored by the school when a new amphitheater was named for him. The Bill Cherry Team Room at McCallie’s Sports and Activities Center was dedicated in September 2017.

1965

Jody Bowman was honored with the Patrons Award by the Heritage Foundation for his contributions to the preservation of Franklin and Williamson County’s heritage. He received the award during the 44th annual Heritage Ball in August 2017. Tom Henderson III published a new book, Best of Times: More Mischief and Memories from a Nashville Kid of the '50s. The book includes memories from his time at BGA.

1970s 1978

Tom Boyd, a senior intelligence analyst for ballistic missiles at the Air and Space Intelligence Center, appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” during a segment about North Korea’s ballistic missile program.

1979

Jack H. "Nick" McCall was promoted to senior attorney in the TVA Office of General Counsel.

1990s 1992

Jennifer Sharpe, along with her husband, Tom, and twin sons, Robert and Thomas, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Janada L. Batchelor Foundation. The family raised more than $38,000 to benefit children in East Africa.

1995 and 1999

The love story of Clarissa Weathers ‘99 and David “Tutt” Hightower ‘95 was featured in The Tennessean in September. The couple reconnected and fell in love at Franklin’s Pilgrimage Festival in 2015, and they married in April 2017.

1997

Whitney Porter Thompson and her husband, Griffon Thompson, welcomed Hugh Lee Thompson on Jan. 5, 2018.

1998

Dyan Damron, PE, PTP, started a new position as senior traffic engineer/project manager at Volkert in Franklin. She received the Professional Transportation Planner certification from the Transportation Professional Certification Board, and is one of only two PTPs in Tennessee and only 403 nationwide. She was also selected to the 2018 class of Leadership ITE, which consists of up-andcoming transportation leaders from across the United States and Canada. She will represent her company and women in engineering as part of the 2018 class.

2000s 2000

Melissa Martin Burton and her husband, Walt, welcomed their third child, Anne Elizabeth “Libby” Burton, on Sept. 27, 2017. Libby joins big brothers Liam, 7, and Jeb, 3.

2005

Anna Jones Ford and her husband, Lee, welcomed twin girls, Elizabeth Dean and Margaret Ruth, on Oct. 8. Elizabeth was 5 lbs., 14 oz., and 19.75 inches long, and Margaret was 5 lb., 5 oz., and 18 inches long. The twins join big brother Everett.

2006

Meghan Alexander Caudill and Will Caudill welcomed William "Wylie" Patrick Caudill on Dec. 31.

2010s 2012

Jimmy Redovian was named volunteer assistant baseball coach at Tennessee Tech University.

2013

Sarah Smith was named to the All Conference and All Region cross country teams during her career at Millsaps College. After graduating in December 2016, Sarah accepted an accounting position at MedHost in Cool Springs. Lindsey Locke Anderson was named scheduling assistant for Randy Boyd for Governor.

2016

Tori Thompson received the $1,000 Chip and Jennifer Crane Endowed Scholarship from Mississippi State University’s Building Construction Sciences Program.

About Class Notes: The BGA Alumni Association strives to promote BGA alumni and their achievements. We encourage all alumni to share news with us about milestones in their lives so that it may be shared with the BGA alumni community. Please note that mentions about alumni endeavors do not constitute a review or opinion from the school.

Elizabeth Goodwin, business development manager at Doster Construction Co., was featured in Nashville Business Journal’s Employees of the Year Issue in December 2017.

2008

Kaylyn Dougherty, Pharm.D., M.H.I.I.M. graduated with her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Health Informatics and Information Management degrees from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in May. She is now a pharmacy resident at the University of Michigan. Katie Lemons married Jordan Cross of Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 9.

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The Real Deal The storied career of Sara Schultenover Kubicki ’94 is that of an award-winning TV drama. Several of them. By Paul A. Anthony

Photo by Scott Suchman

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I believe very strongly in service.

Like many college seniors, Sara Schultenover Kubicki ’94 embarked on her career path after an interesting college internship. Unlike most of those students, her internship involved harvesting maggots from decaying human bodies. “It was a lovely summer job,” she said with a laugh.

In the fall of 1999, she enrolled in the Master of Forensic Science program at George Washington University, where she met two special agents with the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, or NCIS. The agents convinced Kubicki to do an internship at the NCIS headquarters in Norfolk, Va. As the name implies, NCIS is the law enforcement agency that investigates crimes involving members of the U.S. Navy; however, the agency is staffed entirely by civilians outside the Navy’s chain of command and reports directly to the Navy Secretary.

That summer at the so-called “Body Farm” – the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center, which specializes in the study of human decomposition – nevertheless set Kubicki on the path to a career that has After graduating in 2001, Kubicki joined NCIS included interrogating terrorism suspects in as a special agent in Norfolk, Va. Guantanamo Bay, posing online as a teenage girl to stop child predators and, for the past “With NCIS, because there are only 1,000 decade, serving in the Pentagon with the agents, you do a little bit of everything – criminal investigations, counterterrorism, Secretary of the Army. counterintelligence, protective-service And none of it had anything to do with her details,” Kubicki said. “You’ve got to be a jack plans when she graduated from BGA and went of all trades. ... You don’t get bored.” to the University of Notre Dame to major in biology with an eye toward a medical career.

“Nothing I do I’m qualified for in any way, shape, or form,” Kubicki said. “Nothing that I ever thought about would have led me to law enforcement.” The shift started at Notre Dame, when Kubicki realized she didn’t “want to spend my entire life in the lab or in a hospital.” The problem was she had already taken nearly all of the classes needed for her biology degree.

Although Kubicki now had a solid base of knowledge with the forensics part of criminal investigations, she didn’t have as much experience with interrogations. So when her supervisor asked for volunteers to help interrogate terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, she raised her hand. Thus, at 25, Kubicki was spending 45-day stints with a team of 15 agents, including interpreters, interrogating men accused of some of the world’s most horrific crimes.

Her academic adviser suggested forensic science – which had yet to be pulled into the “It was very intense,” she said. “I actually had a mainstream by hit TV shows such as “CSI.” huge advantage in a lot of ways. They tended To make sure she wanted to follow that path, to disregard anything I asked as unimportant she spent the summer after graduation at the because I was ‘just a woman,’ so they would answer more of my questions.” Body Farm. Over the next year, Kubicki interned at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab and the Nashville Medical Examiner’s Office, assisting in autopsies and tagging along to crime scenes.

After a year of interrogations, Kubicki moved to Washington, D.C., to prepare the detainees’ cases for potential criminal prosecution, then continued on to help with cold case investigations, nabbing online predators, and more.

But in 2005, a car wreck led to two back surgeries and a warning from doctors that an additional injury to her back could affect her ability to carry children. “For me, it just wasn’t worth it,” she said. “I knew I wanted to have kids, so I needed a job where I wouldn’t need to tackle somebody. It wasn’t worth it anymore.” In 2006, Kubicki took a job in the private sector, with national security think tank Analytic Services, which had just finalized a contract with the Pentagon to craft its detainee affairs policy. Having worked on those cases with NCIS, it was a perfect fit. Kubicki spent a year helping craft the military’s policy on the capture, handling, and turning over of terrorism suspects captured in Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by a year helping establish forensic laboratories in those countries to help identify and catch bomb makers. Then in 2008, she moved back into the federal government, taking a position in the Secretary of the Army’s office, helping handle and draft replies to congressional correspondence – a job she’s held for the past decade. “I believe very strongly in service, and I feel like God has given me certain gifts or talents that I should be applying in some way to give back,” she said. “I still feel like I’m part of the fight, to a certain extent.” Kubicki credits that feeling to her experience at BGA, where she said she learned the values of honesty, integrity, hard work, patriotism and community service that she has worked to uphold the rest of her life. “I really took those things to heart, thank God,” she said. “Those things have always stuck with me.”

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IN MEMORIAM

C. Bryan Dement 1956

Allen F. Anderson 1968

John L. "Jack" Francis 1961

William D. Heddon Sr. 1945

David B. Medlin 1996

Maj. David Bennett Medlin was known to all as an athlete, devoted family man, and American hero. The father of three died suddenly on Sept. 22 during an adventure race in Pennsylvania. David was a 1996 graduate of BGA and the son of longtime BGA faculty member Ron Medlin. He was a top student, especially in Latin and English. He was a two-way starter on the 1995 undefeated state championship football team. He also loved performing in the school musicals. “When I think of Dave, the first words that always to come to my head are ‘gentle strength.’ He was a constant, consistent, and dear friend,” said classmate Jay Wilkison ‘96. “Whether it had been two days or two years since we saw each other, we always picked up right where we left off. Knowing someone like Dave Medlin was on this earth made me feel better about everything.” After graduating from BGA, David went to Furman University on an ROTC scholarship and graduated in 2000. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was named most outstanding soldier in his ROTC class. He graduated from Ranger School and joined the 101st Airborne. He was with the 101st in the initial invasion of Iraq and served there from 2003-04, earning a Bronze Star. He was promoted to major before leaving the Army. 46

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David "DJ" Kousser 1966

David then joined Target Corporation's distribution center management in Indiana and Illinois. He next moved to corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. While there, he enjoyed entertaining veterans in hospitals. Most recently, David was vice president of distribution operations for Tractor Supply in Brentwood. David was an active member of the historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Franklin. David loved life and lived it deliberately. He counted among his greatest blessings in life his wife and three children and his large extended family. David was an avid outdoorsman, taking up hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, and biking. He was a self-taught guitarist and enjoyed picking and singing for family and friends. He will long be remembered for his quick wit and humor, which brought joy to all. Classmate Nathan Mertz ‘96 said he remembers David as a loyal friend. The impact of their many years of memories couldn’t be summed up in words, Mertz said. “David, I thank you for choosing me as your friend,” he said. “I think of you, tears fall. I miss you.” He lived a wonderful life – fiercely loyal to family and faith and friends and country.

Charles E. "Chug" Morton III 1965

Andrew C. Oliver III 1969

Clyde Redford 1966

Rufus C. Ross Jr. 1940

David Sterling Jones 1962


WILDCAT ROLL CALL

William Wirt “Bill” Harlin, Jr. 1942

Andrew G. Shockley 1949

Harold Z. "Hal" Smith 1958

Lifetime BGA Board of Trustees and Hall of Fame member William Wirt “Bill” Harlin Jr. passed away peacefully at his home on June 14.

Evan F. Derry 2015

On Dec. 28, 2017, Evan F. Derry’s life ended far too soon. The 2015 BGA graduate and student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be remembered fondly by his classmates and teachers as a loyal friend, creative thinker, and outdoors enthusiast. In his final paper as a senior at BGA, Evan wrote about how he strived to live a meaningful life.

Excerpts from “Who

Is Me?” By Evan Derry

I am experiencing a sense of clarity. What was once an elusive mystery to me is starting to unravel slowly, but surely. The person I am, the person I have been, and the man I want to become are all becoming apparent. Some would consider this growing up, but in my eyes, I see it as finding a sense of meaning. The understanding of the idea that it is not what one does that makes them who they are, but the intrinsic values of their character make up who they are. To put it as simply as possible, I am constantly growing into the best person I can be and by the time my life comes to an end I will know that in my heart I finally became the man I always wanted to be. I want to be the person remembered as someone who lived with the utmost purpose and meaning.

Born and raised in Franklin, Bill graduated from BGA in 1942. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and Vanderbilt University, where he met his wife, Barbara Ann Nunnally. His professional career began at Red Kap Garment Company, and he later transitioned into the industrial laundry business. Throughout his life, Bill remained active with BGA – serving as chair of the Battle Ground Academy Board of Trustees for six years, and later as a lifetime BGA board member. Bill was also instrumental in the construction of BGA’s campus on Mack Hatcher, where the Harlin Student Center is named for his family. He was inducted into BGA’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 1998. “Bill was someone who could always be relied on to act with the best interest of BGA and its educational mission,” said Robert H. Steltjes, a dear friend and fellow lifelong BGA board member. Bill’s love of his hometown and the Tennessee Walking Horse breeding tradition was passed down from his father, William Wirt Harlin of Harlinsdale Farm. In later years, he partnered with his brother Tom to complete the sale of the farm to the City of Franklin as a passive park. In 2009, Bill moved the Harlinsdale horses to his farm at College Grove where his children and grandchildren continue the tradition today. In 2011, Bill received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Pedigreed

Livestock Council. Bill also served as president of TWHBEA from 1984-86 and 1992-93, member of the Tennessee Horse Council and the National Horse Council, and director emeritus of Franklin Synergy Bank. “Bill Harlin and the Harlin family have been synonymous with Franklin and Battle Ground Academy,” said Head of School Will Kesler. “Our entire community has lost a giant who appreciated what Franklin was and what it could be. Harlinsdale Farm is just one part of Mr. Harlin's and his entire family's legacy of generosity to this city, which he loved so much. As a heavily involved BGA alumnus and board chair for six years, Mr. Harlin's imprint on our school is clear, and his influence will continue to echo for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Bill was an active member of Brentwood Hills Church of Christ and The Son Seekers Sunday School class. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara, son William Wirt Harlin III, and brothers Tom, Alex, and Bob. He is survived by his children, Camille Harlin Willis (Hal) and Clay Harlin (Faye); grandchildren Bill Harlin (Kelly), Anna Beck (Brad), Tom Harlin (Laura), Talbot Harlin (Ashley), Mary Camille Hickerson, Harlin Hickerson (Mariko) and Meredith Harlin Lomasney (Joel); and eight great-grandchildren.

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Final Notes

Almost alumni Ben Sullivan ’18, John Garrison ’18, and Jack Carnes ’18, members of the the student spirit group the "Mack Hatcher Mob", energize BGA's fans before a football game.

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE CLUB Y OU 'V E A L R E AD Y J OIN E D!

Did you know that as a BGA graduate, you are already a member of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world? It’s the BGA Alumni Association. Our outstanding alumni can be found in nearly every state and around the globe excelling in their pursuit of scholarship, leading with character, and driving meaningful change in the world. The best part about this club? The members want to help each other out! As director of alumni relations, I strive daily to help strengthen the bonds of our alumni community, and I constantly hear from alumni who are eager to help their fellow BGA graduates meet new friends, find new jobs, or reminisce over good times at the Academy. To foster this spirit within our community, the BGA Alumni Association has launched BGA Connects, a digital platform for our graduates to connect with one another. BGA Connects is a bit like LinkedIn, but exclusively for our graduates. If you have a current email address on file with BGA, you have received your invitation to join. If you did not receive an email invitation to join, please contact me. I would hate for you to miss out on all that our exclusive club has to offer! KRISTIN NAPIER

Director of Alumni Relations kristin.napier@mybga.org / (615) 567-8472

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r e e r O g T A PL e g n e l Chal vs

It’s been a tight race, but the Platos are currently leading in the number of contributors to The BGA Fund!

The competition lasts until June 30, and the society with the most participation wins bragging rights and will be commemorated on campus. Now is the time to make sure your society wins! Remember, the size of your gift does not matter, but the giving spirit does! With your gift, you are making a difference for every student at BGA and supporting the transformative power of an independent education. It is easier than ever to give to The BGA Fund. Donate online at battlegroundacademy.org/giveonline or return the giving envelope enclosed in this magazine. Be sure to note your society when you make your gift.

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UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS Don’t miss these great opportunities to reconnect with your classmates!

Reunion Weekend MAY 4-5, 2018

Classes ending in 3 and 8 will celebrate reunions this year. All graduates are invited to visit campus and take part in the special alumni events. Visit battlegroundacademy.org/reunion for more information.

Alumni Golf Classic MAY 31, 2018

VANDERBILT LEGENDS CLUB You don’t have to be a pro to hit the links with your classmates at our annual golf classic, benefiting the BGA Alumni Association Financial Aid Fund. Visit battlegroundacademy.org/golf for more information. A limited number of corporate sponsorships are still available. Please contact Kristin Napier at kristin.napier@mybga.org for sponsorship information.


P.O. Box 1889 | Franklin, Tennessee 37065-1889 (615) 794-3501 battlegroundacademy.org

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The BGA football team enters Guffee-Brown Stadium on a special Pink Out Senior Night game versus rival Franklin Road Academy. Players and fans wore pink to support the fight against breast cancer, and the senior athletes playing fall sports were recognized during halftime. The Wildcats defeated FRA 38-0.

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