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Volume 2 No. 1

An 800-year tradition Japanese ceramic techniques transplanted to N.E. Georgia

Piedmont fires it up

In the newly built Anagama Kiln

CONTENTS Top Stories

2 3 4

Provost’s Message PC’s First Doctoral Program Expansion of Piedmont

College Life

5 6 7 8

A Fish Story New Graduates Complete the AT The Magic is Me Tour de Cure


18 18


9 9 10 11 12 12 13 14 14 14 15 16 17

Cultivating Curious Minds Pause Magazine Award Anagama Kiln Chamber Singers Tour British Women’s Writers Conference Debate Camp Planned 20th ‘Concert of Lessons & Carols’ Torch Adds New Members Gospel Choir Performs Frozen Tears by Albert Pleysier Shakespeare’s As You Like It Religion Conference Outstanding Graduates


Fall Sports Recap

Alumni & Friends

Academic News

‘Light the Night’ Business Honor Society

23 23 24 25 25 26 27 27 27

‘Lefty’ Cronic throws for G-Braves Sports Hall of Fame inductees Alumni Spotlight -- Bob Davis Austin Elected to State House Diamond Lions Reunion ‘Pass It On!’ Fund for Piedmont PC Receives gift of paintings Go Online with PC Free Piedmont e-mail address

Class Notes

28 Class Notes 29 Teachers of the Year 30 Obituaries

Volume 2 No. 1 Piedmont College W. Ray Cleere President Editor David Price Director of Publications Graphic Artist Regina M. Fried

Alumni Information Brandy Aycock Associate Director of Development

Donor Relations Susan Mills Donor Records and Grants Coordinator

Published Semi-Annually

Justin Scali Associate Director of Development

Published by the Office of Institutional Advancement Third class postage paid at Demorest, Georgia

Piedmont College Institutional Advancement 165 Central Avenue Demorest GA 30535

Postmaster: Send Address Changes to:

Special Projects Coordinator Sandi Tatum For more information about Piedmont College or for an admissions packet, call us at 1-800-277-7020 or (706) 776-0103. You may also visit us online:

Provost’s Message S E G A S PAS

r of other yea n a f o n diplo nclusio ate the co ollege awarded 422 this r b le e c e C of and w Piedmont et the completion new t, st ended, n ju e s m a e c h e n r r e m meste leave us fo lty ay Comm nts. As always, we l il M w e Spring se ts th n t e d cu .A uate stude erished fa rollments ed plus stu record en rgraduate and grad . These four-hundr me at PC. Some ch re all part of ti gs de ea mas to un r with mixed feelin and pieces of their dear friends. Thes y a s r e it e y v b a few academic taking with them e also lost ’v e — s W e . r g tu in are adven e retir d. These embers ar of life in academe. n o m y f e f b a t s d n d d a an nd goings semesters ception. Yet we fin a ll s g fa in d n m a o the c no ex mmer t can head to su iedmont College is eral arts college tha at a k o lo e s, and P antime, w rivate lib g pages th In the me s for all institution a church-related, p les in the followin rtunities po g time ion as ng artic ational op c u challengin a comfortable posit u’ll notice interesti d e g in yo reward in We hope rich and ourselves . y e n id ti v s o e r d p to wn g shape its o iedmont continues lso excitin a P e r a w o e s h e show ue to that th ff, contin we agree gion. a , e t r s m e a is r v g th ti o r r r o p fo p llide t doctoral ted faculty and sup ioned learning co d s r fi r u o ce beyon d old-fash bark upon y a dedica As we em nts, encouraged b nts. Technology an d learning takes pla lishme r stude ch goo times. Ou emarkable accomp e discover that mu hr dw amaze wit in classrooms. An s of h s 112 year it u w . h s it n ll a w -o w d te a he om to de elebra nal classro rnal and c is how we’ve come add u Jo e g e the traditio ll ds” nt Co ing to e Piedmo urious min arly presidents, try c th f g o n ti n a io iv edit t’s e cult Enjoy this dmont’s mission—“ of one of Piedmon s ie d wor ! ith P success w perience. Or, in the ose who study here x th e scribe the ractical wisdom” to p d n “poise a ellichamp James F. M d fairs Provost an t for Academic Af en Vice Presid

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James F. Mellichamp, who also formerly served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was named Provost of Piedmont College in June. Maggie the schnauzer still has her old job.


School of Education adds first doctoral program At Demorest and Athens The Piedmont College School of Education will offer courses leading to a doctorate in education degree (Ed.D.) starting in fall 2009. The new degree, recently approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, will be offered at both the Demorest and Athens cam- Dr. Jane McFerrin, Dean of the School of Education. puses. “Piedmont has a long and distinguished history of preparing outstanding educators in many teaching fields,” said Dr. Jane McFerrin, dean of the school of education. “In recent years we have added the master’s and education specialist degrees to our baccalaureate programs. After more than a century in teacher education, Piedmont will offer for the first time a highly competitive doctoral program in education. This degree will prepare teachers at the highest level to meet the educational challenges of the 21st century.” The components of the doctoral program include course work, field experience, research, and writing, culminating in the dissertation process. The Ed.D. degree requirements include a minimum of 51 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree and nine hours minimum of dissertation credit. Enrollment will be limited to 15 students at each of the college’s campuses. Dr. Bob Cummings, associate dean, said the Ed.D. program will “develop and prepare eminent leaders in the field of education. The primary focus of the doctoral program is to transform school improvement ability by connecting theory to practice through coursework in pedagogical philosophy, law and ethics, critical thinking, communication, multicultural learning communities, and original scholarly research. These components prepare teachers and administrative leaders to meet proactively the educational needs and challenges of our changing society.” Eligible applicants must have at least a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of 3.5 cumulative GPA, have a current clear, renewable L-5, T-5, or S-5 certificate, and have at least four years of teaching experience. For more information concerning the Ed.D. program, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 1-800-277-7020 or by email at grad@ For academic information, contact Dr. Bob Cummings at 706-778-3000 extension 1265, or by email at bcummings@piedmont. edu.


The PC School of Education now offers undergraduate, master’s, specialist and doctoral programs.


Demorest adds pedestrian overpass, amphitheater

The long-awaited pedestrian overpass that allows Piedmont students and other Demorest residents to safely cross Historic Highway 441 (Central Avenue) in Demorest is now open. ThyssenKrupp Elevator of Marietta completed installation of the elevator needed to make the overpass operational on Jan. 5.

Construction of the Arrendale Amphitheater continues at the Demorest Campus adjacent to the Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications. When completed this summer, the 500-seat amphitheater will provide an excellent open-air facility for concerts and performances.


A ‘Fish Story’ to cap all others Alex Edwards has been an avid fly fisherman for years, but the catch he came back with while studying in England will probably always be at the top of his list. A junior biology major from Watkinsville, Edwards was among six students who took advantage of Piedmont’s study-abroad program at the University of Nottingham in England during the fall semester. While there, he took classes in archeology, history and Spanish; and he traveled throughout England, Ireland and Scotland. But Edwards admits that a lot of his free time was focused on trying out some of the fabled rivers where modern fly fishing was born. After all, this is where Izaak Walton’s book on fishing, “The Compleat Angler,” was a bestseller way back in 1653. “Fishing in the UK is pricey, and they take it real seriously,” Edwards said. Through friends at Unicoi Outfitters in Helen, he was able to arrange two guided fishing trips, including one on the Itchen River in Hampshire. On the second trip, he and a guide were trying their luck at a fishing club called Lakedown in East Sussex. The site included a series of ponds and cascades, and Edwards said there were about 50 people in the area fishing for rainbow trout, which are stocked in the river. “There were supposed to be wild brown trout, too, so I went to a dry fly and started fishing the tailwaters,” Edwards said. He also picked a spot on the bank in the middle of a blackberry patch that looked like it had not been fished for a while. Soon he hooked into a fish that he knew was too big to be a rainbow. It was a 28-inch brown trout. “My guide thought it might be a record, so we took it up to the clubhouse to have it weighed. While we were weighing it, a guy came up behind me and said, ‘That’s one ’ell of a fish.’ I turned around and looked at him and said, ‘You’re Roger Daltrey!’ He smiled and said, ‘Oh, you like my band.’” That’s when Edwards realized that rather than wearing his usual leather fishing hat, he was wearing a cap featuring


Alex Edwards did not even have to ask “Who Are You?” when he unexpectedly bumped into rock legend Roger Daltrey while fly fishing in England.

the logo of “The Who,” one of his favorite bands. And there admiring his catch of the day was The Who’s lead singer. As it turned out, Daltrey is also a trout-fishing fanatic and raises prize-winning trout at several fish farms he owns in England, including the reserve where Edwards was fishing that day. “He invited me into the lodge, and we sat and talked

PC marks Earth Day

for about 30 minutes about fishing, beer, and England and what I was doing over there,” Edwards said. The trout was a Lakedown wild brown record, and Edwards said he is going to have a wood carving made from its measurements to hang on the wall. And next to it will be an old hat, signed by the “Pinball Wizard” himself, Roger Daltrey.

With a trash sculpture as backdrop, Aaron Land of Ellijay on guitar and Scott Pratt of Norcross on banjo livened up the Earth Day Celebration held April 22 in Alumni Park.

Two PC students take a stroll after graduation along the Appalachian Trail By Kami Anderson PC Navigator Hiking the Appalachian Trail started as a dream for Jennifer Osborne (’08) when she came to Piedmont College four-and-a-half years ago. She thought it was a great idea for after graduation. During her sophomore year, Osborne of Washington, Conn., met Kyle Anderson (’08) of Stillwater, Minn., and they discovered they shared a love of hiking. For about a year, Anderson and Osborne planned everything. They created a tentative schedule for both families to use and locate them. They found mail locations and food drops, took day hikes, and gathered equipment. Their plan was to leave the Monday after graduation and hike for the next five months. “It was hard in the beginning getting the body used to hiking 10 hours a day. Going uphill hurt the most and it took a while to master the craft of hanging a bear bag in a tree. It was also hard getting used to the fact that Jenn could walk faster than me. But like all things, one gets used to it,” said Anderson. At first, many of their days consisted of 8- to 10-mile walks. Eventually, their longest walk was 26 miles in the Shenandoah Mountains. Osborne recalls that in the beginning, the nights were scary. “In the beginning we were out of our element so we didn’t know what to expect, whether bears were going to come or we would find mice in our sleeping bag,” she said. “We became more comfortable, however. We were happy when we finished our first state (Georgia) and excited when we went into towns and when we did our first hitchhike.” “Several of our favorite memories are at Franconia Notch in the White Mountains National Park in New Hampshire, which is a ridge that runs along Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Lafayette. We could see for miles and view the mighty Mt. Washington,” said both Anderson and Osborne. They met many people from around the country and a few from out of the country. “We hiked with our friend from Britain for 1,000 miles. We had other friends that we hiked with for periods of time, like Bandit, Stripper and Easy Strider.” The reason for the nicknames is because it’s tradition for hikers to create a trail name; it’s also good luck. Anderson’s trail name is Seeker and Osborne’s is Someday Maine. As they reached the end, the parents of both families decided to fly out to Maine and be there when Osborne and Anderson finished the trail. Osborne said, “It was hard in the end when we got bad weather. We were tired mentally and physically in Maine but we had to continue at a steady pace so we could finish on time.” s


Children’s musical revived at Swanson Center When the Theatre Department presented the children’s musical “The Magic Is Me” in November, it was only the second time the play had been seen by an audience in more than 30 years. But it surely won’t be that long until the play is seen again. With a fast-moving storyline, kid-friendly lyrics, and jazzy dancing, the play delighted audiences young and old at the Swanson Center Blackbox Theater in November. Dr. Rick Rose, retiring chair of the theatre department, selected the play, which had been written in 1973 by a group of his students when he was teaching at Broward Community College in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. “David Novak and a group of other students presented an idea for performing an original children’s musical they had written,” Rose said. “This student-driven musical turned out to be a huge success.” Novak is now a well-known storyteller and playwright living in Asheville, N.C. s

McGarity speaks to December graduates

Retiring Piedmont professor Dr. Jim McGarity was the commencement speaker at the December graduation ceremony. McGarity taught in the School of Education and served as a coordinator for the college’s graduate cohort program. He joined Piedmont in 2000 and previously served as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent in the Gwinnett, Clayton, and Rockdale county school systems. s

(Top) A fantasy scene from ‘Magic is Me.’ (Above) Anna Gunter, Seb Burnett and John King check a blueprint for the ‘Magic.’


Myers takes NATS award

Piedmont College nursing students, from left, Sal Badalamente of Mt. Airy, Brandi Ricks of Braselton, Summer Matyok of Carnesville, Shae David of Athens, Whitney Canup of Commerce, and Allyson Waters of Cornelia took part in the Tour de Cure 2009 to help raise funds for diabetes research.

Student nurses ride for Tour de Cure

Jara Myers of Lawrenceville won first place in Category 5E (Freshman College Women) at the Georgia National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, which was held on Feb. 20 at Kennesaw State University. The auditions are held annually and are open to students who are taking lessons with a member of NATS.

Piedmont nursing students joined bicycle riders from across the state for the Georgia “Tour de Cure� in May. The Tour is one of 40 events held nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The Tour de Cure is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. Whether participants ride 10 miles or 100 miles, they travel a route supported from start to finish with rest stops, food to fuel the journey, and fans to cheer them on. The Georgia ride was held in Tyrone, located off I-85 between Fairburn and Peachtree City, on the morning of May 17. Piedmont Junior Sal Badalamente, an avid cyclist from Mt. Airy, rode in the event as an EMT bike medic while Piedmont nursing students and instructors helped staff the event medical tent. Piedmont students rode in the Tour as well. s

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Courtney Brooks and Sophia Momin (left) of PC Athens were one of two winning groups in ‘Imagining The Future,’ a critical thinking competition sponsored by Piedmont’s QEP committees. The focus of their proposal was mentoring at-risk 8th grade girls at Clarke County Middle School. Brooke Schermerhorn and Joan Sims of the Demorest campus (right) will be working with the Mountain Hand Spinners Guild in establishing a self-sustaining project empowering women in rural Kenya.

Cultivating Curious Minds! “Imagining The Future” was the topic of the first student critical thinking competition hosted by the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP). Twenty-one students in six groups, representing Athens and Demorest, proposed solutions to community problems ranging from obesity in school-age children to women’s economic sustainability in Kenya. Winners were awarded prize money and grants to implement their solutions. Joan Sims and Brooke Schermerhorn (Demorest) will be working with the Mountain Hand Spinners Guild to teach spinning and

provide equipment to poor women in rural Naivasha, Kenya, an area where wool is readily available. Sophia Momin and Courtney Brooks (Athens) will mentor at-risk 8th grade girls at Clarke Middle School to help them prioritize and set goals thus encouraging the girls to reach their full potential. Judges for this event were Margaret Ballard, City of Cornelia Mayor; Natalie Crawford (‘06), marketing/audience development at the Swanson Center; and Brian Rickman, (’98), district attorney for the Mountain Judicial Circuit.

Pause takes awards


The Piedmont student magazine, Pause, entered into a competition sponsored by the American Scholastic Press Association in September 2008 and came home with a First Place with Special Merit award. Pause competed against publications from other colleges and universities with enrollment of 1,701 to 2,500 students. First Place with Special Merit was given to the schools that scored more than 900 points and if the reviewer felt it was an overall outstanding publication. The magazine was judged in five different categories: Content coverage worth 400 points (Pause got 400); Organization worth 200 points (Pause got 175); Design worth 150 points (Pause got 150); Presentation worth 180 points (Pause got 165); and Creativity worth 70 points (Pause got 70). Pause’s total score was 960 out of 1000. s

New kiln fires interest in ancient art Firing up a Japanese-style traditional kiln at the Piedmont College campus in Demorest was an opportunity for students to learn an ancient method of creating ceramics, but it also gave art professor Chris Kelly a chance to repay an old debt. “I feel like this has come full circle,” Kelly said after the months-long effort to build the wood-burning kiln, five days of stoking the hot furnace, and then a week of anticipation as the artwork inside cooled enough to remove and examine. The kiln project started shortly after Kelly joined the faculty at Piedmont as chair of the art department in August 2008. But it really began in 1996 when he was an art student at the University of Montevallo in Alabama and happened across an exhibit of Fujita family ceramics at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The Fujitas are among the most renowned of some 60 potters in the Echizen region of Japan, where traditional pottery skills have been passed down from generation to generation for more than 800 years. The Fujitas are known for a refined style of coil ware ceramics in a style that had almost died out in Japan. They also produce more traditional pots of all types using the potters wheel. What makes the Echizen pottery especially prized is that many of the potters there, including the Fujitas, continued the use of extremely high-temperature wood-fired kilns called anagama kilns. They typically use no glaze on the pots, relying on the ash from the fire to melt into the clay, producing sublime earth tones of grays, greens and browns. The ash also produces unique textures on each pot that can vary from baby smooth on one side to sharkskin rough on the other, depending on how the pot was exposed to the Piedmont art department chair Chris Kelly, Juroemon Fujita, and professor Scott Meyer of the University of Montevallo at the start of the heat. long firing process. Just a year after seeing his first Echizen ceramics, Kelly had the opportunity to travel to Japan and study the traditional methods. He spent a year working with the late Juroemon Fujita VIII, a potter recognized by the Emperor of Japan as a “Cultural Treasure,” and his son, Juroemon Fujita IX, also a respected Kimi Takikawa mortars firebricks in place during Echizen potter. There he learned how the construction of the anagama kiln. master potters controlled the ancient kilns by varying the type of wood, temperature of the fire, and length of firing to create pots that are in museums around the world. “When I left Japan, the father said that when I was ready, he would help me build an anagama kiln,” Kelly said. “Well, when I got back to the States there was graduate school and then I taught high school for a while. It seemed like the time was never just right.” Kelly did return to Japan eight times, bringing his own students to study the Echizen methods, and frequently Fujita IX and other potters would come to the U.S. to work with his students here. Finally, when he came to Piedmont, Kelly decided that Habersham County was the place to build his first anagama kiln. The red clay area of northeast Georgia area has a long tradition of folk pottery, and Kelly said the anagama kiln is coincidentally similar to the “groundhog” wood kilns that many of the area’s famous folk potters such as Cheever and Lanier Meaders used. The main difference is that most folk potters in the area used glazes and did not have to fire the kilns for as long. In December 2008, Kelly invited Fujita to Demorest; and with the help of Piedmont art students and other friends, they began building a 24-foot-long anagama kiln. By midApril it was ready and Kelly and the students began loading it with almost 300 pieces of “greenware” for firing. On March 17, the first firing began, a multicultural event as Fujita placed a small Shinto shrine on top and Piedmont chaplain the Rev. Ashley Cleere said a prayer to bless the artists’ work. PC president Ray Cleere then touched off a small pile of kindling at the front of the kiln. Then the real work began. For 24 hours a day, for five days, Kelly and the students, along with friends from the his alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and former professors from the University of Montevallo, worked in teams to keep a roaring fire going in the front of the kiln. Once it reached a temperature around 2,300 Fahrenheit, they had to stoke the flames with split oak firewood every three or four minutes while a Finished pots reveal a range of tones and textures. cone of greenish flame jetted out the chimney. After consuming five cords of wood, the kiln’s work was done, and Kelly and the students left it to cool. Even after five days, the inside was still hot to the touch as they began gingerly removing each piece to a chorus of “ooohs” and “ahhs.” “It was a very successful first firing,” Kelly said. “You never know with a new kiln. There are many things that could go wrong, either with the design or from the wood. It had rained a lot, and our wood was sometimes damp, so I was kind of surprised that it went so well.” Kelly said the college plans to fire the kiln every semester, and it should last at least 10 years until the fire bricks will need to be replaced. Meanwhile the anagama kiln will be the centerpiece for a community of potters in the area. Kelly said he plans to invite area potters to use the kiln, and Echizen potters will be able to come to Piedmont and pass on more of their art. “That’s why I say it has come full circle,” Kelly said. “I feel like I owe a debt to the Fujita family, and now with this kiln I can help pass along that knowledge.” s


Chamber Singers tour Georgia-Florida The Chamber Singers played Atlanta’s Spivey Hall in the fall and recently took their songs on the road for a spring tour of south Georgia and Florida. The group, together with the Piedmont Chorale, then combined forces for the April 25 “Great Composers Concert” in Demorest. Director Dr. Wallace Hinson said the invitation to perform at the renowned Spivey Hall was like being asked to play Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center in New York. “We are extremely pleased to be a part of a choral series that includes the Vienna Boys Choir, Chanticleer, and the Atlanta Singers, as well as other choirs with outstanding national and international reputations. This opportunity is a huge step forward for our choral program.” Titled “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” the Spivey concert included works by composers ranging from Palestrina and Mendelssohn to Eric Whitacre, Steven Stucky and Moses Hogan. The choir was accompanied by organist Louise Bass, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, a frequent performer with the Piedmont choirs. In March, the Chamber Singers left on their Spring Tour with stops at a high school in Macon and churches in Valdosta, Ga.; and Vero Beach, Orlando, and Ocala, Fla. This year’s Great Composers Concert included works by Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn. Members of the Chamber Singers include Jeff Akana of Suwanee, Jessica Allen of Dawsonville, Sophia Allison of Flowery Branch, Chelsea Angelich of Suwanee, Sarah Austin of Auburn, Seb Burnett of Temple, Daniel Burns of Jefferson, Portia Burns of Cornelia, Katie Clements of Gainesville, Allison Criswell of Hoschton, Amber Dodd of Toccoa, Jacob Douylliez of St. Marys, Luna Dunnett of Suwanee, Jeff Hall of Flowery Branch, Phillip Hayner of Toccoa, Britt Hensley of Flowery Branch, Maghan Holmes of Union City, John Paul Jordan of Demorest, Cara Kenney of Buford, John King of Grayson, TaShara Lee of Thomson, Emily Little of Flowery Branch, Parker Meadows From left, Portia Burns, Emily Little and Katie Clements sing of Bremen, Katelyn Meents of Lilburn, Annelise Millwood of Gainesville, Laurel Mulduring the Great Composers Concert. linax of Dawsonville, Jara Myers of Lawrenceville, Sarah Nelms of Tallulah Falls, Caleb Nix of Flowery Branch, Skylier Ross of Alpharetta, Katie Sawhill of Watkinsville, Ashley Shaw of Carlton, Phillip Slusser of St. Marys, Benji Stegner of Toccoa, Mary Helen Still of Snellville, Joshua Tison of Demorest, and Heather Vaughn of Cumming. s


Piedmont student accepted into 17th Annual British Women’s Writers Conference By Leah Cunningham PC Navigator Junior Katie Sawhill has settled back into life in the states after spending her fall semester in Nottingham, England. But the past spring semester held another opportunity for this Piedmont College student. Sawhill was accepted into the 17th Annual British Women’s Writers Conference and presented her paper, “The Quaker and The Queen: A Showcase and Analysis of Two Remarkable Victorian Wardrobes,” at the conference. Her paper looks at the wardrobes of Jane Eyre and Margaret Hale and discusses what their dress says about them. Topics covered include their character, class conflict, hypocrisy and industrialization. This topic fit in well with the theme of the conference, “Threads of Connection.” Each presenter at the conference was placed in a group specific to the topic of their paper. Sawhill’s group was called “The Empire’s New Clothes.” Each presentation consisted of reading their paper with a PowerPoint presentation or visual aid, accepting feedback, and participating in discussion. “It’s slightly scary because you have all these professors who do this all the time,” Sawhill said. Sawhill found out about the conference in a Victorian Literature class at Piedmont, taught by Dr. Siân Griffiths. “In all honesty, I was far from sure she would be accepted. The conference is usually filled with graduate students close to finishing their doctorates and with active scholars in the field, including among them the very highest respected in Romantic and Victorian literary scholarship. I found out later that three of my friends in the English doctoral program at UGA were rejected, which shows just how fierce the Junior Katie Sawhill competition was this year,” Griffiths said. The honor of traveling to the conference comes after learning and experiencing life in Nottingham. “I went for the experience, not necessarily the academic studies. The classes are very different. My literature class grade was split between two papers,” recalls Sawhill. Sawhill is an interdisciplinary studies major at Piedmont, with a focus on English and theatre. “I don’t know what I will be doing after college,” says Sawhill. “I would not see myself participating in academia. I’m more interested in writing fiction and plays. But who knows? After this conference I may change my mind.” s

PC to host high school Debate Camp

High school students interested in debate can sign up now for a summer debate camp to be held at Piedmont College in Demorest. The three-day camp will be held June 24-26 and is primarily for students who are interested in learning the fundamentals of debate and argumentation. Students will stay on campus and the cost is $150. This includes housing and meals daily in the Piedmont College dining hall. Interested students should register before June 15, 2009. The camp is ideal for high school students with little or no past debate experience. The camp is recommended for students seeking basic instruction in various types of debate and public presentations such as Parliamentary, Policy, World Debate and Public Speaking. Alfred C. Snider will be the guest lecturer and instructor during the camp. Snider is the Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Forensics at the University of Vermont, where he teaches courses in debate, argumentation, persuasion and rhetorical analysis. He is also the Director of the World Debate Institute and the Lawrence Debate Union. He has participated in debate training in 25 different countries and has trained debaters from over 35 nations. For more information or to register, contact the Debate Camp director, Dr. Janice Moss at Piedmont College at 706-778-300 extension 1154 or e-mail More information and registration is also available at the Piedmont College website at www. s


‘Lessons and Carols’ and ‘Great Composers’ The Piedmont College Chorale and Chamber Singers presented two SRO performances during the 2008-09 year, including the annual Service of Lessons and Carols and a Great Composers Concert featuring the works of Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn. The Piedmont ensembles, along with the Habersham Central High School Singers presented their annual “Concert of Lessons and Carols” Dec. 5-6, in the Center for Worship and Music at the Demorest campus. This program marked the 20th anniversary of the annual concert, which includes readings from the story of the birth of Christ, accompanied by choral pieces. The Service of Lessons and Carols was started 20 years ago by Dr. James F. Mellichamp as a performance opportunity for the college’s relatively new choral program and as a gift to the community. Over the past 20 years, 16 under the direction of Wallace Hinson, the program has grown to two performances with the Piedmont Chorale, Chamber Singers, Habersham Central High School Singers, accompanied by a the Piedmont Brass Quintet, and the Sewell Pipe Organ. To celebrate the 20th year of the event, new pieces that explore the full range of the Sewell Organ were added to the repertoire by composers including Hubert Parry, George Guest, Andrew Bleckner, Tim Blickhan, John Ness Beck, Leo Nestor, Robert Convery, John Rutter, Frances Poulenc, and Felix Mendelssohn. Also, there were new carols sung by the choirs and audience, and a performance by Dr. Andrea Price, soprano, the college’s newly appointed assistant professor of voice and coordinator of the voice program. In April, the Chamber Singers and Chorale combined with a 33-piece orchestra to present the annual Great Composers Concert. “This year’s event commemorated the work of three classical composers,” Hinson said. “Their association on the program is due to the coming together of three anniversaries in 2009: the 250th year since Handel’s death in 1759, and the 200th since Haydn’s death and Mendelssohn’s birth in 1809.” s (Right) Audience members join in the singing during the 20th Annual Service of Lessons and Carols held in December.


Torch adds new members

Torch adds members

The Torch of Piedmont, an honor society for women, inducted 14 new members at its April meeting. Pictured, front from left, are Abby White, Laurel Carter, Jennifer Gathercoal, Rita Kingsolver, Katie Simpson, Lindsay Drevlow, and Becky Burrow; back: Kimberly Loudermilk, Jessica Dalton, Brandi Meadows, Courtney Branson, Stacy Chapman, and Tanisha Wright. Not pictured is Katherine Cummings.

Pleysier issues second book on Leningrad Professor of history Dr. Al Pleysier has written a new book on one of the epic battles of World War II. “Frozen Tears: The Blockade and Battle of Leningrad” provides a detailed look at the siege of the former Russian capital (now called St. Petersburg). In 1941, German and Finnish troops surrounded the city and began a relentless bombing and artillery campaign. Without electricity and running water, and with very little food, the three million inhabitants of the city held out for three years before the blockade was lifted in 1944. By then more than one million Leningraders had died.

Gospel Choir performs The Gospel Choir, a new ensemble organized by student Portia Burns (right), performed in February at the annual African American Music Celebration held this year at Cornelia United Methodist Church. Burns is the recipient of the Lachicotte-Strickland Scholarship, funded by the Alliance for African-American Music in Habersham County that sponsors the concert each year. Pictured (top) from left are Katie Clements, Erin Ashcraft, TaShara Lee, Phillip Slusser, John Paul Jordan, Luke Story, Skylier Ross, and Maghan Holmes. Not pictured is Tianashan Jones. s

Pleysier said “Frozen Tears” is the result of his research for an earlier book, which examined the siege through the eyes of a 10-year-old child, Svetlana Magayeva, who survived the ordeal. “In researching that book, I realized that most of the books written about the battle of Leningrad emphasized the suffering endured by the people who lived in the city during the siege. I hoped to present a more comprehensive study of the events that took place in the city during the siege,” he said. The book recounts events leading up to the blockade and tells the story on a personal level using accounts from diaries, letters and interviews of those who endured the siege. Pleysier said that as food supplies ran low, the city’s inhabitants were forced to boil leather, wall paper and even book bindings to extract small amounts of nourishment. Even in the face of such hardship, the Leningraders tried to maintain as much normal life as possible. “I was surprised that at the close of December 1941, the city authorities gave each family in Leningrad a bottle of wine and some candy,” Pleysier said. “It was done in celebration of the New Year. This was at a time when thousands of people were dying each day from starvation and when the supply of food in the city was very low. I assume that it was done to bolster the morale of the people.” s


Shakespeare gets a new look in PCT’s production of ‘As You Like It’

Shakespeare received a 1960s-style makeover in the PCT production of “As You Like It” in February. The Bard’s “love conquers all” comedy played on the Swanson Center Mainstage under guest director Lisa Cesnik of Athens. Cesnick set the play in the mid-1960s and used familiar tunes and fashions from the period. While she believes that Shakespeare’s themes and stories are timeless, Cesnik feels this adaptation makes his work more accessible to a 2009 audience. Cesnik has worked in theatre professionally for 20 years and earned her MFA from the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at UGA in 2001. She has directed at many theaters throughout the U.S., including venues in Chicago, Richmond, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. While working in Chicago, she won a “Critic’s Choice” award from the Chicago Reader for her direction of “My Dirty Little Secret.” In 2006, she founded the Rose of Athens Theatre in Athens, Ga., and she has an ongoing relationship with the Springer Opera House in Columbus, where she teaches at the Springer Theatre Academy. Cesnik has also performed lead roles in many productions including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and “Romeo and Juliet.” s


Don’t Let Your Chance to ‘Pass It On’ Slip Away

As we wind down the school year, our 2008-2009 annual fund also comes to a close. Don’t be left behind, join other alumni and friends and Pass It On. Use the enclosed envelope to make your gift now.

Think about it . . .

• Where did the scholarship or financial assistance that you received come from? • Who gave for YOUR financial assistance? • Did you receive a named alumni scholarship? • How can YOU Pass It On to the next generation of Piedmont College students?

Giving Ideas . . .

• You can give to clubs. • You can give to Named & Alumni Scholarships such as the Mary L. Griggs Mathematics Scholarship, the W.O. Spaeth Science Scholarship, or the Imogene Johnson Education Scholarship, just to name a few. • You can give to an individual academic department to help students in a particular field of study. • You can give “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” someone. • You can give “Where It Is Needed Most.”

Pass It On! For

nearly all of its 112year history, Piedmont College has provided students with some type of financial aid. In today’s world, a strong financial aid package is increasingly important to attract and retain high-quality students. In fact 96 percent of Piedmont students benefit from financial aid, much of it provided by the generosity of those alumni who decided to Pass It On!

Your gift to the Fund for Piedmont is the most effective way for alumni, friends, parents and students to demonstrate their belief in our mission. Any gift, no matter the amount, will assist Piedmont College in attracting and retaining high-quality students. Our fiscal year ends June 30, 2009, so join others as we Pass It On to the next generation of Piedmont students. Your support is appreciated.



Athens Religion Conference examines interfaith relations Some 100 religous leaders and lay persons from around the Southeast gathered at the Athens Campus Feb. 21 for the second annual conference on Religion and the Liberal Arts.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, Butman Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Piedmont, led the symposium and delivered the keynote address. Titled “Who is My Neighbor? A Changing Religious South,” this year’s conference focused on interfaith issues and how, no matter the religious affiliation, people should all be able to coexist and understand each other.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, who recently published a new book, “An Altar in the World,” was the keynote speaker for the Piedmont symposium on interfaith relations.

Speakers from the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist faiths spoke and conducted workshops on what organizations can do to promote interfaith understanding and cooperation.

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva

Presenters included Brendan Ozawa-de Silva of the Emory-Tibet Partnership; Jan Swanson and Imam Plemon El-Amin of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam World Pilgrims (a program of the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta); Mitch Cohen and Denise Etheridge of Shalom b’Harim, The Jewish Community of the North Georgia Mountains; Rabbi Ronald Gerson and Pastor Edward R. Bolen of The Abraham Alliance of Athens; and Kemal Korucu of The Istanbul Center of Atlanta. After the workshops, attendees met for a worship service led by Taylor and Piedmong College Chaplain Ashley Cleere. Attendees were also treated to

music by the Piedmont College Chamber Singers. s

Ashley Cleere and Zvi Altman

Rabbi Ronald Gerson

Jan Swanson

Kemal Korucu


Imam Plemon El-Amin

Mitch Cohen

OBITUARIES Former Piedmont Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Webster Walker II, 87, of Vero Beach, Fla., died Oct. 23, 2008, at his residence in Vero Beach. Mr. Walker was born in Bridgeport, Conn., and moved to Vero Beach 38 years ago. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy during World War II and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. He served on the Piedmont board for 18 years, five as chairman. The Walker School of Business is named in his honor. In addition to serving Piedmont College, he was a trustee of the Taft School in Watertown, Conn., and at Yale University, where he graduated in 1944. He worked for the St. Regis Paper Company for 25 years and served on the boards of numerous companies, including Carpenter Technology Corp., Marine Bank and Trust Co. of Vero Beach, and Bulldog Equipment Leasing. He also served numerous community and civic organizations, including the Rotary Club; VNA and Hospice House Foundation; Vero Beach YMCA; Hospital Sumaritano in Sao Paulo, Brasil; and the Homeless Services Council. He served on the boards of several charitable foundations, including as chairman of the Camp-Younts Foundation. He is survived by his wife of 58 years Alethea Kunhardt of Vero Beach; daughter Antoinette Camp Walker Hamner ; two sons, Harry Webster Walker III and Gilford Buchanan Walker; and 10 grandchildren. Piedmont College Trustee Emerita Clifford Davie Parsons Ritchie (’34) of Cornelia died May 16, 2009. Born in Flowery Branch, Mrs. Ritchie taught at Cornelia Elementary School for 15 years and succeeded her husband as owner of Cornelia Oil Company. A member of Cornelia United Methodist Church, she was a longtime Sunday School teacher, choir member, and a member of the Tilly Stinespring Circle. She served on the Habersham County Library Board and was a past director of the Habersham Association for Retarded Children. In 2006, she received the first Civil Servants Award from the City of Cornelia. Mrs. Ritchie served for many years as a trustee of the College and in 1984 was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree. (Obituaries continue on Page 29.)


Piedmont Alumni Association award winners include, from left, Vijay Purugulla (’08 Ed.S.), Shirley Meeks (’72), Katie Deal Wright (’02), Kristen Hart Lewis (’99, ’00 M.P.A.), and Marion Hunt (’55), with association vice president Robin Coile (’82).

Alumni Association honors outstanding graduates The Piedmont College Alumni Association recognized five graduates at its annual Awards Banquet held during Alumni Weekend April 17-18 in Demorest. Marion Hunt of Athens, Shirley Meeks of Homer, Vijay Purugulla of Woodstock, Kristen Hart Lewis of Ellijay, and Katie Deal Wright of Gainesville were all honored for their achievements in their careers and service to the college and their communities. Hunt, a member of the Class of 1955, received the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his 50-year career as a music teacher in Georgia, California and Oregon. Hunt earned a B.A. degree in music at Piedmont and taught in Thomaston before moving to California, where he taught music in public schools in San Francisco from 1956-1989. While there he studied music at Claremont Graduate School, Stanford University, San Francisco State, and the University of California. He also taught during 15 summers at the Interlochen Arts Center in Michigan. In 1989, Hunt moved to Medford, Ore., and operated a piano studio until retiring to Athens in 2005. In Oregon, he was president of the Rogue Valley Chapter of Oregon Music Teachers Association, and served on the state OMTA executive board for 13 years, four years as State Ensemble Chair. The Excellence in Education Award went to Purugulla, who earned an education specialist degree at Piedmont in 2008. A science teacher at Creekview High School in Cherokee County, Purugulla teaches honors anatomy and physiology and developed the school’s Student Leadership Team. He also started the school’s cross country team, leading it to the state meet twice in its first four years. Purugulla earned his undergraduate degree at

Birmingham Southern College and has taught as an adjunct professor at Georgia Perimeter College. Meeks, a member of the Piedmont Class of 1972, is retired as a teacher and principal in Habersham County. She received the Alumni Service Award for her work with the Alumni Association and in the community with the Kiwanis Club and Prevent Child Abuse Habersham County. Meeks served on the Piedmont Board of Trustees as an alumni representative, and she is an active member of the Alumni Association, having worked to organize the annual Cave Memorial Golf Tournament. The association presented two Pacesetter Awards, which recognize alumni who exhibit outstanding achievement early in their careers, to Wright and Lewis. Wright graduated from Piedmont in 2002 with a degree in theatre. A singer and actress, she is currently touring nationally in “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” and has previously portrayed the late country singer in “Always, Patsy Cline.” Lewis graduated from Piedmont magna cum laude in 1999 and in 2000 earned a master of public administration degree. Since 2001, she has served as executive director and finance director at the Appalachian Children’s Center in Ellijay, serving Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties. In 2002, she was named to the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia State Board of Directors and was recently appointed to serve on the state advisory board for CACGA. In addition to her work at the Center, Lewis has also chaired manly local committees on the prevention of child abuse. She and her husband, Dr. Lyn Lewis, also own Appalachian Animal Hospital, one of the largest veterinary hospitals in north Georgia. s


‘Light the Night’ Students on the Athens Campus were joined by a familiar hairy face as they got ready to kick off a “Light the Night” walk to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Pictured above, front from left, are Ashley Jordan, Brittany Calvin, and Talore Salter; back: Chaplain Ashley Cleere, Randall King, Lynn Miller, HAIRY DAWG, Lisa Henderson, Kholi Smith, Asia Creech, Devin Granato, and Kim Singco. Pictured (right) during the walk are Talore Salter, Mel Palmer, Ashley Jordan, and Kholi Smith.

Business school adds honor society chapter Hope Marie McEntyre receives her Delta Mu Delta pin from Dr. Mel Coe during an induction ceremony at the Athens Campus for the new business academic honor society. Some 13 students at Demorest and Athens were among the first members of the Lambda Iota Chapter. Delta Mu Delta was founded in 1913 by professors at Harvard, Yale and New York University to recognize and encourage academic excellence of business students at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.


Fall Sports Recap The Piedmont athletic department provided another successful fall season. The men’s soccer team posted its third consecutive 11-win season and finished runner up in the Great South Athletic Conference regular season and in the championship tournament. The Lions placed five players on the All-Conference Team and a pair on the All-Freshman team, highlighted by junior Jorge Pradilla being named the GSAC Player of the Year. Pradilla finished as the NCAA DivisionIII leader in points per game (3.11) and goals per game (1.37) in the year’s final statistics. The women’s soccer team finished with an overall record of 13-6, an eight game improvement from the previous season. Under the direction of first-year head coach Stephen Andrew (’04, M’07) the Lady Lions placed five players on the Great South All-Conference Team, highlighted by Justine Clay being named the Freshman of the Year. The men’s golf team claimed three tournament titles, winning the 3rd Annual Piedmont College Fall Invitational, the 6th Annual The Orchard Fall Invitational, and the 1st Annual Georgia Mountains Trophy. Junior Clifton Barton anchored the team with a scoring average of 72.8 and finished in the top-5 in five tournaments. Barton also hoisted the individual title at the Georgia Mountains Trophy, finishing three strokes ahead of the field. On the women’s side, the Lady Lions

were crowned champions of the Hollins University Fall Invitational. Senior Lynne Laseter led the team with a scoring average of 82.9 and posted a pair of top-5 finishes. The women also rewrote the record books at the 6th Annual The Orchard Fall Invitational, where they carded a single round score of 350, the best team total in the five-year program history. In cross country the Lions were highlighted by Michael Fidero claiming the Great South Athletic Conference individual championship. Fidero finished nearly one full minute ahead of the field. In addition to his conference championship, Fidero also took the individual trophy at the Maryville College Pre-Conference Invitational, becoming the first runner in school history to accomplish the feat. The volleyball team finished in second place behind Maryville College in both the regular season and the tournament championships. PC finished the 2008 season with an overall record of 25-7. Tyler Baldonado, Nikki Cole, Katie Tucker and Meghann Clark were all named to the All-Conference team. Baldonado led the conference in assists per game (9.05). Junior Cole was third in the conference in kills per game (2.59), followed by Clark who was sixth in kills per game (2.02). Rachel Powell was named to the league’s AllFreshman team. The middle hitter posted 63 kills and 39 total blocks in her first year with the squad. s

Jorge Pradilla, GSAC Pla Year, led all of the NCAA yer of the D-III with 26 goals in 2008.

Senior Alan Creasy of Snellville scored the lone goal in the Lions 1-0 win over LaGrange College.

18 19

Michael Fidero

Lynne Laseter

GSAC Freshman of the Year, Justine Clay

Teresa Maye

Clifton Barton

Beth Adcock was the Lady Lions MVP.


Winter sports athletes recognized by Letter Club The Piedmont Letter Club recognized outstanding athletes in men’s and women’s basketball and cheerleading at a banquet held March 15 at the campus in Demorest. Women’s basketball coach Jamie Childs-Purdy introduced the 2008-09 Lady Lions, who ended their season with a 10-16 record after a 1-9 start in the first half of the season. “We had to struggle this year after graduating six players and having two injured,” she said. “But I was proud of our athletes for staying with it and never giving up.” Senior Beth Adcock of Flowery Branch, who averaged 10.4 points per game, was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the fourth consecutive season and was also named to the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) AllConference and All-Academic teams. Kayla Duncan, a 6-foot senior from Commerce, was selected as the Best Offensive Player after finishing the season 44 percent from the floor. Lisa Jennings, who led the team with 59 steals on the season, earned the Best Defensive Player trophy. Jennings, a junior from Suwanee, also averaged 10.2 points. Sophomore Laura Simmons of

Gainesville was named to the GSAC AllConference and All-Academic teams. She finished as the team points leader and averaged 10.6 points per game. Sophomore Courtney Odum of Hoschton and junior Emily Woodward of Brooks were named to the All-Academic Team. Freshman Amber Satterfield of McCaysville earned the Lady Lions Coach’s Award. With a young team that included no seniors and four juniors, the men’s basketball team also struggled through an 8-18 season. The team’s future looks brighter though, as Justin Rush of Bethlehem was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year. The 6’-2” guard averaged 11.1 points and had 25 steals on the season. Junior J.C. Herebia of Pharr, Texas, was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after leading all scorers with 17.7 points per game. Herebia also was named to the GSAC All-Conference Team and was the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association Newcomer of the Year and an All-State player. Tracey Gardner, a freshman from Gainesville, earned the Coach’s Award; while Ringgold sophomore Phillip Sloan earned the Teammate of the Year award. Will Martin, a junior from McDonough took the team Academic Award. Michael Rubio, a junior from Cumming, was named to the GSAC AllConference Team. He and Sam Coppage, a junior from Ringgold, were named to the GABCA Honorable Mention team. The GSAC All-Academic team includes Martin, Rubio, Mike Chatman of Snellville, Daniel Lampl of Pendergrass, and Phillip Sloan of Ringgold.

Cindy Dye earned the Most Spirited award.

Junior J.C. Herebia was the Lion’s MVP.



Senior Kayla Duncan was named the Best Offensive Player.

Tyler Baldonado led the GSAC in assists.

The GABCA All-Academic team included Chatman, Gardner, Lample, Martin, Rubio, Sloan, Josh Chapman of Gainesville, Michael Gunsolus of Edison, and Josh Haymore of Gainesville. In cheerleading, junior Sarah Simler of Buford earned the MVP award and was a co-captain. The Most Spirited award went to sophomore Cindy Dye of Rabun Gap, and junior Danielle Vidd of Cumming took home the Most Improved trophy. Junior Kristin Payne of Hoschton earned the Coach’s Award, while senior Renee Lowry of Madison and junior Melissa Crain of Gillsville were also co-captains. s


Justin Rush was the GSAC Freshman of the Year.

‘Lefty’ Cronic throws first pitch in G-Braves win

PC Hall of Famer Tony Wolfe (‘88, M’00), center, with teammate Ronnie Bennett (‘85 M’99), left, and ‘P’ Club president Michael Williams (‘91).

‘P’ Club names two to Sports Hall of Fame Guin ‘Lefty’ Cronic sends a high fast one to G-Braves right fielder Rick Gorecki as he throws out the first pitch in the G-Braves game against Durham.

When the Atlanta Crackers returned to Georgia as the Gwinnett Braves, who better to toss out a game-opening pitch than former Cracker hurler Guin “Lefty” Cronic (’48) of Lula. Cronic was invited to do the honors at the G-Braves game May 11 against the Durham Bulls in the new Gwinnett Stadium. It was enough to lift the home team to a 4-1 victory. Cronic was a member of the 1942 Piedmont baseball team that New York Yankee scout Johnny Nee once called “Probably the best college team in the deep South.” The next year Cronic signed with the Crackers and pitched several games before joining the Navy for the duration of World War II, primarily in the Philippines. After the war, he played some more minor league ball in 1946 with the Waycross Bears in the Georgia-Florida League, picking up 12 wins and nine losses and batting .284. Cronic then returned to Piedmont, graduating in 1948 with a B.S. degree in biology before starting out on a long career in education as a teacher and administrator. He retired as principal of Lula Elementary School. Two of his sons, David and Philip, were with him at the game Tuesday. David Cronic said his father always has had an affinity for baseball. “We played when we were kids, and he was always a good coach,” he said. s

The Piedmont College Letter Club added two diamond Lions to the roster of the Letter Club Hall of Fame when the club met during Alumni Weekend in April. Tony Wolfe (’88) of Buford and Gerald Dunn (’65) of Canton were inducted for their deeds on the field while students at the college in Demorest and for their subsequent careers in coaching baseball. Dunn was a baseball standout for four years at Piedmont under coach O’Neal Cave, finishing his senior year with the team’s highest batting average at .320. Dunn was a founding member of the Cherokee County Boys and Girls Clubs and has coached in the Canton Little League and Dizzy Dean Baseball leagues. He is currently coaching a 12-year-old team that will travel to Cooperstown, New York, this July to play in a tournament at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wolfe was a pitcher for the Lions from 1981-83 and now teaches and coaches at Buford High School, where he has been the head baseball coach since 1996. He has compiled a record of 219-122 and his teams have been region champs four times. He also coached softball for two years at Buford, winning back-to-back state titles. s

Gerald Dunn, third from left, was inducted into the Piedmont Athletics Hall of Fame. Pictured with Dunn are his wife, Peggy, and teammate Arnold Meeks (‘65), left, and ‘P’ Club president Michael Williams.


Wallace State history and genealogy professor Bob Davis (’78), right, looks over recently discovered antebellum newspapers with Michael Rose of the Atlanta History Center.

Alumni Spotlight:

Davis preserving local history of Natural Resources in 1974. Then from When a treasure trove of antebellum 1976 to 1991 he worked as a writer and and Civil War-era Georgia newspapers private history researcher. Being a freeturned up in the attic of a house in Canlance researcher is a little like being a priton a few years ago, Bob Davis could not vate eye, he said, but no guns and most of wait to get a look at them. A professor the people he investigated were long dead. of history and genealogy at Wallace State Still there were unusual assignments, such College in Alabama, Davis has always as the time he was asked to track down been interested not only in the big themes the origins of a South Georgia steam enof Georgia and U.S. history, but also in gine. During this time, he also wrote literthe details of people’s lives—the detail that ally hundreds of articles about everything only a stack of local newspapers almost 200 from the Revyears old can proolutionary vide. War battle of Davis is direc‘Being a freelance researcher is a little Kettle Creek tor of the Famlike being a private eye, but no guns ...’ to cannon ily and Regional makers of the History Program Confederacy at Wallace State, for professional historical, library, educaa program that he started to teach untion, and archival journals. dergraduates how to conduct historical Davis joined Wallace State as a proresearch at the local level, and—just as fessor of history in 1991, and there he important—how to preserve those records started the Family and Regional History for future use. Program, which has pioneered the study Originally from Atlanta, Davis graduof local history at the college level. In ated from Piedmont in 1978 with a B.A. 2006, the American Association for State degree in history and a minor in psycholand Local History awarded the program ogy. He later earned a master of education with its Outstanding Leadership in Hisdegree from North Georgia College (now tory Award of Merit. As a member of the North Georgia College and State UniverAlabama Governor’s Historical Records sity) and a master of arts degree in history Commission, he has also been a tireless from the University of Alabama at Birspeaker at hundreds of meetings of civic, mingham. genealogical, and historical organizations, Davis got his first taste of working as working to raise public awareness on sava professional historian while serving as a ing local government records. s history intern for the Georgia Department


Piedmont biology professor Dr. Rick Austin (’90) got his first taste of life under the gold dome of the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta this past January. Austin, who served four years as a Habersham County Commissioner, was elected to the state House of Representatives for District 10, which includes Habersham County and parts of White County. Pictured with Austin during the swearing-in day at the dome is his wife, Jennifer (’90), and their sons Sloan and Brice.

Shaw receives Cox award

Ricky Shaw (’07) of Baldwin was awarded the Jim Cox Jr. Alumni Award for Community Journalism by the mass communications department. A writer with The Northeast Georgian newspaper in Habersham County, Shaw said the program “took a 45 year old who was starting over with little direction in his life and not only gave me direction, but a purpose as well. For that I will always be grateful.”

Diamond Lions hold alumni reunion game

Alumni baseball players got together in October for a reunion match up. Pictured, front from left, are Justin Oates, Trey McCay, Travis Hunt, DJ Johnson, Cole Spedale, CJ Edenfield, and Tom Dimitroff. Back: Head Coach Jim Peeples, Walker Searcy, Ian McClary, Stan Brosko, Trey Fowler, BJ Hampton, Matt Copeland, Steve McClain, Andrew Wagner, RJ Wellinger, Billy Secor, Joe Durski, Ian McMaster, Stuart Lancaster, Mike Santowski, Terry Roberson, David Huffman, and Evan Nissley.

Kokesh, Piper and Rose retire

The retirement bug hit three Piedmont faculty and staff members at the end of the spring semester. Pictured from left are Carol Kokesh, Bill Piper, and Richard Rose with president Ray Cleere at a faculty meeting to honor their years with the college. Kokesh has served as director of graduate admissions for the past 10 years. She joined the college in 1993 as assistant to the director of the Program for Adult Learners (PAL). Piper joined Piedmont in 1997 as dean of the Walker School of Business, overseeing that school’s growth in Demorest and Athens and the addition of an M.B.A. program. Rose joined Piedmont in 2005, and as chairman of the Theatre Department guided the growth of the program from tiny Jenkins Theater to its new home in the Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Mass Communications.


PC receives gift of alum’s paintings Piedmont College received an unusual gift box in the mail recently—a collection of 150 artworks by noted New England painter Jerush Montez Paskowsky. Jerush grew up in Columbus, Ga., and met her husband, Walter Paskowsky (’38), at Piedmont. When the couple moved to New England in 1938, she began pursuing a lifelong passion for painting, and her favorite subject was the rocky shoreline near their home in Wilmington, Mass. Over the years, Jerush became a noted painter of New England seascapes. Her works were exhibited at galleries in New York and across New England. She was known for her sensitive interpretation of the changing seasons along the rugged coast, and her works won numerous awards. Jerush and Walter established a scholarship for Piedmont students many years ago; and when she died at age 91, she bequeathed a collection of 150 of her oil and watercolor paintings to her alma mater. The collection is now being cataloged by the Arrendale Library staff for future display.

Go online with PC In the Piedmont College alumni office we are always exploring new ways to keep in touch with our alumni in an ever-growing online era. E-mail, e-newsletters, Facebook and Linkedin are some of the avenues we are using. If you haven’t been receiving our monthly e-newsletter you are missing out! Don’t miss the most up-to-date news, recaps of athletic events, and announcements of upcoming events. Simply send your e-mail address to You can get a free permanent Piedmont alumni e-mail address by using the form online or to the right on this page. Facebook users will love reconnecting through our Piedmont College Alumni Group. Events and news are posted on a regular basis. We welcome your postings as well, as we want to make this a more dynamic site and YOU can help make that happen! Right now we have 311 fans. Come join us! Linkedin is a professional networking site where Piedmont College has an alumni group. We have only just begun here, but encourage you to join the group and network with one another.

Dr. Ray Cleere, Brandy Aycock, Bob Glass and Jusin Scali unpack the collection of artwork donated by Jerush Montez Paskowsky.


alumni can now have a free e-mail address

Piedmont College alumni can get a free, permanent e-mail address, show their Piedmont pride, and keep in touch with the Alumni Office with a new service offered by the college. Students who graduated in Spring 2008 and afterward will retain their Piedmont e-mail addresses. Alumni who graduated before that date can now sign up as well. With a permanent Piedmont e-mail address, you won’t have to change e-mail addresses each time you move or change jobs. You can even set up your account to automatically forward your e-mail to any other account you may have. Your Piedmont e-mail account will include five gigabytes of storage and is administered by Microsoft to guarantee secure and reliable service. To sign up, fill out the form below and mail it to: Brandy Aycock, Piedmont College, P.O. Box 10, Demorest GA 30535. Or, go to to sign up online. Once your e-mail account is set up, you will receive a confirmation with directions and your password. Your Piedmont e-mail address will consist of your first initial, last name, birth month and birthday For example John Doe, who was born on May 8, would be

NAME _________________________________________________________ ADDRESS ______________________________________________________ CITY _________________________ STATE ___________ ZIP ___________ PHONE __________________________ PRESENT EMAIL ADDRESS ______________________________________ BIRTHDAY _____________ ______________ MONTH DAY


Howard “Doc” Ayers (’49) of Cedartown, who coached the undefeated 1965 UGA freshmen football team, was honored at a reunion of the team hosted by one of the players, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and held at the Governor’s Mansion on Aug. 15, 2008. Said Ayers of his former player, “If I had known he was going to be governor, I would have put him on scholarship.” George and Rena West Holt (’58) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 23, 2008. The Holts invite everyone to attend their annual Sunflower Farm Festival, July 4-5, 2009, near Rutledge. Judy Lerch (’68-69) of Atlanta has been named assistant vice president of The Buckhead Community Bank. Originally from Stroudsburg, Pa., Judy has been with the bank for seven years and prior to her promotion served as head teller. Few Hembree (’70) of Atlanta has enjoyed traveling across the U.S. since retiring in 2002 from the State of Georgia. Hembree also visits friends in The Netherlands each year, and he works as a poll manager for Fulton County elections.

Historic Site in Bloomington. She also serves as a member of the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission. Danielle and her husband, Mike, are otherwise busy with an ongoing home renovation, their many animals, and volunteer projects. Dackri Davis (’93) of Kennesaw is the assistant principal and athletic director at Kell High School in Cobb County. Dackri is working on a Ph.D. in educational policy studies at Georgia State University. Kathie Ivester (’97) has been named dean of academic affairs at North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville. She had previously served as curriculum program specialist with the Technical College System of Georgia. Angela (Halbur) Amrine (’98) and husband Mike are living in Calera, Ala., where she teaches third grade at Vestavia Hills Elementary School. They have two daughters, ages 6 years and 22 months. Fila Martinez (’99) has accepted a tenuretrack position in Spanish at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

The Rev. Dr. Tom Richard (’70) of Oak Creek, Wis., is in the eighth year of a 10-year term of office as the executive secretary of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Tom also serves on the Piedmont Board of Trustees and is a new first-time grandfather. “Young Tucker has stolen our hearts.” Lorna Landers Long Reece (’72) of Mt. Airy is enjoying her 15th year of retirement after teaching elementary education for 21 years. Lorna enjoys traveling and in England visited with a pen pal she has had since high school. She has three daughters, five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. “How could anyone deserve to be as blessed as I am,” she wrote. Lorna is also active with Habersham Retired Educators, and has served two terms as president. Robert Haldane Jr. (’82 Hon. D.D.) of Malden, Mass., has published “A de-Creed Story—The Rest of the Story of Jesus,” based on his years as a minister in New England and Michigan. Pamela Segers (’86) of Mt. Airy has joined the Piedmont Campus Police and is also an adjunct instructor teaching criminal justice courses at the Demorest campus. Danielle Bachant-Bell (’90) lives in Bloomington, Ind., and recently launched her own historic preservation consulting business, Lord & Bach Consulting. Danielle previously worked for 10 years in the nonprofit sector, most recently as the coordinator of the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead Museum &

County School System.

Tony (00’) and Julie (02’) McCullers announce the birth of their daughter, Maeve Annlee McCullers, born March 2, 2009. She joins her big brother, Cam, who is three. Tony and Julie both teach in the Oconee

Rachel Davidson Sulhoff (’01) and her husband, David, are living in Montgomery, Ala. David is an officer in the Air Force, and they previously lived in South Dakota and Alaska. He is currently on a one-year tour in Afghanistan. They have three children: Andrew, 5; Elizabeth, 3; Hannah, 1; and a fourth due in September. J. Celena Williams (’02) recently opened C7 Marketing and Sales Solutions at Apple Square Business Plaza in Cornelia. The company offers, marketing and budget consultation, graphic design, websites, promotional items, event planning, video production, sales presentations, and sales training. “We’re excited to be in Cornelia and excited to still be a part of the community that made C7 Marketing and Sales possible! Thanks Piedmont!” she wrote.

Addie Mae Wamsley (’02) and Jason Hans Thomas of Chester, S.C., were married March 7, 2009, in Winston. Addie is a teacher at Sikes School in Douglasville, and Jason is an engineer for a South Carolina medical company. Felicia McDaneld (’03) of Tacoma, Wash., has been crowned Mrs. Washington Plus America 2009. She will compete with women from all over the United States for the title of Miss Plus America Elite in July of 2009. “I am so proud to represent my state and look forward to showing the rest of the nation all the beauty Washington has to offer,” Felicia said. “My personal motto is ‘God doesn’t make mistakes.’ What I mean is that He made us all different for a reason. It’s our differences that give life excitement and spice.”

(Above) Patricia Roberts Williams (’03) and husband Joshua of Loganville welcomed their fourth child, Alexander Lee Williams on Sept. 24, 2008. He joins, Aurora Sunshine Roberts (5), Aubrey VC Williams (3), and Alena Marie Williams (1 1/2). Kim Massey (’04) has passed part one of the US Medical Licensing Exam. She is currently doing clinical rotations in Baltimore and is scheduled to graduate in May 2010.


Misty Chandler Rice (’04, M’05) of Mt. Airy and husband Daryl announce the birth of a son, Connor Jeffrey, born Dec. 19, 2008. “Daddy, Mommy, and Connor are all doing great … I will miss singing with the group, but my Mommy duty is calling.” Danette Chancey Hughes (‘04) and her husband, Andy, announce the arrival of twins. Autumn Alexis and Alexander Aiden were born Aug. 24, 2008. Danette is a kindergarten teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary School in Blue Ridge. Angela Hallmon Velmosky (’04) and Aaron Velmosky (’03) of Jacksonville, Fla., welcomed their first child, Zachary William, on Dec. 21, 2007. Angela teaches third grade at Crown Point Elementary School in Duval County and Aaron is an attorney in Jacksonville. Saul Olvera (’06, M’08) is teaching middle-grades business at Macon Middle School in Franklin, N.C. Lori Vaughn (’06) and Trent Smallwood (’07) were married July 26, 2008. Lori is a kindergarten teacher at Spout Springs Elementary School in Hall County and recently completed a master’s degree at Walden University. Trent teaches at Centennial Elementary School and is an assistant varsity baseball coach at Gainesville High School. Drew Bailey (’07), has been named head basketball coach at Crisp Academy in Cordele. Drew has been in Knoxville, Tenn., serving as an assistant basketball coach and doing his student teaching at The Webb School while working on a masters degree in teacher education. At Crisp Academy he will also be teaching U.S. history and geography

Candace Felice (’07) is program director for Piedmont Radio Station WPPR (88.3), part of the Georgia Public Radio network. Danielle Bailey Miller (’07) and Jeremy Miller (’99) are both active in area theaters. Jeremy is the technical director for the Highlands Playhouse in Highlands, N.C., and recently worked with Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta on their production of The Snow Queen. Danielle is assistant general manager for the Highlands Playhouse and recently directed a show at the Habersham Community Theater in Clarkesville. Both Danielle and Jeremy performed in the recent Piedmont production of As You Like It, and they could be seen in Macbeth at the Rose of Athens Theater in March 2009.

Linda Goetze (M’08) and husband Nick announce the birth of twins, Nathaniel Kurt and Nicole Marie, on Nov. 15, 2008. Linda teaches special education at Lee Eaton Elementary School in Northfield, Ohio; and Nick is the men’s golf coach at the University of Akron. Amanda Hendrix (’08) of Demorest and Jesse Lewis were married Oct. 18, 2008. Amanda is now the admissions office manager at Tallulah Falls School. George Larsen (’08) has been accepted to the doctoral program in physics at the University of Georgia.

Justin Poole (’07) of Baldwin is a sports writer for the Banks News Today in Homer. Savannah Johnson Adams (’08) of Cleveland, now at Emory University, is one of 15 graduate students nationwide to receive a research scholarship from the Swiss government to study in Switzerland. She plans to study nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of proteins with one of the developers of the technique, Dr. Beat Meir. Mary Ann Alexander (’08) of Douglasville received a $2,000 grant from The Fund for Theological Education, based in Atlanta. Alexander plans to attend seminary school in the fall of 2009. Sylvia Gilbert (’08) of Greensboro is a fourth grade teacher at Greensboro Elementary School, where she teaches an inclusive class. “The faculty and staff are very supportive to me, and I love my job!!” she writes.

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TEACHERS OF THE YEAR ACHERS OF THE YEA Ryan Baker (’05, M’07) was selected Teacher of the Year at the Habersham Ninth Grade Academy.

Nathan Herndon (M’07) was selected as Teacher of the Year at Elbert County Middle School.

Jillien Wells Andrews (’04, M’06) has been named Teacher of the Year at Washington-Wilkes Elementary School and is the countywide Teacher of the Year for Wilkes County.

Melea Medders Tennant (M’00) was named Teacher of the Year at Calhoun Primary School.

Daphne Sarell, (Ed.S.’09) has been selected as the Teacher of Year for Union County.


Deena Walker (M’00) was named Teacher of the Year at Calhoun Elementary School. Dani Plunkett (M’00) was named Teacher of the Year at Calhoun Middle School.

Felicia Moody, a student in the M.A. program for early childhood education was named the countywide Teacher of the Year for Graham County, N.C. Amy O. McGee (M’05) was named Teacher of the Year at Jones Elementary School in Flowery Branch.

Willie Yates Reynolds (’31) of Tallahassee, Fla., died March 1, 2009. Mrs. Reynolds taught high school in Ringgold after graduation and entered government service during World War II. She served in Japan after the Occupation, returning to the U.S. in 1948. She retired from the 14th Naval District in Hawaii in 1961 and moved to Florida in 1970. Carol Stevens Hancock (’35) of Athens died Dec. 15, 2008. She retired after a long teaching career and became historian and museum director at Tallulah Falls School. Her book, “The Light in the Mountains,” is the history of Tallulah Falls School. Mrs. Hancock was a perennial gardener, wildflower expert, and birdwatching enthusiast. Survivors include her sister Barbara Stevens Cobb (’38). John A. Mize (’37) of Metter died February 28, 2008. Mr. Mize had a long career in education, serving as teacher, coach and principal, before retiring from the Georgia Dept. of Education as Director of Shared Services. Following his retirement he served as executive secretary of the Georgia Accrediting Commission for eight years. In 1981 he was inducted into the “P” Club Hall of Fame. Dr. Charles Chandler Duncan (’39) of Blakely died May 14, 2006. He was a retired Southern Baptist Minister and had served as Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Foundation. During the 1960s, Dr. Duncan was president of the Piedmont College Alumni Association. Betty Cleo Grant Ellington (’39) of Clarkston died Nov. 1, 2008. She taught English and music in Dekalb County public schools for 42 years. While at Piedmont, Mrs. Ellington was a four-year member of the women’s varsity basketball team and played piano for “sing-alongs.” She was one of four Grant sisters who attended Piedmont. Survivors include her sister Ruth Grant Webster (’41) and nephew W. Vance Grant (’43). Alfred A. Michaud (attended 1940-42) of Stone Mountain died November 23, 2008. Mr. Michaud served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He earned his degree in chemistry at the University of Illinois and had an extensive career in domestic and international marketing and sales. He is survived by his wife, Emily Berryman Michaud, who also attended Piedmont in the early 1940s.

C. Edward Roy (’40) of Brevard, N.C., died November 1, 2008. He was a member of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. During his 40-year tenure at Brevard College (19441984), Dr. Roy served as professor of religion, chair of the humanities division, and chaplain. He was inducted into the Brevard College Hall of Fame in October 2008. Jacob E. Till, Jr. (’45) of Tallahassee, Fla., died May 15, 2009. He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force in Korea during the 1950s. Rev. Dr. Till served the Pentecostal Holiness Church for more than 60 years. He was also a graduate of Emmanuel College, an instructor there, and a member of Emmanuel’s board of trustees for more than 30 years. J. Neal Timms (’48) of Clermont, died April 19, 2009. Mr. Timms served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He worked with the Gwinnett County School System for more than 30 years as an educator and principal. Survivors include his daughter and son-inlaw, Jane (’83) and Scott Cleveland (’84), and son Patrick Timms. Crystal G. Harwell (’49) of Decatur died Dec. 28, 2008. She was a retired schoolteacher from the Atlanta Public School System. While at Piedmont, Miss Harwell was a cheerleader and secretary of the Student Association. Survivors include her sister, Adelaide L. Harwell (’53). Charlene Williams Lassetter (’49) of Sharpsburg died March 10, 2009. While at Piedmont, Mrs. Lassetter was inducted into The Torch. She worked as a medical transcriptionist at Coweta General Hospital and was choir director, pianist and organist at her church. H. Alex Payne (’51) formerly of the Hollingsworth Community, died February 8, 2009. Mr. Payne served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a retired supervisor from Lockheed Corporation with 45 years of service. James J. White (’51) of Canton died March 17, 2001. Ellen Hill Williams (’51) of Baldwin died January 1, 2009. Mrs. Williams lived in South Carolina for many years and was a retired school teacher. Survivors include her sister, Betty Hill Chokos (’62) of Savannah, and Larry M. Hill (’71) of Demorest. Morene Garrison Coffee (’54) of Demorest died Dec. 1, 2008. Mrs. Coffee was a school teacher for 41 years, having taught in the Franklin, Rabun, Jackson, and Habersham county school systems. In 1988 she was inducted into the Habersham Association of Educators Retired Teachers Hall of Fame. Mrs. Coffee was preceded in death by her husband W. “Jack” Coffee (’42). Survivors

include her son and daughter-in-law, Marvin (’72) and Lynn Harris Coffee (’73). Eunice Thrift Derrick (’57) of Greenwood, S.C., died April 6, 2009. She was 85. Mrs. Derrick was a retired teacher and principal in the Oconee County (S.C.) schools. Survivors include her son Larry Derrick (’69). Phyllis Allen Reed (’57) of Derry, N.H., died February 4, 2009. Mrs. Reed had been employed by the IRS as an auditing agent. Donald G. Ryder (’61) of Clarkesville, died April 15, 2009. Dr. Ryder served in the Naval Air Corps during WW II. Following the War, he was a crop duster pilot. Dr. Ryder was a professor of mathematics at Piedmont from 1966 until his retirement in 1987. During the 1970s, he coached the PC baseball team. Kenneth J. Shoup (’62) of Rome died December 10, 2008. Mr. Shoup served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from 1962-1982. After retiring from the Army, he operated Ken Shoup Aircraft Sales in Rome. Mr. Shoup taught business classes at Webster College, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and at Berry College in Rome. Jerry Garland Armour (’63) of Gainesville died Jan. 24, 2009. Mr. Armour was the co-owner of the Esquire Mobile Home dealership for 25 years. Mark G. Halle (’65) of Staten Island, N.Y., died April 14, 2009. Mr. Halle was an avid tennis player and New York Giants fan. He retired six years ago after a successful career as a pharmaceutical salesman. T. Graham Kearse (’66) of St. George, S.C., died April 8. 2001. He was 57. Jewell Rohletter Welborn (’66) of Mount Airy, died May 5, 2009. She was 87. Mrs. Welborn was a member of The Torch of Piedmont and was a retired school teacher having taught at North Habersham High School and at Georgia Industrial Institute. Her survivors include her granddaughter Julie Whiten Caudell (’00). Cecil Lamar Taylor (’68) of Clarkesville died December 16, 2008. Mr. Taylor served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a teacher and principal in the Habersham County schools. Survivors include his wife, Peggy Hill Taylor, sister-in-law Betty Hill Chokos (’62), and brother-in-law Larry M. Hill (’71). Michael Christopher West (’09 Ed.S.) of Blairsville died June 26, 2008. A U.S. Army veteran, Mr. West was a teacher at Union County High School and coach of the girls basketball and boys soccer teams. Survivors include his wife, Jeanna West, and sons Christopher Andrew West and Michael Clayton West.


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PC Journal Spring 2009  
PC Journal Spring 2009  

The Spring 2009 edition of the Piedmont College Journal.