Eric Teal ’91
Select the class year to to read your class notes.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Lorraine Rayburn Abernathy
We thank Jettie and Glenda Bowen, who passed along to Robert Neil Templeton the sad news of Billy Young's death in Memphis. Billy gave us hours of pleasure on the football and baseball fields, as well as the basketball court during our years at Rhodes.
John Quinn wrote in April that he'd arrived in Montreal, for the first time in many years, in a heavy snow storm. "It was cold when I left Washington this afternoon, but the azaleas were about to burst forth in glory, so spring was on the way. I'm attending the American Bar Association's Business Law Section's spring meeting—the weather person didn't get the memo, apparently!" Also, in May, John attended his 55th law school class reunion at UVA.
Words to live by from Mike Cody in Memphis: "The new 80 is the old 79!" He says things are going well in Memphis. His youngest daughter is 23 and oldest granddaughter is in grad school. He had work and fun trips coming up to New Mexico, Vermont, and Sun Valley. He said he is looking forward to our 60th reunion in 2018. Let's all plan to join him there!
Like others celebrating our 80th birthdays this year (though it can't possibly be!), I did something special in February. Daughter Melissa in Hoboken, NJ, made sure I had something to do on the big day, so I left Richmond, VA, and joined her in New York City for a fun-packed weekend, including an NBA game in which some of our favorite UNC players were playing. After the game we got to meet them, and I even got "birthday hugs" from Tyler Hansbrough (Hornets) and Wayne Ellington (Nets.) We also visited some friends in Albany and drove through picturesque Saratoga Springs. I will celebrate with all three daughters in Charleston, SC, while we're on our yearly trek to Pawleys Island, SC.
Also tripping around are Kip and Louis Zbinden, who will be going on a cruise to Spain and Portugal, a trip to replace one that had to be cancelled. They promise to tell us about it later.
Martha Sigler Guthrie in Metairie, LA, echoes the Zbindens in that she has an April riverboat cruise in France planned. There will be extensions before the cruise in Marseilles and afterwards in Paris. She'll be traveling with the artist friend she went to Cuba with last year.
For the 51st consecutive year, Milton Knowlton has qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Round Table in Memphis, and his company, Lewis and Knowlton Financial, was selected as one of the Top Life and Health Insurance Agencies for 2015 by the Memphis Business Journal.
I'll pass along Jane Barr Stump's good catch-up news. She had hoped to come to our reunion but injured her foot and decided she had best wait till next time. "I wanted to know how this strange thing called life had gone for all of you. This is certainly the time for reflection, and I look forward to long talks like we had during that other reflective time: college. If I can describe what I feel at this point with one word, it would be grateful. I have had a life of exceptional opportunity from my home base in Hawaii. I lectured, researched, consulted, wrote books, was on talk shows and took my work to European and U.S. forums, and it was gloriously fun. My husband and I moved to Tucson, as he had a terminal illness, and I have lived here ever since. I have certainly had extensive loss in my life with my latest being my sister Ann Barr Weems '56. She and I were very close, and yet I longed to see her free of suffering. At this point in my life I continue the adventure doing health education regarding this magnificent body of new research that keeps pouring out upon us. I continue traveling all over the world. I went to China recently and am now planning a trip to Scotland, Ireland, and the island of Iona. I am also involved with the State of Arizona regarding what is known as the American Calcutta: nursing homes and am a certified ombudsman. In addition, I am on a brand new coalition with the state trying to do something about bringing awareness to people about the dangers of prescription drugs, i.e., at least 100,000 older folks die from adverse drugs every year. I would love to hear from any of you!"
It is apparent Jane stays busy. It's always good to catch up with the lives of friends, and we thank all of you for sharing with us.
Reporter: Sara Jean “Shiney” Jackson
Lots of travel news. A great report from Truly and Eric Mount ’58 on their recent trip to London and Edinburgh with daughter, Diane Mount Nisbet ’83, and granddaughter, Sarah. Sarah’s experience as a member of the Centre College spring term trip validates their firm belief in the value of overseas college programs. They were also appreciative of Sarah’s skills as a London tour guide.
Walker and Diane McMillan Wellford plan to spend two weeks in Naples, FL, with their two children (both Rhodes graduates) in celebration of Walker’s 80th birthday.
Spending a few very pleasant days with me in Montreat, NC, last fall were Mary Farish Sharp and Ann Vines Roberts ’60. Lots of shopping, porch-sitting, eating, laughs, and glasses of white wine. A fun get-together.
Princess Hughes Van Hooser proudly sent me news of her daughter, Katherine Van Hooser. Katherine has been recently promoted to the position of chief engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center. A huge responsibility. Wow!
On a sad note, Thirza Mobley Sloan and I exchanged memories of her husband, Tim Sloan. Tim was a faithful contributor to this column and a proud graduate of Southwestern at Memphis. I will miss hearing from him.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Mary Lou Quinn McMillin
“Summertime and the living is easy…” Hope this is true for each of you as you enjoy opportunities to explore the great outdoors, gather with family and friends, and grill a hamburger or two.
Jim Bullock writes: “I pastored in Presbyterian Churches 40 years, but never came across anyone with the gout. Maybe I wasn't listening very well. When my doctor told me I had it, it was a whole new world to me. I walk on the tread mill every day and broke my foot on it. The adventures of a 70 year old—nobody wants to hear. I have kept up my mentoring with two young men in juvenile justice facilities and two in a group home and one in elementary school. All have responded very well and it has made the discipline a joy. My wife, Ervin ’65, has grown an interfaith women's group, and it has new people coming every month. They started an interfaith youth group which has also grown. They meet once a quarter for activities. Out of all that work a youth who happened to be a Muslim and was bullied, was elected by his class to speak. His class asked that he speak to the whole school when they heard his speech. The city council asked him to speak at their council meeting, and in April they asked that he give the opening prayer. Ervin's work has really been on target for the time in which we live.”
From Jo Kenny Cox we hear: “Winter is not our favorite time of year, so we took our annual trip to Mahahual, Mexico, and Roatan, Honduras. The grant I was working with ended, so I was let go, fulfilling a lifelong dream of collecting unemployment for five months, but then the college called me back to fill a job exactly like the last one. Max and I are hitting the Destin beach in the spring and in May, Ginny Norton Strubing, Barbara Tusing, and I head out for 10 days in Ireland. I just finished Willie Morris's posthumously published book Taps. His prose is so luscious, it almost makes me drool. I lift my coffee cup to my fellow classmates and wish all a belated happy and healthy 2016.”
Lynn Bartlett took a quick trip to Nashville in January to join family in attending Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s classes for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s performance of King Lear. She has been studying for the upcoming PC (USA) Mosaic of Peace conference in Israel/Palestine, April 4-16, and afterwards plans to take brief trips to Masada and Petra before returning home.
Dale Ledbetter’s update includes the following information about the happenings of his life: He was involved in the publication of a new book, Beyond Emotional Intelligence, which he co-wrote with Jim Karol, a phenomenal magician, mentalist, and memory expert. Getwell Road, the movie about his Mom is moving forward. The director should be announced shortly and soon thereafter, the actress who will play his Mom will be announced. Both his son, Drew, and daughter, Amanda, the joys of his life, now live in NYC. It is great to visit and take in all the sights and sounds of the city with them. Dale is also involved in doing a lot of fund raising for a merchant advance firm, working harder than ever and having a lot of fun in the process.
Tom Lappage reports: “Last September we went to Newport, RI, with friends who vacation a lot in time shares. At that time they invited us to join them again in February when they had plans to stay in some time shares in Florida. Florida with friends in February is a great combination. They visited us a few days here in Raleigh, and then we spent six nights in Orlando. We spent several days at Universal Park and also a day at Bok Gardens and Tower. Next we spent four nights in a beachfront resort in Daytona Beach. We did a day trip to Kennedy Space Center, which I had never visited even though my first job with IBM was in the Saturn Apollo program. It was race week so there were a lot of race fans in town. Our final stop was four nights in a resort in Pompano Beach. Weather was good the whole trip, and we had a wonderful interlude away from the nastier weather at home. We are now looking forward to our river cruise in the South of France in May.”
Susan Tate Hahn checked in from Gainesville, FL, to update her contact information and express gratitude for the Class Notes and the opportunity to keep in touch with the news of her fellow classmates.
Ann Clark Harris writes: “Love that Emily Walker is back driving again! Keeping up with Hayden Kayden, Bill Wilson, David Cooper, Dossett Foster, Rosemary Wells, and Sharon Nardo! Cyril actually posted on FB! Son, Clay, was finally approved for a permanent position with the Denver Public Defenders office. He’s a deputy public defender in Aurora.”
Mary Lou and Challace McMillin left May 6 for a two-week Celtic pilgrimage to Iona (off the coast of Scotland) and northern England including the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, Durham, and Whitby. Looking forward to a rewarding experience!
Have a wonderful summer!
Reporter: Mary Porter
Jane Adams Nichols retired June 2015 from University of Nevada system where she had served as chancellor and professor. She lives with her husband in Reno, NV, and enjoys her five daughters and 11 grandchildren.
Suzanne Burns writes: “Jeanne Wertz Kerridge is in Nashville visiting with me this week. We have had a grand time catching up after 50+ years. Oh, my how time flies. We have been at no loss to find things to talk about and are rather surprised that our tastes in things match so well. I am planning to take a cruise this summer from London to Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Have always wanted to go there. I'm still very involved with the Scottish Society of Middle Tennessee and the Woman's Club of Nashville, as well as a few bridge days each month, trying to keep up with my sewing and Civil War reenacting. I do manage to stay off the streets and out of trouble.”
Harvey Caughey reports: “This year we enjoyed a fabulous month-long cruise-of-a-lifetime from Bangkok to Beijing, and then a Lonesome Dove 25th anniversary reunion in Fort Worth with many of the cast members. I am presently looking forward to a long weekend on the Gulf Coast in late April with other former Rhodes classmates.”
Carol Pennepacker Walker says: “I thought the 50th reunion weekend was REALLY NICE and I enjoyed myself tremendously. It was so good to see classmates again. I appreciated the committee’s hard work and the college’s warm welcome to those of us still standing. The tribute to those who aren’t was nice, too. My husband and I live on our boat, the Holiday VII, much of the time, so do not get to see even the Memphis alums most of the time. We are in Florida for the winter and spring (currently in Marathon—the Keys) and looking out at a tranquil Atlantic and beautiful reef. I kayak, do wildlife photography, swim, and still work some as a travel agent. I have spent the last four years photographing the Everglades, a beautiful area of savannahs, swamps, and cypress stands. This year the weather was so crazy in south Florida (everywhere, actually) and the water flowing through the Everglades so high that we had fewer birds and confused wildlife. Ten years ago, if anyone had told this city gal that she would be enjoying the swamps of the Everglades, stepping around 10- to 12-foot alligators, and even photographing poisonous snakes, I would have thought that person had lost his/her mind! But, there is so much beauty all around the Everglades, it is impossible not to rise to the challenge of photography—the sweeping landscapes; the clear rivers of water flowing through the swamps; the various elusive owls, exotic birds, black bears, panthers, etc. I also enjoy the fantastic shelling on deserted islands. Before coming back up to the Tennessee River for the summer, we will probably go back to the Bahamas for the month of May. That is another wonderful playground—snorkeling, kayaking, and underwater photography.”
Mary McQueen “Queenie” Porter writes: “Our 50th class reunion last October was such a wonderful experience! Besides being wined and dined royally by Rhodes, I enjoyed renewing friendships, being in a place (and culture) so formative for my adult self, and being with people who remembered my youthful antics I had forgotten and who valued me in ways I never did. l was able to link who-I-am-now with who-I-was-then and feel somehow reconnected with myself. Thank you, Rhodes! The day after leaving Memphis, Trish Gladney Holland ’64 and I travelled to Lanett, AL, to take a bit of reunion to our ‘lost’ classmate, Bianca Bettis Freeman, who we had just learned had been bedbound and unable to speak for the past 19 years following an aneurism and multiple strokes. We took to Bianca, her husband Dale, and sister-in-law Betty conversation, memories of our Rhodes days, stories of our lives and of Rhodes now, and Celtic music (on my harp) and were buoyed by the love in which she is wrapped—by family and community, including the high school where she taught English for many years and where her legacy remains (the National Honor Society chapter bears her name). I look forward to a few traveling adventures: In late May, my first trip to Spain, including walking part of the el Camino de Santiago with a small group of contemplative pilgrims. I’ve been training using Nordic walking poles, a great help, and have been only slightly hindered by surgery in mid-April. In late August, a three-day cruise on the Spirit of Peoria down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, with Rhodes friends Marguerite Ward Autry, Trish Gladney Holland, and Charie Bowman Reid. (We all enjoyed time together last March in Homer, LA, at the Gladney home place and again in October at Rhodes for our 50th reunion. The older we get, a yearly get-together is more and more inviting.) In October, a trip to Loveland, CO, for the biannual conference of Sage-ing International, at which I’ll lead an introductory workshop for folks new to Sage-ing (conscious aging with a spiritual dimension—check out the website at sage-ing.org). I’ve led two such workshops already this year—one in Birmingham and one in Atlanta, and plan for another in Asheville, NC, in July.”
Sarah Reagan: “Since retiring, one of my priorities has been travel. So far our international travel has included South Africa, China, Panama, and Costa Rica. Later in the year we'll be returning to Germany and Holland. Four of us who spent our junior year together in Marburg, Germany, over 50 years ago still maintain email contact. Besides me these four include Alan Korsakov, Teresa Johnson Kramer, and Martha Ellen McCharen Swann. Last year I graduated from All Faiths Seminary international, majoring in the comparative religion track. Along with my classmates, I was ordained as a minister last June at the Park Avenue Methodist Church in Manhattan.”
Teri Tidwell Hornberger writes that her son, Wes Sewell, is the visual effects supervisor for the movie that came out around Easter called Miracles from Heaven, a true story about a nine-year-old girl with an incurable disease. After extensive but unsuccessful treatment at the Boston Children's Hospital, she was sent home to die. Soon thereafter she accidently fell into the middle of a large dead tree, falling on her head from 30 feet. She follows a butterfly into heaven and meets God, who sends her back, cured! The movie has gotten rave reviews and may become a classic! Teri's daughter, Shelby Sewell, along with her company, Foodz Catering, in Seattle, WA, has just won her ninth major award in the cooking industry. She was recently the guest speaker for 2016 Emerald City Applause Award ceremony and her son, Cameron, handed out the awards. Shelby won for Best Public Event.
Marguerite Ward Autry wrote from the road: “Having a wonderful time on a Road Scholar trip called Pueblo Heritage. We went on a jeep tour through Canyon de Chelly, but we spent almost half our time fording or driving through the rivers (very low height and volume). I enjoyed seeing Anasazi ruins and many petroglyphs which date to at least 1,000 years ago. Previously we've visited the Hopi nation and their Oraibi Village, which is reputed to be the longest continually inhabited village in North America. We learned that traditional Hopi costumes and hairstyles were used in the first Star Wars film (think Carrie Fisher's distinctive "butterfly” hairstyle). Now we're in the Navajo Nation. It is both interesting and confounding to hear about their ancient practices and see their current lifestyles. Some in each nation follow the traditional ways, and some are more modernized. The beauty one sees in the various places on the Colorado Plateau is just overwhelming. Another note: Joe Autry and I share our second grandchild. Our son, Manning, and his wife, Margaret, have a daughter born in January (Morgan), and so now Miles (almost aged four) has a companion.”
Ed Williams reports: “Spring calving is upon us now. I am enjoying my retirement here on our family farm. My wife and I recently returned from a trip with our son and granddaughters to the Puerto Rican island of Culebra, where we found beautiful beaches and good food. We also spent some time in the rain forest when on the big island. It was a good trip, and I’m glad to be back home.”
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Sammy Primm Marshall
Here is a little recent news from classmates. You will have to attend the reunion to find out more details and to catch up with other classmates. I hope to see you all at Homecoming and our 50th reunion in October!
Susan Cheairs writes: “Tommy took our boat to Orange Beach last fall, and we've been able to go every month for a mini-vacation. We were able to be on the beach even in January. He's moving it back in May I think. Our whole family (11) will be going on an Alaskan cruise in June. Should be full of adventure!” She still serves as the director of the Tipton County Library. Recently she and Tommy visited with Nancy ’67 and Walter Howell when Nancy Jackson Williamson and her husband, Bill, came to Memphis.
Bob Frank is still busy making music. You may remember that in 2014 Light in the Attic re-issued an album of his that was originally released on Vanguard Records in 1972, titled Bob Frank. Here's the link: lightintheattic.net/releases/1033-bob-frank. Bob reports that he has been: “playing gigs at clubs and folk festivals from Arizona to Memphis, and up and down the west coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.” He says he is also working on another CD in Tolleson, AZ, “which will be a nice little discreet presentation of songs co-written with Chuck Giamalvo, mostly in the vein of 1960s country music. Old school, since we're both too old to know anything about modern music.”
Dixie Johnson writes: “I’m very active with the Memphis Area Master Gardeners. We just finished Spring Fling and had our annual home garden tour on June 4. Bob and I spent our 50th wedding anniversary in New Orleans—where we honeymooned! Now we have a son who lives there so we have our own guide and driver! I'm looking forward to seeing many of you in October for our 50th. Please come. It should be a terrific weekend!”
Becky Smith Kissel and her husband, Bill, are continuing with plans to visit Paris and Prague despite the recent terrorism in Europe.
Bonnie Davis writes that she is still living in Nashville and spends a lot of time training and showing in obedience competition her two Keeshond dogs. Occasionally she gets to see Tina Alston, who lives not far from her in East Nashville.
John Farese and his wife, Cindy, have moved from their home town of Ashland, MS, to Oxford, MS. He writes: “Nine of our 11 grandchildren live in Oxford (ages 4 months to 16 years), so it was inevitable that we would move to Oxford.” He is still active practicing law at his branch office of Farese, Farese & Farese, P. A., in Oxford. He adds: “I am still flying airplanes; volunteer teaching at Oxford High School (teaching Street Law); and engaging in the duties of a full-time grandfather—watching the grands play soccer, volleyball, football, baseball, and basketball. God willing, I am planning on making the reunion and look forward to seeing our classmates. So far, I have been blessed with good health, and Old Man Time has not won the battle yet. Thanks for your efforts at keeping all of us informed. See you in October.”
Isabell Van Merlin is always doing something interesting. She recently attended a gathering of poets and storytellers from the open mic that she used to have in Newburyport: “The occasion was the disseminating of copies of the second anthology. It’s so much fun to see one's words in print! Some of the contributors are very accomplished and have published a lot. There are two columnists in this edition, two novelists, and some neophyte poetry students!” Isabell was the editor. She will be back in Albania the first week of May and then is flying on “to San Francisco to spend a week with my daughter and family. Of course I'll only be flying over vast amounts of the world that I haven't been to and probably never will—but it will be fun to say I've done it!! Turkish Airlines is great!! Meanwhile, I'm working away and trying to have as much fun as possible—and still sleep some, too! Looking forward to October!”
Reporter: Sam Highsmith
Jim Whittington writes: “Nine years ago, I made an attempt to retire, and I failed in that attempt. Now I am ready to try this once again. I will retire on July 1, 2016, take a trip, polish the golf clubs, and hope I can retain my sanity.” Note to Jim: an early welcome to the good life.
Jeanne Hope and Bill Buckner sold their property in Texas, declared the state of Maine to be their legal residence, and they are spending half the winter months in Fairhope, AL. Hmmm! They attended the International Jazz Festival in Cuba in December 2015. Jeanne Hope says Cuba is a wonderful country with great hopes among the people for a better life.
Reporters: Bob Morris
Drue Thom White
Barbara Lesh Borleske writes: “In general we have pretty typical retired senior citizen lives with lots of grandchildren interaction and a fair amount of travel. Our grands are ages five through 13, so there are many ball games, swim meets, Science Olympiad tournaments, and so forth, to keep our calendar filled. We were fortunate to spend the week after Easter with our older daughter and family visiting Puerto Rico. Great food, spectacular scenery, nice beaches, and no passport required. I recommend it enthusiastically to those looking for an island vacation.”
From Stephen Caldwell, we learn: “Following shoulder replacement surgery, I have just retired from Vanderbilt University in my 45th year. Lindy and I raised our family while living on campus for 35 of those years. Titles ranged from Dean of Residential and Judicial Affairs to Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life. Most of my career I served as Associate Dean in charge of student conduct and crises response. Moving from being a dean to a farmer, Lindy and I live on our cattle farm outside Dickson, Tn.”
Kitty Hon reports: “After 35 years in Atlanta, I have successfully landed back home in Chattanooga! I'd had enough of traffic and the frenetic life that had caught up with my almost rural setting of 1981. Time to get back to my roots! I'll stay with a sister till the construction on my townhouse is complete. Fair warning, folks—downsizing is a real challenge!”
Ellen Plants Massey writes: “I haven’t checked in in a while. 2015 saw a lot of changes; I lost Jim in April, continued staying busy with acting (most of it on stage), and was commissioned a Stephen Minister for my church in August. In September I spent 10 days in Paris with an acting gal pal met when we premiered ’Til Death Do Us Part—which now seems a somewhat prescient experience, given what was to come. This was my first overseas visit in many years, and we two widows managed to navigate Paris with no difficulty, making new friends along the way. I returned in December for a Paris cruise, this time by myself—an experiment to prove to myself that I was capable of solo travel. It too was a grand adventure, one I hope to repeat. For 2016, I’m learning French, ballroom dancing, Country Western dancing, and working with a personal trainer five days a week. If fate will allow, I hope to have more film opportunities this year. (Wouldn’t it be a hoot to become the next Betty White!) It’s never too late to learn something new or to venture out of one’s comfort zone and discover new challenges in life!”
Carolyn Bruninga McGough reports that she is an Elder in her church, Mountain Presbyterian Church in Blairsville, GA, in addition to being the assistant treasurer. She also claims to sing bass in her church choir. That I've gotta hear!!
Louis R. Pounders, FAIA, is the recipient of the Francis Gassner Award, established in 1977 to honor Gassner, a Memphis architect.
Ed. Note: As most of you know by now, we lost our class reporter, Hud Andrews, suddenly earlier this year. Hud had worked at Rhodes and those of us who had the pleasure of being involved with him in projects miss his funny, quirky ways—even though he’s been away from Rhodes for several years. He remained actively involved at Rhodes, serving as class reporter, help in the Reunion committee, and taking our graduating class portrait each year. He will be greatly missed.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Betha Hubbard Gill
Pattie Bell Layser
From Earle Layser, we received this beautiful remembrance of his wife, Pattie: “The late Pattie Bell Layser’s life is the subject of a memoir Darkness Follows Light (388 pp, Dancing Pine Publishing, Amazon.com). Pattie graduated from Rhodes with distinction and a double-major and made her home next to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. She independently started and operated Quest Gallery in Bozeman, MT, where she met her husband, Earle. Truly a stirring love story, they married on a Teton Mountain summit and honeymooned in French Polynesia. They moved to Alta, WY, on the west slope of the Tetons near Grand Targhee Ski Resort, where they lived a wonderful and adventurous life traveling the globe as writers. Rhodes magazine published several of Pattie’s works, for example: Far North of Southern Comfort (2002), about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and Sharing Tundra: The Bear Essentials (2005) covering the McNeil River Bear Sanctuary in Alaska. Pattie and Earle were devoted to each other, you could not think of one without the other coming to mind, too. Pattie’s untimely passing in 2013 was a huge tragedy. New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Fuller has called the memoir ‘An almost unbearably moving read in the vein of Francisco Goldman’s celebrated Say her Name.’ ”
Dr. Peg Falls-Corbitt
Hendrix College philosophy professor Dr. Peg Falls-Corbitt was recently named Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professor of Philosophy. The Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professorship was established in 1981 by Dr. Margaret Pittman, a 1923 Hendrix graduate, a research scientist who was the first woman to head a major research lab at the National Institutes of Health and who helped develop the vaccines for typhoid, cholera and whooping cough.
“I am overwhelmed by the honor of being named Hendrix College’s Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professor of Philosophy,” said Falls-Corbitt. “Teaching philosophy is my passion, and even as I have done the work that carries administrative titles, it is the teaching that I hold dearest, the teaching that I think of as my highest calling. So no title could mean more to me than a distinguished professorship, and I am deeply humbled that my colleagues see me in this light. It’s an honor that one has to hope to grow into deserving.” Falls-Corbitt was named associate provost for engaged learning at Hendrix in 2009. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rhodes College and completed her master’s degree and PhD in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. She came to Hendrix in 1987, having taught previously at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, and Graceland College in Lamoni, IA.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Herb Gunn lives in Asheville, NC, where he is the program director of the College for Seniors at UNC Asheville, which is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at 120 campuses across the country.
Pamela Portwood had one of her award-winning interior designs ("Bungalow Transformation") featured in the book LEEDing the Way - Domestic Architecture for the Future: LEED Certified, Green, Passive & Natural (Schiffer Publishing, 2015). She is the interior design principal of Greener Lives LLC, a residential interior design firm that specializes in healthy and sustainable homes in Tucson and southern Arizona. She and her husband Mark Taylor ’80 have been living in Tucson since 1982, and this year they are planning to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in Japan.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Our 35th reunion will be here before we know it! Please save the date and plan on being there —October 28-29, 2016. Please continue to respond to the quarterly emails or send news to the above address at any time for inclusion in the next edition. Below are our reports for this issue—lots of exciting things from the Netherlands to new business endeavors to moving to an alpaca farm!
Carole Freeburg writes: “I am working part time as assistant general counsel at Bryce Corporation in Memphis. My oldest son is working as a research assistant in a biology lab in Bar Harbor, ME. My other two sons (twins) graduated from college, one from Davidson College and one from Kenyon College, in May 2016. Both are biology majors.
Sally Barge Hawley reports: “Having moved to Birmingham after graduation, with absolutely no intention of staying, here I am almost 35 years later. After taking time off to raise children, I started a business with a good friend three years ago, Transworld Business Advisors of Alabama. We do mergers and acquisition consulting for lower-middle market businesses. It’s been great fun to meet these successful entrepreneurs who have built successful companies and are now ready to sell them. Most of the people I meet with are driven, smart, and engaged. It’s a very energizing arena. Still married to Greg Hawley, approaching 30 years. Our sons are out doing their things: the elder, William, is at Cal Berkeley getting a PhD in earth and planetary sciences. He is a geophysicist, studying earthquakes. He is in his element and having a great time. Our younger, Steve, after having worked in Philadelphia for a couple of years, started SMU law school in the fall. Loving Texas, and digging into law school. You know the old saying that Mom is only as happy as her least happy child; fortunately, that makes me pretty happy right now. I count my blessings. I am looking forward to reconnecting with classmates.”
From Sherri Godi Madden: “I was most excited to have the opportunity to visit the Power and Pathos exhibition of Greek sculpture at the National Gallery of Art with some of my Latin students in March. I haven’t been to DC since high school, so it was wonderful to tour DC. A highlight of my trip was heading over to Annapolis for a visit with college roommate, Deb Corley. I caught her just in time as she was about to embark on a road trip back to Arkansas to see family with a pit stop in Memphis for a visit with Susan Ray Bransford.
Kathy Keil Brown says: “I left the school library world behind last June when I retired. My husband and I are getting ready to move to an alpaca farm—we have the herd and the farm, but he hasn't retired from the Army yet. We'll move next summer. Our kids are grown and doing well, and we are excited to have a grand dog, and soon maybe a grand cat.
Allison Fentress reports: “My husband, Bob ’76, and I are starting to think about where to retire.
Janet Mosby Ross writes: “My new job is with Dane Street which is a National IME and Peer Review Organization. I am a client liaison for Sedgwick. I have only been here a year after 25 years with Intracorp/GENEX. I enjoy spending time with my family most of which is in Memphis, except for two sons and a grandson in North Carolina. I hope to attend our next reunion if I have recovered from my daughter Heather's ’08 wedding the previous weekend!
Charlotte Thompson says: “I've just passed the 18-year mark of living in the Netherlands, hard to believe. Together with my partner, we have four children, ranging in ages between 10 and 27 so it's never a dull moment. We live on the water and have a sailboat, catamaran, and a pleasure/party boat, so on the rare occasions when the weather is decent, we enjoy some of our free time on the water. I am working as head of sales EMEA for InsideView, a 10-year-old Silicon Valley software company, and am enjoying the people, the work, and the travel. Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a Rhodes College student (Anna Grace Claunch) who was studying in Italy and came to Amsterdam for the weekend. We had a nice dinner together, and I enjoyed hearing about life at Rhodes as it is today. Not much has changed, yet everything has!”
I do hope most of you are planning on coming back to campus in October for our 35th reunion. You can see for yourself the wonderful changes that have occurred and also reconnect with those who experienced Southwestern at Memphis as you did.
John Miller received the JAX Chamber 2016 Small Business Leader of the Year award. He is the owner of Rock Solid Business Law, a property law firm, in Jacksonville Beach, FL.
Reporter: Linda Odom
Peter Rooney is president of a 200-year-old inner city PK-8th Christian school in Atlanta. He was honored to host Richard Lindeman ’84 as the graduation speaker a couple of years ago. Lindeman was given a great introduction by Ed Dudley ’84. Peter’s daughter, Mason, is a freshman volleyball player at Davidson, and Peter, Jr. is a high school sophomore at Westminster.
Phil Dupont checked in from Kansas City. He's a commercial litigator and his work takes him all over the country for trials. He and his three children are doing well.
Karen Thompson Manroe writes that “All's well in lovely Austin, TX. Daughter Nancy is going to Ole Miss this fall—our first one leaving! Our company is doing well—we were named to the Austin A-List of Best Start Ups and made it to the Inc. 5000 List of fastest growing companies last year. Check us out—neogenis.com. Peace!”
Aldervan Daly recently became the director of advancement for the Police Athletic League (PAL) New York City, the oldest PAL in the country. According to Aldervan, “We work with over 30,000 youth each year throughout the full breadth of NYC. It is an amazing organization and I am very proud to be working with them.” Aldervan’s son turned seven this year and still talks about his trip to Rhodes last year. Aldervan is still singing and hoping to do another cabaret show soon, if he can work it in between his son’s soccer games, his work, and his teaching schedule at NYU.
Sissie Harper wrote to report on her journey to becoming a CPA. She recalled her first Prof. Legge class that “blew her mind” and made her rethink being an accounting major. Thirty-five years later, after raising two children and managing several family-owned businesses, she attended a Belmont University boot camp for nonaccounting majors and earned a coveted slot in their accounting master’s program. She completed the degree with a 4.0 (something, she claims, would never have happened in her early 20s), was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, was awarded the outstanding Massey award at graduation, and was selected to give the student address at hooding. Her address was titled What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? She says she’s still trying to figure that one out, but she’s glad she lived up to Prof. Legg’s expectations!
Reporter: Julia Weaver
Dane Ciolino reports that his son Price and Scott McCord's daughter Shea graduated from Rhodes in May.
Ellen H. Flottman is the district defender of the Central Appellate Office of the Missouri State Public Defender System. Ellen joined the Public Defender System and has been the district defender since 2001. She practices in the Courts of Appeals and the Missouri Supreme Court and has appeared in the United States Supreme Court. Ellen recently received the Defenders of Distinction Award given by the Missouri Bar Association each year. This award is given to the defender who most exemplifies the idea of public defense. Congratulations, Ellen! Ellen says that she feels very honored to have received this award. “I was looking at the list of all the Defenders of Distinction, and I can’t believe I am included in this company. Every day I am in awe of the dedication and commitment shown by the people I work with. There could have been no better organization in which to spend my career.”
Bill Smart reports that he has written his last college tuition check. Daughter Lucy graduated from Birmingham Southern in May (with honors, including Phi Beta Kappa). Son Graham is living in Brooklyn/NYC, living the life of a struggling artist. Bill and Martha visited with Livy Brien and his family for a couple of days in Rosemary Beach just before Easter.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Mimi Swords Fondren
Nathan Tipton has awesome news to share! “First off, the big news: After almost 10 years, I have finally decamped from academe and have officially entered the nonprofit world. I am now the development and communications coordinator for Apelah Specialized Foster Care Services, the Mississippi-based subsidiary of Meritan, a multi-service agency that offers a wide variety of social programs and skilled healthcare services in Memphis and Knoxville, as well as in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia. It's an amazing gig, totally and completely different from the academic environment I'm used to, and crazy fun and rewarding work. Mind you, I haven't completely jettisoned academia. I'm still publishing, and have two articles coming out in the next month or so. One is in the journal Nursing Education Perspectives and the other is in the inaugural issue of South: A Scholarly Journal (formerly the Southern Literary Journal). I also published a couple of book reviews at Lambda Literary here recently. If I can find the time, I've got another Eudora Welty article I'm revising that's guaranteed to ruffle many a Weltian feather.”
Reporter: Brooke Glover Emery
Gregory Paul Blount received a MAEd degree from Union University, Jackson, TN, in 2015.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Sara Hawks Marecki
West Hammond writes to say that he is a busy landlord and a 24-year FedEx courier in Denver, who “really enjoys each issue of Rhodes magazine. I spend 1-2 hours reading it, usually on the same day it arrives. From the oldest to the youngest, I find the Class Notes section to be extremely fascinating. Rhodes College alums are a very enviable bunch.”
Reporter: Sarah Sears
Welch Suggs, associate professor of journalism at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, is part of a UGA research team studying ways to reduce the stigma surrounding concussions, an injury commonly associated with football. The study is funded by a three-year, $400,000 grant from the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense, which plans to use the study to address similar concussion-reporting issues among soldiers. Also on the UGA team are several other faculty and staff members. Suggs, who focuses on sports journalism, will help examine how in-person seminars and multimedia presentations affect athletes’ attitudes toward reporting concussions. “The problem is, athletes are unwilling to report concussions because they’re worried about compromising their status on the team,” he said. “We’re trying to work with the athletes and the people surrounding them to make concussion reporting less of a threat.” The NCAA and DOD are serious about the issue, having also enlisted Arizona State, Colorado State, Northern Arizona, UNC Greensboro, UNC Chapel Hill, Wisconsin-Madison and the Air Force Academy for similar studies.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Jennifer Larson
Ned Crystal recently launched his own fitness coaching company Mission Fit Athletics in Atlanta and completed the USA Weightlifting certification as a sport and performance coach.
Jennifer Farringer Pearson is now the manager of all occupational therapy at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. She is managing all inpatient and outpatient pediatric occupational therapy—a big job and a well-deserved promotion for her!
Cynthia Stephens Fisher writes: “Since completing a master of social work degree, I have launched a private practice, Emergence Counseling Services, specializing in meeting the mental health needs of the LGBT population with particular emphasis on transgender youth and their loved ones. I am in the process of becoming certified by WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.” In her spare time, she also performs with the operate ensemble Divas on Demand.
Mary Clare Younger Champion was recently appointed assistant professor of clinical psychiatry in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She is already a clinical psychologist at the Vanderbilt Psychological and Counseling Center.
Jessica Rainey McKnett is now managing director, partner experience with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals where she is responsible for leading stewardship, recognition and other strategies for national fund-raising partners.
Matthew Johnson serves as the Senior Refugee Coordinator for the Department of State in Turkey, leading the US government field response to the refugee and migration crises in that country. He was recently featured on the cover and authored an article in the April 2016 edition of the American Foreign Service Journal.
Reporter: Nicki North Baxley
Peter Hall and wife, Kristin, welcomed a son Alexander in January 2016. They now have three boys: Michael (six), Teddy (three), and baby Alex (five months). They've lived in Atlanta since 2003, where Peter works for a Healthcare IT company, called Navicure.
Burke White and his wife, Jen, added another member to their family in June 2015, daughter Lofton Rose. She joins her sister, Evie; brother, Reed; and sister, Mae to bring their family to six members.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Katy Minten Gray
Lindsay Rouse has stepped down as class reporter and we are looking for someone to take her place. If you are interested, please contact email@example.com.
Reporter: Kyle Russ
Ashley Kutz Kelley reports: “I had the privilege today of meeting a wonderful fellow Rhodes alum, Lt. General (Three Star) Claudia J. Kennedy. In honor of Women’s History Month, my law firm hosted a discussion on General Kennedy’s ground-breaking career, challenges she faced breaking barriers in the military, and her recommendations for how businesses can improve opportunities for the next generation of women leaders. In researching her background prior to her presentation today, I was delighted to learn that she is a Rhodes (Southwestern) alum, class of 1969. She was likewise very excited to make the Rhodes connection when I mentioned it, and spoke very fondly about her time at Rhodes and in Memphis as truly developing the foundation for her life and career. She lives on Hilton Head Island now, and we are planning to grab lunch again soon.”
Reporters: Brandon Couillard
Andrew O'Brien and his wife, Karen, welcomed their first child, Alec Berlin O'Brien, on July 25, 2015. Andrew is now middle school principal of St. Paul's Episcopal School in New Orleans.
Liz Roads Upchurch and her husband, Thomas, are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Annelise Leah Upchurch, on Oct. 12, 2015. Her big brother, Asher, age three, is excited to have a baby sister and is already showing Annie the ropes around Rhodes, including how to dominate at the Easter egg hunt this past March.
Stuart Tallichet and his wife, Ashley, had an absolutely perfect first child, a baby girl, in October 2015. Her name is Mary Evelyn, but they've chosen to call her Evey. Stuart serves as a felony prosecutor in Houston and is currently assigned to the Major Fraud Division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Andrew Trundle moved to Chattanooga and is opening up his own law firm, Andrew S. Trundle, Attorney at Law, PLLC.
Molly Chapman Wheeler and Logan Wheeler are winding down their time in DC before heading to a three-year posting at the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay, this fall.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Caroline King Willson
Reporter: Mollie Briskman Montelaro
Jamie Underwood recently accepted a position as Senior Director of Communications with Child Care Aware of America in Arlington, VA. She is responsible for overseeing the organization's marketing and communications efforts.
According to Betsy Duckett Harris, things are busy in the Harris household. She and her husband Robby welcomed Charlie Harris into their family on February 10th. Charlie joins his big sister and brother Liza and Tripp who are 17 months.
Corinne Poole Maulsby and her husband Tyler welcomed their leap day baby, Bennett Allen Maulsby, on February 29. Bennett was born at NYU hospital in Manhattan and he weighed in at 7 pounds 15 ounces.
Our last baby announcement is from Elizabeth Story Wilshusen. She and her husband Will welcomed their firstborn daughter Anna Claire Wilshusen into the world on April 2
Korey “Smokey” Betts’ bachelor weekend in Fayetteville, AR, went down Jan. 15-18 2016. The "brolumni" guest list included Eric Friederichsen ’08, Zack "Tuna" Gropper ’08, Artie Quinn ’08, Brad Muller ’09, Alex Conforti ’07, Carl Cook ’07, David Mooney ’09, Mark Oliver ’08, Tom Oliver ’09, Don Reynolds ’09, Donny Dillard ’08, Reggie Watson ’08, Ken Coward ’07 and Leonard Hobson ’07. Friederichsen described the affair as “3 days, 100 acres, six ice-cold kegs of beer, handles of liquor, high-stakes beer pong, blaring music, and zero women."
Reporter: Madoline Markham
Durham Kyle and Christina Kelly Burgess received MBAs from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2016. Fun fact: They have now gotten every degree together (from kindergarten through graduate school) with absolutely no plans to collect any additional degrees at this time.
Brynn Dickie Bowyer’s husband, Tom, is now the director of Echo Valley at Laity Lodge Youth Camp, a summer camp for kids in grades in Leakey, TX. “We are excited about our first summer at camp!” Brynn writes.
After seven wonderful years in DC, Mia Colson moved back home to Atlanta to work for Atlanta Ballet.
Also near Atlanta, Meg Clark and her husband recently purchased their first home in Decatur, Georgia, and they visited Sophia King ’07 in Abu Dhabi with a layover to stay with Brent Stool ’06 in Houston.
After returning to the United States from adventures abroad, complete with a master’s in economic and behavioral science, Daniel Sturtevant has started work with the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts as a research and statistics analyst.
Nicole Goette Grabow married Jared Grabow in July 2015. “He is also from Dallas and happened to grow up just 10 miles away from me even though we met while living in NYC,” she writes. “God works in mysterious ways.” Nicole and Jared work in Manhattan and now live in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn. Nicole is enrolled in an executive master’s program at FIT, and Jared goes back and forth to Puerto Rico for his job at a hedge fund primarily focused on PR debt.
Natasha Jain recently earned a certified medical practice executive certification through the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and co-founded The Sculpting Spa, LLC, a medical spa and certified Coolsculpting Practice located in Cookeville, TN. The spa even offers a Rhodes discount. Not to worry, she notes, it's not all work and no play. Natasha completed the open water scuba certification in Costa Rica trip in January and plans to dive for her 30th birthday adventures, which will be in Barcelona, Ibiza, and Croatia. “Who said turning 30 doesn't have to be fun!” she writes. “We're far from old.”
Last but certainly not least, here’s our class’ latest from the baby front:
Jeff Mueller and his wife, Karen, welcomed their first child, Clayton, in early January to their home in Morristown, NJ. “We are thrilled with the new addition,” Jeff writes.
Colleen Armstrong Portnoy and her husband, Jonathan, welcomed a baby girl, Clara Lynn, on Sept. 12, 2015.
Francesca Davis McKee and her husband welcomed baby boy Noah Anthony on March 9, 2016.
Alex McColloch and his wife, Magen, welcomed their first child, a boy, Emmett Lynn, on Dec. 16, 2015.
Homecoming/Reunion Weekend: Oct. 28-29
Reporter: Grace Weil
Former members of the Rhodes track team met up in Memphis to run the Mike Cody 4 Miler to benefit the Track & Field team. Top from left: Mary Kate Mullen ('14), Chelsea Temple ('15). Bottom from left: Liz Rockett ('15), Lindsay Svehla ('13), Sadie Yanckello ('15).
Harrison Adams recently accepted a job in New Orleans as an intraoperative neuromonitor.
Aditya Biswas moved to Connecticut to start a research position at the Yale School of Medicine.
Caroline Clark spent this past winter working as a freelance consultant/artist and recently accepted a position with FAHASS, an HIV-focused nonprofit in Fredericksburg, VA. As one of their non-medical case managers, she manages insurance navigation, client eligibility, service coordination, and data/filing.
Xany Moore was adopted by her other mother and now goes by Alexandra 'Xany' Whitmoore. She recently accepted a position as coordinator of community service at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, where she oversees the Bonner Program.
Monique Hagler started a new job at Gant Systems as a project coordinator in Memphis. She works with clients to find solutions for a variety of technical needs or problems.
Rebecca Schmitt Gaylord and her husband, Cory, welcomed their son Johnscott Frederick Gaylor into the world on March 31, 2016.
Aaron Banks graduated from UC Berkeley with a masters of engineering, concentration in bioengineering.
Chelsea Temple is moving from Memphis back to Texas to pursue a PhD in economics at Texas A&M University.
Forrest “Skelton” Maechler married Jacob Maechler on May 30, 2015. Congrats to you both!
Caroline Ponseti is loving the DC life and recently switched from the Senate to the House side to do press on a congressional committee.
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