THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS
SUPERBIRD: COACH OTTINGER & HIS ROADRUNNERS
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: DSC HISTORy, STANDOUT STUDENTS, ALUMNI ACHIEvEMENTS, & MORE.
Photograph by Willis Treadwell
For the first time that anyone can remember, snow fell on campus on four different days
last winter. December 5, January 29, February 12, and March 2 each saw the white stuff
accumulate for an inch or two and then vanish almost as quickly as it came. It was a nice
change of scenery to see the campus blanketed in snow.
Message froM the President
What’s the old saying – spring
It certainly has at Dalton State and in
more ways than one. Good things are
springing up all over campus, from the
exemplary work being done in each of
the seven schools of the college to the
outstanding students who are making
a difference on campus to our fantastic
alumni and what they are achieving.
One of the best things about spring is
commencement – a time to reflect on Dr. John O. Schwenn
the achievements of our students and
their impact on the institution. This spring, we’ll graduate more than
600 students – a record. Some will enter the workforce and embark
on their careers; others will pursue advanced degrees; some will even
Dalton State Magazine is published each
May and October by the Dalton State return to Dalton State to earn an additional degree. No matter their
College Foundation for alumni and friends circumstances, all of them will become a vital part of the Dalton State
of Dalton State College. Editorial offices story and will earn the right to call themselves “Dalton State alumni.”
are located on campus in The James E. We’re proud of each of them!
Brown Center, 550 College Drive, Dalton, GA
30720. Phone: (706) 272-4473. Another aspect of graduation is the college’s faculty and staff,
and what they mean to us. It has been said that the heartbeat of a
Contents © 2010 by Dalton State College
Foundation, all rights reserved. campus is its faculty – and that is true at Dalton State. Our faculty
talent is second to none. They’re engaged in creative activity, research
President, Dalton State College and publishing; they’re pursuing new teaching techniques to engage
John O. Schwenn new generations of students; they serve our communities; they are
more than professors – they are mentors to our students. Our staff,
Chair, Dalton State College Foundation
Sara C. “Skeeter” Pierce too, goes above and beyond, ensuring the needs of our students and
other constituents are met, and done with good cheer and a smile.
Director of Institutional Advancement
David J. Elrod ‘88 The excitement of spring is manifested in another way with the
welcoming of next year’s freshman class as they arrive for campus
Chair, Alumni Advisory Council tours and registration for classes. These students – the future Class of
Jeff Clements ‘94
2014 – look to be dynamic, thoughtful, high-achieving young people
Alumni Relations Coordinator who are anxious to begin their college careers. We look forward to
Joshua J. Wilson having them join the Dalton State family.
Layout and Design Spring has indeed sprung – it’s springing all over campus. I hope you
Second Shift Design, LLC, Duluth, GA share my enthusiasm for the many gifts of spring and for the good
things that are happening at Dalton State. d
Joe Barragan ’10, Alana Joyner,
Angela Lewis, Linda Massey ’72,
George Spence,Willis Treadwell
Jonathan M. Lampley
4 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS
The 1971-72 DJC Roadrunners, left to right: Steve Hammontree, Tony Ingle, Steven Ludy, Andy Akin, Charles Powers, Jon Heath,
Rodney Aldridge, Tony Littles, Roger Rome, Larry Jackson, Mike Wade, Charles Palmer, Larry Cummings, David Rainey, and Cleo
Goodgame. Center: Coaches Melvyn Ottinger and Dick Coleman. Story on page 14.
Departments Features Alumni Central
6 Bandy Heritage Center 12 Joe Barragan: Man On 27 Alumni Advisory Council
Archives: Truett Lomax Dalton State student scores with Engaging alums more closely with
One man’s unique role in the new club soccer team their alma mater
history of Dalton State
14 Superbird: Coach Ottinger 28 Alumni Profile:
8 Campus Tour & His Roadrunners Brandi Johnson
A quick spin around George Rice A championship coach & a decade Hanging out with the governor
Drive of basketball victories
30 All About Alumni
35 In Memoriam 22 Student Scholarships Who, what, where, when,
Dalton State mourns the loss of Investing in today’s students pays and how
three friends big dividends later
About the cover: The Dalton Junior College Roadrunner basketball teams were 231-78 in ten years under legendary Coach Melvyn Ottinger. Playing at home,
in Death Valley, GA 30720, they were 120-11 in those same ten years.
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 5
B a n dy h e r i t a g e C e n t e r a r C h i v e s
From the archives oF the Bandy heritage center For northwest georgia history and culture…
Truett Lomax: Community Leader, Visionary, Friend
By Dr. John D. Fowler
A visitor to Dalton State College today is surrounded
by a majestic mountain on one side and one of the
nation’s busiest interstates on the other; by crowds
of students and employees jostling along the wide
sidewalks en route to classes or work; and by lines of
cars parked one after the other along the streets. For
the new visitor, citizen, or student, it is hard to imagine
that a half century ago this same land was merely
forest and fields. Retired businessman Truett Lomax
does remember those early days and he should. He
played a key role in turning a dream of a local college
into the reality of today’s Dalton State.
Lomax served as the manager of the Dalton Chamber
of Commerce in the early 1960s when the idea to bring
a junior college to northwest Georgia first began to
develop in the minds of city fathers. Lomax recalls
that the community and especially the Chamber of
Commerce provided widespread support. These civic
leaders were blessed with the foresight to see that a
growing community such as Dalton needed a college
to educate its own and to serve the entire northwest
After a good deal of thought, planning, research, and
debate, Dalton leaders petitioned the Board of Regents
for a college. In the early part of the decade, fierce
competition for a junior college arose among several
communities in northwest Georgia, including Dalton,
Calhoun, Rome, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and Marietta.
Ultimately, two towns were chosen – Kennesaw and
Dalton. Selection, however, was a grueling process.
In order to convince the Board of Regents to support
a junior college, a community had to agree to cover
the initial costs of land, buildings, and utilities. Lomax
and other members of the Chamber of Commerce,
Cynthia and Truett Lomax especially those serving on its Education Committee,
6 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
B a n dy h e r i t a g e C e n t e r a r C h i v e s
worked tirelessly with community leaders to Looking back over the four decades since the
convince local residents to vote in favor of a $1.8 college’s beginning, Lomax is proud of Dalton State
million bond issue to build the college. Dalton’s and the community that supported its creation. He
visionaries correctly saw this step as an investment in recalls that the Dalton newspaper, the Daily Citizen,
the future of Dalton and its citizens. Indeed, a junior and its editor at the time, Mark Pace, vigorously
college would help set the economic, political, and supported a vote in favor of the referendum. The
social future of this mountain community. During the paper consistently ran ads demonstrating the need
months leading up to the referendum, Lomax even for and benefits of a local college. Moreover, Lomax
sported a handkerchief in his suit pocket that read remembers that citizens from all walks of life fought
“Vote Yes.” hard to see their dream of a college realized. These
efforts ensured that not only would the referendum
The bond referendum made it onto the ballot in
pass but also that it would pass in a landslide.
1965, and the May 11 results were staggering: 4,090
to 163 in favor, a margin of 26-1, far outpacing Lomax hopes to see the college continue to grow
other communities across the state that had voted for in size and reputation with the addition of new
colleges in their towns. academic programs. Indeed, his love for the school
is a family tradition. His wife, Cynthia, earned an
Given the green light, local officials scouted three
Associate of Arts degree from Dalton State a few
locations around Dalton for the new college.
years ago, making her the oldest graduate of the
Ultimately, the current site along Interstate 75 proved
college thus far.
to be the best fit – primarily, because of the old
adage, “location, location, location.” The land was Dalton State alumni, students, faculty and staff, and
situated in the center of the growing area, which friends are grateful for the commitment of civic-
would promote accessibility and visibility. Also, four minded individuals like Truett Lomax who worked
local landowners – Tom Swift, Glenn Bevil, Tom hard to make northwest Georgia a better place
Lambert, and John T. Tibbs – agreed to donate the for future generations. We are honored to call him
initial 136 acres that would form the core of the Dalton State’s friend. d
campus at this prime location.
Dr. Fowler is the B.J. and Dicksie Bandy Chair in History and Director of the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest
Georgia History and Culture at Dalton State.
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 7
Bell Tower is Award Winner
Dalton State College’s bell tower won the Georgia
Chapter of the American Concrete Institute’s
Special Category Award for 2009. The bell tower
was the cover feature for The Georgia Contractor
magazine’s January/February 2010 issue, where the
news was first announced. Designed by Dalton-
based architect Gregg Sims and built with private
funds raised by the Dalton State College Foundation
during its 2006-2008 Fulfilling the Vision campaign,
the bell tower was the first pre-cast concrete project
in the United States to use a photocatalytic cement
that reacts with sunlight to clean itself. The bell
tower was completed in April 2009.
Wachovia Bank Adds to Scholarship Endowment
Wachovia Bank recently added $10,000 to the Shown making the presentation are, left to right,
Wachovia Bank Scholarship Endowment for friends of Wachovia and Dalton State Chang
Business Excellence at Dalton State. “We are Yim, Virginia Travillian, Danny Simmons, Linda
thrilled with their latest gift,” says President John Blackman, Wachovia Market President Susan
Schwenn. “Thanks to Wachovia’s generosity, we Brown, Dalton State President John Schwenn, Lee
will be able to assist additional students majoring Daniel, Sis Brown, and Dalton State Director of
in business and those students, in turn, will Institutional Advancement David Elrod.
positively impact the local business community
when they graduate.”
8 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
School of Business Earns Prestigious Accreditation
Dalton State’s School of Business has joined the elite Dean Mayo likens Dalton State’s accreditation
rank of business schools by earning accreditation by process to a fairly extensive home renovation.
AACSB International, the Association to Advance
“My husband and I once bought a small, turn-of-the-
Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB is the
century [20th century] home that needed a complete
premier accrediting organization for business
renovation,” she recalls. “There are many similarities
between renovating that house and pursuing the
“AACSB accreditation is the gold standard,” says Dr. AACSB accreditation. A quality outcome was the
Donna Mayo, Dean of the School of Business. “This driving force….we took a lot of great ideas, created
ensures that our program has attained the highest a plan, and got to work….we had a dedicated
standards of teaching and learning, research, and team….we worked many nights and weekends….
scholarship, and that ongoing quality-monitoring we took a lot of risks, some of which paid off while
processes are in place to maintain those standards.” others did not….some days we were in awe of our
handiwork and some days we were busy redoing our
AACSB accreditation is held by only 579 business
handiwork….we spent more money than we thought
schools in 35 countries, including the United States,
we would….we wondered if we would ever finish
representing less than 5% of all business schools in
the world. Dalton State joins 46 undergraduate-only
institutions accredited by AACSB International. But finish they did, and earlier this semester Dean
Mayo and School of Business faculty, staff, students,
“This achievement is particularly exceptional for
alumni, and donors celebrated their achievement.
a very young business school,” says Dean Mayo.
Dalton State admitted its first juniors in the School of “The investment we made in that house 27 years
Business in 1999. ago yielded a significant return,” she notes. “We plan
to have the same return for the School of Business
Earning the prestigious accreditation required eight
and Dalton State with our AACSB accreditation.”
years of work by School of Business faculty and
staff, numerous multi-day site visits by other AACSB-
accredited program deans, and reports after reports
and statistics upon statistics pertaining to faculty
teaching and scholarship, professional development,
and student achievement in the business school.
With all that was involved, Dean Mayo says she’s often
asked why Dalton State sought AACSB accreditation.
“For the same reason that businesses seek quality
certifications such as ISO 9000, 14000, or Six Sigma:
we want to provide our students with the best
business education so they can be excellent
employees and productive citizens. External
Dr. Donna Mayo, Dean of the School of Business and
validation assures quality.” Professor of Marketing (Photo courtesy of Angela Lewis/
Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 9
School of Business Dalton State students doing their on-site practica,
and Valley Point teachers served as professional
Students in Associate Professor of Marketing Steve mentors to the teacher education majors.
LeMay’s fall semester Marketing Research class
completed a survey research project to identify Dean Merry Boggs wrote and received a $13,500
various segments of the bridal market and then met grant from the Library of Congress’s Teaching with
to discuss the results with Scott Rogers, Director Primary Sources (TPS) Eastern Region to assist
of Strategic Planning for David’s Bridal, the largest Dalton State’s teacher education majors and local
full-service bridal retailer in the U.S. According to public school teachers with using primary sources to
Rogers, the company plans to use the research in its enhance their classroom instruction in Social Studies.
strategic planning. The TPS program aids K-12 teachers in building
student literacy, critical thinking skills, and content
Instructor of Accounting Jamie Connors is the knowledge with instruction based on the Library
faculty sponsor for a partnership with the University of Congress’s collection of 13.5 million digitized
of Georgia to provide Volunteer Income Tax primary sources.
Assistance (VITA) in northwest Georgia. VITA offers
free tax help to low- and moderate-income families
who cannot prepare their own tax returns, and
School of Liberal Arts
Dalton State accounting majors will be staffing the Associate Professor of Communication Barbara
local VITA site. The students receive significant Tucker published a novel, Traveling Through, that
real-world experience and become IRS-certified explores how Christians relate to government, how
tax-preparation volunteers. politics affect our lives, and whether we really see the
people we think we know.
The School of Business is part of the recently
formed Non-Profit Partnership with the United Way Associate Professor of English Marsha Mathews’s
of Northwest Georgia and other agencies. Dean first book of poetry, Northbound Single-Lane, will
Donna Mayo, Sesquicentennial Chair and Professor be released in May. A cross-genre writer, she is also
of Management Marilyn Helms, DSC Foundation completing a novel, Blood Feather, and writing a
Chair in Accounting John Trussel, Associate young adult novel, Teen Passage.
Professor of Marketing Steve LeMay, and Lecturer
of Business Ben Laughter will direct workshops on Assistant Professor of English Jonathan Lampley
organizational development topics for non-profit penned two articles for The Essential Cult TV
agencies in northwest Georgia. Reader published in December by the University of
Kentucky Press. “Dark Shadows” and “The Twilight
Zone,” two of Lampley’s favorite shows, were his topics.
School of Education
Associate Professor of Sociology Hassan Elnajjar
The School of Education continues its partnerships
submitted a written Expert Declaration in federal
with public schools through a pilot program with
court in California for an immigration case last
Whitfield County’s Valley Point Elementary. In spring
semester. He will testify on that case this spring as an
semester, Assistant Professor of Education Debbie
expert on the Middle East, marking his third delivery of
Baxter, Dean and Professor of Education Merry
expert testimony in federal courts on immigration issues.
Boggs, Assistant Professor of Education Orenda
Gregory, Assistant Professor of Education Lynn The March 2010 issue of the American Psychological
Murphy, and Instructor of Education Carol Pate Association’s Monitor on Psychology featured an
taught teacher education courses at Valley Point for interview with Professor of Psychology Christy Price
10 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
on engaging Generation Y or millennial students in today it houses 33. “The growth in the School of
the classroom with social networking applications Sciences and Mathematics is due to the addition
and dynamic teaching methods. of the bachelor’s programs and the growth of the
college as a whole,” says Dean Randall Griffus.
School of Nursing “Most of the credit for our success recruiting new
faculty goes to the existing faculty. They sell the
The School of Nursing’s new partnership with college during the interview process.” Over the past
Dalton’s Hamilton Medical Center will provide five years, the School has added faculty with Ph.D.’s
Dalton State students hands-on clinical training by from Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame,
experienced nurses. The first of its kind in the region, Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Boston College, West
the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) was developed Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina
to maximize learning outcomes while also providing State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Central Florida,
Hamilton access to Dalton State nursing faculty. Wisconsin, and Oxford University.
“This is a novel unit devoted to a new concept in
clinical teaching and learning,” says Dean Cordia
School of Social Work
Starling. “It incorporates one-on-one mentoring of
students and is facilitated by a clinical instructor Dean David Boyle retired last semester after 8½
from Dalton State. Students have the opportunity for years at Dalton State. He helped start the college’s
an intense learning experience that is more reflective Social Work program and served as its first dean. Still
of the working environment of a registered nurse.” active in the social work field as a consultant, Dr.
The DEU has been so well received by students, Boyle also enjoys the research and writing of local
faculty, hospital staff, and patients that plans are history, and working on his farm.
underway to expand the concept to a second service
area inside Hamilton. School of Technology
The Adult Education Program in the School of
School of Sciences and Mathematics
Technology is one of only four in Georgia selected
Last year the School of Sciences and Mathematics to participate in the national Standards in Action
collaborated with public school systems in Catoosa, initiative, a two-year project sponsored by the U.S.
Murray, and Walker Counties to provide 60 hours of Department of Education to develop innovative
course content and delivery training to more than 60 teaching materials and implement content standards
teachers from grades 3 through 12. The partnership in the delivery of adult basic education, GED prep
was funded by a $164,000 grant from the Georgia and other adult secondary education, and English
Department of Education. Assistant Professors of language acquisition. Dalton State’s Adult Education
Mathematics Bob Clay and Tim Hawkins, and Program Director, Sherry Riley, will oversee the pilot
School of Education Assistant Professor Sharon program on campus.
Beavers, along with Dalton-based Phelps Consulting,
One hundred percent of the fall semester Class of
provided the training.
2009’s Licensed Practical Nursing majors passed
Two years ago, the first baccalaureates in Biology the NCLEX-PN state licensure examination on the
and Mathematics were offered. Last year, a first attempt this year, compared with the national
bachelor’s degree in Chemistry was added. Today, average first-time pass rate of 86%. Congratulations
there are 299 majors in those programs, with a 10% to the Class of 2009 LPNs!
enrollment growth projected for next year. When the
programs began, the School was home to 25 faculty;
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 11
Just before fall semester last year,
Dalton State students Joe Barragan
and Jesus Lerma met for the first
time. Learning that they had common
sports interests, New York-native
Joe invited Jesus to watch a Yankees
baseball game on TV and the two bonded.
They talked about their wishes to play intercollegiate
sports at Dalton State. Both soccer fans, they hit on
the idea of forming a club soccer team, which would
allow Dalton State students to play other college teams
without the expenses and regulations of full-fledged
intercollegiate athletics. They took their idea to Dalton
State’s Director of Campus Recreation, Garrett Burgner,
and he liked it enough to clear them to proceed.
Joe and Jesus had ambition: they wanted to play teams
in the southeastern United States. Joe made a few phone
calls. Before long, he had other club soccer teams signed
up to play a Dalton State team that didn’t exist yet.
Forty-three Dalton State students tried out for
the team; a second round of tryouts carved the
final roster to 20. The team members elected
Joe coach and Jesus assistant coach.
“We only had time for two practices the week before
our first game,” Joe recalls, a match they dropped
to Kennesaw State, 3-1. “We needed more training.
We were good, we had played soccer before, but not
together, not as a team. We needed some work.” So
he instituted practices that began before sun-up, and
kept afternoon practices as well, to prepare the team.
Noting that some of the players did not know each
other, he paired up players and had them hang out
12 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Dalton State’s 2009 Club Soccer Team, bottom row, left to right: Sergio Martinez, Saul Maldonado, Bryan Smith, Mario Acosta,
Eric Cruz, Hector Holguin, Rene Preciado, and Jonathan Luna. Top row, left to right: Joe Barragan, Ruben Uribe, Jose Valdovi-
nos, Fred Rosillo, Eric Perez, Carlos Fraire, Caleb Tatum, Eduardo Aguero, Freddy Preciado, Jesus Lerma, Nestor Gonzalez, and
Ivan Gardea. Not pictured: Wueiner Perez
with each other during the day. By the second game, and Vanderbilt, and a rematch with UTC, carried
an away match versus the University of Tennessee the team to the end of its season in December, when
at Chattanooga, “you could just feel it – our morale it was set to play the University of Tennessee at
was really high.” Dalton State won 4-3. “We were so Knoxville, one of the top 5 club soccer teams in
excited, we wanted to go back and play Kennesaw the southeast. The Tennessee game “was the best
again,” Joe says, still smiling with the pride of game we ever played,” Joe remembers, noting how
a coach who’s seen the best in his players. “Our Dalton State took an early lead – “we dominated!”
spirits were really high after that UTC game.” – and the score see-sawed back and forth before
the clock ran out and the Vols were on top, 4-3.
The 1-1 team went into its third game against Emory
University hungry for another win, but the game The excitement of the season is evident when Joe
ended in a tie, which frustrated Joe because it was reminisces about it now. He has a lot of coach in
the first game played in Dalton and in front of a him, and speaks with pride about “our team” and
hometown crowd of about 150 people. Joe “felt the lessons he learned during the season: discipline,
the weight of that tie” but the Emory game taught planning, practicing, team-building, and the
him a lesson. “We really needed conditioning. Our logistics of uniforms, scheduling, and team travel.
skill was better than the teams we were playing, “We’ll do it again, no doubt,” he says, with all
but their conditioning was better than ours.” the optimism of a coach who believes in his team.
In fact, he has already scheduled tryouts for the
Dalton State’s club soccer team competed in a round
first week of fall semester. “We felt the college’s
robin tournament in Statesboro where they played
support” this past season, Joe reflects. “And we
Georgia Southern (lost 6-2) and Columbus State (won
want Dalton State to be better known – sports
4-2) with an 11-man roster due to several injuries.
will attract more students here. We’re ready.” d
Matches with Middle Tennessee State University
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 13
SUPERBIRD: COACH OTTINGER & HIS ROADRUNNERS
by David J. Elrod ’88
14 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
I n the history of Dalton State College, certain
names loom large. Like Elvis, they have ascended
to one-word status. Gignilliat and Roberts are former
“For what we did,” he recalls now, four decades later,
“it was unbelievable.”
presidents; Bandy, Pope, Lorberbaum, and Brown
are late citizens of regional prominence. Some WARM-UP
professors, too, have gained similar rank:
Christie, Weathersby, Phelps. Ottinger grew up in Tennessee’s Cocke County, east
of the Great Smoky Mountains. “As long as I can
And yet one name in the college’s history is remember, I’ve played with a basketball,” he recalls,
recognized by only a letter, a vowel: O. As in Coach noting how “we had a goal on the side of our barn
O. O for Ottinger. and I’d come home from school and shoot baskets
A charter faculty member of Dalton Junior College, until dark. I’d play in the mud, in the rain, I didn’t
Melvyn Ottinger came here in 1967 from Shorter care. I just loved basketball.”
College in Rome. He stayed through the institution’s He was an athletic standout at Parrottsville High
metamorphosis from DJC to Dalton College to School, lettering in basketball and baseball. He
Dalton State College. In his first decade here, he also was on the All-State basketball team, and in his
coached basketball. junior year was the state’s leading scorer and Most
O coached the DJC Roadrunners basketball teams Outstanding Player. In his 1958 graduating class of
for all ten years of their existence, from 1968 to 37 students, only Ottinger and another classmate
1978. In that time, he compiled a 231-78 record, a went to college. Ottinger was class valedictorian.
marvelous .747 winning percentage. He sat astride “In Parrottsville,” Ottinger once told the Dalton
one of the nation’s top junior college programs, Daily Citizen, “you graduated from high school,
and his teams held national top-ten rankings in married your high school sweetheart, and spent the
eight of the ten years that they played. DJC won rest of your life farming there.”
division championships in 1970 and 1974, state
championships in 1970 and 1972, and regional Not Ottinger. He went to Shorter College on a
championships in 1972 and 1973. Ottinger coached his basketball scholarship. He became a star, leading
teams to two national championship tournaments, the nation with a 90.1% free throw completion in
and after the fantastic 1971-72 race to the top, his the 1960 season and taking MVP honors that year.
Roadrunners were ranked second in the nation. Ottinger started three seasons there, averaged 15
Ottinger earned statewide Coach of the Year honors points per game, and was a two-time All-Conference
in 1970 and again in 1972. During the same period, honoree. He also excelled at tennis, baseball, and
he was named an Outstanding Young Man of America volleyball. By graduation, Ottinger had lettered ten
in 1970 and a Personality of the South in 1971. times in four sports. In 2009, he was inducted into
the Shorter College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 15
As an undergrad, Ottinger met Marilyn Ziegler, a In early 1968, DJC students were gearing up to vote
co-ed from Bradenton, Florida. They married after for the Eagles or the Mountain Lions as the college
they both graduated from Shorter in June 1962. mascot. That didn’t make sense to Ottinger: these
He completed a graduate fellowship at Clemson were common mascots and he wanted something
University in 1964, and returned to Shorter to begin unique. He launched his own campaign for a write-
coaching. He amassed a 35-5 record in two years as in candidate, the roadrunner, popular at the time as
the men’s freshman basketball coach. a Warner Brothers cartoon character, and engaged
in some person-to-person politicking to persuade
A few miles to the northeast, Dalton Junior College students to support the roadrunner.
was nearing completion and administrators were
recruiting faculty and staff, and In a letter to the University
looking for a good basketball System of Georgia central
coach. Ottinger got a call, “We didn’t have office, then-President Gignilliat
traveled to Dalton to interview, announced the news: “The college
and the rest is literally Dalton
anything to offer students have voted to use the
State history. except the chance roadrunner as the cognomen for
Dalton Junior College. Webster’s
When Coach O arrived here in to be a part of dictionary defines the roadrunner
1967, not everything was ready
on the college’s opening day.
something special.” as follows: ‘n: a largely terrestrial
bird (Geococcyx californianus)
“The gym wasn’t finished in of the cuckoo family that is a
’67,” he recalls. “It wasn’t ready speedy runner and ranges from
when the college opened, so we had some tough California to Mexico and eastward to Texas….’
P.E. classes: Chinese checkers, cards….volleyball in The roadrunner is a peculiar fitting nickname for
the parking lot….” He chuckles at the memory. The a commuting college,” Gignilliat concluded, “and I
gymnasium opened in 1968. would like to adopt it to describe our student body.
A major in biology at Shorter and Clemson, You may disregard the reference to the cuckoo.”
Ottinger taught the subject his first year and in years Some people on campus and in the community
thereafter. Outside of the classroom, he had plenty couldn’t forget about the cuckoo, though, and
to keep himself busy preparing for the first hoops raised concerns about its suitability as a college
season which would start the following year. He mascot. An anonymous letter to the editor of the
completed the stacks of paperwork for DJC to join campus newspaper at the time applauded the choice.
the National Junior College Athletic Association, “Clocked at 15 miles an hour, head out-thrust, tail
scheduled games, and worked out the logistics of streaming behind, in an instant I can swerve into
team travel, insurance, and equipment. a turn, using my tail as a brake or rudder for an
He spent that first year recruiting all over the unbelievably fast stop. Can you possibly imagine a
state and quickly earned a reputation as a tireless better nickname for a basketball team?” When asked
promoter for a little junior college no one had ever about the letter-writer’s anonymity now, Ottinger
heard of. “That was the fun part, but it was tough. just smiles.
We didn’t have anything to offer except the chance That spring, Ottinger also had a hand in the matter
to be a part of something special.” He saw 110 high of the school colors, which had to be decided so
school games that year. Some high schools he visited he could order uniforms to outfit the team. He
two and three times to persuade a potential recruit to was attracted to the black and silver of the NFL’s
sign with him. “They thought I worked there I was Oakland Raiders and thought the colors looked
there so often.” Ottinger says. classy. He opted for navy and silver, instead, and
While Ottinger focused primarily on recruiting, went into a student council meeting where a vote
he was also involved in the selection of the college was scheduled to be taken on DJC’s new colors. “I
mascot and colors. don’t know what colors you’re going to vote on,” he
16 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
The ottinger & Roadrunner Record
season reCord Post-season aCtivity
1969-70 30-4 • Georgia Junior College Northern
• Georgia Junior College State Champion
• Region XVII Runner-up
• Ranked 12th nationwide in final NJCAA poll
1971-72 35-2 • Georgia Junior College State Champion
• Region XVII Champion
• Placed 12th in National Junior College Tournament
• Ranked 2nd nationwide in final NJCAA poll
1972-73 28-7 • Georgia Junior College State Runner-up
• Region XVII Champion
• Placed 10th in National Junior College Tournament
1973-74 27-6 • Georgia Junior College Northern Division Champion
• Ranked 17th nationwide in final NJCAA poll
told the students, “but I’ve already ordered navy and remembers. “They started the Roadrunner Tip-off
silver uniforms.” So there was no vote. The school Club that provided funding for trips and other things
colors were navy and silver. we needed.” The local newspaper covered every
game, home and away, and included editorials in
The basketball program’s first budget was $5,000, support of the team. The local Volkswagen dealership
not an ungenerous sum for a first-year program just loaned a couple of vans – “crazy yellow and white” –
getting off the ground at a new junior college in the for the players to travel to away games. Later, players
1960’s. “A pair of Converse All-Stars cost $4.95,” would eat free at Burger King or Western Sizzlin;
Ottinger recalls. other local restaurants offered meals at half-price.
He didn’t have an assistant his first year, so he did Burch Beckler, founder of Beckler’s Carpet, “was
everything, including selling ads for the souvenir our number one supporter,” Ottinger says. Beckler’s
programs and handwriting recruiting letters on a Carpet sponsored the annual Carpet City Classic,
TV tray at home while he watched Oakland Raider an invitational tournament held on campus each
games on Sunday afternoons. “I sold season tickets December. “On road trips in those early years, we’d
door to door in the first year. After that [because DJC travel in two vans and two Lincolns,” Ottinger
was winning so many games], I didn’t have to call on recalls. “Burch had two Lincoln Mark IV coupes.
anybody – we’d just send them a bill.” He’d drive one and his son, Randy [who played
“I spoke at every civic club in town, [I spoke at] for Ottinger], would drive the other one.” The
churches. There was nothing else but the college Roadrunners were going in style.
in this area. I was energetic,” Ottinger remembers.
“Back then, I was only 27. I didn’t know you were
not supposed to work 24/7, which I did.” TIP-oFF
From the start, the Roadrunners enjoyed deep and Ottinger was cautiously optimistic for his first season
wide community support. The Dalton Jaycees held at DJC. He lowered expectations with a local sports
cookouts and fundraisers for the team, Ottinger reporter. “It’s going to be hard for us to win since we
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 17
have no experience, but with a little luck we could for their scoring
finish near or slightly above .500.” And that’s exactly ability. Coach O
what the 1968-69 Roadrunners did, with a 12-12 record. himself was tagged
“The Head Bird” by
They dropped their first two games, one away and local media.
one at home, and then earned their first-ever victory
on November 20, eight days before Thanksgiving, Taking a bye in the
with a 100-96 win at home. Three days later, first round, the Head
Ottinger led his team to a 78-77 win over defending Bird coached his
state champion DeKalb Junior College, a “shocking Superbirds to a 97-84
victory,” in the words of a local sportswriter. win over Gainesville
Before the season was over, Ottinger’s first-year in the tournament’s
Roadrunners sat atop the Northern Division of second round. In the
the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association third round, O’s team
Conference for several weeks and defeated DeKalb snatched the game
again, 100-88. from DeKalb, 92-
90, as a Roadrunner
His second season was practically a fairytale. field goal ripped the
Ottinger turned in a 26-3 regular season record, net with two seconds
the best in the state, including a 17-game winning remaining. The state
streak. DJC made its first appearance in the national championship game,
polls, climbing as high as 11th, and earned a trip to versus Abraham
the junior college state championship tournament. Baldwin Agricultural
Arriving at the contest in Statesboro, O’s team had College, had the
earned a new nickname – “Superbirds” – so-called Roadrunners down
49-41 at the half, but
ended up as a 85-78 victory, an astonishing feat for
a team that no one had ever heard of just a year and
a half earlier. For his part, Ottinger was named the
Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Coach of the Year.
Midway through the 1969-70 season, a brilliant
new paint job was added to the Roadrunners’ home
court. “Death Valley, GA 30720” was emblazoned
on the bleacher-less south wall of the gym, a
verbal welcome mat for foes who might think the
Roadrunners were a pushover.
“I wasn’t a rebel, but I didn’t want to be like everyone
else, either,” Ottinger says now. “I decided if someone
was going to beat us, they’d have to out-coach us,
because they weren’t going to out-work us. And
nobody was going to out-hustle us, that was for sure.”
“Death Valley,” along with Coach O’s competitive
streak, would become an essential ingredient of the
Roadrunners’ hustle. It was all part of O’s unique
talent for psyching out his opponents and throwing
them off their stride.
18 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
“We did anything we could to gain an advantage to run players around the campus for missing shots
– except cheat,” he points out, and cites as his first even during practice. During one practice, his players
evidence something that must have been a lot of fun weren’t making their free throws. Ottinger stepped
to witness. in and shot 10 for 10 – blindfolded. Even routing
a conference rival was sometimes not enough.
“Our guys would come out wearing one blue shoe Following a 123-109 victory, Ottinger credited the
and one white shoe. The other team would spend opponent’s 109 points to DJC’s lackluster defense.
the whole first half of the game wondering where we “That’s the worst game we’ve ever played,” he said.
bought those shoes.”
During games, Ottinger’s competitive streak would
“We’d turn up the thermostat in the gym, just to flare up and he would, in his words, “get wild.” He
watch them sweat.” paced rapidly up and down the sidelines, grabbed
“If we could have had fireworks, we’d have shot players by their jerseys and gave them “little pep
those off, too,” Ottinger says, talks,” and even shouted at
still a little wistful that the fire referees. Once, he was assessed
marshal prohibited such behavior. three technical fouls three
“We’d turn up the minutes after tip-off, and was
Later, the repertoire was ejected from the game. He
expanded when pre-game warm-
thermostat in the watched the rest through a
ups were done with the soulful gym, just to watch glass pane in a door just off the
theme from “Shaft” pulsing gym floor.
through the air. them sweat.”
Coach O’s third season at
Ottinger routinely had his players the Roadrunner helm was a
shake hands with the opposing transition year: his team went
coach, an uncommon sight at the time. He became 20 and 9. But it was a building year, too, one in
so well-known for this bit of sportsmanship that which the foundation was laid for the biggest year
another coach once pre-empted Ottinger and tried to of his career, the magical 1971-72 season when
beat DJC to the pre-game handshake. O jumped into Ottinger’s Roadrunners put DJC on the national
the coach’s arms and kissed him on the cheek. “That basketball map.
got our guys fired up,” he later said.
Decades later, when called out on the edginess of SCoRE!
some of these stunts, Ottinger admitted that “I don’t
know that I would have done that stuff if we were 2 If any one season is associated with Coach O and
and 25. Whatever we did, we could back it up.” his Roadrunners, surely it is his fourth one, when his
Superbirds were ranked as high as number two in the
He could get the best out of his players. “It is most nation, won their second state title and first regional
important that a coach have good rapport with his championship, and rode a 34-game winning streak
players,” he said in an interview then. “And the only all the way to the National Junior College Athletic
way you can do that is to be there to talk to them Association championship tournament.
and help them any way you can.” His players agreed,
one of them noting in the same interview that “we The pre-season coaches’ poll had DJC picked to
have something special here. We have a feeling for finish first in the region and the state. Ottinger knew
each other because of Coach Ottinger. He lets us tell the spot he was in. “The pressure is there and will be
it like we think it is and he listens.” “We know that there all year long, but we’ve got back a nucleus of
he’s behind us,” said another. sophomores and I feel like they can take it.”
O was also a demanding taskmaster. He held five- Coach O’s 1971-72 team was the stuff of local
nights-a-week study halls in the gym. He was known legend. It included one junior college All-American
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 19
people,” noting that capacity was 1,200. “We kept
that gym jam-packed,” and would ring the court with
folding chairs just to accommodate the crowds. After
one game, Ottinger pointed out to a reporter that
some of the crowd “stood on tables and sat in the
aisles and in the floor…” Even on away games, “we
took more fans with us than the home team would
have in their bleachers,” O remembers.
The DJC gymnasium (it took the name Bandy in
1970) where Ottinger’s Roadrunners played was a
place of good karma. Over ten years, the record at
home was 120-11, with four of the losses occurring
in the first year. Ottinger was 54-4 at home in his
and four starters who had played for Ottinger the first four seasons at DJC. Then, as now, bleachers
previous year. The lone freshman starter, Roger were only on the north side of the court, providing
Rome, had been ranked the 6th best high school for some unintended coziness between Roadrunner
player in the state, and was a dual All-American in fans and their opponents. Recruits would ask
basketball and football. Sophomore Rodney Aldridge “how big is your gym?” and Ottinger would deflect
had been ranked the best high school player in the it, telling them instead how supportive the local
state, and was sought by 50 colleges when Ottinger community was of Roadrunner basketball.
signed him. In his second season playing for Ottinger, Ottinger could be superstitious. He wore a black
Jon “Buck” Heath would pick up statewide and suit for 25 straight games “because we won 25
regional player-of-the-year honors for his scoring games. I didn’t quit wearing it to games until we
prowess, and rewrite the Roadrunner record books. lost.” The same suit? “You could have combed your
David Rainey and Charles Palmer rounded out the hair looking in it, it was so shiny.” He once drove
sophomores starting for Ottinger on his 1971-72 squad. through a neighbor’s yard because a black cat lay in
The local paper noted that O’s season would be his driveway. On road trips, if he saw a black cat in
unique. “While most college coaches are worried the road, he’d make a U-turn and take another route
about things such as depth, speed, talent, cohesion, to his destination. In a later season, winning had
and opponents, Ottinger’s main concern is with become so routine that when the Roadrunners lost
scouts of senior colleges.” two consecutive Saturday games, Ottinger called it
“the Saturday night jinx.”
On any given night, a dozen or more Division
I scouts joined the spectators in Death Valley, The only jinx of the 1971-72 season was on the
reviewing the talent that Ottinger had recruited to Roadrunners’ opponents. Ottinger’s team won every
northwest Georgia. By year’s end, Aldridge had more one of its regular season games that year, won its
than 70 offers before settling on the University of three state tournament games to win the Georgia
Hawaii; Heath was courted by 118 schools, then junior college title, and won its three regional
signed with Western Kentucky. One night, Ottinger’s tournament games to claim the Georgia-Alabama
home phone rang five times: Florida State, Western region crown. That put the Roadrunner winning
Kentucky, Wake Forest, Mercer, and UNC-Charlotte streak at 34 games, the longest in the country, even
were on the line. “I get about 15 calls a day, seven outpacing the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers’ streak of
days a week,” he confided to a reporter at the time. 33. It was the first time that a Georgia junior college
had ever had an unbeaten season.
The thrill of that year was evident. “During home
games, if you weren’t here by 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. With the regional title, the Superbirds and their
start, you didn’t get in,” Ottinger recalls. “My only Head Bird secured a spot in the national junior
problem was that the gym would hold only so many college championship tournament in Hutchinson,
20 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Kansas, the first Georgia team to do so in 11 years. prize and the regional trophy. They even had an
They were ranked number two in the nation. Dalton encore at the national tournament. They finished
Mayor Charles Bramlett proclaimed the first week 10th.
of March as “Roadrunner Week” in honor of the
achievement. For Ottinger and most of his players, The next five seasons were typical, except for a
the trip to Kansas was the first time they had flown peculiar 18-10 mark that ended the 1975 campaign.
on a plane. During his final five years as coach, Ottinger’s
Roadrunners lost only 44 times, a third of those in
In Hutchinson, Coach O discovered what he was up the last season.
against. “That was the big time out there,” he said
later. “That was a whole new level.” His Roadrunners “We were 12-2 when we found out they were
fell in the first round, 78-69, to Gulf Coast (FL) dropping the program” in January 1977, Ottinger
Community College, a perennial powerhouse. The remembers. The rapid growth of the college,
second game, by coincidence, was versus another combined with the increasing expense of a full-
team with the roadrunner mascot, State Fair (MO) fledged athletic program, forced the campus
Community College, which O’s birds won 90-83. administration to make some tough decisions
But they were no longer playing in the championship regarding the future of basketball. The program was
bracket – they were playing for honor. In their third disbanded in the spring of 1978. Ottinger’s final
game, they fell to Arizona Western, 92-79, and the season record was 14-14, for a .500 finish, exactly the
next day they went home with a season record of same percentage as in his first year a decade earlier.
35-2, the two losses occurring only when they had Ottinger continued at the college for another 22
run as fast as a DJC Roadrunner team would ever run. years, teaching biology and P.E. courses. He retired in
O’s birds placed 11th in the tournament, but the 2000. Coach O was a sought-after interview subject
final national coaches’ poll had them at number two, with the local press, and there were occasional
which must have provided at least some consolation retrospectives in the local paper on the Roadrunners’
to Ottinger to be held in that kind of esteem by glory days. People wanted to remember the good
his peers. That spring, Ottinger picked up coach of times; the end of the program was never discussed.
the year honors from the Atlanta Tip-Off Club, the Ottinger became a keeper of the flame for the
Georgia Junior College Athletic Association, and the Roadrunners. In northwest Georgia and for scores of
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. young men he had coached, he grew into legend.
This summer he’ll celebrate
his 48th wedding anniversary
FINAL BUzzER with Marilyn, and they’ll be
surrounded by their children
Going into the 1972-1973 and grandchildren, who are
season, Ottinger took stock of the focus of their lives now.
his situation. In the last three This coming fall, Coach O will
years, his Roadrunners had be back in Death Valley, GA
won 84 of 99 games, including 30720, when the Roadrunners
two state championships, gather for a tribute to their
the region conference title, beloved coach in honor of his
and a trip to the national 70th birthday.
Despite losing five of his top six players from In a reflective mood recently on the floor of Bandy
the previous year, Ottinger knew that “our main Gym, where it all happened, Ottinger recalled “how
problem is going to be morale and attitude, keeping many times we ran, how many crowds we had….
everybody happy,” he told a sports reporter at the those were the best ten years of my life.” d
time. “You can’t play 15 people.” The Roadrunners
posted a 28-7 record, claimed the state runner-up
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 21
Student Scholarships: Today’s Investments, Tomorrow’s Dividends
Forget 8 a.m. class times. That’s a cinch.
Afternoon labs? No problem. Even parking pales Scholarships marked with an asterisk (*) are endowed.
in comparison to a college student’s number one Arvine Phelps Memorial Scholarship*
Azeez Shaheen Foundation Scholarship*
desire: money. And at Dalton State, there’s an
Bob E. Knisely Scholarship*
office on campus that gives it away. Well, kind of. Buchanan Family Scholarship*
Carlton Candler McCamy Memorial Scholarship*
On the pages that follow, you’ll meet four Carpet City Rotary Club Scholarship
of the 85 Dalton State students who won a City of Dalton Public Safety Scholarship*
scholarship this year from the Dalton State Derrell C. Roberts Memorial Scholarship*
College Foundation, a non-profit organization DHS Class of ’59 Scholarship
Dixie Hasty Kinard Scholarship*
that supports the students, faculty, and academic
Don Bowen Scholarship*
programs of Dalton State with funds raised Earl “Buck” Benson Memorial Scholarship
from alumni and other individuals, corporations, Fincher-Loughridge Teacher Education Scholarship
and foundations. George Jones Scholarship*
Gibb Watts Memorial Scholarship*
“The biggest myth about scholarships is that Goizueta Foundation Scholarship*
they’re just for A-students,” states Sara “Skeeter” Hispanic/Latino Achievement Scholarship
Pierce, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of J&J Industries Scholarship
Johnnie & Peter Bakkum Scholarship*
Trustees. “They’re not. We help hard-working
Jolly Family RETP Scholarship*
students who are determined to succeed, who are Kate McMillan Daniel Memorial Scholarship for Teachers*
involved on campus and in their communities, or Kay Lauman Nursing Scholarship*
who need some financial support to attend classes. Ken White Scholarship*
With a record enrollment, the need for scholarships Kenneth E. & Dottie S. Boring Nursing Scholarship*
Kiwanis Club of Dalton / Dr. Earl McGhee Scholarship*
has never been greater than it is right now.”
Mary Bell Price Environmental Studies Scholarship*
Mayor David Pennington Scholarship
“An investment in a Dalton State student today
Minor Family Nursing Scholarship
can pay dividends for years to come,” notes Murray Scholarship*
President John Schwenn. “We are proud to have MWE Scholarship in Teacher Education
earned the support of so many donors who make Norris & Billie Little Scholarship*
an annual gift to sustain an award or who have NW GA Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPA’s Scholarship
Ratner Foundation Scholarship*
endowed a scholarship. Either way, it’s a win-
Rita Salazar Scholarship*
win. The donors know they’re changing lives and Robert W. Kinard Scholarship*
the student graduates to become a productive Roman Open Charities / James G. Freas Memorial Scholarship
professional. That’s a good investment.” Roman Open Charities / Ken Beaudoin Memorial Scholarship
Ronald S. Taylor Memorial Nursing Scholarship
The DSC Foundation gratefully acknowledges Roy Barrett Scholarship
the following donors and scholarships for the Ruth C. Boyle Scholarship*
impact they have on Dalton State students. Some Ryan Allan Acree Memorial Scholarship*
Stan & Janet Goodroe RETP Scholarship*
scholarships support multiple students each year. Wachovia Bank Scholarship for Business Excellence*
For information on establishing a scholarship at Walter M. & Fannie B. Jones Scholarship*
Dalton State with an annual gift or endowment, Wayne Bell Memorial Scholarship
contact the Foundation at (706) 272-4473 or W.W. Fincher Scholarship
22 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
MARISA CARDENAS: HELPING HANDS
When asked what she’s known for, nursing and communications
major Marisa Cardenas grits her teeth, winces, and says “for
being in a lot of pictures,” then shakes her head as if she’s trying
to shrug it off. It turns out that Marisa has “the look” campus
photographers like and so she’s asked to take part in numerous
photography sessions to capture campus scenes. “I know I’ve
been in too many pictures when someone I don’t know comes up
to me and says that they know me, they’ve seen my picture,”
Born in Guatemala, Marisa and her mother came to the U.S.
when Marisa was three. They settled first in Florida and then
they moved to Ringgold, where they’ve lived ever since. Marisa’s
mother, an elementary school teacher back in Guatemala, stressed
the importance of education. “She’s gotten me to where I am
today,” Marisa says, obviously proud of her mom. “And she did it
by herself, as a single parent.”
Her mother taught Marisa English, and today Marisa’s diction rivals or The FiLe on
exceeds that of American speakers. “And then we’d watch Spanish-language MArisA CArdenAs….
soap operas,” she laughs, stressing that it was important she not lose her
Little-known fact: Any extra
native Spanish. time I have, I read.
Listens to: Spanish rock, Regina
The double recipient of a Goizueta Scholarship and a Ratner Nursing Spektor, indie music
Scholarship, Marisa majors in nursing to fulfill her desire to “be in a career
Favorite literary character: Elizabeth
where I can care for somebody. I want to be a certified nurse midwife or Bennett and Scarlett O’Hara
a physician’s assistant.” Her ultimate goal is to work for Doctors Without
Admits to: I’m a sucker for
Borders, the global relief organization that delivers humanitarian aid to romantic comedies.
victims of armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, or natural disasters. “I
Favorite toy as a child: I still have
want to be able to help people,” she says with passion and conviction. “I feel my teddy bear named “Brownie.”
useless when I can’t.”
Breakfast: Coffee and maybe toast
In addition to the rigors of the nursing program, Marisa busies herself with Favorite quote: “If life gives you
lemons, make lemonade.”
several campus organizations. For the past two years she’s been a SOAR
(Student Orientation Ambassador and Recruitment) leader, and she was the Guilty pleasure: Chocolate
head of SOAR in 2009. She served two years with the Northwest Georgia Would rather be: Helping out
Crescent Leadership Alliance, a group comprised of students from regional in Haiti or Guatemala
colleges and universities who gather regularly to study leadership. She sits Admires: My mother and my
on the Presidents’ Council for student organization leaders and the college’s aunts, Vickie and Angelica
Disciplinary Council that adjudicates student offenses. Motto: Never give up.
The rewards for Marisa have been many, but one is greater than all the rest:
“I’ve gotten to know myself.”
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 23
SAM PRESLEy: TEACHER MAN
Teacher education major Sam Presley has what it takes to make
an outstanding teacher someday, but he’d be an equally successful
salesman should he ever decide to go that route. When he came
to Dalton State as a freshman four years ago, he was the only
member in his family of seven to be here. Within two years, his
brother, two of his three sisters, and even his mother had enrolled,
all thanks to Sam’s powers of persuasion.
“I just told them how great it was,” he says, but somehow one
imagines that Sam didn’t leave it at that, going on to point out
“the small class sizes….affordability….instructors’ accessibility….
[and] the closeness to home and family” that Dalton State offered.
Sam was inspired to pursue teaching when he was a student
at Murray County High School and fell under the spell of his
11th and 12th grade literature teacher, the late Troy Beasley. “I
realized one day that his was the only class I enjoyed going to,”
Sam recalls, noting how Mr. Beasley would engage the class in discussion
and stimulate students’ thinking with high energy and enthusiasm for the
The FiLe on subject.
“I wanted to be like him.” But Sam put his own spin on things. “I’m actually
Little-known fact: I’m never
happy with my hair. dating his daughter now,” he laughs.
Motto: All that glitters is not gold. At Dalton State, Sam cites one of his education professors, Dr. Lynn Murphy,
Listens to: Rush Limbaugh as a role model and mentor. “Dr. Murphy embodies professionalism,” he
says, praising the professor’s well planned lesson structure and emphasis on
Favorite literary character: Frodo Baggins
reaching out to students and fostering a team atmosphere.
Known for: Easy-going nature
Earnest and focused, Sam spends his last semester in college putting in eight-
Admits to: Not being serious enough
hour days doing his student teaching, prepping lesson plans and activities
for the upcoming days and weeks, or studying for a children’s literature
Breakfast: Bacon and eggs course or a professional seminar required of all education majors in their
Favorite quote: “If I find in myself desires final semesters.
which nothing in this world can satisfy,
the only logical explanation is that I was His schedule doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits, such as keeping up
made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis with politics, going to the movies, or golf. “My clubs are in the attic,” he
Admires: Mom and Dad says, noting that he stored them there this past winter when he realized just
how busy he was going to be until graduation.
dream job: Teacher
This year’s recipient of the Ryan Allan Acree Memorial Scholarship
confesses that he’s “always had a drive to help” and that he gets a certain
satisfaction in helping people. “It’s my dream to help other people
24 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
ASHLEy BENTLEy: NUMBER GIRL
Dalton State senior Ashley Bentley is a little different.
Not bad different, not weird different, but unique different. She
even says so.
Case in point: Ashley has been heard to say, “I loved
This aspiring mathematician is the recipient of this year’s Arvine
Phelps Memorial Scholarship, an award made annually to a
student majoring in math. Arvine Phelps was a charter member
of the faculty at then-Dalton Junior College, taught trigonometry
and calculus here for 27 years, and retired in 1995. He died in 2002.
When Ashley graduates this spring, she’ll be the first Dalton
State student ever to do so with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
She was recruited into the math program two years ago by Dr.
Randall Griffus, Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics.
She was offered a DSC Foundation scholarship to stay at Dalton State
after she completed her associate’s degrees in physical education and math.
And because her name is at the top of the alphabet, and no one else in the
The FiLe on
program has a surname beginning with ‘A,’ Bentley will be the first name
called at graduation to receive a baccalaureate in mathematics. Little-known fact: I always
wear a crazy hair-bow.
“Everybody’s got a special gift,” Ashley notes. “Mine’s math.”
Listens to: Mostly alternative,
Linkin Park & Evanesence
Currently enrolled in her final semester at Dalton State, Ashley is taking
Math 4602, Real Analysis II. She’s got Euclidian space, Riemann integrals, Favorite literary character:
“The Little Mermaid”
and homomorphisms down pat. She had her Alphas, Betas, Deltas, and
Gammas knocked out a long time ago. Admits to: Nothing that will
get me in trouble
When she’s not in class, she’s tutoring other students in the math lab on hometown: Chatsworth, but
campus. “I meet new people there – I met my best friend in the math lab. originally from Wise, Virginia
I have regulars. When I’m in the math lab, I feel like I’m in the right place” Breakfast: A sandwich from
IHOP or Subway or Panera
Her math lab experience has given her a taste of teaching, which fulfills her.
She wants to extend her study of math to a Ph.D., probably Guilty pleasure: Watching anime
in combinatorics – problem-solving using permutations and combinations, in 10 years: I hope to be doing math.
or, as Ashley says, “how to count” – and to teach at the college level. so relates to: My dad – I’ve
always been a daddy’s girl.
She’s earned A’s in every college math class except one, where she took a B. “I
Would rather be: Working for Disney
don’t think I’m smarter than anyone else,” she says thoughtfully, pausing to
think this through. “I just have the determination to pursue what I love – math.”
Even so, she knows her limits. “Some people are artists. I’m not an artist. I
can’t draw anything….but a graph.”
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 25
PARTH BRAHMBHATT: UPwARDLy MOBILE
Management major Parth Brahmbhatt says nothing has been
more essential to his college education than the communication
skills he’s mastered along the way. “Writing and speaking skills
are the two most important things for a college student and even
more so after college,” he states with the assuredness of a man
older than his 25 years. “They are absolutely the most valuable
things I’ve learned here.”
Articulate and engaging, Parth will employ those skills as he
pursues a legal career following his graduation from Dalton State
in May. He aspires to be an attorney in Washington, D.C., and
ultimately be an advisor to the president.
Parth is a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from his
hometown of Ahmedabad in western India. His father died when
Parth was four, so his mother raised him and his four older sisters,
bringing the family to the U.S. when Parth was in the tenth grade.
“It was hard, but our mother embedded in us the value of education and the
financial stability it brings,” he recalls. Several of his sisters have master’s
The FiLe on degrees, including his sister, Bea, who preceded him as an alumna of
Little-known fact: Trilingual (English,
Hindi, Gujarati, and trying to learn Parth originally enrolled at Dalton State for two years. Then his
as much Spanish as I can) entrepreneurial streak took over and he opened a small convenience store in
Motto: Don’t think of the future Chattanooga. But his thirst for education was unquenched, and he returned
– it comes soon enough! to Dalton State to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
dream job: Advisor to the
When he came back, he was attending classes and working two jobs. “That’s
President of the United States
when I applied for the scholarship,” he states, referring to his junior year
Admires: Gandhi; Martin Luther King, Jr. when he received the Ken White Scholarship. “The scholarship freed me to
Breakfast: Indian chai pursue my education,” he says. A regular on the college’s Dean’s List, Parth
Favorite toy as a child: A machine gun earned his current award, one of the Roy Barrett Scholarships, for his senior
my mother bought for me. I still have it. year, ensuring him a clear path to graduation.
Listens to: Hindi music
“One of the things that surprised me most was the teaching methods used
so relates to: Michael J. Fox on “Family Ties” by professors in the School of Business,” Parth admits. “They present us
Known for: Playing tricks on people with case studies like those used at more established and older business
schools, and they’re on a very high level.”
Admits to: Cramming ten
minutes before exams
As Parth prepares to graduate this spring, he’s already setting high standards
Would rather be: Homer Simpson of his own. “Money’s never a goal of mine….but I hope I can be successful
Favorite quote: “Gems don’t enough to come back and endow a huge scholarship to help other students
shine without friction, nor does like me.”
a man without obstacles.”
26 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Dalton State Alumni Advisory Council
Last fall, the Alumni Relations office invited 15 bond. To be able to volunteer my time for an
Dalton State alumni to campus to discuss how the institution so dear to me is very rewarding.”
college interacts with its alumni. These graduates
from various decades and majors were selected to His attachments to Dalton State run deep, as do
serve on the college’s first Alumni Advisory Council. those of other council members. All of them have
multiple stories about what the college means to
“As we look to expand our programming to our them and why they agreed to serve on the council.
growing alumni base, we’re seeking the input and Clements’ story is typical.
feedback of the 10,000 Dalton State alums we’re
here to serve,” says Alumni Relations Coordinator “I am very appreciative of the education I received
Josh Wilson. “It’s extremely important to us that at Dalton State and I am additionally grateful for
Dalton State alumni have a say in the way we the opportunities that I had at the college. Some of
engage them through our communication pieces my deepest friendships were made at Dalton State. I
like the magazine and email newsletter, and with was blessed to have professors who cared about me
reunions and special events throughout the year. as a person and who wanted the best for me.”
The Alumni Advisory Council provides an effective Clements believes that all alumni can play several
venue for that dialogue.” roles in support of Dalton State.
Jeff Clements (’94) has been selected as Chair of the “A strong alumni base has the potential to be a very
group and Nancy Whaley (‘74) serves as Vice Chair, powerful voice for public advocacy on behalf of
each for two-year terms. the college,” he says. “Further, the most important
“I wanted to be part of a group of people dedicated aspect of any college is, of course, the education of
to help Dalton State be the best in all aspects,” says its students. Therefore, if alumni are in a position to
Clements, who lives and practices law in Calhoun. help students currently enrolled, then we as alumni
“All members of the council share that common should be willing to make that commitment.”
Members of the 2010 Dalton State Alumni Advisory Council shown seated (left to right): Kimberly Davis, Dudd Dempsey,
and Nancy Whaley. Standing (left to right): Ken White, Evitte Parrish, Jeff Carrier, Tim Jones, Hubert Marsh, Bob Oxford,
and Michael Williams. Not pictured: Bob Beavers, Mark Beckler, Jeff Clements, Mary Thelma Norris, and Corey Roy.
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 27
Photo courtesy of Alana Joyner/Office of the Governor
Suppose you’re going into a job interview.
Suppose it’s a job you really, really want, and suppose that you
already know a good bit about your potential employer.
You’re pumped. You’ve rehearsed your answers, and you know
that you’re ready for whatever the interviewer throws at you.
Now suppose that the interviewer just so happens to be the
governor of the State of Georgia.
That actually did happen to Dalton State alumna Brandi Johnson early
in 2009 when she interviewed for her current position as Executive
Assistant to Governor Sonny Perdue’s Chief of Staff, Ed Holcombe.
Having just completed a stint as a Legislative Assistant in the
Governor’s Floor Leader’s Office in the Georgia State Senate, Brandi
had been urged to apply for the Executive Assistant position by a
28 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
colleague at the state capitol. She interviewed with and statements, helped coordinate official events, and
Holcombe and Governor Perdue, and she got the job assisted the governor’s official photographer, which
on her first try. put her in close proximity to the Big Guy himself.
When asked now about the interview, Brandi hesitates, “Governor Perdue is so normal!” she asserts,
obviously still overwhelmed by the experience. pointing out that he sometimes wears cowboy boots
with his suits and pops in to various offices around
“Nerve-wracking, yet exciting,” she says. “As the capitol to see how everyone is doing.
intimidating as an interview with the governor can
be, but I wouldn’t change a thing.” Brandi even caught an inside glimpse of national
politics when former president George W. Bush
One can only imagine. visited Atlanta for a fundraiser in 2008: she drove
a 15-passenger press van full of national media
Originally planning a career as a fashion designer, representatives and a Secret Service agent in the
Brandi grew up loving to sew and design clothes. presidential motorcade, and was on the tarmac when
While in college, she worked as a graphic designer the president deplaned from Air Force One.
for Brumlow Home, where she designed area rugs.
She found time to earn her Georgia real estate license Following the fellowship, she took a job as Special
while juggling a job and her school responsibilities, Assistant in the Governor’s Floor Leader’s Office in
and she worked for a while with ERA Team the State Senate, where she handled administrative
Advantage Realty in Calhoun. Then she heard about matters, such as constituent inquiries and legislative
internship opportunities in state government. research, as well as communications. She monitored
committee hearings and tracked the progress of bills
Brandi called up the governor’s office one day to see through the General Assembly.
if there was an internship program. It turned out
there was, but the deadline for applications was only From there she made the jump to working for
three days away. Perdue’s Chief of Staff, where she will be until the
Perdue administration ends in early 2011.
“They told me to send in my resume, so I did, and I
got an internship,” she recalls, still marveling at how When she’s not in the center of the action at the
fast things moved for her then. capitol, Brandi volunteers with the Atlanta Junior
League, a service organization focusing on women
She was assigned to the governor’s scheduling office. and children, and participates in the Susan G. Komen
3-Day for the Cure, an annual 60-mile walk to raise
“That experience really opened doors that I never
money for breast cancer research. She walked in 2008
knew existed,” she says.
and 2009, and is planning to walk again later this year.
“Being surrounded by the political atmosphere was
Meanwhile, she puts in 10- and 11-hour workdays,
so invigorating: it helped me realize how much I
especially when the legislature is in session, and
continues to be amazed at where she is.
The internship was her first political experience.
“The excitement of the place….there’s always
When it concluded, Brandi applied for and was something going on,” she says.
granted a full-time, six-month fellowship with the
“Everything [about this job] has completely surprised
governor’s press office. As a Governor’s Fellow, she
me,” she confides, but admits quickly that “I haven’t
communicated with the press, drafted briefings and
had time to really think about how all of this
media advisories, handled requests for interviews
happened. Things just kind of fell into my lap.” d
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 29
all aBout aluMni
Randy Beckler ‘71
In 1971, a little start-up airline called Southwest Airlines began flying; Jim Morrison of The Doors died in
Paris; Walt Disney World opened in Florida; and a tall, lanky Dalton native named Randy Beckler graduated
from Dalton Junior College.
We caught up with Randy recently to see what he’s been up to. A glance around his office would indicate
that he’s a professional hunter and fisherman: no less than 12 specimens populate the room, including a
largemouth bass, a ringneck pheasant, a northern timberwolf, a black bear, a ground barren caribou, and a
Turns out instead that hunting’s just a hobby, and he’s spent his career in the retail floorcovering business,
building on the tradition his father and mother started with Beckler’s Carpet, turning it into one of the
largest floorcovering retailers in the country.
Here’s the rest of the lowdown on Randy:
Known for: Known for:
being Burch Beckler’s Carpet;
and Claudell still being a
Beckler’s son; big fan of
being a good Roadrunner
jumper in basketball
Listened to: country; can
mostly pop and occasionally
country get into some
Admired: my Dad and Mom and DJC
Roadrunner basketball Coach Melvyn Ottinger Works: Beckler’s Carpet, CEO
Wanted to be: hunting and fishing Children: two sons, Bryan and Mark, and three
grandchildren plus one on the way
Favorite movie or TV show: “It’s a Mad, Mad,
Mad, Mad World”; “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” Admires: my Mom and anybody who’s got good
old fashioned common sense
did for fun: hunting and fishing; basketball
Wants to be more: involved with kids, especially
drove: a ’69 gold Corvette young disadvantaged kids
Married: DJC Homecoming Queen Beth does for fun: “hunt critters,” especially in
Headrick (’71) the Saturday after their DJC Montana – “they call it Big Sky country for a reason”
Favorite movie or TV show: “The Blind Side”;
Favorite class: American history with Terry “Two and a Half Men”; “CSI-Miami”
Christie – “he kept you on the edge of your seat”
Appreciates: faith, family, health, and happiness
Liked dJC because: it was small and everybody
knew everybody else; on the basketball team, something most people don’t know about him:
we learned sportsmanship and teamwork he’s got a big soft spot for kids
30 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
all aBout aluMni
Nathan Smith (’09) was
elected Chairman of the
Walker County Republican
Party in a special election
last August. Nathan lives
in Rossville, GA, and
works for UNUM as a
Jason Surratt (’06) married Mollie Jean Allen last fall.
Jason is an Assistant Department Manager for Shaw
Industries. The couple make their home in Dalton, GA.
Andy Foster (’05) returned to campus this
spring to speak with students in an American
Government class about his experience as the
Executive Director of the Georgia Athletic and
Entertainment Commission (GAEC).
GAEC regulates all combat sports in the state,
including boxing and mixed martial arts.
“We oversee everything from the types of gloves
fighters use, to the doctors and ambulances, to
the referees,” Andy said. He offered a quick lesson
on the difference between a regulatory rule and a
law, and discussed the relationship between GAEC,
the Attorney General’s office, and the Georgia
A former fighter himself, Andy began his
professional relationship with GAEC as a referee.
He was appointed GAEC’s Executive Director two
years ago. He loves his work.
It was one of his extracurricular activities as a
student at Dalton State that really prepped him
for the real world, he says, noting how College
Bowl coach Dr. Tom Deaton “always made
sure everything was complete, including our
paperwork. It taught me the importance of being
Dalton Police Department Chief Jason Parker, right, prepared and having my own paperwork complete
congratulates the DPD’s newest sergeant, Dalton before I go into a meeting.”
State alumnus Daniel Nicholson (’05). A ten-year Andy concluded his class lecture with some sage
veteran of the department, Sergeant Nicholson had advice: “Do what you’re good at, and if you keep
been assigned to the Drug Unit. Now that he has been at it, you’ll be successful.” It was a lesson he
promoted, he will be serving as a supervisor in the learned a number of years ago: “Do what you like.”
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 31
all aBout aluMni
Julie Karash Pavlu (’03) was recently named General
Gazing onto the campus flora and fauna through Manager of the Hampton Inn – Dalton. Julie oversees
the full-length windows in Roberts Library helped all financial and management operations at the 124-
Dalton State alumna Alicia Hughes Newberry (’04) room hotel including sales, marketing strategies, and
realize her life’s calling: protecting and conserving guest services. The Rocky Face, GA, resident’s hobbies
nature, especially locations where animal species include traveling, photography, hiking, boating,
are endangered or on the verge of extinction. swimming, and spending time with family.
Alicia works for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory
as a GIS Analyst and Data Services Coordinator.
Barry Blevins (’03, ’01) and his family live in Calhoun,
Based in Tallahassee, she creates maps using
GA. Last fall, Barry co-hosted a football pre-game show
geographic information systems (GIS) software.
on Friday nights called “The Fearless Football Forecast”
“I can view, interpret, query, and visualize spatial on WJTH 101.7 FM and 900 AM. Barry works at
data, and see relationships and patterns between Century Bank and enjoys spending time with his family,
the data,” she says. “In the environmental watching football, fishing, and working in the yard.
resources field, I have analyzed the spatial
relationship of land cover and land use to the
locations of endangered species to determine Nina Geddings O’Neill (’02) is an Orientation and
which locations are threatened by agriculture and Mobility Specialist for the blind and visually impaired
which are in good condition.” at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City, NJ.
Nina and her family reside in Hamilton, NJ.
The Ellijay native came to geography indirectly.
She initially majored in journalism because she
loved to write. But then Dalton State geography Joshua Roberts (’01), a teacher at Eastbrook Middle
professor Dr. Tom Deaton told her about GIS. And School, was recently recognized by Georgia Power
biology professor Dr. James Adams inspired her as one of Georgia’s best and brightest new teachers.
to work in the natural sciences. She blended both Joshua lives in Rome, GA.
and landed in Tallahassee.
She admits to being “very shy, so they may not
Carrie Martin Thomas (’01), of Epworth, GA, works
have known it at the time, but their excellent
for Fannin Regional Hospital as a Registered Nurse in
teaching skills and support put me on the path
the OR. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and crafts.
that I’m on today.”
Today, Alicia helps the State of Florida make
conservation decisions. Trina Johnson williams (’00, ’85) lives in Calhoun, GA,
with her husband and works at Cartersville Ob/Gyn
“My ultimate goal is to make a difference in the
Associates as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. In
world, just like Dr. Deaton and Dr. Adams did for
her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking.
me, by helping to conserve and protect the land
and the species that inhabit them.”
Kenneth “Ken” D. Keith (’98) joined Liberty National
Insurance Company in 2005 as an agent and is now a
Branch Manager. Ken and his wife live in North Richland
Hills, TX. They have three children and one grandson.
Ken loves to play the guitar and drums, and watch
32 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
all aBout aluMni
Brad Denton (’98) was recently named Vice President Shirley w. Hopkins (’90) recently retired as a
and Branch Manager of FSG Bank’s Ringgold branch. pre-school director. She lives in Dalton, GA.
He currently serves as the co-chair of Leadership
Catoosa and has been involved with the Muscular
Dystrophy Association, Junior Achievement, and the 1980s
Chickamauga Recreation Association. Brad and his
family live in Ringgold, GA.
Ann wright Lasher (’88) is
an Information and Security
Tammy Blanchard wilson (’97) is the Member Services Compliance Specialist for
Supervisor at Bradley Wellness Center. Tammy and her Acxiom Corporation. Ann’s
family live in Cohutta, GA, and like to camp, snow ski, work focuses on ensuring that
golf, run, and participate in their church. new and existing projects,
processes, and systems
comply with Acxiom’s internal
Angela Jackson Runyon (’95) of Chattanooga, TN,
information security policies.
likes 80’s music and all kinds of sports. She works at
Parkridge Valley Hospital as a Medical Assistant. Ann writes: “I only became interested in
computers after taking a computer programming
course from Dr. James Head at Dalton State
Brandon D. Darnell (’93) lives in Dalton, GA, and over 20 years ago. That initial spark of interest
works for Whitfield County Emergency Medical eventually led to my successful IT security career.”
Services. Brandon is also a volunteer firefighter.
Outside of her work, Ann’s daughter keeps her
busy and entertained. “I love photographing her
Angela M. McClung (’92) is a special education with my digital SLR camera so that I can share
teacher at Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center in pictures with family and friends back home.”
Middleton, DE, where she lives with her husband. Ann and her husband are both huge NFL fans and
attend games whenever they can. “Our ultimate
goal is to see a game in each NFL stadium
Melinda white Dill (’91) is a Meigs, GA, resident
around the country.” Ann’s husband roots for
who enjoys reading and going to yard sales and flea
the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Ann cheers on the
markets to look for “treasure.”
Atlanta Falcons. To date, Ann and her husband
have seen NFL games in Kansas City, Pittsburgh,
Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte. “We’re looking
Tim Prince (’90) is a Budget Officer for United forward to taking our daughter to her first NFL
States Army Japan, I Corps (FWD) and 10th Area game in the very near future,” Ann says.
Support Group in Okinawa. After graduation, Tim
Ann and her family live in Roanoke, VA.
completed a two year internship in Germany and
then accepted a position in Korea. After being
stationed in Korea for seven years, he moved to
Hawaii to work as the financial manager for the
Nancy Lynn Sharp (’85) enjoys reading, cooking,
Military Surface Deployment and Distribution
outdoor activities, and spending time with her family.
Command. Tim writes: “I enjoy golf and salt water
The Calhoun, GA, resident is a Clinical Supervisor at
fishing and taking part in the trips scheduled by
the military in the different countries where I have
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 33
all aBout aluMni
Patricia Ridpath (’83) is retired but frequently writes for Donald L. Ledford (’73) works for Sterne Agee, an
five different newspapers. Patricia lives in Buckhannon, WV. investment company. He lives in Anniston, AL.
Robert “Bob” Fallis (’72) is the owner of Vogue
Dr. Thomas “Tom” Price (’83) of Clinton, CT, is Enterprises, Inc. Bob enjoys playing golf and lives in
Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Dalton, GA.
Science at Southern Connecticut State University.
After completing his doctorate at Yale University,
Marsha Butler Boyd (’72) resides in Ooltewah, TN.
he remained on the faculty for the next fifteen
She is a social worker for the Tennessee Department of
years as a Research Scientist in the School of
Medicine. Then, six years ago Tom shifted his
professional goal from research to teaching, which
led him to Southern Connecticut State. Larry G. Harmon (’70) and Charme Butler Harmon
Tom writes: “Outside of work, I have been a (’71) call Jasper, GA, home. Larry is the Executive
professional musician for the last forty years and Director of the North Georgia Regional Educational
I am an avid motorcyclist. I am also father to Service Agency and Charme works in the Gilmer County
four grown children and six grandchildren, with School System.
another on the way, and now I have a wonderful
four year old daughter at home.” Jimmy Lamar Davis (’70) co-founded Atlas Industries
in 1976. Jim was in the inaugural class of three to
graduate then-Dalton Junior College with a degree in
tufted textiles management. He lives in Chatsworth, GA.
Richard S. McEntyre (’83) resides in Plainville, GA. His
hobbies include tennis, hiking, and photography.
Cheryl Mayfield Mulkey (’81) of Ellijay, GA, enjoys
Lynn Frost Smith (’69) and her husband, former DJC
reading, gardening, cruising through flea markets, and
Roadrunner basketball player william Gary Smith (’70),
loom knitting. She works in Ellijay as a bookkeeper and
welcomed another grandchild to the family last fall.
Lynn and Gary live in Dalton, GA.
Tommy Jerome “Jerry” Booker (’80) was one of
Coach Melvyn Ottinger’s Roadrunner basketball players
during the 1976-1977 season. He lives in Summerville, GA.
Ruthie Ammari Pfeiffer (’78) is self-employed and
living in Denver, CO.
Patrick Allan Neblett (’77) lives with his wife in
Waverly, TN, and works for Family Discount Pharmacy.
In his spare time he enjoys fishing and motorcycling.
34 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Mr. Roy Barrett
Dalton businessman and philanthropist Roy Barrett,
a friend to dozens of recent and future Dalton State
students, died in January at age 80. The founder of
Barrett Carpet Mills and then Barrett Properties, he
established the Roy Barrett Scholarships at Dalton
State in 2007.
“Mr. Barrett was very proud of his scholarship
recipients,” says David Elrod, Dalton State’s Director
of Institutional Advancement. “I think he got a
bigger kick out of it than the students did. He
would ask me throughout the year, ‘how are my
Mr. Barrett designed the scholarships to run through
2017, providing funding to assist scores of students.
His example was one of generosity and his gift was
exceedingly thoughtful. We mourn the loss of Mr. Mr. Barrett, seated, last November at the annual DSC
Foundation Scholarship Recognition Dinner with three
Barrett, but are honored to perpetuate his memory of his scholarship recipients, left to right, Amelia Atwell,
with these annual awards to our students. Jonathan Marks, and Vallarie Pratt.
Mr. Art Taylor
Former Dalton State College Foundation Chair Art A. Burran, who became president in 1995. David F.
Taylor died in January. He was 88. Hay was interim president between the two.
Elected by his fellow board members, Mr. Taylor True to his salesman roots, Mr. Taylor was able to walk
chaired the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1994- into a room and make friends instantly, and he was able
1995 between the administrations of presidents to do this for the college both during and after his
Derrell C. Roberts, who retired in 1994, and James term as Foundation Chair. He will be greatly missed.
Mrs. Wyleen Carroll Turner
Dalton State’s friend Wyleen Carroll Turner died supporter of education in northwest Georgia,
in January at the age of 84. She and her husband, especially for children and adults with
Jack, were major contributors during the DSC developmental disabilities.
Foundation’s Fulfilling the Vision campaign in
People who had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Turner
knew a gracious lady whose smile radiated warmth
A pharmacist by training – she was one of two and cheer. She was generous and kind, and never met
female graduates from Auburn University’s pharmacy a stranger.
school in 1946 – Mrs. Turner was a longtime
Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 35
Permit No. 113
650 College Drive | Dalton, GA 30720
Dalton State alumna Heidi Veal (’04) sports her Dalton State Alumni
t-shirt in her hometown of London, England. Show your Dalton State
pride and get your free alumni t-shirt at www.daltonstate.edu/alumni
and click on “Update My Information”.