Alumni honor Williams
upon her retirement
A 22-Year Legacy
Director of development and alumni relations, Mary
Lou Elder Williams ’69, MAT ’72 (right), shown with
Kit Waters ’78, president-elect of the UM National
Alumni Association, retired March 1 after more than
22 years of service to her alma mater. During home-
coming in February, she was recognized on a number
of occasions for her exemplary work in helping thou-
sands of alumni to maintain and to strengthen con-
nections to Montevallo and for her dedication to the
6 Traditions to Treasure
The return of College Night musicals to the Palmer
Auditorium stage was one of many celebrations that
occurred at homecoming in February. At right, the
Purple Side revels in a “PV” before a full house in
Palmer Hall. The homecoming theme, “Treasure the
Tradition,” brought together alumni from the 1930s to
2007 to experience a weekend of class reunions, infor-
mal “catch-up” sessions, the annual awards luncheon,
departmental open houses, the 12th annual art auction
and Bloch Party, the Purple and Gold men’s basketball
game — and the 90th College Night. 6
8 A Call to Lead
Karen Kelly (left), a 1980 graduate who earned a bach-
elor of business administration degree in accounting, was
installed as president of the 21,000-member National
Alumni Association at homecoming in February. She
accepts the president’s gavel from Melanie Poole ’86,
outgoing Alumni Association president, at the annual
homecoming business meeting and awards luncheon.
Kelly, who has served the UMNAA in a number of
capacities over the years, shares her vision for the organi-
zation as she begins her two-year term. 8
4 President’s Message 18 Montevallo Profile
10 Sports 20 Reunion Photos
11 On Campus 23 Guest Essay
12 Class Notes
2 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
Cynthia K. Shackelford
205-665-6230 • 205-665-6224 (FAX)
On the cover: Mary Lou Williams ’69, MAT ’72, who retired as UM’s director of devel- email@example.com
opment and alumni relations March 1, was presented a bronze bowl by the board of 205-665-6227 • 205-665-6224 (FAX)
directors of the National Alumni Association to commemorate her many years of service
to alumni and to the university in general. Art professor Ted Metz was commissioned by Class Notes Editor
the board of the UMNAA to design the piece as a retirement gift for Williams. (Please see Marsha Littleton
story on Page 5). firstname.lastname@example.org
205-665-6230 • 205-665-6224 (FAX)
Photo by Matt Orton Photographers
Andrea Graves ’10
Rachel Hendrix ’08
Mary Lou Elder Williams ’69
Racheal B. Banks ’99
Karen Kelly ’80
Kit Waters ’78
Melanie Poole ’86
Paul Doran ’68
Lynn Gurganus ’83
Carolyn Miller Kirby
Daniel McBrayer ’08
UMNAA Vice Presidents
Matt Fridy ’98
Jane Glover ’72
Tracy Payne ’94
Barbara Sloan ’72
DeAnna Smith ’99
Karen Willette ’87
Virginia Young ’84
Members at Large
Barbara Bonfield ’58
Virginia Bunn ’64
Graduates of the Class of 1958, Barbara Goldstein Bonfield (center), Lois Swindal Hayes (left) and Sandi Falkenhagen ’68
Margaret Ann Shotts Edmonds, present Philip C. Williams, Montevallo’s president, with a “big check” rep- Ann N. Griffin ’76
resenting a gift of $12,235 to the Class of 1958 Scholarship fund. The gift was made at the annual business Bruce Higdon ’66
meeting and awards luncheon at homecoming in February. Those making the presentation were joined at the Wadia Josof ’79
luncheon by a large number of their classmates who were celebrating their 50th reunion. Evan Major ’66
Mike Malone ’69
Jeannine McElroy ’53
Mike Meadows ’79
Photo by Matt Orton
Cynthia Medley ’88
Walt Merrell ’97
Jim Methvin ’73
Norma Nabors ’50
MONTEVALLO TODAY Vol. XCVIII, No. 2 Spring 2008 Laurl Self ’94
Montevallo Today (ISSN 1052-3634) is published four times a year, in December, March, June and September, by the University
of Montevallo, Alumni Relations/Public Relations, Reynolds Hall, Highland St., Montevallo, AL 35115. Periodicals postage Ex-Officio
paid at Montevallo, AL, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER, send address changes to Montevallo Today,
Philip C. Williams
Station 6215, P.O. Box 6000, Montevallo, AL 35115. Text, photographs and graphic images included in this publication may not
be reproduced in any form for any purpose without written permission from the editor. The University of Montevallo does not
Mary Lou Elder Williams ’69
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or in the provision of services. Racheal B. Banks ’99
By Philip C. Williams
Back in Palmer Auditorium or . . . and never start punching or kicking each
things our nation’s leaders One of my staff members observed
that it might be the very fact of physical
could learn from College Night closeness that allowed for such a high
degree of competitive energy. Upon hear-
ing that remark, I pondered whether
College Night 2008 marked a glorious return to Palmer
College Night might be one of the finest
Auditorium. I confess that I had not fully understood the alumni who
examples of civil discourse in the world
told me how important it was for College Night to happen there.
today. Could it be, I wondered, that our
Yes, I understood the importance of experiencing a College Night
students have learned the magical art
performance in the very same venue where decades of Purple and
of competing — using music and words
Gold rehearsals had occurred, and where so many victories and losses
Philip C. Williams — within a spirit of love and mutual
had been celebrated and shared. Yes, I understood the importance of
respect? What a novel idea!
architecture to the performing arts, and the difference between experi-
encing musical comedy under a proscenium arch as opposed to under This magical combination of competition and respect plays out
a basketball goal. But no, I had not fully understood the magic of over the course of Homecoming in a variety of ways. Purple and
Palmer Auditorium. Gold alumni playfully tease each other, yet each can recount times
when the opposing side probably had the better program. Ribbons
What brought the concept home to me was walking into the lobby
find their way around trees all over the Main Quad, and somehow
at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday evening, just as the Purple and Gold cheer-
the quantity of purple and gold seems to balance. If one tree has a bit
leading squads were facing off. Unlike football or basketball, where
more Purple, the next one has a bit more Gold.
each team’s cheerleaders eye the opposing squad from a distance;
these Purple and Gold cheerleaders were shouting at each other from Here at Montevallo, our students have mastered the art of disagree-
a distance of about three feet at a decibel level somewhere between ing without becoming disagreeable. If only our nation’s leaders could
“Manhattan jackhammer” and “Space Shuttle launch.” How can it master that same art! What a wonderful world this could be . . . (I feel
be (I wondered, given all the racket) that they never lose their cool a song coming on . . .)
“One of my staff mem-
bers observed that it
might be the very fact
of physical closeness
that allowed for such a
high degree of competi-
tive energy. Upon hear-
ing that remark, I pon-
dered whether College
Night might be one of
the finest examples of
civil discourse in the
4 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
Williams’ legacy spans two decades
At homecoming in February, alumni and friends had an oppor-
tunity to express their gratitude — and best wishes — to Mary Lou
Elder Williams ’69, MAT ’72, who retired as director of development
and alumni relations March 1 after more than 22 years of service to
her alma mater.
At gatherings across campus during homecoming weekend —
from the alumni board meeting to College Night — Williams was
lauded for her exemplary service, loyalty, professional expertise and
her ability to make friends for Montevallo.
Melanie Poole ’86, outgoing president of the UM National Alumni
Association, said the directors of the UMNAA wished to present her
with a special gift as a token of their appreciation — and on behalf of
“The alumni board of directors commissioned Ted (Metz) to
design a special bronze bowl for Mary Lou’s retirement gift. It is
inscribed: Mary Lou Williams ’69, MAT ’72, who
retired March 1 as director of develop-
Mary Lou Williams ment and alumni relations, responds to
Director of a standing ovation at College Night in
February. With her are from left: Dan
McBrayer, SGA president; Zach Banks
and Kelsey Sherrer, Purple leaders; and
University of Melissa Harbison and Jeff Walker, Gold
Montevallo leaders. Williams served as a member
of the College Night Committee for
1985-2008 many years. She also was a member of
the Purple Side when she was a student
“Years Rich and at Montevallo. At left, she applauds
Fruitful.” recipients of awards presented by the
UM National Alumni Association at
Metz, a profes- homecoming.
sor of art at UM, is
a widely renowned Kit Waters ’78 (left), president-elect of the UM
sculptor. His sculp- National Alumni Association, adjusts a corsage Williams has served in numerous leadership roles for events across
ture “Becoming,” for Mary Lou Williams ’69, MAT ’72, director of campus. She was chair of UM’s Centennial Celebration Committee,
near Main Quad, is development and alumni relations. Williams retired Founders’ Day Committee and the Women’s Day Committee. She
a campus landmark. March 1 after more than 22 years of service to was vice chair of the Inauguration Committee when Dr. Philip C.
Montevallo. Williams became UM’s president in 2006. A member of the Second
The phrase in the Century Commission, she has served on the Hallie Farmer and Dancy
inscription, “Years Rich and Fruitful,” was taken from Montevallo’s Lectures committees and is a member of the Montevallo branch of
Alma Mater. the American Association of University Women. She also has advised
the Chi Omega sorority on campus. In 1998, Elite Night was dedi-
At College Night, the audience in Palmer Hall gave her a standing
cated to her.
ovation during a special tribute recognizing her years of service to
UM and to the College Night Committee, of which she was a mem- A Rotarian, Williams has served on the membership task force of
ber for many years. the Higher Education Partnership for a number of years.
In the September 1985 issue of Montevallo Today, the newly hired She is a member of the Alabama chapter of the National Society
alumni director spoke about her goals and objectives for the future, of Fund-Raising Executives and was awarded certification by the
most of which have been realized. On a more personal note, she said NSFRE in 1990. She received the Certified Fund-Raising Executive
she felt a sense of security in returning to her old campus. She said designation at that same time. She has been active in the United Way
this sense of belonging could only enhance her duties as the new of Central Alabama, the YMCA of Shelby County and the Alabama
alumni affairs director. Association of Women Deans, Administrators and Counselors.
“It happens every morning when I come under those gates. I She and her husband, Joe, are members of University Baptist
get that little feeling — kind of like a safety net — that you get Church. They have two daughters, Beth and Scottie. The most recent
when you’re in college,” she said. Recently, she said that feeling has addition to the family is Mary Elizabeth House, born Jan. 18 to Beth
remained with her during her years at Montevallo. and her husband Michael.
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 5
Treasure the Tradition:
Dr. Robert M. McChesney, president emeritus of UM,
responds to the unveiling of a portrait which will be
displayed in the board room of Calkins Hall, along
Betty Walker (left) and Cathy Jo Wheeler, with those of other former presidents of Montevallo.
both members of the Class of 1975, chat at With him is his wife, Laraine, and Montevallo Master
the 12th annual alumni art auction in Bloch Rachel DiCarlo. Dr. McChesney retired in 2006 after
Hall Gallery. 14 years of service to the University.
At right, Martha Hale of Helena, mother of 2008 Distinguished Alumna Award winner, Rebecca Luker
’84 sits in a chair that was given to Luker by the UM National Alumni Association. With her is 2007
Distinguished Alumnus Award winner, Patrick Evans ’88, and outgoing UMNAA president, Melanie
Poole ’86. Luker, who is performing on Broadway, was unable to attend homecoming activities.
See class reunion photos beginning on Page 20.
Homecoming: A Tradition to Treasure
Centered around the theme “Treasure the Tradition,” home- Recipients of awards
coming Feb. 8-9 offered alumni opportunities to sample events and presented by the UM
activities that have become permanent items on the agenda — class National Alumni
reunions, College Night, the annual awards luncheon, the 12th Association at home-
annual alumni art auction, men’s College Night
basketball game and departmental open houses, Sterling ’58 (center)
to name a few. and Amos Snead ’02
Alumni who received awards presented by
Alumna Award win-
the UM National Alumni Association were
ner Rebecca Luker
Rebecca Luker ’84, recipient of the 2008 ’84, who was unable
Distinguished Alumna Award; Yvonne Anderson to attend the ceremo-
Sterling ’58, recipient of the Nathalie Molton Gibbons Alumni ny, was represented
Achievement Award; and Amos Snead ’02, winner of the Nathalie by her friend, Stanley
Molton Gibbons Young Achievers’ Award. M. Nelson ’75 of
The Purple Side claimed a “PV” Saturday evening at the 90th
College Night. With the announcement of the secret phrase, “This sworn in at the annual awards luncheon and business meeting. Out-
is only the beginning,” members celebrated their 46th College Night going directors were honored for their service to the UMNAA.
victory on the stage of a sold-out Palmer Auditorium. College Night Homecoming also featured the annual “Swing into Spring” event
was dedicated to Dr. Jon Smith, assistant professor of English and on Friday, featuring a back-to-class theme. Several members of the
vice chair of the College Night Committee. Rachel DiCarlo was Montevallo faculty were guest speakers.
named Ms. University of Montevallo. Nick Ramsland claimed the
title of Mr. University of Montevallo. They were elected in campus- The Class of 1958 presented the University with a “big check” for
wide voting and were recognized at College Night productions Friday $12,235 to begin a scholarship fund.
and Saturday evenings. On Saturday morning at the alumni coffee, Dr. Robert M.
Mary Lou Williams ’69, MAT ’72 received a standing ovation McChesney and his wife, Laraine, were greeted by scores of alumni
from the crowd in Palmer when she was brought to the stage for rec- and members of the University community prior to a ceremony that
ognition of her 22 years of service to Montevallo. She retired March included the unveiling of McChesney’s portrait that will hang in the
1. She also was recognized at the annual awards luncheon and busi- board room of Calkins Hall along with portraits of UM’s 12 other
ness meeting. (See Page 5 for more information). former presidents. McChesney retired as president in 2006 with 14
years of service in that office. Upon his retirement, he was granted the
New members of the board of directors of the UMNAA were rank of emeritus president and professor of political science.
6 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
Top, from left: UM President Philip C. Williams and his wife, Sandra, greet Mary Louise Rice Dabbs ’56 at the president’s open house. Betty Gottler ’72
(left) and Mary Casey ’74 welcome Martha M. Griffin ’38 to the family and consumer sciences open house. For the Gold Side’s College Night show, Blaine
Horton, as the devil, dances before Camp Fairhope campers. Second row, from left: Purple Side leaders Kelsey Sherrer and Zach Banks and Gold Side lead-
ers Melissa Harbison and Jeff Walker applaud Dr. Jon Smith, assistant professor of English, to whom College Night was dedicated. Mr. and Ms. University of
Montevallo, Nick Ramsland and Rachel DiCarlo, acknowledge applause from the Palmer stage. Purple Show actors run a scene from their D.C.-oriented set.
More about UMNAA award winners . . .
The 2008 Distinguished Alumna Award winner, Rebecca Yvonne Anderson Sterling, recipient of the 2008 Nathalie
Luker, is currently starring in the Broadway production of Mary Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award, earned her under-
Poppins in the role of Mrs. Banks. She has been referred to as “the graduate degree from Alabama College in 1958. She
most beautiful voice on Broadway.” has a master’s degree in education from the University
Luker earned a bachelor of music degree from Montevallo of Alabama.
in 1984. Upon graduation she moved to New York City, already She began teaching in Cullman in 1958 and taught
signed by an agent. in Oneonta, Tuscaloosa and Cape Canaveral, Fla.,
Luker made her Broadway debut in The although most of her time was spent teaching in the
Phantom of the Opera as understudy to Sarah Cullman schools. She retired since 1990. In 1965 she
Justin Adderholt ’09
Brightman in the role of Christine, eventually was elected as Oneonta Outstanding Educator. In 1973, she was
becoming Brightman’s replacement. Additional selected as the Teacher of America. She remains active in education
Broadway roles include Lily in The Secret and community endeavors. A resident of Cullman, Sterling and her
Garden, Magnolia in Show Boat, Maria Rainer late husband, Willie, have a grown son.
in The Sound of Music, Marian Paroo in The The 2008 recipient of the Nathalie Molton Gibbons Young
Music Man, Claudia in Nine and her current role of Winifred Achievers’ Award, Amos B. Snead, is assistant vice president on
Banks in Mary Poppins. the food, health and nutrition practice at FD Dittus
She is the recipient of three Tony Award nominations, includ- Communications in Washington, D.C.
ing those in 1995 and 2000 for Best Actress in a Musical for Snead, who earned a B.A. in political science
Show Boat and The Music Man, respectively, and in 2007 for Best from UM in 2002, began his career at FD Dittus
Featured Actress in a Musical for Mary Poppins. that year. In 2003 he accepted a position as press
Her television appearances include Matlock, Law & Order: assistant for the House Committee on Energy and
Special Victims Unit and the Hallmark movie Cupid and Cate. Commerce. In 2005 he moved to the office of U.S.
Luker’s career also includes a lengthy list of recording credits, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), where he served as communications
including the 2004 solo recording, “Leaving Home.” director. In 2006 he became press secretary for the Office of the
In 2001, Luker was inducted into the Alabama Stage and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). After almost five years
Screen Hall of Fame. on Capitol Hill, Snead returned to FD Dittus in January 2008.
Luker, who lives in New York City, has been a member of In 2007, Snead was named by PR News to its “15 to Watch
Actors’ Equity since 1985. She is married to Danny Burstein and Under 30” list, which honors 15 budding, under 30, public rela-
has two stepsons, Alex and Zach. tions leaders and creative practitioners in the PR industry.
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 7
Q&A: Karen Kelly
National Alumni Association lead
Editor’s note: Karen Kelly, a 1980 graduate with a bachelor of busi- What are your thoughts about involving younger
ness administration degree in accounting, was installed as president
of the UM National Alumni Association at homecoming in February.
alumni in the work of the Association?
She recently took time with the Montevallo Today staff to answer You know, every time someone asks me about younger alumni, I
questions about various aspects of her new position. have to think for a minute to realize I’m not one of them anymore!
Seriously, it is vital to involve young alumni in the work of the
What are some of your goals as president? Association. It sounds like a cliché, but it the truth is, today’s young
My goals will be evolving over the coming weeks. Of course, we alumni are tomorrow’s alumni leaders – and quite honestly, some of
want to maintain connections with as many of the 20,000-plus UM the younger alumni are already serving as today’s leaders. Their ener-
alumni of all ages and stages of life as possible, and we are explor- gy, enthusiasm, and commitment broaden and strengthen the organi-
zation. Besides that, their ideas are vital to the Association’s ability to
maintain connections in the world of electronic communication and
How often do you plan to visit Montevallo during
your term in office?
Judging from things on my calendar already, I’m looking forward to
being on campus several times a month — for campus-wide events,
alumni activities, Strategic Planning Committee meetings, other meet-
ings, commencement, theater and concerts . . .
Why were you willing to accept the responsibility of
Alumni Association president?
I love the University of Montevallo and believe in its unique mis-
Karen Kelly ’80 (right) accepts the president’s gavel from Melanie Poole sion in our state. I want to do what I can to be sure that current
’86, outgoing president of the UM National Alumni Association. Kelly was and future students have opportunities equivalent to, or even better
installed as president of the UMNAA at homecoming in February. than, the outstanding opportunities I had during my days in school.
In addition, involvement in the Alumni Association has given me the
ing some exciting ideas for enhancing our ability to do so. As most opportunity to know, work with, and learn from alumni of several
readers know, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations will generations, older and younger – people and relationships I’ll treasure
have some new faces over the next few months due to retirement of for the rest of my life.
key leaders, and of course this impacts the Alumni Association. The
board members and I will welcome those selected to work with us What other leadership roles have you held in the
and will do all that we can to make the transitions successful. In addi-
tion, Melanie Poole and I are currently representing the alumni on
the University Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Dr. Williams. I’ve been a class representative for the Campaign for Montevallo
That work should be completed this summer. I expect this strategic for many years and co-chaired the campaign with my mom, Ann
plan will help us identify and prioritize some additional opportunities Kimbrough Kelly, ’57, in 2001-2002. I served two terms as a mem-
for alumni to support UM in achieving its mission. ber-at-large on the Alumni Board, two terms as vice president of
finance and most recently as president-elect.
If you had a theme for your tenure as president of
the Alumni Association, what would that be? Do you have any immediate plans for changes with-
in the Association?
I really liked this year’s Homecoming theme, so I think I would
just add to it. Something like, “treasure the tradition, build for the The Association’s by-laws were revised in 2007, and I was a part of
future.” that process, so I’m not anticipating major changes in structure. Of
8 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
der seeks to strenghten connections
course we are always looking for ways to involve more alumni Karen Kelly
and better serve the university. ’80, newly
What are you looking forward to most as UM dent of the UM
NAA president? Association, is
shown in front
The opportunity to meet and work with more people who are
of Reynolds Hall,
part of the university community – faculty, staff, students, as
well as alumni. Montevallo people are special, and when we for the office of
get together, we often work hard, but we have fun too. I have development and
thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to know and learn from alumni relations.
people that I would not have connected with if I had not got- Kelly, who began
ten involved as a volunteer for UM. a two-year term
as UMNAA presi-
Did you know who was the president of the dent in February,
expects to spend
Alumni Association when you were a student much time in
at the University? Reynolds and in
Believe it or not, I did. Remember, my mom is an alumna, facilities during her
and I grew up in Montevallo. Emily Pendleton of Montevallo time in office.
was president when I arrived on campus, and Neal Shirley fol-
lowed her. I was an Alumni Honors Scholarship recipient, so I
was appreciative of the National Alumni Association from the
Did your Mom or either of your parents, actu-
What are some of your fondest memories of ally, have any influence on your decision to
your time at Montevallo? take on this role?
Like others before me, I could fill a book. College Night Actually, they both did, but not in the way you might think.
tops my list — I’ll never forget hearing SGA President Dave When I was asked to consider serving as president of the
Richardson calmly say, “We found the rain,” as the Purple UMNAA, they were supportive, but did not tell me what they
side erupted in joy on Palmer stage. Teachers who knew my thought I should do. However, throughout my life, both of my
name and whether or not I was in class on any given day; the parents served as leaders for organizations and entities they
life lessons they taught in addition to their academic subjects. believed in, and both served the University of Montevallo.
Weekends in Main Dormitory — me, the kids who had week- In addition to our work with the Campaign for Montevallo,
end jobs and the out-of-state students — we made our own Mother was a student leader at Alabama College, served sever-
fun. The senior roommates who welcomed me as a sophomore al terms on the UMNAA board both as a member at large and
transfer student and helped me find my place on campus, even as an officer, was a class representative and helped plan and
though adding a third person to their dormitory room was host several class reunions. Though not a UM alumnus, Daddy
probably not what they had planned. Alpha Gamma Delta was a long-time member and chairman of the UM Foundation
activities and the unforgettable alumnae advisers who helped Board, president of the Montevallo Golf Club (a joint effort
us grow into responsible women. Spring afternoons on the between the city and the university) and was inducted into the
Quad or at the college lake. The many uses of the Main fire UM Athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions as a friend of
escape. Frito chile pies at Sonic and late night (or early morn- the athletic department. My parents let me find my own way
ing) grilled cheese sandwiches at Waffle House in Alabaster. to the University of Montevallo and my own role as a leader,
The friendships that began on campus and have lasted a life- but I’m pleased to share their passion for this place and to fol-
time and so much more! low in their footsteps!
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 9
UM names O’Brien
head volleyball coach
Katie O’Brien, head volleyball coach at Piedmont College in
Soccer standout drafted
Demorest, Ga., will take the helm of the University of Montevallo’s mmSoccer standout Melford James Jr., a goalkeeper for the Falcons,
volleyball program in late March. O’Brien’s selection as UM’s head was selected by the Chicago Fire in the 2008 Major League Soccer
volleyball coach was announced by Jim Herlihy, Montevallo’s director Supplemental Draft. He is the first Montevallo player to be drafted
of athletics. for a major-league soccer professional team.
“We are very excited that Katie O’Brien will be The Brampton, Ontario,
joining the University of Montevallo,” Herlihy said. native was the 54th choice
“She is an outstanding coach and educator who overall in the fourth round of
brings an overwhelming desire to succeed and has the MLS supplemental draft,
been associated with winning programs as a student- which immediately followed
athlete, assistant coach and as a head coach. We are the MLS super draft.
confident that she will continue the strong tradition James established numer-
of volleyball here at Montevallo.” ous goalkeeping records in his
O’Brien will take over a youthful Montevallo team that finished two seasons at Montevallo. He
11-27 overall and 4-8 in Gulf South Conference play a year ago, but owns single-season records for
returns its entire roster for the fall season. victories (17), shutouts (11)
and minutes played (2,088).
Volleyball coach at Piedmont for eight seasons, O’Brien guided the He also set a school and Gulf
Lady Lions to their first-ever NCAA Division III national tournament South Conference record for
in November. With a career record of 182-109, O’Brien led her team consecutive scoreless minutes (514). He achieved all this in just two
to two Great South Athletic Conference Tournament Championships, seasons at UM. James transferred to Montevallo after competing for
in 2001 and in 2007. She was voted GSAC Coach of the Year in two seasons at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
2005 and in 2007.
Women golfers set school record
O’Brien, who also serves as Piedmont’s senior women’s admin-
istrator, has mentored 36 Academic All-Conference honorees, 22 UM’s Lady Falcon golf team shot a school record 306 in the sec-
All-Conference selections, 12 Freshmen All-Conference picks, three ond round, en route to a second-place team finish at the Buffalo Wild
GSAC Freshmen-of-the-Year selections, one league Player of the Year Wings Invitational held in mid-march at Timberline Golf Club.
and two tournament MVPs.
Birmingham-Southern College won the team competition, posting
Coach O’Brien’s players also are known for their successes in a two-round score of 627. UM was next at 637, while the University
the classroom. During her career at Piedmont, her teams’ cumula- of Mobile (651) finished third. Individually, Morgan Bell was the top
tive grade-point average was 3.26. The 2006 season saw O’Brien’s finisher for Montevallo, placing third with a score of 155 (79-76).
team earn the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA)
GamePlan Academic Team Award as the squad carried a 3.42 cumu- UM soccer team finishes at No. 4
lative GPA. UM’s men’s soccer team moved all the way up to No. 4 in the
O’Brien received her bachelor of science degree in sports, health, final NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division II national rankings poll for
leisure and physical studies from the University of Iowa in 1999. She the 2007 season. The four participants in the national semifinals
has a master’s degree in public administration from Piedmont. occupy the first four spots. National champion Franklin Pierce
(17-2-4) is No. 1. Lincoln Memorial University (20-4-1) is No. 2, and
Prior to beginning her coaching career, she was a standout volley- Midwestern State University in Texas (18-3-2) is No. 3.
ball player at Iowa. She is currently ranked 14th on the Iowa career
blocks list and is 13th in career attack percentage. It was a record-breaking season for the Falcons. UM won the
program’s first-ever NCAA Division II South Region Championship,
In 2005, O’Brien married Freddie Chapman. They live in established a school single-season team record for victories (18) and
Clarkesville, Ga. concluded the 2007 season with a record of 18-4-2 overall.
10 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
Alumni Reunion Band
to get together April 26
to share music, memories
On Saturday, April 26, the department of music will host the UM
Alumni Reunion Band. Members of the Wind Ensemble, past and
present, are invited to come home and join former Wind Ensemble
director Spencer Shaw for a day of sharing music and memories.
UM director of bands, Dr. Joseph P. Ardovino, is organizing this
event as a way for alumni of the UM band programs to reminisce
and reconnect with each other. Dr. Ardovino explained, “It’s been a
long time since we’ve done anything like this,
and I felt that this would be a good time to
UM’s College of Education presented a number of special awards dur- get everyone together again. I’m looking
ing Homecoming week on campus. Recipients included from left: Rene forward to seeing all the talented musi-
Day, who earned the Ruth Stovall Distinguished Alumna Award in family cians who have played in my bands
and consumer science; Stephen Ricks, outstanding alumnus award for the as well under the directors who came
Regional Inservice Center and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology
before me at UM. It’s going to be a
Initiative (AMSTI); Peggy Chappell, recipient of the Bill Fancher Staff
Excellence Award; Toni Leo, outstanding alumna in kinesiology; Jenifer
Moore, Bill Ernest Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award; Richard Regardless of major or degree
Barlow, outstanding alumnus in instructional leadership; Amy Rooker, obtained, any alumnus who has partici-
outstanding alumna in elementary/collaborative education; and Susan Seng,
pated in Wind Ensemble is invited and
outstanding alumna in counseling.
encouraged to participate in this event.
The conductor of the Alumni Reunion
Young alumni plan Band for rehearsals and the performance will be be
Spencer Shaw. He was the director of the UM Wind Ensemble from
silent auction in April 1975 to 1988 and is a favorite among Montevallo alumni. He is an
active trombonist in the community and was a charter member of
the Montevallo Community Band. He has directed the Birmingham
“Bids, Bands & Beverages.” That’s the name of an Community Band for the past three years.
upcoming event that will be hosted by the Junior Board of Registration will be at 9 a.m., and rehearsals will run throughout
Directors of the UM National Alumni Association. the day on Saturday, April 26. A special reunion dinner is planned
The silent auction, which will include such items as spa at 5 p.m. in the Anna Irvin Dining Hall. The day will conclude with
packages and event tickets, will be held April 10 from 6-9 a concert for friends, families and community members in the newly
p.m. at The Wine Loft at 2200 1st Ave. N. in Birmingham. reopened Palmer Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. A photographer will be on
hand to capture memories, and each participant will receive a T-shirt
The Hunter Lawley band will perform, and food will be commemorating the reunion event.
provided at no cost. A cash bar will be available.
Music department alumni wishing to register for this event may
Proceeds from the event will benefit the University. do so by downloading, completing and sending in the registration
“Bids, Bands & Beverages” is open to all alumni and form available on the UM music department website (http://www.
friends. montevallo.edu/music). For additional information or to register
by telephone or email, please contact the department of music at
For additional information, interested persons may con- 205-665-6670 or via email at email@example.com. Current music
tact the Alumni Office at 205-665-6215 or banksrb@monte- students will be sending out invitations to potential participants and
vallo.edu. making personal phone calls to many alumni. Registration deadline is
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 11
Compiled by Marsha Littleton
’27 Ark., recently was dedicated
and named in honor of Delores
Louise Brooks Rushing Brumfield “Dolly” White,
celebrated her 101st birth- professor emerita of physical
day in November with family education at HSU.
and friends. She resides at the
Wiregrass Nursing Home in ’59
Harvey Fleming and his wife,
’44 Mary Gene Averyt Fleming
’59, are retired and living in
Julia Vernon Keller resides Pensacola, Fla. They are the most
in LaGrange, Ga., where she senior surviving members of four Montevallo classmates and friends get together at a retirement reception
has played piano at First Baptist generations of a Montevallo at Troy University honoring Dr. Doug Patterson. They are from left:
Church on the Square since family. Their daughter, Lynn Fred Crawford, Andy Meginniss, Jack Hawkins, Bruce Higdon, Bob
1947. In 2003 she made a CD of Fleming Graham ’83, who Rollins, Dr. Patterson, Dan McCrimmon and John Schmidt.
hymn arrangements as a gift to works in UM’s office of graduate
her church family. studies, and her husband, Karl
Lynn Graham ’83, manager
Alumni salute Doug Patterson
’49 of the CVS store in Montevallo, A recent retirement luncheon at Troy University turned into an
are the parents of Eugenia impromptu reunion of Montevallo alumni.
Price Pendergrass Hicks
cruised the Mediterranean in Elizabeth Graham ’11, an More than 350 persons assembled in Sartain Hall at Troy in
October and reported a “won- early childhood education major. December to honor Dr. Doug Patterson ’67, M.Ed. ’71, senior
derful adventure.” Eugenia Morrow Averyt vice chancellor for administration, on the occasion of his retire-
’32, Mary Gene’s mother, who, ment from full-time duty at Troy University. Included in the audi-
’53 according to Harvey, “started it ence of well-wishers were several of his Montevallo classmates,
all,” was a teacher for almost 40 including Fred Crawford ’68, M.Ed. ’72, Bruce Higdon ’66, Dan
Lillian Hunt Chaney has years in Dallas and Clarke coun-
retired as professor of manage- McCrimmon ’67, Andy Meginniss ’68, Bob Rollins ’68 and John
ties. Harvey writes that there are Schmidt ’69, also a senior administrator at Troy University.
ment and distinguished professor a number of other relatives who
of office management at The have been students at Alabama Two other Montevallo alumni played a major role in Dr.
University of Memphis. She con- College/University of Montevallo Patterson’s special day. Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. ’67, M.Ed. ’71, chan-
tinues her writing and speaking through the years dating back cellor of Troy University has shared a special relationship with
activities and has co-authored to the original Alabama Girls’ Patterson since their undergraduate days, as Hawkins noted in
two books on business etiquette. Industrial School. his remarks. They entered the U.S. Marine Corps together and
worked together beginning at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and
’54 ’60 Blind in 1979 and starting at Troy in 1989. “Doug Patterson has
The softball field at Henderson been my right hand,” Dr. Hawkins said. “We have complemented
James Findley was received
State University in Arkadelphia, each other. The bottom line is that 45 years of a personal and pro-
posthumously into the Alabama
fessional relationship with Doug Patterson have taught me that he
will outwork you, outwit you and outlast you.”
“Dolly” White ’54, Another Montevallo alumna on the dais for the celebra-
professor emerita tion was Patterson’s wife, Lise ’73, who recently retired as an
of physical educa- art teacher in the Troy City School System. In his remarks, Dr.
tion at Henderson
Patterson thanked his wife and family — son Chris and daughters
State University in
Lauren and Natalie — for supporting his career at AIDB and Troy
Arkadelphia, Ark., is
shown at the unveil- University.
ing of a sign designat- Patterson earned his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.
ing the naming of the
He worked at Jefferson State Community College before joining
Henderson State softball
field in her honor.
Hawkins at AIDB.
12 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
High School Sports Hall of Fame ’73 analyst with Mars Petcare, a ’80
recently. With an overall record division of Mars Candy Co.
of 259-117, he coached the After working with federal civil Barbara J. Belisle M.A.,
Holtville High School basketball service for 33 years, Phyllis ’77 retired English teacher and night
team to four consecutive Final Kay Ferguson of Pensacola manager at UM’s Carmichael
retired and treated herself to a Angela Spelce Dietz and hus- Library, has written two books
Four appearances including the
trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora with band Gerry have moved to South and, more recently, a booklet
1996 state championship. He
a group of friends. Carolina where Angela says detailing her integrating into
also coached football, tennis,
she is still quilting. She has also Montevallo High School in
softball and track at Holtville. After 17 years of service, received a degree in automated 1967. She also is working on a
Gordon Welch has resigned computer-aided drafting.
’62 his position as music minister
children’s book and a grammar
After working with Southern usage handbook.
After 45 years as organist at First at First Baptist Church in Selma
to become the teacher certifica- Company Services Inc. for 27 Paul McDonald teaches English
Baptist Church in Columbia,
tion officer for the department years, Katherine Nelems in Jakarta, Indonesia.
S.C., Martha Hardy Hayes
of education at Judson College Marino is office manager at
was awarded the title of organist
the Birmingham office of the Tim Ray M.Ed. ’81 has
emerita upon her recent retire- in Marion. His wife, Elaine
Girl Scouts of North-Central been selected Alabama State
ment. Nationally certified in Carter Welch ’73, is secretary
Alabama. She had served as a Elementary Physical Education
music education, she retired as a to the director of nursing at
Girl Scout volunteer in various Teacher of the Year. In his
music teacher two years ago. She Vaughan Hospital in Selma.
roles for 13 years. 28-year career at Montevallo
writes that she enjoys traveling
’76 Elementary School, he has intro-
and visiting her family. Shirley Owens is a self- duced several non-traditional
Edward Pendergrass and his employed Reading First con- lessons including rope climbing,
’63 wife, Melanie, have relocated to sultant in Long Beach, Calif., hiking, canoeing and kayaking.
L. Michael Hill, H.G.M. Columbia, Tenn., to be near their providing professional develop-
daughters in Nashville. Edward ment for teachers in private and Tammy Richardson M.Ed.
Jopson professor of biology
is a senior cost and inventory parochial schools. ’84, former volleyball coach at
emeritus at Bridgewater College,
Va., recently was elected gover-
nor of the Shenandoah Valley
Company of the Jamestowne
UM graduate heads RIAA’s anti-piracy fight
Society, a group tracing ancestry Variety. Billboard. The Associated Press. Music investigations. “I am delighted to have this oppor-
to the original Jamestowne set- Internet sites. All have carried the news that former tunity to head the West Coast office in the RIAA’s
tlers. In addition, he is working FBI official Kathy Green Leodler ’77 will direct the efforts to tackle physical and online piracy. The
on the Manual of the Virginia Recording Industry Association of America’s west- proliferation of music piracy and counterfeiting of
Flora, to be published in 2010. ern region anti-piracy unit. American-made products as a whole is a world-
The western region is com- wide issue with enormous impact to the nation’s
’69 prised of 11 states and Guam. overall economic well being,” she said.
Leodler began her new posi-
C. Elaine Toney Peterson “The RIAA’s West Coast office is committed to
tion in December.
retired after teaching third grade the development of strong partnerships with law
She is responsible for the man-
for 37 years and is an adjunct enforcement, local governments and the private sec-
agement of investigations relat-
professor of education at the tor to identify, investigate and bring to justice those
ed to the illegal manufacture,
College of Wooster in Ohio. individuals and organizations who unlawfully prey
duplication and distribution
upon the music industry for their ill-gotten finan-
of counterfeit, pirated, bootleg and digital-format
’70 sound recordings.
cial gain,” said Leodler.
Susan Patridge Clark and Leodler received her bachelor of science degree
Leodler, a Birmingham native, came to the
her husband, Mack, have relo- from Montevallo with honors in education. She is
RIAA with 23 years of leadership and operational
cated from Mobile to Centreville a former recipient of the Nathalie Molton Gibbons
experience as a special agent with the FBI. In her
after Mack’s retirement from Alumni Achievement Award. She was active in Chi
most recent role as the acting special agent in
the University of Mobile. Susan Omega sorority as a student at UM.
charge of the FBI’s office in San Diego, she man-
teaches in the Bibb County aged a multi-million dollar budget and a 500-per- The Montevallo graduate is a member of many
schools. son staff. Previously, she served in several different professional associations, including the American
senior leadership posts for the FBI, including assis- Society for Industrial Security International,
’72 tant special agent in charge and supervisory special California Association of Hostage Negotiators,
Janice Clark Rhodes and hus- agent. Federal Law Enforcement Officers’ Association,
band Steve reside in Ellenwood, International Cargo Security Council, and Society
As director of investigations for the western of Former FBI Special Agents.
Ga. She writes that she is enjoy-
region, Leodler oversees all anti-piracy RIAA oper-
ing her grandchildren and look-
ations in the western United States and assists law She lives in San Diego and Long Beach. Married
ing forward to a new job soon.
enforcement authorities engaged in music-piracy to Paul R. Leodler, she has two daughters.
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 13
Pelham High School, has been Hall Psychiatric Facility, a ’91 Basketball Final Four media
named to the Alabama High residential school for mentally ill coordination committee.
School Sports Hall of Fame. In adolescents. Melissa Eppers Fahrney
her 26-year coaching career at recently received certification as ’98
Pelham, she took the Panthers to ’89 a professional life coach and a
Heartmath provider. Melissa and Melba Johnson-Shanks
two state championships and col-
Elizabeth Daily Holsombeck her family reside in Frisco, Colo. works as a guidance counselor
lected 1,140 victories.
M.S. ’90 of Hoover has served with Bessemer city schools and
’81 as a speech pathologist at ’93 part time as an associate licensed
Kennedy Elementary School counselor with
Gary Wayne Bradford is an in Pell City for 10 years. Her Frank Buck Ed.S., curriculum an agency in
intelligence research specialist husband, Buddy, has opened a supervisor for the Talladega city Fairfield. She is
with the U.S. Marshals Service restaurant in Montevallo. school system, working toward
in Birmingham. He and his wife, has authored Get her license in
Sydney Marie, have two sons. ’90 Organized! Time professional
Management for counseling. She
James “Bo” Brown, pastor of
’83 Leaders. The and her husband
Community Baptist Church in book targets the have an 11-month-old son.
Roger Crawford of Pinson Maylene, recently received the particular needs
is president of Fontaine Parts Troy L. Morrison Leadership/ of those in the Kelly Robinson Woods and
Connection, a new com- Church Health Award in recog- field of education. husband Josh have relocated to
pany launched by Fontaine nition of his leadership as a bivo- Florence where Josh is direc-
International-North America, a cational pastor. The award was ’95 tor of university relations at the
leading fifth wheel manufacturer. given by the Alabama Baptist University of North Alabama.
The new company will provide State Convention. Judith Amanda Driggers, a Kelly plans to teach elementary
parts, maintenance training, tools freelance artist, has relocated to education in the area.
Mark Eiland of Mobile has the Birmingham area. She writes
and support for the Fontaine
joined the Hancock Bank of
International product line. that she enjoys oil painting, and ’99
Alabama wealth while she does some portrait
’84 management work, she prefers painting nature Robert Burdette M.Ed., boys
group as vice and landscapes. basketball coach at Calera High
Michelle Barsanti resides in president for School, recently won his 500th
Panama City, Fla., where she the company’s After working in social services game as a head coach, marking
is an addiction counselor for Alabama trust for 10 years, Jennifer Sims a milestone in a career span-
Unlimited Path. She has three division. He will has changed career paths and is ning 22 years and netting four
daughters and two grandchil- serve customers teaching special education and state championships. Less than
dren. in the Mobile and Eastern Shore coaching. She and her partner a month later, Calera principal
area. foster two boys and are in the Ken Mobley Ed.S. ’98 present-
James Purcell M.Ed. has process of adopting a baby girl. ed Robert with a plaque com-
been named director of the Charles Quinn, director of
memorating the name change of
Arkansas Department of Higher instrumental music at Middle ’96 the Calera High Gymnasium to
Education. He had served as Georgia College and a prolific
Billy R. Herron and his wife, the Robert Burdette Gymnasium.
executive director for state sys- composer, was the conductor of
tem research with the Oklahoma the 20th annual Chilton County Bethany M. Herron ’97, have Jennifer Laughlin is a recruit-
State Regents for Higher Honor Band, held recently at relocated to Ft. Wayne, Ind., to er for Travel Nurse Solutions,
Education. James and his wife, Thorsby High School. start a marriage ministry team. a medical staffing company.
Sandra Lester Purcell ’82, Billy will also host the morning In 2007, she
M.Ed. ’84, have one daughter. Susan Seng M.Ed., Ed.S. show on STAR 88.3. was selected
’04, Shelby County Board of
Racheal Luccasen M.Ed. ’00 as a Recruiter
’87 Education’s testing and guid-
recently received a doctorate of the Year
ance supervisor, recently was
After 20 years of active duty ser- degree in education with a spe- by Healthcare
named Counselor Supervisor of
vice, Rachel Pierce Meek has cialization in organizational lead- Traveler, a maga-
the Year by the Alabama School
retired as director of intelligence ership. She teaches at Vestavia zine for health-
for the capabilities integration Hills Elementary Central. care travel professionals.
directorate of the Air Armament After teaching special education
Center at Eglin AFB in Florida. for 13 years, Wanda Russell DeWayne Peevy has been ’00
Stewart is teaching basic edu- promoted to director of media
relations for the Southeastern Trish Keegan of Jacksonville,
’88 cation in Pasco County, Fla., Fla., recently received her doctor
where she and her family reside. Conference. In addition, he is
Rhea Harris M.Ed. ’95 resides on the board of the Basketball of physical therapy degree from
Her husband, Bobby, is a loss the University of St. Augustine
in Chattanooga, Tenn., where prevention manager for K-Mart Writers Association and serves
she is a teacher at Cumberland on the NCAA Division I Men’s for Health Sciences.
14 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
’01 Gene Twilley and wife Laura Shreveport, La., and now reside at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in
Harris Twilley ’04 reside in in Bossier City, La. Stacie Birmingham. LeKindra Saxton
Jessica Batting Reinhardt Philadelphia where Laura is an Gulley ’99, M.Ed. ’03 served as Mitchell ’03 served as matron
M.Ed. ’06 and husband Billy interactive designer for cloth- matron of honor. Dawn teaches of honor, and Cathi Hatten ’04
have relocated to Wetumpka ing retailer Anthropologie, and fifth grade in Shreveport, and was a bridesmaid. The Remberts
where Billy recently accepted Gene is an education specialist Kevin is a staff sergeant in the honeymooned in Honolulu and
the position of minister of stu- with Allstate Insurance Co. Gene Air Force stationed at Barksdale now reside in Midfield where
dents at Mountain View Baptist has finished additional personal AFB. DeMeshia is a social service case
Church. Jessica teaches math education and has completed worker.
at Montevallo High School but the Pennsylvania state licensing ’01
hopes to find a job in Elmore exam for personal lines insurance Births
County for the next school year. Amanda Causey and Brian
Killough were married Oct. 6 in ’94
’02 ’05 a beachside ceremony on Inlet
Beach, Fla. Matron of honor was Raleshia Nix Burke and hus-
Mary Rodgers has received After retiring from UM in 2006, Mary-Pat Wade Sikes ’01 and band Ronny celebrated the birth
her master’s degree in library Priscilla “Penny” Cummings Meredith Bird Milstead ’03 of their first child, Ronny James
and information studies from Allen began serving as a volun- was a bridesmaid. After a hon- “R.J.” Todd Burke Jr., Jan. 1.
the University of Alabama. She teer firefighter with Pea Ridge eymoon trip to the Bahamas, the The Burkes reside in Oxford
is the library media specialist at Fire and Rescue. She has com- Killoughs reside in Montgomery. where Raleshia is an optometrist
Chelsea High School. pleted courses for Emergency for Wal-Mart Vision Centers Inc.
Medical Technician-Basic and is
’03 a nationally registered and state
Kristen Covington recently licensed EMT-B.
Gene Twilley ’03 and his wife,
received a master of arts degree
Laura Harris Twilley ’04, live in
in English from Mississippi State
University and is now a lecturer
in the engineering department ’06
Amy Johnson is stage manager
Misty Gardner M.S. ’07 of with Birmingham’s Magic City
Alabaster is the speech thera- Actors Theatre for the produc-
pist at Vincent Elementary and Ronny James “R.J.” Todd Burke Jr.
tion of Steel Magnolias. She also
Middle schools. She recently has been elected to the board
received a “One Classroom at Amanda Causey ’01 and Brian Ronald Comer and his wife,
of the Montevallo Main Street Sarah Brown Comer, announce
a Time” grant from CBS 42 in Killough were married Oct. 6.
Players. the birth of their son, James
Birmingham, an award for out-
standing service. ’07 ’05 Anthony Comer, Dec. 7. The
family resides in Huntsville
Stephanie Comer Newton, a Holly Lockhart is teaching Lauren Ferlisi and William where Ronald is a sales project
publicist with publisher Thomas music at Calera Elementary Walton were married Sept. 15. manager for Theatrical Lighting
Nelson Inc., recently completed School. The Waltons reside in Vail, Systems.
the Deborah Norville national Colo., where Lauren works with
book tour for her new title Danielle Warren is pursuing a a spa and William is a chef. ’96
Thank You Power. It was the master of arts degree in history
at the University of Alabama at DeMeshia Woods married Treneé Koblas Bain and
third book in 2007 with which Greg Rembert II July 15, 2006,
Birmingham. husband R. David Bain III
Stephanie worked that reached
’96 welcomed the birth of their
the New York Times’ Best Sellers Donny Wilson is a junior second son, Thomas Clark
List. graphic designer with Document Bain, April 25, 2007. Tom was
and Brokers Inc. in Alabaster. welcomed to the Bain home in
Mobile by brother Robert, 6,
Weddings and sister Sophie, 4.
Dawn Fant and Kevin Poch Jamie Scroggins Culver M.A.
were married May 26 in ’02 and husband Shane Culver
announce the birth of their son,
Stephanie Comer Newton ’03 (left)
recently finished a national book DeMeshia Woods ’05 and Greg
tour with Deborah Norville, nation- Rembert II were married July 15,
ally known broadcast celebrity. 2006. They live in Midfield.
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 15
Draven Pierce, Dec. 6, 2006. The Will in the Dockery home in ware architect for SunGard, and Deaths
family resides in Sylacauga. Northport. Jamie Lyn was Courtney is a stay-at-home mom.
employed at the Hoover Public ’24
Library prior to becoming a stay- ’01
at-home mom, and Jeff recently Minnie Holman Vaughn, 104,
Heather Andrews Latiri and of Birmingham died Nov. 23. She
completed commercial pilot
husband Omar welcomed the was a teacher in Birmingham and
birth of their first child, Helena Athens schools for many years.
Kara Latiri, Jan. 1. The fam-
ily resides in Silver Spring, Md. ’32
Aimee Carroll Beddingfield Heather is a communication
and husband Nathan celebrated specialist for Computer Science Merle Brown Donaldson, 95,
the birth of a son, Randal Corp. in Falls Church, Va., of Jasper died Nov. 15. She was
Griffin Beddingfield, Aug. 9. and Omar is a kit production a retired teacher.
He was welcomed to the family technician for Thermo-Fischer
home in Southside by big sister Industries in Rockville, Md.
Katherine Henley, 2. Aimee is a Annie Dora “Dody” Wells
Draven Pierce Culver stay-at-home mom, and Nathan Jennings, 94, of Pell City
is an engineer for AT&T in died Jan. 28. She lived most of
Birmingham. her life in Piedmont and was a
teacher for 34 years. In 1971
she was the first inductee into
the Jacksonville State University
Teacher Hall of Fame in the sec-
ondary school division.
Helena Kara Latiri
Jennie Jefferies Howle
Amy Wilkerson Raines and Randolph, 94, died Nov. 16.
her husband, Sam, announce An attorney, she worked for 39
Laurel Elizabeth Schmitz the birth of their second child, years with the Securities and
Amber, March 1, 2007. Big Exchange Commission. She
Shawna Cox Schmitz and her
brother Shawn welcomed retired in 1976.
husband, Davis Schmitz ’92 of Randal Griffin Beddingfield, born Amber to the Raines home in
Huntsville announce the birth of Aug. 9, is shown with his big sister,
their daughter, Laurel Elizabeth, Katherine Henley, 2.
Jan. 26. Big brothers are Carter, Ruth Liveakos, 92, of Tupelo,
Rick Casey and his wife,
7, and John Michael, 3. Miss., died Feb. 4. A teacher for
Courtney Paquay Casey, of
50 years, she finished her career
Birmingham celebrated the birth
’99 at Tupelo High School where the
of their daughter, Hayden Elise,
performing arts center bears her
Jamie Lyn Morris Dockery Nov. 6. Rick is a senior soft-
name. A scholarship at UM was
and husband Jeff welcomed
established in her honor.
the birth of a daughter, Erin
Elizabeth Dockery, April 2,
2007. Erin joins big brother
Aidalu Butenschon Ford of
Bessemer died Feb. 4.
Aeolian McRee Reese of
Macon, Ga., died Nov. 30. She
Ben Watson ’06 holds his daughter,
Caroline Elizabeth, who was born
was a retired public health labo-
Jan. 16. The baby’s mom is Sara ratory director.
Edwards Watson ’05.
Maurine Dobbs Bates of
Sara Edwards Watson and Birmingham died June 6 at the
husband Ben Watson ’06 of home of her son, Charles Earl
Erin Elizabeth Dockery, who was Thorsby celebrated the birth Bates ’62 and his wife, Lois
born April 2, 2007, is shown with of their daughter, Caroline Strickland Bates ’61. She was
her big brother, Will. Hayden Elise Casey Elizabeth, Jan. 16. an elementary school teacher in
16 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
Chelsea and Shelby County for died July 4. She was a retired an appraiser with Volkert & 15. His career was in the fields
most of her career. registered nurse and lunchroom Associates. of education and public health.
manager. Survivors who are Other survivors who are UM
’41 UM alums include Virginia ’75 alums include their son, Paul J.
Fancher ’70 and Louis M. Dabbs ’87, and daughter Adele
Bettina Pearson Higdon Brenda Hobbs Lewis of
Fancher ’75. Dabbs Bryant ’86.
Burns M.A. ’60, 87, died Feb. Hoover died Jan. 29.
14. In 1973 she retired from
’47 Elsie Mae Grice Wilson ’57
teaching in the Cullman County
M.Ed., 71, of Gadsden died Oct.
schools, then retired in 1983 as Henry Evelyn Wilson, 82, To Margaret Jacobs Pope of
30. She was a teacher with 30
director of the Cullman County of Fort Payne died Jan. 16. She Jacksonville on the death of her
years of service.
Public Library System. was retired from the Alabama mother, Vintura Harris Jacobs.
Department of Pensions and She and her husband were
Fannie Mae Moore Stoddard
’76 owners of Jacobs Flowers and
of Atlanta died Jan. 14. She
Larry Elmer Frazier, 74, of Growers in Goodwater for 50
was a retired psychometrist ’52 Madison died Dec. 21. He was years.
at Jackson State Community
a retired general manager of
College. Betty Joyce Smith Owens,
eastern test operations for Wyle ’58
77, of Vestavia Hills died Dec.
Laboratories in Huntsville and a
’42 29. She worked in retail sales at To Sandra Ward Lott of
member of the Alabama Senior
McRae’s department store until Montevallo on the death of her
The alumni office has been noti- Citizens’ Hall of Fame.
her retirement. brother, Larry Fern Ward Jr.,
fied that Helen Clisby Fuller
Jan. 16. He served as a marketer
Biscoe died Oct. 7, 2002. ’53 ’82 with the Alabama Symphony
Hilda K. Johnson, 87, of Katherine M. Rozendale, 47, Orchestra.
Mary Anne Blackwell
Camden died Jan. 6. She was a of Birmingham died Jan. 29. She
Anderson, 76, of Camden died
retired teacher and a homemaker. was a certified paralegal and a ’70
Jan. 12. She had worked in the
legal assistant for Bradley, Arant
Marie Nichols of Mobile died field of child welfare. To Melvina Pritchett Phillips
Rose and White for more than
Nov. 10. She was a retired teach- of New Hope on the death
’54 20 years.
er from Murphy High School. of her husband, Micah Rand
Phillips. He was a construction
Annelle Roe Dennis of ’99
’44 Clanton died Aug. 25. She taught
supervisor with Burleson Pool
Susie Garrett Beasley, 44, of and had attended UM.
Virginia Smith Carroll, 86, of private piano lessons and played
Alabaster died Nov. 25. She was
Hartselle died Dec. 10. the organ in churches throughout
an elementary school teacher.
Chilton County. Survivors who
Helen Elaine Botsford Orser, are Montevallo alums include To Gilda Stubben on the
Robert Jeremy Lespi M.A.
86, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., died Dwight David Dennis ’79 and recent death of her father, Emil
’01, 30, died Dec. 28. He had
Jan. 7. She taught home econom- Diane Dennis ’86. Stubben, of Tuscaloosa. After
taught at the college level for
ics in the Lee County school sys- caring for her father for the last
a number of years including
tem for more than 20 years. ’62 several semesters in France. He
six months of his life, Gilda has
come out of retirement and is
Helen Cannon Thompson, The alumni office has been noti- was teaching freshman composi-
teaching at Huxford Elementary
85, of Alexander City died Jan. fied that Katherine B. Huey of tion and creative writing at the
School in Escambia Co.
31. She was a social worker for Hueytown died in October. University of Alabama at the
several agencies in Alabama and time of his death. In his memory, To William S. Cobb, profes-
retired from Russell Corp. with ’71 the Montevallo Literary Festival sor of English and writer-in-
36 years of service. will host the Robert Jeremy residence emeritus at UM, on
Benjamin H. Rountree, 59, of Lespi Poetry Fellowship to honor the death of his father, Edwin
’45 Mansfield, Ohio, died Jan. 7. He and promote excellence in stu- Sledge Cobb, of Demopolis. He
was the dean of technology and dent poetry at UM. Additional was a retired automobile and
Jean B. McGaw, 83, of workforce development at North information on this fellowship is implement dealer. Also surviving
Nashville, Tenn., has died. After Central State College. available by contacting Samantha is Loretta Douglas Cobb ’67,
serving in the Army during Webb in the English department. Bill’s wife and emerita director
World War II, she worked for ’72 of Montevallo’s Harbert Writing
many years in dietary manage-
Gary Dilmore, 59, of Condolences Center.
ment at Vanderbilt Hospital.
Birmingham died Jan. 13. He
and his father formed The
’56 To UM president Philip C.
’46 Williams and his family on
Dilmore Group, a commer- To Mary Louise Rice Dabbs the death of his father, William
Dorothy Elizabeth McCalley cial appraisal company. At the M.A. ’62 of Montgomery on the Williams, Jan. 28 in Roanoke
Fancher of Greenbelt, Md., time of his death, Gary was death of her husband, Billy, Feb. Rapids, N.C.
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 17
Your name: DeAnna McCarley Smith and I always make time to vacation each year. It is a really
important time for rest and renewal for me. Our most
Year graduated from UM and degree received: 1999 - recent travels include Boston, Disney World, Annapolis
Bachelor of business administration with a concentration and Washington DC.
What is the best advice you have received?
Your home: Calera While growing up, my Mom and Dad encouraged me,
reminding me always that I could be anything I wanted to
Your hometown: Morris be if I was willing to work hard.
Please tell us about your family. Married to an Auburn Do you have a favorite motto? If so, what is it?
alum, Chris, who loves Montevallo and College “Real love stories never have endings.” — Richard Bach
Night as much as I do. We have three dogs —
Windsor (a yorkie), Guinness (a mix) and Envy (a What’s new?
retired greyhound). Most of all, we love to spend We recently helped start a new Sunday School class for
time with our three nephews (Keegan, 6; Riley, 5; and young married couples at our church, Alabaster First
Brady, 9 months) and our niece Karley, 10. United Methodist. We also just booked reservations to go
to Napa with friends in May. While we are there, Chris
What is your profession? Assistant controller for will “test-drive” his dream job, working with a winemak-
Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., overseeing the er for two days at a Sonoma vineyard.
corporate office accounting function for a company with
newspapers in more than 200 communities across the Please tell us about your educational foundation.
country. Dedicated faculty members of the College of Business
devoted countless hours to preparing me for a successful
What is the last book you read, and who is the author? career in accounting. However, in the years since gradu-
Hard Fighting Soldier by Chette Williams, chaplain of the ation, I’ve truly seen the heart of the faculty — taking
Auburn University football team. time now to offer career guidance and to foster life-long
friendships. The Montevallo community is truly a fam-
What awards/honors have you received? Is there a most ily for students and alumni. The first day I arrived on
significant honor? If so, please tell us about it. campus, my parents met Bubba, a UM police officer
The most significant honor I have received was the who offered to “keep an eye on me” for them. He would
Algernon Sydney Sullivan award I received as a senior at watch out for me for more than four years. Even after
Montevallo. The award is described as a national recogni- graduation when I would return to campus, I would look
tion for spirit, compassion, honesty, humanitarianism and him up and let him know how my family and I were
depth of character in addition to achievement and scholar- doing. Because of these experiences, when I drive into
ship. What an amazing feeling to be recognized for help- Montevallo, I still feel like I am coming home. Maybe
ing others. Plus the University made sure my family knew that is why I can’t say no when approached to donate
about the award so everyone in my family was there and my time or money to UM. As vice president of finance
beaming with pride! on the Alumni Board, I’ve had the opportunity to make
new Montevallo friendships that span many years of UM
What is your secret for success? experiences. It is such a pleasure to hear others’ cherished
Work hard, but remember to play hard too. My husband stories of UM.
Alabama College Society
Top, left: Augusta Lovelady ’47 (center); Ann Mathison
Davis ’48 (left) and Doris McKoy Parkman ’45. Top, right:
from left (front): Dolly Brumfield White ’54, Myrt Salter
’54, Della Dobbins Scott ’53, Jeannine A. McElroy ’53,
Anne Sparks ’53, Julie Tatum ’54, Dora Frost Smith ’50,
Jeannette Brewster ’54 and Bettie McDonald Martin ’51;
second row: Joyce Blake ’51, Bobbye K. Lightfoot ’52,
Delyn F. Rouze ’52, Margaret Utley ’52, Wanda Beasley
’52 and Betty C Glasscock ’53. Photo at left: from left
(front): Mary Nell Glasscock ’57, Ann Kimbrough Kelly ’57,
Barbara Bradford ’56, Shirley Shepard Chalkley ’56, Sue
Henderson Vance ’56, Edna Whitehead ’56, Miriam Finch
’56, Jo Fuller ’56, Mary Louise Dabbs ’56, Trudy DeLoach
’56 and Sarah Mooneyham ’56; second row: Carolyn B.
Knowles ’57, Vera S. Cox ’56, Anita Ray Giordano ’56, Lela
Poythress ’56, Joyce Greathouse and Roberta Dobbs
Class of 1958
From left (front): Shirley Pike Corcoran,
Amelia Frost Lum, Nina Johnson, Dennye
Harper and Anne Dean Brazier; sec-
ond row: Sandra Ward Lott, Charlotte
Donnenwirth, Bonnie R. Strickland, Emily
Pollard Hammond, Patricia Jones Chason
and Orpha Sue McDonald; third row:
Ann Ellis Edwards, Mary K. Price, Beverly
Fundaburk, Carolyn Broadaway Ewing
and Faye Carmichael; fourth row: Yvonne
A. Sterling, Sherry R. Flowers, Marcella S.
Anderson and Martha Lindsey Partridge;
fifth row: Lois Swindal Hayes, Barbara
Goldstein Bonfield, Margaret Ann Shotts
Edmonds and Sadera Wallace Moore
20 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
Class of 1968
From left (front): Mickey Green, Billie Dodson, Diane Ray, Gail Donaldson Helms, Marion Hope Formby, Sarah Wyatt Hallman, Judy Morgan Fuller, Mary
Evelyn Cook Edwards, Janice Tarrant Malone and Fred Crawford; second row: Suzanne Durham, Andy Meginniss, Dianne Smith, Mark Riggins, Pat Giles
Richeson, Paul Doran and Pat Ray
Class of 1978
From left (front): Kit Waters,
Sharon Putnam Phelps, Donna
Thompson Allen and Nedra Smith
McMullin; second row: BJ Chaltin
Snead, Peggy Rayfield Atkinson,
Darlene Findley Chavels and Laine
Spruiell; third row: Julee Knox
Cannon, Phyllis Evans McClure,
Debbie Durham Fain, Donna
Hermecz, Clifton Slaten and
Melody Putman Izard
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 21
Class of 1988
From left (front): Laurie Middaugh, James Jones, Ellen Lupinacci and Bill Shaw; second row: Joe B. Hill, Patrick Evans, Vickie Rumrill and Tim Lupinacci
Young alumni — those who graduated 10 or fewer years ago, gathered at a local restaurant during homecoming for their annual social event. Talk inevitably
turned to one of the cornerstones of homecoming — College Night. A number of former College Night leaders were on hand for the get-together.
22 Montevallo Today u Spring 2008
By Dr. Sally Bennett Bell and Dr. Sherry G. Ford
Professors make a case for COMS
Professors of communication studies (COMS) are often challenged
to make a case for what they teach. People hold many misconceptions
about the nature of the discipline. When we say we teach COMS,
people often mistake our discipline for other majors. Comments
usually go something like this: “Oh, so you teach people how to be
on the news?” or “I always wanted to learn sign language” or even
“Speech? I hated that class.” Just to clarify, we are not mass com-
munication nor are we communication science and disorders, and we
teach much more than “just speeches.” Our discipline is unique in
its versatility. The COMS major offers the freedom and curriculum
that will allow for a large variety of career options. We train people
to write, to speak, to create effective and ethical arguments, to think
critically as engaged citizens and to foster more fulfilling and suc-
cessful interpersonal relationships with others in both the private and
Communication studies began as a formal discipline in the early
20th century when communication scholars and rhetoricians broke
away from theater and English departments. Here at UM, the major
Photos by Rachel Hendrix ’08
was formerly known as speech. In 2000, the faculty decided to update
the name to reflect the evolution of the discipline formally changing
the name to communication studies. The discipline entails many dif-
ferent areas of scholarship including intrapersonal communication,
interpersonal communication (which focuses on communication
patterns in families, small groups, friendships, and romantic partner-
ships), rhetoric (focuses on public address in many forms including
visual images, speeches, essays, etc.), persuasion, organizational com-
munication, health communication, gender communication and more. Dr. Sally Bennett Bell (right) and Dr. Sherry G. Ford are both assistant
professors of communications studies at UM. Dr. Bell, who came to UM in
A common misconception people have regarding COMS is that 2002, received her bachelor of arts degree fro the University of Kentucky
public speaking is the only material the major teaches. We offer and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Memphis. Dr. Ford,
two “public speaking” courses; however, this is only a small part of who has been a faculty member at UM since 2003, earned her B.A. from
Jacksonville State University, her M.A. from Montevallo and her Ph.D. from
the required courses for COMS majors. The COMS faculty at the
Louisiana State University.
University of Montevallo consists of three scholars, each with his/her
own area of expertise. Dr. Sally Bennett Bell has a primarily rhetori- from the common perception of communication as monologue to
cal track teaching courses in rhetorical criticism and also health and recognizing its beautiful complexity and interactive, dialogic nature.
gender communication. Dr. Sherry Ford teaches the interpersonal Although messages and their meanings are at the heart of COMS,
courses and special topics courses such as nonverbal, intercultural and one cannot truly understand a message if one does not understand the
conflict management. She also teaches a required methods course that messenger, the situation surrounding the message and the intended
trains students to read and produce scholarly research. Ray Ozley receiver of that message.
focuses on organizational communication teaching courses on small
Finally, we come to the last, but often most pervasive myth, at
groups, training and development and communication theory.
least on a college campus — COMS is the easy major. If developing
All too often, people assume that because they have been able to knowledge and understanding of a discipline’s historical roots, theo-
talk since the age of two, they can communicate effectively. To us, retical foundations, methodological standards and practical applica-
this common sentiment is like asserting that because you can tell the tions can accurately be labeled as “easy,” then perhaps COMS is an
difference between a tree and a flower, you understand botany, or easy major. Seems more likely that what is often confused with easi-
because you can count to 10, you understand math, or even being ness may actually be a sense of practicality. Course content so often
able to read means you understand the essence of literature. In our relates to daily, lived experience, and thus seems “easy” in compari-
program, we work to dispel this “myth of mastery” right away by son to some other programs of study. Really, if communication itself
exposing students to the various components that comprise real com- and the study of communication were so easy, wouldn’t we all be bet-
munication. We encourage our majors to shift their thinking away ter at it?
Montevallo Today u Spring 2008 23
“PV ’08”. The signs tell the story as College
Night Purple Side leaders Zach Banks and
Kelsey Sherrer (center) lead the celebration
from the Palmer stage shortly after the an-
nouncement of the winning phrase, “This is
just the beginning.” The 2008 Purple victory
at homecoming was the 46th for the side.