The Berea College Alumni Association enjoys hearing from Bereans from all over the world. The “Class Notes” section of Berea College magazine reports verifiable news you wish to share with your alumni friends and associates: careers, weddings, retirements, births, and other items of importance to our alumni. Please include your class year and name used while attending Berea. Notes may be edited for style and length. While we will make every effort to put your information into the next issue of BCM, some delays may occur. We appreciate your understanding.
Tap or click on the arrows beside each year below to display Class Notes and photos.
Beth (Mary Elizabeth) Powell recently published her second eBook, “Don’t be mad when I ask about COVID: Finding the right words.” The eBook is available for purchase on Amazon. Her first eBook, titled “Talking Back to Sexual Pressure,” is also available on Amazon.
She writes, “As a Berea psychology major who went on in the field, I wrote this to fill the gaping hole in COVID prevention: we have the medicine, where is the psychology? From the day my mother climbed out of the Bullskin holler and ended up at Berea, I owe all the best of my life to Berea.” The books can be purchased on Amazon.
William Ross (Fd. ’55) published a book about Berea College Professor Dr. George S. Noss, who was also a master knife maker. The book may be ordered for $70, postpaid. Orders can be made via mail to 791 Baker Brook Rd., Danby, VT 05739, by telephone at (802) 446-2050 or by email to email@example.com (email misprinted in Winter 2021).
Sylvia Johnson shared a picture in memory of Dr. James Burton ’58, who passed away in January 2020. Pictured left to right is Sylvia Johnson, Ophelia Burton ’59 and Dr. James Burton.
Dr. Charles Crowe reflects on his memories of the historic Langston High School in Tennessee. Read more.
Carolyn Coffey-Dockery Pennington wrote that the Alumni Directory is a wonderful tool but laments some of her significant career accomplishments were omitted, most specifically, her career of 37 years in education. She shares that she retired from her career as an English teacher and professor. She earned a dual master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, the first in American literature and the second in secondary counseling, Rank I. Pennington says, “I appreciate Berea College for the gift of education that was given to me and four siblings and other members of my extended family. Since my graduation in 1970, I have ardently recruited students for Berea, most notably serving the college now are: John Calvin Gross ’86 at the library and William Daugherty ’76 on the Board of Trustees.”
Jo Bumgardner Salmon retired at the end of 2021 from 44 years working as a dietitian/nutritionist in a variety of healthcare settings. She and her husband, Jimmy, moved in January from Texas to a home they built on the family farm where Salmon grew up. Their new address is
4680 Hwy. 461, Somerset, KY 42503.
Steven Jones was recognized by the Berea City Council for 40 years of dedicated service to the city in the Berea Municipal Utilities Water Treatment Plant. Read more.
Michael Adkins was elected Rowan County Superior Court judge in North Carolina. Read more.
Adrian Paul Stevens was appointed associate vice president for philanthropic giving at California State University, San Bernardino. His service at CSUSB began on March 1. Read more.
Titus O. Awokuse was named international studies and programs associate dean for research and strategic partnerships. Read more.
Dr. Adam Howard was promoted to an endowed chair—Charles A. Dana professor. When Howard entered Berea, his first residence hall was Dana (named after the same person as his endowed chair). At his 25th reunion he had his picture taken in front of Dana. He writes his promotion really connected him back to his Berea days when he entered higher education.
Rev. Phillip Michael John Williams-Cooke earned certification as a peer specialist provisional (#NYCPS-P-3522) on Oct. 1, 2020. He became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Oct. 31, 2021, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in divinity from the same church on Nov. 21, 2021 (Rev. Dr. (h.c.) Phillip Williams- Cooke). He also earned his certification as a certified recovery peer advocate (#CPRA-3588)
on Feb. 9.
Kathryn Coughlin successfully campaigned for a position on the Natick (Massachusetts) Select Board and was appointed to the Board in the spring. Read more
Celebrating 25 years at Homecoming, Nov. 18-20, 2022.
Celebrating 20 years at Homecoming, Nov. 18-20, 2022.
Dr. Alice Driver has joined the spring class of 2022 residential fellows of the Logan Nonfiction Program. Driver will be working on her book “The Life and Death of the American Worker,” which chronicles the lives and deaths of immigrant essential workers at America’s largest meat and poultry processing company, Tyson Foods and exposes how immigration law and labor exploitation put growth and profit over human life. Read more
Anna-Jeannine Kemper married Michael William Griesacker in Northeast Ohio on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, after being thrice COVID delayed. #HappilyEverGriesacker
LaQuita Middleton was interviewed for the Francene Marie show. The episode is titled “Black History Lessons with LaQuita Middleton.” Listen to the show.
BIRTH: a son, Atreyu, born to Sarah Beth Watson Khan and Rashed “Raj” Khan ’04 in March 2021. Atreyu joins big brothers, Osiris, Taavish and Atticus.
Sarah Khan also joined Northwestern University in fall 2021 as a business analyst for student affairs IT/residential services.
Chris T. Hayes presented at Berea College’s convocation program on Jan. 17. His talk was titled “Open Sesame: The Black Preacher and the Black Puppeteer.” Hayes also gave an interview about living his grandfather’s dream. Read more.
Seyram Selase writes, “I am extremely humbled and thankful to have passed the Alabama Real Estate Brokerage Exam!!! A special thanks to all of my family, friends, buyers, sellers and everyone who motivated me on getting this done! Finally, a shout out to ERA King Real Estate for everything I’ve been able to learn! Stay tuned and please call me for all your real estate needs!” #Brokers #SeySells #WhoWillBeNext
Celebrating 15 years at Homecoming, Nov. 18-20, 2022.
Heather Dent and Grace Todd McKenzie ’08 just released a picture book biography on Michelle Tooley, a beloved Berea College professor who passed away in 2015. They know Michelle was loved by many and hope this book will bring back fond memories as they honor her life through words and illustration. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
Celebrating 10 years at Homecoming, Nov. 18-20, 2022.
BIRTH: a second daughter, Imelda Reese Oleka, to Jamie Nunnery Oleka and OJ Oleka on March 13.
BIRTH: a daughter, Fiona Dillon Ruth Meadows, born to Christina Meadows and Doug Meadows ’16 on March 14 in Edgewood, Ky.
Katelyn Blair has been hired as Frankfort High School (Ky.) head softball coach. Read more.
Rossana Alejandra Diaz earned her master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University in July 2019 and is currently finishing her second year of her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Tennessee. She is happy to chat with any fellow Bereans seeking to continue a path in academia, particularly any international students.
BIRTH: a daughter, Rosetta “Rosie” Andrea Wilson, born to Liz Wilson and Derius Wilson ’15 on Jan. 6.
BIRTH: a son, Parker Mitchell Hannah, born to Mikayla Blair Hannah and Aaron Hannah ’16 on Aug. 6, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Celebrating its first reunion at Homecoming, Nov. 18-20, 2022.