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.

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Click on the arrows beside each year below to display Class Notes and photos.


Frank Allen Spear’s granddaughter, Dr. Mary Prentice, recently was named the Alexander Hamilton Society faculty advisor of the year. Prentice is an associate professor in the Liberty University Helms School of Government. She reflects on her grandfather’s story of traveling barefoot to Berea College (300 miles) as motivation for her career. Read more.

Franklin and Betty Parker stand outside of their community building with signs celebrating their 70th anniversary

Franklin Parker and Betty J. Parker ’50 celebrated birthdays in early June 2020. Franklin Parker turned 99 and Betty J. Parker turned 91. They continue to swim and walk daily at Uplands Village Pleasant Hill in Tennessee, their home for 26 years. Married in 1950, they marked their 70th wedding anniversary on June 12, 2020. The two met at Berea just after the war in 1946. Both majored in English with a minor in history. Their graduate study was at Peabody College in Nashville, now a part of Vanderbilt University. Franklin earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois and a doctorate from Peabody College. Betty earned her master’s degree at Peabody. They both loved teaching—she at the high school level and he at the university level. Franklin retired after 20 years at West Virginia University as the Claude W. Benedum Professor
of Education.
Both Betty and Franklin love “their” Berea College and they love Uplands. They found Uplands Village because two others from Berea College preceded them. The Uplands community recently joined in celebrating their milestone 70th anniversary with a parade throughout every neighborhood in the village. Betty and Franklin can be contacted at


Wanda Irwin Auerbach (1927-2012) is being memorialized for her generosity, grace and inspiring journey out of poverty through an endowed distinguished chair established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Wanda Auerbach Distinguished Odyssey Chair will support the UW Odyssey Project (profiled in the Winter 2016 issue of Berea College Magazine), a transformative humanities program now in its 18th year of empowering families to break a cycle of generational poverty.


Kenny Gwinn and Lynette Gwinn had planned to visit their grandson who works in the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia, but the coronavirus scare canceled their trip. Otherwise, they are well and have spent time clearing clutter. They enjoyed Kenny’s 65th Berea College reunion in 2019 and hope to see friends at his 70th in 2024.


Billy Edd Wheeler was paid tribute by the West Virginia Music Hall with a new CD. The album, titled “Courting the Muse,” features various West Virginian musicians. Read more.


George Ellis, M.D., earned his BA in Chemistry. After graduating from Berea, he attended the University of Louisville and graduated with a degree in medicine in 1962. He practiced medicine in family practice for 47 years.

Elizabeth Hensley Hibbard is retired after teaching piano and playing piano and organ for church, weddings, funerals, high school dramas, etc. She is living in St. Andrews Retirement Community in Richmond, Ky., and attends church at Union Church in Berea.

Book cover of Master Knifemaker

William Ross (Fd. ’55) published a book about Berea College Professor Dr. George S. Noss, who was also a master knife maker. Dr. Noss gave away all his knives to Berea people and others. With this book, Ross hopes to give Noss a better place in history and to provide a provenance for his knives. 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

Sylvia and Charles Johnson

Sylvia Barnett Johnson and Charles Johnson celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Aug. 28, 2020 in Detroit, Mich. She has one daughter and one grandchild.

Joyce McEntire Ellis has been married for 62 years, has six children who are all married and 20 grandchildren, and she has had life experiences over the moon! She still has much love for and many happy memories of her Berea friends.

Carol Schroedel Gillilan wrote a story for the Island Gazette about her childhood and how she came to Berea College, became a nurse and met her future husband, Ron. Ron practiced medicine for 20 years in the U.S. Public Health Service and had a second career in the cardiology division at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Md. Together they raised two sons, Richard and Steven. Richard is a scientist with a Ph.D., who works for Cornell University, and Steven is a filmmaker who, in 2017, began working on the gripping documentary/thriller series “Designed to Kill.” Grandson Max is currently working as an internet technologist in Austin, Texas.

Ollie J. Lee is emeritus professor of sociology at Lee University.

Gloria Calfee Martin writes that she and husband, Everett, are doing well.


Mrs. Cora Biddix Markford’s only daughter died in 2015. Her husband of nearly 57 years, Jack, died in April 2019. She has one son and two grandsons who live in Florida. She would love to have the current address of, or hear from her former roommate, Judy Naylor Tate ’61.


Eleanor Gibson Gay Fd. ’58 shared Jack Moore Gay passed away suddenly Feb. 20, 2020. For 57 years, until his death, Jack was married to Eleanor. Eleanor and Jack resided at the Gay family farm in Pocahontas County, W.Va., where Eleanor still lives.

Mary Lu Carhart George moved to an independent apartment in a continuing care community in a Masonic Village in May 2019. Her address is 902 Jacksonville Rd, Apt. 2450, Burlington, NJ 08016. Harry W. George Jr. ’60 died on Oct. 7, 2019. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017. Harry taught high school business for 25 years and then formed a private tax business for 15 years.

Book cover for The Skeleton at the Old Painted Mill: A Marcy Dehanne Grist Mill Mystery

Dr. Celia Hooper Miles published her 10th novel this fall. “The Skeleton at the Old Painted Mill: A Marcy Dehanne Grist Mill Mystery” is the third in a cozy mystery series featuring a college instructor turned grist mill restoring consultant, set in western North Carolina. Learn more.


Clint Layne sold his garden shop in Nashville, Tenn., after 22 years in business. He has retired (again) and would enjoy seeing any Bereans who are visiting Nashville.

Book cover of It’s Time to Make Aliyah

John (Jack) B. Walters has been living at On Top Of the World in Ocala, Fla., since 2007. He just published his third book called “It’s Time to Make Aliyah” in January 2020. It encourages Jewish people to move to Israel and become Israeli citizens. His other two books are on tithing. All are available for purchase on Amazon. His wife, Connie, went to be with the Lord in July 2015. He now lives with his two step-children and son-in-law who take good care of him.


Russell England wrote a book titled “Gross Deceptive Product: An Ecological Perspective on the Economy.” It is a non-fiction book that deals with the topic of sustainability in a unique way. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.

Portrait of April Stinson

Rosemary Evans Stinson’s granddaughter, April Stinson, is attending the University of Louisville on a scholarship and majoring in computer science. She also is part of the marching band. She plays French horn, piano and guitar. April won a car from Bill Cole in Ashland, Ky., for being an “all-around” student.


Frederick Hatcher and wife, June’s daughter, Kimberly Hatcher Harrison, passed away on Aug. 7, 2020. She was a high school teacher. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Concord College and master’s degrees in history and geography from Marshall University. She is survived by her husband, Kevin, and daughter, Erin. Erin is a respiratory therapy student at Southern West Virginia Community College.

Bonnie Johnson Potz is happily and mostly retired from teaching art in West Hartford, Conn. She has clay murals on display and published in various places, including a large mural in fired-permanent clay at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Her husband, Stephen Potz, is retried and enjoying good health. The two are very happy!


Dr. Joyce Wooten Hamberg was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Baptist Life Communities of northern Kentucky to begin a three-year term in January 2021.

Portrait of Jerry Kidd

Jerry Kidd just published his father’s book about his experiences in World War II, titled “American Warrior.” Some critics compare it to “Red Badge of Courage” and “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The book is available on Amazon.

Paul Lyda recently moved to a senior living facility in Asheville, N.C. He has several age-
related illnesses and would like to hear from Berea friends. He may be reached at

Photo of Patricia Murphree

Dr. Patricia Graham Murphree retired from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., on July 31, 2020, after a 20-year tenure as a professor of graduate education in the Carter and Moyers School of Education. Prior to joining LMU, Pat enjoyed a 30-year career in Kentucky, Alabama and Virginia public education as a classroom teacher, counselor and administrator. Her husband, Lynn Murphree ’67, passed away in 2016 after a stellar career in Berea College admissions. They had been married 47 years at the time of Lynn’s passing. Pat resides in Church Hill, Tenn., and welcomes calls, emails, texts and visits from Berea friends.


John Buckles is living in Abingdon, Va. He retired in 2001 from Pinellas Co. Schools in St. Petersburg, Fla., and enjoys fishing and visiting with his children and grandchildren.

Photo of Ron Dockery '70

Ron Carl Dockery officially began serving as the pre-eminent governor for the West Kentucky York Rite College No. 157, York Rite Sovereign College of North America on Aug. 15, 2020. Ron and Charlotte live in Greenville, Ky. Email:

Hannah Kern Guinn is missing seeing classmates and celebrating their 50th reunion for the Class of 1970. Right now, she and husband, Edwin, are just staying home, keeping safe.

Rebecca Hollen Lewis retired Jan. 1, 2020, from Grandview Medical Center Department of Education. She has moved to the Chicago area to be closer to home and family.

Shirley Snider Mustard and George T. Mustard ’72 moved to Stone Mountain, Ga., to be near their youngest daughter. They have two daughters, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. They are active in the Healing Grace Community of St. Luke, a non-denominational community of healing ministry. Dr. Ronald D. Spangler is retired and living in Somerset, Ky.


Bill Bowles has retired after 41 years of dedicated service as a forensic scientist
for Indiana State Police. Read more.


Donna Griffith Hornsby graduated from Peabody College in 1975 with a master’s degree in education. She earned an MBA in information from DeVry University in 2000. She retired from Georgia state government in 2009 and moved to Virginia to be with her parents. Hornsby studied for a new career in ministry and was licensed in 2018 in the Church of the Brethren.

Linda Gail Knox writes, “Hello to everyone.” She would like to hear from classmates of 1970 to 1972. Linda is retired. Her granddaughter, Dallas Gabriel Alexander, graduated from high school this year and is attending Tri County Tech to begin her degree in nursing.

David Sloan was selected by Kentucky Bar Association President J. Stephen Smith to receive KBA’s 2020 President’s Special Service award. He recently was featured in the July/August issue of “Bench & Bar,” published by the KBA. Read more.


Sally Fraley Robinson began a writing career after teaching for 39 years in the public school systems of Virginia and Kentucky. Her first book “Belle’s Special Assignment,” is a children’s book. Belle, a smart and friendly little beagle, is selected to be a companion dog for “Dad,” who is in declining health. Belle is not sure what a companion dog is, but she is sure that she loves this man and would do anything for him. You will be delighted by this sweet pup who speaks “human” as she tells you her story. The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Robinson lives in Berea, Ky.

Jackie Burnside '74 receives award from the Madison County Historical Society

Jacqueline Grisby Burnside was appointed by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to the Kentucky Standards and Assessments Process Review Committee. Read more. She also was recognized by the The Madison County Historical Society for her contributions to Madison County history as an author. Her book, “Berea and Madison County, Kentucky” (part of the Blacks in America Series), is a nearly four-decade collection of photographs and stories related to Black communities in Madison County, Ky., including Peytontown, Farristown, Middletown, Bobtown and Richmond.


Fentress C. Horner recently published his first book “The Biblical History of the Liberal, and of Conservatism.” The book is published by Page Publishing and is available on Amazon.

Wanda Cain Manhanke retired from the St. Louis VA Medical Center in November 2019. She was a specialist in microbiology. Her husband of 32 years, Michael, died in August 2019. She can be reached at 676 Smiley Ave., St. Louis, MO 63139.

Rose Weaver was recognized for her work and leadership of the 65th anniversary committee of the desegregation of Oak Ridge Schools in Tennessee. Read more.

Portrait of Lula Bowling Ford '76

Lula Bowling Ford has been appointed to a one-year term on Christian Appalachian Project’s Board of Directors. Read more.

Douglas Jackson started a business called Kikstart after attending a church with his wife in Arizona that did not have a lunch program. An Alabama native, Jackson returned home and brought the program with him. Kikstart prepares and serves approximately 14,000 meals a day in its after-school and summer feeding programs. Read more.

Photo of Joanne Strano '75

Joanne Strano says she’s living the dream in Charleston, S.C. She retired in 2018 and is eagerly looking forward to her 45th reunion at Summer Reunion. She enjoys gardening, the beach and working to elect democratic candidates in federal, state and local elections. She would love to hear from you at


Steve Ridder was featured in a Northern Kentucky Tribune article about his career in coaching. In the article, he shares many career successes, but says he’ll never forget his roots.
He reflects on the influence of Berea College in his coaching career and shares many wonderful memories and anecdotes. Read more.

Photo of Mona Baker '84

Mona Body Baker, a retired preschool coordinator for Fayette County Public Schools, has been appointed to serve a one-year commitment on Christian Appalachian Project’s Board of Directors. Baker grew up in Harlan County, Ky., so she knows and understands the people and culture of eastern Kentucky. She also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in many areas of educating young people. Baker said CAP’s mission statement of building hope, transforming lives and sharing Christ’s love through service not only aligns with how she was raised, but how she lives her life now. She has spent several years working in nonprofits, such as Head Start, and ended her career working for the school system in a program that enrolled low-income students and special-needs students. Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in special education from Georgetown College. She lives in Lexington and has nearly 30 years of experience in early childhood education.

Photo of Timothy Setters '84

Timothy Setters retired from Verizon Wireless in November 2019 and has lived in Riverside, Md., for the last 30 years.

Portrait of Mike Coleman '86

Michael (Mike) Coleman is currently vice president and chief information officer at the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif. Read more.

Graduation photo of Keaton Neilson
Keaton Neilson

LaRue Rogers Neilson’s son, Hayes, had a bone marrow transplant at Duke University in 2019. Her daughter, Keaton, graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in international relations. She will be attending UNC-Charlotte in the fall seeking a master’s degree in criminal justice and will be a teaching assistant in the program. Neilson graduated in August 2020 from Wake Forest University with a master’s degree in counseling.


Joe David Waters is a dual-credit history instructor and assistant boys’ basketball coach at McCreary Central High School. His wife, Joy, teaches seventh grade science and has completed her National Board Teaching certification. They currently live in Stearns, Ky.


Jeffrey Reddick, mastermind behind the “Final Destination” series, was featured in a Fansided article where he discussed his upcoming directorial debut of the film “Don’t Look Back.” Read more.


Dr. Kathy Walsh Burkhardt, began a new position as the senior director of NaviGo College and Career Prep in northern Kentucky. NaviGo College and Career Prep provides research-based individual and small group coaching to middle school and high school students. She recently retired as the superintendent of the Erlanger-Elsmere School District. Read more.


Jason Cody is teaching as an adjunct professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at East Tennessee State University.


Phillip Michael-John Williams-Cooke was a panelist for Mount Sinai Health System’s celebration of Disability Awareness Month. The topic of his talk was “My LGBTQ+ Identity and Living with Mental Health Challenges in the Age of COVID-19.” He also served as one of four panelists for a “Surviving Race 2020” panel discussion. Watch here.

Sean Hennessey, his wife, Jessica, and their son, Atlas, reside in Seattle, Wash.

Portrait of Chris Lakes '98

Chris Lakes earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky in May 2020. Chris is director of the Office of Student Success and Transition at Berea College. He and his wife, Stephanie Hannah Lakes ’03, live in Berea with their three children, Davis, Dawson and Hannah.

Laurie Bradshaw Rowland received tenure at Cleveland State Community College. Read more.


Jonathan McClintock earned an MA in history from Emporia State University in Kansas. He is an educator at Tucson High Magnet School, where he teaches African American history and dual-enrollment U.S. history.


Steven Goodpaster, MAI, MRE continues his work in volunteerism. Having finished his tenure as chair of Enhance Powell, he will begin his new role as the president of the Tennessee Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. Read more.

Dr. Maggie Lee Stevens Lawentmann has moved to a new position at St. Mary’s Family Care-Ironton. She received her doctoral degree in osteopathic medicine from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg and completed her residency in family medicine at St. Vincent’s Family Medicine in Jacksonville, Fla. Lawentmann is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Practice. Read more.

Cara Stewart began a new position as director of policy advocacy at Kentucky Voices for Health. Read more.


Jesse Morrison was awarded the Early Career award, a major national honor from the American Forage and Grassland Council. Morrison is an assistant research professor at Mississippi State University. The award honors an individual under the age of 40 who has made a significant contribution to the forage and grassland industry. Read more.

DeJuana Thompson was appointed to the Housing Authority of Birmingham District’s Board of Commissioners by Mayor Randall L. Woodfin in August 2020. Read more.


Kelvin Galloway and Mary Rush Galloway ‘07 recently completed their graduate studies. In 2019, Kelvin earned his MBA from the University of the Cumberlands. He is a portfolio manager for Humana. In 2020, Mary earned her MA in organizational leadership with a certificate in nonprofit administration from Western Kentucky University. She is the director of Major Giving at Berea College. The couple resides in Berea, Ky.

Tristan Lee Riven and his Korean collaborator, artist Kim Minho, recently were honored at the 2020 Taipei Game Show in Taiwan. Riven is a video game designer and entrepreneur. Their company, South Korea-based Devespresso Games, won the “Best Narration” and “Grand Prix” awards for its game “The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters.” A total of 141 game titles from 17 countries were entered in this year’s competition, of which only 30 games were nominated to compete for awards.

Debra Bulluck '09 being sworn into the Minnesota State Bar

Debra Bulluck was recommended by the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners for admission to the Minnesota State Bar. On Dec. 6, 2019, a private swearing in ceremony for Attorney Bulluck was held at the Fourth Judicial District, Hennepin County Family Justice Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Upon completion of her judicial clerkship, Bulluck will pursue family law in the Twin Cities. Currently, she serves as secretary of the Hennepin County Bar Association Family Law Section and volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities.

Photo of baby Fiona Cannoy

BIRTH: a daughter, Fiona Josephine Louise, to Jessica Belcher Cannoy and husband, Bryan, on May 26, 2020. She joins big brother, Zeke.

Portrait of Rebekah Gilley and Breda Waite

MARRIED: Rebekah Gilley to Breda Waite on May 2, 2020, in a private ceremony in their backyard. Due to the COVID-19 virus, only six guests were present. Rebekah and Breda postponed their wedding celebration to August. Rebekah uses her degree in business administration to run her own business, and Breda is a mental health therapist. They live in Tacoma, Wash.

Photo of baby Riley Oluchi Oleka,

BIRTH: a daughter, Riley Oluchi Oleka, to Jamie Nunnery Oleka and husband, O. J., on May 11, 2020.


Kyle Godbey successfully defended his Ph.D., titled “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Using Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory,” at Vanderbilt after having to adapt to the distance learning imposed by the pandemic. Kyle spoke about the challenges he faced in moving to an online format and how he adapted and utilized his expertise to defend successfully. Read more.


Kentucky nurse, Trinity Goodman, was featured in May on LEX 18 news as she was called back to New York City to help with COVID-19 patients. After spending a five-week stint at a Bronx hospital working in the ICU, she was unexpectedly released. Her disappointment was short lived. She was promptly called back to the hospital days later. Read more.

photo of wooded area where wedding was held

MARRIED: Angel Joannah Henderson to Christopher T. Johnson. The two were together for almost five years and finally were able to get married. They were hoping for May or June of 2020, but COVID-19 pushed their plans back. They had a small wedding outside. She picked out a beautiful spot with nicely spaced trees and beautiful grass. They had invited a handful of friends and family. They kept the pandemic in mind and had their attendees wear masks. They had a fabulous time with a small non-traditional wedding and reception.


Kaitlin Morris reflects on her first year as an alumna as a Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow working at Propeller in New Orleans. She shares how the things that weren’t supposed to happen helped to shape her as a person. Read more.


Riziki Aloyce speaks about his excitement to join Campbell University as an incoming Doctor
of Pharmacy student. Read more.

Jennifer Bentz from Maryville, Tenn., received a Fellowship worth $8,500 by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Bentz is one of 58 recipients nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. Read more.

Ricardo Santos Estrada was accepted to the University of Connecticut with a full-tuition scholarship plus stipend offer to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. He is not certain what focus he will take, but he is interested in experimental particle physics and did undergraduate summer research analyzing data from CERN (via UT-Knoxville) in 2018 and constructing instrumentation for measuring the electric dipole moment of a neutron at Oak Ridge National Labs in 2019.

Alona Norwood, who ran as a candidate for Johnson City commission, discusses her candidacy in terms of inclusion and representation. Read more.

Daniela Olivera Velarde chose to attend the University of Chicago Medical Physics Ph.D. program after being accepted to about five different medical physics masters and Ph.D. programs. Additionally, she received notification from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine that she is the sole recipient of its fellowship for graduate study in medical physics, which awards $18,000/year for two years. This is on top of a full-tuition offer from University of Chicago.


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