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.
Click on the arrows beside each year below to display Class Notes and photos.
Lizzie Mae (Allen) Barrett just celebrated her 103rd birthday.
Annie Sue O’Daniel Teeter is 93 years old and in relatively good health.
Marry Alice Neal and husband, Stanley shared their 90th birthdays on Jan. 18 at Brookdale/Skyline in Colorado Springs, CO. Their birthdays were on Jan. 17 and 19. They will be married 10 years in May 2020. They live in a small cottage and share any activities provided by Brookdale.
John M. Ramsay presented and signed books at a local author’s event at the University City Public Library in St. Louis, MO in February.
Forrest Jarrett was featured in a Jan. 5 Citizen Times article for his 37-year career as the chief police officer for Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Read more here.
Jessie Zander said, “It’s good news to hear and read of opportunities on and off campus and in foreign countries that were not available to me in the 1950s. I like to hear of the many ways to widen the Berea experience. Go for it!”
Lillian A. Everman is the proud great grandmother of twins Porter and Adeline.
Ann Larkey shared memories of Mountain Day and Devil’s Slide, Pilgrims-Indian Field Hockey game at Thanksgiving and sack suppers. She says God has been good to her health-wise, and she still works part-time as a paralegal for an estates attorney. She also served as clerk of the probate court in Cobb County, GA. She was admitted to the Georgia Bar, which she said gives her son a break from her three days a week. She and her son are holding down the family farmhouse, and miss her husband, Ben, and their daughter, Ginger, who was taken eight years ago by pancreatic cancer. She said she loves having company, so if you’re ever in the area, please stop by for a short visit, or longer, as they have extra bedrooms.
Jo Ella Nuckols Sink and Jack Sink welcomed their first great-grandson, Ina Thomas Smith. They are delighted to have a baby in the family after 23 years!
Dr. Blue Wooldridge, professor emeritus of Wilder School, was awarded the National Academy of Public Administration’s George Graham award for service. The George Graham award recognizes sustained and extraordinary contribution towards making NAPA a stronger and more respected organization. Read more here.
Lee Pennington, poet and documentarian, was featured on an episode of Moxie Talk. Lee is the author of 22 books, several of which were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His latest book is Daughters of Leda (2017)—selected as a finalist for “Best Book of Poetry published in 2017” by the American Book Fest. He has had more than 1,300 poems published in more than 300 magazines, has produced nine plays and published thousands of articles and short stories. Since 1990, Lee and his late wife, Joy, have produced 21 documentaries. Lee has traveled extensively in the U.S., Canada and 90 countries. For the past dozen years, he has served as president of the Ancient Kentucky Historical Association, a group dedicated to the study and research of pre-Columbian contact in the Americas. In 2013 the University of Louisville opened the Lee & Joy Pennington Cultural Heritage Gallery. It houses all of Lee’s writings, films and many artifacts he’s collected traveling around the world. He presently lives in Kratz House, a designated historic home, in Middletown, KY with his lady, Jill Baker, an artist who has illustrated several of his books. View the full talk here.
Jack Roush received the Road Racers Driving Club Phil Hill Award in January. The award is presented annually to a person who has rendered outstanding service to road racing. Read more here.
John E. Fleming was named one of Dayton’s Top 10 African American Men for standout service to their community during the past difficult and traumatic year. Fleming is currently director of the National Museum of African American Music, which is scheduled to open this year in Nashville; president of JE Fleming Associates; and chairman of the board of the American Association for State and Local History. He also is director emeritus of the Cincinnati Museum Center. Read more here.
Mike Clark, long-time conservationist, civil rights activist and founding board member of Mountain Journal, received an honorary doctorate from Montana State University at its December commencement ceremony. In his acceptance speech, he spoke about the challenges facing young people and their role as citizens. Read more here.
Dr. Paul Rominger will release his book, “The Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, 1862 Weather and Civil War Digest” in the fall.
Carolyn Garrison is beginning her 50th year of teaching and 47th year at Campbellsville University in the School of Education. Bruce Garrison has been retired 10 years from teaching public school.
Lynn Ociepka returned to her hometown of Waynesville, NC, in 2017, after living in Florida for 35 years. She says the winters have been a shock.
(Rod) Davis Morgan is a professor and fieldwork coordinator for the Masters of Occupational Therapy program for Tennessee Wesleyan University in Knoxville, TN. He invites anyone who went to Berea College to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhoda Marcum Clement and Bill Clement ’76 had the chance to balloon over the vineyards of Napa Valley with family in California.
Stacia Berry was Mark Berry’s mother, she passed away a few years ago. She worked at the college for more than 30 years in the Development office. She loved the college with her heart and soul. It would be neat to know the size of the endowment the day she walked onto campus and the day she retired.
Stacia attended EKU for a couple of years in the early 1950s, but dropped out after marrying. She began her career at Berea in the late 1950s. Mark’s earliest memories of going to see his mother at work involve walking into Lincoln Hall pushing through a heavy door to the left and climbing six flights of stairs to the third floor where the Development department was then located. Upon entering, one saw students sitting at tables folding and stuffing envelopes with letters going to all parts of the country asking for donations to the College. One also saw a number of women sitting at tables typing letters. When Mark asked where his mom was, he was directed to a small hole which was most likely a closet. But she actually had her own small office, unlike the other women, even though she was not yet the office manager. When the office manager left, Stacia was promoted to office manager.
Through the years of hiring students to work in her department for their labor assignment and getting to know many of them, she grew to love the College and its mission deeply. She was also blessed with an extremely strong work ethic from her parents. Stacia believed strongly in what she was doing, and anything she thought would help bring donations to the College she was never afraid to share with senior administrators, even during a time when a woman’s place was behind a stove at home and behind a typewriter at work if a woman actually was a part of the workforce, Mark said.
At some point during Stacia’s career, she realized that as much as she loved the College and was devoted to the mission, she was not being fairly rewarded. During reviews of her work, she was told by senior administrators how valuable she was and they would love to raise her salary but she did not have a college degree. At that time college employees were allowed to take one class a semester if they so chose. Stacia began studying nursing. To make a long story short, she graduated from Berea with her degree in nursing in 1978. President Willis Weatherford asked her to delay her nursing career until a fund raising drive that was ongoing came to conclusion. They said if she would, they would give her a better-sounding title than office manager and more money. She had already been offered a job at the Berea College hospital as a nurse. She accepted Dr. Weatherford’s offer and never worked one day as a nurse ending her career traveling to North Carolina helping raise money to keep the no-tuition promise Berea makes to all its students alive and well.
Her son, Mark, also received his bachelor’s degree that same year from Berea. He wanted to share his mother’s love and story of the College with others. He also noticed in an issue of the old alumni magazine a parent and child receiving credit for being the first parent and child to graduate together. Mark planned on calling to place his claim but did not get around to it. Mark now claims he and Stacia to be the first parent and child to have graduated together from Berea College.
Rick Smith retired from SNF Chemtall, a chemical production company, after retiring from teaching at the Coastal Career Academy. Rick and Janet Smith ’79 reside in Brunswick, GA. Janet works as an appliance specialist at Lowe’s in Yulee, FL.
Judy R. Rafson, RN, MPH, FNP-BC, is now fully retired after 49.5 years as an RN and 47 years as a family nurse practitioner.
Thomas Smith was recently appointed to the Governing Board of Desert Regional Medical Center, Inc., in Palm Springs, CA. DRMC is operated by Tenet Healthcare and provides acute and critical care services,
a skilled nursing unit and a level II trauma center. Smith, a seven-time international and national award-
winning author, is an energetic community leader and the district executive assistant governor for Rotary International. He was honored as 2019 District Rotarian of the Year.
Dr. Sandra Moore was recognized as an Eastern Kentucky University African American Council Trailblazer. She has served more than 40 years in higher education and served on the executive board of the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education for 25 years. She received her master’s degree from EKU and her doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky. She also is the recipient of the EKU Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement award and the 2011 National Role Model Administrator Award.
Nora Swango Stanger was featured as a guest columnist in the Ironton Tribune. Her column,
“The first time leaving home,” describes her experience first attending Berea College. Read more.
Doug Cantrell autographed copies of his most recent book, “The Making of an American: The Autobiography of a Hungarian Immigrant, Appalachian Entrepreneur, and OSS Officer” at the National Holocaust Museum and Memorial in Washington, D.C. this past March. The book was published by the University of Tennessee Press and details the life of Martin Himler, an immigrant to the U.S. from Hungary who created a cooperative coal mining company in eastern Kentucky before joining the U.S. Army during World War II, where he interrogated Nazi war criminals for the he Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA.. Some of the criminals Himler interrogated were government officials who had sent Himler’s brothers and sisters, who were Jewish, to death camps.
John H. Graham, Jackson County (AL) circuit judge, was elected a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and inducted Jan. 25, 2020, during ceremonies in Montgomery. The Alabama Law Foundation’s Fellows program honors bar members who have made a significant contribution to their profession and their community. No more than one percent of Alabama lawyers may become Fellows, and those elected to membership represent an exceptional group of attorneys dedicated to improving their communities and state. Judge Graham serves as vice president and president-elect of the Alabama Association of Drug Court Professionals, is a member of the Circuit Judges Association Education Committee and was appointed by the Supreme Court of Alabama to the Pattern Criminal Jury Instruction Committee and the Alabama Chemical Testing Advisory Board. Graham was first appointed Circuit Judge in 2006.
Nathan Wilson, orchestra director at Leestown Middle School, received the 2020 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award (grades K-12) from the Kentucky Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Wilson is in his 13th year at Leestown and also teaches at Sandersville Elementary. In addition, he has more than 30 years of experience performing for country dances regionally and across the country. He plays double bass with the Lexington Community Orchestra and local jazz ensembles, and he has served as music director at his church since 1998. Read more.
Julie Hager Love moved from her position as coordinator of Connection Ministries with the Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to become the president and CEO of the Kentucky United Methodist Children’s Homes in July 2019. There are two children’s homes in Nicholasville and Owensboro. They also have operations in 109 Kentucky counties, where they provide counseling and family support for children and their families. She works out of Nicholasville but spends a lot of time on the road visiting churches. She and George Love still live in Mount Washington, where George continues his ministry with Hebron Presbyterian Church in Shepherdsville.
Wilma Chambers’ memory was honored by her daughter, Cassie, in a New York Times article published in January. In the article, Cassie recounts her experience of becoming a mother following Wilma’s tragic death last spring. Cassie’s recently published book about Wilma and the women in her family, “Hill Women,” is an incredibly moving read, and a beautiful reminder of what Wilma so generously gave to the community and those lucky enough to learn from her as parents while she was at Berea. Read more.
Menelaos Karamichalis is paying it forward as an adjunct professor at ACT, in Thessaloniki, Greece. A polymath and hidden physicist, Menelaos applies the scientific method and the liberal arts educational model in striving to make a difference to the local community. Menelaos can be reached at email@example.com.
Suzannah Hicks earned a master of science in analytics and data science from the University of New Hampshire in May 2018. She currently is a data scientist and strategist with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Suzannah lives in New Hampshire with wife, Kim Armstrong, and son, Daniel Ratley.
Jeremy Heidt had the amazing experience of speaking, working and building with former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalyn Carter when the Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project came to Nashville in October 2019. As director of Industry and Governmental Affairs for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Jeremy coordinated the agency’s involvement as the Carter Work Project’s first and largest single sponsor. He managed the agency staff and elected officials who volunteered for the build days and participated in site visits by state and federal legislators. Jeremy, his wife, Brenda, and grandson Ryan Hall also got to swing hammers working two days on a house for homeowner, Brenda Wilson. This past December, Jeremy had the honor of presenting Wilson with the key to her new home at the dedication ceremony for the first houses to be completed from the Carter Work Project. Read more.
Mark Butler received the Champion of Children Award from the Ohio Family and Children First Coordinators Association in October 2019. The association presented him with the award for his advocacy efforts, which resulted in $18 million in funding to prevent forced custody relinquishment of multi-system youth for the purpose of obtaining necessary services.
Michael D. Sowers is an administrator in the Franklin County (KY) School System. After graduating from Berea with a BA in PE/Health, he earned his Rank II in special education and
MA Rank I in instructional leadership from EKU. He has spent 23 years in public education. Mike and April Sowers ’99 have a daughter, Bella Shari, 6.
April M. Sowers is an elementary teacher in Fayette County (KY) School System. After graduating from Berea with a BA in elementary education, she earned her MA Rank II in Instructional Leadership from EKU and her National Board Certification/Rank I. She has spent 20 years in public education.
DeJuana Thompson was named among the 20 Women of Color in Politics to Watch in 2020 by She the People. The list highlights women of color organizers, elected leaders and strategists across the country who will play a crucial role leading up to the 2020 election. Their work will undoubtedly help shape the results of the election and the future of our democracy. All have bold, audacious plans for 2020. Read more.
Birth: a daughter, Mackenna Page Galloway, to Mary Galloway and Kelvin Galloway ’06 on Dec. 4, 2019. Mary is the director of Major Giving for Berea College and her husband, Kelvin is a Partners for Education senior budget analyst. The family resides in Berea, KY.
Birth: a son, Cassius Henry Heindl, to Brenda Hornsby Heindl and Mike Heindl ’96, on Jan. 16, 2020. Cassius joins big brother, Mattias, 5, and was named for Cassius Clay, who helped John G. Fee found Berea College.
Martina Leforce received the Community Service Rural Spirit award from Osborn Barr Paramore, a full-service agency serving the agriculture and rural industry. This award recognizes an individual who goes above and beyond to selflessly grow their community through exceptional service. Five years ago, Leforce established the summer feeding program, Berea Kids Eat. It has since been her mission to grow the program so food is made available to children throughout the Appalachian region. Read more.
Married: Adrian Safar to Christopher Hinkle on Sept. 1, 2019. The couple resides in Washington, D.C. Adrian is the director of Business Development for It’s Hospitality and Chris is the network operations manager for Netlink Resource Group.
Birth: a son, Carter J. Calicker, to Donovan Calicker and Shari Johnson Calicker on Nov. 22, 2019. Carter’s first name was inspired by Berea alumnus, Carter G. Woodson. The family resides in Jacksonville, FL.
Birth: a son, Jordan Lee Lyons Enge to Samantha Lyons Enge and David Enge on August 13, 2019. Jordan’s grandparents are Sheila Lyons ’87, Sarah Culbreth ’76 and Jeff Enge ’86.
Saria Dawkins Lattimore attended Chase Law School at Northern Kentucky University and earned her Juris Doctorate in law. She passed the Ohio State Bar and is now licensed in Ohio. She currently practices law in Hamilton County, OH.
Birth: a son, Landon Alexander Zech, to Megan Zech and Corey Zech Sept. 28, 2019. They named him Landon after the city London, where Megan and Corey met while they were studying abroad in college.
Kaitlin Morris was named a Newman’s Own Foundation fellow for 2019-20. The fellowship program offers recent college graduates an opportunity to work in the nonprofit sector and receive a stipend while getting professional training and coaching through the foundation. Each fellow is paired with a nonprofit for a one-year commitment, matching the individual’s skills and interests with the needs of the organization. The program provides a valuable experience to young people as they embark on their professional careers. Read more.
Jordan Byrnes spent his summer living and working in Red River Gorge (KY), Alaska and California. He recently accepted a job as a program coordinator/challenge course manager at Life Adventure Center in Versailles, KY, which includes outdoor recreation/education/nature therapy, challenge course, climbing, horses, paddling, mountain biking and other rewarding opportunities. He thanks Berea for helping him learn and grow, and he says Berea “has improved my life drastically for the better.”