Class Notes

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Headshot of Veree Thompson

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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Martha Dendy King enjoys traveling and has fun visiting and seeing her family, including her four grandchildren. 

Dr. John M. Ramsay is no longer dancing at the age of 87. However, with more time on his hands, he wrote his first novel about a dancing master at a college. John wants to publish something more important, so he has been excited to make booklets by his friend Marlowe Erickson available on his website. Find out more about John and his writing.


Mable Lewis Starling and her husband, Jim, just celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. They were married in the Danforth Chapel in April 1960.

Bobby Peek wanted to share that Jesus Christ has blessed his family and they wanted to assist other students in their college career. Bobby has had some health challenges but is doing very well at the age of 84.


Robert Allen Lawson said Berea has remained in his heart for 58 years and his adult life began there. He met his wife Rebecca Lucille Henderson (Lawson) at Berea as well. He said he still shares its Christian values.


Ira Linville Jr. and Gladys Tucker Linville, FD’64, celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on April 15, by visiting places they had previously worked and lived in southeast Kentucky, including Harlan, Bell, Knox and Laurel counties.


Stephen Edward Wilson said he didn’t have much news, but he’s retired and enjoying it.

Headshot of Veree ThompsonV. Veree Woodbridge Thompson said she is always happy to see any Berea folk who happen to be around Jacksonville, FL or the coastal Georgia area just near Amelia Island.


Rita Hawks Spence retired from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service six years ago. She recently celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with Ronald Kyle Spence ‘69, on Aug 19, 2017. Bereans in attendance at the celebration included Rosemary Evans Stinson ’66; Janice Sells Chadwell ’66 and Carl J. Chadwell ’65; Rosemary Ridenour Sutton ’66 and Larry Sutton ’67; and Peggy Hurt Powell ’69 and Ed Powell ’69.


Lucy Artz King continues to live in Maurertown, VA. She has three sons and six grandchildren. Lucy would love to hear from friends, especially those with stories to share about her husband Don King ‘68, who passed away July 5, 2017.

Delmar Gillette is looking forward to the 50th reunion for the class of 1969.

Jerry Duane Kidd sitting at a tableJerry Duane Kidd published his first book The Lynching in March 2018. It is a historical novel based on the true story of Jerome Boyatt of No Business, Tenn., who shot and killed the high sheriff of Pickett County, Tenn., in April 1933. Boyatt also killed one of the deputies who happened to be the sheriff’s son. Returning to his home in the beautiful valley of No Business Creek on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, he successfully evaded capture. They used kidnapping, threats, intimidation, torture and terrorism against the citizens of No Business to try and capture the young man. Only when he peacefully gives himself up is he in imminent danger. The work is on Amazon, where you can get it on Kindle and/or paperback. Jerry, retired, now works as a researcher on historical issues and events regarding integrity in historiography.

Ronald Kyle Spence worked for AOI computer services and most recently for the Greenup County (KY) Health Department. He has been retired for five years.

Group of nurses from the Class of 1969Five or six times a year, nurses from the Class of 1969 who live in or near the central Kentucky area get together. The group tries to meet in the home of a classmate or at Boone Tavern. Front row, left to right: Janet McKinney Tracy, Ruth Jordan Wong and Joanne Smith Graves. Back row: Linda Stevens Madden, Betty Hyatt Olinger, Shelia Powell and Saundra Carter Toussaint. Alumni missing from the photo, but who usually join this group are Nancy Pickle Isaacs and Phyllis Neace Morris.


Bill Weir standing with his bikeBill Weir, KH ‘65, FD ‘68, BC ‘72, said he loves to travel, especially on a bicycle. Since he first got into bicycle touring in 1973, he’s been on many rides in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. He is retired from a career of writing travel guidebooks, and he now takes one cycle touring trip after another. Find his travelogues with photos of his cycling adventures here, plus backpacking trips on his personal site here. Lately, he has been riding in the U.S. during even-numbered years and in Europe during odd-numbered ones, then cycling in the sunshine of Asia during autumn-winter. Bill attended fifth, sixth and eighth grades (he skipped seventh) at Knapp Hall in 1962-65, then was in the last class to graduate from Foundation in 1968.


Dr. Pamela Holmes Chabora retired from teaching as a professor of theatre at the University of Southern Maine in order to begin seminary at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary to become an ordained minister. In March, she travelled to Puerto Rico to assist with hurricane recovery. 


W. Phillip Ward was interviewed for “Phillip Ward’s Talks ‘The Last Word’ by Quentin Crisp and More” on Dec. 17, 2017 in the Huffington Post. Phillip is a consultant, researcher, curator, multimedia artist, photographer, poet and writer. He was Crisp’s personal assistant, dresser, typist, escort and travel companion for 14 years until Crisp’s death in 1999. Phillip is the archivist and curator of the official Quentin Crisp website and is the literary and executor of Crisp’s estate. Read the full interview here.


Nora Swango Stanger accepted a position this year as the Appalachian outreach coordinator for Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH.

Dr. Laura Porter Kimble joined the faculty of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) as assistant dean of clinical advancement on Aug. 1, 2017.


Niko Etem Tindong is an administrator of Agneus Health Care Services–Home Care in Silver Spring, MD, and is also with a nursing academy that trains nursing assistants online. His wife, Florence, is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who manages a pain clinic and is in charge of payroll at Agneus.


Headshot of Gerald CarpenterJerry E. Carpenter works at U.S. Geological Survey as a lead domain administrator and project manager. He continues to work with Bonsai as an instructor, contractor and demonstrator. He also continues to explore the art of watercolor. You can follow Jerry’s art here.


Ed Novak retired from teaching after 30 years at Clarke County High School in Berryville, VA. He is enjoying traveling, working on construction projects with Habitat for Humanity and life with his wife, Beth.

Headshot of Jeffrey and Barbara McDowellRev. Jeffrey McDowell earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in congregational leadership in 2017 from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. He serves as district superintendent of Finger Lakes District in the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has been married for 33 years to his wife, Barbara, and has two adult sons, Nathan and Evan.

Laura Meadows Mallory and her husband, Earl, are very proud of their daughter, Michaela, who is currently a student at Berea College.

Gary Eldridge with a musical instrumentGary L. Eldridge is now the operating room non-stock coordinator for Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares, FL. After retiring as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in Indiana, he moved to Florida in 2014 and there met his wife, Shirley, who is from Floyd County, KY.

Headshot of Dr. Margery Coulson-ClarkElizabeth City State University professor, Dr. Margery M. Coulson-Clark, has been named a recipient of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors 2018 Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Read more about Margery here.

Group photo of Sharon Robb Allen at graduationSharon Robb Allen graduated May 12, 2018, with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. She works full time in nursing administration as a clinical supervisor for Atrium Health in Concord, NC. She teaches nursing part-time at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her three certifications include being board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Medical-Surgical Nursing (RN-BC); being certified by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators as a Certified Diabetes Educator; and being certified by the National League for Nursing as a Certified Nurse Educator. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her family.


Headshot of Angie Anderson FowlerWhen Angie Anderson Fowler came to Berea College in 1981, she knew she wanted to serve people. She said she wanted to be a nurse or work in special education, but because a special education certification was not offered at the time, she became a nurse. Over her career, she served in different areas of nursing, such as neonatal intensive care, home care for chronically ill children and maternal-child care. After 27 years in nursing, she got the opportunity to experience “the best of both worlds” and now works as a special education health assistant. Angie presently cares for the medical needs of pre-school to fifth-grade students in a small elementary school with a high-risk population. Once a month they have “Wear Your Favorite College T-shirt Day.” She proudly wears her Berea shirts, and takes this opportunity to talk about her alma mater. Angie has five children and three grandchildren.

Headshot of Jack MarinelliJack Marinelli is enjoying retirement, but is using his extra time to volunteer around the world. He said the foundation of the tools Berea instilled in him helps him connect with others on so many cultural and economic levels. In March, Jack volunteered at soup kitchens in Rome managed and operated by Caritas Internationalis, a confederation headquartered in Rome and dedicated to ending poverty, promoting justice and restoring dignity. Donations for the soup kitchens come in from local businesses every day, he said. The center, named John Paul II, feeds 500+ refugees at lunch time 365 days a year.


Jeffrey Carpenter was named the Art Accelerator Program director for the City of Berea. He will oversee Gallery 123, mentor the Art Accelerator fellows, promote the fine arts and Appalachian crafts in the region and help create a strong arts-based economy in central Kentucky. Jeffrey holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Berea College, a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern Maine, a master’s degree in teaching English as a foreign language from the Sanford School in Boston and has served as an Americorps VISTA and VISTA leader for Partners for Education at Berea College. He owns Sagittarius Studios in Berea and he is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and former artist of Monhegan Island, ME.


Beverly Lakes Bass completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in January from William Paterson University. Her doctoral research topic was “Relationship of Stroke Caregiver Mutuality and Preparedness for Caregiving to Role Strain.” Beverly works at Seton Hall University as a clinical professor. She also edits the Faith Community Health Partnership newsletter for Atlantic Health System.


Headshot of Zannyha Wright MartellZannyha Wright Martell is a portfolio manager in the Special Credits department with Hancock Whitney Bank in Mobile, AL. She can be reached at


Samuel Bogale gave a presentation to Dr. Richard Maiti’s database class (CSC 330) at Berea College in the fall of 2017. Samuel currently works with Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services.


Headshot of Jamie Lane CantrillJamie Cantrill is currently in his third year as principal of Blue Grass Elementary in Knoxville, TN. Prior to that, he taught five years at Warner Elementary in Nicholasville, KY; seven years at Lincoln County Middle School in Stanford, KY; two years as assistant principal and athletic director at Karns High School in Knoxville, TN; and one year as assistant principal and athletic director at Powell High School in Knoxville, TN.


P. LeAnn Campell Duncan was promoted to Middle Tennessee Regional licensure manager at the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. LeAnn, her husband, William, and their dog, Riley, all moved to the Nashville area in February and she said they are loving it so far.


Headshot of Dwayne ComptonIn May, Dr. Dwayne Compton was listed as one of the 20 People to Know in Education in Louisville Business First. He is acting vice dean for community engagement and diversity at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Dwayne also serves as chair of the Diversity Committee and is an instructor in the Department of Medicine. Read the full article at Louisville Business First.


Headshot of Jessica BrayJessica Blankenship Bray is a 2018 recipient of Laurel County’s 10 Under 40 Award. This award recognizes the accomplishments and commitment to make Laurel County, KY, a better place to live, work and play. Jessica is married to Anthony Bray and is a regional transportation planner for the Cumberland Valley Area Development District. Additionally, she is the founder of and a writer for Kentucky Country Music News.


Jeremiah Duerson works as a team lead in information technology at Eastern Kentucky University.

Wedding photo of Heather Predmore Isaacs and Joey IsaacsMarried: Heather Predmore to Joey Isaacs on May 28, 2017 at Cliffview Resort in Campton, KY.  The couple resides in Richmond, KY, with their little boy, Atreyu Xavier Isaacs, born Sept. 9, 2014.


Actress Sarah Griffin was invited to Pop-Up Globe theatre in Auckland, New Zealand to play a “bloke” in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream to see if anyone would notice and to challenge gender perceptions. Pop-Up Globe is the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of the second Globe, the theatre Shakespeare and his company built and opened in 1614 after the first Globe theatre burned to the ground. Sarah is featured in a segment on Television New Zealand (TVNZ) titled, “Pop-Up Globe actress challenging gender perceptions via Shakespeare.” View the segment Pop-Up Globe theatre segment here.


Child of Jessica McCainBirth: a son, Leland Burke McCain, to Jessica Burke McCain and Bradley McCain. The family resides in Columbus, OH, where Jessica is the training and professional development specialist for the Association for the Developmentally Disabled.


Crystal White has been working in the biopharmaceutical world as a document management technician for six years. She earned a master’s degree in library science and information science from Indiana University Bloomington. She is pursuing a master’s degree in theology from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.


Headshot of Terri DaughertyTerri Lynn Daughterty joined the firm of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC, based in Tennessee. She will focus on civil litigation, including products liability, personal injury and premises liability defense. Read her full announcement here.

Etchings Press, the University of Indianapolis student-run publisher, announced Robert Campbell as the recipient of the 2018 Chapbook Prize in Poetry for his work In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes. Robert’s poetry and criticism have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, The Collagist, Columbia Poetry Review, River Styx, Ninth Letter, Asheville Poetry Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Sundog Lit, Zone 3, The Adroit Journal, and many other journals. He was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, short-listed for the 2015 Black Warrior Review Poetry contest, third-place winner of the 2013 River Styx International Poetry contest, and previous winner of the Flo Gault Poetry prize through Sarabande Books. Robert earned a master’s degree in poetry from Murray State University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky. He lives with his partner and animals in the bluegrass region of Kentucky. Learn more about Robert Campbell here.

Annie Dillon Connors graduated from California Baptist University on May 4 with a master’s degree in athletic training. She and her husband, Gary, now reside in Miami, FL.

Priya Thoresen earned a master’s degree in ceramics from Arizona State University in 2017 and is now teaching at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and Concordia University.


In January 2018, Lauren Lane Schlagel became part owner of an accounting firm, WR Ramsey & Associates, Inc. in Lexington. At the same time, she was promoted to marketing director and continues to be a staff accountant.

Headshot of Carol DaveyCarol Davey joined the Ohio Environmental Council as its southeast Ohio regional director. Before accepting the position, Carol earned a master’s degree in international peace studies from the Irish School of Ecunemics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and completed an Appalachian Transition Fellowship with the Highlander Research and Education Center focused on a just transition for the Appalachian Ohio region. Her current role allows her to continue to work for the transition of Appalachia and to protect the air, water and land while shaping the policy and future of the region. Carol now resides back in her hometown of Cheshire, OH with her toddler, Connor Patrick.

Headshot of Matthew Baunack WilliamsIn 2017, Matthew Williams embarked on a year-long journey to travel the world through a program called Remote Year. Matthew has spent the year as a digital nomad working and living in 12 international cities alongside 50 other professionals. He has enjoyed connecting with Berea alumni during his travels. Follow his adventure and connect with Matt via Instagram.

Headshot of Jared SchmalJared Schmal was selected to receive Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst–DAAD). DAAD’s RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. The internships give each student an opportunity to do research at one of Germany’s top universities or research institutions. Read the full announcement here.


Melissa Benson celebrated her commencement from the University of the Cumberlands on May 5. Melissa received a master’s degree in teaching with honors, summa cum laude. She will begin the Ph.D. program in curriculum and instruction at the University of Kentucky this fall with an assistantship. She also is a recipient of UK’s John Edwin Partington and Gwendolyn Gray Partington Scholarship.

Wedding photo of Holly Korb and Justin RabnottMarried: Holly Korb married Justin Rabnott on Dec. 16, 2017 at Berea Baptist Church. Their reception followed in Baird Lounge on Berea College’s campus. Holly is an administrative assistant at Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Education and Justin is a network administrator at Fahe in Berea. The couple resides in Berea, KY.


Gregory Cox graduated from medical school on May 12.


On Dec. 16, 2017, Emmanuel Watkins graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word with a master’s degree in education. Emmanuel was accepted to the University of Texas at San Antonio to earn a doctorate in interdisciplinary learning and teaching starting in fall 2018.

Headshot of Victoria BarbourVictoria Barbour graduated with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Liberty University. She currently is completing an internship, scheduled to end in December, before entering the counseling field.

Chyna Johnson was part of a group of 10 women who walked the 100-mile trail from Maryland to Wilmington, DE., March 6 to 10 in honor of Harriet Tubman Day, which is on March 10.


Justin Burton was hired by Bethany College in Kansas where he relocated to start a student broom-making program. Justin has been working in the Emerging Artists Program in Old Town Berea, where he opened a craft shop. Last year, he organized a national gathering of broom makers that he called a “Sweep-In” in Berea. It was the first such gathering in decades.

John King working on Ale8-1 art projectGlass artist John King (Visit John’s personal website) is the current artist-in-residence at the Louisville Free Public Library. Read about his experience here.

Married: Megan Keller to Corey Zech on Sept. 2, 2017, at the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin, OH. They spent their honeymoon in London, England where they met, and traveled further to Dublin, Ireland and Chicago, IL. Megan graduated from The University of Toledo on May 5, with a master’s degree in higher education.

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