The Berea College Alumni Association enjoys hearing from Bereans from all over the U.S. and the world. The “Class Notes” section of Berea College Magazine (BCM) reports  verifiable news that has been sent by alumni. BCM reports the news you wish to share. “Class Notes” reports 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, due to printing schedules, some delays are typical. We appreciate your understanding. Submit class notes and photographs via e-mail:


Charles “Chuck” Rayburn recently was featured in The Montebello senior living facility’s newsletter “In the Spotlight.” The article talked about Chuck’s humble beginnings in eastern Kentucky and how he met Mickey, his wife of 70 years, at Berea College. He served in the Army Air Corps, during which he was promoted to captain and awarded the Bronze Star. He went on to earn his master’s degree in physics from the University of Kentucky and produce 914 inventions, protected by 78 U.S. patents. Chuck recently published a book entitled, “Axioms for the Inventor.”


Eileen Barnawell Hartley Cooper, a retired editor, writer and consultant, recently completed a biography of Earl Barnawell, a sanitary engineer during Georgia’s disease epidemic. Eileen retired to 220 Harper Rd., Kerrville, TX 78028.


John Campbell Rogers served two years in the U.S. Army, earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Georgia in 1961, and worked as an education specialist until retirement in 1986.


Nancy Biddix McKinnis, a retired teacher, and her husband, Bill, now live in The Estates at Carpenters, a continuing care retirement community in Lakeland, Florida. They enjoy living there and have met many wonderful people.


Joanne Austin Condra is a retired teacher, and her husband, Earl, is a retired principal. They have three children, Barry, Melanie and Amy; four grandchildren, Megan, Micah, Hannah and Madeline; and two great-grandchildren, Austin and Abigayl.

Viola Glassmann, Fd ’53, ‘56, is currently living at 6725 Miralake Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45243.


Marshall Wall is retired from a computer science career at IBM. After leaving Berea, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math from the University of Illinois. Marshall said the courses he took at Berea introduced him to the classics, “which have been a source of joy throughout the years. Thank you Berea. My life has been richer by the humanities.”


Ellen Coomer, RN, recently started on her third career as a school nurse for two elementary schools in Madison County, North Carolina. She retired in 2012 from Mission Hospitals, Inc. in Asheville, North Carolina, where she started in 2001 after retiring from a 27-year career at Mars Hill University. Ellen resides in Mars Hill, North Carolina.

Dr. Celia Hooper Miles published a new novel, her seventh since retiring from the North Carolina Community College system. The novel, “The Body at Wrapp’s Mill: A Grist Mill Mystery,” is set in the mountains of North Carolina. The story features Marcy Dehanne, who quit teaching to pursue an interest in old grist mills and discovers a body on her first job. Celia resides in Asheville, North Carolina.


Kattie Deel Blankenship, a retired insurance agent, celebrated 47 years of marriage to her husband, Alvin, a retired miner. They are enjoying time with their grandson, Paeton.


Dr. George T. Fain retired May 2014 from the University of South Carolina where he taught European and American history. He is looking forward to hearing from other classmates from the 1970s era. His email is and his address is: 118 Lisa Drive, Fountain Inn, SC 29644.


Paul C. Siedschlag recently retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve as an F-4/F-14 radar intercept officer. He also retired in October from Southwest Airlines, where he was a B737 captain for 30 years.


Steven Connelly, Fd ’70, ’74, has been re-elected to his fourth term as mayor of the city of Berea. He and his wife, Thana Taylor Connelly, ’73, have two sons.


Married: Shanda Smith Bruner to David Bruner in August 2014.


John Alexander just finished running the 208-mile Blue Ridge Relay with his daughter, Kara, and 10 other team members.

Yvonne Barnwell retired in January 2015 after 32 years of teaching. She taught business education at high schools for 20 years and middle schools for 12 years. Yvonne has two daughters and resides in Hendersonville, North Carolina.


Thomas Smith, ’79
Thomas Smith, ’79

Thomas Smith received the Palm Springs, California Human Rights Commission Community Service Award on January 12, 2015 at the city council chambers. He also received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. This award is in recognition of leadership and volunteerism which have had a lasting imprint on Palm Springs by promoting universal rights at home. Thomas, who is president of the Palm Springs Rotary Club, has more than 30 years of active community service focusing on literacy, youth with disabilities, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and senior citizen assistance.


Jeanette Humphrey Byrd is currently serving as principal at Cummings Elementary in Houston, Texas. The school is home to 640 students and 88 staff members. Jeanette’s husband of 24 years, Alexander, is a history professor at Rice University. Their children, Benjamin and Jenna, are active in their schools and enjoy living on the campus of Rice University.


Birth: a son, Phineas, was born to John Bowers and Georgia Bowers in August 2010. John recently earned his Master of Science degree in occupational therapy.


Dr. Renee Colquitt, a math teacher with Oak Ridge Schools, earned a doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee in May 2014.


Married: Angie Cotterman to Deana on December 31, 2014. Angie is a senior accountant at Advent International Corporation, a global private equity firm. She is pursuing her master’s degree in accounting at Southern New Hampshire University. Deana teaches Advanced Placement English literature and Spanish at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. The couple resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

Birth: a daughter, Maisie Jane, to Jenna Zimmerman and Jereme Zimmerman, ‘98, on November 13, 2014.  Jenna and Jereme reside with their daughters, Maisie and Sadie, in Berea, Kentucky.


Rich Biggers earned his Juris Doctor from Florida A&M University College of Law in December 2014.


Anna-Jeannine Herman, ’04
Anna-Jeannine Herman, ’04

Anna-Jeannine Herman was named Ohio’s first Wedding Entertainment Director in October 2014. Since 2001, the WED recognition has only been given to 23 DJs internationally. The WED Guild honors exceptional wedding Masters of Ceremonies so that brides and grooms can identify the top talent in the field. It is a peer-reviewed, merit-based certification as judged through review of the applicant’s writing, speaking, and audio programming skills through photo, video, and essays.  Anna-Jeannine works for Something New Entertainment.

Sarah Shannon, ’04 and Justin Kindler, ’05, and daughter
Sarah Shannon, ’04 and Justin Kindler, ’05, and daughter

Birth: a daughter, Chloe Elise, to Sarah Shannon Kindler and Justin Kindler, ‘05, on January 23, 2015. Chloe was born in Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. Justin is a general dentist at Greenberg Dental and Orthodontics and Sarah is a physician assistant at an urgent care clinic. The couple relocated to Port Orange, Florida
from Ahoskie, North
Carolina in August 2014.


Travis Seals Jr, Ashley Long, ’08, and sons.
Travis Seals Jr, Ashley Long, ’08, and sons.

Married: Ashley Long to Travis Seals Jr. on June 27, 2014, surrounded by close friends and family in a small ceremony at Martin’s Fork Lake in Harlan, Kentucky. Ashley graduated from Berea with a degree in Appalachian Studies and was a Red Foley Award recipient. Travis and Ashley will reside in her hometown of Rose Hill, Virginia with their three little boys, Kaden, Conner, and Jaxon. She will continue her work as the Lee County tourism director. Travis works for the Department of Labor as a mine inspector.


Married: Audrey J. Smothers to Daniel J. Clark on October 24, 2014 in the Red River Gorge. They reside in Danville, Kentucky.


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