University of Memphis Magazine
University of Memphis Photo
Summer 11 Features


100 years and going strong
Sporting an attitude
These times they are a-changin'

Legend of the fall

The Columns: Alumni Review
Club and Chapter News
"Tigers Around Town" make
splashy debut

In Memoriam

The Columns: Alumni Review
A gallery of presidents, from past to present
Centennial reflections
Looking back: Centennial timeline

In keeping with the centennial theme of this issue, we’ve reached into our vault and included a few classnotes from past years to go along with our current ones. For these vintage classnotes, we’ve included the magazine issue in which they originally appeared.


Ellen Davies Rogers completed her fourth book on the Episcopal Church in West Tennessee, Heirs Through Hope. She has taught at all levels of education, was a school principal, professor of elementary education at MSU, state supervisor for 1,500 elementary schools in West Tennessee, and a member of the Shelby County Board of Education. (From the March1984 Columns.)


Dae D. Baird (BS) of Monterey, Calif., has received a medal from the Russian government commemorating his “courage and personal contribution to the Allied support of Russia” during World War II. While in the U.S. Maritime Service, he aided in the transport of supplies from the U.S. to Russia via a route through the Persian Gulf. (From the Spring 1997 U of M Magazine.)


Wilma Jean Raymond (BS) was presented the 45 Year Service Award from the federal government. Raymond has worked at NASA headquarters for 33 years and previously served in Sen. Kefauver’s office and at Torrejon Air Force Base in Madrid, Spain. (From the Summer 1994 U of M Magazine.)


Wink Martindale (BS) is a television game show host for Family Channel’s new Trivial Pursuit. (From the Winter 1994 U of M Magazine.)


Dr. Kenneth T. Jackson (BA) spent 13 years compiling what is now the best-selling book in the history of Yale University Press, The Encyclopedia of New York City. He says the 1,373-page reference work “weighs as much as a baby (eight pounds), but it took much longer to make.” He was named one of the most popular professors in the nation by Playboy magazine in 1993 and his all-night bicycle rides, all-day bus trips and three-hour walking tours of New York City are a Columbia University tradition. (From the Spring 1996 U of M Magazine.)


Herbert A. “Bert” Dargie (BS) was inducted into the Professional Clubmakers Hall of Fame at the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla. Dargie is a master craftsman in golf club manufacturing and repair, as well as customizing clubs for individuals. (From the Summer 1999 U of M Magazine.)


Forrest May (BBA, MBA ’70) joined Venture Technologies as an account manager.


Donald E. Godwin (MS), chair and CEO of the law firm Godwin Ronquillo, was named among “The Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine for business litigation.

Mary Anne Coleman Wehrum (BSEd, MEd ’75) carried some extra weight as she ran her 10th – and final – marathon in April. Wehrum, 58, carried a camera and shot three rolls of film throughout the centennial Boston Marathon. (From the Summer 1996 U of M Magazine.)


Fred Jones (BBA), a music and entertainment promoter, received top honors from the Black Business Association for successful development of the Southern Heritage Classic football game. (From the Spring 1997 U of M Magazine.)


Mike McDowell (BA, MPA ’75) received the 2011 Jay T. Bell Professional Management Award from the Missouri City/County Management Association. McDowell is city manager of Olivette, Mo., in the St. Louis area. He has served as city manager since 2004 and has 36 years of local government service.


Lynn Alford
Lynn Alford
Lynn Alford (BSEd) with Clay & Land Insurance Agency was awarded the Chartered Financial Consultant professional designation from The American College.

Elizabeth Scrivener (BA) is co-district manager for Decorate With the Word, which sells scripture plaques on a home party basis. Her husband, Lt.j.g. Charles H. Scrivener (BA ’72), is a food service officer aboard the USS San Diego. (From the March 1984 Columns.)


Karen Busler (BA) and 14 other musicians will perform a benefit concert, “Music for the Heart and Soul,” that will help sick children in places such as Croatia and Peru. (From the Spring 1997 U of M Magazine.)


Cedric Jaggers (MPA) published his first book, Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run, A Complete History in Words and Photos. The book details the history of the third largest 10k race in the U.S., tracing its growth from 766 runners in 1978 to 33,057 in 2010. Jaggers has run every race except the first one, when he had a broken leg.

Danny Langston (BSEE) joined Askew Hargraves Harcourt & Associates as senior electrical engineer.


Deanie Parker (BPS, MPBA ’88) was promoted to assistant director of the Memphis in May International Festival. (From the Winter 1993 U of M Magazine.)


Mike McIntyre (BSEd, MEd ’81) retired after four years as principal of Germantown High School. He had been with Shelby County Schools for 33 years.


Denby Brandon III (MBA) is president of Brandon Investment Inc. and vice president of Brandon Financial Planning Inc.


John Campbell (BA, JD ’83) was appointed Shelby County’s deputy district attorney. He has been with the District Attorney’s office for 25 years.


Ron Hart (BBA, MBA ’83) received the Independent Books Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award for humor and satire for his book No Such Thing as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler. Hart is a top-rated financial analyst and a syndicated newspaper columnist.

Frank R. White (BBA), a Memphis firefighter, his wife, Nita L. Douglas (BSEE ’82), and their 4 1/2 year-old son, Andrew, announce the arrival of four additions to their family. Born Feb 3, 1995 – nine weeks early – were quadruplets Joshua, Caleb, Rebekah and Rachel. “This is a blessing and a gift,” said Nita. “Each of our children is a miracle.” (From the Spring 1995 U of M Magazine.)


Madan Birla (MS) is founder and CEO of, a portal for practical tips and tools to unleash creativity and enjoy a balanced life. His book FedEx Delivers: How the World’s Leading Shipping Company Keeps Innovating and Outperforming the Competition has been translated into Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese. 

Joey Harris
Joey Harris
Joey Harris (BS, MAT ’84), COO of Cook’s Pest Control Inc., was appointed to the Alabama Agriculture and Industries Board.


Greg Barnes (BBA, MS ’85) was named managing partner of the Memphis office of KPMG, an audit, tax and advisory firm.

Sidney Evans (JD) is vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Sharon Smith (BA) became the first African-American female pilot in the Memphis Police Department. Lt. Smith now commands the organization’s aviation and harbor patrol units. (From the Summer 1997 U of M Magazine.)


Richmond B. Adams (BA) completed his PhD in American literature through Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His topic examined the relationship between evangelical Protestantism and the larger national culture in late nineteenth century American life within Harold Frederic’s novel The Damnation of Theron Ware, published in 1896.


Clay Boatright (BS, MS ’86) was named to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He is president of the board of directors of The Arc of Texas, a nonprofit organization which creates opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Don Hudgins (BSCE, MSCE ’91) rode a unicycle from Memphis to Russellville, Ark., recently to visit his 94-year-old grandfather. The 200-mile trip took seven days. (From the Winter 2000 U of M Magazine.)

Dr. Peggy Ingram Vesser (EdD) was named director of the nursing program at Christian Brothers University. She will oversee the new accelerated BSN program for registered nurses.


Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx Corp., was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America.

Chris Thomas (BBA) joined Summit Landscapes as a sales manager. He is former Shelby County Probate Court clerk.


Marilyn Califf (MFA) showed her latest artwork in five venues – the new WKNO building, Wings Gallery at the West Cancer Clinic, “Project Sketchbook” hosted by the Rozelle Artists Guild, a Caritas Village group show by Spirited Threads, and Circuit Playhouse.


Edward L. Bryant (BA) is vice president of economic development collaborations for the St. Louis County Economic Council. He develops programs and initiatives that increase awareness of the county services that are available and supports planning for attracting and retaining businesses and other economic development efforts by simplifying how private sector projects are approved. 


Kevin Kirwen (BA) is living in Spain, where he opened a language school and teaches English as a Second Language in the central Pyrenees Mountains.  (From the Spring 2003 U of M Magazine.)


Susan Ewing
Susan Ewing
Susan Ewing (BBA, MBA ’99) was named partner at Tactical Magic, a brand identity specialist firm. Previously she was with inferno and Thompson & Company.


Andrew Johnston (JD) joined the law firm of Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee.

Suzanne Laskowski (MS) of Germantown was a finalist in Carefree Gum’s “Search for America’s Funniest Mom” contest. (From the summer 1998 U of M Magazine.)

Timothy R. Lee (BBA) recently co-authored the book A Reviewer’s Handbook to Business Valuation, which offers advice on the business appraisal process. Lee is a senior vice president at Mercer Capital.


Todd Presnell
Todd Presnell
Todd Presnell (JD) was appointed chair of the Litigation Department at Miller & Martin in Nashville.


James Derych (BBA) joined Chartwell Financial Group’s Memphis office as a financial adviser.


Monika Johnson (JD) was appointed by the city of Memphis as its first chief ethics officer. Johnson investigates ethics complaints and oversees training for city workers on its code of ethics. She had been director of contract services for Memphis City Schools.


Heather G. Anderson (JD) was named a Mid-South Rising Star in real estate law by SuperLawyers. She is with the firm of Howard & Howard in Knoxville.

Brian Faughnan (JD) joined Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell. He is chair of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and was re-elected to a third term on the TBA Board of Governors.


Jae Henderson
Jae Henderson
Jae Henderson (BA, MA ’05) was named one of the Tri-State Defender’s 50 Women of Excellence. She is president of Put It In Writing, a professional writing and public relations service, and works as a voice-over artist.
William W. Reid
William W. Reid
William W. Reid (BSCE) joined Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon Inc. as senior transportation manager in the Nashville office. Reid has more than 14 years of experience in project management, transportation design, and bridge design and evaluation.


Candice Salyers (BLS) received her MFA in dance from Smith College and is pursuing a PhD in dance from Texas Woman’s University. She is a choreographer and performer. Her interest in making artistic practice relevant for the ecology of a community led her to found pARTners, a volunteer organization of artists who share their work with a diversity of people.


Diane Ridgway (MBA) is COO/vice president of patient care at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital.

David Riley
David Riley
David Riley (JD) became a partner in the law firm Glassman, Edwards, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox. He joined the firm in 2001.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold E. Yager Jr. (BM) received the Military Volunteer Service Medal in recognition of continued exceptional community service. Yager plays trumpet in the U.S. Army Field Band based at Fort George G. Meade in Laurel, Md. He earned a master’s degree from the University of North Texas and is working on his doctorate at the University of Maryland at Baltimore.


Anwar Jamison (MA, MA ’09) released his first film, Funeral Arrangements, in February. The comedy focuses on a character who lies about attending a funeral to skip work. Jamison directed the film and wrote the script, which was developed from an assignment in his first screenwriting class. The cast and crew were mostly film and theatre students. The film premiered at the 2009 Indie Memphis Film Festival and was released nationwide through Select-O-Hits.

Mary Molinary (MFA) won the 2010 Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse Award for a first or second book of poetry for her manuscript Mary & the Giant Mechanism. Her other honors include an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize. Molinary teaches courses in creative writing and poetics at Memphis College of Art. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in literary journals such as Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, Poetry International, spork, Tupelo Press Poetry Project, Poetry Daily and New Orleans Review.


Nicolas Corry (JD) was named a partner in the law firm of Deininger, Wingfield & Corry in Little Rock. His practice focuses on tax resolution and tax litigation.

Clare Grant (BFA), a model and actress (Black Snake Moan, Walk the Line), married actor Seth Green (Family Guy, the Austin Powers movies) at filmmaker George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in California in May. (From the Summer 2010 U of M Magazine.)


Sarah Fleming (MA) is the co-owner of Live From Memphis (LFM), a grassroots multimedia organization representing local music, film, arts and culture. LFM creates videos for such clients as the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, ArtsMemphis, the Center City Commission and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Jervette Ward (BA, MA ’09, PhD ’11) is assistant professor of English at Pine Manor College in Boston.

Holli Weatherington (BA) is president and CEO of Summerall Electric Co.


Courtney Clothier (BA, JD ’10) joined the law firm of Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee.

Nicole Gibson Davison (JD) joined the Bailey & Greer law firm.

Jeff McCalla (MAT) wrote the book TI-Nspire for Dummies. He teaches math at St. Mary’s Episcopal School and is an instructor for Texas Instruments.


Laurielle Altman (JD) received the Mission First Legal Aid Top Volunteer Award during the annual Law Day ceremony at Mississippi College School of Law.

Adam B. Crigger (BPS) joined Strategic Financial Partners as a financial representative.

Jessica Rae (MA), a private speech-language pathologist for children, founded her own business, Communication Station.


Zack Farley (BBA) was promoted to audit senior at Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck Certified Public Accountants and Advisers.


T. André Feagin (MM) will lead the 2012 U.S. All-American Marching Band instructional staff beginning in January. He has served on the staff since 2009. Feagin is associate director of bands at the University of Texas at El Paso and a doctor of musical arts candidate in conducting at the University of North Texas.


Jan Lentz
Jan Lentz
Jan Lentz (JD) is an associate with the Rice, Amundsen & Caperton law firm. She previously was a staff attorney with Shelby County Child Support Services.

Yijun “Pixy” Liao (MFA) was selected as a winner of the Magenta Foundation’s 2011 Emerging Photographers exchange. The Foundation will hold an exhibition and book launch featuring the work of all winners in October. In April, Liao opened her first solo show, Memphis, Tennessee, at Gallery 456 in New York City. In May she was part of a group exhibition at kunst.licht gallery in Shanghai, and in June her work was shown at Kunstwerk Carlshütte’s NordArt in Büdelsdorf, Germany.

Jonathan E. Nelson
Jonathan E. Nelson
Jonathan E. Nelson (JD) joined the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Bass, Berry & Sims.

Mary L. Wagner (JD) is an associate attorney with Rice Amundsen & Caperton.


Reynae Bennett (MSN), nurse leadership coach for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., received the Mississippi Nurses Association Nightingale Award for “Nurse of the Year.” She leads nursing leadership development for the 16-hospital system. Previously Bennett was director of women’s services at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.

Amber Carter (BA) is publications coordinator in the Marketing and Communications division at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Chase Fisher (JD) is an associate with the law firm Wiseman Bray.

Casey Rodden (BBA) joined the audit staff of Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck Certified Public Accountants and Advisors.

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