Class Notes Spring 2012

March 23, 2012


Mary Jo Ellis Bentley, BA '44, and Clarence Bentley, BA '43, LLB '48, of Dallas, write, "Dear Baylorites: our apologies for not sending one single word of thanks during the many years we have read with much 'joy' and 'fun' the Baylor Magazine! As usual we always look forward to the Class Notes. It dawned on me that this past issue began with 1945 graduates. Whoa! What happened to 1943/44? So just to let you know that some of us are still around, I'm enclosing a picture of two old Bears from '43 and '44. I enjoyed seeing James Leo Garrett, BA '45, mentioned in the class notes -- we carpooled together to Waco High (as well as Baylor occasionally). Go Bears!"


Frank Boggs, BA '48, world-renowned soloist, choral director and musician, will enjoy his 85th birthday with a Gala Celebration on April 15, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, 955 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30068. Festivities for the evening will include Boggs directing his 112-voice chorus, solos by the honoree, presentations by guest artists and accolades by friends and celebrities. The public is cordially invited. Boggs co-wrote the Baylor Fight Song in 1949 and is the founding director of The Georgia Festival Chorus in Atlanta.


Virginia Brantley Smith, BS '50, writes, "Previously, I was married to Ed Hillendahl, who passed away in early 2010. On July 30, 2011, I married a wonderful man named Robert Wolcott Smith (Illinois alumnus)." Contact at or 813 Whispering Wind Dr., Georgetown, TX 78633.


Virginia Ann Dodson Pitman, BSN '53, of Walnut Creek, Calif., a retired nurse educator and medical missionary, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Abner V. McCall Humanitarian Award in January.


Drayton, BBA '58, and Elizabeth McLane, of Temple, Texas, church leaders and philanthropists, received the Baylor Alumni Association's George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award in January.


Faith Moore Fortner, BS '59, and husband Keith Fortner celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2011. They were married on Oct. 14, 1961, at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where Keith was a student at Southwestern Baptist Seminary. They lived in Arizona and California before returning to Texas in 1980. Faith was the recipient of the Harvard University Summer Scholarship in 1957 where she studied German and comparative literature. They have three children and eight grandchildren. Contact at P.O. Box 22, Kaufman, TX 75142.

Dr. Jerry Cantrell McGee, BA '59, is now retired. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Alabama and is a former college professor, college dean and chancellor, and school superintendent. McGee was a board member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has authored 116 publications. Contact at 8516 Rolling Oaks Drive SE, Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763.

Patricia Rae Brawner Oliver, BM '59, MM '62, writes, "I have retired from public school teaching in California. Austin is my new home. I enjoy playing the piano during meals in the dining hall, reading and knitting. I live very close to my sister-in-law, Irenella Oliver Perdue. My daughter Elaine and her husband Tony reside in the Netherlands where they work as web designers and software engineers." Contact at 7017 Manchaca Road #65 (Elmcroft), Austin, TX 78745 or at


Gatha Roberts Singleton, BMEd '61, and husband Neil Singleton, BM '62, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 30, 2011, at Shady Valley Country Club in Arlington, Texas. Their children and grandchildren hosted the event, which was attended by family and many friends. Pictured is their son, Glen Singleton, BM '87, who is married to Gloria Smith Singleton, BM '87, with their children, Grace and Greg (who will enroll at Baylor in fall 2012, creating a three-generation Baylor family). Also pictured are Gatha and Neil's son, Gary, and his daughter, Aunika. Contact Gatha and Neil at 2814 Whispering Trail Cir., Arlington, TX 76013 or


Philip, JD '69, and Joyce, BA '62, McCleery, of Waco, write, "Our grandchildren, who live in Tulsa, Okla., are so proud of the Bears on their recent bowl victory and Griffin's Heisman win! Sic 'em, Bears!"


Golden Keyes Parsons, '63, of Waco, writes historical fiction for Thomas Nelson Publishing, and is also a retreat/conference speaker. Her highly acclaimed "Darkness to Light" series chronicled the journey of her French Huguenot ancestors in 17th-century France. Her newest novel, His Steadfast Love, a Civil War novel set in Texas, was released in November 2011. She and her husband, Blaine Parsons, BS '61, enjoy their family and are avid Baylor sports fans.

Seven Baylor class of 1964 suitemates (Memorial rooms 356-360) have kept in close contact for nearly 48 years through a newsletter and frequent reunions. (Clockwise from top left: Judy Davis Paul, BA '64, Margianna Frank Wissinger, BA '64, JoAnn Poskey Schram [finished her degree at the University of South Dakota], Margaret Chun Woods, BM '64, Susan Reddin Danner, BA '64, Carol Moore Hardman, BA '64, and Sharon Cooper McKinzie, BA '64) Contact Sharon at

Dr. Darrell Ward, BA '66, of Denton, Texas, co-founder and chief executive officer for ALL In Learning, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award in January.

Correction: The correct email address for Keith Galitz, JD '69, of Canby, Ore., is


Mervin H. Yeagle Jr., BBA '71, along with his wife Beverly, in 2006 established the Mervin H. Yeagle, Sr. and Mildred L. Yeagle Endowed Scholarship Fund in Marketing at Baylor in honor and memory of the parents of Merv H. Yeagle Jr. On Oct. 7, 2011, a luncheon celebrating the lives of Mervin H. Yeagle Sr. and Mildred L. Yeagle and the establishment of this scholarship was held in the Bill Daniel Student Center, where a bronze plaque of Merv's parents is displayed. Yeagle Jr. earned his MBA from SMU in 1974 and pursued doctoral studies at Mississippi State University. He is a retired senior lecturer in the marketing department of the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he earned the Krowe Teaching Award in 2006. He is a member of the 1845 Society, Endowed Scholarship Society, Old Main Society, and a life member of the Baylor Alumni Association. The Yeagles visit Baylor at least twice a year. Contact at 13906 Eden Dr., Hagerstown, MD 21742 or


Dr. Cleophus LaRue, BA '78, MA '82, of

Princeton, N.J., the Francis Landey Patton Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award in January.

Dr. Michael Parchman, BA '78, is a senior advisor for primary care with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the Washington, D.C., area. In March, Parchman was to become director of the MacColl Center for Healthcare Innovation with Grove Health of Puget Sound in Seattle. In 2011, he married Dr. Eleana Ponce-Gonzalez, a scientific review officer with AHRQ. Contact at

Michael Reynolds, BA '78, has been called to become senior pastor of West Hall Baptist Church in Oakwood, Ga. He served this church for a year as interim pastor while working as the director for advancement for Toccoa Falls College in north Georgia. Contact at


Jack Watts, MA '79, recently received the prestigious "Best Book of the Year Award for an Inspirational Memoir" from Books & Authors for Hi, My Name Is Jack (Simon & Schuster). A proud Baylor graduate, Watts says, "During my time at Baylor, I finally learned grammar, which has served me well in my writing." In addition to Hi, My Name Is Jack, Simon & Schuster published Watts' first book, Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom. Watts has also co-authored We Believe: 30 Days to Understanding Our Heritage and plans to release Real Prayers for Real People with Real Problems soon. With five children and nine grandchildren, Watts credits his time at Baylor for providing him with the background necessary to become an award-winning author.


Dr. David Hillis, BS '80, of Austin, the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor at the University of Texas, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award in January.


Grady Randle, BBA '80, JD '83, writes, "Having a little trouble adjusting to the 50s, so why not skydive and do a 'sic 'em, Bears' at 13,000 feet?" Contact at 12638 Taylorcrest, Houston, TX 77024, or at


Mark Eggert, BA '81, was promoted to director of the Accounting Services Group at RealManage, a property management company that specializes in homeowners association and condominium management with offices in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Contact at 9252 Seagrove, Dallas, TX 75243 or

Donna Babcock Miller, BA '81, of Edmond, Okla., recently joined Chaparral Energy as vice president of human resources. She and Kurt, her husband of 27 years, have 12-year-old triplets. Thinking of her 30-year class reunion, she says it's hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. Contact at


Jeffery McLain, BA '82, was honored as the 2011 Professional Fundraiser of the Year by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Fundraising Professionals. McLain is vice president for development at the LSU Foundation at Louisiana State University. Joining McLain at the National Philanthropy Day ceremony were his parents, Gene and LaNeta McLain, and his daughters, Mary and Hannah McLain.

Dr. Cecil Ray Taylor, PhD '84, of Satsuma, Ala., is returning to the classroom in 2012 as professor of Christian studies at the University of Mobile after 23 years as dean of the School of Christian Studies. He will continue to direct University Missions.

Dr. James E. Wood Jr., of Yorktown, Va., founding director of Baylor's J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Abner V. McCall Religious Liberty Award in January.


Roger Goree, BSEd '89, MSEd '91, of Waco, retired Baylor athletics assistant facilities director, received the Baylor Alumni Association's W. R. White Meritorious Service Award in January.

Donna Cameron Pairadee, BSEd '89, of Sequim, Wash., published a children's book, The Little Red House With No Doors and No Windows and A Star Inside, last fall. "I heard the story while at Baylor and looked for it ever since, without finding it, so I did it," writes Pairadee. The website for the book is Contact at

Steven C. Couch, BBA '89, JD '90, has become the new president and chief executive officer of Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Company in Columbus, Ohio. Couch is an insurance company executive and former trial attorney with 12 years of experience in the lawyer's professional liability insurance field. He also has nine years of experience in civil trial work, primarily insurance defense litigation. Most recently, Couch served as vice president of claims for The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company of St. Louis.


Dr. Victor Hsiao, BS '90, and his wife, Dr. Glenda Read Hsiao, BS '91, soon will be celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary. "Both of us are practicing medicine in Huntsville. Our children, Nathan and Natalie, are 16 and 10, respectively. We're very excited about what God is doing in our lives and our extended Baylor families!" writes Victor. Contact at 365 Elkins Lake, Huntsville, TX 77340 or


Derek Bengtson, BBA '91, was recently promoted to executive vice-

president of sales for Club Marketing Service. Bengtson has been with Club Marketing since 1995. During his tenure with CMS, Bengtson has provided leadership in field operations for both Wal-Mart and Sam's Club along with being in charge of international development for CMS business in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Before CMS, he held sales and marketing positions with Ernest and Julio Gallo Wines and CrossMark/SalesMark. Bengtson most recently provided sales and leadership as the senior vice president for the dry grocery business from 2002-11. Contact at

Debra A. Callihan, BA '91, EdD '03, is currently serving as president-elect of the Junior League of San Antonio and will assume duties as president on June 1. Contact at

Renae Wansik Cartwright, BS '91, MS '92, (mother of Cayleigh, Claire and Randall Cartwright) and Rachelle Wansik Donham, BS '94, MS '95, (mother of Ryan Donham) write, "We were at Disney World watching the electrical light parade when we heard the news that Robert Griffin III won the Heisman. We screamed, the boys assumed the Heisman pose and we did 'sic 'em, Bears' right on the spot. The kids did another sic 'em later on that night while riding Space Mountain! We are proud BU Bears!" Contact Cartwright at 4118 Scarlet Oak Court, Castle Rock, CO 80109 or at



Mark Lenhard, BA '94, MS '96, has been named executive director of Grace Presbyterian Village, a retirement community offering residential and assisted living, rehab services and certified Alzheimer's and dementia care in Dallas. Mark is married to Karen Ackerman Lenhard, BS '95, and they have three children: Alex, Jack and Avery. Contact at



Lt. Col. Catherine Stephens, MA '96, and Capt. Brent Turk, BBA '95, display the green and gold at United States Division-South Headquarters, Continuity Operating Base in Basra, Iraq. Turk was promoted while in theater.


Sarah Dodd, BA '96, of Dallas, founder of Dodd Communications and former award-winning broadcast journalist, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Herbert H. Reynolds Outstanding Young Alumni Award in January.



Dr. Jarett Berry, BS '97, of Dallas, a physician and assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, received the Baylor Alumni Association's Herbert H. Reynolds Outstanding Young Alumni Award in January.

Sean Sawyers, BA '97, has been called as the senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Orangeburg, S.C. During his time at Baylor, Sean served churches in both McGregor and Axtell, and most recently was the pastor of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Eureka, Mo. Sean and wife Nikki, BA '97, stay busy with ministry and homeschooling their four children.


Kristopher Harrison, BA '98, has recently been named pastor of adult discipleship at Trinity Baptist Church in Walla Walla, Wash. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in May, when he and wife Anne Patton Harrison, BFA '98, relocated to pursue ministry. Contact at 78 SE Rodeo Loop, College Place, WA 99324 or

Ricky Richardson, MBA '98, of Carrollton, Texas, has been promoted to chief operating officer for Carlson Restaurants' T.G.I. Friday's. Richardson leads a team that provides marketing, brand development, IT, supply chain and strategic operations support to the global organization, comprised of more than 900 Friday's restaurants across the U.S. and 60 international markets.


Paul Akin, BBA '99, of Plano, Texas, recently joined CCS Medical as vice president of information technology, overseeing the company's project management office.

"Sean (7), Eric (5) and Luke (2) Rasmituth cheering on the Baylor Bear football team! GO BEARS!" write their parents, Clancy Beller Rasmituth, BSEd '99, and Jeff Rasmituth, BA '00, of The Woodlands, Texas.


Allison Morrow Venuto, BSEd '00, fulfilled a dream and started Ducks in a Row Personal Organizing in 2011. Venuto works with people to help them find more time to spend on their interests. Contact at


Rachel Morris Smith, BA '01, has been elected partner in the Baker & Hostetler LLP Houston office. Smith is a member of the litigation group and concentrates her practice in employment litigation and employment counseling and compliance. She earned her law degree from the University of Texas in 2004.



Sarah Greer, BA '04, married Wendell Bartnick on Oct. 15, 2011, in Monroe, La. Sarah works as a communications consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Bartnicks live in Alexandria, Va. Contact at

Jason James, BBA '04, of Lewis-ville, Texas, is now director of medicine/surgical operations at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas. His wife, Kassidy Helms James, BS '03, also works at Parkland as a physician's assistant. They have a daughter, Anna (Baylor class of 2032).

Contact at

Dr. Camonia Long, BS '04, MSEd '06, was recently offered a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center in Honolulu. Long completed the medical sociology doctoral program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She writes, "My graduate experience at Baylor showed me that the fields of sociology and health education overlapped, specifically around issues related to the health of society and the social determinants of health... I met great mentors at Baylor, namely Drs. Eva Doyle and Rodney Bowden, with whom I am still in contact. My experience at Baylor in the health education program helped to prepare me for a long career in community research, and for that I will always be thankful."


Katie Muzos, BA '05, married Greg Frederick on Jan. 15, 2011, in Austin. Katie is attending Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and will graduate with a master of divinity degree in May 2013. The Fredericks reside in Buda, Texas. Contact at

Le'Anne Southerland, BBA '05, was one of 12 employees within Bank of America's Global Wealth and Investment Management division to receive the 2011 David Brady award for excellence in client and community service. Southerland's achievement marks the first time in the five-year history of the award that a client associate has been honored. Southerland, who was presented with the award in New York City, works in the Tyler, Texas, office of Merrill Lynch as part of The LMT Wealth Management Group. She received her MBA from UT-Tyler.


In December 2011, Lisa Sawyer Samp, BA '06, received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal

for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Office's highest level career award and its only medaled award, for her exceptional service throughout the Libya intervention. She is currently the regional director for North Africa at the Pentagon and is responsible for U.S. security policy in Libya and Tunisia. Her husband, Tony Samp, BA '06, recently completed his master of arts in strategic security studies at the National Defense University and currently works on Capitol Hill.

Eric Schaefer, BS '06, married Elizabeth Engel, BS '06, on July 9, 2011, at the Gale Mansion in Minneapolis, Minn. Eric is a mechanical engineer for Heerema Marine Contractors; Elizabeth is a pharmacist completing a residency with Scott & White.


Erin Mazur McCullough, BBA '07, married Michael McCullough on July 15, 2011. The couple met in Dallas, where Erin moved after graduating from Baylor. Erin is a risk project manager for John L. Wortham & Son in Dallas, and Michael is a pastor. They married and moved to McKinney, Texas, where they plan to plant a church.

Alex Wallace, BBA '08, MBA '10, married Mackenzie Simpson, BBA '07, MTax '07, JD '11, on Aug. 27, 2011. They live in Dallas, where Alex works for a franchising company and Mackenzie is an attorney at a law firm.



Kate Crandell, BS '08, was one of 12 graduates from the ATF National Firearms Examiner Academy in September 2011. She currently works in firearms with the Harris County Sheriff's Department in Houston.

Laura Strickland, BA '08, married John Elmore, BBA '98, on July 16, 2011. They reside in Dallas, where both work for Watermark Community Church. John works in the recovery ministry, and Laura works with single adult women. Contact at

Tiffani Riggers Piehl, MSEd '08, married Curby Piehl on Nov. 5, 2011, near Los Angeles. Tiffani is in the process of completing her doctorate in higher education and organizational change at UCLA, and Curby is a server administrator at Innocean, an advertising agency in Huntington Beach. They live in Los Angeles.

Courtney A. Craig, BS '08, and Joshua R. Smith, BBA '08, MSW '11, were married on April 9, 2011, in Baton Rouge, La. The couple resides in Shreveport, where Courtney is in her final year at LSU School of Medicine and Josh is a supervisor for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).


Jordan Adams, BBA '07, MBA '08, a former Baylor football player, and Jenn Hamilton, BA '09, a former Baylor cheerleader, were married on Oct. 21, 2011, at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas. The couple resides in Dallas. Contact at


Brooks Allen, BA '10, and Liz Laue, BS '10, were married on May 21, 2011, in Keller, Texas. The couple has made their home in Austin.

Meaghan McNeill, BS '10, married Greg Bond, BSME '11, on July 30, 2011, in Lubbock. They are both currently pursuing doctoral degrees at Rice University in Houston: Meaghan in bioengineering, Greg in chemistry.

Nathaniel Turner, BA '10, married Heather Outland, BA '10, on July 3, 2010. After a year in San Antonio, they moved to DFW, where Nathaniel has written and self-published three prayer books: 31 Prayers for Courage, 31 Prayers for Healing, and 31 Prayers for Marriage. He is also working on several novels for self-publication. More information on his works is available at and Contact at 3618 Windsor St., Irving, TX 75062 or


Benjamin Davis, BA '11, of Frisco, Texas, recently directed a music video for Dallas recording artists Marcella Fruehan. The song "The Truth Is" and its video work together to reach out to the anti-bullying cause. The video can be seen on YouTube.

Kara R. Dunham, BSEd '11, and William B. McGee, BBA '11, were married June 25, 2011, at First Baptist Church in Dallas. The couple resides in Austin. William works for AXA Equitable, and Kara works for Pflugerville ISD.

Brooks Powell, BA '11, and Emily Grassbaugh, BS '11, were married on July 9, 2011. The couple has made their home in Waco.

Waco resident Nell Hawkins, philanthropist and Alumnus by Choice, received the Baylor Alumni Association's W. R. White Meritorious Service Award in January.

The Flook-Gillen-Patterson Family received the Baylor Alumni Association's First Families of Baylor Award in January. The four-generation Baylor family started by Hattie Flook Watson, Class of 1911, includes Doris Underwood Gillen, AB '42, Phyllis Wyrick Patterson, BA '74, and Ken Patterson, BA '78, JD '80, all of San Antonio.