1980s

Anelia Banda, BA ’80, is executive director of the Hispanic Wellness Coalition in Fort Worth. She supports HWC’s mission of promoting health and wellness to North Texas’ diverse communities.

Jerry McPherson, BBA ’80, of Nashville, TN, is on the A-list of studio session musicians. He has worked with a who’s who of country, pop, rock and Christian artists. McPherson toured as a guitarist with Amy Grant for 19 years, followed by stints with Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw through 2012. He recently completed the final 20 tour dates of McGraw and Hill’s 80-city Soul2Soul arena tour.

Don “Donnie” Buckalew Jr., BBA ’81, general manager of Buckalew Chevrolet in Conroe, TX, was inducted into the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce Wall of Honor for his selfless service and longtime dedication to the Chamber and community.

Deborah Muro, BSN ’81, was appointed chief information officer at El Camino Hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area. She leads the IT team and provides strategic leadership, vision and oversight for all aspects of information systems and technology. She joined the hospital as associate CIO in 2014.

Martin L. O’Gwynn, BA ’81, vice president for community and corporate engagement at Oklahoma City University, was named North Greenville University’s vice president for advancement. He has more than 30 years of experience in the field, including more than 20 years at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Jacquelyn Culpepper, MM ’82, of Cornelius, NC, performed Feb. 22 at Lee University as part of its Performing Arts Series. She has more than 85 credits in opera and oratorio and has performed solo concert tours throughout the world with American Voices, a nonprofit organization.

Norlynn Blocker Price, BA ’82, JD ’84, relocated to Albuquerque, NM, to serve as executive director of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. Price previously was a litigation partner with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in Dallas, having been with the firm for 28 years.

Ron Bunch, JD ’83, was appointed by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for a six-year term.

Jeff Dorrill, BBA ’83, JD ’85, of Dallas won the national championship in his age category (55-59) at the USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships (an Ironman distance race) in Oklahoma City in late 2017. Earlier in 2017, he won his age category in the Draft Legal Sprint Duathlon in the U.S. National Duathlon Championships in Bend, OR. That qualified him to compete for Team USA in the 2018 World Duathlon Championships in Denmark in July. Contact at jeff.dorrill@haynesboone.com.

Merri Middleton Roy, BSN ’84, was named a certified professional in health information and management systems by the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society in Chicago. Roy coordinates clinical informatics efforts at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, AR.

Steve Young, BBA ’84, MBA ’85, was promoted to chief lending officer at West Texas National Bank in Midland, TX. Young previously served in a variety of executive and board-level management roles in Houston and London. His most recent role with West Texas National Bank was as senior vice president of business development.

Van Graham, JD ’85, of Tyler, TX, was appointed dean of the School of Business at LeTourneau University. 

Dr. Bonnie K. Ray, BS ’85, was recognized by the American Statistical Association for her work in the field of statistics. She is vice president of data science at Talkspace, a New York City startup that provides an affordable, accessible and secure platform for messaging-based psychotherapy. Previously, she led the data science team at Arena, a Baltimore-based startup focused on analytics-driven hiring assessments. From 2001 to 2015, she held positions of increasing responsibility at IBM Research. Ray holds a PhD from Columbia University.

Steve Law, MBA ’86, is business manager for St. Andrew’s School in Richmond, VA. He also has degrees from Houston Baptist University andThe Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ivan Parke, BA ’87, a professor in the Mississippi College Department of Christian Studies and Philosophy, has completed 20 years of teaching. The Student Government Association selected him as the Outstanding Faculty
of the Year. Contact at
 parke@mc.edu.

The Board of Directors of Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) appointed Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, MBA ’87, as executive director of the center. A legal scholar and governance expert, Prempeh is a civil society activist, an academic, a lawyer, a corporate manager, a consultant and a policy adviser. He is a member of the Ghana Law Reform Commission.

Len A. Wade, JD ’87, is bringing his background as a successful trial lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and judge to his new position as partner with Jackson Walker’s Fort Worth office. Wade trained at Dallas’ Attorney-Mediators Institute. Prior to serving as a judge for the 141st District Court for the State of Texas from 2003 to 2009, Wade has 15 years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts. Wade has also served as an adjunct professor at the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Elizabeth Eschler Benno, BA ’88, MSEd ’97, digital literacy coach in Lovejoy [TX] ISD, was honored as 2018 Instruction Technology Specialist of the Year as part of the Texas Computer Education Association’s Educator Awards in February. She has worked with Lovejoy ISD for nine years.

Lori Givens Little, JD ’88, of Dallas was named president and chief executive officer of National Affordable Housing Trust. 

Kellar Nevill, BSEd ’88, joined the national tax department of Ernst & Young LLP as a principal focused in the tax and finance operations practice. Prior to joining EY, Nevill was with IBM where he was a general manager/managing director offering technology and business consulting. He is based in Dallas.

John Humphrey, MTax ’89, was promoted to president and CEO of July Business Services, headquartered in Waco. Humphrey is responsible for setting the firm’s vision and providing top-level leadership of the organization. He co-founded July in 1994.

Eric Wilson, MSEd ’89, principal of Bryson [TX] ISD, was selected as Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Region 9 Outstanding Principal of the Year. Wilson, a sixth-year principal, earned his bachelor’s degree at Texas State University.

KariAnne Presley Wood, BA ’89, of McKinney, TX, published her second book, The DIY (Decorate It Yourself) Planner (Harvest House 2018). The book contains advice on choosing paint colors, planning spaces, accessorizing bookcases and more. Connect at thistlewoodfarms.com or thistlewoodfarms@yahoo.com.