Jack Barker ’48 of Lakeland, FL, was recently the subject of a feature profile by his local newspaper, the Lakeland Ledger. The article focused on his life as a coach and his second career as the owner of a travel service after he retired coaching. The article also mentions his late wife Jeanne, who passed away in 2009, and her artwork that decorates his home. Jack and Jeanne attended Homecoming 20 years in a row, and they had traveled extensively, visiting more than 100 countries. At Tusculum, Jack lettered in five sports and is a member of the Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame. His brother was the famous Getta Barker, who was the second fastest in the hundred yard dash after Jesse Owens. He lived in Craig Hall and majored in physics with a minor in math. He was drafted his sophomore year and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a pilot. After his military service, he coached football, baseball, basketball swimming and gymnastics. Upon his retirement from coaching he opened a travel service, from which he retired in 1986. He will celebrate his 91st birthday next month.
Bill Gardner ’69 of Bean Station, TN, has been named the National Junior College Athletic Association National Coach of the Year following the NJCAA Division II Golf Championship. Gardner coaches the Walters State Community College men’s golf team, which won the tournament. Gardner coached an individual national champion in 1995, but this is the first time he has guided his team to the national title. The tournament was held in Ancilla, IN, which is the home of Ron May ’68, who is president of Ancilla College. May was able to have dinner with Gardner and his team during the tournament.
Scott M. Niswonger ’87 H’06 of Greeneville, TN, has been chosen by the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) to receive the 2014 Donald R. Myers Humanitarian Award. The award was dedicated by the DDAA in 2009 in memory of Donald Myers, who was executive director of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association and president of the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance (EODA). Known as a dedicated public servant and champion of the people of Appalachia, Myers exemplified the humanitarian spirit the award was created to recognize and honor. Niswonger has actively promoted a philosophy of “learn, earn, and return” that has helped to empower the region’s young people and has received broad recognition in his state as well as Appalachia. In 1999, he was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame and was chosen by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year for the southeastern United States. On a state level, Niswonger served as vice-chair of the Tennessee Board for Economic Growth and chairman of the Building and Finance Committee for the State of Tennessee.
Niswonger was cited the by the DDAA for his leadership and service in the cause of “numerous educational, community and economic development endeavors.” The award also commended him for tireless efforts that had “greatly contributed to the growth and development of northeastern Tennessee and enhanced the quality of life for many of the Region’s residents.”
The DDAA is a membership organization of the 73 local development districts (LDDs) in the Appalachian Region. The DDAA works to strengthen LDDs and their member governments and to provide leadership to support the Appalachian Regional Commission’s federal-state-local partnership.
Dave Tollett ’88 of Estero, FL, has been named the Atlantic Sun Conference Baseball Coach of the Year honors for the 2014 season. Tollett, who is head coach at Florida Gulf Coast University, has earned Coach of the Year honors from the conference four times in his career. He guided his team to its fourth conference regular-season title.
Micah Haney ’10 began working in March as an agent for American Home life in Knoxville.
Jonathan Lyons ’11 of Elizabethton, TN, began graduate school this summer in the East Tennessee State University Accelerated RN program.
Cory Callahan ’13 of Bristol TN, has been accepted at the University of Dayton, OH, in the physician assistant program. He begins fall 2014.
Ariel Hawkins ’13 of Greeneville, TN, has begun work on her master’s degree program at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is studying marine biology.
John Zach Conlon ’14 of Woodlands, TX, has been accepted into Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in the master’s degree program. He will study neuroscience and begins his studies this fall.
Dr. John Frederick “Jack” Fulbeck ’39 of Covina, CA, passed away on December 25, 2011. He was a poet and professor of comparative literature at the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. He served two terms as president of the California State Poetry Society. His poems won numerous awards, such as “Apostrophe to Amour” and “Introspection in the Cold” which won first prizes in California state level poetry contests, and “In Fuente Vaqueros” which won an international grand prize. His poem “Challengers” was read by Taylor Wang from the orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger in 1985 and is on record at the National Archives Building. He authored three books of poetry: “I Sleep With Strangers,” “Gilgamesh” and “Sifted Ashes.” Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed as a fighter pilot in the South Pacific. After the end of World War II, he worked as a newspaper and magazine editor and a freelance writer. In 1960, Fulbeck received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California.
Anna Belle Kyker Hankins ’49 of Greeneville, TN, passed away on June 4, 2014. She was the widow of John Hankins ’51. The couple were married 56 years. She met John as they both studied at Tusculum College for what would be long careers in education. She began her career at Washington County Academy and served 36 years in various capacities in the Greene County School System. She was the first librarian at South Greene High School, and served in that role for 25 years. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, canning and freezing. She was a member of the Hoe and Hope Gardening Club and the Greene County Retired Teachers Association. She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. Her survivors include her son and daughter-in-law Joseph Hankins ’75 and his wife Wendy (Barber) ’76.
Sheila Tilley Brooks ’90 of Oak Ridge, TN, passed away, November 4, 2009. She began working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the age of 19 as a clerk and advanced through the secretarial field to the highest level. She received many awards during her career. At the latter part of her career, she was appointed to a leadership position the Human Resource Management Department. Shortly thereafter, she was forced to take long-term disability due to the onset of Parkinson’s disease. She was a member of Highland View Church of Christ and she enjoyed traveling and spending time with family.
Dr. Melissa Renee Overbey ’99 of Bristol, TN, passed away June 9, 2014, from a brain aneurysm. She was an educator at Boones Creek Elementary School. A devoted wife and mother, she loved her family dearly.