Tusculum College alumni in the Washington, D.C. area gathered for an event on September 26, and were joined by an unexpected guest. John Boehner (R-OH), 53rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was in the restaurant where the alumni were gathered and spent some time with the group. Standing from left are Ed Flournoy, Dr. Ken Bowman ’70, Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody and John Boehner, and seated are, Mary Flournoy; Heather Patchett, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Tusculum and Susan Goodwin Jacobs ’74.
Dennis Wolford ’68 was honored recently by the Tennessee Hospital Association at its 2016 annual meeting. Wolford received the Distinguished Service Award, recognizing him for his 32 years of service as Chief Executive Officer of Macon County General Hospital in Lafayettte, TN. He has served on the Tennessee Hospital Association Board of Directors and its Council on Clinical and Professional Practices.
Bobby Greene ’78 of Cleveland, TN, has been inducted into Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame, the highest statewide honor given by the organization. Greene is an alumni and board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region in Cleveland. It was noted in the award presentation in September that Greene is known for his heart of service and has a deeply giving spirit for the clubs, viewing his service as a means of “paying forward” what the clubs meant for his personal life. On days when the clubs were closed, he dedicated his time and painted, landscaped, cleaned and repaired equipment at the clubs, serving privately to avoid praise and recognition. He remains highly engaged with the members of the executive staff, checking in often for updates on the functioning of the clubs and offering his help. Greene has been an active board member for the past 36 years. He currently serves as the Board Development Committee Chair and previously served as a secretary and the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region board of directors. He also serves as a Boys & Girls Clubs Tennessee Alliance Board Member, where he has been a part of the Resource Development Committee. His service has gained him recognition from Boys & Girls Clubs of America as one of the strongest board members in the nation. He received the President’s Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region in 2007, a National BGCA Medallion in 2008, Board Member of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region in 2015, Board Member of the Year for the state of Tennessee in 2015, Board Member of the Year for the Southeast Region in 2015, and is a past graduate of the BGCA Advanced Leadership Program. He has helped support and guide several local Youth of the Year winners, two of which became Southeast Regional Winners in 2010 and 2013. Greene was introduced to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, now the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region, around the age of 10. He often speaks of his memorable experiences when advocating for the movement today, recalling the staff as though they were family, and his heart for the clubs during his youth led him to be recognized as Cleveland’s Boy of the Year.
The Rev. Lester Lattany ’87 ’91 of Johnson City, TN, will be retiring from the helm of the United Way of Washington County at the end of the year. Under his leadership, $25,405,440 has been raised over the years for community health and human services organizations and the local children, adults and seniors those organizations serve. With work currently underway to raise $1.725 million in the 2016 United Way campaign, which wraps up in mid-December, Lattany is poised to increase that total to more than $27 million in United Way contributions raised before he steps down at end the year. Lattany’s retirement will also top off a long career with the city of Johnson City, where he was employed for 23 years as director of Community and Economic Development and simultaneously worked as assistant to the city manager and finally as the city’s interim chief financial officer. He was first tagged to serve as campaign chairman for the United Way in 2001 and came on board as United Way CEO and president the following year. Under his leadership, the United Way expanded its agency base to include Keystone Dental Care, Coalition for Kids and the Family Promise of Greater Johnson City among the 17 organizations that currently receive annual support for United Way; and also awarded community impact grants to nonprofit service groups including Good Samaritan Ministries, The Dispensary of Hope, The Crumley House, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Children’s Advocacy Center. As United Way CEO, Lattany also served as the Local FEMA board chairman and as fiscal director of the Heisse Johnson Hand Up Fund and the Johnson City-Mountain Home Combined Federal Campaign. Outside the United Way, he served as vice chairman of the Mountain States Health Alliance Washington County Board, a member of the Frontier Health Foundation Board and Frontier Health Governing Board, chairman of the board for Tri-Cities Christian Schools, member of the Northeast State Foundation Board and member of Tusculum College Board of Trustees. A longtime Baptist minister, Lattany will also continue to pastor the New Jerusalem Baptist Church he founded in 2010, and to serve as moderator of the Bethel District Baptist Missionary and Educational Association.
Jessica P. Sykes Morgan ’02 ’13 of Knoxville, TN, achieved the dream of publishing her first novel, “Take Me Home” in 2015 and followed it quickly with her second novel, “In the Shadow of the Falls” this year. “I realized while working toward my second bachelor’s degree in 2013 that I missed the opportunity to write on a continuous basis,” she said. “While I enjoy some topics more than others, I find a great satisfaction in creating a world and characters from faint, disjointed ideas full of passion and soul.” Morgan is working on her third novel for publication in 2017.
Justin Johnson ’08 is now Manager of Ticket Sales and Guest Services at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA.
Brittni Oliver ’11 has been named director of women’s basketball operations at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Oliver, who is entering her fifth year at the school, previously served as the program’s administrative assistant. Oliver is serving under Head Basketball Coach Adell Harris, who was Oliver’s coach in her final two years on the Pioneer women’s basketball team. After earning a degree in sports management from Tusculum, Oliver completed a Master of Science degree in sport psychology from the University of Tennessee in December 2012. While at UT, she served as a graduate assistant in the university’s Dean of Students office.
Rev. Vinton Copeland ’13 will be installed Sunday, December 4, as a pastor at Powell Baptist Church in Talbotton, GA.
Justin Reaves ’14 Greeneville, TN, has joined the Greeneville Real Estate and Auction Team. He is a member of the Northeast Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Prior to joining Greeneville Real Estate and Auction Team, Reaves worked in the banking and financing industry, most recently as an assistant vice president and branch manager.
Rustin and Casey (Westmoreland) Jones ’06 ’13 of Greeneville, TN, are excited to announce the birth of their son Lincoln Howard Jones born on September 8, 2016. Rustin is a government and economics teacher and head soccer coach at West Greene High School. Casey is a third grade teacher at Glenwood Elementary School. Proud grandparents include Charles ’95 and Susie (retired employee of Tusculum) Jones and Lori and Rick Fannon and Gary Westmoreland all of Greeneville. Lincoln’s uncles are Eben Jones ’95 and Frank Jones ’99. Rustin was on evening WCYB-TV newscasts on Nov. 7 regarding a mock election he conducted at West Greene High.
Dr. Morris E. Katz ’37 of Sarasota, FL, passed away October 28, 2016, his 102nd birthday. Dr. Katz had been honored earlier this year by his Alma Mater with the Distinguished Service Award, presented during the annual President’s Dinner. After graduating from Tusculum, he went on to the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine where he earned his medical degree in 1942. He interned at the William W. Bacchus Hospital in Norwich, CT, in 1941-1942 where he met Frieda Hillson whom he married in 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in that same year and served as a battalion surgeon with the 28th Infantry Division under the command of General Omar Bradley until 1945, retiring with the rank of Major. In 1950 Dr. Katz opened an Ear, Nose and Throat practice in Norwich that he maintained until his retirement in 1987 when he and Frieda moved to Sarasota. She passed away in 1994. Dr. Katz had been a very active member of the Glenridge on Palmer Ranch community where he lived independently until just a few weeks before his passing.
Marjorie “Margie” Taylor Bright ’38 of Greeneville, TN, passed away on November 20, 2016. Marjorie had married the love of her life, J.C. Bright, at age 19 and they celebrated 70 years of marriage prior to his passing in 2007. Mrs. Bright began her teaching career in a one-teacher school called Campbell’s School. While teaching and raising her family, she earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Tusculum. Mrs. Bright was an award-winning teacher who loved her students and devoted much of her life to education, retiring from Doak Elementary School after 38 years of teaching Greene County children. Her devotion to teaching and to her students is demonstrated by how frequently former students speak with respect and admiration of their “favorite teacher ever.” Of all the roles she embraced with love and enthusiasm, the ones that she treasured most were wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Friendly and gregarious with a quick, mischievous humor, Mrs. Bright touched many people during her life. Her caring influence made a positive difference in many lives. An outstanding cook, she often fed family and friends her delicious feasts and never-to-be-forgotten pies. Her membership in Mount Zion United Methodist Church spanned more than 80 years. After retirement from teaching, Mrs. Bright began volunteering at Durham-Hensley Health & Rehabilitation Center, where she experienced much joy with her “little people.” She volunteered there for almost 20 years until she was unable to due to her husband’s declining health. The couple moved to Wellington Place of Greeneville, now Brookdale Assisted Living, where Mrs. Bright lived until her passing. Because she was so active and engaged in the Wellington Place community, she was known as “the mayor” until her own health caused her to slow considerably.
The Honorable Ralph Zehler ’47 of Sarasota, FL, and formerly of Charlottesville, VA, passed away on October 14, 2016. He was a retired Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Charlottesville and surrounding areas.
Kermit Crane ’49 of Kingsport, TN, passed away on October 14, 2014. Mr. Crane was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was retired from Tennessee Eastman Company. He was a member of Reedy Creek Presbyterian Church.
Tony Odell ’68 of Chuckey, TN, passed away November 14, 2016. Mr. O’Dell was a public school teacher, having been tenured by the Greene County Board of Education and the Greeneville City Board of Education. He started as a classroom teacher for the county and worked at several other assignments. His last position was as program director for the Alternative Learning Program. Mr. O’Dell almost always worked more than one job at a time. He had worked for the National Park Service, Adult Education, Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency, Green Giant Company and Magnavox. During latter years, he worked as a retail supervisor for a local convenience store chain, Marsh Petroleum, usually working 12-14 stores in about six counties. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Tusculum, Mr. O’Dell had earned a master’s degree from East Tennessee State University. In addition, he studied and attended workshops at Vanderbilt University, Walters State Community College and the University of Tennessee. He studied Homiletics at Anderson University and the School of Theology in Anderson, IN. Mr. O’Dell attended Cedar Creek Church of God frequently, and Horse Creek Church of God, as long as health permitted. He held leadership roles in the district and state movements of the Church of God. Mr. O’Dell was also active in youth programs and church activities, working with one of the largest youth programs in the Church of God, “Anderson Movement.” He worked with the youth at Horse Creek Church of God and Campground Church of God. He had also served as the teacher of the senior age class at Elizabethton Church of God. Mr. O’Dell started Camp Greeneville, an active camping outreach, in the state camping program for the Church of God youth. Out of the youth work and camping program, he had at least five young men who became active full time ministers. Mr. O’Dell also spent a great deal of his time in the music program and was affiliated with the Salvation Singers Inc.
Philip Steven Hirlemann ’70 of Belvidere, NJ, passed away April 19, 2016, after a year-and-a-half battle with skin cancer. Mr. Hirlemann had served as an art teacher at Hopatcong High School for more than 25 years. Former pupils remembered him as a teacher who taught his students not only about an academic discipline, but also about how to be a good citizen, do the right thing and think outside the box. Mr. Hirlemann enjoyed sharing his love of photography, art and cars, but his greatest joy was spending time with friends and family. After his retirement, he had helped his children with projects at their homes and spent much time with his grandchildren.