When the University of Connecticut defeated Syracuse University, on Tuesday, April 5, during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship game, a Tusculum College alumna was right in the middle of the action.
Beverly Roberts ’90 was selected to serve as one of the game officials at this year’s Women’s Final Four, held in Indianapolis. Roberts was one of the three referees working the national title game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, shown on ESPN.
Serving as referee in big games is not new for the Kingsport native. She officiated the 2008 NCAA Final Four in Tampa, FL, and has worked in 10 consecutive NCAA tournaments. This was her first national championship game. Roberts officiates women’s games in the Big Ten, Big 12, Missouri Valley Conference, Southeastern Conference and Conference USA.
Officiating runs in the family. Beverly’s father, Garry Roberts, is a basketball official in the South Atlantic Conference.
Rev. Don Wright ’53 has just finished serving as temporary pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn, MI. He has filled in for more than a year as the church searched for a new pastor. Don is Pastor Emeritus of this church and this was his third time to minister to the congregation. With his 57 years of service, the Presbytery continues to use his service to assist churches in need. Don met his wife Dorothy (Jaynes) ’54 at Tusculum and they married on his graduation day. The Wrights live near their daughter Debbie. Their oldest son, Alan, owns a software company in California; their middle son Doug is compliance officer for an investment company, and their youngest son Dean is vice president of MGM.
Brian Click ’99 of Greeneville, TN, has realized a longtime dream with the opening of Cornerstone Wealth Management Group with partner Chris O’Dell. The new business will offer such services as comprehensive financial management, from 401(k)s, IRAs and retirement preparation to college planning and investments, as well as some insurance services. Click has been a certified financial planner for 17 years. As part of the new business, the partners took a vacant building that had been the location of a popular locally owned store, renovating it and returning it to useful life in the community.
Jeremy Parrott ’00 has been named the new head coach of the Bearden Bulldogs boy’s basketball program in Knoxville, TN. Jeremy had taught history and driver’s education courses at Cherokee High School in Rogersville, TN, as well as served 15 years as the head boy’s basketball coach there. He is the longest tenured head basketball coach and his teams have recorded the most consecutive winning seasons in school history. Jeremy has served as the chairman of the Basketball Coaches for the Intermountain Athletic Conference since 2006. He was voted Coach of the Year in District II AAA in 2006-07 and was chosen Lakeway Area Coach of the Year in 2011-12. That year, his team made it to the state tournament, the only team to ever do so at Cherokee.
Elizabeth Taylor Duggins ’41 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 17, 2016. Mrs. Duggins was a lifelong resident of Greeneville and Tusculum and a retired educator who served both the Greeneville and Greene County school systems. Mrs. Duggins began her career working in a two-room school in the Sinking Springs community. She was known as a champion of troubled students and a favorite English teacher and counselor to generations. Always ready to listen with equal measures of caring and humor, Mrs. Duggins was sought out both by students and parents as well as other adults who showed up at her back door under the cover of darkness looking for a sympathetic ear and wise council. She could not get enough of the beauty of Greene County and the Unaka Mountains, and after she gave up driving was always ready for a ride in the countryside or nearby mountains. Her survivors include sister and Tusculum alumna Marjorie Bright ’59.
Delia Swain Acuff ’60 of Greeneville, TN, passed away March 31, 2016. Mrs. Acuff was retired teacher and principal of Greeneville Middle School. She was a member of Tusculum Baptist Church. Mrs. Acuff was a member of the Retired Teachers Association and the Greene County Democrat Party. She had a desire to travel, having visited all 50 states. She also traveled around the world. In the 1970s, she went India and Poland, trips that were sponsored by the State of Tennessee.Mrs. Acuff devoted her time to the Alliance for Mental Health and was affiliated with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) and TAMI (Tennessee Alliance on Mental Health). She was instrumental in establishing the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greene County. In addition to traveling, she also enjoyed her flower gardens, sewing, politics and cats.
Tony M. Seay Jr. ’66 of Mosheim, TN, passed away on April 24, 2016. Mr. Seay was a career educator, having taught at Mosheim Elementary School.
The Rev. Dr. Roy E. Blakeburn ’84 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 14, 2016. Dr. Blakeburn served 54 years as an ordained Cumberland Presbyterian minister, with 35 of those years in Greeneville. He also served churches in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee. Dr. Blakeburn served the church in other capacities including associate secretary of the Board of Home Missions, General Assembly commissioner, moderator of the General Assembly, stated clerk of the General Assembly and co-chair of the Committee to Revise the Confession of Faith of 1984. Dr. Blakeburn was the author of two study books: “The Presence, the People, and the Journey,” and “The Holy Spirit Comes Through the Word,” as well as several articles for “The Cumberland Presbyterian” magazine and the “Missionary Messenger.” He published two books of his selected sermons: “God, Gabriel and the Cannonball” and “Faithful Living Outside the Box.”
Sherri Lee Taylor ’99 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 4, 2016. Ms. Taylor worked for the U.S. Postal Service. She was a member of First Christian Church and a member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 1653.
William Thomas “Bill” Brimer of Chuckey, TN, who was a professor of mathematics at Tusculum, passed away of pancreatic cancer on April 8, 2016, at his home surrounded by loved ones. Mr. Brimer formerly taught and coached wrestling, football and track at Greeneville High School, Tennessee High School and Morristown West High School. He also served as the minister of music at Tusculum Baptist Church, where he was a member. His final days included visits from hundreds of friends, family, wrestlers, former students, and colleagues thanking him for the impact of his humble, yet powerful influence upon their lives. In keeping with his life’s work, among his last words were; “Keep making a difference in people’s lives.”
Loyce “Sue” C. Raber of Colonial Heights, TN, passed away on April 5, 2016, after an an extended illness. Mrs. Raber was the wife of Dr. Donald R. Raber H’13, who serves on the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mrs. Raber had lived in Kingsport since 1981. She was a loving homemaker and long term officer of Aldebaran Financial. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Loyce and August Ritzler Scholarship Fund, Tusculum College, 60 Shiloh Road, Greeneville, Tennessee 37743, which the Rabers established and named in honor of Mrs. Raber’s parents.