class notes

1950s

Janet Smith Waite ’59 and Emmette P. Waite, Jr. ’60 celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 5, 2019. They reside at Shell Point Retirement Community in
Fort Myers, Fla.

Eugene C. Ashby ’53, a veteran of the Korean War and distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, is now chaplain at American Legion Post 109 in Hartwell, Ga. Ashby ministers to more than 200 veterans, ranging from WWII to Desert Storm.

Bob Moody ’53 was inducted into Boaz High School’s Wall of Fame in September 2019. After graduating with a degree in architecture, Moody made commercial art for R.G. LeTourneau Technologies and created conceptual art for NASA. Moody founded his own design firm, Moody & Associates, in 1974 and has since been published in multiple books and magazines.


1960s

James Stewart ’65 was inducted into Boaz High School’s Wall of Fame in September 2019. Stewart earned a degree in electrical engineering from Auburn before serving with the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. He later joined the National Guard, making the rank of colonel. Stewart was general manager
of the Albertville Municipal Utilities Board and Marshall-Dekalb Electric.


1970s

Joe W. Forehand ’71 was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame by the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business. Forehand retired in 2006 as chairman and chief executive of the consulting firm Accenture after 34 years of service. During Forehand’s term as CEO, Accenture grew from $9.6 billion in revenue and 66,000 employees to $13.7 billion in revenue and 103,000 employees.

Sue Hawkins Painter ’71 and husband William Paul Painter ’71 visited Antarctica this past year — their seventh continent — and traveled across the Arctic Circle. Though they live in Bradenton, Fla., where Bill is a Realtor and Sue owns The Confident Marketer and a travel agency, Travel Changes Life, the couple has visited 58 countries since graduating from Auburn.

B. Rush Bricken ’73 was elected in 2018 to represent the 47th District in the Tennessee House of Representatives. The former CEO of Coffee County Bank, Bricken recently retired and continues to live in Tullahoma, Tenn. with his wife Belinda Bradford ’73.  

Steven R. Stewart ’73 recently published the manuscript of his book “Ditch Rider” on Amazon Paperback and Kindle. Stewart’s story follows ten-year-old Earl Spendlove as he struggles with the death of his sister and dreams of escaping the Utah desert.

Eleanor Green ’73, DVM, retired as dean of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine after a decade of service. Green will be joining the policy and lobbying firm, Animal Policy Group, where she will assist clients on everything from animal health issues to veterinary school accreditation.

Jay H. Hessey ’74 retired after 45 years of active and reserve Navy and government contracting service. His most recent job was as a program engineer in the Office of the Navigator of the Navy inside the Pentagon, where he worked on GPS-based positioning, navigation and time systems for Navy ships and aircraft. An industrial engineering graduate, Hessey was employed by DCS Corporation as a U.S. Navy government contractor in Arlington, Va. and Indianapolis, Ind. for 32 years.

Glenn Jackson ’74 retired after teaching history for 44 years. Jackson taught at Bryant Junior High School for 41 years and Floral Crest School for three years, both in Bryant, Ala. He plans to spend his retirement exercising and working on his coin collection.

Valarie Forster ’75 will retire at the end of this semester after teaching high school Spanish for 43 years. Forest spent 25 years at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, where she was in the Foreign Language Department, and 17 years at the Montgomery Academy, where she is the head of the world language department. Forster also taught English as a second language at Minot Air Force Base in Minot, N.D., while her husband, Mike Forster ’74 served a tour in the U.S. Air Force. Her first retirement event will be taking her children, Brian Forster ’05 and Ashley Forster ’08, to Disneyworld.

Danny L. Magee ’79 was recognized with the Outstanding Field Case and/or Diagnostic Report Award at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2019 convention in Washington, D.C. Magee is a clinical professor in the Department of Pathobiology Population Medicine at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


1980s

Robert Fiero ’80 was honored with the University of Wyoming (UW) 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes alumni who have achieved excellence in their profession, appreciate the impact of their UW education and are people of integrity, stature and demonstrated ability. Fiero earned an agriculture degree from UW before earning a Master of public education degree from Auburn.

David Rumbarger ’82 was named Southern Region president of the Boy Scouts of America. In this role, Rumbarger will serve on the international executive committee with CEOs from around the world. Rumbarger currently is the president and CEO of the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo, Miss., handling economic development, industry recruitment and chamber of commerce needs for the area.

Chris Rehm ’82, DVM, president of the American Heartworm Society, turned over the gavel of presidential leadership to Chris Duke ’83, DVM, at the recent American Heartworm Society Triennial Symposium in New Orleans in September 2019. Duke thanked Rehm for his outstanding three-year term of leadership from 2016-2019.

Christopher D. Lee ’86 has been named chief human resources officer at the College of William and Mary. He currently serves as associate vice chancellor for human resources for the Virginia Community College System.

James Neyman ’86 writes: “pictured right is the fully-restored 1930 Ford Model A that has been in the family of Margaret Dailey Neyman ’80 since it came off the assembly line in 1930. The car has quite the history and lived many lives over the decades until it was rescued from what was almost its final resting place, the family cow pasture, a few years back, thus beginning the painstaking restoration process. The car lives in Auburn and takes to the streets most home games. War Eagle!”

Walter Price ’86 has been selected for inclusion in the 2020 Best Lawyers in America publication and was included in the 2019 Mid-South Super Lawyers list. Price practices law with Clark May Price in Birmingham, Ala.

Vara Y. “Vonnie” Hitchcock ’89, certified athletic trainer (ATC)was named the 2018-2019 Newell Award Athletic Trainer of the Year. Earning her master’s degree from Auburn in 1991, Hitchcock has been an outreach ATC for over 20 years in the Middle Georgia area and was a student athletic trainer during her undergrad and graduate schooling. More than 300 community members shared their experiences with Hitchcock in support of her nomination for the national award, presented by Middle Georgia Orthopaedics.


1990s

Kenneth Kelly ’90 was honored by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, which named a reception area inside the Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center after him. The Kenneth Kelly Academic Excellence Program Reception Area was made possible through the generous contributions alumni like Kelly made toward the completion of the project.

Deron L. Brown ’90, president and CEO of PCL Construction’s U.S. operations, was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s 2019 Most Admired CEOs. PCL is a group of independent construction companies working in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Caribbean. Brown began his PCL career as a project engineer in the Orlando, Fla. office, eventually becoming one of the company’s youngest vice presidents and district managers.

Lisa Sampson ’91 was named the new head coach of the Springwood School girls’ basketball team in Lanett, Ala. Currently the president of the Auburn Raptors Amateur Athletic Union organization, Sampson played basketball for Auburn University from 1988 to 1990 and helped lead the team to three consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances.

Dawn Tindell ’92 was named Lafayette (Ala.) High School Teacher of the Year. Tindell has taught for 28 years in all areas of special education in K-12, as well as sixth-grade reading. An officer of the Chambers County Education Association, Tindell is also a member of the Alabama Education Association and Special Olympics Committee.

Suzan Brandt ’94 was named the new director of technology for Mountain Brook (Ala.) Schools, where she will oversee new technology innovations, maintain servers, ensure data protection and promote digital citizenship. Brandt previously was the local school technology coordinator at Mountain Brook Junior High and an instructional technology specialist in Hoover City Schools.

Jason Walker ’94 was promoted to president of Pate Landscape Co. Inc. after 25 years with the company. He and his wife Ronda live in Montgomery, Ala., with their four children Hugh, Grant, Eli and Margaret.

Jason Lloyd ’96 was named vice president of BlueCare Plus, the BlueCare Tennessee program serving individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid services. Lloyd oversees all aspects of BlueCare’s Dual Special Needs Program, including marketing, clinical quality, claims, benefiting and reporting. Lloyd has more than two decades of experience in the health care industry, serving in multiple roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield for 18 of those years.


2000s

Jason Howk ’00 is now a writer for Clearance Jobs, where he shares thoughts about national security and foreign policy.

Robert Hay Jr. ’00 was promoted to senior ministry relations officer by the Presbyterian Foundation, where he is now in charge of financial planning and shaping new programs for congregations in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico. Hay has been with the Presbyterian Foundation since 2012 and previously worked as a ministry relations officer.

Reagan Bussells Deason ’01 was hired as director of the Albertville (Ala.) Public Library and married her college sweetheart, Larkin Deason ’02, in October 2018.

Henry Debardeleben IV ’02 was selected as a 2019 “Georgia Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine. Debardeleben is an attorney with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn and Dial, dealing primarily with civil defense litigation. Super Lawyers define their “Rising Stars” as top attorneys in the state who have been practicing for less than 10 years or are under 40 years old. 

Michael Brymer ’05 and his wife Kristin Brymer ’16 welcomed their son, Jack Ellis, on Aug. 2, 2019.

Erin Dinan ’05 won the first Find YOUR Pajamas Nonprofit Pitch Contest in New York City. The humanitarian founded the NYC-based nonprofit One Sandwich At A Time (OSAAT), which has donated over 400,000 sandwiches to hungry New Yorkers since 2011. As the winner of the pitch contest, Dinan will receive a subscription package to business and marketing tools, registration with the Genaccelerator online nonprofit-training program and a one-on-one coaching session with Pajama Program founder Genevieve Piturro.

Jennifer Patterson Davenport ’06 was recently recognized by CVS Health as a District and Region Paragon Award Winner for “exemplary commitment to company values and purpose of helping people on their path to better health.” Currently a pharmacy manager, Davenport has worked with CVS Health for 18 years, including 13 years as a pharmacist.

Amanda Reeder James ’07 joined certified public accounting firm Ripley Doorn in their Boise, Idaho, office. James previously owned and operated Tri Auburn and James Bros. Bikes in Auburn, Ala. and has 11 years of experience in public accounting.

Shea Granger ’08 was promoted in October 2018 to region director for health care sales for the western United States at VWR International, a research laboratory product distributor.

Jason Musselman ’09 and his wife, Karis, welcomed the birth of their daughter, Maisie Elizabeth, on Sept. 18, 2019.


2010s

Eric D. Coleman ’11 was recognized in Legacy Miami’s 40 Under 40 list as one of “Miami’s 2019 Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow.” Coleman is an attorney at Carlton Fields in Miami, where he handles a variety of complex business litigation, including commercial disputes, breach of contract claims, fraud claims and shareholder-derivative actions.

Ellie Kathryn Franklin ’14 and husband Maxwell Kash Franklin ’17 celebrated the birth of their son, Maxwell Carter Franklin, on October 21, 2019.

Kat Harding ’10 was named Raleigh PR Society’s 2019 PR Professional of the Year for her work with the North Carolina Museum of Art. Referenced during the awards period was her work with crisis communications over controversial artwork, Georgia O’Keefe-inspired cocktails, a floral fundraiser, the arrival of the new museum director, a beer collaboration with a James Beard-nominated brewer, an exhibition of Scott Avett artwork, marketing promotions around Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and more.

Lauren Duke Patterson ’11 and her husband Sam Patterson ’11 celebrated the birth of their son, Duke Samuel, on July 25, 2019.

Jennifer Hamrick ’12 graduated from Kennesaw State University on July 25, 2019, with her Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Hamrick is an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Annie Hubbell ’12 was named assistant director of media and public relations for Florida Gulf Coast University, leaving a nearly eight-year career as a broadcast news anchor. Hubbell began her career with Eagle Eye at Auburn, later becoming an on-camera reporter for WTVM in Columbus, Ga. Hubbell moved to Fort Meyers, Fla., to work for stations WBBH and WZVN, and will remain there in her new position.

Laura Lander ’14 married Cole Slate on May 17, 2019, in St. Augustine, Fla.

Kelly Cash ’14 was named an associate of Highview Capital, a Los Angeles-based middle-market private equity firm. Cash will focus on conducting diligence of new investments and providing operational support to Highview’s portfolio companies. Previously, Cash worked for four years at Goldman Sachs in the credit risk group and investment banking division. 

Drew Dunkin ’14 was upgraded to captain at GoJet Airlines, flying the CRJ 700/900 for Delta Connection out of Detroit, Mich. In June 2019, Dunkin got engaged to his fiancé, Jacqui, by surprising her at the Austin, Texas airport with balloons, signs and their favorite song, Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”

Laura Lumpkin Hart ’16 married Jonathan Hart ’15 Aug. 25, 2018. The couple lives in New York City, where Jonathan works as a software engineer and Laura is a publishing assistant with Bellevue Literary Press, after completing her MFA at Columbia University in 2019.

Russell Durrance ’17 was named director of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Poultry, Pork and Dairy divisions on July 1, 2019. In his new role, Durrance will advocate for policies related to poultry and livestock producers on behalf of the state’s largest farm organization. Previously, Durrance was a broiler service technician with Pilgrim’s Pride Live Operations in Chattanooga, Tenn. He and his wife, Stephanie, live in Montgomery, Ala. 

Molly Robinson ’19 began a new job as a proposal coordinator with Bhate Environmental Associates in Birmingham, Ala.