Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to up to four Stetson University alumni who, through outstanding achievement in their lives and professions, have brought distinction and special recognition to Stetson University.
Click on the dates below to view award recipients and their bios.
*- Now Deceased
Nsaa-Iya Kihunrwa MBA ’03
At Stetson, “N.K.” helped create CHOMI-RAFIKI, a thriving microcredit program in Tanzania. Now a program director at The Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania, he is also one of the founding members of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a global environmental and humanitarian program for young people. While in the United States, he was instrumental in setting up Roots & Shoots clubs, especially in Florida. N.K. also teaches environmental art to young people and is founder and executive secretary of the Dar Art Youths (DAY) art group. Since 1998, he has been involved in coordinating various initiatives that demonstrate care and concern for the human community in Tanzania.
Anne Greene Solomon ’63
An English major, Anne earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and studied Mandarin Chinese at the Yale-in-China Center in Hong Kong, SAR. Now the senior advisor for science and technology policy at The Center for Study of Presidency & Congress, Anne focuses on foreign policy and economic and security implications of science and technology globalization. In the mid-1990s, Anne served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Technology and Health at the Department of State, overseeing U.S. bilateral and multinational science and technology ties, international health initiatives and civilian and commercial health space activities. She began her career at the National Academy of Sciences and also worked with the Carter Administration, where her responsibilities included developing the first U.S.-China science and technology agreement. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Dr. H. Frank Farmer, Jr. '64
Frank Farmer, BA ’64 (History), of Ormond Beach, Fla., is the medical director at Covance in Daytona Beach. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Georgia, as well as a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Frank has served as a battalion surgeon in the Florida National Guard, as a flight surgeon, a bioterrorism consultant to the Air Force, and as commander of the 919 Special Operations Medical Group. He retired from the Air Force with the rank of Colonel in 2004. Prior to medical school, Frank served as an Army captain in Vietnam and is a recipient of the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Frank has also served as president of the Florida Medical Association and on the Board of Governors for the American College of Physicians, Florida Chapter. Appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve as the Florida State Surgeon General, he also chaired the Florida Board of Medicine, where he is a current board member.
Dr. Kaye I. Wachsmuth '66
Kaye Wachsmuth, BS ’66 (Biology), of DeLand, Fla., is an international public health consultant. She earned her doctorate in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 1972, Kaye joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where she served as deputy director of the Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases and chief of the Enteric Disease Laboratory Section. She then became deputy director for programs at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition before becoming the first deputy administrator of the Office of Public Health and Science in the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. She was also chief technical advisor for the Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization project to improve food safety management in Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. She has served both nationally and internationally, chairing the Codex Alimenterius Committee for Food Hygiene, the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, and on many other boards and committees. Today Kaye is an independent consultant, primarily to the FAO in Rome and the WHO in Geneva.
Chris K. Brigham '77
Chris K. Brigham '77 (marketing), of Roxbury, Conn., is an executive producer in the motion picture industry. Chris' career in the film industry began in 1983, when he worked as a location assistant for the movie Easy Money, starring Rodney Dangerfield. Chris has held the positions of associate producer, co-producer and executive producer from 1995 the to present.
His work as producer includes numerous box office hits, such as The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, with Brendan Fraser; The Good Shepherd, with Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon; The Aviator, with Leonardo DiCaprio; Analyze This and Analyze That with Robert DiNero and Billy Crystal; The Count of Monte Cristo, with James Caviezel; The Legend of Bagger Vance, with Will Smith and Matt Damon; Before and After, with Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson; Extreme Measures, with Hugh Grant; and Kiss of Death, with Samuel L. Jackson and Nicholas Cage; Interview with a Vampire, with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise; Six Degrees of Separation, with Will Smith and Donald Sutherland; Lorenzo's Oil, with Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte; and Born on the Fourth of July, with Tom Cruise.
Chris is executive producer on the recently released film Argo, starring Ben Affleck, and Christopher Nolan's award-winning and thought-provoking dramas Inception and Shutter Island, both starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He is also executive producer for Noah (due out in 2014), starring Emma Watson and Russell Crowe.
Richard W. Cheston '79
Richard "Rich" W. Cheston '79 (chemistry and business/management), of Pittsboro, N.C., is chief technical architect, distinguished engineer and master inventor at Lenovo.
Rich has been in the PC industry almost from the beginning (1982) and has held key areas of responsibility worldwide, first within IBM and now within Lenovo, such as product strategy, marketing and new product development. Rich spent 23 years at IBM and achieved the status of Master Inventor and in 2004 was appointed a Distinguished Engineer for sustained technical leadership.
Rich is recognized worldwide for his insight from technology companies like Intel, customers like The Coca Cola Company, to the leading technology analyst group, Gartner, where he was active in the development of Gartner's original Total Cost of Ownership model (TCO). Rich is one the most sought after speakers consistently presenting to customers and at major technology shows over 100 times a year.
Rich's passion has been working directly with corporate customers and developing new manageability solutions. In fact, he has around 70 patents or patents pending between his time at IBM and Lenovo. In addition, Rich was the original creator of what has become the industry standard for remotely waking a PC: Wake-On LAN.
In 2005 Lenovo purchased IBM's PC Division and Rich choose to join this new organization. Over the next 7 years Lenovo has grown from a Chinese only company to the world's largest personal computer company.
In 2010 Rich was named Chief Technology Architect for Lenovo's Software & Peripherals Group and today, Rich is leading Lenovo's Cloud strategy.
Rich and his wife, the former Laura Duke '81, received the U.S. Department of Agriculture's, "Outstanding Stewardship Forestry" award in 2009.
Shirrel Rhoades '64
Shirrel Rhoades, BA '64 (Art), of Key West, Fla., has enjoyed a successful career as a writer, publisher, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and philanthropist. Prior to retiring in 2005, he was vice president for business development for the Reader's Digest Association, Inc. He was publisher of a number of Reader's Digest books, including Medical Breakthroughs and The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs.
In 1996, he was appointed executive vice president of Marvel Entertainment and publisher of Marvel Comics. Earlier in his career, he was the associate publisher of Harper's Magazine. He also served as vice president of consumer marketing for Charter Publishing, which at the time, published Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, and Sport magazines. Rhoades joined Scholastic, Inc. as vice president to launch Family Computing magazine in 1988. He then purchased his own publications aimed at small business entrepreneurs, Opportunity Magazine and Income Plu$. Books written by Rhoades include Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry (with Dr. David E. Sumner), Comic Books: How the Industry Works, and A Complete History of American Comic Books.
He is the author of more than 500 bylined feature articles published in popular magazines, as well as hundreds of other essays on history, book reviews, and film critiques. Rhoades has served on the board of directors of American Family Publishers and on the advisory board of the New York Academy of Sciences.
During the 1980s, he was chairman of the Consumer Marketing Committee for Magazine Publishers of America. His marketing campaigns have won numerous industry awards. He was inducted into the FMA Hall of Fame in 2012. The FMA is a professional association of executives involved in the magazine publishing and circulation business.
V. Inez Archibald '85
V. Inez Archibald has had a distinguished career in public service and spiritual leadership. Her educational background includes a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Stetson University, which she earned in 1985. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration from Rollins College, and a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University.
Originally from Tortola's West End, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Inez currently serves as Deputy Governor of the Virgin Islands, a post she has held since 2008. She made history in 2003 when the 15th Legislative Council appointed her as the territory's first female Speaker of the House, a position she held until 2007. Inez served as Acting Governor in 2009. In addition, she is founder and director of J.S. Archibald Trust Services Ltd., the corporate and trust arm of J.S. Archibald & Co., and serves as Managing Director of Jipfa Investments Ltd.
Inez is a former member and chairwoman of the BVI Public Service Commission, and former member of the BVI Judicial and Legal Services Commission, the BVI Income Tax Appeal Board and the Family Support Network Board. She is active in the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Inez served as Chief Executive Officer of J.S. Archibald & Co., one of the oldest and most prestigious legal firms in the BVI and the Caribbean. Her early career was spent in the banking industry, first with the Virgin Islands National Bank and then the National Mid Atlantic Bank/Bank of America in St. Kitts.
Laurette Koellner '80
Laurette Koellner served as President of Boeing International and Senior Vice President of The Boeing Company until her retirement in 2008 following a distinguished career spanning 30 years in the aerospace industry.
Laurette earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Stetson University in 1980 after receiving her bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Central Florida in 1977. She began her career in the aerospace industry in 1978 when she joined McDonnell Douglas as an analyst. She moved quickly into positions of increasing responsibility at McDonnell Douglas, and subsequently at Boeing, after those companies merged in 1997.
Laurette's career at the Boeing Company includes a seven-year membership in the company's senior executive leadership team. In her most recent Boeing position as President of Boeing International, she oversaw the company's international affairs, with leadership responsibility for 20 Boeing organizations throughout the world. Prior to this, from 2004-2006, she was President of Connexion by Boeing, the former Boeing business providing leading-edge, high-speed connectivity services to aircraft and maritime vessels via a sophisticated network of global satellites.
During a multi-disciplined career, primarily in finance, Laurette served as Executive Vice President and member of the Office of the Chairman of The Boeing Company and in a variety of diverse roles including Chief Administration Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer.
A recognized financial expert, Laurette is an independent Director of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), and serves as Chairman of AIG's Regulatory and Compliance Committee and as a member of its Compensation Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Sara Lee Corporation and Celestica, Inc.
Laurette is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the University of Central Florida College of Business Dean's Executive Council and is a member of the Midwest Audit Committee Network sponsored by Ernst and Young.
Thomas M. Reis '88
Tom Reis is an accomplished artist, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stetson University in 1988, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1993.
A double major in Art and Spanish at Stetson University, his coursework led him to a study-abroad experience in Madrid, Spain. During his time in Madrid, he lived on the same street where one of his most important artistic influences, Spanish realist and impressionist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923), had lived years before. Tom also credits portrait painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) as having a significant influence on his own painting style, which Tom describes as "traditional realism influenced by American impressionism."
Tom's illustrations have appeared in TIME, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, Business Week, Golf Magazine, Barron's, The Wall Street Journal and several other nationally known publications. His oil paintings of people, places and moments in time have been exhibited from New York City to San Francisco to Central America. In fall 2010, they were on exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach, and at the Marietta Museum of Art in Georgia. His painting, "Red Hat," was featured on the cover of the Fall 2010 issue of Stetson University's SU Magazine.
Tom's career is a blend of art and business. An undisputed successful professional in a highly competitive field, Tom acknowledges that his success "is built on a liberal arts education." His paintings are represented in many permanent and private collections in galleries across the country. Selections from Tom's permanent collection can be found at The Forbes Galleries in New York City and in Sampson Hall at Stetson University. He is a member of The Society of Illustrators and The Graphic Artists' Guild, in New York City, and The Atlanta Portrait Society in Georgia.
Jim Shore '77
Jim Shore graduated in 1977 from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Juris Doctorate from Stetson University's College of Law in 1980. He is General Counsel for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which is a 3,500-member, federally-recognized Indian tribe headquartered in Hollywood, Florida, with reservations totaling 90,000 acres in several parts of the state.
Born in 1945 on what is now the Brighton Seminole Reservation, Jim, along with his two brothers and four sisters, grew up in the woods, where the family raised cattle. They lived under a traditional Seminole home, a chickee, made of cypress logs with thatched palmetto fronds for roofs. He was born blind in one eye and lost his remaining vision in an automobile accident in 1970. Jim's path to General Counsel of the Seminole Tribe of Florida is inspirational.
The first member of the SeminoleTribe to become an attorney, Jim was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981, and became Deputy General Counsel of the Tribe that same year. He took over as General Counsel one year later. In December 2005, Jim was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Florida State University, and in October 2010, was inducted into the Stetson University College of Law Hall of Fame.
Jim's lifelong commitment to improve the quality of life for the Seminole Tribe has been a powerful testament to his expertise and longevity in the legal field and to his passion for social justice. His skillful and tireless negotiations secured the Tribe's monumental acquisition of the Hard Rock hotel, restaurant and casino operations in more than 50 countries worldwide, including several in Florida. This resulted in the provision of an economic foundation for the Tribe's future housing, education, health care and environmental sustainability.
Jim is active in the community and serves on the Board of Directors for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation and the Memorial Foundation, an affiliate of the Memorial Healthcare System of Hollywood, Florida.
Jane E. Eckert '70
Jane E. Eckert created one of the most successful tourism farms in North America and now helps members of the travel and agricultural industries tap into the agritourism market.
A sixth-generation farmer's daughter, Jane grew up on her family's agritourism-focused apple orchard outside St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Stetson University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing.
After a 15-year exectuive career in corporate marketing with such giants as Atlantic Richfield Oil Company, Jane decided to combine her marketing expertise and passion for agriculture as vice president of marketing for Eckert's Country Store and Farms. Through her innovative ideas and by working closely with agritourism groups, she helped develop the farm into one of metropolitan St. Louis' most popular entertainment and tourist destinations, attracting more than 500,000 guests annually. In 1994, the farm was named the Family Business of the Year for the Mississippi Valley.
In 2001, Jane created Eckert AgriMarketing, a full-service marketing and consulting firm offering a variety of services to the tourism industry and agricultural operations. In recognition of those efforts, she received the outstanding leadership award in 2005 from the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association and was elected to the group's Hall of Fame in 2008. The same year, she was awarded the Agri Tourism Excellence Achievement Award at the World Agri Tourism Day conference in Pune, India. She is also founder and CEO of Rural Bounty, LLC, which promotes farms, ranches, wineries, community supported agriculture programs, farmers' markets and other businesses with rural roots.
A recognized expert, Jane has helped thousands of tourism and agriculture professionals see the financial benefits of promoting agritourism through her speeches and workshops. She has been interviewed by hundreds of publications around the country, including U.S.A. Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Active in all aspects of her profession, Jane is a past president of the St. Louis Attractions Association and The North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association, and has served both the Missouri and the Kansas Agritourism Councils. She has been an active member of the Convention and Visitors Bureaus of both Missouri and Illinois.
Lewis M. Kling '71
Lewis M. Kling is one of the nation's leading business executives with more than 35 years of experience leading manufacturing operations and holding key management positions in large global businesses.
He currently is executive vice chairman of Flowserve Corporation, a $4 billion-plus New York Stock Exchange S&P 500 company and the recognized world leader in supplying flow control products to the power, oil, gas, chemical and other industries in more than 70 countries. He previously served as president, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer of the corporation. He also is a director of Eastman Chemical Company.
In 2006, Lewis wasthe recipient of the highest honor given by the Chinese government to a foreign business leader, the Marco Polo Award. In 2009, he was chosen by a panel of business, academic and community leaders for an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in Southwest Area-North.
Prior to joining Flowserve in 2004, Lewis was group president and corporate vice president of SPX Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, for seven years. He previously was president of Dielectric Communications, a division of General Signal Corporation, which was acquired by SPX in 1988. He also has held senior leadership positions with AlliedSignal Aerospace and Harris Corporation. While at AlliedSignal, in addition to serving as senior vice president and manager of Commercial Avionics Systems, he served as chairman of the board of the American Russian Integrated Avionics joint venture. He began his career in the Apollo Support Department at General Electric Company, where he served for 24 years in a number of management positions in programs, international marketing, engineering and manufacturing operations, simulation programs and design engineering.
He was awarded a Master of Business Administration degree by Stetson University in 1971, after earning a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.
Michael H. Yeargan '68
Michael H. Yeargan, a world-renowned set designer for theater, opera and ballet, is currently a professor (adjunct) of Stage Design at the Yale School of Drama and the resident designer for the Yale Repertory Theatre. From this academic base, he has fashioned a remarkable career.
One of opera's most in-demand designers, Michael has worked with some of the world's best-known companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Australian Opera, La Scala, and London's Royal Opera House. He has done set designs in London's West End and Canada's Stratford Festival.
Michael also has worked extensively with America's regional theaters, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the American Repertory Theatre and the Dallas Theater Center.
His career accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards and nominations. The winner of two Tony Awards for Best Scenic Design in a Musical, he received his first in 2005 for The Light in the Piazza, which also earned him a Drama Desk Award and American Theatre Wing Henry Hewes Design Award. In 2006, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Play, and won the Drama Desk Award, for Awake and Sing! South Pacific brought him a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination in 2008, and he again received a Tony nomination in 2009 for Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
Michael graduated from Stetson University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and Speech. During his time at Stetson University, he participated in many Stover Theatre productions, both as an actor and a set-builder. He spent a year studying in Spain before being accepted at the Yale School of Drama, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1973. Only a year after his graduation, he joined the faculty at Yale, where he continues to teach.
William C. Gaventa, Jr. '69
William C. "Bill" Gaventa Jr. '69 is director of community and congregational supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities in New Brunswick, N.J. He is also associate professor of pediatrics at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
An American Studies major at Stetson University, Gaventa also earned a Master of Arts in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Deeply committed to public service, he is involved in community supports, training for community services staff and workforce development, initiatives in cultural competence, and in aging and end of life issues. He also supervises a program in Clinical Pastoral Education and coordinates a training and technical assistance team for the New Jersey Self Directed Supports Projects. He has served as a consultant on disabilities to the National Council of Churches.
He is editor of the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health and of a newsletter for the Religion and Spirituality Division of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). He also writes a column for Insight, the national newsletter of ArcUSA. He recently served as editor of Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community, a guide for including people with autism in faith communities.
His many volunteer activities include service as executive secretary of the Religion and Spirituality Division of the AAIDD since 1985. He has received both the Service Award and Presidential Award from AAIDD and, in 2008, the COMISS Medal from the Congress on Ministries in Specialized Settings and a Unitas Outstanding Alumni Award from Union Theological Seminary.
Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller '61
Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller '61 is president and chief executive officer of The National World War II Museum, a New Orleans-based institution designated by Congress as the country's official museum for commemoration of the World War II experience.
Mueller helped transform the museum from a concept to reality, first as chairman of the museum foundation's Board of Directors and now as president and CEO of the museum. Severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the museum has recovered significantly under his management. A major $300 million expansion is now planned.
Mueller retired from a 34-year career as a professor of European History at the University of New Orleans (UNO) in 2002. He launched the university's first overseas programs in Germany and Austria in the 1970s, before becoming the university's director for international education. He served as founding dean of UNO's Metropolitan College, and then as vice-chancellor of extension and president of the university's Research and Technology Park.
More than 8,000 students have studied abroad through the programs Mueller established. He formed a Friendship Treaty between the University of New Orleans and the University of Innsbruck that led to student and faculty exchanges, publication of more than 40 books, and a $1 million gift to the UNO from the Austrian government to establish a Chair in Austrian Studies. For his contributions to international education, he has received two of Austria's highest awards, the Great Silver Cross of Honor and the Cross of Honor First Class.
Mueller earned a bachelor's degree in History at Stetson University, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has done postgraduate work at Yale, Harvard and several European universities.
F. Amos Bailey '79
A 1979 Stetson University Biology cum laude graduate, Amos Bailey earned his medical degree from the University of South Florida's College of Medicine. He did an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Fletcher Allen Health Care Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in Burlington and received a fellowship for further work in Hematology and Oncology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He practiced medicine for five years at Raleigh Regional Cancer Center in Beckley, W.Va.
Now assistant professor of Internal Medicine in both the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Alabama, he also serves as an attending physician in Hospice and Palliative Care. He is director of Palliative Care at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he also works at the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. He is the founder and medical director of the Safe Harbor Palliative Care Project at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, as well as the founder of Birmingham's Balm of Gilead Palliative Care Center and a past medical director of the Birmingham Area Hospice. Respected nationally by his peers, he serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care.
His book, The Palliative Response, was published in 2003, and he has also written numerous scholarly articles and lectured at many major conferences on end-of-life issues. His work has received more than $2 million in grant support, and he has been honored with the Palliative Care American Hospital Association's "Circle of Life" Citation of Honor. He was also included as an expert in Bill Moyers' Public Television series, "On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying."
Shephard W. Hill '75
Shephard Hill, a 1975 Stetson University graduate in history, served for seven years as chief of staff and legislative director to the late U.S. Congressman Bill Chappell of Florida. He is a 1984 alumnus of the Naval War College and a 1989 graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government's Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.
Named president of Boeing International in 2007, he oversees The Boeing Company's international affairs, with leadership responsibilities for 20 Boeing in-country operations around the world. Previously, he served The Boeing Company as senior vice president of Business Development and Strategy, responsible for analyzing and developing plans to drive the company's growth and nurture new businesses. A member of the Boeing Executive Council, he coordinated Boeing's Corporate Development function, with responsibility for acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, equity investments and joint ventures.
He has also served twice as vice president for Business Development at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of IDS customer and business strategies; and as vice president for Boeing Space and Communications (S&C) Government Relations, charged with the management and direction of S&C's business interests and activities in the Washington, D.C., area.
He joined Boeing when the company acquired Rockwell's Aerospace and Defense business in 1996, where he was serving as vice president for Aerospace Government Affairs and Marketing. His first position with Boeing was vice president, Space Systems, for the company's Integrated Space and Defense Systems business unit.
James W. Lea '64, MA '65
Interested in literature, James Lea earned two Stetson University degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in 1964 and a Master of Arts in 1965, both in English. He taught for two years at Miami-Dade Community College, returning to teach at Stetson University from 1967 to 1970. He then earned a doctorate in American Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973.
Now a professor of Family Medicine in the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill School of Medicine, he works on such projects as developing thermoelectric cooling for the transportation of vaccines and other biomaterials and planning and conducting management training for physicians and others serving in conflict and post-conflict settings. For the past 20 years, he has also advised U.S. and foreign family-owned companies on resolving performance and relationship issues. His book, Keeping it in the Family: Successful Succession of the Family Business (1991), has also been published in Spanish (1993). He writes a twice-monthly column on family business for the American City Business Journals and has published numerous journal articles on both family business and global health issues. He is also a frequent speaker to professional organizations, trade groups and university audiences, and he has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
His work has taken him to 30 countries on five continents. In 1979, he founded INTRAH (Program for International Training in Health), a non-profit global health services development organization administered by UNC until 2003. While serving as a consultant to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, he lived and worked in the center of Baghdad, moving about the city in a helmet and body armor, and counts his effort there as one of his most rewarding experiences.
Emory E. "Pete" Dunn '72
A 1972 Stetson University graduate, majoring in Physical Education, Pete Dunn transferred to Stetson University in 1968 to play baseball. An outstanding catcher, he was team co-captain and earned NCAA All-Star honors. After graduating, he played professionally with the Kansas City Royals for two seasons, and then joined the baseball staff at Georgia Southern University, where he earned a master's degree in 1974. Moving back to Central Florida, he led the baseball team at Apopka High School to a district championship.
Returning to Stetson University as an assistant coach in 1977, he became head coach in 1979, a position he still holds. During the 2000 season he led the Hatters to an Atlantic Sun Conference tournament title, a 48-16 record and an NCAA Regional Tournament appearance. In May 2006, he earned his 1,000th coaching win during the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship, which Stetson University won for the second consecutive year.
Other honors include being named Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year for 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1996. Now 11th in overall victories among active NCAA Division I coaches, he has seen 61 of his Stetson University players go on to play professional baseball. His vision and hard work also helped the university build a stadium which is considered one of the nation's finest collegiate facilities. Melching Field at Conrad Park, a $4.5 million stadium jointly built by Stetson University and the City of DeLand, opened in 1999.
A frequent speaker at regional and national coaching clinics, he won a 25-year service award from the American Baseball Coaches' Association in 1997. He served as an assistant coach for the USA National Team at the World Championships in Italy in 1998, and spent the summer with Team USA, competing in the American championships in Nicaragua.
George C. Edwards III '69
George Edwards earned his degree in Political Science from Stetson University in 1969, and went on to study at the National Science Foundation Institute for Law and the Behavioral Sciences. He later earned his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M and has served as the Olin Professor of American Government at Oxford and the John Adams Fellow at the University of London. He has held visiting appointments at Peking University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He founded The Center for Presidential Studies at the Bush School, which he directed from 1991-2001.
A prolific author, he has written or edited 21 books on American politics and public policy making, including On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit (2003), Why the Electoral College is Bad for America (2004) and Governing by Campaigning (2006). He is editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly.
Honored by many, he received the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service from the U.S. Army and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His work has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Ford Foundation. A frequent speaker, he has also given hundreds of interviews to the world-wide news media and has served as a consultant on political issues in Brazil, Russia, Mexico and China.
Timothy Oyebode Olagbemiro '71
Not only was Timothy Olagbemiro a 1971 Stetson University Chemistry graduate, he was also a top soccer player, and still holds the record for the most Stetson University goals scored in a season. He went on to Fisk University, where he earned a master's degree in Chemistry, and to Howard University, where he earned a doctorate in Organic Chemistry. He received a National Science Foundation post-doctoral award to work at Howard on bioinorganic compounds of medicinal importance, followed by an appointment to teach at Fisk. He also worked as a research chemist for the American Cyanamid Company's Laderle Laboratories in New York, and synthesized a variety of medical compounds which have been patented as anti-tuberculosis and anti-psychotic agents.
Returning to Nigeria in 1978, he joined the faculty at Bayero University, moving to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in 1984 as chair of Chemistry. He has collaborated for many years with scientists in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, East Africa and Europe and is published widely in international scientific journals. His current research involves new strategies for controlling the mosquito responsible for filariasis, as well as those which cause malaria and yellow fever.
Now vice chancellor of Nigeria's Bowen University, which equates to university president, he has received many honors, including British Council research grants, International Foundation for Science awards, the Third World Academy of Science Research Award and the Association of Commonwealth-U.S. Carnegie Research Award. He has been a visiting research professor in the United States, Kenya, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Angeleita S. Floyd '74
Currently Professor of Flute at the University of Northern Iowa, Angeleita Floyd earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University in 1974. She went on to receive Master of Music, Master of Music Education, and Doctor of Music degrees from Florida State University.
A highly respected educator, she has presented master classes, performed as a guest artist in concert, and conducted flute choirs at International Flute Festivals throughout the United States, South America and Europe. She has alsobeen an active member of the National Flute Association serving as Vice-President, President and Immediate Past-President from 1998 to 2000.
Her professional life has inspired continued connections to her alma mater. In 1990, she founded Winzer Press and authored a highly acclaimed text in honor of her former Stetson University mentor, eminent English flutist Geoffrey Gilbert, entitled The Gilbert Legacy: Methods, Exercises and Techniques for the Flutist. She has also toured in duo performance with current Stetson University professor and American guitarist Stephen Robinson, resulting in the 1996 CD release, "Under the Influence."
A previous tour, as a member of the Northwind Quintet, led to the 1992 CD release, "The Essential Northwind Quintet." Other Winzer Press publications include Trevor Wye's biographical work entitled Marcel Moyse: An Extraordinary Man (edited by Floyd) in 1993, and Sheryl Cohen's work Bel Canto Flute: The Rampal School in 2003.
Additionally, she is a contributing author to Flute Talk Magazine, The Flutist Quarterly, NFA Pedagogy Anthology, NACWPI Journal, and the Emerson Flute Forum. In 2004, she returned to the University of Northern Iowa's School of Music from a one-year teaching exchange in Sweden where she was a visiting professor of flute at Örebro University's Musikhögskola.
Robin Marino '76
Robin Marino earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a double major in Management and Marketing from Stetson University in 1976, and was active in Delta Delta Delta sorority during her student days. Named President of Merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., in May 2005, she oversees the company's merchandising business segment, managing its current merchandising programs and developing new opportunities in the lifestyle category. Her responsibilities include the $1 billion mass market Martha Stewart Everyday product line at Kmart and Sears Canada, and the award-winning Martha Stewart Signature furniture with Bernhardt.
She has also been instrumental in forging new licensing agreements with a broad range of manufacturers, including KB Home, which offers Martha Stewart-created homes in specially designed communities across the country; and Macy's, which will introduce an all-new, exclusive line of Martha Stewart Collection home merchandise in fall 2007.
Before joining Martha Stewart, she served for six years as president and chief operating officer of Kate Spade, Inc., where she oversaw significant growth. Her previous positions include senior vice president of accessories worldwide at Burberry, Ltd. (USA); president of Donna Karan Collection for Donna Karan International; and president of Polo Ralph Lauren Handbags and Luggage. She began her career at Federated Department Stores, where she held a variety of positions over 12 years that expanded her merchandising and product development expertise.
David S. Marsh '75
David S. Marsh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Stetson University in 1975, and serves as Chief Meteorologist for WESH-TV, Orlando, a property of Hearst-Argyle, Inc. The leader in Central Florida television weather forecasting for over 30 years, he was the first to bring Doppler radar and computer graphics to the Central Florida market. During his 30-plus years at WESH-TV he has provided forecasts for more than 300 hurricanes.
Born in Ontario, Canada, the youngest son of Ernest and Lillian Marsh, he was raised in Elmore, Ohio, and briefly attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio after high school. He joined the U.S. Navy and worked as a weather forecaster, first at the Naval Air Station in Sanford, Fla., and then at the Navy's Fleet Weather Central in Kodiak, Alaska. He also worked for the National Meteorological Center (now called the National Center for Environmental Prediction) in Washington, D.C., before joining WESH-TV in 1968.
While forecasting at WESH-TV, he decided to finish his college degree and began taking classes at Stetson University. He worked full-time during his Stetson University years, often sitting in class in his suit and tie ready to go on the air.
A mentor to many young weather forecasters who have gone on to successful broadcasting careers around the country, he has taught and lectured at all levels of education. During the administration of President Bill Clinton he was invited to the White House by Vice President Al Gore to discuss issues involving greenhouse gases and global warming. Wanting to help members of the public understand how weather works, he frequently speaks to community service groups about weather forecasting issues. He also freely uses his celebrity status to help those who are less fortunate.
Loyal to his alma mater and one of our most visible alumni, he often wears his Stetson University green on the air, and is often seen attending Stetson University Athletics events.
Married to alumna, Karen Kelly Marsh, class of '68, he and his wife are the parents of another Hatter, Lisa Marsh Wheeler, who graduated in 1999, and the grandparents of Jarrett Wheeler, 8, a potential Hatter.
Joe Negron '83
A Florida native, he graduated from Stetson University in 1983 with a degree in Political Science. While on campus, he was editor-in-chief of The Reporter, which won honors from the Associated Collegiate Press during his tenure. He also interned in the Washington, D.C., office of Congressman L.A. "Skip" Bafalis. Earning a juris doctorate in 1986 from Emory University School of Law, he went on to practice law in Martin and Palm Beach counties, focusing on civil litigation and appellate cases. He is currently "of counsel" to Akerman Senterfitt, one of Florida's largest statewide law firms.
Elected in 2000 to the Florida House of Representatives for District 82, serving Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties, he was re-elected in 2002 and 2004 without opposition. Expanding his goals to statewide office, he is now seeking the Republican nomination for Florida Attorney General.
In the Florida House, he has concentrated on insurance issues, education reform, and appropriations. He chairs the House Fiscal Council, is alternating chairman of the Legislative Budget Commission, and co-chairs the Select Committee on Medicaid reform. As chair of the Appropriations Committee, he was a strong supporter of increasing the Florida Resident Access Grant, which was accomplished in 2005.
In the Florida House, he has concentrated on insurance issues, education reform, and appropriations. He chairs the House Fiscal Council, is alternating chairman of the Legislative Budget Commission, and co-chairs the Select Committee on Medicaid reform. As chair of the Appropriations Committee, he was a strong supporter of increasing the Florida Resident Access Grant, which was accomplished in 2005.
His awards in 2005 include the Legislator of the Year Award from the Police Benevolent Association, the Florida YMCA Outstanding Leadership Award, the Legal Advocacy for Children award from the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Association; as well as awards from the County Court Judges, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, Enterprise Florida, Florida School Board Association, Florida Optometric Association, and Florida Chamber of Commerce. Early in 2006, the St. Petersburg Times named him one of Speaker Allan Bense's top three legislators in the Florida House.
Cesar Gonzmart* '41
The late Dr. Cesar Gonzmart studied violin at Stetson University on a scholarship for several years beginning in 1937. Gonzmart, went on to earn a doctorate in music from the University of Havana, Cuba.
Born Cesar Gonzalez-Martinez in West Tampa, he began violin lessons at the age of six. By his early twenties he was traveling the world as a concert violinist. He changed his name to Gonzmart, using the first part of his parents' surnames, and formed an orchestra called "Cesar Gonzmart and his Continental Orchestra," which played major hotels across the United States.
He married Adela Hernandez, a concert pianist, in 1946, and they performed together through the early 1950s. She was the only child of Carmen and Casimiro Hernandez Jr., and the granddaughter of Casimiro Hernandez Sr., who founded the Columbia Restaurant in 1905. In 1953, when her father's health was failing, the Gonzmarts returned to Tampa with their sons, Casey and Richard, and settled down to run the restaurant.
As a businessman, Gonzmart retained his artistic flair, moving about the restaurant in a tuxedo, charming the patrons and often playing the violin. Under his leadership, the Columbia expanded to six Florida locations, including Sarasota and St. Augustine. In 2005, the restaurant celebrates its 100th anniversary with the opening of its seventh restaurant in West Palm Beach.
Gonzmart was knighted by the King of Spain in 1971 as a Knight of Sant'Yago, the patron saint of Spain. Before his death in 1992, he was named Outstanding Restaurateur by Holiday magazine, and the Columbia was a 12-time winner of Florida Trend's Golden Spoon Award. In 1993, he was inducted posthumously into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame and in 1995 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Restaurant Association.
Lois Thacker Graessle* '39
Lois Thacker Graessle, was a selfless volunteer who earned a law degree in 1941. She found the profession virtually closed to women in Florida at the time but she used her knowledge to pursue social justice with a vengeance.
Graessle received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Stetson University in 1939, where she led the women's basketball team and helped to coach the DeLand High School girls' team. She went on to earn her law degree from the University of Florida, where she was the only woman in her class.
Graessle married after law school and moved to Jacksonville but could not find a position as an attorney. She began volunteering, trying to help those least able to help themselves: minorities, women, children, the poor, and the terminally ill. She supported racial equality at a time when many were satisfied with legal segregation.
She chaired the Jacksonville Mayor's Child and Youth Care Study in the '60s and worked to see it implemented. She encouraged her church to begin a child-care center and helped establish emergency shelters in Jacksonville for abused children. She chaired a committee investigating unmet human needs in Duval County in the '80s. She helped found Hospice of Northeast Florida, and lobbied to enable terminally ill persons to receive hospice care at home. Still active, in 2002 she chaired a Special Committee on Building a Community System of Care for Children, examining the care received by foster children.
Graessle has been awarded many honors, including a Medal of Honor from the Florida Bar Foundation for her "lifetime of selfless volunteer service in the pursuit of justice." She won the Florida Times-Union EVE award for women in 1970 and 1988, as well as the EVE of the Decade award for the '80s. She was honored by the National United Way in 1970, listed as one of 14 outstanding women in Florida by the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in 1975, and named to Stetson University's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981. She won the 2001 Volunteer Jacksonville Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2002 Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of the Gateway Council; and has been honored by the NAACP, Community Planning Council, and Jacksonville Urban League. In 2000, the Florida Supreme Court recognized her as one of Florida's First 100 Women Lawyers.
R. Dean Hollis '82
R. Dean Hollis, son of Mark and Lynn Hollis of Lakeland, and a 1982 Stetson University graduate in Psychology, serves as executive vice president of ConAgra Foods Retail Products. He provides executive leadership to the Refrigerated Foods and Deli business units, and leads sales and operations planning for all of ConAgra's retail products. ConAgra Foods, Inc., with annual revenues of approximately $15 billion, is one of North America's largest packaged food suppliers, focused on retail, foodservice and ingredient customers.
Hollis joined ConAgra Foods in 1987, holding increasingly responsible positions in sales, trade marketing, and general management. Before joining ConAgra, he was with the TreeSweet Companies, holding management positions in both sales and trade marketing. He began his career in the Consumer Products division of Georgia-Pacific, where he spent four years in a variety of sales positions.
A member of the Stetson University Board of Trustees, he chairs its Marketing and Development Committee, and established the R. Dean Hollis Challenger Scholarship in 2001. He has also served Stetson University as a member of the Board of Advisors of the School of Business Administration and the Prince Entrepreneurship Program Board of Overseers. He resides in Omaha, Neb., with his wife, Lisa, and their five children.
Jon D. Solomon '90
Jon D. Solomon, earned a graduate business degree from Stetson University in 1990, and is now a partner in Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Focusing on the health and life sciences industry, he works with hospitals, health insurance, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Solomon, who was born in Ft. Lauderdale, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Washington and Lee University, before coming to Stetson University for his MBA. He joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Tampa after receiving his degree in 1990.
Under his leadership, the firm's four Florida offices experienced unprecedented growth. He was also heavily involved in setting information technology strategy for AvMed Healthplan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and Orlando Regional Healthcare System.
Moving to a position as a director of First Consulting Group, he served on its health services executive team from 1997-2000, working with the Department of Defense, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Kaiser Permanente, MedCost, PacifiCare, and University Community Hospital.
Now back at Accenture as a partner, his clients include Highmark (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Pennsylvania) and Trigon (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia). Recently, he has been leading a group with personnel based in the United States, India, the Philippines and elsewhere, requiring extensive travel on his part, which he says only deepens his appreciation of the United States.
Solomon is a regular visitor and speaker to the students in the School of Business Administration, and has also been helpful in the placement and career development of many Stetson University alumni. Among his other business ventures, he is involved in Javic Properties, a residential development firm in Tampa, and he is a frequent writer and speaker in his field.
Bingham L. Vick, Jr. '66
Dr. Bingham L. Vick, Jr., is a professor of music and choral director whose life-long work with singers has brought him many honors, and placed his graduates as leaders of outstanding choral programs in universities, high schools, and churches across the country.
Dr. Vick, who was born in Charlotte, N.C., received a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1966 from Stetson University, where he was active in student government, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, the Baptist Student Union, the Concert Choir, and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary. He went on to Northwestern University, earning a master's degree in Vocal Performance and a doctorate in Musicology.
Dr. Vick has been on the faculty at Furman University since 1970, he teaches voice, conducting, choral literature, and vocal-choral methods. He also directs the Furman Singers, a 100-voice singing group that has twice performed for national conventions of the American Chorale Directors Association. In 1996, they performed with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in a nationally televised July 4 concert. Last summer he led their 16th biennial concert tour of Europe.
He is the artistic director and conductor of the 200-voice Greenville Chorale. He founded and conducts the Chorale Chamber Ensemble, a 20-voice professional choral ensemble. In 2003, he retired after 28 years of service as musical director at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville.
He received Furman's Meritorious Teacher Award in 1984, and South Carolina's Order of the Palmetto in 2000 in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions to the arts. In 2004, the South Carolina Arts Commission gave him the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for his individual leadership in the arts.
Dr. Vick published a textbook, "Conducting What Matters Most," in 2003. He also edited and published a new English translation of Max Bruch's oratorio, "Moses," in 1996, and conducted its American premier with the Greenville Chorale and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.
Bruce Berkowitz '76
Dr. Bruce Berkowitz is currently Research Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, has been a consultant to the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, and frequently lectures on national security issues at the National Defense University. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1990, he also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.
Dr. Berkowitz earned a bachelor's degree in both Political Science and Psychology from Stetson University in 1976, and went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Rochester. He began his career at the Central Intelligence Agency and served as a professional staff member for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
A prolific author, his most recent books include The New Face of War (2003), Best Truth: Intelligence in the Information Age (2000), and The Need to Know: Covert Action and American Democracy (1992). He has published many journal articles on foreign affairs and writes frequently for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He is a contributing editor for the Foreign Policy Research Institute journal, Orbis.
He received an Eisenhower Fellowship in 1979 from the Eisenhower Memorial Foundation, the Frederick Thomas Fellowship from the retired diplomatic and consular officers' group in 1980, and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1983-84. In 1985-86, he was both an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2001-02, he was the first Sherman Kent Scholar in Residence at the CIA's Sherman Kent Center for Analysis.
J. Craig Crawford '78
J. Craig Crawford is currently a columnist for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., his non-partisan column, "White House Trail Mix," which focuses on the 2004 Presidential race, appears weekly in CQ Today, which provides current news on legislative and public policy activities on Capitol Hill. He also serves as a news analyst for MSNBC, CNBC, and "The Early Show" on CBS.
Crawford is an Owensboro, Ky., native but grew up in Orlando and is a dual degree Stetson University alumnus. He earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Stetson University in 1978, and a law degree from Stetson University's College of Law in 1981. During his Stetson University days, he worked in the White House press office for President Jimmy Carter while attending Stetson University's Washington Semester program at American University.
For six years, from 1997 to 2003, the veteran journalist ran The Hotline, a daily online political briefing published by the National Journal Group. Previously he covered law and politics for the Orlando Sentinel, and was the newspaper's Washington bureau chief from 1989 to 1997. Before becoming a journalist, he served in 1984 as Alabama State Field Director for the John Glenn presidential primary campaign and as Georgia State Field Director for the Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro general election campaign.
He practiced law in Orlando until 1984, and remains a member of the Florida Bar, although he is no longer in practice.
Amy Horton '77
This Washington, D.C.-based attorney with wide experience in the practice of law, including working in the non-profit, governmental, and private sectors is a 1977 graduate of Stetson University, where she earned her degree in Psychology. She served on the Debate Team, where she was a state finalist in 1975; and the Forensics Team, where she was a national finalist in 1975. She also studied in Spain at the University of Madrid in 1977, and is fluent in Spanish. She lived and worked in Madrid for two years after graduation, working as an English teacher. Before going to law school, she also spent several years as a photo editor for several national magazines, including Time, Vanity Fair, Forbes, and Rolling Stone.
She graduated summa cum laude in 1992 from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was editor for research and writing at the Law Review, held a full scholarship, was a member of the Order of the Coif, and named a Public Interest Fellow.
Currently legal advisor to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, she provides technical legal assistance on law reform activities in developing countries, including the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, and Honduras, to assure legal systems that enable the establishment and operation of non-governmental non-profit organizations. Her governmental work includes serving as associate general counsel to the Peace Corps, providing legal opinions and policy advice to agency management at headquarters and overseas posts around the world; and as clerk to a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In private practice she engaged in multi-party complex litigation and provided advice on regulatory compliance at the law firm of Shea & Gardner.
Active in community volunteer work, she serves on the board of directors of CrisisLink of Arlington, Va.; has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Everybody Wins, both in Washington, D.C.; and served as a counselor on women's issues in Florida and New York City.
Carroll E. Lewis '53
Carroll E. Lewis is an enterprising businessman, who was president of the Ocala-based SEMCO Division of Leggett & Platt Company of Missouri, before his 2003 retirement.
A 1953 graduate of Stetson University, Carroll Lewis was a campus leader during his student days, serving as president of the student body, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and president of the Junior Class. An active member of Scabbard and Blade, a national military honor society for ROTC cadet officers, he was also named an Outstanding Senior and selected for "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities."
Grateful for his Stetson University education, which he feels contributed greatly to his success, he currently serves on the Stetson University Board of Trustees, and is proud that his grandson, William Carroll Lewis, graduated from Stetson University in 2002. A Challenger Scholarship donor and Stetson Society member, he has established annual and endowed scholarship funds to assist students who wish to attend Stetson University. He also is a generous supporter of Stetson University's Gillespie Museum of Minerals.
He began his career as a partner in the newly formed Southeastern Manufacturing Company, or SEMCO, in 1966 in Ocala. In 1973, he formed a second company, Florida Pak, which produced a Dow Chemical-franchised packing material called 'loose fill peanuts' to protect electronics, lamps, and other fragile items. When both companies were sold to Clairson International Corporation in 1985, he continued as president of the packaging division. Four years later he bought SEMCO back from Clairson. Under his leadership, SEMCO grew steadily until its sale in 1994 to Leggett & Platt Company of Missouri, a Fortune 500 company. He remains involved in numerous other business ventures.
Active in his community, he is a past president of the Exchange Club of Ocala and has served on several committees of the Ocala Chamber of Commerce. He is an avid outdoorsman and scuba diver, as well as a licensed pilot.
William J. Schneider '66
William J. Schneider is a physician who shares his expertise in plastic surgery with those in need around the world, and credits the habits of serving and leading he developed at Stetson University with his movement into such "deeply satisfying work."
A Miami native, Dr. Schneider graduated from Stetson University magna cum laude in 1966, majoring in Chemistry. Active on campus, he was president of his freshman, sophomore, and junior classes and headed the student body as a senior. He was also president of the Wesley Foundation and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary, the Men's Judiciary Council, and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
He went on to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. degree, followed by a year's internship and a year of general surgery residency at the University of Florida. He moved to Atlanta for three more years of general surgery residency and two years of plastic surgery residency at Emory University. A diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he has also published widely in his field. He and his wife, the former Rebecca Phillips, a 1967 Stetson University graduate, have three grown sons and a granddaughter.
Dr. Schneider practiced plastic surgery for 23 years in Knoxville, Tenn., where he was chief of surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. President of the Knoxville Surgical Society, he also headed the Tennessee Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons for two years. He spent several years on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society in Knox County; and - with three sons - coached youth baseball for seven spring seasons.
In 1992 he began volunteering with Interplast, a non-profit group providing free reconstructive plastic surgery in developing countries, repairing cleft lips and palates and helping those with burn deformities. Leaving private practice in 1999, he became more active in Interplast, and now serves full-time as its Chief Medical Officer, planning and coordinating medical services on three continents.
J. Barry Griswell '72
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company serving 13 million customers around the world, J. Barry Griswell earned his master's degree in business administration from Stetson University in 1972. He received his Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 1976, his Chartered Financial Consultant designation in 1985, and in 1992 was named a LIMRA Leadership Institute Fellow, a designation conferred jointly by LIMRA International and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans honored him in 2003 for overcoming humble beginnings and adversity to achieve both personal and professional success.
Griswell joined the Principal Financial Group in 1988 as an officer and agency vice president, after serving as president and CEO of MetLife Marketing Corp., a subsidiary of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. He became senior vice president of the Principal Financial Group in 1991 and executive vice president in 1996. Named president in 1998, he became CEO in 2000 and chairman of the board in 2002.
He currently serves as a board member of the American Council of Life Insurers and the American Council for Capital Formation. President of the Federation of Iowa Insurers, he is also a member of the board of trustees of the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education; the board of trustees of Central College, Pella, Iowa; and serves on the board of his undergraduate alma mater, Berry College, in his native state of Georgia.
Acknowledged as a leader in the wider business world, he is a director of the Business Committee for the Arts, a national organization working to bring business and the arts together; and is also a board member of The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of leading U.S. corporations committed to improving public policy.
Lawrence R. Johnston '72
A business major at Stetson University, Lawrence R. Johnston received a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1972. A native of Corning, N.Y., he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and involved in the business and accounting clubs. He also participated in the school's work-study program as a married student who was just starting his family. Relevant course work and real world preparation from professors such as Joe Master in Accounting helped prepare him for the business world he was hired immediately after graduation by General Electric Co.
Dedicated and determined, he entered General Electric's Management Training Program in 1972 and spent the next 28 years building his career there. In November 1999, he was elected a senior vice president of the company and named president and chief executive officer of GE Appliances a $6 billion global business.
Experienced and successful, he joined Albertson's Inc. in 2001 as chairman and chief executive officer of one of the largest food and drug retailers in the world. A Fortune 50 company with 2,300 stores in 31 states, Albertson's has revenues of more than $35 billion and the company employs more than 200,000 associates.
Values driven, he has carried the Stetson University values of community service, mentoring, diversity and gender equity into his business life at both GE and Albertson's. Today, Albertson's has adopted a set of 10 core values that embody these elements.
Willa Dean Lowrey '48
A Florida native, Willa Dean Lowery majored in chemistry at Stetson University, with a minor in biology, receiving her bachelor's degree in 1948. She went on to earn a master's degree in bacteriology in 1952 from the University of Florida, a doctor of medicine degree in 1959 from the University of Miami School of Medicine, and a master's degree in public health in 1962 from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health in Pennsylvania.
She practiced medicine as an obstetrician and gynecologist in the Pittsburgh area from 1969 to 1988. Prior to that, she spent two years teaching obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh, five years as a public health officer for the Florida State Board of Health, and three years as a research bacteriologist for the United States Government Operations Mission to Brazil.
After retiring from active medical practice, she returned to the classroom, earning a master's degree in divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1994. In 1995 she was ordained a minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church USA and currently serves as a supply pastor in three small churches of the Southern Indiana County Parish in Pennsylvania, assisting their pastor on a part-time basis.
Honored for Meritorious Service by the U.S. government for her work in Brazil, she is listed in Who's Who in America. Drawing on her experience in both medicine and ministry, she currently serves as the clergy representative on the Human Research Protection Committee of Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Gwendolyn Azama-Edwards '71, MA '83
A lifetime resident of Florida, Gwendolyn J. Azama-Edwards earned two Stetson University degrees: a bachelor's degree in psychology (1970) and a master's degree in guidance and counseling (1983). A member of Stetson University's College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors, she also serves on Stetson University's Alumni Association Board of Directors.
City clerk and assistant to the city manager of Daytona Beach from 1987 until September 2002, Azama-Edwards earned certification as a master municipal clerk and is a past president of the Florida Association of City Clerks. She has also worked as a regional manager for the Department of Labor and Employment Security, has managed Job Service offices in Volusia and Flagler Counties and serves on the Workforce Development Board of Volusia and Flagler Counties.
Deeply committed to her community, Azama-Edwards is chairman of the board of the United Way of Volusia/Flagler Counties, and a member of the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Daytona Beach and the Daytona Beach Leadership Council. A past chair of Bethune-Cookman College Board of Counselors, on which she still serves, she is a lifetime member of the NAACP and has been president of the Sister Cities Association of Volusia County, the Association for Retarded Citizens, and the Council on Aging. Numerous honors include outstanding service awards from the Florida Association of City Clerks, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, the Association for Retarded Citizens, Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services District 12, Volusia Unit of the National Association of Social Workers and ACT Corporation.
Married to the Rev. Larry Edwards, Azama-Edwards has two grown sons. She is a deaconess and member of the Greater Friendship Baptist Church in Daytona Beach.
Jill K. Jinks '79
Jill K. Jinks received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Stetson University in 1979, and went on to earn a master's degree in business administration from New York University, specializing in finance; and a master of science degree in computer information systems in 1992 from Georgia State University in Atlanta. She did post-graduate work in client-server systems at Georgia State.
President and CEO of Southern General Financial Group of Marietta, Georgia, since 1997, she came up to that position from its subsidiary, The Insurance House, where she had progressed since 1985 from casualty underwriter and commercial lines manager to president and CEO. Deeply committed to education, she chairs Stetson University's School of Business Administration Board of Advisors, and sits on the Stetson University Board of Trustees. In addition, she serves on the Board of Advisors to Stetson University's Family Business Center, the Georgia State Education Foundation Board and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices Education Foundation Board.
Jinks is an active manager of the Cherokee Country Club Community Involvement Team and serves on the Atlanta Track Club Committee. She also participates in Atlanta Tennis Association activities and enjoys offshore sailing.
Elizabeth Walker Mechling '67
A double major at Stetson University, Dr. Elizabeth Walker Mechling received her bachelor's degree with honors in speech and English in 1967, and then earned a master's degree in speech from Temple University in Philadelphia, which also awarded her a doctorate in speech communication.
Mechling is a professor of Speech Communication at California State University in Fullerton, and has also taught at the University of California, Davis, and California State University at Hayward, where she chaired the marketing department for eight years. Her administrative experience includes four years as dean of the School of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, and three years as executive assistant to two presidents of California State University, Hayward. She has served as second vice president of the Western States Communication Association, and on the editorial boards of the Quarterly Journal of Speech and Western States Communication Journal. She publishes regularly in the fields of rhetorical criticism, mass media criticism and American Studies.
Mechling has also provided consulting services in the area of organizational communication to a number of governmental agencies and businesses, including Grabber Industries, the National Park Service, Credit Women International, Coit Industries and the National Association of Women in Construction.
Jay E. Mechling* '67
An American Studies major at Stetson University, Dr. Jay Mechling received his bachelor's degree with honorsin 1967, then continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he earned a master's degree and a doctorate, both in American civilization.
A professor of American Studies at the University of California, Davis, Mechling served on the National Council of the American Studies Association and was a fellow of the National Humanities Institute at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. A prolific author, his books include American Wildlife in Symbol and Story and On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth. He is one of three senior editors for the four-volume Encyclopedia of American Studies, edited the annual bibliography issue of the American Quarterly from 1974-79 and was the editor of Western Folklore, the quarterly journal of the California Folklore Society, from 1984-88. A leader in his field, he has received the University of California at Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award; and the American Studies Association's Mary Turpie Award for his achievements in teaching and curricular development at the local, regional and national levels.
Elected president of the California Folklore Society in 1991, and a fellow of the American Folklore Society in 1998, he was appointed to the California Council for Humanities in 1992 and was named chairman in 1994. He served as the project director for a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a Pacific Regional Humanities Center at UC Davis.
James Nemec* '32
Born in Chicago, the late James Nemec received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Stetson University (1932) and a law degree in accounting from Stetson University's College of Law (1936). He played football for Stetson University, and later worked as a Stetson University coach.
During World War II he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and he remained in the Reserves after the war. He met his wife, the late Ruth Bartlett, at Stetson University, and their marriage was blessed with seven children. Together, they served their Alma Mater in many ways, including a term for each as president of the National Alumni Association. The James and Ruth Nemec Auditorium at the College of Law and the Nemec Residence Hall in DeLand are both named in recognition of their generosity. Both were inducted into Stetson University's Hall of Fame, and they established the James and Ruth B. Nemec Scholarship Fund at Stetson University and co-founded the Palm Beach Friends of Stetson University.
Longtime residents of Palm Beach County, they were active in the community. He was a co-founder of both the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach Opera, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He served as a trustee for First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Atlantic College and the Palm Beach County School Board; and was a member of many civic organizations, including the Palm Beach Roundtable, Kiwanis International, Gulfstream Council of Boy Scouts and the Salvation Army. An attorney for 56 years, and a member of the Florida, American and International bar associations, he was a U.S. delegate to the International Bar Convention in London.
His honors include service awards from The Legal Aid Society, the Stetson Lawyers Association, the Boy Scouts of America and Kiwanis International. In 2000, the National Republican Congressional Committee honored him as the Republican of the Year from Florida.
M. Lisa Carlton '86
A ninth-generation Floridian, whose roots go deep into Stetson University and Florida history, Lisa Carlton serves as state senator from District 24. Co-manager of the Mabry Carlton Ranch, a Sarasota County cattle and citrus operation owned by her family for four generations, she is the daughter of the late Mabry Carlton Jr., Stetson University class of '57, and grand-daughter of the late Mabry Carlton Sr., class of '29, both of whom served as Stetson University trustees.
She and her husband, Robert Robinson, have two daughters, Carlton Elaine Robinson and Savell Louise Robinson, and a son, Mabry Robert Robinson. Carlton received her bachelor's degree in sociology in 1986 from Stetson University, where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and earned a law degree from Mercer University. She has practiced law in Sarasota County and served as a legislative aide in both the Florida House and Senate.
In 1994, she was elected to the Florida House of Representatives from District 70, which she served for four years. Her Florida Senate responsibilities include chairing the Committee on Finance and Tax; and serving on the committees overseeing banking and insurance, comprehensive planning, local and military affairs, and ethics and elections. She also heads the Reapportionment Subcommittee on Congressional Apportionment and Redistricting.
Elizabeth Bergin Johns '62
Putting her scientific background to work with environmental theory, Dr. Bunny Johns serves as chief executive officer of the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina, the Southeast's largest outdoor recreation and education outfitter. A 1962 Stetson University graduate, with a bachelor's degree in biology, she earned a master's degree from the University of Richmond, and a doctorate in plant physiology from North Carolina State University. She worked as an educator and researcher from 1968 to 1973, then earned a degree in nursing.
An avid outdoorswoman, Johns worked part time as an instructor and guide at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, while continuing to work as a nurse, and by 1977 headed Nantahala's instructional programs. She became president of the company in 1991 and was later named CEO. Specializing in whitewater rafting, mountain biking, adventure travel and corporate and youth team building, the Nantahala Outdoor Center has grown from an outfitter on two rivers with a few guides, to a $16 million firm with 100 full-time and 500 seasonal employees.
Blending her grounding in science with an ability to work with others to solve difficult natural resource issues, she has served as president of America Outdoors, a trade association for outfitters; and on the board of directors for American Rivers, the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Pigeon River Fund and the Swain Country Economic Development Commission.
Richard W. Pearce JD '50, '55, MA '57
A triple Stetson University alumnus, Richard Pearce earned a law degree in 1950, bachelor's degree in history in 1955 and master's degree in American studies in 1957. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1950, he spent 12 years practicing law, but his interest in education led him back to the classroom.
While practicing law part-time, he taught business, finance and business law at Stetson University for 25 years, interrupting his teaching career to serve for 15 years as an administrator at two other colleges: Florida Southern College, Lakeland, where he was vice president, academic dean and dean of the college; and Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C., where he was president. He returned to the Stetson University faculty in 1984 and retired as professor of finance emeritus in 1999. His publications include Law and Society, written with Dr. Carey K. Ganong (Irwin, 1965).
Active in state circles of the United Methodist Church, both in Florida and North Carolina; Pearce was also an advisor to Bethune-Cookman College and headed Stetson University's School of Business Foundation. He served for 10 years as Pierson town attorney, six years as vice chairman of the Volusia County Board of Public Instruction and eight years as secretary/treasurer of the Central Florida League of Small Municipalities.
He provided Stetson University with many years of legal representation in real estate contracts and estate planning. In 1991, he and his wife established the Richard and Neva Pearce Scholarship Program to provide merit scholarships to well-rounded, leadership-oriented Stetson University students with high academic achievements.
Nancy Naylor Rue '73
A prolific writer whose historical novels offer young people a deeper understanding of the United States, its values and the role faith has played in its development, Nancy Naylor Rue earned a bachelor's degree in English from Stetson University in 1973. She later received a master's degree in education in 1978 from the College of William and Mary and a bachelor's degree in theater in 1988 from the University of Nevada. She taught high school English and theater for several years, and has also directed children's theater, given creative dramatic workshops for children and taught and directed college-level theater.
Author of 18 novels for children examining American history 1690 to 1861, Rue is working to bring the series up to the 1970s. She has also written several children's plays, that have been produced by theaters around the country. Her young adult fiction is popular in Europe as well as in the United States, with several books translated into French, German or Swedish.
Her work for adults includes two novels, Retreat to Love and Melding the Circle, as well as two non-fiction books. She won first place in the National Short Fiction Competition of the Evangelical Press Association in 1996, 1991 and 1988. In addition, her young adult novel The Janis Project, won the C.S. Lewis Honor Book Award in 1991, and Row This Boat Ashore won the Campus Life Book of the Year Competition Award of Merit in 1986.
William Clay Henderson '77
Joseph W. Landers, Jr. '64, JD '70
Dorothy Jennings Sandridge* '43
George H. Shriver '53
Dr. George H. Shriver, a 1953 magna cum laude graduate of Stetson University and a Phi Beta Kappa member, also received a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1956 and a doctorate from Duke University in 1961. He was named a Swiss-American Exchange Fellow at the University of Geneva from 1965 to 1966.
Elected Professor of the Year at Georgia Southern University in 1975, he received the Ruffian Cup, a distinguished award from Georgia Southern University for Excellence in the Liberal Arts in 1997. The author of several scholarly works on religious history, including Contemporary Reflections on the Medieval Christian Tradition, American Religious Heretics and The Humanness of John Calvin, Shriver has contributed articles to a sizable list of reference works, scholarly journals and books, and penned more than 300 book reviews.
Named a professor of history emeritus at Georgia Southern University when he retired after 26 years on the faculty, he established the Dr. George H. Shriver lecture series with an endowment to allow nationally known scholars to spotlight the multifaceted role of religion in American history.
1990 - 1999
- Diane M. Disney, BA '63
- M. Jean Greenlaw, BA '62, MA '65
- Vernon C. Jobson, Jr., BSB '57
- William T. Newsome III, BS '74
- William L. Cypress*, BA '65
- Edward C. Furlong, Jr.*, BS '38, MA '41, Hon '83
- Mel H. Gregory, Jr., BSB '58
- David B. Rinker, BSB '62
- Leighan Roberts Rinker, '65
- Wendy Harmer Baldwin, BA '67
- Lee R. Cole, BBA '67
- Milton O. Jones, BM '55
- George Winston, '71
- Leroy K. New*, BA '42
- William J. Roberts, BA '53, MA '57, LLB '58
- A. Dano Davis, '68, Hon '90
- Herbert E. Phillips*, BA '36
- Arthur P. Sullivan, '62
- Teruo Tanaka, MA '59
- J. Ollie Edmunds, Sr.*, BA '15, Hon '43 (posthumously)
- Kenneth P. Kirchman, BS '58, Hon '80
- Bruce R. Jacob, JD '59
- J. Kermit Coble*, '53
- M. Lee McGraw, BBA '79
- William D. Jones*, BM '51 (posthumously)
- Dennis C. McNamara, Sr., '44, Hon '82, Hon '86
- Jean F. Dickman, BS '50
- W. Morgan Patterson, BA '50, Hon '79
- Carolyn Miller Parr, BA '59, Hon '86
- Joseph J. Master, BSB '58, MA '58, Hon '95
- J. Wendell Crysel, BSB '59
- Helen Quincy Woodard*, BS '20
- Malcolm S. Glass, BA '58
- Frances Rutledge Hand, LLB '49
- Murray Sams, Jr., LLB '49 , Hon '83
1980 - 1989
- Vanita M. Baldwin, BA '48, Hon '90
- George R. Borders, BA '61
- Craig T. James, BSB '63, JD '67
- Louie L. Wilkinson, BA '48
- Jan J. Wieckowski, BSB '50, MA '51
- Clarabel Brandon Jett*, BS '32
- William C. Kaleel, Jr., BSB '56, LLB '59
- Judith M. Dixon, BA '74E.
- Everette Huskey, '48
- Shelly Crittendon Zwick, BA '63
- Jack D. Woodall, BS '58
- Thomas P. Prince, BBA '67
- E. Clay Shaw, Jr., BSB '61, JD'66, Hon '02
- Lana Jane Lewis-Brent, '68
- Chris F. Hasty, BM '70
- Charles B. Bugg, BA '65
- W. Harold Parham, BA '49
- Richard A. Beauchamp*, BA '63
- Joseph B. Folds, Sr.*, BA '37
- Cecil Wm. Holley, Jr., BM '54
- Barbara Deveaux Holmes, BA '69, MED '72, Hon '91
- Howard S. Warner*, LLB '33
- Mark C. Hollis, BSB '56, Hon '89
- Harry E. Gaylord*, LLB '36
- R. Grady Snowden, Sr.*, BA '29, Hon '96
- Earnest W. Murphy, Jr., BM '54, Hon '94
- Mary McCollough Mauldin, BA '61
- Mary Allgaier Dunn, MA '59
- E. Ross Allen* '29
- Jacquelyn Hogue Gentry, BS '58
- David P. Houchens, BS '59
- Richard D. Pope, Sr.*, '24
- William A. Watson, Jr., BSB '59
- Pat T. Wilson, BS '49
- Patricia Maxcy Wilson, BS '47
- David Brainerd Legters*, BA '31
- Thomas J. Deen, Jr., BA '48
- D. Peter Mazur*, BA '52
- Ernest A. Rano*, LLB '35
- Mary Leary '02 (Posthumously)
1969 - 1979
- James R. Golden, Sr., BS '42
- Ralph F. Hansen '29
- Joseph T. Sutton*, BA '48
- Cecil C. Bailey*, LLB '27, Hon '78
- Carl M. Kuttler, Jr., JD '65
- Clyde C. McCully, BA '49
- W. Ret Turner, BA '50
- Etter McTeer Turner*, BA '35, MA '36, Hon '83
- Barbara Rowe*, MA '42
- Jan J. Wieckowski, BSB '50, MA '51
- Clarabel Brandon Jett*, BS '32
- William C. Kaleel, Jr., BSB '56, LLB '59
- Thomas R. Horton*, BS '49, Hon '82
- Fran Stewart Carlton, BS '58
- Vassar B. Carlton*, LLB '37, Hon '84
- Cartha D. DeLoach, BA'42, Hon '66
- Harris P. Gravely*, BS '44
- Edward B. Henderson*, BS '27, MS '28, Hon '67
- Wm. Amory Underhill*, LLB '36, Hon '69
- Sara Staff Jernigan*, BA '35, MA '37
- Priscilla Kauth Griffith, MA '63
- John C. Howell, BA '49, Hon '79
- Morris Duane*, LLB '27, Hon '65
- J. Thomas Smith*, LLB '28
- Grady Crawford*, LLB '39
- Walter Auffenberg*, BS '51
- Redden J. Thames, BA '58
- Raymond G. Dunne*, BS '53, MA '57
- Ronald S. Spencer*, Jr., BA '51
- Richard T. Dillon, JD '57, Hon '81
- David W. Marcell, BA '58
- Joseph Maxwell Cleland, BA '64, Hon '77
- Elizabeth A. Kovachevich, LLB '61, Hon '93
- Robert E. Jagger LLB, '58