Winter 2011 Class News


Vice Admiral Joe Williams, Jr (Ret) ’41 was selected as a 2010 Naval Submarine League Distinguished Submariner.


Dr. Ruth Couch ’58 was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Beebe Chamber of Commerce. She is the executive director of the Beebe Chamber of Commerce, having retired from Arkansas State University Beebe in 2003. Couch published her novel, “No Bells Will Ring” in 2009 and recorded her title as an audio book for the blind in 2010. She has edited two novels and two biographies for colleagues.


Donny Woods ’68 was elected president of the National Societyof Accountants during a meeting in Washington, D.C.


Shirley (Roberts) Anderson’s ’74, pastel artwork, “Landscapes, Lakes and Lagoons,” was featured at Gallery 726 in Hot Springs’ Gallery Walk on September 3, 2010. She is the daughter of former SAU University professor Dr. Lawrence Roberts. She and her husband, Dr. Raymond Anderson, now live in Hot Springs Village.

Minnie (Beasley) Anderson ’78 was the keynote speaker at the NCTS/Oak Grove School Reunion Banquet on July 4, 2010 in Rosston. She has been employed by the Dallas Independent School District for 31 years and is the daughter of the late John and Leala Beasley of Nevada County.

Ed Choate ’77, CEO of Delta Dental, was named 2009-10 Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Little Rock.

Melba (Calhoun) Hall ’79 was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on July 16, 2010. She has coached for 34 years with a state championship and several conference titles during her career. Melba retired from coaching in 2000 at Hope High School. She holds over 800 wins in her coaching career for basketball.

State Representative John Lowery ’71 was the keynote speaker for the August 6, 2010, commencement at Southern Arkansas University. Lowery has held the position of State Representative since 2007 and was previously a state representative from 2000 to 2002. He and his wife Susan have six children and several grandchildren.

Bonnie Jean Riggins ’70 was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. She is the co-owner, with her brother, Dr. Quentin Riggins, of Dudneywood Retirement and Assisted Living in Magnolia.

Dr. Linda (Wallace) Tucker’s ’73 pinto mare “Tiffany Two Spots” returned from Tulsa, Okla., and the Pinto World Championships with three world championship titles, one reserve world championship title and numerous top ten honors. Tiffany was lame at last year’s competition and had to have surgery. She spent 30 days at Whitesboro Equine Therapy.


Chris Hurley ’84 was named administrator of Columbia Christian School on July 1, 2010. He replaced John Steelman who has retired. He has been the principal at Magnolia Junior
High for the past five years.

Dr. Shelia Jackson ’82, professor of health and physical education at Arkansas Tech University, received a 2010 Faculty Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions to the university community. The award was made during spring commencement ceremonies at Tucker Coliseum in May. Jackson has served on the Arkansas Tech faculty since

Anwar Karim ’87 has been appointed interim chief information officer at Lehigh Carbon Community College. He has experience in both higher education and business.

Keith Beam ’87 has authored a book titled “That’s Going to Leave a Mark,” a funny collection of 20 anecdotal vignettes noting a few of his major spills, falls, and follies. He is a regular contributor to numerous hunting magazines and outdoor television shows. He lives with his family in New Glarus, Wis.

Mark Burges ’88 was appointed manager of the Bell Supply store in Frierson, La. The store stocks a $3 million inventory and completes $5 million in monthly sales. Burges and his wife Traci have three children.

Lepaine Sharp-McHenry ‘81, assistant director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas, has been appointed to the Arkansas Farm Bureau Rural Health and
Safety Committee.


Kelli (Eaves) Barnett ’91 was promoted to the position of branch manager of the Mil-Way Federal Credit Union in Texarkana, Texas. She joined Mil-Way six years ago as a loan processor. Barnett will be responsible for branch operations and lending.

Dr. Theresa McCallie ’99 started her practice in Magnolia in August 2009.She attended the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock where she studied through the
Community Watch Program. She completed her general surgery residency in Little Rock from 2003-2008 and was the administrative chief resident during her final year.

Joe Pieratt ’92 was promoted to director of global IT operations with Murphy Oil Corporation.


Bridget (Branscum) Jones ’02 was a member of Central Baptist College’s first ever women’s basketball team and was named the school’s first female All-American.

Elner (Spears) Makia ’05 was invited to show her Eljoy Designs at Couture Fashion Week in New York. She is a consumer science teacher at Homer High School but spends her evenings focusing on her designing business. Elner is married to Japhet Makia, and they have two children, Alicia and Jerene, and two grandchildren.

Jamie Waller ’03, vice president and loan officer at Peoples Bank, recently completed the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking. He currently serves as the SAU Alumni Board president, Magnolia Track and Field Booster Club vice president, United Way board member, Magnolia Blossom Festival serving line chairman, Chamber of Commerce board member, Today’s Youth Tomorrow’s Leaders board member and is a member of the Rotary Club of Magnolia.

Sam Ogle ’00 was promoted to Manager of Application Development for the Information Systems Department at  Murphy Oil Corporation.

Cassie Crabtree ’05 became the third head coach for the University of Texas at Dallas softball program. In 2010, she helped guide the University of Texas at Tyler softball team to an American Southwest Conference East Division title, a 38-9 overall record, an NCAA national tournament berth and a Top 10 finish in the National Fast-pitch Coaches Association national poll.

More stories from this issue

Receive the Stater in the mail

If you're an SAU Alum, just update your information to receive the print copy of The Stater twice a year!

Submit updates to the Stater

Do you have an idea for a story for the Stater or Alumni news update? Fill out this online form to submit your update!