Summer 2012 Class News


James R. Staggs ’59, ’76 was recognized for his gifts to gospel music for over 60 years during the Men of Calvary’s 37th anniversary and reunion at Union Street Station in Magnolia on June 2. He was presented with congratulatory letters from personal friend and former governor Mike Huckabee along with former Cathedral Quartet members Scott Fowler, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell and Danny Funderburke. The Arkansas State Senate and House of Representatives also awarded Mr. Staggs a citation for his achievements.


Jeanie (Nelson) Bismark ’63 was honored by South Arkansas Women’s Network with their Lifetime Achievement Award. She is married to Paul Bismark ’65. The couple has one son, Carl, and two grandchildren, Marley and Will Bismark.

Myra McLarey ‘64 has had her third novel published by Ink Brush Press (released in October 2011). “The Last Will and Testament of Rosetta Sugars Tramble” is set in southwest Arkansas, the place of Myra’s critically acclaimed novel, “Water from the Well.” She was the May 2010 SAU Commencement Speaker.




(L to R) Russ Henderson ‘70, Jon Gilchrist ‘67, and Dave Ambruster ’67 met for dinner in Philadelphia recently. The three were Talbot Hall dorm mates. Russ, Jon, and Dave are planning a visit to Magnolia in the fall and hope to have a Talbot Hall Dorm Reunion.





Gary Burley ’73 is the president of Magnolia-based Arkansas Laminating, LLC which recently acquired the assets of Unit Structures of Magnolia, custom manufacturer of laminated timber architectural products. Gary’s wife, Kay (Hunnicutt) Burley ’73 is the assistant controller in finance at SAU.

Thomas E. Prince ’79 has been appointed to the position of District Judge of the Seventh Judicial District in Oklahoma. Prince has been practicing law in Oklahoma since 1982. He is self-employed, practicing business and corporate law, employment law, health law, and a variety of other fields as the sole practitioner at the Prince Law Office in Edmond. He and his wife, Cheryl, have five children.

Mike Waters ’73 was recently recognized by BancorpSouth in Magnolia for his 25 years of service. Mike is the executive vice president and commercial lender. Mike is married to Angie Waters, and their family includes a son, Joseph Waters, a daughter and son-in-law, Abby (Waters) ’11 and Josh Alphin, and a grandson, Quinton Alphin. Waters currently serves on the SAU Alumni Board of Directors.

Cindy (Wright) Lann ’79 retired from teaching after 33 years.


Mike Beard ’81 was named 2012 Veterinarian of the Year by the Arkansas Veterinary Medicine Association. His practice history has included emergency care, large animal ambulatory service, and diagnostics for difficult and routine cases, surgery, dentistry, as well as serving as a consultant to area veterinarians. His expertise in the field of pain management has led to his being invited to give presentations locally and nationally to drug development advisory panels, veterinary medical associations, and college veterinary technology classes. He has published multiple articles in Modern Veterinary Practice, and Veterinary Forum and has given seminars on small animal practice and medical records management. Mike is married to Glenda (Ford) Beard ’84.

Craig Cheatham ’87 JEVAC president, and his wife Shelley (Ferguson) Cheatham ’86 accepted an award at an American Works Summit in Washington, D.C. JEVAC Machine, Inc. received the New Supplier Award from GE Aviation. Only four companies in the U.S. were selected for this award.

Harley Sisson Jr. ’80 head coach of the Russellville Lady Cyclones and former Hope Bobcat coach, made his first trip to Bogle Park on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville to compete in the 2012 Class 6A state finals softball game against the Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves. The Lady Cyclones were defeated by the Lady Wolves 1-0. Sisson has been coaching for over 30 and is married to Judy (May) Sisson ’82.


Mike Phillips ’96 is the owner of Ultimate Sport Nutrition in McKinney, Texas. Mike played football for SAU.

Marcus Jackson ’94 has been recognized by the Real Times Media Company to be featured in the first issue of the Who’s Who in Black Dallas for his work ethic in the business world. Currently, Marcus is a Kimberly Clark leader serving as a Business Development Manager for Emerging Markets and the Military Channel with $250 million in revenue responsibility and leading a team of 10.




Jonathan Gosdin ’03, coached his Genoa Central Dragon’s to an 11-1 victory over Smackover for the Class 3A state title at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Tracey Halbert ’05 has started the Theatre of Hope in Hope. Her goal is to offer interested individuals of all ages and ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to work in and enjoy the full theatre experience.

Ben Lindsey ’02 has been hired as the new head boy’s basketball coach at Paragould High School. Lindsey said he learned everything he knows about basketball from his father, legendary Magnolia High School basketball coach Marvin Lindsey, who won the National Coach of the Year award in 1997. After high school, Ben Lindsey went on to play at Southern Arkansas University from 2000-2002.

Amanda (Edington) Warren Newton ’05 was recently honored by the South Arkansas Women’s Network with their Career Achievement Award.


Jeremy Langley ’10 (masters) has been named associate director of athletics at SAU. He has worked as assistant to the president for special projects at SAU since 2008 and has served dually as university editor since November 2009.

Nathan Blim ’12 was the first runner across the finish line at the 2012 Magnolia Blossom Festival 5K Run. His time was 18:45. Blim ran track for SAU for four years, but this was the first time that he entered the Blossom Festival 5K run.

Haley Burrow, a 2012 graduate of the Student Affairs master’s degree program, has accepted a position at the Polytechnic/Innovation campus of Arizona State University in Phoenix. Haley will be working in University Housing there as an assistant community coordinator.

Carley Calico ’12 has been awarded an assistantship in agriculture at the University of Arkansas for the fall. She also received the only agriculture communications internship offered by Farm Bureau of Arkansas for this summer.

Meredith Machen ’12 has been accepted into the Dental Hygiene school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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