Summer 2013 Class News


Julius Elmore ’48 recently published “Stories of the Wracken Sacker: Reflections of the War Between the States.” He began the book to tell the story of his grandfather’s service from 1861-1865, but after several years of work he had compiled a history of many families in Columbia, Union, and Ouachita counties.

Harold Fincher ’46 received the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously at the 2013 Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Banquet.


Edward Cooper ’59 is faithful to share his musical talents with the residents and staff of Hillcrest Health and Rehab in Prescott. He is the office manager and pianist for First Baptist Church. He has written, performed and recorded several songs over the years. Edward and his wife, Shirley, have three grown children — Lesha, Sharyla, and Jonathan — and two grandchildren.
Leland Tollet ’58 and Donald “Buddy” Wray ’59 were inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame as part of the 2012 class.


Harry Thomason ’62 directed The Last Ride, a recently-released biographical movie of the last days of Hank Williams.


Doug Black ’75 is the new chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of the Ozarks. He began his two-year term on January 1. He and his wife, Marty ’71, have three children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys people, hunting, fishing, the outdoors, and travel.

Dr. Paula Boaz ’74 is the 2013 recipient of the South Arkansas Women’s Network Lifetime Achievement Award.

Williard Byrum Carpenter ’77 of Bossier City, Louisiana, received the Bossier Chamber of Commerce Diplomat of the Year Award for 2012 at the January 22, 2013, “Gala” Banquet. Byrum is an independent associate for Legal Shield.

Julia (Hampton) Correia ’71 was named Arkansas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Outstanding Educator of the year for 2012. She is the founding director and English-speaking language instructor at the Center for Language Proficiency at Henderson State University’s intensive English program.

Jan (Loe) Hastings ’78 and her husband, Terry, have made the lead donation for a pharmacy scholarship at UAMS in honor of her parents, Dr. William Loe ’51 and the late Betty Loe. The scholarship will benefit a pharmacy student from southwest Arkansas or Bowie County, Texas. Dr. Loe was formerly Chair of the Agricultural Department at SAU.

Gary Hines ’76 received the Educator of the Year award at the 2013 Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Hellen Jones ’76 has retired from Arkansas Department of Workforce Services after 35 years of service. She looks forward to travel and spiritual pursuits.

Glenda ’71 and Gary Lewis ’70 of Prescott were recognized as the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce 2012 Farm Family of the Year.

Robert Martin ’74 was named the 2012 Arkansas Association of Career and Technical Education Administrators Association “Administrator of the Year.”

Deborah (Wylie) Nipper ’75 has been selected by the Arkansas Department of Education as a 2012-2013 Arkansas Teacher of the Year regional finalist. She has been employed by the Magnolia School District for 34 years, with 31 years as a kindergarten teacher and 3 years as a coordinator.

Dr. Robert J. Olive ’77 was the keynote speaker for the 2013 DeSoto Area Council Friends of Scouting luncheon. He noted that scouting “creates good habits and offers an opportunity for service.”

Thomas “Tommy” Tuberville ’75 was named the 41st football head coach at the University of Cincinnati. Tuberville, widely regarded as one of the top coaches and recruiters at the collegiate level, goes to Cincinnati after three years at Texas Tech. He is married to the former Suzanne Fette of Guilford, Ind. They are the parents of two sons, Thomas Tucker and Troy Allen.


Debbie Arnold ’85 received the Leadership Magnolia Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2013 Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Julie A. (Crossan) Baird ’86, Shareholder and Chair of Moore Stephens Lovelace, a regional public accounting and business advisory firm, was recently nominated as a “Woman to Watch” by the Florida Institute of CPAs in conjunction with the American Institute of CPAs.

Bruce Maloch ’80 was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Arkansas Realtor’s Association, Person of the Year by the Arkansas Municipal League, and was named one of the state’s Top 10 legislators by Talk Business Magazine. Professionally, Maloch practiced law nearly three years with Anderson, Crumpler, Bell, and Maloch before joining Farmers Bank & Trust Co. He is currently the company’s regional president and a member of the board of directors and an Arkansas Senator.

David Leon Moore, ’86, has been named vice president – general manager of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc., and senior vice president – state manager of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, effective July 1.

Lepaine Sharp-McHenry ’81 has been named as the dean of the College of Nursing for Oklahoma Baptist University. McHenry formerly served as the assistant director and as a clinical instructor for the University of Arkansas’ Eleanor Mann School of Nursing in Fayetteville.

David Sisson ’81, ’84 is retiring as Magnolia Panthers baseball coach after 29 years.

Earline (Cranford) Tripp ’82, is the new President of the Arkansas Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization that celebrates the advancement of women; educates women through scholarships, grants, loans, awards, and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivates women to achieve their highest aspirations.

Joycelyn (Petty) Watkins ’80, ’11 is the recipient of the South Arkansas Women’s Network Career Achievement Award.

Beverly (Jack) Webb ’85 received her National Board Certification as a School Guidance Counselor. She has been employed with the Texarkana Arkansas School District for 28 years. Currently, she is the guidance counselor and music teacher for Union Elementary school in Texarkana. She has been married to Frederick Webb Sr. ’79 for 28 years. Frederick is the assistant principal at College Hill Middle School and pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. They have three children; Frederick Jr., Robert, and Jacobie.


Kim (Newell) Ainsworth ’94, ’06, Medical Surgery Director at Magnolia Regional Medical Center, has been selected by the National Council of State Board of Nursing to serve as a member of the RN Item Review Board. She traveled to Chicago in June to serve on this board.

David Barham ’90, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial writer, recently won first place in editorial writing at the 79th National Headliners awards.

Dr. Morgan Farnell ’96 was presented with the Philbro Extension Award at the 2012 Poultry Science Association Annual meeting in Athens, Georgia. This award is given to a member for conducting an outstanding program of work in the area of poultry extension and outreach during a five-year period. Farnell is an associate professor and extension poultry specialist with the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, an agency of the Texas A&M University system.

Melissa (Woods) Goodson ’93 was named Magnolia Regional Medical Center Employee of the Month for March 2013.

Monty Harrington ’93 has been promoted to oversee Retail Banking for Farmers Bank & Trust. Harrington will oversee and supervise both the Account Services Department and the Retail Loan Department to help better serve the bank’s customers. Harrington and his wife, Janet, are active members of Central Baptist Church in Magnolia, where he serves as a deacon and a Sunday school teacher. They have two children, Thomas and Abby.

Lt. Col. Kent Herring ’90 is currently the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. This summer he will be transferred to Yokota Airbase in Japan, where he will serve as an Army Legal Advisor to the Commander of U.S. Forces.

Rose Johnson ’99 is the president-elect of the Louisiana Emergency Nurses Association.

William “Steve” Keith ’97 has been appointed by Gov. Beebe to the Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees. This appointment expires January 14, 2018.

David Nelson’s ’97 Cougar Pit grilling team from Magnolia took the first place trophy and a check for $2,156 in the Camden Daffodil Festival Steak Cook-Off.

Todd Smith ’92, executive vice president of trust & asset management at Farmers Bank & Trust, was recently awarded the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers, a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association.

Jerry Thomas ’93 ’97 successfully defended his dissertation on February 5, 2013, and became Dr. Jerry Thomas. He completed his doctorate in Educational Administration.


Bobby Beeson ’08 has been named as the head baseball coach at Magnolia High School.

Emily (Smith) Braswell ’11 has been hired by Remington College’s Shreveport campus to the career services department as a career services representative. She has a background in sales and staffing.

Stacy (Stockton) Cornelius ’04 coached the Nevada girls’ basketball team to become Class A champions with a 31-21 win over Weiner. She was also named a Nevada Educator of the Year by the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce.

Jamie Davis ’02 ’04 has been appointed as the marketing and communications coordinator for the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum. Davis will focus her efforts in the areas of internal and external communications, public relations, and marketing. Davis previously served as the managing editor of The Banner News in Magnolia.

Adriane Delaney ’02, LDRP (Labor Delivery and Recovery Postpartum) Director, recently completed training to become an instructor in NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation).

Larry Dunn ’10, Choral director at Magnolia Public schools, was recently selected as the 2012-2013 SwArkCDA Choral Director of the Year.

Bethany Fisher ’07 is the calf and heifer specialist for Purina Animal Nutrition. Her territory will cover the Central Texas region. Fisher will work with dairy farms and calf-raising facilities to improve growth, health, efficiency, and profitability. This involves determining each operation’s specific needs and developing a plan that will benefit both the producer and the young animals.

Jessica Haynes ’09, ’11, founder and owner of JesKa Shoe Company, landed a deal to help launch her company on ABC’s hit show, “The Shark Tank.” The reality show features entrepreneurs competing to attract capital for their ideas from several hosts on the program. She is also the recipient of the South Arkansas Women’s Network Horizon Award.

Nikolas Lewis ’03, slotback for the Calgary Stampeders, picked up his fourth divisional all-star honor after voting by the Football Reporters of Canada and CFL head coaches, along with on-line voting by fans.

Suzanne Marbury ’04 was named a Prescott Educator of the Year by the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce.

Justin Welch ’04 coached the Norphlet girls to the 2A Arkansas State Basketball Championships with a 59-45 win over Fordyce.


Jeremy Langley ’10 is now the pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Fordyce. He served in various positions at SAU for the last five years. He was most recently assistant to the president and associate director of athletics.

Devan (Mobbs) Walker ’10 has worked in medical surgery as an RN since September 2011, and was recently honored as the Magnolia Regional Medical Center Employee of the Month. She is married and the proud mother of Brently, 2, and Layton, 9 months. She enjoys taking care of her patients and enjoys being outside in her free time.

Friends of SAU

Chris Barnett, current grad assistant coach at SAU, will serve as the pitching coach for the Cannons of Charles Town, Virginia, a Valley Baseball summer league team.

Ken Cole was named as one of the recipients of the National Athletic Trainers Association 2013 NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award.

Sharon Eichenberger received the Citizen of the Year Award at the 2013 Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Dr. Steve Gamble, former president of SAU, received the Joseph E. Savorie Executive Leadership Award at CASE District IV Conference.

Mary Katherine (Ray) Klucar received the Lori Robillard Nursing Excellence Award at Medical City Dallas Hospital. Mary is the wife of Peter Klucar ‘01 and the daughter of Bo Ray ’73, ‘77 and Lucy (Martel) Ray ‘75.

Kathy’s Dance Arts Studio, owned by Karen (Manion) Cox and Emily (Manion) Cox, received the Business/Industry of the Year Award at the 2013 Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Aaron Niven has been named head men’s basketball coach at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

Virginia Annette Pate has been promoted to first vice president of the Magnolia Community Banking Division of BancorpSouth. Pate, a loan officer and Community Reinvestment Act coordinator, has 40 years banking experience and has been with BancorpSouth for 14 years. Pate is a native of Waldo and is married to Johnny Pate. The couple has two grown children, Jason and Julie, and are members of First Apostolic Church. She serves as a Sunday school teacher and Ladies Ministry leader.

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