Alumni Newsletter – Shorter University

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Hello from the Hill!

Welcome to the July issue of SU Insider!

Summer Orientation sessions are in full swing, and #ShorterLOVES welcoming new students to the Hill. We hope this clip from the SOS skit brings back fun memories!

And speaking of memories, make plans now to join us for Homecoming: The One Where the Hawks Fly Home on October 15 and 16. You’ll have a chance to reflect on good memories and make new ones! Mark your calendars, and we’ll share more details soon.

Nominate a Shorter alum for one of our 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards! These awards are given to honor outstanding professional and personal accomplishments and dedicated service to both community and Shorter University. Celebrate your fellow alumni by submitting a nomination today! The deadline is Friday, September 10.

Check out the full issue of SU Insider for more news including our relaunch of Alumni News!

Campus News

Shorter’s SUForward Campaign is driving exciting campus improvements this summer!

A crew led by Shorter alumni Paul and Mistee Smith (of Smith Construction) is hard at work renovating our General Chemistry Lab into a state-of-the-art learning space. This is the fourth of our science labs to be renovated since 2016; we have also completed renovations of the Microbiology/Anatomy and Physiology, Plant Sciences, and General Biology laboratories.

Another exciting SUForward project taking place soon will be the installation of new turf at Ben Brady Field, which serves as home field for our Soccer and Lacrosse programs and as the practice field for Shorter Football. Click here for a sneak peek at the new design of the turf!

Endowment Honors Memory of Coach Phil Jones

Shorter President Dr. Don Dowless recently announced the establishment of an endowment in memory of Former Head Football Coach Phil Jones to benefit the football program Jones was instrumental in building.

“We have set aside $25,000 to establish the Coach Phil Jones Memorial Endowment to honor the memory of Coach Jones and thank Janie Jones for their dedication, hard work, and commitment to Shorter University and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Dr. Dowless said. “We are grateful that future generations will continue to be impacted by the Joneses’ example of Christian service. His stellar career at Shorter was built on the cornerstone of relationships, and together they had a remarkable impact on players’ lives.”

Contributions to the Phil Jones Endowment may be made online at or by mailing a check with Coach Jones Endowment in the memo line to Shorter University Advancement, 315 Shorter Ave. Rome, GA 30165.

We are Moving SUForward!

A special shout out to the donors and social media friends who supported our first annual SUForward Day on May 4, 2021. This 24-hour campaign was a success, and we are already looking forward to next year’s campaign on Tuesday, May 3, 2022! Mark your calendars for this great opportunity to turn your love for your Shorter family into action.

Baseball Hawks Flying High

Shorter Baseball recorded its best record since joining NCAA Division II. The Hawks finished the season 27-17 overall and 23-13 in the Gulf South Conference. Their efforts made them the No. 3 seed at the GSC Tournament and earned them a spot at the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament for the first time in program history! #FlyHawks


Stay connected with your alma mater! Here are a few easy ways.

  • Keep us updated on your life. Stay in touch by emailing us at Send in address changes. Allow us to celebrate with you over important life moments like marriage, career accomplishments, and family updates.
  • Share the Shorter story. Encourage others to become part of the Shorter community, and engage with the University and the Alumni Association on social media. The links are under “See the Impact” on the Alumni webpage.
  • Visit us often. Make plans to join us for events like Homecoming and the Christmas on the Hill President’s Gala.
  • Think of ways you can give back to the University. Make a gift here. You can also be involved through career and academic mentoring, volunteering at events, attending academic and arts events, and cheering on the Hawks in your favorite sport. Email to find out more.
  • Pray for Shorter and our students and know that we are praying for you.

Class Notes

Alumni Feature

We were inspired when we heard about the incredible legacy of Freeman Ellis Staley, son of Shorter graduate Misti Freeman Staley (’04) and her husband, Will. Misti graduated from Shorter with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004.

Freeman was born April 25, 2015 and spent the next three and a half months in the NICU. He was released from the hospital to go home to a g-tube, bolus gravity feeds, and pump feeds. Misti and Will were very overwhelmed and needed a solution to help them care for their son.

Their struggle with adding medicines, performing therapies, and feeding Freeman all while holding him led to their invention of the FreeArm. This invention provides an extra hand. It helps at the hospital, at home, and even on the go. The FreeArm clamps to surfaces and works as a travel IV pole. It gives parents relief by ensuring feeds and infusions can be consistent and take place anytime, anywhere.

Unfortunately, Freeman was admitted back to the hospital and passed away at almost 10 months old. But his legacy lives on through the FreeArm. He will truly touch people everywhere.

#ShorterLOVES you, Misti and Will!


Class Notes

The following items were submitted through Alumni Updates and media outlets. Click here to send items for future issues of SU Insider or email us at

Ann Baker Gardner, who attended Shorter from 1962 to 1964, has been married to her husband, Francis, for 46 years. The retired educators have four children and six grandchildren. She continues to enjoy teaching piano, gardening, cooking, and jogging. Francis loves to read and work in the yard. The couple likes to travel and planned to take a train excursion across the United States this summer.

Maurice Thomas (’67) has two daughters, Hélène, 48, and Caroline, 46, both of whom live in Paris and work for the Ministry of Finance. He also has one grandson, Louis, 9, and three granddaughters, Agathe, 9; Mathilde, 13; and Juliette, 18, who has just passed the baccalauréat and the Cambridge First Certificate of English for foreigners. Maurice and his wife, Solange, live in France.

Larry Hibbard (’69) is a retired major in the United States Air Force, where he served as a C-130 navigator, and a semi-retired pastor of a rural Baptist church in Arkansas. He has two children and four grandchildren. After graduating from Shorter, he earned a Master of Divinity from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated in 1998 from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service with an AAS in Funeral Service. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Georgia, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Larry Hamilton (’74) retired from Civil Service December 31, 2020, with 41 years and eight months serving our country, including 20 years in the United States Air Force.

Linda Patterson Simmons (’76) and her husband, Jim, shared the news that their youngest son, Christopher, married Claire Pierce. Jim and Linda now have six grandchildren and a seventh on the way.

La Donna Rabern Turrentine (’89) has been named principal of Alto Park Elementary School. She and her husband, Steve Turrentine (’79), live in Rome.

Jamey Alcorn (’93) has been named executive director of student services/operations for Floyd County Schools.

Cindy Worthington Dingler (’94) has been named regional admissions director for PruittHealth.

Dr. Cassandra Baker (’96) was named instructor of the year at Gwinnett Technical College.  She also delivered Gwinnett Techs June 2021 commencement address.

Amy King Stewart (’96) has been named principal of Sonoraville High School in Calhoun, Ga.

Samantha Rush Lowery (’99) has been named head girls’ basketball coach at Darlington School.

Dr. Jonas Jarvholm (’02) has been named partner at Ballard Spahr. He is a member of both the Chemical and Pharmaceutical practice team and the Mechanical Technologies practice team in the firm’s patents group. He drafts and prosecutes patent applications and prepares patentability and non-infringement opinions, both domestically and internationally, covering chemical, mechanical, design, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, and medical technologies. He also has experience with post grant review proceedings and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Shane Arp (’04) was recently named athletic director for the Armuchee attendance area of Floyd County School System. This area includes Armuchee Middle and High Schools. Shane and his wife, Erica Bowen Arp (’05) live in Armuchee, Ga.

Jamie Clements (’05) is the new vice president of development for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Jeneen Hines Andrews (’07) was recently added to the board of trustees for the Gordon State College Foundation for the 2021-22 academic year. Jeneen has enjoyed a successful 21-year career with Georgia Power and currently leads human resources administration, workforce development and the community relations efforts at Plant Scherer in Juliette. She also works to strengthen the company’s external effectiveness and community partnerships in her assigned region. She is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Macon, a member of the Barnesville Rotary Club, and is an active board member for The Grand Opera House and Worksource Macon-Bibb. She is a member of the OneMacon Neighborhood Renewal and Investment committee and part of the advisory board for the I Am King Foundation. Outside of work, Jeneen enjoys traveling, cooking, football, and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband, Michael, live in Hampton.

Will Givens (’07) received the Harlem Globetrotters Ambassador of Goodwill Award at a July 2021 ceremony at State Farm Arena. Will is pastor of Buckhead Life Church. He and his wife, Gloria Rogers Givens (’08), live in Atlanta.

Fisher Marietta (’08) has been named sales manager at Vulcraft Verco. He and his wife, Sarah Burch Marietta (’09), live in Memphis, Tenn.

Rhonda Townsend Whitfield (’08) has been named director of human resources for SR Homes.

Rick Alexander (’09) has been named senior supply chain analyst at The Hillman Group.

Tiffany Askew (’10MA) has been named executive director at the Housing Authority of the City of New Bern, N.C.

Sarah Boring (’11) was recently promoted to manager of earned media at The Home Depot.

Justin Gentry (’12) was recently named head coach of all Trion High School Basketball.

Steven Ryan Morrison (’16, ’17MACC) was recently named manager of financial planning and analysis at Cerrowire in Huntsville, Ala.

Gregory Roachford, Jr. (’16) has been named implementation specialist at VenueNext, a Shift4 Company.

Rabun Wright (’17MA) has been name assistant women’s basketball coach for Jacksonville State University.

Ada Karoline Panni Bobbitt (’18) has been named innovation insight analyst with U.S. Xpress, Inc. Ada Karoline and her husband, Joseph Bobbitt (’17, ’19MA), live in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Morgan Cleveland Pullum (’18) was named head girls volleyball coach at Pepperell High School.

Scotty Kent (’19) received a Respect for Law Award from the Rome City Police Department at an annual luncheon hosted by four Rome civic groups (Kiwanis, Exchange, Noon Optimist and Lions) and honoring public safety personnel in Rome and Floyd County. Scotty has been with the Rome Police for a little over a year and led the force with 50 DUI arrests last year.

Malorie Payton Ragsdale (’17) was named parts product specialist at YANMAR America. She serves on the board of directors for The Branch Revival, as marketing volunteer for Show for Hope, as an ambassador for Georgia Steeplechase, and volunteers with the Etowah Valley Humane Society.

Taylor Wilkerson (’17, ’20MA) has been named executive director of IronMountain Solutions in Huntsville, Ala.

Diana Arteaga (’21) and Josiah Dixon (’21) were married July 10, 2021.

Emily Wilson (’21) married Michael Lambert June 5, 2021. Emily has also been named JV volleyball coach for Jasper High School, where she will teach math.

Chase Parker (’21) has been named a management trainee at Enterprise.


With deepest sympathy

Shorter University extends heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of the individuals.

Alice White Dorn (’42) died February 28, 2021.

Alice Allen Jones (’43) died January 1, 2021.

Anne Betts Coxhead (’43) died March 6, 2021.

Elizabeth Jane Bolen Miller (’46) died June 26, 2021.

Rosa Brown Polhill Green (’48) died February 5, 2021.

Alice Elizabeth Compton (’48) died May 29, 2021.

Cornelia Daniel Gamble (’57) died May 14, 2021.

Sarah Eleanor “Ellie” Dempsey Weeks (’57) died February 8, 2021.

Sylvia Williamson Connell (’58) died March 6, 2021.

Charles W. Broome (’62) died April 25, 2021.

Kaye Culberson Ryan (’63) died February 23, 2021.

Carolyn Jenkins Pettis (’64) died January 6, 2021.

Beverly Bacon Cavender Mason (’64) died June 16, 2021.

Thomas James “Jimmy” Bridges, Jr. (’66) died February 5, 2021.

Dr. Marion McKinley Bradford (’67) died May 3, 2021.

Joan Shores Gore (’67) died June 6, 2021.

Dr. Bob Bagley (’68), who was also a member of Shorter’s Board of Trustees, died January 19, 2021.

Mary Jones Barron (’69) died January 13, 2021.

David Thomas Benefield (’69) died April 1, 2021.

James Edward “Jimmy” Adams, Jr. (’71) died January 27, 2021.

John Walter Bandy (’72) died January 13, 2021.

Dr. James Daniel “Jim” Bradshaw (’72) died March 31, 2021.

Deleada Gae “Dee” Thompson (’72) died February 25, 2021.

Pat Whitehead Underwood (’73) died March 15, 2021.

Janet Johnson Fricks (’73) died June 22, 2021.

Rev. Hugh Palmer Rehberg, Jr. (’77) died April 25, 2021.

Rick Dixon (’80) died June 6, 2021.

Cindy Hughes Hale (’85) died March 4, 2021.

Chris Norton (’97) died March 15, 2021.

David Rose (’02) died January 9, 2021.

Wanda Jean Garrett (’02) died February 14, 2021.

Douglas Joseph Barton (’04) died February 18, 2021.

Linda Penn McMurray (’15) died July 6, 2021.

Parnick Jennings, Sr., former member of Shorter’s Board of Trustees, died June 27, 2021.


Shorter University offers sincere condolences to the following alumni on the death of their loved ones.

JoEllen Foss Strain (’59) on the death of her husband, William Judson “Bill” Strain, Jr., on April 10, 2021.

Gary Garrett (’65) and his wife, Nancy Loyd Garrett (’67), on the death of his father, Lina Lamar Koon, on July 5, 2021.

Jack Money (’65) on the death of his sister, Ruby Jewell Money Shell, on May 5, 2021.

Gail Teems Roberts (’67) on the death of her sister, Phyllis Montgomery, May 27, 2021.

Rev. Buddy Barron (’70) on the death of his wife, Mary Jones Barron (’69), on January 13, 2021.

Earl Robinson (’70) on the death of his father, Herman Franklin Robinson, on June 21, 2021.

Jerry Rucker (’72) on the death of his brother, William N. Rucker, Jr., on January 4, 2021.

Susan Shoemaker Bradshaw (’72) and Jared Bradshaw (’01) on the death of her husband and his father, Dr. Jim Bradshaw (’72), on March 31, 2021.

Norma Popham Crisler (’74) on the death of her mother, Sarah Blanche Howard Popham, on January 31, 2021.

Rev. Mike Garrett (’78) on the death of his wife, Wanda Garrett (’02), on February 14, 2021,

Joyce Thomas Vanmeter (’80) on the death of her father, Roy Varnell Thomas, on January 26, 2021.

Karen Lane Mabry (’80) on the death of her mother, Marjorie Tucker Lane, on February 25, 2021.

Bryan Kelley (’81) on the death of his mother, Betty Lou Helton Kelley, on June 1, 2021.

Carol Skinner Headen (’82) on the death of her mother, Betty Skinner, on February 7, 2021.

Randy Duke (’83) on the death of his mother, Margaret Keener Duke, on January 15, 2021.

Greg McKibben (’84) and his wife, Machelle Marsh McKibben (’86), on the death of his father, James Landers McKibben, on January 15, 2021.

Betsy Bridges Hayes (’84) and her husband, Kevin Hayes (’85), on the death of her father, Jerry Don Bridges, on May 13, 2021.

Michael Kelley (’84) and his wife, Becky Bailey Kelley (’87), on the death of his mother, Betty Lou Helton Kelley, on June 1, 2021.

Doug Cannon (’86) on the death of his mother, Bobbie Faye Cannon, on March 3, 2021.

Penny Rice Bevis (’86) and Scott Bevis (’91) on the death of Penny’s father, Jack “Morris” Rice, on July 17, 2021.

Karen Mills Masters (’87) on the death of her father, Johnny L. Mills, on April 14, 2021.

Donna Satcher Griesemer (’88) on the death of her mother, Lille Mae Charles Satcher, on May 22, 2021

Mary Tate Weeks (’88) on the death of her father, James Thomas Tate, on June 26, 2021.

Jane Warren Bailey (’89) and her husband, Paul Bailey (’87), on the death of her father, J.C. Warren, on January 8, 2021.

Sandra Broome (’93) on the death of her father, Charles Broome (’62), on April 25, 2021.

Heather Heath Pezzello (’96) on the death of her step-father, Roger Daniel Turner, on June 21, 2021.

Rev. Timothy Rice (’96) on the death of his father, Jack “Morris” Rice, on July 17, 2021.

Bethany Price Gordon (’99) on the death of her mother, Donna Byrd Price, on March 9, 2021.

Dr. Daniel Gober (’00) on the death of his father, Joe Franklin Payne, on June 23, 2021.

Andrea Edmondson (’01) on the death of her husband, Andy Edmondson, on June 7, 2021.

Beth Terrell Momon (’03) on the death of her father, Gerals “Jerry” Lee Terrell, on May 1, 2021.

Chad Moore (’04) on the death of his father, Bill Moore, on January 11, 2021.

Jimmy Fisher (’05MA) on the death of his father, Dr. James A. Fisher, Sr., on April 9, 2021.

Nancy Brooks Williams (’10) on the death of her mother, Jackie Smith Brooks, on April 9, 2021.

Janice Hopkins (’11MBA) on the death of her father, James Henry Gribble, Jr., on February 1, 2021.

Pam Colston (’12, ’15MBA) on the death of her brother, Tony Wayne Martin, on April 20, 2021.

Ted Edwards, Jr. (’13) on the death of his mother, Sarah Jane Edwards, on April 8, 2021

Sarah Grinrod Cargle (’14, ’16MACC) and her husband, Brad Cargle (’14), on the death of her father, Harry Hubertus Grinrod, on January 17, 2021.

Jason Newberry (’14) and his wife, Jessica Floyd Newberry (’05 MBA), on the death of his mother, JoAnn Tidwell Newberry, on June 28, 2021.

Greshunda Braziel Shikoto (’14) on the death of her husband, Phillip Shikoto, on June 21, 2021, and her mother, Veronica Braziel on September 23, 2020.

Jenna Barnes Caron (’15) and Michelle Stone (’15) on the death of their brother, Michael Anthony Barnes, on June 11, 2021.

Nancy Penn Swint (’16) on the death of her sister, Linda Ann Penn McMurray, on July 6, 2021.

Upcoming Events—Save the Date!

Upcoming Events – Save the Date!

Homecoming 2021 – October 15-16, 2021

Join us for Homecoming 2021: The One Where the Hawks Fly Home! You’ll have the opportunity to reconnect with friends, former classmates, faculty, and staff. All alumni are welcome!

Christmas on the Hill  – December 2, 2021

Make plans to join us Thursday, December 2, 2021, for this year’s Christmas on the Hill President’s Gala. This don’t-miss event is a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season and benefit student scholarships at the same time!

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