Administrator of the Year
Ben Harmon ’52 spent 45 years—nearly his entire career—in the Lewisville (Texas) Independent School District, serving as history teacher, head coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent before his retirement in 1997.
A special honor came his way in summer 2011—his dedication was recognized when a new school in the district was named Lewisville High School Ben Harmon Campus. Public support brought about the naming of the new school built for freshmen and sophomores.
That was just the latest honor for Harmon. He was named the district’s Administrator of the Year in 1992. The 1972 Austin College Athletic Hall of Honor inductee also got plenty of accolades as a Kangaroo quarterback back in the day.
Voices of Change
Psychologist Mary Henning Clare ’78 has written the book 100 Voices: Americans Talk About Change, released by Loudmouth Press in October 2011. According to an article in The Portland Upside, all the “change” language associated with President Barak Obama’s campaign led Mary to a project that resulted in her spending the first 100 days of the Obama administration traveling the country to interview 100 Americans of all backgrounds, collecting their thoughts on the state of the country.
The article explained that she was inspired by a Studs Terkel book that captured the voices of ordinary Americans. She wrote her book “with the hope of opening a door for dialogue across our differences.” Among the voices are Juliana Anastasi Perkins ’78 and the late Mayme Porter, former Austin College education faculty. Ron Kirk ’76 is mentioned as Mary happened to hear his confirmation hearings for U.S. trade representative as she drove into Washington, D.C., for interviews, and Melanie Martin ’78 is included in the acknowledgements.
When not traveling the country, Mary is a professor and directs the Psychological and Cultural Studies Program in the Counseling Psychology Department at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
“I can think of only one thing better than serving as your executive officer for these past 18 months, and that is serving as your commanding officer for the next 172 months,” Jones said in his remarks, earning a laugh from the crew. “We have challenges ahead, and I look forward to facing them with you.”
Jones had served as the ship’s executive officer since February 2010. Over the past three years, the ship’s crew has supported humanitarian relief operations and engaged in Operations Unified Protector and Odyssey Dawn in Libya.
After graduating from Austin College, Jones attended Army Command and Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College. His awards include the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal as well as other personal and campaign medals.
Buck Files Leads Texas Lawyers
F.R. “Buck” Files, Jr. ’60 has been elected by the state’s lawyers to serve as president-elect of the State Bar of Texas. Sworn in during the State Bar annual meeting in San Antonio in June 2011, he will serve as president from June 2012 to June 2013. Files is a shareholder and founding member of Bain, Files, Jarrett, Bain & Harrison, PC, in Tyler, Texas, where he practices criminal defense law.
He is board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) and in criminal trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. (Read more about his leadership in the Fall 2011 Austin College Magazine online-only issue.)
Next Step: Retirement
Austin College alumni relations director Cindy Curtis Bean ’75 retired from the College in December, ready to devote more time to her family, particularly her young grandsons, but leaves the College with gratitude for the past and plans for continued involvement in the future.
Cindy, who began a career in social work upon completing her Austin College degree in sociology, joined the Office of Alumni Relations in 1995, and has worked with countless alumni in the intervening years in various roles and through a variety of programs and events.
At Homecoming 2011, Cindy received the Service to Alumni Award, created by the Alumni Board in 2009 to honor a faculty or staff person exemplifying extraordinary commitment to the support and education of Austin College alumni around the world. At a retirement reception in Cindy’s honor, President Marjorie Hass read a proclamation announcing the renaming of the award. The Cindy Curtis Bean Service to Alumni will be awarded each fall, honoring Cindy’s commitment to the College and so that others may seek to emulate her dedication in the future.
“In my position I have been fortunate to share the lives of so many in the Austin College community,” Cindy said.
Involved in many aspects of campus life, Cindy long has served as a sponsor for Kappa Gamma Chi sorority and twice has been recognized as outstanding Greek sponsor. She received the College’s Homer P. Rainey Award in 2008, given by the Board of Trustees for outstanding achievement and service.
Cindy and her husband, Paul ’76, continue to live in Sherman, Texas.
The 2012 Global Forum presents Austin College Posey Leadership Award Recipient: Marian Wright Edelman
The 2012 Posey Leadership Award event will be held at The Wyly Theatre in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. The Wyly, a 575-seat, multi-configuration theatre, offers a unique venue described by the Dallas Morning News as representing “a seriousness and boldness of design too rare in Dallas” that, as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, brings “international attention to Dallas.”
An Adventure to Remember
Austin College classmates Mike Davis and John Clark, both ’83, had quite an adventure in 2011—a trip to Nepal and a trek up Mt. Everest. John, who lives in Evergreen, Colorado, and Mike, living in San Diego, met in Los Angeles on April 22, 2011, to begin their trip. They flew from Los Angeles to Hong Kong and on to Kathmandu, Nepal, then to Lukla to begin the trek up the mountain, taking on Lobuche East, a 6000- meter peak just east of the Khumbu Glacier. The two returned to Los Angeles on May 19—and had amazing experiences in the weeks away.
John wrote of the trip: “I sum up the adventure as 22 days on the trail, 100 miles of trekking, 12 days above 15,000 feet, seven nights in a tent, made the summit of 20,000-foot peak Lobuche East (13 miles south of Everest), made it to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar (the end of the trekking trail) for a great view of the sunrise over Mount Everest. The people, sights, sounds, smells, and experiences will last in my memory for a lifetime.” The Beta Chi Omega fraternity brothers had much more to share of their climb and a lifetime of fraternity gatherings in the Fall 2011 online-only magazine. See their story.
It’s Not Like CSI
Televised crime dramas make it seem like lab technicians work in trendy darkened rooms, often are called to crime scenes, and can find the DNA evidence to put any criminal away for good—but forensic analyst Amy Smuts ’95 said her job isn’t much like that. “We don’t do things like they do on TV,” she said. “I don’t watch the show [CSI] because it makes me angry. That’s not what my life is like!”
Amy shared “The Many Trials of a Forensic Analyst” with students during Homecoming week as one element of the College’s “Century of Science” celebration.
Because her job isn’t like television dramas doesn’t mean it is dull. Amy, who works at the Center for Human Identification at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, processed evidence and testified in six cases in the infamous “Yearning for Zion” trials. She processed the paternity test that proved Yearning For Zion leader Warren Jeffs fathered a child born to a 15-year-old.
“We had to be escorted by armed Rangers in and out of the courthouse,” Amy said of the trial. Jeffs was convicted of sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, with a sentence of life in prison.
Up in the Sky!
Linus Wright ’49 was one of 50 senior citizens who participated in a skydiving adventure in October 2011 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Senior Source, a Dallas nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the quality of life of older adults in Dallas through education, advocacy, and other support. Not only did Linus make the jump—at 84, he was the oldest to take the leap from 2.5 miles up. He had jumped once before—as a 17-yearold soldier in World War II. He landed that first jump safely and went on to a successful career in education, serving as an administrator in Houston schools then longtime superintendent for the Dallas ISD. In 1987, he was appointed Under Secretary of Education by President Ronald Reagan, and later worked in education consulting.
A Mob of ‘Roos
Several Kangaroos spent time during summer 2011 in Presbyterian youth ministry at Montreat Conference Center in Asheville, North Carolina, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Pictured below, Class of 2015 freshman ’Roo Libby Wise, showing off the kangaroo hand sign, was “mobbed” by fellow ’Roos Rachel Wells ’11, Tim Kennedy ’98, Michael Harper ’94/MA’95, Steven Barnes ’97, and Leslie Roper ’01, all serving in leadership roles.
Other ’Roos spotted were Sarah Lien Finnerty ’93, Noelle Castin ’95, Amy Veatch ’85, Eddie Hernandez ’15, and Silas “Si” Vaughn ’49, MA ’50, who has “retired” to Montreat with his wife, Catherine, between world travels and welcomes at the Montreat Front Gate.
Alumni also met up with Bruce Reyes-Chow, Austin College 2011 baccalaureate speaker and honorary doctorate recipient. Tim Kennedy, who shared the photo, was enjoying a bit of a change of pace, serving for four weeks at Montreat before beginning Master of Divinity studies at Yale Divinity School in fall 2011. He had spent the past 13 years in Washington, D.C., working on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and at the Department of Homeland Security.
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