The Board of Trustees announced in early November a new leadership structure for the College. Effective Dec. 14, 2013, Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., once again assumed the presidency of Spring Hill College. John Barter '68, who was appointed chief operating officer, oversees daily operations of the College and leads the cabinet.
Time and time again I run across alumni and current students who say it is the people that make Spring Hill College special. In this issue of The Spring Hill College Magazine you will find many of the reasons why this statement rings so true. It features the Spring Hill stories of some of our most dedicated employees, including Cynthia Dunklin, Tony Mixon, Laury Rowland, Leola Sanders and Juanita Sasser. Each of their reflections reminds me of the people and hard work it takes to keep this campus humming, day in and day out.
They are doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, researchers and project managers. And they might not be where they are today if, more than three decades ago, they hadn't received the prestigious Miller-LeJeune Scholarship to attend Spring Hill College.
Established by Clark and Eleanor Akers of Nashville, the scholarship was awarded annually to four incoming freshmen from 1977 to 1980. The scholarship, named using the couple's mothers' maiden names, covered complete tuition, room and board. Spring Hill College continued to award the scholarship until 1991.
It’s not often Spring Hill College receives a substantial gift from someone with no connection to the college, other than a one-time campus visit and a drive down the Avenue of the Oaks. Yet, that’s precisely what led Ernst M. Cohn to name Spring Hill College as the beneficiary of his trust, now valued at $1.68 million.
The fund establishes the Ernst M. and Doris B. Cohn Endowed Scholarship for the Sciences. The scholarship is to be based on financial need and will be awarded annually to students majoring in math or science-related fields.
Spring Hill College has always been a place where the uncommon is commonplace. So, it should not be surprising that the Badger rugby cub has broken new cultural ground.
In the spring of 2013, Spring Hill hired its first full-time rugby head coach to lead not only the men's squad, but to inaugurate a women's program as well. Just adding women's rugby was a radical idea in itself, but more surprising to some observers was the selection as head coach: Mollie McCarthy.
A family legacy and love of the ocean led Thomas Kinsey '13 to Spring Hill College. "Both my mother and father, as well as my father's parents, went to Spring Hill, so the college seemed like a good fit right away," said Kinsey. "I received scholarships from other schools, but the campus and location near the Gulf hooked me. Spring Hill is on the coast, near the beach, and close to my family in Fairhope (Ala.)."
Stephanie Myers put on her dancing shoes at age 4, and she's been dancing ever since.
Trained in ballet, pointe, tap and jazz, Myers was on the dance team in high school and re-founded the cheerleading team at Spring Hill her freshman year. "Dancing professionally was the next logical step for me to pursue my passion," she says.
It's not often that a chance encounter leads to the opportunity of a lifetime, but that's exactly what happened with Spring Hill senior Luke Hayes when he attended the 2013 Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," a historic document in which Spring Hill was cited for its leadership in the struggle for civil rights. As you peruse this edition of the Spring Hill College Magazine, you will learn more from Dr. Tom Ward, professor and chair of our history department, on the significance of Spring Hill's being mentioned in Dr. King's letter.
Dr. Ann Adams fell in love with the Spring Hill College campus several years before joining the faculty.
"The first time I saw Spring Hill College, I had no idea that my husband and I would ever move to South Alabama or that I would leave the K-12 segment of education," Adams explained. "But as we drove through the beautiful campus, my husband said, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could teach here someday?'"
Emily King had an ambitious goal for her senior seminar project: plan, market and execute a 5K race on Spring Hill's campus, with a goal of raising $3,000 for the College's International Service Immersion Program (ISIP).
George E. Barrett '52 promised the class of 2013, gathered under the oaks on an unusually chilly morning in May, that if they paid attention to his commencement address, they would surely see his Spring Hill tattoo.
"It was a different world at Spring Hill in 1952. No students of color. No women," said Barrett, now 85 years old. "When I look out today, I realize that this gathering would have violated the laws and customs back then. Those laws and customs were evil and wrong. ...
A native of New Orleans, Albert Foley's background did not portend his career as an advocate for racial equality. It would not be until he was teaching at Spring Hill in the 1940s that he had an awakening that defined much of his career. While teaching a course on "Migration, Immigration, and Race," Foley began questioning both his own racial attitudes as well as the racial practices of the Catholic Church.
Ella Dixon '59 may have gotten her first glimpse of future husband William "Kit" Carson on a winter day in 1957, when he buzzed by her and a group of dayhops in his car at a bus stop near Spring Hill College's main gate. The Tuskegee, Ala., native was new in town and enjoying the freedom of owning his first car, but Dixon and the huddled coeds on Old Shell Road had hoped he would stop and offer them rides.
By Tom Ward, Ph.D. Professor and Chair, Department of History
Fifty years ago, during the height of the protests in Birmingham for equal justice -remembered now mostly for the images of police dogs and fire hoses being turned on protesters - Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for leading a march in defiance of a circuit court judge's ban on demonstrations in the city. At the time of King's arrest, almost two weeks into the demonstrations, the Birmingham protests were under heavy criticism both locally and nationally.
Matt D'Arrigo '95 believes in the transformative power of art. He has felt its effects firsthand, and has seen it in the faces of those who enter the studio feeling defeated, and leave with a sense of release and empowerment.
The group had just finished painting a mural of animals on the wall of My Father's House, a home to children with physical and cognitive disabilities.
A little boy came out of his room to observe the new artwork, scooting his wheelchair with one foot because the other was of no use.
"All the artists were gone, but a few of us were able to witness him sitting there in awe of a new world, an escape he was experiencing," recalled Carolina Dominguez '13. "He wiped his hand over the mural and smiled."
Ashley Sanders '13 had never had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States before receiving a scholarship to study at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies.
"This experience has provided me with a new outlook on life and worldview," Sanders said. "From gaining language skills to insight into another culture, I was able to truly immerse myself in Chinese life for five months."
"The experience was somewhat like stepping into a romanticized fantasy with all of the American cars from the 1950s, the Afro-Caribbean beats ringing in the streets and the vintage architecture of a bygone era," reminisced Chelsea Audibert '13 of her study abroad in Cuba. "But, on the other hand, looming portraits of Fidel Castro and propaganda of 'patria o muerte' ['homeland or death'] imposed quite another tone upon travel within the country."