Class notes from graduates of the 1970s

Elizabeth “Betsy” Van Doren Gray, ’70, ’76 Law, Betsy Gray, of Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, has been selected for Lifetime Achievement Membership to America’s Top 100 Attorneys in South Carolina. Membership recognizes those who exhibit the highest ethical standards in the legal profession and is limited to 100 attorneys from each state.

Roy Robbins, ’71, published a novel, “North,” a story of a man’s search for an understanding of his family, his town and himself-and the truths they avoided. (note submitted 6/2/20)

Ronald Smith, ’72 Management, is a Vietnam Veteran and recently accepted the position of Chaplain for the 6,000-member 173rd Airborne Association. (note submitted 11/4/21)

Reverend David L. Anderson, ’73 Political Science, has been name the 2015 recipient of The Charles L. Calkins Award, which recognizes those who have provided exemplary service in caring for the pension and benefits needs of those who serve The United Methodist Church.

Edward D. “Butch” Barnhill Jr., ’73 Law, a veteran attorney with decades of experience, has joined Callison Tighe law firm. Barnhill has practiced for more than 40 years in Columbia, primarily representing clients in real estate transactions, developments and litigation. His practice will focus on real estate, probate and business law.

Dr. Gerald Harmon, ’73, Physics, physician has assumed the position of board chair for the American Medical Association, the largest association of physicians in the country and an influential voice in the ongoing national debate over health care.  Dr. Gerald Harmon, a board-certified physician with Tidelands Waccamaw Family Medicine and vice president of Tidelands Health Group, on Wednesday became chair of the board of trustees for the AMA.   

Walter C. Sprouse, ’73 Journalism, has been named to the 2016 list of “Notable Georgians” by the Georgia Trend Magazine. It is the fifth time that Sprouse has been named to the prestigious edition of the magazine.

Sheila Quinn Oliver, ’74 Library Education, ’76 M.L and ’03 Ed.D., co-authored with Roberta Teague Herrin the biography Sylvia Hatchell: The Life and Basketball Legacy, published by McFarland Press. Hatchell is the former head women’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

James Walker, ’74 Law won the Republican position of Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

Valerie Abrahamsen, ’75 French, published Paranormal: A New Testament Scholar Looks at the Afterlife, in May of 2015 by Shires Press. In June 2015, she presented a paper based on the book, “Death, the Ultimate Transition: Current Research on the Afterlife in Dialogue with Christina Traditions,” at a conference of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, held at Yale University.

Ashley Mace Havird, ’75 English, has won the 2015 Ferrol Sams Award for her debut novel, Lightningstruck ( Mercer University Press, 2016). Set in the Civil Rights Era, a young-girl and her lightning-struck horse hunt for treasure on her family’s tobacco farm but find the unexpected.Havird has also published three collections of poems, including The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014), which was awarded the 2013 X.J. Kennedy Prize. For more information, please go to

Kenneth M. Suggs, ’75 Law, received the War Horse award from the Southern Trial Lawyers Association (STLA) in 2015.

John Stringellow, ’75 Political Science, has been awarded his 8th award as Sales Leader for 2019 at Main Street Checks. He has a achieved this status as top salesperson 8 of the last 9 years. He left the Charlotte area after 30 years and relocated to Columbia I’m 2017. A native of Chester, SC he was raised in Rock Hill and attended Rock Hill High School Class of 1971. He has been with Main Street which is based in Birmingham since 2011 (note submitted 1/8/20)

Rod Culbertson, ’76, Arnold School of Public Health, has published four books through Wipf and Stock Publishers: “Do I Love God? The Question that Must Be Answered,” “The Disciple Investing’ Life,” “Christ Changing Lives: Digging Deeper into the Practice of Disciple Investing,” and “The Disciple Investing Apostle: Paul’s Ministry of Relationships.” The last three books comprise a series entitled, “Changed Lives Changing Lives.” (submitted 10/8/18)

Betsy Gray, ’76, Law was named a top 10 lawyer in South Carolina in the 2018 edition of Super Lawyers. 

Carol Dulin, ’76 Journalism started a new position on the cabinet of the New Castle County Executive as the County Attorney (note submitted 7/19)

Robert Petrocelli, Jr., ’76 was recently named the 2019 Council President from New York Life. This is the highest honor bestowed on an New York Life financial professional nationwide. (note submitted 9/30/19)

M. Malissa Burnette, ’77 Law, received the Stephen G. Morrison/Nelson Mullins Social Justice Award from the Columbia Urban League

Robert Chaplin, Jr. ’77 Mathematics, is the owner and managing partner of Palmetto Commercial Real Estate, LLC — the largest commercial real estate firm in the Pee Dee area of SC.

Colonel Robert J. Coates, USMC (Ret), ’77 History, was recently inducted in the United States Special Operations Command Commando Hall of Honor class of 2016 after serving over 32 years of active duty in various infantry and special operations assignments to include multiply combat tours in El Salvador and Iraq.

Richard “Rick” Detwiler, ’77, Marketing, ’85 Law, is now certified as a circuit court mediator.

John L. Jamrogowicz, ’77, Political Science, ’79, Master of Education, has retired after 26 years of service with Trident Technical College.He has served there as Dean of Enrollment since 2003.

William Mesce, ’77, published his latest book, “MEDIAN GRAY” from Willow River Press. His play “BLACK LIVES/BLUE LIVES,” co-written with TV writer, Stephen Harper, received a NJ State Council on the Humanities Grant. (note submitted 9/9/20)

David Aughtry, ’78, Law, was named a Star Individual (Tax) in Georgia for the eight year in a row and a top tier attorney in Tax Controversy (Band 2) nationwide in the 2019 Chambers USA Guide (note submitted 5/16/19) 

Mark Brittman, ’78, Management was recognized by the Hilton Head Home Builder’s Association as Associate Member of the Year in 2017. This is his third time receiving this award.

Randy Carmon, ’78 Education, received the Certified Bank Security Manager (CBSM) desingation. Rogers has been in banking for 40 years and involved in the opening of two de novo banks. (note submitted 7/19/18)

David W. Rogers, ’78 Journalism, was recently installed as the associate pastor at Cross of Life Lutheran Church in Roswell, Georgia, under the terms of the Agreement of Full Communion between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Dale Sitton Rogers, ’78 Law, recently published a romantic adventure novel with TouchPoint Press: Lighthouse on Tortola, set in the Virgin Islands (note submitted 5/8/20)

Alec Winfrey, ’78, Business was appointed to be the new Director of Government Health for M*Model