Class Notes

Let us know about the milestones in your life — weddings, births, promotions, retirements, honors and awards.

June 21, 2023


The Emerson and Cecilia Hankamer Endowed Scholarship in Business was established by Emerson and Cecilia Hankamer of Houston to honor Earl and Linda Hankamer and Raymond, BBA ’43, and Camille Hankamer as unwavering supporters of Baylor University.

Dorothy, BBA ’44, and Jim Kronzer support students enrolled in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work through the Kronzer Endowed Scholarship in Social Work, established by the Dorothy and Jim Kronzer Foundation of Austin.


William F. Cooper, BA ’54, MA ’59, of Waco established the Endowed Excellence Fund for the Academy of Teaching and Learning, which supports pedagogical programming within the Academy of Teaching and Learning.

Arlon Hickman, BA ’56, has volunteered with the AARP Tax-Aide program in Harrison, AR, since 1996, where he serves as an instructor. The site has eight volunteers that prepare more than 500 tax returns each year with a focus on serving the low income and elderly in the area.

Charles McGehee, BA ’58, of Ellensburg, WA, established the Charles Logan McGehee Endowed Scholarship for Sociology, which supports students in the Department of Sociology.


David Turner, BA ’63, was voted Divisional Road Runner of the year in the 80-84 age group by USATF for 2022. This past summer, he won several national races in Lexington, KY, and won a 5k in Atlanta earlier in the year.

John Oliver Beall, BM ’64, MM ’66, heard his most recent classical music premiere performance in September 2022 at West Virginia University’s Canady Creative Arts Center. Hope Koehler, soprano, sang the first performance of the newly orchestrated New Testament Songs with the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Mitchell Arnold. The five songs were composed in 2003-12 for soprano and piano and performed many times by various sopranos and pianists, including pianist Steven Herbert Smith, BM ’64, with his wife, Theresa Vincent Smith. Dr. Smith was the first Van Cliburn Scholarship Winner in 1960. Texts, by St. Paul and St. John, were drawn from three different English translations: King James Version, Revised Standard Version, and the New English Bible. Beall is a professor emeritus at WVU and is married to pianist Carol Jean Allen Beall, BM ’66.

Gary D. Harrell, BA ’67, and Emily E. Harrell, BA ’67, of Fort Worth established the Gary D. and Emily E. Harrell Endowed Scholarship in Business and the Gary D. and Emily E. Harrell Endowed Scholarship in Education.

Ken Fisher, BBA ’68, relocated to Winston-Salem, NC, and enjoys all of the activities that you do in the triad area of North Carolina.

Gary White, BS ’69, authored his first book, “Faith’s Essence” [Xulon Press, 2022]. The Christian faith consists of a few “essential beliefs,” but many people add their particular customs, traditions and habits to the essentials. It is critical to know what is essential to the faith and what is not. This book is available in paperback and as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Xulon Press, the publisher’s website.


Dorothy Woodard, ’71, of Durango, CO, established the Dorothy Woodard Endowed Excellence Fund for Women’s Soccer, which supports priority needs of the Baylor Athletics women’s soccer program.

Slayden A. Yarbrough, PhD ’72, authored We Coulda Been Killed! Two Brothers and Others Growing Up. The book is filled with amusing stories, anecdotes, surprises, disappointments, meaningful dialogue with siblings and unexpected detours. Additionally, it includes interactive recommendations with songs from the 1950s and forward, plus lessons learned from his tales. Encouraging readers to remember and record their stories, the publication is available from Amazon in both e-book and paperback. This is Slayden’s third book published since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He can be contacted at

Doug Akins, BBA ’74, retired from Texas A&M School of Law as financial aid administrator.

Billy Wilson, BBA ’74, and Linda Wilson celebrated 50 years of marriage Feb. 10. The couple was joined by fellow Baylor Bear alumni Michael Heiskell, BA ’72, JD ’74, and Joe Johnson, ’76 (who was also a groomsman in the wedding).

Harry Thompson, MA ’77, authored a history of the regional studies center in South Dakota where he’s worked for the past 39 years: “Bright, Clear Sky Over a Plain So Wide”: The Center for Western Studies, 1964-2020 [Sioux Falls, SD: Center for Western Studies, 2021]. The main title uses quotation marks because the phrase is taken from O.E. Rolvaag’s first novel of the Great Plains, Giants in the Earth (1927), which is set about 10 miles north of the research center. Founded in 1964 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for Western Studies is one of the first regional studies centers to focus on the American West and the only university-affiliated book publisher in South Dakota.

Steven D. Reece, BS ’78, was selected as the Person of Reconciliation for 2022 by the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. The Council honored him for 18 years of service to the Christian and Jewish communities through Polish-Jewish cemetery restoration work. Reece is the founder and president of The Matzevah Foundation, a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit corporation registered in Atlanta. He’s currently in Poland on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Szczecin.

Mike Reynolds, BA ’78, retired after 47 years of pastoral ministry and denominational service, but did not stay retired long. He is now serving as chair of the Bible Department at Friendship Christian School in Suwanee, GA.

Stan Moore, BS ’78, was awarded best documentary for his film, Beyond The Bullseye, at the Hollywood Blvd Film Festival in Hollywood, CA. The film was also awarded the Most Impactful Documentary Award Winner at the Hollywood Florida Film Festival. Other recent awards include semi-finalist at the Atlanta Movie Awards and the Nashville Independent Filmmakers Festival. Moore resides in Nashville and produces documentaries and television programs focusing on Israel and Jewish matters.

Rev. Regina Ruppert Bethune, BA ’79, is retiring as director of spiritual care at Ascension Texas after 21 years of ministry with the Ascension healthcare system. Ordained in 1988 by the University Baptist Church in Austin (ABCUSA), in 2002 Gina started the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin. Under her direction it grew into the one of the largest CPE centers in the Southwest region with five full time ACPE educators. Bethune has also served as adjunct faculty at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, teaching courses in chaplaincy. She is especially celebrated for innovative work in arts and medicine and classes in poetry and spiritual care. A graduate of Baylor and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gina has ministered while raising three children and welcoming three grandchildren with her husband, Larry, the senior pastor emeritus (retired) of the University Baptist Church in Austin.

The CenturyMen/Buryl Red Memorial Scholarship in Christian Music Studies was established by The CenturyMen of Woodway, TX, represented by Charles L. Fuller, BME ’79, MD ’10, and supports students pursuing a degree in church music.


Mark Mann, JD ’81, and Debbie Mann, BSHE ’80, of Waco established the Anne and Bill Bradley Track & Field Endowment, which supports the Baylor Athletics Track & Field program.

Jeff Taylor, BA ’81, authored More Than Heaven [Wipf & Stock, 2022]. The Protestant Church has wrestled since the time of the Reformation with how believers can be saved by grace but rewarded in degrees based on their works. Though some through the years have argued the Scriptures don’t teach differing degrees of reward, this has been the predominant view. This book takes the minority view. Believers are saved by grace alone through faith alone, and the believer’s rewards and glorification are based on the finished work of Christ alone. It is grace from start to finish. The church is the bride of Christ, and in the end all that is His is hers.

John Buchanan, BBA ’82, MT ’83, and Patty Buchanan, BA ’82, of Reno, NV, established the John and Patty Buchanan Endowed Scholarship in Social Work, which supports students enrolled in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work who are committed to social justice.

Cynthia Carpenter Hester, BBA ’83, earned a Doctor of Ministry Leadership (DMin) from Dallas Theological Seminary in December 2022. She wrote the chapters on “Women in Church History” as a contributing author to the 2023 book, 40 Questions About Women in Ministry. Hester also founded Theology of Women Academy® (a self-paced online course) to teach Christ-followers the spectrum of orthodox views on women and church leadership and to equip them to develop their beliefs — their theology of women.

Dr. Monica Anderson, BA ’84, gave a TEDx talk in Osh Kosh, WI. Her topic was “How Dentistry Offers a Powerful, Effective Guide to Curbing Racism.”  Anderson believes the oral health advice she has passed out to patients for more than 30 years can help combat deep-rooted racial discrimination and social inequity. Her talk can be seen at

Joy Beless, BSW ’84, wrote a catchy, toe-tapping song that celebrates not only the “big day,” but also the journey leading up to the birthday. The Grown-Up Birthday Song is on all streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple, Amazon and YouTube. As Beless was approaching the BIG number 60, rather than dread the new decade, she was excited to be in a fresh season of life. Ready to throw off the lies of appearing younger, she is confidant in who she has become and the journey ahead. Her lyrics reflect a transforming perspective of “pro-age” and faith — that every day is a gift. Beless is a worship leader and spiritual director and the founder and director of The Invitation Project and B-Still Ministries, LLC. Along with her husband Roger, BBA ’83, her four adult children and their families inspire her to make the most of every day, stay fit and to enjoy life’s adventures together.

Merrill “Mel” Hawkins, BA ’85, PhD ’94, earned a master’s in education for curriculum and instruction from Carson-Newman University, where he has served as professor of Christian studies since 1995. He is married to Kimberly Tanner Hawkins, BSEd ’89, MSEd ’92, who serves as dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Carson-Newman University. Carson-Newman recently promoted her from full professor to professor of education.

David M. Boylan, PG, MS ’86, retired as principal hydrogeologist of B&H Environmental Consulting, LLC, after 40 years of industrial and environmental consulting in the fields of civil engineering, land development and hydrogeologic investigations. He and his wife, Judi, reside in Pipe Creek, TX, with their children and grandchildren nearby.

Alan Bunnell, BA ’86, was appointed to the board of trustees for Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Jerry L. Sotvall Jr., BBA ’86, JD ’89, was awarded Board Certification in Employment Law by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization in January. He is one of nine attorneys in the state of Louisiana who currently holds this certification.

Terri Lawlis, BA ’88, retired at the end of May 2022 after 24 years of teaching first graders. The past 12 of those years were spent teaching reading recovery/reading intervention to first graders.

Matt Schoenfeld, BA ’89, launched his own wealth strategies firm, Fountain City Financial, in Overland Park, KS. In addition, he has formed an alliance with Strategic Wealth Partners in Plano, TX. Both firms broker through Lincoln Financial. Fountain City focuses on comprehensive financial planning services for healthcare workers and business owners. Schoenfeld can be reached at:


ShaLynna Mosley, BBA ’90, was fortunate enough to travel to the country of Israel with Renew Church Waco. Among many other adventures, she rode a camel, was baptized in the Sea of Galilee, floated in the Dead Sea, walked through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, received communion at the Garden Tomb, visited the shepherds’ fields of Bethlehem, and prayed at the Western Wall. It was a truly life changing experience!

Kim Mackenroth, BBA ’91, was honored to receive the Global CIO ORBIE Award.  This award is based on leadership, business value created by technology innovation and engagement in industry and community endeavors.

Kevin W. Walbrick, BA ’91, MS ’94, of Austin established the Kevin Walbrick Baylor Angel Network Endowed Fund, which supports priority needs of the Baylor Angel Network within the Hankamer School of Business.

Greg Benesh, MS ’92, and Dana Benesh, MA ’93, PhD ’14, of Waco established the Greg and Dana Benesh Endowed Scholarship in Physics, which supports students in the Department of Physics.

Bert McKay, BA ’92, JD ’95, was promoted to senior vice president, general counsel at McLane Company, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary based in Temple, TX.

Michelle Nietert, LPC-S, BSEd ’92, authored her fourth book, God, I Feel Sad [Zonderkidz, 2023]. This children’s book is designed to equip parents to talk with their kids about feelings of sadness, how to manage sadness and ways to bring these big feelings to a bigger God. The audiobook includes a parent talk, an imagery exercise set to music regarding giving your sadness to God, affirmations when you are feeling sad and Scriptures to provide hope during times of sadness. This follows the release of her award-winning book, Make Up Your Mind: Unlock Your Thoughts, Transform Your Life [Randall House, 2022], and best-selling devotional for girls, Loved and Cherished [Zonderkidz, 2020]. For more information visit

John Dillon, BBA ’93, and Elisha Dillon, BSEd ’93, of Plano, TX, established the John and Elisha Dillon Endowed Fund for Women in Leadership, which supports the Women in Leadership Program in the Hankamer School of Business.

James Perry, BBA ’93, and Lydia Perry, BA ’93, JD ’97, of Dallas established the James and Lydia Perry Endowed Excellence Fund for Men’s Basketball, which supports the Baylor men’s basketball program, and the James and Lydia Perry Endowed Excellence Fund for Social Work, which supports priority needs of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.

Liz Ruisard Williams, BA ’93, MS ’94, is now the assistant director of special education for Spring Branch ISD. Williams began her career as a speech language pathologist in the private sector, then moved to the public sector. She was a campus-based therapist with Spring Branch ISD, then the coordinator of speech language pathologist with Alief ISD for six years before returning to Spring Branch ISD in August 2022.

Melissa Roth Young (Dabbs), BME ’93, is in her 30th year of teaching music. She serves as the choir director at Haggard Middle School and is a published choral composer. She lives in Richardson, TX, with her husband Josh and 3 children, Anabelle age 6, Calvin age 17 and Carson age 19. Young has served on the faculty for the SMU Summer Music Education Workshops for the past five years.

Paul Kirkpatrick, BA ’94, joined Copart, Inc. as senior vice president and chief legal officer and will lead and oversee the company’s global legal function. Copart, an S&P 500 company, is a global leader and the premier source for online vehicle auctions. Copart’s innovative technology and online auction platform link buyers and sellers around the world. Headquartered in Dallas, Copart currently operates more than 200 locations in 11 countries.

Dewayne Gibson, BA ’98, is the newly elected president of the Collin County Black Chamber of Commerce. Central to the organization, Gibson served on the board of directors prior to accepting the role of president. Gibson brings experience in finance from Bank of America and in marketing as assistant vice president of sales and media for North Dallas Gazette, a Black-owned newspaper. Last year, when asked to join the CCBCC board of directors, Gibson answered the call, and since then, a lot of good has happened. Inspired to support small businesses, entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses, Gibson said he feels compelled to carry on the organization’s rich business traditions.

Ryan S. Holcomb, JD ’98, was selected by Bracewell LLP to serve a three-year term on the firm’s management committee, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Holcomb is a partner in Bracewell’s Houston office and chair of the firm’s power practice. Holcomb represents clients in a wide variety of transactions in the electric power and midstream and downstream oil and gas industries. He negotiates and documents acquisitions and divestitures of assets and companies, joint venture transactions and structured commodity transactions for private equity investors, energy companies, utilities, financial institutions and commodity trading businesses.


Rachel Lewis Biggs, BA ’02, accepted the position of associate director of marketing and communications with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Carrie Ingoldsby, BS ’02, MSEd ’06, began a new job as dean of students at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA.

Tim Whang, BSEd ’02, MSEd ’05, was promoted to vice president of global partnership activation with the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. In his role, he oversees the service, execution, renewal and upsell of all Global Partnership accounts.

Yasmene McDaniel, BS ’03, was named chief executive officer of HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast. Driven by a calling to increase healthcare access and quality for communities in need, McDaniel has served in several healthcare leadership roles in her 15 years in hospital and physician group operations. Prior to her role at Southeast, McDaniel was the COO of Corpus Christi Medical Center. McDaniel is the first Black hospital CEO appointed to serve in the Gulf Coast Division. “I always wanted to work in healthcare and am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve experienced to prepare me for this next step in my career,” said McDaniel. “I am honored to serve HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast, which has a rich culture of providing compassionate care. I look forward to working with our care teams and medical staff to continue the longstanding legacy of providing exceptional care to our community.”

Ivan Regueria, BBA ’03, is a director of sales for Powin in Charlotte, NC, where he has just secured a contract to supply the largest DC-coupled battery energy storage project in the U.S. and in the world. At 66MW-198MWh, the Lone Star project in South Carolina will deliver three hours of utility scale PV-generated energy daily and on-demand to the grid for up to 20 years.

Kelly Biegler, BA ’05, of Keller, TX, was named vice president of public affairs of Atmos Energy’s Mid-Tex Division. Atmos Energy is the nation’s largest natural gas-only utility and serves 1.8 million customers in the Mid-Tex division.

Michelle Eller Wood, BBA ’05, was named by Forbes as one of the 2023 Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State in Texas. She’s making a difference for her clients, colleagues and community.

Rachel Goodlad, BA ’06, became the Head of Student Success for, an EdTech startup focusing on unlocking student potential and accelerating learning.

David Hammack, BA ’08, JD ’14, was elected a shareholder at Dallas-based Hallett & Perrin, P.C. Hammack is a commercial litigator, representing businesses and individuals in a variety of commercial disputes, including contract, fiduciary duty and ownership disputes in both state and federal courts.

Kimberly Willingham Hubbard, BA ’08, of Fort Worth was named director of communications of the Texas General Land Office under new first-female commissioner Dawn Buckingham. Hubbard previously served as director of strategic communications at the Texas Office of the Attorney General and director of communications for U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01).

Clayton Ellis, BFA ’09, was named the director of development for the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University (SMU). After serving the development staff at Baylor for more than seven years, he joined the SMU team in April 2020 as the director of development for Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Ellis is a doctoral candidate, pursuing an EdD in higher education policy with an expected graduation date of May 2025.


Katie Sanders Fruth, BA ’12, married Alexander Fruth Oct. 29, 2022, in Marshall, TX.

Mike Sims, BSE ’12, and Lauren Sims, BS ’12, of Dallas established the Michael and Lauren Sims Endowed Fund, which supports the Baylor Athletics Mental Health Services (AMHS).

Andrew Leistensnider, BA ’13, authored the novel Memory’s Lens [Whitaker Wordsworth, 2022]. It takes place on a fictional university campus that draws from his time at Baylor and takes readers back. The two main characters’ faith journey is also inspired by his time at Baylor. Link to website here:

Bond Durham, BS ’16, highlighted her experiences flying a Bell helicopter for CareFlite in a video that can be watched at

David Ocasio, BBA ’16, began a new position as the associate director of marketing operations at Georgetown University. Ocasio graduated from Baylor University in 2016 with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He brings a combination of experience in marketing, communications, project management and community outreach from his previous role as the marketing and communications director of Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC.

Dr. Andrea Schlosser,
BBA ’16, married Tommy House on Nov. 18, 2022. The Houses reside in Columbus, OH.

The David and Amy Bone Endowed Scholarship in Nursing, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, was established by David and Amy Bone of Tyler, TX, in honor of their daughter, Lauren Alexandra Bone, BSN ’18.

Isabel Randall, BA ’19, performed on Boston Public Radio (part of GBH News) in January to promote the world premiere of a 10-minute opera, Courthouse Bells. The piece was composed, directed and written by Mary D. Watkins, Marshall Hughes and Anita Gonzalez. Additionally, she was named a semifinalist for the 2023 Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition.


Natalie Boutot, BSEd ’21, and Matthew Manner, BS ’21, were married Dec. 29, 2022, in San Antonio. They met at Diadeloso in 2019.

The Hinkle Family Endowed Scholarship for Louise Herrington School of Nursing, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, was established by Dr. D’Ann Hinkle and Mr. George “Chip” Hinkle of Montgomery, TX. Their daughter, Meredith, is a member of the Baylor University Class of 2024.