Every year, thousands of alumni, friends, family members, and fans flock to campus to watch football, share a tailgate meal, and hug. There is hugging all day long. You’ll also hear a lot of stories — mostly true. And expect to see smiles that are a mile wide as old friends reconnect and pick right up where they left off on the last visit — sometimes laughing at a joke that doesn’t even need to be repeated to be understood.
Mark your calendar. Make your reservation. Come home.
Make sure you check out great pictures from last year’s homecoming!
Take a look at 2017 general Homecoming photos.
Check out photos from 2017 class reunion photos.
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1450-allison-mays" title="Allison Mays" aria-label="Allison Mays"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,30,673,703/2425_am.rev.1516649294.jpg" alt="Allison Mays" title="Allison Mays" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="673" data-max-h="959"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1450-allison-mays"><p> Allison Mays is Vice-Chair of the Washington County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Emory & Henry is a family tradition for Allison Mays – sixteen family member have attended Emory & Henry, dating back to her grandfather’s generation. But her outstanding reputation for community service she has established is all of her own making.</p><p> Allison is a 1995 graduate of Emory & Henry College and works as the Director of Development at Healing Hands Health Center. Allison serves as Vice-Chair of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, where she is a Board representative on the Economic Development, Personnel, Community Advocacy and Long Range Courthouse Planning Committees. She is also active with the National Association of Counties, serving as Vice-Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission and on the Rural Action Caucus. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Emory & Henry College Alumni Association (Immediate Past President) and Washington County Chamber of Commerce and is a Community Ambassador for Virginia Highlands Community College.</p><p> Allison says Emory & Henry prepared her well for a life of service, and she still references some of the lessons learned in a class about the First Amendment taught by Dr. Teresa Keller. “Being a student at Emory & Henry College provided me with a solid foundation for taking an active role in community service and leadership. Even now, those Emory & Henry College experiences and connections continue enriching my life and encouraging further <em>Increase in Excellence</em>.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1450-allison-mays" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/718-" title="Fallon Walker Grindstead" aria-label="Fallon Walker Grindstead"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,975,975/437_unnamed.rev.1502370732.jpg" alt="Fallon Walker Grindstead" title="Fallon Walker Grindstead" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,975,975/437_unnamed.rev.1502370732.jpg 2x" data-max-w="975" data-max-h="975"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/718-"><p> Fallon Walker Grindstead, ’13 leads in Chilhowie </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Fallon Walker Grinstead is a 2013 graduate of Emory & Henry from Chilhowie, Virginia. Fallon majored in our teacher preparation program in Health & Physical Education. She is entering her 5<sup>th</sup>year of teaching and her 9<sup>th</sup> year of coaching volleyball at Chilhowie Middle School. In 2014-2015, she helped create the Health and Physical Education curriculum for Smyth County Schools and last year she was honored as Teacher of the Year for her school. In addition, the past two years, the Chilhowie JV Volleyball team has won the Mountain West Conference Championship. Fallon says her overall goal is to “help each student find something active they enjoy.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/718-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/708-" title="Mary Beth Tignor" aria-label="Mary Beth Tignor"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,200/358_MaryBethTignor.rev.1500388800.jpg" alt="Mary Beth Tignor" title="Mary Beth Tignor" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="200"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/708-"><p> Love for the region keeps Mary Beth Tignor’s future local </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><h1> Her love of this region and her passion for education are the fuel to her daily work. </h1><p> Mary Beth was a part of the first Emory & Henry Honors Program cohort that graduated in Spring 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Community Service. Currently, she is working as an AmeriCorps with Appalachian Sustainable Development and pursuing a Master’s degree in Education with a focus area of Middle School Science. </p><p> Serving the community of this region has always been one of Mary Beth’s passion and love. As a student at Emory & Henry, she served as a volunteer of an on-campus after school program called Highlands Project. She said, “Through this program and some of my courses, I developed a passion for education and the children in this area.” Since then, she has created and is the current coordinator of a after school program at a local elementary school. Her most memorable experience in the Honors Program is going to New York City as an upperclassman leader with First-Year Honors Scholars. After her first trip to New York City, Mary Beth had learned a lot from her experiences and really enjoyed sharing them with the First-Year Honors Scholars. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/708-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1953-chris-kolakowski" title="Chris Kolakowski" aria-label="Chris Kolakowski"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1500,1499/3488_Kolakowski_Chris_0501.rev.1520631894.jpg" alt="Chris Kolakowski" title="Chris Kolakowski" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1500,1499/3488_Kolakowski_Chris_0501.rev.1520631894.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1500,1499/3488_Kolakowski_Chris_0501.rev.1520631894.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1500" data-max-h="2100"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1953-chris-kolakowski"><p> Chris Kolakowski is the Director of the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany.</p><p> Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: <em>The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass</em> and <em>The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat</em>. In September 2016 the U.S. Army published his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled <em>Last Stand on Bataan</em> was released by McFarland in late February 2016. He is currently working on a book about the 1944 India-Burma battles.</p><p> Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1953-chris-kolakowski" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2122-gabrielle-gregory" title="Gabrielle Gregory" aria-label="Gabrielle Gregory"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,316,316/4237_gg.rev.1529087746.jpg" alt="Gabrielle Gregory" title="Gabrielle Gregory" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="316" data-max-h="316"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2122-gabrielle-gregory"><p> Gabby Gregory’s great internship led to a great job offer.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><div> Gabby Gregory is a 2018 E&H graduate who added some additional education to her degree by heading to New York University the summer after graduation. She entered their 6-weeks long Summer Publishing Institute right before heading to Stuart, Florida, for a job with Ocean Media Solutions. She’ll be writing for their Living Magazines. She also did her internship with Ocean Media.<br/></div><div id="m_1151371537258667902yahoo_quoted_8493402470" class="m_1151371537258667902yahoo_quoted"><div id="m_1151371537258667902yiv7151432304"><div dir="ltr"><div/><div> Gabby was an English major at Emory & Henry, earning a degree in Pre-Professional Publishing. She was active in Pi Sigma Kappa social sorority, Blue Key Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu, Peer Educators, the Frostiana Poetry Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and Phi Eta Sigma. She was also an honors program scholar, student government senator, and writing tutor. She founded A Read of Our Own, which is a feminist activist book club on campus. </div><div><br/> She says her E&H experience gave her the confidence to trust her education and move to a new city and state to start her career. “I learned so much not only from the faculty and staff of the college, but also from my fellow students. I made both amazing professional connections and wonderful, lasting friendships during my time at E&H. Because of the community-minded culture of E&H, I was able to work one-on-one with my favorite professor, and gained incredible knowledge from her that directly led to my successes beyond my undergraduate career. I cannot imagine myself today without my experience at Emory & Henry College. I will always have a deep love and respect for those hills in Virginia, and hope to go to as many Homecomings as possible as an alumna! Emory & Henry will always be my home away from home.” </div><div/><div><div/><div> </div><div/></div><div/></div></div></div></div><a href="/live/profiles/2122-gabrielle-gregory" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1914-erin-griffin" title="Erin Griffin" aria-label="Erin Griffin"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/46,207,430,591/3448_Erin_Griffin.rev.1520282800.jpg" alt="Erin Griffin" title="Erin Griffin" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/46,207,430,591/3448_Erin_Griffin.rev.1520282800.jpg 2x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="960"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1914-erin-griffin"><p> Erin Griffin, E&H ’13, is completing her veterinary medicine degree. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Erin Griffin, a native of Saltville, Virginia, is in her last year of veterinary school at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. This is one of only 28 veterinary medicine colleges in the United States and is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. The school is considered a constituent college of both Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland<a title="University of Maryland, College Park" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Maryland,_College_Park">,</a> with a main campus located on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, and a branch on the University of Maryland’s campus in College Park. </p><p> She has passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination and looks forward to graduating in May of 2018. She hopes to eventually establish her own practice in Southwest Virginia.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1914-erin-griffin" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/690-" title="Chris Whitt" aria-label="Chris Whitt"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,450,299/340_195154692a4a9ca21aec2fe00c319ccd_f7172.rev.1500309442.jpg" alt="Chris Whitt" title="Chris Whitt" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="450" data-max-h="299"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/690-"><p> It’s all Emory & Henry’s Fault</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> “While I was a student, I participated in a teaching abroad program in Brazil that was offered by the college, and I fell in love with the Brazilian culture and people. So I decided to make it my home.” So for 7 years he ran a school that taught English as a second language, and in 2008 he opened his very own such business in Londrina, Brazil, called High School Language Center. Solving more than one need for the community, his school gives families a chance for constructive child care. “My school offers an alternative to a babysitter for families who think learning another language is important. The kids from ages 2 1/2 and up study 3 hours per day at my school. They have a lot of fun learning.” Look for his school online and you’ll find projects like mystery movies his students produce to practice their English.</p><p> Chris is just one of many alumni who are using their E&H degrees to solve problems. If you know a student who might like to use education to make the world a better place, check out the <a href="https://www.ehc.edu/ampersand/">Ampersand</a> project at Emory & Henry!</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/690-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1449-peggy-callison" title="Peggy Callison" aria-label="Peggy Callison"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,305,361/2422_Peggy_Callison.rev.1516637873.jpg" alt="Peggy Callison" title="Peggy Callison" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="305" data-max-h="361"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1449-peggy-callison"><p> Peggy Callison didn’t start college until she was in her 30s…so it is no surprise that she has authored a great book in her retirement. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Peggy has a great sense of humor about being a more mature author. In 2017, she stated, “Without doubt, I belong to the ‘Grandma Moses’ group of authors. I am nearing seventy-nine, and I published my first novel in 2015.”</p><p> </p><p> Peggy has raised her children and had a stellar, 25-year career as a secondary school educator, teaching speech and drama, debate, and creative writing. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Speech from Emory & Henry College, and a Master’s Degree in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, Vermont. Her final semester was spent at Lincoln College, Oxford, England. </p><p> </p><p> Her book, Sock Monkey Doll, reflects her love for the region where she grew up: in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. “My novel reflects the beauty of those majestic mountains and the harshness of cultural expectations.” She is mindful of the fact that she came of age at a time when education and career weren’t always on the list of expectations for young women. “The true stories of the lives of mountain women need to be written. My own life could have been very different. I graduated at the top of my high school class in 1958, and instead of sending me to college, I was told to go find a good man to marry. Not until I had been married twelve years did I go to college.”</p><p> </p><p> Peggy’s book is available through Amazon and Books-A-Million.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1449-peggy-callison" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/704-" title="Rachel Dunne" aria-label="Rachel Dunne"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,690,390/354_25f3d785419f0eb611f94ba17fd1703d_f1833.rev.1500386495.jpg" alt="Rachel Dunne" title="Rachel Dunne" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="690" data-max-h="390"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/704-"><p> Rachel Dunne Finds Unlikely Path in Alaska </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> When Rachel Dunne (’04) was a student at E&H, she pretty much set the woods on fire. Lately, she’s been busy putting out fires. This is truly a young woman who knows how to fire up a Liberal Arts degree. </p><p> This is all a corny way of saying that Rachel has been fighting wildland fires in Alaska.</p><p> A double major in Public Policy & Community Service and Psychology, Rachel was a top notch student with a heart intent on making a difference. And it comes as no surprise that she is finding such a creative means of making her way in the world. She wanted to pursue work in the area of disaster relief response after graduate school, but needed job experience. She spent 10 months in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps doing a lot of work in the Gulf region of the U.S. working on Katrina recovery efforts. She also got sent to a very small town in Arizona where her team was assigned to assistance with brush clearing to prevent wildfires. Her superiors suggested she come back after AmeriCorps for a job.</p><p> While she only intended to do the job for a year, she stayed for two and a half years honing her skills not only in firefighting and prevention but also in coordinating fire response, GIS, HAZMAT, EMT, and learned how to drive a water tender (please Google this to see how impressive this feat is).</p><p> After Arizona she found an opportunity to continue this good work and to see some of the country’s most beautiful land. She considered Big Sky country, but ended up in Alaska because of their unique challenges in fire logistics. She served as a fire logistics dispatcher for the Alaska Fire Service, which is part of the Bureau of Land Management. In this role, she helped get the people, supplies, and aircraft out to remote areas of Alaska for wildland fires.</p><p> As is wont to happen, while in Alaska, Rachel ran smack into another Emory & Henry person! Daniel Griggs (’07) was there doing similar work and putting his geography background to good use. Giving Dr. John Morgan all the credit for getting him the right start, Daniel says he finds working for the fire service very “real” in the sense that there is “immediate need for accurate geospatial information.” He ended up in Alaska because he had always wanted to visit the state, so when he got a job offer in Anchorage he jumped at the chance.</p><p> Rachel says folks in her position work seasonally—putting in 6 months of work and then filling the other half of the year with school, other work, travel, or personal projects and hobbies. While the job sounds pretty cushy, it turns out those six months are pretty demanding. On a fire assignment, dispatchers and firefighters alike usually work 14 straight days of up to 16 hour shifts. In many ways, it’s more of a lifestyle than a job.</p><p> So what happens during those long days? This season, Daniel got sent out to the field as a GIS specialist, providing custom real-time maps of fires for the incident decision-makers. Rachel moved to another dispatch center as an aircraft dispatcher, where she finds the helicopters and planes that support both fires and scientists in interior Alaska and the lower 48. “It’s not every day you get to say, ‘Yeah, I ordered a jumbo jet at work today’,” says Rachel. “The best part of the job is the constant challenge—you never know who is going to call or what they are going to need, and it’s great to be able to say, ‘Sure, I can make that happen,’ even when it means getting people or supplies into parts of Alaska your average tourist will never even think about visiting.”</p><p> With these new job demands, Rachel is less “fire fighter” and more “travel agent” – booking flights into all corners of the state. Whether they are VIPs touring Alaska before making recommendations on energy or land management policy, scientists researching animal habitats and archeological sites, or firefighters protecting Alaska’s assets, everybody knows they’ll have to fly to get to their Alaskan destination. “I may miss the smell of smoke and getting to do things with my own hands, but what I can do with a phone and a radio allows those professionals to make the difference, and I’m proud to be part of their support network.”</p><p> While Daniel will stay on with Alaska Fire Service in Fairbanks for the near future, Rachel plans to move on after this season ends. “What’s next? I don’t know, but if you’d told me I was going to be a firefighter or live in Alaska while I was at Emory, I’d have laughed. I just keep believing in the hope that people can do amazing things when we are willing to take on a challenge, even if it means leaving our comfort zones behind.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/704-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/791-brent-treash" title="Brent Treash" aria-label="Brent Treash"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/568_brent.rev.1505410086.jpg" alt="Brent Treash" title="Brent Treash" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/568_brent.rev.1505410086.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/791-brent-treash"><p> An E&H alumnus is the top dog at Bristol’s biggest music festival this year.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p><strong>Emory & Henry</strong> has more in common with Bristol’s <strong><a href="http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/festival/">Rhythm & Roots</a></strong> event than just an ampersand: we also share Brent Treash.</p><p> Brent is a 2001 Emory & Henry grad who works in the College’s communications office…AND he is the 2017 chair of the biggest music festival in the region. Bristol’s Rhythm & Roots Reunion boasts of nearly 80,000 patrons in 2016 – including the nearly 500 musicians and countless food and merchandise vendors.</p><p> Brent got involved with Rhythm & Roots because local organizers wanted to pick his brain about jambands. While the festival takes place in the city that proudly hails as the Birthplace of Country Music, the event prides itself in offering a wide range of music styles. Brent says that’s very intentional. “When The Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers recorded those first songs at the event now called ‘The Bristol Sessions’ they were sharing a new kind of music with the world. We like to think that Rhythm & Roots does the same thing; it exposes the audience to new bands and new music styles.”</p><p> Those early Bristol Sessions are now considered the big bang of country music – <em>Keep on the Sunny Side</em> being the genesis that led to <em>Mama’s Broken Heart</em>. The big Rhythm & Roots festival celebrates all those nuances of country music (Dwight Yoakam is headlining this year) while also giving you a taste of blues, rock, folk, Americana, and more.</p><p> Brent has been on the Rhythm & Roots board for a decade so he has seen every aspect of the event: from tickets to stage set-up to cleanup. The contacts list on his phone can get you to hundreds of bands and just as many music managers. He is a walking Wikipedia of musicians, music, and music history. But in the end, he still enjoys the music. “The festival roster has no shortage of legendary musicians, but I love that our event has become a place where people come to discover new talent. We’ve been fortunate in the past to have artists like the Avett Brothers, Sturgill Simpson and St. Paul and the Broken Bones as they were just starting their careers. People come to Bristol each September looking for the next big thing. This year we have a Canadian singer-songwriter with a deep baritone voice named Colter Wall. He might be the best songwriter I’ve heard in several years.”</p><p> Brent also serves on the board of directors for the festival’s parent organization the Birthplace of Country Music.</p><p> In addition, he does a weekly radio show on WEHC 90.7 that highlights some of the great music discoverable at Rhythm & Roots. And his thoughts are never far from the event. “Every year we start planning earlier and earlier for the following year. I’m getting messages on a daily basis about bookings for 2018.”</p><p> Planning an event this huge doesn’t come without a share of disappointments and Brent occasionally has to suffer the pain of losing a band or performer he was really set on having at the event. But with a festival that features nearly 130 different acts, there will be music aplenty to console his broken heart.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/791-brent-treash" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1443-israel-oquinn" title="Israel O’Quinn" aria-label="Israel O’Quinn"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,12,240,254/2357_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1516296415.png" alt="Israel O’Quinn" title="Israel O’Quinn" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="240" data-max-h="320"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1443-israel-oquinn"><p> Israel O’Quinn is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Delegate Israel O’Quinn was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates on November 8, 2011. He represents the 5th House District which is comprised of Bristol City, Galax City, Grayson County, Smyth County (part) and Washington County (part). <br/><br/> As an advocate for Southwest Virginia, Israel works to ensure the 5th District is well-represented in Richmond. Israel serves as Deputy Majority Whip and his legislative committee assignments include Commerce and Labor, Privileges and Elections, as well as Militia, Police and Public Safety. He serves as the Chairman of Subcommittee Number Four in the Privileges and Elections Committee and he also serves as Chairman of Subcommittee Number Three in the Commerce and Labor Committee. Israel is a member of the legislative Coal and Energy Commission and he serves on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.</p><p> As a citizen legislator, Israel is employed by K-VA-T Food Stores, the parent company of the Food City retail supermarket chain. He currently directs the company’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, in addition to chairing the company’s Energy Conservation Committee, which has implemented a number of energy conservation measures throughout the K-VA-T distribution center and numerous stores. Prior to joining the K-VA-T team in 2006, Israel served in various roles in government and campaigns. He spent two years in the office of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and worked on a number of political campaigns, including those for Governor, Attorney General, US Senate, House of Delegates and various local offices.</p><p> Israel is Past Chairman of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, which has Five Star accreditation from the US Chamber of Commerce. Israel is a recipient of the Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 award, as well as Emory & Henry College’s Young Alumnus of the Year award. While at Emory & Henry College, Israel played on the varsity baseball team and graduated with degrees in Political Science and History. Israel is also a graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring, Virginia.</p><p> Israel and his wife, Emily, reside in Washington County, Virginia. Emily works as a corporate communications professional and she is an avid supporter of community organizations at both the state and local levels. Over the years, her service on a number of boards has focused on various business and philanthropic initiatives including expanding educational opportunities for children and increasing access to the arts.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1443-israel-oquinn" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1931-bill-shanks" title="Bill Shanks" aria-label="Bill Shanks"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,10,255,265/3462_10-16_Myanmar.rev.1520433164.jpg" alt="Bill Shanks" title="Bill Shanks" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="255" data-max-h="306"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1931-bill-shanks"><p> Bill Shanks is a retired educator, but he will never retire from community leadership.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> </p><p> “Emory & Henry College has always been a significant dimension of my life. Growing up in the Methodist community in the Holston Conference in Greeneville, Tennessee, I was aware of the College from an early age. My sister, Anne, graduated from there in 1960, and I was excited to follow her in 1963”. </p><p> Bill is a 1967 graduate of Emory & Henry College and is now retired after more than 40 years of service to the city of Bristol Virginia. He served for 33 years in the Bristol Virginia Public Schools, beginning as a junior high mathematics instructor, then elementary and junior high school principal, Director of Instruction, Assistant Superintendent, and Acting Superintendent. After retirement from the school division, he became Assistant City Manager for Special Projects for the City of Bristol Virginia, retiring for good in 2007. He holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Supervision from East Tennessee State University.</p><p> Bill has served on numerous boards and committees during his career, some of which are: Bristol Virginia-Tennessee Library Board (Chair) and Library Foundation Board (Chair), Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Club of Bristol, and Club Honors Board, Board of Directors of Bristol Virginia Department of Social Services, Board of Directors of River’s Way Outdoor Adventure Camp (Chair) Treasurer of Boy Scouts of America Troop 8, State Street United Methodist Church, Administrative Board of Trinity United Methodist Church, Board of Directors of Bristol Virginia School System Credit Union (Chair). He presently serves on the Board of Directors for the Emory & Henry College Alumni Association.</p><p> Bill and his wife, Mary Jo have two children and two grandchildren.</p><p> “I value and appreciate my experiences at Emory, both social and academic. The lifelong friends I have made are a gift, the academic program provided me with the necessary foundation for my career, and the college memories are priceless. I am fortunate to live in close proximity to the College so I can continue to be involved. “</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1931-bill-shanks" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk" title="Brooklyn Belk" aria-label="Brooklyn Belk"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,28,347,376/3466_BrooklynSawyersBelk.rev.1520453426.jpg" alt="Brooklyn Sawyers Belk" title="Brooklyn Sawyers Belk" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="347" data-max-h="495"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk"><p> Brooklyn Sawyers Belk is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Brooklyn Sawyers Belk is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Sawyers Belk was admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar in November 2015. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Law, where she teaches trial practice and interviewing and counseling. Additionally, she teaches a host of undergraduate history and pre-law courses. <br/><br/> Sawyers Belk graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2002 and serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. She obtained a Master of Arts degree in history in 2004 from East Tennessee State University and is a 2006 graduate of the UT College of Law. She resides in Knoxville with her husband, Lamont Belk, who practices civil law for the Tennessee Valley Authority. They have a daughter, Tressany, and a son, Joseph Matthew. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/792-bronie-reynolds" title="Bronie Reynolds" aria-label="Bronie Reynolds"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,499,543/565_bronie.rev.1505403379.jpg" alt="Bronie Reynolds" title="Bronie Reynolds" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="499" data-max-h="543"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/792-bronie-reynolds"><p> Did you ever wonder who picks the best referees in the country? Turns our Bronie Reynolds (right, E&H ’84) is one of those people.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><blockquote><p> She picks the refs who make the big calls. </p></blockquote><p> Bronie Reynolds (E&H ’84, E&H Hall of Fame basketball point guard) laughs with glee as she recalls how Dave Thomas used a dust spray around the edges of the E&H basketball court. “He took such good care of the King Center…and we all knew if you got much beyond the court lines during a game, you’d slide all over the place because he had dusted over there!”</p><p> These days Bronie is looking at basketball from a different vantage point. She is one of a handful of people who evaluate basketball referees. She works for Charlene Curtis – former basketball standout and Hall Of Famer from Radford University who selects and assigns the Women’s Basketball Officials for the ACC, Big South, Southern and Colonial Conferences. Bronie has known Ms. Curtis for a long time. “Coach Curtis, as I refer to her since I worked under her as her Graduate Assistant Coach at Radford University in 1984, is also responsible for the evaluation of the officials for those conferences. She has to hire Neutral Observers, like me, to help her fulfill the expectations of each conference to have the best officials on the floor for every game. “</p><p> During the summer, she attends a camp where new officials try to break into conferences like the ACC and current officials try to vie for a better spot on the referee totem pole. Bronie says it’s very competitive. “Every year they’re all evaluated – so they have to be on their best game. They have to stay in shape physically, they must know the rules, and they need to appear invisible on the court. There is always someone trying to get their spot.”</p><p> She has a “day job,” too. She is Business Manager for Blue Spiral Consulting and an Insurance Consultant for Blue Ridge Insurance Services. However, throughout the year she watches tapes of games and attends games, and she gets to watch a lot of her favorite sport. “I get paid to watch basketball! Who can complain about that!?”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/792-bronie-reynolds" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2057-ed-moorer" title="Ed Moorer" aria-label="Ed Moorer"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/780,339,2681,2240/4139_030.rev.1525893965.JPG" alt="Ed Moorer" title="Ed Moorer" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/780,339,2681,2240/4139_030.rev.1525893965.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/780,339,2681,2240/4139_030.rev.1525893965.JPG 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2057-ed-moorer"><p> Ed Moorer is having a second career because he’s not finished learning or teaching.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Ed Moorer (’71) knows how to use his sense of humor to engage people. Having been part of the now-famous “Avis Rent-A-Car” ad filmed on the E&H campus in 1969, he jokes that this television debut was the beginning of his fame: “I’ve also done a talk about bird migration on Christian radio, recorded a CD with my college buddies, co-authored a book, and was an extra in the movie ‘Leatherheads.’ I still have time to do something else…I’m just not sure what it is yet!”</p><p> Ed is the site coordinator for Sassafras Mountain Hawkwatch in Pickens, South Carolina, and was named the 2016 Employee of the Year for Table Rock State Park located there. He has worked there for 18 years.</p><p> This is especially notable because he is retired after teaching and coaching in high school for 30 years – physical education, driver education, and coaching football and basketball (“Thanks, Coach Hutton.”). He built a log cabin and found a new passion: the outdoors. He started working part-time at Table Rock State Park in the northern part of South Carolina. He enjoyed greeting and talking with hikers at the nature center who stopped in on their way up the mountain, and he found that his E&H history degree was coming in handy. “This area is rich in history as well as nature and I talk to visitors about the Native Americans and about the Civil War era – all things that E&H professors lectured on while I was a student. (Thanks, Mr. Neal).”</p><p> He is particularly passionate about raptor migration, and is involved with an annual count that documents up to 15 different species as they fly south over the Appalachian Mountains in the fall. Sassafras Mountain is the highest mountain in South Carolina, and the count runs from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. “I have a small group of fellow birders who assist. Information is then entered at hawkcount.org where it becomes part of a much larger database that tells us how well our birds, and environment, are doing on a national and worldwide basis.”</p><p> “I love to be outside and still feel like education is an ongoing process which should be shared with anyone, especially our younger generation. Find something that you enjoy and make the most of it! Emory & Henry started my learning and I hope that since then that I have made a difference in somebody’s life that I have encountered.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2057-ed-moorer" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>