A Few Emory & Henry Alumni Stories

Feature story: E&H’s role in the Space Race.

  • Mike Young (Class of 1986) is the head men’s basketball coach at Virginia Tech.
  • E.C. Huffaker (Class of 1880) worked with the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk.
  • Toni Atkins (Class of 1984), is President Pro-Tempore of the California State Senate.
  • Morgan Griffith (Class of 1983), is in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Eloise Johnson (Class of 1949) was the first of more than 20 E&H alums hired by NASA during the space race.
  • Louisa Littleton (Class of 1939) was the first woman to intern at Charlotte Memorial Hospital and in 1951 opened an integrated private pediatric practice in Statesville, North Carolina. An annual award at the hospital is named for her.
  • The book Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, mentions alumnus John Young (Class of 1955) who worked for NASA and on development of the Space Shuttle. The book’s main character, Katherine Johnson, had a nephew who graduated from Emory & Henry: Scrapper Broady is a member of the E&H Sports Hall of Fame who graduated in 1970.
  • Mary Blakemore Johnson (Class of 1946) was a code-breaker and medical officer in WWII.
  • Rev. Wil Cantrell’s (’01) book Unafraid and Unashamed, has been considered the “go to” resource for the United Methodist Church in the midst of controversial church decisions.
  • E&H Alumni have won Emmy Award, include Joel Hilton (1998), Bonnie Widener Wood (1990), Eric Scott (1988), Jeff Tewksbury (1982), Jay Webb (1999), Tyrone Bachman (1998), and Sheila Evans (1988).
  • E&H boasts of two governors of Virginia, Henry Carter Stuart (Class of 1874) and George C. Peery (Class of 1894). George Peery was governor when the Virginia State Park System opened in 1936.
  • Dorothy Buck Boucher (Class of 1944) was the first female E&H graduate to become an attorney.
  • Rev. Paul Seay (’01) is the co-author of a book on Christmas entitled, From Heaven to Earth: Christmas for old believers, new believers, and non-believers. He was an alternate delegate for the 2019 United Methodist General Conference.
  • served as former interim mayor of San Diego, and was Governor of CA for 9 hours!
  • R.J. Reynolds attended Emory & Henry.
  • Robby Thomas (Class of 2001), U.S. State Department, is the former manager in the Secretary of State’s 24/7 Operations Center.
  • Luke Grooms (Class of 2001), is an opera and musical theatre performer.
  • Mike Austin (Class of 1975) is a world-renown tenor singing with the Stuttgart Opera House in Germany.
  • Doug Dalton (Class of 1994), dot com wiz, now more than 8 very trendy bars in San Francisco.
  • Dr. Emily Sturgill (’09) is the founder of PurSolutions,a company that promotes the impact of cytoskeletal research by commercializing research and educational-grade tubulin and actin reagents.
  • The movie Big Stone Gap (based on the best-selling novel by the same name authored by Adriana Trigiani) features a host of E&H alumni who served as extras in the film. Ms. Trigiani was the Emory & Henry commencement speaker in 2018 and received a rare standing ovation.
  • A. Morrow (Class of 1916) wrote the E&H alma mater as well as UVa’s official alma mater, “Virginia, Hail, All Hail.”
  • Erick Long (Class of 1991) is a Vice President for the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles.
  • Glenn Roberts (Class of 1935) is credited as one of the inventors of the jump shot. According to the Naismith Hall of Fame, the 3-second rule came about to slow down Glenn’s scoring.
  • Lindsey Hurd Layman (’08) is an environmental engineer for Virginia’s only cement company. Since her hire, the company has consistently met environmental standards every year.
  • Gary Reedy (Class of 1978) is the CEO of the American Cancer Society.
  • Many government leaders at the state and local levels are E&H graduates. Joe P. Johnson (Class of 1954) served as a Virginia State Representative from 1992-2014.
  • Dr. Bob Buchanan (Class of 1958) is a microbiologist retired from the University of California, Berkely who has authored a textbook on microbiology and has won the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists.
  • The Hon. Teresa Chafin (Class of 1978) is a member of the Virginia Supreme Court.
  • Dr. Ed Ripley (Class of 1987) is a Nuclear Metallurgist at Y-12 National Security Complex and a magician of world-renown. He holds more than 20 patents.
  • Martha Spencer (E&H alumna, Whitetop Mountain Band) was featured in a 2018 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine as an “artist you need to know.”
  • Dr. Patricia Bear Huber (Class of 1976) was elected in 2017 to serve as the first female president of New River Community College in Dublin, Virginia.
  • Gerald Anderson (Class of 1976, deceased) was a master luthier who trained under the famous Wayne Henderson. Gerald made guitars for Dolly Parton and Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons).

Emory & Henry is proud that many of our graduates are published authors. In 2019, we hosted our first Homecoming Book Signing, and here are the alumni who participated:

- Rev. Paul Seay (E&H ’01) and Rev. Wil Cantrell (E&H ’01): From Heaven to Earth: Christmas for New Believers, Old Believers, and Non-Believers
- James Ballard (E&H ’74): William Edmondson “Grumble” Jones: The Life of a Cantankerous Confederate
- Chrissie Anderson Peters (E&H ’93): Blue Ridge Christmas

- Dale McGlothlin (E&H ’87): Great Big Small Things: The Extraordinary Life of Fred Selfe

- Joe Cundiff (E&H ’90): Broken Chain: The Echo of Lone Howls
 Josh Stamper (E&H ’07): Ugly Me
- Emily Wallace (E&H ’04): Road Sides: An Illustrated Companion to Dining and Driving in the American South 


Other Fun E&H Trivia:

  • When the University of Florida Gators won the SEC football championship in 1994 they beat Alabama by one point using a tricky formation called the Emory & Henry Play. Coach Steve Spurrier (who grew up in East Tennessee) had seen this unusual play used when he came to Emory & Henry games when he was a kid – so when he used it with his teams, he named it for Emory & Henry.
  • The first game the Vols played in UT’s Neyland stadium was against E&H. Because E&H held the Vols scoreless for two quarters newspapers said we gave them “quite a stinging;” this may have been the genesis of our mascot nickname Wasps. (We are the only college in the country with a Wasp for its mascot. Could be worse: UC-Santa Cruz gets to cheer for the Banana Slugs.)
  • The last person to coach the Lady Vols before Pat Summit was Dr. Margaret Hutson who coached and taught at Emory & Henry and started the E&H Athletic Training program. Dr. Hutson was responsible for the UT women wearing very orange uniforms. While she is now deceased, her Scottish Terrier (Bonny) can still be seen walking around the campus.