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National Alumni Assoc. gives out top awards Nov. 1

October 7, 2003

Join friends and alumni for Austin Peays 2003 Alumni Awards Brunch during the upcoming Homecoming. Alumni from the College of Arts and Letters also will be recognized.

Alumni, family and friends are invited to celebrate with award recipients and the reunion group during the annual brunch, which begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 1 in the Tommy Head Atrium of the Sundquist Science Centera prime location to watch the parade!
October 7, 2003

Join friends and alumni for Austin Peay's 2003 Alumni Awards Brunch during the upcoming Homecoming. Alumni from the College of Arts and Letters also will be recognized.

Alumni, family and friends are invited to celebrate with award recipients and the reunion group during the annual brunch, which begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 1 in the Tommy Head Atrium of the Sundquist Science Centera prime location to watch the parade!

*The Outstanding Service Award honors people who, through fund raising, recruiting, advocacy or faithful service, have brought honor and distinction to APSU. The recipient does not have to be an APSU alumnus/a.

*The Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award, which is restricted to APSU graduates who are no older than 42, honors outstanding accomplishments in one's profession, business, community, state or nation that have brought a high level of honor to APSU.

*The Outstanding Alumnus/a Award honors an APSU graduate, regardless of age, for outstanding accomplishments in his/her profession, business, community, state or nation that have brought a high level of honor and pride to APSU.

Branden Buhler ('51), Clarksville, is a recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Service Award. As a student, Buhler was Dave Aaron's right-hand man, serving as manager of several athletic teams. Today, he is one of the founding fathers of the Dave Aaron Foundation. In 1991 he and several of Aaron's former players established the foundation, which now stands at more than $175,000, with interest from it going to athletic scholarships.

Buhler was born in Stewart County, but when Camp Campbell was created in the 1940s, the family farm was absorbed into the Army post. His parents bought a farm in Christian County, Ky., which now belongs to Buhler and his brother, Andrew.

Buhler earned a degree in secondary education from APSU. In the 50s, he coached and taught at Montgomery Central High School. Later, he became a partner in several Clarksville businesses before moving to Atlanta, where he entered the construction industry and recreational-vehicle sales. In 1967, the family returned to Clarksville, where he continued selling RVs. From 1968-75, he was district sales manager for Winnebago Industries. Then he became district sales manager for National Homes and National Building Systems until he retired in 1992.

Buhler has a 10-year record of service to the Governors Club. He is a Mason, Kentucky Colonel and Shriner. He belongs to the Winnebago VIP Club, National Homes Presidents Club and National Building Systems Chairman's Club.

He has two children grown children, Deborah McCullough, Douglasville, Ga., and Mark Buhler, Dickson, and five grandchildren. In 1994 he married APSU alumna, Thelma McKenzie ('58), a speech pathologist with offices in Clarksville, Hopkinsville and Greenville, Ky.

Perkins Freeman, the second recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Service Award, was born in 1919 on a farm near Gallatin. He worked hard to finance his freshman year at David Lipscomb College. The following year, he worked as seven days a week to pay for tuition, room and board at Cumberland College, Lebanon. Freeman's struggle to attain an education is one reason he provides financial assistance to students in need who want to attend APSU.

Freeman was too young for the first military draft of 1940, so he went to work for Southern Bell, Nashville, but he volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1941 and was sent to radio school. A year later, he deployed to the South Pacific to set up radio equipment. Freeman was discharged in October 1945 at the end of the war.

Within a few weeks, he rejoined Bell, moving with his wife, Ruth, to Atlanta, headquarters for the company, which had plans to take telephone service to rural areas within the nine states served by Southern Bell. The couple's daughter, Cindy (‘73), was born in Atlanta.

In 1953, the family moved to Nashville, where Freeman worked in Southern Bell's Business Office nine years before transferring to Clarksville as manager of a 13-county area. In 1968, AT&T and the “baby Bells” split, giving Freeman oversight of 25 Middle Tennessee counties.
Eventually, he was asked to transfer to Birmingham, Ala., but he declined. With 41 years of service, he retired in 1981, so his family could remain in Clarksville.

During Freeman's years in Springfield, he was president and secretary of the Rotary Club and president of the Chamber of Commerce. He continued his community service after moving to Clarksville where, once again, he was president of both the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. He is a member of the Conservation Club, Association of the United States Army, Montgomery County Sportsman Club and Pointer and Setter Club. He also is an elder and board chair of First Christian Church.

Freeman is a member of APSU's Tower Club, Governors Club, Foundation Board of Trustees and the President's Circle of Advisers. He sponsors the Governors Club/Perkins Freeman Academic Achievement Award for athletes and the Freeman-Meise Scholarship in music.

Also a recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Service Award, Jim Mann, Clarksville, is a leader in banking, education and the arts. As a bank president, Mann appreciates the many benefits APSU offers the region-- from infusing more than $165 million into the economy to being the primary provider of the arts.

Mann earned a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and a master's degree in mathematics from Ohio State University. He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1964.

Before entering the banking industry, Mann worked nine years as a teaching assistant at Ohio State University. In 1973, he joined First Federal Savings Bank and moved up the ranks until becoming president and chief executive officer in January 1981.

From 2001-02, Mann chaired the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council. He is on the boards of the local United Way and Intrieve, serving as chair of Intrieve since 2000. He was a board member and chair of the Clarksville Armed Services YMCA from 1978-81 and served two terms as chair of the Clarksville Salvation Army. He was district chair for the Boy Scouts and chair of the Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts of America. In 1997-98, he chaired the Clarksville/Montgomery County Public Library Foundation. He was president of the Clarksville Community Concert Association, a founder and president of Leadership Clarksville and chair of Youth Leadership Clarksville.

Mann was named Distinguished Past President and Distinguished Past Lt. Governor by the Kiwanis Club. He also was named the William O. Beach Citizen of the Year in 1995. That same year, he received the Ovation Award from APSU's Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. The Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts of America presented him with the Silver Beaver Award in 2001. In 2002, he received The Gracey Award for service to the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center.

Chair of the Tennessee League of Savings Institutions in 1980-90 and president of the Southeastern Conference of Community Banks in 1995-97, Mann is on the board of America's Community Banks (ACB) and a member of ACB Legislative Committee, Mutual Institutions Committee and Technology Committee.

He and his wife, Dottie, have three grown childrenLaura, James Jr. and William Russell.

Dr. Valencia McChristian-May (‘86), Memphis, is this year's Outstanding Young Alumna. In addition to her private practice in Memphis, May works in free dental clinics, providing care for uninsured people. She also donates time to visit schools to talk about the importance of dental care.

May, who earned a bachelor's degree from APSU in 1986 and a doctor of dental science degree from the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry, grew up in Shelbyville, Tenn., the oldest of five children. Her primary interest at APSU was playing basketball, but her need for braces changed the course of her life. Her orthodontist kept telling her she would make a great dentist. Believing what he said, she quit basketball and changed her major to pre-dentistry.

May's outstanding scholarly achievements earned her academic scholarships to APSU and dental school. However, her APSU experience wasn't all about maintaining a high GPA. In 1983 she was crowned both Homecoming Queen and Miss Black Clarksville. After dental school, she entered the U. S. Air Force to gain additional experience in dentistry while serving her country.

May is a member of the American Dental Association, National Dental Association, Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and she is active in Network of Memphis. She and her husband, James, have two children, Alex, 11, and Darragh, 7.

Also an Outstanding Young Alumna, Kathryn Anne Shearer, Huntsville, Ala., is one of the nation's top experts on foreign anti-missile radar. She works with different people in the United States governmentfrom soldiers in the field to policymakers in Congress and the Pentagon.

Shearer earned her bachelor's degree in physics from APSU in 1992. In 1994, she completed a master's degree in physics at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

From 1995-2000, she was a research analyst for Dynetics Inc., Huntsville, designing, developing and testing software simulations of foreign surface-to-air missiles. In 2000, she became a systems engineer and analyst for the Missile & Space Intelligence Center, Huntsville, analyzing foreign surface-to-air missile systems and foreign anti-tactical ballistic missile systems and providing information to American soldiers and policymakers.

Shearer played a key role in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an air-defense expert at the European Command Joint Analysis Center (EUCOMJAC). She received a commendation letter from the commander of the EUCOMJAC for “providing immediate technical expertise to Command decision makers and Theater air assets operating over northern Iraq.”

She has briefed defense officials and policy makers on foreign anti-tactical ballistic missile systems' performance and provided assessment of its capabilities. She has written many articles in which she assessed these systems for the Pentagon and Defense Intelligence Agency officials. She has been involved in evaluating the effectiveness of U.S. strike platforms, jamming techniques and/or electronic countermeasures against modern surface-to-air missile systems.

The 2003 Outstanding Young Alumnus, Nelson Boehms is one of the area's most promising young leaders. The son of Dr. Charles Boehms, former dean of students at APSU, Boehms grew up on the Austin Peay campus, so he has an unusually close connection to APSU.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in business administration from APSU, he graduated from the American Institute of Banking. He attended the Robert Morris Associates Commercial Lending School at East Carolina University and the Tennessee Bankers Association Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending at the Owen School of Management of Vanderbilt.

In May 2003, Boehms was named vice president of commercial lending for Planters Bank, Clarksville. Previously, he was vice president for commercial lending for Old National Bank.

His banking career began in 1987 when he was named assistant manager and then manager of the Nashville branch of United Companies Lending of Raleigh, N.C. He became assistant sales manager for First Union Home Equity Company, Raleigh in 1992. From 1993 to 1996, he was with Central Carolina Bank and Trust Company, Raleigh, moving up to assistant vice president.

Boehms is a 2000 graduate of Leadership Clarksville, treasurer-elect of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and a member of the Downtown District Partnership. He is active in the local United Way, having served as board member, board chair, vice president and campaign co-chair.

Boehms is a member of the University Tower Club and the APSU Foundation Board of Trustees, serving as treasurer. He is a director and vice president-elect of the APSU Governors Club. He is co-director of the Montgomery County Chapter of the APSU National Alumni Association, having been chapter vice president and president.

He is a founding member and vice chair of the Tennessee Board of Regents Federation of Alumni Associations, established in 2002 to promote the education, welfare and common good of the citizens of Tennessee supporting a better-educated citizenry through TBR institutions.

Boehms and his wife, Deborah, have three children Charlie, 10, Analena, 8, and Samuel, 5.

The recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Alumna Award, Dr. Ramona Lumpkin began her term as the principal (president) of Huron University College in London, Ontario, Canada, in 2001.

Her remarkable leadership skills surfaced early. During her APSU graduation, Lumpkin received the Drane Award, which goes to the most outstanding baccalaureate graduate by faculty selection. After graduating with a degree in English, she left for England on a Fulbright Fellowship to study English drama at the University of Birmingham.

After completing the Fulbright Fellowship, she remained in England, first as a research fellow at Dartington College of Arts and, later, as an English teacher at Talbot Heath Girls' School.

After returning to the United States, Lumpkin received a master's degree in English from UT-Knoxville. In 1977 she earned a doctorate from the University of Kentucky, Lexington. Postdoctoral work included studies at the Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration at Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management.

Her academic career began when she became a member of the English faculty at Kentucky State University, Richmond. The following year, she was appointed director of the Appalachian College Program, administering research fellowships and development programs for humanities and social science faculty at 32 liberal arts colleges throughout Appalachia.

Subsequently, she was named executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council, a state agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In that role, she worked to build bridges between communities and universities and to secure funding for innovative programs.

From 1990-92, she was associate dean of the College of Lifelong Learning at Wayne State University, Detroit, and, subsequently, dean of continuing education at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Immediately before her current position, she was vice president for learning and provost of Royal Roads University, British Columbia, Canada.

Lumpkin's research and publications focus primarily on 19th century literature and adult and continuing education. In recognition of her commitment to lifelong learning, she was inducted as an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education and as an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Ontario Council of Universities for Lifelong Learning.

She is on the board of Canada's organization for the advancement of the high-speed Internet. Her community service includes work with Big Sisters, the Kentucky Women's Resource Center, Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women and Leadership Victoria.

Lumpkin is married to Dr. William H. Blackburn, retired professor of geology.

Gordon Jackson of Memphis, the 2003 recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus Award, is a nationally renowned author and speaker on the topic of positive employee relations. He is the senior partner of Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Cantrell, a management-oriented law firm with offices in Cordova, a suburb of Memphis. A specialist in labor relations and employment law, Jackson launched the firm in 1978, after graduating from the University of Tennessee School of Law.

Originally from Robertson County, he was one of seven children born to Carl and Cora Jackson. Dr. Carlette Hardin ('71,'79), professor of education at APSU, is his sister. As an APSU student, Jackson was president of the Student Government Association. In 1997 he was named to the Academic Hall of Fame for APSU's chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

He is a member of the prestigious College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association and the American Academy of Hospital attorneys of the American Hospital Association.

Jackson has authored many books on innovative management, including “Unlawful Termination and Employment-at-Will,” “Law of Employer and Employee Rights Case Manual” and the “Labor and Employment Law Desk Book,” a Prentice Hall, one-volume reference manual. He is co-author of “How to Defend and Win Labor and Employment Law Cases.” Published in 1999, his book “Coaches EncourageBosses Punish” gives four secrets for excellence in relationships.

A member of the National Speakers Association, Jackson was named to “Who's Who in Professional Speaking” and was selected in 1996 as one of 31 “Consummate Speakers” by Sharing Ideas, the international magazine for speakers and meeting planners. Jackson is one of fewer than 400 people worldwide to earn the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. He is a frequent speaker at management meetings throughout the nation, averaging more than 100 speaking engagements annually. He and his wife, Sandy, live in Memphis. He has two grown children.

For more information or to make brunch reservations, telephone 7979.
Dennie Burke