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6 alumni to be honored at Homecoming Brunch

The Austin Peay State University National Alumni Association will honor six alumni during the Annual Homecoming Awards Brunch slated for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 6 in the Joe Morgan University Center Ballroom.

Recipients of the 2006 Outstanding Service Award are the late Sallie Hampton Ellis, Clarksville, and Dewayne McKinney, Hendersonville. The Outstanding Alumnus/a Award goes to David Bibb, Woodbridge, Va., and Rhonda Kennedy, Clarksville. Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award recipients are Michelle Madrid-Branch, Sante Fe, N.M., and Charles Bubba Wells, Clarksville.
The Austin Peay State University National Alumni Association will honor six alumni during the Annual Homecoming Awards Brunch slated for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 6 in the Joe Morgan University Center Ballroom.

Recipients of the 2006 Outstanding Service Award are the late Sallie Hampton Ellis, Clarksville, and Dewayne McKinney, Hendersonville. The Outstanding Alumnus/a Award goes to David Bibb, Woodbridge, Va., and Rhonda Kennedy, Clarksville. Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award recipients are Michelle Madrid-Branch, Sante Fe, N.M., and Charles “Bubba” Wells, Clarksville.

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes those who, through fundraising, recruiting, advocacy or faithful service, have brought honor to APSU. It is the APSUNAA's highest honor.

The Outstanding Service Award will be presented posthumously to Sallie Hampton Ellis. Among the first African-American students to enroll as an undergraduate at Austin Peay State College, she graduated in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She completed an M.S. in Administration and Supervision in 1973 and the Education Specialist degree in 1984.

Named Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Association's Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 1995, Ellis retired from the local school system in 1997 after 30 years of service.

On April 9, 2000, she was inducted into APSU's Phi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi education honor society, American Association of University Women, Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library Friends and the Tennessee Library and Reading Associations.

After teaching in area elementary schools, Ellis taught with the Title I kindergarten program in 1970. From 1979-93, she was a teacher and consultant for the Program for Academically Superior Students, which she wrote and implemented for primary students.

Ellis was a charter member of the Tennessee Association for the Gifted, serving as the organization's president in 1990-91. From 1993 until retiring, she taught at Burt Elementary School as the “21st Century Classroom Teacher,” developing curriculum and instructional methods for the computer age. From 1973-96, she frequently served on accreditation visiting and steering committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

She was president, president-elect/vice president and program chair of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association. She served by appointment on the Greater Nashville Regional Council and the Montgomery County Millennium Commission. She was a member of the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce and APSU Governors Club.

She served on the boards of directors of the Clarksville Community Concert Series, Harriett Cohn Mental Health Center and local library. She was a member of the American Cancer Society, Fibromyalgia Alliance of America and Schomburg Society for the Preservation of Black Culture. A troop leader for both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, she was an active member of the Trinity Episcopal Church.

Ellis is survived by her husband, L M Ellis, Clarksville; four children, Dorlisa Goodrich Young, Sicklerville, N.J.; Charles C. Goodrich, Chicago; Kenneth O. Goodrich and Yvetta Denise Johnson, Clarksville; and six grandchildren.

Also receiving the 2006 Outstanding Service Award is Dewayne McKinney, Hendersonville, who earned a bachelor's in biology from Austin Peay.

After graduation, he worked eight years in his father's construction business until he accepted his first job in sales with Handling Systems Inc., Nashville. Handling Systems Inc. is primarily a broker. If an industry needs a certain piece of assembly equipment, McKinney designs it on an AutoCAD computer, and the company sells the design to the customer.

Now co-owner and vice president of sales for Handling Systems Inc., McKinney designed an automated system to help packaging operations for Wilson Sporting Goods' golf ball line. His work on this project was featured in Packaging World magazine (August 2005).

McKinney enrolled at Austin Peay in 1966, but left to fight in the Vietnam War. After returning to Austin Peay as a nontraditional student, McKinney jumped enthusiastically into student life, serving on the Social Activities Board, as a cheerleader for the Govs and president of his fraternity.

He continues to be a “cheerleader” for his alma mater. In 1991, McKinney received the Alumni-Admissions Award in recognition of his outstanding service in recruiting students for his alma mater. During the 1990 basketball season, McKinney brought 25 students to a Govs game. That fall, he brought an additional 11 students for a campus tour.

Besides recruiting students and supporting the Govs through regular attendance at games, McKinney has given much time as a volunteer for the APSU National Alumni Association, serving as secretary-treasurer, vice president and president during the era when the alumni association was transitioning from a local organization to a national one.

McKinney and his wife, Cheryl ('73), whom he met at Austin Peay, have two grown children. An APSU alumna (2000), their daughter, Bethany McKinney Froboese, earned a doctorate in physical therapy and works with a group of Clarksville orthopaedic doctors. Their son, Blake, who plans to enter the ministry, attends Union University, Jackson.

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

The 2006 Outstanding Alumnus is David Bibb ('70) who began serving as the acting administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1, 2005, after being appointed deputy administrator in late 2003. The GSA, which is the federal government's central property manager, has massive property holdings nationwide.

With more than 34 years of service with GSA, Bibb has been named to such executive-level positions as deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner for planning, both within GSA's Public Buildings Service. Prior to his role as deputy administrator, Bibb was deputy associate administrator for real property within GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy with duties including the direction of policy and regulatory development for the acquisition, management and disposal of real property and workplace assets of the federal government.

As acting administrator of GSA, Bibb works closely with the GSA senior leadership team to devise policy and provide management and acquisition services to other federal agencies.

A two-time recipient of the Presidential Rank Awards of Meritorious Executive and of the Distinguished Executive Award, he twice received the Administrator's Distinguished Service Award, GSA's highest honor.

Bibb serves as a board member for the National Capital Region Combined Federal Campaign, chair of the U.S. Access Board, chair of the Guidance Committee of the Workplace Network and representative on the National Advisory Council of the Building Owners and Managers Association of America.

At APSU, Bibb was three-year editor of The All State student newspaper and, at graduation, received the Drane Award as the outstanding baccalaureate graduate. He earned a master's degree from Florida State University.

Bibb is married to APSU alumna Rebecca Taylor Bibb ('72). Residents of Woodbridge, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., the couple has two children, Elizabeth and Jonathan.

The recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award is Rhonda Kennedy, who was named Tennessee Principal of the Year in 2006. Shortly thereafter, she was tapped as the first principal of Clarksville's newest school, Barkers Mill Elementary.

Prior to this leadership position, she was principal of Hazelwood Elementary School from 1999-2005 and assistant principal of St. Bethlehem Elementary from 1996-99. She was a special education teacher for 13 years, teaching at Ringgold, Barksdale and St. Bethlehem.

In 1993, Kennedy was selected as the Distinguished Classroom Teacher and was nominated as Clarksville Jaycee's Outstanding Young Educator.

Her personal mission is to promote partnerships between educational and business and civic entities for the advancement of the community. She encourages colleagues and friends to “look down with compassion, back with forgiveness, forward with hope and up with gratitude.”

Kennedy is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Clarksville and a 2004 and 2005 nominee for Clarksville's Athena Award. She is active in her church and in the community through Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Heart Walk, DARE, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She has served as secretary-treasurer of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Political Action Committee.

She is married to Kevin Kennedy, a local attorney, and has three children. Their son Kevin Jr., 20, who served as president of APSU Student Government Association during 2005-06, is a student in the UT-Memphis Dental School. Kenneth, 17, is junior class president at Rossview High School, and Katie, 13, is active on the Rossview Middle School Student Council.

Outstanding Young Alumna for 2006 is Michelle Madrid-Branch, Santa Fe, N.M., who is the founder of Adoption Tribe Publishing and The AML (Adoption Means Love) Foundation.

With a master's in broadcast journalism from APSU, this former Emmy-nominated television news journalist is the author of two internationally acclaimed books on adoption: “The Tummy Mummy” and “Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart.”

She is the adopted daughter of Rosamund and Lee Boles, Clarksville and, recently, she and her husband adopted a baby boy from Russia. Thus, she brings a personal passion to her work to raise awareness of the millions of children worldwide who need “forever families.”

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and his wife, Barbara, honored Madrid-Branch for her adoption efforts at home and abroad by presenting her with the 2006 Governor's Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women.

She also was inducted into the 2006 New Mexico Women's Hall of Fame, and her book, “Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart,” was named a Top Five Inspirational Book for 2006 by Dolce Vita Magazine.

In 2004, she received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award in Washington, D.C. U.S. Sen. Pete Dominici (N.M.), who nominated her for the honor, said, “I am amazed by Michelle's … dedication to making a difference in the lives of children … I am grateful to have such a role model among us.”

Madrid-Branch's work and message have been included in numerous publications around the world. Adoption Australia Magazine called her a “world voice for adoption,” and in 2005 she was featured in Women's Day magazine.

Among her fans is New York Times best-selling author Robert G. Allen, who said, “Michelle Madrid-Branch is changing the world in the area of adoption. It is a message the world needs to hear. Listen to her!”

What Madrid-Branch is saying is being heard: All adoptable children will have loving families of their own, and the world will celebrate adoption on every continent.

She and her husband, Jeffrey Branch, a commercial real estate developer, are the parents of a birth son, Christian, 4, and adopted son, Ian, 2.

Once again, Charles “Bubba” Wells is in the spotlight as this year's Outstanding Young Alumnus. This man who broke the legendary Fly Williams' (29.5 points per game) scoring mark for a single season has returned to his alma mater as assistant basketball coach.

When Wellsthe leading scorer in APSU men's basketball historyleft professional basketball, he decided to use his talents as a coach, mentoring young men on the same court where he earned the nation's respect, not only as a top basketball player, but also as an outstanding young man with great determination and grit.

Considered by many as the most popular player in Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) history, Wells finished his college career with 2,267 pointsthe first APSU player to reach 2,000 pointsranking him third all-time in the OVC.

He was a three-time first-team All-OVC choice after being named the league's “Freshman of the Year” in 1993-94. He was 1997 OVC “Player of the Year,” OVC “Male Athlete of the Year” in 1996 and 1997 and 1997 Joy Award recipient as the most valuable senior athlete. He also was chosen twice as the Sportswriters College Basketball “Player of the Year.”

Wells' famed No. 13 jersey was retired Jan. 22, 1998, and he was inducted into the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 8, 2003.

It was his senior year at APSU that drew nationwide attention. He missed the season's first 12 games with a stress fracture in his left tibia, requiring surgery to place a tibial nail in the lower leg. After similar surgery in the 1994-95 season, he needed five months to rehabilitate.
But his senior year, the rehab process took less than five weeks.

In his first game, he scored 39 points in 28 minutes. As a result, Well's debut performance and his surgery were featured in USA Today.

Although he did not have enough games played to qualify for the official title, he went on to become the nation's unofficial leading scorer, averaging 31.7 ppg, scoring 30 or more points 11 timesincluding three 40-point games.

“InfoSport: Basketball's 1996-97 National Comeback Player of the Year,” Wells' performance caught the attention of The Los Angeles Times, which ran a front-page story, titled “The Man of Steel.” He was the focus of segments on both CBS NCAA College Basketball “At the Half” and a seven-minute feature“The Real Rod Man”on NBC's “Today” show.

With a college career average of 21.6 ppg and 7.1 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the floor, Wells was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 1997 draft and played one season before being traded to the Phoenix Suns and then the Chicago Bulls.

Major leg and groin injuries slowed his professional career. Wells played two seasons overseas and then joined the Harlem Globetrotters two years before coming “home” to APSU.
Wells has one child, 4-year-old daughter Alyiah.

To make reservations for the brunch, telephone (931) 221-7979. -- Dennie B. Burke