• Misty (left) with Heidi Blackwell ’99

Misty Hood Whitlock ’00

My defining moment at Oglethorpe was the day I booked my first trip abroad with Heidi Blackwell ’99, back in March 1999. Heidi and I started out as friends in elementary school, and although we didn’t attend the same high school we each separately decided to matriculate to Oglethorpe. Spurred on by a big sale from British Airways, we booked a seven night trip to England following Heidi’s graduation. Although we did the trip on a true student’s shoestring budget, we had a wonderful time together, and that fantastic week opened me up to new cultures and experiences which has led to an addiction to travel. Since then, I’ve visited 23 countries ranging from nearby Caribbean islands to many countries in Europe to exotic destinations such as Australia, Vanuatu and Russia. Since our initial excursion abroad, Heidi and I have remained close friends and have been fortunate enough to travel on two additional trips together, to Italy and Ireland and Wales. My OU education has allowed me to appreciate art, architecture, music and food in every place I’ve explored, and has given me the ability to keep an open mind, enjoy and seek understanding of different cultures around the world. The big question since my defining moment has been and will continue to be: where to next?

 

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Dr. Charles Ingram ’59

I got my BS in Math and Science in 1959, and taught school for a year where I went to elementary school.  Afterwards, I went back to OU and got my T4 teachers certificate and taught a second year in high school Biology, Chemistry and Physics in Pickens County, GA where I incidentally finished high school, myself. I then went to work for Lockheed at the Nuclear Lab near Dawsonville in North, GA where I, after some time, transferred to the main plant in Marietta and became a Senior Aeromechanics Engineer. In 1971, I quit as a protest to the SST and Viet Nam War effort and started a new Anesthesiology program at Emory where I got my MS in 1973. I subsequently went on to get my MD in 1997. I did my residency in Anesthesiology at Emory and stayed there–becoming the Chief of Pediatric Anesthesia at Grady before I left and wound up at the Medical Center in Johnson City, TN. I loved my time and the Core at OU and still think it is ideal in many ways. I am now retired in Macon, GA where my daughter is head soccer coach at Wesleyan College.

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Carl David ’70

There are too many special moments to list here but I will say that having written an article for the Stormy Petrel was my first foray into the writing world. After I graduated in 1970, I entered our family business (David David Gallery) and went on to write an article about an artist we represented, (Martha Walter) which was published in The American Art review in 1978. I decided then that I needed to share the inner workings of the art market and wrote, “Collecting And Care of Fine Art” which was published by Crown, NY in 1981 and will be published by Skyhorse Publishing NY in the fall or winter of 2015 as an updated, revised edition. My second book, which is my heart, is “Bader Field; How my family Survived Suicide” (Nightengale Press, 2008-2015 POD). It is a non fiction family saga of how our idyllic 1960’s American family was nearly shattered by the suicide of one of my older brothers, (I was 16; he was 22) and how we struggled to claw our way back to life. I have been using the book as a means of reaching out to raise awareness to the devastation this horrific act leaves in its wake upon the surviving family members and friends. Regularly doing television, radio and journal interviews for years, I am now working toward getting the book into every school system in America and having a film made which would have a tremendous positive impact and save lives. My 3rd (newest ) book “Waking Dreams; The Subtle Reality” (Motivational Press, July 2015) is a collection of episodes of synchronicity that I have experienced that I wanted to share. These signs and messages from The Universe are gifts that when acknowledged, give assurance that we are not alone and allow us to focus on the present instead of being mired in fear of the future.

  • Leslie-Peters-'15

Leslie Peters ’15

Oddly enough Oglethorpe found its way into my heart through my stomach. My time at OU has just been one big sugar rush. From the moment I set foot in the Schmidt center during my scholarship weekend, I have been on one amazing ride that has brought me closer together with my inner foodie. Despite being a commuter student- affectionately known as a Dormless Petrel- I have been able to stay connected with my friends during our bonding time spent at events such as Stomp the Lawn and Boars Head, both of which feature amazing delights! And the best part? I never gain a pound. Take that Freshman 15!

  • Alexandria Hadd '13

Alexandria Hadd ’13

When I came to Oglethorpe I was sure I wanted to be a psychology major, even though math and creative writing were strong passions of mine. As part of the psychology requirement, I had to take statistics, and I decided to take it my very first semester. By the end of the semester I was smitten with math again; I knew then I also wanted to be a math major.

Not willing to compromise, I took on both. Although my advisor was in psychology, the math professors eagerly met with me to ensure I was hitting the proper milestones. When my capstone courses for each major were being planned, my professors spoke to each other to ensure that the classes wouldn’t be offered at the same time (my Time Turner was still broken from that crazy night junior year – don’t ask).

I still can’t pick my favorite, so I settled with pursuing a PhD that combines the two. After this, who knows? Oglethorpe taught me that learning never stops – maybe I’ll be a creative writer yet!

 

  • Charis Hanberry '88

Charis Hanberry ’88

I can’t say I had one defining moment. My OU moment is a collection of memories that have accumulated over time and extend far beyond graduation. The professors, the extracurricular activities, the small campus where you aren’t just a number, the things I learned about myself. College is a time for self-discovery and personal growth, and Oglethorpe is an excellent place to do that. You are safe in a small environment, with endless opportunities right outside those front gates! In the years since graduation, I continue to realize I made the best decision. I am still in touch with many of my classmates and have renewed old friendships, and am able to network for almost any scenario. My OU education does indeed allow me to think more broadly, and make a difference in many ways I never expected. Then, of course, there’s that young basketball player I met; that was a life-changer!

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President Larry Schall

On my first visit to campus nine years ago, I was struck by the beauty of the campus, collegiate Gothic buildings surrounding a classical academic quadrangle. But what hooked me were the bells, the same Westminster chimes that graced my undergraduate institution, Swarthmore College. When I heard those bells, I knew I was home.

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Kai Street ’14

Moving from New York to Georgia several years ago, I faced difficulties, such as getting acclimated to different weather, finding new social groups, and being away from most of my family. Essentially, I experienced a significant readjustment in my life. After graduating from high school, I had the intent of returning to New York to start my undergraduate career. Something managed to keep me in Atlanta though, and I ended up attending Oglethorpe University to pursue my studies.

Everything started when I met up with an old friend and Oglethorpe alum, Evan Britton. It was through him that I first met anyone in Atlanta, as we attended the same high school. It was also through him that I first met brothers Harrison McConnell, Zachary Hamilton, Campbell Walker, and Matthew Tokajaer.

When I first hear the word “brother,” I think of my biological brother – the guy who I grew up with, the one who I looked up to, and the one who I’ve shared many memories with. As we get older, we’ll always have that connection, those memories, and much more. But, as we’ve gotten older, we’ve also grown apart in that he’s started new chapters in his life, just as I’ve started new ones in mine. One of my favorite chapters has been with my newfound brothers – the brothers of the Georgia Eta chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

One doesn’t usually get the chance to pick their brothers but in pledging SAE, I got to choose and be chosen to be part of a life long brotherhood. Attending rush events, receiving a bid for acceptance, learning about the history behind the fraternity, hosting social functions, going to national events, meeting brothers from different generations – it’s almost supernatural. As a senior, I reminisce upon all of these memories and it’s hard to compare this experience to anything else. The bond that I share with these guys exceeds those I’ve held in friendships and amongst teams, but I’ll try to explain in the simplest of ways. My OU Moment started when I joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The name itself stands out to me, as a reminder of what it has been, what it is, and what it will always be to all of the brothers. Sigma, mathematically, represents the operator for summation, or sum of the total. In relation to my organization, SAE is the sum of everyone’s beliefs, thoughts, and memories that have carried over from generation to generation. Alpha, stemming from its Greek roots, is symbolic of importance and chief responsibility. Through respective social efforts, Sigma Alpha Epsilon members have gained prowess and set the tone as some of the most significant and influential leaders all over the world. And finally, there is epsilon. Epsilon, which was historically created to distinguish between two letters, can represent our individual unity. Every brother has a different background, separate family, and another life outside of the fraternity, but we can all come together as one on any occasion. I can only imagine what experiences I’ll share with the brothers as a fraternity alum, but I know that they’ll be nothing short of extraordinary.

  • Kate Siess '14

Kate Siess ’14

I was having lunch with a friend that goes to a large state school and the following conversation happened:

“…..so I emailed the president and asked him if he knew.”
“You can email your school president?!?!”
“Yeah, of course!”
“Wow, I don’t even know my president’s name. But I think it’s Tom.”

(For the record, he was wrong. His president’s name is Robert.)

  • Shainna Tucker '11

Shainna Tucker ’11

I truly believe in the cliche feeling you get when you visit college campuses, that feeling you get when you know that this is the campus I want to spend the next four years. I never heard of Oglethorpe prior to my senior year of high school. I spent some time in Suwanee Ga., at a basketball tournament. A friend of my father said I should look at the campus. After taking a driving tour of the beautiful campus, I immediately did my research on the school itself.

When I returned during my spring break of senior year, I knew that I wanted to be a petrel. I wanted to wear the black & gold.

I entered OU an a remarkable time, I think. Seeing such a change in diversity in the student body every year, seeing many programs and clubs created & watch them flourish. I think Oglethorpe gave me the opportunity to explore different things that I never could have imagined. I was able to see former President Jimmy Carter speak, meet with Bernice King, seeing Ted Turner speak, I was able to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra play had my own radio show…just to name a few.

I can tell you even with all the ups & downs I am always proud to say that I wear the black & gold. I have no problem saying I went to Oglethorpe University, a small liberal arts college in North Atlanta.

 

  • Shannon Williams '16

Shannon Williams ’16

Ever since I stepped foot on Oglethorpe’s campus back in high school, I knew I would belong here someday. And when the time finally came for me to become a student here, I dove right into all Oglethorpe had to offer me: new friends, classes, a sorority, and clubs.

One of the new clubs I joined was OU Dancers. I had little dance experience, but they welcomed me onto the team anyway. After weeks of learning new jumps, turns, and people’s names, it was time to perform at the school’s homecoming basketball game. I was so nervous!

But when I stepped onto the court, I found it surprisingly easy to get into the zone. And when we hit the highlight of our routine and the crowd roared, I couldn’t help but smile.

I knew I had made the right choice by choosing Oglethorpe. I belong here.

 

  • Debbie Aiken at Commencement 2012

Debbie Aiken ’12

Six states, six colleges, ten years – this was my life as a military wife. I was a stay at home mom of three young kids, determined to not let my husband’s unpredictable career deter me from reaching my goal of getting a college education. To say I was discouraged, however, would be an understatement. As we moved from state to state, I completed prerequisites for programs I wouldn’t get the chance to finish before we moved again, and I sometimes thought of just forgetting the whole idea. But I didn’t. I attended community colleges and an online program at a big university, but always felt dissatisfied about missing out on the traditional college experience. Then we moved to Atlanta and in my search for my next college, I discovered Oglethorpe’s Evening Degree Program. I was drawn to the fact that it was a flexible program for busy adults at a distinguished university. My first visit to campus for an open house in the Hearst Great Hall sealed the deal; I knew Oglethorpe was the right university to help me reach a goal I’d been pursuing for 10 years. Oglethorpe gave me more than a degree – it solidified my determination to roll with the punches and not let life’s speed bumps slow me down.

Debbie Aiken ’12
Assistant Director, University Communications, Oglethorpe University

*photo taken on commencement day, 2012.

 

  • Inside back cover - Clark_02

Heather ’03 & Brian Clark ’03

Heather Clark ’03 first discovered the Hearst beech tree in fall 2002. A senior, she and Brian Clark ’03, also a senior, had been dating for four years after knowing each other since middle school. As an early childhood education major, Heather was required to choose a campus tree and study it all semester. One October afternoon, Heather and Brian met at “her tree” to take an autumnal photo for Heather’s class. Much to Heather’s surprise, Brian proposed then and there, comparing their love to the mighty tree growing from a tiny seed. Brian and Heather married a few weeks after graduation in May 2003, and life has taken them on many adventures since then.

  • Heather Staniszewski option 2 Oglethorpe Story 04.22.13_Boston Marathon Fundraiser (5)

Heather Staniszewski ’02

You see hundreds of advertisements a day, but how many do you really absorb?

It was the spring semester of my senior year in high school and a poster caught my eye. Not because of the beautiful gothic architecture pictured on it, nor because of the quote from Aristotle, or even that for once there was a poster that wasn’t featuring a gator, knight, or Seminole. It was because the tear-off postcard said reply by November 1997 and it was 1998. I asked if it could be recycled and the counselor laughed and told me I might like a small liberal arts school in Atlanta. I had a roommate and a full tuition scholarship to a state school, but I completed the application to Oglethorpe anyway. My mom drove me to an info session two hours from my house and drilled the VP of Admission. I spoke to a current student for hours on the phone. I received a phone call from alumna Barb Henry inviting me to the infamous Spring Fest during which I stayed with three of the smartest and most involved women I have ever met.

Enter the personal OU touch. My admissions counselor came to Tampa, drove five of us Florida girls eight hours to visit the campus, and four years later three of those girls cheered me on as I gave the graduation speech to my fellow Class of 2002 Petrels. I never thought an expired poster would bring me to study communications and business, to meet my best friends, to work in foster care or hospice, or to lead students to serve everywhere from New Orleans to San Juan, Guatemala. Now, I leave expired posters up one more day hoping that someone reads it and changes their path for the better.

–Heather Staniszewski ’02, associate director, Center for Civic Engagement, Oglethorpe University

  • Inside back cover Janet Wood

Janet Wood ’13

Never have I felt more uninhibited and at home at Oglethorpe than one summer evening when my best friend and I played in the sprinklers at the baseball stadium. To this day, it is my favorite college memory.

–Janet Wood ’13, coordinator of academic programs, Academic Success Center, Oglethorpe University

  • Inside back cover - Carvalho 2

Ricardo Carvalho ’85

Originally from Brazil, Ricardo Carvalho ’85 came to Oglethorpe in 1981 to study business. His visa wouldn’t allow him to work off-campus, so he accepted a job as a dishwasher at the cafeteria to pay his tuition. Lisa Mitchell was a student at an Atlanta art school and came to campus on occasion to visit friends. Later, when the two were formally introduced, Lisa confessed she had noticed Ricardo from behind the dish window where she returned her plate and silverware. They have now been married for 26 years.

  • Inside back cover - Troy Dwyer 2

Troy Dwyer ’94

I spent my first two years at OU doing theatre because it was fun and I enjoyed it. I loved it, but I thought of it as an extracurricular activity. In my junior year—after I realized that I wasn’t going to be major in Biology, to the relief of every professor in Goslin—I started to recognize that my love for theatre didn’t have to be an extracurricular love, that “art making” was a way to know the world, a kind of inquiry and an intervention. I just wasn’t sure what that could mean for me professionally. I was in Hearst one afternoon and I happened to pass by Dr. Vicki Weiss and I mentioned the struggle. Very offhandedly, she said something like ‘well, do what students in other disciplines do when they’re investigating career paths: find out what internships are out there.’
Of course, it seems so simple now. But at the time it was a bit of a revelation for me. The idea that there was apprenticeship in art making—practical experiences that students could have so their affinities could transform into opportunities—THAT was new. So I did some research and found my internship at the Spoleto Festival, which ended up being a transformative experience for me.
–Troy Dwyer ’94, associate professor, Department of Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College