Mary Francese Buckner retired Sept. 15 after 41 years in ministry. Mary and her husband, Mark, make their home in Stanardsville, Va., in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Dr. R. Wayne Miller recently received the Key to the City of Marion, S.C., and the Swamp Fox Award from the Honorable Bobby Davis, mayor of Marion. Davis made the presentation in honor of Cathedral Bible College’s first graduation at their new campus in Marion. Wayne founded a Bible institute in 1975 while he was a pastor in Florence. In 1993 Cathedral Bible College moved to Myrtle Beach, where they still run an extension. The College opened a new campus in Marion in 2012.
Henry S. Eldridge has been appointed to the South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons. He lives in Tega Cay and is retired from the pharmaceutical division at Bayer Corporation.
Dr. Christine Anderson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, received the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award from Western Illinois University. She has published extensively, done research with juvenile offenders and provided training in third-tier behavioral interventions with educational agencies. Most recently she presented Hyperstudio5 for Midwestern Fifth Graders at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference.
Michael E. Gunter has released Defying Gravity, his second novel in the Books of Klyv series. Promotional material for the book says: “When an alien spacecraft returns to Earth to retrieve two of its own, the United States military responds to what it believes is an alien invasion, and a young man learns that the girl of his dreams isn’t exactly what she seems.” Defying Gravity is the sequel to Blackwell: The Encounter Begins. Author Katherine L. Logan said of Defying Gravity, “Like reading C.S. Lewis & Tolkien with a little Baldacci thrown in.” Michael lives in Virginia with his family and writes about the mysteries of life from a biblical Christian perspective. His books are available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and from www.gunterbooks.com.
Aurora Smalls is the new executive director of the voter registration and elections office in Orangeburg County. She has worked for Orangeburg County since 1999.
Bill Ward recently won the singles class championship for A class in trap shooting for the Southern Zone region. He also won the A class singles class championship site title in Bostic, N.C. Bill is a member of Partridge Creek Gun Club in Ridgeville and is executive director of development at Charleston Southern. His teammate, Carl Schultz, a member of CSU’s Board of Visitors, won the site title for D class doubles in Bostic, N.C.
William Keith Richardson recently completed the master of business administration degree from DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management. He is employed as an adjunct accounting instructor at Trident Technical College and is a business education teacher at James Island Charter High School in Charleston County. He is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate (DBA/Accounting) at Walden University and expects to complete his doctorate in 2016.
William Parker, CLTC, LUTCF, founder of Lucidity Wealth Strategies, Inc., an insurance consulting and financial services firm in Charleston, has been elected vice president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors – South Carolina. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Tri-County Bookkeeping and Tax Service and is a member of the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation Advisory Council.
Dr. Tony Owens recently opened Carolina Pain Physicians, specializing in pain management. He is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina and did his residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville and a fellowship at Wake Forest Pain Management Fellowship. He and his wife have three children.
Anna Braxton Varakin and her Etsy shop, Fish and Loaves, were recently featured in belle, a magazine for the modern southern woman. She and her husband, Nick Varakin ’03, have three children and live in Spartanburg.
Daniel Bryant released his animated cartoon series, Boys of Valor, July 2. The series is being distributed in Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, India, Japan and China. Daniel is an art educator with Dorchester District 2 and is executive producer of Boys of Valor and The Adventures of Karate Dawgs.
Trent Drafts ’10 MBA has been named commercial lender for South Carolina Bank and Trust’s Broad Street office. Trent joined SCBT’s management training program in 2010 as a management associate in loan administration. In 2012, he was promoted to banking officer and was named credit analyst manager. Prior to joining SCBT, he played professional basketball in Europe. Trent is a member of the CSU Board of Visitors and the CSU BUC Club.
Dan Caggiano and his wife, Belinda, announce the birth of their first child, Ella Grace, born Sept. 1. She weighed 5 lbs., 9 oz. and was 19 inches long. “She is truly our little miracle, and we could not be happier!” said Dan. They live in Summerville.
Casey Locklear Heard and her husband, Chris, announce the birth of a son, Joseph Adam Heard, born June 14. Adam weighed 9.15 at birth.
Meagan Kizer, and her husband, Danny, announce the birth of a son, Braeden McCoy Kizer, born April 22. Big sister, Palmer Elizabeth, welcomed Braeden home.
Ashley Jill Robinson and Michael Treble were married June 14 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa at Desert Ridge. Ashley is employed in the Chandler Unified School District as a high school physical education teacher. She also coaches softball and cross country. Her husband is a brand manager for Southern Wine and Spirits.
Kaitlyn and Justin ’09 Deeter announce the birth of a son, Jude Pierce Deeter, born Jan. 30. He weighed 10 lbs. 5.7 oz. Kaitlyn writes, “Justin is finishing up his master of divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and serving as the Interim Senior Pastor at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Wilson, N.C. I am a stay-at-home mom to sweet Jude.”
Kelsey Thorpe Gates and her husband, Dustin, welcomed their daughter, Brailynn Avery Gates, into the world Feb. 4. Kelsey is a 2nd grade teacher at Goose Creek Primary School, where she has been teaching for four years.
Ashley Elizabeth Taylor and John Eric Huschilt were married June 8 at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. They live in Chesapeake, Va.
Lyndsey Nicole Vincent and Yale Thomas-Creston Akers were married Oct. 20, 2012, in Rock Hill. She is a staff assistant for Sen. Lindsey Graham in Washington, and he is a crew chief on Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base. They live in Alexandria, Va.
Tracey Nicole Epley and James Heath Fore were married April 6 in Leesville. She works at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, N.C., and they live in Latta.
Rachel Ann Moss and SN Thomas Jonathan Carroll were married May 3 in Coronado, Calif. She is employed by the Medical University of South Carolina where she is studying biostatistics.
James Murdock MBA and his wife, Joceline, announce the birth of a son, Jordan Murdock, born April 24.
Elizabeth Frances Walker MBA and David Weston Miller were married June 1 on Daniel Island. She is the children’s coordinator at Revo Church. They live in Winston Salem, N.C.
Shelly Morgan Catlett and Stephen Paul Watts Jr. MEd were married June 22 in Norway. He teaches at Edisto High School, and they live in Cope.
Kelvin Martin has signed a contract to play professional basketball for Arca Impressa Lucca in Italy’s prestigious Lega Due Silver in Tuscany. He finished his career with the Buccaneers as the second leading rebounder and sixth highest scorer. Last season he played for the Matrixx Magixx in Holland, averaging 15.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Lydia Annabel Smith and George Michael Rabon were married June 15 in Summerville. She works for Second Presbyterian Church, Dorchester County Mental Health and Summerville Music Academy. The couple lives in Savannah, Ga.
Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Francis H. Tran has graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., and has been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.