Summer 2016

2016 Alumni Award Winners

A sign welcomes alumnae to the Champagne Brunch during Alumnae Reunion Weekend. (Barry Williams for Brenau University)

Established in 1989 to recognize three traditional-aged Women’s College alumnae who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in business, continuing education and leadership.

Striking Colors at Kings Bay

Brenau University Kings Bay Campus

Usually when you leave a military post after close to 30 years of service, there is some kind of changing-of-the-guard ceremony. However, when the U.S. Navy last year changed its regulations governing colleges and universities authorized to operate on bases, it eliminated about 40 smaller schools. One of them, Brenau, saw no choice but to […]

Home, Sweet Home

Alpha Delta Pi Sisters Sara Jane Bowers, from left, Cassidy Collier, Jan Maisch, international vice president of collegiate membership, Carole Ann Daniel, a Brenau Trustee and past Lambda President, Katelyn Brown, Maggie Griffin and Kelley Robertson, the Lambda Chapter's advisor, cut the ribbon on the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house during the Brenau University Alumnae Reunion Weekend on Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Gainesville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

When the Lambda Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi hosted the dedication for its new sorority house during Women’s College reunion weekend April 16, residents were wrapping up their first year in the new digs. They also were showing off some generosity of their older sisters who wanted to make certain the younger members enjoyed the […]

Ana Lopera Hortman, WC ‘14

Ana Lopera Hortman, WC ‘14, has been named the 2016 Teacher of the Year at Fair Street Elementary in Gainesville. It’s only her second year of teaching second grade. She is also working towards her master’s degree in early childhood education at Brenau.

Carly Berg, WC ’14, and Haden Rider, BU ’14

Carly Berg, WC ’14, and Haden Rider, BU ’14, artistic directors of the theatre for youth group Play On Players, won two awards at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta. Their production of Guys and Dolls was awarded “Outstanding Production” at the festival. Berg and Rider received the Broadway Junior Spirit Award, which is given to individuals deemed to be the most dedicated and […]

Melissa Tavilla, WC ’13

Melissa Tavilla, WC ’13, was promoted to chief master sergeant in the Tennessee Air National Guard on Dec. 4. The promotion puts Tavilla, a 25-year U.S. Air Force veteran, in exclusive company, since 1 percent of all Air Force personnel ever reach that rank – the highest nonofficer rank in the branch. In her quartercentury career in the military, she has served in active […]

Thereasa E. F. Rinderknecht, WC ’09

Thereasa E. F. Rinderknecht, WC ’09, is a partner in the now-renamed Gainesville, Georgia, law firm Conowal, Welch, Womack & Rinderknecht. She focuses her practice on juvenile law and domestic relations.

Amy O’Dell, BU ’09

Amy O’Dell, BU ’09, received the 2016 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction at Lanier Technical College. She joined the faculty in 2012. She serves as its interiors program chair and lead instructor as well as its division chair for professional and public services.

Shannon Grinnan Weeks, WC ’07

Shannon Grinnan Weeks, WC ’07, was named the Buford City Schools Teacher of the Year. Weeks teaches third grade at Buford Academy.

Melinda Ratcliff Hallam, WC ’07

Melinda Ratcliff Hallam, WC ’07, received a doctorate degree from Sherman College of Chiropractic in December. She returned to her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, to join her family’s practice, Ratcliff Chiropractic. Pictured with Hallam are her husband, Phil, and daughters Abigail and Roslyn.