(February 13, 2009)
Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073
Centenary Inducts Newest Members into Hall Of Fame; Honors Other Alumni
SHREVEPORT, La.- Judge Eugene Bryson Jr., Class of 1989, was inducted into the Centenary College Hall of Fame February 13 during the Centenary College Annual Alumni Awards Dinner. The award is the highest honor given by the Alumni Association and recognizes Centenary graduates who have distinguished themselves in both their profession and in service to others as well as the college.
In addition, the Alumni Association also inducted J. Howard "Hoop" Hooper, Class of 1937, into the Athletic Hall of Fame; and presented its Honorary Alumna designation to Dr. Ann B. Dobie; the Alumni Loyalty Award to Hoyt D. Bain, Class of 1963; and the Young Alumni Leadership Award to Susanna Miller, Class of 2004.
All five honorees were recognized at the Centenary Alumni Awards Dinner during Homecoming Weekend festivities. The honorees were recognized for:
Alumni Hall of Fame: Judge Eugene Bryson Jr., Class of 1963
Judge Eugene Bryson, Jr. '63 was elected to the Caddo Parish Bench at the age of 37 and served for 24 years, 11 of which he served as Chief Judge. In 2002 he retired from the bench and was hired by his fellow judges as the Judicial Administrator and at their request was appointed as Special Judge of the First Judicial District Court by the Supreme Court of Louisiana. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Louisiana Judicial College, many other Supreme Court committees, and presently serves as a member of the Louisiana Court Administrators Executive Board. Gene graduated from Centenary College with a BS degree in 1963 and received his JD degree from LSU Law School in 1969. As a Centenary student, he was a member and officer of the Centenary College Choir and Kappa Sigma fraternity. As an alumnus, he was Alumni Association President from 1972-1974, served on the Pre-law Committee in the 1980's, is a current C-Club member, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2000 where he has served as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Academic Affairs, a member of the Trustee Executive Board, a member of the Centenary College Planning Committee, and a member of the Trustee Nominating Committee. Gene and his wife, Charlotte '63, are long-time supporters of Centenary. They have established the Eugene and Charlotte Bryson Endowed Scholarship and the Mary Lee Simpson Bryson and Eugene W. Bryson, Sr. Endowed Scholarship. They have hosted numerous Centenary gatherings in their home, continue to travel on Centenary College Choir Alumni trips, and attend just nearly every Centenary-related function. They both were joint recipients of the Alumni Loyalty Award in 2006.
Athletic Hall of Fame: J. Howard Hooper, Class 1937
J. Howard Hooper '37 came to Centenary from Bastrop High School to play during Centenary's Glory Years of Football and graduated with a BA in History in 1937. "Hoop," as he was known to his teammates, was rated as one of the best pass receivers in the South because of his "great sense of timing" on the field. One of Hooper's claims to fame amongst the gridiron set is the intercepted pass that he ran 53 yards for a touchdown against the rivaled Texas A & M Aggies in 1934. The Centenary Gentlemen went on to win the game 13 - 0! An all-around athlete, Hoop was identified as the fastest man in the Centenary football pack after winning a series of foot races.
He was also a star defensive player on the Gents' basketball team. He was a three-year letterman in football and basketball and served as captain of both teams during the 1936-37 season. While at Centenary, he also served as class president during his Junior and Senior years as well as Student Body President in his senior year. Showing early loyalty to the College, Hoop was a C-Club member during his sophomore, junior and senior years. Howard Hooper is a retired, independent oil and gas man, and at 94 years of age, he is still a devoted Centenary supporter. His late wife, Annelle Hutchinson Hooper '38 was Homecoming Queen, making them a quintessential Centenary Sweethearts couple.
Honorary Alumnus: Dr. Ann B. Dobie
Dr. Ann B. Dobie H'09 is professor emerita of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she directed graduate studies in rhetoric and the University's writing-across-the-curriculum program. She has authored six college writing textbooks and numerous articles on literature and composition. Her latest books are Wide Awake in the Pelican State: Contemporary Louisiana Stories, Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism, and Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter. She served as founder and director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana and is now State Coordinator of the Louisiana Writing Project and a consultant to the National Writing Project. Ann holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and Columbia University. She became connected to Centenary through her husband Walter Dobie '54. They have worked steadily on recruiting new students from Acadiana and have hosted numerous gatherings for alumni and prospective students in Lafayette. Whether held in their home or at local restaurants, they have always been filled with collegiality and celebration of Centenary and its mission. She and Walter have established an endowed scholarship in memory and honor of his parents, Ruth and Walter L. Dobie and have recently formed the Dr. Anne Brewster Dobie and C. Walter Dobie Endowed Professorship in English. Ann is a member of the Centenary Women's Endowment Quorum and a frequent visitor to campus. She recently reflected on the importance of Centenary in Louisiana by writing, "the only institution of its kind in our state, it carries out a critical mission: to foster in students a greater understanding of the arts and humanities, to prepare them for a professional career, and to support them in their quest for spiritual growth and understanding."
Alumni Loyalty Award: Hoyt D. Bain, Class of 1963
Hoyt D. Bain '63 is a retired commercial real estate developer, credited with more than $50 million, in today's dollars, in commercial office building development in the Shreveport-Bossier community during his 35-year career. He graduated from Centenary College with a BS degree in 1963 and has remained loyal to his alma mater. He is a proud member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, a past president of the Shreveport-Bossier Alumni Chapter, a past president of Centenary's National Alumni Association and current chair of the Board's Past Presidents' Council. While Board President, Hoyt served as an ex-officio member of Centenary's Board of Trustees, providing important and informed input. He is a current member of the President's Advisory Council, serving on the Student Life/Greek Life Committee and the Greek Housing Architectural Sub-committee. He also recently served on a five month, time-intensive search committee for the new Dean of Students. Hoyt is an active C-Club member and an avid supporter of Centenary's tennis program, having recently helped raise funds needed to upgrade the tennis facility. His upbeat, "can do" attitude has helped motivate others to step up for their alma mater as well. In addition to being a positive "center of influence" for Centenary, Hoyt has always been an active community supporter and is a very active lifelong member of First United Methodist Church.
He also served his country as a member of the United States Air Force Reserve.
Young Alumni Leadership Award: Susanna Miller, Class of 2004
Susanna Miller '04 works as the Work and Progress Coordinator for the Bobby Dodd Institute where she teaches work, life, and social skills to adults with developmental disabilities. She is on the Board of Directors for Friends of L'Arche Atlanta, a non-profit organization that is founding a L'Arche Community in Atlanta. One weekend per month she serves as the lead female counselor for Camp Caglewood, a camping program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. She is also helping to establish the Progressive Christian Cooperative-Southeast to be a link between progressive Christians and organizations. Susanna graduated from Centenary in 2004 with a BA in Religious Studies and a minor in Sociology. Growing up in the Highland neighborhood and attending First United Methodist Church, she always knew about Centenary College, and as a child dreamed of attending some day. Susanna jumped in to school activities joining the School of Church Careers, UMSM, Sexton Hall council, and quickly became the Layout Editor of The Conglomerate. She was also an Orientation leader and later became a member of the Orientation Leadership Team. In her junior year she joined OutReach and served as president in the fall of 2003. As a young alumna Susanna has not missed a beat when it comes to leadership roles for Centenary. Shortly after moving to Georgia, she took it upon herself to form the Atlanta Alumni Chapter and has organized an executive committee of alumni volunteers who represent a broad range of eras and interests. Under Susanna's leadership, they have conducted a number of successful events and have positioned the chapter to assist the Office of Admissions with student recruitment. She also maintains ongoing contact with the alumni in her area, keeping them posted on "all things Centenary" and encouraging participation and support of their alma mater.
About Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.