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in memoriam

Smith, Simone’s life partner, said Simone was especially close to professors Belle Hill ’36 and Sheldon Vanauken. They, in turn, introduced her to other lc students such as lc Alumni Board member Kirk Perrow iii ’66, who became an enduring friend. Says Perrow, “Simone really cared about people and she was generous in her esteem of others. She believed in loyalty.” Merry Pat Sloan Hukill ’61, Simone’s


n August 3, 2010, when A. Simone Reagor ’61 died unexpectedly of a brain

aneurism, tributes praising her numerous accomplishments and mourning her passing appeared in print and online across New England. Simone served as administrative dean of

Harvard Law School; director for Research Administration for Harvard; director of Radcliffe Forum; director and deputy director of the Division of Research Grants, National Endowment for the Humanities; and executive director for the prestigious Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow. Bruce Birhans, Simone’s friend and fellow

member of the Wellfleet (Mass.) Preservation Hall Board, wrote: “She was an accomplished scholar, a distinguished academic administrator, and a highly valued community activist with service on numerous boards. She was also a widely treasured friend.” Many of those friendships developed at

Lynchburg College or through connections Simone made here. Mary Grace (Gracie)

freshman roommate, says they “found each other at fourteen” and remained lifelong friends. Hukill believes that she probably would not have attended college at all had it not been for Simone’s insistence that they work for a year after high school graduation to fund their education. According to Hukill, “Simone was a planner

and very focused, and she was determined that we were going to go to Lynchburg College.” The girls learned about the College through Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. “At lc,” explained Hukill, Simone had a

“blossoming experience in an environment where there was so much room for thinking.” She found mentors like professor “Van” who “recognized qualities in her that could be de- veloped,” Hukill said. And develop them she did. Vanauken encouraged the young student’s tendencies to think independently and em- boldened her to continue her education, first earning a master’s degree in history from Smith College as a Woodrow Wilson Scholar, then, as a Marshall Scholar, attending Oxford University. Dr. Julius Sigler ’62, lc’s vice president and dean for academic affairs, noted, “She is the

only lc alum I know who earned a doctor of philosophy from Oxford. She was one of our most accomplished alumni.” Simone acknowledged the contributions

College faculty made to her success when she was featured in an lc publication: “I had awfully good faculty at lc when I compare them to those at the other institutions where I studied. They cared about our intellectual and moral development. I used to call them ‘the oaks’ in my life.” Her many recognitions include the Distin-

guished Alumni Award from The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and lc’s Richard H. Thornton Award for Excellence. When Wellfleet Preservation Hall opens its doors in May 2011, the upper performance hall will be named in her memory. Said Marla Rice, wph Board president, “Simone Reagor Hall will honor Simone’s tireless efforts and the graceful warmth she felt for Preservation Hall and the community she loved.” Simone’s accomplishments were accompa-

nied by grace and humility. Explains partner Gracie Smith, “Despite Simone’s very large capacity to excel, she was, nevertheless, a very unassuming person.” Bruce Bierhans put it slightly differently: “One of the beautiful things about Simone is that she never discussed her achievements; she just gave of her talents.” It is clear that Simone exemplifies the lc student who was challenged, engaged, and inspired to succeed.

Simone Reagor’s class is in Reunion during Westover Alumni Society Weekend, April 8-10, 2011.

Honorary Alumni Award Winners

Donna McGill received the Honorary Alumni Award at Homecoming 2010. She has served LC for more than thirty years in the Office of the Dean of Students, helping to develop programs such as co-ed housing, student leadership awards, and

the Counseling Center. Donna has continuously supported the mission of LC through her professional and personal life. She currently serves as the director of health and counseling services at Lynchburg College, providing an invaluable service to students.

James “Jim” Owens received the Honorary Alumni Award at Homecoming 2010. Jim has been a professor of history at LC for more than forty years and has served as water polo and swimming coach, advisor, mentor, and academician. Jim has also

served the Central Virginia community in multiple roles, displaying exceptional interest, dedication, and service to the College and community.

David Lipani received the Honorary Alumni Award at Homecoming 2010. David has served as a professor of English at LC for more than thirty years. He received the student-nominated Shirley E. Rosser Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000.

He has taken numerous students on study abroad trips, introducing them to international travel and broadening their perspective of history, art, and literature. David has shown devotion to students and student learning, to his colleagues, and to Lynchburg College.

Spring 2011 LC MAGAZINE 43

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