Amanda Blake

Amanda Blake A ’47 (1929-1989)

Most commonly known for her role as Miss Kitty on the popular 1950’s television show, “Gunsmoke,” Amanda Blake attended the Brenau Academy in 1944 and 1945. She subsequently became a college trustee and served on the Board of Advisors. She also served as a judge for the Miss Brenau Scholarship Competition. In 1968, Blake was the first woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of Great Western Actors and Actresses in Oklahoma City.

Clyde Dixon Connell WC ’19 (1902-98)

A professional artist specializing in sculptures constructed from “found objects” hammered into wood and then covered with papier-mâché, Clyde Dixon Connell’s works capture the environment and her personal experience of living on the Louisiana bayou. A major retrospective exhibit of her work, which includes 74 pieces, has toured nationally.

Barbara Mitchell Disque WC ’53 (1932-2007)

Barbara Mitchell Disque served on the Brenau University Board of Trustees from 1986 until her death in 2007. She was awarded the Brenau Outstanding Alumnae Award for Service to Brenau in 1993. She was the Brenau Sullivan Award recipient in 2003. She participated in the funding of the Disque Room in the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts and the Lockett-Mitchell Parlour in Yonah Hall.

Barbara Disque
Martha Edens

Martha Edens WC ’49 (1928-2015)

Martha Edens was former District President, Province President and National President of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity, and Republican National Committeewoman for South Carolina. She was the Vice Chair of the Brenau Board of Trustees for many years and is now a Trustee Emeritus. She was Chair of the Richland County Republican Party and the Republican National Committeewoman for South Carolina; a board member of Easter Seals Society; and a member of Lutheran Theological Seminary, Salvation Army, South Carolina State Museum and the Richland Memorial Hospital Foundation. She received the Alumnae Certificate of Merit from Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. She received the Sullivan Award from Brenau University and the Outstanding Alumnae Award for Community Service from Brenau University.

Read more about Martha Edens in “Boundless Energy: Martha Edens (1928-2015)” in the Summer 2016 issue of Brenau Window.

Dr. Eliza Holmes Feldmann WC ’29 (1906-90)

Dr. Eliza Holmes Feldmann was a professional pianist and organist. She performed concerts throughout the United States and Europe, and she was especially well-received in Germany. She was an assistant professor and chair of the preparatory music department at Brenau College. She instructed private piano lessons for more than 50 years, studied at The Juilliard School, and received the Centennial Citation for years of service and devotion to Brenau. The Eliza Holmes Feldmann Memorial Keyboard Scholarship Fund was dedicated in her name. She was a member of the National Music Educators Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Colonies, Mu Phi Epsilon, Progressive Arts Club and the American Guild of Organists. She was an organist at First Christian Church and Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville, Georgia. She was awarded the Sullivan Award from Brenau. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Brenau. Her community Involvement include the Atlanta/Fulton County League of Women Voters; Ruling Elder, Covenant Presbyterian Church; Delta Delta Delta Chapter adviser for Brenau and Emory University; Executive Board member for Delta Delta Delta Sorority; the Lobbyist to the Georgia Legislature for Fulton County. She volunteered for the Atlanta Food Bank, the Sherwood Forest Garden Club and the Atlanta Bach.

Eliza Holmes
Thelma Mauldin Green

Thelma Mauldin Green WC ’34 (1913-2003)

Thelma Mauldin Green was a long-time member of the Brenau Board of Trustees, and became an emeritus member of the board. After graduation from Brenau she served as a teacher for many years at Gainesville High School before moving to Texas. She served as a docent in the Simmons Visual Arts Center. In 1991, she was awarded the Outstanding Alumnae Award for Service to Brenau, was awarded the 1993 Volunteer of the Year at Brenau award, and in 1994 she was awarded the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award. She was awarded Woman of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association.

Marion Runnels Holloway WC ’57 (1935-2002)

With the stage name, “Marion Montgomery,” this jazz singer was a recording artist and theatrical performer with her “One Woman” show. Other credits include: “Anything Goes,” “Lionel” “Old Time Music Hall,” and “My Southern Heart.” She appeared before the Royal Family and has been presented to the Queen; toured with Barney Kessell and Herbie Ellis; performed with Val Doonican, Petula Clark, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer; appeared in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and many other places in the British Isles. She was a guest artist on “The Bob Hope Special,” “The Johnny Carson Show,” “The Liberace Special,” and “The Michael Parkinson Show.” She was awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Helen Ellis Lilly WC ’31, (1909-2010)

Helen Ellis Lilly served Brenau as Head Camp Counselor at Camp Takeda in the mid-1920s, was secretary to Ms. C.B. Branham, dean of Brenau Academy, and was a charter member of BULLI. In 1995, she established the Helen Ellis Lilly Scholarship, which benefits Women’s College students. She was a member of the President’s Club for 30 years. She was heavily involved in the community and was a supporter of the Hall County Humane Society; and a volunteer for Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Helen Dortch Longstreet WC ’18 (1863-1962) 

Helen Dortch Longstreet was the first female Assistant State Librarian for Georgia; an early environmental activist and civil rights advocate; and author of numerous articles, stories and pamphlets. The Tallulah Gorge trail system was named in her honor. She edited a newspaper in Gainesville, Georgia, and formed the Longstreet Memorial Association honoring her husband, Confederate General Longstreet. She authored a book on her husband General Longstreet. She was a postmistress and disbursing agent in Gainesville.

helen dortch longstreet

Grace Lumpkin WC’11 (1891-1980)

Grace Lumpkin attended Brenau just a few years before her younger sister, Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin. Lumpkin trained to be a teacher at Brenau College and later organized an adult night school for local farmers and their wives. She studied writing and journalism at Columbia University, and is acknowledged as an influential early feminist and Southern writer of literary social realism. Her novel “To Make My Bread” (1932), is recognized as an important work that describes the Gastonia textile strike in 1929. “A Sign for Cain” (1935) is notable for its depiction of post-Depression social and racial inequalities.

Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin WC ’15 (1897-1988)

Teacher, activist, sociologist and author of her autobiography, “The Making of a Southerner” (1947), Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin attended Brenau from 1912 to 1915 and proceeded to work as a teaching assistant at Brenau after her graduation. Lumpkin attended Columbia University in 1918 and received a master’s in sociology. She worked as national student secretary for the YWCA’s southern region from 1920 to 1925. In 1925, Lumpkin was accepted into the sociology program at the University of Wisconsin where she earned a Ph.D. in 1928.

Eleanor Ardery Lawrence, WC ’63

Eleanor Ardery Lawrence was a retired model and actress. She served her community as a member of San Joaquin County Medical Society Auxiliary since 1974. She was a member of the Child Abuse Prevention Council; Auxiliary junior Aid; Girl Scouts of America 1975-92; United Way of San Joaquin County; March of Dimes; and Delta Delta Delta Alumnae Chapter. She received such awards as the Junior Aid Mary Dunne Sustaining Award; San Joaquin County Medical Society Auxiliary Doreen Evert Auxilian of the Year Award; Women’s Center “In Celebration of Women” Award; Child Abuse Prevention Council’s Sammy Davis Jr. Award; Junior Aid Eleanor Young Volunteer of the Year Award.

Dr. Elizabeth Parker WC ’24 (1902-96)

Physician/Gynecologist and pioneer in female endocrinology, Dr. Elizabeth Parker was the author of “The Seven Ages of Woman,” published by The Johns Hopkins Press in 1960. She assisted in the establishment of the first endocrine laboratory and clinic at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C.

Barbara Stockton Perry WC ’47 (1926-2016)

Retired attorney and partner in the firm of Perry, Perry & Perry, and Lenoir County Court Judge, Barbara Stockton Perry was the first female candidate for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina and a member of the North Carolina Board of Transportation. She was on the Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and on the Board of Governors for the UNC General Administration. Perry was awarded the Brenau Outstanding Alumnae Award for Professional Achievement. She was a member of the Brenau Board of Trustees and received the Distinguished Service Award from Brenau University. She initiated fundraising efforts for Wheeler Alumni House Courtyard. She was on the Board of Directors for Arendell Parrott Academy; the Lenoir Community College, and the Lenoir Memorial Hospital Foundation. Perry was on the Nations Bank Advisory Board Chair; the Lenoir County Arts Council and Symphony, United Way Fund, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Faith Fellowship Church and was an Angel Ministries Board member. Before her death in 2016, she and her sister, Leeda Stockton Currin, WC ’60, jointly funded a bronze sculpture to be placed in the John S. Burd Center as a representation of what Brenau means to them.

Josephine Winter Rainey

Josephine Winter Rainey WC ’47 (1925-1986)

Josephine Winter Rainey was an avid Brenau and community volunteer during her lifetime. She was president of the National Brenau Alumnae Association from 1977-83. She led the Brenau’s Second Century Fund Campaign and was a committee member of the Brenau Centennial Celebration in 1978. Her citations include the Outstanding Alumnae Award, 1981. She was an Active Zeta Tau Alpha alumna. The scholarship established in her memory is awarded each year at Brenau University’s Honors Convocation. Rainey earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Brenau University.

Margaret (Maggie) Garner Reisler, WC ’45 (1923-2021)

An actor, writer, lecturer, model, and teacher, Margaret (Maggie) Garner Reisler appeared in more than 100 radio and print commercials and was featured in ads in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, House Beautiful. Maggie is a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame.

Gloria Cassity Stargel, WC ’50 and ’77 (1929-2013)

Gloria Cassity Stargel is the author of “The Healing: One Family’s Victorious Struggle with Cancer,” published in 1982 and re-released in 2002. At the Guideposts Workshop in Rye, New York, her manuscript was selected from 4,500 entries. She was a regular contributor to Guideposts. She has articles in Decision and more than 25 other magazines and newspapers. She was a contributing author to 22 compilations including: “I’ve Just Seen Jesus,” “Their Mysterious Ways,” “City Dwellers,” and the series, “Chicken Soup for the Soul, Stories for the Heart and God Allows U-turns.” Her “Teacher at Last” was selected from among 8,000 published stories by Chicken Soup editors for the 10th anniversary edition, “Living Your Dreams.” She has multiple leadership roles at Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville. She served on the Board of Directors, Hall County Unit of the American Cancer Society. She was awarded the 2002 Outstanding Alumnae Award for Professional Achievement, Brenau University. Her “The Healing,” won the Award for Excellence in Christian Writing, and she was named Featured Author of Tyndale House Publishers in 1983. She was awarded Writer of the Year for five years by the local writers club, and won first place in Inspirational Writing for the National League American Pen Women in 1995.

Read more about Gloria Cassity Stargel in “A Very UnShackelton-like ‘Antarctic Explorer’” in the Summer 2007 issue and “Gloria Stargel: Inspirational Journalist, ‘Antarctic Explorer’” in the Sprint 2013 issue of Brenau Window.

Althea Lennox Tessier, Ph.D. WC ’38 (1917-2014)

A chaplain, pilot, college professor, world traveler, researcher, Althea Lennox Tessier addressed the Louisiana legislature on the subject of equal rights for women volunteers at the St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum in the 1950s.