Rogers And Ray Named Lee University Distinguished Alumni

Monday, November 18, 2013 - by Madeline Watson, Lee University
Dr. Susan Rogers
Dr. Susan Rogers

Lee University honored its distinguished alumni this year by presenting awards to individuals from each department. The honoree chosen for the Department of Language and Literature was Dr. Susan Rogers. 

“Dr. Rogers exemplifies the achievement, the impact and the inspiration that we hold as goals for each graduate from our department,” said Dr. Jean Eledge, chairperson of the Department of Language and Literature at Lee. “Her life has spoken and continues to speak in powerful ways to the students, colleagues and broader circles with whom she interacts.”    

Dr. Rogers received her PhD and MA in English from the University of Alabama after graduating from Lee with a BA in English. She returned to Lee in 1989 to teach and went on to obtain the rank of Professor of English.

In addition to core classes in composition and world literature, Dr. Rogers has taught courses in 19th and 20th century British literature, romantic literature, and Victorian literature.

While at Lee, Dr. Rogers served as a sponsor to various student organizations, including national honor society Alpha Chi and service club Sigma Nu Sigma. She also led students on their study abroad trips, including semesters in Cambridge.

Dr. Rogers was an Appalachian College Association Mellon Fellow at the University of Alabama from 1994 to 1996. Her dissertation, "Ephrasis in Robert Browning's Men and Women," is a study of Browning's effort to incorporate painting into his poetry, focusing on the influence of Giorgio Vasari and the conflicted relationship between the spatial and temporal media.

Dr. Rogers has been published in “Persuasions: the Journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America,” and she is a member of the Modern Language Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English.

The honoree chosen for the business department was Mr. Barry Ray. 

“Mr. Ray is the epitome of a distinguished alumnus,” said Dr. Dewayne Thompson, chairperson and professor of business administration at Lee. “He maintains faithful support and involvement with his alma mater. His accomplishments include a stellar career as a corporate executive, a successful entrepreneur, consistent family man, and demonstrated faithfulness in his Christian commitment.” 

Mr. Ray currently chairs the Business Advisory Council for the Lee University Department of Business.  

Mr. Ray graduated from Lee University in 1981 with a degree in business. Throughout college, he held multiple positions at the Holiday Inn South Cleveland, and continued working there after graduation as a hotel manager. 

In 1988, Mr. Ray made a career transition to work at Life Care Centers of America, the nation's largest privately held senior housing provider, where he worked for 14 years. During the last several years of his tenure with Life Care, Mr. Ray served as president of American Lifestyles, Inc., the assisted living subsidiary of Life Care. 

In 2002, he left Life Care to form Vision SeniorCare Partners, the predecessor of Legacy Senior Services, which is a management organization specializing in independent and assisted living facilities. Currently, Mr. Ray and his business partner Bryan Cook, also a Lee graduate, own and operate four assisted living buildings in the southeast through Legacy Senior Services.  

Mr. Ray is a member of the Westmore Church of God, where he is involved in many areas of service, leading Sunday school class, serving on the global missions team, working in the nursery, and serving on the pastor’s council and the church property development teams.  

Mr. Ray and his wife Iris currently reside in Cleveland. They have three children. Brooke, a Lee education department alumna, is married to Chris Schelich, a Lee theology alumnus and graduate student. Blake is a senior accounting and psychology double major at Lee, and Christina is a sophomore communications major at Lee. 

The award was presented during a departmental breakfast at Lee’s Homecoming. 

Dr. Dwayne Thompson, right, presents Business Department Distinguished Alumni of the Year award to Barry Ray.
Dr. Dwayne Thompson, right, presents Business Department Distinguished Alumni of the Year award to Barry Ray.

Joint Limited Residential Contractor Licensing Class Planned By Chattanooga State And CSCC

Chattanooga State’s Economic and Community Education Department is partnering with Cleveland State Community College to offer a 30-hour Limited Residential Contractor Licensing class. The class will meet two consecutive Fridays and Saturdays, March 18-19 and March 25-26 at Cleveland State’s campus located at 3535 Adkisson Dr. in Cleveland. Class cost is $449 and limited to 20 ... (click for more)

Dalton State School of Business Maintains Elite Accreditation

Maintaining Dalton State’s Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Accreditation keeps the College in an elite group that can offer business students a higher quality education.  Dalton State’s School of Business was recently re-accredited by the AACSB International, a global nonprofit organization of educational institutions and businesses devoted to the advancement ... (click for more)

County School Board Considers "Best Practices Audit" On Compliance With Board Policies

The County School Board is considering carrying out a "Best Practices Audit" to determine if board policies are filtering down to the school level. Board member Greg Martin said members of the Superintendent's Student Leadership Council told him that only a fraction of students are familiar with board policies on bullying and other topics. Steve Highlander, another board member, ... (click for more)

Several Central City Schools Overcrowded, School Board Is Told

All the county school overcrowding is not out in the fast-growing East Brainerd and Ooltewah sections, school board members were told Thursday. Several central city schools are far above capacity. East Lake Elementary - with 655 students and a capacity of 493 students - is at 133 percent occupancy. Calvin Donaldson, Orchard Knob Elementary and East Side Elementary also are ... (click for more)

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even Athletes

From reading Randy Smith's column on the lawsuit against UT it is pretty evident that he never took a legal course in his life. I was under the impression that in this country one was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It appears this no longer applies to athletes(particularly black athletes) in the U.S. in 2016. I have always said that if I am picked for jury duty ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Chatt2.org’ Needs You Now

A diverse yet powerful panel of community leaders in Nashville delivered a letter to the Metro Nashville Board of Education last week. It was signed by some top men and women who represent a wide-ranking cross section of Tennessee’s largest city and includes education, business, religious and diversity superstars. You need to understand the urgency behind the letter. Davidson County ... (click for more)