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Four Alumni Honored @ Summer Reunion

Dr. Kyoko Iitaka, a speech pathologist and Professor Emeritus at Tokyo Gakugei University, and Peter “Pete” McNeill, an agricultural and cooperative extension professional who has worked world-wide, received Berea’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

(Left to right) Peter McNeill, Dr. Kyoko Iitaka, Lynn Murphree and Judy Ann Coats Fray

Lynn Murphree, associate director and long-time counselor in the Admission’s Office at Berea, received the 2007 Rod C. Bussey Award of Special Merit. Judy Ann Coats Fray was honored with the Alumni Loyalty Award, which is given each year to an alumnus who has rendered outstanding service to, and demonstrated loyal interest in, Berea College.

View the photo galleries:
Alumni award recipients and reception ı Alumni convocation ı Class of '57 gathering ı Class of '57 reunion breakfast ı Dr. Harold Adams art exhibit ı Fee sculpture installation and dedication ı Great Commitments Society tea ı Ice cream social ı Kevin Messer art exhibit ı Reunion class meetings ı Reunion supper ı Robert Shipp book signing

The honorees were presented their awards at the Alumni Awards Reception from 10-11 a.m. in Baird Lounge, Alumni Building.

Dr. Iitaka graduated from Berea in 1959, then earned a master’s degree in Speech Pathology at the University of Wichita and Ph.D in Speech Pathology at Northwestern University. In addition to teaching at Gakugei, she also taught at Sophia University. Dr. Iitaka has spent her career working on behalf of speech pathology services and programs and has been a strong advocate for her profession. In Japan, she helped establish a community center for children and youth, providing needed services missing in the Japanese public school system. She organized the Japanese Association for Communication Disorders and also served as president of the Japanese Association of Speech, Hearing and Language and worked to advocate for professional recognition of the field. Recently retired, she is developing a Japanese version of “Sesame Street” to assist with language development of foreign-born children.

“Pete” McNeill, graduated in 1951 with a degree in general agriculture and went on to do graduate work at Cornell University. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, participating in amphibious landings in the Phillipines at Linguyan Gulf and on Okinawa. Later, as an agricultural teacher, agricultural extension agent, and at Bluegrass Rural Electric cooperative, he began a career using his education in service of others. He served as the agricultural economist on a USAID sponsored Power Survey Team in South Korea and worked for the Cooperative League of U.S.A. as an advisor to the Ministry of National Development in Thailand, where he worked to amalgamate village credit societies into multi-purpose cooperatives and to establish Thailand’s National Cooperative Training Center. Pete was also involved with similar work in the Philippines and Indonesia. Upon retirement, he joined Morehead State University’s Appalachian Development Center where he served as an economic development specialist. Since retiring from Morehead State University in 1991, Pete has managed and operated his family farm in Fleming County and continues to use his experience in volunteer work. McNeill and his wife, Anna Lou Planck McNeill, a 1952 Berea graduate, have five children and eight grandchildren.

Lynn Murphree, a 1967 Berea graduate, holds a master’s degree in higher education from Eastern Kentucky University and also has completed graduate work at the University of Alabama. He has served in the Berea College Admissions Office for the past 22 years, covering territories in Tennessee and Virginia and also helps recruit for the men’s baseball and basketball programs. In his professional career, he also has held positions as a vocational counselor, junior high school teacher, football and basketball coach and admissions counselor. Lynn and his wife, Patricia Graham Murphree, a 1969 Berea graduate, live near Jonesville, Va. and have one son.

Judy Ann Coats Fray, class of 1967, established and now chairs the first - and very active - Central Virginia Berea Alumni Chapter. She also has served three times as the class of 1967 reunion chairperson. In her home state, Fray was instrumental in starting alcohol and drug-free post-prom parties and an award-winning recycling program. She is active in state and regional garden club organizations and also in community service and church work.

On Saturday, there was an opening reception for an exhibit of paintings by Dr. Harold Robinson Adams, a 1948 alumnus and former physician who lives in St. Paul, Minn. Berea Professor of Art Robert Boyce talked about the works in the exhibit, which has become a record of Adams’ post-diagnosis journey and were inspired by both physical and mental responses to a health crisis. The exhibition of paintings is a gift from Dr. Adams to Berea College.

At the Berea College Bookstore, Robert H. Shipp, class of 1945, signed copies of his recently published book “Mountain Boys to Admirals: The Berea College Navy V-12 Program in World War II.” The 300 page book covers the important presence and contributions of the Navy V-12 Program at Berea during 1943 – 1945, when 782 Navy servicemen were stationed on Berea’s campus for officer training.

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