Alderson Broaddus College is pleased to announce the University of Hard Knocks Class of 2012. The nine inductees were recognized June 2 during UHK graduation exercises in Wilcox Chapel.
The University of Hard Knocks is an honorary society recognizing persons who have made a success of their life without the benefit of higher education. UHK, as it is affectionately called by its 1,200 living alumni, meets annually on the campus of its sponsor Alderson-Broaddus College.
Every June the "mythical university," as it was labeled by its founder, conducts annual commencement exercises for the year's new crop of graduates.
Below is a description of each of this year's graduates:
Charles Hoyt Burford, of Charleston, was born in 1952 and graduated from Sissonville High School in Kanawha County. Burford worked six years at the Charleston National Bank and 30 years at the DuPont Plant in Belle. Burford is retired but remains active in the community including his membership in the fraternal organizations of the Kanawha Lodge No. 20 A.F. & A.M., the Beni Kedem Shrine, the Royal Order of the Jesters Court 111 and the Scottish Rite Masonry. Burford is also a member of the Kanawha County Baptist Church. He and his wife, Verna, have two children, Bridget and Nathan.
John Adam Burford, of Sissonville, was born in 1963, and graduated from Sissonville High School in Kanawha County. He later became a mechanic for the Kanawha County School Board. Burford is active in the community, including his membership in the fraternal organizations of the Kanawha Lodge No. 20 A.F. & A.M., the Beni Kedem Shrine and the Royal Order of the Jesters Court 111. Burford is also a member of the Kanawha County Baptist Church. He and his wife, Kim, have three children, Chris, John, and Jenny.
John "J.C." Callahan, of Richwood, served in the Coast Guard during World War II. Callahan also served as an engineer for Union Carbide Corp., now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., at West Virginia, Texas and Puerto Rico locations. Upon his return to Richwood, Callahan was approached by the Nicholas County Board of Education and asked to be the clerk of the works in the construction of the Panther Creek Elementary School. In Richwood, he is referred to as "the greyhound bus driver" because he is always transporting someone somewhere and provides this service without complaint. Callahan was married to the late Ann Holt for more than 50 years and he has two daughters, Cindy and Jenny Jo.
Edward Reed Cecil, of Moundsville, was born in 1937 and graduated from Moundsville High School in 1956. After graduation, Cecil joined the United States Air Force and became a jet mechanic and crew chief on a T-33 airplane. He then joined the Air Force Reserve at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana, serving 27 years and retiring as a master sergeant and crew chief. Cecil served a total of 31 years for his country. In his civilian life, he worked as a pipe fitter and leak survey person for Indiana Gas Co. for 31 years. He is active in the Christian Church and the Church of Christ, and officiating high school and middle school swim and track meets. He and his wife, Norma, have been married for 55 years and have three adult children, 10 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Harold Herbert Madison, of Racine, was born in 1936 and joined the United States Army to serve for two years after graduating from high school. Madison then spent 47 years in the insurance business, serving as an adjustor for five years and then becoming an independent insurance agent. He has served on many professional and service committees including the Board of Directors of the Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia, the School Board of Boone County and the Boone County Parent Teacher Association. He also served as president of the Richard D. Brown Insurance Agency in Whitesville and the Whitesville Lions Club. Madison is retired and soon will celebrate 53 years of marriage with his wife, Jo Ann. They have one daughter, Sherri Lyn Miller.
Timothy Marron, of Grapevine, Texas, was born in 1962. After graduating from high school, he obtained his air conditioning and journeyman electrician license for the state of Texas. Marron worked in various facets of the air conditioning business, including working as a salesperson and technician. Marron is a member of the St. Francis Catholic Church and an avid supporter of Camp Esperanza, a summer camp for youth suffering from cancer in the area of Dallas, Texas. Marron has been self-employed for the past 20 years and is concentrating on selling his air conditioning business to focus on an insurance-recovery business venture. He and his wife, Renee, have two children, Paul and Steve.
James Franklin Pauley, of Charleston, was born in 1961. After high school, Pauley attended the West Virginia State Police Academy and was employed by the Charleston Police Department. Pauley has been a lifelong resident of Charleston and involved in many community, civic and fraternal organizations, including the Catholic Church, the Fraternal Order of Police, Masons, Shriners, Scottish Rite and Moose Lodge. Pauley was awarded the Distinguished West Virginian Award by the governor and secretary of state. Currently, he is the owner of a private investigation firm. He and his wife, Karen, have four sons, Matthew, Eric, Bryan and Steven.
Lois Ielene Serrine, of Buckhannon, was born in 1940 and graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School. After graduation, Serrine enrolled in classes at West Virginia Business College, West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Upshur County Adult Learning Center. Serrine worked at the Washington International Airport in Washington, D.C., and then worked with the Upshur County Sheriff's Department in Buckhannon, where she retired after 26 years of service. She has been a member of the Moose Lodge and American Legion and has volunteered for the Salvation Army and the Upshur County Senior Center. Lois and her husband, Gary, have three children, Sandra, Mary and Gary.
James Raymond Watland, of Valrico, Fla., was born in 1935. At age 17, he joined the United States Air Force, where he served as an aerial gunner, air refueling operator, and helicopter and fixed-wing pilot. During his service, Watland earned his high school diploma from Folsom California School District. Watland left the USAF to become a flight instructor in Minnesota, and then he traveled to California to work as a patrolman for the Oakland Police Department. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed by the U.S. Army as a warrant officer with direct assignment to the Helicopter School in Mineral Wells, Texas. In 1966, Watland was released from the Army and hired by Northwest Airlines (later acquired by Delta Airlines) as a pilot, where he retired in 1995. Watland holds life membership in the Reserve Officers Association, the National Guard Association and the National Notary Association. He earned many awards while serving in the armed forces, including the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Civilian Award. Watland and his wife, Sharon, have four children, Jerome, Sharon, Cynthia and Stephanie.
More information on The University of Hard Knocks at Alderson-Broaddus College is available online at www.ab.edu/alumni-friends/uhk.