Distinguished Alumni Society 2017
Congratulations to the 2017 Brookstone School Distinguished Alumni Society Inductees, pictured left to right below, Robert Pound, Class of 1988, Laney Woolfolk Lewis, Class of 2001, and Baker Hubbard, Class of 1983. It was a wonderful evening of food and fellowship, and a few trips down memory lane as we celebrated the worthy accomplishments of these truly distinguished alumni. Their bios are impressive to say the least and their remarks so touching as they shared what Brookstone had meant to them.
Dr. Baker Hubbard, MD, is the Thomas M. Aaberg Professor of Ophthalmology within Emory University’s School of Medicine. He has served at the Emory Eye Center since 2000 and currently holds the position of Chief of the Section of Vitreoretinal Disease and Surgery. Additionally, he is Vice-Chief of the Ophthalmology Service at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, Egleston, and is past Director of the Vitreoretinal Fellowship training at Emory Eye Center.
Dr. Hubbard is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (1992), where he completed an internship in general surgery. Following that, he completed a fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC (1995). Upon completion, he entered a residency program at Emory Eye Center, finishing in 1998, before moving onto a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the Barnes Retina Institute, Washington University School of Medicine (2000). He joined the faculty at Emory Eye Center in 2000, becoming a full professor in 2014.
Using his profession to draw an analogy, he described what the vitreous gel does for the eye. He said, “Without a normal vitreous to hold the retina in place during childhood, the retina does not develop properly and retinal detachment develops early in life. These detachments are devastating difficult to repair, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, children with this condition become blind. As you can see, a good, solid vitreous gel is extremely important for the developing eye.” He goes onto say, “Brookstone was the vitreous gel for my adolescence. One of the best things my parents did for me was to enroll me in Brookstone for high school. High school is only four years long, but it has a disproportionate effect. Like the vitreous in a child’s eye, the mentors, role models, and life-long friendships from Brookstone helped me get set for life.”
Naming and thanking beloved teachers and coaches like Joe Sparks, Wendell McKenzie, Preston Hodges, Tina Epperson, David Youngblood, Ron Burkhardt, Mr. Beal, Coach Cole and of course, Nan and Sam Pate, Hubbard said, “When I teach young doctors, my goal is to inspire them the way Sam Pate inspired me.”
Laney Woolfolk Lewis is the head of marketing for IBM Watson Media and IBM Cloud Video, new units within IBM’s Watson and Cloud Division. Laney is responsible for all aspects of marketing, including lead generation, product marketing, global expansion, and communications. IBM Cloud Video specializes in enabling major media and entertainment companies like HBO, A&E, and Food Network to compete with streaming services like Netflix, as well as providing internal and external communication solutions for companies like Tesla, Airbnb, and Pinterest.
Laney came to IBM through the acquisition of Clearleap in December 2015. Laney was Clearleap’s first hire in marketing in 2009 when the venture-backed startup employed about 20 people and ultimately led marketing for the life of the company as it grew to 100+ employees. A member of the management team, Laney was critical to the company’s growth and ultimately to its acquisition process. Prior to Clearleap, Laney worked as a marketing manager at two other tech start-ups. Laney’s first job was at Ogilvy & Mather in NYC on the Time Warner Cable account.
Laney graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University where she studied Art History and Human and Organizational Development. She is an avid runner, having completed ten marathons and over 100 half marathons.
In her remarks, she talks about growing up at Brookstone, the teachers who made an impact on her, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Epperson, Mrs. Jiles, Coach McKenzie. She says, “Essentially, what I remember when I think of my time at Brookstone are all the faces that were willing to invest. The teachers, the administrators, the fellow students, the parents, the community coaches, the Young Life leaders.”
She continues, “Brookstone is more than a school; it is a community of faithful, generous, and kind people. For me, it was a place that was okay to be smart, okay to make the right choices, and okay to be myself. And because of that, students develop a strong foundation that is so critical during adolescence.”
“The foundation I developed at Brookstone was the ultimate safety net. Because we can learn and grow and prepare for anything life hands us, but we know that sometimes we’ll get it right, and sometimes we’ll fail. We will lose, we will embarrass ourselves, and we will stumble and fall. But at the end of the day, what sets us apart is when we can pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, and keep our heads high. The importance of this resilience is really immeasurable. And every day I am thankful for the foundation that Brookstone has provided and for this community that I still have to come home to.”
Dr. Robert Pound, PhD, is Professor of Music at Dickinson College and Director of the Dickenson Orchestra. He teaches courses in music composition, theory, and conducting. Pound’s numerous compositions include orchestral works for the Atlanta Symphony (Irrational Exuberance, 2005) and the Columbus, Georgia Symphony, which commissioned a luminous jewel lone (2002) joining with the River Center for the Performing Arts in celebration of the venue’s opening. The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra commissioned Pound’s Fetes and Fireworks in celebration of its 35th anniversary. Among performances of his works are two Carnegie-Weill Hall premieres: Music for Strings (for violinist Mark Robertson, 1995) and when we three meet (Trio of New York City, 1999). In spring 2011, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra called on Pound to act in both professional capacities, inviting him to conduct the ASO and commissioning him to compose a fanfare in honor of Music Director Robert Spano’s tenth anniversary with the ASO.
Pound graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of North Texas where he studied composition with Martin Mailman and masters and doctoral degrees from the Julliard School where he was a composition student of Stephen Albert and Milton Babbitt.
Of his time here at Brookstone, and paying homage to dear Brookstone teachers such as Pat Khazaeli, Barbara Carlson, and Nan Pate, Pound says, “Here at Brookstone, during all that time spent in classes, I was challenged to confront complexity in a wide variety of fields, to analyze it, and to try to understand it, rather than reduce it to more comfortable simplicity. I was challenged by teachers to ‘assess the validity’ of political assertions, rather than being coddled with the convenience of multiple guesses or true/false dichotomies. I could not possibly have richness to offer my students, had I not had a wealth of it myself, as I did here. I could not be a successful liberal arts professor without Brookstone here in Columbus, which held many excellent models for passionate, personally-invested teaching and advising, which I hope to pass onto my students.”
He goes onto say, “It seems to me that we are not made distinctive by our actions, but by our interactions with others: people in our lives are the source of our strength, our capacity to contribute, our uniqueness. And so, if I am distinctive in any way, it is because of you, my home.”
It was a simply amazing evening. Enjoy these pictures from the event.