Distinguished Alumni 2019
Over Homecoming this year, we had the privilege of inducting our 7th Class of Distinguished Alumni. These well-deserving honorees are nominated by their peers and voted on by a committee made up of fellow Brookstone Alumni. Each and every year, we stand in amazement at what they have accomplished.
This year’s recipients were Catherine Biggers Trotter, Class of 1973, Deana Bass Williams, Class of 1991, and Timothy Collins Wilson, Class of 1979 (awarded posthumously). Their bios and accomplishments are below, but truly, words alone do not do justice to the impact these three alumni have had on our world.
CATHERINE TROTTER, CLASS OF 1973
Few have done more to create the Brookstone School experience than Catherine Trotter. Trotter recently retired after nearly four decades of service. During her tenure at Brookstone, the face of Brookstone School was dramatically altered, and the status of the academic program elevated to astounding heights.
Trotter served as the Chief Advancement Officer at Brookstone for multiple comprehensive campaigns that transformed the look and feel of the campus, built an endowment, and created innumerable financial aid opportunities for deserving students. She helped shape the culture of servant-leadership, deliberate life, and academic excellence. Trotter has also impacted the city of Columbus in profound ways including serving more than 20 years as a trustee of the Historic Columbus Foundation, as a sustaining member of the Junior League, and in multiple leadership positions with the Colonial Dames Columbus Town Committee and Leadership Columbus Alumni. She is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and has served on the boards of B.R.I.D.G.E., American Heart Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Girl’s Inc. For more than 30 years, Catherine has taught Sunday School at First Presbyterian Church, where she has influenced the lives of countless young people. She holds a degree from the University of Georgia in journalism and is married to Perrin Trotter; they have one son, Collier (’05), and a daughter-in-law, Erin. Her two granddaughters are Elizabeth (’34) and Florence Trotter.
DEANA BASS WILLIAMS, CLASS OF 1991
Deana Bass Williams’s first job in the business was writing obituary notices and wedding announcements for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia. Since those early years, political leaders, business leaders, and national non-profits have called on her to manage their messaging and their media. She currently serves as Partner with Bass Public Affairs, the firm she co-founded with her sister, and is a leading conservative voice in public affairs.
Prior to rejoining Bass Public Affairs, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Dr. Ben Carson in his role as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to that position, she served press secretary and spokesperson for U.S. Congressman Howard P. Buck McKeon (Former Chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee and the House Armed Services Committee), Director of Coalitions for U.S. Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (Former Chair of the House Republican Conference), and Deputy Director of Coalitions to Ken Mehlman (Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee). Deana also served as the first Executive Director of The Gloucester Institute founded by Charles and Kay Coles James. Deana holds a B.A. in communication and international relations from Salem College, where she served on the Board of Trustees for 12 Years and an M.F.A. in film production from Ohio University. Deana and her husband, Col. La Forrest Williams (ret), live in southern Maryland.
TIMOTHY COLLINS WILSON*, CLASS OF 1979
Timothy Collins Wilson (August 5, 1961 – February 26, 2014) was a stand-up comedian and country music artist, whose act combined stand-up comedy and original songs. During his two-decade career, he brought laughter and joy to countless audiences across the country by celebrating, and lampooning, politics and southern culture.
In 2015, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements. During his career, he released more than a dozen comedy albums, including several for Capitol Records Nashville, and made frequent appearances on nationally syndicated radio programs including Wilhite and Wall, John Boy and Billy, Big D and Bubba, and the Bob and Tom Show. His recordings included members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section with two singles and nine albums charting in the Top 100 US Country charts. Wilson also appeared on numerous television programs, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and American Revolution Country Comedy on CMT. In 2011, Wilson appeared on CMT’s Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops. His songs and comedy routines have amassed over three and a half million views on YouTube. After Brookstone, Wilson earned a degree in English from Presbyterian College.