Alumni News

Pleased to receive a visit yesterday from Kyle Walker ’17, our history program student of the year from two years ago. Mr. Walker is pursuing an associate’s degree in information technology from Chattahoochee Tech and works for 360 SmartNetworks, a company offering “technology solutions for small business,” particularly in the area of cybersecurity. He enjoys the work very much and is getting married next February. 

Alumni News

History graduate Hannah Mayo Harris ’13 writes: “This is coming a few days late, but I am so humbled and honored to be recognized by Fellowship of Christian Athletes women’s ministry and Mandy Ledford, who is one of the most loving, awesome, kind, Godly people I have had the pleasure of knowing. I am so glad that God knows what he is doing (far more than I know) because he placed me in career at a school with a program that was exactly where I needed to be. I have been blessed with the very best girls on the planet to coach since I have been at Murray High School, and I am so fortunate to have been surrounded by them! Coaching and walking with God is all about relationships, and I try to demonstrate the importance of those daily. It was even more special to have Jordan speak about me. I pray I get to continue to coach/influence, demonstrate unconditional love and grace, and to help girls find their strength as well as to root their identities in something solid for many more years to come.”

Well done, Hannah!

Alumni News

Pleased to learn that Reinhardt history major Caleb Land ’06 was named Teacher of the Year at Utopian Academy for the Arts Charter School, where he teaches social studies.

The photo shows Caleb with his wife Emily Land ’06, who writes that he “has been accepted to the University of Georgia and already started on his Masters Program, and this Sunday was installed as a Pastor at our church.”

Wonderful news – congratulations, Caleb!

Alumni News

Very pleased to have received a visit this afternoon from history major Lara Bowen ’09. Lara is in her fifth year of teaching at Sequoyah High School and now serves as social studies department head. She enjoys her classes on World History and especially AP Human Geography – and she credits her Reinhardt education with her success.

Alumni News

Very pleased to see Hannah (Mayo) Harris ’13 today in Tarpley Hall. Hannah was a history major and member of Reinhardt’s women’s basketball team while a student, and she now teaches English and coaches basketball at Murray County High School. Hannah is currently completing an online MAT program from Pittsburg State University. She was showing Reinhardt’s campus to one of her students who is hoping to play basketball here.

Thanks for sending people to us, Hannah!

A Post

Apologies for my blogging silence of late. A cartoon shared by Kennesaw State’s David Parker sums it up well:

Although, I am pleased that I got to have dinner tonight with Dan Audia ’08, who has recently been promoted to Assistant Director of MBA Programs at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. Dan says that he:

currently manages enrollment for the KSU MBA and WebMBA programs, specifically the areas of admissions and academic advisement. Our team provides top-notch customer service from prospective student inquiry to current student graduation. Our efforts for recruitment, retention,and progression to graduation are aimed at maintaining the high quality of the programs as demonstrated by several national rankings.

Dan told me about an interesting blog entitled Faith and History: Thinking Christianly about the American Past, run by Robert Tracy McKenzie, professor of history at Wheaton College in Illinois. He hasn’t updated it in a while, but I quite enjoyed perusing his back catalogue, including this post:

The belief that the Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom is inspiring, but in the sense that we usually mean it, it’s not really true. I’ve shared this reality numerous times since writing The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us about Loving God and Learning from History, and I almost always get pushback from the audience. That’s understandable, since most of us from our childhood have been raised to believe quite the opposite. But if we’re going to really learn from the Pilgrims’ story, we need to be willing to listen to them instead of putting words into their mouths.

One of my favorite all-time quotes is from Democracy in America where Alexis de Tocqueville observes, “A false but clear and precise idea always has more power in the world than one which is true but complex.” The Pilgrims’ motives for coming to America is a case in point.

The popular understanding that the Pilgrims came to America “in search of religious freedom” is technically true, but it is also misleading. It is technically true in that the freedom to worship according to the dictates of Scripture was at the very top of their list of priorities. They had already risked everything to escape religious persecution, and the majority never would have knowingly chosen a destination where they would once again wear the “yoke of antichristian bondage,” as they described their experience in England.

To say that the Pilgrims came “in search of” religious freedom is misleading, however, in that it implies that they lacked such liberty in Holland. Remember that the Pilgrims did not come to America directly from England. They had left England in 1608, locating briefly in Amsterdam before settling for more than a decade in Leiden. If a longing for religious freedom alone had compelled them, they might never have left that city. Years later, the Pilgrim’s governor, William Bradford, recalled that in Leiden God had allowed them “to come as near the primitive pattern of the first churches as any other church of these later times.” As Pilgrim Edward Winslow recalled, God had blessed them with “much peace and liberty” in Holland. They hoped to find “the like liberty” in their new home.

More at the link.

Mat Pinson ’05

Pleased to have had a visit today from history major Mat Pinson ’05, who has worked at Candler School of Theology at Emory University since 2007, and since 2016 has acted as Candler’s Associate Dean of Advancement and Alumni Engagement.

Jonathan Good, Mat Pinson, Kenneth Wheeler.

We were thrilled to learn that Mat has just been appointed Assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff for Emory University’s Senior Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Josh Newton. 

What you can do with a history degree!

New Echota

On Saturday we had the pleasure of visiting New Echota State Historical Site near Calhoun. New Echota was the capital of the Cherokee Nation from 1825 until 1838, when U.S. government forces, under the command of Winfield Scott, rounded them up and forced their removal to Oklahoma. This is the infamous Trail of Tears, and a monument commemorates this as you arrive at the visitors’ center.

The flag on the left is that of the United Keetoowah Band, and the flags on the right are those of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation, the three federally-recognized Cherokee tribes. (The United Keetoowah Band and the Cherokee Nation are headquartered in Tahlequah, Okla., while the Eastern Band is headquartered in Cherokee, N.C.)

A plan of the site. Alas, the Worcester House (8) is the only original building here. This was the home of Samuel Worcester, a missionary to the Cherokee and publisher of the Cherokee Phoenix (see below). Convicted by the state of Georgia for living in Cherokee territory without a license, Worcester appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found the Georgia law unconstitutional, as it was the federal government that had the exclusive right to treat with Native Americans. President Andrew Jackson is reputed to have said in response that “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” Worcester went west with the Cherokee and died there in 1861.

Other buildings are reconstructions, like the Council House (3), where the Cherokee legislature convened…

…or the Supreme Courthouse (4), which doubled as a school.

What made this visit especially pleasurable was to see Reinhardt history graduate Cole Gregory, now employed with the state parks service. Here he is in the Vann Tavern (9), explaining how it worked (an interesting detail: a window on the back served as a drive-thru for people that the manager did not want coming in). James Vann was a Cherokee leader who owned several taverns; this one does date from the early nineteenth century but was originally located in Forsyth County and moved here in the 1950s.

The reconstructed Print Shop (11) represents the locale of the famous Cherokee Phoenix. A friendly and knowledgeable volunteer explained things to us. The newspaper was largely written by Elias Boudinot, who believed that relocation to the west was in the best interests of the Cherokee and who thus signed the Treaty of New Echota with the federal government. This “Treaty Party” represented a minority of the Cherokee Nation, and the signatories, including Boudinot, were assassinated not long after they arrived in Oklahoma.

You can buy a copy of Vol. 1, No. 4 in the gift shop. This one contains notice of Cherokee laws passed, news of ongoing negotiations with Washington, poetry, and news of the escape of some missionaries from Maori cannibals. As you can see, it is printed both in English and in Cherokee, using Sequoyah’s syllabary. (We learned that they type foundry had changed some of his characters for easier casting – and that archaeologists at New Echota had recovered a cache of individual letters [“sorts”] at the bottom of a well, into which they had been thrown by U.S. troops in 1838.)

We were pleased to find this book in the gift shop. John Ross was a Cherokee leader who opposed forced resettlement in the west; his house is in Rossville, Georgia, less than 1000 feet from the Tennessee state line. Jeff Bishop is Reinhardt’s new director of the Funk Heritage Center and, as you can see, an expert in Cherokee history.


On our way home we stopped at the Rock Garden, situated behind Calhoun’s Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The Rock Garden is the creation of one DeWitt “Old Dog” Boyd, and features sculptures made up pebbles glued together to form miniature buildings. My favorite was this interpretation of Notre Dame cathedral, complete with flying buttresses, but I loved the whole thing – I respect anyone with the vision and the patience to realize art like this, like Howard Finster and his Paradise Garden.

Alumni News

Was pleased to get a visit this week from Chap Lindstrom. A math major, Phi Alpha Theta inductee, and member of Reinhardt’s baseball team, Mr. Lindstrom is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Geography at Georgia Southern University, where he is doing his thesis on gentrification and the Atlanta BeltLine.

Alumni News

Pleased to get a visit today from history major alumnus Dylan Ellis ’14, who has left a teaching job at Pickens High School in Jasper, Georgia to train as an insurance broker. He continues to make music and to work for his family’s cleaning business. He and his wife Holly are expecting their first child in three weeks.