Lee University has named its 2014 Honorary Alumnus of the Year, Robert Bernhardt.
The son of a North Carolina railroad worker, Loran Livingston grew up in Wadesboro, about 50 miles east of Charlotte. At the age of three his family joined the small congregation of L. L. Reeder and became members of the Church of God. It was at age of 7 that Loran first felt urgency toward God, but not until the spring semester of his freshman year at Lee, in 1971, did he have a conversion experience while sitting in the basement of Medlin Hall. Two days later, on March 28, he accepted his calling to be a minister. In the summer of 1973 he married a young woman that he first met at church youth camp, Sandra Weatherby, the daughter of Rev. G. E. Weatherby. Soon after, the two left Lee to accept a Youth Evangelism position and Loran finished his degree through continuing education. Loran and Sandra spent their early ministry as evangelists traveling the state of Ohio. It was in Ohio one evening in December of 1976 that Loran received a call from a group back in Charlotte asking him to minster the next Sunday. He did, and when that group called him every week for 3 months asking him to be their pastor he finally relented. In April 1977 Loran became the pastor of the newly formed 22-member Central Church. Thirty-five years later Central Church has 7300 members and is the largest North American congregation in the Church of God. Loran can be heard each Sunday on the international radio program Forward in Faith, and is a familiar favorite in Lee University chapel. He has served on the Church of God Executive Council and is currently serving as a member of the North Carolina State Council. He and Sandra have four daughters and five grandchildren.
In 1991, Loran was named the Lee University Alumnus of the Year.
Herbert Parker began his career as a staff accountant at the
global power and technology company ABB Group in Chattanooga.
For 28 years he was promoted through a series of positions of
increasing responsibility. In 1994, he became Segment Controller
for ABB China in Beijing. In 1998 he was promoted to
Vice President and Business Controller for ABB in Zurich,
Switzerland. In 2002, Herbert was named Chief Financial Officer of
the $12 billion global automation division based in Norwalk,
From 2008 to present Mr. Parker has served as the Chief
Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Harman
International Industries Inc., a company that designs,
manufactures, and markets audio products. In 2012 he was elected to
the Board of Directors for TMS International Corp., North America's
largest provider of industrial outsourced services to the steel
Herbert earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from
Lee University. He continued his education at Harvard
Business School, completing the Executive Education program in
Financial and Business Management and the International Institute
for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. In
February 2009, the magazine, Black Enterprise, named
Mr. Parker one of the most powerful corporate executives in
America. He currently lives in Weston, CT and is married
and with two children, a 14 year old daughter and a 12 year old
graduating from Lee with a B.S. in Psychology, Jeff Conn attended Vanderbilt
University where he completed his PhD in Pharmacology before entering Yale for
his postdoctoral work. In 1988 he joined
the faculty at Emory University where he was promoted to full professor while
researching the relationship between neurotransmitter receptors and
neurological disorders. In 2000 Dr. Conn
joined Merck and Company as the Senior Director of neuroscience before
returning to Vanderbilt in 2003 as the founding Director of the Vanderbilt
Program in Translational Neuropharmacology and the Director of the Vanderbilt
Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery.
serves on numerous editorial boards and provides scientific oversight to
several national organizations including the Michael J. Fox Foundation for
Parkinson’s research. He is recognized
as a pioneer for his innovative approach to drug discovery which calls for collaboration
between research universities and drug companies in order to produce superior
medical solutions. Dr. Conn is the
Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology.
Jeff was the 2008 Alumnus of the Year. He and his
wife, Dr. Anita Ball Conn (‘81), have three children and live in the Nashville
After graduating from Lee with a BA in Communications, Cyndi earned an MBA from Pfeiffer University and completed the School of Negotiations program at Harvard. In the business world she quickly developed a reputation for saving money by rethinking how the purchase of goods and services could be streamlined at the corporate level. Eventually her talents were spotted by the global finance giant GMAC, now Ally Financial, where she saved the company more than $150 million. In 2004 she went to work for the Chicago-based Huron Consulting before being hired by the turnaround management specialists, Alvarez & Marsal. Today Cyndi is a Managing Director at A&M and a 15-year consulting veteran credited with saving companies more than $350 million.
She and her husband, Randy (’80), live in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
up in the music industry. He started
playing guitar at age 3 and was recording in the studio by age 14. The son of a well-known Christian duo, Nathan
was also part of a Nashville church that gave the gospel world names like Amy
Grant and Michael W. Smith. As a boy he
sat in studios watching legendary figures like Don Potter and Gary Hedden
produce and engineer for world famous artists. But by the time he reached high
school Nathan was burned out on the music industry. He was ready to get away from the Nashville setting.
hearing a Lee University choir in a local church he decided to enroll at
Lee. He declared a major in English and
began having thoughts of one day becoming a professor. But at Lee, Nathan’s love of music started
to return. He led worship in chapel
using his skills as a writer and musician to connect with the audience. By the time he graduated, Nathan was ready to
return to the world he knew so well.
Chapman is a sought-after studio musician and Grammy award winning record
producer. He has his own studio and
works with a wide range of artists including Point of Grace, Taylor Swift, Sara
Evans, Jewel, Stephanie Chapman, Shania Twain, and Colbie Caillat. When asked what one piece of advice he would
give to aspiring Lee grads, Chapman replies, “Work really hard.”
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