Lincoln Memorial University

LMU Bestows Honors at 2019 Alumni Awards Ceremony


Left to right, Meagan England (’11, ’12), Natasha Yeary (’06), Ronda Chesney Gross (’87), Nancy Smith Parkey (’70), Steve Banner (’63), Dr. Ronnie Gross (’85, ’88), Dr. Derek Markley (’99, ’03) Dr. Carroll Rose (’65). Below, Roger Hansand receiving his award from LMU President Clayton Hess.  

drhessandhansardHarrogate, Tennessee, October 21, 2019— Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) recognized 10 distinguished graduates at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony during homecoming festivities on October 12, 2019.


Dr. Carroll Rose (’65), of Tazewell, Tennessee, was named Dr. Charles Holland Alumnus of the Year. Rose is the son of Everett and Stacia Hurst Rose and was born and raised in Claiborne County.  He received a bachelor’s degree from LMU and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, both in chemistry. Dr. Rose’s siblings and his mother are LMU alumni. After teaching at Western Kentucky University, he decided to pursue a medical degree and graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis.  Dr. Rose completed a residency in general surgery at UT-Knoxville, serving as chief resident in 1975-76.  He then returned home to practice surgery for 43 years. He is Board Certified in surgery, a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons. He serves as the Claiborne County medical examiner and is a member of the Board of Directors at First Century Bank and the Board of Trustees at LMU.  

Meagan England (’11, ’12), of Tazewell, Tennessee, was named the Dr. Martin Peters Young Alumnus of the Year. England earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from East Tennessee State University and an MEd and EdS from LMU and has completed all but dissertation for a doctorate in education from LMU. She began her career at Midway Elementary School in Tazewell, Tennessee, teaching 5th and 6th grade English. She currently serves as Claiborne County Schools’ elementary and accountability supervisor and as an adjunct instructor in LMU’s Carter & Moyers School of Education.  She is a SCORE Fellow Alumni, Tennessee Ed Voice Fellow Alumni, and Tennessee Hope Street Fellow Alumni and Design Team Member. She is also an English Language Arts (ELA) Content Coach and Collaborative Facilitator.  England has volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since August 2006 and held many positions on Claiborne County’s Relay for Life Committee.  She is a Tennessee Achieves mentor, a member of the Boys and Girls Club Steering Committee in Claiborne County, and a Claiborne County Tourism Committee member.  In summer 2019, she helped the LMU Women of Service (WOS) host the high school girls mentoring program, Pearls of Grace, for a weeklong stay on the LMU campus and served on the WOS Fashion Show Committee.

Nancy Smith Parkey (’70) of Ewing, Virginia, was named the Nancy Rogers Leach Volunteer of the Year. Parkey has hosted doctors and medical students from Gannan Medical University in China who were visiting and studying at LMU. She has also volunteered with the LMU WOS and decorated the Tex Turner Arena for the WOS Christmas Festival in December 2019. She participated in the Pearls of Grace program supported by WOS, again hosting the high school girls at her home. In August, she was instrumental in helping WOS sponsor its most successful Fashion Show fundraiser to date. Parkey is also a volunteer for the Mountain Empire Community College Scholarship for Lee County, Virginia students. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from LMU, Parkey earned an MBA from the University of Tennessee and an MA from East Tennessee State University.

Roger Hansard (’73), of Tazewell, Tennessee, was inducted into the LMU Educators’ Hall of Fame. He began his career as a high school English teacher in Claiborne County and eventually moved to the Adult Education Program where he helped hundreds of people earn their high school diplomas or GEDs. He has served as national president for Adult High Schools in America and developed the Adult High School diploma program adopted by 48 school systems. He was named 2006 National Education Administrator of the Year and has served as president of the Tennessee Adult and Community Education Association. He was a founding board member of Leadership Claiborne and developed the model for the education component of the Families First Program of the Department of Human Services, which has been used in over 60 programs. Hansard has served as a pastor for 37 years.  He is a founder and executive director of R.E.C. Ministries, a Community Education Center that provides job skills, STEM classes, and computer and literacy programs. He also serves the tri-state area as a North American Mission Board church revitalization missionary.


Steve Banner (’63), of Castlewood, Virginia, was inducted into the LMU Educator’s Hall of Fame. He attended LMU on a baseball scholarship which lead to a career in teaching and coaching. He recently retired with 54 years of service in education. He began his career at Castlewood High School as a physical education teacher and a baseball coach.  His team won the first-ever Class A Virginia Baseball Championship in 1971, and Banner was named Coach of the Year in the state of Virginia.  Banner served as principal at Clinch River Elementary School and Castlewood High School. After 16 years as principal, he was chosen as a supervisor of Russell County Schools and asked to begin an alternative school, which is still known today for its excellent programs and high percentage of graduates.


Dr. Derek Markley (’99, ’03), of Saltillo, Mississippi, was inducted into the LMU Literary Hall of Fame. Markley earned a bachelor’s degree in history at LMU and also graduated with his MBA in management. He was employed at LMU working with grants and research contracts, writing thousands of pages of proposals to foundations and other funding agencies and increasing private foundation funding by 25 percent.  Markley earned his doctorate in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt in 2008 and now serves as executive director of the University of Mississippi at Tupelo and Booneville.  He was named a 2018 Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal “Top 40 Under 40.” Markley is a contributor to the PEN Newsletter, the oldest published newsletter in the U.S. on the topic of hemophilia.  He is the author of “The Bubba Factor,” a short story about his son’s severe hemophilia and how it changed his family’s lives over the past seven years.


Natasha Yeary (’06), of Harrogate, Tennessee, was inducted into the LMU Professional Hall of Fame.  Yeary was a Presidential Scholar at LMU and majored in medical technology and minored in chemistry. She worked as a medical technologist at Lee Regional Medical Center and in 2013, she earned a master of science in Occupational Therapy from Milligan College.  Since 2014, she has worked in Claiborne County and Rogersville City as a school system occupational therapist. She serves as youth director in her church and teaches Sunday school. She also teaches and directs Vacation Bible School.  She works at Remote Area Medical health clinics and volunteers with the Autism Awareness Program. She is licensed and/or certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathologists, Tennessee license for occupational therapy and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.


Dr. Ronnie Gross (’85, ’88), of Johnson City, Tennessee, was inducted into the LMU Professional Hall of Fame. He ran cross country for LMU and is a member of the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame. LMU also presented him the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for excellence of character and service to humanity.  He graduated with honors and went on to earn a master's degree in education from LMU.  His doctorate in higher education administration is from East Tennessee State University. He began his career as a residence hall director, cross country coach and Upward Bound director and has gone on to national prominence. His work with TRIO programs at ETSU spans nearly 30 years.  Under his leadership, ETSU has earned the distinction of being one of five universities in the U.S. with seven different TRIO programs.


Ronda Chesney Gross (’87), of Johnson City, Tennessee, was inducted into the Professional Hall of Fame. While pursuing her undergraduate degree in marketing at LMU, she worked in the Registrar’s Office as well as the Admissions Office. After graduation, she served as an admissions counselor for one year and assistant director of admissions for another before joining the staff in the Admissions Office at East Tennessee State University. She now serves as an assistant director in the ETSU Scholarship Office. She received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award at LMU in 1987.  This award recognizes individuals whose nobility of character and dedication to service sets them apart as examples for others. She was also the recipient of the ETSU Distinguished Staff Award in 2018 and the Southern Conference NCAA All-Conference Staff Award in 2019. She is a member of the Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.


Naval Commander L. Robert “Bob” Langley (’50), of Sumter, South Carolina, attended LMU for two years before enlisting in the Navy in 1942. He was accepted into the V1 and V5 aviation programs and was commissioned as an Ensign Pilot in 1945. He flew single-engine and multi-engine aircraft for the Navy in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. He returned to LMU and finished his degree in economics, and later earned his master’s degree in business administration from Golden Gate University in California. He joined the Navy Reserves and served in the Pacific with Medical Transport and Returns. His final naval appointment was in Washington, DC, at Naval Headquarters. He retired in 1960 and spent the next 25 years in Civil Service at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. He was a certified internal auditor and certified information system auditor. He is a member of First Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, where he has served as an usher for 33 years. He is an active supporter of the Kershaw County Animal Shelter. He was LMU’s Alumnus of the Year in 2007 and funded a residence hall at LMU that bears his name.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or e-mail at [email protected].


423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752