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by Shawnna Hunt, Student Contributor

(L-R): President Joe Stepp, Dr. Clyde Thornsberry, Kimberly Jones, Alumni Association President Dr. Jerry Wayne Slone

Alice Lloyd College held its twenty-first annual Alumna and Alumnus of the Year Banquet on September 15th, 2017. The celebration is held in honor of two individuals whose service and dedication exemplify the core values of Alice Lloyd College. Family and friends came together to celebrate the lives and successes of the recipients, Kimberly Slone Jones (Class of 1989) and Dr. Clyde Thornsberry (Class of 1947).

To begin the reception, entertainment was provided by Lisa Cox, a dear friend of Kim Jones, and Ally Slone, daughter of Daryl and Beth Slone. President Stepp spoke on current projects that are underway on campus and mentioned the new ranks that Alice Lloyd College received in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report.

Kimberly Slone Jones, 2017 Alumna of the Year, is a resident of Wayland, Kentucky. After her parents returned to Knott County, Kim enrolled in Knott County Central High School where she graduated third in her class. The death of her father in 1985 was an eye-opening experience for Kim and ultimately motivated her to enroll in Alice Lloyd College. In 1989, Kim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. After earning her degree, she accepted an accounting position with Thacker-Grigsby Telephone Company and has been an employee there for twenty-eight years, where she is currently the accounting director. As a result of her faithful service and dedication, Kim has served as the president of the Kentucky RUS Accounting and Data Processing Association, where she is still an active member. Kim has also served as the former director of the James Still Learning Center for Dyslexic Children, where she still holds a seat here as a member of the IDEA Advisory Board. Despite her busy schedule, Kim continues to give back to Alice Lloyd College. She served the Alice Lloyd College Alumni association as a member of the board of directors and held officer positions on the board, including the president. In addition to this, Kim contributed to significant fundraising efforts for the college. Furthermore, she encouraged the establishment of the Robert C. Thacker Endowed Scholarship- an academic scholarship for an Alice Lloyd College junior who will be returning as a senior.

Kim recalls the moment she received the letter telling her that she had been chosen for Alumna of the Year as a humbling experience because she knows how intricate the process of selecting an honoree can be. Upon accepting the award, Kim gave thanks to her husband for supporting her through the challenges of being a non-traditional college student. Kim also recognized her friends at Alice Lloyd College for sticking with her through her time at the College and the role they played as her second family. Her final remembrance went to Alice Lloyd College itself; Kim thanks the institution for giving her purpose, guidance, and shaping her into the person that she is today.

Dr. Kossuth Mitchell, one of Kim’s former Alice Lloyd College professors, followed her remarks with reflections of Kim as a student and as a successful Alice Lloyd College alumni. He simply defined Kim with one word: trust. He expanded upon this notion with remarking that this one, simple word is the basis of all relationships. Furthermore, Dr. Mitchell notes that when we pass through life, there will always be special people that we meet. He said “We can always see the change in them, but we can’t always see the change they make in us”, conveying that is how he feels about honoree Kim Jones. 

Dr. Clyde Thornsberry, 2017 Alumnus of the Year, is a resident of Macon, Georgia, originally from Pippa Passes, Kentucky. Clyde attended Knott Co. High School and upon graduation enrolled in Caney Jr. College. After completing the two-year program, Clyde was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served with the 8th Army, stationed in Korea, as a headquarters administrator. Clyde was awarded a Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant for his dedication and service. After his time in the Army, Clyde continued his studies at the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Bachelor of Science and his Ph.D. in microbiology. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1957, Clyde began working at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. While there, Dr. Clyde Thornsberry developed a laboratory, which the CDC pioneered, equipped to develop methods for studying antimicrobial agents in relation to therapy of infectious disease and the development of resistance to these agents by microorganisms. The laboratory achieved an international reputation for excellence. The lab was also among the first to study MRSA. Clyde dedicated twenty-five years of service to the CDC and fifty-five years within his profession before retiring in 2012. He continued to conduct independent contract research and studies focusing primarily on newer antimicrobial agents.

After retiring from the CDC, Clyde continued to do independent studies. To add to this success, many of Clyde’s articles have been published in some of the most recognized medical and scientific journals. Clyde is currently or has previously served as a member of the following organizations: American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Disease Society of America, European Society of Infectious Disease and Microbiology, American Academy of Microbiology, New York Academy of Sciences, Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute, Kentucky Colonel, and Tennessee Squire. He has also received numerous awards and recognitions for his service and support of medical and scientific fields. Among two of his most prestigious are the Public Health Service Outstanding Laboratory Award and the Public Health Service Superior Service Award; the highest award presented to civilians.

Upon receiving his Alumnus of the Year award, Clyde recalled personally knowing both Alice Lloyd and June Buchanan. He conveyed his thanks to Alice Lloyd College for the rigorous educational training its curriculum provided, thus equipping him with the necessary preparations for his graduate studies. Dr. Thornsberry remarked in closing that, despite receiving many awards, he considers receiving the Alice Lloyd College Alumnus of the Year Award to be among his greatest accomplishments.

Clyde’s daughter, Teresa, shared comments about her father after he received the award. She commented that many things can be learned through words, but that she learned more through the example set forth by her father. Teresa also remarked that everyone possesses a talent that serves a purpose, however, you have to be willing to use those talents. Furthermore, she believes her father taught her an important lesson: one person can make a difference.

In closing, President Stepp reflected on a quote from June Buchanan: “You will never die; you will always be a part of Alice Lloyd College and Alice Lloyd College will always be a part of you.” As faithful, dedicated alumni of Alice Lloyd College, no higher compliment could have been received by the recipients. The mission of Alice Lloyd College is clearly portrayed through the service of faithful alumni such as Kim and Clyde.